Articles by Allison Starr
Jan. 28, 2016
Ramsey named visiting fellow
Recently retired Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey will soon be a frequent visitor to Drexel University’s campus. As of Jan. 24, Ramsey has assumed the role of Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation’s first Distinguished Visiting Fellow, which will make Ramsey an active participant in the institute’s urban planning programs. The fellowship is an intra-university strategic initiative that coordinates the academics of Drexel with what is needed to develop a healthy urban community. Ramsey’s work will involve collaborating with Harris Steinberg, the Executive Director of the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and a distinguished teaching professor of architecture and interiors. Steinberg believes that the appointment will enable the Lindy Institute to have a fellows program with not only a national scope, but a global one. Ramsey announced his retirement from Police Commissioner Oct. 14, 2015. Originally appointed by former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, he ended his term Jan. 7. Photo courtesy: Charles Ramsey Ramsey’s appointment as a fellow was facilitated by the existing relationship between himself and President John A. Fry. Ramsey had also previously been approached about aiding with an undergraduate course at the LeBow College of Business entitled Peer to Peer: Building Community Trust. According to Steinberg, this course involves a consulting project with the U.S. Department of Justice. Ramsey’s other duties will include speaking as a guest lecturer, contributing to symposiums, and assisting with Drexel’s civic engagement projects. Steinberg said that people have already reached out to him about working with Ramsey, and he believes that the former commissioner’s main task will be balancing his various roles within the Drexel community. “It’s pretty open-ended, although he’s had some commitments with the Criminology and Justice Studies Program,” Steinberg said. The Lindy Institute’s programs are one of the reasons Steinberg came to Drexel. “It’s clear that Drexel has the opportunity to create a program that in many ways differs from urban planning programs of the past,” he said. “How do we differentiate ourselves from programs around the country and around the world?” Steinberg said that twenty-first century urban planning will involve policing, thus placing Ramsey in a key role. Ramsey’s fellowship will begin in February and will end sometime in 2018. He is also serving as a consultant on gun violence in Wilmington, Delaware. Ramsey joined the Chicago Police Department at the age of 18, eventually serving as the force’s deputy superintendent from 1994 to 1998. He worked as Chief of Police in Washington D.C. from 1998 to 2007; crime rates dropped 40 percent during his service. In 2007, he served on the Independent Commission on Security Forces in Iraq, which reviewed the country’s police force. He joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 2008, and his eight-year tenure in Philadelphia also saw a reduction in crime, with homicides falling from 391 in 2007 to 248 in 2014. In 2014, he co-chaired President Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force, which aimed to strengthen community policing and build trust between law enforcement officers and their communities. Ramsey’s former Deputy Police Commissioner, Kevin Bethel, also recently joined the University. Bethel is currently working on a school-to-prison pipeline diversion program with Dr. Naomi Goldstein of the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab. The semi-independent and interdisciplinary Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel launched in 2012. The institute aims to build regional economic growth while encouraging experiential learning, public service and scholarship by the university’s students, faculty and staff. It is named after the late Philip Lindy, who invested greatly in Drexel’s civic engagement initiatives.
Jan. 14, 2016
Pond scum research is clearing the waters
Located in the offices of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department is a small machine, whose purpose is to use algae to clean wastewater. This bioreactor is the creation of Christopher Sales, an assistant professor in the CAEE department, and Jacob Price, a third-year engineering doctoral candidate. The device uses algae, which can disrupt aquatic environments to nutrients out of wastewater.
Jan. 7, 2016
From the eyes of a spy: the story of Marthe Cohen
At age 24, Marthe Cohn risked life and limb to spy against the Nazis. Now at 95, the retired nurse has been interviewed by Steven Spielberg and the Holocaust Museum of Washington D.C. and received prestigious awards such as the Cross of War, the Military medal and the Medal of the Nation’s Gratitude. Cohn visited Philadelphia at the end of last year, speaking at the Chabad serving Drexel University Nov. 3.
Nov. 5, 2015
Drexel University Online expands program
Drexel University is continuing to expand online and hybrid education courses by recently transforming their former for-profit Drexel e-Learning Inc. division into the non-profit, Drexel University Online.
Oct. 2, 2015
Pope Francis Delivers Mass on Parkway
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to participate in Mass with Pope Francis Sept. 27, as a conclusion of his visit to the United States and the World Meeting of Families. The Inquirer estimated that the western end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway housed 80,000 to 140,000 people.
Mar. 13, 2015
Researchers discover childhood obesity may be linked to future eating disorders
A group of researchers at Drexel University may have found a new risk factor for eating disorders. The team, led by Michael Lowe, a professor of psychology at Drexel, has discovered that people who are obese in childhood may be at increased risk for developing an eating disorder.
Feb. 20, 2015
Drexel senior presents scholarship mobile app on “Shark Tank”
Christopher Gray, senior entrepreneurship major and creator of Scholly, a mobile app for scholarship searching, is set to appear on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank” this week. An announcement was posted on the Facebook page for the app Feb. 16, confirming a previous announcement on Bizjournals. “Finally able to announce that we will be appearing on Shark Tank this Friday at 9 p.m. EST on ABC! We also spark the biggest fight in Shark Tank History! Make sure you guys tune in and support us,” it said.
Feb. 13, 2015
University announces creation of Neurosciences Institute
Drexel University’s College of Medicine recently announced the creation of the Drexel Neurosciences Institute, which is a collaboration between the medical school and Global Neurosciences Institute, LLC. “Drexel Neurosciences Institute will harness the extensive experience of both parties to provide exceptional care and important clinical research opportunities for patients requiring specialized and subspecialized neuro-health services, including but not limited to neurology and neurosurgery,” Rachel Quimby, director of media and public relations of the College of Medicine, wrote in an email.
Feb. 6, 2015
Hagerty library displays traveling civil rights exhibit
The Hagerty Library currently features a traveling exhibit depicting the struggles of African-American youth during the civil rights movement. The exhibit, titled “Dean of Libraries Danuta Nitecki explained that Franklin reached out to his former colleague at Drexel, Julie Mostov, the vice provost for global initiatives, about Drexel hosting the display. Mostov then contacted Nitecki about displaying the exhibit in Hagerty.