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Campus & Community

Heard Around Campus — November

November 30, 2016

Heard Around Campus

As the year winds down, Drexel is preparing annual holiday traditions as well as new programs that will improve the personal and professional well being of faculty and staff members. Here's what was heard around campus during this month.


Dragon Volunteers Program Begins Dec. 1

In an effort to honor its commitment to becoming the most civically engaged university in the country, Drexel is launching the Dragon Volunteers program Dec. 1. The program, which will be managed by the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, allows professional staff up to 16 hours of paid time off each year to commit to community service.

Dragon Volunteers, announced earlier this month by President John A. Fry, will connect Drexel faculty and staff interested in volunteer work with a group of designated nonprofit organizations partnered with the University, as well as the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships. The paid time off will be available beginning Dec. 1, with supervisor approval. Staff can pair with one of the nonprofit organizations vetted by the Lindy Center for volunteer activities on campus, in the neighborhood and around the city.

“I am grateful to Drexel Human Resources and the Lindy Center for championing this policy change and for their leadership in moving this forward,” said Fry in a letter to the Drexel community.

More detailed information about Drexel’s partner organizations, specific volunteer opportunities and the registration process will be available at the Dragon Volunteers website when the program launches Dec. 1.


IRT Technology Update

Drexel’s Office of Information Resources and Technology (IRT) unrolled its latest technology update, which will greatly impact how faculty and staff conduct their work at Drexel.

For example, the first University-approved solution for cloud file storage and sharing has been announced. Drexel will now provide each faculty and professional staff member with 5 TB (5,000 GB) of cloud storage through OneDrive for Business, which was selected following rigorous technical, security and privacy reviews. The service is currently in open pilot, with full rollout planned for January 2017.

Another University-wide change is that email storage will be greatly expanded for all faculty and professional staff email boxes. Email storage limits will be expanded by 15 to 500 times what is currently offered, thanks to the move to the cloud. Email addresses will remain the same. 

According to IRT, the move will take place from November through January and is nearly seamless. When a faculty or professional staff member’s mailbox is moved, Outlook might notify him or her to restart the app. Outlook Web Access will also look a bit different.

Click here to read more about these updates as well as other changes that were recently announced.


Drexel Ventures Innovation Fund: Call for Proposals

Drexel Ventures, which provides internal funding for projects to enhance the commercial potential of promising Drexel technologies or services, has announced its call for proposals for funding in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Each project funded by the Drexel Ventures Innovation Fund may receive a maximum of $100,000.

Building on existing results or demonstrations, competitive proposals will describe feasibility studies, basic prototyping, testing and/or demonstration to provide proof of technical feasibility, and/or other similar activities. Project outcomes may include (but are not limited to) software, materials, devices, systems, processes and educational or training materials that will become, or are already protected by, intellectual property that can be commercialized.

Letters of Intent are due at 5 p.m. on Dec. 15 through the Drexel University Funding Portal.


Drexel to hold its 20th Annual Holiday Toy Drive

The Office of Government and Community Relations has begun its 20th Annual Holiday Toy Drive to donate toys and games to over 60 organizations in Philadelphia. Now is the time to keep the Toy Drive in mind when you complete your holiday shopping so you can bring a smile to a child’s face and make his or her holiday special.

Faculty and professional staff and students can donate new unwrapped toys (no toy weapons please) from now until Dec. 15. Collection boxes will be available in the University City, Center City and Queen Lane campuses at the following locations:

  • Office of the President, Main Building
  • Office of Government and Community Relations, Left Bank, Suite 102
  • Office of the Dean of Students, Creese Student Center, Suite 215
  • 3201 Arch Street, First Floor Recreation Center, Lobby
  • Bellet Building, Lobby
  • New College Building, Lobby
  • Queen Lane, Lobby

On Dec. 8 and 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., members of the University community can participate in toy bagging parties in the Great Court of Main Building. Lunch and refreshments will be served.


Update on Vue32, Childcare Mixed-Use/Residential Development

Construction is underway on the development of Vue32, Radnor Property Group’s new 16-story mixed-use residential and childcare development at 3201 Race Street.  By the end of this week, Radnor expects to be up to the 12th floor with structural steel and concrete plank. The precast concrete exterior wall panels have been installed up to the eighth floor, and installation of the prefabricated exterior wall panel system on the north elevation started this week. Meanwhile, interior metal framing on the third floor (first residential floor) and installation of the interior metal stairs are underway.  Plumbing, mechanical and electrical rough-in work continues to make its way up through the building.

The Vue32 tower will total 176,000 square feet when it’s completed in summer 2017. Nobel Learning Communities will be the operator of the 180-person preschool facility. The project also involves the development of 12 owner-occupied townhomes totaling 13,200 square feet; construction on the townhomes will commence when the tower is complete. Radnor Property Group is developing this project under a ground lease agreement with Drexel (similar to the third-party developments by American Campus Communities), at no cost to the University. 

Visit the University Facilities and Real Estate website for a full list of current projects, and visit the Drexel Master Plan blog for additional project updates and images from Vice President for University Facilities and Real Estate Bob Francis.