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For the Record

UD community reports recent appointments, honors, presentations

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

Recent announcements, appointments, awards, grants, honors, presentations and publications include the following:


Dr. Kara Odom Walker, an honors graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, has been chosen by Delaware governor-elect John Carney to run the state’s Department of Health and Social Services. Walker is currently deputy chief science officer at the non-profit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), where she is responsible for managing a $1.6 million research budget.

“Kara has deep knowledge about how our health care system works and knows how important that access to quality, affordable health care is for all Delawareans,” Carney said in a news release.

Walker received her doctor of medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College and her master of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins University. She completed postgraduate training at the University of California, San Francisco, and served as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she conducted research on the impact of hospital closure on underserved minority populations.


Carlos Asarta, associate professor of economics and director of UD’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, became the chair of the National Association of Economic Educator’s Research Committee in December 2016..


Rakesh Agrawal, who earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering in 1977, has won the 2016 American Chemical Society Award in Separations Science and Technology. The Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, Agrawal received UD’s Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement in 1995. He has received a number of other awards and honors, including being named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as well as being elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Agrawal serves on the Advisory Board of UD’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research focuses on energy production issues especially from renewable sources such as solar.

Carlos Asarta, associate professor of economics and director of UD’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, created Principles of EconomicsMcGraw-Hill’s first-ever product to be built online from the ground up, last year. Now, Principles of Economics has won the McGraw-Hill Product of the Year Award for the Business, Economics and Computing division, one of McGraw-Hill Higher Education’s three divisions.


Adrienne Lucas, associate professor of economics, has received three grants for her work in 2016:

• With Alejandro Ganimian and Isaac Mbiti, a $49,921 grant from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) for their project “School Leaders as Agents of Change: Evidence from India” in December;

• With Moussa Blimpo, Annie Dulfo and Willa Friedman, a $477,596 grant from the World Bank Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) for their project “Strengthening Teacher Accountabilities to Reach all Students” in September; and

• With UD assistant professor of economics Sabrin Beg, a $49,677 grant from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) for their project “Improving Post-Primary Education Delivery through Technology and Pedagogy” in June.

Carlos Asarta, associate professor of economics and director of UD’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, is a partner in an international project focused on the implementation of new media in higher education. A competitive grant from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research approved in December 2016 will fund the project. As part of the grant, the partners will generate research papers and pedagogical materials.


Millicent Sullivan, the Centennial Junior Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been elected to the College of Fellows at the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). The AIMBE College of Fellows represents the most accomplished and distinguished medical and biological engineers responsible for innovation and discovery. Sullivan’s research group addresses challenges in therapeutic delivery by coupling traditional chemical engineering strengths in molecular design, molecular self-assembly, and chemical reaction kinetics with cross-disciplinary strengths in cell and extracellular matrix biology and the cell-material interface. Long-term applications for the work include targeted drug delivery for prostate and breast cancer, as well as gene therapy for wound and tissue repair.


Adrienne Lucas, associate professor of economics, was an invited attendee at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Summer Institute in July of 2016.

Carlos Asarta, associate professor of economics and director of UD’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, presented “At What Age Should High School Students Take Their Capstone Personal Finance Course?” (joint with Andrew Hill) in January at the 2017 ASSA/AEA Conference in Chicago. He also chaired two sessions for the National Association of Economic Educators, and discussed two research papers. In December 2016, Asarta was invited by the University of Arizona to present a seminar on “Blended Education: Research Findings and Policy Implications.” He also presented a workshop for K-12 educator on teaching international economics.

In November, Asarta delivered a keynote address at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank during the 2016 Annual Professors Conference. The title of his presentation was “Teaching Digital-minded Students.” Also in November, Asarta presented “The Choice of Completion Deadlines for Online Assignments in Face-to-Face Principles of Economics Courses,” (joint with Laurie Miller and James Schmidt) at the 2016 Southern Economic Association Conference in Washington D.C. He also discussed a research paper.

In October, Asarta presented “Prior Online and Blended Experience: Does it Affect Outcomes in a Blended Course?” (joint with James Schmidt) at the 2016 Council for Economic Education Conference in Phoenix. He also discussed a research paper. In June, he presented a seminar on “Education and Our Regional Economy” to Leadership Delaware.


Bonnie Meszaros, associate director of UD’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, has co-written two academic chapters with Mary Suiter, who is the manager of economic education for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis as well as a graduate of the CEEE’s master of arts in economics and entrepreneurship for educators (MAEEE) program. The pair wrote “Home and School Connections to Inspire Children’s Economic Thinking” for 2016 publication Innovations in Economic Education: Promising Practices for Teachers and Students, as well as “Personal Finance Education for Young Children: Why Isn’t It Happening? What Needs to Be Done?” for upcoming publication Financial Literacy for Children and Youth, Second Edition.

To submit information for inclusion in For the Record, write to publicaffairs@udel.edu.

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