University of Delaware
Christopher Meehan (left) and Thomas Schumacher, faculty in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, have earned professional engineering licensure.

For the Record, Aug. 10, 2012

Faculty and staff announce recent achievements, presentations


9:30 a.m., Aug. 10, 2012--For the Record provides information about recent professional activities of University of Delaware faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Recent achievements, presentations, publications, recognitions and service include the following:

Campus Stories

From graduates, faculty

As it neared time for the processional to open the University of Delaware Commencement ceremonies, graduating students and faculty members shared their feelings about what the event means to them.

Doctoral hooding

It was a day of triumph, cheers and collective relief as more than 160 students from 21 nations participated in the University of Delaware's Doctoral Hooding Convocation held Friday morning on The Green.


Christopher Meehan, associate professor, and Thomas Schumacher, assistant professor, both in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, have earned their professional engineering (PE) licensure. To become a licensed professional engineer, engineers must pass two exams and demonstrate practical experience. Undergraduates typically take the first exam, the fundamentals of engineering exam, as seniors in college. This national exam measures engineering knowledge gained during the undergraduate experience. Practicing engineers often pursue the second exam, the PE exam once they have four years of experience (or equivalent). Licensed PEs review and stamp all civil engineering projects, indicating that a licensed engineer stands behind the project and deems it safe. The PE exam is considered an important and logical step in a civil engineer’s professional development. Faculty members in academia, however, do not routinely seek licensure since they seldom perform traditional engineering design or stamp plans. “The department’s ABET accreditation requires that a percentage of our faculty are PE certified, but it is rare today for junior faculty coming out of a doctoral program into a research intensive academic position to pursue the PE license,” explained Harry (Tripp) Shenton, III, department chair. “The fact that these two junior faculty members pursued the designation and were successful on their first attempt makes their achievement even more significant. We are proud of them.” The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering currently has eight full-time faculty who hold the PE designation. The addition of Meehan and Schumacher brings the ranks of PE certified faculty in the department to 10.


Hillary Wein, a UD student and membership coordinator of the campus Best Buddies chapter, attended the 2012 Best Buddies International leadership conference held July 20-23 in Bloomington, Ind. There she accepted an award on behalf of the UD chapter, which was named Delaware’s top college chapter. Wein was one of 12 young leaders representing Best Buddies Delaware at the conference. Through numerous breakout sessions, attendees enhanced their knowledge of the Best Buddies movement by learning about and discussing topics including: the global disabilities rights movement, bullying, inclusion, advocacy, professionalism, public speaking, time management, fundraising and volunteer management. “Best Buddies is an organization that changes lives,” Wein, a member of the Class of 2015, said. “It empowers those whose voices often aren’t heard, helps find jobs in today’s market, and, most importantly, it creates friendships that do not see disabilities, only abilities.” 


Brian Freedman, Wendy Claiser and Debbie Bain, staff members of the Career and Life Studies Certificate (CLSC) program at the Center for Disabilities Studies, presented a poster at the annual Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) Director’s Meeting in New Orleans in July. Their presentation was called “Career and Life Studies Certificate: Campus Connections.” Freedman also participated in a panel discussion for TPSID Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and presented updates on the "Family Transition and Engagement” SIG, which he oversees.


Dannagal Goldthwaite Young, assistant professor in the Department of Communication, and Sarah Esralew, a 2010 UD graduate who is now a master's student in the School of Communication at Ohio State University, have collaborated on an article published in the July-August 2012 edition of Eastern Communication Association’s Communication Quarterly (vol. 60, no. 3). The piece is titled “The Influence of Parodies on Mental Models: Exploring the Tina Fey-Sarah Palin Phenomenon.”

Brian Freedman, director of the Transition, Education and Employment Model (TEEM) unit at the Center for Disabilities Studies, is a co-author of an article that was published in the June 28 issue of Journal of Child and Family Studies. “Relationship Quality as a Moderator of Anxiety in Siblings of Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Down Syndrome” is available for download online.


Farley Grubb, professor of economics, had his recent working paper “Chronic Specie Scarcity and Efficient Barter: The Problem of Maintaining an Outside Money Supply in British Colonial America,” selected by the editorial board of NEP-HIS for summary and discussion in its blog. NEP-HIS is responsible for disseminating and discussing new working papers in the field of business, economics and financial history based on papers in Research Papers in Economics.

Fleda Brown, professor emerita of English, was the featured poet of the day on Poetry Daily on Thursday, Aug. 9. The author of five previous collections of poems, Brown has won numerous prizes, among them a Pushcart Prize, the Philip Levine Prize and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writer's Award. Her work has been a finalist for the National Poetry Series. A former poet laureate of the state of Delaware, Brown was a member of the UD faculty for 27 years and also directed the Poets in the Schools program. Brown now lives in Traverse City, Mich., and is on the faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshop, a low-residency MFA program in Tacoma, Wash. Poetry Daily publishes a new poem each day, chosen from books, magazines and journals in print. 

Karen Zalewski, staff member at the Center for Disabilities Studies and state lead for Delaware’s text4baby program, and Delaware have again been recognized for successfully promoting text4baby, a free service using evidence-based materials from the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition that helps pregnant women and new moms get information about caring for themselves and their children through weekly text messages. This year’s State Enrollment Contest separated participating states into three groups based on the overall distribution of live births. Delaware has been the weekly winner in its category for two separate weeks. The coalition’s July 2 Text4baby Tuesday e-newsletter noted, “Delaware, who came in first in the 2011 Text4baby State Enrollment Contest, led group 3 this week with an enrollment rate of 65/1000. Last month, Zalewski attended the Breast is Best 2012 Conference and connected with the Bayhealth Lactation Program Coordinator from Lewes, Delaware. Delaware continues to be a leader in outreach by promoting the service at conferences, and with continued support from Sen. Tom Carper. Thank you for all of your hard work, Delaware.”


Mary Ann McLane, professor in the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, was installed as president of the Alpha Mu Tau honor fraternity at the national meeting of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, held from July 17-21 in Los Angeles. The fraternity’s main mission is to fund scholarships for students in the medical lab sciences. This year, it gave more than $40,000. In addition, McLane, with Sherman Binas, a senior, and Mike Monge, a 2010 alumnus, represented the state of Delaware as delegates to that meeting. Keely Pierchalski, a 2006 alumna who is a doctoral candidate in pharmacology at the University of Maryland, won first place for a poster she presented at the Los Angeles meeting titled "Functional Comparisons of mCRBPI and mCRBPIII and Their Impact on Retinoic Acid Biosynthesis from Vitamin A.” Tiwana Miller, a 2002 alumna, and McLane, on behalf of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) Delaware and the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, provided the face of the profession at a health fair at a local church on June 16. They shared some of the pamphlets offered by the ASCLS Patient Safety Committee on venipuncture and "why do I need to fast," as well as information from the consumer information website. 

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