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November 15, 2017
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.
November 13, 2017
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.
November 13, 2017
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.
November 13, 2017
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.
November 10, 2017
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.
November 7, 2017
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.
November 7, 2017
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.
November 7, 2017
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.
November 1, 2017
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.”
November 1, 2017
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.
October 31, 2017
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.
October 25, 2017
Donald Yealy Elected to National Academy of Medicine
Donald Yealy, chair of emergency medicine at UPMC and professor of medicine and clinical and translational sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
“This is a wonderful honor, being selected to join a highly accomplished group of leaders and innovators in medicine,” Yealy said. “I am blessed to have been taught by, worked alongside and shared opportunities with the best in Pittsburgh; giving care and creating new knowledge about how to better care for those with acute illness or injury, always supported by my family. That is really ‘who’ is selected, not me.”
The academy addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine and related policy and inspires positive actions across sectors. Yealy was among 70 new members recognized for outstanding contributions to the health sciences and public health.
October 25, 2017
Office of Child Development Honored with UPSIDE Award
The Office of Child Development (OCD) has been awarded the Chancellor’s University Prize for Strategic, Inclusive and Diverse Excellence (UPSIDE) Award. The honor — formerly known as the Chancellor’s Affirmative Action Award — acknowledges university departments, units and programs that strive for excellence in diversity and inclusion.
Established in 1986, the Office of Child Development, a community engagement program of the School of Education, works to develop resources to improve the lives of children and families in key areas. Kathy W. Humphrey, Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for engagement and chief of staff, and Pamela Connelly, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, presented the award to OCD’s senior leadership.
October 23, 2017
Larry E. Davis Earns Career Achievement Honors
Pitt’s School of Social Work Dean Larry E. Davis has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Nabhi Christian Ministries of Lincoln/Larimer for his work in strengthening communities, one of two recognitions he has recently received.
“We are so pleased to honor Dean Davis,” said the Rev. Jacque Fielder, pastor of Nabhi Christian Ministries. “His accomplishments at Pitt and in many more realms throughout his lifetime make him an ideal candidate for this award.”
The Ministries’ mission is to “build safe pathways for the healthy development of children victimized by or exposed to drugs, violence, and other harsh environments in Allegheny County.”
Davis was recognized this month at the Ministries’ awards dinner. It was the 20th year the organization has awarded community members.
Davis is also the recipient of the 2018 Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Distinguished Career Achievement Award, which will be presented to him in January at the SSWR annual conference in Washington, D.C. The honor cites Davis’ outstanding scholarship, impact on the profession and major contributions to social work knowledge development.
October 23, 2017
Wheelchair Testing Methods Receives $5 Million in Funding
Research by University of Pittsburgh professors that will develop new test methods for wheelchairs and seating systems was recently awarded nearly $5 million through the National Institute on Disability’s Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) program.
Test methods to be researched will address stability, rolling resistance, durability and overall product performance in wheelchairs. The goal is to benefit clinicians and consumers during the selection of seating and mobility technology and enhance rehabilitation services.
October 23, 2017
Pitt Physics and Astronomy Professors Elected American Physical Society Fellows
Pitt Physics and Astronomy professors Adam K. Leibovich and W. Vincent Liu have been elected 2017 Fellows of the American Physical Society for their work in the divisions of particles and fields and atomic, molecular and optical physics.
Liu, a condensed matter theorist, was recognized for elucidating Landau damping of collective excitations in Bose-Einstein condensates, advancing the study of spin-polarized Fermi gases by introducing the concept of breached pair superfluidity, pioneering the theory of higher orbital bands in optical lattices and working with experimentalists to confirm the theory.
Leibovich, a high energy theorist who also serves as associate dean for faculty affairs in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, was cited for pioneering contributions to the heavy quark effective field theory and its application to the color-octet mechanism for quarkonium production.
October 20, 2017
Rutenbar Honored for Distinguished Contributions to Electronic System Design
Senior Vice Chancellor for Research Rob A. Rutenbar has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Phil Kaufman Award for Distinguished Contributions to Electronic System Design. Rutenbar is being honored for his academic and entrepreneurial contributions to algorithms and tools for analog and mixed-signal designs.
As an academic, he developed a range of fundamental models, algorithms and tools for analog integrated circuit designs. As an entrepreneur, he cofounded Neolinear, an analog tool company, to bring his research efforts to the larger design community.
The Kaufman award is presented annually by the Electronic System Design Alliance and the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation and honors individuals who have had a demonstrable impact on the field of electronic system design through technology innovations, education/mentoring or business or industry leadership. The award is a tribute to the late Phil Kaufman, an industry pioneer who turned innovative technologies into commercial businesses that have benefited electronic designers.
Rutenbar will be honored at an award ceremony on Feb. 8, 2018, in Silicon Valley, California.
October 18, 2017
Africana Studies Faculty Member Recognized by the Association for Africanist Anthropology
Yolanda Covington-Ward, an associate professor of Africana Studies, has been honored with the Elliot P. Skinner Book Award from the Association for Africanist Anthropology. She will be recognized during the association’s annual meeting in November 2017. Given annually, the award acknowledges scholars in Africanist anthropology whose books make significant advances in ethnographic and theoretical scholarship. This year’s honor recognizes her book, "Gesture and Power: Religion Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo," which examines the BisiKongo ethnic group and shows how their gestures, dances and spirituality are critical to mobilizing social and political action.
Covington-Ward holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Anthropology. She also is an affiliated faculty member in the Global Studies Center, the African Studies Program, and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program. Covington Ward’s research examines the dynamic multidirectional relationship between physical bodies and individual and group identity.
October 18, 2017
Alyson Stover Receives Occupational Therapy Award
Assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Alyson Stover recently received the Occupational Therapy Award of Recognition from the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association.
The award recognizes an occupational therapist whose knowledge and expertise have made a significant contribution to the profession of occupational therapy and provides an incentive to contribute to the development and growth of occupational therapy and the association. Stover teaches in the Pitt's Department of Occupational Therapy and the Undergraduate Program in Rehabilitation Science.
October 18, 2017
Scott R. Beach Awarded NIH Grant to Study Financial Exploitation of Seniors
Scott R. Beach has been awarded a five-year $3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study will explore risk factors for financial frauds and scams in 700 adults age 60 and older. Financial exploitation is an increasing threat to the economic security of older adults. The study will explore cognitive decline, financial skills deficits and psychosocial factors as potential pathways to financial exploitation, and will potentially contribute to the development of interventions to heighten awareness and minimize risk.
Beach is the interim director of the University Center for Social and Urban Research and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychology. A Pitt faculty member since 1997, he has scholarly interests in the areas of aging and caregiver stress, elder abuse, and technology and aging. Beach has published his findings in these areas in such noted publications as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), The Gerontologist, and the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.