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CoAS Accomplishments in Brief


July 27, 2020

We are pleased to recognize the recent grants, publications, presentations, awards and honors of the members of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Emily Carey, BS geoscience ’20, received the 2020 Cooperative Education Award from the Steinbright Career Development Center.

David DeMatteo, JD, PhD, associate professor of psychology and law, was jointly appointed by the American Psychology-Law Society and the American Academy of Forensic Psychology to be Chair of the Committee to Revise the American Psychological Association’s Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology.

Alisha Desai, PhD clinical psychology ’21, was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Psychological Association’s Division 18 Criminal Justice Section. Her dissertation is titled “Criminal Prosecution of Substance Use During Pregnancy: An Examination of Judicial and Public Perceptions.”

Sarah Fishel, JD/PhD in clinical psychology student, was elected as Law Liaison of the American Psychology/Law Society.

Christina Love, PhD, associate teaching faculty in physics, received the 2019-20 Barbara G. Hornum Award for Teaching Excellence. She was also selected a CASTLE Faculty Fellow to support other STEM faculty in online/remote teaching.

Rogelio Miñana, PhD, department head of global studies and modern languages, is a recipient of the  2020 Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Awards for his documentary project “Kid Quixotes in Latino Brooklyn: Documenting and Disseminating Adaptations of Classic Literature in Underserved Communities.” The award will be used to fund a short film that documents an innovative cultural program in Brooklyn engaging underserved children and youth with classic literature through theater and arts. Miñana will work alongside Drexel colleagues in Cinema & Television Karin Kelly and Stephanie Ayanian.

Goran Karapetrov, PhD, professor of physics, was selected a Provost Solutions Fellow. This appointment is designed to allow Drexel faculty members to carry out interdisciplinary research at the Drexel Solutions Institute, to benefit both their own research programs and the applied research capabilities of the University.

Victoria Pietruszka, JD/PhD in clinical psychology student, was awarded a Dissertation Grant of $718 from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.

Jacqueline Sadashige, PhD, adjunct professor for the Women’s and Gender Studies program (WGST), is the recipient of this year’s 2020 Adjunct Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. She has been teaching for WGST since May 2009. The Adjunct Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence is awarded to a Drexel University adjunct faculty member that exemplifies the high quality of teaching and mentorship of students. The award includes a certificate and a monetary award.

Scott Stein, MFA, will be the visiting writer for the August MFA residency at Arcadia University.

Kelly Underman, PhD, assistant professor of sociology, was selected as a recipient of the 2020 Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Award.

Michael Vogeley, PhD, professor of physics, was admitted to membership in the International Astronomical Union (IAU), having been nominated by the U.S. National Committee for the IAU of the National Academies.

Devin Welsh, BA English ’20 and Writers Room member, was accepted as an ArtistYear AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow for the 2020-21 school year. Welsh will serve as a creative writing teacher at a Title I public school in Philadelphia.

Rachel Wenrick, Writers Room founding director, received the Dr. Donna M. Murasko Distinguished Faculty Award for Innovation in Civic Engagement from the Lindy Center. This award is presented annually to a faculty member who has incorporated the value of civic engagement into their teaching, research, clinical practice, or other academic pursuit of activity in new and innovative ways.

Writers Room is offering six fellowships for the 2020-2021 academic year for Drexel undergraduates from any school who are committed to developing inclusive, intergenerational, co-creative places that foster connection and community. These undergraduate fellows serve as leaders of Writers Room and are deeply engaged in our programming, coursework, or research. They are uniquely positioned to learn from artists, scholars, civic leaders, and other professionals, in addition to acquiring valuable leadership skills. Fellows will receive a $500 award to further their creative or scholarly goals.


Meghan Butryn, PhD, was awarded a $402,404 grant from the National Institutes of Health for her project “Optimizing an mHealth Intervention to Change Food Purchasing Behaviors for Cancer Prevention.”

Writers Room received a fourth year of sponsorship from Canon Solutions America for its TRIPOD program. Creative teams of Drexel undergraduates, community residents, YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School students and Paul Robeson High School students use photography and writing together to document experiences of their intertwined neighborhoods. Work from the most recent cohort of TRIPOD writers-in-residence is featured in Anthology 6, Writers Room’s annual publication of work.

Writers Room has been awarded a $50,000 grant from TD Charitable Foundation in support of the home-sharing Open Pilot Program, which builds on ongoing research, funding and creative community awareness building driven by leaders from Drexel and the Mantua and Powelton communities in West Philadelphia. This grant marks the third year of funding from TD Charitable Foundation following support for last year’s Connected Communities program series and the 2018-2019 HOME Symposium on affordable housing and cooperative living.


Sharrona Pearl, PhD, associate teaching professor of science, technology and society, wrote “Symptom Check: Narrating One’s Own Illness Can Counterbalance How the Pandemic has Been Politicized” in Real Life Magazine; “The Assumptions of Makeover Culture” in Culturio; and “Is the Shabbat Prayer Non-Binary?” in Forward.

Sean O’Donnell, PhD, interim department head of biology, published “Hidden Homes Cryptic Nests Are the First Line of Defense” in Natural History magazine.

James Spotila, PhD, Betz Chair Professor of Environmental Science, Jacob Owens, PhD environmental science ’13, Wenlei Bi, PhD candidate in environmental science, and Benjamin Kilham, PhD environmental science ’15, published “Free-Roaming Dogs Limit Habitat Use of Giant Pandas in Nature Reserves” in Scientific Reports.