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Drexel Honors Outstanding Faculty Achievements at Year-End Awards

May 25 2017

Provost Brian Blake with honoree Alison Kenner.

As Drexel University prepares to send the Class of 2017 off in style at next month’s commencement at Citizens Bank Park, the University took a moment to honor the faculty and staff members who helped bring those students to this point. At the 2017 Faculty Recognition Awards Ceremony in Behrakis Grand Hall on May 24, Drexel’s Provost and Executive Vice President Brian Blake, PhD, acknowledged the great contributions of the many educators and academic advisers who offer scholarship and support to the Drexel community.

“Research, teaching and service are at the heart of what we do at Drexel,” said Blake. “It is appropriate that we take time to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of those who excel in their field.”

He took note of the national attention Drexel has received, thanks in large part to the University’s outstanding faculty, including being ranked in the top 8 percent of U.S. colleges and universities by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings, as well as placing in the top 100 in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best national universities.

“While the methodology for the various rankings varies, the consistent takeaway is that Drexel is among the very best universities on many different levels,” said Blake. “That is a testament to our first-rate faculty.”

Blake began by introducing the recipients of the Career Development Awards, which were presented earlier in the month and were designed to help faculty increase their exposure to colleagues at other institutions who can be collaborators and role models, introducing outside scholars to Drexel faculty in the process. The awards also honored teaching excellence, outstanding scholarly productivity and exemplary academic advising, among other honors. Blake also noted the distinguished careers of Drexel’s newest emeritus faculty.

Blake also presented the 2017 Provost's Award, given to one faculty or staff member each year for their outstanding service, to Stephen DiPietro, PhD, vice provost for Assessment, Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness.

“Your scholarship, service and teaching are what makes Drexel such an outstanding university,” said Blake, speaking of all the honorees. “You are why our students are inspired and so well prepared to succeed when they go out into the world.”

The recipients are listened in full below:

2017 Provost's Award:

  • ​Stephen DiPietro, vice provost, Assessment, Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness

Career Development Award:

  • Phillip Ayoub, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Debjani Bhattacharyya, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Margaret A. Finley, associate professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Jordan Hyatt, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Catherine von Reyn, assistant professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
  • Gabriel de Avilez Rocha, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ezra Wood, associate professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Alden Young, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Fengqing Zhang, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Provost's Awards for Outstanding Scholarly Productivity:

Early-Career Scholarly Achievement Award

  • Kara Spiller, PhD, assistant professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
  • Steven May, PhD, associate professor, College of Engineering
  • William Fennelly, associate professor, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Mid-Career Scholarly Achievement Award

  • Santiago Ontañón, PhD, assistant professor, College of Computing & Informatics
  • Yoto Yotov, PhD, associate professor, LeBow College of Business

Career Scholarly Achievement Award

  • Gordon Richards, PhD, professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Academic Advising Awards:

Exemplary Academic Advising Award

  • Kate Skladanek, academic advisor, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Emily Bogunovich, assistant director for special programs, College of Engineering

Innovation in Academic Advising Award

  • Allison Keene, program manager, Dornsife School of Public Health

Teaching Excellence Awards:

Adjunct Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence 

  • Denise Wolf, clinical professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions

Allen Rothwarf Award for Teaching Excellence (Junior Tenure-Track Faculty)

  • Alison Kenner, PhD, assistant professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Barbara G. Hornum Teaching Excellence Award (Teaching Clinical Faculty)

  • Rabbi Nancy Epstein, associate professor, Dornsife School of Public Health

Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching

  • David S. Cohen, JD, professor, Kline School of Law
  • Michael S. Weingarten, MD, professor, College of Medicine

Evidence-Based Teaching Award in Undergraduate STEM Education

  • Monica Ilies, PhD, associate teaching professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Harold M. Myers Award for Distinguished Service

  • Eli Fromm, PhD, professor, College of Engineering

University Award for Pedagogy and Assessment

  • Chris Finnin, EdD, director, General Business Studies and clinical professor, LeBow College of Business
  • Frank Linnehan, PhD, dean, LeBow College of Business
  • Scott Warnock, PhD, director, Drexel Writing Center; director, University Writing Program; and associate professor, English, College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty Granted Emeritus Status

  • Valarie Arms, PhD, professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Joseph Bentz, PhD, professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Raymond Brebach, PhD, associate professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Renee Chase, professor, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design
  • Roger Dennis, JD, founding dean, Kline School of Law
  • David Flood, PhD, professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Eli Fromm, PhD, LeRoy A. Brothers Professor, College of Engineering
  • Lydia Hunn, professor and performance area coordinator, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design
  • Michael Kennedy, PhD, professor and associate dean, College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Rahamim Seliktar, PhD, professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems
  • Michel Vallieres, PhD, professor, College of Arts and Sciences