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Partnerships and Projects: Drexel's Recent Industry and Civic Engagement Connections

March 23, 2023

Business communication concept. Marketing. Shaking hands. Teamwork.

Last term, Drexel University — through its colleges, schools and other units and programs — created a variety of new opportunities for industry and local partnerships as well as civic engagement. This update offers a snapshot of activity courtesy of the Office of the Provost. 

New Key Partnerships

The College of Computing & Informatics announced that Bloomberg will sponsor the College's 2022–2023 Senior Project Showcase. Featuring technical projects developed and presented by student competitors, the Showcase marks the culmination of a year-long program that supports student innovations from conception to reality. Almost 400 students will participate in the program in the 2022–2023 academic year (the largest class to date).

The College of Computing & Informatics' Corporate Partners Program, aimed at bolstering the development, recruitment and retention of top tech talent in the Greater Philadelphia area, expanded in its fifth year. The Program now totals 29 partners after recently welcoming seven new partners: Bloomberg, Independence Blue Cross, Frontier Technologies, Padspin, Veeva Systems, Fast Enterprises and the Siegfried Group. 

The MFA in Creative Writing program in the College of Arts and Sciences partnered with Philadelphia Stories to present the Push to Publish conference on campus in October. The annual conference provides established and aspiring writers with tools and resources to get their work published. 

The College of Medicine’s clinical practices partnered with Epic to launch Garden Plot, a new electronic health record offering for physician groups that aren’t part of a larger health system. Drexel was one of the first two institutions to implement Garden Plot. 

The College of Medicine, as part of a partnership with the Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine, sent three junior faculty members — Andréia Mortensen, PhD, and Gabriele Romano, PhD, assistant professors of pharmacology and physiology, and Liang Oscar Qiang, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy — to attend the institute’s 13th Annual International Certificate Program in Translational Medicine in Siracusa, Italy.

Students and faculty of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design were invited to create garment displays for “A Longwood Christmas: Botanical Splendor,” the signature holiday display at Longwood Gardens. Drexel and Longwood Gardens have a comprehensive partnership that has grown over the last year through the Drexel Solutions Institute and involves multiple, ongoing interdisciplinary research projects.    

The theatre program in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design presented "Pac and Biggie Are Dead," a co-production with Theatre in the X that was a spin-off of Tom Stoppard’s classic, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” starring rap’s two biggest artists/martyrs.

The Center for Business Analytics at the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business partnered with Anthropologie and American Century Investments on two capstone courses for graduate students in the Master’s in Business Analytics program.

New Key Civic Engagements

Writers Room received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce and Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program to further develop its Second Story Collective project, which works with University and neighborhood partners to establish a co-housing network that contributes to anti-displacement in West Philadelphia. 

Sixteen College of Medicine students traveled to Villanova to volunteer at the Special Olympics Fall Festival as part of Drexel’s longstanding relationship with Arc of Philadelphia, which is a Health Project Outreach site.

MD program students from the College of Medicine at Tower Health held a community health fair at the LGBT Center of Greater Reading for which they recruited vendors to provide health-related services and resources to the attendees at the event. 

With involvement from Westphal College of Media Arts & Design Associate Professor Andrew Zitcer, Associate Professor and Department Head of Arts & Entertainment Enterprise Julie Goodman and Dean Jason Schupbach, the College and PA Humanities have launched the PA Humanities Discovery Project. The initiative will map, network and celebrate the humanities landscape in Pennsylvania. The survey is open until December 5, 2022.

Christine Fiori, PhD, program director of construction management in the College of Engineering, led a team of students to Belize City to complete a site assessment for the design, development, and construction of a canteen at the Unity Presbyterian Primary school. This trip is the first in a series that will culminate in the construction of a new facility providing a place for the over 250 students enrolled at the school to eat their meals. In addition to the site assessment, the students built picnic tables and repaired playground equipment in the school yard. This effort is in partnership with the non-profit Peacework.

The Center for Civil Discourse at Drexel's Pennoni Honors College took over sponsorship of the “Can We Talk?” Program this fall, offering college students a chance to be part of structured, moderated dialogues that foster insight and defuse polarization. Two dialogues took place at Bentley Hall, including one in-person events for students from Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania and a second hybrid event, with students participating from other universities. 

The Dornsife Office for Experiential Learning at the LeBow College of Business will partner with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity for a multi-term business consulting course for both undergraduate and graduate students focused on studying the City’s racial equity efforts.