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CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

May 06, 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, Honors and Appointments

Ali Kenner, PhD, associate professor of politics and of science, technology and society, was appointed an Associate Editor for the journal Engaging Science, Technology, and Society.

Debjani Bhattacharyya, PhD, assistant professor of history, was named a visiting scholar at the Institute of Asia and Africa Studies, at University of Humboldt, Berlin for the period of June to August 2020. She was also awarded the 2021 Balzan Fellowship for Global History from the Freibrug Institute of Advanced Studies at Freiburg University.

Four CoAS faculty were invited to join the inaugural cohort in the Drexel Teaching Academy, created by the Drexel Teaching and Learning Center: Steve Vásquez Dolph, PhD, assistant teaching professor of global studies and modern languages, Meshagae Hunte-Brown, PhD, teaching professor of biology, Monica Ilies, PhD, associate teaching professor of chemistry, Anne O'Farrell Politz, assistant teaching professor in the English Language Center, Cyndi Rickards, EdD, associate teaching professor of criminology and justice studies.

Four College of Arts and Sciences students and alumni are 2020 Fulbright honorees. Nicole Bedoya, BA global studies ’19, was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to Brazil; Isa Betancourt, MS communication ’19, was awarded a Fulbright Study/Research grant and a National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship to Indonesia; and Marissa Olson, BA global studies ’20, was awarded a Fulbright ETA to Spain. Reva Swiedler, BA global studies ’20, was an alternate for the Fulbright ETA to Mexico.


Serena Joury, BS environmental science and product design ’22, and Zack Smith, BS environmental science 22, were awarded Rising Explorers grants for research from the Explorers Club. Joury will research “Redefining Coral Reef Education through Virtual Reality (VR),” while Smith, along with Alex Wysocki, Liz Otruba, and Mikayla Traini under the direction of Dane Ward, PhD, will be studying the “Seasonal Variation in Marine Plankton in Biofouling Communities in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey.”

Scott Gabriel Knowles, PhD, department head of history, received a Drexel University Rapid Response Research Grant for the project “COVID-19: Slow Disaster.”


Gordon Richards, PhD, professor of physics, and colleagues at the University of Oklahoma, the Ohio State University, Western University in Canada and the Canadian Space Agency published “Discovery of a Remarkably Powerful Broad Absorption-line Quasar Outflow in SDSS J135246.37+423923.5” in The Astrophysical Journal. The publication describes the most energetic wind from a quasar ever measured using observations from the international Gemini North Observatory in Hawaii.

Jocelyn Sessa, PhD, assistant professor of biodiversity, earth and environmental science, and Rosie Oakes, PhD, postdoctoral researcher, co-authored two publications: “Determining How Biotic and Abiotic Variables Affect the Shell Condition and Parameters of Heliconoides Inflatus Pteropods From a Sediment Trap in the Cariaco Basin” in the journal Biogeosciences and “Testing the Impact of Two Key Scan Parameters on the Quality and Repeatability of Measurements From CT Scan Data” in Palaeontologia Electronica.

Diane Sicotte, PhD, associate professor of sociology, had an article accepted for publication: “From Cheap Ethane to a Plastic Planet: Regulating an Industrial Global Production Network” by the journal Energy Research & Social Science.

Amy Slaton, PhD, professor of history, edited the book “New Materials: Towards a History of Consistency,” published by Lever Press. The edited volume “gathers eight cases of industrial materials development, broadly conceived, from North America, Europe and Asia over the last 200 years.”

Scott Stein, MFA, teaching professor of English, received a starred review in Publishers Weekly for his novel “The Great American Deception,” which was published in May by Tiny Fox Press.