Drescher Lecture highlights honors faculty research

Home / News and Events / News / Drescher Lecture highlights honors faculty research
November 29, 2018

The audience gave a collective “eww” as Sarah Graff, honors faculty fellow in Barrett Honors College, described how people come to the ancient city of Kerkenes in modern-day Turkey to wade in a reservoir filled with leach-infested water.


Sarah Graff


Graff, an archaeologist, explained that people making the pilgrimage to the site, about three hours from Ankara, believe the water has healing properties.

She was speaking about her excavation work that focuses on the urban planning and hydrology of Kerkenes. Even though the ancient city existed thousands of years ago and lasted only an estimated 70 years, it is an interesting example of organized urban planning and water management, she said.

Graf said she and other researchers must share the site with those seeking relief from the waters, including a natural spring that runs cold, even in the summer.

Graff’s talk on Wednesday was part of the Drescher Lecture Series, an event showcasing honors faculty fellows’ research.

The Drescher Lecture Series is supported by the Sol and Esther Drescher Endowed Development Fund, established by Susan Drescher-Mulzet and Mark Mulzet. The fund sponsors research opportunities for Barrett Honors College faculty fellows and gives them the opportunity to speak about it. Nearly two dozen Barrett faculty members have received grants from the fund and presented their research in recent years.

Two other honors faculty fellows also presented their research along with Graff.

Dr. Jennifer Brian

Jenny Brian


Jenny Brian spoke about the effects of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) devices on reproductive freedom, particularly among young, minority, low-income and incarcerated women. Robert Niebuhr spoke about his research into the war between Bolivia and Paraguay to control the area known at the Chaco Boreal in 1932 and the treatment of prisoners of war.


Robert Niebuhr


“Research supported by the Drescher Fund helps make the already excellent teaching in Barrett even better because faculty bring their knowledge and research into the classroom to engage with students,” Barrett Honors College Dean Mark Jacobs said.

Joe Foy, an honors faculty fellow whose expertise is in astronomy and physics, presented his research in electrodynamics in a Drescher Lecture in 2014.

“The fact that there’s a resource provided by friends of Barrett that is specifically to fund our research means, to me, that what we do is valued both inside and outside the classroom,” he said.

 Barrett Honors College is in the midst of Campaign ASU 2020, a fundraising effort for student scholarships, global citizenship initiatives, faculty support, and the building of an honors student success center. Read more about the campaign and how to support Barrett.

Campaign2020, News