From the front lines of Afghanistan to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, psychology PhD student and Navy veteran Chris Diaz has pushed beyond limits most never test — and harnessed the link between mind and body. Today, he’s helping veterans, athletes and high performers achieve more than they ever dreamed possible.
CALM AMID THE STORM
It takes a certain fearlessness to buy a one-way ticket to Bermuda and conquer the high-stakes, high-pressure reinsurance industry, but that’s exactly what alumna Kathleen Reardon did.
FRAME OF MIND
To understand street photographers, Drexel anthropologist Brent Luvaas, PhD, became one. It’s a journey that’s led him to reimagine our shared spaces and focus in on the accidental harmonies of the urban world.
CARVING A NEW PATH
At 19 years old, Cutler Whitely ’18 had achieved every snowboarder’s dream — corporate sponsorships, thousands of fans, a spot on the world stage — until a routine trick sent him to the emergency room and down an unexpected new path.
AGENTS OF CHANGE: There are people who accept things the way they are, and there are those who demand more. Those people — the action takers, change makers, innovators and leaders — are exactly what the world needs to make those “better tomorrows” a reality. The five CoAS alums, students and faculty featured in this issue not only possess a drive to shape our future, but also a passion to help others. No matter their mission, they are powerful reminders of what is possible when empathy meets action.
TWENTY-FIVE FACES/25 YEARS: IN THE YEAR 1990, Madonna’s “Vogue” topped the Billboard charts, the Internet was still in its infancy, and then-Drexel President Richard Breslin announced that the College of Sciences and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences would merge, creating the home we now know today as the College of Arts and Sciences. Though the College may be young, many of our programs date back to Drexel’s beginnings. In honor of our 25th anniversary, we shared the stories of 25 unique members of our community — a mix of students, alumni, faculty and staff from across the decades who have made these years so memorable.
CHANGING THE FACES OF SCIENCE: Latinos represent only six percent of the STEM workforce. Graduate student Max Henderson is hoping to change that, starting with a small after-school program in South Philadelphia.FULL OF HOPS AND DREAMS: Drexel alum Gene Muller knew little about the beer business when he left his advertising career in 1994. But that didn’t stop him from opening the largest craft brewery in all of New Jersey.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE: Ten years ago, paleontologist Ken Lacovara, PhD, traveled to southern Argentina with the hopes of prehistoric discovery. What he brought back was bigger than he ever could have imagined.
THE VALUE OF A SECOND CHANCE: Psychologist Naomi Goldstein, PhD, knows that there’s hope for today’s at-risk youth — and it starts by changing the way our nation approaches juvenile justice.
THE SOCIAL ROOTS OF OUR ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: At a time when environmental issues big and small are vexing scientists and challenging policy makers, Drexel social scientists are offering valuable insight into problems that may simply be too complex for any single discipline to conquer.
LET’S TALK ABOUT RACE: Yaba Blay, PhD, isn’t afraid to talk about race or racism. Instead of setting you at ease, indulging you with a conversation about our “post-racial” society, Blay discusses what she calls the “new racism” and its pervasiveness in American culture, including our education system.WITH STRUGGLE COMES STRENGTH: It’s been nearly two decades since Rose Corrigan’s first day as a rape care advocate, but, like countless other moments in her career, Corrigan still pulls threads of inspiration from it today.
LEARNING TO LIVE WITH THE MONSTER: A group of Drexel psychologists are raising tough questions about conventional cognitive therapies: should patients continue playing tug of war with their monsters, or is the solution to simply drop the rope?
FACULTY EXTRACURRICULARS: Contrary to popular belief, professors do not evaporate outside the walls of the classroom. Four Drexel profs share the extracurricular exploits that keep them connected and inspired — in and outside of the classroom.
OUR SECRET WEAPON FOR GOOD: Communication alum Kevin Brooks ’82 is proof that stories aren’t just magical escapes from reality; they empower us, connect us, and even help us build better products. Stories, Brooks says, are our secret weapon for good.
MAN OF MANY ILLUSIONS: Philosophy student Douglas Stafford is anything but predictable. His business card reads “entertainer” and his act — “Cirque D’Penombra” — is described as the “twilight between fine art and entertainment.”
ATLAS EMBRACED: A graduating senior and one of the shining stars in Drexel’s International Area Studies program, Elias Okwara is already on his way to a promising career.
THE HUMAN ELEMENT: A distinguished researcher and scientist, Dr. Lucile Adams-Campbell shifted early on from a world of periodic tables and formulas to one where the human element makes the answers far less certain.
IN THE THICK OF IT: Class has officially started in the College’s new Department of Biodiversity,Earth and Environmental Science (or BEES, for short).
IMMERSED: Kathleen Volk Miller has been the co-editor of the international literary magazine Painted Bride Quarterly for over 10 years. But her love affair with language began long before she took the reigns.
LET THEM PLAY: After publishing his book-long love letter to the lost days of pick-up games, Dr. Ron Bishop unwittingly found himself the spokesman of the play “movement.”
Issue Features: A conversation with Drexel University President John Fry; a look back at psychology alumnus Casey Swegman’s journey to international humanitarian; a glimpse into the life of Jacob Russell, PhD, the scientist who still plays with bugs; one physics major’s odyssey around the globe; and a jam session with Elias Spiliotis, PhD, the cell biologist whose veins pulse with rock and roll.