Accolades

To suggest an accolade, please fill out a submission form.
Wright sitting at a piano

Pitt Alumnus Bryan S. Wright Nominated for Grammy Award

Bryan S. Wright, who earned a PhD in musicology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016 and is a pianist and instructor in Pitt's Department of Music, has been nominated for a Grammy Award by the Recording Academy. His nomination is for his liner notes accompanying the 3-CD set "The Complete Piano Works of Scott Joplin" played by pianist Richard Dowling (Rivermont Records).

Scott Joplin (b. 1867/8–d. 1917) was an American composer, notable for his many piano rags, waltzes, marches and for his two operas. Wright and Dowling co-produced the new recording in celebration of this year's 150th anniversary of Scott Joplin's birth. This is the second Grammy nomination for Wright's Rivermont label. The 2018 Grammy Award winners will be announced at a televised ceremony from New York's Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018.

 Kenyon Bonner headshot

Kenyon Bonner Named One of New Pittsburgh Courier's Men of Excellence

Vice Provost and Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner has been named one of the 2017 Men of Excellence by the New Pittsburgh Courier. He joins a group of more than 500 African-American men whose leadership, vision, service and achievements have inspired and encouraged their communities to excel throughout the Pittsburgh region.

At Pitt since 2004, Bonner has served as associate dean of students and director of student life. Under his current executive leadership since 2015, the Division of Student Affairs has expanded its programs and services significantly.

An awards ceremony hosted by the New Pittsburgh Courier will take place Wednesday, December 13 from 6-9 p.m. Bonner will be featured, along with the other honorees, in a special section of the paper published that day.

Chmielus in a red tie, white striped shirt, and black jacket

National Science Foundation Funds Study to Develop Novel 3-D Printing Method

The National Science Foundation recently awarded Markus Chmielus, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, nearly $300,000 to research how a special kind of printing affects the microstructure and properties of particles called magnetic shape-memory alloys.

“Magnetic-field-enhanced binder jet printing is a type of additive manufacturing that uses a magnetic field to align powder particles during printing,” said Chmielus.

If successful, this study could lead to efficient, economical production of magnetic actuators, which are used in items such as sensors, robotics and mechanical devices and can be used in power generation.

panther statue

Four Pitt Teams Receive NIH BRAIN Grants

The National Institutes of Health has awarded grants to four teams led by University of Pittsburgh researchers as part of the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative Cell Census Network. The initiative’s goal is to provide greater understanding of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder.

The following team leaders and projects from Pitt have received awards for their proposals:

Three Professors Named American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named three Pitt researchers as 2017 fellows. Karen M. Arndt, professor in the Department of Biological Science, Chandralekha Singh, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Rory Cooper, professor and founding director of Pitt’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories, were among the 396 individuals recognized for accomplishments nationwide. The fellows join a cohort that includes groundbreaking scientists such as inventor Thomas Edison, anthropologist Margaret Mead and biologist James Watson.

Nurses Recognized in Annual Cameos of Caring Gala

More than 80 nurses were honored at the 18th annual Cameos of Caring awards gala in early November. The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing developed the Cameos of Caring awards program in 1999 to celebrate the profession and recognize the work of nurses who make an impact every day in their local hospitals and communities. More than 1,000 nurses have been recognized as Cameos of Caring recipients since its inception.

For more information about the program and to see a list of honorees, visit their website. Pictured is Jordana Grodek, a registered nurse for the UPMC Center for Nursing Excellence, as she accepts her award.

American Academy of Pediatrics Recognizes Pitt Faculty Member

Diego Chaves-Gnecco, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and director and founder of the program SALUD Para Niños at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC received the F. Edwards Rushton CATCH Award at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition. Named in honor of F. Edwards Rushton, Sr., this award honors pediatricians who collaborate within their communities to increase children’s access to healthcare and other needed services. Chaves-Gnecco is the first Latino pediatrician to receive this recognition, as well as the first to be awarded for a resident CATCH grant.

In 2002, Chaves-Gnecco created the first bilingual pediatric clinic at Children’s Hospital. With funding from his 2004 resident CATCH grant, Chaves-Gnecco expanded the program to provide an option for uninsured Hispanic children, and then officially named the program SALUD (Students, residents, faculty And Latinos United against health Disparities) Para Niños. Since then, the number of children enrolled has increased from 45 to over 1,000 children served, with more than 1,650 health visits a year.

Parker in a tan suit and red tie

Robert Parker Receives 2017 Swanson School of Engineering Board of Visitors Award

Recognizing the impact of his tenure on students, faculty and peers, the Board of Visitors of the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering recognized Robert Parker with the 2017 Board of Visitors Award. Parker, professor and vice chair for graduate education in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, was recognized for faculty excellence in teaching, research and service, and for contributions to the University, the Swanson School and the engineering discipline.

Cheryl Tingley Receives Pitt–Bradford Alumni Award

Cheryl Tingley, who graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford's Master of Social Work Program in 2009, recently received the Pamela J. Cousins Excellence in Social Work Award. The honor is given by the Pitt–Bradford MSW Alumni Network in memory of Cousins, who was in Pitt–Bradford’s first cohort of MSW students.

Tingley, a mental health therapist with the Department of Community Services in Olean, New York,  was nominated for the award by colleague Bre Farrell, who said, “Cheryl has not only taught social work students, but I’ve seen her educate coworkers, peers and community members alike.” Farrell says Tingley “has raised the expectations of those she surrounds herself with to be informed and to make a difference.”

The MSW program at Pitt–Bradford is in its 16th year and will graduate its seventh cohort next month. It is an outreach of Pitt’s School of Social Work, which is marking its 100th anniversary this year.

Daniel Balderston Receives International Recognition

The Academia Argentina de Letras named faculty member Daniel Balderston an académico correspondiente — corresponding academic. The title recognizes “his remarkable and continued work as a diffuser of Argentine literature in the United States, with particular attention to the work of Jorge Luis Borges,” said José Luis Moure, the academy’s president. Balderston is the Mellon Professor of Modern Languages in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1931, the academy serves as a repository of scholarship relating to Argentine literature and to the special characteristics (grammatical and lexical) of the Spanish spoken in Argentina.

Mathematics' Chengcheng Huang Receives Selective Swartz Foundation Fellowship

Chengcheng Huang, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Mathematics, is one of just two individuals in the United States awarded the Swartz Foundation Fellowship. Huang will receive an $100,000 award for the first year of the fellowship and could see it renewed for an additional $100,000 in the second year. Huang, a computational neuroscientist, studies neuron networks to model how the brain perceives information from the external world. In particular, she focuses on perception of pitch in hearing.

Nursing Student Achieves First with International Society of Nurses in Genetics Award

Lacey Heinsberg, a predoctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing, is this year’s recipient of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics President's Award. This is a discretionary award given by the society’s president to members for going over and above in service during the year. She is the first student to receive this award.

Heinsberg was recognized for her service and dedication to the society as the inaugural student representative on the Board of Directors. In this role, she promoted improved web platforms and electronic interaction to increase member recruitment, engagement and retainment for this global organization.

Franklin Toker Made Distinguished Professor

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher has made Franklin Toker Distinguished Professor of Art History, Architecture and Archaeology, which the chancellor called “the highest honor that the University can accord a member of the professorship.” Toker received the distinction for “extraordinary, internationally recognized scholarly attainment.” Toker joined the HAA faculty in 1980 and has published ten books, two of which were on the architecture and urbanism of Pittsburgh.

University of Pittsburgh Press Book By Jeanne Kisacky Wins Award

Jeanne Kisacky's book, "Rise of the Modern Hospital: An Architectural History of Health and Healing,1870-1940," has won the 2017 International Society for Landscape, Place, and Material Culture (ISLPMC) Fred B. Kniffen Award. The book was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press and was acquired by Abby Collier. The society seeks to encourage and recognize books by authors regarding material culture in North America. Named for the renowned geographer, Fred Kniffen, the prize in his honor is granted annually for the best book in the field published within two years of the award.

Project Led by Aaron Brenner Receives Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant

The University of Pittsburgh has been awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant of $224,761, with the University Library System (ULS) Coordinator of Digital Scholarship Aaron Brenner serving as principal investigator.

This National Leadership Grant is for a project that will develop public and academic libraries as key partners in civic open data ecosystems. The ULS, in collaboration with the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, hosted by the University Center for Social and Urban Research at Pitt; the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; and the Urban Institute will develop a guide and toolkit that will help libraries address needs, develop practices, anticipate challenges and learn from successful civic data partnerships.

David Beck Named Educator of the Year by Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants

David Beck, an assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, was recently recognized as Pennsylvania Educator of the Year by the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants.

Candidates for the award are nominated by students or peers for inspiring and challenging their students and colleagues.

Beck is an academic coordinator in the school’s Physician Assistant Studies program. His scholarly interests include application and evaluation of transformative learning in educating health professionals. He is also a guest reviewer and ongoing contributor to the Journal of Orthopedics for Physician Assistants.

Renata Mitchell Receives National Collegiate Honors Council’s Highest Student Award for Service to Diversity

Renata Mitchell has been awarded the Freddye T. Davy Student Scholarship, the National Collegiate Honors Council’s (NCHC) highest student award for service to diversity, the University Honors College announced. The $1,000 award was created to help students attend the NCHC Annual Conference, which takes place Nov. 8-12 in Atlanta. Mitchell is one of three students nationally to receive the award. Mitchell is a fourth-year undergraduate majoring in history and philosophy of science, with minors in classical studies and administration of justice, and certificates in children’s literature and medieval and renaissance studies.

She has participated in a study abroad program on Irish myths and legends at the University of Limerick in Ireland, and completed a Brackenridge Research Fellowship project focused on diversifying children’s literature. She supports LGBTQ youth as part of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, pushes campus sustainability initiatives through the Pitt Green Team and promotes literacy among children in underserved neighborhoods as a program coordinator with the Carnegie Library.

At the NCHC conference, Mitchell will network and attend workshops focused on honors education and diversity initiatives. She’ll also take notes and compile a report on how Pitt can strengthen its honors education and programs and become more diverse as an institution. 

Pitt Sophomore Receives Support to Study Epilepsy

Jacqueline Bridges is one of six undergraduates nationwide to be named a 2017 Education Enrichment Fund Scholar by Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). The scholarship supports those living with epilepsy or the family members and caregivers of those affected by the disease, funds personal research, coursework, tuition, awareness and/or advocacy.

Bridges, whose younger sister has epilepsy, said it has renewed her enthusiasm and motivation for studying neuroscience.

“Being able to learn more about the brain and what might be causing her to have seizures has been very eye-opening. Receiving this scholarship was an honor and I hope to make the foundation proud by continuing to learn about the causes of seizures as well as pursue a career in pediatric neurology.”

Pitt Police Officer to Be Honored at Senator John Heinz Law Enforcement Awards

Pitt Police Officer Mario Devine is among 18 area police officers to be honored Nov. 3 at the Senator John Heinz Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon. The annual event, hosted by the nonprofit Amen Corner, honors local law enforcement officers for heroic bravery and dedication above and beyond the call of duty.

Devine, who joined the Pitt Police in 2015, is being awarded an honorable mention for his off-duty rescue of a woman from the ledge of the Hulton Bridge in June. 

three women in front of the Cathedral

3 Learning Research and Development Center Grad Students Awarded University Research Grants

The University Research Council Research in Diversity program awarded three Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) graduate students for their projects.

Jamie Amemiya, with co-applicant and faculty advisor Ming-Te Wang, received a grant for “Promoting Cycles of Engagement: A Daily Diary Study of African American Adolescents’ Experiences of Teacher Critical Feedback and Engagement in Math Class.” Allison Liu will study “Bridging the minority achievement gap in mathematics: Testing a cognitive-based training program to improve number sense and math anxiety in underrepresented college students” with psychology faculty member Christian Schunn. And Emily Braham, with co-applicant and faculty advisor Melissa Libertus, received funding for “The Latino-White Math Achievement Gap: The Role of Toddlers’ Early Math Skills and Parents’ Math-Related Practices.”

Each project aims to develop or advance research in the area of diversity and inclusion, as well as promote interdisciplinary collaboration and new research partnerships. 2017 marks the first year of the Research in Diversity program, which awarded 31 projects submitted by both graduate students and faculty.