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CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

January 03, 2019

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


Jason Cross, PhD, assistant teaching professor of chemistry, was reelected to the Board of Directors for the American Chemical Society's Philadelphia section. Founded in 1899, the Philadelphia local section is one of the oldest and largest ACS sections with over 5,000 members.

Ernest Hakanen, PhD, professor of communication, was named to the Editorial Board of Explorations in Media Ecology.

Arthur M Nezu, PhD, DHL, ABPP, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, was elected to the American Psychological Association’s Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) for a three-year term. The BSA is the APA’s major advisory board regarding all aspects of scientific psychology.

Sunmi Oh, instructor of Korean, was named president of the National Association for Korean Schools.

Awards and Honors

Sofi Courtney, BS Environmental Science ’20, was awarded the Marilyn A. Burshtin Memorial Award. This Drexel Student Life Scholarship Award is presented to a female in the College of Arts and Sciences or College of Engineering with demonstrated academic success and extensive involvement in student activities.

Peter DeCarlo, PhD, associate professor of chemistry and of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, was identified as a 2018 Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics. This is the fifth year in a row that DeCarlo has received this distinction, which recognizes world-class researchers with multiple publications that rank in the top one percent of citations in the field.

Janna Domenico, PhD candidate in chemistry, received the highest honor of the Gold Award at the Material Research Society’s Graduate Student Awards competition. The award recognizes students of exceptional ability who show promise for significant future achievement in materials research.  Domenico was invited to present her work, titled “Effect of Solvent and Substrate on the Surface Binding Mode of Carboxylate-Functionalized Aromatic Molecules,” at the Materials Research Society national meeting in Boston. She is mentored by research advisor Karl Sohlberg, PhD, associate professor of chemistry.

Jaymes Fairfax-Columbo, JD/PhD student in clinical psychology, Suraji Wagage, JD/PhD student in psychology, and Dave DeMatteo, JD, PhD, associate professor of psychology and of law, received an Emerald Literati Award for Excellence in the category of Highly Commended Paper for their article “Cyberstalking: Are We on The Same (Web)page? A Comparison of Statutes, Case Law, and Public Perception,” published in the Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research.

John Medaglia, PhD, assistant professor of psychology, was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. This designation recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for continued contributions.

Erin Katz, BS chemistry ’19, received the Undergraduate Research Award from the Eastern Analytical Symposium in Princeton, NJ. The award recognizes undergraduate students conducting research in the field of analytical chemistry who demonstrate special talent in research. Katz is mentored by research adviser Peter DeCarlo, PhD, associate professor of chemistry and of civil, architectural and environmental engineering.

Karen Nulton, PhD, associate teaching professor of English, has been awarded a Fulbright Specialist Award to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa. During the winter term, she will work with colleagues on the assessment of communication skills in work-integrated learning.

Maya, Drexel’s student literary magazine, was recognized as a silver medalist in the collegiate literary magazine category by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. It also received Gold Circle Awards for student work by Gina Vitale, BS Chemistry ’18, Victoria Smith, BS Chemistry ’18, and Emily Turek, BS Biological Sciences ’19.

Rosie Oakes, PhD, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, was elected as an Early Career Representative to the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Council. She also presented at the AGU Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., with Jocelyn Sessa, PhD, assistant professor of biodiversity, earth and environmental science.


John Medaglia, PhD, assistant professor of psychology, is co-investigator on a $3M NIH grant for the project “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Aphasia: Efficacy and Neural Basis.” The team will investigate the neural changes underlying treatment responses to brain stimulation in aphasia (language loss due to stroke).

Presentations and Conferences

Naoko Kurahashi Neilson, PhD, assistant professor of physics, delivered the 2018 Westbrook Free Lectureship, “Tracing Neutrinos Through the Cosmos,” at the Wagner Free Institute of Science.

Six graduate students from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Departments of Biology and of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science organized the sixth annual Social Insects in the North East Regions (SINNERS) Conference, held at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. The organizers included PhD students in the lab of Jake Russell, PhD — Benoit Bechade, Linyao Peng, Melissa Carpenter and Christian Cabuslay — and the lab of Sean O’Donnell, PhD — Meghan Barrett, Katherine Fiocca and Virginia Caponera.

Three undergraduate students in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science — Ryder White, BA Environmental Studies and Sustainability ’19, Broderick DeAngelis, BA Environmental Studies and Sustainability ’19, and Kelly Rozanitis, BS Geoscience ’19 — participated in an Academy Conversation panel at the Academy of Natural Sciences to discuss the latest federal climate change report.


Fei Jia, PhD candidate in communication, culture and media, and Emmanuel Koku, PhD, associate professor of sociology, published the paper “Making American Friends: The Effects of Musical Tastes and English Proficiency on Chinese International Students’ Social Networks in the United States” in the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research.

Fraser F. Fleming, PhD, department head and professor of chemistry, coauthored the paper "Electrophile-Directed Diastereoselective Oxonitrile Alkylations," published in Chemistry: A European Journal. The article was designated a “Hot Paper” by the journal’s editor.

Arthur M Nezu, PhD, DHL, ABPP, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, coauthored the paper "Journal Article Reporting Standards for Quantitative Research in Psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board Task Force Report," published in the journal American Psychologist. The paper was the fourth most downloaded of the more than 4,000 articles published in the American Psychological Association’s 89 journals in 2018.

Rosie Oakes, PhD, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, was lead author on the paper “Impact of Preservation Techniques on Pteropod Shell Condition,” published in Polar Biology, a Springer journal.