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Nina Henderson Provost Scholars

The Nina Henderson Provost Scholars Program, launched in the fall of 2021, is an annual scholarship program that provides 12 motivated Drexel students with the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and play a hands-on role in shaping the Drexel experience. Drawing on their diverse backgrounds, disciplines and perspectives, Nina Henderson Provost Scholars work alongside the Provost and senior Provost’s Office leadership to advance key priorities of the Drexel 2030 Strategic Plan and collaborate on strategic projects. The program is made possible by support from Nina Henderson, Chair of the Academic Affair Committee of the Board of Trustees, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Drexel alumna.

Scholar Projects

Led by members of the Provost’s Office leadership team, the Scholars have been assigned to the following inaugural cohort projects:

  • Enrolled Students Survey Feedback
  • Graduate College Diversity Exploration
  • Lifelong Learning and the Future of Higher Education
  • Nonprofit Endeavors at Drexel
  • Reimagining Dual Undergraduate Degrees

Learn More About the Inaugural Cohort Projects

Meet the Scholars

The inaugural cohort of Nina Henderson Provost Scholars includes both graduate students and undergraduates spanning many interests and diverse Drexel experiences:

Atharva Bhagwat

Atharva Bhagwat '23

BS in Computing Technology for Sustainability and Society (Custom-Designed Major)
Mumbai, India
Project: Enrolled Students Survey Feedback

Through a range of internships and co-ops, Atharva has managed an enterprise video networking platform, supported product development for an AR/VR company and analyzed user behavior on web and native applications. Independently, he developed a mobile application aimed at curbing cyberbullying.

"I have seen Drexel through the eyes of an undergraduate researcher, a community scholar, a mentor to first-year students, a teaching assistant and more. These experiences have made me the person I am today, and through these lenses I can see a great university that can become better. It is this cause — giving back to the university — that led me to the Nina Henderson Provost Scholars program."

Monique Boskett

Monique Boskett '23

MBA, Concentration: Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Berlin, NJ
Project: Nonprofit Endeavors at Drexel

A former WeWork employee who successfully lobbied for the company to take on nonprofit work, Monique currently works with local nonprofits to create volunteer opportunities for her colleagues at Independence Blue Cross. She is a member of Drexel’s Anti-Racism Task Force and LeBow’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Group.

"From fundraising for charities, to tutoring children in reading and phonics, to working towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in every space I’m in, I’ve always strived to be involved and lend a helping hand. I became a Nina Henderson Provost Scholar because I believe in both stepping up whenever an opportunity arises, as well as creating opportunities to help others."

Maria Jose Garcia

María José Garcia Rivas '24

BS/MS in Biomedical Engineering
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Project: Graduate College Diversity Exploration

A Drexel Global Scholar and former Aspire Scholar, María José leads the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion subcommittee of the Undergraduate Student Government Association. She has performed data analysis on neuroscience research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and been named a Dornsife Global Development Scholar.

"My ultimate goal not only as a Nina Henderson Scholar, but also as a Drexel student, is to make positive changes that last long after I graduate. As an international student who has grown, adapted and learned from many spaces and experiences at Drexel, I’m passionate about the Graduate College Diversity Exploration project and a firm believer that we can create an equitable environment and remove the obstacles that are preventing students from achieving their full potential."

Jana Lenart

Jana Lenart '24

BS in Biological Sciences
Newtown, PA
Project: Nonprofit Endeavors at Drexel

At the nonprofit organization HIAS Pennsylvania, Jana has worked with immigrant clients as an COVID-19 Outreach Specialist and an Immigrant Health Intern. She serves as co-founder and vice president of Drexel’s Association for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Science and an undergraduate representative on the Biology DEI Committee.

"I see the Nina Henderson Provost Scholars Program as the opportunity to amplify the voice of immigrant students, especially those who are undocumented, and ensure that they, too, are represented in a reimagined future of higher education at Drexel. I hope to work alongside the Provost, University leadership and my fellow Scholars on concrete plans to create a more equitable and accessible Drexel."

Ryan Light

Ryan Light '22

BS in Chemical Engineering
Robbinsville, NJ
Project: Enrolled Students Survey Feedback

At Drexel, Ryan has advocated for sustainability and campus safety initiatives while also spearheading a role as his fraternity’s mental health coordinator. His experiences as an intern for a New Jersey state senator and on co-op at places like GlaxoSmithKline and Church & Dwight have helped him refine his data analytics and communication skills.

"Along with the resources of the Provost’s Office, I hope to leverage my connections and role as a Nina Henderson Provost Scholar to streamline campus improvement initiatives. I look forward to working alongside other determined leaders to advance the learning experience of our student population."

Ranjini Mahalanobish

Ranjini Mahalanobish '24

BSBA in Business Administration 
Kolkata, India
Project: Lifelong Learning and the Future of Higher Education

Currently studying abroad in London, Ranjini initiates culturally themed events as a Culture and Discovery Committee member on the Campus Activities Board. She has researched consumer perceptions of upcycled and imperfect food and collaborated with a Dutch university on a pitch video on the feasibility of small electric car companies.

"I came to Drexel with a one-track mindset in terms of my career, but have since come to understand the value of a multidisciplinary and global approach to my education. As an international student, I love to explore new world views and experiences, which is what led me to the Nina Henderson Provost Scholars program."

Sarah Malik

Sarah Malik '24

PhD in Mechanical Engineering & Computational Engineering
Philadelphia, PA
Project: Lifelong Learning and the Future of Higher Education

A National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and member of the Dean’s Student Leadership Council in the College of Engineering, Sarah has led initiatives including a University-wide research study about perceptions of Drexel and the creation of collaborative platforms to facilitate academic support for graduate students.

"I have become an advocate for enhancing students’ academic experience and improving systematic gaps to ensure students have a fair opportunity to learn. I strongly believe the future of education is in interdisciplinary dialogue, which will accelerate the learning process to produce higher-level research — not only at the student level, but also for faculty as they continue to cross-pollinate research domains to discover new insights. As a Nina Henderson Provost Scholar, I am excited to work with the team to continue to make Drexel a leader in education and research."

Sasha C. Méndez

Sasha C. Mendez ‘23

MS in Urban Strategy
Philadelphia, PA
Project: Graduate College Diversity Exploration

Sasha is passionate about community-centered, grassroots activism and social justice causes such as confronting health disparities. With over 10 years of nonprofit public service experience, she actively applies her studies on equitable approaches in community, health and wellness in the nonprofit sector.

"My role as a Nina Henderson Provost Scholar is rooted in an immense passion for partnership building. There is an ardent desire among the student body to build a bridge between the University and the West Philly community, as well as to expand the curriculum to include a more diverse offering of voices and texts by BIPOC academics."

August Medina

August Modiga '23

BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Johannesburg, South Africa
Project: Nonprofit Endeavors at Drexel

At the age of sixteen, August Modiga started a nonprofit organization aimed at empowering young girls in South Africa. Since then, she has hosted a talk show on social justice topics, spoken at a United Nations commission and sharpened her research skills as a Drexel SuperNova Research Fellow.

"I consider myself a leader who is principled, resourceful and committed to the protection of the environment and acting responsibly towards society. As a Nina Henderson Provost Scholar, I look forward to amplifying the strategic work currently being done at Drexel while collaborating with my cohort of incredible colleagues."

Jonathan Parker

Jonathan Parker '22

BSBA in Finance and Real Estate Management
Oakhurst, NJ
Project: Reimagining Dual Undergraduate Degrees

With interdisciplinary experiences as a double major, history minor and president of the Biddle Law Society, Jonathan has consulted with University leadership on improving curricula and the student experience. He has served as a Hillel at Drexel Anti-Racism Fellow, a presenter at the Global Leadership Conference in London and the academic lead of the LeBow Dean’s Student Advisory Board.

"Given the needs of our society, dual undergraduate degrees have become extremely valuable, leading to better job prospects and a more comprehensive and well-rounded knowledge base for students. I look forward to working with Dr. Anandan and the Provost’s Office to improve policies around dual degrees and foster transdisciplinary education at Drexel."

Disha Patel

Disha Patel '24

BS in Chemistry
North Wales, PA
Project: Reimagining Dual Undergraduate Degrees

As the chair of Undergraduate Student Government Association’s Academic Affairs Committee, Disha has taken on initiatives such as enabling Blackboard Ally access across colleges and assisting with course catalog restructuring. She has conducted research in multiple labs, including Alzheimer’s research as a STAR Scholar and Biosurgery research as a co-op at Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson’s medical device subsidiary.

"After the completion of my freshman year, I discovered that students at Drexel University believed they had no say in their academic and social experiences. I became a Nina Henderson Provost Scholar and joined organizations like Undergraduate Student Government Association to provide insight about the needs of the student body and share students’ ideas for improving the current educational practices at Drexel with administration."

Michael Rocchi

Michael Rocchi '23

Philadelphia, PA
Project: Lifelong Learning and the Future of Higher Education

With several years’ experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, Michael enrolled at Drexel to fuel a new community and equity-driven career. At Drexel, he has conducted research on the Philadelphia municipal budget and presented a proposal for a more equitable distribution of city resources to City Council.

"I decided to pursue the dual degree MPH/MBA program at Drexel in order to become an adaptable leader in both public health and business administration. I was drawn to Drexel for its enthusiastic commitment to community-based improvement, and look forward to working with my Scholar colleagues on the development of curriculum that reflects Drexel’s commitment to community."