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Thankful for our Graduate and Professional Community

The word "Thankful" in brown script on beige background with leaves and pumpkin on outline

November 22, 2022

As we approach Thanksgiving, each of our faculty and professional staff members in the Graduate College took a moment to share what they’re most thankful for, in addition to having the opportunity to work alongside and grow with our graduate and professional student, postdoc and faculty and professional staff community every day:

“Wishing all of our graduate students, postdocs, graduate advisors and faculty a Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful to our graduate and postdoctoral communities for their engagement and dedication, passion and scholarly contributions and making a significant impact on addressing society’s greatest challenges. I hope you find time to enjoy time with friends, family and pets!”

-Elisabeth Van Bockstaele, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer, Senior Vice President for Graduate and Online Education, Dean of the Graduate College and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies, Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, College of Medicine

“As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the faculty, students, and professional staff for enriching our graduate community at Drexel. Your contributions have a profound impact on the success of our students and the graduate community at Drexel. Best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day with your family and loved ones.”

-Melissa Richman, MSEd ‘14, Executive Director of Online and Graduate Financial Services and Planning, Graduate College, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies, College of Medicine, Drexel University Online

“I am, of course, so deeply grateful for my family and my friends. I am also grateful for my colleagues in the Graduate College – it is an amazing group of people who care deeply about the welfare and success of our graduate students. Over the past year, we have watched the Graduate College come more alive with students stopping by for coffee and conversation. I am grateful to have gotten to meet so many of you and I am enjoying getting to know more of you. You continually bring a smile to my face when I hear you laughing, collaborating, playing chess, or supporting one another. I wish you all the best for a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with friends, family, love, and plenty of food!”

-Anne Converse Willkomm, MFA, Associate Dean, Graduate College, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Communications, College of Arts and Sciences

“I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Congratulations on your accomplishments, and key milestones achieved on your academic journey this year. I am thankful for my family, friends, and all the wonderful people I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with in our amazing Drexel connected community. May your holiday be extra special this year!”

-Kimberly David-Chung, MS, Assistant Vice President, Virtual Student Experience, Graduate College, Drexel University Online, Student Life

“Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for an opportunity to make a difference, for my family and friends, for more chances to be together, in person again. For those of us who experienced setbacks related to devastated worldwide events, health, academic or personal challenges, here is a hopeful quote from Annie’s musical (C. Strouse/M. Charnin):

‘When I'm stuck with a day that's grey and lonely
I just stick up my chin and grin and say, oh
The sun will come out tomorrow
So, you got to hang on 'til tomorrow
Come what may’

-Natalie Chernets, PhD ‘14, Director of Postdoctoral Affairs and Professional Development, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Associate Director, MD/PhD Program, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies, College of Medicine

“We all yearn for knowledge and success in our endeavors, and we are grateful to be provided with the medium for this via Drexel University, the Graduate College, our staff, our faculties and our graduate students. We give thanks for the many learning experiences at Drexel, in and out of the classroom. Happy Thanksgiving to the Drexel University graduate family. Hoping we all get to spend quality time with our loved ones.”

-Michael Ryan, PhD ‘12, Director of Academic Support, Graduate Pipeline Projects, Graduate College, Associate Department Head of Graduate Studies, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering

“Let me start with a heartfelt ‘Thank you.’ You have filled the new academic year with incredible dedication and outstanding achievements. I am inspired by your unwavering commitment to academic excellence and building a diverse community through higher education. Please take time to enjoy the holiday season surrounded by family, friends and festivities.”

-Tsz Kwok, EdD ‘16, Director of Academic Administration, Director of Graduate Multicultural and Equity Affairs, Adjunct Faculty Member, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design

“No matter what your Thanksgiving tradition or lack thereof, I hope you take some time for YOU. Try not to ruminate over work as it will be there when you return. Take a moment to read Dean Willkomm’s great advice from her blog, Professional Buzz, on the 4 ways to beat burnout and 7 types of rest. This year, I am thankful for good health and for family, friends and my colleagues in the Graduate College and the greater Drexel community. I am also thankful for warm holiday meals because YUM. Cheers!”

-Sandra Strang, EdM, Director of Communications and Events

“Happy Thanksgiving! Take this time to care for yourself, rejuvenate and celebrate with family and friends.”

-Reina Lopez, MS ‘22, Manager of Events and Conferences

“May your Thanksgiving break be filled with good food, lots of laughs, and plentiful rest with your community of friends and families!”

-David Kim, MS, Administrative Coordinator

“Happy Thanksgiving, Dragons! I am thankful for all the wonderful staff at the Graduate College and the Drexel community! I am excited to take some time to celebrate the holiday with friends and family that are visiting Philly!”

-Rachel Mroz, Communications and Events Co-op and Student Staff Member, major in political science, minors in history and marketing, College of Arts and Sciences

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Take care and be well.