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September 2, 2010

What’s New: Things

The School of Arts and Sciences Advising Center has implemented a student-centered advising model that calls for students to be active participants in the advising process. This developmental advising structure encourages a shared partnership between advisers and students, where students learn to frame questions, gather information, discover options and make decisions about their academic plan and career path. Arts and Sciences contracted with Noel-Levitz, a higher education consulting firm, to evaluate the advising program and provide recommendations on how best to serve the undergraduate student population.

The Department of Africana Studies will co-host the Ousmane Sembene Film Festival Nov. 13 and 14. Oronde Sharif, with the Shona Sharif African Dance and Drum Ensemble, will perform the annual Langston Hughes “Black Nativity” play in December.

The Kuntu Repertory Theatre’s 2010-2011 season at Pitt will consist of Vernell Lillie’s “Black Mahalia” and Gregory Allen’s “Traces.”

The Department of Communication will host the 12th Biennial Public Address Conference Sept. 30-Oct. 2. The conference theme is “Human Rights Rhetoric: Controversies, Conundrums and Community Actions.”

The conference includes two public lectures: an Oct. 1 lecture by Mari Boor Tonn of the University of Richmond titled, “‘From the Eye to the Soul’: Industrial Labor’s Mary Harris ‘Mother’ Jones and the Rhetorics of Display,” and an Oct. 2 lecture by Stephen John Hartnett of the University of Colorado-Denver titled, “Speaking With the Damned: Or Prison Education, Social Justice and Communication as a Human Right.” (Information on the conference can be found at

New areas of concentration in the Department of Computer Science include security, gaming, high-performance systems, business of software and software engineering. New courses in the department’s curriculum include one undergraduate course and two graduate courses. Principles of Computer Game Design and Implementation will provide an introduction to the fundamental technologies behind computer games as well as hands-on experience in the design and development of a computer game. Advanced Topics in Security and Privacy will cover current research topics in computer security and privacy, and Advanced Topics in Web Technologies will take a retrospective look at technologies that are used on the web today, with particular emphasis on web data management and emerging technologies.

The Katz Graduate School of Business Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence has established the Center for Women in Business. The center was developed in conjunction with PowerLink, a nonprofit organization that assists female-driven companies in developing advisory boards. Under the direction of former PowerLink executive director Lee Ann Munger, the nonprofit’s advisory programs now are available directly through the Center for Women in Business. Information about the center and its programs are available at

The first “Katz Gives Back” community service day is set for Sept. 25, sponsored by the Katz Student Executive Board, Evening Student Executive Board, Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership and the Business Alumni Association. Katz students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends will work with local nonprofit organizations during this large-scale daylong event.

The College of Business Administration is offering its first course in entrepreneurship this fall. The Entrepreneurship Process, taught by Michael S. Lehman and Heidi Bertels, will provide an introduction to entrepreneurship, including generating value-added business ideas, creating a new venture and managing and growing the entrepreneurial firm.

The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and Magee-Womens Research Institute have established a Women’s Cancer Research Center to combine existing efforts at UPCI and MWRI in the fields of breast and gynecological cancers.

Steffi Oesterreich, an expert in estrogen receptor biology and action, has been appointed director of education for the center.

Computing Services and Systems Development has released a new version of The new My Pitt portal is designed to be easier to use and simpler to navigate with customized home pages for freshmen, other students, faculty, staff and applicants that provide quick access to key University services. One-click access to University email is available from every page. Feedback on the new portal can be shared at or on the Facebook page.

CSSD’s technology help desk has added a live online chat option for students, faculty and staff. To chat with a help desk analyst via the new feature, visit and click the Chat button on the main page.

Pitt Mobile (, which provides University information and services tailored to smart phones and mobile devices, has added several applications. Routes and schedules for University shuttles now are available, along with information about dining options at Pitt. Students also can check on the availability of laundry machines in the residence halls.

CSSD has expanded self-service printing. Students now can send print jobs from any location (including campus email kiosks) to self-service print stations at any of CSSD’s seven campus computing labs. The service now is available for 64-bit versions of the Windows operating system. New versions of the self-service printing client can be downloaded at

CSSD has streamlined the way students enter primary emergency contact information. Instead of using the PeopleSoft student information system, students can click the Emergency Contact Information link on their My Pitt home page.

In collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs, CSSD is piloting an opt-in new notification subscription service for text and email messages about Student Affairs events and activities. Students can subscribe from their mobile device or via their Profile link at My Pitt.

CSSD is introducing an instructor-led online orientation that will help new web conferencing subscribers learn key features of the service. Additional training for all subscribers soon will be available through WebEx University, which provides both self-paced and instructor-led training on all facets of web conferencing.

The PeopleSoft Student Information System was upgraded to version 9.0 in July. The new version features an Advisor Center that provides faculty advisers with one-click access to the academic records of the students they advise. In addition, new navigation tabs make it easier for students to find information within their Student Center.

The School of Dental Medicine begins this academic year with the recent success of another Commission on Dental Accreditation site visit in which the school received no recommendations, which are issued when a program is noncompliant with a standard, as well as multiple “areas of strength.”

For the first time, the school’s Aug. 30 white coat ceremony was viewable online via live streaming video. The annual ceremony signifies entry into the profession for incoming dental medicine and dental hygiene students. The video is available at

The School of Education has introduced a newly redesigned principal certificate program, the Leadership Initiative for Transforming Schools (LIFTS). Its purpose is to develop educational leaders of character and integrity who are inspired by a sense of justice to improve the achievement of all students. The program encourages the shift from teacher leadership to administrative leadership through academic rigor in the classroom, authentic experiences in schools and reflective opportunities for integrating personal and professional growth. The 15-month LIFTS program will be offered at two sites: Pitt-Johnstown and the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

The Western Pennsylvania Writing Project is a site of the National Writing Project, hosted by Pitt since 1984. The project relocated from the English department to the School of Education. WPWP is part of plans for studying approaches to improve urban education.

A new online Master of Education in Elementary Education program admitted its first class this fall. The goals of the program are to enable practicing teachers to enhance their understanding of and improve their ability to meet the diverse needs of children in their classrooms; advance their understanding of one or more content areas they currently are teaching, and to broaden their understanding of educational research, educational theories as they apply to practice, action research practices and educational policy.

The School of Education is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Throughout the year, events are being planned, including a two-day symposium on motivation and engagement. The celebration will culminate in a gala April 2, 2011, in the Carnegie Music Hall foyer with the presentation of the 2011 Alumni and Student Leadership Awards.

Classes are being offered for Pitt-Greensburg’s new undergraduate major in Spanish, bringing the campus’s total number of majors to 24. The program is housed in the Division of Humanities and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The new Spanish major is intended to be part of an overall strategy for greater internationalization of the curriculum and to add signature programs that will attract students of increasing academic quality.

Students majoring in Spanish will be encouraged to study abroad. Pitt-Greensburg’s long-standing exchange program with the Universidad de Guanajuato and the Pitt study programs in Spain will provide opportunities for this experience.

Pitt-Greensburg has received initial program approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to add instructional I certificate programs in early childhood education and secondary education to its curricula. Notable is the initial program approval with special designation issued to the early childhood education pre-K-4 certificate, which means PDE will highlight this as a model program with innovative program practices.

Unique to the UPG program will be science and math classes specifically developed for education majors that will allow students to meet the challenges of teaching in an increasingly technological and science-driven society.

The Health Sciences Library System is launching the “Get It to Go” workshop series at Falk Library. The sessions offer quick introductions to free online tools to enhance productivity, awareness and personal organization. These informal hands-on classes are 30 minutes long, but participants can stay up to an hour to try out the new technology or get more information about library resources and services. All workshops will be held noon–1 p.m. in Falk Library, classroom 1.

Sessions include: Sept. 23, “Twitter: Power in the Universe of Current Awareness”; Nov. 3, “Journals and More at a Glance: iGoogle or MyYahoo Pages,” and Dec. 7, “MindMapping: Visual Brainstorming and Organization.”

The HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service recently licensed two new bioinformatics resources. CLC Main Workbench supports researchers’ daily bioinformatics needs and CLC Genomics Workbench handles sequencing data from high-throughput sequencing systems.

CLC Main Workbench enables users to perform advanced DNA, RNA and protein sequence analyses, combined with gene expression analysis, seamless data management and user-friendly graphical viewing and output options.

CLC Genomics Workbench incorporates cutting-edge technology and algorithms for analyzing and visualizing next-generation sequencing data.

The tools can be accessed via the HSLS Molecular Biology portal.

The School of Information Sciences has introduced a series of seminars exploring the theme of memory in the digital age. The seminars, “Working Memory: Doctoral Studies in Cultural and Scientific Memory,” are intended for doctoral students at the University. The series will address issues concerning information and evidence in society and the information professions. For more information, go to:

In 2010-11, SIS will introduce a new program, the iSchool Inclusion Institute of Information Sciences (i3), made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This three-year program is designed to address a critical shortfall of faculty and students from underrepresented populations within the information sciences disciplines and professions.

For more information about the i3 program, go to

The Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education’s Teaching Times newsletter has gone green by moving to an online-only format at The March 2010 issue was the final printed edition of the newsletter, which is published once each term.

This fall the School of Law has launched the Immigration Law Clinic.

In partnership with various community groups, including  Jewish Family & Children’s Services and Catholic Charities, the clinic will develop an initiative to increase diversity in the Pittsburgh region. The clinic will address the legal needs of local immigrants in asylum and deportation proceedings.

Law students will be exposed to the impact that law and legal institutions have on the lives of immigrants, while fostering their ability to integrate theoretical knowledge with the professional judgment needed to practice law.

This fall marks the first incoming cohort of nursing majors at Pitt-Johnstown.

The School of Medicine has established a Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery dedicated to using advanced diagnostic, surgical and medical techniques to treat diseases and disorders of the heart, lung and esophagus. Only 18 such academic departments exist in American institutions, reflecting the recent rapid evolution of cardiothoracic surgery as an independent discipline.

The new department will expand upon the clinical, academic and research accomplishments of the Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute, which will remain within it.

The department is made up of the Division of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery and the Division of Cardiac Surgery, which includes adult cardiac surgery, cardiothoracic transplantation and pediatric cardiothoracic surgery.

The Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration of UPMC and the University, a partnership between the UPMC Eye Center and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is launching a new lecture series this fall.

The Innovations in Vision Restoration series will bring national and international speakers to address eye regeneration. For more information, visit

This fall, the School of Nursing will begin offering an online post-master’s degree doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program, in addition to its current on-site program. Areas of concentration include clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner and nursing administration. The program is available remotely to nurses around the world.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists recommend the DNP as the terminal degree for advanced practice nurses.

The DNP program will continue to be offered on site along with a post-bachelor’s degree (BSN to DNP) option. The nursing school also offers an online clinical nurse leader master’s degree program. For more information call 412/648-0287 or email

The School of Pharmacy has invested in state-of-the-art resources to expand the use of simulation in the curriculum. A simulation mannequin and a number of simulation arms provide opportunities for students to develop and enhance pharmacotherapy skills.

These simulation devices can be programmed to have palpable pulses, audible heart, lung and abdominal sounds, visible hemodynamic parameters on a monitor and visible blood pressure cuff deflation rates. The patient simulation model also displays  blood  pressure  and  other  vital  signs. The simulation software programmed by pharmacy faculty offers benefits for assessment of numerous curricular outcomes by allowing the facilitator to provide immediate feedback to students, documentation of decision-making processes and the capability to vary each simulation based on individual student need without interfering with actual patient care.

The pharmacy school is offering a new program that combines a master’s degree and residency in community pharmacy management. This program prepares students for senior management in a retail pharmacy organization. The school partnered with CVS Caremark in this two-year MS/residency program. The school also created affiliations with UPMC Health Plan, Rite Aid Corp., Millennium Pharmacy Systems and the pharmacy at UPMC Falk Clinic to ensure that students get a broad exposure to community pharmacy.

The school recently received the full six-year accreditation for its Doctor of Pharmacy program from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). It also received “noteworthy practice” recognition from ACPE for its strategic planning process and programmatic and curricular assessment.

The Graduate School of Public Health Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences has established a PhD program and made major revisions to its longstanding DrPH program. The first nine students were accepted into the PhD program for the fall term.

The new PhD degree program will train students to develop interventions grounded in the social and behavioral sciences and test them in randomized controlled trials, while the revised DrPH degree program will focus on the translation, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based interventions for use in community settings through the department’s Institute for Evaluation Science in Community Health.

This approach to doctoral education encourages PhD students to learn from practitioners in the DrPH program and vice versa.

GSPH will sponsor the annual Jay L. Foster Memorial Scientific Lecture in Alzheimer’s Disease on Nov. 11. The lecture will be delivered by Lewis H. Kuller, Distinguished University Professor of Public Health.

The Division of Student Affairs has established an Office of Parent and Family Resources to enhance relationships with parents and families of Pitt students. The office will provide a single point of contact to assist with crisis and problem resolution and expand parent and family programs, including a parent’s association.

A key responsibility of the new office will be developing strong, proactive communications with parents and families. A new parent and family web site has been developed (, and the office will distribute a parent handbook and monthly electronic newsletters with information about programs and resources from various academic and support units. The office also will coordinate programs during Pitt’s Family Weekend, Oct. 1-3. A spring event also is being planned.

For more information, call 412/624-8548 or email

Pitt’s 10th annual science showcase, Science 2010, is set for Oct. 7 and 8 at Alumni Hall.

This year’s program includes four keynote lectures; spotlight sessions by nearly 50 researchers from Pitt, Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History; a showcase of new technologies developed on campus that are available for licensing; research poster sessions, and a professional development workshop for early-career scientists.

On Oct. 7, the 2010 Dickson Prize in Medicine Lecture, “The DNA Damage Response: Stopped for Repairs,” will be presented by Stephen J. Elledge, Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Patrick D. Gallagher, director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, will present the Provost Lecture, “Strengthening the Connections: Research, Innovation and Economic Growth.”

On Oct. 8, the 2010 Mellon Lecture, “Our Habitual Lives: How the Brain Makes and Breaks Habits,” will be given by Ann Martin Graybiel, Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, and an investigator at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

Mark B. Roth, a 2007 MacArthur Fellow and cell biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, will present “Metabolic Flexibility and Suspended Animation” in the annual Klaus Hofmann Lecture.

For registration, a schedule and information, visit

The University Library System has expanded its collection with the addition of audio books and eBooks that can be checked out and downloaded from The downloads expire automatically at the end of the lending period so there are no late fees.

Audio books and eBooks can be downloaded to PCs, Macs and many mobile devices; some audio titles can be burned to CDs.

ULS won a Best of Show award in the Library Leadership and Management Association public relations and marketing section 2010 competition. ULS’s holiday card was chosen from more than 200 entries in the printed materials promoting web sites category.

Kimberly K. Barlow & Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 43 Issue 1

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