For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

October 21, 2019

We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Naomi Goldstein, PhD, professor of psychology, is co-investigator on a $500K grant led by the School District of Philadelphia to conduct research on the district’s School Violence Prevention Program Project, funded by the Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Adrienne Juarascio, PhD, assistant professor of psychology, with colleagues Evan Forman, PhD, professor of psychology, Stephanie Manasse, PhD, assistant research professor in the WELL Center, and at the University of Pennsylvania received a $900K Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health. They will use the grant, together with the company PromptWorks, to develop and commercialize a continuous smartphone-delivered, glucose monitoring-based treatment for eating disorders. This award represents the first NIH SBIR awarded to the WELL Center and one of the few to Drexel University.

Nancy Raitano Lee, PhD, assistant professor of psychology received two grants from the National Institutes of Health as part of the NIH INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndrome) program. She is principal investigator on the project “fNIRS as an Outcome Measure of the Prefrontal Hemodynamic Response in Down Syndrome” ($246K year one total costs) and co-investigator on “Early Risk for ADHD Symptoms in Young Children with Down Syndrome” ($23K expected subcontract).

Gordon Richards, PhD, professor of physics, received a grant of $102K from the National Science Foundation for his project “Calibrating Quasars for Comology.”

Maria Schultheis, PhD, professor of psychology, was awarded a $2.1M grant from the National Institutes of Heath for her project “Using Virtual Reality Driving Simulation to Predict Driving Outcome After Brain Injury.”

Jocelyn Sessa, PhD, assistant professor and assistant curator of invertebrate paleontology, Academy of Natural Sciences, and Katy Estes-Smargiassi, invertebrate paleontology collections manager, received $124k from the National Science Foundation for their project “Critical Central and South American Additions to the EPICC TCN from the Oldest Invertebrate Paleontology Collection in the United States.”

Jocelyn Sessa, PhD, assistant professor and assistant curator of invertebrate paleontology, Academy of Natural Sciences, and Andrew Fraass, PhD, Academy research associate, were awarded a $370K grant from the National Science Foundation for their project “Extending Ocean Drilling Pursuits [eODP]: Microfossils and Stratigraphy.”

Honors and Awards

Anthony Addison, PhD, professor emeritus of chemistry, and Mai-Vi Nguyen, BS chemistry x, won the June Chemistry in Pictures photo contest in the journal Chemistry & Engineering News, where their photo was featured.

Debjani Bhattacharyya, PhD, assistant professor of history, received an honorable mention for the 2017-18 Best Book in Non-North American Urban History award from the Urban History Association for her book “Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The Making of Calcutta,” Cambridge University Press.

Kelsey Clark, PhD candidate in clinical psychology, won an honorable mention for the Best Abstract Award at the International Conference on Eating Disorders in Chicago.

Becca Crochiere, PhD student in clinical psychology, received the Graduate Student Research Award from the Association or Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Obesity and Eating Disorders Special Interest Group for having the highest-scoring abstract submission. She’ll present her work (“Integrating Sensor Technology and Machine Learning to Target Dietary Lapses”) as a talk at the ABCT annual conference in November.

Kirsten Kaschock, assistant teaching professor of English, was one of 10 Philadelphia artists awarded a 2019 Pew Fellowship by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. The award, in the category of poetry, supports her creative work and provides collaborative opportunities with other award-winning artists.

Scott Knowles, PhD, department head of history, delivered the 2019 Drexel Convocation address.

Amanda McMillan Lequieu, PhD, assistant professor of sociology, successfully defended her dissertation at the University of Wisconsin.

Rebecca Phillipson, doctoral candidate in physics and a NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Fellow, fielded questions along with other NASA scientists as part of a Reddit AMA (“ask me anything”) on the topic of black holes.

A DNews story on Story Medicine, a Community-Based Learning course in the College of Arts and Sciences, by Westphal student Kaitlynn Stein was honored with a NATAS Mid-Atlantic University/Student Production Award in the Student News/General Assignment category.

Peter Wade, PhD, emeritus professor of chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, served as an international accreditation reviewer for the College of Science’s PhD program at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, UAE.


Michelle Dolinski, PhD, associate professor of physics, co-authored “Search for Neutrinoless Double-β Decay with the Complete EXO-200 Dataset,” which was an Editor's Suggestion in Physical Review Letters. 

Scott Warnock, PhD, associate professor of English and director of the University Writing Program, co-authored the article “A Collaborative Method for Observing/Evaluating Online Writing Courses,” which appeared in the fall issue of Forum: Issues About Part-Time & Contingent Faculty.

Marilyn Piety, PhD, professor of philosophy, published “Alone for Dinner” in TLS: The Times Literary Supplement, in which she reviews the Kierkegaaard biography “Philosopher of the Heart” by Clare Carlisle.

Presentations and Conferences

Evangelia Chrysikou, PhD, associate professor of psychology, led a masterclass on the neuroscience of creativity at the Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders in Paris.

Christina Love, PhD, assistant teaching professor of physics, directed the sixth annual Start Talking Science event, with included 24 presenters from various universities and 150 members of the public. The free public event, founded by Love, aims to improve communication skills for local STEM researchers while simultaneously educating the public on cutting-edge research taking place in Philadelphia.

Michael Lowe, PhD, professor of psychology, was an invited speaker at a two-day National Institutes of Health workshop on the “Physiology of the Weight-Reduced State.” His presentation will be published in a special issue of the journal Obesity.   

Serena Joury, BS environmental science 22, and students in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, College of Arts and Sciences, created work currently on display in the Rincliffe Gallery exhibition “In the Field.” Joury created a 3D-printed and hand-carved wax model of a Melipona beehive inspired by her STAR scholarship in Cuba with Dane Ward, PhD. 

Gwen Ottinger, PhD, professor of science, technology and society, was an invited presenter at “Community Impacts of Oil and Gas Development,” a nonpartisan science boot camp for reporters hosted at Penn State University and offered in collaboration with SciLine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also delivered the keynote address at “In the Shadow of the Petrochemical Smokestack: Chemical Corridors and Environmental Health,” an international conference in Lyon, France.

Mimi Sheller, PhD, professor of sociology and director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, delivered a public lecture at the University of Miami on her book “Island Futures: Caribbean Survival” in the Anthropocene, Duke University Press. Additionally, her book “Mobility Justice,” Verso Books, is being translated in Korean.

Rachel Wenrick, director of Writers Room, co-chaired the 2019 national Conference on Community Writing, which explored writing as a tool for social change under the theme of “Doing the Work.” The conference attracted attendees from hundreds of colleges, universities and community organizations across the country.