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FROM DREXEL UNIVERSITY’S PENNONI HONORS COLLEGE • FALL/WINTER 2019

Honors credits for creativity Weaving ethics, fiber and fashion Random hacks of kindness


3250 Chestnut Street MacAlister Hall, Suite 5016 Philadelphia, PA 19104

You can make a difference! When you make a gift to the Pennoni Honors College, you support the tradition of an interdisciplinary education. Every gift counts. To learn more about how you can support the Pennoni Honors College, contact: Susan Baren-Pearson 215.571.4907 sb3488@drexel.edu


Two freshmen chat in Bentley Hall’s half-moon lobby. The spacious daylit interior is designed to facilitate collaboration and promote learning.

From the Dean

Bentley Hall Spotlight

Dear Friends of Pennoni Honors College, This fall, the first class of Honors students took up residence at Bentley Hall, formerly Calhoun Hall. The building has been beautifully refurbished with study lounge and offices for some of our Honors staff on the ground floor. In the spring, the two-story addition will be completed and the rest of the Honors College staff will make the move to this new space. The first floor will hold seminar rooms and living room; the second floor will hold offices. Bentley is a dream come true for Honors and for Drexel — the first truly integrated living-learning space on campus. We are bursting with ideas for making maximum use of the space for the enrichment of students and the engagement with faculty and staff. Meanwhile, we have restructured our College so that it now operates with more efficiency and cohesiveness. Our Honors Program and Custom-Designed Major will now be combined under the rubric of Academic Programs to be led by Director Dr. Kevin D. Egan. The staffs of both units have been combined and are working creatively together. Our Office of Undergraduate Research is now under the directorship of Jaya Mohan following the retirement of Dr. Suzanne Rocheleau. Dr. Leah Gates begins her second year as director of the Center for Scholar Development, which includes Fellowships and ASPIRE, a donor-funded program that helps our students plot their life course and finds mentors to support them in the process. Our Marketing and Media department continues to develop new initiatives under the inspired directorship of Erica Levi Zelinger. These include Wednesdays at the Kline, a weekly event in partnership with the Kline School of Law. This is an open forum where we invite discussion on current issues from different viewpoints. Our indomitable Dr. Melinda Lewis moderates these sessions. We urge everyone who can to drop by any Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. for some lively conversation at the Kline Institute for Trial Advocacy at 12th and Chestnut.

Paula Marantz Cohen Dean, Pennoni Honors College Distinguished Professor of English 215.895.1266 • cohenpm@drexel.edu ii

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Dean Cohen in her office


Fall/Winter 2019

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In Brief

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Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability

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Credits for Creativity

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Weaving Her Own Path

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Random Hacks of Kindness

Slavery on the Seas

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Teaching the Holocaust

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Building Bridges

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Honor Bound Magazine is published biannually by

Dean: Dr. Paula Marantz Cohen

Academic Programs

Center for Scholar Development

the Marketing & Media team of Drexel University’s

Editorial Staff

Director: Dr. Kevin D. Egan

Director: Leah Gates

Pennoni Honors College.

Editor: Erica Levi Zelinger

Associate Director: Dr. Katie Barak

Associate Director: Kelly Weissberger

Copy Editor: Dr. Melinda Lewis

Associate Director, Honors Program: Eric Kennedy

Assistant Director Emily Coyle

Designers: Isabella Akhtarshenas and Diane Pizzuto

Assistant Director, Honors Program: Julia Wisniewski

Program Manager: Martha Meiers

Administration

Visiting Fellow: Dr. Jennifer Ayres

Marketing & Media

Director, Administration & Finance: Ann Alexander

Office of Undergraduate Research

Director: Erica Levi Zelinger

You can make a difference! When you make a gift to the Pennoni Honors College, you support the tradition of an interdisciplinary education. Every gift counts. To learn more about how you can support the Honors College, contact:

Executive Assistant to the Dean: Karen Sams

Director: Jaya Mohan

Associate Director: Dr. Melinda Lewis

Susan Baren-Pearson

Assistant Director: Emily Kashka

Assistant Director: Brian Kantorek

215.571.4907

Comments? Contact us at pennoni@drexel.edu

Program Manager: Roxane Lovell

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Alumni News

sb3488@drexel.edu 3


In Brief

Wearing Habok, a traditional Korean dress at Gyeongbokgung Palace; below, 2019 Hanyang International Summer School graduation.

Don’t forget to stop and smell the ... tulips at Keukenhof Flower Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands; Neil enjoying his last day with fellow Gilman Scholars at the Gilman Regional Career Summit in Lisbon, Portugal; the Rose Windmill in Delft on a typical overcast day in the Netherlands

hree Pennoni Scholar Development students spent their summers studying and working abroad through the support of the Gilman International Scholarship Program. Neil Eelman, Esther Han and Joann Wong were selected by the Institute of International Education and funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for their academic preparedness, diversity of background and experience, connection of their program to their academic and professional goals, and plans for impacting their community upon return to the U.S. Eelman, computer engineering ’20, Honors, did a research co-op at the Delft University of Technology in

See what some of Drexel’s 12 2018-19 Gilman recipients experienced internationally 4

Clockwise from above: A group trip to the Ruins of

the Netherlands, working in a quantum computing lab. Han, biological

St. Paul’s in Macao; 233

sciences ’21, studied at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea.

meters high on the Macau

Joann Wong, finance and accounting ’20, studied at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Tower observation deck; Victoria Peak at night

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In Brief

  or the first time in the   16-year history of the Office   of Undergraduate Research’s   STAR Scholars Program and placement of students in an international setting, four Drexel students spent their summers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Samantha Angeline, custom-designed major, sustainable environmental design ’22; Jacob Longstreet, electrical engineering ’23; Guaray Pandey, mechanical engineering ’23; and Rosalie Vitale, materials science and engineering ’23, were among eight students at the university’s International Bachelors of Excellence summer internship. They hail from the

n May 2019, the Office of Undergraduate Research

Students also practiced different ways of presenting their

(OUR) hosted the third annual Week of Undergraduate

work through events like the Bennett S. LeBow College of

Excellence. OUR collaborated with departments

Business’s TEDxLeBow, which encourages presenters to

within the Pennoni Honors College and throughout

condense their work into short, powerful talks, and OUR’s

the university to host more than 30 events over five days

Nerd Night @ Drexel U, a quarterly event where students

highlighting undergraduate achievement in a variety of

present on a topic they care about to a general audience in

capacities and across a range of disciplines.

an entertaining and enlightening way.

The Week of Undergraduate Excellence originally began as a replacement for the undergraduate

explorations of excellence in creative work and entrepre-

component of Drexel Research Day, and this legacy

neurship. The Performing Arts Department’s Performing

continued this year. Nearly 125 undergraduate students

Arts Showcase highlighted student work in dance, theater

nominated themselves or were nominated by faculty

improvisation, and chamber music. The Close School

to present posters or give oral presentations of their

of Entrepreneurship’s Proving Ground, which occurs

research or scholarly work. This was the first year to

regularly throughout the academic year and coincided with

include senior design presentations from departments in

the Week of Undergraduate Excellence, brought together

the College of Engineering and the School of Biomedical

student entrepreneurs in a carnival-like atmosphere, giving

Engineering, Science, & Health Systems.

them the opportunity to pitch new businesses through

Seven seniors in the custom-designed major (housed

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The Week of Undergraduate Excellence also included

demonstrations, booths, and even taste-tests while showing

under Pennoni’s Academic Programs) presented their

the Drexel community the new and exciting ideas Drexel

capstone presentations throughout the week, showcasing

students are putting into practice.

the depth and breadth of their academic journeys.

—JAYA MOHAN, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

Samantha’s project is working to sustainably increase drought tolerance of

United States, Canada and France —

field crops by applying algae-based fertilizers. Jacob is working on synthesizing

each studying different fields, but living

and characterizing microspheres using sol gel based coating on a glass micro-

together in the desert, taking weekly

sphere. Guaray is working on monolayer formations of polystyrene spheres on

trips to destinations like the Dead Sea,

silicone. Rosalie is working on a project involving laser-induced graphene coated

Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and searching

membrane spacers.

for a slice of pizza for a taste of home.

— SAMANTHA ANGELINE, CSDN ’22

uring the 2019 Week of Undergraduate Excellence, OUR and the Center for Scholar Development co-hosted “The Secret Hustle — Failure & Resiliency,” a panel conversation with five senior Honors program students moderated by Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Dr. Shivanthi Anandan. Robert Ross, computer science ’19; Shayna Singh, biological sciences ’19; Jennifer Sanville, biomedical engineering ’19; Devin Welsh, english ’19; and Savanna Michener, BS/MS, custom-designed major, peace engineering ’19 spoke candidly about the ways in which they experienced failure throughout their storied undergraduate careers — and how they found ways to sit with, understand, and move forward from those challenges. In a week celebrating undergraduate excellence of the highest order, it felt important to stress to student audiences that even those who look the most accomplished suffer setbacks — and that the importance is not in the failure itself but in how one responds to that failure. — JAYA MOHAN

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In Brief

or the past four years, Pennoni Honors College has made civil discourse a priority. The Free Speech Forum, Pennoni Panels, The Drexel Interview’s upcoming transition to The Civil Discourse have all offered opportunities to discuss important hot-button topics. Now, in partnership with Thomas R. Kline School of Law, the college presents Wednesday at the Kline, a weekly event for members of the Philadelphia community to gather, listen, and exchange ideas and perspectives regarding current events and issues. Every Wednesday, beginning in October, the Honors College hosts and moderates the discussion at the Kline Institute of Trial Advocacy on the corner of 12th and Chestnut in Center City.

Nanomaterials proejcts wowed at the Week of Undergraduate Excellence he second annual Week of Undergraduate

done by our University of Pennsylvania colleagues from

Excellence (WUE), a weeklong event that included

the group of professor Vivek Shenoy following Grayson’s

poster sessions, oral presentations, performances

discovery suggested that many other similar materials

and exhibits showcase the many ways in which

are possible. This material is still very new, so while we

PENNONI HONORS COLLEGE’S MARKETING AND MEDIA DEPARTMENT

Drexel undergraduate students demonstrate their experi-

don’t know its properties, new materials always open new

ences, accomplishments, talents, and skills.

opportunities in technology.

Among the outstanding student presentations given

The unique feature that sets Grayson aside from his

during WUE, students Grayson Deysher and Maria Natalia

peers is the capability of research planning, performing

Noriega Pedraza, both from Dr. Yuri Gogotsi’s A.J. Drexel

systematic studies, analyzing data and understanding a new

Nanomaterials Institute, shared their phenomenal findings.

discovery rather than ignoring an “odd result”. Grayson’s

Grayson discovered a new material, Gogotsi says, opening

discovery is the first MXene identified by an undergraduate

the door to synthesis of many related materials (an entire

in the lifetime of the MXene family of materials.

family). Natalia presented on chemical stability and environ-

Natalia (materials science and engineering ’19), too,

mental storage conditions of MXenes in Aqueous Media.

has exemplified excellence at the undergraduate level.

Many Nobel prizes have gone to scientists who

She received three different fellowships just during her

discovered new materials, from Marie Curie for the

last year of study. Natalia has been a very dedicated and

discovery of radium to Andrew Geim and Kostya Novoselov

passionate student throughout her studies at Drexel,

for finding graphene. However, these discoveries were

maintaining her status on the Dean’s List with a high

made by mature and experienced scientists. Here at Drexel,

GPA. She has been awarded the A.J. Drexel Academic

n July 2019, Pennoni’s custom-designed major Hannah Oh

senior Grayson Deysher (materials science and engineering

Scholarship and has received a training certificate from

was featured in an article on MarketWatch.com, a website

’19) discovered new materials as an undergraduate.

the National Institute of Leadership Advancement.

that provides stock market, financial and business news.

As a result of his vision for research, systematic study of

“From the beginning, Natalia and Grayson didn’t

material compositions, and careful analysis of the results,

hesitate to fully immerse themselves in their research

and entrepreneurship major started her own business

Grayson focused on the synthesis of two-dimensional

projects — each asking thoughtful questions and engaging

when she was 16 to help pay for college. In three years,

materials, MXenes, the first of which was discovered at

in research discussions. Within a few short months, they

the writeup says, Oh has earned $28,000 from selling

Drexel in 2011. Grayson’s newly discovered materials —

reached the level of graduate students by contributing

secondhand clothes on social commerce marketplace

initially a MAX phase (new layered carbide — material

to the thought process and developing ideas. They both

Poshmark. In addition to her class and homework load, Oh

where layers of metal and carbon atoms alternate in a

were accepted to PhD programs after receiving their BS

peruses thrift stores and posts items to her nearly 2,000

2D lattice) and then added a new member to the MXene

degrees from Drexel last year — Grayson to the University

Instagram followers.

family of 2D materials. Previously known MAX and

of California at San Diego and Natalia to the University of

MXene structures had two, three or four layers of metal atoms, such as titanium. Grayson showed for the first

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— DR. MELINDA LEWIS, MODERATOR OF WEDNESDAYS AT THE KLINE AND ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF

RSVP at drexel.edu/pennoni

The digital fashion marketing, secondhand e-commerce

Brighton, UK.” — YURY GOGOTSI, PH.D., D.SC., DR.H.C.

time that five layers of transitional metal atoms bonded by

CHARLES T. AND RUTH M. BACH DISTINGUISHED UNIVERSITY

four layers of carbon are possible. Theoretical predictions

PROFESSOR; DIRECTOR, A.J. DREXEL NANOMATERIALS INSTITUTE

To read more, go to: on.mktw.net/2ZiMLhz Photo courtesy of Hannah Oh 9


Consider This

What felt like a final obligation to my teaching career was actually rather freeing BY DR. PETER HERCZFELD, RETIRED LESTER KRAUS PROFESSOR OF ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING, DREXEL UNIVERSITY

I survived the Holocaust as an

survivor has an obligation to remind new generations of

apart in World War II Hungary. This movie, in particular,

Germany. We talked about the parallels with our proposed

this shameful part of human history, so when Dean Paula

generated a lot of questions from the students. The scene

national emergency presidential decree to build a wall at

eight-year-old Jewish boy in

Marantz Cohen asked me to teach a course for the Honors

where the family says goodbye to the father was like a

our Southern border — bypassing congress, a hot topic in

Program, I readily agreed and decided to share my personal

replay of my past.

Washington. The students picked up on the importance of

Budapest, Hungary.

observations, grounded in the facts.

In 1944, my father left me and my mother in Budapest,

a bestselling novel of the same title by Timur Vermes. Adolf

sustaining democratic procedures. I also pointed out through the films and readings how

could that happen?” and by extension, “How could we

Hitler wakes up in a Berlin park in 2014. As he wanders,

Americans brought liberal democracy to Western Europe

on a train toward the Russian front. The train was diverted

prevent it from happening again?”. As liberal democracy

disoriented, through the city, he interprets modern situa-

coupled with the Marshall Plan. This created an unprece-

to the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied

is fading and nationalism is on the rise globally, these

tions and advanced technology (TV, the Internet, etc.) from

dented prosperity and lasting peace to the continent. We

Poland under the specific directions of Nazi official Adolf

questions are increasingly relevant. And they were raised

a Nazi perspective. He uses TV and the Internet to prepare

discussed the importance of maintaining liberal democracy

Eichmann. I never saw him again.

every week in discussion.

his return to politics and to make Germany great again.

for our future.

My mother and I survived in hiding, but when we

Using five films, and augmenting with selected reading

returned to our home, our furniture and most of our

material, I focused on the pertinent historical and political

belongings had been taken.

events that lead to extreme antisemitism, particularly in

This was one of the stories I shared this spring with 17

The movie is funny at times, but it effectively raises the daunting question: Could a Holocaust happen again? Clearly, one of the motivations of teaching a course on

Final essays included analyses of propaganda, false reality, and students’ reactions to their own religions or professions. Powerful discussions led to one-on-one chats with foreign

Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe prior to the Holocaust;

the Holocaust is to make sure that it never happens again.

students about mass killings in their own countries. One

Honors students in a course about enduring the Holocaust.

the events of the Holocaust itself as recalled by survivors, and

I tried to do it subtly, pointing out dangerous trends that

student wanted to conclude the class with a treat baked from

None of the students had met a Holocaust survivor.

relevant post-Holocaust incidents leading up to our time.

we are witnessing without getting involved in everyday

a cookbook published by Holocaust survivors.

I have been asked numerous times before to teach a course

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The principle questions of any Holocaust study are “How

The final movie we viewed, Look Who’s Back, is based on

Among the films we watched, Fateless based on Istvan

politics. I spent lots of time explaining Hitler’s Reichstag

As for me, I spent more time thinking and preparing for

on the Holocaust, but I resisted because there is already a

Kertesz’s Nobel prize-winning semi-autobiographical novel

Fire Decree, which allowed the regime to eliminate the

this course than any other in my 52-year tenure at Drexel.

proliferation of such courses in academia. However, every

by the same title, detailed 14-year-old György’s life torn

Bundestag, the parliament, effectively ending democracy in

It was only fitting that it was my last.

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For her graphic design capstone project, Isabella Akhtarshenas, a former co-op with Pennoni’s Marketing & Media department, made a 100 percent biodegradable 2020 calendar that promotes sustainability through encouraged interaction with nature. 12

green space. As a child, she frequently

The Smart Set, she developed a greater

screen-printed illustration using

Each month consists of a manually

hopes, you will take part in restoring

assisted her mother in the garden

love and appreciation for editorial

water-based, non-toxic ink. The

the ecosystem in which you live. Birds,

which encouraged a passion for

artwork. Isabella’s illustration style

calendars, handcrafted with recycled

bees and butterflies will appreciate your

planting. Isabella currently maintains

strategically uses color and shape to

materials and infused with real and

efforts as you strive to maintain the

a large collection of houseplants

evoke whimsical and lively forms.

plantable seeds, include perforated

environment that keeps them thriving.

along with an outdoor edible garden,

sections that can be cut or torn off

By planting this calendar, Isabella

Originally from Bergen County, New

and her work is largely influenced

To learn more about Isabella’s process

and planted in dirt; they’ll soon

Jersey, Isabella, graphic design ’19, fell

by the wonders of nature. As the

or to purchase an original plantable

sprout such herbs and vegetables as

in love with Philadelphia for the city’s

previous illustrator for Pennoni’s

calendar, visit isa-akh.com/

basil, kale and tomatoes.

unique abundance of character and

online arts and culture journal, 

the-plantable-calendar

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A Pennoni Honors College staff member BY EMILY KASHKA

to the World Congress for

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

and student’s perspectives on traveling Undergraduate Research

BY ISABELLA SANTOSUSSO, ECONOMICS & LEGAL STUDIES ’21 UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOW, LEBOW COLLEGE OF BUSINESS FORMER STAR SCHOLAR, PENNONI HONORS COLLEGE

n May, I had the opportunity to represent Drexel at the World Congress on Undergraduate Research at the University of Oldenburg in Germany along

his past May, Emily Kashka, of the Office of Undergraduate Research

with economics & legal studies major ’21, Isabella Santosusso.

(OUR), and I had the honor of representing Pennoni Honors College and

The congress brought together more than 350 students, faculty, and staff

Drexel University at the 2nd World Congress on Undergraduate Research

from 35 countries on six continents to share their research and scholarly work.

(WCUR) held at Oldenburg University in Oldenburg, Germany.

As a staff attendee, I was able to moderate discussion in two of the student oral

I presented a project that I’d completed as a 2018 STAR Scholar with Stephen

presentations, represent Drexel at the graduate school fair, and present a poster

P. Mullin, adjunct professor in the School of Public Policy and Principal of

on the Office of Undergraduate Research’s STAR Scholars Program.

Econsult Solutions Inc. Our research analyzed 24-hour city structures and

Presenting on our unit’s best practices for engaging early undergraduate students

discussed how increasing hours of economic activity affect a city’s economic

on campus allowed me to connect with other faculty and staff from around the

health. First, I was challenged with defining the concept of work schedules based

world and learn more about the culture of undergraduate research on international

on a city’s economic activity; prior to this, there was no universally accepted

campuses. The United States was well represented thanks to institutions such as

definition. Through literature reviews of academic databases and urban policy

the Council on Undergraduate Research, which helps to promote undergraduate

research, I developed my own terminology regarding 9-to-5, 18-hour, and

research on college campuses within the U.S. I was surprised to learn that this is not

24-hour cities. The research indicates that the United States follows the 18-hour

always the case internationally, particularly in Europe, where research is generally

city model, along with the progression of a “night-time economy” (NTE). Due

limited to graduate students and beyond. I was also able to meet colleagues at U.S.

to its relevance, the 18-hour city was included alongside the 24-hour city in my

institutions, including from University of Alabama Birmingham — a university

analysis, which was then compared to the traditional 9-to-5-hour city. Next, a

where we sent one of our STAR Scholars in the summer of 2019 to work with STAR

preliminary cost-benefit analysis was constructed comparing most prominent

alumnus Dr. Michael Lopez in his Pediatric Neurology lab.

examples of 18- and 24-hour cities that exist around the world. My research

As a moderator, I was tasked with preparing a 15-minute discussion

ultimately suggests that there is a net benefit associated with prolonged hours

connecting each of the three students’ presentations based on shared ideas,

of economic activity and that an 18-to 24-hour economy is a legitimate public

common research questions, methodology or the general importance of the

policy objective for certain cities, dependent on variables such as: geographic

topics discussed. In these sessions, under the research theme of “create,”

location, demographics, and culture. From this understanding, I drafted policy

students’ work ranged from education to anthropology with common themes

recommendations for the City of Philadelphia.

of cultural competency and improving systems. This moderated discussion was

At the 4-day conference, Emily and I had the unique opportunity of collaborating

different than the standard question-and-answer format that follows most oral

with fellow scholars and faculty from nearly every country and discipline around

presentation sessions at conferences and allowed the audience and presenters to

the globe, bringing to light critical issues facing our world today. We are lucky

engage more fully with the presentations.

to have experienced diversity in its truest sense, from our nationalities, to the

Beyond the academic focus of the congress, there was an emphasis on cultural

languages we spoke, the universities we attended, and our passions. I most

exchange and networking. I was able to participate in social programs before,

appreciated hearing my fellow scholars’ fresh perspectives on my work. While I

during, and after the congress, traveling to Groningen, a nearby city in the

was mostly focused on constructing a cost-benefit analysis, my peers tended to

Netherlands, and the East Frisian Island. Students from the University of

question how this type of city structure would affect its workers.

Oldenburg led us on tours of Oldenburg, sharing the history and culture through

of “a city that never sleeps” is seen as rather unfavorable. Coming from a school

studying sociology at the University if Humboldt in Berlin. After the congress,

where our curriculum is so tightly intermingled with our working experience, I

we met up again in Berlin where he gave me a tour of his campus and shared facts about the architecture and history of the nearby area. The World Congress of Undergraduate Research allowed me and Isabella to showcase the work being done within the Pennoni Honors College on an international stage, all the while providing us the chance to connect with and learn from our peers.

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It was also refreshing to meet students from other countries where the idea

the eyes of a local. During these excursions, I befriended a graduate student

Conference participants and the World CUR 2019 sign, which participants left their own special mark on. Emily

tend to have a more positive view of an 18- to 24-hour city. In cases of increasing productivity this may be true, but my time at WCUR ultimately helped me to

Kashka and Isabella Santosusso wrote, “Hello from

identify my own biases, and question how to make my study more culturally

Philadelphia, with love from Drexel University.”

aware. For this I am so grateful and can say that the best thing I walked away with are my new witty, passionate, and interesting friends!

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CREDITS FOR CREATIVITY How some Honors Program classes use creative methods to explore course material BY ERIC KENNEDY, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, HONORS PROGRAM

W

hen did you last “make” something? When was the last time that you sat down

“ULTIMATELY, PAINTING A SELF-PORTRAIT WAS A DIRECT WAY TO RELATE TO THE MATERIAL AND MYSELF ON A DEEPER LEVEL.” CHARLOTTE GUEDALIA, PRODUCT DESIGN ’21 SELF-PORTRAIT HNRS T480: FRIDA KALHO DR. KATIE BARAK

to draw, paint, sculpt, or write for yourself? When you’re a full-time student, it can be difficult to find time for other projects. One of my greatest regrets from my own undergraduate experience was not taking an art class. I spent

four years writing papers, giving presentations, and taking tests, but I never made the time to get creative. I hope that by offering classes that assign creative, open-ended work, the Honors Program can provide students with the time and encouragement to embrace their creativity.

ast fall, I had the opportunity to take a course focused on Frida Kahlo with Dr. Katie Barak as my professor. The course focused on identity, particularly the ways in which the intersection of an individual’s various identities make them who they are.

Honors Program students come to each course with different experiences, training, skills, and passions. For some, “Honors” implies increased difficulty, depth, or quantity of work.

As a sophomore majoring in product design and a part of the Honors College,

For others, Honors is a challenge — a chance to step outside of their comfort zone or reach

this class felt uniquely suited to my academic needs. In addition to completing

beyond the boundaries of their major. But I’d like to think that Honors courses also provide

readings and participating in discussion, our final assignment was to create a

an opportunity to experiment, inspire creative thinking and have fun learning.

self-portrait using any medium. I chose to paint a portrait of myself using acrylic

Being in an imaginative an engaging learning environment with diverse perspectives fuels discussion and inspires creative thinking. Over the past few years, Honors students have taken classes about dragons, the comic book industry, artist and activist Frida Kahlo, and author and illustrator Edward Gorey. In each course, they were asked to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter by creating something new and exciting.

paints. The mindset of learning through making is encouraged in my product design courses, so I loved the opportunity to receive an assignment with a similar mindset in an Honors course. This assignment allowed me to take knowledge of history, psychology and social movements and translate it into a meditative art piece about where I fit into all of these topics. Ultimately, painting a self-portrait was a direct way to relate to the material and myself on a deeper level.”

These pieces were not judged from a technical perspective, as may be the case in a formal art class. Rather, they were assessed on their ability to convey the students’ understanding of the course material. Students may have had to synthesize course concepts, emulate an artist’s style, or play at joining the industry discussed in class. In each case, the work generated by these students is uniquely theirs, representing their own interpretation of, and relationship

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with, the subject taught.

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PRISCILLA LIU,

ACCOUNTING ‘21

DRAGON

HNRS 301: THE DRAGON DR. DON RIGGS

RICHARD KIMBALL,

BS/MS ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING/ BUILDING ENERGY AND INDOOR AIR QUALITY ’20

SUFJAN UNIVERSITY

HNRS T480: GREAT WORKS: SUFJAN STEVENS ERIC KENNEDY, MA, MLS

he final assignment for an Honors Great Works course CARLY JENNISON,

took “The Dragon,” an Honors class that delved deeper into Western dragons that appear in well-known stories like The Hobbit and Beowulf. Dr. Don Riggs introduced the class to a variety of dragon tales from Fafnir in the Völsunga Saga to the 1980s movie

ENTERTAINMENT ARTS MANAGEMENT ’23

THE JIGGLETOOTH

HNRS T480: EDWARD GOREY ERIC KENNEDY, MA, MLS

dragons in some sort of creative project showing the key qualities of a dragon. I chose the hands-on experience because writing an essay would only have been a regurgitation of what I had read; making something allowed me to better understand the differences through visuals.”

“HAD I HAD TO WRITE AN ESSAY, I WOULD HAVE HAD A ‘BOX’ CONSTRAINING ME, BUT INSTEAD I WAS ABLE TO COME UP WITH A UNIQUE PROJECT FORM.” — RICHARD KIMBALL 18

could take on any form. I chose to create architectural drawings of buildings whose designs were influenced and based upon Sufjan Stevens albums and the themes that those albums presented. Architecture is my passion and I wanted to incor-

Dragonslayer. For our final project, we could choose to write an essay about dragons or demonstrate the knowledge we’d learned about Northern or Tolkien

on musician Sufjan Stevens had no formal structure. It

porate that into the assignment. I have taken several architecture studio his past spring

and drawing classes so I felt confident I had the knowledge to design these

term I took a Great

buildings with his music in mind. I thought of it in terms of a client wanting

Works class on

to plan a university dedicated to Sufjan Stevens where every building on the

writer and illus-

campus had a design based on one of his albums. I chose three albums:

trator Edward Gorey and it was easily

Feel the Illinoise, because of Frank Lloyd’s Wright prevalence in Chicago;

my favorite class of the entire year.

Enjoy Your Rabbit because of its heavy Chinese zodiac theme; and Seven

One of our assignments was to create

Swans for its strong Christian iconography. My drawings included a

a nonsensical character in the style of

depiction of the prairie style of architecture Frank Lloyd Wright used in

Gorey, and thus “The Jiggletooth” was

Illinois and the Midwest; a Chinese pagoda with the same number of points

born. Completing assignments like

as on the Chinese zodiac; and a Christian cathedral with swan motifs.

this every week brought a learning perspective that would be impossible

By choosing this approach, I got to dive deep into Stevens’ discography while

to achieve simply by writing essays.

strengthening my architectural design and hand-drawing skills. The class gave

By creating our own Goreyesque

me a greater appreciation for the artist and I enjoyed the deep discussions

illustrations, we put ourselves in the

about music and the music industry. I was exposed to a variety of perspectives.

shoes of the artist we were studying

Had I had to write an essay, I would have had a ‘box’ constraining me, but

and were able to express ourselves in

instead I was able to come up with a unique project form.”

a nontraditional way.”

19


“SOMETIMES, TO TRULY UNDERSTAND WHO YOU’RE STUDYING, YOU NEED TO LOOK AT THE WORLD THROUGH THEIR LENS.”

CASEY A. REINKNECHT,

MARKETING ‘23

PATHOS

HNRS 200: IDENTITY AND REPRESENATION IN SUPERHERO COMICS ERIC KENNEDY, MA, MLS

or my HNRS 200 Introduction to the Honors Program course, I was assigned to instructor Eric Kennedy’s ‘Identity and Representation in Superhero Comics.’ One of my assignments was to create a pitch for a comic book company for a book that would fill some sort of gap in representation of identity. Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movements or noises that are known as

— KATHERINE O’LEARY

tics. When creating Pathos, a character with Tourette Syndrome, I wanted to represent his disorder in a way that showed his tics, but without directly showing a movement. Pathos is drawn in a blind contour line style; when I drew him, I didn’t pick up the pen, nor did I look at the drawing while doing it. This style creates an effect of movement that

KATHERINE O’LEARY,

COMPUTER SCIENCE ‘20

SELECTIONS FROM “THE OSTROBOGULOUS CEMETERY”

I believe represents Tourette Syndrome well. The drawing is somewhat shaky, which illustrates the tics people with the syndrome deal with on a day to day basis.”

HNRS T480: EDWARD GOREY ERIC KENNEDY, MA, MLS

KATE RYAN,

CUSTOM-DESIGNED MAJOR, ACTUARIAL SCIENCE ‘22

his past spring, I had the pleasure of taking a Great

TABLE

Works class on Edward Gorey through the Honors

HNRS T480: FRIDA KAHLO DR. KATIE BARAK

College. This was the fourth and most creative honors course I have taken in my academic career. Rather than writing essays, every class we would draw, creatively collaborate with one another, discuss Gorey’s works, and actually have

took the Honors Great Works course,

fun. Each week we’d read a couple of short stories by Gorey and come

taught by Dr. Katie Barak, on the Mexican

back to class to discuss. Typically, there was a drawing project that

artist, Frida Kahlo. Throughout the class,

aligned with the weekly theme such as Alphabet, strange animals, or

20

we studied Kahlo and the ways in which

obscure objects. Inspired by Gorey, we used micron pens to cross-

she explored her intersectional identity through her

hatch and shade our drawings. For our final project we had to create a

paintings. For the final assignment, each student was

small five-page book with a culmination of all we have read. My book

assigned to create his/her/their own artwork that

was called The Ostrobogulous Cemetery and was inspired by Gorey’s

expresses his/her/their intersectional identity.

humorous view of death and his knack for rhyming poetry. Among the

graves, in Gorey style, were a cage, a chest, and three separate graves

For this assignment, I decoupaged a desk with images cut

for three separate parts of a victim. I’ve learned more about Gorey from

from magazines expressing major parts of my intersec-

stepping in his shoes and creating rather than writing a couple of pages

tional identity, including my nationality, gender identity,

on him. Sometimes, to truly understand who you’re studying, you need

sexual orientation, and disability. I chose a desk as my

to look at the world through their lens, which is exactly what this Great

canvas to represent my educational identity as a curious

Works Course on Edward Gorey has allowed me to do.”

and dedicated student of the world.”

21


WEAVING HER OWN PATH How one custom-designed major intertwined ethics, fibers and fashion BY JENNIFER AYRES, VISITING FELLOW

A

bby Wagner is the type of student who doesn’t settle for the conventional or well-traveled path. While she started out her college career at Drexel as a fashion design major, it was switching to

Pennoni’s custom-designed major that kept her engaged, challenged, and motivated her to get to the finish line. Abby found her traditional major too limiting for the types of questions she wanted to address: “After the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, I got to thinking — how can I be part of moving the fashion industry in a more positive direction?” The custom-designed major provided the

plinary theoretical framework. “I want to be someone who gets as many perspectives as possible in order to be effective in making change,” Abby says. “I aimed to get as much experience as possible, from the farmers’ side and from the business side. I just wanted to see everything firsthand. I wanted to meet farmers in the field and see every step of the way because fashion designers are only a small part at the top.” Her research culminated in a two-part capstone project

antidote for her to develop her own plan of study

in which she created a zine exploring the value of the

as an ethical fashion major and offered Abby a

handmade in a post-industrial globalized world. The

way to critically investigate handmade textile

second part of her final project entailed creating a free

practices and small, independent, fiber-producing

one-day event at a local community center where artists,

farms and organizations.

weavers, designers, printmakers and makers of all kinds

Abby’s curiosity about the process behind how

set up tables to show off and sell their wares. In spirit with

fibers, textiles, fabrics, and garments are made

Abby’s nature, this event also featured free communal

led her to create a unique research path where she

weaving and arts and crafts for all ages.

visited sites like a flax farm and wool farm to see the

22

sustainability, environmental history and anthropology to provide her the interdisci-

It was the summer before her junior year that changed

first stop in the global commodity chain. She selected

everything for Abby: She wove for the first time on an alpaca

courses from across the sciences and humanities in

farm. Abby was exploring her academic career path and

23


WEAVING AROUND

• Alabama Chanin, Florence, AL • Chico Flax, Chico, CA • Crazy Mountain Fiber Fest Big Timber, MT

the founder who “single-handedly runs a textile mill of more than 800 acres and 250

• Guild of Handweavers, Philadelphia, PA

• Natural Dye Garden

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY • SageRidge Mills & Critters

Alpaca Farm, Clearmont, WY • Weaving Hand, Brooklyn, NY

alpacas, horses, goats, peacocks, cats, and dogs,” reinforced to Abby that she needed to weave a different path in her studies. After the alpaca farm Abby debated leaving Drexel to study fiber arts

change in soil, water, and land health. “Chico Flax is just one of many producers interwoven

in California, so the director of the

within Fibershed’s growing community,” Abby says. “The

decided to use her summer

custom-designed major, Dr. Kevin Egan,

organization acts as a platform for producers to connect,

break “wwoofing” (Working

set up a meeting for her with a director

collaborate, and educate others about an alternative

Weekends On Organic

of another program to discuss the feasi-

fashion system. They are combatting the abundance of

Farms, which people use

bility of making that jump. However, after

synthetic fibers and toxic chemical treatments with a

to work for free on farms around the world in exchange for

exploring her options, Abby realized that with the work she

focus on long-term sustainability — ‘from soil to soil’.

room and board) in Clearmont, Wyoming at the SageRidge

had already completed it would be best to stay on at Drexel

This approach stops the concept of clothing being a

Mill & Critters alpaca farm.

and craft a path of study in the custom-designed major.

cheap, disposable good in its tracks and considers the

She then received encouragement and financial support to

entire lifecycle of garments. Fibershed’s founder, Rebecca

the value of clothing, I took time to learn how to weave,

about fiber-related practices firsthand,” Abby says. “I

visit Alabama Chanin, a company specializing in handmade

Burgess, has become a personal hero of mine and I

sew, knit, spin, dye, grow, manipulate, felt, extract, process,

reached out to a bunch of wool and alpaca farmers and it

textiles and garments located in Florence, Alabama. She

believe her mission will be a crucial component in the

and prepare fiber. Though I remain a novice in many of

was SageRidge Mill & Critters that got back to me. I feel like

also recieved encouragement and financial support from the

slow-fashion revolution.”

these trades, my experiences led me to view clothing in a

that was really what changed everything, it was the first time

custom-designed major program to join the Philadelphia

I ever wove … All of their fiber is washed, carded, skirted,

Guild of Handweavers in Manayunk, and enroll in their

organization that offers weaving as therapy for people

dyed, and spun on-site and offers the processing of other

classes and workshops for external research and enrichment.

with developmental disabilities as well as providing

should treat both layerings with utmost respect. Just as the

“I figured out it would be a good place to start to learn

farms’ fibers. They had just completed shearing the alpacas

In winter of her junior year Abby did her first three-

For her second co-op, Abby went to Weaving Hand, an

whole new light.” “Clothing,” she adds, “is our chosen skin, and I believe we

giant interactive looms at festivals that act like a public

health food movement has encouraged us to be conscious

a week before I arrived, so there was an abundance of fiber

month co-op at Chico Flax in California. The director was a

collaborative performance art piece. Weaving Hand uses

of what we put in our bodies, it’s just as important to be

ready to be worked. It was a big inspiration for me, I was

professional weaver so Abby did some of her first weavings

secondhand yarn and secondhand clothes ripped into strips

mindful of what we put on our bodies. Though we can

helping them work the machinery to process the fiber too.”

with her. After the Rana Plaza collapse, where more than

for yarn. The organization’s innovative reuse of materials

never turn back the clock on globalization or industrial-

Initially Abby had planned to be there for only a week or

24

organizes small producers and environmentalists to make

1,100 women were killed, Chico Flax was spurred into action

and mission provided Abby with the model of making

ization, I believe it is imperative that we turn towards a life

two, but after getting to know SageRidge founder Linda

by a charge from one of their customers demanding to

sustainable textiles therapeutic as she learned that the

of less consumption, smaller closets, and slower processes.

Kernstock, Abby decided to get a later flight home and

know what they were doing to combat inequality and solve

soft textures and repetitive motions of weaving creates a

Hand making, for example, entails a slower process and

stayed on to help Linda throw a fiber festival. Getting to see

problems in the fashion industry. Chico Flax then started

meditative and therapeutic practice.

local interdependence that challenges the hyper-special-

the alpaca farm and experience personal instruction from

producing flax for an organization called Fibershed that

Ultimately, Abby argues, “To forge my own opinion about

ization and alienation of modern capitalism.”

25


A BOREN AND FULBRIGHT RECIPIENT HELPS TO EFFECT INTERNATIONAL CHANGE IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING ISSUES BY ERICA LEVI ZELINGER

migrant fisherman sets off at dawn from the Nanfang’ao fishing harbor in Taiwan, hoping to catch a day’s worth of fish, making just enough money to send some home to his family in Indonesia. He returns at dusk, parched from his day out on the water catching and filleting fish. His employer provides him a jug of water. It’s filled with repurposed melted ice that once packed harvested fish. He can’t escape the fishy flavor. He goes to take a shower. There’s no hot water. Some days there’s no water at all. Dylan O’Donohue, 30, the recipient of both a Fulbright and Boren fellowship administered through the Pennoni Honors College, works to keep her emotions in check as she attends meetings of the Yilan Migrant Fisherman’s Union. Indonesian, Vietnamese and Filipino men gather to tell their stories and talk about their deplorable working conditions. Dylan takes copious notes about how the implementation of human trafficking laws in Taiwan is impacting this man and his fellow fishermen. So often the term human trafficking is associated with prostitution, but countries around the world recognize that there are three types of human trafficking: labor trafficking, sex trafficking and organ harvesting. Human trafficking, Dylan says, occurs when individuals work against their will due to force, fraud or coercion. Four years ago, Dylan, a former assistant director for Drexel’s International Students & Scholars Services was advising international students about visa regulations. In that role, she worked in tandem with several immigration attorneys. Her collaborative efforts with these attorneys sparked an interest in better understanding of how the law impacts people on a daily basis so she enrolled in a part-time master’s program in legal studies at Drexel’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law.


Determined to return abroad as she had done during her undergraduate career at Grinnell College in Iowa, Dylan worked with Pennoni’s Center for Scholar Development to pursue fellowships that would allow her to hone her Chinese-speaking skills and work abroad. The Boren Fellowship, Dylan learned, provides funding for students to study less commonly taught languages who wish to work in the federal national security arena. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research opportunities abroad as well as an opportunity for cultural exchange and community engagement. The fellowships application process, Dylan admits, was really intense. “It was like taking a class,” she says of the different rounds of vetting with professors and working with the immigration lawyers. “I’d write an essay and it just wasn’t there. We’d workshop it until there was a convincing

To an onlooker, it would appear these fishermen move freely from boat to land. Many have bikes and ride around the ports, but they’re held captive by their employment situation, and stuck because of threat, debt, verbal or physical abuse.

argument. Why me? Why China or Taiwan? What makes me and this idea special? If you go through this process, you learn a lot about yourself and your career goals. There’s so much to gain from self-reflection.” Her introspection and hard work earned her both

I think our research helped shape some of the U.N.’s recommendations this past year.

Dylan spent the year shadowing the Yilan Migrant

the entire state of human trafficking in this report, and

Fishermen’s Union, an association looking into

a large portion of their report was focused on the fishing

anti-trafficking issues. She met men who’d contracted

industry and necessary improvements; a lot of these

awards. The Boren allowed the former Chinese major to

with agents who work with Taiwanese employers to secure

recommendations came directly from the union,” she says.

move abroad in August 2018 and spend three months

them inshore fishing jobs. The agents and employers help

“I think we were heard. I think our research helped shape

at the Chinese Culture University Mandarin Center to

their future employees get visas and pay for their plane

some of the U.N.’s recommendations this past year.”

improve her language skills. The focus, she says, was less on

tickets, but to this day, by the time they touch down in

The report is not the only writing about human

rote memorization and more on practical application. She

Taiwan, these men are already indebted to the agent

trafficking Dylan has done this year. She is trying her

took group classes where she met students from around

and employer. They owe large sums of money and pay

hand at non-fiction about her experience – with the goal

the world, and she took private classes that specialized in

high interest. They are fed and housed in poor conditions,

of making the information more accessible, relatable,

legal Chinese terminology. Then she turned her focus to

and if they threaten to leave, agents have been known

informative and interesting.

her Fulbright research.

to hold passports ransom, cancel visas or file complaints

In her free time, the fellowship recipient spent time with

Well-versed in international human rights advocacy

about the employees.

her husband in Southeast Asia, playing ultimate frisbee and

and practice, Dylan was really interested in her host island

To an onlooker, Dylan says, it would appear these

even traveling to tournaments. Dylan played with a team

because Taiwan is known as a regional leader in anti-hu-

fishermen move freely from boat to land. Many have bikes

from Singapore, went to Manila and played with a Korean

man-trafficking efforts.

and ride around the ports, but they’re held captive by

team, and went and played in Korea.

“It’s difficult to come and investigate where countries are

their employment situation, and stuck because of debt,

Her Fulbright concluded in June and Dylan completed

doing something wrong,” she says. “I wanted to investigate

threat, verbal or physical abuse.

her master’s in August. Not quite ready to be back stateside,

something positive and see what Taiwan is doing right.”

In the last phase of her Fulbright, Dylan took stories

she and her husband spent the rest of the summer traveling

Taiwan’s constitution allows for freedom of speech and

from fishermen interviews conducted by the union,

in Indonesia and Japan; the couple is in Europe this fall to

a general openness in discussing human rights violations,

compiling information to contribute to write a report

visit her father-in-law, on a Fulbright himself in Madrid.

Dylan says. In 2009, Taiwan passed the Human Trafficking

to the Union Nations Special Rapporteur on Water

After that, Dylan is undecided. In exchange for her

and Sanitation about these issues. To enact changes in

Boren funding, Dylan committed to working for the

the industry, the hopeful co-author of the report also

federal government for at least a year in the national

state.gov/reports/2019-traffickingin-persons-report-2/taiwan/

submitted it to additional international monitoring bodies

security field — perhaps something in immigration or

– the European Union, and the U.S. Department of State.

monitoring issues related to human trafficking. Still torn

In turn, the U.S. Department of State included

between pursuing advocacy through a government or

ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Water AndSanitation/SRWater/Pages/ PublicSpaces.aspx

Dylan and her team’s recommendations in their annual

an NGO position, her long-term goals are up in the air.

“Trafficking in Persons Report.”

Maybe something in the foreign service. Maybe something

“They only get a limited amount of space to talk about

back in Philadelphia.

Control and Prevention Act, helping strengthen Taiwan’s efforts in regards to preventing trafficking, protecting victims and prosecuting traffickers. In 2012, foreign nationals in Taiwan were also allowed to unionize — an important step in helping migrant laborers find justice in their workplaces — and a unique opportunity for a government and a non-governmental organization (NGO) to establish a relationship.

28

I think we were heard.

To see the reports that Dylan contributed to, go to:

29


could do to tackle the epidemic was volunteer his time and

Judges also awarded Team GimmeShelter for their

have a physical presence, it dawned on Dan that he could now

impactful project: GimmeShelter also had lunch with the

apply his passion of computer science to do some good.

Comcast CIO. They took home the Drexel CCI Corporate Partners Program People’s Choice Award as well as Philly

BY ERICA LEVI ZELINGER

From across the 300,000-square-foot

Dan told his teammates about sitting with Steve, a formerly

Codefest Best Hack for Social Good; Comcast Learning

homeless Philadelphia man who educated the ASB

Module for Internet Essentials Customers Award; Comcast

participants about how many homeless people are given

Low Cost Internet for Students Award; American Water

government-issued cell phones, but the only access

Volunteer App - Give/Receive Together Award; and Google

they have to the internet is at the public library or spots

Best Use of Google Cloud Platform Award. They were

with free Wi-fi.

invited to the Manhattan headquarters of Google and the headquarters of American Water, where team members

gymnasium floor of the Daskalakis

Within hours, Dan and Team GimmeShelter created a website

Recreation Center, two teams of coders

based on their geo-location and filterable demographic

were each given 3D printers and set-up kits.

that provides users with shelter and food bank information What will become of both of these winning apps?

pecked at their keyboards. Racing

information. On the backend, shelters and food banks can

against the clock, each other, and the 56

access a portal to update their information — including

Team Nest plans to continue building the app and making it

hours and vacancy.

a social enterprise.

Across the basketball court, Honors student Adeeb Abbas,

Since the hackathon, Dan Schwartz of Team GimmeShelter

computer engineering ’23, and his Drexel teammates

has added some customizable features to filter by gender,

chugging caffeinated drinks or doing

deliberated over a similar idea. Inspiration for Team Nest’s

LGBTQ+, number of children, etc. He has also started to

homework, the nine members of Team

project stemmed from Adeeb’s first-year design project in

separate out locations by region of Philadelphia to keep the

his former major, computer science: “A Yelp for Toilets.”

amount of walking to a minimum. And he’s been in contact

Nest and Team GimmeShelter —

Team Nest settled on creating an app for homeless people

with multiple shelters and start-ups to see if they’d like to

five of them in the Honors Program —

to find clean toilets, shelters and food kitchens. A live chat

adopt their project.

component would allow a non-profit to help someone in

other teams hunched over their laptops, chomping on free food, taking a nap,

devised remarkably similar ideas to

real time.

solve issues of economic inequality at

Team Nest walked away with the top prize — the Philly Codefest

the seventh annual Philly Codefest,

2019 Student Team Award bestowed the team with $2,500 and

sponsored by Drexel University’s College

a lunch with the chief information officer of Comcast.

of Computing & Informatics and Comcast NBC Universal. The 30-hour competition encourages student and professionals from all backgrounds to develop software and hardware hacks to solve real-world issues like food insecurity, affordable housing and homelessness. Going into the competition, Honors student Dan Schwartz, computer science ’21, didn’t even realize there was a theme. But when he and his team, including Honors students Nick DeFilippis, computer science and mathematics ’22; Dennis George, computer science ’22; and Damien Prieur, computer science ’22, began brainstorming, he recalled the week he’d spent on the Honors College’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) volunteering at shelters and food banks across Philadelphia. Stumped at the time by the thought that all he

30

31


Alumni News

Marc Blumberg, electrical engineering '04, and Audrey Blumberg welcomed daughter Devorah Arielle on February 13, 2019.  Gabrielle Gaulin, interior architecture and design '14, MS '15, was recently awarded the Global Korea Scholarship to pursue PhD studies in architecture (history, theory, and criticism of architecture) at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. Upon graduation from Drexel, she spent two years in Gangneung, South Korea as a teacher. She then returned to the U.S. and worked as an education specialist and lead interpreter at the National Historic Landmark, Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Connecticut.

Bernard F. Greene III, electrical engineering ’99 and executive MBA ’14, was recently promoted at Comcast to Senior Director, Syndication Program Management. He also won a 2019 Comcast Circle of Innovation Award for Product Innovation. Bernard has been re-elected to Drexel’s Alumni Board of Governors. Kelly A. Lopez, MD, biosciences and biotechnology ’08, received the 2019 Academic Faculty of the Year Award for her role as core faculty for the Family Medicine and combined Family and Emergency Medicine residency

Rebecca Schwartz, mechanical engineering ’19, started a master’s in in mechanical engineering – controls/robotics at University of California, Berkeley.

programs at Jefferson Northeast in Bucks County, Pa. Dr. Lopez is a graduate of the Pennoni Honors College and was the Drexel University Alumni Association's 2008 Outstanding Senior Award recipient.  

Listen to Season 3 and past episodes at popqpodcast.com

James Perkins, information systems and business administration ’07, was recently promoted to the Executive Director for Pointof-Sale Solutions for J.P.Morgan Chase, and the work he’s done over the past two years on digital payments was just published recently here: www.jpmorgan.com/ merchant-services/insights/ digital-wallet-strategy-now-economy

Read non-fiction essays, cultural critiques, travelogues, and reviews on thesmartset.com.

Martin F. Piecyk software engineering, '10 celebrates his wedding on September 27, 2019 at Snohomish, WA to Danielle Arduino. After Drexel, he is currently working nine years at Microsoft in Redmond, WA as a Software Engineer. Danielle Arduino works at Costco and is a Freelance Photographer.  Lauren Pitts, couple and family therapy ’13, educational leadership and management ’17, announced the release of her autobiography THE QUEEN WITHIN: Becoming the Woman God Intended. It is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Google Play and on her website at DrLaurenDPitts.com.

Or write for us! Email smartsetmag@drexel.edu.

Pennoni Panels opens dialogues across campus and Philadelphia and develops a space to engage with complex themes. RSVP to the next Pennoni Panel at drexel.edu/pennoni

Jennifer Vondran, BS biomedical engineering ’07, MS materials science and engineering ’07, co-authored Keystone Scientific’s premier handbook, Engineering Innovation: From Idea to Market Through Concepts and Case Studies, published by De Gruyter and available to order on Amazon. Engineering Innovation is a resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators. Jennifer credits her co-authors, Drexel alumni Benjamin Legum and Amber Stiles for their support on this multi-year project. Lauren (Wedge) Wegman, film/tv production ’15, was in Philadelphia recently working on the Jason Siegel show, Dispatches from Elswhere. Prior to that, she was in Botswana working on The Flood and season 3 of Savage Kingdom season 3, which were both recently nominated for Emmys. She also worked on a BBC Natural World program, Hippos, which will premiere soon and be narrated by David Attenborough. After those programs, Wedge worked in Nogales, a town split between Mexico and Arizona, on an MTV show called Border Life. This is set to premiere sometime in 2020. Mary Kate Williams, (nee Dahlberg), economics ’10, left her full-time job in sports marketing to pursue her dream of being a full-time author. Having reached financial independence (passive investments cover annual costs) she is able to take the jump and work to grow her book catalog. She is also a regular guest on the ChooseFI podcast talking about personal finance and the financial independence movement. Her books are available anywhere great books are sold under MK Williams. 

32

Spread the News! Please send your alumni announcements to pennoni@drexel.edu and let us know what you’ve been up to. Include your name, major, graduation year, and share with us your career stories, promotions, marriages, births, etc.

The Drexel InterView is Pennoni Honors College's longstanding television series, featuring interesting people engaged in civil discourse with host Dean Paula Marantz Cohen. For full episodes, visit The Drexel InterView YouTube channel or check your local television listings (WHYY Y2, PhillyCAM, and DUTV in Philadelphia).

Profile for PennoniHonorsCollege

Honor Bound Fall/Winter 2019  

Honor Bound Fall/Winter 2019  

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