For the Record, July 22, 2022

For the Record provides information about recent professional activities and honors of University of Delaware faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Recent presentations, publications and honors include the following:


Sheng Lu, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, presented his research at the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) Trade Symposium on July 13 and USFIA’s Board of Directors meeting on July 14 in Washington, DC. During the presentation, Lu shared findings from the latest study he conducted in collaboration with USFIA regarding U.S. fashion companies’ evolving sourcing strategies during the pandemic. Other speakers included executives from leading U.S. fashion companies and senior U.S. trade officials.


John F. Jebb, associate professor in English, contributed an article on “Detective and Mystery Fiction” to the newly published The Routledge Companion to Literature of the U.S. South. Jebb earlier coauthored (with J. K. Van Dover) a book about Southern detective writers, and he has revived the undergraduate course in detective fiction and film, cross-listed as English and criminal justice.

Saleem Ali, Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and Environment in the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration and the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, has published a new book: Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life. In the book, Ali seeks to bridge the gap between science, policy and politics for a safer future. He was recently interviewed by The Guardian about his work and will be presenting at the Ocean Currents lecture series on Aug. 25.


L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin, manuscripts librarian and curator of the Joseph R. Biden, Jr., senatorial papers at the University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press, will be inducted as a fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) at the SAA annual meeting on Aug. 25 in Boston. This distinction is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession. Currently, there are 195 fellows, and Johnson Melvin is one of only six new fellows named in 2022. The announcement of her honor notes that Johnson Melvin is “an insightful educator, advocate for archival employees and leader in the realm of congressional papers” and that her “work has crossed many boundaries, from archives to political science to library management.”

For the second year in a row, UD physical therapy (PT) students gave back to their profession and placed second in the VCU-Marquette Challenge. Led by fundraising chairs, second-year doctorate of physical therapy students Marina Kissner and Kaitlyn Welsh and third-year students Julia Solderitch and Paige Nonnenmacher, the students raised more than $20,000 for Foundation for Physical Therapy Research, the only national nonprofit solely dedicated to funding physical therapy research. “Every year, at least two to four UD students are successful in obtaining one of those scholarships which is fantastic,” said Darcy Reisman, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy Department, a No. 1 ranked graduate program by U.S. News & World Report within the College of Health Sciences. “In the classroom and the clinic, the students see the benefits of science and research in our profession. We’re extremely proud of them for this effort and for all that they do.” This year, two UD PT doctoral students, Hayley Smitheman and Ashwini Sansari, are among 22 physical therapy students nationwide to benefit from funding from the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research. Smitheman is studying insertional Achilles tendinopathy to optimize individualized treatment strategies. Sansari received the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Award for research on neuromotor control of walking balance in children with cerebral palsy. 

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