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May 29, 2003


Cheryl A. Tomko is the new director of organization development in Human Resources.

Prior to coming to HR, Tomko worked at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Mellon Bank and Allegheny Ludlum, and, most recently, was a senior consultant at Development Dimensions International.

Tomko holds Pitt degrees in business and counselor education and is working toward her doctorate.


School of Education professors Mark Ginsburg and David Post have been named co-editors of the Comparative Education Review, which is sponsored by the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) and published by the University of Chicago Press. Their tenure as co-editors runs for five years beginning July 1.


Donald M. Yealy, professor and vice chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Pitt’s School of Medicine, has been elected president of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

Yealy had served four years on the society’s board of directors and as secretary-treasurer.

The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine is the largest academic emergency medicine physician organization in the world, with more than 5,000 members. The society’s mission is to foster emergency medicine’s academic environment in research, education and health policy through forums, publications, inter-organizational collaboration, policy development and consultation services for teachers, researchers and students.

Yealy received his undergraduate degree from Villanova University in 1981 and his medical degree in 1985 from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In 1985, Yealy began his residency training, followed by a clinical research fellowship, at Pitt’s medical school.

Yealy has focused most of his academic research on clinical decision making; the evaluation of community-acquired pneumonia and heart failure patients; acute pain management, and translaryngeal jet ventilation, a procedure whereby a small needle is placed through the neck and into the throat allowing patients to breathe more easily.

Yealy co-edited “The Trauma Manual,” a practical guide to the care of injured patients.

He is a member of the National Association of EMS Physicians and a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.


Robert S. Parker, Fulton C. Noss Fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, was selected as the 2002 Board of Visitors faculty award recipient. The award recognizes faculty who have had the most productive previous academic year.

Parker’s accomplishments include supporting two Ph.D. students, creating a graduate-level mathematical methods course, creating an on-line application system for chemical engineer candidates, organizing a recruitment weekend. contributing to a multiscale modeling group brochure for graduate students and receiving very high student evaluations.

Parker also published five papers in chemical engineering journals and collaborated on a book titled “Process Control Modules: A Software for Control Design.”


The School of Pharmacy’s Melissa Somma, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, has been named contributing editor for pharmacy affairs for the Allegheny County Medical Society Journal-Bulletin, which is distributed monthly to over 3,000 physicians in western Pennsylvania. Somma’s section will be titled “Pill Box.”


Edward and Patricia Kocjancic of Kane, Pa., have pledged $10,000 to the Bradford campus to create the Richard E. McDowell Biology Scholarship Fund in honor of the Pitt-Bradford’s president emeritus.

The fund will provide scholarships to undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll at Pitt-Bradford with a major in biology or environmental science who also have an interest in the environment and conservation.

Kocjancic is a professional forester and owns the firm Edward F. Kocjancic Inc., which has been in business since 1967.

McDowell stepped down as Pitt-Bradford’s president in last August after 29 years of service. Following a sabbatical, McDowell will return to the campus this fall to teach in the biology department and work to expand and advance the programs of the UPB-affiliated Allegheny Institute of Natural History.

The gift will be matched by the Reed-Coit Scholarship Challenge, which for more than a year has matched gifts of at least $5,000 designated for a new scholarship, making the Kocjancics’ total gift $20,000. The challenge fund was created by a $1 million bequest from Dorothy Reed and acknowledges her sister, Berdena Coit, who also was a UPB donor.


Jody Burgert, director of teacher education at Pitt-Bradford, was appointed to a state Commission on Rural Education (CORE), to represent all of Pennsylvania’s state-related universities.

CORE was created by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to examine and study the status of rural education in the state and make recommendations for enhancing the quality of education in rural communities.

The 25-member commission will hold hearings around the state, evaluate reports from different school districts and compile demographic information on rural Pennsylvania. The commission will review the availability, affordability and quality of school readiness programs and services. CORE also will analyze the transportation system in rural schools as well as students’ performances.

In addition, the commission will compile and analyze information regarding school revenues, delivery of special education programs and the availability of alternative programs at the elementary and secondary levels, and examine the quality of existing facilities, including the quality of teachers.

Burgert also was awarded a national Sasakawa Fellowship, which helps college and university teachers incorporate Japanese studies into their undergraduate courses. She is one of 20 people from 15 states chosen to participate in the National Faculty Development Institute on “Incorporating Japanese Studies into the Undergraduate Curriculum.” The institute will be held in June at San Diego University. The institute is sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which includes more than 400 schools across the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Last year Burgert spent five months in Japan where she studied the Japanese educational system, preschool through 12th grade. She is particularly interested in the role that persistence, gambaru in Japanese, plays in student success.

Burgert started teaching at Pitt-Bradford in 1984 as an adjunct instructor and has served as the director of the Academic Development Center.

In addition to directing teacher education, she directs the freshman cluster program and Pitt-Bradford’s Science in Motion project. Burgert also teaches the “To Teach or Not to Teach” freshman cluster class, along with several education courses.

Burgert earned her bachelor’s degree in communication arts in 1982 and her master’s in English in 1984, both from Clarion University. She earned a doctorate in English education in 1999 from Pitt.


Donna L. Kowalczyk, instructor in the Education Division at the Johnstown campus, last month received the 2003 Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society’s Instructor of the Year award. The organization solicits nominations from its upperclassmen and a selection committee composed solely of student members.

Johnstown campus President Albert L. Etheridge said that Kowalczyk was described by students as “a positive role model and caring person who is always willing to help students and listen when someone needs an ear to bend. Her dedication, content knowledge, sound moral character, and perseverance in recently completing her doctoral studies were cited as important qualities valued by the students.”

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