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Co-op and Experience: Student Stories

Ambitious leaders, thinkers and change-makers

Founded in 1919, Drexel's Cooperative Education program (co-op) was one of the first of its kind, and it continues to be among the largest and most renowned programs in the nation. At Drexel, co-op is who we are and what we do. The dedicated staff of the Steinbright Career Development Center is here to assist students throughout the co-op process and to help them to leverage 'the Drexel Difference.' At the College of Arts and Sciences, our students don’t just study the issues affecting the world — they study alongside the people affected. Each term, the College encourages students to become effective change agents by participating with non-profits, government and citizen activists through community-based learning courses.

Co-op and Experience


a screenshot of a zoom session where participants are going over a sample lesson plan

Drexel English Language Center Helps to Prepare the Next Generation of Fulbrighters

This past summer, the ELC expanded its IIE Fulbright offerings to include an English Teaching Assistants (ETA) program. The program, funded by a State Department grant, was geared toward preparing Fulbright scholars for their upcoming teaching roles across the globe.

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Emma Hirt at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Bringing History to New Audiences

Senior global studies major Emma Hirt spent the spring and summer as a Programs Assistant Co-op at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, where she used social media to introduce the organization's work to a younger audience—and went viral in the process.

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Coco's Fire: the book authors and illustrators

Let’s Talk About Climate Anxiety

Lately, there has been a lot of talk all over the world about the birds and the bees — that is, how they are impacted by the environmentally devastating effects of climate change and how humans play a role in this process. Many of us want to know how we can voice those scary feelings about the health of our planet and then transform them into positive action. While it is an important and timely topic to discuss, sometimes having this talk can be a challenge, especially with children. So, the Academy reached out to children’s book authors Lena Champlin and Jeremy Wortzel to learn more about their work, Coco’s Fire: Changing Climate Anxiety Into Climate Action, and how we can start this very important conversation with our peers and young friends.

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Akilah Chatman smiles outside in front of wetlands

Environmental Science Alum to Effect Change with Fulbright Fellowship

When people think of their childhood, they often remember their time spent outside. For Akilah Chatman, BS environmental science ’22, every day was a new adventure: climbing waterfalls, jumping from cliffs, exploring rainforests, befriending frogs and lizards, inspecting flora, gardening with their mother and so much more. Their grandparents’ beachfront restaurant offered ample time for Chatman to learn the ways of seaside life. Now, as a Drexel alum and Fulbright Fellow, Chatman is about to begin their next journey—to create and uplift a new green space in Cambodia.

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Giant Swallowtail butterfly sticker created by Mary Donnelly, who earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Drexel in 2022.

Getting Creative in the Field

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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Headshot of Carlie Relyea

Biological Sciences Major Carlie Relyea Contributes to Vaccine Trials Through Co-op

During her co-op, Carlie Relyea assisted with the Pfizer pediatric and adolescent vaccination trial at the Pediatric Clinical Research Center in Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The experience helped clarify her dream of being a pediatric doctor.

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Jamie Clifford

A Passion for Research: Meet History and Art History Major Jamie Clifford

From the small class sizes and personal attention from professors to the research opportunities, co-op and flexibility in course selection, studying history at Drexel has been a great experience for Jamie Clifford. Learn how these experiences have prepared Clifford for a future in graduate school and museum curation.

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Chris Bolden-Newsome and Lessons of Da Land participants gather in the picnic area and read passages from The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty

Resilience & Joy: Lessons of Da Land

Led 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 worked with community partners and explored a wide variety of sources to deliver Lessons of Da Land.

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Nick Sookhoo

Biological Sciences Major Nick Sookhoo is on the Path to Medical School

From his research experience to co-op, biological sciences student Nick Sookhoo is gaining the skills he will need to be successful in medical school and achieve his longtime dream of becoming a doctor.

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Serena Hermitt

Global Studies Major Serena Hermitt Discovers Passion for Community Work

After arriving at Drexel for her first year undecided on a major, Serena Hermitt found the perfect major that fit all of her interests due to its interdisciplinary nature: Global Studies. Now, with a transformative course abroad experience and two co-ops under her belt, Hermitt has discovered her passion for working in the community.

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Madison Betts

Writing Her Own Journey: Meet English Major Madison Betts

Drexel’s 10-week term format allowed Madison Betts to discover her true passion of writing. On the five-year, three co-op plan, Betts is gaining experience in publishing while looking forward to graduate school and one day publishing her own book.

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Avery Maudlin

From Co-op to Law School, Avery Maudlin Credits Philosophy Major for Defining his Path

Avery completed three co-ops and is currently a fellow at the Kline & Specter law firm, where he is currently working on a mass tort class action case, serving as a liaison between incoming clients and attorneys. He views the skills learned in his philosophy classes—the ability to intake information and make your own knowledge—as extremely important in the legal field.

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Omesh Dhar Dwivedi

Research Co-op Leads to Innovative Breakthrough for Math and Physics Major Omesh Dhar Dwivedi

Drexel undergraduate Omesh Dhar Dwivedi was part of a team of researchers at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory who have proposed a step-by-step chemical pathway to creating boron nitride nanotubes. The math and physics major from Lucknow, India, discusses the work he did during his co-op.

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August Modiga

Philosophy, Politics & Economics Major August Modiga Finds Co-op Success

As a global alliances intern at SAP, August Modiga was part of a team that presented SAP’s business solutions and products to potential customers. The philosophy, politics and economics major shares her experience and the skills she developed that she will carry with her throughout her career.

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Library shelves featuring grey archival boxes

History Co-ops Dive Deep into Drexel Archives

Over the spring and summer Teaching Professor of History Lloyd Ackert, PhD, mentored a diverse group of co-op students in research projects centered on three Drexel archives and special collections. Exploring the archives of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Legacy Center and the Schramm Inc. Collection at University Libraries, the twenty-two co-op students investigated their own unique and individualized research projects based on their background, interests and career plans.

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