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STS Faculty Win Awards



May 3, 2018

Three faculty—Vincent Duclos, Christian Hunold, and Ali Kenner—won Drexel Summer Faculty Research Awards. One faculty—Gwen Ottinger—won a Drexel Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Award. These awards demonstrate STS faculty’s commitment to research, training students, and explaining research findings to diverse publics.

Vincent Duclos, Assistant Professor, Center for STS and Global Studies & Modern Languages, was awarded a Drexel Summer Faculty Research Award to examine recent, heated debates about Internet addiction and of “Internet gaming disorder” within the scientific community and in the media. Drawing upon interviews and content analysis, the research aims to explore the scientific claims, imaginaries and anxieties associated with the increased blurring of neural and communication networks that can be seen in the discussion of internet use as an illness or a disorder. Demonstrating STS’s commitment to training and mentoring students, one student will be trained in data collection and interview coding as part of the project.

Christian Hunold, Associate Professor, Center for STS and Politics, was awarded a Drexel Summer Faculty Research Award to study the social dynamics of wildlife, human behavior and urban greening projects. For his summer research, Dr. Hunold plans on conducting interviews with government officials, landscape architects, urban planners, and representatives of civic organizations and neighborhood associations and site visits to better understand how wildlife is imagined and managed in urban greening projects in Philadelphia.

Ali Kenner, Assistant Professor, Center for STS and Politics, was awarded a Drexel Summer Faculty Research Awardto investigate the social, technical and political dimensions of energy poverty in the United States. For her summer research, Dr. Kenner will conduct a pilot study that focuses on the dynamics between a Neighborhood Energy Center and the Energy Coordinating Agency to better understand how organizations define and successfully address energy poverty. As part of this project, Dr. Kenner will train one graduate research assistant in social science research methods.

Gwen Ottinger, Associate Professor, Center for STS and Politics, was awarded a Drexel Scholarly and Creative Activity Award for a staged reading of Here by Us, a play exploring the ethical dilemmas that engineers and environmentalists face in trying to simultaneous mitigate climate change, stop exposing people to toxic chemicals, and ensure that low-income communities can live with dignity. While the play is a work of fiction, it draws heavily on Ottinger’s research in refinery-adjacent communities in Louisiana and California, and it strives to advance political theory in the area of environmental justice. Integrating social science, environmental science, and the arts, this project is an example of the innovative interdisciplinary scholarship fostered by the Center for Science, Technology and Society.

The reading, planned for Fall 2018, will be directed by Maura Krause, Artistic Director of the award-winning Orbiter 3 playwright’s collective, and will feature professional actors from around the region. Members of the Drexel community are invited to attend.