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April 28, 2016

People of the times

Ward Allebach of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Geology and Environmental Science and Jacob Bethem, an adjunct faculty member in philosophy at Pitt-Greensburg, were winners of Pitt’s second annual sustainability awards in the faculty category.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and coordinated by the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI), the awards honor those who have demonstrated an impact on sustainability by generating awareness, implementing projects or catalyzing new initiatives in education, research or practice.

PittServes director Misti Mc-Keehen, in her nomination of Allebach, wrote: “It was said to me once that ‘Ward Allebach has been doing sustainability on Pitt’s campus since before sustainability was a thing here!’ … Each year Ward inspires students to dream big to create sustainability programming and then sets them on the path to greater success. Watching the BYOBag program, Thriftsburgh and the Green Fund all have student support from those in his course shows the power of his leadership. He consistently engages the engaged students as TA’s for his courses and empowers them each year to plan the University’s sustainability symposium, which has grown to be a sought-after event that incorporates thought leadership, best practices and student successes in the realm of sustainability.”

In her nomination of Bethem, UPG student Gina DelTinto cited his work to educate the community about sustainable living, including incorporating lean management principles and sustainable business practices into his business ethics course content. She wrote: “His experience qualifies him to educate the community in multiple ways for sustainable living. In addition, his outstanding academic credentials are equally impressive, earning an MSM in lean management from St. Vincent College and an MBA in sustainability studies from Duquesne University. Lastly, his role educating students as a University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg adjunct instructor provides serious insight into the importance of sustainable living.”

Winning in the group category was Surplus Property. Matt Sloan of Parking, Transportation and Services nominated Surplus Property manager Tom Heidkamp and his staff, citing their work in refurbishing and reselling office furniture and equipment; e-waste handling, printer cartridge recycling and other sustainability related initiatives.

Betsy Matz

Betsy Matz

Pitt-Bradford business management faculty member Lizbeth “Betsy” Matz was awarded UPB’s 2016 Chairs’ Faculty Teaching Award for excellence in teaching.
The award was presented April 15 at the UPB honors convocation. Matz is the 15th recipient of the award, chosen by the chairs of UPB’s five academic divisions.
Shailendra Gajanan, professor of economics and chair of the Division of Management and Education, nominated her for the award. “Over these years, Betsy Matz has singlehandedly developed her accounting program and overseen its curriculum and delivery. It was because of her hard work that accounting has developed into a strong major within the division,” he wrote.

Matz served many years herself as division chairwoman, during which time accounting, computer information systems and technology and nine education majors were introduced.

In her first years on campus, she established the volunteer income tax assistance program, which Gajanan said “is one example of her role in combining the academic curriculum, students and practicum in the field towards serving the community.”

In 2009, she started an executive speaker series, bringing prominent business people to campus as speakers.

“She is an ardent supporter of the Friends of Hanley Library, the Empty Bowls and Baskets and Women’s History Month programs and has been the faculty athletic representative for many years,” Gajanan continued.

In addition, Matz has served as the faculty chairperson of the faculty-staff internal fundraising campaign and as adviser to Lambda Xi sorority.
In 2004, the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association awarded her its Teaching Excellence Award.

Colleagues also announced that they have begun raising money for a Betsy Matz Endowed Scholarship. Matz will retire from teaching this spring after 27 years at Pitt-Bradford.

“She has positively impacted the lives of countless students,” said Steven Hardin, vice president and dean of academic affairs, citing not only her teaching and academic success, but also her steady mentorship of groups on campus; ability to start new events, traditions and enterprises; and geniality.

For information on the scholarship, contact Jill Ballard at


President Barack Obama has appointed Chancellor Patrick Gallagher to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.

The 10-member group, co-chaired by former national security adviser Tom Donilon and former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, will make recommendations by early December on improving defenses against hackers.

Said Obama: “I have charged the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity with the critically-important task of identifying the steps that our nation must take to ensure our cybersecurity in an increasingly digital world. These dedicated individuals bring a wealth of experience and talent to this important role, and I look forward to receiving the commission’s recommendations.”


David Sanchez, faculty member in civil and environmental engineering, received the 2015 Swanson School of Engineering Faculty Diversity Award for his contributions to enhancing and supporting the school’s diversity priorities.

Sanchez will receive a $2,000 grant to support and enhance diversity activities in a manner of his choosing. He also will be inducted into the Swanson school’s Champions for Diversity honor roll, which is on permanent display in the Office of Diversity.

Sanchez was selected for his initiative and involvement in activities that support diversity goals, including:

• Commitment to incorporating diversity at all levels through outreach programs such as the pre-college Investing Now program, Pitt EXCEL, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the summer research internship program;

• Efforts in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students through mentoring and teaching; dedicated service as a mentor, faculty panelist and teacher in the Pitt EXCEL program (for which he also received Pitt EXCEL’s 2015 Best Mentor award);

• Attendance at the minority faculty development workshop hosted by the National Institute of Faculty Equity at the National Academy in Washington, D.C.;


• Outstanding community outreach work with the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and increasing youth awareness of sustainability by conducting workshops with the local K-12 community.

Sanchez also is the assistant director of education and outreach at the Mascaro center, where he coordinates many sustainability initiatives and Pitt’s Design EXPO, which allows students an opportunity to present sustainable designs to judges from industry. He works closely with ALCOSAN Summer Science, Manchester Charter School and the YMCA to encourage the next generation of college students to be interested in science and engineering.


The award committee recognized faculty members Paul Leu and William Stanchina with honorable mentions for the award.

Leu, of industrial engineering, showed measurable contributions to the pre-college population over the past five years through his involvement with the Investing Now engineering workshops.

Stanchina, chair and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was persistent with encouraging search committees to hire a diverse pool of new faculty.

George Michalopoulos

George Michalopoulos


George K. Michalopoulos, distinguished research professor and chair of the Department of Pathology at the School of Medicine, was elected president of the American Association for Investigative Pathology. This society represents faculty in pathology and other departments engaged in basic research on mechanisms of disease and tissue biology.

Michalopoulos’ research focuses on biology of liver regeneration and carcinogenesis.


The University is well represented in the 2016 Carnegie Science Awards in science and technology.

Awardees will be honored May 6 in a celebration at Carnegie Music Hall.

Among the winners:

• Prashant N. Kumta, the Edward R. Weidlein Chair Professor and distinguished professor of bioengineering, chemical and petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering and materials science, and oral biology, will be recognized with the Advanced Manufacturing & Materials Award.

• Rocky S. Tuan, distinguished professor of orthopaedic surgery, Arthur J. Rooney Sr. Chair Professor in Sports Medicine, and faculty member in bioengineering, will be presented with the Life Sciences Award.

• Susanne E. Ahmari of psychiatry will be presented with the Emerging Female Scientist Award. A physician-scientist, Ahmari is recognized as an expert in understanding the mechanisms of obsessive compulsive disorder.

• Elizabeth Oczypok, a graduate student in the School of Medicine MD/PhD program, will be presented with the University/Post-Secondary Student Award. Her research focuses on how asthma develops.


• In addition, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, a Pitt-Carnegie Mellon University collaboration, will be presented the Leadership in STEM Education award. (See March 31 University Times.)

The Carnegie Science Center established the awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. The awards have honored the accomplishments of more than 500 individuals and organizations.


Four Swanson School of Engineering faculty members are winners of the 2016 Energy Leadership Awards, presented by the Pittsburgh Business Times.
The program honors individuals who have paved the way for the vibrant growth of the Pittsburgh region’s energy sector and recognizes outstanding performance in the western Pennsylvania energy industry.

Pitt’s winners are:

• Robert Enick, NETL RUA Faculty Fellow, Bayer Professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering;

• Joel Haight, faculty in industrial engineering and director of the safety engineering program;

• David Sanchez, faculty member in civil and environmental engineering and co-director of the Pitt/RMU Energy Inventor Labs; and

 • Götz Veser, faculty member in chemical and petroleum engineering and associate director of the Center for Energy.

Recipients will be recognized May 26 at the Business Times’ Energy Gala at the Southpointe Hilton Garden Inn.


The 2016 Bowman Faculty Grants for Research have been awarded to:

• John J. Crawford of Pitt-Bradford’s Division of Management and Education, to study corporate scandals and financial crises by providing an in-depth look at speculative bubbles such as Ponzi schemes, insider trading and bank panics.

• Goeran Fiedler of rehabilitation science and technology in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, to study notable differences in prosthetics and orthotics education between Europe and the United States.

• Peyman Givi of mechanical engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering, to study quantum computing and implementation, and possible applications to problems from aerospace engineering.

• Barbara Petrosky of Pitt-Johnstown’s foreign language department, to study ekphrasis in the paintings of surrealist painter Salvador Dali and its relationships with Paul Eluard’s surrealist poetry.

Dietrich school faculty member Walter P. Carson of biological sciences, to study ecology and conservation of Ecuador’s polylepis woodlands;

• Neil A. Doshi of French and Italian languages and literatures, to study cultures of the Francophone graphic novel;

• Ryan McDermott of English, to study medieval York plays and Middle English manuscripts; and

• Dennis Schebetta of theatre arts, to study the techniques of physical theatre training from eastern European practices and how they might be applied to an Americanized methodology of training.

The biennial grants are awarded to Pitt faculty members to enhance the quality of their teaching or to develop new courses through research abroad.

Up to 10 grants of $2,000 each are available to full-time faculty members who have been teaching for at least one year at the University. They are funded by an endowment in memory of John Gabbert Bowman, who served as Pitt’s chancellor 1921-45.


School of Medicine faculty members David A. Brent, Anne B. Newman and Brian Zuckerbraun have been inducted into the Association of American Physicians (AAP), a nonprofit professional organization founded in 1885 for the “advancement of scientific and practical medicine.”

Election to AAP is an honor extended to individuals with outstanding credentials in biomedical science and/or translational biomedical research and is limited to 60 inductees per year.

Brent, professor of psychiatry, pediatrics and epidemiology, is the academic chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and holds an endowed chair in suicide studies. He co-founded and now directs Services for Teens at Risk (STAR), a state-funded program for suicide prevention, education of professionals and the treatment of at-risk youths and their families.

Newman, the Katherine M. Detre Professor of Population Health Sciences, is chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health and director of Pitt’s Center for Aging and Population Health. Her research centers on the relationships between aging, longevity and disability. She is the principal investigator of several long-term cohort studies and clinical trials in older adults funded by the National Institute on Aging.

Zuckerbraun, the Henry T. Bahnson Professor of Surgery, is chief of trauma and acute care surgery at UPMC. His research centers on how the body’s immune system responds to cell damage. He investigates the inflammatory response in the liver and vasculature following injury from trauma/hemorrhagic shock, sepsis or direct vascular injury.


Medicine faculty members Stephen Chan, Bernhard Kühn and Caterina Rosano have been inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), which was founded in 1908 and is “dedicated to the advancement of research that extends our understanding and improves the treatment of human diseases.”

ASCI represents physician-scientists who are “at the bedside, at the research bench and at the blackboard.” Election to ASCI reflects early career accomplishment; new members must be 50 or younger. Up to 80 new members are elected annually.

Chan, an associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Pulmonary Vascular Biology and Medicine at Pitt’s Vascular Medicine Institute, studies the molecular mechanisms of pulmonary vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension with the intent to develop new therapies and to identify persons at risk for developing the disease.

Kühn is a board-certified pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Hospital, a scholar at the Richard King Mellon Institute for Pediatric Research and director of research in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology. His work is focused on the cells of the heart muscle and discovering ways to make them replicate to enable the heart to heal itself in cases of heart failure or congenital defects.

Rosano, faculty in public health’s Department of Epidemiology, focuses her research on how the brain adapts to the “normal” processes of aging and disease and, specifically, in understanding the causes, biomarkers and consequences of brain aging.

Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of Medicine, commented: “Endorsements from these respected societies further demonstrate the commitment to research and the impact of the work performed by the physicians, researchers and staff at the University of Pittsburgh.”

Gina Garcia

Gina Garcia


School of Education faculty member Gina Garcia, of the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, was among 21 scholars selected from across the United States for a yearlong Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellowship.

Garcia, whose research focuses on diversity and equity in higher education, earned her bachelor’s degree at California State University-Northridge; a master’s degree in counseling and college student personnel at the University of Maryland and a PhD in higher education and organizational change at UCLA. She will use the fellowship to study Hispanic-serving institutions.

“Your selection for this prestigious award reflects our review panelists’ judgment of your scholarly competence as well as the promise that you show for future achievement as a scholar, researcher and teacher in an institution of higher education,” stated the fellowship committee.


Geri Allen

Geri Allen

Jazz studies program director Geri Allen is among 27 winners of the 2016 Jazz Hero Award, presented by the Jazz Journalists Association. Honorees include musicians, writers, philanthropists and founders of jazz organizations and festivals.

Allen, a jazz pianist, composer and educator, earned her master’s degree in ethnomusicology at Pitt. She joined the Pitt music department faculty three years ago.

She was presented her award April 20 at the Pitt Jazz Ensemble’s spring concert. In addition to celebrations in their hometowns, awardees will gather for a gala awards party on June 15 at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City.


Pitt-Johnstown athletic director Pat Pecora is among a dozen 2016 inductees to the western Pennsylvania chapter of the

Pat Pecora

Pat Pecora

Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Pecora, head wrestling coach at UPJ since 1976, has been the campus athletic director since 2008. Under his leadership, the Mountain Cats wrestling team won the NCAA Division II national championship in 1996 and 1999. The team also has won 20 NCAA regional championships, 31 top-20 national finishes, 20 top-10 finishes and 10 top-five finishes. Pecora was named regional Coach of the Year 16 times and was named NCAA coach of the year in 1995 and 1999.

He was first in the NCAA to win 500 dual meets (now 540), ranking third all-time and first among all active wrestling coaches at all levels of collegiate wrestling. In addition, he has tutored 139 All-Americans, 10 individual national champions, and 100 NWCA all-academic team members.

In addition, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) named Pecora its 2015-16 Coach of the Year in UPJ’s third season in the league. This season, the Mountain Cats won the PSAC Dual Meet Championship and the Super Region One Championship and finished fourth at the national tournament.


potts.Dilks Bob

Robert Dilks, Jr.

Robert C. Dilks Jr., assistant vice president of enrollment management and director of transfer and nontraditional student recruitment at Pitt-Bradford, will receive UPB’s inaugural President’s Award for Excellence in Overall Performance by Staff.


In addition, UPB nursing faculty member Tammy Haley, director of nursing and radiological sciences programs, will receive the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service, which recognizes faculty who perform at the highest level in these principal areas of faculty responsibility.

Tammy Haley

Tammy Haley

The awards will be presented during UPB’s May 1 commencement.

A 1989 alumnus, Dilks began his career at Pitt-Bradford the year he graduated with a degree in public relations, serving as assistant director of admissions and recruiting freshmen throughout Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

He helped to establish Pitt-Bradford’s Alumni Relations Office and served several years as the director of adult continuing education and business services.
Said UPB President Livingston Alexander: “Bob Dilks has served our campus well over an extended period of time and continues to take on new assignments on the Bradford campus and more recently on the Pitt-Titusville campus. Bob has consistently demonstrated a deep commitment to Pitt-Bradford and his eagerness to step up to the plate whenever he’s called upon to help is part of what makes him special.”

Said Alexander P. Nazemetz, associate vice president of enrollment management, who nominated Dilks: “Both parents and students continue to seek him out for advice and direction even after their experience in admissions is through and their enrollment is complete. His presence is felt long after his work is complete.”

In nominating Dilks, Nazemetz cited Dilks’ leadership in the past year as UPT’s interim director of admissions.

Haley is a registered nurse and registered nurse practitioner. Before she began teaching at Pitt-Bradford in 2003, she served as a nurse, primarily in pediatrics.

She earned her doctorate in nursing in 2012 and her Master of Public Health degree in 2013, both at Pitt.

Biology faculty member David Merwine commended Haley’s teaching effectiveness scores in his nomination. Haley was the 2012 recipient of the Chairs’ Faculty Teaching Award, which is selected by the chairs of UPB’s five academic divisions.

In service to the University, Haley has overseen upgrades to the nursing simulation lab, created new handbooks for nursing faculty and students and assisted with the nursing program’s successful reaccreditation by the National League of Nursing Accreditation.

She also volunteers in the Bradford community.

As a scholar, Haley has published papers in The Journal of School Nursing, the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing and the Journal of Child Health Care.

She also has been an invited reviewer for such peer-reviewed journals as Sex Education, The Journal of School Nursing and Child Psychiatry and Human Development.

Said Alexander: “Dr. Haley epitomizes what we had in mind when we established an award to recognize all-around faculty excellence.

“While maintaining current with new developments in her discipline and profession, Dr. Haley exhorts our nursing students to become disciplined learners and master the clinical skills needed to deliver the highest quality health care to patients.”


Pitt’s athletic department has been restructured to form internal and external affairs units, as well as a business administration unit to support both.
Dan Bartholomae, a 14-year veteran of the department, has been promoted to deputy athletic director for internal affairs.

His unit will oversee administration of all 19 intercollegiate sports; the facilities, operations and event management division; Pitt’s performance team; the student-athlete development division; and will serve as a liaison to Academic Support Services for Student-Athletes (ASSSA).

Bartholomae also will be the sport supervisor for football and men’s basketball, and will assist with strategic planning, the athletic facilities master plan and other internal initiatives.

Julio Freire joined the Pitt staff from the University of Tennessee-Martin this month as deputy athletic director for external affairs. His unit will oversee the Panther Club and fundraising initiatives, ticket sales, marketing, branding, multimedia rights, licensing and merchandising.

The business administration unit will manage the human resources, business and finance, equipment services and information technology divisions.

Wendy Meyers will continue in her role as executive associate athletic director/CFO and will oversee the business administration and human resources units.

In addition, Marcus Bowman, a 10-year veteran of Pitt’s athletic administration, has been promoted to senior associate athletic director/chief of staff. He will be involved in various planning and partnership initiatives; will serve as a University and community liaison, and will supervise baseball and wrestling.

The four leaders report directly to athletic director Scott Barnes.

In addition:
Within the internal affairs unit, Jennifer Tuscano has been named associate athletic director for sports administration and senior women’s administrator (SWA).

In her new capacity, she will be the SWA for all NCAA and ACC initiatives and will assist in leading the entire sport administration team.

Within facilities, operations and event management, Paul Klaczak has been named associate athletic director for facilities and event management and Blair Dunckel has been promoted to assistant athletic director for facilities and event management. Dunckel will assume leadership duties within the Petersen Events Center and overall event management.

• Ryan Varley has been promoted to associate athletic director for business services.

Varley will lead several key business functions, including management of the department’s budget and oversight of equipment services.

—Compiled by K. Barlow


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

We welcome submissions from all areas of the University. Send information via email to:, by fax at 412-624-4579 or by campus mail to 308 Bellefield Hall.

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