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Congratulations to Drexel's 2024-25 Fulbright Semi-Finalists!

February 7, 2024

We are thrilled to announce that thirteen Drexel students and recent alumni have been selected as semi-finalists for the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program for 2024-25. These applicants spent considerable time developing research, study, and creative proposals, crafting application essays, and incorporating feedback from supportive readers.

After being chosen by Fulbright U.S. National Screening Committees, their applications have been passed to the host countries for final selection. They will hear in the coming months whether they receive the award. We're so proud of the hard work they've put in to their applications and wish them the best of luck!

Marie-Lise ChrysostomeMarie-Lise Chrysostome
MD ’25
Semi-Finalist for Study/Research Grant to Canada

Born in Canada to Beninese immigrants and raised in upstate New York, Marie-Lise attended McGill University and obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Physiology. Acceptance to the Drexel Pathway to Medical School brought her to Philadelphia and kickstarted her medical career. In Philadelphia she found mentors who fostered her curiosity for basic research and introduced her the scholarly inquiries surrounding liver regeneration and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology has become her research niche and she plans to pursue a career as a physician-scientist in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Adia EdmondsonAdia Edmondson
MS arts administration and museum leadership ’24
Semi-Finalist for Study/Research Grant to the UK

Adia Edmondson (she/her) is a performing artist, arts administrator, and community leader with diverse experiences in the arts and community engagement. Originally from New York and Connecticut, Adia currently lives in Philadelphia, PA, where she is attending Drexel University and pursuing a Master’s degree in Arts Administration and Museum Leadership and a minor in Arts in Public Health, as well as a College Teaching non-credit certificate program. Prior to pursuing this degree, Adia received her BA in Dance and Theater with a concentration in Dance Therapy and a minor in Studio Art and Psychology from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. Currently, outside of the classroom Adia is a Mentor Coordinator with the DREAM program and Pilates Teacher in training at Drexel University’s Pilates studio. Adia has also engaged in a variety of experiences in community service, education, and the arts, working with organizations such as JUNTOS Collective, Dancing Classrooms, Groove With Me, City Year, Tessitura, Tom O’Conner Consulting Group, and many others. In her spare time, Adia enjoys dancing, trying new foods, and exploring the rich Philadelphia arts and culture community. Adia’s long term goal is to teach in higher education within a performing arts and/or arts administration department, as well as teach diverse movement/fitness styles in a variety of community settings.

Naomi FriedmanNaomi Friedman
environmental science ’24
Semi-Finalist for Study/Research Grant to the Philippines

Naomi is a senior in environmental science with minors in French and fine arts. Raised in a family of Jewish-Soviets, Naomi credits her love for nature to her family’s knack for mushroom foraging. She has worked at the Academy of Natural Sciences in the diatom herbarium, with a local non-profit LandHealth Institute, and with the Gonder Lab on a few different projects. She loves to experience new nature and new cultures and has had different opportunities to travel while at Drexel: to Australia for study abroad, to Ecuador for an intensive field course, and to Cameroon as part of her last co-op. Naomi believes that including long-standing communities in conservation management is essential for the betterment of our ecosystems. She also aims to integrate her love for art into her career as an environmental scientist through science communication and education. For her Fulbright project she wants to create a mutual exchange and understanding of coastal ecosystem knowledge between the long-standing residents of the Philippines and the researchers. 

Naomi has been involved in the Pennoni Honors College through the Honors Program and as a 2020 STAR Scholar.

Jack IvieJack Ivie
environmental science ’24
Semi-Finalist for Study/Research Grant to Iceland

Growing up in his hometown in Texas, Jack spent summers at the Nature & Science center or at outdoor summer camps. His passion led to him seeking a career path in the natural sciences with his first steps being volunteering at a dinosaur dig in Montana the summer after his high school graduation. It was at this dig that Jack was first introduced to Drexel staff and eventually wound up on Drexel’s accelerated bachelors and masters degree program. Now, he is completing a research project with the lab of Dr. Katy Gonder and the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP). This project is focused on the changes of sea turtle nesting populations over the last 2 decades. 

Jack has been involved in the Pennoni Honors College as a 2021 STAR Scholar.

Anthony LisiAnthony Lisi
chemistry ’24
Semi-Finalist for Study/Research Grant to Italy

Anthony Paul Lisi is a fifth-year student and proud first-generation college student pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a minor in biology on the pre-med track. As a freshman Star Scholar, he researched under Dr. Irwin Chaiken at DUCOM synthesizing therapeutics to prevent infection of HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 in humans; Anthony was honored to present this research at prestigious undergraduate research conferences.

Anthony’s first co-op at Adesis, Inc. granted him a look into the career of a PhD chemist, where he developed an understanding of organometallic chemistry. During his pre-junior year, Anthony and his mentor Dr. Olimpia Meucci worked diligently to coordinate the first exchange of an undergraduate student between DUCOM and Sant’Orsola Hospital of the University of Bologna, Italy (UniBo). Through this exchange, Anthony completed his second co-op investigating the biological mechanisms underlying vascular complications in chronic kidney disease patients. Anthony was welcomed back to UniBo for this third co-op to engage in shadowing in gastroenterology and vascular surgery. 

Post-graduation, Anthony intends to return to UniBo to study a novel robotic surgery platform. Together with a surgical team, he will study patient outcomes and the safety/practicality of the platform for surgeries that have not yet been approved in Europe.

Looking forward, Anthony’s goal is to be a physician-scientist, a global citizen, and an engaged international collaborator.

Anthony has been involved in the Pennoni Honors College as a 2020 STAR Scholar, 2020-21 Aspire Scholar, and Undergraduate Research Mini-Grant Recipient.

Lozen RobinsonLozen Robinson
custom-designed major, integrative neuroscience ’24
Semi-Finalist for Study/Research Grant to the UK

Lozen (she/her) is a senior studying her own unique major, integrative neuroscience, through the Custom-Designed Major. Since her first research experience with the Toyooka Lab as a STAR Scholar, Lozen has been committed to pursuing a career in neurobiology research. She completed her first co-op at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with the Kilbaugh Lab studying mitochondrial function in neurological diseases and she did her second and last co-op at École Normale Supérieure/College de France in Paris with the Thion/Garel Lab studying microglia in early brain development. For her Fulbright study grant, Lozen will complete a Master's in Biosciences with a concentration in neuroscience, focusing her thesis on early fate specification of neuronal subtypes with the goal of developing therapies for neuropsychiatric diseases.

Lozen has been involved in the Pennoni Honors College through the Honors Program, the STAR Scholars Program (2021), SuperNova Undergraduate Research Fellows, and UREP Ambassadors.

Kejsi RukaKejsi Ruka
global studies ’24
Semi-Finalist for Study/Research Grant to Croatia

Kejsi is an honors student pursuing a degree in global studies with minors in Spanish, political science, and law. Kejsi also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Drexel’s independent student newspaper, The Triangle. Her research with Dr. Kristy Kelly studies the relationship between gender and corruption through a sociological feminist lens. Most recently, she attended the UN Convention against Corruption in Atlanta and networked with anti-corruption scholars, practitioners, and government officials. Kejsi has completed three co-ops with HIAS PA, The Welcoming Center, and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts. Her professional interests include policy, law, and journalism. 

Kejsi has been involved with the Pennoni Honors College through the Honors Program, as a 2020 STAR Scholar, 2020-21 Aspire Scholar, Undergraduate Research Mini-Grant Recipient, and through the SuperNova Undergraduate Research Fellows Program.

Nalo RussellNalo Russell
global studies ’24
Semi-Finalist for ETA to Mexico

Nalo is a senior majoring in global studies with a minor in Spanish and biochemistry; while she is pursuing the pre-med track. Her global studies concentration is in global health and sustainability, so most of her academic endeavors has circulated around the health profiles of underserved communities on a global scale. Nalo has completed both an Intensive Course Abroad (ICA) in Scandinavia, as well as a Winter Term abroad in Costa Rica with a focus on healthcare in Latin America. Outside of her academic pursuits, Nalo is a Steinbright Co-Op Peer Mentor, a Pennoni Honors College mentor, an Ascent mentor, and President of the Drexel Debate Union. Nalo hopes to pursue surgery on the global scale by ultimately serving as a tent doctor on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Meleki WamulumeMeleki Wamulume
MPH global health ’23
Semi-Finalist for ETA to Zambia

Meleki Wamulume is a graduate from Drexel University with a MA in Public Health (Global Health). He spent much of his time at Drexel working at 11th Street Family Health Services, which has been recognized as a national model of innovative care, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s LEAP project (Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the American Academy of Nursing. 11th Street uses a transdisciplinary approach to deliver primary care, behavioral health, dental services, and health and wellness programs to more than 2,500 patients annually.

During his time at 11th Street Family Health Services, Meleki participated in the advancement of the center’s mission in his participation in the Undoing Racism committee. He has presented on the connection between health and social justice with thoughtful attention and discussion. He also participated in development of policies specific to anti-racist hiring practices.

This list does not include the semi-finalists who declined to be publicized in this step of the process.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards funding for one academic year of self-designed study, research, creative projects, or teaching English in over 140 countries around the world. 

For more information please visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website or email

Special thanks to the Drexel faculty and staff members who worked with us during the summer and fall to advise individual applicants, review campus applications, and conduct preliminary review and campus interviews:

Neville Vakharia, Design, Westphal
Pete Amato, English & Philosophy, CoAS
Ben Barnett, English Language Center
Valerie Booth, English & Philosophy, CoAS
Monserrat Bores Martinez, Global Studies and Modern Languages, CoAS
Travis Curtice, Politics, CoAS
Tali Gidalevitz, Biology, CoAS
Jessica Green, Writers Room
Cassandra Hirsch, English & Philosophy, CoAS
Kari Lenhart, Biology, CoAS
Brent Luvaas, Global Studies and Modern Languages, CoAS
Celeste Mann, Global Studies and Modern Languages, CoAS
Mariadelaluz Matus-Mendoza, Global Studies and Modern Languages, CoAS
Rachel Reynolds, Communication, CoAS
Donna Rondolone, English & Philosophy, CoAS
Gail Rosen, English & Philosophy, CoAS
Doreen Saar, English & Philosophy, CoAS
Simone Schlichting-Artur, Global Studies and Modern Languages, CoAS
Maria Volynsky, English & Philosophy, CoAS
VK Narayanan, Management, LeBow
Karen DeVose, CCI
Dorilona Rose, CoE
Casey Devine, Drexel Global
Emily Zimmerman, Law, Kline School of Law
Marisol Rodriguez-Morgenthal, LSAMP
Nielufar Varjavand, Medicine, DUCOM
Kristine Mulhorn, Health Administration, CNHP
Constance Perry, Health Administration, CNHP
Katie Barak, PHC
Lauren Davis, PHC
Kevin Egan, PHC
Melinda Lewis, PHC
Julia Wisniewski, PHC
Erin Durkin, Dornsife
Caryn Glaser, BIOMED
Adrian Shieh, Biomedical Engineering, BIOMED
Jillian Clark, Steinbright Career Development Center
Amanda Stagg, Steinbright Career Development Center
Sharde Johnson, Center for Black Culture
Jennifer Thorndike-Gonzales, Student Center for Diversity & Inclusion
David Appleton, Education, SoE
Ellana Black, Education, SoE
Kristy Kelly, Education, SoE
Valerie Klein, Education, SoE