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Past Members

Drexel Student Nick Barber

Nick Barber, BS Geoscience ’18

Board Member: 2017-2018

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a senior geoscience student from Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. I am an active student researcher, whose work has mainly concerned the study of volcanoes, or volcanology. I am also an avid reader, and I like to unwind after a long day by playing with my pet rabbit.

Learn more about Nick

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
Drexel Undergraduate Research Leaders, Drexel Fellowship Ambassadors, Paleontology and Geology Club of Drexel University.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
I think I've come to like the fast pace of both academics and research. With everything running on a 10-week schedule, it means there is always something new happening. I get antsy if I'm not able to learn something new, or if I don't have something to work on, so the turnover with new classes makes for a really exciting academic experience. I think that same fast pace finds its way into research, where the frenetic pace of classes makes for a difficult but rewarding balancing act with research. I think the structure of Drexel's education has made me prepared to take on the fast‐paced and challenging world of graduate research.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
My lab, the Drexel Lava Lab, located in PISB 504. It's a quiet, secluded space where I can work alongside geoscience graduate students doing research. It's also cozy, warm, and gets a lot of sunlight — making it a great place to unwind and pick the brains of graduate students.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
I have eaten at many restaurants, and none has come close to matching Sabrina's in University City for quality. I will sorely miss their food when I move away this fall.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
The advice I always offer is to seek out opportunities that interest you. That sounds like a no‐brainer, but I've found that people don't always leverage Drexel's incredibly useful resources to the fullest. I have worked heavily with the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Center for Scholar Development, and the Study Abroad Office, to name a few, to create opportunities for myself and to find ways to make my goals achievable. All of these great academic and professional resources exist to help students, so I would say don't be afraid to schedule a meeting and see what is out there. On that note, if you are passionate about research or scholarship, don't be afraid to jump into the unknown.

Drexel Political Science Student John BrooksJohn Brooks, BA Political Science ’19

Board Member: 2018-2019

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I am a member of Commuter Student Resources, The Drexel Philosophy Club, Drexel Triathlon Team, and the Drexel Veterans Association. I am also in the Honors College program.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
I enjoy the Honors College events and discussions.

Learn more about John

Where is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place is probably the Daskalakis Swimming Pool.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
My favorite restaurant is Morimoto. It is a Japanese restaurant at 7th and Chestnut.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
I would advise them to seek as many experiences and new opportunities as are available to them. You may find that you are not interested in all of them, but you will never know if you remain afraid to put yourself out there.

Drexel Student Sandy DingSandy Ding, BS Psychology ’19

Board Member: 2017-2019

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a junior psychology major with a minor in information systems.

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I'm involved in the Community Student Association, which is dedicated to providing programming for commuter and off-campus students. I'm also involved in the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement as a teaching assistant for CIVIC 101, the first-year civic engagement course.

Learn more about Sandy

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
You can explore your interests through research and interdisciplinary study. The co‐op opportunities are great; I can explore careers in fields within and outside of my major. There's no limit to what you can do.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
The Quad

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
Manakeesh Café on the corner of 45th and Walnut

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Take advantage of all the opportunities you have and make use of the resources offered!

Drexel Student Emily HarknessEmily Harkness, BS Physics ’20

Board Member: 2017-2018

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Emily Harkness and I'm a fourth year physics major at Drexel University. I'm primarily interested in biophysics and medical physics, the former being my research area for co‐op, but I love studying all types of physics! Beyond my academic interests, I love singing and have been a part of the Drexel TrebleMakers, an all‐female a cappella group, since I came to Drexel. I also enjoy reading, playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends and playing with my cat.

Learn more about Emily

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I'm a member of both the Women in Physics Society and the Society of Physics Students. I am also the public relations chair for the Drexel TrebleMakers.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing about being a student here is the community. I have found a variety of communities at Drexel, large and small, that are so incredibly supportive. I've made life‐long friends and found groups of people that support me through so much. I truly think that anyone can find a community at Drexel that they love.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
When it's cold out, I love to sit in the Main building. It's so peaceful early in the morning, it's plenty warm, and I love sitting on a bench with a breakfast sandwich and a coffee to start my day. When it's warm, I like to sit out on Lancaster Walk. There's always so much activity during the spring and summer — it's so fun!

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
My favorite restaurant in Philly is Vedge, but it's really expensive! I only go there once in a blue moon when my parents are paying. My favorite food truck is probably H&J in food truck alley; they make eggplant parmesan!

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Whenever I meet with prospective students, I advise them to keep an open mind and do what feels right to them. Obviously, I would love to have many bright students in my program, but I also want them to find the right fit for their post‐secondary experience. I also notice that a lot of prospective students come in with assumptions about Drexel or our programs before coming here, so I advise them to keep an open mind so they can see what it's truly like. This way they can make an informed, honest decision.

Yih-Chia LamYih-Chia Lam, BS Criminology and Justice Studies ’19

Board Member: 2017-2019

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, I'm Yih-Chia (pronounced as E-Chia — yup, like the Chia pet). I'm a first-generation Chinese American (你好!), so I speak Mandarin at home with my parents. My major is in criminology and justice studies, and my minors are in neuroscience and writing. I'm graduating with the class of 2019. In my free time, I like to sleep. I also like to read random things online.

Learn more about Yih-Chia

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
On campus, I'm part of the Criminal Justice Society, which is a student-run club that welcomes anyone who is interested in criminology and criminal justice. The CJ Society hosts amazing guest speakers who often give presentations detailing cases they've worked on. So far we've hosted a Special Agent from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), officers from the Philadelphia Police Department of Gang Intelligence, and a forensic psychologist — to name a few. I encourage anyone who is interested to attend! Details are on DragonLink under the Drexel Criminal Justice Society. I'm also a student research volunteer for the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, which facilitates criminal record expungements to increase employment opportunities for those reentering society. Off campus, I help out at the Philabundance Hunger Relief Center near the sports stadiums, packing food boxes for distribution to those in need. I also practice Tang Soo Do karate with Amkor Karate Institute out in the suburbs when I have the time (which is never).

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing about being a student at Drexel is the sheer number of international opportunities at our fingertips. Want to study abroad but don't want to uproot your life for half a year? You can easily enroll in an Intensive Course Abroad, which is a ten-day trip over either winter or spring break. Some trips don't even have major requirements, so as long as you pass a casual interview letting the professor know you aren't a serial killer, you're good to go! Don't even worry about not knowing anyone else on the trip. During my first winter as a criminology student, I went on an ICA to Scandinavia with a professor and four other students I had never met before and everything turned out fine.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is the Rush Alumni Garden near the College of Computing and Informatics. There are a couple of tables with outlets, a fountain in the corner, and a ton of squirrels and birds to watch if you're ever bored. It's the best place to sequester yourself when you need some peace and quiet.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
I'm a huge fan of the food truck Cucina Zapata, located between Main and the CAT Building. I would kill a man for their curry.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Don't be afraid to make decisions that deviate from your original plan of study. I actually switched to criminology from another major. I was miserable during my first year at Drexel. Courses felt overwhelming and I felt isolated, despite making friends and joining clubs on campus. After meeting with a career adviser and sitting in on a few criminology classes, I decided to change my major, and I haven't regretted it since.

Drexel Student Maegan MadrigalMaegan Madrigal, BA History ’19

Board Member: 2017-2019

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Maegan and I am originally from Los Angeles, California. I sometimes go by Mae. I am a senior majoring in history with minors in politics and sociology.

Learn more about Maegan

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I am currently an RA, Vice President of Administration of Panhellenic Council, Treasurer of Biddle Law Society and a member of Tri Sigma Sorority.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing is just the overall atmosphere. Everyone is so motivated and there’s always a chance you’ll meet some incredible people here. The fact that Drexel is basically in the middle of Philadelphia just makes it better.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
I love Main Building. It’s so full of history and there’s always an open spot to study (or nap) between classes.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
I love El Rey on 20th and Chestnut. It’s great Mexican food and reminds me of home.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Plan ahead! Plan your class schedules a quarter (or two) ahead. That way you remain on track, and it’s easier to see which study abroad programs work with your schedule.

Drexel Physics Student Bee MartinBee Martin, BS Physics ’20

Board Member: 2018-2019

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I'm the president of the Society of Physics Students, Drexel University Chapter.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
I love living in Philadelphia and having access to all that entails. Being able to travel on foot or by public transit wherever I need to go is extremely useful to me.

Learn more about Bee

Where is your favorite place on campus?
I quite like the Korman Quad. There's a lot of nice green space there.

What is your favorite food truck/restaurant in Philly?
My favorite restaurant in Philly is El Rey over on Chestnut.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Give greater consideration to the type of environment you want to learn in. Living in the city has been a really positive experience for me and has had an even greater effect than academics in my happiness here. Choosing the right major is important, but most of my friends have changed majors at least once, so it's not the be-all end-all of things.

Lindsay Morrissey, Global Studies student at Drexel UniversityLindsay Morrissey, BA Global Studies ’19

Board Member: 2017-2019

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
Pennoni Honors College, Lindy Scholars Adviser, Student Philanthropy Council, Welcome Center Staff at Drexel Rec Center, Formerly a member of Delta Zeta Sorority

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
The Co-op and quarter schedule, the diversity of the students, and the campus being located within walking distance to Center City - plus it has a great view of the skyline!

Learn more about Lindsay

Where is your favorite place on campus?
It's a tie between the Drexel Rec Center, Main Building and Lebow Hall

What is your favorite food truck/restaurant in Philly?
My favorite food truck is Happy Sunshine!

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
To be involved in student/campus activities as much as possible so you can meet people and make connections for your professional career. Don't be afraid to try new minors and classes. It's okay if you change majors a few times. Branch out as much as possible to find your niche.

Drexel Student Dakota PetersonDakota Peterson, BA Political Science ’18

Board Member: 2017-2018

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in heart of Denver, Colorado. While I loved the camping, backpacking, skiing, hiking and outdoor lifestyle that came along with growing up in Denver, much of my life revolved around soccer. Whether it was 5 a.m. personal training before school or games on the weekends, I was playing soccer constantly. This commitment to the game developed a drive and desire to push myself that would eventually translate into my education. During my sophomore year of college, I took my first real steps away from soccer, developed new interests and shifted my focus towards politics. Since then, I have developed a keen interest in international relations and found a path forward that I am excited to pursue, putting the unique skills I have learned at Drexel into practice.

Learn more about Dakota

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I was on the men's soccer team and spent some time in the Drexel Socialist organization and the NAACP. I am part of the Drexel Leadership Academy and the SAAC student‐athlete representatives body.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
The connections and networks I have made are by far the most important thing to me as a Drexel student. Whether it is the connections I have made with friends or the relationships I have built with my teachers and faculty within the school, these ties and the effects they have had on what I want to do after college is what will be the most influential part of my time at Drexel. Further, being in the city is one of my other favorite aspects of Drexel.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
I like LeBow because it has a lot of foot traffic but can also be a good place to study. Another place I like is Ross Commons because of the good vibes and pool tables.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
I do not know the food trucks too well, but I like Pete’s. As for restaurants in Philly, one of my favorites is Jamonera, which serves tapas in Center City.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Life at Drexel is unique with the quarter system and added co‐op experience. But for a prospective student at Drexel, I think the most important thing to understand and really take to heart is that the university has an incredible amount of opportunities for students, as long as they are willing to seek them out. It wasn't really until my junior year that I was able to tap into some of the unique opportunities within Drexel, and it was only because I didn't know about them and I didn’t know to look for them. The best thing you can do is ask your teachers for guidance on who to talk to about opportunities, look up organizations and schedule meetings with people within the university.

Drexel Student Ashley Phetsanthad

Ashley Phetsanthad, BS + MS Chemistry ’18

Board Member: 2017-2018

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm a senior in Drexel’s BS + MS program pursuing a BS in Chemistry and an MS in Analytical Chemistry. My experiences conducting research in the lab have led me to pursue a PhD in Analytical Chemistry starting next fall. Outside of school, I like to go on calming motorcycle rides and spend my free moments binge watching TV shows.

Learn more about Ashley

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I have been a member of Drexel's American Chemical Society since my freshman year, and spent two years as an officer. I've also represented the chemistry department at CoAS open houses for three years now.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
Drexel gave me so many experiences and opportunities that I would not have gotten from another university. The co-op program provides invaluable experience; the real-world applications and lessons learned in my co-ops taught me a lot about my field and interests.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
I love Lancaster Walk behind the rec center. On a nice day, I like to hang my hammock up on two trees and take a nap, listen to music, do homework, or hang out with friends.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
Bonchon Chicken in Chinatown is my favorite restaurant. I will always be in the mood for their Korean fried chicken.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Pursuing a five-year, three co-op program in college sounds daunting, but time flies and you learn so much from the extra year you invest. The quarter system can also seem intimidating and stressful, but if you manage your time and stay organized, you might like it better than a semester system.

Drexel Student Jacquelynn Ross

Jacquelynn Ross, BA/BS Mathematics, Finance & Business Analytics ’19

Board Member: 2017-2018

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a fourth year triple major in math, finance and business analytics at Drexel University. I like to play intramural sports with my sorority sisters and enjoy writing and reading poetry.

Learn more about Jackie

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I am the president of my sorority Phi Mu Beta Tau and a member of the Math Student Organization. I play intramural basketball, flag football and softball with my sorority and other Greek organizations.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing about Drexel is the urban campus environment. It has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and navigate to places I wouldn't have if I went to a more secluded campus. I also like that because of the environment, Drexel attracts people from all backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. When you meet so many people that aren't similar to you, it really helps you grow as a person. No one judges anyone because everyone is just as unique as quirky as the next person! Also, everyone cares about school because of how fast we move here. We really do work hard and play hard.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place is the new entrance of the Korman Building. This is technically the building where the Math Resource Center and all of the math advisers used to be before the construction started. The newly renovated entrance has tons of study rooms, couches, TV screens for group collaboration, and best of all, it isn't as crowded as the library and is open all night long!

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
My favorite restaurant in Philly is La Fontana. It is an Italian restaurant right in Center City on 17th street with great food, a great atmosphere and great dessert!

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
If you are looking for a university to give you a degree and get out, Drexel isn't the place for you. Drexel is the place for students who want to get involved, want to add that second major, and want to strive to get that prestigious co‐op. Everyone is so hard working that you step your game up as well. I would encourage you to walk through the library and see all the students working hard every week of classes. I would then encourage you to walk down Market Street or up Lancaster Walk to see all of the students in their free time as well. And I would think logically about where you want to be in five years. Look beyond the theatrics that colleges throw at you and look at the people who chose to spend their five years here.

Kelly RozanitisKelly Rozanitis, BS Geoscience, '19

Board Member: 2018-2019

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I am the president of the Paleontology and Geology Club and was a TA for Drexel's GeoDESLA high school program this August.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite part of being a student at Drexel is the independence I've developed since beginning here. Being at school year-round, as well as having extended periods of co-op where I'm a full-time employee in my area of interest, has forced me to learn how to support myself, create my own schedule, manage my time and prioritize my responsibilities in school, work and at home. I think those are skills that can't exactly be taught in a classroom, but are extremely important for life in general, and I am so grateful that I was able to develop those during my time at Drexel.

Learn more about Kelly

Where is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is the Academy of Natural Sciences.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
My advice to a prospective student applying to college would be to focus on finding the best fit for themselves. I believe that the "right choice" in a school is one that continuously allows you to challenge yourself but also helps you grow and mature in your own life. College is an enormous transition into adulthood, but it is also an opportunity to lay the foundation for the future that you want. I believe it's crucial to find the right academic program, level of independence, and culture in a school.

Victoria Smith, Chemistry Student at Drexel UniversityVictoria Smith, BS Chemistry, ’19

Board Member: 2018-2019

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
Sierra Club and Drexel Community Scholars. I am also a tutor in the Department of Mathematics.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing about being a student at Drexel is the faculty! The faculty in the chemistry department are amazing, and throughout my undergraduate career, they have motivated me and pushed me to become the person I am today.

Learn more about Victoria

Where is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is the new Korman Center. I love studying in the lounge area and on the second floor.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
My favorite restaurant is Lolita in Center City.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
Whenever I talk with prospective students about deciding where to attend college, I always give the same advice: "Go where feels right." Not where their parents want them to go, or where their friends are going, but where they feel at home and confident that the university will support their endeavors.

Sanjana Venkat, Drexel College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board MemberSanjana Venkat, BA Mathematics, ’19

Board Member: 2018-2019

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I am a student tutor for various introductory mathematics classes at the Math Resource Center. I’m also on the executive board of ASBMB (American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) and hold an active position as a Lindy Scholar with the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement. I am a member of the Pennoni Honors College, through which I have held various leadership positions, including Orientation Leader and Honors Ambassador.

Learn more about Sanjana

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing about being at Drexel University is, hands down, the environment. Being able to walk across Market Street and see the entire Philadelphia skyline to the right never gets old. Additionally, there are facilities and areas all over campus that provide access to university resources, study spaces and green spaces. Regardless of your career interests, Drexel’s location in Philadelphia gives you endless opportunities, providing connections to a multitude of institutions and businesses based in the surrounding area. As a student interested in pre-health, I find myself a short walk away from a handful of world-class hospitals and health care facilities, which has allowed me to build my experiences in a practical way.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is the Math Resource Center. As a student tutor there, I’ve spent my time as an undergraduate meeting new people every week, both teaching and learning from every individual. Working at the MRC has given me the chance to gain insight into the different ways people learn and understand, while exposing me to people from every major and college at Drexel. I’ve had some of my most memorable moments at the MRC, sharing my strengths with others and having them do the same with me.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
My favorite restaurant in Philly is Wahoo's. Their churro chips are the best desert on campus!

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
I found choosing a college to be a journey that forced an open mind. I think the most important aspect is comfort, as well as finding a school with support for your interests. This includes anything from athletics, to your educational program, to the facilities found on campus. I would also stress the importance of physically visiting the schools you are interested in; you may be surprised by how different you feel when you get there. It wasn’t until I attended a tour at Drexel that I realized I had found everything I wanted in its urban campus.

Drexel Student Caitlin WalczykCaitlin Walczyk, BA Global Studies and Political Science ’18

Board Member: 2017-2018

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a senior, double majoring in global studies and political science, with minors in German and Russian. I've lived in Germany and Kazakhstan, and am planning to go to law school!

Learn more about Caitlin

What activities/organizations are you involved in?

I have been involved in a variety of organizations in my time at Drexel, including as an executive board member for the Drexel German Club and the Student Global Advisory Board. I am also a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?

There are so many diverse perspectives. There are people from all over the country and world who represent a plethora of cultures, religions and political preferences.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

Drexel Park. When it is sunny, I love sitting there and admiring the view of Center City.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?

Happy Sunshine! The yellow truck on Arch Street between 33rd and 34th.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?

If you're looking for something other than the "typical" college experience, this is the place for you. It's a place that will help you grow and figure out who you are personally, academically and professionally. There are so many wonderful opportunities waiting around every corner, and so many members of the staff and faculty that are eager to help you achieve as much success as possible.

Drexel Student Cutler WhitleyCutler Whitely, BS Biology ’18

Board Member: 2017-2018

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a Drexel pre‐medical student who was previously an athlete on the World Snowboard Tour. I was inspired to go into medicine after experiencing sports‐related injuries and developing an interest in science. Now, I have found new passion in helping other people by volunteering at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, supporting the community and pursuing a career in medicine as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

Learn more about Cutler

What activities/organizations are you involved in?
I currently volunteer at CHOP's premier television and radio station, Galaxy 51, which holds interactive gameshows for inpatients. I also help tutor and mentor fellow students at Drexel's premedical fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon, and I have just begun volunteering at MANNA to prepare meals for those in need. In my spare time, I love to go hiking and snowboarding.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Drexel?
My favorite thing about Drexel is that it prepared me for the real world. I have to admit: The challenging course load and shortened semesters intimidated me at first. However, when I finally got accustomed to the fast pace, I realized that the work ethic and time management skills I had gained had set me apart in the workplace. I have learned that many employers actually prefer hiring Drexel co‐op students over the average intern because of this.

Where is your favorite place on campus?
The Drexel gym is the best place on campus hands down. Not only is it a great place to burn off some steam, but it also has a gigantic indoor basketball court, two floors of workout equipment, a swimming pool and several squash courts. After a long day of classes, it is great to get in there and get active.

What is your favorite restaurant/food truck in Philly?
Based on my love for marinara sauce, I would have to say that Little Nonna's is my favorite restaurant in Philly (they specialize in Italian cuisine). It is one of those places where just about any item on the menu will make your mouth water. If you are looking for great food and a great setting, I would recommend it!

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering Drexel?
I would say that if you are looking for a school that will prepare you for the workforce, challenge you intellectually and push you to the limit, then Drexel is right for you. When people ask me about this university, I describe it as a place that will work tirelessly with you to help you achieve your career goals. Not only is the co‐op program unmatched, but we are centrally located in an urban environment that provides convenient opportunities for students involved in the medical field, community service and technology.