Drew Action Scholars tackle big problems

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Drew Action Scholars tackle big problems

At the annual Town Hall event, freshmen present plans, actions, and approaches to important issues

April 2022 – Drew University Action Scholars explore real-world problems and solutions in the classroom and through their volunteer work. First-year Action Grantees had the opportunity to present key challenges and facilitate dialogue during their annual Town Hall event.

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

Students showcase themselves in the three pillars of Drew Action Scholar engagement: Community, Innovation, and Global Impact.

Eleven groups presented themselves in the last town hall. Here is a selection of how Drew’s Action Scholars put their knowledge into action.

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

Research shows that 33 percent of all college students have significant symptoms of depression, anxiety, or another mental illness—yet only 10 percent of student-athletes seek help for these conditions.

The Action Scholar team, all members of Drew’s women’s fencing team, founded Behind the Athlete, a platform for action and advocacy to improve mental health awareness, services and resources at Drew.

The group conducted a survey of Drew student athletes that received extremely high response rates. Their research showed that 91.7 percent of students experienced stress caused by athletic/academic balance or pressure from the coach, and 77.5 percent of survey respondents agreed that mental health affects athletic performance.

Students are committed to open dialogue, removing stigma, and educating students about the implications and available resources related to mental health.

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

Her work will continue next fall through the Innovation Action Lab course. Follow them @DrewUBehindtheAthlete on Instagram for more.

Helping Future Generations: Addressing Educational Inequality in STEM
Elizabeth Blank
Eliot Franklin
Hailey Hearney
Amelia Tirey
Bridget Wilson

Students identified inequities in STEM exposure for younger children, particularly in low-income areas.

The group created a booklet in English and Spanish to introduce parents and educators to the importance of children’s STEM use by providing information on local museums and organizations as well as experiments and activities and ideas to do at home.

Many student participants shared their experiences of not being exposed to STEM in their childhood and discovering unexpected important decisions and career paths after taking a STEM-related class with Drew.

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

56 percent of people living in poverty in the US are women. Statistically, women across all racial and ethnic groups are less financially stable than men.

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

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

Follow her progress on Instagram at @BreakingOutWomensEdition.

A Helping Paw: Transforming the Lives of Shelter Animals
Victoria Kuenzel
Karen Quituisaca
Genevieve Sarinelli
Skyler Tanski

Through a collaboration with Animal Protection Center St. HubertStudents work to increase the adoptability of local shelter animals by socializing animals, making specialty toys, and raising awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering pets.


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