Heard Around Campus — May

Heard Around Campus

April showers bring May flowers — and the May version of the monthly “Heard Around Campus.” With just a few weeks to go before commencement and the end of the spring term, here’s everything that was heard around campus this month that might be of interest to Drexel University faculty and staff.

Commencement Reminder

This is the last Heard Around Campus that will be published before the University-wide commencement ceremony on June 15. If your college or school hasn’t already had its graduation, here’s a list of the times and locations of the events on June 14 and June 15. The University-wide event will take place at Citizens Bank Park on June 15, and Hollywood legend M. Night Shyamalan will address the class of 2018 there as the commencement speaker. DrexelNow also released a list of speakers and honorary degree recipients who will be honored at commencement this year.

Just A Couple Weeks Left to Train for the Employee Olympics

Drexel’s 2018 Employee Olympic Games will be held on June 20 — and you have until June 13 to sign up!

Participants will compete in nine different sports: Baggo (bean bag toss), 5 v. 5 basketball, beach volleyball, dodgeball, squash, table tennis, tennis, a climbing wall challenge and a non-competitive fun walk. Individuals who don’t wish to compete can participate in the Fun Walk, a 30-minute walk on the banks of the Schuylkill River. Registration is required for all events, including the Fun Walk.

Gold medals will be awarded to the winning teams, and Dragons displaying teamwork, sportsmanship and enthusiasm at the games will receive “Torch Bearer” Awards.

You can earn 25 Wellness Incentive Program Points for participating in one or more sports during the 2018 Employee Olympics, and everyone who participates in any sport this year, including the Fun Walk, will be automatically entered to win an iPad or one of two Fitbits during the Employee Olympics raffle. Everyone will be a winner when they hang out with the unofficial mascots for this year’s Olympics: Chai and Espresso, Drexel Recreational Athletics’ therapy dogs!

Registration for the Employee Olympics is now open on a first-come, first-served basis via the Employee Olympics webpage and you have until June 13 to sign up as part of a team or as a free agent. You will need to obtain permission from your supervisor before registering to participate.

Exempt Leave Reports for Fiscal Year 2018

In an email sent on May 2, Drexel’s Office of the Comptroller reminded employees to complete and submit all exempt leave reports that are still outstanding for all of the reporting periods from July 2017 through April 2018. You have until June 19 to complete and review your exempt leave reports for each month during that time period, and ensure that you have approved all exempt leave reports for your employees if you are in a position to do so. 

If you experience any problems creating or submitting your current leave reports, then you can contact Payroll at 215.895.2885 or payroll@drexel.edu. If you need to correct a leave report that was submitted and approved, then you can complete an Exempt Leave Report Resolution Form [PDF] outlining the changes required and submit it to hris@drexel.edu.

Honoring Drexel Colleagues for Outstanding Service

Do you know any exceptional full- and part-time faculty and professional staff from across the University that should be rewarded for their service? You can nominate both individuals and teams for the President's Awards (with the exception of vice president and vice provost positions and above, including deans and chairs) in these three categories:

  • Award for Excellence for Professional Staff
  • Award for Diversity & Inclusive Community for Faculty and Professional Staff
  • Civic Engagement Award for Faculty and Professional Staff

Visit the President's Awards site to make a nomination by 5 p.m. on July 31. Contact Lindsay Norlen at 215.571.4644 with any questions.

Construction Update

32nd and Market Street Intersections (former Firestone site): Construction to reconfigure the intersections around the former Firestone property is ongoing. This work will improve pedestrian safety across Market Street and JFK Boulevard and provide a new, signalized crosswalk at Lancaster Walk. Please use caution and expect delays when traveling through the area.

Armory (Lancaster Avenue Readiness Center): Work continues on exterior restoration and improvements to the Armory building. Funded jointly by the state and by Drexel, this project is managed by Pennsylvania's Department of General Services and is expected to continue into the fall.

Bernhardt Memorial Courtyard at Thomas R. Kline School of Law: Construction is complete on the Bernhardt Memorial Courtyard, providing an intimate outdoor space to study and socialize between the Kline School of Law and Hagerty Library on Market Street.

Bossone Research Enterprise Center Renovations: Construction is underway for the renovation of an existing laboratory on the third floor to increase usability for chemically intensive work related to energy and energy storage. 

Fox Historic Costume Collection: The expansion of the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection in the URBN Center is expected to be completed later this month.

Korman Center Facade: Remedial work on the north, south and west facades of the Korman Center building is expected to be complete by the end of the month. Planted areas north and south of the building are currently being installed.

Summer 12 Townhomes (Radnor Property Group): Construction is in progress on Radnor Property Group’s “Summer 12” — a dozen new owner-occupied townhomes along the 3200 block of Summer Street. The townhomes are expected to be complete by fall 2018.

Wawa Store at 3330 Market Street: Construction is in progress on a new Wawa store location at the corner of 34th and Market streets, on the ground level of the General Services Building and Drexel Parking Garage. The store is expected to open in fall 2018.

For more information, visit drexel.edu/facilities/design/currentProjects.

Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight: College of Computing & Informatics

In September 2017, the College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) launched a major strategic initiative to grow the number of women students across the College. The Women in Computing Initiative is centered on the recruitment and retention of women in undergraduate majors.

The College’s efforts to cultivate a pipeline of women students begins early, with outreach to middle school students. For the past five years, CCI has hosted the weeklong Robot Springboard Technology Camp for local middle school girls in the Rush Building. Last year, Professor Jeffrey Popyack and Assistant Professor Gabriela Marcu organized and facilitated the camp, in which high school student leaders provided near-peer mentoring to the middle school participants. Meanwhile, the Women in Computing Society, a Drexel student organization, partnered with the College of Engineering’s Society of Women Engineers to provide technology workshops for middle school girls using materials from TechGirlz, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the gender gap in technology occupations.

“Everyone is coming together — students, professional staff, faculty and administration — to work collaboratively on moving the needle. The field of computing is not known for being an inclusive one, and we are acknowledging our responsibility in doing what we can to change that culture by starting internally,” said Marcu. “Even the small things matter, from introducing one child to the fun of computing, to nurturing a one-on-one mentoring relationship, to offering a supportive comment to a colleague."

Marcu just received the 2018 National Center for Women & Information Technology’s Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, which recognizes “outstanding mentorship, high-quality research opportunities, recruitment of women and minority students, and efforts to encourage and advance undergraduates in computing-related fields.”

This Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight was excerpted from the Inclusive Community Review: FY2017 Accomplishments (formerly called the Diversity Achievement Plan Accomplishments Supplement), an annual report celebrating the diversity and inclusion-related achievements of each of Drexel’s academic and administrative units. For general questions about diversity and inclusion initiatives at Drexel, please contact the Office of Equality & Diversity at oed@drexel.edu.

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