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2021 Virtual Celebrating Drexel Authors Event Draws International Crowd

April 30, 2021

On April 27, 2021, sixty-one members of the Drexel community came from far and wide—as far away as Greek island of Crete—to recognize the importance of publishing during the ninth annual Celebrating Drexel Authors event, held virtually via Zoom.

Co-hosted by the Office of the Provost and the Drexel University Libraries, the event recognizes Drexel authors and editors for their achievements, raises awareness of the importance of publishing and disseminating scholarship and creative works, and shares evidence of what contributes to Drexel’s reputation as a comprehensive research university.

“Published authors are truly engines of change,” said Danuta A. Nitecki, Dean of Libraries, during her opening remarks. “The past year has served as an illustrative case study of the good things that happen when publications and research are disseminated rapidly and broadly, whether as research on COVID, educational guides to manage stress and anxiety, or literature for nurturing the human spirit.”

This year, the University honored a diverse cohort of 61 book authors and editors, and 32 prestigious Drexel researchers who authored journal articles which were in the top 1% of cited publications in their academic field. The diverse cohort represents 37 faculty, 16 students, and eight professional staff from 10 colleges and schools and seven administrative units.

“It is exciting to see the variety of publications generated by Drexel authors year after year,” University Provost Paul Jensen said during the event. “Reviewing the list of Drexel’s 2020 honored authors and editors you will find they have continued the University’s commitment to global research collaborations and to publishing despite this year’s pandemic challenges. When Drexel faculty, students and staff publish their work, they are part of the global community of authors that affect changes to solve some of society’s pressing problems and nurture our humanity. This commitment to sharing knowledge and creative expression to foster new research is one of Drexel’s core values. Through today’s event, Drexel celebrates the hard work that goes into publishing and raises understanding of the importance of that work for both the global community and Drexel’s contributions to it.”

Again, this year, both co-hosts acknowledged that identifying honored authors is not an easy task for the event organizers. For example, the Libraries’ Communications and Events Manager, Stacy Stanislaw, relies heavily on Drexel librarians’ relationships with faculty and staff and support from communication professionals across campus departments to identify authors for this annual event.

Preparing the list of highly cited journal article authors this year, Larry Milliken, the Libraries’ Manager of Scholarly Communications, suggested possible causes of these challenges. “The growing diversity of modes of scholarly activity makes it difficult to get a complete view of a single university’s research outputs. There is not a single resource which will find every Drexel-affiliated publication or other scholarly institutional assets.”

Despite these challenges, the Provost went on to say during the event, work on the Libraries’ initiatives generates optimism that an evolving research output management system will complement analytic tools and simplify not only our ability to identify Drexel-affiliated authors and editors, but also the University’s institutional research trends and impact.

Following the author recognition portion of the program, Dean Nitecki and Provost Jensen invited attendees to stay in the Zoom room for conversation with colleagues and friends. Although a Zoom “happy hour” is certainly not the same as chatting together in person, refreshments in hand, the online discussions were nonetheless lively. Attendees shared their enthusiasm and appreciation for fellow authors and researchers, particularly student authors and their contributions to research.

“I truly enjoy seeing so many students recognized during this event,” said Yury Gogotsi, Distinguished University and Charles T. and Ruth M. Bach Professor at Drexel University, and one of the prestigious journal article authors recognized during the event. “They do so much of the wonderful research needed to publish journal articles and white papers… The University should know its heroes—the people who are at the frontiers of research, people who push limits of knowledge, people who publish top papers in their fields.”

Since 2013, Drexel has recognized 495 authors and editors from every college and school during this annual event. Donated copies of the 2020 publications recognized this year will be on display in the case outside the Provost's Office in Main Building this fall. Following their exhibition there, copies will be moved to the Faculty Authors Collection in the University Archives.

For a complete list of authors and editors recognized during the 2021 Celebrating Drexel Authors event, download a copy of the program or view a recording of the ceremony on the Drexel Libraries’ YouTube page.