Close Faculty Connections
Students discuss the Widener faculty and how they have impacted their academic career and future success. Watch video.
Widener University’s professors are nationally-recognized experts in a wide range of disciplines from international development to biomedical engineering to clinical psychology. They are published authors, award-winning researchers, gifted educators, and sought-after consultants. And while they’re proud of their achievements and accolades, what really matters to them is teaching students.
Widener Professors Teach by Example
Their commitment to teaching is a practical model for Widener’s broader commitment to leadership and service. Their passion for their respective fields is infectious, and they’ll challenge you to do and think and learn more than you ever thought possible.
College of Arts & Sciences
May 2018: Thanks to Drs. Beatriz Urraca and Stephen Madigosky, Widener University has established a new partnership with Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA) that will allow both universities to expand global learning opportunities for students. In support of the partnership, Widener was recently awarded a 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant for $25,000. Both universities have developed a strong focus on coffee production in Costa Rica, but will now combine efforts to create a cross-cultural academic exchange program that takes an experiential, service-learning approach to exploring how the agricultural and sociocultural aspects of coffee affect sustainability.
March 2018: Supported by a grant by the William Penn Foundation, Widener University has partnered with nonprofit land conservation organization Natural Lands to transform the Taylor Arboretum into an integral research environment for Widener and affiliated institutions and protect the site as an important resource for public enjoyment. Dr. Stephen Madigosky leads the advisory committee.
Chelsea Abbas, Instructor of Anthropology
November 2017: Chelsea Abbas was selected to travel to Nicaragua under the prestigious Core Fulbright Scholar Program where she will continue her research on migration between Nicaragua and Costa Rica and teach at the Univsersidad Centroamericana in Managua, Nicaragua. The Fulbright program is the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program.
Dr. James Vike, Director of Masters of Public Administration and Professor of Social and Political Science
June 2017: The Teagle Foundation, via Project Pericles, awarded $25,000 to Vike to pilot a coherent curricular pathway that provides explicit links among general education requirements and between general education courses and courses in a variety of majors. The pilot pathway will focus on the themes of sustainability and civic engagement and is designed to introduce and integrate more coherent curricular options within Widener's existing general education distribution system.
Dr. Suk-Chung Yoon, Director of Faculty Research Development and Professor of Computer Science
March 2017: Widener University, under Yoon's guidance, applied with Marist College and three other universities to the National Science Foundation to improve student retention and achievement in computer science. Marist has received funding twice from the NSF and demonstrated successful achievement and graduation rates in computer science. This grant would help determine whether the same kind of success can be achieved by implementing this program at other institutions with different student demographics.
School of Engineering
Dr. Anita Singh, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
April 2018: Singh, received the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. This multi-year research grant of $549,214 is one of the foundation’s most prestigious awards that will allow her to continue her innovative research on the prevention of neonatal brachial plexus palsy (NPBB), a birth-related injury that can cause loss of movement or weakness of the arm. Through her research, Singh aims to develop possible preventative and treatment strategies that can advance the science of neonatal care.
- October 2017: The School of Engineering was awarded a multi-year academic research enhancement award (AREA) grant for $417,185 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The award through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development will provide funding for Dr. Anita Singh, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, to conduct research through the summer of 2020 in collaboration with Hahnemann Hospital and Shiners Hospitals for Children. The purpose of this grant is to support meritorious research, expose students to hands-on research, and strengthen the research environment in schools. The grant will support Dr. Singh's research on neonatal brachial plexus palsy, a stretch injury to the brachial plexus during the birth process, resulting in varying degrees of paralysis.
- April 2017: The National Institutes of Health awarded Singh $108,000 to deliver a Device Development course that includes multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary
training and clinical immersion for biomedical engineers and nursing students that will be responsible for translating new devices and technologies from
the bench to the bedside.
Dr. Dipendu Saha, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
July 2018: The National Science Foundation has awarded a two-year grant of $100,000 to Dr. Dipendu Saha from the National Science Foundation Early-Concept Grants For Exploratory Research (EAGER). NSF EAGER funding is used to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This work could be considered especially "high risk-high payoff" in the sense that it, involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives.
Dr. Saha was given $100,000 to pursue exploratory research on the synthesis of highly tunable DNA grafted mesoporous carbons in order to separate and recover rare earth elements (REE) in aqueous medium. A majority of these elements have specific yet widespread utilizations in a spectra of electronics, phosphors, optical devices, permanent magnets, power sources and military applications. 95% of the world’s supply of REEs is controlled by one of two countries and export restrictions puts the US at risk of interrupted supply. Besides separating them from their ores, recycle and recovery of these elements is regarded as an accepted strategy to maintain the supply/demand balance.
August 2016: Song, associate professor of electrical engineering received a Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant of $91,500 from the National Science Foundation, which supported the acquisition of a neural recording system that integrates electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRs) to enhance multidisciplinary research.
School of Human Service Professions
May 2018: The University was awarded a grant of $59,301 to evaluate the capacity of Widener to host a postsecondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities. The grant is provided by the Pennsylvania Inclusive Higher Education Consortium, funded through the acquisition of a Transition and Post-Secondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities grant, the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education. This demonstration project aims to evaluate the capacity of Widener University to host a postsecondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities through the TPSID model. The program will utilize established campus-wide resources to fulfill the academic, social, and occupational needs of students (four students) through an individualized person-centered planning approach. In addition, Widener University students will develop a higher competency with working with individuals of all abilities to further prepare them for their future professions. Results will be analyzed to adjust the program accordingly. This project will be spearheaded by Julie Heydeman graduate student in social work and psychology.
Dr. Beth Barol, Director and Associate Dean
September 2017: The Clinical Services for Vulnerable Adults clinic in Widener University's Center for Social Work Education was awarded a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Over four years, the clinic will receive a total of $660,000 through the HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training grant to fund 10 social work student intern positions each year, as well as other needs in the clinic. This will allow the clinic to assist more individuals in the Chester community, as well as expand the number of student interns who will get a hands-on clinical experience under the supervision of trained faculty.
Dr. Justin Sitron, Director and Associate Dean
February 2017:ViiV Healthcare awarded $700,000 to Sitron to support the work of Widener's Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative with community based organizations and gay black men in Jackson, MS and Baltimore, MD to develop relevant sexuality education content that responds to their needs, is culturally responsive and made available to relevant professionals, and enhances existing sexual health program content through online modules and networks.
School of Nursing
Dr. Darrell Spurlock, Director of the Leadership Center for Nursing Education Research
Dr. Susan Mills, Assistant Professor
Summer 2018: The Leadership Center for Nursing Education Research (LCNER) was chosen for a competitive grant to conduct an in-depth program evaluation of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation Nursing Internship Program.
Led by Spurlock and Mills, the evaluation involved extensive direct observations of program activities, interviews with the interns, their supervisors, and IBC Foundation staff, among other activities. The findings of evaluation were reported in January 2018 and concluded that the purpose, design, and outcomes achieved by the IBC Foundation Nursing Internship Program created a one-of-a-kind, leading-edge program that significantly benefits nursing students in the Philadelphia area.