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Arts and Sciences Innovation Incubator

Taking a creative approach to urgent challenges

Alexis Wiley, BS Environmental Science, '22, developed and leads

Alexis Wiley, BS Environmental Science, ’22, leads “Lessons of Da Land: Food Sovereignty and Land Justice in Black Philadelphia.” The community-based learning course, developed by Wiley in partnership with their faculty mentors, explores dynamics of food sovereignty and land security in the Black community by looking at the histories of community agriculture, food apartheid and land tenure.

Exploring Health, Equity and Wellness

The College of Arts and Sciences recently launched an Innovation Incubator to catalyze faculty collaboration and find creative ways to address some of society’s most urgent challenges. On issues ranging from artificial intelligence, to juvenile justice, land security and so much more, Arts and Sciences faculty have formed cross-disciplinary teams exploring health, equity, and wellness from different yet complementary perspectives, enriching the discovery process and generating proactive ideas.

Meet our health, equity and wellness faculty teams:


The Health, Justice and Ethics team will use an ethical lens to explore the intersections of justice, health and equity. Areas of inquiry will likely include examining policies or practices that aim to improve outcomes for young people involved with the justice system.

Faculty Members Contact Specialization
Mercer Gary, PhD
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
5016 MacAlister
Feminist bioethics; care ethics; feminist philosophy; philosophy of technology
Naomi E. Goldstein, PhD
Professor of Psychology; Co-director of the JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology; Director of the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab
Stratton 328
Juvenile justice; system reform; policy and practice; adolescent development; social science research; psychology, criminal justice, and law; forensic psychology
Amanda NeMoyer
Assistant Research Professor of Psychology
Stratton 332
Juvenile justice; Forensic psychology; Program evaluation; Policy and practice reform; Dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline; Diverting youth from justice system involvement
Kathleen Powell
Assistant Research Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies
3401 Market Street, Suite 110
Juvenile Delinquency & Justice, Crime and the Life Course, Corrections, Punishment, and Inequality, Courts and the Legal Profession, Criminal and Juvenile Justice Policy, Research Methods
C. Clare Strange
Assistant Research Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies
3401 Market Street, Suite 202
Courts, sentencing and corrections; Treatment/rehabilitation; Harm reduction; Public health; Inequality


The Urban Environments, Equity and Health team will examine the impact of large institutions on land use patterns and urban health in environmentally and economically vulnerable communities. The project will focus on St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, situated at the intersection of the Kensington, Feltonville and Hunting Park sections of Philadelphia.

Faculty Members Contact Specialization
Richardson Dilworth, PhD
Professor of Politics; Department Head, Department of Politics
MacAlister, Room 3025
American political development, urban politics, public policy
steve dolph
Associate Teaching Professor of Global Studies and Modern Languages; Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Academic Building, 322
Early modern cultural production; ecology and representation; history and sociology of science; historical bibliography; politics and poetics of translation
Jordan Hyatt, PhD, JD, Associate Professor, Drexel University Department of Criminology and Justice Studies
Associate Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies; Director, Center for Public Policy
3401 Market Street, Room 110-B
Corrections, Re-entry and Community Supervision; Comparative and International Penology; Drug Treatment and Drug Use; Community Violence Reduction; Prison Climate, Oversight and Reform; Financial Sanctions; Scandinavian Correctional Policy; Sentencing; Experimental and Field Research
Assistant Research Professor of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science; Director of the Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program
Dolan Fellow for Innovation in Water Science, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, Academy of Natural Sciences
Patrick Center 336
Environmental policy and politics, urban planning, sustainability and resilience transitions, policy implementation, local knowledge and community science


The THETA team will use their combined research interests to explore various components of artificial intelligence that relate to health systems and their impact on practitioner-patient relationships. One key focus of their project is the issue of diversity, equity and inclusion and how it relates to social capital. Another key focus is on trust, including how trust is built into these platforms and is also an outcome of trustworthy systems.

Faculty Members Contact Specialization
Mary Ebeling
Professor of Sociology; Graduate Faculty Member, Communication, Culture & Media
3201 Arch Street, 285
Science and technology studies; critical data studies; algorithmic justice; marketing; data brokers and big data; healthcare privacy; biocapital; medicine; health; knowledge and power in late capital; the production of value and alternatives; anarchism and democratic potentials of artist-run spaces and collectives.
Emmanuel Koku
Associate Professor of Sociology; Department Head; Graduate Faculty Member, Communication, Culture & Media
3201 Arch Street, 288
Social Network Analysis; Quantitative Analysis; Mixed Methods; Medical Sociology; Social Epidemiology; Global/Immigrant Health; Globalization, Development and Underdevelopment
Hilde Van den Bulck
Professor of Communication; Department Head
3201 Arch Street, Suite 100, Room 152
Political economy of media structures; Media policies for digitized media ecologies; Stakeholders and coalitions in media policies; Digitization, convergence and legacy media; Public (service) media; Methods of media policy analysis; Media culture in a digitized media ecosystem; Media and (collective) identities; Celebrity culture and industry; Celebrity philanthropy and activism; Celebrity and populism; Fandom and anti-fandom
Jennifer Yusin
Professor of English; Director, Women’s and Gender Studies
5016 MacAlister Hall
Comparative Race and Empire Studies, Philosophies of Race and Gender, Global Modernisms, LGBTQ+ Studies, Trans Studies, Psychoanalytic Studies, Postcolonial and Global Anglophone Literatures, Transatlantic Studies, and the Global South


The Indigenous Ecologies and Wellbeing group will develop a study regarding issues of mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous immigrants from Latin America to the United States and/or Canada. Indigenous immigrants are often lumped in with Latino immigrants in such assessments, despite being culturally and linguistically distinct. The team intends to consider specific forms of relational and ecological displacement that adversely affect Indigenous immigrants’ mental health and wellbeing to determine what interventions and forms of support they may require.

Faculty Members Contact Specialization
Aaron Kucyi
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Default mode network; spontaneous thought; mind wandering; experience sampling; fMRI; intracranial EEG; mental health
Alberto E. Morales, PhD, Assistant Professor, Drexel University Department of Global Studies, Modern Languages
Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Modern Languages
Medical Anthropology; Environmental Anthropology; Multispecies Ethnography; Global Health; Science and Technology Studies
Dr. Andrew Smith
Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies; Department Head, Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Room 321
3245 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Environmental Philosophy/Environmental Humanities; Food Justice; Climate Justice; Social and Political Philosophy; Decolonization


The Multispecies Urbanism and Health team will take a multidisciplinary approach to addressing concerns surrounding human-wildlife interactions in urban spaces. Cities bring people and wildlife together. Recognition of urban biodiversity and of cities as sites of rich human-wildlife interactions has given rise to multispecies urbanism. This approach to urban planning and design recognizes that human and nonhuman animal health and wellbeing are closely intertwined. Interactions between humans and other life forms in urban ecosystems are influenced by a set of social, cultural, and political factors linked to infrastructure development, material flows, and governance structures. The team seeks to conduct and support multispecies urbanism research that will benefit the health and safety of humans and their wild animal neighbors in the City of Philadelphia.

Faculty Members Contact Specialization
Christian Hunold
Professor of Politics; Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement
3021-F MacAlister Hall
Environmental political theory; deliberative democracy; human-animal studies; multispecies ethnography; multispecies urbanism; wild horses and burros
Monica Ilies, PhD
Teaching Professor of Chemistry; Chair, Senate Committee on Academic Affairs
Disque Hall 224
Development of student-centered learning-teaching activities; Implementation/evaluation of active learning and evidence-based teaching/pedagogical strategies; Curriculum integrated and applicative content delivery; Structure- and fragment-based drug design guided by drug-target biological evaluation; Structural characteristics and in vivo roles of metalloproteins connected with physiopathology; Spectrometric techniques for structural analysis of small molecules and their supra-molecular assemblies; Biochemistry/molecular biology techniques for protein expression, purification, and immunodetection
Meghan Phifer-Rixey
Assistant Professor of Biology
PISB 320
Evolution; Genetics; Adaptation; Integrative Biology; Urban; Climate
Shelby Rinehart, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
PISB 319
Species interactions; bioturbation; ecosystem ecology; biogeochemistry; restoration ecology; marine and coastal ecology; environmental ethics
Zoe Zhang
Associate Professor of Psychology
Stratton 316
Multimodal neuroimaging; machine learning; brain development and aging; mental health; wearable computing and mHealth