Heard Around Campus — August

Heard Around Campus

Labor Day weekend is coming up, and the start of the new academic year is right behind it. And with the end of the summer, and the summer term, and the academic year — well, there’s a lot that has happened this month, or will happen next month.

Here’s what was heard around campus this month that can be useful for faculty and staff:

Savor the Last Summer Fridays – Aug. 30 and Sept. 6

The last half-day Summer Fridays of 2019 will be on Aug. 30 and Sept. 6. After that, we will resume to full business days on Fridays. Remember to enjoy the Summer Friday Discount at Drexel Barnes and Noble Bookstores: a 25 percent discount on giftware and clothing for Drexel Employees, valid in-store only, ending on Sept. 6. Show a valid Drexel ID at checkout. 

Check Out the Supervisory Certificate Program

If you are a newer or aspiring manager, or even if you are an experienced manager and would like to brush up on your skills, the Supervisory Certificate Program (SCP) may be for you. Now an established and sought-after professional development opportunity, the SCP was launched eight years ago with the intention of building skills and confidence among Drexel’s management team. Faculty and professional staff interested in the program should review the SCP webpage and ask their manager to send a short letter of recommendation to scp@drexel.edu. The next opportunity to participate in Fundamentals of Supervision, the prerequisite workshop for the rest of the program, will be in November. We hope to see you there!

Attend a Workshop on Student Loan Repayment and Forgiveness

Join Drexel Human Resources (HR) and the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) on Sept. 10 at noon for a workshop about student loan repayment and forgiveness.

FMFCU will break down the different types of student loan debt and review the payment options available for each. Drexel HR will provide an overview of what is and is not forgivable debt under the current guidelines of the U.S. Department of Education's Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Attendance is welcome either in person or via webcast. You must register in Career Pathway to attend, accessed via DrexelOne. For additional details, please view the event listing.

Volunteer to Be a Peer Ambassador

Drexel Human Resources will launch the Peer Ambassador Program this fall to assist new employees as they transition to the Drexel community by acquainting them with life at Drexel, while providing a familiar face on campus outside of their immediate department. The program will pair each new hire with a peer ambassador, who will meet with the new hire regularly during their first few months to discuss topics such as policies, procedures, work culture and campus activities.

HR is looking for volunteers to be peer ambassadors. You must receive supervisor approval to participate and must attend training before you are paired with a new hire. The program will maintain an Office365 Team with resources and a list of campus events to help introduce new hires to campus life. If you are interested in becoming a peer ambassador, please supply your contact information via this link. If you have any questions about the program, please email Lindsay Norlen at les37@drexel.edu.

New Merchants Added to the DragonDollars Program

This summer, Drexel Business Services announced three new merchants to the DragonDollars program. The following businesses now accept DragonDollars:

  • Giant Heirloom Market, 3401 Chestnut St.
  • Wawa, 3300 Market St.
  • Panera Bread, 200 S. 40th St.

Adding DragonDollars to your DragonCard is easy via the GET Portal. You can add funds on demand or set-up the auto-load feature. For more information, including step-by-step instructions on how to auto-load, review the DragonCard section of the Drexel Business Services website. Visit the DragonDollars Directory for a complete list of merchants who accept DragonDollars.

Drexel Staff Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentorship Program

If you are looking for an impactful way to use your civic engagement leave time and want to work with youth, you can sign up to be one of the 25 Drexel employees to be matched to students from Morton McMichael Elementary School as part of BBBS' Beyond School Walls Mentoring Program. Offered through a partnership between Drexel’s Lindy Center for Civic Engagement and Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence (BBBS), this program will enable 5th grade students (“Littles”) to meet with their mentor (“Bigs”) here on campus twice a month from 9:30 to 10:30am on Wednesdays from October 2019 to June 2020.

Interested? Complete this form and, if possible, attend the information session on Aug. 29 from 12:30–1:30 p.m. at the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement (3210 Cherry St., 1st floor). You’ll have to conduct an individual placement meeting with the staff of BBBS and complete background checks through BBBS before you can meet your “Little.”

For questions, contact: Katie Regetta, associate director of student and employee civic Engagement at the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, by emailing kab356@drexel.edu or calling 215.571.3668.

Use Your Drexel ID to Save on Career Apparel

Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business will be collaborating with JCPenney at the Cherry Hill Mall on Sept. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. to offer discounts to Drexel students on professional business attire. This discount is also extended to Drexel employees. Show your Drexel ID and save up to 60 percent on career apparel, shoes and accessories. Free mini makeovers, hair consultations at the salon, and deals on headshots will also be available. For more information, please review these event details or contact Lisa DeLuca, director of undergraduate career services, at lisa.deluca@drexel.edu

Yearly Performance Review and Compliance Process Launches

Drexel's annual performance review and compliance process will begin on Sept. 6 and conclude on Nov. 6. Faculty should follow the evaluation guidelines set by their school or college. Professional staff and their supervisors will receive an email notification that their annual reviews have been released in Career Pathway on Sept. 6. For additional information on the performance management process, please visit the Performance Management webpage. And please see the Compliance Training page for information on completing this year’s required online compliance programs by Oct. 9 (programs are available in Career Pathway starting on Sept. 6).

Qualtrics Survey Template Update

The Qualtrics template was updated Aug. 14 for all newly created surveys. This blog post from Drexel’s Instructional Technology Blog explains what you need to know.

What’s Under Construction This Fall?

Here’s a look at some of the construction you’ll encounter on Drexel’s campuses this fall as part of our ongoing efforts to refresh the University’s living, learning and working spaces. For a more complete list of major projects, please visit the “Current Projects” page on the Real Estate and Facilities website.

  • Academy of Natural Sciences Library and New Exhibit Hall Renovation: The Academy is renovating the existing Library Reading Room into an exhibit space and consolidating library functions adjacent to the Reading Room. Completion is anticipated in February 2020.
  • Arlen Specter US Squash Center (developer: US Squash): Construction is in progress to convert the Armory into a national center for US Squash by renovating the Armory's interior, creating 20 courts, athletic training facilities, audience amenities and community use spaces. Construction is planned to be substantially complete in early fall 2020 to host the US Open Squash Tournament.
  • Bentley Residence Hall Renovation and Expansion: Students will begin moving into the renovated and re-named Bentley Hall in mid-September. The renovation addressed the needs of the building envelope and modernized the building throughout to provide an improved living experience. The project also includes an approximately 11,500 square foot, two-story addition — currently under construction — to provide critical space to relocate the Pennoni Honors College into the heart of the campus. The addition is expected to be completed in spring 2020.
  • Center for Automation Technology (CAT) Renovations: Construction is in progress on approximately 5,685 square feet of wet research laboratories and technical support spaces for the College of Engineering in the CAT. The project is anticipated to be completed in winter 2019.
  • Powel Elementary/Science Leadership Academy Middle School: Drexel and partner Wexford Science & Technology are developing the school on the western end of the University City campus at 36th and Filbert streets. Design has reached the construction document phase, building permit applications are underway, and a formal groundbreaking is expected in September 2019, with a project completion targeted for fall 2020 or spring 2021 occupancy. 
  • Schuylkill Yards (Brandywine Realty Trust): Scaffolding has been erected and demolition has begun in preparation for the installation of the new façade for 3025 Market Street (the former Bulletin Building), which will be completed in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Vidas Bubble: Construction is in progress for a seasonal air-supported structure over three existing tennis courts at the Vidas Athletics Complex, allowing year-round play. The facility is expected to be prepared for seasonal use in late fall 2019.

Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight: University and Community Partnerships

Drexel’s Office of University and Community Partnerships is committed to a Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow strategy, focused on creating employment opportunities for local residents while supporting local schools from early childhood through postsecondary to ensure that children and families living in the neighborhoods surrounding the University have access to employment. Here are just a few examples of that work:

Jobs Today

  • The Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, located at 3509 Spring Garden St., is a resource center open to the public, with computer labs staffed by support personnel to assist with professional development and employment search. The labs have received over 29,000 visits since opening in 2014.
  • The Beachell Family Learning Center is the home for workforce development programs designed and offered in conjunction with both Drexel and its vendors. Past pipeline programs, featuring paid training time, have connected West Philadelphia workers with full-time positions with Drexel medical practices and with our campus food service vendor.
  • The Helms Academy, through the Beachell Family Learning Center, provides adult education programming. After an initial assessment, residents may choose to pursue adult-based education, GED prep, or dual enrollment at the Community College of Philadelphia/Dornsife Center programming to build a bridge to employment.
  • Drexel’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law brings free legal assistance resources to the Dornsife Center through the Community Lawyering Clinic. Pro bono law clinics and free community workshops offer training, direct representation and referrals in areas like criminal record expungement, estate planning and employment discrimination and other employment-related matters.

Jobs Tomorrow

  • The West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood is a U.S. Department of Education funded grant to support “cradle-to-career” opportunities for children living or going to school in Belmont, Mantua, Mill Creek, Powelton Village, and West Powelton/Saunders Park. The program seeks to improve education, health, and economic successes for children, their families and communities.
  • The West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning Initiative, the early childhood education improvement strategy for the West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood, works with more than 25 local childcare providers and families to improve early childhood education. The initiative’s long-term goals for West Philadelphia children are: (a) kindergarten readiness and (b) reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

The Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships hosts a community dinner on the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. Join them to share a meal and meet Drexel’s neighbors, make new friends, or to find out more about the great work the center is doing.

This Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight was excerpted from the FY2018 Inclusive Community Review, an annual report celebrating the diversity and inclusion-related achievements of each of Drexel’s academic and administrative units. For general questions about diversity and inclusion initiatives at Drexel, please contact the Office of Equality & Diversity at oed@drexel.edu.