Faculty, Staff & Student Accomplishments

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Jeremy Hancher 260x300
School of Business Administration

Business Faculty Named to EPA’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee

Jeremy Hancher, adjunct professor in the School of Business Administration and EMAP Program Manager for the Widener Small Business Development Center, has been invited to serve as a member on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Act Advisory Committee for a two-year term.

The committee consists of government figures, industry professionals, and academics who are experts in the environmental and sustainability fields and can advise the EPA on issues related to implementing the Clean Air Act Amendments. 

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Vicki L. Brown
School of Engineering

Engineering Professor Honored for Distinguished Service and Leadership

Vicki L. Brown, distinguished university professor, was honored by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) for her scholarly contributions to the organization and the overall civil engineering community. Brown, who has served on School of Engineering's faculty for more than four decades, received the 2023 Delmar L. Bloem Distinguished Service Award which celebrates noteworthy work on ACI technical committees. The award was given at the 2023 ACI Concrete Convention in California and recognized Brown “for outstanding leadership of ACI Subcommittee 440-H, FRP-Reinforced Concrete.”

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Patrick Spero leans on a podium with an "America 250 PA Delco" sign on it
College of Arts & Sciences

Widener Hosts Author Patrick Spero for Second Annual Revolutionary Reads Event

Widener University, in partnership with America 250 PA Delco and Delaware County Libraries, hosted Patrick Spero, author and director of the George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon, on campus as part of the ongoing Revolutionary Reads initiative. 

Spero poke about his book, “Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West,1765-1776,” which shares the untold story of rebellion on the American frontier which helped to spark the American Revolution. Provost Andrew Workman facilitated the discussion.

Happening through 2026, Revolutionary Reads is a multi-year initiative leading up to the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Assistant Professor of History Jordan Smith represents Widener in this initiative and helps to bring these author events to campus.

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A group photo of the faculty holding their awards.
University Faculty

Widener Commends Faculty at 2023 Awards Event

Widener honored faculty members for their high distinction in areas of civic engagement, institutional leadership, research, as well as innovative and distinguished teaching. Various faculty were awarded at the ceremony, held Thursday, October 19 in Lathem Hall.

“The professors who were honored at our annual awards ceremony continuously display commitment to teaching, civic engagement, meaningful research, remarkable leadership, and cutting-edge innovation. They are highly valued colleagues and represent core values for which Widener stands," said Provost Andrew Workman. 

The awards included:

  • The Distinguished University Professor Award honors faculty members of high distinction at the University who also demonstrate the institution is committed to recognizing excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service throughout faculty members’ careers. This year's recipients were College of Health and Human Services Professor, Stephen E. Kauffman as well as College of Arts and Sciences Professor, Alexis A. Nagengast.
  • College of Arts and Sciences Professor Dana Olanoff was awarded with the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. This award is given to a faculty member who has exemplified a history of teaching at the highest level of distinction. 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.
  • The Faculty Award for Civic Engagement serves to recognize the outstanding contributions that faculty members have made in accordance with Widener’s civic engagement mission, as well as solidifying Widener students’ understanding of their social responsibilities, and the impact of their disciplinary learning. This year's recipients included faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences: Associate Professor Angela M. Corbo, Professor J. Wesley Leckrone, and Associate Dean of Social Science and Professor James E. Vike.
  • College of Arts and Sciences Associate Professor Michael Toneff was awarded the Outstanding Researcher Award. This award gives recognition to a faculty member who has participated in research and scholarship nationally or internationally, and made a significant contribution through their research, while advancing their profession or discipline as well as the university’s mission and vision.
  • The Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award highlights an individual who has designed, implemented, and assessed an innovative or experimental teaching and learning project. This award was presented to College of Arts and Sciences Associate Professor Janice Krumm.
  • The Faculty Institutional Leadership Award recognizes a record of leading initiatives that further the university’s vision, mission, and strategic objectives. This year’s award recipients were College of Health and Human Services Associate Professor Marina Barnett, who is also interim assistant provost for civic engagement, and College of Arts and Sciences Associate Professor Bretton Alvare.

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Students pose in front of the American Museum of Natural History
College of Arts & Sciences

Widener Students Visit New York City for Urban Excursions Trip

Widener faculty recently took 20 students to New York City as part of the urban excursions grant program, which allows faculty to take students on daylong trips to a metropolitan area to allow for deeper engagement and hands-on experiences as they relate to course material. 

Led by YuFeng Mao, associate professor of history, Beatriz Urraca, chair of modern languages, and Stephen Madigosky, chair of environmental science and sustainability, students visited popular New York City stops such as the Natural History Museum, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Times Square, and Koreatown. The trip also coincided with the date of the 2023 New York City Marathon, where students were able to watch and cheer on runners. 

In addition to experiencing the iconic New York sites, students were also exposed to the diverse culinary culture of the city by trying Latin American food, Dim Sum, and Korean shaved ice and coffee. 

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Faculty in front of a computer presenting their work
College of Arts & Sciences

Widener Hosts AAPT Members for Fall Meeting, Physics Faculty Share Research

Widener University’s Physics Department hosted members the Southeast Pennsylvania Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) on campus for their fall 2023 meeting. 

Organized by Assistant Professor of Physics Alice Du, the event was full of guest speakers and presentations covering topics such as student engagement, professional development for teachers, and hot topics in the physics industry. Martin Melhus, assistant professor of physics, presented “Numerical Integration of Trajectories at a Student Level.”

The AAPT hosted an additional event in collaboration with the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers in which Paul Baker, assistant professor of physics, shared work he completed as a member of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) and the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA). 

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Ria Mazumder poses with biomedical engineering students in the nursing sim lab
School of Engineering

Biomedical Engineering Students Ranked Nationally in Undergraduate Research Competition

Biomedical engineering students Marina Walsh, Benjamin Aon, Hatice Emanet, Cheyenne Miller and Chiamaka Oduah attended the SB3C 2023 Summer Bioengineering, Biomechanics and Biotransport Conference in Vail, Colorado to showcase their research focused on developing a pulse oximeter for nursing simulation mannequins to be used by Widener nursing students. The team, along with faculty advisor Ria Mazumder, interim chair of biomedical engineering and associate teaching professor, were one of six teams chosen to present their research at the conference's Undergraduate Design Project Competition in Rehabilitation and Assistive Devices. Their work earned third place in the national competition. 

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A poster sharing research is set up on a table with blue and yellow decorations
Wolfgram Memorial Library

Library Staff Present on Student Scholarship at PaLA Conference

Jill Borin, librarian and head of archives and distinctive collections, Kayla Van Osten, affiliate librarian and assistant archivist, and Kristina Dorsett, affiliate librarian, presented a poster at the Pennsylvania Library Association’s (PaLA) 2023 Conference. 

The trio presented a poster, titled “I Did That: Student Scholarship in Academic Libraries,” which showcased the scholarly work of Widener graduate and undergraduate students from the 2022 academic year. They shared a selection of works from across schools and departments, covering topics such as student mental health, better living through technology, and sexual healing. 

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Maria Luiza Pinho 260x300
School of Business Administration

Business Faculty Presents at Two AIB Conferences

Maria Pinho, assistant professor of strategic management, will present at both the US Northeast and US Southeast Chapter Conferences of the Academy of International Business (AIB). 

Pinho and co-presenters will share their works “Agility & Resilience in Emerging Market Multinationals: Integrating two faces of the Same Coin,” and “The Role of Multinational Enterprises in Addressing Societal Tensions: A Review of Business-Society Frameworks.”

For more than 60 years, AIB has been a leader in bringing international business scholars and professionals together to share ideas. 

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Students and faculty pose for a photo
Undergraduate Academics

2023 SURCA Symposium Winners Announced

Widener’s Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) program offers undergraduate students hands-on, faculty-mentored research experience over the summer. Months of hard work led to the annual SURCA Symposium where students present their findings to the community, as well as a panel of volunteer judges. 

The winners of the 2023 SURCA Symposium are: 

Biochemistry: Emily McHenry (Mentors: Robert Mishur & Michael Toneff)
Developing a procedure for the metabolic profiling of cancerous cells

Biology & Environmental Science: Evelyn Peyton (Mentor: David Coughlin)
Comparing summer acclimation studies during summer months between hatchery brook trout and wild brook trout

Chemistry & Chemical Engineering: Christina McCullough (Mentor: Dipendu Saha)
Conversion of Styrofoam to activated carbon

Engineering & Computer Science A: Ryan Mendenhall (Mentor: Babak Eslami)
Experimental investigation on effect of temperature on FDM 3D printing polymers: towards 4D printing

Engineering & Computer Science B: Fran DiPietro (Mentor: Aylin Acun)
Examining senescence in artificially aged induced pluripotent stem cell(iPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes

Engineering & Computer Science C: Alyson Fornes (Mentor: Daniel Roozbahani)
AI-driven cardiovascular disease forecasting platform

Humanities: Zoe Sweet (Mentor: Jayne Thompson)
Prison reform: Little Scandinavia

Social Science, Social Work, and Business A: Shane Landue (Mentor: Wei Gao)
Robo-advisor returns: startup vs traditional

Social Science, Social Work, and Business B: Brooke Morales & Adriana Moreta (Mentor: Robin Goldberg-Glen)
Intergenerational relationships: SURCA and career development in Social Work

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Alumni Auditorium stage with screen that says Anatomical Donor Memorial
College of Heath & Human Services

Memorial Ceremony Recognizes Anatomy Lab Donors

Students, faculty and staff gathered for a memorial ceremony recently in tribute to the donors who selflessly chose to donate their bodies after death to science, and in turn helped educate Widener health sciences students learning in the university’s state-of-the-art clinical anatomy lab

“It is a selfless contribution that enables so many to encounter their first patient, develop a deep appreciation for the human body and a lifelong respect for donors and their families,” said Kaitlin Irby, who moderated the program held in Alumni Auditorium.

The event featured tribute remarks from eight students spanning the physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology disciplines, as well as musical reflections and a spiritual dance. 

“You were the most influential teacher of human anatomy we will ever have. The framework we have of the human body was derived from the experience learning every crevice of yours,” physical therapy student Alonzo Strickland said during his tribute remarks. “We will always draw upon our experience taking apart the dead because it was by carefully disassembling a human body that we acquired the foundation to one day build another one back together.”

Between 15,000 and 20,000 people donate their bodies to science annually in the United States for medical research and education. At Widener, students learn the age, occupation and cause of death of the confidential donors they are assigned for their research. The university received 10 donors for the first clinical anatomy lab semester experience. 

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recipients of the award pose in front of an Independence Blue Cross background
School of Nursing

Three First-Year Nursing Students Receive IBX Foundation Scholarship

First-year nursing students Melvasia Fitzpatrick, Raheim Grant, and Sakyra Sar-Tuch, have bene chosen as recipients of The Independence Blue Cross (IBX) Foundation’s Healthcare Scholars award. The scholarship covers tuition and educational expenses of students interested in pursuing a bachelor of science or associate degree in nursing. A total of 35 students in Pennsylvania were honored at an awards reception held in August. 

This award is given in an effort to increase representation and diversify the nursing profession. The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education finds that patients are better served by healthcare providers of the same background. 

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two people are talking, one of them is using a laptop
School of Business Administration

Widener's Business Analytics Program Recognized in Nationwide Ranking

Widener’s Business Analytics Major has been recognized by BestColleges as one of the top ten business statistics programs in the United States. While often offered as a graduate degree, Widener’s School of Business Administrations offers a bachelor’s level degree in business analytics. 

Widener is recognized for exceptional academic standards and emphasis on student success. Since 2014, BestColleges has been providing college rankings in a number of areas.

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Jordan B. Smith
College of Arts & Sciences

History Faculty Recognized by Agricultural History Society

Assistant Professor of history Jordan Smith has received the Wayne D. Rasmussen Award from the Agricultural History Society for his article “The Native of this Island: Processes of Invention in Early Barbados.” This award recognizes an outstanding article on agricultural history that is published in a journal other than Agricultural History.

In the article, which was published in the Fall 2022 “Sugar and Slaves at Fifty” special issue of Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Smith explores the contributions of indigenous people and enslaved Africans in the production of rum in the seventeenth century. The article demonstrates that, while officials of the time claimed that rum was native to the island of Barbados, those contributing to the production used their own cultural assumptions to adapt new ingredients and methods to create something new.  

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Joseph M. Hargadon
School of Business Administration

Current and Former Accounting Faculty Co-Author New Journal Article

Professor of Accounting Joseph Hargadon has co-authored an article published in the August 2023 issue of Strategic Finance. The article, entitled “Dual CMA and CPA Certification: A Winning Combination,” defines a nine-step plan for accounting students to pass the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam while still a student, and the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam within six months of their graduation. 

Hargadon’s co-authors include former Widener faculty members Lori Fuller and Peter Ohelers. Strategic Finance is the leading journal of The Institute of Management Accountants.

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a nursing student working on a dummy patient in the simulation lab
School of Nursing

School of Nursing Named to List of Top 10 Nursing Schools in Philadelphia

Widener’s School of Nursing has been named a top 10 best nursing school in Philadelphia by The College Application, who provides rankings and advice on many topics relevant to current and incoming college students. 

Widener is recognized as 10th on the list, which is compiled using program offerings, NCLEX-RN pass rates, alumni salary data, student ratings, and more as considerations. Widener’s simulation lab is noted in this recognition as it allows students to get hands-on training in many real-world scenarios. 

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Jess Mereshensky '24 poses in front of conference banners
Center for Social Work Education

Social Work Faculty and Student Present Service-Learning Work at Global Conference

Associate Professor of Social Work Robin Goldberg-Glen, along with social work student Jessica Mereshensky ’24, and Stephanie Cole from the PA Department of Aging, presented at the 2023 Generations United Global Intergenerational Conference in Washington, D.C. 

The team's presentation, titled "For Whom Does Service Learning Really Serve: Intergenerational Benefits for Reducing Loneliness and Isolation," highlighted their experience as part of a semester-long service-learning course at Widener completed in partnership with the PA Department of Aging.

As part of the course, students are paired with an older adult who may be at risk for social isolation. The students and older adults often form deep bonds through regular conversations, and some students have created lasting connections that have continued beyond the end of the course. Having completed the service-learning course herself, Mereshensky went on to become a leader for the next semester’s class of student participants alongside Goldberg-Glen.

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aerial shot of Old Main
Widener University

Interdisciplinary Student Teams Win at Make:Able Challenge

Two student groups have won competition categories in the Make:able Challenge contest presented by PrintLab, a 3D printing curriculum developer based in the United Kingdom, and Autodesk, a software developer for architecture, engineering and construction headquartered in San Francisco. The projects represented collaborations between students at the graduate and undergraduate levels, who are enrolled in widely different areas of study. The challenge attracted an international group of competitors.

Occupational therapy students Tina Lee and Jamella Fagan and robotics engineering student Dylan Hermann ’25 won the “Best Showcase of Iterative Design” portion of the competition for students over age 18. Their Dexterity Mate creation is an adaptable utensil and chopstick holder designed specifically for Lee’s father, who lives with Parkinson’s Disease, to assist him with mealtime. 

In addition, the creation by occupational therapy students Emmily Zerr and Liliana Pokropski and robotics engineering students Ronald Carr and Aidan Wilson won the “Best Showcase of Customization” for inventors over age 18. Their Spork creation was also a feeding utensil, designed to assist Carr’s brother, who has a malformed hand and was not helped by universal cuff devices. Their solution was customized to the specific shape and size of the client’s hand.

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NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education logo
School of Nursing

Widener Nursing Named 2023 Center of Excellence by National League for Nursing

Widener University’s School of Nursing has been recognized by the National League for Nursing as a Center of Excellence in the area of advancing the science of nursing education. This is the third time Widener has received this recognition.

Nine nursing education programs across the country and the academic spectrum of higher education in nursing, as well as leading teaching hospitals and clinical sites, have been named Centers of Excellence, with Widener being the only recipient in the category of advancing the science of nursing education for 2023. Formal recognition of the award will take place at the 2023 National League for Nursing education summit in September.

“Widener is dedicated to educating the next generation of nurses by creating the evidence to support innovation in nursing education. Recognition for advancing the science of nursing education demonstrates our commitment to ensuring student success through scientific inquiry,” said Anne Krouse, dean of the school of nursing.  

Since 2004, the National League for Nursing has encouraged nursing programs to apply to become a center of excellence based on their ability to demonstrate in concrete, measurable terms sustained excellence in faculty development, nursing education research, student learning and professional development, and academic progression in nursing. Historically, many programs have achieved recognition in multiple categories or once designated, have maintained their center-of-excellence status through multiple award cycles. 

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

Biology Faculty and Alumni Publish Research

Associate Professor Kate Goodrich, Inesha Ellis ’20, Allison DeHaas ’20, and Rebecca Senski ’19 have had their paper entitled “False Advertising with Fermented Scents: Floral Mimicry in Pawpaw (Asimina triloba: Annonaceae) Pollination” published in the July/August 2023 edition of the International Journal of Plant Sciences

The team, in collaboration with Professor Jade Savage at Bishop's University in Quebec, Canada, investigated the pollination of Asimina triloba to identify sources of floral mimicry in pollination.

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