23 Memorable Jefferson Moments for 2023

The Nexus looks back at some of the biggest stories from the past year.
Collage of memorable moments from 2023
Members of the Jefferson community who helped shape 2023 include (clockwise from top left) Dr. Susan Aldridge, interim university president; Dr. Kimberlee Zamora, assistant professor of construction management; Azra Dees, Sidney Kimmel Medical College student; Craig Griffen, associate professor of architecture; Dr. Hien Dang, cancer researcher; and Ptah Myers, men’s soccer head coach.

As we turn the page on another year, we want to celebrate and reflect on some of the most-read and biggest Jefferson moments and milestones from 2023, from student, faculty and alumni successes to groundbreaking research to University accomplishments—and even a Super Bowl commercial. Congrats to the entire Jefferson community for making it another year to remember.

Wall Street Journal Ranks Jefferson Among Top in Nation
The University also is No. 1 in Pennsylvania for social mobility.

It’s a Jefferson Thing: University Airs Super Bowl Commercial
Industrial design students designed, built and programmed an Eagles 3D-printed lamp as well.

Engaged, Determined and Curious, Dr. Susan Aldridge Begins Her Tenure as Interim University President
In other University leadership news, Dr. Matt Dane Baker was named Provost, Dr. Keith Leaphart, the Humana Chief Health Equity and Community Impact Officer, and Dr. Said Ibrahim, the Dean of Sidney Kimmel Medical College.

Grammys Fashion Design

Jefferson Fashion Designers Create Dresses and Accessories for Grammys Attendee
When recording artist Gina Zo landed an invite to music’s grand event, she turned to a student and recent alumna to create a “coming-of-age” look. Also, see CBS News Philadelphia’s segment on the collaboration.

What Is the Residual Impact of Slavery on African American Mental Health?
Dr. Erica Wilkins researches generational trauma and explores how therapists can be trained to help individuals cope.

Women in Construction Management Make Their Mark
A student, alumna and professor discuss what it takes to thrive in a traditionally male field.

Scenes from Match Day

At Match Day, the Next Chapter Begins for Medical Students
Members of the Class of 2023 find out where they will complete their residencies. Also, the Sidney Kimmel Medical College Class of 2027 sets off in a special ceremony. CBS News Philadelphia features new student Liz Leyva-Vera.

Is There a Place for Writing AI in the Classroom?
Writing and rhetoric faculty offer best practices for using the controversial tool.

Celebrating the Class of 2023
New graduates look back at their education and share what lies ahead. Plus, 6ABC interviews famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli after he serenades Jefferson grads at Commencement.

An Aggressive Advocate for Passive Construction
Architecture professor Craig Griffen discusses how to build more efficient, passive homes for the masses.

Alum Quinn Haba at Citi Field

Nontraditional Business Careers: Sports Management
With a new minor, Jefferson helps students harness their love of sports into a career.

Nursing Students Enhance Skills on Global Level Through Rome Capstone
A partnership with Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore allows 11 students to gain real-world experience at Gemelli Hospital.

Jefferson Welcomes New Students at Convocation
Ready for the next chapter, over 920 undergraduates join the University family.

Hidden Gems of Jefferson's Campuses

Podcast: Taking a Closer Look at Jefferson’s Hidden Gems
Check out the many treasures spread across the University’s campuses. Other Nexus Podcasts this year explored how Jefferson trains students to battle the opioid epidemic and strengthen sustainability efforts.

How Engineering Students Work With Jefferson Health to Improve Processes
Gaining real-world skills, they’re developing models that can provide advancements to the hospital system.

Jefferson Researcher Receives Cancer Moonshot Award
Dr. Hien Dang was one of 11 people awarded the prestigious award aimed at finding therapies for tough-to-treat cancers in historically disadvantaged patients. CBS News Philadelphia interviews Dr. Dang about the accomplishment.

Tom Shirley

Tom Shirley Announces Retirement From Athletic Director Role
He created the current landscape of Jefferson Athletics, and under his leadership, the Rams have earned the NCAA Division II President’s Award for Academic Excellence in 11 of 12 years. Shirley will remain head coach of the women’s basketball team.

Med Student Works the NFL Sidelines, Tending to Injured Players
Azra Dees is one of only 30 students selected for the NFL Diversity in Sports Medicine Pipeline Initiative. Watch her NBC10 interview as well.

Former Philadelphia 76ers Owner Speaks at Jefferson Wellness Conference
After winning his battle with cancer, Pat Croce has turned to a life of mindfulness.

Three people lifting a sea turtle out of a kayak on the shore of the ocean

Saving Sea Turtles, One Paddle at a Time
Biology professor Dr. Manuela Tripepi travels to Curaçao to research the disease ravaging sea turtles across the Caribbean.

Viral TikTok of Fashion Merchandising and Management Student Raises Awareness About Alzheimer’s Disease
In a touching social media moment, Isabel Prentice shows her 73-year-old father the tattoo she designed for him.

Meet Maggie, the Service Dog Who Comforts Staff at Jefferson
Working with College of Nursing Dean Dr. Marie Ann Marino, the 4-year-old Labrador Retriever serves as “chief compassion officer,” reports 6ABC.

Coach Ptah Myers Becomes Winningest Coach in Jefferson Men’s Soccer History
Among the other Jefferson Athletics accolades: Latifa Raheem records 100 career wins as volleyball coach; men’s tennis repeats as CACC Champion; women’s cross country wins its 13th CACC Championship; men’s and women’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s soccer and women’s rowing competes in the NCAAs; and alumna and cross country runner Sarah Simonetti earns a spot in the CACC Hall of Fame.

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