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Campus & Community

Faculty Highlights: Grants and Awards From Fall 2018

January 11, 2019

Faculty Highlights

In this section, Drexel Quarterly provides an update on research funding, commercialization activity and faculty honors at Drexel, courtesy of the Office of the Provost. This update offers a snapshot of activity during the past fall term.

Sponsored Research

Lin Han, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, received a five-year $500,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program award for the project titled, “Biomechanics of the Pericellular Matrix of Fibrous Tissues.” Han and colleagues also received a three-year $448,000 NSF grant for the project titled “Impact of Perlecan Mimics on Cartilage Pericellular Matrix Biomechanics.”

John Medaglia, PhD, assistant professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, is co-investigator on a $3 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for the project called “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Aphasia: Efficacy and Neural Basis.” The team will investigate the neural changes underlying treatment responses to brain stimulation in aphasia (language loss due to stroke).

Michelle Dolinski, PhD, associate professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $561,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for her project titled “Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay at Drexel.”<

Michele Marcolongo, PhD, department head and professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering, was awarded a $447,951 NSF grant for a project called “Impact of Perlecan Mimics on Cartilage Pericellular Matrix Biomechanics.”

Chris Sales, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering, was awarded an NSF grant from the CBET Environmental Engineering program for a three-year project titled “Collaborative Research: WERF: Determining the Role of Organic Matter Quality on PFAS Leaching from Sewage Sludge and Biosolids.”

Drexel University and the College of Engineering were awarded an unprecedented four Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) grants from the U.S. Department of Education, assuring Drexel’s place in the top three of all U.S. universities to receive these coveted graduate student fellowships. The grants were bestowed on the following:

  • The GAANN in Cybersecurity was awarded to Principal Investigator (PI) Adam Fontecchio, PhD, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • The GAANN in Engineering for Pharmaceutical Problems Fellowships awarded to PI Steve Wrenn, PhD, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
  • Caroline Schauer, PhD, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and associate dean for faculty affairs.
  • The GAANN in Addressing Labor Shortages and Systems Understanding of Infrastructure Projects Fellowships awarded to PI Julie Drzymalski, PhD, clinical professor in the Department of Construction, Engineering and Project Management & Systems Engineering.

Steven Weber, PhD, professor and department head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering and director of the Isaac L. Auerbach Cybersecurity Institute, earned a Cyber P3 grant from the National Security Agency to support MS and undergraduate students in cybersecurity. The new instructional grant is worth $287,137 and will support multiple students at both the graduate and undergraduate level in Drexel’s cybersecurity program.

Masoud Soroush, PhD, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in the College of Engineering, and his group, in collaboration the Air Liquide Corporation and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, received an NSF grant totaling $480,000 for a collaboration project titled “GOALI: Collaborative Research: Model-Predictive Safety Systems for Predictive Detection of Operation Hazards.” Drexel will lead this collaborative project.

Jeff Stanley, a faculty member in the Department of Screenwriting & Playwriting in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, received a 2018 Fulbright grant. The grant funds his research in Kolkata, India toward the development of a book that is part scholarly work and part personal narrative.

Daniel Korschun, PhD, Stephen Cozen Research Scholar in Marketing in the LeBow College of Business, received a Fulbright grant to go to Italy to study corporate political activism in Europe.

Konstantinos Serfes, PhD, received a Fulbright award to visit the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom during spring 2019.

Stella Volpe, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the College of Nursing & Health Professions, received $1.6 million from the USDA-FNS for Pennsylvania-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education.

Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies in the College of Nursing & Health Professions, received $548,615 from the Department of Defense for the first-ever qualitative study of veterans with Gulf War Illness.

Minjung Shim, PhD, an assistant research professor in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies in the College of Nursing & Health Professions, received $715,000 from the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health for a three-year study entitled “Mindfulness-based Dance/Movement Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain.”

Joke Bradt, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies in the College of Nursing & Health Professions, received $169,910 from the National Institute of Nursing Research to investigate the impact of music therapy on opioid use in cancer survivors with chronic pain.

Ann Carroll Klassen, PhD, professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention in the Dornsife School of Public Health, is the principal investigator for an $146,441 award given to the Dornsife School of Public Health from UNICEF Tajikistan to conduct formative research to investigate factors influencing vaccine hesitancy in Tajikistan.

Jennifer Taylor, PhD, associate professor of environmental and occupational health in the Dornsife School of Public Health, received a $1.5 million grant in partnership with the Fire Department Safety Officers Association from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security for the project titled “FOCUS 2.0: Fire Service Organizational Culture of Safety Survey.”

Major Gifts, Honors and Recognition

Kara Spiller, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, was named the 2018 U.S. nominee to represent the U.S. at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Science Prize for Innovation, Research, and Education Competition.

Wan Shih, PhD, associate professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, was elevated to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Senior Member status, in recognition of her pioneering contributions to the advancement of piezoelectric technology research.

Arthur M. Nezu, PhD, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded the ABPP Distinguished Contributions to the Professional of Psychology award at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco, California.

Sumni Oh, instructor of Korean in the College of Arts and Sciences, was named president of the National Association for Korean Schools.

Yury Gogotsi, PhD, Distinguished University and Charles T. and Ruth M. Bach Professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was named a Citation Laureate by Clarivate Analytics for his groundbreaking research advancing the development of carbon-based materials and their applications in capacitive energy storage. Citation Laureates have achieved papers cited more than 2,000 times, or in the top .01 percent in the world.

Patricia Gallagher, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering, was awarded a Louis and Bessie Stein Family Fellowship for the 2018-2019 academic year. Her project, “Initiating Research and Educational Partnerships in Sustainable Urban Environments,” will launch in collaboration with the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology.

The European Commission has awarded Drexel a new associate partnership in a global consortium of universities offering graduate students a fully funded Master’s in Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion (MESC). Drexel is the only American university partnered with the prestigious MESC program and is funded at approximately $3.4 million for implementation and scholarships. The MESC program will be administered through the College of Engineering’s A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute under the leadership of Yury Gogotsi, PhD, Distinguished University and Charles T. and Ruth M. Bach Professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Charles Haas, PhD, LD Betz Chair Professor and department head of the Department of Civil Architectural & Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering, has been granted a U.S. patent, “Maximizing production of hydrogen from waste materials by active removal of hydrogen.”

Sherry W. Goodill, PhD, clinical professor and chair of the Department of Creative Arts Therapies in the College of Nursing & Health Professions, received the American Dance Therapy Association’s President’s Award for her work as Project Lead for the 2016 Practice Analysis of dance/movement therapy in the U.S.