Faculty Research Interests

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Susan M. Schwartz 260x300

My scholarship focuses on transcultural nursing and cultural competence, with the objective of contributing to the development of theoretically based transcultural nursing research, the advancement of transcultural nursing practice and the education of culturally competent healthcare professionals.  Transcultural nursing is the means of describing, understanding, and explaining health beliefs and practices across cultures; it is compassionate and situated within a framework of social justice.  

As a Public Health and Transcultural Nurse, I work to reduce health inequities by studying the health beliefs and practices of vulnerable populations. I aim to use my research to advance our understanding of the determinants of health, with the goal of developing specialized, culturally appropriate interventions that address health inequities amongst the most vulnerable, and to educate health care professionals on providing holistic, culturally competent care.

My current research is focused on understanding the determinants of human trafficking to contribute to the science of this critical, but neglected, area of nursing research. 

Chelsea Abbas

My general research interests lie in border studies, migration and the anthropology of conflict and violence in the Central American context. Within the U.S., my work focuses on issues central to Latino communities and advocacy, such as Latino representation in mainstream media, immigrant rights, language and education. Most recently, my dissertation work examines the dynamics of an international border dispute between Costa Rica/Nicaragua and how this conflict affects the lives of local villagers in the region. Over the course of summer 2018 & 2019, I will be traveling to Nicaragua on a Fulbright grant to teach and help develop an interdisciplinary research agenda on migration in Central America at the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua.

Shaakira

My research interests include Sex Education, Faith-based Health Promotion, overcoming Health care disparities among U.S. minorities, and teaching strategies to best improve nursing student outcomes.

aylin acun

Aylin Acun

Assistant Professor

I am interested in understanding the inter-organ communication with relation to age-related systemic diseases. I aim to study organ-organ interactions through developing healthy and diseased 2-D and 3-D tissue models representing young vs. aged, and healthy vs. diseased phenotypes of different organs. My primary interest is to develop heart and liver tissues as these two major organs have many co-pathologies yet the effect of one organ's disease conditions on the other is not well-known.

Treya T Allen 260x300
  • Black women and Education
  • Black Education in the Southwest
  • Black women in Education Leadership
  • Foundations of Black Education in the Southwest
Bretton T. Alvaré

I am an ethnographer whose research focuses on Afro-Caribbean worldviews and faith-based political participation in the Anglophone Caribbean. I have been conducting fieldwork with grassroots, faith-based NGOs in Trinidad and Tobago since 2005. I am also interested in studying urban issues related to institutional racism, and I'm currently collaborating with a local community partner on an ethnographic study of the barriers to academic success facing students at Chester High School.

Yvonne L. Antonucci

My research interests are in the areas of Business Process Management (BPM), process analysis, business-to-business collaboration, and enterprise systems. I have published in numerous international journals, books, and conferences in the area of BPM, IT outsourcing, interorganizational trust and collaboration, workflow management, and enterprise systems and have been a frequent invited speaker to various international BPM industry events.

Luke Ayers

“Mens sana in corpore sano – to have a sound mind in a sound body”

As a behavioral neuroscientist, I try to understand the relationships between behavior, physiological processes of the body, and mental states. My work specifically focuses on the topics of fear, anxiety, stress, hunger, and habit-like behavior. I also have expertise in principles of learning & memory, psychopharmacology, hormonal control of behavior, and the neurobiology of addiction and compulsive behavior.

My research has two primary areas of focus. In humans, I study how states of hunger influence our food preferences and eating habits. I also work in animal-models of fear/anxiety behavior to develop novel treatments for anxiety-related conditions, such as PTSD.

I also truly value the opportunity to mentor students who are interested in research. All of my projects involve undergraduate research assistants, who gain first-hand experience in designing, implementing, and conducting empirical research experiments.

Jeremy Backstrom

My primary research interests are in the fields of international relations and comparative politics, which focus broadly on three concepts- political violence, state repression and human rights, and authoritarian political institutions. I am particularly interested in disaggregating concepts and processes regarding political violence in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the causal mechanisms and dynamics that influence decision-making in different institutional contexts. More specifically, I seek to understand the actions and behaviors of non-state and state actors, determining the conditions and factors that contribute to the outbreak of dissent, terrorism, and civil conflict as well as methods to deter and quell these forms of political violence.

Paul Baker

Paul T. Baker

Assistant Professor of Physics

I am a physicist interested in detecting and characterizing gravitational waves.  My data analysis research combines methods from physics, astronomy, computing, and statistics.  As a member of the NANOGrav and IPTA collaborations, I contribute to the search for low-frequency gravitational waves created by merging super massive black holes.

More generally, my research interests include gravitational wave data analysis, Bayesian statistical techniques, astrophysics, astrostatistics, and general relativity.

Carla R Barqueiro

Carla R Barqueiro

Assistant Professor, Political Science and International Relations

I have an active research agenda dedicated to human security. Much of my research work has focused on the principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P). This global norm was developed in 2001 when the global community was faced with questions surrounding its moral and legal obligations of the international community to prevent and respond to the most egregious mass atrocity crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, often at the hands of state governments. I have published several co-authored books, policy papers, op-eds, and journal articles in this area. More recently, I have begun examining the relationship between the concepts of kinship, race, gender, and state repression both along and inside territorial borders. Kinship as a concept has largely been used in the fields of Anthropology and Sociology and refers to a typology of human relationships centered around family, identity, and community networks.

Loyd D. Bastin

My research with Widener undergraduate students focuses on the development of greener syntheses of pharmaceuticals. Currently we are working on the greener synthesis of isoxazole derivatives, which serve as building blocks for pharmaceuticals used as anticonvulsants, antiepileptics, and antimicrobials. To 'green' the synthetic process, we aim to reduce waste and to find alternative chemicals to use as reagents to replace those that are corrosive, toxic, volatile, and sometimes carcinogenic.

Rachel Batch

My research interests are immigrants, workers, and working-class cultures in the 20th century U.S. It was as an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University when I learned the value of social history ("history from the bottom up"), the importance of cultural identity, and became fascinated by the histories of immigrants and labor. I focused on both fields in my graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania, and my dissertation took up industrial relations in the coal mining industry, welfare capitalism, and migrations of southern and eastern European immigrants to a 'model' town in western Pennsylvania in Finding Stability in a Company Town: A Community Study of Slickville, Pennsylvania1916-1943

My current research focuses on Croatian Americans during the Great Depression, World War II, and the early Cold War, and just how they used transnational networks to conjure ethnic and class-based activism for economic justice at home (in the U.S.) and for political freedom abroad (in the former Yugoslavia).

Jvawnna D Bell

Jvawnna D Bell

Adjunct Professor
  • Diversity and Culture in Healthcare 
  • Public Health 
  • Health Policy 
  • Health Economics and Outcomes Research 
  • Cost Effectiveness of Treatments 
  • Population Health 
  • Health Services Research
Linda E. Benavides

My research interests have always been guided by my desire to contribute to the practice literature in the area of family violence. During my work with survivors of family violence, I was struck by the resilience of children and adolescents, who despite being exposed to the most harrowing of circumstances, were not just moving forward but in many cases were thriving. This has guided my research on resiliency and protective factors for children and adolescents exposed to violence, focusing on spirituality as a strength individuals possess. I am interested in spirituality not only as a protective factor for children and adolescents but also the process of spiritual development from childhood to adolescence. I have published scholarly articles and presented at international and national conferences on my research interests.