acCLAim Research and Scholarly Work Newsletter

Vol. 13, Issue 6

We have added a new feature section! In this issue we have our first Featured Research Center. This new section will showcase one of CLA’s many Labs, Centers, and Institutes and highlight the center’s history, purpose, and contributions to the university’s research community. See below for our first feature on the Center for Sustainable Communities.

Researcher of the Month

Bryant Simon
Laura H. Carnell Professor of History

I began my current research project about the history of public bathrooms in the United States with a question. Not a research question, but a question from one of my Honors US History classes. One day, I asked my students where they learned about gender. They mentioned schools, sermons, songs, and episodes of Zach and Cody. Then, one student said, “public bathroom signs.” 

I couldn’t stop thinking about this comment.  

So, I did what a historian does: I started digging. I typed “public bathrooms” into Google and library searches. I found a bunch of articles and books, archives and forgotten trade magazines. And I found out that early in the 20th Century, government officials determined that the private sector had failed to meet the need for open and accessible bathrooms. In response cities from Reading to Peoria to Portland (Maine and Oregon) invested heavily in public bathrooms, and not just ordinary bathrooms, but bathrooms with mahogany stall doors and marble topped sinks.

When these newly opened and somewhat ornate public bathrooms attracted an unanticipated crowd of sex-seekers, vandals, and the unhoused, officials started to close them down. This meant that by the 1970s anyone in need of an away-from-home toilet again had to rely on private facilities. This led to spikes in discrimination, similar to what happened in Philadelphia in 2018 when two Black men were denied entrance to a Starbucks bathroom and eventually taken out of the store in handcuffs, but it also led to protests for equality and fairness at the bathroom door from civil rights, feminist, and queer activists.  

The book I’m currently writing will chart the rise and fall of the public bathroom in the United States over the last one-hundred-twenty-five years. This is a story of American inequality that forces us to acknowledge that if we want to build a truly inclusive present, we need to recognize access to public bathrooms as a fundamental right and a cornerstone to a fair and equitable society.

Dr. Simon was recently quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle about the history of public bathrooms.

Award of the Month

Neural Basis of Dysregulated Feeding and Exercise in a Mouse Model of Anorexia Nervosa

Ames Sutton Hickey
Assistant Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has awarded Assistant Professor Ames Sutton Hickey (she/her) over $400,000 to study the potential biology underlying the development of anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is a lethal psychiatric disease that disproportionately affects female-identified individuals and has high relapse rates (~35-41%), leading to chronic comorbidities and lifelong disability. In fact, anorexia nervosa has the second highest mortality rate among mental health disorders, recently surpassed only by opioid-use disorder. Despite recent findings that susceptibility to this disease can be linked to genetic and metabolic factors, the neurobiology coordinating the preference and motivational drive for a starved rather than sated state is not well studied.

This new NIH-funded research in Dr. Sutton Hickey’s lab will examine the mechanisms used by hunger-promoting neurons in the brain that promote bodyweight gain in an animal model of the disease termed activity-based anorexia. Using a combination of state-of-the-art tools, including knock-in mouse models, in vivo brain imaging, and circuit-based behavioral neuroscience approaches, Dr. Sutton Hickey’s team (the ASH Lab) aim to identify a potential neural cell type that could re-prioritize food intake over compulsive exercise in starved individuals. Thus, this research has the potential to identify a therapeutic target for anorexia nervosa, thereby minimizing the chronic disability associated with this disease, and leading to improved survival and enhanced quality of life for individuals affected by this severe disorder.

Featured Publication

Celeste Winston
Assistant Professor of Geography, Environment and Urban Studies

How to Lose the Hounds: Maroon Geographies and a World beyond Policing

In How to Lose the Hounds: Maroon Geographies and a World beyond Policing, I explore marronage—the practice of flight from slavery—as a guide to police abolition. Many abolitionists trace current systematic police brutality and racial profiling to the forerunners of modern police: slave patrols, which were formalized at the beginning of the eighteenth century to maintain the dominant racial economic order by assisting enslavers in capturing and punishing enslaved Black people.

Equally important and enduring as the history tying slave patrols to modern police are the underexplored legacies of organizing beyond policing that have persisted from slavery until today. How to Lose the Hounds connects marronage and contemporary abolitionist organizing by centering Black communities in Montgomery County, Maryland, just beyond the nation’s capital, where generations of residents across centuries have practiced safety outside of policing. In revealing longstanding challenges to policing waged by Black people between slavery and the present day, the book demonstrates that a path toward police abolition need not be imagined abstractly when it is evident in the historical geographies and ongoing life of Black communities.

I first began thinking about connections between marronage and safety beyond policing when I was in graduate school at the CUNY Graduate Center in 2015. That year, I did an independent study with my doctoral advisor Ruth Wilson Gilmore in which I chose to read Cedric J. Robinson’s Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition and Neil Roberts’s Freedom as Marronage. These works inspired me to connect histories of marronage to ongoing struggles against anti-Black racism. As I was sitting with the topic of marronage, I also participated in New York City's Safety Beyond Policing campaign, organized in response to New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton's call for 1,000 new police officers in the city. This campaign advocated for redirecting the proposed public safety funds towards investments in mental health services, education, livable wage jobs, affordable housing, public transportation, and other safety needs. How to Lose the Hounds, then, emerged as my answer to the imperatives to consider ongoing Black freedom struggles through the framework of marronage and to imagine and practice safety beyond policing.

In How to Lose the Hounds, I contend that marronage operates as more than a method of Black flight. I define and use the term "maroon geographies" to demonstrate that marronage is a geographic practice of holding ground, of making and sustaining places and refusing to yield to anti-Black structures of unfreedom. Contributing to the work of other abolitionist geographers including Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Nik Heynen, and Megan Ybarra, this reframing helps to situate freedom as not merely an abstract political horizon, but as an already-extant place to which we can turn to imagine and plan a world beyond policing.

Featured Research Center

Center for Sustainable Communities

The Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) at Temple University conducts integrated social and environmental research on natural, technological, and socioeconomic systems to address the challenges of sustainability—how can we meet the needs of people locally and globally through equitable, innovative, and practical solutions that protect the environment which sustains life on the planet. Since its move to CLA in 2017 from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture where it was founded in 2000, CSC has been led by Director Melissa Gilbert, Professor of Geography, Environment and Urban Studies. According to Professor Gilbert, “CSC really tries to understand the challenges of sustainability and how we meet the needs locally and globally of both people and the environment in equitable ways.”

CSC conducts interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research for sustainable development. The center draws on expertise from across the social and environmental sciences and diverse methodological approaches that include geospatial analysis and techniques, community-based research, and citizen science. “A unique feature of CSC is that, in addition to bringing together the natural/physical scientists with social scientists and humanities folks, we also have a lot of expertise in community-based research, citizen science, policy analysis, and geospatial analysis. These are key methodological areas we can bring to be bear on sustainable cities, health and wellbeing, reducing inequality, and promoting decent work, such as green jobs. We’re able to bring together people from different perspectives because sustainability issues are so complex one person or discipline cannot solve them.”

CSC is focused on the next frontier of research for understanding and anticipating pressing sustainability challenges as well as for facilitating the contribution of social science and academia to enabling societal transitions toward sustainability. “CSC acts as a convener,” Professor Gilbert notes. “We bring together people from across the university who are interested in sustainability research and education. Our focus has been on developing long-term relationships with policymakers and community members locally but also around the world. It’s exciting to be able to bring people together to perform more solutions-oriented research.”

As the effects of climate change become increasingly salient and more people tune in to the importance of sustainability, Professor Gilbert hopes CSC continues to be at the forefront of these conversations. “In order address challenges of climate change and the ways it is affecting marginalized communities, we need to understand the issue from multiple disciplinary perspectives, but scholars also need to work with the people most affected to come up with their research questions and solutions. I hope that CSC continues to build networks of researchers such as faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, policymakers, and community members to expand this work and be part of a just transition to a more sustainable future.”

Visit the website to learn more about CSC and to get involved with the center.

Accolade Highlights

  • Jeffrey Ward (Criminal Justice) has received continuation funding from UCLA (Arnold Ventures) for the project “Second Chances: A National Outcomes Study of Safe and Equitable Decarceration Among People Serving Juvenile Life Without the Possibility of Parole.”
  • For the project “Exploring the Tipping Point from Political Discourse to Electoral Terrorism," Steven Windisch (Criminal Justice) has received continuation funding from the University of Central Florida (Department of Homeland Security).
  • Caterina Roman (Criminal Justice) has received continuation funding from RTI International for the project “Witness Intimidation and the Government's Response.”
  • Tania Giovannetti (Psychology and Neuroscience) has received continuation funding from the University of Pennsylvania (PA Department of Health) for the “Aging Brain Cohort Dedicated to Diversity Study.”
  • Jerry Ratcliffe (Criminal Justice) has received continuation funding from the Department of Justice for the project “An Evaluation of the SEPTA Police SAVE Initiative.”


Upcoming Events

Research Resources Day is coming to the Health Sciences Campus. The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), Temple Libraries, and Temple ITS are hosting an in-person event for all faculty, staff and grants administrators who work on and conduct research at Temple on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 1 to 3 p.m., in the lobby of the Medical Education and Research Building (MERB, 3500 N. Broad St.). Light refreshments will be provided. Register here.

Increase in Animal Per Diem Rates: FY25–FY27

Temple University is committed to managing its animal care and use program in an efficient manner, which includes a periodic review of animal per diem rates. Updated per diem rates will be charged for each day that a cage or animal (USDA species only) is housed within a ULAR managed space as of July 1, 2024. These rates will not be pro-rated.

Per diem rates will continue to be reviewed on a regular schedule and will be adjusted to account for inflation and/or other operational needs. This is an approach followed by most research institutions.

You can review existing and updates rates here. Please note that the new rates will apply to existing grants as well as new grant submissions.

Should you have questions regarding the new rates or the invoicing process, please contact Joanne Drew ( For any non-invoice related questions and clarifications, contact Dr. Dorian Culmer-Butler (

Sampling of External Funding Opportunities

Collaborative Grant in China Studies
Due: June 13, 2024
Optional LOI: April 17, 2024

W.E.B. Du Bois Program of Research on Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Justice System
National Institute of Justice
Due: May 30, 2024

Research and Development Grants
National Endowment for the Humanities
Due: May 21, 2024
Optional Draft Due: April 9, 2024

Research Grants on Education (Small)
Spencer Foundation
Due: April 30, 2024

Core Research Grants (Core Programs and Special Initiatives)
Russell Sage Foundation
LOI Due: April 16, 2024

Promoting Educational Attainment and Economic Mobility among Racially, Ethnically, and Economically Diverse Groups after the 2023 Supreme Court Decision to Ban Race-Conscious Admissions at Colleges and Universities
Russell Sage Foundation, in collaboration with the Hewlett, Spencer, and William T. Grant Foundations
Due: April 16, 2024