In Memoriam: Richard Binder, Nunzio Pernicone, PhD, and Sally Solomon, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Communication
Drexel University Librarian
April 30, 1945 – July 8, 2013
This summer, Drexel University and the Department of Culture and Communication mourned the loss of Richard Binder, who passed away following a series of illnesses over the previous two years. His commitment to education was evident, as he continued to teach throughout much of that time.
Binder joined the Drexel community in 1971 after serving in the Peace Corps in Iran. He was part of the Library staff for more than 25 years, rising to the position of Librarian for the Humanities and Social Sciences. During this time, he also taught courses in Comparative Religion, Business Communications, and Public Speaking in what was then the Department of English. After his retirement from the Library in the mid-1990s, he continued to teach the latter two courses in the new Department of Culture and Communication. He last taught in the fall of 2012.
Binder also served for many years in an advisory capacity to the Asbury Ministry.
In all of these positions, Binder was known for his accessibility to students and his desire to help colleagues enhance their teaching and research. He also employed his significant height (6 foot, 6 inches) to appear as Santa Claus at the Library’s annual Christmas parties for years after he left his position there. Binder will be sincerely missed by his friends and colleagues at Drexel.
—Michael Sullivan, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Political Science
Professor of History
June 20, 1940 – May 30, 2013
The Department of History and Politics mourned the passing of Nunzio Pernicone, PhD, scholar and valued member of the Drexel community, in May of this year.
Pernicone joined Drexel in September 1988, after completing his PhD at the University of Rochester and serving on the faculty of Columbia University and the University of Illinois. In his 25 years of service at Drexel, his teachings on the impact of European revolutionaries on 19th Century American politics were a mainstay of the department. He trained countless students in historical methods and furthered their academic understanding of history as an important aspect of social citizenship. His recent appointment to Professor Emeritus was a well-deserved conclusion to his extensive and distinguished career.
Pernicone published two major academic books: Italian Anarchism, 1864-1892 and Carlo Tresca: Portrait of a Rebel. He also wrote extensively on the impact and historical interpretation of the Sacco and Vanzetti case—one of the defining moments of 1920s American politics. He was active in lively academic debates around this topic, as evidenced by his 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters published over the span of his career.
Beyond his scholarship, Pernicone had long been acknowledged as a thoughtful teacher. By revealing the manner in which prior historical events and choices shaped the present political path, he mentored countless undergraduate students as they struggled to correctly place current events in a historical context. He also taught these students the value in rigorously applying historical methods to successfully understand the world they live in.
—Scott Barclay, PhD, professor and head of the Department of History and Politics
The Nunzio Pernicone Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in Pernicone’s memory. Donations may be made payable to “Drexel University” and sent to Ken Goldman:
Office of Institutional Advancement
3141 Chestnut Street (01-316)
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Please contact Ken Goldman for more information: email@example.com.
Professor of Chemistry
November 25, 1940 – January 13, 2013
With deep sadness, the Department of Chemistry announced the passing of Sally Dym Solomon, PhD, who died unexpectedly from flu complications this winter.
During her 42 years at Drexel, Solomon developed a reputation for her commitment to teaching and education, not only at the college-level, but also in underserved high schools throughout Philadelphia. She was a consultant to the Philadelphia School District on the science and math core curricula, and even visited schools to host chemistry demonstrations, or what she fondly referred to as “magic shows.”
This passion for education led to Solomon’s role as director of the Philadelphia Science in Motion program, which brought advanced scientific equipment and hands-on scientific training to area high schools in order to prepare students for careers in STEM fields.
Many of Solomon’s research interests were centered on chemical education, developing experiments and demonstrations for general chemistry courses. She even developed new materials such as ice-cooled condensers that permit distillations without running water. Her chemistry experiments were legendary— like making a flower appear from flash paper (nitrated paper)—and her students enjoyed them tremendously.
Solomon’s love of teaching was felt by many at Drexel: she mentored countless students, served as advisor to the student chapter of the American Chemical Society for over 10 years, and was awarded Drexel’s Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1990. She is remembered for her humor and kindness, and for her ability to explain complicated concepts in concise terms. She was an encouraging and compassionate educator, concerned first and foremost with helping students to understand and appreciate the role of chemistry in “real life.”
—Reinhard Schweitzer-Stenner, PhD, professor and former interim head, Department of Chemistry