Lucy Kerman, PhD

Senior Advisor, University and Community Partnerships

Lucy Kerman, PhD, is senior advisor to Drexel President John Fry, and has worked to support education, community development and anchor partnerships in West Philadelphia for 25 years.

From 2010-2022, Kerman was the senior vice provost for University and Community Partnerships at Drexel, responsible for providing strategic direction for the University’s civic engagement initiatives. Among many projects, Kerman created the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, Drexel’s “urban extension center” in the Mantua neighborhood; was the Principal Investigator for a 5-year, $30 million U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhoods grant for schools and communities in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone; and helped establish a K-8 “innovation campus” in the heart of University City for two public schools, Powel Elementary and Science Leadership Academy Middle School.

Before coming to Drexel, Kerman served as vice president of Policy and Planning at the Urban Affairs Coalition, and was a member of University of Pennsylvania President Judith Rodin’s staff, where she helped to coordinate Penn’s West Philadelphia Initiatives. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, and earned a PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and a business certificate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

For news media inquiries, contact Niki Gianakaris at, 215-895-6741 (office) or 215-778-7752 (cell).

In The News

How Drexel's Public School Experiment Could Change West Philadelphia
Lucy Kerman, PhD, senior vice provost for University and Community Partnerships, was interviewed in a July 31 segment on's "The WHY" podcast about Drexel's plan to build a new public school building in West Philadelphia.
As Drexel Transforms University City, Nearby Communities Prepare for Gentrification
Drexel President John Fry and Lucy Kerman, PhD, senior vice provost for University and Community Partnerships, were quoted in a July 13 Plan Philly story about Schuylkill Yards and how its development will impact the surrounding neighborhoods. The story was picked up by the Phildelphia Business Journal and WHYY.
Locke in West Philly Becomes City's 12th Community School
Lucy Kerman, PhD, senior vice provost for University and Community Partnerships, was quoted in a Sept. 6 Philadelphia Public School Notebook story about Drexel supporting Alain Locke School as part of the Mayor’s Community Schools Initiative. Drexel will use funding from the Promise Neighborhood grant to fund community resources and services at Locke. A related story also ran on Newsworks.
Philadelphia Hosts National Association of Black Journalists Conference
Lucy Kerman, PhD, senior vice provost for University and Community Partnerships, was included in a April 4 Huffington Post story as one of the speakers at the National Association of Black Journalists conference in Philadelphia.
Drexel Gets $6 Million to Help Seven Philly Schools
Lucy Kerman, PhD, senior vice provost for University and Community Partnerships, was quoted in a Dec. 20 Diverse Issues in Higher Education story about Drexel and Philadelphia receiving a $6 million Promise Neighborhood grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant provides up to $30 million over five years per locality. The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, WCAU-TV (NBC-10), WTXF-TV (FOX-29) and numerous outlets covered the story.
Philly Superintendent Wants More Closures, Conversions, New Schools
Drexel was mentioned in an Oct. 1 Philadelphia Inquirer story about new public schools being built in the city. Lucy Kerman, PhD, vice provost for university and community partnerships, was quoted in an Oct. 1 “Campus Inq” post about Drexel’s involvement in opening a middle school on the former site of University City High School.
Philly Finalists Selected for $3 Million Arts in Development Grant
Lucy Kerman, PhD, vice provost for university and community partnerships, was quoted in a Philly Voice story on May 4 about Drexel being among four Philadelphia organizations selected as finalists by ArtPlace America for community development investments. The finalist will receive a $3 million grant to incorporate arts and cultural strategies into its community work.
University Re-Imagines Town And Gown Relationship In Philadelphia
The Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships was profiled in a Jan. 29 National Public Radio (NPR) story about its involvement in the Mantua community. Lucy Kerman, PhD, vice provost for university and community partnerships, and Rose Samuel-Evans, association director of community partnerships, were quoted in the story, which also mentioned President John A. Fry.

Related Articles

Drexel, Mantua Civic Association, Morton McMichael School and School District of Philadelphia to Open New Playground
Students at the Morton McMichael School will have a new playground when they return this fall thanks to a collaboration between the school, Mantua Civic Association and Drexel University.
Community members using the computers in Drexel's Beachell Family Learning Center. Photo courtesy Amy Wen. Drexel University AmeriCorps Program to Offer Nonprofit Co-ops to Civic-minded Students
The unique co-op opportunity will financially support a cohort of Drexel students gaining professional experience at nonprofits in Philadelphia.
Members and partners in the SLAMS/Powel facility initiative break ground Drexel and School District of Philadelphia Break Ground on Facility for K-8 Public Schools in West Philadelphia
Drexel University and The School District of Philadelphia held a ceremonial groundbreaking today for a building that will house two public schools in West Philadelphia. The School District of Philadelphia will lease the building from Drexel and the facility will house both the Samuel Powel Elementary School, currently at 36th Street and Powelton Avenue, and the Science Leadership Academy Middle School, which opened in 2016 at Drexel's Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships and recently moved into a space at 3600 Market Street.
Image of heart with stethescope Drexel and Lazarex Cancer Foundation Establish Program to Help Improve Health Outcomes for Philadelphia Neighborhoods
Drexel University is partnering with the Lazarex Cancer Foundation to establish Community IMPACT, a program that will focus on reducing cancer and improving health outcomes in Philadelphia, starting in West Philadelphia neighborhoods. The program involving the Dornsife School of Public Health, College of Nursing and Health Professions and the College of Medicine will combine public health qualitative and quantitative assessment and research methods with a grassroots engagement in communities that are often not invited to make their own decisions for health care.
Dana and David Dornsife together with Drexel representatives and the Lindy family cut the ribbon. Drexel Purchases West Philadelphia Community Center to Expand Community Partnerships and Programming
Four years after the Dana and David Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships opened its doors to the Powelton and Mantua communities, Drexel University announced plans to expand the programming offered to the community with the purchase in June 2018 of the West Philadelphia Community Center.
elementary school Drexel Helps Alain Locke School Join City's Roster of Community Schools
With support from Drexel University, the Alain Locke School will become the 12th school to enter Philadelphia’s Community School Initiative. The program, which will be funded through Drexel’s West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood grant, will provide after-school, family and community programing at the school.
Exterior of the Dornsife Center New Public School to Open in West Philadelphia with Support of $1.8 Million Philadelphia School Partnership Grant
The School District of Philadelphia, Drexel University and Inquiry Schools announced that Science Leadership Academy Middle School (SLA-MS) plans to open to fifth grade students in Fall 2016 in a temporary location at Drexel’s Dana and David Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.
Philadelphia Drexel and Penn Join White House Smart Cities Initiative
Experts from Drexel University and The University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Urban Research will join others from cities around the country as participants in a White House initiative to make universities and their host municipalities partners in using technology to solve the challenges that face our nation’s growing urban areas.