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CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

May 13, 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

Akilah Chatman (BS ENVS 2022) was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. Chatman will travel to Cambodia for the program to work with the Cambodian government and a non-profit—The Idea Consultants. Together, they will rethink the National Olympic Stadium area in Phnom Penh as a green space to better serve the community.

Valerie Fox, PhD, teaching professor of English, won The Phare’s "WriteWords" flash fiction contest with her story “Vertigo” (selected by David Gaffney).

Pam Geller, PhD, director of clinical training and associate professor of Ob/Gyn and public health in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, was awarded the 2022 Excellence in Health Psychology Mentoring Award by the Society for Health Psychology (APA Division 38). Geller was also invited to serve on the National Perinatal Association Board of Directors for a three-year term.

Monica Ilies, PhD, associate teaching professor of chemistry, and Amanda McMillan Lequieu, PhD, assistant professor of Sociology, are the recipients of the 2021–2022 College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Excellence Award. This award is presented to faculty members who have demonstrated unusual excellence in teaching and pedagogical innovation.

Liz Kimball, PhD, assistant professor of English, and Darij Grinberg, PhD, assistant professor of mathematics, won 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. Grinberg’s project bridges number theory (where ultrametric spaces consist of numbers with respect to p-adic distance) and mathematical biology (where an ultrametric space is formed by the leaves of a phylogenetic tree).

Parfait Kouacou, PhD, assistant teaching professor of French, was named as a HumetricsHSS Community Fellow.

Gwen Ottinger, PhD, associate professor of politics, was awarded the Western Political Science Association's prize for Best Paper in Environmental Political Theory for her paper "Epistemic Justice in Definitions of EJ."


Jason Weckstein, PhD, associate professor of biodiversity, earth and environmental science, and Therese Catanach, research associate, have had their NSF proposal DEB-2203228 ($400,001) to the Systematic Biology Program entitled “Patterns of community assembly and evolution of body size variability in the Accipiter-complex, a cosmopolitan hawk clade” recommended for funding.

Nada Matta, PhD, director of the Middle East and North Africa Studies program, Amel Mili, PhD, assistant teaching professor of Arabic, and Rebecca Clothey, PhD, interim department head of global studies and modern languages, received a $4,500 Global Teach Connection grant for the project Gender and Democracy in the MENA Region.

Sunmi Oh, assistant teaching professor of Korean, received a $3,000 grant from the Korean government NY Educational Center.


Jason Weckstein, PhD, associate professor of biodiversity, earth and environmental science, and Janice Dispoto, ornithology lab manager at the Academy of Natural Sciences, were coauthors on a paper led by former postdoctoral fellow and research associate Alan Fecchio. This is one of many papers that the department has published on life history correlates of avian malarial parasite prevalence. “Host foraging behavior and nest type influence prevalence of avian haemosporidian parasites in the Pantanal” was published in Parasitology Research.

The winter issue of Green Verses, the BEES mini arts ’zine—created by ENVS graduate students Sam Giancarli and Karmi Oxman Gross—was inspired by the diatoms and water crystals of the Invisible World of Water Exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Marina McDougall, curator of the Invisible World of Water Exhibit, and Richard McCourt, PhD, professor of biodiversity, earth and environmental science, led exhibit tours for the student artists. Read the issue, titled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

Gail Rosen, JD, teaching professor of English, published her essay “Curtain Up: Teaching the Broadway Musical” in the latest (Spring/Summer 2022) issue of Honor Bound, from the Pennoni Honors College (page 17).

The Drexel Publishing Group recently released the hardback edition of A Legacy to Share, featuring the personal and professional stories of more than 50 Black Drexel alumni.

Chemistry graduate student Andrew Lindsay and Associate Professor Ezra Wood, PhD, published a paper in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics entitled "Ground-based investigation of HOx and ozone chemistry in biomass burning plumes in rural Idaho." Their study demonstrated that in wildfire smoke that was several hours old, ozone concentrations were typically elevated, but the rate of new ozone formation was comparable to background air by that point.

Rebecca Clothey, PhD, interim department head of global studies and modern languages and associate professor of education, published “Education and the Global Politics of Cultural Survival for Uyghur Immigrants in Turkey” (2022) in the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education.

Director of the Certificate Program in Writing and Publishing Harriet Millan’s poem “Bucharest 1918” was accepted for publication and will appear in the July 25 issue of Narrative Magazine.

Don Riggs, PhD, teaching professor of English, had his poem "A Little" published in the 2021 Featured Poets Anthology from Moonstone Press. Riggs’ review of the novel The Shadow by Sharon Powell has also just appeared on The Future Fire Reviews.

Creative Writing MFA alum Leah Mele published her essay “The Fertility Scan” in the current issue of the Schuylkill Valley Journal Online.

MFA Instructor Amy Impellizzeri recently published her new novel, In Her Defense.

Miriam Kotzin, PhD, professor of English and philosophy, published her short non-fiction piece “Daylight” in Five Minutes.

Gwen Ottinger, PhD, associate professor of politics, published "Misunderstanding Citizen Science: Hermeneutic Ignorance in U.S. Environmental Regulation" in Science as Culture. Ottinger also published "Responsible Epistemic Innovation: How Combatting Epistemic Injustice Advances Responsible Innovation (and vice versa)" in the Journal of Responsible Innovation.

Second-year MFA student Nick Perez published his story “Unto Thee” in The Woven Tale Press X.3 (see page 53).

Communication, culture and media doctoral candidate Alejandro Manga is a co-author of “Les ateliers d’autoréparation du vélo et l’enseignement de la vélonomie,” a piece about the role of bike kitchens in ecological transitions, published in Anthropocene 2050.


Ron Bishop, PhD, professor of communication, presented a paper, "The Act of a Madman: Turn of the Century Sports Journalists Cover Martin Bergen's Suicide," at the annual Popular Culture Association conference.

Richard Astro, PhD, provost emeritus, presented a webinar on his book, A Tidal Odyssey, through the Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University on May 10.

Liz Kimball, PhD, assistant professor of English, recently presented a talk at the Bala Cynwyd Public Library about her new book Translingual Inheritance: Language Diversity in Early Philadelphia.

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