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Institute for Women's Health and Leadership Woman One

The Woman One Award annually honors an outstanding woman for her leadership in the Philadelphia community and raises scholarship funds for talented, underrepresented women in medicine studying at the College of Medicine.

Gloria Twine Chisum, PhD, Honored as Woman One 2018

2018 Woman One Gloria Twine Chisum with Lynn Yeakel

The Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership of Drexel University College of Medicine presented the 16th annual Woman One Award to Gloria Twine Chisum, PhD, at a special ceremony and reception at The Rittenhouse on Monday, April 30, 2018. Over 250 guests attended the event honoring Chisum’s lifetime of achievements and community service and raising tuition support for talented underrepresented women studying medicine at Drexel University.

View photos of the event

Dr. Chisum is a trailblazing scientist and community leader. She graduated from Howard University before earning her master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. During her long and illustrious research career, Dr. Chisum headed the Vision Laboratory at the U.S. Naval Air Development Center and became a world-renowned authority on visual problems associated with the operation of high-performance aircraft.

Group photo of attendees at the 2018 Woman One Award Ceremony

She has also been an active leader in many civic and professional organizations, serving on the boards of directors for the William Penn Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Arthritis Foundation, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the National Constitution Center. She is an emerita trustee and former vice chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. Read Dr. Chisum's bio [PDF].

Learn About Woman One Sponsorship Opportunities [PDF]

The Woman One Award and Scholarship Fund annually honors a woman of exceptional leadership and raises tuition funds for underrepresented women studying medicine at Drexel University.

Gloria Twine Chisum with current Woman One Scholars

Funds raised from the annual Woman One Award event support medical school scholarships for talented underrepresented women in Drexel’s medical school. Since the program began in 2003, 22 Woman One Scholars have graduated and are working as physicians across the United States and nine Scholars are currently in all four classes at Drexel’s medical school.

For information about Woman One, contact Janine Barber at 215.991.8194 or

Woman One in the Media

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Past Woman One Honorees

Since the Woman One program was initiated by the IWHL in 2003, honorees have been:

  • Women's leadership development advocate Molly Shepard (2017) | Learn more
  • Community leader and innovator Renee Amoore (2016) | Learn more
  • Philanthropist and civic activist Lynne Honickman (2015) | Learn more
  • Founder of the Russell Byers Charter School Laurada Byers (2014) | Learn more
  • Journalist Lisa Thomas-Laury (2013) | Learn more
  • Community leader Dianne Semingson (2012) | Learn more
  • Director of the Women's Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor Sara Manzano-Díaz (2011) | Learn more
  • Former first lady of Drexel University Eliana Papadakis (2010)
  • Former president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Jane Pepper (2009)
  • City representative and director of commerce Stephanie Naidoff (2008)
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey (2007)
  • Philanthropist and television personality Suzanne Roberts (2006)
  • Olympic gold medalist Dawn Staley (2005)
  • Attorney and community leader Leslie Anne Miller (2004)
  • Pennsylvania secretary of public welfare Estelle Richman (2003)

Woman One continues to connect Drexel University College of Medicine to the greater Philadelphia community by engaging businesses and foundations in supporting Drexel's diversity initiatives.

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Current Woman One Scholars


Christel Francois

Christel Francois (2018)
Christel was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but attended high school in New York and graduated from the University of Maryland. While visiting Haiti in 2010, she found herself in the heart of the tragic earthquake, and working with the victims inspired her to become a family physician. Now a fourth-year medical student at Drexel, Christel plans to specialize in family medicine. She is strongly committed to public service and is working on a research project that focuses on homeless women and factors that affect the transition to stable housing. Christel is the Suzanne Roberts Woman One Scholar.

Jaclyn Heilman

Jaclyn Heilman (2018)
A native of Philadelphia, Jaclyn attended Pennsylvania State University and earned a degree in bioengineering. Now in her fourth year of medical school, she enjoys interacting with patients and being part of their medical care. Jaclyn continually excels in her coursework and was one of only six medical students to be selected in Year 2 to receive a commendation for outstanding professionalism. After graduation she plans to enter a general surgery residency. Jaclyn is a W.W. Smith Woman One Scholar.

Jillian Thayer

Jillian Thayer (2018)
Originally from Seattle, Washington, and a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in biochemistry, Jillian earned honors designation throughout her medical school coursework and straight honor evaluations at the completion of her third-year clinical rotations. She has been an active volunteer in the community and served as board chair of the free Health Outreach Project student-run health clinics in Philadelphia. She recently co-authored a research paper on neonatal immunology. Upon graduation in 2018, Jillian plans to specialize in general surgery. Jillian is the Jean Forest, MD—WMC/MCP Trust Fund Woman One Scholar.


Dareen Elgindi

Dareen Elgindi (2019)
Born in the Sudan, Dareen moved to Columbus, Ohio, when she was a child and received a BS from Ohio State University as a triple major in biology, microbiology and biochemistry. She has an interest in women’s issues and global health, and has shadowed physicians in both the U.S. and the Sudan. She recently began work on a research project with Drexel’s Department of Dermatology and is considering pursuing a research fellowship. Now in her third year of medical school, she has volunteered throughout the Philadelphia community and recently participated in the CAPTIVATE program, a series of STEM conferences for middle- and high-school girls. Dareen is a Dean's Woman One Scholar.

Ivonne Martinez

Ivonne Martinez (2019)
Originally from Bogata, Colombia, Ivonne moved to the United States when she was 12 years old and lived in New Jersey, later graduating from Seton Hall University as a biochemistry major. During her second year in medical school, Ivonne participated as a volunteer at several Health Outreach Project (HOP) clinics and participated on the committee for Drexel’s Pediatric AIDS Benefit Concert. As she enters her third year, she will be located in Sacramento, California, for clinical rotations and is looking forward to continuing her work helping patients in disadvantaged communities. Ivonne is the Honickman Woman One Scholar.


Rita Akumuo

Rita Akumuo (2020)
Born and raised in Camden, N.J., Rita attended Syracuse University, where she graduated with degrees in three majors in four years: nutrition science, neuroscience and biology. Rita received her master’s degree in medical science at Drexel University in May 2016. Rita is an exceptional student and achieved high grades in all of her first-year medical school coursework. As she continues her medical education, Rita will be serving her second term as co-class president. She volunteers with Drexel’s free health clinic and is pursuing a Women’s Health Track with a distinction in health equality. Rita is the Philadelphia Foundation/Dean's Woman One Scholar.

Stephanie Coriolan

Stephanie Belancourt (2020)
Born in Canada, Stephanie grew up in Haiti in an underserved area of Port-au-Prince and moved to Florida as a teenager. She is a graduate of Florida International University with a degree in psychology and later received an MBA from Nova Southeastern. Stephanie hopes to expand her leadership skills during her time in medical school and engage in volunteer activities in Philadelphia's underserved communities. Stephanie is the Haas Woman One Scholar.


Dominque Jones

Dominque Jones (2021)
A native of Philadelphia, Dominique earned her undergraduate degree in biology with a minor in public health from George Washington University and her master’s from Hampton University. During her college years, Dominique worked in Washington, D.C., as a Department of Health intern and later interned at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a junior project coordinator. Dominique also volunteered in Washington, D.C., as a Health Leads Advocate, where she worked one on one with patients to help provide low-income families with resources. Dominique is a Dean’s Woman One Scholar.

Jacqueline Koomson

Jacqueline Koomson (2021)
Jacqueline is from Worcester, Massachusetts. She is a first-generation college student who completed her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at NYU and earned a master’s degree from Boston University. During her college years, Jacqueline volunteered in Ghana and worked as an office assistant at NYU. Jacqueline has significant experience in adolescent and women’s health, including working as a research assistant in the NYU DNA/Nanotechnology Laboratory and internships at NARAL in New York City and the UMass Medical Center in the Neuro-Diagnostics Department. Jacqueline is the Leader’s Edge/Leaders By Design/Dean’s Woman One Scholar.

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