Faculty Highlights: Recent Awards and Grants – Drexel University

Last term, Drexel University professors were recognized for their scholarly research and prolific academic and professional contributions. This update offers a snapshot of activity courtesy of the Office of the Provost. 
Colin Gordon, PhD, associate professor of computer science in the College of Computing & Informatics, received a grant award ($524,425 over three years) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his project titled “Closing the Specification Gap with Logic and Linguistics.” The project will produce new techniques for translating English sentences into property-based tests for testing, proof assistant specifications for formal proofs of correctness, and multiple temporal logics for both correctness proofs and automated software bug finding, as well as implement them in an open-source tool.
Mat Kelly, PhD, assistant professor of information science, and Alex Poole, PhD, associate professor of information science, both from the College of Computing & Informatics, received a $150,000 grant over two years from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant will primarily fund student research. In collaboration with Old Dominion University, the project will systematically evaluate the current state of the archiving of online advertisements.
Stephanie Krauthamer Ewing, PhD, assistant professor in the Counseling and Family Therapy Department in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, received $150,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a project called “Improvements in Mentalizing as a Mechanism of Change in Psychotherapy for Depressed and Suicidal Adolescents.”
Margaret Finley, PhD, associate professor in the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, received a $99,000 Craig H. Neilsen Foundation grant for a project called “Integrated Tele-exercise Program for Individuals with SCI: Psychological and Social Responses.”
Eric Brewe, PhD, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded a standard NSF grant titled “Collaborative Research: Further Characterizing Active Learning Environments in Physics” in the amount of $464,597.
Jocelyn A. Sessa, PhD, assistant curator of invertebrate paleontology in the Academy of Natural Sciences and assistant professor of biodiversity, earth and environmental science in the College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded a standard NSF grant titled “MRI: Acquisition of High Power and Resolution X-ray Microscopy System for Advanced Characterization, Non-Destructive Evaluation, and Cross-Disciplinary Research & Innovation” in the amount of $1,228,025.
Meera Harhay, MD, associate professor of medicine in the College of Medicine, received a three-year $269,290 total annual award from NIH for her project “Identifying Healthy and High-Risk Weight Loss Phenotypes to Optimize Obesity Management in End Stage Kidney Disease.”
Christian Sell, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the College of Medicine, received a $396,259 total annual award from NIH for “Novel Longevity Enhancing Pathways Regulated by mTOR.”
The Healing Hurt People program at the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice in the Dornsife School of Public Health was awarded a Pew Fund venture grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to address the growing impacts of community violence. This two-year grant supports violence intervention programs while also increasing coordination and opportunities to share practices among providers and with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases awarded the Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) at the Dornsife School of Public Health an R01 grant to study food insecurity and its implications for children. Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics and UHC training core lead, is leading this project, which aims to inform implementation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and other food assistance policies by analyzing how household food insecurity is associated with weight trajectories among young children and how this association is modified by neighborhood environment and public food assistance programs.
Chris Rodell, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, received a five-year $1,900,000 NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences R35 Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for the project “Designing Supramolecular Delivery Strategies to Understand and Exploit Synergies in Immunoregenerative Medicine.”
Lin Han, PhD, associate professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems (Co-PI), received a five-year $1,560,000 NIH National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases grant for the project “Molecular Engineering of Cartilage PCM Mechanotransduction in Osteoarthritis Using Biomimetic Proteoglycans.”
Kara Spiller, PhD, professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems (PI), and colleagues from Northwell Health and Penn College of Medicine received a two-year $957,000 NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases grant for the project “Inflammation-related Gene Biomarkers in Human Diabetic Foot Ulcer Healing.”
Michel Barsoum, PhD, distinguished professor, and Yong-Jie Hu, PhD, assistant professor, both in the Materials Science and Engineering Department in the College of Engineering, received a three-year grant from the NSF to investigate new nanomaterials just discovered at Drexel. 
Ahmad Najafi, PhD, PC Chou Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics in the College of Engineering, was awarded an NSF CAREER Award for his project “CAREER: A Holistic Framework for Designing Multifunctional Materials and Structures Using Computational Optimization Methods” The award supports fundamental research oriented toward extending the traditional design of single-function materials and structures.
Amir Farnam, PhD, associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, received Drexel’s first award from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for his project, “Internal Curing with Fine Light Weight Aggregates (FLWA) Created from Unsuitable Coal Combustion Ash (CCA).” The main goal of this project is to use waste coal combustion ash in the state of Pennsylvania to create sustainable value-added construction Lightweight Aggregate (LWA) to be used in concrete to enhance its durability. 
Denise Agosto, PhD, professor of informatics in the College of Computing & Informatics, received a 2022 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in information science for the 2022-23 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Agosto will research at the School of Information Science at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, as part of a project to study information sharing, misinformation and disinformation among Brazilian college students. Agosto’s collaborative project, titled “Somos Brasil,” will use qualitative research methods to build detailed portrayals of Brazilian college students’ experiences in sharing information online.
Alex Poole, PhD, associate professor in the College of Computing & Informatics, won two awards from the American Library Association’s Library History Round Table: the Donald G. Davis Article Award and the Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award. He is the first Drexel faculty member to receive either honor.
Stephen Gambescia, PhD, clinical professor of health administration and director of Doctor of Health Science program in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was one of only two recipients of the Teaching Excellence Award for Health Policy sponsored by the American Hospital Association for 2022. 
Monica Harmon, executive director at the Community Wellness HUB and assistant clinical professor of undergraduate nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, received recognition in the Research/Educator category by AL DÍA at its fifth annual Top Nurses Award ceremony for the essential contributions to their diverse patients and communities.
Jennifer Adams, PhD, associate professor, and Tamara Galoyan, PhD, research professor, both from the School of Education, were selected to join the Faculty Fellowship program through the Jewish National Fund-USA. The program allows faculty from the U.S. to collaborate with faculty at institutions in Israel. 
Richardson Dilworth, PhD, professor of politics in the College of Arts and Sciences, will assume the editorship of Urban Affairs Review. The journal will be housed at Drexel. 
The American Academy of Teachers of Singing recognized Robert Thayer Sataloff, MD, DMA, professor and chair of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery in the College of Medicine, with a 2022 AATS Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was given in recognition of Sataloff’s contributions to singers, teachers of singing and the voice community at large, as well as his mentoring and outstanding body of work in voice medicine, teaching, publication and music.
Annette Gadegbeku, MD, associate professor and associate dean of community health in the College of Medicine, and faculty director of Healing Hurt People, was invited to attend a ceremony at the White House on July 11 in celebration of the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The bill strengthens firearm laws and funds community-based mental health services and programs, achievements that align closely with the mission of Healing Hurt People. 
Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, associate professor and chair of community health and prevention in the Dornsife School of Public Health, was awarded the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program award, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. The goal of the award is to reduce gun violence and promote the health of residents through collaborative strategies.
Ana Diez Roux, MD, Dana and David Dornsife dean and distinguished university professor of epidemiology in the Dornsife School of Public Health, was appointed co-chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Population Health Improvement. The Roundtable on Population Health Improvement brings together multiple sectors and disciplines to broaden the national conversation about the factors that shape our health and to inform and support cross-sector relationships and engagement to transform the conditions for health across U.S. communities.
Ayana Allen-Handy, PhD, associate professor in the School of Education, received the 2022 Mid-Career Award from the Critical Examination of Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender in Education Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The purpose of this award is to recognize an outstanding scholar who is at the mid-point of their career.
Michelle Lowry, PhD, TD Bank Endowed Professor of Finance in the LeBow College of Business, received the Jensen Prize from the Journal of Financial Economics along with co-author Katrina Lewellen, PhD, of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, for their July 2021 paper “Does common ownership really increase firm coordination?”
Charles Haas, PhD, LD Betz Chair Professor of Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering, has been named as a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of PNAS-Nexus, which is a new open access journal of the National Academy of Science. Haas was also invited to serve as co-editor for the Fall 2022 issue of The Bridge, the flagship periodical of the National Academy of Engineering.
Simi Hoque, PhD, professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, is the recipient of the 2022 grant from the National Academy of Science for “Connecting Efforts to Support Minorities in Engineering Education.” The grant will be used to support the College of Engineering’s Eureka! summer outreach program.
Leonid Hrebien, PhD, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering, is the recipient of the 2021 Eric Liljencrantz Award presented by the Aerospace Medical Association. Hrebien, a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association (FAsMA) and the Aerospace Human Factors Association (AsHFA), was honored “for his ground-breaking research, devotion to students, and his service to the aerospace medical and engineering community.” 
Three College of Engineering faculty members are the recipients of funding from Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing PA Innovation Program, which funds partnerships between academic researchers and industry to “support industrial innovation and position the Commonwealth at the forefront of the next wave of manufacturing.”
The Law and Society Association awarded its 2022 Article Prize to Rachel López, JD, director of the Andy and Gwen Stern Community Lawyering Clinic and associate professor of law in the Thomas R. Kline School of Law, for the co-authored work “Redeeming Justice,” recently published in the Northwestern University Law Review. The work explores life sentences without parole through the lens of a legal right to redemption, arguing that this right is embedded in the Eighth Amendment through the concept of human dignity.
Karin Kelly, associate professor of film & television in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, produced the short film “Cinco Meses (Five Months),” which was an Official Selection of the Fort Meyers Beach Film Festival and the LA Independent Women Film Festival.
Adrienne Juarascio, PhD, associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, was elected president of the Eating Disorder Research Society.
Shwetketu Virbhadra, PhD, instructor of mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences, was elected as an individual member of the International Astronomical Union. 
Joseph Hancock, PhD, program director of Retail & Merchandising in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was inducted into the Dress Historians Society of the United Kingdom as a Trustee. He is one of the first U.S. scholars and representatives to serve on this board
Barbara Schindler, MD, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, and vice dean emerita of educational and academic affairs at Drexel University College of Medicine, was selected by the City of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Commission on Addiction & Recovery (MCAR) to receive a “Making A Difference” Award.  
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