News from university of Delaware

For the Record, April 29, 2022

University community reports publications, presentations, honors

For the Record provides information about recent professional activities and honors of University of Delaware faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Recent activities, publications, presentations and honors include the following:

New assignment

Matt Drexler, formerly the assistant director for international student engagement and interim associate director for study abroad, has been appointed associate director for study abroad in the Center for Global Programs and Services (CGPS). Drexler began his new role on April 18, 2022, after serving in the interim position for more than a year. He will provide leadership and oversight of UD's study abroad and domestic travel study programs and work closely with academic and student support units across campus to support the University's internationalization goals. Drexler, who was chosen among a strong, nationwide pool of candidates, has distinguished himself through a career that included myriad aspects of international education and engagement both at UD and in organizations such as Citizens Diplomacy International and Independence Charter School in Philadelphia. Drexler joined UD in July 2012 as a study abroad program coordinator and anticipates completion of his Ed.D. in educational leadership from UD in 2023.


A poem by Margaret Stetz, Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women's Studies and professor of humanities, that originally was published  in MER (Mom Egg Review: Literature and Art) in January 2022, has now also appeared in the April 2022 issue (No. 38) of the Whistler Society Newsletter. The Whistler Society, an international scholarly organization based in the U.K., is dedicated to studying and celebrating the work of the American-born painter James McNeill Whistler. Stetz's poem, "Whistler's Mother," reconsiders Whistler's iconic portrait from the perspective of the sitter.

Rachael Hutchinson, professor of Japanese Studies and acting director of the Game Studies program, has a new book, Japanese Role-Playing Games: Genre, Representation, and Liminality in the JRPG, co-edited with Jérémie Pelletier-Gagnon and just released by Lexington Books. Contributors from Japan, Europe, North America and Australia employ a variety of theoretical approaches to analyze popular game series and individual titles, introducing an English-speaking audience to Japanese videogame scholarship while also extending postcolonial and philosophical readings to the Japanese game text. In a three-pronged approach, the collection uses these analyses to look at genre, representation and liminality, engaging with a multitude of concepts including stereotypes, intersectionality and the political and social effects of JRPGs on players and industry conventions.

Bryan A. VanGronigen, assistant professor in the School of Education, has published “State ESSA Plans and Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) Status” with co-authors Coby V. Meyers of the University of Virginia and W. Christopher Brandt of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment in the journal Educational Policy. In the article, VanGronigen and his co-authors analyze state Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans to systematically determine how states identified Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools and the criteria they set for those schools to exit CSI status. ESSA offers states increased flexibility in how they identify, rank, label and support underperforming schools.



Rebecca Davis, Miller Family Early Career Professor of History and associate professor of women and gender studies, was interviewed on April 28, 2022, on the “The Morning Beat with AJ and Mikalah” on Channel Q about “heterophobia.”

Following their formal lectures about Aubrey Beardsley on March 30, 2022, at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, Margaret Stetz and Mark Samuels Lasner were invited to deliver informal presentations about Beardsley and the Decadent movement of the 1890s for the Rosenbach's April 22, 2022, "Decadent Bibliococktails" evening. Stetz, who is Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women's Studies and professor of humanities, gave an introduction to the connections between alcohol and the Decadents (including the surprising discussion of champagne amid the courtroom drama of the Oscar Wilde trials of 1895) and concluded with a reading of her new poem, written for the occasion, titled "Drinking with Decadents." Samuels Lasner, who is senior research fellow, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press, recounted the narrative of how, while doing research for a 1994  exhibition curated with Stetz for Harvard University's Houghton Library, he located an important drawing by Aubrey Beardsley of Henry Harland, editor of the Yellow Book magazine, that had been lost to scholars for nearly 100 years.

Rachael Hutchinson, professor of Japanese Studies and acting director of the Game Studies program, presented an invited lecture at Cornell University titled 'Japanese Videogames as Cultural Artifacts' on April 18, 2022.

Over 65 faculty members, staff and graduate students in the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Arts and Sciences presented research at this year’s annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), one of the largest national research organizations in education, from April 21-26, 2022, in San Diego, California. UD participants presented on a range of topics, including early childhood education, evidence and data use in schools, increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM education, innovations in reading, writing and mathematics, teaching and professional development during the COVID-19 pandemic, school and district policies and social justice pedagogy.


Kisha Porcher, assistant professor of English, and Cresean Hughes, assistant professor of sociology and social justice, have been named by the UD Anti-Racism Initiative (UDARI) as the 2022 UDARI Faculty Summer Scholars. Porcher’s qualitative research study will address the ways centering Blackness in English education in theory (Black theorists and ways of knowing) and practice (teaching and best practices from the Black community) disrupt anti-Blackness in English education programs. Hughes’s project explores whether an underexplored measure of criminal justice punitiveness -- capital punishment -- might be associated with disparities in school discipline for Black and brown students, and asks if such a relationship exists, under what circumstances it would arise and for whom the relationship would be most salient.

Lauren Bailes, assistant professor in the School of Education, has received the 2022 Emerging Scholar Award from the American Association of Educational Research’s (AERA) Educational Change Special Interest Group. This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a strong record of original and significant scholarship related to educational change within the first eight years of their postdoctorate career as an educational scholar. Bailes specializes in educational leadership and her scholarship focuses on the ways in which organizational, social-cognitive and leadership theory unite to promote the success of school leaders and K-12 students. She officially received the award during the AERA annual meeting on April 25, 2022, in San Diego, California.

Sarah Mitchell, graduate student of the Physical Therapy Program, received the Allie Rose Zambito Sunshine Scholarship award in recognition of her dedication to overcoming obstacles during her studies. The Allie Rose Zambito Sunshine Scholarship Inc. was created to honor the memory of Allie Rose by establishing and administering an annual scholarship to a second-year graduate student enrolled in a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Delaware or High Point University. Ellen Wruble, associate professor and director of the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program, proposed the scholarship opportunity to Mitchell. The award highlights Mitchell's perseverance for overcoming difficult challenges as well as accomplishing goals to motivate others to live active, healthy lifestyles. The scholarship provides $1,500 toward Mitchell's future tuition expenses. 

Tasha Rose, 2002 alumna from the School of Nursing and patient services manager at UNC Health, was honored with the 2022 Circle of Excellence award from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). The award recognizes nurses who have demonstrated measurable outcomes in nursing, contributed efforts to remove barriers to providing quality patient care, supported healthy work environments and made considerable impacts on individuals through leadership. Rose chairs the Employee Recognition Committee and teaches leaders to develop improvements for recognition through personalization to fit the needs of a diverse population. She also mentors other nurse managers and continues to recruit impactful candidates in the nursing field throughout the COVID-19 pandemic shortage. Rose credits UD’s Each One Reach One mentoring program for providing her with initial experience in mentorship with Nicole Stallings, prior nursing student and chair of the Black Student Nurses Association. The award will be celebrated during an upcoming National Teaching Institute Conference in Houston, Texas, from May 16-18. The event, “AACN’s premier progressive and critical care nursing conference,” consists of nearly 200 educational sessions, a critical care exposition and recognition for celebrations including the Circle of Excellence Award honorees. The award provides a $1,000 honorarium, recognition on the AACN website and a Circle of Excellence award plaque. 

Elizabeth Soslau, associate professor in the School of Education, and elementary teacher education undergraduate student Katherine Reim have received the Outstanding Conference Paper Award from the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Service-Learning and Experiential Education Special Interest Group for their conference paper, “Powerful Student Thinking During Critical Service-Learning.” Soslau and Reim have also been invited to serve as special guests on the special interest group’s podcast, Experiential Commons, to highlight their research.

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