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February 4, 2010

People of the Times

The College Art Association (CAA) has awarded its 2009 Frank Jewett Mather Award to Terry Smith,terrysmith Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory, for his recent book, “What Is Contemporary Art?”

Smith’s book was cited by CAA as a significant art criticism work. According to the association, the book “contains a series of interrelated  essays that unpack a range of topics and issues and take the reader on a theoretical tour through some of the world’s most influential art museums, laying bare their conflicted missions and studying the heightening distinction and dispute between modern and contemporary art.”

Linda Winkler, vice president for Academic Affairs and a lwinklerfaculty member in anthropology and biology at Pitt-Titusville, has been invited to serve as a reviewer for the 2010 funding cycle of the National Science Foundation. She will review grants submitted to the graduate research fellowship program as part of a panel of faculty and scientists.

The review panels are organized by specialty or academic area and generally are composed of 15-25 reviewers from across the United States, representing hundreds of universities. Each panel reviews more than 500 grant proposals submitted by students seeking support for graduate school and research projects.

George Klinzing, vice provost for research, has been named to the board of directors of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, which provides capital investments and customized company formation and business growth services to the region’s life sciences enterprises, particularly those with promising innovations in biotechnology tools, diagnostics, health care IT, medical devicesand therapeutics.

Current board member Chancellor Mark Nordenberg will transition into the role of director emeritus.

“The Odds,” a mystery thriller by Kathleen George, Georgea faculty member in theatre arts, is a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award as best novel of the year.

The “Edgars” are presented by the Mystery Writers of America and honor the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction and television published and produced in 2009. This year marks the 64th year of the competition.

George’s novel  features Pittsburgh detectives Colleen Greer and John Potocki and “is also a poignant tale of four abandoned children struggling to live with dignity against all odds.”

The winner of the award will be announced in April.

The following faculty members from the School of Dental Medicine are among those who recently have been honored for their achievements:

• Joseph Giovannitti Jr., director of anesthesia services in the Center for Patients with Special Needs and acting chair of the Department of Dental Anesthesiology, was named president of the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology.

• Edward Heinrichs of the Department of Periodontics and Preventive Dentistry has been named a faculty member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, a national dental honor society. Faculty membership is bestowed upon dental school faculty who have made an outstanding contribution to the art, science or literature of dentistry,  and  have  at  least  six years of teaching experience.

• Herbert Ray of the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Comprehensive Care, who is interim director of the endodontic residency program, was named a fellow of the International College of Dentists. The college serves to advance the art and science of dentistry for the health and welfare of patients across the world.

• Titus Schleyer of the Department of Dental Public Health and Information Management, who is director of the Center for Dental Informatics, was named a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. ACMI is a college of elected fellows from around the world who have made significant contributions to the field of medical informatics. Schleyer is one of only five dentists ever to be elected to ACMI.

• Heiko Spallek of the Department of Dental Public Health and Information Management was named a fellow of the American Dental Education Association Leadership Institute. The institute is a year-long program designed to develop the nation’s most promising individuals at academic dental institutions into future leaders in dental and higher education. Spallek will graduate from the program in March.

Jessie Ramey, a visiting scholar in the women’s studies program, is the 2010 recipient of the John Heinz Dissertation Award for her Carnegie Mellon dissertation titled “A Childcare Crisis: Poor Black and White Families and Orphanages in Pittsburgh 1878-1929.” The award is presented by the National Academy of Social Insurance for the best dissertation from any discipline on the topic of social insurance.

Ramey was the founding director of Carnegie Mellon’s Undergraduate Research Office — an organization for which she raised grant money to support women and minority students in nontraditional fields. She also directed grant-making through the Women and Girls Fund at the Westchester Community Foundation/New York Community Trust.

Ramey also is the co-founder of the Flying Pig Theater, which specializes in new works by women.

Patrick R. Martin of the Katz Graduate School of Business is one of 10 recipients nationally of a Deloitte Foundation’s 2010 Doctoral Fellowship in Accounting grant, which supports the completion of their PhD programs.

The foundation, a not-for-profit arm of Deloitte, supports teaching, research and curriculum innovation in accounting, business and related fields. It supports an array of national programs that are relevant to a variety of professional services and that benefit middle and high school students, undergraduates, graduate students and faculty.

Fellows receive $5,000 during their final year of coursework and $20,000 to complete their doctoral dissertations the following year.

Marin was nominated by the Katz accounting faculty.

Head football coach Dave Wannstedt will speak Wannstedtat Pitt-Bradford’s commencement exercises, set for 2 p.m. May 2 in the campus’s KOA Arena in the Sport and Fitness Center.

As a left tackle for Pitt, Wannstedt was part of the 1973 team that went to the Fiesta Bowl. He graduated in 1974.

While earning his master’s degree here, Wannstedt began his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 1975 and continued coaching in 1976, the year the undefeated Panthers won the national championship.

Wannstedt stayed on to coach receivers and special teams during the 1977 and 1978 seasons. While at Pitt, he met Jimmy Johnson, who made Wannstedt part of his coaching staff for Oklahoma State, the University of Miami, the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins.

Wannstedt also served as defensive line coach for the University of Southern California, 1983-85.

He was head coach of the Chicago Bears, 1993-98, finishing as the third-winningest coach in team history and was selected 1994 National Football Conference coach of the year by United Press International and Football News.

In all, he spent 16 years coaching in the NFL, 11 of those as head coach — six with the Bears and five with the Miami Dolphins.

Wannstedt was named head football coach here in December 2004. He led the Panthers to a bowl game each of the last two years.

Members of the Pitt community were among the winners announced  last week of the 2010 Carnegie Science Awards.

Pitt winners were:

• Transplant pioneer Thomas E. Starzl, Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery and director emeritus of the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, won the Chairman’s Award.

Starzl was recognized for making transplantation a clinical reality through the development of immunosuppression therapies.

• Di Gao, a faculty member in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, won the Advanced Manufacturing Award.

Gao was honored for developing the first anti-icing super-hydrophobic coating that is able to prevent icing of freezing rain on a solid surface.

• Alison Slinskey Legg, a faculty member in biological sciences and director of outreach programs, won the University/Post-Secondary Educator Award.

Legg designs programs aimed at breaking barriers between the lab and the classroom by making cutting-edge science accessible to K-12 students. Since its inception, the program has benefited nearly 35,000 students in western Pennsylvania.

• Charleen T. Chu, a faculty member in pathology, won the Emerging Female Scientist Award.

Chu, also a 2010 winner of the American Society for Investigative Pathology Outstanding Investigator Award, is making seminal discoveries at the forefront of Parkinson’s disease research, highlighting the importance of well-regulated cellular recycling and autophagy in maintaining healthy brain connections.

• Andrew B. Schwartz, faculty member in neurobiology, won the Life Sciences Award.

Schwartz’s research has contributed to the development of current brain-controlled prosthetic arms and hands. He is a pioneer in the field of neural engineering. In 2004, he established Pitt’s neural engineering program.

• Devra Davis, a faculty member in epidemiology and founding director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, won the Environmental Award.

Davis was recognized for creating both the Environmental Health Trust and the world’s first environmental oncology center.

• Bryan Brown, doctoral student in bioengineering, won the University/Post-Secondary Student Award.

Brown has received fellowships from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation and awards from tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and biomaterials societies. His interests include tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and immunology.

Honorable mention awards went to:

• Thad Zaleskiewicz, professor emeritus of physics at Pitt-Greensburg, who was cited in the University/Post Secondary Educator Award category.

Zaleskiewicz co-developed an integrated natural science course that serves more than 300 students annually. He is science liaison for the new education degree program and coordinates the summer science math experience for junior high students.

• Kacey Marra, a faculty member in surgery and co-director of Pitt’s Adipose Stem Cell Center, who was cited in the Emerging Female Scientist Award category.

Marra focuses on regenerative medicine, particularly using fat-derived stem cells for tissue regeneration, as well as the development of novel biomaterials.

• The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which  was honored with the Corporate Innovation Award.

The McGowan Institute was recognized for the development of therapies that are aligned with the regenerative medicine paradigm.

The School of Law’s Drew Chelosky, director of development, and Lisa Sciullo, charitable relationship manager, have been appointed to the board of directors of the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council, a group of professionals committed to promoting gifts to charity as a positive way to achieve individual estate planning objectives through education.

Founded in 1984, PPGC is affiliated with the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning.


The People of the Times column features recent news on faculty and staff, including awards and other honors, accomplishments and administrative appointments.

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