Faculty, Staff & Student Accomplishments

Search Noteworthy

Filter Noteworthy

Susan Schaming profile

Education Professor Presents at the American Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisor's biennial Conference

Susan P. Schaming, associate professor and director of Graduate Counselor Education and Home School Visitor Programs, presented at the American Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisor's biennial Conference in Atlanta, GA. Her presentation titled "A multicultural course responds to racism and discrimination: An imperative for academicians and clinicians," offered a comprehensive course development plan for multiculturalism in counselor education. In addition, the tools for exploring bias and values that potentially lead to behaviors that marginalize groups, and strategies to analyze any institutional program practices that are influenced by cultural norms was discussed.

Share link:

Lori Simons
College of Health & Human Services

Psychology Professor to Give Keynote at International Conference

Professor Lori Simons, practicum and internship coordinator of the psychology department, will give the keynote presentation at the International Conference on Education and Educational Psychology. The conference will be held remotely Oct. 6-8. 

Simon’s presentation is titled “A Developmental Approach for Infusing Career-Related Issues in an Undergraduate Psychology Curriculum: COVID-19 Impacts on Student Learning.” 

Share link:

Red, white and blue Great Colleges to Work For 2021 logo
Office of the President

Widener named a 2021 "Great College to Work For"

The Chronicle of Higher Education has named Widener University a 2021 “Great College to Work For” after the university took honors in four categories based on feedback submitted through a survey of 196 colleges and universities. The higher education trade publication released the survey results today in its 14th-annual report, which stands as one of the largest and most respected workplace recognition programs in the country.

Of the 70 institutions that achieved recognition for specific best practices and policies, only 46 were four-year colleges or universities. Widener was one of only three Pennsylvania institutions to make the list and has been recognized three of the last four years. The categories included:

  • Confidence in Senior Leadership, honoring institutions where senior leadership is recognized by faculty and staff as capable and credible.
  • Faculty Experience, honoring institutions where faculty report positive employment experiences including support for service and research, balance of teaching, and advancement and promotion opportunities.  
  • Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, honoring institutions that are demonstrating commitment to diversity, as reported by faculty and staff based on their individual experiences and the impact of institutional policies and procedures. 
  • Shared Governance, honoring workplaces where faculty members are appropriately involved in decisions related to academic programs.  

“We are delighted to see Widener included on this distinguished national list, and are particularly proud to be honored in the Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging category, which is new this year,” President Julie E. Wollman said. “This honor recognizes our commitment to a welcoming work environment where everyone has a voice and all are valued for the diverse contributions they make to our community. It also reflects that Widener is a place where faculty are supported and encouraged, where they are actively engaged, and where senior leadership is recognized for having the knowledge, skills and experience for institutional success.

“Our employees impress me every day through their commitment to our students and to providing them an excellent experience,” she continued. “Our faculty generously share their time, guided research opportunities, and their networks, to put our students on the inside track to career success. Our staff consistently put student needs first. Widener employees are the university’s greatest asset.” 

Board of Trustees President Paul Beideman said the vote of confidence in senior leadership – awarded for two consecutive years – was especially outstanding, given the ongoing challenges of managing the institution during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Widener emphasizes collaboration in its processes and operations, and teams work together with shared values,” Beideman said. “For example, the university’s pandemic response plans have evolved as circumstances have changed with COVID-19 and variants, but Widener’s management team has continuously sought input from all constituencies with the safety and well-being of the university community as its guide. Together, they think critically as they weigh future strategies.

“The Board of Trustees is united in its dedication to Widener and we are proud to see the university recognized as a Great College to Work For,” Beideman added. “This honor is based on faculty and staff surveys, which tell us we have committed and engaged employees – the kind of employees who bring their best to work every day, and provide an exceptional student experience.”

The Chronicle’s survey results were based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional questionnaire that captured employment data and workplace policies, and an anonymous survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. Employee feedback was the primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition. Widener had a strong employee response rate to the survey, and it exceeded the national response rate. 

“I am not surprised our faculty and staff felt compelled to share their opinions through this survey, even while many of them were working remotely during the pandemic,” Wollman said. “They care deeply about the university and they work hard to support the success of our students and of their colleagues.. People here know they can share thoughts and ideas and contribute to positive change. When they do that, they help make Widener an even better place to work.”

Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most comprehensive workplace studies in higher education. The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm to administer the survey and analyze the results. 

Share link:


Justin A. Sitron
College of Health and Human Services

Widener Professor and Alum Publish Article in American Journal of Sexuality Education

Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services Justin Sitron and alum Li Lock '19 recently published an article, titled Sexological Worldview Development Explained by the Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, in the American Journal of Sexuality Education.

Sexological worldview is the lens through which someone sees and makes meaning of the sexual world around them. Their research explored whether the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) explains the stages of someone’s sexological worldview development across a continuum of dualist to relativist perspectives and ways of interacting with others who are similar or different.

Sitron, an associate professor, interviewed 30 sexuality professionals and students in the US and found that the participants’ sexological worldview development could be explained using the DMIS framework.

Share link:

Headshot of Dexter Hamilton
Board of Trustees

Widener Welcomes Newest Board of Trustee Members

The university proudly welcomed alumnus Dexter Hamilton ’83 to the Board of Trustees. Hamilton is a prominent Philadelphia attorney who grew up in Philadelphia and spent much time in Chester and currently serves as counsel to Chester-based clients. An experienced trial attorney, Hamilton practices in the areas of commercial litigation, construction litigation, products liability, and toxic tort litigation. In the past several years, he has tried cases to verdict including commercial matters and catastrophic injury cases. He has been lead counsel in complex matters in state and federal courts across the country. He also serves as general counsel for a local health system.

In addition, he serves as general counsel for the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE, and as a judge pro tempore for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where he presides at settlement conferences. He is a member of the board of the Lawyers Club of Philadelphia and previously served on the board of directors of the Bethesda Project, an organization that serves the chronically homeless. He was appointed by the mayor of Philadelphia to serve on the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

Hamilton joined the board along with Student Trustee Ijjae Hill '23 '25. Hill, a double major in visual and performing arts and pre-physical therapy who plans to pursue a doctorate of physical therapy, is active in the university community and in the Chester community, where she has pursued her passion for health equity. Read more about Hill in this Q&A

Share link:

Janelle Williams
Center for Graduate & Continuing Studies

Janelle L. West Publishes Findings to Understand Black Students’ Choice to Attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The Journal of Black Studies published an article co-authored by Janelle L. West, associate dean of graduate and continuing studies, on the impact of the racial climate on Black students’ choice to attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The study was designed to understand to what extent, if any, did the racial climate under Donald Trump’s presidency influence Black students' choice to enroll in HBCUs. The study findings, which provided data from interviews with 80 Black students who were engaged in the college search process in 2016 to 2018, offers empirical evidence that indicate that the racial climate under President Trump played a salient role in participants’ selection of HBCUs.

Share link:

Outdoor play equipment, including a slide and inflatable house, at Child Development Center
Child Development Center

Widener Students Donate Funds to Support the Child Development Center

When COVID-19 paused study abroad experiences, a group of Widener students decided to use the money they had raised for their travels to support the Widener Child Development Center (CDC). Members of the Class of 2021, who were part of the Presidential Service Corps / Bonner Leaders Program, recently donated $500 to the CDC, which used the funds to purchase outdoor play supplies. 

Associate Dean of Students Catherine Feminella said the now-alumni turned an unfortunate situation regarding travel into a positive opportunity “to serve the local kids in our very own backyard. It was a really timely and serendipitous opportunity for students.” 

The CDC was revamping their outdoor space and needed new equipment. Joseph Matassino, Widener’s director of sponsored research and foundation relations, alerted the students to the need and they jumped at the chance to help, said Feminella.

The CDC used the donation to purchase an inflatable bounce house, balls, hula hoops, and more. 

“The kids are loving it, and it definitely feels like the whole yard is being utilized now,” said Essence Allen-Presley, director of the CDC. “This donation came out of the blue and we really appreciated that.”

Located on campus, the CDC provides childcare, preschool, and kindergarten services for the community. Widener students, from the education program and other academic areas, gain field experience at the center.

PSC Bonner Leaders commit to serving 250 hours of internship-level community service each year, earning an annual $5,000 scholarship in the process. They also participate in customized, experiential learning opportunities designed to make them stand out as civic leaders, social justice agents and active global citizens.

Share link:

Nursing faculty and aluma research team present meaningful research on returning service members
School of Nursing

Nursing Professor and Alumni Earn International Nursing Book Award

Nursing Professor Barbara Patterson, director of the nursing science PhD program, and Alumna Brenda Elliott (center and right) were among the recipients of the 2021 International Awards for Nursing Excellence from the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma). Patterson and Elliott, along with Katie Chargualaf, received the Capstone International Nursing Book Award for their co-authored book Veteran-centered Care in Education and Practice: An Essential Guide for Nursing Faculty. The award recognizes Patterson and Elliott's collaborative research to provide nurse educators with the resources to understand the veteran experience and their  transferable skills that can contribute to the classroom, the clinical setting and within higher education. Sigma’s International Awards for Nursing Excellence are based on the society’s dedication to fostering high professional nursing standards, recognizing superior achievement, developing leadership, and encouraging creative work.

Share link:

School of Nursing

Nursing Doctoral Student Wins National Nursing Education Research Grant

Sagine Bien-Aime, a nursing doctoral student, is a recipient of the National League for Nursing (NLN) Nursing Education Research Grants program. Bien-Aime received $5,000 as part of the NLN/Sigma Foundation for Nursing Diane Billings Research Award to support her research titled "The Effect of Same Gender and Same Race Coaching Intervention of the Resilience of Black Baccalaureate Nursing Students."

Share link:

Janice L. Krumm
College of Arts and Sciences

Biology Professor Awarded Nearly $500,000 Grant to Support Undergraduate Research Network

Associate Professor of Biology Janice Krumm has been awarded nearly $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to lead and expand a national network that increases access to undergraduate research opportunities in ecology and evolution. 

Krumm secured the grant in collaboration with Associate Professor Carly Jordan at The George Washington University and curators Jean Woods and Elizabeth Shea at the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

The grant supports the expansion of the Biological Collections in Ecology and Evolution Network (BCEENET), a community of undergraduate educators, pedagogy experts, and natural history collections professionals who collaborate to support the development and implementation of Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences, or CUREs, using digitized natural history collections data.

CUREs engage undergraduates in authentic research experiences and are known to increase engagement, retention, and long-term success in undergraduates, particularly in students from underrepresented populations in STEM fields.

The courses provide educators and students opportunities to collaborate on research projects using the millions of specimen records on publicly available data portals, resulting in unique and innovative opportunities for research in ecology and evolution.

Share link:

Anthony R. Wheeler
School of Business Administration

School of Business Administration Dean Anthony Wheeler Publishes Book About the Future of Work

School of Business Administration Dean and Professor of Management Anthony Wheeler co-authored a newly published book, titled "HR Without People? Industrial Evolution in the Age of Automation, AI, and Machine Learning (Future of Work)". 

Wheeler co-authored the book with M. Ronald Buckley, the JC Penney Company Chair of Business Leadership and a Professor of Management and Psychology at the University of Oklahoma.

The book traces provocative and challenging timelines for future developments in ten, thirty and fifty years' time, to interrogate how modern human resources practices need to respond to far reaching technological and industrial change. As artificial intelligence and machine learning practices grow, entire industries and jobs could become more automated or cease to exist altogether. 

Focusing on the role these technologies are playing in changing the human resources profession and how they could and should develop industry practices in the future, Wheeler and Buckley explored how this profession has a vital role in responding to these changes and how it can adapt to meet the new challenges faced by both employers and employees.

The book is available on Amazon.

Share link:

Students walking on the Widener campus
College of Arts and Sciences

Widener Faculty Publish Article in Journal of Solution Chemistry

The Journal of Solution Chemistry recently published an article, titled "Volumetric and Acoustic Properties of Phenylboronic Acid in Water at Selected Temperatures", by Professor Ismail Kul, Associate Professors Krishna Bhat and Shirley G. Fischer-Drowos, and alum Alyssa Knox. 

Share link:

Headshot photo of Taziah Kenney in black blazer and blue shirt
College of Health and Human Services

EdD Student Publishes Essay About Supporting Black Students in the Classroom

Taziah Kenney, a doctoral student in the Higher Education program, recently had an essay, titled "Only One in the Room: How to Support Black Students as an Educator", published in the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice. The essay urged educators to recognize the battle many Black students face, especially in STEM fields, and to provide culturally responsive teaching that helps Black students succeed.

Share link:

Pride Banners in front of Old Main
College of Arts and Sciences

Widener Faculty Publish Article in Journal of Solution Chemistry

The Journal of Solution Chemistry recently published an article, titled "Volumetric and Acoustic Properties of Trans-Resveratrol in Ethanol", by Professors Ismail Kul and Alexis Nagengast, Associate Professor Krishna Bhat, and alumna Julianne Azarewicz '13.

The article states that several thermodynamic parameters for trans-resveratrol have been experimentally determined or calculated at different temperatures. The capability of trans-resveratrol to have strong solute–solvent interactions and weak solute–solute interactions in ethanol solution has been demonstrated using density and speed of sound data. Furthermore, its ability to have structure breaking tendencies and the absence of caging effects are shown. The results of this investigation are consistent with molecular model images generated using Spartan 04 modeling.

Share link:

Headshot of Diane Sanders wearing green sweater and black shirt
College of Health and Human Services

Graduate Student Publishes Essay on Supporting Black and Latina Single Mother College Students

Diane Sanders, a graduate student in the Higher Education Leadership program at Widener University, recently had an essay, titled Supporting Black and Latina Single Mother College Students, published in the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice. The essay called for higher education administrators to focus on the development of an effective system of support for Black and Latina single mother college students.

Share link:

Pride Banners in front of Old Main
College of Health and Human Services

Widener Professors and Alumni of Community Engaged Teacher Education Program Write Book Chapter

Widener University professors in the Center for Education’s Community Engaged Teacher Education (CETE) program collaborated to write Chapter 4 Shared Power in Teacher Preparation: University, School, and Community in a recently published book, titled The Power of Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation
The chapter was written by Professor Nadine McHenry, who coordinates the CETE program, as well as Director of the Widener Child Development Center Essence Allen-Presley, Associate Professor Bretton Alvaré, retired Stetser Elementary Principal Janet Baldwin, alumna Rev. Hilda Campbell, and alumna Taylor Borgstrom.
The book focuses on how and why community-engaged teacher preparation is a vital approach to address an educational system that his historically deficient, discriminatory, and inequitable.

Share link:

School of Nursing's Founders Hall
School of Nursing

Nursing Awarded $180,000 for Nurse Faculty Loan Program

The School of Nursing was awarded approximately $180,000 by the Health Resources and Services Administration to participate in the Nurse Faculty Loan Program for the third consecutive year. The federally funded program contributes to increasing the number of qualified nurse educators in higher education by offering loan assistance for students who enroll in Widener’s graduate nursing education degree programs for the purposes of starting careers as nurse faculty. This initiative was developed as a response to provide financial incentives for nursing students to continue on to an advanced nursing degree program and graduate into the role of a nurse faculty.

Share link:

Paul Baker
College of Arts and Sciences

Physics Professor Partially Funded by National Science Foundation Grant for NANOGrav

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed its support of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) with a $17 million grant over 5 years to operate the NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center. Dr. Paul Baker, an assistant professor of physics at Widener University, is partially funded by this award as a member of NANOGrav.

The NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center will address a transformational challenge in astrophysics: the detection and characterization of low-frequency gravitational waves. The most promising sources of low-frequency gravitational waves are supermassive binary black holes that form via the mergers of massive galaxies. 

NANOGrav was founded in 2007 and is now a highly-distributed collaboration with around 200 students and scientists at about 40 institutions around the world. Dr. Baker has been a member of NANOGrav since 2016.

For more information, visit NANOGrav’s website at:

Share link:

Mark A. Nicosia
School of Engineering

Mark Nicosia Named Associate Dean of the School of Engineering

Dr. Mark Nicosia, professor of mechanical engineering, was appointed to the position of associate dean of the School of Engineering. Dr. Nicosia, who previously chaired the department of mechanical engineering, will oversee academic affairs and external relations in this new role. A member of the engineering faculty since 2005, Professor Nicosia's research focuses on computational and experimental analysis of physiological systems, particularly the gastrointestinal system. In 2019, Professor Nicosia was named Distinguished University Professor, an award that recognizes faculty members of distinction and demonstrates how Widener is committed to recognizing excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.

Share link:

Pride Banners in front of Old Main
Widener University

Widener Honors Two Employees with Eckard Award for Distinguished Service

Widener University presented the William David Eckard, Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to Michelle “Micki” Meekins-Davis ‘03, the chief diversity officer and director of multicultural affairs in the President’s Office, and Mary Anne Wood, an administrative assistant in the Office of Student Success.

This annual award, presented by President Julie E. Wollman, recognizes two longstanding employees for their commitment and outstanding service to the Widener community. William David Eckard III, former long-time vice president of administration and finance at Widener University and a 1966 graduate of Pennsylvania Military College, established the award in memory of his father, William David Eckard, Jr.

Micki Davis is a longtime, well-respected member of the Widener and broader regional communities. She has served as a leader for multicultural, cultural competence, social justice, equity, and diversity-related programs and workshops for students, faculty, and staff.

Mary Anne Wood has provided outstanding service to Widener students and employees since she first arrived on campus in 2007. She supports the work of all of the departments within the Office of Student Success and is a great proponent for each student’s success.

Share link: