Cameron Avant Driver, a second-year graduate student in the School of Social Policy & Practice, died Tuesday night, according to an email sent to the SP2 community from Dean John Jackson and Vice Provost for University Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum.
Driver, 38, suffered a "medical emergency" during class in the course "Foundations of Social Work Practice 1," according to the email, after which his classmates and faculty members contacted emergency professionals and Penn's student-run Medical Emergency Response Team. Driver died later at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
Driver was on track to complete his master's degree in social work, with two years left in his coursework. He lived in East Mount Airy in northwest Philadelphia with his wife, Roxanne Logan, and stepson, Christian. Driver is survived by his parents, Chere Jordan and James Avant.
In Philadelphia, Driver had a history of doing charitable work. Among other organizations, he volunteered at Philabundance, a nonprofit food bank, and Chosen 300 Ministries, a homelessness service. He was also a longtime contract specialist for the federal General Services Administration and formerly earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in Delaware County, Pa.
Driver is the fourth Penn student to die in 2018, and the 12th to have died since the beginning of 2017. Earlier this year, Penn Law School student Jonathan Lumpkin died in an apparent drug overdose, and College sophomore Blaze Bernstein died by homicide while visiting home in California. Another graduate student, Kristina Krull, died in her home over the summer.
“We know this news comes as a major shock to the school community, especially to faculty and MSW students,” the Sept. 12 email from Jackson and McCoullum read. “Now, more than ever, we ask you to hold each other closely.”
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