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CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

April 08, 2022

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

Meghan Barrett, PhD, of the doctoral program in biology, was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) postdoctoral fellowship at California State University, Dominguez Hills; the University of Southern California; and Arizona State University.

Environmental science PhD student Lena Champlin won the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Conference Art Contest. Her piece "Elkhorn Slough Estuary" will be featured as part of the artistic theme for the 2023 Biennial Conference in Portland, Oregon. Champlin also won free registration and boarding at the conference (an estimated value of $1,000).

Katherine Fiocca, PhD, of the doctoral program in biology, was awarded an NSF postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University.

MFA alum Leah Mele-Bazaz’s creative non-fiction piece “Hell's Fires,” an excerpt from her MFA thesis, has been shortlisted for the Eunice Williams Nonfiction prize. 


Pre-med student Matey Juric received an Undergraduate Research Mini-Grant to investigate the differentiation of glioma stem-like cells in response to their physical and chemical environment. The research will take place in the Petrie lab during the spring quarter and will build on experiments performed by Juric in the fall and winter of this academic year.


MFA second-year student Dylan Brown’s short story “Heavenly Rapture!” was published by Short Édition online and in their short story dispensers worldwide. The story was developed during the MFA’s Writing Through the Walls creative writing exchange with writers who are incarcerated.

Adjunct Assistant Professor of English Tim Fitts’ flash fiction “Coyotes” was published in the latest issue of Contrapuntos.

Darij Grinberg, PhD, assistant professor of mathematics, published "On the rank of Hankel matrices over finite fields," in collaboration with honors student Omesh Dhar Dwivedi, in Linear Algebra and its Applications, Volume 641, 15 May 2022, Pages 156-181. Grinberg also published "The Pelletier--Ressayre hidden symmetry for Littlewood--Richardson coefficients" in Combinatorial Theory 1 (2021), #16.

Biodiversity, earth and environmental science graduate student Johannes Krause and Associate Professor Elizabeth Burke Watson, PhD, contributed to “Beyond habitat boundaries: Organic matter cycling requires a system-wide approach for accurate blue carbon accounting” in Limnology and Oceanography, 1-13.

MFA faculty member Teresa Messineo published her novel What We May Become through Severn House. The book was described by Kirkus Reviews as “a brutally atmospheric tale of the horrors of war.”

Second-year MFA student Nick Perez published his story Unto Thee through Woven Tale Press.

Professor Elizabeth Burke Watson, PhD; Wetlands Project Coordinator Kirk Raper; Research Associate Professor Danielle Kreeger, PhD; Adjunct Faculty Member Bhanu Paudel, PhD; graduate student Leann Haaf; and Department Head and Professor of the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science David Velinsky, PhD, contributed “Relationships between ecosystem properties and sea-level rise vulnerability of tidal wetlands of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic,” published in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 194, 292.


Lisa DeMaio of the Drexel Writing Center presented “Negotiating Difference: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Writing Center Interactions between Peer Tutors and Multilingual Tutees” at the Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association conference hosted by the University of Maryland. DeMaio is also newly elected to the MAWCA executive board.

Darij Grinberg, PhD, assistant professor of mathematics, presented a Zoom lecture titled "From the Vandermonde determinant to generalized factorials to greedoids and back" at the New York Number Theory Zoom Seminar on 31 March 2022. View the slides here, and view the video here.

At the Cycling and Society Annual Symposium on March 23, communication, culture and media alum Greg Lang, PhD, presented “Rites of Passage/Rights to the City: Cyclist Traffic Harassment in Philadelphia,” and CCM doctoral candidate Alejandro Manga presented “Riding with the advocates, mobility justice, LA’s (Bike)space.” Manga also presented on “Mobility Justice in Evaluation, Engineering and Advocacy” at the national summit of the League of American Bicyclists, held in Washington, DC, from March 27-30.

Don Riggs, PhD, teaching professor of English, presented “Occasional Communities: Academic Conferences and Arthurian Romance” and was featured in a roundtable on “Words and Worlds” at the 43rd International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, held in Orlando in mid-March.

On March 22, Jason Weckstein, PhD, associate professor and associate curator of ornithology at the Academy of Natural Sciences, gave a talk via Zoom to the Evanston North Shore Bird Club in Evanston, Illinois, titled “Are species real? The role of species definitions in biology and how different concepts of species are and continue to affect your life list!”

In the Media

To view media mentions, visit In the Media.

Do you have a recent accomplishment that you would like to see listed in our next update? Email Liz Waldie, associate director of marketing and communications, at