Drew Action fellows solve big problems

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Drew Action fellows solve big problems

Freshmen showcase plans, actions and approaches to critical issues at annual Town Hall event

April 2022 – Drew University Action Fellows explore real-world problems and solutions in the classroom and through their volunteer work. First-year Action Fellows had the opportunity to present and facilitate dialogue on important challenges at their annual event at City Hall.

Preparing for City Hall is a year-long process. Students are looking for best practices; consult with relevant public and community groups, customers, consumers or other stakeholders; develop an action plan; and take action based on that plan.

Students are present in all three pillars of the Drew Action Scholar engagement: community, innovation, and global impact.

Eleven groups presented at the recent town hall. Here’s a sample of how Drew’s Action Scholars put their knowledge into practice.

Behind the athlete: Let’s talk about mental health
Camryn Brown
Amira Mutakabbir
Assata Mutakabbir
Nzingha Mutakabbir

Research shows that 33% of all college students have significant symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, yet only 10% of student-athletes will seek help for these issues.

The Action Scholar Team, all members of the Drew Women’s Fencing Team, created Behind the Athlete, a platform committed to action and advocacy for improved awareness, services and resources in of mental health at Drew.

The group conducted a survey of student-athletes in Drew, which garnered extremely high response rates. Their research showed that 91.7% of students felt stress caused by athletic/academic balance or coach pressure and 77.5% of survey respondents believed mental health had an impact on athletic performance. .

Students are committed to opening dialogue, eliminating stigma, and educating students about mental health impacts and available resources.

The group will host “Behind the Athlete,” a student-led event on campus where students can safely discuss athletic programs and provide support for Drew’s student-athletes.

Their work will continue next fall as part of the Innovation Action Lab course. Follow them @DrewUBehindtheAthlete on Instagram for more.

Helping future generations: tackling inequalities in STEM education
Elizabeth White
Elliot Franklin
Hailey Hearney
Amelie Tirey
Brigitte Wilson

Students identified inequalities in exposure to STEM for young children, especially in low-income areas.

The group created a brochure, in English and Spanish, to introduce parents and educators to the importance of exposing children to STEM by providing information on museums and local organizations, as well as experiences and activities and home ideas.

Many participating students shared their experiences with a lack of STEM exposure during childhood and found major choices and unexpected career paths after taking a STEM-related course at Drew.

Breaking Out Women’s Edition: Women and Economic Opportunity
Elainna Hodge
Marianela Pina De La Hoz
Nancy Oliveira

Fifty-six percent of people living in poverty in the United States are women. Statistically, women are less financially stable than men across all racial and ethnic groups.

The group created a newsletter, Breaking Out Women’s Edition, as a resource to empower women and provide resources and opportunities on childcare and tutoring, as well as local resources that can help build confidence and women’s success.

In addition, Drew students will volunteer their time to provide after-school tutoring and care for working women, and host family fun and game nights.

Follow their progress on Instagram at @BreakingOutWomensEdition.

A Helping Paw: Changing the Lives of Animals in Shelters
Victoria Kuenzel
Karen Quituisaca
Genevieve Sarinelli
Skyler Tansky

Through a collaboration with the St. Hubert Animal Welfare Center, students work to increase the adoptability of animals from local shelters by socializing animals, creating specialty toys, and raising awareness of the importance sterilization of pets.


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