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CoAS Accomplishments in Brief

September 09, 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

Liz Kimball, PhD, assistant professor of English, was appointed director of the University Writing Program.  

Celeste Dolores Mann, instructor of Spanish, has been certified as "Superior in Business Spanish" by the Cámara Oficial de Comercio, Industria y Servicios de Madrid.  

Chemistry PhD student Nichole O’Neill was awarded best poster at the 7th Conference on Vibrational Optical Activity in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. O’Neill’s abstract was entitled "Investigating the Nanostrcuture and Fibril Axis of GxG Crystallne Fibrils Using Amide I Vibtrational Spectra Simulations." 

Abioseh Porter, PhD, professor of English, was appointed director of the Africana Studies program.  


John Bethea, PhD, professor of biology, received a $1 million award from Bio-n-Tech.  

Pamela Geller, PhD, associate professor of psychology, received a award from the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office on Women’s Health in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the HHS initiative, Racial Equity in Postpartum Care. Geller and collaborators have partnered with Benten Technologies to create an interactive mobile health application called MommaConnect based on the Drexel Psychological Services Center’s Mother Baby Connections program, of which she is co-founder and co-director. The Challenge award will allow for further expansion of MommaConnect to more directly support Black women. 

Tali Gidalevitz, PhD, associate professor of biology, was selected to receive the Louis and Bessie Stein Family Fellowship to support international collaboration with colleagues in Israel.  

Aaron Kucyi, PhD, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, was approved for funding for the 2022 Brain Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Grant by the Scientific Council. 

Jocelyn Sessa, PhD, assistant professor of biodiversity, earth and environmental science and assistant curator of invertebrate paleontology at the Academy of Natural Sciences, was awarded a National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Program for a CT scanner. The instrument will enable characterization of internal structure of materials, including delicate, rare and historic specimens used in climate and earth sciences research. 

Paakhi Srivastava, PhD, assistant research professor at the WELL Center, received notice of a $700,000 award from NIMH for the R34 (treatment development) project, "Using factorial design to examine efficacies of technology-based augmentations for improving treatment adherence and skills utilization in a self-help CBT program for binge eating."


Erica (Schulte) LaFata, PhD, assistant research professor at the WELL Center, published a commentary on the progress towards recognizing food addiction as a psychological diagnosis in Current Addiction Reports to introduce a Topical Collection on Food Addiction. LaFata served as an invited Section Editor for this collection.


K. Shwetketu Virbhadra, PhD, instructor of mathematics, co-authored a paper, "Cosmological constant corrections to the photon sphere and black hole shadow radii," in General Relativity and Gravitation. Virbhadra’s collaborator, Stephen L. Adler, PhD, is a renowned theoretical physicist and Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. 


Psychology MS student Peggy Burke gave a talk to Drexel HR regarding discrimination against women in healthcare settings. 


Erica (Schulte) LaFata, PhD, assistant research professor at the WELL Center, gave an invited presentation, "Spicy Debate: Food Addiction Versus Eating Disorder," at the California Society of Addiction Medicine 2022 State of the Art Addiction Medicine Conference in San Diego. 


Instructor of Spanish Celeste Dolores Mann's 60-minute presentation proposal, "Creativing Writing & Arts: A Catalyst for Proficiency," has been accepted by the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. She will present in March 2023 in New York City. 



Do you have a recent accomplishment that you would like to see listed in our next update? Email Sarah Hojsak, content coordinator, at