Noteworthy

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Paul Baker
College of Arts & Sciences

Physics Professor Co-Publishes Article Detailing Evidence Hinting at Gravitational Waves

Paul Baker, assistant professor of physics, joined an international team of astronomers in publishing results of a comprehensive search for a background of low-frequency gravitational waves. Gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime itself, permeate all spacetime and could originate from mergers of the most massive black holes in the universe or from events occurring soon after the formation of the universe in the Big Bang.

The work of the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) collaboration is described in an article accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The IPTA is a consortium of several astrophysics collaborations from around the world: the European Pulsar Timing Array, the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), which Baker is a member of, the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array in Australia, and the Indian Pulsar Timing Array Project, its newest member.

“These results make a very promising step in our continued efforts to detect low-frequency gravitational waves,” said Baker, who is co-chair of the IPTA’s gravitational wave analysis working group.

Baker led an extensive comparison between the IPTA data set and other recent data sets from the large regional scientific collaborations as part of this work. 

“The combined IPTA data set, which uses older data, is just as sensitive as the newest data from its individual members. This demonstrates what can be gained scientifically by working together,” said Baker, who joined the IPTA in 2016. 

Read the full findings here.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/news/noteworthy/physics-professor-co-publishes-article-detailing-evidence-hinting-gravitational-waves

Tracie Gilbert
Center for Human Sexuality Studies

Human Sexuality Faculty Member Publishes First Book

Assistant Professor Tracie Q. Gilbert has published her first book, Black & Sexy: A Framework of Racialized Sexuality through Taylor & Francis Publishing, a subsidiary of Routledge. The book is an in-depth look at the role race plays in the sexual ideation and imagination of African-American people. 

It is based on dissertation research from which Gilbert created a theoretical model of sexual engagement, entitled Black Sexual Epistemology. The book begins with an overview of how race has impacted sexuality for African Americans over time. It ends with practical insight on how sexuality practitioners can more effectively address race and racial injustice in the work they do with students and clients. 
 
The book is available for purchase online.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/news/noteworthy/human-sexuality-faculty-member-publishes-first-book

Susan Schaming profile
College of Health & Human Services

Education Professor Presents on Power of Constructive Conversations with PK-12 Students

Susan P. Schaming, associate professor and director of graduate counselor education program, presented at the annual conference of the PA School Counselor Association on December 9 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Her presentation: Hope for the future begins today: Using constructive conversations in PK-12 schools offered techniques for school counselors to respond to the imperative of supporting PK—12 students’ awareness, reflection, response, and reaction to personal biases. Schaming purports that left unaddressed, the discrimination of marginalized individuals and groups will subsist in our schools and communities. Kim’s Constructive Conversations model was emphasized as a tool to help students to manage conflict, promote healing, and find their voice. 

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/news/noteworthy/education-professor-presents-power-constructive-conversations-pk-12-students

College of Health & Human Services

Physical Therapy Professor Uncovers Unethical Implications of International Service-Learning

Kripa Dholakia, an assistant professor in the Institute for Physical Therapy Education, co-authored a research report in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education on ethical dilemmas in International Service-Learning (ISL). Titled “Uncovering Ethical Dilemmas in International Service-Learning: A Grounded Theory,” the study used a constructive theory ground approach to understand the experiences, perceptions, and insights of faculty, students, and alumni who attended an ISL experience as well as to analyze the participants’ ethical nature. Ten students, six faculty members and five alumni from varying doctor of physical therapy programs across the country travelled to Central America to take part in an ISL program to identify potential ethical misconduct. The groups’ experience indicated that further research is needed to identify best practices for future ISL experiences to prevent future ethical dilemmas from arising.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/news/noteworthy/physical-therapy-professor-uncovers-unethical-implications-international-service-learning

J. Wesley Leckrone
College of Arts & Sciences

Arts & Sciences Faculty Member Named Distinguished University Professor

College of Arts & Sciences Professor J. Wesley Leckrone has been named a Distinguished University Professor. The honor recognizes faculty of distinction and demonstrates to the broader community that Widener is committed to recognizing excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service throughout a faculty member’s career. Distinguished professors serve for three years.

Leckrone is an impressive member of the faculty, and he is widely recognized for his teaching excellence. His extraordinary commitment to his teaching has not only earned him a national and global reputation but has led to him being a leader on campus. The energy and time that he devotes to course preparation and development illustrate his dedication to his students. Leckrone has published in highly prestigious, peer-reviewed journals, contributed articles and chapters in national and international edited volumes and edited and contributed to a two-volume set on Pennsylvania politics. In terms of service, Leckrone has contributed to multiple levels of faculty governance, as well as externally with organizations such as the Center for the Study of Federalism and the Pennsylvania Political Science Association. Leckrone’s continuous engagement with his research and his network ultimately provide a richer learning experience for Widener’s undergraduate and graduate students. 

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22531/

Head and shoulders shot of Professor Kate Goodrich
College of Arts & Sciences

Faculty Institutional Leadership Award Given to College of Arts & Sciences Associate Professor

College of Arts & Sciences Associate Professor Katherine R. Goodrich has received the Faculty Institutional Leadership Award. It recognizes a record of leading initiatives that further the university’s vision, mission, and strategic objectives.

Goodrich’s leadership roles in academic affairs and related Faculty Council work have helped shape academic policies and communications between academic units at the university. She has spearheaded several major campus initiatives centered on improving our climate around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and these initiatives have all had positive outcomes on the central tenants of our “We’re All Widener” identity. Goodrich has worked to build a more cohesive, equitable, and inclusive campus culture at Widener. Her visionary and persistent diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership has been recognized across the university and led to her election as the first chair of the new Faculty Council Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Goodrich has focused much of her service activities on academic affairs and has contributed at all levels of the university. She served as chair of the Faculty Council Academic Affairs Committee for two terms (four years) and is seen as a strong leader at Widener. 

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22546

Head and shoulders shot of Dr. Nadine McHenry in front of stone wall
Center for Education

Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award Given to Community Engaged Teacher Education Program Coordinator

The Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award has been given to College of Health and Human Services Professor Nadine McHenry. It is awarded to an individual or group who has designed, implemented, and assessed innovative or experimental teaching and learning project. 

McHenry serves as coordinator of the Community Engaged Teacher Education (CETE) program, which has completely transformed teacher education in the Center for Education since its inception in 2016. CETE places teacher candidates in local classrooms and pairs them with community mentors in the city of Chester to develop culturally relevant teaching strategies and help teachers close the opportunity gap for students in diverse urban settings. McHenry is involved in all aspects of this multi-layered program, which benefits education students, undergraduate faculty, and the communities they serve. 

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22561/

J. Wesley Leckrone
College of Arts & Sciences

Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award Goes to College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Member

College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished University Professor J. Wesley Leckrone has received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. This award is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated a history of teaching at the highest level. It is endowed by the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, a Philadelphia-based foundation that provides grants to institutions of higher education for the promotion of excellence in teaching.

Leckrone is an integral member of the political science faculty who has the distinction of teaching a wide range of interdisciplinary courses and provides the highest quality instruction to both majors and nonmajors. Leckrone is a specialist in U.S. government, American political culture, and state and local politics. His commitment to teaching is reflected in the innovative ways he fuses his courses with high-impact practices and actively promotes civic engagement. Leckrone continually creates transformational learning experiences for his students by planning student trips such as going to Harrisburg for Student Advocacy Days, to Washington D.C. for visits to the Supreme Court and White House, and to New Hampshire for the 2020 presidential primary contests.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22556

Shirlee M. Drayton-Brooks
School of Nursing

Nursing Faculty Member Named Distinguished University Professor

Professor Shirlee M. Drayton-Brooks has been named a Distinguished University Professor. The honor recognizes faculty of distinction and demonstrates to the broader community that Widener is committed to recognizing excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service throughout a faculty member’s career. Distinguished professors serve for three years.

Drayton-Brooks is a nationally recognized leader in nursing education, especially in the preparation of Doctor of Nursing (DNP) Practice students. She initiated this program at Widener and continues to lead it. Drayton-Brooks is a role model for undergraduate and graduate nursing students and has facilitated the scholarly development of multiple students, advising translational research projects and chairing dissertations. Her national reputation is signified by her position as a Past President of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. She is also a Fellow of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners. She has made tremendous contributions to nursing education through her role on the National Advisory Council on Nursing Education and Practice and as director of both the DNP and Family Nurse Practitioner programs at Widener. Drayton-Brooks demonstrates a record of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. 

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22526/

Dipendu Saha
School of Engineering

Outstanding Researcher Award Goes to Engineering Associate Professor

School of Engineering Associate Professor Dipendu Saha has received the university's Outstanding Researcher Award. It recognizes a faculty member who has exhibited distinction in scholarly work and has made a significant contribution through research to advance the profession or discipline and the university’s mission.

Saha has an outstanding record of research within the environmental and sustainability sectors and is recognized for his investigations into novel engineering materials and processes. Saha has proven himself to be an outstanding mentor to the undergraduate and graduate chemical engineering students.  At Widener University, he co-published with 8 graduate students and 20 undergraduate students. So far, Saha has published around 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and 45 conference presentations. He has been successful in making collaborations and collaborative publications with several researchers and professors both nationally and internationally. Saha also serves as a peer-reviewer of several scientific journals and expert reviewer of research proposals from America, Europe and Asia. 

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22541

Yvonne L. Antonucci
School of Business Administration

School of Business Administration Faculty Member Named Distinguished University Professor

School of Business Administration Professor Yvonne Antonucci has been named a Distinguished University Professor. The honor recognizes faculty of distinction and demonstrates to the broader community that Widener is committed to recognizing excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service throughout a faculty member’s career. Distinguished professors serve for three years.
 
Antonucci has made many contributions to the School of Business Administration. As a scholar, she is internationally recognized in business process management (BPM) and student learning engagement with technologies. Antonucci has contributed to the School of Business and the university community through committee participation, coordinating academic programs, curriculum development, peer mentoring, and her role as student club advisor. In addition, she has been a leader in the international SAP University Alliance. Antonucci’s scholarship, teaching, and leadership in the school have elevated SBA’s programs considerably during her career at Widener. She is an outstanding teacher, scholar, and leader both within and outside of the Widener community.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22521

Mark A. Nicosia
School of Engineering

School of Engineering Professor Honored with Faculty Institutional Leadership Award

School of Engineering Professor Mark A. Nicosia has received the Faculty Institutional Leadership Award. It recognizes a record of leading initiatives that further the university’s vision, mission, and strategic objectives.

Nicosia has championed the university’s vision through his involvement on campus.   He has served on the Faculty Council Executive Committee for the past six years—the past four years as faculty chair and two years prior as chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee. Nicosia has been a remarkable leader during the COVID-19 pandemic. While serving on the Provost Council and the Crisis Management Team, and chairing the Executive Committee of Faculty Council, he worked closely with the faculty and administration on policies and procedures that directly impacted our students. Nicosia has an exceptional ability to listen and hear concerns expressed by faculty, staff, and administrators and is intentional and thoughtful in any decision-making process. Nicosia is the ideal scholar and campus leader to elevate Widener’s institutional agility and focus on strategy. 

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22551/

Jayne M. Thompson
College of Arts & Sciences

University Gives Faculty Award for Civic Engagement

College of Arts & Sciences Associate Professor Jayne M. Thompson has received the Faculty Award for Civic Engagement, which recognizes sustained outstanding contributions to Widener’s civic engagement mission through her teaching and research.

Thompson began her community engagement in the City of Chester 25 years ago and has helped numerous Widener students deepen their understanding of social responsibility and advance their critical consciousness through civic engagement. Community is a central theme in Thompson’s teaching, service activities, professional development, political and civic engagement, volunteerism, and home life. From her work with the Chester School District; Chester Made; Chester Cultural Corridor; Widener University’s service-learning, Bonner Leaders, and Periclean Faculty Leadership programs; and multiple service sites, to her role on the Mayor’s Advisory Council at Chester City Hall, Thompson’s work supports vibrant, healthy communities. Widener students have been central to her collaborations on projects and workshops in schools, prisons, juvenile detention centers, senior centers, churches, the Chester Cultural Corridor, literacy centers, and homeless shelters. Thompson exemplifies and elevates Widener’s commitment to civic engagement, and she has changed the lives of many people in vulnerable groups.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22536/

Nursing students pose at the SNAP convention holding the Chapter Excellence Award.
School of Nursing

Nursing Students Earn State-Wide Recognition

The Widener University Student Nurses' Association (WUSNA) was awarded the Chapter Excellence Award from the Student Nurses' Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP) during the organization's annual convention. The Chapter Excellence Award is SNAP's most prestigious award that recognizes a nursing program for its achievements and contributions to the field. Led by undergraduate nursing students, WUSNA provides opportunities for students to become intellectually engaged in events with their local school chapter, their community, and at the state level.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/news/noteworthy/nursing-students-earn-state-wide-recognition

Old Main photo taken from the air. Shows part of 14th Street.
Career Design & Development

2021 Graduates Reach High Rate of Career Achievement

Widener has reported outstanding outcomes to the National Association of Colleges and Employers for our undergraduate class of 2021. 

Ninety five percent of graduates achieved their intended career goals (employment, graduate education, or military/other service) within six months of graduating, a four percent increase over the class of 2020. Mean starting salary was $59,285 and the median starting salary was $60,320.

We offer congratulations to everyone in the Office of Career Design and Development, along with all the faculty and staff who contribute to our students’ successes. 

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22781/

Susan Schaming profile
College of Health & Human Services

Pennsylvania Counseling Association honors Widener associate professor

The Pennsylvania Counseling Association (PCA), one of the largest and most active branches of the American Counseling Association, will honor Susan P. Schaming, LPC, associate professor and director of Graduate Counselor Education and Home School Visitor Programs, with its David W. Hall Advocacy Award. The honor recognizes an individual or individuals who have promoted the profession of counseling through advocacy and leadership. Schaming was appointed to a PCA anti-racism task force in 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and Black Lives Matter.  It is that work she will be recognized for when she receives the award and makes remarks at the PCA 2021 annual conference in King of Prussia on November 13. 

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22316/

School of Nursing

Nursing PhD Student Brings National Firearms Debate to the Forefront in Publication

Politics and COVID-19 have shaken the United States to its core and have sparked national debates over race relations, police brutality, as well as the right to bear arms in any situation. Wayne Riddle, a nursing science doctoral student and adjunct professor, published an article calling for action and advocacy from nurses and other medical professionals to end the gun violence epidemic. In his article published in the May issue of Nursing Forum, Wayne describes how those who work within the healthcare field  and care for patients suffering from either COVID-19 or gun violence must raise awareness and advocate for legislation to increase the public’s safety and well-being.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/news/noteworthy/nursing-phd-student-brings-national-firearms-debate-forefront-publication

School of Nursing

Nursing PhD Student Receives Special Grant from Foundation of the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing

Kristin Davies, a nursing science doctoral student, was selected for a special grant funding from the Foundation of the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing. The $1,000 grant will fund her research proposal on Incorporation of Social Determinants of Health in Associate Degree Nursing Programs. Davies is expected to receive the award at the OADN 2021 Town Hall and Awards in November.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/news/noteworthy/nursing-phd-student-receives-special-grant-foundation-organization-associate-degree-nursing

Justin A. Sitron
Center for Human Sexuality Studies

Human Sexuality Faculty Named President-Elect of Society of Scientific Study of Sexuality

Associate Professor Justin Sitron in the Center for Human Sexuality Studies was elected president-elect of the Society of Scientific Study of Sexuality. The Society of Scientific Study of Sexuality is dedicated to advancing knowledge of sexuality and communicating scientifically based sexuality research. They value human welfare and hope to reduce the ignorance and prejudice around sexuality.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22231/

Gen. Tilelli stands in front a mural and cuts a ribbon with members of the board of trustees behind him.
Army ROTC

Widener University dedicates ROTC Center to Four-Star General Alumnus

Members of the Widener community gathered to dedicate the Army ROTC Center to Gen. John H. Tilelli Jr., a 1963 graduate of Pennsylvania Military College and member of the Widener Board of Trustees. Tilelli served five years as board chair before stepping down from that leadership role last year. The event drew alumni from the Pennsylvania Military College, members of the Board of Trustees, university leadership, faculty, staff and cadets in the Dauntless Battalion, Widener's ROTC cohort comprised of more than 100 cadets who are enrolled at Widener and seven other regional colleges and universities.
 
In his remarks, Tilelli noted, "as I accept this honor, I do it not for myself, but for the thousands of American sons and daughters who carried me forward on their shoulders to be where I am today.”
 
“The soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are the less than 1 percent of Americans who are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice…to keep America free. And in my mind’s eye they’re America’s best," Tilelli said.
 
A retired four-star general, Tilelli served two tours of duty in Vietnam and commanded the First Calvary Division during the 1991 Gulf War. A generous supporter of the university, Tilelli established the Tilelli Annual Endowed Leadership Scholarship at Widener, which benefits a veteran or member of the ROTC Dauntless Battalion, as well as the Tilelli Leadership Fellowship Endowment.

Share link: https://www.widener.edu/node/22156