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Three CCI Students Earn University Recognition for Leadership and Teaching Excellence 

June 8, 2017

Three College of Computing & Informatics students were independently recognized for their exceptional contributions to Drexel University at the 2017 Graduate Student Day Awards on May 31 and the 2017 Student Life Impact Awards on May 18.

Nazanin Andalibi, a PhD in information studies candidate, was named both the University and College-level winner for the 2017 Graduate College Award for Outstanding Promise, which is a University-wide award given to students who have made impact – regionally, nationally or societally. The nominees are reviewed by a committee and ultimately chosen by the Dean of the Graduate College. Students are ultimately evaluated on: originality, creativity and significance of work, external recognition, evidence of or potential for regional, national or societal impact and enhancing Drexel’s reputation, now and in the future, and leadership and commitment to civic responsibility. Andalibi is primarily interested in “[examining] the ways in which social computing systems can be designed to allow people to disclose stigmatized experiences and seek and provide support in their online social networks.” Her research on social media as a medium for sharing sensitive information received international media attention, and has also received accolades at major international academic conferences such as the ACM CSCW 2017 Conference, where she received Best Paper Honorable Mention Award for two papers.

Michael Dickard, a PhD in information studies candidate, received the College-level award for Teaching Assistant Excellence, which is given to outstanding Drexel teaching assistants who exhibit exemplary commitment to student learning, reflective teaching practices, leadership and a commitment to professional growth as a teacher. Dickard, whose research centers on the temporal dimensions of online photo-sharing, has served as a teaching assistant at Drexel since 2016, primarily teaching the Computing and Informatics Design (CI 101) course, which introduces computing and informatics through a combination of lectures and hands-on laboratory exercises. While earning his master of arts in sociology at Ohio University, Dickard participated in professional teaching development and served as a teaching assistant.

Dan Ziegler (BS computer science, ’17) received Student Leader of the Year award at the Drexel Student Impact Awards for his work as founder and president of DUCSTeach (Drexel University Computer Science Teachers), a Drexel student tech volunteer organization. This award is presented to an undergraduate student who has exhibited outstanding leadership and vision and has exemplified dedicated involvement and commitment to making a difference in the lives of Drexel students. The recipient must be in good academic standing demonstrated by a minimum 2.5 grade point average. DUCSTeach was founded in fall 2012 by Ziegler during the honors section of Intro to Computer Science (CS 164) when Professor Jeffrey Popyack, PhD (now DUCSTeach faculty advisor). Ziegler recruited his classmates for a class project and connected with West Philadelphia’s St. Francis de Sales School to pursue workshops to increase STEM knowledge in the classroom through the schools existing technology club. DUCSTeach’s current efforts, with support from CCI and the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, support local public and private educational institutions in the vicinity of Drexel's University City Campus.