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Saying a Drexel Goodbye to Some Very Important Dragons

May 24, 2017

From left to right: Frank Linnehan, PhD; Peter Franks; George Gephart; John DiNardo, PhD; and Julie Mostov, PhD.
From left to right: Frank Linnehan, PhD; Peter Franks; George Gephart; John DiNardo, PhD; and Julie Mostov, PhD.

In addition to saying goodbye to the students graduating in June, Drexel University will also send off five leaders who have all made their mark. These Dragons come from very different areas of Drexel but, through their leadership and expertise, helped bring the University to where it is today — and set it up for the future.

DrexelNow celebrates these Dragons’ time at Drexel and wishes them well on their future endeavors. 

Frank Linnehan, PhD

Dean of the LeBow College of Business Frank Linnehan, PhD, will retire from Drexel on June 30. 

Linnehan first came to Drexel in 1997 as an assistant professor of human resource management after spending 17 years in the private sector as an executive with national corporations including General Electric. He was awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2003, and was promoted to professor in 2008. In 2011, he transitioned into working in an administrative capacity as interim executive director of the Drexel Sacramento campus. He took on the duties of dean on an interim basis a year later and was named the R. John Chapel Jr. dean in 2014. During his tenure, LeBow opened the its School of Economics, introduced three new master’s programs, launched an executive doctoral program in business administration and established the Drexel LeBow MBA at Vanguard program for mid-career studies, to name a few accomplishments.

“We are deeply indebted to Frank for his stewardship of the college, his teaching and scholarship, and his role as a valued colleague,” wrote President John Fry and Executive Vice President and Provost Brian Blake, PhD, in a May 23 email.

Paul Jensen, PhD, LeBow’s associate dean for graduate and undergraduate programs, will serve as interim dean for academic year 2017–18 while a national search is held for Linnehan’s successor.

Julie Mostov, PhD

Senior Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Julie Mostov, PhD, will be leaving Drexel at the end of June. Mostov, who is also a professor in the Department of Politics in the College of Arts and Sciences, will return to her alma mater, New York University, as the dean of liberal studies.

Mostov joined Drexel’s Department of History & Politics (now Politics) as an assistant professor, rising through the ranks to become professor as well as one of the founders and directors of Women’s Studies at Drexel. In 2003, she became director of the International Area Studies program and four years later became associate vice provost with the creation of a centralized Office of International Programs (OIP). Advancing to senior vice provost for global initiatives, Mostov employed a unique partnership model to create innovative initiatives to enhance the University’s global impact through strong collaborations in research and education with universities in strategically selected regions including China, Israel, Chile and Korea; Global Classrooms and Intensive Courses Abroad for Drexel Dragons; and strong links with citywide partners in promoting Global Philadelphia.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with her on engagements that enhance the experience for all of our international students,” Blake wrote in a May 19 University-wide email. “Julie has an infectious energy that accompanies her work and is such a trusted partner in the Office.”

John DiNardo, PhD

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Education John DiNardo, PhD, will embark on a sabbatical at the beginning of the 2017–18 academic year to ramp up a two-year special program for the Office of the Provost.

DiNardo first joined Drexel’s Department of Physics, where he is still a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, in 1984 as an assistant professor. Promoted to the rank of tenured associate professor in 1990 and named a professor in 1996, DiNardo transitioned into leadership roles as an associate dean in CoAS in 2003. Named vice provost for academic affairs, first in an interim role, in 2005, DiNardo helped support the expansion and creation of key Drexel departments and initiatives, including the research co-op in the Steinbright Career Development Center, the expansion of Graduate Studies and the transition to the Graduate College, and the establishment of the Center for Labor Markets and Policy, to name a few.

In his new role, DiNardo will collaborate with the Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence (CASTLE) and the current Drexel Areas of Research Excellence, ExCEL, to lead the University’s efforts to better connect its theoretical and experimental education with its discipline-specific curriculum.

“John and I have worked very closely over the past two years,” Blake wrote. “Often the only two arriving together early in the morning, we have shared coffee while discussing hundreds of University initiatives. I don’t believe I have worked with a colleague more dedicated than John or with such an even disposition, so I look forward to continuing our work toward this set of focused special projects.”

Blake will initiate an internal search for Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

Peter Franks

Vice President for Cooperative Education and Career Development Peter Franks will retire on June 30.

Franks first came to Drexel in 2005 after serving as the executive officer of the division of cooperative education and career services at Northeastern University. He served as the executive director and senior associate vice provost for career education in the Steinbright Career Development Center before being named vice provost in 2011. Throughout his career at Drexel, Franks has been a champion of Drexel’s co-op system to prepare students for future professional experiences and bolster Drexel’s co-op reputation across the country and around the world. Under his leadership, the co-op student employment rate rose, as did the number of students landing co-op across the country and around the world. Franks also secured significant funding for co-op scholarships for students with unpaid and international co-ops and helped create a graduate student co-op with the Graduate College.

“He has just been, to all of us, the consummate colleague and a dear, warm friend; and someone who is courageous and strong,” said President Fry at the 2017 cooperative education awards ceremony, noting that Franks’ legacy will live on in the great staff that he recruited and developed as well as the scholarships in place to support students and generations to come.

George W. Gephart Jr.

President and CEO George W. Gephart Jr. will retire this summer as president and CEO of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Gephart, a local business and nonprofit leader, joined the Academy in August 2010. Less than a year later, in May 2011, Gephart and President Fry formed a unique affiliation between Drexel University and the Academy, with the Academy functioning as an institute within the University. Under Gephart’s leadership, the Academy helped establish the Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, staffed with Drexel professors and museum scientists with a pipeline of co-op opportunities for students at the Academy.

“Today, the Academy of Natural Sciences is academically vibrant and fiscally sound with exciting opportunities for new growth, thanks to George and his team,” said Fry in a release announcing Gephart’s retirement. “His ability to motivate and to instill passion and trust across our institutions and in the community is an inspiration to us all.”

The Academy is undergoing a national search for Gephart’s successor.