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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion News


The College of Arts and Sciences (CoAS) at Drexel University has a proud history of initiatives that seek to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. We are committed to addressing and alleviating systemic bias within all institutions, and we invite you to join us in these efforts.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Getting Creative in the Field

May 09, 2022

Mary Donnelly –who recently earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Drexel’s Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science (BEES) department — loves fieldwork. But instead of marshlands, forests, plains or deserts, Mary has been busy working right here in Philadelphia. Besides getting out into the field, her interests lie particularly in wildlife conservation. So, for her senior research project, Mary found a fun, collaborative way to do both while also sharing her findings with the community.

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Drexel Community Confronts Antisemitism by Telling Their Stories

Apr 27, 2022

poster for confronting antisemitism through storytelling event with Star of David and blue text

Pennoni Honors College Dean Paula Marantz Cohen’s hope is that Confronting Antisemitism Through Storytelling, a collaborative event April 28 among Pennoni, Drexel Hillel, Jewish Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences, will spark conversations that are so often dampened by our current society. Rather than taking the form of a panel discussion or conference, the event will focus on the deeply personal, real-life stories of those who have experienced antisemitism first-hand, whether as Jews or allies.

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Be Who You Want to Be, at Drexel

Apr 05, 2022

smiling woman standing beside a yellow research board outside on a sunny day

Growing up in South Brunswick, New Jersey, psychology major and student advisory board member Sanjana Oak rarely saw herself represented on the television screen. When she did, that character was grossly stereotyped or there only for comedic relief. What was worse, in real life, her peers expected her to behave in that same way. Curious about whether her experience was unique, she set up a research project through the STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholars Program in the Pennoni Honors College.

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National Traveling Exhibit Returns to Celebrate Women of Color in Psychology

Mar 03, 2022

I am psyched poster reading "this is what a psychologist looks like"

The I Am Psyched! national touring exhibit has returned to Drexel and is being presented in person this month after last year’s virtual presentation due to the pandemic.

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MFA Program Launches Scholarship Fund to Support Marginalized Writers

Feb 17, 2022

a collage of drawings including hands, books, pens, paper and other writing tools with a bubble that says "creative writing."

When the first cohort of students in Drexel’s MFA in Creative Writing program graduated, in the spring of 2021, its members raised and donated $1,300 to fund the program’s civic engagement efforts. The gesture was well in keeping with a core tenet of the University, the College and the program itself, and it touched MFA program director Nomi Eve deeply.

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Biological Sciences Major Lakshmi Parvathinathan Dreams of a More Inclusive Future

Feb 15, 2022

President Joe Biden with Lakshmi ParvathinathanLakshmi Parvathinathan has dedicated herself to fight for Documented Dreamers—students who have grown up in the United States as child dependents of long-term visa holders but who will age out of their dependent status and face deportation on their 21st birthdays.

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Resilience & Joy: Lessons of Da Land

Jan 12, 2022

Chris Bolden-Newsome and Lessons of Da Land participants gather in the picnic area and read passages from The Cooking Gene by Michael TwittyLed by environmental science major Alexis Wiley, a twelve-week cocurricular program introduced Drexel students and community members to food sovereignty and land justice issues in Black Philadelphia. The course also moved outside of the classroom and offered a hands-on participatory experience. Working with local community partners, students supplemented their coursework with harvesting, planting, seedkeeping, land rebuilding and food preparation workshops to better understand the Lessons of Da Land.

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Sociology Event Explores Intersection of Racial Justice and the Environment

Nov 10, 2021

Graphic that reads Ending Environmental Racism: Understanding Social Forces, Fighting Local BattlesFor decades, studies have shown that Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) communities and low-income communities face greater environmental and climate threats, while contributing the least to these problems. However, the environmental justice movement has not always considered how these populations are disproportionately affected by environmental issues. To call attention to environmental racism, the Department of Sociology kicked off a new series of social justice-themed events.

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Keisha April MS ’18, PhD ’20 Works to Change Policies, Practices in Criminal Justice

Oct 27, 2021

Keisha April, PhD, a recent graduate of Drexel’s Clinical Psychology PhD program, won the Art Nezu Dissertation Diversity Award for her dissertation “Let’s ‘talk’ about the police: The role of race and the intergenerational transmission of police legitimacy attitudes in the legal socialization of youth.” This prestigious award recognizes an individual whose doctoral dissertation makes an outstanding contribution to the field of professional psychology and diversity and/or multiculturalism.

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BEES Major Calvin Keeys Awarded Scholarship for Black and Latinx Birders

Oct 21, 2021

First-year environmental science student Calvin Keeys was recently named a recipient of the Black and Latinx Birders Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded by Amplify the Future, an organization whose mission is to amplify opportunities for equity in conservation.

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Community Read Examines Lasting Legacy of American Universities’ Ties to Slavery

Sep 13, 2021

Ebony and Ivy book cover next to photo of author Craig Steven WilderThe College of Arts and Sciences’ inaugural DEI Community Read focused inward in its exploration of the interconnected histories of colonialism, slavery, race and higher education through its discussion of Craig Steven Wilder’s Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities.

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An Academic Reckoning: Meet Dane Ward BS ’09 PhD ’13

Sep 08, 2021

Dane Ward and Professor José Andrés Martínez Machado collect native bees in Cienfuegos, CubaAssistant Teaching Professor of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science and Drexel alum Dane Ward, PhD, was recently named an Outstanding Mentor of the Year. Here he discusses the importance of mentorship, expanding access to STEM and equity-based environmental science.

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CoAS Faculty and Research Featured in EXEL Magazine

Aug 24, 2021

A man casts a fishing net over a riverThe new issue of EXEL, Drexel University’s research magazine, features a number of articles on College of Arts and Sciences faculty members, departments, centers and programs, recognizing the significant contributions they have made to research and discoveries.

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Henry Israeli Appointed Director of Jewish Studies

Jul 01, 2021

Henry Israeli, from the Department of English and Philosophy, has been appointed to the position of Director of Jewish Studies, effective Fall 2021, to lead the planning and implementation of a range of initiatives to increase the visibility of the program both inside and outside the University while developing a strategic plan in collaboration with Amelia Hoover Green, PhD, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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Jennifer Yusin, PhD, Appointed Director of Women’s and Gender Studies

Jun 28, 2021

Jennifer Yusin, PhD, from the Department of English and Philosophy, has been appointed to the position of Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, effective Fall 2021, to lead the planning and implementation of a range of initiatives to increase the visibility of the program both inside and outside the university while developing a strategic plan in collaboration with Amelia Hoover Green, PhD, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion.

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Advocating for a Free Press: Meet María Paula Mijares Torres '23

Jun 23, 2021

María Paula Mijares Torres poses with a newspaper featuring her first bylined storyCommunication major María Paula Mijares Torres was recently recognized by the Lenfest Institute of Journalism for her advocacy for journalism. She is currently exploring her passion for the field in a co-op at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Juneteenth Discussion Looks Back to Move Forward

Jun 17, 2021

A graphic that reads Juneteenth: A Day of Recognition, Restoration, CelebrationOn Wednesday, June 16, the Office of Equality and Diversity and the Center for Black Culture dedicated time to reflect on all that has happened and to think about what yet needs to be done in a panel discussion on the topic of Juneteenth and racial justice. Titled “Looking Back to Move Forward: A Frank Conversation in Commemoration of Juneteenth,” the event was moderated by Patience Ajoff-Foster, PhD, CDP, executive director for diversity and inclusive culture.

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Abioseh Porter, PhD, Appointed Interim Director of Africana Studies

Jun 14, 2021

Abioseh PorterAbioseh Porter, PhD, professor of English, has been appointed to the position of Interim Director of Africana Studies, effective Fall 2021, to lead the planning and implementation of a range of initiatives to increase the visibility of the program both inside and outside the University while developing a Strategic Plan in collaboration with Amelia Hoover Green, PhD, associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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Standing in Solidarity Event Draws Attention to Anti-Asian Racism and Offers Path Forward

May 28, 2021

Blue background with white text that reads Standing in Solidarity: A Frank Conversation About Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

To promote this educational awareness during a time when anti-Asian hate crimes are on the rise, Drexel’s Office of Equality and Diversity held a panel discussion event in collaboration with Rebecca Clothey, PhD, director of the Asian Studies minor program. This panel featured a conversation grounded in the experiences of Asian and Asian American students, faculty and professional staff members in the Drexel community, with dialogue from students and faculty in the College of Arts and Science.

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History Professor Nic John Ramos, PhD, Troubles the Line

May 26, 2021

Nic John Ramos stands in front of a Keith Haring mural

Award-winning Assistant Professor of History Nic John Ramos, PhD, does not easily fit into any one category. Though he teaches in the Department of History, his doctorate is in American Studies and Ethnicity, which he describes as really being at the intersection of Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies. Meanwhile, his research exists at the intersection of race and medicine. And in his classes, students are just as likely to encounter graphic novels and poetry as they are historical documents and books.

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Two Students, Alum Named 2021 NSF Graduate Research Fellows 

May 20, 2021

Maxwell Franklin, Johannes Wagner, and Elizabeth EspinalTwo CoAS graduate students and one recent alumni have received 2021 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships to promote research efforts in physics and clinical psychology. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program aims to encourage innovation and creativity in STEM fields by investing in outstanding graduate students through a five-year fellowship program. The fellowship includes three years’ worth of financial support, with an annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 awarded to the researcher and their institution.

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CoAS Students Present Research at UN Commission on the Status of Women

Apr 26, 2021

Portraits of Liz Pham and Zyrah AlviCoAS students Liz Pham and Zyrah Alvi recently presented their research on corruption at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 2021 Forum. 

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PhD Student Luis Grande Branger Tackles Aquaman and White Supremacy in New Publication

Apr 15, 2021

Luis GrandeCommunication, Culture and Media (CCM) doctoral student Luis Grande Branger has an essay on "Aquaman and the American White Supremacy" forthcoming in a new collection of critical essays on the work of movie director James Wan.

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Clinical Psychology PhD Student Fareshte Erani Awarded F31 Fellowship from National Institutes of Health

Apr 08, 2021

Doctoral Student Fareshte EraniClinical Psychology PhD student Fareshte Erani was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, which supports the research training of predoctoral students from diverse backgrounds that are underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral or clinical research workforce.

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Junior Medina Talebi Accepted to Prestigious Ralph Bunche Summer Institute

Apr 05, 2021

Photo of Medina TalebiCollege of Arts and Sciences junior Medina Talebi has been accepted to attend the highly competitive Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI), which helps prepare undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities for an academic career in political science.

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The Future is Bright for CoAS Alum Shahmar Beasley ’19, JD ’22

Mar 31, 2021

drexel alum shahmar beasley

In a short time, College of Arts and Sciences alumnus Shahmar Beasley ’19 has accomplished a lot. From being named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar to campaigning for various politicians and attending Drexel’s Kline School of Law, Beasley keeps a full calendar.  

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Inaugural DEI Community Read Takes Up Racism, Slavery and Higher Education

Dec 18, 2020

The College of Arts and Sciences weekly 'community read' of the book "Ebony & Ivy" starts on January 14. The class is free and open to all.The College of Arts and Sciences is hosting a Community Read of the book Ebony & Ivy is being offered as a 1-credit special-topics course in politics in the winter and spring, open to all Drexel students. Community members and faculty, staff and alumni from the entire University are also invited to participate, at no cost. Meetings are from 6 to 6:50 p.m. on Thursdays and will be conducted via Zoom.

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Psychology Grant to Address Youth Confinement Amid COVID-19

Jun 05, 2020

Drexel's Juvenile Justice Research and Reform LabCorrectional facilities have emerged as hotspots for the spread of COVID-19, and confined youth face an increased risk of COVID-19 infection. Given the overrepresentation of youth of color in correctional facilities, the disproportionate infection and mortality rate of COVID-19 among communities of color is compounded for these youth.

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Supporting Sustainability and Resilience in Las Marias, Puerto Rico

May 07, 2020

Gateway post to education center at Plenitud PR: "No hay nada que el amor no pueda transformar / There is nothing that love cannot transform"The “Disaster and Resilience in Puerto Rico” Community-Based Learning (CBL) course created by Steve Dolph, PhD, took students from across Drexel to Plenitud PR, a nonprofit educational farm and community dedicated to service in sustainability and the arts, located in Las Marias, Puerto Rico over winter break.

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Drexel’s Science in Motion Program Helps Level the Playing Field

Apr 29, 2020

Drexel University Science In Motion VanDrexel University’s Science in Motion (SIM) program is an innovative, basic education/higher education partnership, funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 2000, that provides equipment and materials for high school and middle school chemistry classes.

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Psychology PhD Student Creates COVID-19 Resource List

Apr 07, 2020

Graphic: Covid-19 Resource List by clinical psychology PhD student Kelsey ClarkAs the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread, clinical psychology PhD student Kelsey Clark was inspired by her training as both a scientist and a clinical practitioner to do something. She created the COIVD-19 Resource List — now stretching over 400 items long — to connect the public with a range of resources, with a focus on mental health.

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Drexel MFA Student Opens Harriett’s Bookshop in Fishtown

Feb 03, 2020

Jeanine Cook sitting on couch inside Harriett's Bookshop in FishtownHarriett’s Bookshop, named in honor of Harriet Tubman, features a monthly literary rotation curated according to a theme — a comingling of new voices and “old voices that are new again,” says owner Jeannine Cook, a community activist and student in Drexel University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

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Public Policy Course Tackles Philadelphia’s PES Refinery Problem

Jan 07, 2020

PES RefineryThe Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery in South Philadelphia was the largest and oldest refinery complex on the East Coast until it shut down this summer, following an explosion on June 21, when a highly flammable processing liquid leaked and caught fire from a corroded elbow joint, sending a massive fireball into the Grays Ferry darkness.

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12 Ways to Feel Connected at Drexel

Oct 21, 2019

Drexel CoAS Students Having Fun in Photo BoothWhether it’s your first quarter at Drexel or your last, there are myriad opportunities to connect to Drexel’s many communities and students. Check out these 12 tips for finding your Drexel home, courtesy of the College’s Student Advisory Board.

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Bio Grad Takes on Mental Health Stigma and Medicine

Sep 23, 2019

Deanna Mauro Biology Student at Drexel UniversityOn co-op at Johnson & Johnson, Deanna Mauro ’19 stood confidently before a room of senior scientists. Mauro, a biological sciences major at Drexel University, had spent the past six months running her own project, designed to increase the effectiveness of a specific immunotherapy.

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COM Major Finds Community “In the Heart of Brotherly Love”

Jul 23, 2019

Roy Aguilar - Behind the ScenesA lifelong North Philly resident, Roy Aguilar knows a thing or two about neighborhood pride. “People who live in prideful places in Philadelphia tend to be biased toward their neighborhood,” says Aguilar, a recent graduate of the communication major at Drexel University. “There is a sense of community. We feel like we are a special people, because we support one another.”

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Drexel Writing Center Creates Community Through Anti-Racist Pedagogy

May 23, 2019

Janel McCloskey, director of the Writing Center, and peer readers in the Korman Center, where the Writing Center will relocate in the springThe Drexel Writing Center has long been a space where the Drexel community — students, faculty and staff — can turn for one-to-one support through every stage of the writing process. For DWC staff, creating an inclusive community for both writers and tutors is a central focus.

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Paralympic Preview: Exploring Disability Studies Ahead of the 2020 Paralympic Games

May 01, 2019

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic GamesWorld-leading athletes, incredible feats of human performance and plenty of heart: the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games will be a cause for both celebration and scholarship. Amy Slaton, PhD, professor of history, and Scott Knowles, PhD, department head of history and panel moderator, gave us a primer on the games ahead of the Dean’s Seminar.

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New Access to Open-Licensed Materials Could Make a Difference for Students

Feb 05, 2019

Open Textbook Library LogoDrexel faculty now have greater access to open-licensed textbooks — and are already starting to implement them in the classroom.

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Communication Alum Directs Original Documentary on Mothers Struggling with Opioid Addiction

May 03, 2018

“One time I was in rehab, and they were talking about how there is an original body of pain. And you create more pain on top of that trying to handle the original thing that hurt you.”

So recalls Ashley Ramey in the trailer for “Original Body of Pain,” a documentary about motherhood and opioid addiction co-directed by Stan Wright, BA Communication ’15, and Dominic Silva, both MFA students at Wake Forest University.

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NSF-Backed Study Investigates the Ethics of Algorithms

Jan 08, 2018

Ethics of AlgorithmsComputer algorithms — the sequences of instructions or rules computers follow to solve problems — influence many aspects of our lives, from the products we buy to the people we date and even the jobs we are offered. But who makes algorithms and code, and how do their values translate into the work they do? That's what Kelly Joyce, PhD, wanted to find out in 2013, when she and a fellow researcher were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for their study, The Ethics of Algorithms.

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