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CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

March 02, 2020

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, was invited to join the editorial boards of two top humanities journals: Comparative Studies in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and Environment and History.

Kaelah Grant, BS psychology ’23, was named a Dornsife Global Development Scholar by the Dornsife School of Public Health, and will spend 10 weeks in Ghana partnering with the World Vision International Water and Sanitation Health (WASH) initiative.

Conferences and Presentations

Mimi Sheller, PhD, professor of sociology and director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, delivered the keynote address at Florida International University’s annual Graduate Student Conference, “Migration and (Im)Mobilities,” in Miami. She also spoke at Philadelphia’s Vision Zero Conference 2020, held at Temple University, on the panel “The Nexus of Transit and Vision Zero.”

Kelly Underman, PhD, associate professor of sociology, co-organized the Mini-Conference on Medical Education at the Eastern Sociological Society’s annual meeting. Several faculty from the Department of Sociology presented at the conference including Susan Bell, PhD, Chuck Galli, PhD, Sarah Hosman, PhD, Emmanuel Koku, PhD, Amanda McMillan Lequieu, PhD, Nada Matta, PhD, Jason Orne, PhD, Kelly Underman, PhD, Lillian Walkover, PhD, as well as students Turo Boyiri, BA global studies ’20, Alexandra Eastus, BS public health ’20 and Amna Khalafalla, BS international economic and public policy ’22.


Pragati Chengappa, PhD candidate in biology, was awarded a $62K Predoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association for her project “High Pressure 3D Migration of Cardiac Fibroblasts Through Crosslinked Matrices.”

In the Media

John Kounios, PhD, was quoted in the BBC Mundo story “¿Por Qué se nos Ocurren Ideas Geniales Cuando Estamos en la Ducha?”, in which he explains why good ideas frequently occur in the shower.

Jack Santucci, PhD, assistant teaching professor of politics, was a featured expert in the New York Times article “Why Ranked-Choice Voting Is Having a Moment.”

Scott Stein, teaching professor of English, received a favorable review of his forthcoming novel “The Great American Deception” in Kirkus Reviews.


Adam Knowles, PhD, published a collection on “Higher Education in Nazi Germany” in collaboration with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that “explores the roles of students, faculty, and administrators in both advancing and opposing Nazi policy and ideology at German universities.” The collection contains lessons for college classroom use, each with an original source, translation and description placing the source in its context.

Goran Karapetrov, PhD, professor of physics, and collaborators across 10 international universities published “Spontaneous Gyrotropic Electronic Order in a Transition-Metal Dichalcogenide,” which was published and featured on the February 27 cover of Nature.

Lynn Levin, adjunct associate professor of English, published her fifth poetry collection with Ragged Sky Press, “The Minor Virtues,” which made The Philadelphia Inquirer’s list of “Spring 2020’s Best Books.” She will launch the book at a reading and book signing on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Shakespeare & Co., and present the book to the Drexel community at a reading on Tuesday, April 28 at 2 p.m. at Drexel’s Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

Vida Manalang, BS psychology ’21, co-authored the paper “Using Mixed Methods to Understand the Mechanisms and Prevalence of Creative Engagement in Drama-Based Instruction,” with Jen Katz-Buonincontro, PhD, associate dean of research in Drexel’s School of Education, in the journal Methods in Psychology. Manalang also received a Steinbright grant to continue her work with Katz-Buonincontro in the upcoming spring/summer co-op cycle.

Dan Marenda, PhD, and Sean O’Donnell, PhD, with Meghan Barrett, PhD candidate in biology, Virginia Caponera, PhD candidate in biology, and Cheyenne McNair, BS environmental science ’20, published “Potential for Use of Erythritol as a Socially Transferrable Ingested Insecticide for Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)” in Journal of Economic Entomology, which demonstrates how the sugar alcohol erythritol can potentially be used as a human-safe insecticide for ant control.