University of Delaware

For the Record, May 9, 2014

University reports recent appointments, presentations, scholarships


9:28 a.m., May 9, 2014--For the Record provides information about recent professional activities of University of Delaware faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Recent appointments, presentations and scholarships 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.


David R. Wunsch, director of the Delaware Geological Survey and state geologist, was appointed to the Advisory Committee on Water Information (ACWI) as the representative for the Association of American State Geologists. The ACWI advises the federal government on water-information programs and their effectiveness in meeting users' needs. Wunsch has been active in this group in an effort to establish an integrated national groundwater monitoring network through cooperative partnerships between states and federal government agencies. Wunsch also testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in support of the SECURE Water Act, which authorized the establishment of a national groundwater monitoring network. The Delaware Geological Survey is housed within the University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

Patrick A. Nowakowski, a UD engineering alumnus, has been appointed as the next president of the MTA Long Island Rail Road. Nowakowski is a career railroad professional with broad experience in operations, engineering, infrastructure and planning. For the past five years he has served as executive director of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, which is building a 23-mile rail line to connect with the Washington, D.C., Metro system. He previously served more than 27 years with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), including seven years as assistant general manager of operations.


Stephen Ma, a doctoral student and National Science Foundation Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Christopher McGann, a doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, were selected to present their research at the 10th Excellence in Polymer Graduate Research Symposium held March 16-20 at the national American Chemical Society meeting in Dallas, Texas. Ma presented on “Photodirected Confinement of Wrinkles on a Thiol-ene Elastomer” and McGann on “Resilin-PEG Hybrid Hydrogels: Analysis of Cross-Linking Chemistries, Mechanical Properties and Biocompatibility.” The purposes of the symposium are to provide recognition to outstanding graduate students in polymer science and engineering, to foster networking and exposure, and to help develop the careers of future leaders in the field.

Rudi Matthee, John and Dorothy Munroe Professor of History, gave a lecture, in Persian, on his book, Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan (2012), at Kanoon, the Iranian Cultural Society of Washington, D.C., in Vienna, Virginia, on April 28. He spoke on the same topic at Shabahang, the Iranian Cultural Society of America, at Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on May 2. He served as a commentator at a faculty seminar at Rutgers University, Camden, New Jersey, on April 18. 

Michael Gutierrez, associate librarian, References and Instructional Services Department, University of Delaware Library, gave a presentation "Interactive Library Activities for First Year Experience Students: A Case Study" at the First National Personal Librarian and First Year Experience Library Conference sponsored by Case Western Reserve University Library on April 8 in Burlington, Vermont.

Matthew Weinert, associate professor of political science and international relations, presented a paper titled "Regionalization and the Heterarchic Restructuring of International Relations" at the 55th annual International Studies Association Convention held in Toronto, Canada, March 26-29. He was also invited to present a paper, "Recognition in and of World Society," at a University of St. Andrews, Scotland sponsored workshop on "Recognition Theory and International Relations," April 28-29.


Stephen Andrew Kanefsky, a junior majoring in elementary teacher education with a concentration in special education, has been presented a $5,000 scholarship by the Maryland D.C. Delaware (MDCD) Broadcasters Association. The organization annually awards scholarships to students whose parents are employed by MDCD member radio or television stations. Carl Kanefsky is video content coordinator at WDEL-AM in Wilmington, Delaware, a local news-talk radio station owned by Delmarva Broadcasting Co. Stephen Kanefsky is studying to become an elementary school teacher with a concentration in special education, and plans to work with children with several disabilities and autism.

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