Active, dedicated and impactful.
Drexel is lucky to have alumni like these.
Get to know the incredible Dragons selected this year by the Alumni Board of Governors for the Drexel Alumni and Student Awards. They’re risk takers and disruptors, advocates and mentors, visionaries and creators. They represent an array of Drexel’s colleges and schools, class years and backgrounds. And they demonstrate the transformative power of a Drexel degree coupled with passion, commitment and drive.
Service to Profession Award
Linda Abriola PhD, BS civil engineering ’76
Abriola is the Joan Wernig and E. Paul Sorensen Professor of Engineering at Brown University. She is an international expert on the multiphase transport, fate and recovery/destruction of contaminants in the subsurface and the author of more than 160 refereed publications. Abriola was a founding member of the National Advisory Board for Drexel University’s Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) Program.
Excellence in Co-operative Education Award
Matthew Bahr BS mechanical engineering ’95
An associate fellow at GlaxoSmithKline, Bahr instituted the co-op program for his company’s group and has mentored 14 students since. He is most proud of having co-authored several journal papers with his former students, coaching them while they have progressed into their own graduate programs, watching one of them earn recognition as the 2020 Drexel Co-op of the Year Award recipient, and hiring one as a full-time employee in his lab.
Joseph Jacovini Outstanding Service Award
Greg Bentley Trustee
Bentley is CEO and chairman of Bentley Systems, which provides software to engineers, architects, construction professionals and owners for the design, construction and operations of infrastructure. He is on Drexel’s board of trustees and chairs the Pennoni Honors College board of advisors. In 2019, he and his wife established Bentley Hall, a true living and learning community on Drexel’s campus for students of Pennoni Honors College.
Outstanding Student Award
Brandon Cisneros BS marketing ’22
As a student, Cisneros founded the first Prospanica university chapter in the Northeastern region, which won the 2020 University Chapter of the Year Award. He was involved in a number of organizations, including Latinos for a United Campus; LeBow BRIDGE; Drexel Student Ambassadors; Drexel University Bienvenidos; ¡HOLA! Drexel; the LeBow Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Committee; the Drexel Anti-Racism Task Force; and the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Recent Alumni Entrepreneur Award
Eric Eisele and Alexander Roscoe BS materials engineering ’09
and BS electrical engineering ’13, respectively
Eisele is the CEO and co-founder of GrowFlux Inc., a leader in IoT controls and sensors for horticultural lighting, equipping lighting manufacturers or integrators with the latest in intelligent horticultural lighting control. Co-founder Roscoe is responsible for the development and commercialization of products. He also holds one patent pertaining to RF wireless systems and won an award for wireless systems from Architect Magazine.
Golden Dragon Society Award
Raj L. Gupta MBA business administration ’72
From 1999 to 2009, Gupta served as chairman and CEO of Rohm & Haas, a worldwide producer of specialty chemicals. He is chairman of the board at Avantor Inc. and a senior advisor with the private-equity firm, New Mountain Capital. At Drexel, Gupta was a member of the LeBow Corporate Governance Advisory Council, the LeBow Leadership Circle, the LeBow Dean’s Advisory Board, and was a Drexel trustee from 2001 to 2007. He received the A.J. Drexel Paul Service to Alma Mater Award, was named the Business Leader of the Year, and was inducted into Drexel’s Alumni Hall of Fame, the Drexel 100.
Golden Dragon Society Award
Nina Henderson BS design ’72, trustee
Henderson was a corporate officer at Bestfoods and president of Bestfoods Grocery until its acquisition by Unilever. Currently she is a director CNO Financial Inc, HIKMA Pharmaceuticals PLC and IWG PLC. At Drexel, she is vice chair of the Board of Trustees, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and a director of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Henderson has received numerous awards including the A.J. Drexel Paul Service to Alma Mater Award and was inducted into Drexel’s Alumni Hall of Fame, the Drexel 100. In 2017, she endowed the Nina Henderson Provost at Drexel University and the Nina Henderson Scholars, providing enduring support for Drexel’s core educational mission.
Alumni Entrepreneur Award (>$1M)
Rev. Christopher Holland II and Lawrence James BS computer science ’03
and BS information systems ’02, respectively
Holland is the co-founder of Connexus Technology, a provider of information technology-managed services and technical recruiting services for companies in both the private and public sectors. He is also the executive pastor of Salt and Light Church and is the executive director of The Common Place, a nonprofit serving children and families in Philadelphia.
James is president and CEO, responsible for leading strategic initiatives and business development efforts. He is on the board of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and is a mentor at the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce CEO Access Network.
A.J. Drexel Paul Service to Alma Mater Award
Paul K. Johnson BS business administration ’92, MBA ’07
In his more than two decades volunteering for Drexel, Johnson was instrumental in establishing the Young Alumni Association and was named Drexel’s Young Alumnus of the Year. He has also served on the LeBow Alumni Council and was a member of the Drexel University Alumni Association Board of Governors. As a board member, Johnson served on the Community Service Committee and chaired its Grants Committee. Johnson firmly believes in the power of sports to enrich the lives of young people, and has created, managed and coached a series of youth baseball teams in his community, including the Philly Area Black Sox.
Recent Alumni Distinguished Service Award
Sharon Manker MEd, BS communications and applied technology ’14
Manker is an award-winning supply chain and supplier diversity strategist who connects, positions and partners with diverse businesses to grow their brands and make an economic impact in underserved communities. Manker knows what truly drives change in advocating for an inclusive supply chain and she strives for equitable access, policies and procedures. Among her many accolades, she was named to DiversityPlus Magazine’s 2021 Top 15 Women in Power Impacting Diversity and ROI-NJ’s 2020 New Jersey’s Most Influential DEI Leaders.
Special Distinction Award
Hazem Maragah PhD, associate professor, LeBow College of Business
Maragah is the associate professor of decision sciences and management information systems at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business. He joined the faculty of LeBow College of Business in 1989. He is also the recipient of the LeBow College 2001 Outstanding Service Award, and he received the 2000 Award for Outstanding Service to the University. A steadfast Drexel Athletics fan, The Hazem Maragah Suite in the Daskalakis Athletic Center is named in his honor.
Golden Dragon Society Award
Cynthia A. Maryanoff PhD, BS chemistry ’72
An organic and materials chemist, Maryanoff is a distinguished professor at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and a professor of drug delivery at the Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute. At Drexel, she serves on the Board of Visitors as well as the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board. Maryanoff was named to Drexel’s Alumni Hall of Fame, the Drexel 100, and was nominated by Drexel and inducted into the World Association of the Cooperative Education Hall of Fame. The Bruce and Cyndie Maryanoff Endowed Chemistry Prize is named in honor of the Maryanoffs, and they also fund the Department of Chemistry’s Freshman Summer Research program.
Mary S. Irick Drexel Society Award for Civic Engagement
Lynette Medley MEd, BS mental health technology ’97
Medley is an equity consultant, educator and therapist with more than 20 years of experience around diversity and inclusion, intersectionality principles and sexuality awareness. She is the founder and CEO of No More Secrets Mind Body Spirit Inc., the only comprehensive sexuality awareness organization in the nation, whose mission is to save lives by changing biased social justice systems and communities.
Alumni Entrepreneur Award (<$1M)
Sherrill W. Mosee MS electrical engineering ’91
Mosee is the inventor and designer of MinkeeBlue organizational travel and work bags which have been featured on the “Today Show,” “The Katie Couric Show,” in Forbes, Cosmopolitan and People magazines, and sold on QVC. She clinched a $100,000 deal to sell her bags in Macy’s after winning a live shopping pitch competition on the T.V. show “America’s Big Deal.”
Recent Alumni Emerging Leader Award
L. Jeff Shafer II BS business administration ’12
Shafer is a CPA who works as a real estate law associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City and authored “Black Excellence: 20 Stories about Rising from Ordinary to Extraordinary.” He has worked with organizations like the Black Law Student Association at the University of Pennsylvania, National Association of Black Accountants, Abundant Life Fellowship and Drexel, to encourage and support young people — particularly Black boys and girls.
Silver Dragon Society Award
Robin Thorne BS chemical engineering ’97
Thorne is the founder and CEO of CTI Environmental Inc., a firm providing engineering, environmental, safety and construction management services. In 2019, she started DemoChicks, a nonprofit corporation that introduces girls to nontraditional careers and empowers the women who are in them. DemoChicks conducts hands-on workshops for students in K–12, scholarships and mentoring to college students and honors women in the community. Thorne was inducted into Drexel’s College of Engineering Circle of Distinction.
Harriet E. Worrell Society Award
Karla Trotman MBA business administration ’15
In addition to her role as CEO and owner of Electro Soft — which creates electronics manufacturing solutions for clients in aviation, rail, transit, OEM and defense —Trotman is a member of numerous boards and organizations. At Drexel, she was the president of the LeBow Executive MBA Alumni Council and is a member of the Drexel Alumni Board of Governors. In addition, Trotman has served on the steering committee for the Drexel Black Alumni Council, and she shares her professional insight and expertise as a speaker for alumni career services programs and classes within the LeBow College of Business.
Faculty/Staff Alumni Award for Campus Impact
Rebecca Weidensaul MS arts administration ’95, PhD education leadership and learning techniques ’01
As assistant vice president of Student Life, Enrollment Management and Student Success, Weidensaul oversees the Center for Learning and Academic Success Services, Drexel’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, Inter-College Advising and the Office of Veteran Student Services. Prior to Student Life, Weidensaul spent nearly two decades of leadership in Drexel’s Athletics Department, where she founded the ACHIEVE Center and focused mainly on NCAA compliance, academic support and life skills.