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A Message to the Graduate Student Community

June 1, 2020

Dear Graduate Student Community:

My colleagues and I, as well as several of your graduate student leaders, strongly echo President Fry's messages sent over the weekend. We are deeply saddened and outraged by the recent incidents leading to the unnecessary deaths of two Black men, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others in the Black community. These violent acts come at a time when our world has already been profoundly disrupted by COVID-19.

Drexel's graduate student community, both on campus and online, has always been united and dedicated to the fundamental principles of diversity, equality and inclusion and our students have consistently made a positive impact in our communities. Now, more than ever, we need to rely on each other and help each other through these challenging but pivotal times.

As indicated in President Fry's message, the University will be hosting a virtual dialogue about race for members of the Drexel community this Friday. More information to follow.

In addition to this University-wide conversation, we want to partner with our graduate community to support each other and approach solutions together. We are working to organize another time for the graduate community to come together to share and reflect, and to ensure that everyone's voice is heard. We welcome your commentary and suggestions, however minor, for ways in which we can address concerns and influence positive change in our community. More information to follow.

We don't have all the answers, but we will continue to seek them together. Our diverse graduate student body has always taken a leadership role in tumultuous times and we want you to know that we stand with you and are here to support you.

We hope you will join us as we take action and become active allies in restoring trust, acceptance and inclusivity for the black community, and for all.


Elisabeth J. Van Bockstaele, Ph.D. 
Senior Vice President for Graduate and Online Education 
Dean, Graduate College 

Founding Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies 
Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology 
College of Medicine

2019-2020 Executive Board of the Graduate Student Association

President: Karly Soldner, College of Engineering 
Vice President of Operations: Amy Honnig, College of Engineering 
Vice President of Academic Affairs: Guillermo Ibarrola Recalde, School of Education 
Vice President of Student Life: Saurajyoti Kar, College of Engineering 
Vice President of Finance: Luis Rebollar, College of Engineering 
Vice President of Communications: Martin Walsh, College of Engineering 
Social Chair: Nivedya Ashokan, LeBow College of Business

2019-2020 Executive Board of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Association

President: Ogan Kumova 
Executive Vice President: Silvia Fernandez 
Vice President of Finance: Mago Randelman 
Vice President of Operations: Cassandra Spector 
Vice President of Professional Development: Dillon Mallory
Vice President of Event Management: Candace Rizzi-Wisse 
Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion: Shrobona Guha 
Vice President of Community Outreach: Manali Potnis 
Vice President of Public Relations: Jill Lawrence 
Vice President of Alumni Relations: Julia Farnan