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June 24, 2010

People of the Times

Barbara Warnick, chair of the Department of Communication in the School of Arts and Sciences, has been chosen as a fellow of the Rhetoric Society of America.warnick

Fellows are named by the board of directors in recognition of sustained and distinguished scholarship, teaching and service to the field of rhetoric studies.

Warnick’s academic interests include the study of persuasion and other forms of appeal on the World Wide Web and the study of contemporary argumentation theory. She is interested specifically in how the modes of communication in new media environments are shaped and constrained by the media in which they are communicated.

Robert M. Friedlander has been named head of the School of Medicine’s Department of Neurological Surgery. Friedlander

Friedlander divides his time between treating complex cerebrovascular disorders and brain tumors and investigating cell death in neurological diseases, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Most recently, he was professor of neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School and vice chair of neurosurgery and associate director of cerebrovascular surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Friedlander received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biochemistry from Brandeis and a medical degree from Harvard. He did a residency in neurological surgery, also at Harvard.

Friedlander assumed his position June 1 and will begin seeing patients at the end of June.

Sally C. Morton has been appointed by the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) to head the school’s Department of Biostatistics. Morton’s areas of expertise include comparative effectiveness and meta-analysis, which contribute to evidence-based decisions in health care.

Most recently, Morton was vice president of statistics and epidemiology at RTI International, where she led a department of 270 biostatisticians, statisticians and epidemiologists. She also served as an adjunct professor of biostatistics at the University of North Carolina. Prior to her position at RTI, she led the statistics group at the RAND Corp. and held the RAND endowed chair in statistics.

At GSPH, she will develop programs to address complex health care questions at both societal and individual levels. She also will employ evidence-based analyses to better inform public health decision-making.

Morton received a master’s degree in operations research and a doctoral degree in statistics, both from Stanford, as well as a master’s degree in statistics from the London School of Economics.

Pitt-Bradford has announced the promotion of three members of thebiology faculty, effective July 1.

Lauren Yaich has been named the new associate dean of academic affairs. Currently she chairs the Division of Biological and Health Sciences, a position that will be filled by Mary Mulcahy.

Mulcahy currently is director of the biology program and director of theAllegheny Institute of Natural History. Mulcahy will continue to oversee the Allegheny Institute; the new director of the biology program will be David Merwine.

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Lynn Iams Barger has been named executive director of Institutional Advancement at the Johnstown campus, effective July 1.

She will be responsible for identifying and cultivating major gift prospects while providing oversight to the school’s advancement effort.

Barger received her BA (summa cum laude) from Washington and Jefferson College, and her Master of Public Management (with highest distinction) from Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Management.

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She comes to Pitt-Johnstown from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she has served as associate vice president for development, acting vice president for university relations and director of corporate and foundation relations.

Pharmacy faculty member Dexi Liu of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences has been appointed the chair of the membership committee of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. His two-year term began last month.

Among faculty and staff at the  Schools of Health Sciences whose work has been acknowledged recently with awards or accolades are:

• Post-doctoral scholar Jamie Green of the School of Medicine received a 2010 Clinical Scientist in Nephrology Fellowship from the American Kidney Fund. Green’s research will examine the association of health literacy with clinical outcomes in hemodialysis patients, specifically dialysis treatment adherence in patients receiving in-center hemodialysis.

• Post-doctoral scholar Brian Hermann of the Magee-Womens Research Institute received the Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This award was designed to facilitate the rapid transition of promising new investigators into independent research careers and will support Hermann’s salary and research costs.

Ryan Parker, director of health sciences diversity; Barrett Woods, graduate medical resident in orthopaedic surgery, School of Medicine, and Shailen Greene, graduate medical resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation, School of Medicine, were recognized as a part of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 2010 “Fab 40.”

The list honors Pittsburgh African-American men and women under age 40 “who have demonstrated the ability, determination, focus and fortitude to tackle the challenges that lie ahead while defying negative stereotypes used to portray black youth.”

Pat Skerry has been named an assistant coach for the men’s basketball program. He has 19 years of combined coaching experience at eight different schools, most recently at Providence.

During Skerry’s two seasons at Providence under head coach Keno Davis, the Friars advanced to the NIT with a 19-14 overall record and 10-8 Big East slate in 2008-09. He assisted with the Friars’ 2009 recruiting class, which was ranked No. 35 in the nation by Hoop Scoop.Skerry

In 2007, while at the University of Rhode Island, Skerry was named one of the top assistant coaches in the country by Hoop Scoop.

In 2008, Fox named Skerry the top mid-major assistant in the nation. His 2006 recruiting class was rated No. 24 in the nation by Hoop Scoop.

Skerry played at Tufts, 1989-92, where he earned All-New England honors and was a two-year team captain. As a point guard, he held a school record of 650 assists during his career. In 1990-91, Skerry recorded 198 assists, a Tufts single-season record.

At Tufts, he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education.


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