Featured this week: Class of 2016 | The Triangle

Featured this week: Class of 2016

Laila Abdallah

Laila Z. Abdallah: Drexel University Graduate Student Association, Dornsife School of Public Health Student Government Organization.

Abdallah served as the President of the Graduate Student Association from 2015-2016, and was the Community Activism Chair for the Dornsife School of Public Health Student Government Organization 2014-2015. After graduating, Abdallah plans to move to Savannah, Georgia and would love to find a job that allows her to use the public health and epidemiology skills she acquired completing her master’s at Drexel. Abdallah is passionate about potatoes, telling corny jokes and social justice. A quote she enjoys is: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace,” by Jimi Hendrix.

amanda adamski

Amanda Adamski: Campus Activities Board.

While a part of CAB at Drexel, Adamski helped create the Puppy Pawlooza event series. After graduating, Adamski will be working at Lockheed Martin. A quote that she enjoys is: “Nostalgia is truly one of the great human weaknesses. Second only to the neck,” an iconic dialogue by television character­ Dwight K. Schrute of “The Office.”


Arnab Bhardwaj: Dragons for Palestine, Maya Literary Magazine, Drexel Economics Society, Drexel Orchestra, Dragons for Israel, Drexel Model United Nations, Drexel Hindu Student Association.

Bhardwaj is the Maya Literary Magazine blog chair, the treasurer for both Dragons for Palestine and the Drexel Hindu Student Association, and has also participated in several concerts with the Drexel Orchestra. He plans to work full time before starting graduate school. His favorite quote is: “For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us,” by Charles Bukowski.

Ruth Boansi

Ruth K. Boansi: Global Health Forum, Dornsife School of Public Health Student Government Organization.

During her time at Drexel, Boansi acted as the Global Engagement Chair for the Global Health Forum from 2015-2016. She was also the Community Activism Chair for the Dornsife School of Public Health Student Government Organization in 2015. After graduating, Boansi will seek a program manager or coordinator position dealing with monitoring and evaluation. She is passionate about global health and has a special interest in sexual and reproductive health. After graduation, she will be going home to visit her family in Connecticut. In high school Ruth was fond of the saying “pressure makes diamonds,” which reflects her dedicated, passionate, stunning and hardworking nature.

Avichal Chum

Avichal Chum: Drexel University Graduate Student Association, Drexel Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Graduate Forum.

Chum was the Webmaster for the Drexel University Graduate Student Association from 2015-2016, and was awarded the “Most Valuable Team Player” award in 2016. He also acted as the Event Coordinator for Drexel IEEE Graduate Forum. After graduating, Chum will continue to search for electrical engineering jobs in the area. The Graduate Student Association wrote: “GSA is thrilled that Avichal is graduating, but sad to be losing him. Avichal was very hardworking and was always willing to help others.” When asked to give a favorite quote, Chum asked: “Can I use Tyrrion Lanister’s dialogue from Game of Thrones, ‘I drink and I know stuff’?” Yes, Chum, you can.

Danielle Exler

Danielle Exler: Campus Activities Board, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, Dean’s Leadership Council.

Exler was the President of CAB from 2015­-2016. She was also the recipient of the Assistant Vice President/Dean of Student Life Special Recognition Award in 2016. After graduating she is hoping to travel and will be looking for a research position in a biotech or clinical research institute. A quote she holds dear is: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun,” spoken by movie character ­Mary Poppins.

Katie Falcone

Katie Falcone: Alpha Omega Epsilon.

While Falcone was working at Drexel to obtain her degree in biomedical engineering with a concentration in biomaterials and tissue engineering as well as a minor in business administration, she was also founding a new sorority. Falcone founded Alpha Omega Epsilon as a social and professional sorority for women pursuing degrees in technical science fields. She served as the President and also the Recording Secretary for the sorority. She helped sponsor campus events to educate students about various types of engineering; brought professionals in engineering fields to speak to students; helped grow the sorority chapter at Drexel; and acted as a spokeswoman for women in technical majors and fields.

Palmer and Freiberg

David Freiberg: Computational Materials Science Design (CMSD) Group.

Freiberg is a materials science and engineering student who is a part of Drexel’s Computational Materials Science Design (CMSD) Group. During his time at Drexel and in the CMSD group, David always had a knack for mathematics and was always thinking about the next compression algorithm using fractal mathematics, or how he could use Monte Carlo simulations to solve poker. David plans to pursue his PhD in Materials Science after graduation.

Emily Gold

Emily Gold: Campus Activities Board, Peer Leader/Teacher’s Assistant for LeBow College of Business.

Gold was a part of nearly every event that CAB produced and presented while she was a part of the organization. She also got to work with business students of all ages and witness their personal and professional growth as peer leader at the LeBow College of Business. After graduating, Gold will join the CORE Finance Program at Comcast/NBCU. A quote Gold lives by is: “Challenges are what make life interesting, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful,” by Joshua J. Marine.

James Gordon

James Gordon: USGA.

Gordon has served on Undergraduate Student Government for two years as Vice President and President, making him a huge role model for potential leaders on campus. James has accomplished multiple projects and goals for USGA and has pushed the organization to the next level of professionalism and accountability. With his leadership, USGA has been more present on campus than ever before. He also successfully changed the structure of USGA to a class system to coincide better with neighboring university student governments. USGA is proud to have had him as a leader, and they cannot wait to see what he accomplishes next.

kelsey gringer

Kelsey Gringer: Campus Activities Board, Equestrian Team, Dragon Concert Series.

Gringer was an active member of CAB. There, she was voted the Club Sports Treasurer of the Year, became the marketing director for the Campus Activities Board, and designed materials for the Laverne Cox Lecture, the Lil Wayne-Wiz Khalifa concert and the Steve Aoki concert during her time with the organization. After graduating, Gringer is looking to work for a design firm in Boston or Philly and eventually start her own company. A quote she holds dear is: “It is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring,” by­ Marilyn Monroe.

Ellen Hafer

Ellen Hafer: Maya Literary Magazine.

Hafer was a part of the Maya Literary Magazine, acting as both contributor and staff editor, for four years. She helped design and publish the club’s yearly publication of student work. She also managed to obtain the level of Honor Roll for her entire academic career and was nominated for the Design Excellence Award for her artwork. At Drexel, she began publishing an independent web comic, and also studied abroad in the Czech Republic. After graduating, Hafer hopes to move to the West Coast to search for a job in the film industry as a concept artist and illustrator. A fun fact about Hafer is that she has quite the collection of movie ticket stubs, currently totaling to 97.

Zach Howell

Zach Howell: Drexel Magic the Gathering Club.

Howell is the president of the Magic Club at Drexel. While a student, Howell released two video games. One, called Alchemia, is a fast-paced, match-three game for Android in which the players help the elements attain their true form. The other, called Remote Raiders, is a party game for several platforms, which he hopes will soon be released for itch, AppleTV, the App Store and Android. Howell also co-founded the company Fox and the Little Prince while attending Drexel with fellow student Don Xu. In September, Howell will begin working for Google. During his last term at Drexel, Howell took his first introductory courses to dance and music and is sad to be leaving his roommates in the fall.


Bailey Kiersarsky: Maya Literary Magazine.

During Kiersarsky’s time at Drexel, she was on the design and layout team for the Maya Literary Magazine and helped design the final publication for the 2013-2016 issues. During those years, she was excited to witness a period of enormous growth for the organization. “It’s been a real blessing to see how far Maya has come in just a few years,” she shared. After graduating, Kiersarsky plans to move to Richmond, Virginia to pursue a career in graphic design. A fun fact about Kiersarsky is that she is an amateur bookbinder and has been one since high school.

Sara Kline

Sara Kline: Campus Activities Board.

Kline served the Drexel community by acting as the Director for CAB, and is now graduating with Honors. She was a Peer Leader and Teaching Assistant at LeBow College of Business as well. After graduation, Kline is moving to New York City and working for Ernst and Young. She writes: “I live by this quote which was my grandfather’s favorite quote that he once lived by: ‘It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is important is invisible to the eye. You will know forever who you are by what it is you love,’ [from]­ The Little Prince.”

Rachel Kobol

Rachel Kobol: DAC Pack, National Association of Black Accountants, Dragon Concert Series, Drexel International Business Association, Dean of Student’s Advisory Council, Campus Ambassador for Becker Professional Education and the LeBow College of Business Dean’s Student Advisory Board.

Kobol was the first ever female president of the DAC Pack, a title she held while attending Drexel. While a student, she also received first place in the Annual National Diversity Competition at Indiana University, the Scholastic Achievement Award for first place in the EdVenture Partners Case Competition and the Freshmen Honors Award for Excellence in Academics and School Spirit. After graduating, Kobol plans to work as a Staff Accountant for Med Risk.


Amanda Kraft: Maya Literary Magazine, Drexel Philosophy Club, NeuroScience Society.

Kraft was the Editor-in-Chief for the Maya Literary Magazine all five of her years at Drexel, in which time she helped the club double the number of students published each year and increase the number of events per year. It recognition of her accomplishments it will now be possible for members to receive the “Amanda Kraft Award.” Kraft also served as Vice President of the Drexel Philosophy Club for three years, and participated as a panelist for Philosophy Week 2015. She is also the founder and president of the three-year-old organization NeuroScience Society. Kraft was also a College of Arts and Sciences Humanities Fellow in 2014, and presented her research at Research Day 2015. After graduating, Kraft plans to start her career as a Neuroscience Researcher with Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. A quote that Kraft loves is: “The universe is made of stories, not atoms,” by Muriel Rukeyser.

samantha lardi

Samantha Lardi: Campus Activities Board, Delta Zeta, National Organization for Business and Engineering, Student Ambassadors, Drexel Players, LeBow Dean’s Student Advisory Board.

Lardi was the Lectures and Diversity (L&D) Director and Treasurer of CAB, Philanthropy Events Chair Assistant for Delta Zeta, and was also the recipient of both the Kathleen and Nicholas Chimicles Scholarship and the Warren Cooper Scholarship. After graduating, Lardi will take on work as a Business Analyst at Odessa Technologies in Philadelphia. A fun fact about Lardi is that she got to chauffeur around Retta, the 2014 Comedy Show comedian who plays Donna from “Parks and Recreation”, for a weekend.


Paul Mandell: Hillel, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Dragons for Israel.

Mandell served in a leadership position for each organization he was a part of. He was the President of Hillel, House Manager and Chapter Historian of Alpha Epsilon Pi and the Secretary and Vice President of Dragons for Israel. He studied abroad in Hong Kong during his time at Drexel and is a self-proclaimed “professional Netflixer and procrastinator.” After graduation, Mandell plans to work for a startup company in Israel over the summer and travel in Europe to visit old friends. He then plans to return to the US. One of Mandell’s favorite quotes is: “Never let anyone treat you like a yellow Starburst. You are a pink Starburst,” and he really likes mashed potatoes.

Anthony Mattera

Anthony Mattera: Campus Activities Board.

In the past four years at Drexel, Mattera played a large hand planning and executing some of the biggest events for CAB and Drexel. These include multiple comedy shows and Spring Jams. After graduating, Mattera will be working at Publicis Health Media in the field of paid search and digital marketing, and is also looking to attend graduate school within the next two years. He writes: “A quote that inspires me is one said by the rapper Logic which is ‘Kill them with Kindness’ because I think it is how I represent myself each and every day, just looking for ways to make people laugh and smile and enjoy life.”

Palmer and Freiberg

Christine Palmer: Computational Materials Science Design (CMSD) Group.  

Palmer is a materials science and engineering student who is a part of Drexel’s Computational Materials Science Design (CMSD) Group. She participated in the MRS Hackathon and ASM Hackathon where she won the competition along with two other Drexel students. She has a knack for all things computing and has entered the Air Force Materials Data Challenge. Christine will be working as a data scientist after graduation.

Arjita Rai

Arjita Rai, MPH: Environmental and Occupational Health Forum, Indian Graduate Student Association, Global Health Forum.

During her time at Drexel, Rai was the President of the Environmental and Occupational Health Forum from 2015-2016, and was also the Public Relations Officer for the Indian Graduate Student Association. She was also an active Student Engagement Chair for the Global Health Forum. After graduating, Rai will become a First Responder Epidemiology Fellowship (FIRE) fellow, a research enterprise organized to support the US fire and rescue service through objective data collection and analysis. When Arjita was nine, she was an extra in a movie as a backup dancer. Laila Abdallah writes: “She is one of the sweetest and kindest souls you will ever meet. I wish her the best of luck!”

Mohammad Rehan

Mohammad Maaz Rehan: Campus Activities Board.

While attending Drexel, Rehan was a member of CAB. Rehan had the unique and exciting opportunity to complete a co-op at the White House in the Office of National Drug Control Policy Executive Office of the President while attending Drexel. After graduation, Rehan will remain open to opportunities in the financial sector. A quote and motto that Rehan follows is: “Life is like a blank sheet of paper, choosing wisely on what to write.”

Ethan Riback_000960@ (1)

Ethan Riback: Hillel, Alpha Epsilon Pi.

During his time at Drexel, Riback was the Vice President of Engagement for Hillel and the Jewish Student Association, and was also the Rush Chairman and President for his fraternity. While he was president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the chapter was awarded Chapter of the Year. In his senior year, his senior design team won the College of Computing and Informatics’ Final Four Competition for their idea “Jam Jar.” After graduating, Riback plans to move to Boston to work for Wayfair. He may also continue work on Jam Jar with the rest of his senior design team. A fun fact about Riback is that he is a descendent of King David as well as the Baal Shem Tov. He lives by the quote: “Trying hard is only a means to an end. If you become proud of the effort itself, you are mistaking the means for the end.”

Heather Schmidt

Heather Schmidt: ROTC.

Schmidt is graduating with her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a minor in construction management. During her time at Drexel, she served as NROTC Battalion Commander, the highest rank a ROTC midshipman can attain. After graduating, Schmidt will be attending The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia. Afterwards, she’ll head down to Pensacola, Florida to attend the Marine Corps Flight School where she will be trained to become a fighter pilot. Schmidt is the first person in her family to graduate from college. In this picture of Schmidt, she is completing the rifle drill final during the final drill competition at Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, what she referred to as “boot camp.”


Samantha Schneider: Drexel Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Club Field Hockey, Drexel US Green Building Council Student Group, Gamma Sigma Sigma, American Society of Civil Engineers.

Schneider has been a part of both SWE and the club field hockey team since she first came to Drexel as a freshman. Though she began as Media Chair for SWE, she worked her way up to President by 2015. She was a founding member and Vice President for the Drexel US Green Building Council Student Group and also served as Vice President for Service for Gamma Sigma Sigma for more than a year. Under her leadership in SWE, the organization was awarded “Outstanding Collegiate Section Gold Level” for the third consecutive year. Schneider was also a peer mentor for the College of Engineering for three years. After graduating, Schneider will continue her job at Duffield Associates, where she has been working while completing her undergraduate and graduate coursework. Before beginning full-time work, she will travel around Greece, exploring the culture with her boyfriend. Schneider’s favorite food is ice cream. Fellow club members are extremely fond of her. Danielle Schroeder, current SWE President, writes: “Serving as her Vice President has been an honor. I constantly look up to her for inspiration as I transitioned to President and still go to her for advice. She has been an amazing mentor for me over the years.”


Neal Strauss: Hillel, MEOR Drexel, Off Campus, Drexel Philanthropy Council.

Strauss has been an active member many different organizations at Drexel. He is the founding member of MEOR Drexel, as well as the founding member of the Conservative Minyan Group in Drexel Hillel. He acted as the Supervising Producer for Off Campus and was also a founding brother for the “MAN Fr@t.” After graduating, Strauss intends to become a producer for an undisclosed major TV series — keep your eyes open for his name on the big screen! Strauss is known for saying “Al iz wel” and is a self-proclaimed master of binge watching. He enjoys pasta, pizza and wine.

Briana 'Jimmie' Watkins

Briana “Jimmie” Watkins: QPOC, University’s Student Center for Inclusion and Culture.

Watkins is the current president of Drexel’s QPOC group, a haven for marginalized persons on campus. During her time at Drexel, she also acted as a student worker at the University’s Student Center for Inclusion and Culture creating diverse programming on campus. In addition to the many events that she planned and/or hosted, she was also able to help create Drexel’s first “Lavender Graduation,” a celebration of leaders in the LGBTQIA community on campus. When she is not running around, she likes to spend her time coloring and drinking things with silly straws. She will be working at the University of Pennsylvania after graduation.