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Conference Review

By Adam Zahn, Program Coordinator and Jingwen Ling, Marketing & Communications Co-op under the direction of Dr. Julie Mostov

On Thursday, March 13th, 2014, the Office of International Programs held its 7th Annual Student Conference on Global Challenges focusing on the theme of Gender. The conference, the only one of its kind on Drexel’s campus, was attended by over 200 students, faculty, and community members. This important event provided the opportunity for students to come together to address global challenges and explore innovative solutions through a gender lens.

During the six panels, students presented research, posed questions, and offered solutions on a wide array of topics including gender health disparities; gendered roles in the media and in sports; the gendered impact of new technologies on lifestyles and relationships, employment trends, and occupational health; STEM education and gender equality; gender sexuality and HIV/AIDS; and transgender policies.

The conference featured two keynote speakers: Dr. Rashad Shabazz and Dr. Tererai Trent. Dr. Rashad Shabazz’s academic expertise brings together theories of race and racism, gender studies, cultural studies, and critical prison studies, within a methodological framework that draws on history, human geography, philosophy and literature. "We have to dis-articulate our perception that gender is only related to women,” Dr. Shabazz argued in his speech, which looked at ways in which urban spaces and prison spaces have influence public practices of masculinity.

Dr. Tererai Trent, is a senior consultant with more than 18 years of international experience in professional program and policy evaluation. Her work focuses on issues such as the intersection of HIV transmission with gender based violence, food security, women’s and girls’ empowerment and education. Dr. Trent, one of Oprah’s “most memorable guests,” told the moving story of how she overcame enormous barriers born in a small village in rural Zimbabwe in South Africa to realize her dreams, including bringing education to some 4,000 village girls. Dr. Tererai Trent advised Drexel students: "if you desire it, it's achievable!"

The conference concluded with a lively reception and closing remarks delivered by Dr. Julie Mostov, vice provost for Global Initiatives.

The Office of International Programs would like to extend its gratitude to all of the panelists who contributed to the success of this event. We also appreciate the time and dedication of our faculty moderators.

Keep an eye out this fall for announcements about the 2015 Student Conference on Global Challenges.

Global Health


Moderator: Dr. Randall Sell, School of Public Health, Community Health and Prevention

Global Political and Social Trends


Moderator: Dr. Mimi Sheller, College of Arts and Sciences

Global Media, Culture, and Arts


Moderator: Albert Tedesco, Philip W. Salas

Global Science, Technology, and Society

  • Latifa Jackson
  • Nithin Paul
  • Anupma Sahay
  • Bien Hoang
  • Josa Hanzlik

Moderator: Dr. Eugenia Ellis, Civil, Architectural, & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering & Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Justice and Human Rights

  • Suzanna Benjamin
  • Briana James
  • Amy Hoo
  • Arduizur Richie-Zavaleta
  • Allison Murphy

Moderator: Dr. Kristy Kelly, School of Education

Business & Economic Trends Panel


Moderator: Prof. Dana D'Angelo, Lebow College of Business

In addition, we appreciate the presence of numerous organizations that came to provide information on engagement opportunities.

  • School of Public Health
  • International Area Studies/Women's Studies
  • IWHL
  • Student Center for Inclusion and Culture
  • LGBTQA Student Center
  • Student Global Advisory Board
  • SWE
  • Aahana
  • Students Advocatng Against Slavery

Thank you to the staff and volunteers including, but not limited to:

Farzana Rahman
Florid Burda
Tyler Sprague
Abhimanyu Bhardwaj
Jingwen Ling
Erica Sebastian
Kevin Haines
Lauren Steinberg
Jessica Krazter
Kate Hughes
Lucia Cucinotta
Adelaide Key
Jiawei Yuan
Da Thao Duong Tran
Ngan Vu

Finally, a special thank you is given to Heidi West, Programs Director for the Office of International Programs and Adam Zahn, Program Coordinator for the Office of International Programs. Without whom, none of this would have been possible.