Logo Image

For the Record

University community reports recent honors, service

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

Recent honors and service activities include the following:


The UD Marching Band will perform as a featured band in the 2018 Thanksgiving Day parade in Philadelphia, the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country. The UD group is the only marching band in the parade to be offered the honor of a featured drill performance. The 99th annual 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place Nov. 22 along Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Meredith K. Ray, professor of Italian in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, has been appointed the 2018 Charles Speroni Endowed Chair in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture in the Department of Italian at UCLA.  

Melinda Duncan, professor of biological sciences, has been selected to receive the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Gold Fellow Medal for her contributions and dedication to the association, the largest eye and vision research organization in the world with a membership of nearly 12,000 researchers from more than 75 countries. In approving the award, ARVO said it anticipates that Duncan “will continue to serve as a role model and mentor for individuals pursuing careers in vision and ophthalmology research.” She will receive the award at the association’s annual meeting this spring.

In the Department of Music, Christopher Nichols, assistant professor of clarinet, and Julie Nishimura, faculty accompanist, piano, received a positive review in the prestigious international journal Gramophone for their recent Elegia, with additional positive comment on alumnus Kevin J. Cope’s composition “Sirocco.” Nichols and Nishimura recorded Elegia at UD’s Roselle Center for the Arts’ Gore Recital Hall. “Nichols gives a very fluent account, relishing the many different textures the master orchestrator deployed, and Nishimura’s accompaniment is sensitive and never overshadows her partner,” the reviewer wrote.


A team of eight students from the UD Music Management Student Association, organized by the group’s president, Kristin Young ’18, got an inside view of the big business of classical music when they worked as assistants at the international Association of Performing Arts Professionals conference, Jan. 12-16 in New York City. Xiang Gao, Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music and producing artistic director of Master Players Concert Series, and Master Players general manager Melissa Kitchen, a 2015 alumna in violin performance, also participated in the high-profile annual conference.

Isai Jess Muñoz, assistant professor, and Blake Smith, associate professor, both of voice and opera, accompanied 14 Department of Music students to New Orleans in early January to perform at the 2018 National Opera Association conference.

Alumni Honors

Barbara S. Larsen, who received her Ph.D. in chemistry at UD in 1984, was recognized as an American Chemical Society Fellow at the 24th ACS national meeting in 2017. The Fellows program recognizes ACS members for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession and the society. She has been part of the Du Pont Company’s Science and Innovation organization for the past 33 years.

Daniel Despins, a member of the Class of 2017 who majored in music composition, is the winner of the January 2018 Tampa Bay Symphony Call for Scores Composition Competition. “Yetzer Hara,” Despins’ submission recorded by the UD Symphony Orchestra as its 2017 Composition Winner, was chosen by vote of the Tampa Bay orchestra members from a field of 90 international applicants. Despins studied at UD with Jennifer Margaret Barker, professor of music.


To submit information for inclusion in For the Record, write to ocm@udel.edu and include “For the Record” in the subject line.

Contact Us

Have a UDaily story idea?


Members of the press contact



Keep up with news, events and more with UDaily Newsletters.