"With a support network like I have in Delta Zeta, you start to wonder what you can't achieve."
Collegian Emma Zdgiebloski's world has opened in ways she could never have imagined when she came to Drexel University -- literally and figuratively.
Emma is a member of the Epsilon Zeta Chapter, and is dedicated to learning. A STAR Scholar, she became part of Drexel's competitive program which provides an opportunity for freshmen to explore a discipline through a paid research assistant position when she first came to the university.
Today, the pre-junior business analytics and management information systems major says, "Delta Zeta has given me a lot of confidence and an incredible support system. When I presented my research for the first time in the summer of 2015, I really didn't expect anyone to show up. I didn't think research was that interesting to people. But I had four sisters who came to see my research. They were active and engaged in my presentation. They knew how hard I had worked and were so genuinely proud of me.
"Before that, I had never had friends seem so genuinely supportive of my academic work. It marked a real shift in how I felt about what I could accomplish and how the people around me would react. This has continued throughout my tenure in Delta Zeta. I have sisters show up to all the weird things I do. I competed in a community-wide powerlifting meet, and I had sisters there cheering me on for that, too!"
Emma was about to make another exciting achievement. She was selected to present her research on information security at the inaugural World Congress of International Research in Doha, Qatar in November of 2016. She was among 160 international students who traveled to Qatar University.
"Zdgiebloski's research looked at college students' knowledge and implementation of best practices to keep their electronic information secure," the LeBow College of Business said of her work. "She found that college students know quite a bit about how to protect their personal information online but do not actively implement those practices.
"The World Congress was organized by the Council on Undergraduate Research to 'bring together the best undergraduate research in the world to focus our collective minds on some of the most significant challenges facing the global community today.' Research topics ranged from biomedical engineering to sociology." (LeBow College of Business - Drexel University)
Emma has presented her research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Ashville, N.C. She plans to find a career in data analytics or IT.
"It doesn't seem to matter what I do -- whether it's a job interview or a school project or a fundraiser, my sisters are there to lend a helping hand, or just cheer really loudly. With a support network like I have, you start to wonder what you can't achieve."
Emma noted with great interest that women in the Middle East were pursuing careers in the STEM fields, too. While she had that in common with them, she also wanted to share her Delta Zeta experience.
"In Qatar I remember trying to explain a sorority to female students who had never heard of them," Emma said. "It seemed too simple as to explain it as a group of friends, but I really didn't know how to boil down the complexities of the relationships I have with my sisters into a concise format. So, I said it was a group of young women who empower each other in everything we do, whether it be academics or sports or makeup or whatever each of us do. Being a Delta Zeta is always feeling empowered to be exactly who you are. Learning how to talk to women during recruitment really translated well into networking with people in the academic and business worlds. I am more confident in myself and my abilities because of Delta Zeta."