The start of the summer term is always different from the other terms. There is a more relaxed, congenial atmosphere on campus.

A Sense of Summer

The start of the summer term is always different from the other terms. There is a more relaxed, congenial atmosphere on campus. Students lounge outside; and green and flowering portions of campus signal urban summer. I hope that this term becomes a time for you to complete projects that are still undone and contemplate new and exciting academic, creative, and research initiatives, to enjoy seasonal favorite spots, and to vary your pace. The Provost’s Office will be busy working with colleges to prepare for the busy fall term and many new students--more than we originally anticipated. In light of the sluggish job market and the unfortunate cutbacks among so many universities, this is a welcome problem to tackle, and we do so with relish.

Even as we prepare for the coming academic year, we are engaged in two special projects, each of which has the power to transform our university. We are getting to know our new colleagues in the Academy of Natural Sciences, learning about its rich research history and its historically important and vast collections. We are exploring new academic programs our affiliation will spawn, as well as ways of engaging students and faculty with the rich collections, library holdings, and research ongoing at the Academy. (Rebecca Ingalls’ feature, focusing on Professor Ken Lacovara in this Newsletter issue, details some of its riches.) To help acquaint Drexel faculty with this storied institution, our office is arranging for late afternoon tours of the Academy, for which we’ll provide round-trip transportation, led by its scientists and curators, and culminating in receptions during which Drexel and Academy colleagues may get to know one another. Several trips will be scheduled this summer and several during the fall. We’ll be announcing the details shortly.

The second transforming project involves the drafting of our Drexel Strategic Plan, 2012-2017. Some 60 faculty and professional staff were involved in focusing on key questions that, for the first time in our history, have been widely discussed, setting the foundation for the plan. Issues discussed included growth and scale, developing a strategic approach to research, enriching the student experience, improving teaching and learning, and addressing infrastructure issues and master planning. White papers produced by five task forces formed the basis for a two-day retreat, attended by over 50 faculty, professional staff, and administrators. Phase II Task Forces are now forming to take the key ideas and develop specific initiatives designed to implement them. We’ll also be putting budget projections and metrics for assessment against these initiatives. We expect to involve an additional 60 or so faculty and professional staff in this effort. The resulting draft strategic plan will then be available for comment and review by our community. Please visit the interactive Strategic Plan website often, as content changes and there’s a portal for your comments, which we welcome.

I very much hope you will take advantage of the opportunities to visit and become involved in some way with the Academy and also that you will participate in helping us create a strategic plan that truly represents the aspirations of all in our community for this great university. I hope, too, that your summer is filled with plans fulfilled, joyous times with friends and family, and visits to summer places you love.

In This Issue...



Library Learning Terrace

Opening of the Library Learning Terrace

Over 250 students attended festivities held on Friday, June 3, 2011 to mark the opening of the innovative new Library Learning Terrace. To the sounds of Drexel student DJ Mike Mannix, attendees donned glow stick bracelets while waiting for the twilight countdown to enter the much anticipated campus learning environment.

The Library Learning Terrace is located at the base of the Race Street resident hall, in the heart of the campus residential community. The 3,000 square foot space is furnished with seating for 75 and moveable tables and white boards to allow students to create spaces for group or individual learning, as needed. This is a key venue for the Libraries to explore the new concept of its role in creating environments to facilitate the development of independent learning skills, especially in achieving competencies in information literacy, critical thinking and communications. During the summer, librarians will work to develop programs in partnership with tutors from the Writing Center, and other campus experts in technologies and pedagogy that will offer focused coaching for students to develop these learning skills.

The Library Learning Terrace responds to a clear campus need for more library spaces, which was identified in a space assessment report issued in fall 2010. By October, President Fry authorized the design and construction of this space, an idea recommended by Bob Francis, Vice President, University Facilities. In November 2010, the Libraries held two town hall meetings, which were attending by over 200 students, who offered feedback to the idea of library learning spaces and confirmed an enthusiastic interest in the Libraries. Special thanks are extended to Bob and his colleagues in Facilities, especially Kimberly Miller Director, Planning Design and Construction and Gail Holmes Assistant Director, Interiors, Project Administration who worked with architect Erdy McHenry and contractors to quickly create this space. The June 3 event launched one week of round-the-clock student access to this space to prepare for finals. Early observations of an immediately heavily used Library Learning Terrace confirm that Drexel students are serious learners and gratefully welcomed this added environment.

For more information and pictures visit

Faculty Features

For the Love and Labor of Science: Lacovara Brings the Past Back to Life
by Rebecca Ingalls

Dr. Ken Lacovara leads me from the lobby of the Academy of Natural Sciences directly into Dinosaur Hall. Right away, he’s delightfully listing the statistics about the fossils on display, and I’m furiously writing in my notebook. I’m mesmerized, surrounded by theropods in mid-action, not the least of which is the massive, majestic skeletal mount of the Tyrannosaurus rex. I apologize for my wide-eyed stare at everything around me. “Oh, that’s okay,” he says. “If you’re not in awe here you’re dead.” And yet, though we’re surrounded by these extraordinary creatures whose existence has long past, the Academy brilliantly brings them back to life so that we can vividly imagine how they might have lived.

Dr. Kenneth Lacovara

Indeed, the Academy itself, soon to be known as the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, is world-renowned. The first natural history museum in North and South America, the Academy houses 17 million specimens, holds 1.5% of the world’s type specimens, and contains many of the world’s first discovered dinosaur fossils. “In many ways,” argues Lacovara, “dinosaur paleontology started here.” And Lacovara, Associate Professor of Biology at Drexel, plays a groundbreaking role in continuing to bring the awe-inspiring past before us into the present.

After making several journeys to Patagonia, in southern Argentina, over the last seven years, Lacovara returned to the States with something spectacular: a new species of dinosaur. With an estimated full body weight of sixty tons—he offers perspective: a full-grown bull African elephant is five tons (so is a monster truck)-this creature is characterized in part by the “spatula-shaped” muscle attachments beneath its colossal tail and up to ten other unique features. How new is “new”? Lacovara explains, “There are no referential pieces for some aspects of these fossils. New genus, new species—it’s an extraordinary occurrence. Moreover, the specimen will be the southern-most and second-most massive dinosaur skeleton ever found. And it is, by far, the most complete super-massive dinosaur skeleton ever discovered.” Lacovara and his team have shipped sixteen tons up to the States, but there are hundreds of bones yet to be excavated back in Patagonia.

What can it possibly be like to unearth something this amazing? Lacovara describes the process: “You just walk to prospect. Usually you find an isolated bit. But this one,” he reflects as his face lights up, “you could see the creature lying there. No one’s ever seen it, and five years later, we’re still finding bones.” Five years, five trips to Patagonia for two months at a time, ten airport stops for each round trip, twenty-nine exportation permits that took years to obtain, and five different ports for the fossil container on its journey up to Philadelphia. Lacovara muses, “You can track the container online. I would be up in the middle of the night seeing where my bones were!”

Before their journey to Philadelphia, the fossils are “jacketed,” wrapped in plaster and burlap to stabilize the fragments. Back in the lab, the bones take up almost the whole space, and Lacovara—intuitive teacher that he is—reads my face: “Go ahead. You can touch it.” I lay my hand on a seven-foot femur bone. “Now,” he says, “add to that another four feet for the tibia, a foot for the knee, another three for the toes. And that’s just one leg. The whole dinosaur likely stood as tall as 2.5 stories.” Working with several graduate students and volunteers, Lacovara’s team now has the job of unjacketing the bones and putting the skeleton together back at the Academy lab. “It’s painstaking work,” he explains, “and volunteers are highly trained.” In fact, in addition to training in anatomical awareness, volunteers are asked to reassemble an eggshell broken in a multitude of places.

The challenge of this intricate reassembly doesn’t compare, however, to the arduous work of digging up those bones. “It’s hard to explain the physical effort and toll,” Lacovara says. “Friends don’t recognize me when I get home from the field. And yet,” he says, “I’m happiest doing the physical work.” And as with all labors of love, there is the sheer mystery of it that is unassailably captivating. In this particular labor of excavating and resuscitating the past and of trying to wrap one’s mind around how it all happened, there is a humility that draws Lacovara close to the work. Late at night, after the team had thoroughly swept the quarry and everyone had turned in, Lacovara would stay up and “spend a few quiet moments with the dinosaurs.” “When you study nature,” he says, “it’s very hard to be arrogant.”

This is the bit that strikes me most about my interview with Ken Lacovara. We have many reasons to celebrate his remarkable discovery in Patagonia, its presence here in Philadelphia for all to see, and the exciting merger between the Academy and Drexel University. In fact, the merger has given us yet another reason to honor Lacovara and his team, who recently uncovered a three-foot fossil (the biggest ever discovered) of a marine turtle on the ancient New Jersey coast. But we also have the privilege of Lacovara’s continued wonder, his passion for teaching, and his commitment to passing on that deep respect for the mystery of the past to his colleagues and students. He’s also passing it on to his child, Rudyard, who has never known a world without dinosaurs. Lacovara laughs, “Rudyard thinks everybody has dinosaurs. He wonders where everybody’s dinosaurs are.”

Rebecca Ingalls is Assistant Professor of English.

New Featured Faculty Publications

Innovations in Transformative Learning: Space, Culture and the Arts

Innovations in Transformative Learning: Space, Culture and the Arts

Kathy D. Geller, Ph.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Educational Leadership and Management

Purchase the Book Online

This book addresses the disparity between transformative learning theory as espoused and practiced in the classrooms of the academy and its application beyond. It articulates new models of transformative education that integrate transformative learning theory with other models of change and development. The three editors and 11 contributors draw on both theory and practice to illustrate how transformative learning has been introduced to a variety of settings and cultures, and synergistically integrated with theory of communication, participatory action research, and communities of inquiry and practice. Organized around themes of creating space for learning; looking through the lens of culture, diversity and difference; and animating awareness through the expressive and performative arts, this collection will broaden awareness and aid scholars, students and practitioners in using transformative learning as an approach to adult learning and social and organizational change in a range of settings.

Ethical Challenges in Health Care

Ethical Challenges in Health Care

Vicki D. Lachman, PhD, APRN, MBE
Clinical Professor

Purchase the Book Online

As a health professional or health care leader, have you ever:

Had to address the problem of uninsured patients in your hospital?
Had to deliver bad news to patients and families?
Wanted to report an unethical colleague?

If so, you need this book on your bookshelf. Health care managers and professionals face serious ethical dilemmas like these every day. This book provides the knowledge, insight, strategies, and encouragement necessary for developing moral courage in health care practice, even in the face of adversity.

Lachman outlines both personal and organizational strategies to help nurses, physicians, physical therapists, and health care leaders develop moral courage, and face difficult ethical challenges in health care practice and management head-on. Lachman presents numerous, real-life case examples to illustrate skills and opportunities for developing moral courage in the workplace. Also included are tips for executives on how to develop their ethical leadership skills.

Effective Business Planning: A Structured Approach

Effective Business Planning: A Structured Approach

Michele K. Masterfano, DBA
Clinical Assisant Professor of Management
Department of Management

Purchase the Book Online

Oftentimes it makes sense for a firm's leaders to bring in someone from the outside to pull together all the information needed for a business plan. But using outside help can be an expensive proposition. Thus, many more entrepreneurs develop their own business plans.

Effective Business Planning: A Structured Approach helps those entrepreneurs who wish to write their own business plans. This book describes a generally accepted format and the content of a business plan. All plans need to have sections describing their businesses, detailing a marketing plan, and forecasting a set of financials.


Summer Course Design Workshop — Save the Date

Wednesday August 10, 2011
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
SkyView Room, MacAlister Hall

Quality Course Design — Pedagogies, Best Practices, Tools, and Techniques

Co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Office of Information Resources and Technology, and the Drexel Online Learning Council

This full-day workshop is intended to provide pedagogical guidance to support course development, design, and redesign, regardless of delivery method. Techniques and pedagogies covered throughout the day are applicable to online courses, web supported face-to-face courses, and hybrid courses. This workshop will also provide guidance and support for those faculty preparing digital course material for migration to Blackboard Learn and to anyone looking to redesign courses to insure quality and incorporate effective assessment methods.

This is an opportunity to evaluate, modify, and improve existing courses and course materials in preparation for the new term and a new learning management system and to create high quality, outcome driven courses. This workshop will provide information, pedagogies, best practices, and assessment techniques which can be applied to course design and redesign to ensure the highest quality academic experience for our students. Faculty participating on panels and small groups will share experiences, lessons learned, successful examples, and pedagogical approaches. Techniques and methodologies used to promote engagement, facilitate collaboration, increase accessibility, and improve quality will be the main focus throughout the program. Participants can expect an interactive experience that is both engaging and informative. They will receive many valuable insights as well as useful takeaways like guidelines, lists of best practices, tips and tricks, and details on a variety of resources that they can access well after this workshop."

Look for an email invitation, full agenda, and registration site coming soon.

DCAE Events June 2011

The DCAE had two events in June. On June 7th we had an interested and engaged audience for a presentation by Patricia Davis Austin, Associate Vice President for Corporate and Foundation Relations, Office of Institutional Advancement and Dr. Michele S. Marcolongo, Senior Associate Vice Provost for Translational Research, Office of Research Administration on “Funding Sources-Government, Corporations, Foundations.” On June 22nd, Dr. Mike Scheuermann, Associate Vice President, Instructional Technology Support, Information Resources and Technology, and Dr. Frank Kelley, Assistant Teaching Professor of Communication, Department of Culture and Communication, COAS, presented at our summer workshop for adjunct and part-time faculty. Their presentation was on “Learning Management Systems and Instructional Technology.” This presentation was multi-faceted in explaining how a Learning Management System (LMS) can be used in various settings and how ancillary technologies can enhance academic offerings.

On June 6th, Dr. Barbara Hornum, DCAE Director, was a guest speaker at the Drexel University School of Public Health’s faculty meeting. At the invitation of Dean Marla Gold, Dr. Hornum described the variety of topics and formats available to faculty covering areas of teaching scholarship, research and creative activity and some of the prospective topics for next year.

On June 8th, Dr. Hornum and the DCAE Faculty Fellows met together for a luncheon to thank the fellows for their support of the center and to have some discussion of themes for the next academic years. Two of the DCAE Fellows were recognized for their achievements at the Faculty Recognition Dinner and Awards Ceremony on June 1st. Dr. Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis, Assistant Professor in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design received the Allen Rothwarf Award for Teaching Excellence, and Dr. Shivanthi Anandan, Associate Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. These are well-deserved awards for faculty who connect their excellent teaching to their scholarship.

Faculty Career Development Awards

The Office of the Provost, through the Office of Faculty Development & Equity, is pleased to announce this year’s faculty Career Development Awardees. The program, now in its fourth year, is designed to foster mentoring relationships for pre-tenure faculty with mentors at other institutions whose work complements activities at Drexel. Previous awardees have established sustainable collaboration in academic institutions and industry in nine foreign countries on four continents, including Australia, England, Sweden, Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Greece and Italy. The awards committee for this year included Vice Provost Janet Fleetwood, Vice Provost John DiNardo, Vice Provost Julie Mostov, Senior Associate Vice Provost Michele Marcolongo, Dean Donna Murasko and Professor Robert Palisano. This year the committee received a record-number of extremely strong applications and was pleased to fund the largest number of awards in Drexel’s history. Awardees include Professors Brian Daly (Psychology, COAS), Vibha Kalra (Chemical and Biological Engineering, COE), Elizabeth Papish (Chemisty, COAS), Gail Rosen (Electrical & Computer Engineering, COE), Loni Philip Tabb (Epidemiology and Biostatistics, SPH), and Donald Tibbs (Earle Mack School of Law). Topics of exploration and collaboration ranged from Nanotechnology to Hip Hop and the American Constitution. For further information, please visit the Faculty Development & Equity website at

The 21st Annual Co-op Awards

On May 10, 2011, the 21st Annual Drexel University Cooperative Education Awards were held at the Paul Peck Alumni Center. This annual event recognizes outstanding Drexel co-op students, employer partners and faculty for their exceptional efforts in fulfilling the goals and ideals of cooperative education. The students and their families, faculty members, corporate partners, and Steinbright Career Development Center staff members were happy to be part of this special event.

The ceremony began with greetings from Peter J. Franks, Senior Associate Vice Provost for Career Education, Dr. Mark L. Greenberg, Provost, and James B. Dougherty, Jr., Esq., Class of 1978 and 1981. The Faculty of the Year recipient was Dr. Jeffrey Twiss, Professor and Department Head of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Employer of the Year awards were given to Bimbo Bakeries, owner of Stroehmann, Entenmann’s and more, and PJM Interconnection LLC, the world’s largest competitive wholesale electricity market. Student award recipients from each college were nominated by their co-op employers. The student award recipients this year were: Sarah DePre (senior dance major), James Kim (senior construction management student), Michael Liedike (senior information systems major), Elvis McGovern (senior mechanical engineering student), Andrea Roberts (senior nutrition student), Kristopher Ruth (senior history major), Megan Smith (senior business administration major), and Aaron Yu (biomedical engineering student). Two students also achieved special awards: the Dow Achievement Award which was presented to Amanda Love, and the Bentley Systems Award given to Brandon Bohrer.


The Future of Drexel’s Libraries: Advancing the University’s Strategic Transformation

This summer, over 60 members of the campus community will help shape the future of the Libraries by participating in a groundbreaking Future Search Conference entitled “The Future of Drexel’s Libraries: Advancing the University’s Strategic Transformation." The conference will span three days in mid-July and will help develop a common vision of the library as a learning enterprise and vital partner to advance the university’s research and service agenda.

The University’s strategies and ambitions are prime forces for transforming the Libraries into a vital partner in achieving Drexel’s unique position among outstanding academic institutions and influencing the role of U.S. higher education within society. The neglected libraries are being reconceived as a learning enterprise with embedded environments around campus and through the Internet. Library staff offer access to information resources as well as an active educational program to assist learners to develop information literacy skills, and researchers in their pursuit of knowledge.

To achieve the outcome of vital strategic partnership within the University and beyond, the Libraries chose the “Future Search” planning format with a proven track record around the world. The method has been used successfully for complex issues where all parties have unique experiences. Participants will include a cross-section of the university community, including faculty, students, administrators, external friends, and experts in academic support services, student life, and library and information science. The results will be formation of a common vision for our Libraries’ future and identification of key priorities for actions that key stakeholders will commit to support. Results from the conference will also contribute to the university’s strategic planning.

For more information, please contact Danuta A. Nitecki, Dean of Libraries at 215-895- 2750 or

Members of the Steering Committee for this Future Search conference are:

  • Chris Baccash, Drexel Undergraduate Student
  • Craig Bach, Associate Vice Provost for Curriculum and Assessment
  • Jan Biros, Vice Provost for Budget, Planning and Administration
  • Gloria Donnelly, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Lenore Hardy, Director of Library Administration and Health Science Libraries
  • Barbara Hornum, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Center for Academic Excellence
  • Michael Scheuermann, Associate Vice President Instructional Technology Support
  • Rebecca L.Weidensaul, Associate Dean of Students
  • Danuta A. Nitecki, Dean of Libraries and Professor, College of Information Science & Technology
  • Gerry Gorelick and Suzanne Noll, Future Search Consultants

Online Learning Council Activities

The Online Learning Council has had an active and productive year. Established by the Provost in January 2009, the Council membership has grown to over 80 members and continues to address issues of Quality, Retention, Scalability, Student Services for online students, and this year it has added Accessibility to its priorities. The Council works with Quality Matters to adapt rubrics they have established to the Drexel academic experience and to learn how their course review process can help us. Over 30 faculty and instructional support staff have been trained to review online courses to determine if courses are constructed and organized effectively. Ten faculty have been trained as master reviewers and have reviewed several courses from other institutions for quality organization and existence of key elements. Additional faculty and instructional support staff will be completing the Quality Matters peer and master reviewer training in the fall. Over 130 faculty and instructional support staff have been surveyed to develop a Core Elements Checklist to be used in course design at Drexel, and the results of that survey will be published this fall.

The Student Support Services subcommittee has created a one-stop-shop site for online students to find answers to all their questions and help with all of their needs. It is a link from the Provost’s site or can be reached directly at The site gives online students one place to find help with tutoring, billing, or anything they may need from one convenient site. Initial online student response has been very positive, and the site will grow and evolve over time.

Accessibility has become an important focus for the Council as higher education is increasingly expected to meet the needs of all students. The committee will sponsor several workshops this summer showing faculty how to design web based materials which are in compliance with ADA standards and improve the student experience for all students. Tips and tricks will be posted on line helping us all to implement Universal Design in the creation of quality digital materials for students.


Global Drexel Visits China

The end of spring term culminated with many exciting developments for Global Drexel, particularly, the building of international partnerships with leading institutions in China. Three delegations traveled to China with the aim of building new and strengthening existing collaborative relationships. In April, Dr. Charles Haas (Department Head of CAEE), Dr. Jonathan Cheng (CAEE) and Dr. Julie Mostov, Vice Provost for International Programs visited the School of Energy & Environment at Peking University’s Graduate School in Shenzhen (PKUSZ) to work out the final details of a Dual MS degree program in environmental engineering. The delegation also participated in the Shenzhen 2011 Low-Carbon Business Development Forum, meeting a number of potential collaborators from local industry as well as Chinese and US research institutions, such as UC Davis and Cornell. From May 5 — 14, Dean Allen Sabinson led a Westphal College delegation, including, Sandy Stewart (Associate Dean), Joseph Gregory (Art and Art History), Roberta Gruber (Fashion Design and Merchandizing), and Julie Mostov. They visited three of the top academies of art in China: The Central Academy of Fine Art — Beijing, The China Academy of Art — Hangzhou, and The Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art, setting the groundwork for significant partnerships, student and faculty exchanges, and research collaboration. In the picture, the delegation is celebrating the signing of an MOU and Exchange Agreement in Hangzhou.

Later in May, President John A. Fry led a delegation, including Wei Sun (MEM), Peter Lelkes (Biomed), Kevin Scoles (ECE), and Julie Mostov to Shanghai and Beijing. At Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the delegation met with partners from different colleges and schools and enjoyed a luncheon hosted by Chairwoman of the University Council, Professor Ma Dexiu. The delegation celebrated the launching of a new dual PhD program in Translational Research with MED-X Institute, in the School of Biomedical Engineering and discussed the start of a Joint Center for Research, Education, and Commercialization (REC). The delegation visited a number of institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Shanghai hosted by prominent Drexel Alum, Dr. Jiang Mian Heng, Vice President of CAS and began discussions about establishing a Drexel presence on the CAS science and technology campus in Pudong. In Beijing, the delegation visited Tsinghua University, where Drexel has a number of alumni and faculty linkages and signed an MOU and Exchange Agreement. As Drexel continues to grow our global network, we welcome and invite participation from all members of the university community. For information on how to get involved, please visit the Office of International Programs website.

Westphal delegation at Hangzhou after signing agreement and exchanging books - Sandra Stewart, Roberta Gruber, Joseph Gregory, Allen Sabinson, Julie Mostov meeting with colleagues at the China Academy of Art Hangzhou

Drexel meeting with Tsinghua University - Peter Lelkes, Wei Sun, President Fry, Julie Mostov, Kevin Scoles

Shanghai Jiao Tong University - President Fry and Dr. Xu Lisa

President Fry with Dr. Jiang Mian Heng at the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Drexel’s Dr. Haas, Dr. Mostov, Dr. Cheng were hosted at PKUSZ by Dean Xu Gang

This message to Faculty and Staff via Drexel Announcement Mail was approved by
Dr. Mark Greenberg, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs