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CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

June 10, 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 & Honors

Susan Bell, PhD, professor of sociology, was a recipient of the Freddie Reisman Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Award.

Lena Champlin
(PhD Program in Environmental Science) won the 2022 Outstanding Mentorship Award from Drexel’s Undergraduate Research & Enrichment Programs in the Pennoni Honors College, for showing an outstanding commitment to mentoring, developing and supporting undergraduate and/or new or junior graduate students. This award focuses on mentorship in a research or scholarly setting, including remote/online, such as during the STAR Scholars Program.

Two CoAS professors were recipients of the Provost Awards for Outstanding Scholarly Productivity: Rebecca Clothey, PhD, interim department head of Global Studies and Modern Languages (mid-career) and John Medaglia, PhD, assistant professor of psychology (early career).

Rebecca J. Crochiere, of the PhD program in Clinical Psychology, was the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Clinical Psychology PhD candidate Kelsey Csumitta won the Philadelphia Neuropsychology Society’s 2022 President’s Award.

The 2022 Research Excellence Award Winners for the Department of Psychology’s Graduate College Awards are Kelsey D. Csumitta (post-candidacy, PhD Program in Clinical Psychology) and Elizabeth W. Lampe (pre-candidacy, PhD Program in Clinical Psychology).

Clinical Psychology PhD student Liz Espinal won the 2022 Francis Fields Memorial Award, a student research award given annually by the Philadelphia Neuropsychology Society.

At this year’s CoAS Research Day, Mary Katherine Gonder, PhD, department head of biology, and Sean O’Donnell, PhD, professor of biology, were both named 2022 presentation winners.

Monica Ilies, PhD, and Susan Rutkowsky, PhD, associate teaching professors of chemistry, have been promoted to the rank of Teaching Professor, effective September 1, 2022.

Mary Katherine Gonder, PhD, department head of biology, Ezra Wood, PhD, associate professor of chemistry and Fengqing Zhang, PhD, associate professor of psychology were all recipients of the Scholarly Materials and Research Awards for Tenure/Tenure Track Faculty.

Emily V. Griffith (PhD Program in Environmental Science) won the 2022 Teaching Assistant Excellence Award from Drexel’s Graduate College for serving as a Teaching Assistant or Teaching Fellow (TA/TF) and exhibiting exemplary commitment to student learning through reflective teaching practices, creative and innovative teaching methods, academic support, leadership and a commitment to their own professional growth and development as an educator.

Marlin Killen, PhD, teaching professor of psychology, has been re-elected as Chair of the Faculty Grievance Panel for AY2022-2023.

Liz Kimball is the recipient of the 2022 Devereux Award for Junior Faculty. The award will allow Kimball to advance a research project tentatively entitled “Humanities at Work,” exploring the role of the humanities in any workplace, but especially in nonprofits dedicated to promoting social change. Kimball’s recent book, Translingual Inheritance: Language Diversity in Early National Philadelphia, was also awarded the 2022 Book Award Honorable Mention from the Rhetoric Society of America.

Amanda McMillan Lequieu, PhD, assistant professor of sociology, was the recipient of the 2022 Allen Rothwarf Award for Teaching Excellence.

Amanda McMillan Lequieu, PhD, assistant professor of sociology, Jeremiah Scepaniak, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry and Kelly Underman, PhD, assistant professor of sociology, were all recipients of this year’s Summer Research Awards for Tenure/Tenure Track Faculty.

Danette Morrison, PhD, assistant teaching professor of psychology, was promoted to Associate Teaching Professor, effective Fall 2023.

Biology major Anh Quach was the recipient of the Mary K. Howett Memorial Scholarship.

Elias Spiliotis, associate professor of biology, was promoted to the rank of full Professor effective September 1, 2022. Additionally, Spiliotis Lab graduate student Ben Robinson was awarded the Teck-Kah Lim Graduate Student Travel Subsidy Award.

Jennifer Stanford, PhD, faculty member in the department of Biology, was recently appointed to Faculty Senate.

Monica Togna, PhD, associate teaching professor of biology, was a recipient of the Barbara G. Hornum Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence.

K. Shwetketu Virbhadra, PhD, instructor of mathematics, was elected as an individual member of the International Astronomical Union.

Robert Zawatski, MFA, adjunct professor in the Department of English and Philosophy, was a recipient of the Adjunct Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, awarded by the office of the provost.


Decriminalize Survival: An Archive of Activism, a project by Jakeya Caruthers, PhD, assistant professor of English and Africana studies, has been recommended for funding by ACLS. The grant will run from July 1, 2022, through December 31, 2023.

Biodiversity, Earth and Enviornmental Science graduate student Kamila Kuabara has been selected to receive a Global Engagement Funding Award of $1,500.00 from the Office of Global Engagement at Drexel.

Adrienne Juarascio, PhD, director of practicum training and assistant professor of psychology, was recently awarded an NIH Research Project Grant entitled “Optimizing digital health technologies to improve therapeutic skill use and acquisition” in the amount of $2,371,294.

Writers Room has been awarded $15,000 to support a visiting artist to lead Tripod, the Canon-supported writing and photography program, next year. This is the second grant Writers Room has received from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts this year.


Mathematics PhD student Sarah Gift recently published a "popular science" type book on mathematics, titled Mathematical Lies You Once Believed (and maybe still do).

MFA professor Teresa Messineo published her historical novel, What We May Become, from Severn House.

Harriet Levin Millan, director of the certificate program in Writing and Publishing, recently published "Because Your Mother's Hair Was Blonde" in the new issue of Cimarron Review, Winter/Spring 2021, issue 214-15.

Spiliotis Lab (run by Elias Spilotis, PhD, associate professor of Biology) published a review article in Current Opinion of Neurobiology, and a research paper in Molecular Biology of the Cell, which was featured on the cover of the journal.

Jason Weckstein, PhD, associate professor of biodiversity, earth and environmental science, published a paper on the phylogenetics of the most diverse genus of lice (Myrsidea) with colleagues, including a student from the Czech Republic, Stanislav Kolencik, who visited the Ornithology Department to work on lice as part of his dissertation research. The paper was based on a large dataset built by Weckstein, former undergraduate student Joseph Cacioppo and Kevin Johnson at the Illinois Natural History Survey. Read “Phylogenetics and host-specificity of the mega-diverse louse genus Myrsidea (Amblycera: Menoponidae)” in Systematic Entomology.


Akanksha Bhatnagar, a doctoral candidate in the Biology Department, presented her research titled A tale of two functions: Neuroepigenetic programming and RNA alternative splicing by Tip60 histone acetyltransferase at the Gordon Research Conference on ‘Chromatin Modifications, RNA, and Metabolism’ held in Barcelona, Spain in May 2022.

Lisa DiMaio, EdD, teaching professor of English, presented her paper “Negotiating Difference: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Writing Center Interactions between Peer Tutors and Multilingual Tutees” at CoAS Research Day 2022.

Naomi Goldstein, PhD, co-director of the JD/PhD program in Law & Psychology, presented Developing and Evaluating Best Practices in Juvenile Justice at the Psychology in Pennsylvania Luncheon in May.

Michael Lowe, PhD, professor of psychology, gave an invited talk, titled “From Controlling the Self to Controlling the Food Environment: New Concepts for Improving Weight Loss Maintenance,” at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.

Flavia Padovani, PhD, associate professor of philosophy, presented in a workshop on “Pushing the Boundaries of Workplace Automation: Meaningful Work and Human-Robot Interaction” at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), held in Philadelphia in May.

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