Dragons on Fire: Kudos for Student Achievements

[Drexel University] Dragons on Fire: Kudos for Student Achievements

Last term, Drexel University undergraduate and graduate students were recognized for their academic and professional contributions and accomplishments. This update offers a snapshot of activity courtesy of the Office of the Provost. 

Want to learn more about opportunities for scholarships and fellowships? There’s Drexel’s Undergraduate Research & Enrichment Programs (UREP), which also serves graduate students applying for fellowships.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Dina Gordon, BS software engineering ’26, and Jessica Jha, BS data science ’23, both from the College of Computing & Informatics, were awarded scholarships through the Women in Cable Telecommunications Network: Greater Philadelphia STEM Scholars Program.

Nick Eltman, BS health sciences ’23 in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was awarded the 2022 G.I. Jobs Student Veteran Leadership Award. The 2022 Student Veteran Leadership Awards (SVLAs) honor 33 student veterans who are making a positive difference at their school and in their communities. Eltman, the second Dragon to receive the award since 2020, is a veteran ambassador at the Masci Family Veterans Lounge, president of Drexel Veterans Association and volunteer at the local VA.

Kira Zach, a second-year MD student in the College of Medicine, was chosen to receive a Grant for Emerging Researcher/Clinician Mentorship (GERM) award from the Infectious Disease Society of America Foundation. GERM awards support medical students in their research efforts, with the goal of fostering interest in infectious disease as a specialty.

Shraddha R. Damaraju, MD/MPH ’22 from the College of Medicine, was awarded a 2022 U.S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Award for her dedication to the field of public health.

Alastornia (Toni) Swift, BS sociology and public health ’24 in the Dornsife School of Public Health, was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to study at the University of Mannheim School of Social Sciences in Germany in fall 2022. The prestigious Gilman Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, supports American undergraduate students pursuing study abroad and international internships.

Obadiah Baker, EdD in educational leadership and management from the School of Education, was named a 2022 Fulbright grantee. Baker’s Fulbright award will take him to Israel where he will study the cross-cultural replication and power of shadow dance as a conflict resolution and global peace intervention technique, with a focus on the interplay of Israeli Gaga and American shadow dance on Israeli Jewish students’ awareness of race and identity.

Sabrina Leibowitz, BS design & merchandising ’23 from the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was a finalist for the 2022 National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation Next Generation Scholarship. The Next Generation Scholarship recognizes students poised to become the next generation of retail leaders. Leibowitz was honored at the NRF awards gala, and she received a $10,000 scholarship as a top five finalist. 

Coley Ferguson, BSBA real estate management and development ’25 from the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business, received Drexel’s first CLS Spark Scholarship, administered through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study Chinese.

Sokhna Dieng, PhD materials science and engineering ’24 from the College of Engineering, was awarded the Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Award (SFFFA) in support of her studies and work at Drexel. The SFFFA’s long-term goal is to accelerate gender equality in STEM by generating conditions that result in more women pursuing scientific careers through alleviating some of the barriers they encounter when enrolling in STEM disciplines. Dieng will be working on the development of 2D carbides and nitrides known as MXenes.

Nicholas Sica, BS computer engineering ’21 and PhD electrical engineering ’26 from the College of Engineering, is the recipient of a prestigious 2022 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Benjamin Brobbey, BS electrical engineering ’24 from the College of Engineering, is the recipient of the 2022 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to participate in the German University of Applied Sciences Study and Internship program with Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

Academic Accolades and Other Achievements

Xiao Fang, Ziao You, Haoran Zhao and Yuhao Zhang, BS data science students, and Alex Kalinowski, a PhD student in information science, all from the College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), participated in the Knowledge Base Construction from Pre-trained Language Models (LM-KBC) Challenge at the 21st International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC). The CCI student team achieved third place overall and second place in their track. The students were invited to present their system and paper at ISWC 2022.

Courtney Lee and Ellie Martini, both MHS physician assistant ’22 students from the College of Nursing and Health Professions, were accepted into the Visiting Mentorship for Multicultural Advanced Practice Provider Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). This weeklong program pairs students with an advance practice provider at CHOP to explore various facets of this nationally renowned pediatric hospital.

Sarah Gift, doctoral mathematics student in the College of Arts and Sciences, published a popular science book on mathematics, titled “Mathematical Lies You Once Believed (and maybe still do).”

Chelsea Jackson, JD/PhD law and clinical psychology graduate student in the College of Arts and Science and Kline School of Law, was elected law liaison for the 2022–23 American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) Student Committee.

Dornsife Global Development Scholars at the Dornsife School of Public Health — Salamata Bah, computer science ’23 from the College of Computing & Informatics; Kaelah Grant, BS in psychology with a minor in neuroscience ’23 from the College of Arts and Sciences; J’Anna-Mare Lue, BS/MS in environmental engineering dual-degree ’22 from the College of Engineering; and Leila Nzekele, BS in public health ’22 from the Dornsife School of Public Health — formed a first-of-its-kind research group aimed at decolonizing water, sanitation and hygiene research and initiatives globally, starting with its own donor-funded research programs. They presented their research at several global conferences.