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March 4, 2010

People of the Times

Winners of the annual Thornburgh Academic Support Grants recently were announced. To facilitate the incorporation into the Pitt academic community of the Dick Thornburgh Papers, which provide a source of information on significant public events in Pennsylvania and in United States history, the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy provides faculty academic support grants.

Grants are available to faculty members for incorporating archival material into new or existing courses, or for developing significant case studies of historic events for which the archives would provide considerable research material.

Collectively, these courses will allow approximately 300 additional students per year to utilize the Dick Thornburgh Papers.

The grants were awarded to:

• Richard Cox, School of Information Sciences. Cox will be incorporating research from the archives into the course Archival Access, Advocacy and Ethics. Graduate students will use the Dick Thornburgh Papers to develop teaching packets for use by college students that highlight the value of archival records in understanding legal, public policy and other high-profile cases.

• Rosemary Hoffman, Department of Acute and Tertiary Care, School of Nursing. Hoffman will be incorporating research from the archives into the course Leadership, Healthcare Policy and Finance. Hoffman and a graduate student will develop a multimedia case study analyzing the impact of Three Mile Island on health care policy development, as well as potential health effects and changes in the nuclear industry, especially emergency response planning.

Students in the course will be asked to view the multimedia case study, and submit a response to questions posed by Hoffman by using the Dick Thornburgh Papers.

• Mark Magalotti, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering. Magalotti will be incorporating research from the archives into the course Urban Transportation Planning.

A graduate student will research and write a case study on the short- and long-term impacts of the Three Mile Island crisis on public policy for transportation planning for nuclear plant disasters. This case study then will be submitted for publication and will be used in the course as a real world example of how studies are structured and the technical tasks needed to complete them.

• Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Department of Political Science, School of Arts and Sciences. Pérez-Liñán will be incorporating research from the archives into the course Comparative Politics.

Gov. Thornburgh’s visit to the Soviet Union in 1989 will be used as the basis for class discussion on the contradiction between totalitarianism and the rule of law. Students will be required to write an essay using papers and video from the archives updating the contradiction in the context of current post-totalitarian China.

The Thornburgh collection contains 5,115 documents, 488 photographs, 31 audio clips and 55 video clips covering Dick Thornburgh’s career, including his years as governor of Pennsylvania (1979-87), attorney general of the United States (1988–91), and under-secretary-general of the United Nations (1992-93).


Faculty and staff at Pitt-Bradford were honored as those who “go beyond” — the official “brand” of the regional campus — at the fourth annual Go Beyond brand party.

The athletic training and sports medicine programs, under the direction of Jason Honeck and Mark Kelley, and the admissions office, directed by Alexander Nazemetz, were honored as this year’s Brand Champions.

Selected by UPB President Livingston Alexander, the Brand Champions are those people who best exemplify the regional’s brand promise, which includes providing a safe, friendly and personalized campus environment.

Also recognized at the brand party were athletic training and sports medicine programs employees Kristin Asinger, visiting instructor of sports medicine, who created the Pitt Improvers, a student improvisational comedy group that has performed several shows in the Bradford area and has donated the proceeds to local charities, and athletic trainers Angela Honeck and John Eaton.

In addition to Nazemetz, members of the Admissions staff who were recognized were Bret Butler, head men’s baseball coach and admissions representative; Stacey M. Colosimo, administrative assistant; Bob Dilks Jr., director of transfer and nontraditional student recruitment; Tad Haight, assistant director of admissions; Shawn Manning, admissions counselor; Cindy Nowacki, transfer and nontraditional student counselor; Vicky Pingie, associate director of admissions, and Gerry Vogt, coordinator of off-campus programs.


Jessie Ramey, a visiting scholar in the women’s studies program, pottsreceived this year’s Lerner-Scott Dissertation Prize in Women’s History from the Organization of American Historians. OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching and presentation of American history, and encourages wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of all practitioners of history.

Earlier this year, Ramey’s Carnegie Mellon dissertation, “A Childcare Crisis: Poor Black and White Families and Orphanages in Pittsburgh 1878-1929,” also won the John Heinz Dissertation Award from 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.


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