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Pivot Point: The President’s Report

Momtaz Alhindi

March 03, 2016

The theme of the 2015 president’s report, “Pivot Point,” evokes a lever, the archetypal simple machine. The comparison turns out to be an apt one. According to President John A. Fry, this was the year Drexel put its full weight on one side of the fulcrum, investing in financial aid, co-op support and advising, in an effort to lift more students up.

“In 2015 we moved aggressively to better focus our resources on academic excellence and student success,” Fry wrote in his introduction. “Drexel has prioritized recruiting ‘right-fit’ students and fully supporting them throughout their time at the University. We have also continued our quest to keep a Drexel education affordable.”

The report goes on to profile students and professors who have benefited from this refocus of resources. Syria-born, Pennsylvania-raised Momtaz Alhindi was one of the first to enroll in the new “peace engineering” course offered under Drexel’s partnership with PeaceTech Labs, as part of congressionally funded U.S. Institute of Peace. The course is based around using technology-based tools to reduce violent conflict around the world.

“One of the most effective weapons we have today against violence is technology, and engineers have the power to make a very big impact on conflicts around the world,” said Alhindi, who is also in the Drexel Global Engagement Scholars program under the Office of International Programs.

The report details how professors have benefited from Drexel’s collaborations in 2015. College of Medicine Associate Professor Sandhya Kortagere, PhD, is working on next-generation treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Her work is supported by the Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership Program, which provides early-stage funding and industry guidance through the program.

“The Coulter Program helped me with all the aspects that I wouldn’t normally think about as a scientist,” Kortagere said. “That is the kind of training we really need.”

Read more about the innovations going on at Drexel in the president’s report here.