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April 29, 2010

People of the Times

Joanne_KowiatekJoanne Kowiatek, a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics and pharmacy manager, medication patient safety, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, was elected as a fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

Kowiatek’s hospital pharmacy experience involves pharmacy operations management, including managing centralized and decentralized pharmacy services and operating room pharmacy satellites.

In the School of Pharmacy, she teaches medication safety and regulatory compliance and serves as a preceptor for pharmacy students and residents.

She has received national awards, including the Circle of Excellence in Patient Safety Award and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Medication Safety Alert! Cheers Subscriber Award and is an individual recipient of the ISMP Cheers Award.

Brian Primack has won the Early Career Investigator Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Primack, a faculty member in medicine and pediatrics at the School of Medicine, was recognized for his body of research focusing on the relationship between mass media and health.

The Early Career Investigator Award recognizes one recipient each year who early in his or her career has made outstanding and lasting contributions to the field of behavioral medicine.

Since 2006, Primack has published 28 research studies in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals, including Pediatrics, Archives of General Psychiatry, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Addiction and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. These studies have explored topics such as racial disparities in tobacco advertising; the portrayal of substance use and sexual behavior in popular music; teaching principles of marketing to medical students to improve patient care, and the association between “media literacy” and adolescent smoking.

Although many of his studies uncover potentially harmful effects of media, Primack also researches ways that mass media, technological advances and media literacy can be used to improve health.

Primack is the recent recipient of the Society of Adolescent Medicine New Investigator Award and a Robert Wood Johnson Physician Faculty Scholar Award.

wahedAbdus Wahed, a faculty member in the Graduate School of Public Health, has been chosen by student ballot as the winner of the 2010 James L. Craig Award for Teaching Excellence.

The award will be presented at the May 2 GSPH convocation by the GSPH Student Government Association.

Wahed teaches courses in biostatistics, including Linear Models and Introduction to Statistical Methods 1.

Head men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon has received the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award. The award is presented annually to the top coach in America by The honor is voted on by a group of coaches, media members and athletics administrators.

9DixonEarlier, Dixon was named the Big East Coach of the Year.

Despite losing four starters from the previous year’s team, Dixon guided his 2009-10 Pitt team to a 25-9 overall record, a second-place finish in the Big East with a 13-5 slate, the school’s ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and a No. 3 seed entering the tournament.

Two dental school faculty members were honored at the 10th annual School of Dental Medicine dean’s scholarship ball. The ball raises funds to provide tuition support to dental students through the Dean’s Scholarship Fund.

Honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards at the fundraiser were F. Eugene Ewing of the Department of Dental Public Health and Information Management, a 1953 graduate, and Deborah Studen-Pavlovich of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, a 1980 graduate and a 1983 alumna of the advanced education program in pediatric dentistry.

Members of the Health Sciences Library System recently earned appointments.

Jonathan Erlen, history of medicine librarian, has been named associate book review editor of The Watermark: Newsletter of the Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences and has been appointed to the local arrangements committee of the 2010 Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science Conference.

Carrie Iwema, information specialist in molecular biology, has been appointed to the Medical Library Association’s grants and scholarships committee for a three-year term.

Melissa Ratajeski, reference librarian, has been appointed chair of the Medical Library Association’s Beatty Award Jury for 2010-11.

Patricia Weiss, reference librarian, has been appointed to the Medical Library Association’s David A. Kronick Traveling Fellowship Jury.

John Harry Evans III, Alumni Professor of Accounting in the Katz Graduate School of Business, has been named senior editor of The Accounting Review. He will assume his duties in 2011.

Evans served as an editor of The Accounting Review, 2008-10.

The School of Pharmacy Alpha Omicron chapter of the Rho Chi Society selected the recipients of its annual faculty awards.

Dexi Liu of pharmaceutical sciences received the Outstanding Scholarly Contribution Award. Liu was chosen for his innovative research in the area of hydrodynamic delivery systems for gene therapy.

Amy Seybert and Sandra Kane-Gill, both of pharmacy and therapeutics, received Innovation in Teaching Awards for their devotion to students, the profession and the future of pharmacy.

3Rogers_JoanJoan C. Rogers, chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, this week received the AOTA-AOTF Presidents’ Commendation Award.

This award, established by the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, honors a leader of the profession who has made sustained contributions to occupational therapy over a lifetime of service.

Rogers, who is a fellow of AOTA, previously received the Award of Merit, AOTA’s highest award, and the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship, AOTA’s  highest academic award. She served on AOTA’s board of directors, 2005-08.

Rogers also is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.

She holds faculty appointments in nursing and medicine, and is affiliated with the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Four Pitt faculty members have received the 2010 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, which recognizes faculty for their mentoring of doctoral students.

The award carries a cash prize of $2,500. Winners were selected from a pool of nominees whose names were submitted by Pitt doctoral students and faculty.

4carrThe honorees are Jean Ferguson Carr, English and women’s studies program; John Harry Evans III, Katz Graduate School of Business; John Lyne, communication and the Center for Bioethics and Health Law, and Richard Scaglion, anthropology.

• Carr serves as director of the women’s studies program and is a former director of Pitt’s committee for the evaluation and advancement of teaching.

Students mentored by Carr have published books with such publishers as the State University of New York Press and the University of Georgia Press. Many of her former students now are in tenure-stream positions as scholars, teachers and administrators of composition programs.

5Evans III• Evans, former director of doctoral programs in the Katz school, has been recognized as Teacher of the Year by Pitt’s MBA students seven times.

Students mentored by Evans have earned tenured faculty positions at such research institutions as Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan State and Maryland.

• Lyne is the former director of graduate studies in the Department of Communication.

Lyne has served on committees for student dissertations that have been honored by the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender and twice by the National Communication Association.

6LyneStudents mentored by Lyne are serving as faculty members at such institutions as Colorado, Temple, Tulane, Alabama-Huntsville and North Carolina-Greensboro.

Lyne’s former students also have served in leadership roles in their professional societies, and one student received a national book award from the National Communication Association.

• Scaglion is the director of Asian Studies Center.

7ScaglionHe has instructed a grant and research design course that was responsible for a nearly perfect record of students receiving external funding awards. He also holds a dissertation-writing group for his students.

Students mentored by Scaglion have gone on to successful academic careers, and many have advanced to senior positions within their fields.

Anna C. Balazs, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Robert Von der Luft Professor in the Swanson School of Engineering, has been named a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Balazs’s research focuses on theoretical and computer modeling of the thermodynamic and kinetic behavior of polymer blends and composites. She also investigates the properties of polymers at surfaces and interfaces.


She also is a researcher in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Institute of NanoScience and Engineering.

Among her awards are the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award and the National Science Foundation’s Special Creativity Award.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is a professional association in the United Kingdom.

Joseph Maroon, clinical professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the School of Medicine, has been inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame.

Maroon has completed more than 70 triathlon events, including three times completing the Ironman in Hawaii, which consists of a 2.4-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile run.

He is a 2009 inductee into the western chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He also is senior vice president of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and team neurosurgeon for the Steelers.

Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, head men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon and Thomas Starzl and his wife, Joy, are among those to be honored today, April 29, with Nellie Leadership Awards by Three Rivers Youth, which serves at-risk youth and families. Starzl is Pitt Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery and director emeritus of the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute.

The Nellie awards honor community leaders who champion the cause of youth and families.

Among performers at the event will be Nathan Davis, director of Pitt’s jazz studies program, and drummer Norman G. Humphries, a Pitt faculty member.

BandikGeorge Bandik, senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Chemistry, was honored recently by the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority for his work with students in chemistry. He also is faculty adviser to the department’s award-winning American Chemical Society-student affiliate chapter.

Bandik is a winner of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the Tina and David Bellet Arts and Sciences Teaching Excellence Award and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award. He also has won the Carnegie Science Center Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Bandik is involved in the honors organic chemistry high school program, the Saturday Science Academy and the local High School Olympics.

Winners of the fifth annual Elizabeth Baranger Excellence in Teaching Award have been announced. The award recognizes outstanding teaching by graduate students in Arts and Sciences.

Winners in the natural sciences are: Aimee Midei (psychology), and Jessica Yokley (psychology); honorable mention, Michael Beran (physics);

Social sciences: Suset Laboy-Peréz (history) and Madalina Veres (history);

Humanities: Gabrielle “Brie” Owen (English), Thomas Pacio (theatre arts) and James Pearson (philosophy).

The winners were chosen by a committee of the Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Organization.

The Baranger award is intended to make graduate student teaching more visible and valued on campus, to raise the standards of teaching by graduate students and to help graduate students prepare for teaching careers.

The awards are named for Baranger, former vice provost for graduate studies, who retired in 2004 after 44 years of service at Pitt.

Bernie Picklo, academic technology integrator for Pitt-Bradford and a former science teacher at Bradford Area High School, has been honored by UPB as this year’s Distinguished Secondary Teacher.

The award is presented annually to a teacher who is willing to work with and challenge students both inside and outside the traditional classroom. Members of Pitt-Bradford’s senior class nominated the candidates.


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

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