For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Drexel College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board

The College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board consists of motivated undergraduate students who serve as liaisons between the student body and College administration. Representing all majors in the College, SAB members share their Drexel experiences with prospective students, assist with marketing and communication efforts, advocate for student interests and provide valuable feedback on College initiatives.

Meet the Student Advisory Board

Sylvie Cherry, BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics ’20

 sac466@drexel.edu

Hometown: Jenkintown, PA

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
College is a learning opportunity that goes beyond theoretical knowledge from coursework, studying, and time management strategies. Every single day, you will learn something new about the world and about yourself. Remember, learning is not failure. Trying an alternate path is not failure. From the first time you get on the wrong bus or train, to when you inevitably lock yourself out of your dorm, you are not failing. You are learning. Learning of any kind requires commitment and repetition. Whether it be finding a club that thoroughly interests you, or tackling college-level chemistry for the first time, persevere. I even tried a new school, and I learned which university is right for me. I did not fail; I learned, and so will you.

Learn more about Sylvie

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
When I first arrived at Drexel, I walked up and down Market Street, hopelessly lost as I attempted to locate my first class. I finally decided to walk into a random building and hope for the best. From the security guards who I spent several minutes conversing with, to the total stranger who walked me all the way to my class despite it being out of her way, I felt welcomed to the Drexel community from day one. Drexel’s incredible academic and professional experiences are exponentially enriched by a community dedicated to connection, mutual respect, and engagement with the local and greater community.

Which of your Drexel experiences so far have been most meaningful to you?
One experience I have had that embodies my Drexel experience was when I initiated a qualitative research project involving student outreach and participation. When I reached out to my peers and members of the Student Life administration, I was met with responses that portrayed the openness and willingness to assist students succeed in their endeavors, that I had already encountered throughout my brief time at Drexel. These interviewees offered honest and thorough answers to my inquiries and showed an eagerness to help make my project as successful as possible. This exemplified the fundamental principles of innovation, civic engagement, and experiential learning that Drexel upholds, creating concrete actions from collaboration.

Nicole Clifford, BA History '23Nicole Clifford, BA History ’23

 nec58@drexel.edu

Hometown: Brookeville, MD
Extracurricular activities: Arts and Entertainment Writer, The Triangle

Where is your favorite place on campus?
I always love working in the Quad when it's warm outside, or inside the LeBow Starbucks if it's cold. It's one of the busier parts of campus, but it always feels peaceful.

Learn more about Nicole

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
Everyone I've met at Drexel incredibly passionate about their interests, whatever they might be. It's so rewarding to be part of a community where everyone is driven and truly cares about what they do. I value the connections I have made and will continue to make with students, professors and faculty. There is an enormous amount of support available for me as I define and pursue my academic goals.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
My favorite restaurant on campus the Kung Fu Tea in University Crossings. I'm always looking for a new place to fuel my caffeine addiction, and it's a great place to hang out with friends and grab a snack between classes.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
The college application process can feel like a competition — trying to have the most competitive SAT scores, writing the most polished essay, getting into the most prestigious school — but it should really be about exploration. Choosing a college is about finding a place where you see yourself being happy for the next four-plus years. When all is said and done, what matters most is finding colleges where you can see yourself as part of the community, where you can find resources to help you pursue your goals, and where you feel encouraged to explore new ideas.

Nickolas Giardetti, BS Physics ’21 Nickolas Giardetti, BS Physics ’21

 njg67@drexel.edu

Hometown: Horsham, PA
Extracurricular activities: Society of Physics Students; STEM Retention Peer Mentor; Tutor, Math Resource Center Tutor

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Think about the outside of class opportunities, not just the coursework or school prestige. Also, once you get into classes, build the professors’ office hours into your schedule; they are invaluable, underutilized services.

Learn more about Nick

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
Academically, the coop system. Non-academically, living in Philadelphia and being on campus.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
Drexel Park or Cira Green

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
Happy Sunshine Truck at 33rd and Arch!

Drexel Student Hana GraybillHana Graybill, BA Communication ’21

 heg37@drexel.edu

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Hana Graybill, and I am from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. I am studying communication on the three year, five co‐op plan. I’m passionate about helping others and volunteering. I love spending time with my family and friends, eating good food, and going to the beach.

Learn more about Hana

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
Gamma Sigma Sigma, a service sorority (lots of volunteering!). I also love going to yoga classes at Tuck Barre & Yoga, a studio near campus.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing about being a student at Drexel is the experience I am gaining. Through my co‐ops and my involvement on campus, I am constantly strengthening my professional skills while learning so much about myself. Drexel pushes you to be the best that you can be and to figure out where your interests lie, and I love that about this university.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
Other than my bed, Ross Commons! Such a cozy spot to study, and you can walk downstairs and grab food from Sabrina’s if you get hungry.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
Oh, there are so many! Restaurants: Lolita, Giuseppe & Son’s, Bud & Marilyn’s, Bistro Romano; Food Truck: Pete's Little Lunch Box

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Drexel isn't for everyone. You have to be prepared for the fast‐paced quarter system and willing to give up your summers for co‐op. But both Drexel and the city of Philadelphia place countless opportunities at your fingertips, from great food to intriguing museums and awesome concerts — not to mention some of the most sought‐after employers in the world. If you are ready for those major components and excited to explore our neighborhood, Drexel is the perfect place for you.

Emily Greberman, BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics ’20

 erg59@drexel.edu

Hometown: Lafayette Hill, PA

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
I would advise them to look at how much a University and its professors can offer them. Obviously, a student spends much of their time proving to the school that they belong there, but the student needs to remember to look at what that school can give THEM. Drexel presented me with endless opportunities, and that is why I was so attracted to it.

Learn more about Emily

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing about being a student at Drexel is absolutely engaging with the genuine people on this campus and the Philadelphia community. Whether it is faculty or students, everyone is extremely personable, always willing to help, and always willing to grab a coffee and wanting to catch up about life.

Which of your Drexel experiences so far have been most meaningful to you?
Definitely my Community-Based Learning classes. These classes helped to put my field and the world into a proper perspective that now allows me to tackle research with a hands-on approach because I have been a firsthand witness of how policies impact people — especially within the world of crime and the criminal justice system.

Hannah Johnson, BS Biological Science '21Hannah Johnson, BA Biological Sciences ’21

 hsj27@drexel.edu

Hometown: Eldersburg, MD
Minors: Writing and Communication

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
My favorite has to be the halal food trucks on campus because they are super convenient and a staple for Drexel students. If you’re going for a halal truck you have to pick the one outside of the DAC on 33rd and Market because it’s one of the only trucks on campus that serve Diet Coke, which is a must!

Learn more about Hannah

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
Being in Philadelphia. Coming from a small rural town in Maryland, I only applied to city schools in Baltimore, D.C. and Philadelphia. I had never been to Philly before coming to Drexel, so I wasn’t sure if I would like the environment and culture of Philly as much as I like Baltimore and D.C. I arrived at Drexel on Admitted Students’ Day in 2017 and fell in love with the city and the college as one unit. I love how Drexel is so integrated into the life of Philadelphia and doesn’t shy away from the city, but instead embraces it as part of the university culture.

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I am a member of a handful of organizations at Drexel. An organization that really defines my Drexel experience would be the Frances Velay Fellowship program through the Office of Undergraduate Research. The program allows undergraduate women to complete a term-long research experience, raise awareness of current issues for women in STEM, and engage in networking opportunities and mentorship events led by females in the STEM industry. In addition to Velay, I also like to present in Nerd Night presentations with the Undergraduate Research Leaders and I am working with the Postdoc Association at DUCOM to form a connection between undergraduate interested in research and postdocs in need of volunteer researchers.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
I have a lot of favorite places on campus and in the past two years, I have been able to define the perfect corners of campus for studying, work meetings and catching up with friends. If I had to choose my favorite place on campus, I would say the benches by the Mario statue. You can spend an afternoon reading a book or writing an essay and witness the integration of Drexel into the city of Philadelphia. Depending on the time of year, you'll find prospective students taking their first picture with Mario to mark the beginning of their college career, graduates throwing their caps up to Mario’s head while standing next to friends who became their family over the past four years, and people of Philadelphia headed to the trolley or Market-Frankford line on their way to work. The area around the Mario statue is always busy and bustling, much like both Philly and Drexel.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
I would say it is crucial that they experience the campus before applying. When I was applying to college, I was so focused on the numbers and statistics (of both the college and my own academic credentials) that I only cared about what a school looked like on paper. When I got into Drexel and attended an Admitted Students’ Day, I soon realized that colleges were much more than facts. If you love the area and the environment, success and passion will come much easier to you. Be sure to go to a school that constantly motivates you to do your best, in classes and in growing your career.

Drexel Student Samantha JohnsonSamantha Johnson, BA English ’21

 snj46@drexel.edu

Concentration: Literary Studies
Extracurricular activities: o Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity; Multicultural Greek Council; Lindy Scholars Program Advisor; Newman Civic Fellowship; Society of Collegiate Leadership and Achievement; National Society of Collegiate Scholars

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Brooklyn, New York, but I was raised in Edison, New Jersey. I enjoy running, almost all types of literature and having fun with my friends. After college, I hope to become an editor and to publish my own novel.

Learn more about Samantha

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
I love the city-suburban vibe Drexel has. There’s so much to do both on and off-campus, and when it comes to Drexel, you will never stop finding new adventures.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
Probably the Korman Quad and Center. With the new upgrades to the building and to the Quad, it’s become a very relaxing space to study, host events, and hang out with friends.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
My favorite restaurant right now is El Taco (33rd & Powelton). The food is amazing, the ambiance is so nice, and it’s close to home as well!

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Whether you’re interested in the arts, humanities, STEM, business or the medical field, Drexel has a place for you. Aside from all the different colleges and majors, Drexel has so many organizations to choose from. This is a school where you really have to try to be bored, so let that be your motivator to explore all that you can, and then some!

Sean McClellan, BS Criminology & Justice Studies '21Sean McClellan, BS Criminology & Justice Studies ’21

 smm637@drexel.edu

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Minors: Justice Informatics
Extracurricular activities: President, Drexel Criminal Justice Society; President; Drexel’s chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society; Volunteer, Dornsife Center for Community Partnerships; Intramural Football and Basketball such as community meetings and planning for a new West Philadelphia Community Center.

Learn more about Sean

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing about being a Drexel student is living in Philadelphia. I have lived here my whole life, my family lives here, and I can still hop on the subway and get to the stadiums and watch my favorite teams. I am beyond excited for my upcoming co-op experience as I will try to get an internship for a federal agency and work in Philadelphia because Philadelphia is my home, and I want to make a difference here. Completing my education at Drexel puts me in a great position to do so.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
My favorite place to eat in Philly is Dalessandro’s. They easily have the best cheesesteak in the city, but it’s in Roxborough, which is a little bit of a hike from campus. However, if you can uber or carpool, it is definitely worth it!

Where is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is Lancaster Walk. It can be a little hectic being in the city at times, especially when classes are in session, but Lancaster Walk is somewhere where everyone can relax. Seeing students sit down underneath the trees, hanging out in the sun, or even laying in hammocks gives our campus a well-rounded feel for those of us who need a little escape from city life. I always walk the long way to class to make sure I can cut through Lancaster Walk.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
The advice that I always give prospective students during panel events or open houses is to be open minded. Not every student gets accepted to their number-one choice, but many end up feeling like their former favorite would not be as good of a fit once they settle in at their school. I always mention that students should trust their gut feeling and make their decision based on how they feel when they are on campus. College is more than academics, and feeling comfortable and happy with their decision is just as important as the decision itself.

Kshitij Kayastha, BA Mathematics ’20

 kk985@drexel.edu

Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Visiting the school that you would like to go to, and meeting student ambassadors that can share their college experience, might be the best way to get a peek into college life. In my experience, talking to people and listening to their experiences is the best way to gain insight about college. Once you have been accepted into college, my best advice is to keep an open mindset, as you will meet diverse people with varying beliefs.

Learn more about Kshitij

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
Co-op. As an international student, being able to work while studying gave me perspective on corporate America. I was able to develop lasting relationships with employers and gain invaluable experience in my field. I would not have been able to get this experience had I not come to Drexel. Secondly, I like the diverse student population. Drexel has an extremely diverse population, and I have been able to take this opportunity to make friends from various backgrounds. I have been able to gain insight into various cultures in and outside of America, and that is something I deeply value, as each culture has taught me something.

Which of your Drexel experiences so far have been most meaningful to you?
During my freshmen year, I was enrolled in an English course in which the professor discussed mindfulness and self-reflection. We were asked to meditate for five minutes at the beginning of the class. This experience was extremely helpful, as it helped me develop the habit of reflecting on the decisions that I had made, and their consequences. This habit has been key to my development, as I have been able to slow myself down and think about the benefits and consequences of taking a certain decision. This experience opened a new facet of my life that has brought a great deal of positivity in my daily life.

Uswa Mutaal, BA Political Science & BS Economics '23Uswa Mutaal, BA Political Science & BS Economics ’23

 um37@drexel.edu

Hometown: Lahore, Pakistan
Extracurricular activities: Students Tacking Advanced Research (STAR) scholar; Vice President, Drexel Student Power Network; Senior Editor, HerCampus Drexel; Research Assistant, Department of Politics; Mock Trial Team; Leader, Civic Engagement Committees; Event Coordinator, Dragons for UNICEF.

Learn more about Uswa

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
I love that Drexel students are “real” — as simple as that! No matter what college, major or year they may belong to, Drexel students have a highly realistic outlook towards their academic, career and personal goals. I believe that this trait must be attributed to co-op, civic engagement opportunities and community-based classes that immerse students into the workings of real life professional and cultural scenarios, so early in their academic careers. There is a certain kind of endearing thoughtfulness and inclusivity that comes as a result of it.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
Ross Commons has to be my favorite place on campus. The stairway may creak with every step you take; the air conditioning may only be partially functional and being there might rob me of every ounce of self-control to stop myself from overspending on chocolate at the vending machine. However, amidst the corporate grandeur of buildings like LeBow and the historical splendor of buildings like the Main, the massive couches, the patterned rugs and the antique side tables at Ross remind me of home.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
My go-to place is Savas for when I'm craving comfort food.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Join a club with the most absurd mission statement! Take a dance class! Study abroad for a term and come back with an accent! The point being, come to college willing to take risks. There are so many academic, professional and student life resources to gain from, within and outside of your area of study. Don’t limit yourself too soon. Instead, dive in with an open heart and mind.

Marisa Panichelli, BA Mathematics '20Marisa Panichelli, BA Mathematics ’20

 mp3267@drexel.edu

Hometown: Clifton Park, NY

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
My biggest fears when applying to Drexel was that five years was a long time to get my degree. However, in those five years, I’ve made some of my closest friends and have been able to gain more experience than several of my friends at different schools. My biggest advice is to not let the number of years it takes to complete a degree discourage anyone from applying. It was the best decision I could’ve made. Another piece of advice I would give is to be confident in yourself when applying to colleges. Currently, I am applying to vet schools, and looking at the statistics of the schools is nerve-racking. However, I am confident in myself and in the applications I am sending out.That has made the process of applying a lot less stressful.

Learn more about Marisa

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing about being a student at Drexel is the preparedness I feel for a life outside of a school setting. I feel prepared to work a full time job and live on my own. As I live year round on Drexel’s campus, I learned how to be independent here and act like an adult. Similarly, I have been able to make lifelong connections at Drexel. The chemistry program is a small group and I have made some of my closest friends within my major. With the degree I chose, the co-op program has allowed me to gain more experience in my five years than I could’ve elsewhere. I have wanted to attend vet school since I was eight, and between the co-op experience and fast paced classes, I feel prepared to tackle this next part of my life as I apply to them.

Which of your Drexel experiences so far have been most meaningful to you?
The co-op experience has been the most meaningful, along with the club that I run.

Maya Showell, BS/MS Psychology '21Maya Showell, BS/MS Psychology ’21

 mes482@drexel.edu

Hometown: Yeadon, PA
Minors: Neuroscience and Spanish
Extracurricular activities: Research Assistant, Department of Psychology’s Applied Neuro-Technologies Lab; Event Coordinator, Drexel Special Olympics Student Organization; Singer, the Trebelmakers, Drexel’s premier all-female a capella group; Spanish tutor; Psi Chi Honor Society; Students of Color in Psychology; Salonistas, a new club aimed to aid students in the Spanish language

Learn more about Maya

Where is your favorite place on campus?
During the early fall and spring season, my favorite place to be on campus is on the grass in the main quad between LeBow and Stratton Hall. It is so pleasant to be outside with fellow students and get some work done. For some reason, it seems so much more relaxing to do work outside than inside a classroom. Just do not forget to charge your electronics before you do.

During winter, I tend to spend a lot of time in the Creese Student Center, particularly the open section by the dance studio. It is usually a more quiet spot, even though there is almost always people walking through. And since it is right outside the dance and piano studios, it is nice to listen to music while you work.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
The networking opportunities. One of the best things about Drexel is that as a student, you have access to some of the most brilliant minds in their respective fields. If you are interested in a topic or area, there is a faculty member or fellow student who can and is willing to aid you. For example, recently, I had the opportunity to observe and train in Transcranial Magnetic Brain Stimulation at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation and at the University of Pennsylvania’s psychology department. This happened because a recent Drexel graduate is working on her dissertation that using TMS; she heard that I was interested in learning about it, so she invited me to observe her study in action!

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
I am such a foodie at heart so this is a difficult decision, but I will say my favorite restaurant in Philadelphia is Mission Taqueria. The environment is retro and unique in that it always feels laid back, whether it is busy or calm, and the food never lets me down.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
My advice is to be open to opportunities that you may not have thought about initially. During my college search, Drexel was not initially a choice that I took seriously. I am from the Philadelphia area, so it made sense to apply to some universities in Philadelphia. Once I was accepted, Drexel was the last admitted students’ day I attended before decision day. I walked the campus and visited the psychology department. When I decided to come to Drexel, it surprised both me and my parents. Just because something comes as a surprise does not mean it is wrong. It just means you have tapped into a new discovery. Keep your options open and if you interested, look at it. You can learn a lot.

Zachary Smith, BA Environmental Science ’20

 zjs38@drexel.edu

Hometown: Clarks Summit, PA

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
The biggest bit of advice I would give to a prospective student is to not care what others think and go for what they want. I was very reserved coming into college and in my first term, then I realized that by holding back my desires, I would never achieve my goals. I then decided to stop caring what others think and to work towards my goals and desires wholly. Whether it is trying to get into a lab or getting a grant as an undergrad, you have nothing to lose and not trying will only mean you have a 100% chance of not getting it. Sometimes you may feel uncomfortable, but it is important to embrace it and jump after what you want no matter what.

Learn more about Zachary

Another piece of advice I would give is to be confident in yourself when applying to colleges. Currently, I am applying to vet schools, and looking at the statistics of the schools is nerve-racking. However, I am confident in myself and in the applications I am sending out.That has made the process of applying a lot less stressful.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing is the ability to make the experience exactly what I want. There is so much freedom to customize your college experience, and there is a ton of support for students along the way. I think Drexel’s location, research designation, size and academic style really play into this ability to be flexible.

Which of your Drexel experiences so far have been most meaningful to you?
My STAR Scholar experience in Cuba really helped me realize that I want to do environmental research for the rest of my life. It also gave me a new perspective I carry with me every day. In addition to this, my experience as a BEES student has been very meaningful. The BEES department is small and such a strong community of people who are welcoming and care for each other. Being a student in that department has allowed me to challenge myself and access resources to supplement my educations most other students can’t.

Gracie Sobalvarro, BA Sociology ’20

 grs64@drexel.edu

Hometown: Long Island, NY

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Try not to get overwhelmed! It is a huge change, especially for first-generation students or those who never thought college was an opportunity for them. You should be proud of yourself for even applying! Ultimately, you will have to make decisions that feel right for you; pick a major that truly speaks to the impact you wish to have on the world. That decision alone will allow you to enjoy college much more. Also, be brave! Apply for any opportunities you think sound interesting, even if it seems far fetched. Make as many friends as you can, talk to your professors, and get involved!

Learn more about Gracie

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
I love that Drexel is so dedicated to community involvement and true socially conscious education. I have learned so much from the amazing conversations I have had with my professors and the staff at the Lindy Center. The facility is so open to having honest conversations and continuing to learn alongside the students. I enjoy that my knowledge and thoughts are always truly listened to and acknowledged. Drexel creates space for so many different types of people and experiences, which I find so incredible.

Which of your Drexel experiences so far have been most meaningful to you?
My Drexel Community Scholar position I began freshman year allowed me to become an administrative assistant at the nonprofit U.S. Dream Academy in South Philadelphia. I have now been there for over three years, and it has been the greatest experience of my life. It made me change my major, better understand the criminal justice system and education system — and also, has been so much fun. Being able to represent Drexel outside of the campus, and giving the kids an example of what my college life has been like, has been wonderful.

Abigail Young, BA Global Studies ’20

 ajy44@drexel.edu

Hometown: Cary, NC

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
My best piece of advice is to listen to your gut, and don’t settle or take no for an answer. I think students’ dreams and goals are all too often squashed because they don’t follow the “usual” track. Don’t let this inhibit you from pursuing what you want. It’s important to choose the college that feels the best, not necessarily the one that looks best on paper; choose the college that tells you “We can make that work,” when you state what you may want to do.

Learn more about Abigail

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
Though the Drexel community has very little cohesiveness, there’s a major sense of camaraderie in that fact. I find it fun to run into a friend from class and hear that they traveled for an intensive course for five weeks or worked for their top choice co-op. Then, I would share that I hosted a guest speaker for a club I’m passionate about or engaged in research with our favorite professor. It’s a weird school in a lot of ways, but the grind, motivation and the ambition of my peers is probably my favorite part of being a student at Drexel.

Which of your Drexel experiences so far have been most meaningful to you?
My time abroad with Drexel’s intensive courses abroad have been the most meaningful; the ability squeeze in time abroad means a lot to me. The level of learning that these experiences provided me with, as well as the connections I fostered with other Drexel students, is something I’m really thankful for and that has stuck with me throughout my time here.