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Cyndi Rickards comes to higher education with over a decade of experience in the criminal justice field as an administrator of an alternative school. Her graduate research explored racial disparities in urban juvenile drug use patterns. More recently, her research has examined the emergence of 21st-century skills as a result of democratic engagement within community-based learning courses.
Rickards currently serves as the Senior Assistant Dean for Community Engagement in the College of Arts and Sciences and develops and teaches community-based learning courses in the department of Criminology and Justice Studies. She regularly teaches courses within the Philadelphia Prison System and brings together Drexel students and incarcerated students for and Inside-Out course. In partnership with the University’s Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, she co-developed UConnect – an urban extension center model that brings students and community members together to navigate the city’s complex social service system.
In addition to her interest in community-based learning, Rickards is interested in the relationship between technology, alternative assessment and ePortfolios as tools for student success.