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Welcoming New Faculty to the College of Arts and Sciences

September 25, 2018

We are thrilled to introduce the following new faculty members and welcome them to the College of Arts and Sciences community.


Svetlana Khakhina, PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor

After completing her undergraduate degree in chemistry in Moscow, Russia, Svetlana Khakhina, PhD, moved to the United States in 2006 to pursue her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology at Rowan University. While at Rowan, she studied the intricate mechanisms of mitochondria biogenesis and its role in the process of apoptosis (cell death). She has since developed her research program in the field of microbiology and virology. She has studied the inner workings of the pathogenic fungus Candida glabrata, and more recently, the possible mechanisms of resistance against HIV infection. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in training several future student scientists, and is passionate about mentorship.

Kari Lenhart, PhD
Assistant Professor

Kari Lenhart, PhD, joined Drexel in March from a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. She has dedicated her research to understanding stem cell regulation — in particular, how the stem cell specialized environment, or niche, controls and coordinates multiple types of stem cells within the same tissue. Her research focuses on the simplified, easily accessible stem cell system of the Drosophila fruit fly testis. It has led her to identify a crucial cell biological process, cytokinesis, as a means by which the testis niche controls stem cell behavior and production of daughter cells. Her work, which has been published in journals such as Developmental Cell and PLoS Genetics, has the potential to improve stem cell therapies, cancer treatments and anti-aging treatments.


Hilde Van den Bulck, PhD
Department Head and Professor

Hilde Van den Bulck, PhD, received her PhD in Social Sciences from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium in 2000 and joined the faculty at the University of Antwerp, where she served as head of the communication department, among other leadership roles. She is the author of twelve books in Dutch and English, including “Celebrity Philanthropy and Activism: Mediated Interventions in the Global Public Sphere” (Routledge, 2018). In addition to publishing over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, she has served in an advisory capacity to the Flemish Media Minister, has received funding from sources like the European Science Foundation and the Flemish Scientific Research Council, and has been frequently quoted in the media on media policy issues. In 2017, she was awarded the Senior Career Award by the Netherlands-Flanders Communication Association.


Shannon Jacobsen, PhD
Assistant Professor

Shannon Jacobsen, PhD, joins Drexel from the College of William & Mary, where she was a lecturer on criminology, gender and crime, and victimology and statistics. She is co-author of the second edition of "The Gender of Crime" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) and has published articles in journals such as Deviant Behavior; the Journal of Criminal Justice Education; and Innovative Higher Education. Her research utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the intersections of gender, race and class in violence and victimization. Her most recent work investigates how the contextual setting of college and university campuses influences students’ gendered perceptions of risk and fear of victimization, as well as how these perceptions impact students’ daily routines.


Elizabeth Kimball, PhD
Assistant Professor

Elizabeth (Liz) Kimball, PhD, joins Drexel from Drew University, where she taught and directed the first-year writing program. She earned her PhD in English (Rhetoric and Composition) from Temple University. Her research interests include the history of rhetoric and literacy, especially in early national Philadelphia; writing with the community; and cross-language experience.


Rebecca Clothey, PhD
Director, Global Studies Program and Associate Professor

Rebecca Clothey, PhD, will begin her appointment as director of the Global Studies program in March. Formerly a faculty member at Drexel University’s School of Education, she received her PhD in Administrative and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include international higher education policy, public policy and community activism, online social activism, and issues of ethnicity, equity and access. Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Clothey worked in higher education institutions throughout China for five years. She was awarded two Fulbright Fellowships for her research, to China and to Uzbekistan, and is the recent recipient of a Spencer Fellowship to study community-based schools in Argentina. Her administrative appointments at Drexel have included Director of the Higher Education program (2007 – 2010) and Director of the Global and International Education program (2008 – 2012).

Celeste Mann

Celeste Mann has taught Spanish and Portuguese at various universities, most recently at Villanova University. She received her BA in Spanish from Yale University and her MA in Spanish from the University of Iowa, specializing in Spanish medieval literature, Afro-Cuban poetry and Brazilian literature. She has an extensive background in opera and theater, which she integrates into her language teaching whenever possible, and has also taught computer education. In her language teaching, she hopes to inspire students to excel in their ability to speak, read, understand and write Spanish and Portuguese, and to appreciate the beauty, enchantment and diversity of the many Latin American and Iberian cultures.


Toni Pitock, PhD
Co-Director, Judaic Studies Program, Assistant Teaching Professor

Toni Picock, PhD, is co-director of the Judaic Studies Program at Drexel. After completing her undergraduate studies in English and Philosophy in South Africa, she received her MA in History from Villanova University and her PhD in American History from the University of Delaware. Her research interests include the Atlantic world, Jewish migration and diaspora, economic culture, trade networks and colonial American history. She is currently working on a manuscript that examines Philadelphia’s earliest Jewish merchants and traders in the late colonial, revolutionary and early national periods. She is also working on a project that gathers material on Jamaica’s Jewish history, including cataloging and conserving cemeteries and archival collections.


Anuj Abhishek, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor

Anuj Abhishek, PhD, received his PhD in Mathematics from Tufts University in 2018. His research interests include inverse problems, integral geometry and microlocal analysis. His work has focused on proving support theorems for certain integral transforms on simple, compact Riemannian manifolds.

Huseyin Acan, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor

Huseyin Acan, PhD, recently competed three years as an NSF postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Rutgers University. He received his PhD from the Ohio State University in 2013, and spent two years as an NSF postdoctoral researcher at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. His research interests include probabilistic combinatorics, random graphs, asymptotic counting and analysis of stochastic processes.

Jiang Song, PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor

Jiang Song, PhD, received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Kansas in 2010. He was a triennial assistant professor at Rutgers University at New Brunswick, and an assistant professor in the mathematics, statistics and actuarial science departments at the University of Hong Kong. He joined Drexel in 2016 for a one-year visit in the Department of Mathematics, and now joins us as an assistant teaching professor.


Jack Santucci, PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor

Jack Santucci, PhD, was most recently a research fellow at the Democracy Fund, a private foundation that supports government reform, and taught courses at James Madison University. He earned his PhD in Government at Georgetown University, where he also served as an instructor. His research and teaching interests include electoral systems, political parties, social movements, American political development and ideal point estimation. He has published in journals such as American Politics Research, Electoral Studies and SAGE Methods Cases, and is currently working on a book project on the history of proportional voting in the United States.


Megan Meyer, PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor

Megan Meyer, PhD, joins Drexel after teaching for 12 years at Holy Family University, most recently as an associate professor. She received her PhD in Experimental Psychology from Temple University. Her research interests focus in the area of sensation and perception, and also include influences on preferred body type and changes in body image, self-esteem, and self-efficacy in females as a function of strength training.

Evangelia Chrysikou, PhD
Associate Professor

Evangelica Chrysikou, PhD, joined Drexel in the winter. She received her PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at Temple University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. She has developed a research program at the intersection of three areas within cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience: memory, language and action/perception. Researchers in the Chrysikou lab use cognitive neuroscience methods, such as functional and structural MRI, to study flexibility in cognitive and emotional regulation. Chrysikou has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and six books and book chapters.