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Faculty Highlights: Recent Grants and Awards

February 17, 2021

Faculty Highlights

Last term, Drexel University faculty were recognized for their scholarly research and professional contributions and recognitions. This update offers a snapshot of recent activity, courtesy of the Office of the Provost.


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Tom Quinn, an assistant professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was awarded a 2020 Fellowship from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Pew Fellowships provide unrestricted awards of $75,000 to individual artists from all disciplines.

Irene Headen, PhD, assistant professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health, received $663,000 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to study “System Science Approaches to Understand Neighborhood Opportunity and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Maternal Morbidity.”

Guy Diamond, PhD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, received $1.6 million from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services / SAMHSA for Disaster Response for Children; $95,000 from the PA Department of Human Services / SAMHSA for National Strategy for Suicide Prevention; and $219,000 from the Center for Community Resources for COVID Suicide Prevention Project.

Alex Quistberg, PhD, an assistant research professor in the Urban Health Collaborative and the Dornsife School of Public Health, received $690,000 from the Fogarty International Center to study “Built Environment, Pedestrian Injuries and Deep Learning.”

Gwen Ottinger, PhD, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Julieta Arancio, PhD, visiting research professor in the Center for Science, Technology & Society in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $220,000 award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for research on the international development and use of Open Science Hardware.

Miriam Giguere, PhD, head of the Department of Performing Arts and professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was awarded a $400,000 grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to create a citywide music-based project, Rehearsing Philadelphia, which will be led by Berlin-based composer and artist Ari Benjamin Meyers. Through four performative modules — solo, duet, ensemble and orchestra — the newly commissioned work will bring live performance encounters to a variety of public and private locations across Philadelphia and the digital space.

Loretta Jemmott, PhD, vice president and professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, received $100,000 from the Temple University/Philadelphia Housing Authority for COVID-19 Action Response and Educational Services.

College of Engineering Distinguished University and Charles T. & Ruth M. Bach Professor Yury Gogotsi, PhD is the recipient of a six-month NSF grant for “I-Corps: Highly Conductive and Additive-free Aqueous MXene Inks for Smart Textile Applications.” This proposal will develop new inks for the electronic textile market that address environmental concerns and cost and improve performance.

College of Engineering Associate Professor Mira Olson, PhD, is PI along with Co-PIs Shirley Laska (University of New Orleans), Kristina Peterson (Lowlander Center) and College of Engineering Professor Franco Montalto, PhD, on a six-month NSF grant, “SCC-CIVIC-PG Track B: Innovation for Economic Rejuvenation of Louisiana Coastal Communities.” The long-term vision of this project is a sustainable, generative and adaptive regional economy for coastal Louisiana.

>Major Gifts, Honors and Recognition

Alexander Fridman, PhD, College of Engineering Nyheim Chair Professor and director of the C. & J. Nyheim Plasma Institute of Drexel University, and Irwin Chaiken, PhD, professor in the College of Medicine, were announced as Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Nancy Spector, MD, College of Medicine vice dean for faculty, professor of pediatrics and executive director of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program, was named the 2020 Elizabeth W. Bingham Award Winner from the Association for Women in Science Philadelphia chapter.

Christina Love, PhD, associate teaching professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was elected a national member-at-large of the American Physical Society’s Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public. The Forum advances physics outreach and public engagement activities and disseminates knowledge of and strategies for effective outreach and public engagement ideas and programs in order to spread a passion for physics to the general public.

Sunmi Oh, assistant teaching professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was named a winner of the Civil Merit Medal of the Republic of Korea. She was also cited at the 29th Nunnopi Education Awards in Korea.

Laura N. Gitlin, dean and distinguished University professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, received $100,000 from Dom Ambrose and the Cascade Corporation to support the ‘Good Life Model’ which is a novel approach to improve the quality of daily life for people with dementia and their care partners.

Roberta Waite, EdD, College of Nursing and Health Professions professor and associate dean for community-centered health and wellness and academic integration and executive director of the Stephen & Sandra Sheller 11th St. Family Health Services, was invited by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), National Institutes of Health, to be on the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research (NACNR) working group charged with providing recommendations to the NACNR that will help to identify strengths, limitations, challenges and opportunities in nursing science that will inform the development of the next strategic plan for NINR.

Kymberlee Montgomery, DNP, clinical professor and senior associate dean of nursing and student affairs in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, has been elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice (NAP) in Nursing.

Michelle Lowry, PhD, TD Bank Endowed Professor of Finance in the LeBow College of Business, was appointed as a research member of the European Corporate Governance Institute, a global research network and an international scientific non-profit association providing a forum for debate and dialogue between academics, legislators and practitioners, focusing on major corporate governance and stewardship issues.

Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, was selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialist by a peer review panel will be invited to share her vast body of work and expertise on aging with host institutions in more than 150 countries and areas around the globe.

Researchers at Stanford University recently analyzed citation metrics for more than 160,000 of the world’s most cited (top 2%) researchers in all fields of science to assess career-long impact through 2019, and impact for the year 2019 itself. In total, 31 research currently or recently associated with Drexel Engineering — faculty, postdocs and students — were included on the list.

Linda Kim, PhD, associate professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, is the recipient of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s 2020 Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art for her book “Race Experts: Sculpture, Anthropology, and the American Public in Malvina Hoffman’s Races of Mankind.” The Eldredge Prize, named in honor of the Smithsonian’s former director (1982-1988), is an annual $3,000 award recognizing originality and thoroughness of research, excellence of writing, clarity of method, and significance for professional or public audiences.

Ryan Schwabe, associate professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, received a Best Dance/Electronic Album Grammy nomination for mixing Baauer’s fully animated second LP Planet’s Mad for Warp Records.

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