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January 9, 2003


Last month, Michael R. Pinsky, professor of critical care medicine, was awarded Docteur Honoris Causea by the University of Paris V (La Sorbonne).

The award, considered the highest honor given by a European university, is granted to academicians whose efforts support collaborative studies between sister universities.

Monsieur Pierre Daumard, president of the University Rene Descartes Paris, presented Pinsky with his diploma and the Honoris Causea academic sash at a ceremony in the Grand Amphitheater de la Sorbonne on Dec. 5.

Pinsky was cited for his excellence in the field of cardiopulmonary physiology, his innovative work in assessing cardiac performance and molecular mechanisms in sepsis, and his record as a mentor and facilitator of young scientists at Pitt.

Conferral of the award enrolls Pinsky as a member of the French Academy of Medicine.

At Pitt, Pinsky is a member of Senate Council, serving on the tenure and academic freedom committee.


A member of the University of Pittsburgh Police Department has been named to the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations. Officer Deborah L. Walker was sworn in as a commissioner Dec. 9 by Mayor Tom Murphy.

Walker came to Pitt as a guard in 1983. In 1984 she was promoted to police officer and since 1999 has served as a community relations and crime prevention specialist.

She received the 2001 Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Service for Staff Employees in part for developing several crime prevention programs in the campus police department, including Operation Campus Watch and the Residence Officer Program. Walker also helped initiate the FBI-sponsored Adopt-a-School Program, which takes crime prevention education into local public schools.


Margaret C. McDonald, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs, Health Sciences, has been named chair-elect of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Institutional Advancement (GIA) for 2003. She will assume the position of chair in 2004. Prior to her election, McDonald served as the GIA’s vice-chair for public relations.

The AAMC is a non-profit association founded in 1876 to work for reform in medical education in efforts to improve the nation’s health. The association comprises the 125 accredited U.S. and 16 Canadian medical schools, 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, 90 academic and professional societies, and the nation’s medical students and residents.

At Pitt, McDonald coordinates the development and support of academic and public affairs initiatives within the six schools of the health sciences. She also serves as an assistant professor of epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, and clinical instructor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine. McDonald coordinates the medical school’s mini-medical school program and is the co-coordinator of the annual University-wide research festival.

She was honored for two consecutive years with the Robert G. Fenley Award for excellence in science writing from the AAMC and, in 1995, was elected to Delta Omega, the national public health honor society.


Marc Boehm, Pitt’s executive associate athletics director since 1997, has been appointed interim athletics director by Chancellor Mark Nordenberg. Boehm assumes the duties of Steve Pederson, Pitt director of athletics since 1996, who last month accepted the athletics director’s post at the University of Nebraska.

“Since coming to Pittsburgh in 1997, Marc has been directly involved in virtually every aspect of the athletic department’s operations,” Nordenberg said.

Nordenberg added that the University would launch a national search for a permanent director of athletics.

Boehm joined Pitt after five years as associate executive director of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Before his stint at the Fiesta Bowl, Boehm served as associate director and public relations director of the Sun Bowl from 1987 to 1991. He was a sports information assistant at the University of Florida in 1986-87.


Pitt-Johnstown’s head men’s basketball Coach Bob Rukavina celebrated his 200th win when the Mountain Cats defeated Glenville State (WV) College, 74-53, on Dec. 6 in the UPJ Sports Center. The achievement gives Rukavina the most wins of any men’s basketball coach in campus history. Rukavina, currently in his 14th season, entered the 2002-03 season with a 196-152 UPJ career record.

During his career at Johnstown, Rukavina guided the Mountain Cats to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in 1997 and 1998 and his 1998-1999 team finished at No. 5 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II national rankings.


Robert Gallagher, former vice chancellor for Student Affairs and fomer director of the University Counseling Center, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors for contributions to the profession.

Gallagher has more than 35 years of experience as a practicing psychologist, administrator, educator and consultant. He has held leadership roles in national professional associations, including the presidency of the International Association of Counseling Services.

He has written many articles and monographs on psychology, student affairs administration and career development, and he continues to publish an annual national survey of college counseling center directors that serves as a database for the profession.

He also has been a frequent speaker at professional conferences and has served as a consultant to over 50 colleges and universities.

Gallagher currently is employed part time at the University Counseling Center as a psychologist and holds an appointment in the Department of Administrative and Policies Studies at the School of Education, where he teaches courses on post-secondary counseling and professional ethics.

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