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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 research projects:

  • Climate and Sustainability at Drexel: Co-designing an On-the-Ground Experiential Climate Learning Model 
  • Graduate College Diversity Exploration
  • Innovation Engine and Culture at Drexel: Best Practices and an Integrated Review
  • Lifelong Learning and the Future of Higher Education
  • Nonprofit Endeavors at Drexel
  • Qualitative Analysis of Student Survey Data

Learn More About the Projects

Meet the Scholars

The 2022-2023 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: Climate and Sustainability at Drexel

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

From successfully lobbying for then-employer WeWork to create a nonprofit department, to working with local nonprofits to create volunteer opportunities at Independence Blue Cross, to being part of Drexel’s Anti-Racism Task Force and LeBow’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Group, Monique strives to enhance every community she’s part of. She now works at JP Morgan Chase as a Project Manager and frequently volunteers with people at the company. 

“In every space I’m in, I have always strived to lend a helping hand and make an impact - from charity fundraisers, to tutoring children in reading and phonics, to working towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. I became a Nina Henderson Provost Scholar because I believe in the importance of  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

María José (Majo) is President of Drexel’s Undergraduate Student Government
Association and a Drexel Global Scholar. She has traveled to Ghana as a Dornsife Global Development Scholar, where she learned about health and environmental infrastructures, and conducted bilingual research with the aim of improving pediatric care while on co-op at the University of Pennsylvania.

"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."

Alyssa Kemp

Alyssa Kemp '25

BS/MS in Environmental Engineering
Cavalier, ND
Project: Climate and Sustainability at Drexel

Alyssa has enacted her passion for community-centered sustainability research as a volunteer with Solidarity Engineering and as a STAR Scholar and Velay Fellow, having completed a project on heat disparities within Philadelphia. An Aspire Scholar and Community-Based Project Assistant at the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, she also attended the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference via the Office of Global Engagement.

“I was drawn to the Nina Henderson Provost Scholars Program as an opportunity to allow both current and future students to gain more hands-on experiences in relation to climate change and sustainability. I aspire to make collaborating across curriculums more accessible for Drexel students, faculty and the greater Philadelphia community to forge greater progress towards climate change.”

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."

Ranjini Mahalanobish

Ranjini Mahalanobish '24

BSBA in Business Administration 
Kolkata, India
Project: Lifelong Learning and the Future of Higher Education; Innovation Engine and Culture at Drexel

Ranjini spent most of her childhood learning about nonprofit work to support the underprivileged societies of India; since then, she has learned about her passion for leadership and influencing people on a larger scale. In addition to planning culturally themed events as a Culture and Discovery Committee member of the Campus Activities Board, she has researched cognitive behavior in eSports since her first year at Drexel and plans to continue expand her knowledge in that field.

"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
Philadelphia, PA
Project: Lifelong Learning and the Future of Higher Education; Innovation Engine and Culture at Drexel

An NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Sarah was Drexel’s first attendee of the Rising Stars in Mechanical Engineering workshop, hosted by Stanford University, and is the first graduate student on the IEEE Computer Society’s Publication Board. A member of the College of Engineering Dean’s Student Leadership Council, she has led initiatives around investigating perceptions of Drexel and is an active advocate of 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. August is also a part of the Drexel Women's Rugby Team and, after completing a co-op in investment banking on Wall Street, is grateful to be returning to Wall Street full time in 2023.

"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."

Disha Patel

Disha Patel '23

BS in Chemistry
North Wales, PA
Project: Qualitative Analysis of Student Survey Data

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; Innovation Engine and Culture at Drexel

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."

Satvik Tripathii

Satvik Tripathi '26

BS in Computer Science
Lucknow, India
Project: Qualitative Analysis of Student Survey Data

An AI practitioner with research focused on building machine learning techniques, Satvik draws on his computer science curriculum and psychology minor to take an interdisciplinary, humanistic approach to data analysis. He has been a leader in communities like Philly Codefest, Drexel’s Society of Artificial Intelligence and Biomedical Undergraduate Association while maintaining research roles at Harvard Medical School and UPenn’s Perelman School of Medicine.

"As a Nina Henderson Provost Scholar, I hope to utilize my experiences and learn from others to make Drexel a stronger and more enriching community for current and incoming students. As taught in CIVIC 101, I hope to forge a sustainable alliance to serve not only the Drexel community, but also the Philadelphia community we are part of.”

Ali Youssef

Ali Youssef '24

BS/MS in Biomedical Engineering
Long Island, NY
Project: Qualitative Analysis of Student Survey Data

Ali enriched his data analysis and research experience in co-ops at Merck, where he developed dataflows to optimize manufacturing processes, and Johnson & Johnson, where he derived mathematical models using Python and visualized experimental data in Tableau. He has also honed his leadership and communications skills as a teaching assistant for UNIV 101 and a former peer mentor in his school.

“An integral part of being a Drexel Dragon is becoming a civically engaged citizen who fosters collaboration, inclusiveness, integration and interdisciplinary work within the community. I envision that my contributions as a Nina Henderson Provost Scholar will directly improve the quality of students’ experiences and contribute to a more sustainable community at Drexel University.”