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Eliana Papadakis to Receive 2010 Woman One Award

April 13, 2010

For former first lady of Drexel Eliana Papadakis, helping others is part of her routine. From her days teaching children to swim at inner-city pools in the late 1960s to working side-by-side with her husband, the late Drexel University president Constantine Papadakis, to advance Drexel’s identity, Papadakis has a rich history of community service. For her contributions to education, youth and the Philadelphia community, Papadakis will receive the Woman One Award from Drexel University College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership® at 5:30 p.m. on April 19 at the Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 West Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.

A tireless volunteer in community service, Papadakis served on the boards of the Philadelphia Foundation, which manages $200 million in assets entrusted for philanthropic purposes; Carelift International, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving global health; and the American Red Cross, Southern Pennsylvania Chapter. She was also a member of the Divas Committee of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, which raises funds through educational and social activities.

The annual Woman One program honors one woman for outstanding leadership and raises medical scholarships for talented under-represented minority women at Drexel University College of Medicine. Hosting this year’s event is the Institute’s Director Lynn Yeakel. Heading the Friends of Eliana Committee (Eliana’s 2010 Club) are Manny Stamatakis and Madame Justice Sandra Schultz Newman.

Papadakis said she hopes that Woman One and other efforts will encourage young women to pursue their dreams. “If you have the passion to continue, whatever interest you have, pursue it. Don’t waste a beautiful mind,” Papadakis said. “There are opportunities now. There is always someone out there to help you.” Funds raised by the event support medical school scholarships for talented minority women who plan to become physicians in medically underserved communities. Two of the 10 current Woman One scholars are Donyell Doram and Carla Zeballos. Doram decided to begin a career in medicine after her father died when she was 12 years old. Zeballos is originally from Bolivia and said she hopes to practice medicine in underserved areas in major cities with the goal of eventually returning to her home country and opening a free clinic.

Past Woman One award recipients have included Estelle Richman (’03); Leslie Anne Miller (’04); Dawn Staley (’05); Suzanne Roberts (’06); Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., (’07); Stephanie Naidoff (’08); and Jane Pepper (’09).

About Drexel University College of Medicine’s INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH AND LEADERSHIP® One of only 21 programs nationwide and one of the original six to be designated a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Drexel University College of Medicine’s Institute for Women's Health and Leadership helps carry out the College’s commitment to women's health and women’s leadership in medicine and science. Its core initiatives include the Center for Executive Leadership in Academics, with its acclaimed Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women; the Legacy Center, which preserves and protects the world’s largest collection of archival material on the history of women in medicine and the Woman One Award and Scholarship Fund, which supports medical school tuition for minority women at Drexel. For more information, please visit

For more information about this event, contact the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at or 215-991-0267.


News media contacts: Cheryl Soltis, communications, Institute for Women's Health and Leadership 215-991-8830 or

Niki Gianakaris, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741 or

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