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25 Faces 25 Years: Kate Hughes

Photo by Andrew Pellegrino ’18

Kate Hughes

Kate Hughes, Associate Director and Academic Adviser, Department of Global Studies and Modern Languages


January 18, 2017

The road that brought Kate Hughes to Drexel extends far beyond the streets of Philadelphia. From farming in Spain and Italy, to living in South Africa during the height of the AIDS crisis, to traveling around the Americas on a retrofitted school bus, Hughes has built a diverse and detailed portfolio that includes expertise in peace studies, public health, environmental justice and community organizing. Steeped in experience and radiating a sense of calm and a reassuring confidence, Hughes is the quintessential international area studies adviser — just ask her students.

“Students who have worked with Kate know that her foremost interest is student well-being and success, and that she is sincere in her interactions. Because she takes time to listen, I, like many other students, found it easy to open up to her. … [For] many of us, the thought of letting Kate down was enough to keep us out of trouble!” Elias Okwara ’13

“Very few people encourage you to live your life with conviction, and there is no better living example than Kate Hughes herself.” Carlos Hernandez ’16

“As a first-generation college student, I am still in awe sitting here writing this — I will be attending graduate school in the fall at NYU, thanks to the relentless pursuit of Kate to ensure a future full of endless possibilities for her students like me.” Kaelee Shepherd ’15

“Kate’s focus on each student’s ambitions creates a unique student-adviser relationship unmatched anywhere. Without her, I would not have accomplished what I did nor made as many connections and discoveries as I had.” Gregory Kunkel ’15

“[Kate] was my mentor and support system throughout my junior and senior years. … Her innovative spirit helped develop programming, keeping [the international area studies major] a unique and vital part of the College of Arts and Sciences. I will always be grateful for her guidance, especially with my transition into law school.” Andrew Damron ’09

“With the support of Kate Hughes, anything is possible!” Sadie Pennington ’19

“Not only was [Kate] involved in guiding our academic development, but she was also genuinely interested in getting to know us as individuals and helping us flourish during our transition from wide-eyed-high-schoolers to confident, focused graduates.” Lydia Pappas ’13

“Kate has watched me grow as a student and as an individual, and she always reminded me of my progress … even when I felt lost and overwhelmed. I graduated this year, and as I figure out my next steps, I still ask Kate for advice. She has encouraged me to be adventurous and open to new possibilities as I begin my career, and her support and guidance has really been incredible.” Kanan Gole ’15

This article originally appeared in the College of Arts and Sciences' Ask magazine feature story, "25 Faces, 25 Years." For more Ask stories, visit