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CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

April 01, 2019

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

Awards and Honors

Debjani Bhattacharyya, PhD, assistant professor of history, received a fellowship from the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University for the academic year 2019-2020.

Mary Doan, BS biological sciences ’19, was one of 33 undergraduate students across all student chapters of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to be selected for the ABMBM Honor Society.

Niayla-Dia Helene Murray, BA philosophy and political science ’20, was selected as one of Her Campus’s “22 Most Inspiring College Women Under 22” for 2018. The honorees were selected based on their demonstration of leadership, academic excellence, accomplishment and ambition.

Keziah Sheldon, BS physics ’19, won a Fulbright Study/Research student grant to Austria. She will be based in a quantum photonics lab at the University of Vienna, working on constructing a single-photon detector by using an entangled multi-photon system.

Alden Young, PhD, assistant professor of history, was named a member of the Institute for Advanced Study for the academic year 2019-2020. Each year, the Institute hosts approximately 200 visiting members constituting leading scholars from universities and research institutions throughout the world.


Shivanthi Anandan, PhD, associate professor of biology and interim vice provost for undergraduate education, and her Westphal colleague D.S. Nicholas, RA, AIA, NCARB, assistant professor of architecture, design and urbanism, were awarded $100K from the Drexel Ventures Innovation Fund for their patent-pending project “Garden Fresh Home.” The fund is dedicated to accelerating the development and commercialization of promising technologies that address unmet needs in society and the marketplace.

The Center for Mobilities Research and Policy co-organized a panel discussion on “The Speed of Thinking,” an exhibition in the Pearlstein Gallery.

Naoko Kurahashi Neilson, PhD, assistant professor of physics, received a $748K Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation for her project “Towards the First Astronomical Catalog of Neutrino Sources.”

Susan Gurney, PhD, associate teaching professor of biology, was awarded a CASTLE STEM travel scholarship to attend the American Academy of Forensic Sciences conference in California.

Alison Kenner, PhD, assistant professor of politics, received a $353K grant from the National Science Foundation for her project “Indexing Energy Performance in Housing Servicescapes: A Multiscale Study in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region.”

The Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science was awarded an American Geophysical Union Centennial Grant of $9,000, which will send four high school students from Women in Natural Sciences (WINS), a free enrichment program at the Academy of Natural Sciences, to the Drexel Environmental Science Leadership Academy.

Presentations and Conferences

Susan E. Bell, PhD, professor and department head of sociology, delivered the keynote address, titled “What’s Prudence, Where’s Justice? Feminist Reflections on the Global Dynamics of Producing Reproductive Technologies,” at the international conference on “Minimizing Risks, Selling Promises? Reproductive Health, Techno-Scientific Innovations and the Production of Ignorance” at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

André Carrington, PhD, associate professor of English, presented “Watching Wakanda: Desiring Blackness in Marvel’s Black Panther, From Page to Screen” at the Global Africa, Migration, Literature, and the Arts intercollegiate symposium at Rutgers University.

Pamela Geller, PhD, associate professor of psychology, chaired the 2019 Helen I. Moorehead-Laurencin, MD, Sex and Gender Research Forum, coordinated by psychology PhD students Ariana Albanese and Gabrielle Russo. The forum welcomed speakers including Melissa Freeman, MD, a pioneering physician on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, and Lynn Paltrow, JD, the founder and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

Scott Knowles, PhD, professor and department head of history, co-hosted the St. Louis Anthropocene Field Campus, a camp that examined St. Louis as a vital site of the Anthropocene and taught tactics for engaging the Anthropocene in settings around the world, funded by Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

Stefanie Kroll, PhD, assistant research professor of biodiversity, earth and environmental science, spoke on an expert panel for an event, sponsored by WHYY, Inc., titled “How Clean is our Watershed?”

Nancy Raitano Lee, PhD, assistant professor of psychology, organized a symposium titled “Executive Function and its Treatments in the Neurodevelopment Disorders,” co-hosted by Drexel University and the Philadelphia Neuropsychological Society, as part of her Career Development Award from the Office of Faculty Affairs. The event was attended by over 60 students and professionals from Drexel and the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.

Danette Morrison, PhD, assistant teaching professor of psychology, presented a poster at the Society for Research in Child Development’s Biennial Conference, held in Baltimore in March.

Two College of Arts and Sciences professors were among the presenters at the Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad’s Spotlight On … Series in March. Sean O’Donnell, PhD, professor of biology and of biodiversity, earth and environmental science, presented “Tropical Immersion: Engaging students with Biodiversity” and Harriet Levin Millan, MFA, associate teaching professor of English, presented “Haiti Summer Creative Writing Intensive and Recent Creative Activity Award Research Trips to Ukraine and Israel.”

Several members of the Department of Sociology presented and organized mini-conferences at the Eastern Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Boston. The faculty members include Susan Bell, PhD, Joshua Howard, Kevin Moseby, PhD, James Parisot, PhD, and Kelly Underman, PhD, as well as postdoctoral fellow Lillian Walkover, PhD. Two undergraduate students mentored by Jason Orne, PhD, also presented: Nina Olney, BS mathematics and economics ’22, and Craig Stetson VanRemoortel, BS music industry.


André Carrington, PhD, associate professor of English, co-edited a special issue of the journal Transformative Works and Cultures, titled "Fans of Color, Fandoms of Color.”

Jennifer Chen, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow in chemistry, Lynn S. Penn, PhD, professor of chemistry, and Jun Xi, PhD, associate teaching professor of chemistry, co-authored a highly cited paper with enough citations to place it within the top 1 percent of papers published in the field of chemistry in 2018, according to Clarivate Analytics. The paper, “Quartz Crystal Microbalance: Sensing Cell-Substrate Adhesion and Beyond,” was published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

Grady Chambers, adjunct faculty of English, published the poem “A Known Fact” in the literary journal Quarterly West and the short story “How to Sink a Boat” in Joyland magazine.

Kelly Joyce, PhD, professor of sociology and of science, technology and society, published the article “Smart Textiles: Transforming the Practice of Medicalisation and Healthcare” in the journal Sociology of Health & Illness.