Accolades

Peggy Liu receives early career award from Association for Consumer Research

Peggy Liu, the Ben L. Fryrear Chair in Marketing and associate professor of business administration for Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, was awarded the 2022 Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Consumer Research by the Association for Consumer Research (ACR).

The award, announced at ACR’s annual conference in Denver on Oct. 20-22, 2022, honors excellent research contributions of one or more consumer behavior researchers who received their PhD between 5-8 years ago. Award selection criteria includes innovation, methodological rigor and the potential to substantially advance the understanding of consumer behavior. The award committee chose Liu as this year’s sole recipient. 

“I am deeply honored to receive the ACR Early Career Award,” Liu said. “I am very grateful to my advisors, mentors and coauthors at Katz, other Pitt schools and at other universities, as well as my students. I am very excited about continuing to conduct research aimed at understanding and improving the lives of consumers, especially in the domains of health and social connection.”

Liu also received the Journal of Consumer Research (JCR) Outstanding Reviewer Award at the ACR conference, which is awarded to members of the JCR Editorial Review Board who provided constructive, benevolent and punctual reviews during the previous year. 

In 2011, Liu received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in psychology with distinction from Yale University. In 2016, she received her doctoral degree in business administration from Duke University. She teaches both undergraduate and PhD-level consumer behavior courses within Pitt Business. 

Liu has also received numerous other research and teaching awards. She currently serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Consumer Psychology. She was named one of Poets & Quants Top 50 Undergraduate Business School Professors in 2020 and has received the Katz Excellence in Teaching Award several times.

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation honors two Pitt scientist

Two Pitt scientists received 2022 Outstanding Achievement Prizes in Mental Health awards from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the world’s largest private funder of mental health research. 

In recognition of his extraordinary work in developing trans-neuronal tracers able to reveal the brain’s complex wiring, the foundation awarded the Goldman-Rakic Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Cognitive Neuroscience to Peter Strick, who is the Thomas Detre Professor and chair of neurobiology in Pitt’s School of Medicine. 

“This award is very special to me,” said Strick, who also serves as scientific director of Pitt’s Brain Institute. “Patricia Goldman-Rakic was an exceptional neuroscientist who made landmark contributions to our knowledge of frontal lobe structure and function. She also was a wonderful friend, and I am deeply honored to be chosen for a prize that bears her name.” 

Honoring his contributions to research on bipolar spectrum disorders in adolescents, Boris Birmaher, distinguished professor of psychiatry and endowed chair in early onset bipolar disease, was awarded the Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Research.

“I am so grateful for this recognition. I have been fortunate to work with many people who are dedicated to the assessment, treatment and research of youth living with diverse psychiatric disorders,” said Birmaher. “The field of pediatric mood and anxiety disorders continues to advance, and we expect that many of those advances will help improve the lives of patients and their families, something I am deeply passionate about.”

Strick and Birmaher presented their work at the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation 2022 International Mental Health Research Symposium on Oct. 28 in New York City.

— Anita Srikameswaran and Ana Gorelova

Gwen Sowa elected to National Academy of Medicine

Gwen Sowa, UPMC Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation professor and chair of the School of Medicine's Department of Physical Medicine, was recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), considered one of the highest honors in health care and medicine.

Sowa is also co-director of the Ferguson Laboratory for Orthopaedic and Spine Research at Pitt and holds joint appointments in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Department of Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering. Her research focuses on the mechanobiology of the intervertebral disc and molecular biomarkers of low back pain.

NAM addresses critical issues in health, science, medicine and related policy and inspires positive actions across sectors. The organization also works alongside the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conducts other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.

Peter Wipf honored for creative organic chemistry

Peter Wipf, professor in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, received the 2023 Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. 

A prolific organic chemist, Wipf has been a faculty member in Pitt’s Department of Chemistry since 1990, focusing on organic compounds — how to synthesize them and how they work — including those with potential uses in medicine. His research has been cited more than 37,000 times.

Wipf is a fellow of the American Chemical Society as well as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He’ll be honored at the American Chemical Society’s spring meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, on March 28, 2023.

Mitali Ray named National Institutes of Health MOSAIC Scholar

Mitali Ray, a postdoctoral associate doing research in Pitt's schools of Nursing and Public Health, has been named a National Institutes of Health MOSAIC (Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers) Scholar. 

The competitive program is part of NIH’s efforts to enhance diversity within the academic biomedical workforce and is designed to facilitate a timely transition of promising postdoctoral researchers to independent, tenure-track or equivalent research-intensive faculty positions. 

Ray, who was born to Indian immigrants and grew up in the Lehigh Valley, had her love of science sparked during an undergraduate prerequisite biology course at Towson University. After earning her PhD in biomedical sciences at Temple, Ray joined Pitt, where she researches pregnancy-related cardiovascular disease, exploring the biological underpinnings that explain how chronic stress drives racial disparities of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. 

She also is the postdoctoral representative for the Pitt Senate’s Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Advocacy Committee and a board member for the Queer Family Planning Project, a nonprofit dedicated to offsetting family planning costs for the queer community in Pittsburgh.

Paolone honored with American Physical Society Fellowship

Vittorio Paolone, professor of physics and astronomy, was awarded an American Physical Society Fellowship. The honor has gone to 45 Pitt faculty members since 1930, including Singh in 2011 and, most recently, John Swanson Endowed Professor Scott Mao in the Swanson School of Engineering in 2020. Earlier this year, Paolone received the 2022 W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics from the APS.  

“It’s humbling to have your colleagues in the field consider your work significant,” Paolone said. “It’s a prestigious recognition by my peers since the number of recommended nominees in each year does not exceed one-half percent of the then-current membership of the society.”

Singh honored with Dwight Nicholson Medal for Outreach

Chandralekha Singh received the 2022 Dwight Nicholson Medal for Outreach, which recognizes the humanitarian aspect of physics and physicists created through public lectures and public media, teaching, research, or science related activities. This award is provided through the American Physical Society (APS), a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities

Singh earned the medal “for work in broadening access to physics through research into removing barriers to success in the field faced by marginalized groups and how to overcome them, and addressing those challenges directly through meaningful, research-based action.”

Singh is a distinguished professor and director of the Discipline-based Science Education Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Physics & Astronomy.

Pitt’s Laura Kingsley re-elected to National Council of University Research Administrators board

10/11/22 correction: This story was updated to reflect Kingsley's role on the National Board of Directors.

Laura Kingsley, director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at the University of Pittsburgh, was re-elected to serve on the the National Board of Directors of the National Council of University Research Administrators.

Kingsley represents Region II, which includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 

“In this next term, I plan to continue to advocate for Region II research administrators, build stronger relationships within the regional and national networks and continue to promote an inclusive environment where all feel welcomed, heard and valued,” wrote Kingsley in a statement of interest she provided to her colleagues.

Kingsley also serves on council's Board of Directors Remote Work Survey Task Force, examining the impact of remote work arrangements on research administration.

The organization, formed in 1959, promotes the field of research administration by building communication and consensus nationally and abroad. It has over 7,500 members from more than 1,100 higher education institutions in 40 countries.

 

Edouard Machery elected president of Society for Philosophy and Psychology

Edouard Machery, distinguished professor in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, has been elected president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology for 2023-24. 

The society is a professional organization for “philosophically interested psychologists and psychologically interested philosophers” in North America. 

Machery, who also serves as director of Pitt’s Center for Philosophy of Science, is no stranger to the border between those two disciplines. An author of more than 150 papers across journals focusing on cognition, psychology, behavior and philosophy, his work tackles the philosophical issues raised by cognitive science. 

He also does research on issues of methods and statistics in experimental psychology and is a leader of the Geography of Philosophy Project, a global network of scholars tackling cross-cultural differences and similarities in perceptions of wisdom and knowledge.

Pitt Bradford: $40,000 gift supports Duke Engineering and Information Technologies Building

Although her father, Paul C. Duke III, died when she was a little girl, Sarah Duke knows she takes after him in many ways.

She loves animals the way he did and owns four “bully breed” dogs. And she loves cars the way he did, too. And she loves to share what has been given to her.   

As a girl, she collected funds for animals at the McKean County SPCA, and as she grew older, she quietly helped classmates at Bradford Area High School who could not afford to purchase yearbooks. She purchased a bench in memory of 2019 BAHS grad Peyton Kirk who had just finished his freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford when he died in 2020.

Now she is following in her father’s footsteps by promoting technology education at Pitt-Bradford with a $40,000 gift toward the George B. Duke Engineering and Information Technologies Building named in honor of her uncle. Paul Duke worked with engineering at Zippo and was an early contributor to Pitt-Bradford’s technology endowment fund. In honor of that gift, Pitt-Bradford named its aquatic center in his honor, and young Sarah cut the ribbon.      

In recognition of the gift, the office of the engineering technology director will be named in her honor.

She is the latest generation of the Blaisdell-Duke family to take up a philanthropic tradition that has supported everyone from individuals to Bradford institutions such as Pitt-Bradford since its founding in 1963, and evidence of that can be seen in the names of the Miriam Barcroft Blaisdell Endowed Scholarships, Blaisdell Hall, Harriett B. Wick Chapel, Sarah B. Dorn Residence Hall as well as the aquatic center and new engineering building.   

Like her father, grandmother Sarah B. Duke and great-grandfather George G. Blaisdell, she believes in sharing what she has.   

The new Duke Building is making it possible for Pitt-Bradford to offer new majors in energy engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology as well as providing a new home for existing programs in energy science and technology, computer information systems and technology, and information systems.   

For more information about the building and programs, visit upb.pitt.edu/engineeringbuilding.

Scientists awarded $8 million for neurotechnology to restore arm and hand movements after strokes

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery Dr. Marco Capogrosso was awarded a five-year, $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechologies (BRAIN) Initiative to design and test a system for the electrical neurostimulation of the cervical spinal cord to reduce arm and hand motor impairments in people with severe stroke. 

In collaboration with co-principal investigator Douglas Weber, professor of biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and Germany-based neurotech company CorTec GmbH, the Pitt team will develop and test a fully implantable spinal cord neurostimulation system that could be used to control electrical stimulation patterns in real time. 

The device developed by CorTec will be designed to specifically target the cervical spinal cord and used to determine stimulation parameters that improve strength and motor control of the arm and hand in patients who are partially unable to move their limbs after a severe stroke. 

The researchers seek to obtain regulatory approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use the device in clinical rehabilitation settings and to test its efficacy to improve motor control in combination with physical training.

This project follows Capogrosso’s work on spinal cord stimulation showing that electrical stimulation improves arm control in paralyzed monkeys. The Pitt research team is now working to enroll participants in a clinical trial testing spinal cord stimulation to restore arm movement in people with stroke.

— Ana Gorelova

School of Public Health names two new department chairs

Two School of Public Health departments welcomed new leaders for the fall 2022 semester. 

Mary Hawk has been appointed chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and Yan Ma will lead the Department of Biostatistics. Both positions were effective Sept. 1. 

“We are excited to welcome these leaders,” said Maureen Lichtveld, Pitt Public Health dean and Jonas Salk Professor of Population Health. “They bring extensive research and teaching experience, compelling visions and effective management skills to their new roles.”

Hawk is currently associate professor of behavioral and community health sciences and the department’s vice chair for research.

“Our students, staff and faculty do amazing work and are clearly committed to our department’s vision,” said Hawk, who completed her DrPH and MPH at Pitt. “I look forward to advancing collaborative leadership in the department and across the health sciences.”

Among her research interests are the assessment and implementation of interventions to improve health outcomes for underserved populations, including those with substance use issues; enhancing the delivery of needed services; and developing community-engaged approaches to promote public health. She is principal investigator of a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded investigation to explore stigma and health outcomes for people living with HIV.

Hawk cofounded The Open Door Inc., a harm reduction housing program to improve health outcomes for chronically homeless people living with HIV, and is actively engaged with community organizations locally, nationally and globally. Her contributions to research and education have been honored with many awards, including the school’s James L. Craig Excellence in Education Award. 

Ma comes to Pitt Public Health from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, where he served as professor and vice chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. Ma is also founding director of its PhD program in Health and Biomedical Data Science and director of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Consulting Services.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be selected to lead this elite department of biostatistics,” said Ma, adding that Pitt health sciences also has an international reputation for excellence in research and education. “I look forward to working with the outstanding faculty, staff and students in years to come.”

Ma’s theoretical and computational statistical research interests include missing data imputation, machine learning, meta-analysis, methods for assessing interrater reliability, causal inference, complex sample surveys and longitudinal methods. Ma has collaborated on investigations touching orthopedics, anesthesiology, health disparities, cancer, HIV/AIDS, psychiatry and emergency medicine.

Ma is currently principal investigator of a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities-funded project developing data driven methods for missing data imputation in surgical outcome disparities. He is a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics in Epidemiology and the Achievement in Academia Award from the American Public Health Association.

— Michele Baum

Dietrich music department's Eric Moe wins Barlow Endowment commission

Eric Moe, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music in the Department of Music in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, was awarded a $9,000 commission from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University. 

The endowment, one of the premier commissioning organizations for new concert music in the U.S., selected Moe and twelve other composers to write 20-minute works in the coming year. Moe’s composition will be for an ensemble featuring flute, clarinet, cello, piano and percussion instruments.

Moe is the co-director of the Music on the Edge concert series and is the director of Pitt’s electronic music studio.

National Institute of Mental Health Center awards Pitt Psychiatry $16.2M grant to study suicide among Black and Hispanic Youth

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has awarded Pitt Psychiatry a Center of Excellence (P50) grant renewal for Enhancing Triage and Utilization for Depression and Emergent Suicidality (ETUDES), led by David Brent, MD (Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Clinical and Translational Science, and Endowed Chair in Suicide Studies). The Center is co-led by Bruce Rollman, MD, MPH, (University of Pittsburgh Professor and UPMC Endowed Chair in General Internal Medicine), and Jami Young, PhD (Professor and Associate Chair for Psychiatry Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). Thirty additional investigators from Columbia University, Georgia Tech, Hunter College, the University of Oregon, and Kaiser Permanente, representing psychiatry, psychology, pediatrics, internal medicine, nursing, epidemiology, implementation science, statistics, bioinformatics, computer science, and economics also hold leadership positions in the Center.

The incidence of depression, suicidal behavior, and suicide among American youth has increased by more than 40% during the past decade, placing unprecedented demands on pediatric health care providers. To meet the challenge of what the US Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics have identified as a national emergency, the Center will enhance the ability of pediatric health care providers to assess, triage, and acutely manage suicidal youth who present in primary care. 
ETUDES will bring together the networks of two of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals, with three primary goals:

1.    Develop implementation-ready tools for pediatric health care providers that will reduce the rate of adolescent suicide and suicidal behavior;
2.    Augment the capacity of pediatric primary care for suicidal youth;
3.    Train a diverse national cohort of researchers with capacity to address the current mental health crisis among youth. 

Because rates of suicidal behavior have increased particularly sharply in adolescent youth of color, the Center will address racial and ethnic health disparities in adolescent suicidal behavior. To ensure that the Center’s assessments and interventions are acceptable and effective for individuals of color, Black and Hispanic youth and their families will comprise a substantial proportion of the 1,200 study participants. All of the tools and interventions tested in the Center will be developed collaboratively with adolescent patients, their families, pediatric and mental health clinicians, and community representatives, to ensure the products’ broad acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness.

The following Pitt Psychiatry investigators have key roles in the Center:

Candice Biernesser, PhD, LCSW, MPH
David Brent, MD
César Escobar-Viera, MD, PhD
Tina Goldstein, PhD
David Kolko, PhD
Nadine Melhem, PhD
Neal Ryan, MD
Stephanie Stepp, PhD

For more information about the ETUDES Center, visit www.etudes.pitt.edu. 

Cell Reports publishes new research from Caroline Runyan’s lab

The brain’s cerebral cortex is made up of distinct regions involved in myriad processes, from sensory perception to cognitive functions like memory, attention and decision-making. University of Pittsburgh neuroscience researchers have found that the properties of one neuron subtype — somatostatin-expressing neurons — are specialized in different subregions of the cortex. The study was published Sept. 6 in Cell Reports.

Caroline Runyan (pictured), assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; Christine Khoury (A&S ’22G), a postdoctoral associate in Runyan’s lab and the first author; and lab technician Noelle Fala (A&S ’20) set out to determine whether somatostatin-expressing neurons play similar or different roles in the auditory cortex, which is responsible for processing sounds, and the posterior parietal cortex, which is responsible for integrating sensory information to form perceptual decisions and guide behavior. 

The team discovered that in both regions, when somatostatin-expressing neurons became active, other nearby neurons tended to become active as well. But the distance over which somatostatin-expressing neurons shared activity expanded in the posterior parietal cortex.

Stephen Frederico receives American Brain Tumor Association fellowship to study pediatric brain cancer

In support of his neuro-oncology research, Stephen Frederico, a second-year medical student at Pitt, was recently awarded a $3,000 Jack & Fay Netchin Medical Student Summer Fellowship from the American Brain Tumor Association. This highly competitive fellowship is intended to motivate talented medical students to pursue careers in neuro-oncology research by supporting a three-month summer research experience. 

Frederico studies novel therapies to treat two of the deadliest pediatric brain tumors, which both have poor survival rates and limited treatment options. His project, “Developing an Adoptive Cell Transfer Immunotherapy for Pediatric Brain Tumors,” aims to modify a patient’s own T cells by adding a receptor to them that recognizes cancer cells, enabling these immune cells to kill the tumor while sparing healthy brain tissue. 

“Many individuals who have received this fellowship have gone on to accomplish incredible feats, so it’s a real honor to receive this award,” says Frederico. “It’s also a testament to the amazing team that I have in the laboratory who worked together on this idea.”

He is advised by Gary Kohanbash, assistant professor of neurological surgery and immunology in the School of Medicine and director of the Pediatric Neurosurgery ImmunoOncology Laboratory at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is also mentored by Ian Pollack, distinguished professor of neurological surgery in the School of Medicine, chief of pediatric neurosurgery at UPMC Children’s and co-director of the Neurosurgical Oncology Program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Frederico intends to use this novel approach to combat adult brain tumors as well. He was recently named a Hillman Medical Student Fellow for Innovative Cancer Research by UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and was awarded $5,000 in research funding to target this approach to glioblastoma, one of the deadliest brain tumors that occurs in the adult population. 

Frederico still plays baseball for fun and gets out to the batting cages whenever he can, but his sights are now firmly set on a career as a neurosurgeon-scientist.

“Pitt is one of the best places to study neurological surgery and neuro-oncology and has one of the strongest neurological surgery departments in the country,” he says. “It feels like a dream come true to be here.” 

— Asher Jones

Multidisciplinary Pitt team won first phase of the NIH Neuromod Prize competition

A team of scientists, engineers and industry partners led by Changfeng Tai (pictured), professor of urology, pharmacology and bioengineering in Pitt’s School of Medicine and Swanson School of Engineering, is among eight teams nationwide to win the first phase of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) competition to accelerate the development of therapies that adjust nerve activity to improve organ function. Called “neuromodulation,” potential therapies hold promise to restore healthy function in organs ranging from the heart to the bowels, while limiting side effects. 

Tai’s team at Pitt’s Department of Urology has been initially awarded $100,000 for their plan, which seeks to develop a multichannel implantable device for sacral-pudendal neuromodulation to address bladder, bowel and sexual disorders. The pudendal nerve is a major nerve in the pelvis at the base of the spine, called the sacrum.  

The team will use the prize money to conduct proof-of-concept studies and compete in phase two of the competition. Winners of the second phase will be given additional monetary awards and be invited to compete for a grand prize of up to $5 million. The Neuromod Prize is an initiative from the NIH Common Fund’s Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program, which is making critical progress to help accelerate the development of neuromodulation therapies, close fundamental knowledge gaps and offer tools that enable open science and innovation through the SPARC Portal.

Abdus Wahed gets funding to develop SMART patient-centered clinical trial methods

With more than $1 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Abdus Wahed, professor of biostatistics and his team will launch a three-year project to develop methodological and statistical guidance for a new way of testing treatment sequences through adaptive and sequential clinical trials that improve center patient needs and interests. 

Called “Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trials,” or SMART, these trials allow for more than one treatment to be given to a patient, or for the treatment to change partway through the trial. They also allow for the trial to change while still underway, so that if one treatment is performing better, more patients are assigned to receive it. 

“The goal is to optimize each patient’s outcome with the best therapy or sequence of therapies,” said Wahed. “We want clinical researchers to be able to adjust the treatment at each decision point in their clinical trial without sacrificing the validity of the trial. This way we’ll be able to treat more patients with more effective therapies, exposing less patients to ineffective treatments during the trial.”

SMART trials are generally more statistically complicated than traditional randomized clinical trials that assign half of the trial participants to one treatment and half to another. They also have more opportunities for data to be inadvertently not collected or reported. Wahed and his team intend to overcome these challenges by developing algorithms that account for missing data, ensuring the trial results are statistically sound. 

Co-investigators on this project include Yu Cheng and Zhao Ren of the Department of Statistics, Meredith Wallace of the School of Medicine and Jordan Karp of the University of Arizona.

3 Pitt-Greensburg faculty members receive National Endowment for the Humanities grant

Pilar Herr, associate professor of history at Pitt–Greensburg, is the recipient of a Scholarly Editions and Scholarly Translations Planning Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. William Campbell, visiting assistant professor of history, and Elizabeth Contreras, instructor of Spanish, will serve as co-PIs with Herr. 

The project, “Chilean Parlamentos: Digital Edition and Translation of Indigenous Treaties (1724-1870),” involves translating six representative parlamentos with a projection of completing one of them, including the annotations, edited apparatus and introductory essays in both Spanish and English. During the one-year grant period, Herr and her team also will set up a digital infrastructure and build an online presence for the translated materials. Additionally, this planning grant also will allow them to build a plan for the sustainability of the website beyond the completion of the project and apply for a second Scholarly Editions and Scholarly Translations Grant. 

“This is quite an accomplishment for Dr. Herr and her team,” said Courtney DeCarlucci, manager of foundation and corporate relations at Pitt-Greensburg. “NEH grants are highly competitive. Over the past five years, NEH received on average 82 applications per year in this program and were able to fund about 24% of them.” 

Herr’s project was one of 12 funded in Pennsylvania and 226 funded nationwide.

— Pittwire 

Carrie Leana lauded for poverty-tackling efforts with societal impact award

Carrie Leana, professor of organizations and management at Pitt, has won the 2022 Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management Award for Societal Impact.

She was chosen by a committee of organizational behavior scholars and practitioners for her scholarly work that is "scientifically credible, useful to society and produces knowledge that aims to make the world a better place," the academy said. 

Leana holds appointments in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business, where she is academic director of the Executive MBA-Healthcare program. She has secondary appointments in the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and the Learning Research and Development Center. She also is director of the Center for Healthcare Management and academic dean of the Marshall Webster Physician Leadership Program.

The award committee said: “Leana’s research on job loss, urban public schools, direct care workers and financial (vulnerability) demonstrates the potential for rigorous research to generate actionable insights that address societal challenges and thereby improve well-being outcomes. “Her work has been deeply theoretical but also tackling very important societal problems of poverty, inequality and making organizations more empathic toward those in need."