University community reports recent presentations, publications, appointments, grants and honors
For the Record provides information about recent professional activities and honors of University of Delaware faculty, staff, students and alumni.
Recent presentations, publications, appointments, grants and honors include the following:
Elizabeth Speakman, senior associate dean of the School of Nursing, spoke at the Delaware Healthcare Association’s 26th annual Delaware Healthcare Forum in October. She participated on a panel entitled the “Future of the Healthcare Workforce in Delaware.” The forum brought together chief hospital nurse executives, deans of nursing, legislators, regulatory agencies and key constituents to discuss and develop strategies aimed at reducing a nursing shortage being felt in Delaware and across the country. The panel also identified opportunities to expand the vital workforce pipeline to meet future, growing needs. With many nurses suffering from burnout following the COVID-19 pandemic, Speakman stressed legislation and increased support for nursing education can help retain and recruit nurses. “This collaborative movement, of which I’m proud to be a part, represents a concerted effort to enhance and provide positive health and wellbeing outcomes for all Delawareans,” Speakman said.
Heinz-Uwe Haus, professor of theatre, published an article, “Literature to be Explored: Gabriele Eckart’s Novel Vogtland Voices“ in Symposium (Vol. XXIX, Nr. 1, 2022; The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York). This dialect-tinged text by the German-American writer is set in the present day in the Vogtland region in Germany. Six voices tell a family story from different perspectives and reflect the time during and after World War II, that of the communist regime in this part of the country, and the events after the fall of the Wall in 1989. Special thematic focuses are everyday life with reference to the late Middle Ages, the nationalization of small family businesses in 1972 in East Germany, the re-privatization of these companies after German reunification and the reign of the state security (Stasi) of the communist regime. Haus analyzes how the voices today transform into dialectical counter-drafts remembering the voices of the past. In his opinion, they combine affront and example, criticism and program. For the reader poisonous voices of the dictatorship echo through the realism of many “plausible images” from today. What comes to mind are autocratic and hierarchical power structures, centralized control of all areas of life and a bureaucratic apparatus for suppressing individual citizens. Haus writes, “Eckart does not provide a direct image diagnosis or, at most, only like in parabolic mirrors that elevate the real to the point of recognizability. The episodes / snapshots offer models of dialectical reality, experimental models with which social processes and human types of behavior are rationalized to the point of transparency, so that one can analytically arrive at a difficult truth.“
Pinki Mondal has been named editor of the American Meteorological Society’s Earth Interactions scientific journal. Mondal, assistant professor and the director of the Environmental Science program in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences who holds an appointment in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and is a resident faculty member at UD’s Data Science Institute, said she was approached by the chief editor of Earth Interactions, who is aiming to have the journal be more interdisciplinary in the coming years — with a particular interest in having manuscripts that look at coastal change and how land systems connect with aquatic systems and the ocean and how that impacts life. Having already served as an associate editor at the CABI Agriculture and Bioscience scientific journal, Mondal began her new role on Jan. 1 and said as an editor, she will work with a peer-review support staff and be responsible for handling manuscripts submitted to Earth Interactions, identify and recruit reviewers and make decisions on manuscripts upon receiving referee reports. “I will also be working with the rest of the editorial team on expanding and/or revising aims of scope of the journal, as and when needed,” said Mondal. “I am looking forward to making the manuscript submission-to-acceptance process a fair and positive experience for all, especially early career researchers. It would be an honor to highlight exciting new interdisciplinary research on land surface processes with a remote sensing or land use change emphasis.”
Chandra Kambhamettu, professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, has been awarded a nearly $4 million, four-year research grant from the Army Research Lab. The project, “A Comprehensive Multi-vehicle based Deep Learning System for Diurnal Multimodal Hidden Targets Detection,” will develop a robust, deep learning-based detection system for spotting hidden targets. Using multi-vehicular platforms to collect multi-spectral data, these algorithms will be tested and refined through field work at U.S. military bases. Read more about this work on the CIS department’s news page.
The University's Epidemiology Program and program founder Jennifer Horney have been featured in the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health’s COVID-19 Storytelling Project. The compilation of compelling stories reveals how academic public health institutions worked within their universities and communities, regions and states to make an impact and keep the public safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. “These stories from ASPPH member schools and programs aim to ensure that the lessons learned from COVID-19 are documented and available as evidence of the incredible and heroic work our community embarked on to respond to a major threat of the century,” Horney said. Horney, who served on UD’s pandemic policy and operations committees, recently authored The COVID-19 Response: The Vital Role of the Public Health Professional, which touches on lessons learned in the pandemic as we look to bolster resilience to future public health crises. “Going forward, we must examine the evidence created as part of the COVID-19 response — what worked, what didn’t — and how the response to COVID-19, although unique, is relevant to many other types of public health emergencies and disasters,” Horney said. “As the public health workforce deals with threats of violence, politicization, burnout and funding challenges, we need to implement lessons learned and establish a viable path forward that includes sustainable investments in strategy and the workforce”
Miriam Keegan, a graduate student from Ireland in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, has been selected to receive a competitive grant award from Ireland’s Department of Education “Education for Sustainable Development – ESD to 2030” program (€5,000 funded). This program is part of Ireland’s National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development. Keegan, who is also a Fulbright Scholar, will use the fund to develop new course modules targeting K-12 students in Ireland.
Anjana Bhat, an associate professor in the physical therapy department, was recently honored by the American Physical Therapy Association. She’s the sole recipient of this year’s Stephen Haley Research Award, which recognizes extraordinary research in pediatric physical therapy that’s had a profound impact on the field. Bhat has been studying gross motor issues in children with autism for years. “The recognition of my research on this level raises awareness and brings hope that policies will change so that more funding will be made available for children with autism who have motor issues so they can obtain access to PT services and physical activity programs,” Bhat said. Bhat will receive the award in February at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting in San Diego, California. She was also recently recognized by the University of Delaware Faculty Senate in December, receiving the Mid-Career Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award, which was created in 2018 to recognize outstanding scholarly contributions of faculty in their respective fields.
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