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Duck in a black shirt

Waverly Duck Publishes New Book, ‘Tacit Racism’

Waverly Duck, an associate professor with Pitt’s Department of Sociology in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, is co-author of a new book, “Tacit Racism.” The University of Chicago Press recently named the book as one of 11 it has published as a primer on police violence, educational inequity and institutional racism that help readers understand the history and context of racism in the United States.

The text lays out the many ways in which racism is coded into the everyday social interactions of Americans. Duck, and Anne Warfield Rawls, professor of sociology at Bentley University, argue that these interactions can produce racial inequality, whether the people involved are aware of it or not, and that by overlooking tacit racism in favor of the fiction of a “color-blind” nation, Americans are harming not only our society’s most disadvantaged—but also endangering the society itself. 

Ken Winterhalter in a light dress shirt

Katz Alumnus Named CEO of Seaman Paper Co.

Ken Winterhalter (KATZ ’93) has been named CEO and appointed to the Board of Directors of Seaman Paper Co. 

Winterhalter joins the Massachusetts-based manufacturer of specialty tissue papers with extensive global leadership experience in paper manufacturing, converting and distribution operations. 

He previously was CEO and President of Twin Rivers Paper Co. Prior to that, he was CEO and President of National Envelope, as well as President of U.S. Operations for Unisource Worldwide.

Winterhalter earned his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business in the evenings while working full time. 

“We feel extremely fortunate to have Ken join Seaman at such an important time in our company’s history,” said George Jones, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Seaman’s growth over the last decade has necessitated that we strengthen our ability to manage and optimize both operational and financial performance. Ken’s demonstrated ability to build sustainable businesses while simultaneously delivering operational efficiencies and market growth will help to successfully position the company for the future.”

Said Winterhalter, “I feel blessed to be joining such an historic, family-owned organization. The ‘people’ values and growth orientation in which they operate are entirely consistent with my core beliefs. I am thrilled to lead the organization through this exciting transition period.”

James McKone in a black suit

James McKone Selected as a 2020 Beckman Young Investigator

James McKone, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, was selected as a Beckman Young Investigator (BYI) by the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Foundation for his work recycling carbon dioxide into useful fuels and chemicals. 

He received funding from the BYI program to develop new catalysts and chemical reactors that can recycle carbon dioxide and other chemical wastes back into useful fuels and raw materials.

“We ultimately want to build a circular chemical economy—a sustainable approach to chemical manufacturing where every molecule that comes out of a smokestack or a tailpipe is captured and reused hundreds or thousands of times instead of being discarded as waste,” said McKone.

The BYI program provides research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of their academic careers in the chemical and life sciences. It challenges researchers to pursue innovative and high-risk projects that seek to make significant scientific advancements and open up new avenues of research in science.

Stein in a blue suit, white shirt and green tie

Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence Donating Printers to Pittsburgh Businesses

In an effort to help small businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions, Pitt’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) recently coordinated a program to donate office printers to Pittsburgh businesses. Last week, the institute was able to begin distribution to over 160 small businesses at a curb-side pickup event at the Pitt Mailing Services building in Homewood. 

“Right now, it’s important to get these underserved and impacted businesses the help they need to maintain operations and grow during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bob Stein (pictured), executive director of the institute. “These printers will help small business owners work from home or at the office. The IEE is committed to helping Pittsburgh-area businesses during these trying times.”

The effort is being coordinated with Pitt's purchasing department and Pitt Mailing Services. It’s also being coordinated through a partnership with HP and University-wide contracted suppliers Supra Office Solutions and Office Depot.

Sabine Deitrick against a red background in a beige jacket

Sabina Deitrick Appointed to Urban Affairs Association Distinguished Service Honor Roll

Sabina Deitrick, associate dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, was inducted to the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) Distinguished Service Honor Roll. She is among eight honorees recognized this year for the award, which honors the organization’s most impactful service leaders. Deitrick has been a UAA member for more than 20 years and has served as governing board treasurer, finance committee chair, local host chair and has been on numerous committees. Honorees will be formally inducted during the UAA Conference Awards in April 2021. 

Jeane Doperak in a light blue shirt

Pitt, UPMC Team Creates ‘Playbook’ for Athletics Return

A multidisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers at Pitt and UPMC has developed guidelines to assist coaches, athletic trainers and organizers with creating a safe environment for youth athletes, fans and staff as they consider a return to play.

The UPMC Youth Sports Playbook contains recommendations for establishing a minimal set of standards in several categories for resuming athletic programs, including pre-participation physicals, social distancing, equipment sanitization, personal protective equipment, acclimation phases, practice and competition tactics and illness protocols.

Among the people involved with the creation of the playbook are Jeane Doperak (pictured), assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery and program director for the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship; and MaCalus V. Hogan, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and vice chairman of education and residency program director.

Linda Tashbook in a pink top

Pitt Law’s Linda Tashbook Honored for Book on Mental Illness

Pitt International Law Librarian Linda Tashbook has received an award from the Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section (ALL-SIS) for her book Family Guide to Mental Illness and the Law. The 2020 ALL-SIS Publication Award recognizes “a significant non-periodical contribution to scholarly legal literature.”

Tashbook says she is highly honored to have her book recognized.

“Librarians, in general, are very discerning readers,” she said. “Law librarians in academic settings have especially high standards for quality. They expect to see very interesting writing, clear explanations of law, good organization and a clear purpose for the content.”

Tashbook’s volume does just that. It provides nuts-and-bolts legal information and problem-solving steps for millions of people who have family members battling mental illness. From helping a loved one prepare for a hearing, to ensuring they receive their medication in prison, the problems and possible solutions outlined in the book cover a wide range. The book also provides how-to boxes that assist families in navigating these roads. 

Writing the book was a natural for Tashbook, who began her career as the children’s librarian at the main Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Her outreach work—helping to supply books to homeless shelters that took in families—exposed her to a population with problems. Seeking to be a firmer advocate, she earned a degree from the Pitt School of Law, and has for years spent much of her time providing counsel to those who are struggling, as well as their loved ones.

Haley Fuller in a black top

Bioengineering Graduate Student Haley Fuller Receives Leadership and Service Award

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) presented Haley Fuller, vice president of the Swanson School of Engineering’s Engineering Graduate Student Organization, with the 2020 GPSG Leadership and Service Award. Fuller is a second-year graduate student in bioengineering.

The award recognizes current Pitt graduate and professional students’ service or leadership to the University, surrounding community, and world at large. 

Alumnus Brett Murphy (A&S ’14) Wins Prestigious Journalism Award

Pitt alumnus Brett Murphy (A&S ’14) has received a Livingston Award for international reporting for his article, “Show of Force,” published in USA Today.

The Livingston Awards, presented by the Wallace House at the University of Michigan, annually recognizes three journalists under the age of 35 for outstanding reporting in three categories: local, national and international reporting.

While working on “Show of Force,” Murphy reported from Azizabad, Afghanistan, investigating a 2008 U.S. military attack on its own forces that killed dozens of civilians—many of them children—and the following attempts from the U.S. Department of Defense to downplay the tragedy. According to USA Today, the investigation took more than a year to complete before it was published in 2019.

Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree from the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences' Department of English, minors in the departments of Political Science and Studio Arts, and a certificate in Public and Professional Writing. He also served as guest associate editor for Pitt Med magazine.

Lisa Schrieber in a black top

SCI Alumna Lisa Schreiber Named Among Top Women Leaders in Cybersecurity

Lisa Schreiber, alumna of the School of Computing and Information (SCI) and member of the school’s board of visitors, has been named one of the top 25 women leaders in cybersecurity of 2020 by The Software Report.

According to The Software Report, hundreds of women were nominated for this year’s list and were evaluated based on “demonstrated cybersecurity expertise, longevity in the industry, career progression and current position among other factors.”

Schreiber is a native of northwestern Pennsylvania and serves as the chief customer success officer for Forcepoint, a cyber security company.  She graduated from SCI with a degree in computer science. Her career has spanned startups and Fortune 500 companies.

The University of Pittsburgh campus, featuring the Cathedral of Learning

Climate Solutions Grant Will Aid Oakland Energy Master Plan

The University of Pittsburgh has been awarded a $2,600 Second Nature Climate Solutions Acceleration Fund grant that will help support energy modeling at the district level for Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood.

Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning, in partnership with the Green Building Alliance and Oakland institutions, is developing an Oakland Energy Master Plan to help the city and its universities reach their carbon reduction goals. 

The city has committed to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, from 2003 levels. 

Earlier this year, the University committed to become carbon neutral by 2037—the University’s 250th anniversary—by signing the Second Nature Climate Leadership Statement and Carbon Commitment. Pitt will build on the success of its ambitious Sustainability Plan and existing greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 22% between 2008 and 2017.

“Addressing global climate change is a vital issue—one that can’t be reduced to a single issue or a single panacea,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “I am thankful for Second Nature's support, which will advance our quest for carbon neutrality and our role in combating climate change in truly meaningful ways."

“We were positively overwhelmed and impressed with the quantity and quality of submitted proposals,” stated Tim Carter, president of Second Nature, in congratulating awardees. “It emphasized that even in the midst of a global pandemic, the higher education sector not only understands how crucial it is to continue to accelerate climate action, but is committed to doing so.”

Evan Facher in a light purple collared shirt and black suit

Pitt Ranks Among Top Recipients of U.S. University Patents

The University of Pittsburgh once again ranked among the top recipients of U.S. patents issued worldwide to universities in 2019, according to the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

The report ranks the top 100 universities named as first assignee on utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the 2019 calendar year. Pitt is in a three-way tie for the 28th spot with University of Maryland and the University of Massachusetts. 

“Pitt researchers are determined for their work to not only lead to new knowledge, but also make an impact on the world through commercial translation. An important step in that process is to protect the intellectual property inherent in their discoveries.” said Evan Facher, Pitt’s vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship and director of the Innovation Institute, which is responsible for the protection and licensing of intellectual property arising from Pitt research.

Alaina Roberts in a black top

Alaina E. Roberts Publishes Essay on Tulsa Massacre

Alaina E. Roberts, assistant professor in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences' Department of History, wrote an essay that appeared in History@Work, a blog of the National Council on Public History, on the commemoration of the Tulsa Massacre. 

The massacre, which occurred from May 31 to June 1, 1921, was an attack by White Americans on Black residents and their businesses in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in a wealthy community known as “Black Wall Street.” An estimated 100 to 300 African Americans were murdered.

In her essay, "Commemorating the Tulsa Massacre: A Search for Identity and Historical Complexity," Roberts discusses her personal connection to this point in history and the discovery of her Native American ancestry. According to Roberts, the broader historical context behind the massacre is not widely known—namely, the stories of the Native American and Black people who immigrated to and shaped the area almost a century before the massacre.

“Just as my research on Black-Native history helped me better understand myself and my career trajectory, the broader history behind the Tulsa Massacre allows us to better understand that Tulsa was a place shaped by its history of settlement by Native Americans and the people of African descent who lived within their nations,” Roberts said. “Acknowledgment of these intersections makes the process of telling and illustrating history more complex but also more accurate and inclusive.”

Roberts will further explore this topic in her upcoming book, “I’ve Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land,” which will be published in April 2021 by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Charleen Chu in a yellow top

Charleen Chu Wins Distinguished Educator Award

Charleen T. Chu, professor of pathology and the A. Julio Martinez Endowed Chair in Neuropathology, received the 2020 Robbins Distinguished Educator Award from the American Society for Investigative Pathology. The award recognizes individuals whose exemplary contributions to education in pathology have demonstrated a manifest impact at a national and international level.

Chu’s research focuses on understanding cellular, biochemical and molecular genetic mechanisms that contribute to neurodegeneration and neuroprotection. Her work has been recognized with other honors, including the Carnegie Science Emerging Female Scientist Award, election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation Honor Society and the ASIP Outstanding Investigator Award.

Shannon Wanless in a dark purple shirt

Shannon Wanless Co-Authors Book Chapter on Children and Racism

Shannon Wanless, director of the Office of Child Development in the School of Education, co-authored a chapter in an upcoming book, “The Legacy of Racism for Children.”

The book explores “the challenges that racial minority children face due to racism within US law and public policy,” and the interdisciplinary nature of the book’s context is meant for an audience of scholars and practitioners within psychology, sociology, social work, education, the legal system, criminal justice, public policy and race studies.

Wanless’ chapter focuses on the racial disproportionality in the school to prison pipeline. In it, she cites research by Pitt scholars past and present, with connections to the Center for Urban Education, School of Social Work, the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology, the School of Education and the Center on Race and Social Problems.

The book will be available on July 1, and it is currently available for pre-order.

Two people walk on Pitt's campus with the sun shining behind them

School of Pharmacy Helps Launch Collaborative Podcast Effort

The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association has partnered with Pharmacy Podcast Network to bring a series of podcasts designed to help community pharmacists implement change and practice transformation.  

The podcasts have been developed in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and their “Flip The Pharmacy” team and paid for through grant funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association.  

The series, titled "Beyond the Sig,” will feature pharmacy industry leaders, pharmacy owners, academia, student pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to showcase the transformation of pharmacy. 

Dara Mendez in a royal blue top

Epidemiology’s Dara Mendez Featured in Webinar on COVID-19

Dara Mendez, assistant professor of epidemiology in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health, was recently featured on a webinar hosted by 1Hood Media and UrbanKindInstitute to talk about COVID-19 and Black communities in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The interview covered COVID-19 inequities, testing and contact tracing. 

Mendez is on the Black COVID-19 Equity Coalition and ACHD/DHS COVID Advisory Committee and is collaborating with birth and maternal health experts in the community on a new virtual doula program to support pregnant people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the full episode, visit 1Hood Media’s Facebook page.

Hayley Germack in a burgundy sweater

Hayley Germack Leads Blog on Nurse Practitioner Practice During COVID-19 Pandemic

Hayley Germack, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, leads a blog with two other members of the AcademyHealth Interdisciplinary Research Group on Nursing Issues that illustrates the important impact of recent policy changes on the ability of nurse practitioners to deliver care to vulnerable populations most impacted by the coronavirus. 

At Pitt, Germack has taught health policy, quantitative methods,and community based participatory research to undergraduate students and nurses. Her research focuses on eliminating the mortality gap for patients with serious mental illness by increasing access to primary care services, as well as examining the role of the interprofessional behavioral health and primary care play in providing holistic care to this vulnerable population.

Evan Facher in a black suit and light purple collared shirt

LifeX Offering Wet Lab Space for Pittsburgh Science Startups

LifeX Labs, which offers various resources to help new life sciences companies in Pittsburgh thrive, is now offering wet laboratory space to grow Southwestern Pennsylvania’s life sciences ecosystem. LifeX Labs is supported by the University of Pittsburgh, Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

The addition of the lab facilities in the Chocolate Factory of the city’s Lawrenceville neighborhood, scheduled to open in June, highlights an expanding suite of programs and resources for early stage life sciences startups provided by LifeX Labs.

"Securing affordable, flexible lab space is one of the biggest obstacles to growing a biotech company,” said Evan Facher, interim CEO of LifeX Labs and director of Pitt’s Innovation Institute. “We believe that offering physical space in conjunction with a robust resource network and solid training opportunities will accelerate commercialization timelines for the Pittsburgh region’s growing life science sector.”

Celedón in a dark suit

Juan C. Celedón Named President of American Thoracic Society

Juan C. Celedón was recently named president of the American Thoracic Society for the 2020-21 term. Celedón is the Niels K. Jerne Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and chief of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

His research focuses on asthma, COPD and health disparities in airway diseases. Celedón’s scientific contributions have been acknowledged through his election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, as well as through the ATS Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishments, among other honors.