Eight Drexel Faculty Earn Promotions to Full Professor
Clockwise from top left: Jeffrey L. Popyack, Usha Menon, James Mitchell, Jonathan Spanier, Andrea Modica, Konstantinos Serfes, Kathleen Fisher and Evan Forman.
June 2, 2014
By Matt Erickson
Eight Drexel faculty members will be promoted to full professor effective Sept. 1. And with expertise ranging from architecture to photography, research covering everything from overeating to solar energy and international connections stretching to India, Japan, Ireland and beyond, they’re a diverse group.
The promoted professors come from six Drexel colleges and schools. Learn more about their work as scholars, teachers and leaders below.
Kathleen Fisher, PhD, College of Nursing and Health Professions
Fisher’s research into intellectual disability was funded by the National Institutes of Health and multiple foundations and has received awards both international (The Australasian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability) and regional (The Suzanne Feetham Nurse Scientist Family Research Award). Fisher has also been a visiting professor at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. A sought-after teacher and faculty mentor, she served as supervising professor for six doctoral students and methodologist for another 10 doctoral students. Happily married for more than 33 years, she is the mother of three children.
Evan Forman, PhD, College of Arts and Sciences
Forman will become a professor in the Department of Psychology, where he is also director of graduate studies. A clinical psychologist, his research interests include developing and evaluating novel interventions for anxiety and health-related behavior changes, especially related to obesity, overeating and food cravings. As the primary investigator on the “Mind Your Health” project sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, he compares standard and acceptance-based cognitive-behavioral interventions for obesity. His lab also developed a mobile app, “TakeControl,” designed to treat binge-eating disorder. A Stein Family Fellow, he is the author of 75 scientific publications and book chapters.
Usha Menon, PhD, College of Arts and Sciences
Menon will be a professor of anthropology in the Department of Culture and Communication. She has written extensively on various aspects of Hindu society and civilization, in particular goddess worship, gender relations, emotional functioning, religious violence, Hindu morality and Hindu women and Western-style feminism. Her work on Hindu women seeks to study the ways in which they either do or do not empower themselves within the concrete contexts of their lives instead of focusing on questions of individual liberty or gender equality. She is the author of “Women, Wellbeing and the Ethics of Domesticity in an Odia Hindu Temple Town” (2013).
James Mitchell, College of Engineering
Mitchell is the director of Drexel’s Architectural Engineering program. He is a registered architect and former principal in the Philadelphia design firm Jordan-Mitchell, Inc. He has shaped the Architectural Engineering program, led it to accreditation and developed MS and PhD degrees. His research has been primarily in the area of engineering education. He has served as associate dean of engineering and as interim department head. He has twice won the College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award and has also won a University Teaching Excellence award and a University service award.
Andrea Modica, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Modica, a photographer, is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar. Modica's work is published in several monographs, including “Treadwell,” “Minor League,” “Human Being” and “Fountain.” Her photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the George Eastman House, the National Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Institution and many others. She teaches workshops at the International Center for Photography, the Center for Photography at Woodstock and the Maine Media Workshops. Her work can be viewed at andreamodica.com.
Jeffrey L. Popyack, PhD, College of Computing & Informatics
Popyack will become a professor in the Computer Science Department, where he served 10 years as the associate head for undergraduate affairs. His research interests are in operations research, artificial intelligence and computer science education. He is primarily responsible for the freshman computer science curriculum and artificial intelligence track courses at Drexel. He has been the principal investigator on four National Science Foundation education grants and has also received grants from Microsoft and IBM. In 1999, he was awarded Drexel’s Undergraduate Teaching Award for Senior Faculty, and in 2007 he received the College of Engineering Outstanding Service Award.
Konstantinos Serfes, PhD, School of Economics, LeBow College of Business
Serfes’ research interests lie in industrial organization, applied game theory and microeconomics. His research uses game-theory models to study strategic interactions of firms in oligopoly markets. He has written on issues related to price discrimination, product customization, two-sided markets, the venture capital market, entrepreneurship and tax competition, among other subjects. He is the current LeBow Betsy Cohen Research Scholar, and he is a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Jonathan Spanier, PhD, College of Engineering
Spanier, who will be a professor of materials science and engineering, is an innovator in materials for efficient, inexpensive solar energy conversion and electronics, and directs a University research core. He leads international programs in renewable energy with partners in the EU, Israel and Japan. As associate dean in the College of Engineering, he orchestrated development of its new strategic plan. Spanier has received the Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, the Louis R. Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Distinguished Service Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and has been selected to participate in the 2014 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering.