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Dragons on Fire: Kudos for Student Achievements

June 13, 2023

Microscope in a lab with people in lab coats in background

Last term, Drexel University undergraduate and graduate students were recognized for their academic and professional contributions and accomplishments. This update offers a snapshot of activity courtesy of the Office of the Provost.

Want to learn more about opportunities for scholarships and fellowships? There’s Drexel’s Undergraduate Research & Enrichment Programs (UREP), which also serves graduate students applying for fellowships. 

Scholarships and Publications

Sam Harper, fashion design ’23, from the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was the subject of a profile in Teen Vogue in March. The article highlights the brand she created during her studies, The Harper Collective, which has become a favorite of Generation Z and is worn by celebrities like Addison Rae and Kylie Jenner.

Salamata Bah, BS computer science ’23; Ansh Chandnani, BS computing security & technology ’23; and Jason Ngov, BS computer science ’23, from the College of Computing & Informatics, were featured in a Feb. 22 Media article on their co-op experiences at Meta, Google and Amazon, respectively.

Matt Cowan, PhD candidate in biology from the College of Arts & Sciences, was selected for the Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine, through which he will spend three months later this year working in Washington, D.C., on science policy advising and development.

Luis Grande, PhD candidate in communication, culture and media from the College of Arts and Sciences, published “Mediated Identities: How Facebook Intervenes in the Virtual Manifestation of our Identities” in the book “Virtual Identities and Digital Culture.”

Lashae Williams, PhD candidate in clinical psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded the inaugural Internship Scholarship from the Society for Black Neuropsychology (SBN). Williams is one of two trainees nationwide to receive this award, which supports students from underrepresented backgrounds during the clinical internship application process.

Asa Lewis PhD candidate in environmental engineering from the College of Engineering, published a paper entitled “Influence of microbial weathering on the partitioning of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in biosolids” in the journal Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts.

Jada Itam, JD ’24, and Corey Fedorowich, JD ’24, from the Kline School of Law, are recipients of the Carl Oxholm Summer Fellowship. The program awards a stipend and internship at Philadelphia’s Law Department to 2Ls committed to public service.

“It Takes Two to Tango: Supporting Actor Status and Dyadic Collaborative Tie Formation,” a paper by Ankita Kulkarni, doctoral candidate in management from the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business, was accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Four of Drexel’s five nominees have received the Goldwater Scholarship, a new record for Drexel. The Goldwater recognizes excellence among undergraduate sophomores and juniors planning to pursue research careers in STEM. Drexel’s recipients are Marley Downes, BS/MS materials science & engineering ’24, Honors, and Julian Marmo, BS electrical engineering ’24 from the College of Engineering; Olivia Jones, BS/MS biomedical engineering ’24, Honors, from the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems; and Stefan Wagner, BS computer science and mathematics ’24 from the College of Computing & Informatics and the College of Arts & Sciences.

Three Drexel students have so far been selected to receive Fulbright Scholarships for research or teaching abroad in the 2023–24 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student program; one student has been named an alternate. Five of Drexel’s 10 semifinalists for these awards are still awaiting final status notifications. The recipients so far include: Fulbright Research grant to Iceland: Emily Herbert, PhD candidate in materials science and engineering and BS materials science and engineering ’19 from the College of Engineering; Fulbright Research grant to South Korea: Jesse Stover, BS public health ’23, from the Dornsife School of Public Health; Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to South Korea: Chris Jang, BA teacher education ’23, from the School of Education. Alternate, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Malta: Neha Chongtham, BS biological sciences ’23, Honors, College of Arts & Sciences.

Darrell Omo-Lamai, BS/MS materials science and engineering ’23, from the College of Engineering, has been named one of the 100 students in the 2023 class of the Knight Hennessy Scholars program at Stanford University. The award will provide financial support and an interdisciplinary community of scholarship while he completes his doctorate in materials science. Omo-Lamai is Drexel’s first-ever Knight Hennessy Scholar and was selected from a pool of over 11,000 applicants.

Sky Harper, BS chemistry ’24 from the College of Arts & Sciences, has been named a Truman Scholar, which is a highly competitive national fellowship honor given to about 60 students nationwide that grants them $30,000 toward three years of graduate study that leads to a career in public service. He is Drexel’s second Truman Scholar ever and the University’s first Triple Crown Scholar, as he has also received the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater and Udall Undergraduate Scholarships.

Andrea Eleazar, BS public health ’23, Honors, from the Dornsife School of Public Health, has been selected for the Critical Language Scholarship to study Bahasa Indonesia in Indonesia in summer 2023; she was one of twelve Drexel applicants and two Drexel semifinalists for this nationally competitive award.

Andres Puerta, BA global studies ’23, from the College of Arts & Sciences, was named an alternate for the inaugural Clark Diplomatic Security Fellowship, which provides graduate school tuition support as a precursor to a career with the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.

Academic Accolades and Other Achievements

Martha Coates, PhD candidate in nursing from the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was an invited speaker at the 2022 Public Health Law Summit at the University of Maryland Baltimore on health equity and the digital divide.

Felix Agbavor and Shreya Soni, both PhD candidates from the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, won the BIOMED Student Best Paper Award for their outstanding work and publication as first authors of their respective papers.

Pratusha Reddy, PhD candidate from the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, won first place in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2023 Student E-Poster Competition in the Graduate Brain & Behavior category for the project “Improve Ability of Brain Hemodynamic Measures in Assessing Cerebrovascular Reactivity.”

Yang Xu, PhD biostatistics ’24 from the Dornsife School of Public Health, won first place in the AAAS student poster competition in the Graduate Technology, Engineering & Math category for research titled “Bayesian Modeling for Assessing Racialized Economic Segregation and Mortality in United States.”

Abe Jeyapratap, BS computer science ’24 from the College of Computing & Informatics, won first place in 2023 AAAS Student Poster Competition (in the Brain and Behavior subcategory for undergraduate students) for his poster titled “A Structural Connectivity-Driven Neuroimaging Biomarker for Autism Spectrum Disorder.” He received a cash award of $500, a one-year AAAS membership that includes a digital subscription to the journal Science, his name and poster title printed and published in Science and a recognition certificate. His research was also accepted at the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging Conference, where he will present.

Arjun Sharma, graduate student in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, won first place and $500 in the Fast Pitch competition at Drexel’s Close School of Entrepreneurship 2023 Future Fest.

Hailee Mayer, PhD candidate from the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, was selected to present her research project titled, “Analysis of the Subharmonic Response of Definity, Sonazoid, and Lumason in an In Vitro Flow System” at Euroson 2023, the most important European conference on ultrasound in medicine and biology.

Kelsey Chong, BS data science and economics ’25, is the recipient of Drexel University’s Undergraduate Research Mini-Grant for Spring Term (with Christopher Yang, PhD, professor, College of Computing & Informatics). This grant provides further support for faculty and student collaboration in undergraduate research, scholarship and creative work at the University while also offering students the opportunity to build skills in crafting effective application materials for funding opportunities. As part of her award, Chong presented her research during the 2023 Week of Undergraduate Excellence Virtual Poster Session.

The College of Medicine’s student-run Pediatric AIDS Benefit Concert held their 30th annual event on Feb. 11. The event supports the Dorothy Mann Center for Pediatric and Adolescent HIV at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and has raised more than $650,000 for the cause.

College of Medicine neuroscience students Breanne Pirino;Sierra Coleman; Brody Carpenter, master’s ; and Nawal Syed, biological sciences bachelor’s student from the College of Arts and Sciences; along with College of Medicine alumni, published “Sex-Related Differences in Endogenous Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide (PACAP) in the Thalamic Paraventricular Nucleus: Implications for Addiction Neuroscience” in the March 2023 issue of Addiction Neuroscience.

Celia Armstrong, MS interior architecture & design ’23, Joanne Huynh, MS interior architecture & design ’23, and Andrew Scheetz, MS interior architecture & design ’23 from the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design were selected as the graduate winners of the 2022-23 International Design Educators Council (IDEC) Student Design Competition for their submission, “Project Oasis.”