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2019 Service Recognition: 616 Dragons With Over 7,900 Combined Years of Work at Drexel

December 10, 2019

Drexel University President John Fry addressed faculty and staff at the annual service recognition luncheon held Dec. 6.
Drexel University President John Fry addressed faculty and staff at the annual service recognition luncheon held Dec. 6. Photo credit: Kelly & Massa Photography.

Drexel University honored 616 faculty and professional staff at its annual service recognition luncheon held this year on Dec. 6.

During a speech at the ceremony held at the Loews Hotel in Center City, Drexel President John Fry honored those Dragons for their professionalism and dedication to the University.

“You are the ones who help our students grow, develop and succeed and become the best possible version of themselves; the ones who dedicate your time helping and supporting others in the surrounding neighborhoods; the ones conducting or supporting path-breaking research that improves the quality of life around the world, and, in some cases, even saves lives,” he said.

Those 616 Dragons spent a total of 7,905 years at the University, which Fry said has bolstered Drexel’s continuity, expertise, leadership and institutional memory.

“The combined years of service of everyone in this room speaks volumes,” said Fry. “It shows the impact of working together. It says Drexel is a valued institution — a place where employees can put down roots, explore their passions, grow as individuals and help others chase their dreams.”

So who were the Dragons celebrating a big work anniversary this year? DrexelNow has the facts and figures — as well as the biography of the faculty member (from the College of Arts and Sciences!) who spent half a century teaching at Drexel.

50 years: 1 Dragon

Per the 2019 service recognition booklet:

Miriam N. Kotzin, Professor of English, came to Drexel in 1969 with a PhD from NYU in American Literature and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania (1965). She later served as associate department head for eight years and director of the English Major for three. She was a founding Director of the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing (2004–2012).

Miriam Kotzin, PhD. Photo credit: Peter Groesbeck.

In 1992 she received an Exemplary Teaching Award. She has taught a variety of literature and writing courses, including freshman composition, creative writing, writing for business, and technical writing. About 9,000 students and more than 45,000 papers graded! Among her students were astronaut Dr. James P. Bagian and writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

In addition to committee work, Kotzin served as a faculty advisor. For more than a decade, she was faculty advisor to Maya Literary Magazine; for more than 20 years advisor to Drexel’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society. She is also a member of the faculty advisory committee of the Judaic Studies Program.

At W. W. Hagerty’s request, Kotzin wrote “A History of Drexel University: 1941–1963” (Drexel, 1983). Author of articles on literature, pedagogy, and film, she also was a contributing editor of Media & Methods, a long-time juror for The American Film Festival, and a judge for the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference.

In his essay about Kotzin’s writing, “Outwitting Weeping,” critic Donald Kuspit says, “She uses comedy and language to outwit mourning....” Her most recent poetry collection, “Debris Field” (David Robert Books, 2016) joins “The Body’s Bride” (David Robert Books, 2013), Taking Stock (Star Cloud 2011), “Weights & Measures” (Star Cloud Press 2009), and “Reclaiming the Dead” (Star Cloud Press 2008). Her most recent collection of short fiction, “Country Music,” (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2017) joins a collection of flash fiction, “Just Desserts” (Star Cloud Press 2010), and a satiric novel, “The Real Deal” (Brick House Books 2012). “Second Acts,” a column of her creative nonfiction, appeared in The Smart Set, and her stories and poems have been published in more than 100 journals such as Boulevard, Shenandoah, Smokelong Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, and The Tower Journal. Five of her poems are exemplars in Lewis Turco’s “Book of Forms, 4th ed.

Her fiction and poetry received nine nominations for the Pushcart Prize, and her writing has been translated into Chinese and Polish.

In 2005 she founded the online quarterly Per Contra: the International Journal of Literature, the Arts, and Ideas, for which she was editor-in chief until 2016, and a contributing editor of Boulevard for more than 30 years.

She was active in a number of community organizations. For 20 years she served on the Board of Directors of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was on the board of directors of PBK’s Philadelphia Gamma Association and in 1976 president. She was also a member of the poetry committee of the YM/YWHA for two decades, chairing the committee 1981-83.

She enjoys cooking and arranging flowers, and she received a certificate in floral design from Longwood Gardens. She is the life-partner of Joe Danciger, a magician and artist, and stepmother to sons Bram and Nathaniel.

45 years: 6 Dragons

40 years: 6 Dragons

35 years: 18 Dragons

30 years: 34 Dragons

25 years: 17 Dragons

20 years: 69 Dragons

15 years: 88 Dragons

10 years: 137 Dragons

5 years: 240 Dragons