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Program Class of 2021

Image of the 2020-2021 Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program cohort on a zoom call.

Gaberielle Boiskin

Gabrielle Boiskin

The Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellowship is a program for students in nursing and healthcare fields, who have an interest in personal and professional development. This program allows for one to grow as a leader and develop new skills through participating in weekly discussions, hearing from professionals in the healthcare field, being provided with a mentor who is a leader in the healthcare world, and being provided with a Drexel faculty member to assist in personal growth. I feel so grateful to be a part of the 2020-2021 cohort of students. We consist of all different majors in the healthcare fields and have diverse backgrounds and cultures that we bring to each class session and share with each other through extensive and meaningful discussions.

The Macy Fellowship is not your typical college class. Each session, we challenge each other to think deeper, question everything, disagree with each other, and overall learn how to become more articulate and confident in ourselves and what we value. In our first term, we delved into learning about our own personal leadership styles, as well as creating short- and long-term goals in the fellowship. Learning about our leadership styles, we were able to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses and how we can improve upon them. In our second term, we are focusing on group dynamics now that we have already mastered our own personal leadership styles. We have been placed into groups, where we are creating a paper and presentation as an interdisciplinary team. My team consists of nursing, health services administration, psychology, behavioral health counseling, nutrition, and pre-physician assistant students. As a team, each of our diverse backgrounds and perspectives helps us to challenge one another in our thought processes. And I cannot wait to see what our focus will be for our third and final term.

My favorite part of this fellowship is being able to connect with real healthcare professionals through our mentorship and the guest speakers we host during our class sessions. As a nursing student, I assumed that I would always be in the clinical world, but now I know there are many different opportunities and aspects of nursing. For example, my mentor, Michelle Conley, not only has a nursing degree, but also a master’s in business administration (MBA) and a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP), and currently holds the role of senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Jefferson Health. I have learned immensely from Michelle and the guest speakers, who I have networked with outside of our class setting.

Overall, I love the Macy Fellowship and everything that it stands for and recommend any student in the healthcare field interested to apply. I have learned in this program how to talk about myself, how to challenge myself and others, and truly learn what I stand for as a fun and loving person, nursing student, and leader. I look forward to continuing in this fellowship and watching myself grow and develop even more personally and professionally.

Nahian Ehtesham

Nahian Ehtesham

I had a couple bad experiences working in hospitals where I did not see effective communication between doctors, PAs and nurses. I have always wanted to change and improve this because better communication between all healthcare workers would improve the patients' quality of care. Before I submitted my application, I believed that this program was going to give me insight into real-world problems and how I can overcome them.

The greatest strengths of Macy are how supportive everyone is, the mentor pairing which makes you deeply think about the difference between management versus leadership, and the diversity. It helped me build self-confidence and assured me it was okay to make mistakes and often fail. I was able to understand how to become more self-aware and open-minded. When I was hospitalized from COVID-19, I was amazed to see how much support I received from faculty and my classmates. My professor ensured my health came first and my mentor would reach out to me and send me positive vibes.

Macy isn’t like a typical college course where there is one professor and hundreds of students in a lecture room. There are far fewer students allowing us to build strong bonds between professors and students. My mentor, professor, and other fellows gave me a lot of emotional support as I was battling COVID-19. We are always here for each other.

On the first day of the Macy Program, Dr. White taught us the difference between safety and comfort and why comfort is a privilege. This conversation helped me understand how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and how to push myself when I deal with challenges. Ever since that class, I have been thinking of ways to challenge myself asking "how do I take one step further."

The long term benefit I hope to derive from this program is to take ownership of myself and my actions. I need to learn how to accept making mistakes and taking responsibility for them to grow as a person.

Being a Macy fellow has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. I have learned a great deal about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, and also what makes me a unique leader. I am incredibly grateful to be a fellow and I hope what I learn in this program can inspire others to improve leadership in the healthcare system. Seeing all these students fearlessly undertaking leadership encourages me to go out of my comfort zone and try things that seem impossible, but are achievable.

Naomi Kaufman

Naomi Kaufman

My first exposure to the Macy program was during my student tour through the College of Nursing and Health Professions. I promised myself that, when I became a student at Drexel, I would look into it further. Before my sophomore year of the nursing program began, I decided to apply to the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program. I saw firsthand the impact the pandemic had on minority groups, the healthcare system and our world as a whole. I am very passionate about caring for people, and making a difference in their lives, and this program could give me more knowledge about leadership in the healthcare field and allow me to collaborate with peers in all aspects of health professions. It would help me become a better nurse.

What makes this program so appealing is the aspect of interaction—with nursing majors, students in public health and other health professions. My coursework has focused on the foundations of nursing, barely addressing customs of people of different religions, cultures and backgrounds. To deliver quality healthcare and be an advocate for patients, it is incredibly important to understand diversity. Especially in today’s world, I want to learn how to best support all those around me as a healthcare provider and tackling complicated issues within a group of diverse people is very valuable.

We set the foundation in our first class for everyone to keep an open mind, respond without reacting, be mindful of others and do not invalidate others’ opinions. Dr. White then dove into the three aspects of the program—relationship with yourself, leading teams and taking action within the community—all coming together in the end to create our leadership portfolios and toolboxes which we can utilize in future leadership endeavors.

The Macy Program has challenged me and enabled me to learn more about diversity and inclusion in my field. It has strengthened my communication skills, enhanced the leadership qualities I already possess, while learning new ones, and improved collaboration with peers. In addition, the program has aided me in rebuilding my relationship with myself. My confidence has grown tremendously and has made me even more ambitious about my aspirations.

After graduation I want to be an advocate for the chronic pain community—a desire stemming from growing up with a mother who suffered from a chronic nerve pain disease called Reflex Sympathetic

Dystrophy (RSD). As a nurse, I want to be heavily involved in supporting this cause, which is close to my heart. The Macy Program and my past experiences have contributed to my character and shaped me into the strong-willed, resilient, young woman I am today.

Jennifer Knecht Photo

Jennifer Knecht

The Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program (MULFP) has played a key role in my academic, social and professional life, truly opening my eyes to possibilities I never thought to be achievable. I wish I took advantage of this program sooner and would encourage any student who is looking to enhance their leadership capacities to join. I realized that if I wanted to be more than just a spectator and become a leader in health care, I would have to start taking control of my life by taking an active approach. This program provided the perfect environment for me to practice self-awareness and develop myself as an emerging leader.

My experience as a Macy fellow is unlike any other at Drexel University. The program develops all facets of leadership starting with building self-confidence and leading authentically. It transitions to team dynamics, where students learn to better facilitate a more harmonious work environment with different personalities. The last aspect of the coursework is applying and integrating these new skills into practice within the community. Holistically exploring these different areas of leadership and synthesizing the various teachings help to build a more effective leader. Through the Macy program I discovered I am a democratic leader who values the input of others.

Open conversations with my cohort, challenging the status quo and becoming more vulnerable, have supported my growth into a more genuine leader. My Macy cohort is truly invaluable—these women bring diverse perspectives into class discussion and constantly encourage one another to fulfill our goals, no matter how large they may be. Through our open class discussions, I realized I needed to challenge belief systems that no longer served me or ones I have outgrown. Being a part of the Macy program has inspired me to take initiative and with the help of a dedicated Macy faculty member, I have defined what I want out of life, recognize my goals and what success is for me and how to achieve those goals using an Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP).

The Macy program connected me with a mentor with whom I bonded over our backgrounds and life goals. She is a Macy program alumna and able to understand me on a deeper level as I travel through the world of academia as a first-generation college student. Something I find truly amazing about my mentor is that she sees more in me than I have seen in myself and continuously presents opportunities I would have never sought out on my own. From being associated with this program, I have gained a professional mentor, peers I hope to one day call my colleagues, and much insight about myself on which I hope to continuously build.

Kim Nari

Nari Kim

At Drexel University, I experienced a variety of educational classes ranging from science with labs to business courses with excel sheets. School has always been in same—lecture-discussion, board-exam format, learning about cells or how to input data—never about my own personal growth and reflection. While these classes are essential to become a health professional, I asked the question, “can we truly be good providers without knowing ourselves, acknowledging our weaknesses and attempting individual growth?”

Truth be told, when I first heard about the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program from another program graduate, I was intimidated by the idea of exposure to personal growth. No one wants to admit their own faults and be vulnerable while actually talking about their own weaknesses. I was nervous about being confronted by the reality of my own privilege and striving for a social justice approach to leadership.

This was merely a start of my journey to self-growth.

Macy is certainly not a program I am used to. This program prepares you to reach both your personal and professional goals and to build on your leadership style. Students interact with fellow peers from other health majors, learning multiple perspectives of health care while fostering interdisciplinary learning. Students also take a systemic approach in recognizing the issues, enhancing their development in racial literacy and ethical values. With about 20 scholars in the program, students proactively engage in open discussions and have a wide range of critical thinking activities to build on our capacity to take action on social determinants of health, equity and social and racial justice. Macy helped me expand my connections and outlook and inspired further involvement in my community.

I highly encourage young health professionals to take this course to enhance their growth in leadership. Not only are you making meaningful connections and developing a professional network by working with health care mentors who help guide your future steps, you are also creating a leadership portfolio that you will possess for the rest of your life. I believe that developing these skills as a young health care professional will help us understand our true value in the health care field in the future.

Since the start of this program, I have witnessed change and built confidence by conversing with my colleagues about topics like privilege, wicked problems, conflict, microaggression, interprofessional teams and collaborative culture. Seeing this much personal growth has helped me realize how worthwhile this program is to my career.

Jedidah Groseclose

Jedidah Groseclose

Leadership is a skill that students don’t receive enough opportunities to practice in high school or college. I find this interesting as it is a major aspect of any career a student goes into, and it can only better prepare them for whatever path they end up pursuing.

As a nursing major with minors in public health and health services administration, I heard about the Macy program through various professors, emails and course resources. It stood out to me specifically for the leadership aspect, and I decided to look more into it since I was hoping to gain a well-rounded experience while at Drexel.

I started with low expectations because I was unsure what exactly the Macy program would include or the workload it would entail. I quickly came to realize that the goal of Macy is the personal exploration of our leadership strengths, weaknesses and goals. It is not simply a few extra credits we can take at Drexel but is meant to give us a base of interpersonal connections, core values and a clear understanding of what it really means to be a leader within the healthcare field.

The benefits of this program continue to be revealed the further I get in the program. I am in the midst of co-op interviews, and Macy was of great interest to my most recent interviewer. It was rewarding to share about the program and what I was learning to possible future employers. It’s a major asset when applying for jobs, especially in the medical field where you are always required to be a leader in some aspect or another.

In addition, the mentor/mentee partnership is incredibly beneficial, especially as a nursing student. My mentor is a nurse and clinical instructor at Thomas Jefferson Hospital and provides insight into what it means to be a leader. It’s often hard to describe yourself as a leader and highlight your strengths, so this is where your mentor plays a major role. They see you from a different perspective and provide a better view of you as a leader.

Being part of the Macy community is an amazing experience. Working in groups and engaging in general discussions for the past two terms has allowed me to create friendships and connections that I otherwise would not have had. Even though there are several other fellow nursing students in the class, I have also met peers from majors such as nutrition, health services administration and even dentistry. The diversity in the class is one of my favorite parts, and I have learned so much from it.

One of the long-term benefits I expect to gain from this program is an understanding of what it means to be a good leader that I can further build upon when I start my career. Ultimately, everything I learned is applicable in real life. I’ve gained friends, mentors and a greater appreciation for everyone in the medical field.

Christina gian

Christina Gian

The main reason I wanted to join the fellowship program is because I knew that I wanted to take on more leadership roles, but I did not know how to demonstrate those skills confidently. I also wanted to apply because I needed guidance to learn more about myself as a leader, befriend and work with my fellow classmates and peers, and find a mentor who can continue to support, teach, and help me broaden my perspective on certain topics within leadership.

Since the first course, the professors and Macy faculty have been very strong, passionate, and continue to push and challenge us to go beyond our comfort zones. Additionally, having an interdisciplinary recruitment of other fellows within the program has definitely provided a larger and deeper perspective of how leadership is interpreted. What I enjoy the most about the course is hearing how others feel and think about certain conflicts or scenarios when discussing leadership topics in class. One of the biggest differences between the Macy program compared to some other courses available at Drexel is the intimacy and trust in one another.

My experiences are making an impact on the way I view myself, as well as how I act as a leader in my field. The first of a tri-series of courses was about finding our authentic selves. I was really inspired by this and how we should look at ourselves first before we learned to apply our skills to different scenarios. I really loved our professor, Dr. White, because of how much she was challenging us, and it really did help me get out of my comfort zone and to be more comfortable doing things with confidence.

I am grateful for my cohort and their experiences. My peers and I share a lot of things in common and they are all very intelligent and bright. Together, we are willing to support and speak up for one another. We connect outside of classes by going to events, birthday parties, and fun activities. After the mentorship pairings, my mentor is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. As a nurse, the work we do is interrelated, and we have many similar interests in our professional fields and hobbies. She has introduced me to various dietitians through her networking and helped me deepen my perspectives on different specialties such as dietetic research.

Every week is another time to actively listen and participate in team discussions that allows us to open our minds to different perspectives, to solving problems, and learning new skills to add to our toolkit. After finishing the program, I know that I will have a change in how I view myself authentically, how I will lead and collaborate with my team and peers, and how I want to help future communities prosper through my leadership and the leadership of my peers. I strongly recommend any undergraduate students within CNHP apply.

McKenna Johnston

McKenna Johnston

The Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program is an interdisciplinary course for nursing, public health, and health sciences students that develops high-quality leadership skills. This program grows these skills through class discussions rather than the typical lecturing structure of other college classes. While the program’s emphasis is on forming well-rounded leaders, the course material also challenges students to become better people overall.

I learned about the Macy Program early in my freshman year. I was immediately interested as I had held many leadership positions in high school, but I never learned the qualities of a good leader. Joining was also practical because the program is for-credit, and I knew that it would give me the foundation to accomplish my ambitious goals in medicine.

The Macy Program taught me more than just leadership skills. It provides a safe place for intellectual conversations about complex issues such as health-related problems, emotional intelligence, social justice and health inequalities, to name a few. These conversations are essential to being a well-rounded leader in the medical community, but the normal lecture-based structure in my other classes does not allow room for these critical conversations. Since the program has students from a variety of health-related majors and backgrounds, I gained a unique perspective from each of my peers while engaging in our class discussions. In medicine, interdisciplinary work is vital, and the Macy Program provided me the opportunity to work with and understand the perspectives of various disciplines in medicine.

I was most excited for the mentor-matching aspect. My mentor gives me some of the best personal development and career advice, and I have the opportunity to shadow her in practice. The program also connects us with a member of the Macy faculty for check-ins each term to ensure we are staying on track with our goals in the program. The Macy Program is built around supporting each future leader, so I have never felt that I was alone in my journey to becoming the best version of myself.

Joining the Macy Program was the best decision I’ve made for my personal and professional development. It provided me with a foundation of leadership, interpersonal and professional skills that I’ll build on throughout the rest of my life. I have a new appreciation for diversity, active listening and engaging in honest discussion, which are all essential skills for working in the field of medicine. I am confident that I will be able to effectively lead teams in the future, and that my leadership will be a true reflection of my values. Having these unique skills will make me a better job candidate as I begin to apply to co-ops and full-time positions in the future. I also gained lifelong friends and mentorship; the people I connected with through the program will continue to hold me accountable to my personal and professional goals. As I achieve success in my future career, I will always have the Macy Program to thank for developing the skills that lead to my success!

Sarah Mickel

Sarah Mickel

I learned about the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program from my academic advisor who described it as a program that allows students to develop confidence, grow their identity, enhance their skill sets and become a more capable leader than that of an ordinary college student. As a first-year first-generation, pre-med student, I was entranced by the possibility of exceeding the standard learnings of all other undergrads, and to expand and grow not just academic knowledge, but of myself.

I didn’t think I would get into in the program. I had not practiced leadership well or often enough and felt that my confidence was practically see-through—they would know I did not have the natural qualities a leader must have. Despite my fears, I was accepted and have since challenged myself in ways I previously would have never anticipated. I have become more aware of my strengths and weaknesses and have received the resources needed to progress and express who I want to be and how I want to get there, both in the world of academics and in healthcare.

The Macy program and its design has allowed for a community of young, eager scholars to form a group close enough to be honest with each other, communicate clearly and develop into a team of like-minded individuals who strive to help, support and encourage one another. There have been many discussions, some difficult, but honesty and feedback were welcomed, conversation and sharing opinions were encouraged and facing the challenges of leadership—what it means, where it is and the many ways in which it is executed—was expected. As fellows, we analyzed our leadership skills, set goals for ourselves, discussed how to achieve and practice and them, and how we can apply what we have learned.

The Macy Program does more than simply tell you what it takes to be a leader, it provides you a space to practice being a leader, a community to practice and advance with and all types of resources to support the process. The program is built to challenge its students to think like leaders and to actively apply the lessons taught. It provides a whole different learning experience; we learn to immediately apply knowledge and are not punished for mistakes, because it is accepted as part of a learning process.

I lacked confidence in myself as a student and a future healthcare worker. Through Macy, I have gained self-confidence in my abilities to lead and have discovered what kind and how to be the best leader possible. I have met a team of people who challenge and support me in my growth and have made relationships with students and faculty members who encourage me to continue facing challenges with eagerness. I know I will remain a part of this inspirational community and will have well-practiced confidence skills and leadership abilities to meet every challenge I will encounter.

Chau Nguyen

I remember the day of my freshman year when a representative came into my health care ethics class and talked passionately about the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program (MULFP). After doing some research, I decided to apply at the end of my sophomore year. As a nursing student, the majority of my classes are lecture-based with intense studying and hands-on skill application. Therefore, the Macy experience attracted me by offering an inclusive environment, where students of all cultural orientations can freely express their points of view and fully participate in learning from the faculty and each other.

I am grateful to be part of the 2020-2021 cohort. I have befriended and learned from 17 students from various health profession programs. They are inspiring, ambitious, and extremely talented. To top it off, our cohort has an amazing set of mentors and faculty. One of the biggest strengths of the Macy program is gaining a mentor to guide us through our leadership journey to become a well-rounded leader and person. My mentor is a Pediatrics Physical Therapist and the Director of Clinical Education, overseeing the physical therapist program at Drexel University. I was excited to find out that my mentor and I are in different disciplines. Her experiences and advice have enriched my personal knowledge of health care and helped me realize that some of the leadership challenges I have gone through are not specific to my field of study. She has taught me so much about team dynamics and different ways to embrace challenges.

At the beginning of every class, we always start with community check-in and debriefing from the last class. It is a great opportunity for us to connect and support each other, especially during these unprecedented times. From time to time, we have lifted each other spiritually by offering resources or simply being there for each other. I am also intrigued by the topics that are discussed in class. On the first day of our program, after introducing ourselves, our first discussion was about the difference between safety and comfort. We ended with a conclusion that I will never forget: Safety is a need. Comfort is a privilege. To grow, it is necessary to step out of our comfort zone.

I can see myself growing every day, not only as a leader, but also as a person. This is most evident through my personal relationships. I am able to connect with people on a deeper level, stand up against injustices, and protect my values. I am better prepared for my career journey thanks to the material and skills from the Macy Program. In every class, I got to learn more about leadership and philosophy, but more importantly, about myself and what kind of leader I aspire to become.

Seoyoung Park

Seoyoung Park

A post from Drexel CNHP’s Instagram page caught my attention. It stated, “Apply Today, and be a part of the Macy Leadership Program.” I clicked right away because I was looking for ways to develop my leadership skills and broaden my perspective as a nursing student. This was the program I had always been looking for at Drexel—where I would learn more about the real aspects of working in the healthcare field and how to incorporate my skills to become a great leader. Macy offers three consecutive courses, each with different themes. I was positive that I would finish the program with the right mindset and attitude to go out to the real world and many valuable skills in leadership, relationship and friendship.

I am thoroughly enjoying my experience as a Macy scholar because I am learning things that are not taught in traditional college classes. Coming from a small high school, I found it quite difficult to form long-term relationships. However, this program has allowed me to form positive and important relationships with my professors and friends—I feel like I have gained a group of sisters who support each other all the time. I am inspired by my peers and professors every week as we are all work towards a common goal.

If I had to choose two words to describe the Macy Program they would be ‘passion’ and ‘challenge.’ Everyone in this group is eager to change and make a positive impact on the healthcare field. We are passionate, and we are ready to be on the frontline making a difference as leaders. We faced many personal and societal challenges and barriers during this process; I am so glad that I don’t have to break through them on my own. I have this supportive community to help me along the way. I really like that I can get feedback and encouragement, from different people that helps me grow as a person and a leader.

Macy has helped me understand the fundamental structures of the healthcare system and has allowed me to explore various issues and topics from different perspectives which, ultimately will help me become a great leader who will address healthcare problems and disparities effectively.

Mital Patel

Mital Patel

My Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program (MULFP) journey began in April 2020. I received an email from my academic advisor stating that the Macy application had opened. The description talked about building self-confidence and self-awareness. While I come across confident to others in several clubs and organizations which I participate and hold leadership positions, I never fully felt it myself. I saw Macy as the push to get out of my comfort zone and truly be able to discover my strengths and weaknesses as a leader and to turn my weaknesses into my strengths.

Though Macy was offered entirely virtual this year, it provided me with several opportunities and taught me many vital lessons. My Macy faculty members brought out the best in me. When asked what confidence meant to me, my answer included everything I did not want it to be. Since I could not articulate what I did want it to be, I was given homework to contemplate and redefine my definition of confidence. I now know that I do not want it to be fake or to consist of self-doubt. Instead, I want it to be a projection of my thoughts and actions. I want it to feel empowering and to remind me of all the reasons why I deserve to be where I am today and where I want to go. Macy has given me every tool I need to achieve my definition of confidence. The Macy faculty never give you the answers. Rather, they encourage and support you to arrive at conclusions on your own. In addition, Macy teaches you to stand up for your values, while also being open to hearing others’ thoughts.

As a Macy fellow, I found class discussions, guest speakers, leadership assessments, the philosophy of leadership, the Macy faculty pairing, and the Macy mentorship pairing to be extremely beneficial. All these aspects of Macy make it a non-traditional teaching approach where one gains immense knowledge through something highly individualized. It is a form of learning that cannot be obtained in a traditional classroom or lecture-style setting, making it a unique experience that most Drexel students miss out on.

Furthermore, I was able to cross paths with students from different majors who have now become my support system and some of my best friends. Moreover, I have grown most from my mentor, Dr. Kimberly Plotts. We have built a strong relationship that I see lasting well beyond Macy. She sees so much of her younger self in me, which makes me eager to learn more from her. Whether it be school-related or something personal, I know I can always count on her for guidance, advice, support, and encouragement.

Lastly, completing the program means leaving with a Macy family of my own. The Macy Program has improved my leadership skills, allowed me to learn more about myself, provided me resources, and exposed me to what I will see once I enter the real, outside world. It is an unforgettable experience that I will always look back upon and will forever be grateful for everything I gained.

Madeline Rockett

Madi Rockett

I was thrilled to learn about the Macy program the summer before my sophomore year. We were in month five of quarantine, and I was going crazy. I had a lot of free time on my hands to reflect on who I was as a person and who I wanted to be. During this process of self-reflection, my academic advisor emailed me about the Macy program. After reading about the program and the testimonials of past participants, I made it my mission to become a part of it. I have always considered myself to be a natural leader and I’ve held many leadership roles in my life; but when I found this program, I realized that I had never taken the time to formally learn about effective leadership and define who I was as a leader. The Macy program was the first program I came across that was dedicated to leadership development and finding it this early in my life felt like the perfect opportunity. I applied and went through the interview process and am so pleased to have been accepted into the program.

Through the Macy program, I have made huge strides in my development both as a person and a leader, co-created a warm and much-needed community with a group of motivated, amazing women and expanded my knowledge of leadership skills and the experiences of different disciplines in the healthcare field. My cohort and I got close quickly, and we take time at each meeting to catch up with one another and offer support where needed. The professors are amazing and structured the classes with dynamic conversations, informative lectures, diverse guest speakers and challenging and engaging projects.

One of the most important takeaways I’ve gleaned from the program thus far is that in order to be an effective leader, you need to work towards being the best version of yourself. Developing yourself as a person means you are also developing yourself as a leader. I’ve identified strengths and weaknesses that I didn’t even know I had, I’ve set and accomplished goals that I never thought I would, and I’ve dropped negative habits that I thought would stick with me forever. My education through Macy has also bolstered my leadership skills and confidence to push me to start my own student organization at Drexel. I have done more reflecting than ever before in my life, and I’ve learned so much about myself and the kind of leader I am and want to be.

The value of the Macy Program cannot be overstated. Armed with the tools, skills and knowledge I have now, I feel confident taking on leadership roles throughout my career and effectively organizing others in the pursuit of justice, equity, human rights, kindness, openness and growth. In knowing my personal mission and values, I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I will be forever grateful for the Macy program, and hope to return in later years as a mentor to help others on their personal and leadership journeys.

Ishika Sacheva

Ishika Sachdeva

“I was impressed by your performance in my class and think you would be a good candidate for the Macy Program. It is a prestigious and competitive program that trains students for leadership.” Not only was I flattered by the compliment from a professor whom I respect and admire greatly, but I was immediately intrigued by this incredible opportunity.

I never really thought of myself as someone capable of being part of a ‘prestigious’ and ‘competitive’ program—I soon realized this would be the experience that would turn that kind of thinking on its head; one, I am capable, and two, this is a leadership development program. No one expected me to go in knowing what I was doing. I would soon find out that it is the attitude of the professors and my peers in the class that has enabled me to gradually reshape my mindset from this ‘I should’ and ‘I’m supposed to’ thinking, the kind that nearly convinced me not to pursue this unique opportunity, to an ‘I will’ attitude that serves me every day in every endeavor.

This idea that I could gain access to the kind of collaborative environment and focus on interdisciplinary learning promised by the Macy program; it washed over me and drew me in like a receding wave. At first glance, I could tell it was a program that would instill in me the drive and equip me with the knowledge to make lasting and impactful change. The Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program boasts a number of enticing advantages: lasting bonds, the potential to grow, a diverse network, mentorship, teamwork, skill-building, academic discourse, a common interest in taking on and overcoming the many challenges posed by our complex healthcare system. Not only would I get to develop skills to help me reach my personal and professional goals, but I would also be able to enhance my understanding of issues of cultural awareness and racial and social justice.

The Macy program is infused with so many invigorating opportunities. The first order of business was to establish ground rules that would reflect our shared, as well as individual, values and which would underlie how we communicated with one another going forward. Since then, we’ve had all kinds of guest speakers generously share their wisdom with us. Something that sets this program apart from others is that it is built on a four-pillared foundation that is fundamental to, and sets the tone for, its vision. The program itself empowers students to build themselves into admirable leaders from the inside out.

One of the greatest benefits that I have personally derived from the program so far is the mentorship. And this extends beyond the mentor you will eventually be paired with. One of the most impactful aspects of the program is your cohort and your peers. I found in my peers 17 other mentors. Everyone is mutually empowering and uplifting.

From the program, I absolutely expect to derive the ability to continue to nurture my inner lifelong learner. So that once the program is ‘over’, it’s never really over. It’s truly vitalizing to have this amazing opportunity to develop a robust network and forge the lifelong friendships that I know the program has in store for me.

Erin Schubin

Erin Schubin

Without knowing it, individuals in the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program (MULFP) were all around me; strong, driven individuals who I greatly admire. After hearing Dr. Waite, the founder of the program, speak to my class my sophomore year my dream was solidified. In my personal and professional journey, I knew the MULFP was the next step in achieving my goals and growing.

The program has many strengths, including the cohort which has helped me to build a community in the healthcare field. This community has been a wonderful source of strength. The program also presents information in an accessible way, building to create a comprehensive picture of what leadership looks like. It is not the traditional lecture-style classroom. Rather, we are challenged to engage in a unique way with our peers, through speakers and rich group discussions. We are also exposed to a variety of successful professionals such as speakers, faculty advisors, and mentors. All of these high achieving individuals help guide us in solidifying goals, providing support, and monitoring progress.

I have greatly benefitted from all aspects of the program. Mainly, I have seen exponential growth in my confidence, abilities, and the congruency of my authentic self in any given situation. I have always been self-critical, but since joining this program, I am beginning to realize the full span of my capabilities that have been there all along. I have also learned invaluable skills when working in teams to improve efficiency, decision-making, and conflict resolution. My mentor and faculty advisor have both been strong catalysts for my growth. The very first day of class, I could be exactly who I was without judgment. My peers have been full of unconditional love and support that I have returned in kind. My mentor and faculty advisor have continually emphasized transparency, making me comfortable enough to share my baseline and the resulting progress. They both continuously challenge me to continue evolving while providing constructive feedback and raising my morale as needed. My mentor has helped me to pinpoint what I want to do for a career by recommending resources in the respective fields of interest. She has also provided resources to build a stronger foundation for becoming a social activist. My experiences have been invaluable in becoming a well-rounded individual.

The Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program has helped me to evolve both personally and professionally. I am better equipped to achieve my occupational goals and live a more fruitful life, where I can freely speak my mind. I am also prepared to take on more team responsibilities as a constructive member and leader. I truly believe I will stay in contact with both my faculty advisor and mentor with the partnership we have developed throughout the past couple terms. I also believe I have developed friendships with my cohort that will last beyond the end of the program. These experiences will certainly stay with me.

Tran MinhTrang Tran

One day in my health services administration class, Dr. Waite walked in with her inspiring spirit and positive and uplifting vibe that just causes so much excitement. Her introduction of the Macy’s program—how the courses are organized and the opportunities that come with a classroom are full of experts in leadership—intrigued me. The experiences in these interactive classes would provide so much applied knowledge from peers and mentors and lend opportunities to transform my weakness in leadership to a strength. I missed the deadline to apply in my sophomore year, but I’m grateful to have this chance now.

By joining the Macy Program, I would be given access to the necessary tools and resources, like professional skills and network development and mentors who would advise me on what I need to be successful.

I do not consider myself a strong, confident person who is bold and has the courage to always speak my mind. In reflecting on my strengths and weaknesses, I know I am a good listener and encourage others to speak their minds then insert my personal thoughts later. I am not the person who initiates discussion or raises issues for a debate, however, I am building up my self-confidence through peer interaction and mentorship. My mentor, Dr. Rashidah, has helped me to believe in myself. She has taught me to express my confidence outwardly and not afraid to speak up my mind. I value Dr. Rashidah as a teacher to me, a friend and a companion on my developmental journey.

I love this class and the ability to interact with real people. I love our conversations, the issues we discuss and the chance to face challenges expanding my comfort zones. I am committed to this class because I want to improve and challenge myself. I am sad that this term is online and did not see the fellows on campus, but I still got valuable knowledge and shared experiences. Through reflection and constructive feedback from the participants of the program, I have grown and matured. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a better leader, to be an excellent healthcare professional.

Maya Wold headshot

Maya Wold

Leadership drives healthcare workers, and there are very few opportunities in one’s undergraduate education where students can develop their skills prior to entering the field. The Macy Fellows program prepares the next generation of leaders before entering the healthcare field through mentoring, skill development, team building and education.

The Macy program helps students become stronger and more successful future healthcare workers. Every Macy fellow’s studies will be put into practice, leaving lasting and unbelievable lifetime benefits. The combined effect of mentorship, building relationships, social justice discussions, growth of leadership skills and real-world application ultimately shapes and prepares prospective healthcare workers in just three quarters.

I first learned about the Macy program when my professor, Dr. Ebony White, encouraged me to apply. At first, I didn’t think that I was going to apply, but I did some research and spoke to leaders and mentors I look up to who are involved in the program. As a person of color, I was interested in social justice and working with diverse groups of people, which are both elements that the program emphasizes. I wanted to know more, and I wanted to be just like them someday as a future behavioral health counselor, which is what led me to apply.

The Macy program is like no other because it focuses so much on personal growth, problem solving and how it relates to one’s future as a healthcare worker. A significant strength of the program is that it recognizes problems and finds solutions. I struggled with the extreme barrier of low self-confidence, and it was through Macy that I was able to track my personal growth through the work that I was doing in class. Due to the unique strengths of the program, I improved my self-confidence, have determined a more direct path of where I would like to go within my field and created lasting bonds and relationships with healthcare professionals and classmates that will benefit me for the rest of my life. The Macy program provides each fellow with undivided one on one consultation, allowing the student to focus on themselves and their direct growth, while also working in a group setting.

Faculty, classmates and everyone involved in the program felt like family, while each relationship differs from the other. With faculty and others associated in the program, I feel extremely supported and cared for. I have developed bonds with professionals and professors, which will help me in the long run. With my classmates, I have developed such strong friendships that I never thought were possible, and I have found a diverse group of individuals that I can relate to, as we are all in the same boat.

I expect to derive long-term benefits such as improved confidence, stronger leadership skills, stronger awareness skills, lasting relationships with those involved in the program, and connections throughout the healthcare field. I feel incredibly grateful to have grown so significantly from this program. I feel excited, capable and confident about my future in the healthcare profession.