conclusion of the State of the College talk, Pelesko presented the
college's Lifetime Achievement Award for dedicated leadership and
distinguished service to Watson.
The award, he said, isn't an annual one but is given selectively "to honor those who are truly exceptional and truly deserving."
"I can think of no individual more deserving of this award than George Watson," he said.
earned his doctorate in physics from UD in 1985 and joined the faculty
as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in
A former Unidel Professor of Physics and Astronomy, he took
his first leadership role in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2001 as
associate dean and served as interim dean in 2009-10 before being named
to the permanent role in 2010.
He is recognized nationally and internationally for his leadership in problem-based learning and is known as an advocate for improved science education in high schools and colleges.
his time as dean, Watson, founding director of the Institute for
Transforming Undergraduate Education, focused on advancing educational
initiatives and supporting student success, growing interdisciplinary
and global programs and investing in intellectual and physical capital.
Welcoming new faculty
The State of the College event also welcomed and introduced 57 new faculty members, representing a record level of hiring.
new members of the faculty cross numerous disciplines and encompass
diverse scholarly and creative interests, from interactive architecture
to African American material culture, exploring questions from how
language is structured to the causes and consequences of economic
New faculty members in the arts, and their department,
are: Jia-Rey (Gary) Chang and Aaron Terry, Art and Design; and Sheila
Browne, Miles Brown, Patricia Burt, Jennifer Shafer and Aimee Pearsall,
In humanities, new faculty members and their departments
are: Monica Coleman, Tiffany Barber and Cheryl Hicks, Africana Studies;
Dael Norwood, Jaipreet Virdi and Polly Zavadivker, History; Denva
Jackson, Art History; Lowell Duckert, David Kim, Alex McKee, Keerthi
Potluri, Yelin Zhao, Tiffany Probasco and Delice Williams, English;
Christine Grogan, Associate in Arts Program; Nicole Servais and Adil
Bentahar, English Language Institute; and Meghan Dabkowski, Victoria
Finney and Ana Oancea, Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
hired in natural sciences, and their departments, are: Kathryn Franich,
Linguistics and Cognitive Science; Tamara Nicol, Jasmin Cloutier, Stuart
McCaughey and Jennifer Kubota, Psychological and Brain Sciences; Audrey
DeVries, Calvin Hotchkiss, Daniel James, Brady Rocks and Mohamed
Salama, Mathematical Sciences; Gulnara Abduvalieva and Matthew Willis,
Associate in Arts Program; and Benjamin Jungfleisch, Frank Schroeder,
Ilia Gogoladze, Federica Bianco and Gregory Dobler, Physics and
In social sciences, new faculty members and their
departments are Katie Fitzpatrick, Stephen Metraux, Kalim Shah and Casey
Taylor, School of Public Policy and Administration; Vikramaditya
Thakur, Anthropology; Neri de Kramer, Associate in Arts Program; Nokyeon
Kim and Katya Roelse, Fashion and Apparel Studies; Erin Cassese and
Joanne Miller, Political Science and International Relations; and Nicole
Gonzalez Van Cleve, Sociology and Criminal Justice.
Among other leadership changes in the college,
two new faculty members are joining UD as department chairs in CAS.
They are Kami Silk in the Department of Communication and, beginning in
January, Velia Fowler in the Department of Biological Sciences.
Article by Ann Manser; photos by Andre Smith