Accolades

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Kay Brummond in a black top

Kay Brummond Wins Award for Encouraging Women into the Chemical Sciences

Kay Brummond, associate dean for faculty in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and professor in the school’s Department of Chemistry, is the recipient of the 2021 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.

In particular, ACS recognized Brummond “for serving as a pathfinder, an agent of change and mentor to women at all stages of their careers in the chemical sciences.”

In articulating to the ACS leadership her goals for the next decade, Brummond said, “I hope to prepare the next generation of chemists with practical skills in synthetic, organic and computational chemistries to thrive in highly collaborative and team-oriented environments. As an active researcher and academic leader, I hope to close diversity, equality and inclusion gaps in the sciences.”

Brummond’s scholarly endeavors have been honored with awards including the 2015 ACS Pittsburgh Award, the 2003 Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award, the 2007 ACS Akron Section Award, the 2007 Carnegie Science Center Emerging Female Scientist Award and the 2005 Johnson & Johnson Focused Giving Award. She was named the 2016 Diversity Catalyst Lecturer by the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity in recognition of her efforts to enhance their departmental climate for diversity and inclusion through inclusive policies, procedures and actions. She has been recognized in Chemical & Engineering News for her efforts to increase the representation of women among chemistry faculty at PhD-granting universities. Brummond began as associate dean of faculty of the Dietrich School in 2017. 

The Cathedral of Learning behind flowers

Pitt to Host New Oncology Summer Internship for Medical Students

As part of its ongoing efforts to increase the diversity of the oncology workforce, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is launching a new internship program for medical students from populations underrepresented in medicine (UIM), and announced that Pitt was selected to serve as a host in the inaugural Oncology Summer Internship (OSI) program.

The National Academy of Medicine has recognized the need to diversify the physician workforce as a way to improve health disparities. While the U.S. population is more than 13% Black and 19% Hispanic or Latino, only 5% of practicing physicians are Black and 5.8% are Hispanic/Latino. An even greater disparity exists in oncology; only 3% of practicing oncologists are Black and only 4.7% are Hispanic or Latino.

The OSI is an immersive, four-week summer internship for rising second year UIM medical students. More than 30 students that attend the host medical schools will participate in the 2021 internship, which will feature a hybrid curriculum developed by mentoring and education experts serving on ASCO’s OSI Advisory Group.

Each day, students will participate in ASCO-hosted virtual education seminars led by national leaders in oncology and will accompany and learn from oncology faculty at their medical school or in their local area. Students will also be matched with a virtual mentor who will meet with them weekly to provide guidance, answer questions and support their career growth. Networking and social events will be offered several times per week so that students can network with oncology mentors and interact with fellow OSI students to build connections within their own medical schools and across the country. 

Other selected medical schools include: The Ohio State University, University of Arizona Health Sciences College of Medicine—Tucson, University of California San Francisco and University of Rochester.

A female student studying

2021 Doctoral Mentoring Awards Announced

Four graduate students were recognized for a 2021 Doctoral Mentoring Award this year.

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring annually recognizes outstanding mentoring of graduate students seeking a research doctorate degree. Up to four awards are made each year. Each Provost’s Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring will consist of a cash prize to the graduate faculty member of $2,500 to recognize excellence in mentoring. All persons selected for this award will be honored publicly.

2021 Doctoral Mentoring Award Recipients

  • Tia-Lynn Ashman, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, biological sciences
  • Robert Batterman, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, philosophy
  • Yvette Conley, School of Nursing, health promotion and development
  • Martin Weiss, School of Computing and Information, informatics and networked systems
A gold circle that says "Stars" in the middle

Pitt Sustainability Efforts Recognized With Gold Rating

Three years after achieving its first ever Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (AASHE STARS) rating of silver, Pitt is proud to again be recognized for its sustainability accomplishments over the last three years with an AASHE STARS gold rating, valid through 2024.

AASHE’s STARS is a transparent framework for colleges and universities to measure and benchmark their sustainability performance across all aspects of higher education. Pitt’s gold rating is based on strong achievements from 2018 to 2021 in five areas: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

Among Pitt’s many sustainability initiatives, three points of distinction celebrate the lowest total energy use per square foot in fiscal year 2020, the new anti-Black racism course for all first year students and Pitt's Cool Food Pledge to cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2030.

“While the 2018 Pitt Sustainability Plan provides the strategic framework and goals for creating a culture of sustainability at Pitt and in Pittsburgh,” said Aurora Sharrard, director of sustainability, “our AASHE STARS gold designation is a demonstration to the Pitt community, University partners and our higher education peers that we are making serious progress balancing equity, environment and economics so that current and future generations can thrive.”

A panther statue

Pitt Professors to Examine COVID-19 Measures’ Impact on Opioid Use Disorder Populations, Providers

The University of Pittsburgh, NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the University of Arizona will assess the impact of COVID-19 measures on providers and at-risk opioid use disorder populations in Pennsylvania, New York and Arizona.

Antoine Douaihy, professor of psychiatry and medicine, and Janice Pringle, professor of pharmacy and therapeutics, are leading Pitt’s efforts.

In 2017, Pennsylvania designated 45 primary care providers, hospitals, community health centers and substance use disorder treatment providers as Centers of Excellence for Opioid Use Disorder. The University of Pittsburgh will examine how providers at these whole person, integrated care centers implemented COVID-19-policies related to providing medications for opioid use disorder and telehealth services. The project will look at the impact of temporary COVID-19 policies on opioid use disorder treatment, workforce morale and patient outcomes.

Pitt's researchers received $100,000 as a part of a larger project by the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts to assess the impact of COVID-19 on opioid use disorder treatment and equity.

A panther fountain

Valerie Kinloch and Eleanor Feingold Selected for American Council on Education Fellowship

Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the School of Education Valerie Kinloch and Executive Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Public Health Eleanor Feingold were both named fellows in the American Council on Education’s (ACE) 2021-22 class.

The ACE Fellows Program is the longest-running, cohort-based higher education leadership development program in the United States. Many of its alumni are now university presidents and provosts.

Acceptance into the ACE Fellows Program is extremely competitive at the national level. The 2021-22 cohort has 52 college and university leaders.

The ACE Fellowship Program is distinctive for its mentorship model. The fellowship combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations and a placement experience at another higher education institution. It is designed to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.

During the placement experience, ACE fellows will select a university president to serve as their mentor. The fellows will observe and work with the president and other senior officers at their host institution, attend decision-making meetings, and focus on issues of interest.

Finger pointing at map

Six Pitt Students Finalists for Critical Language Scholarship

Six finalists for the U.S. Department of State’s 2021 Critical Language Scholarship are students at the University of Pittsburgh—five undergraduate and one graduate.

The finalists are:

  • Nathan Aaron, Chinese and emergency medicine
  • Maya Best, international and area studies, anthropology, English nonfiction writing 
  • Helen Bovi, Mandarin and philosophy
  • Abby Lombardi, media and professional communications; international and area studies
  • Lynnea Lombardi, master of education
  • Maria Lucy, Japanese and education
     

According to the Department of State, “The Critical Language Scholarship Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 15 critical languages. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains.”

Finalists for the 2021 CLS Program were selected from a diverse pool of over 4,600 applicants, representing all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. They represented 628 different higher education institutions across the country, including 151 minority-serving institutions, 14 historically Black colleges and universities and 57 community colleges.

Doris Rubio in a black top

Doris Rubio Receives Diversity and Inclusion Award

Doris Rubio, received the 2021 Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) Award for Contributing to the Diversity and Inclusiveness of the Translational Workforce. ACTS presents its annual Translational Science Awards to recognize investigators for their outstanding contributions to the clinical research and translational science field.

Rubio has been committed to the mentorship and development of faculty of color and women in science in her role as assistant vice chancellor for clinical research education and training for the health sciences and director of the Institute for Clinical Research Education. With the goal of addressing the limited number of people who are underrepresented in science, she started the LEADS (Leading Emerging and Diverse Scientists to Success) program at Pitt. Additionally, she has a U01 funded by the National Institutes of Health’s Diversity Program Consortium to test an intervention for underrepresented biomedical researchers to help launch their research careers. Among other honors, she recently received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award given her work on diversifying the workforce.

“These awards reflect the outstanding contributions of our community of clinical and translational scientists, and their enduring commitment to healing and to the health of the world,” said ACTS President Christopher Lindsell.

The Cathedral of Learning behind flowers

2021 Sustainability Champions Named

Twenty-five members of the University community have been selected as Pitt Sustainability Champions in recognition of their leadership and commitment to sustainability in 2021. 

They are:

  • Undergraduate students, all from the Class of 2021: Hannah Chen, Department of Health Information Management; Anna Coleman, Global Studies; Julianna Cooper, Department of Geology and Environmental Science, Department of Political Science in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; Maya Knee, Department of French and Italian, Department of Political Science; and Zachary Delaney, Sydney DuBose, Anfernee La Cruz, Liz Logan, Gabrielle Sampson and Louis Tierno, all of the Department of Geology and Environmental Science.
  • Graduate students: Eric Raabe, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, CONNECT; Jessica Vaden, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering; and Kelsey Wolfe, Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, Office of PittServes.
  • Faculty: Tony Kerzmann, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Swanson School of Engineering.
  • Staff: Kimberly Barlow, Office of University Communications and Marketing; Caitlin Courtney, Timothy Howland and William Parker, all of Pitt Eats; Joshua Jones, Department of Chemistry; Will Mitchell, Facilities Management; Kristin Olexa, Purchasing Services; Monica Rattigan, University Store on Fifth; Meagan Sotirokos, Maggie & Stella’s; and Ciara Stehley and Dez Stuart of the Office of PittServes.
     

Winners were selected by a review team, based on nominations by members of the Pitt community. The 25 awardees will be acknowledged during the April 23 Spring Sustainability Symposium and will receive a sustainability care package and an award made of reclaimed wood in recognition of their achievement.

Lisa Garland in a scarf and light blue jacket

Lisa Garland Recognized for Work by National Association of African Americans in Human Resources

The Office of Human Resources’ Lisa Garland was recently recognized for her efforts as a person of color breaking glass ceilings in the modern workplace by the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR), Pittsburgh chapter.

As OHR’s director of talent acquisition, Garland oversees hiring and onboarding for more than 8,000 staff positions across the University.

She has previously been recognized as a 2012 New Pittsburgh Courier 50 Women of Excellence honoree.

LaMonica Wiggins in a gray top

Pittsburgh Area Teen Entrepreneurs Shine at Pitch Competition

Five area teenagers came up winners in The Lunchroom Social Innovation Competition, a new eight-week program for young people developed by Pitt entrepreneurship librarian LaMonica Wiggins (pictured) and the nonprofit School 2 Career, a program of the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation.

Wiggins created the innovation pitch competition to teach students the basic business skills needed to launch a social or tech-based venture. A Hill District Community Engagement Center STEAM Studio Team Project seed grant provided the funding.

Lunchroom participants met weekly with Pittsburgh-based entrepreneurs and practitioners to learn about business planning, customer discovery, pitching, product creation and the nuances of starting a social enterprise. Guest speakers included Pitt alum Samir Lakhani of Eco-Soap Bank, John Cordier of Epistemix and mentors from Pitt’s Small Business Development Center and Open Lab. In March, seven students pitched their start-up plans to a panel of judges and five of them were awarded cash prizes for the following:

Grand prize: Pittsburgh Westinghouse senior Ry’Nique Durham for her idea of an app for teens who have juvenile diabetes to find support groups, recipes, and area restaurants and stores that stock sugar-free treats.

First runner-up: Provident Charter School seventh-grader Jazmiere Bates for her business that sells custom apparel for house pets to raise money for local pet food drives.

Second runner-up: Pittsburgh Taylor Allderdice senior Tomi Taiwo for her idea of custom-made kits of sustainable products, such as LED bulbs and plant-based trash bags, delivered to Black women ages 25 to 50.

Third runner-up: Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy sophomore Rae’Nell Durham for her idea for a nonprofit that connects teens of color suffering from anxiety and depression with therapists of color.

Honorable mention: Pittsburgh Milliones freshman Trinidy Manison for her face masks fitted with a silicone filter that holds the cloth away from the face to assist those with respiratory problems.

Ming-Te Wang in a red sweater and white dress shirt

Ming-Te Wang Garners Two Research Excellence Awards

Ming-Te Wang, professor in the School of Education, professor of psychology in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center, has been awarded the Distinguished Research Award for Human Development and Learning from the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The award recognizes scholars who strive to improve the educational process through scholarly inquiry and dissemination of research results. Wang received the award for a series of three meta-analytic articles on parental ethnic-racial socialization and youth of color’s developmental outcomes.  

Wang is also the recipient of the 2021 Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Excellence in Research Award. The SSWR award recognizes social work research that advances knowledge with direct applications to practice, policy and the resolution of social problems. The award was granted for Wang’s publication “Parental Ethnic-Racial Socialization Practices and the Construction of Children of Color’s Ethnic-Racial Identity: A Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis.”

Wang’s research on racialized experiences of children of color has also been recently recognized by a Heinz Endowment grant. In this work, Wang, with co-principal investigator James Huguley, interim director of the Center on Race and Social Problems and assistant professor in the School of Social Work, received a $500,000 grant from The Heinz Endowments. The Heinz grant will support continued work on a school discipline program Wang and Huguley have implemented in the Woodland Hills Intermediate School, the Just Discipline project. Just Discipline builds on research on racialized experiences in school contexts and is designed to reduce out-of-school suspensions. This is the third consecutive grant that Wang and Huguley have received from The Heinz Endowments, totaling $1 million dollars. Wang and Huguley will work in collaboration with the Pitt School of Social Work’s Center on Race and Social Problems, the School of Education’s Motivation Center and the Woodland Hills School District in this research-to-practice partnership.  

Maximilian Schuster in a black suit and tie

Maximilian Schuster Receives Research Award for Campus Climate Study

Maximilian Schuster, assistant professor of practice in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, was selected for the 2021 Excellence in Research Award by the NASPA Orientation, Retention and Transition Knowledge Community.

Schuster received the award for his article “‘An Experience Unlike Any Other’: The Experiences of First-Year Students with Minoritized Identities with Campus Climate During the 2016 Presidential Election,” which appeared in the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education in June 2020.

NASPA’s research award recognizes exemplary research that practitioners can use to improve student services in the areas of orientation, transition, and retention within higher education institutions.

“It’s an honor to be recognized with this distinction from NASPA, the leading professional association for student affairs,” says Schuster.

Schuster will be honored during the 2021 virtual NASPA Annual Conference, which is scheduled from March 17-21.

His award-winning paper examined a tumultuous time on college campuses across America: the 2016 presidential election.

Using a campus climate framework, the qualitative study reported on the experiences of 17 first-year students with minoritized identities amid this divisive political context. The students, who included people of color and LGBTQ+ students, were from an urban university within a battleground state.

The study found that students with minoritized identities experienced increased hostilities within this political context. To contend with this negativity, the students engaged in forms of activism. Their activism allowed them to rebuff the hostilities they were experiencing, raise awareness of their own identity and foster stronger peer connections. 

Schuster was previously selected for the 2019-20 NASPA Emerging Faculty Leader Academy. The one-year program is for early-career faculty in student affairs and higher education graduate programs. 

Chad Jurica in a blue suit and white collared shirt and tie

Chad Jurica Recognized for Professional Achievement

Chad Jurica, disability specialist in Disability Resources and Services, was recently awarded the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) College of Education and Communications (COEC) IMPACT Award. The COEC IMPACT Awards recognize COEC alumni for their outstanding achievement in their profession and their leadership in their discipline or community.

He has worked the past 11 years in advising and disability support services. In addition to his disability services responsibilities at the University of Pittsburgh, Chad is involved with Staff Council and completed the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program through the University of Pittsburgh’s Faculty and Staff Development program. Chad sits on the Sexual Assault Task Force and is an active member of the Survivor’s Support Network and the Allies Network.

Within the disability services community, Chad sits on the board of Academic Success Advocates, a nonprofit organization supporting parents of children with special needs.

Adriana Kovashka in front of trees

Adriana Kovashka’s Research Aims to 'Teach' Computers Object Detection

Adriana Kovashka, assistant professor of computer science in Pitt's School of Computing and Information, recently received an National Science Foundation CAREER Award to develop a framework to train computer vision models for the detection of objects from weak, naturally-occurring supervision in the form of text or speech language and additional multimodal signals.

The framework considers dynamic settings, where humans interact with their visual environment and refer to the encountered objects, such as: “Carefully put the tomato plants in the ground,” and “Please put the phone down and come set the table,” as well as captions written for a human audience to complement an image, like news article captions.

The project will benefit society by exploring novel avenues for overcoming this challenge and reducing the need for expensive and potentially unnatural crowdsourced labels for training.

Cynthia Kenyon in a blue scarf

School of Medicine Awards Cynthia Kenyon Highest Honor

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine recently presented its highest honor, the Dickson Prize in Medicine, to Cynthia Kenyon, a molecular biologist whose research has redefined society's understanding of aging.

The Dickson Prize is awarded annually to an American biomedical researcher who has made significant, progressive contributions to medicine. The award consists of a specially commissioned medal, a $50,000 honorarium and an invitation to present the Dickson Prize Lecture on Pitt's campus. Kenyon is a professor emeritus in biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the date of Kenyon’s lecture has not yet been determined.

“It is our honor to present Dr. Kenyon with the School of Medicine’s most prestigious award,” said Anantha Shekhar, Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of Medicine. “Undoubtedly, Dr. Kenyon has fundamentally shaped our understanding of aging biology. Her work to overturn long-held assumptions about the aging process and her discovery of molecular mechanisms that modulate aging demonstrate the exceptional and influential research that the Dickson Prize recognizes.”

Victoria Hall

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Pitt's Doctor of Nursing Practice Program No. 6 in U.S.

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate School Rankings, released on March 30, places the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at sixth in the nation. The program came up two spots from eighth in last year’s rankings.

Pitt Nursing’s Health Systems Executive Leadership Doctor of Nursing Practice concentration is now ranked fourth in the nation.

These rankings represent a weighted average of indicators that include peer assessment, student selectivity and achievement, mean grade-point average, acceptance rate, student-faculty ratio, faculty credentials and academic achievements, and research activity.

Earlier this month, QS World University Rankings by Subject ranked Pitt Nursing 21st in the world, and 11th in the United States. The school’s research focus also has received recent recognition, maintaining its position of sixth place among schools of nursing receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Karen Bursic in a blue top with a dark jacket

Karen Bursic Wins Grant Award for Best Paper in The Engineering Economist

The Engineering Economist recently published an article by Karen Bursic, associate professor of industrial engineering and undergraduate program director at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, that evaluates a concept inventory to determine students’ learning in engineering economy courses. The article, “An Engineering Economy Concept Inventory,” was recently awarded the Grant Award, an award given annually by the Engineering Economy Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

“With all the changes in engineering education, like flipped classrooms or problem-based learning, it’s especially important to have an unbiased, targeted assessment tool to make sure students are learning important core concepts,” said Bursic. “The Engineering Economy Concept Inventory I have developed can help instructors understand whether the pedagogical changes they make to their course have been effective.”

Papers considered for the Grant Award are evaluated on originality, importance of the problem they address, logic and clarity, and adequacy of the proposed solution. The award includes a cash prize of $1,000.

Bursic will receive the award at the ASEE conference in Long Beach, California, on July 28, 2021.

Hands on a laptop

Pitt Student Team Places 3rd in Global Health Case Competition

A team of five undergraduate students and one graduate student from the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing and the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences won third place at the Emory Morningside Global Health Case Competition.

  • Eva Brady (junior, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences); 
  • Haley Marra (junior, School of Nursing); 
  • Vishan Ramanathan (senior, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences); 
  • Sophie Tayade (senior, School of Rehabilitation Sciences); 
  • Naomi Gurewitsch (junior, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences). 
  • Emily Crisan (first year graduate student, Graduate School of Public Health).

The student team’s winning project, “The Forward Project, Addressing the COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Japan,” offers an innovative plan for vaccine distribution focused on matters of equity while addressing vaccine hesitancy. The team was coached by Cynthia Salter, assistant professor of behavioral and community health sciences and interim director of the Center for Global Health, and Elizabeth Van Nostrand, associate professor in GSPH and director of the master of public health (MPH) and JD/MPH programs. 

The Emory Morningside Global Health Case Competition challenged 52 multidisciplinary student teams from universities representing 15 countries and six continents to develop plans for COVID-19 vaccination programs that innovate solutions to overcome challenges such as vaccine hesitancy and inequitable distribution. According to Emory, “this year’s case challenge asked student teams to design a country-wide vaccination program for one of four countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Japan or Nigeria.”

Hands on a laptop

Spring 2021 Pitt Cyber Accelerator Grant Recipients Announced

Pitt Cyber announced the 2021 awardees for its Accelerator Grant program. The grants provide initial funding for novel and innovative multidisciplinary efforts that advance Pitt Cyber’s mission:  to bring the breadth of one of the world’s leading public research universities to bear on the critical questions of networks, data and algorithms, with a focus on the ever-changing gaps among law, policy and technology.

Influencing Detection through Multimodal Discourse and Vividness Analysis 

Aim: To pilot the methods and ideas for extracting or completing agendas, detecting concerns and emotions, and modeling different types of vividness. 

  • Adriana Kovashka, assistant professor, computer science, School of Computing and Information 
  • Diane Litman, professor, computer science, School of Computing and Information 
  • Rebecca Hwa, professor, computer science, School of Computing and Information 
  • Malihe Alikhani, assistant professor, computer science, School of Computing and Information  
  • Yu-Ru Lin, associate professor, informatics and networked systems, School of Computing and Information 
  • Tessa Provins, assistant professor, political science, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences 
  • Jeffrey Cohn, professor, psychology, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences 

The Pittsburgh Data Jam: Increasing Data Science Education in High Schools

Aim: To test the effectiveness of a high school data science curriculum.  

  • Judy Cameron, professor, psychiatry, School of Medicine 
  • Bryan Nelson, assistant instructor, statistics, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences 
  • Thomas Akiva, associate professor, human health and development, School of Education  

Framework for Qualitative Research into Social Media and Misinformation:  A Relational/Ecosystemic Approach 

Aim: To develop protocols for conducting qualitative research into the dynamics of disinformation in social media spaces, ensuring that research is transparent, ethical and documented in ways that are consistent with data privacy as well as academic disciplinary standards. 

  • Lara Putnam, UCIS Research Professor of History, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences 
  • Rosta Farzan, associate professor and associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, School of Computing and Information 
  • Mehr Latif, postdoctoral research associate, sociology, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences 

Modeling the Effect of Disinformation on COVID-19 Vaccination Discourse in Online Social Networks

Aim: To investigate and model how disinformation propagates through online social networks and how it affects discourse and beliefs related to COVID-19 vaccination topics. 

  • Malihe Alikhani, assistant professor, computer science, School of Computing and Information 
  • Dmitriy Babichenko, clinical associate professor, informatics and networked systems, School of Computing and Information 
  • Kar-Hai Chu, associate professor, behavioral and community health sciences, Graduate School of Public Health 
  • Michael Colaresi, William S. Dietrich II Professor, political science, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; Pitt Cyber research and academic director; affiliate scholar, Intelligent Systems Program 
  • Jason Colditz, research project manager, PhD candidate and instructor, Institute for Clinical Research Education, School of Medicine 
  • Beth Hoffman, graduate student researcher, Institute for Clinical Research Education, School of Medicine 
  • Patrick Healy, PhD candidate, School of Computing and Information 
  • Jaime Sidani, assistant professor, general internal medicine, School of Medicine