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Community-Based Learning Student Stories

Amanda Distefano, BS Criminology & Justice Studies and BSBA Legal Studies ’19

Drexel Criminology and Justice Studies and Politics student Amanda DiStefano

Degree: BS Criminology & Justice Studies and BSBA Legal Studies ’19
Hometown: Broomall, Pennsylvania


Tell us about your experiences in any of the College’s Community-Based Learning courses.

I took Prison, Society & You during my second co-op while working part-time. Each week, we traveled to Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility to have class with students who reside there. This course allowed for dialogue between those on the outside and the inside, all of whom had diverse backgrounds and experiences.

I also took the course the Opioid Crisis in our Backyard. We met at the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, along with members of the surrounding community. This course involved exploring the epidemic that is plaguing not only the neighborhoods around us, but also our country as a whole. Community members joined us each week to contribute their knowledge to our discussion.

Read More About Amanda

Calvin Kiniale, BS Health Sciences ’19

Calvin Kiniale is a major in Health Sciences at Drexel University

Degree: BS Health Sciences ’19
Hometown: Bungoma, Kenya


Tell us about your experiences in any of the College’s Community-Based Learning courses.

I participated in the Story Medicine class at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the fall and winter quarters of 2018. The class entailed writing original scripts and setting up performances for the patients at CHOP. We also set up art and craft projects for the children to participate in while they observed the show. Moreover, the class gave me an opportunity to participate in a special, four-minute animation project with one of the patients at CHOP.

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Emily Greberman, BS Criminology & Justice Studies and Psychology ’21

Drexel Criminology and Justice Studies and Politics student Emily Greberman

Degree: BS Criminology & Justice Studies and Psychology ’21
Concentration: Criminal Justice
Research Interests: Juvenile justice, offender rehabilitation and policing
Extracurricular activities: Vice President, Criminal Justice Society; Vice President, Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice Honor Society); Secretary, Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team; member of NAMI
Awards: Pennoni Honors College, Dean’s List, Founder’s Scholarship


What is the coolest experience you’ve had through your major?

The coolest experience I’ve had through the criminology department was taking a class in the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (the largest male jail in Philadelphia) with 15 men who are incarcerated. We discussed issues within the justice and legal system and made an effort to break down the stigma of individuals who are incarcerated.

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Hailey Fletcher, BS in Criminology and Justice Studies ’20

Hailey Fletcher is a student majoring in Criminology and Justice Studies at Drexel University

Degree: BS in Criminology and Justice Studies ’20
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: New York, New York


Tell us about your experiences in any of the College’s Community-Based Learning courses.

At Drexel, I have taken three community-based learning courses. Prison Society and You was my first ever community-based learning class, and I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone asked me if I was scared going to a correctional facility, but my answer was always “Everyone makes mistakes, and some people just get caught; you can’t automatically be scared of people you don’t know.” This class proved my statement to be true. You can’t judge a book my its cover or a person by what they have done. The inside students we shared this class with were insightful, intelligent and very funny. This class was so enjoyable. We learned about the system from those experiencing it, and that is something you can’t get from a textbook.

Read More About Hailey

Karnik Hajjar, BS Biological Sciences ’19

Karnik Hajjar is a Biological Sciences major at Drexel University

Degree: BS Biological Sciences ’19
Concentration: Cell, Molecular, Genetic Biology and Biochemistry Concentration
Minor: Legal Studies
Hometown: Arcadia, California


Tell us about your experiences in any of the College’s Community-Based Learning courses.

I had the opportunity work with high school students from Paul Robeson High School in the course Mobilizing the Scientific Method. Over the course of the term, I and my two partners taught the students about the scientific method and its applications. We helped the students develop projects, assessed their ability to apply the scientific method, and ultimately helped them build a presentation for the data they collected.

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Meghana Choubey, BS Biological Sciences ’19

Meghana Choubey is a Biological Sciences major at Drexel University

Degree: BS Biological Sciences ’19
Concentration: Pathobiology
Hometown: North Brunswick, New Jersey


Tell us about your experiences in any of the College’s Community-Based Learning courses.

I took CIVC 101: Intro to Civic Engagement during my first year to complete a graduation requirement. I decided to volunteer at Spells Writing Lab, a non-profit organization that provides reading and writing opportunities to school-aged children. I helped elementary school students read and finish their homework, and played board games or kickball with them during break time.

Read More About Meghana

Yusra Sultan, BS in Biological Sciences ’19

Yusra Sultan is a Biological Sciences major at Drexel University

Degree: BS in Biological Sciences ’19
Concentration: Organismal Biology and Physiology
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Upper Darby, Pennsylvania


Tell us about your experiences in any of the College’s Community-Based Learning courses.

I took BIO 205: Mobilizing the Scientific Method at Drexel University last winter term, in which Drexel students served as mentors to Paul Robeson High School students. We designed and redesigned experiments and analyzed and interpreted results. We also learned to guide the students through these experiments and taught them by asking questions, rather than straightforwardly providing answers. My team consisted of myself, another Drexel partner and three Robeson students. Our project involved studying the inhibitory effects of the chemical compound juglone on various microbes.

Read More About Yusan


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