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Campus & Community

Faculty Highlights: Grants and Awards From Fall 2017

January 10, 2018

Faculty Highlights

In this section, Drexel Quarterly provides an update on research funding, commercialization activity and faculty honors at Drexel, courtesy of the Office of the Provost. This update offers a snapshot of activity during the fall term.

Sponsored Research

Christopher Li, PhD, a professor in the College of Engineering’s Materials Science and Engineering Department, has been awarded a three-year, $370,953 National Science Foundation (NSF) collaborative grant to further examine how to customize desirable properties of materials by modifying a substrate surface using polymers of tailor-designed shapes to achieve precise control of surface structures and properties.

Matthew Stamm, PhD, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and co-investigators James Shackleford, PhD, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Nagarajan Kandasamy, PhD, a professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, were awarded $648,572 from the Army Research Office Rapid Innovation Fund for their two-year project, “High Performance Techniques to Identify the Source and Authenticity of Digital Videos Using Multimedia Forensics.”

James Tangorra, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering’s Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Department, and Harry G. Kwatny, PhD, S. Herbert Raynes Professor in the College of Engineering’s Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Department, in collaboration with West Chester and George Washington University, have received a $1.4 million award from the Office of Naval Research for their project,“Investigating Sea Lion Locomotion as the Basis for Shape Changing UUVs.” 

Stefan Rank, an assistant professor of game art and production in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was awarded a $560,000 NSF grant for his project, “Supporting Science and Engineering Identity Development in Immersive Interactive Technologies,” which will explore the use of augmented reality and digital storytelling for educating middle school children.

Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship Dean and Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership Donna De Carolis, PhD, is part of a funded grant with the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems and the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design from VentureWell to pilot an idea for an interdisciplinary course integrating a clinical experience (focusing on needs finding and problem identification), product design and entrepreneurship.

Naomi Goldstein, PhD, co-director of the JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology and professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology, received two grants from the National Institute of Justice/U.S. Department of Justice: “PBIS in Challenging Contexts: Evaluating a Replicable Implementation Approach in Philadelphia” for $3 million and “Evaluating Impacts of the Philadelphia Police School Diversion Program: An Alternative-to-Arrest Policing Strategy” for $1.28 million. She also received a $750,000 grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention/U.S. Department of Justice for “Long-Term Outcomes and Sustained Impact of the Philadelphia Police School Diversion Program.”

Meghan Butryn, PhD, an associate professor of psychology and director of research at the WELL Center in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $424,725 National Institutes of Health R21 grant for the project “Improving Weight Loss Maintenance by Using Digital Data Sharing to Provide Responsive Support and Accountability.” Psychology faculty members Evan Forman, PhD, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology, and Zoe Zhang, PhD, an assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology, are co-investigators on the project.

Margaret Finley, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department, and her collaborators from the College of Medicine and Dornsife School of Public Health received a $662,720 grant from the Department of Defense for a three-year project, “Development of a Biopsychosocial Prospective Surveillance Model of Shoulder Pain in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury.” The goal is to provide a proactive approach for early identification and intervention to ameliorate debilitating activity limitations for military service members and veterans with spinal cord injuries who use wheelchairs.

Joke Bradt, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ Creative Arts Therapies Department, and her collaborators at Hahnemann Cancer Center, Drexel’s College of Medicine and Jefferson University, received a $1.27 million grant funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research for their study, “Mechanisms of Music Therapy to Palliate Pain in Patients with Advanced Cancer.” The multisite randomized controlled trial will examine the underlying mechanisms of interactive music therapy for chronic pain management in people with advanced cancer.

College of Computing & Informatics Professor and Department of Information Science Head Xia Lin, PhD, and College of Computing & Informatics Alice B. Kroeger Professor Jane Greenberg, PhD, were awarded $313,269 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program for their project titled “LIS Education and Data Science for the National Digital Platform (LEADS-4-NDP).” Their project will develop the Library Education and Data Science (LEADS) program, a transformative doctoral training initiative grounded in library science foundations and integrating a new data science focus.

Catherine von Reyn, PhD, an assistant professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, received a two-year, $200,000 NSF Early-Concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) for the project titled “Engineering Electrical Synapses in a Sensorimotor Circuit.” The project goal is to use gap junction proteins from a mouse to engineer new synapses in the fruit fly.

Elea McDonnel Feit, PhD, an assistant professor of marketing in the LeBow College of Business, was awarded $25,000 in research funds under the Adobe University Marketing Research Awards program, along with her co-author, Ron Berman.

Daniel Korschun, an associate professor of marketing in the LeBow College of Business, received a gift in the amount of $16,750 to establish the Zendesk Inc. Business and Society Research Fund.

Major Gifts, Honors and Recognition

Amy Slaton, PhD, a professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the 2017 Sterling Olmsted Award from the American Society for Engineering Education’s Liberal Education/Engineering and Society (LEES) Division. The award honors her distinguished contributions to the development and teaching of liberal arts in engineering education. It is the highest award given by the LEES Division.

Arthur Nezu, PhD, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded the “Distinguished Service to the Profession Award” from the American Board of Professional Psychology. The award honors a board-certified specialist whose career represents outstanding contributions to psychology as a science and as a profession.

Toby Seay, a professor of music industry in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and director of the Drexel Audio Archives, has been elected president of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA). In this prestigious position, Seay will work over the next three years with the likes of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archive Associations.

Beth L. Leonberg, an assistant clinical professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, received a Fulbright Scholar award to teach in Uzbekistan from February to June.

Gloria Ferraro Donnelly, PhD, professor and dean emerita, received the March of Dimes and the Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania Lifetime Achievement Awards for her contributions to nursing, education and students.

Drexel University is the recipient of the Association for Continuing Higher Education’s 2017 Distinguished Credit Program for its Military Transition Program. Staff recognized for this program were Chris Young, assistant director of Transfer Admissions and Veteran Affairs; Tim Gilrain, assistant dean in the Goodwin College of Professional Studies; Rebecca Weidensaul, PhD, assistant vice president of Student Life; Lamont Wilson, director of the Degree Completion Program in the Goodwin College of Professional Studies; John Rans, senior academic adviser in the Goodwin College of Professional Studies; and Amy Gulyas, academic adviser in the Godwin College of Professional Studies

Wan Shih, PhD, professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, and colleagues received U.S. patent No. 9,599,612 B2 for “Flow-Based Enhancement of Specificity for Label-Free Biochemical Assays.”

Pennoni Honors College Program Manager Ana Castillo-Nye was nominated for, and accepted, the position of chair for the Commission for Academic Affairs of College Student Educators International. She will serve during the 2018–20 term, and she will lead the commission in providing outreach, advocacy and professional development opportunities to individuals in higher education who work in or with academic affairs areas.

The College of Engineering’s Materials Science and Engineering Department Head and Professor Michele Marcolongo, PhD, has been elected as a 2017 National Academy of Inventors Fellow. The founder of three startup companies, Marcolongo holds 14 patents, 13 of which have been commercially licensed.

This story was published in the winter 2018 issue of Drexel Quarterly.

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