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Top Drexel Stories of 2018

Top stories 2018

December 17, 2018

With the end of 2018 fast approaching, now is a good time to reflect on everything that happened this year. And 2018 was a very big year for Drexel University. Faculty, staff and students were involved with some of the biggest news and events on and off campus, either through research or inventions or new partnerships or commentary.

Here's a collection of the top Drexel stories from 2018.

How Drexel Became Even Stronger

For the second year in a row, Drexel University welcomed its largest incoming class of freshmen to date and jumped ahead in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings.

Last year, the University started its most ambitious fundraising campaign ever, which reached the $500 million mark this fall.

The LeBow College of Business established the Raj & Kamla Gupta Governance Institute with the help of a $5 million gift and helped launch the University-wide Drexel Business Solutions Institute.

A new outpatient clinic called the WELL Center Clinic was launched by the College of Arts and Sciences to provide evidence-based treatment for weight management, eating disorders and related conditions.

Over at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection opened its new, custom-built gallery space and displayed material from the James G. Galanos Archive at Drexel University in the James Galanos: Design Integrity exhibit.

Off campus, Drexel University and Tower of Health announced plans to jointly develop a branch medical school campus of the College of Medicine in West Reading that will be operational for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Oh, yeah — and a Wawa opened on the University City Campus!! 

Stories Looking at Today’s Society

Amazon’s HQ2 isn’t coming to Philadelphia — but the city, and Drexel, was recognized as a “platform of innovation” in a New York Times story focused on Schuylkill Yards. The University was also highlighted by the publication for its civic engagement efforts in the West Philadelphia community.

Drexel faculty, staff and students are involved with understanding or solving many of today’s issues.

The way that companies do (or do not) weigh in on political issues can leave an effect on customers — like Nike’s “Just Do It” ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick, as researched by a LeBow College of Business associate professor of marketing.

The #MeToo hashtag and awareness months can help Facebook users heal, according to research from the College of Computing & Informatics. And the #MeToo era also sent its first celebrity to jail with the Bill Cosby sentencing this year, which Kline School of Law Dean Daniel M. Filler, JD, commented on.   

Because of the ACA/Medicaid expansion, researchers from the College of Medicine and Dornsife School of Public Health studied its effects on kidney transplants, and health care access for immigrants and those closest to the federal poverty line.

Drexel Online unveiled an online database of virtual and augmented reality content available for use as teaching tools at Drexel, which is seen as the first of its kind across the country.

As food trucks become more and more popular (especially around the University City Campus), students built a mobile app called Truckbux through the Close School of Entrepreneurship to make it easier to order at pay at food trucks. 

After the emergency landing of a Southwest flight, researchers from the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems released findings on technology that could be used to read the minds of pilots on the fly.

A Drexel study found that third-hand smoke can spread inside, showing that 'non-smoking' doesn't mean smoke-free. Researchers from the College of Engineering also looked at the tech connector of the future: spray-on antennas made from a uniquely Drexel material. 

K-12 education makerspaces are used today to foster positive student learning outcomes, and a study from Drexel’s ExCITe Center published the first national in-depth examination of makerspaces.

Big Wins for Drexel Athletics and Philly Teams

2018 was the debut of Gritty, and the beloved mascot was a big win for the Philadelphia Flyers, according to an associate clinical professor of sport management. And speaking of the Flyers, the professional hockey players are one of the many clients fueling up on Drexel's Dragon Gel sports snack.

The Philadelphia Eagles, of course, had a great year in 2018 with a Super Bowl title. But the football team also launched its inaugural Eagles Autism Challenge, which raised $2.5 million for autism research that will benefit the A.J Drexel Autism Institute.

And at the University level, Drexel Athletics had a banner year in 2018.

The University’s rowing team won its sixth (sixth!) consecutive overall title and second women's title at the annual Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta.

Dragons also made waves on the basketball court this year. The women's basketball team finished its most successful regular season in the program's history, an impressive feat made even sweeter when the team scored its second-ever Colonial Athletic Association regular season championship. And the men’s basketball team set an NCAA record with a 34-point comeback in a February game to defeat the University of Delaware.

Top Social Media Posts

Here are the top posts from Drexel University’s official social media accounts (which you should follow if you’re not already!):

Facebook: Wawa’s University City Campus opening — as demonstrated by its second mention in this list — was a really big deal.

Twitter: Drexel’s top tweet was in honor of Transgender Remembrance Day. 

Instagram: Move-in Day and a picture of Drexel’s new sign on University City Campus scored big.

LinkedIn: A post about alumnus Christopher Ferguson BS, ’84 HD ’09 was a huge hit. Ferguson will command NASA's first launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in seven years.