Top 10 Most-read DrexelNow Stories of 2021

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A mason jar labeled 2021 with fairy lights around it on the table.

With the return to campus starting, and gradually increasing, in 2021, Drexel University looked forward these past 12 months, and the most-read DrexelNow stories of the year reflect that.

Students, faculty and professional staff who came back to learn, teach and work on campus looked for articles offering advice on what was open and what had changed. Commencement was held in person for both the Class of 2021 as well as the Class of 2020, and audiences pored over announcements of the University-wide and college and school Commencement speakers. And beyond pandemic-related news, Dragons read about the future of Drexel, with the implementation of the University’s new strategic plan and the welcoming of a new Director of Athletics.

To provide a snapshot of what the Drexel community read about during the year, DrexelNow picked its top 10 most-read stories (as measured by total number of pageviews) of original reporting published by Office of University Communications staff from January to December 2021.

Top 10 DrexelNow stories of 2021:

10. Urban Ethnographer Elijah Anderson to Address Graduates at Drexel’s University-wide Commencement 

Headshot of commecement speaker Elijah Anderson, one of the most distinguished urban ethnographers

Anderson, the Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies at Yale University, and one of the nation’s most influential scholars in the field of urban inequality, spoke at Drexel’s University-wide commencement ceremony on June 11. 

9. Medical Device Startup Nephria Bio to Use Drexel’s MXene Filter Materials in Wearable Artificial Kidney Technology 

MXene Layers

The U.S.-based spin-off of the South Korean medical device company EOFlow Co., Ltd., signed a licensing agreement with the University to use the two-dimensional material, discovered at Drexel, as a filter in a wearable artificial kidney device. 

8. Drexel University Names Bucknell’s Maisha Kelly New Director of Athletics 

Portrait photo Maisha Kelly

Bucknell University’s former senior associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator took over the top Athletics Department position in July.

7. Drexel University Announces 2021 Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients 

The commencement set-up in Mandell Theater where non-semester-based college and school ceremonies were livestreamed from June 7–10.

The speakers at individual college and school ceremonies this year were well-known and respected in their various fields, and several had deep, longstanding ties to Drexel.

6. Report: Autistic Individuals Have Increased Risk of COVID-19 

Child sitting with adult coloring while both are wearing face masks.

Research from the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute found that autistic adults have multiple risk factors for both infection and more severe disease if they contract COVID-19, as do adults with intellectual disabilities and adults with mental health diagnoses.

5. A Deep Dive into Drexel’s 2030 Strategic Plan 

Mario the Magnificent statue. Photo credit: Jeff Fusco.

Members of the strategic plan’s Executive Planning Committee explained how “Drexel 2030: Designing the Future” will help the University reach its full potential as an academic model uniquely suited to the work of the future.

4. Drexel Celebrates Pride Month 2021 

In June, the University held online events exploring and celebrating the wide spectrum of history, experiences and issues within the LGBTQIA+ community.

3. Moving Back to Campus? Here’s What’s Open for Winter Term (and When)

A Drexel student works out in the Rec Center during the fall 2020 term. Photo by Ben Wong.

For Drexel students returning to campus for the winter term in 2021, this article laid out what academic, recreational, health and retail amenities were open — whether physically or virtually, or both.

2. Eating on Campus: What to Grab and Where to Go

The Gateway Garden at 32nd and Market streets in September 2021. Photo credit: Jeff Fusco.

When most Dragons returning to campus for the fall term in 2021, DrexelNow found new or familiar food spots on campus for them to enjoy — and where they could sit and enjoy them outside.

1. Brandywine Realty Trust and Drexel University Break Ground on The West Tower at Schuylkill Yards 

Rendering of The West Tower in the Schuylkill Yards development

Construction began on the first vertical development within Schuylkill Yards, which will contain residential rental units, life science and innovation office space, retail and indoor/outdoor amenity spaces.