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2015 Fellowships Graduation Award

June 10, 2015

Congratulations to 2015 Fellowships Graduation Award recipients, Alex and Rishon Benjamin!

Alex and Rishon

Alex Benjamin (Mechanical Engineering BS/MS '15, Honors) and Rishon Benjamin (Chemical Engineering BS '15, Honors) have an outstanding track record of academic and research excellence. Both engineering majors are graduating with honors this week. Both have been awarded the Goldwater Scholarship, in addition to numerous departmental, university, and national awards during their time at Drexel. But that is not the reason we chose to honor Alex and Rishon with our Fellowships Graduation Award for a different, and very special, reason.

It may be obvious to many that fellowships is about fostering a culture of excellence. What might be less obvious is that it is also about tenacity, dedication and support. At the Fellowships Office, we feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work closely with Alex and Rishon, and to see these qualities in action.

Each went after his goals and committed to the hard work of putting together competitive applications, while always having each other’s back. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who knows Alex and Rishon. Despite focusing on different disciplines, the brothers share an interest in alternative energy systems and have co-published and collaborated in a variety of ways while at Drexel. “The joy of working together trumps any desire to compete,” Alex said in an interview last spring. Rishon agrees and explains, “The goal is to be the best we both can be and not compete to be better than each other.”

The brothers brought this mutual passion and support to the process of applying for fellowships. When results seemed disappointing or even unfair, they didn’t give up or lose sight of what is important: their passion for creating solutions to improve the lives of people all over the world. Finally, in the face of demanding course and lab schedules, they always made time to reach out, offer advice, and encourage other students to pursue their highest aspirations.

This fall, Alex and Rishon will begin the Master’s in Applied Mathematics program at MIT. We are incredibly happy for them. For their exemplary advocacy of all aspects of what it means to be a Fellow, we celebrate them with the Fellowships Graduation Award.


The Goldwater Scholarship was established by Congress in 1986, with the goal of recognizing the nation's top undergraduates in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. For more information please email Meredith Wooten, Acting Director, Fellowships Office.