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Dornsife Alumni Featured in Drexel Magazine's 40 Under 40 Class of 2021

Students headshots
L to R: Rabiah Asif, Valerissa C. Baker, and Jeanette M. Bowles.

May 18, 2021

No one expected a year like the one we had, but Drexel’s 40 Under 40 featured alumni greeted it with grit. While the world hunkered down during off-and-on quarantines and up-and-down case counts, alumni kept their sights on their goals.

Dornsife alumni — Rabiah Asif, Valerissa C. Baker, and Jeanette M. Bowles — were each featured in the latest Drexel Magazine. Check out their stories:

Rabiah Asif, MPH, Community Health and Prevention ’19

Contact Tracing Coordinator, Philadelphia Department of Public Health

Rabiah Asif pursued a public health master’s with an eye to advocate for healthier communities and provide equitable solutions.

Not long after the first-generation college graduate began her career in her hometown of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, as a health educator, the pandemic hit. She quickly shifted her focus from managing and preventing chronic diseases to working to flatten the curve of COVID infections through contact tracing and monitoring.

Read Rabiah's story

Valerissa C. Baker, MPH, Health Policy & Management ’17

Business Development Manager, World Vision Inc. (San Diego, California) and Franchise Owner, Chick’NCone (New York City)

You could say Valerissa Baker’s road to an executive position at World Vision started at Drexel, and it quite literally did. As an undergraduate, Baker was the first recipient of the Dornsife Global Development Scholars program. Her 2014 co-op took her to Zambia with the global nonprofit World Vision, where she led a research project on maternal and child health.

Today, she is a business development and product manager for World Vision with a global portfolio that includes Zambia and other countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. 

Read Valerissa's story

Jeanette M. Bowles, DrPH, Community Health and Prevention ’17

Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, St. Michael’s Hospital (Toronto, Canada)

Jeanette Bowles is an unapologetic disruptor. In 2019, as the executive director of Safehouse, a Philadelphia nonprofit that sought to provide drug overdose prevention services, she fought a bruising public battle to try to open the nation’s first above-ground supervised drug consumption site.

Philadelphia has one of the nation’s highest overdose mortality rates and Bowles came to the fight armed with research and years of experience working on the front lines of the overdose crisis.

Read Jeanette's story