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July 10, 2003


William I. Brustein, director of the University Center for International Studies, has been voted chair-elect of the Rationality and Society section of the American Sociological Association (ASA) for 2003-2004.

ASA is a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good. With approximately 13,000 members, ASA encompasses sociologists who are college and university faculty members, researchers, practitioners and students. Approximately 20 percent of the members work in government, business or nonprofit organizations.

The Rationality and Society section encourages and enhances research and teaching about the uses and limits of rational choice theory in sociology. The section seeks to promote communication, collaboration and consultation among scholars in sociology and in allied social science disciplines.

Brustein, who also holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Sociology, is recognized internationally for his scholarly work. His publications include two works connected by the theme of anti-Semitism in Europe prior to World War II.

One book, “The Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933,” explores the reasons why many Germans so willingly joined the Nazi Party during its early years of power; the other, “Roots of Hate: Anti-Semitism in Europe Before the Holocaust,” scheduled to be published this fall, examines anti-Semitism throughout Europe prior to the Holocaust.

Brustein earned a bachelor’s in political science at the University of Connecticut, a master’s in sociology at the University of Washington, a master’s in international studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Washington.


Mathew Rosenblum, associate professor of music and co-director of Pitt’s Music on the Edge series, has been commissioned by the New York-based Sequitur New Music Ensemble to write a multi-media chamber opera that will premiere at New York City’s Miller Theatre in fall 2005.

The 60-minute piece will blend audio and video elements with live performances by three singers, a dancer and 18 musicians. The work, as yet unnamed, will mix spoken and sung words and will draw from the writings of Gertrude Stein, Tang xian-tzu and others.

The commission is sponsored by the 2003 Commissioning Music/USA program of Meet the Composer, a project of the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, which will perform Rosenblum’s work at a later date.

Rosenblum studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and Princeton University, where he earned advanced degrees in music composition.

His works have been performed around the globe, and his Music on the Edge is one of only two organizations in the region dedicated to the presentation of new art music and the only one in Pittsburgh that focuses on contemporary American chamber music.


Pitt’s School of Nursing has appointed alumna Helen Burns as associate dean for clinical education.

Burns will oversee undergraduate and master’s programs and will focus on the development of new initiatives for nursing education.

In addition to Pitt, Burns holds degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the Latrobe Area Hospital School of Nursing.

She comes to Pitt with experience as a clinician, nurse educator and administrator.

She previously held positions at Latrobe Area Hospital, Westmoreland Regional Hospital and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Community Health Systems and Southwest District Office.

Most recently, Burns served as deputy secretary for Health Planning and Assessment at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, where she was responsible for oversight of the Office of Public Health Preparedness, the Office of Emergency Medical Services and the Bureaus of Epidemiology, Laboratories, Health Planning and Community Health Systems.


Linda M. Siminerio received the Harold Rifkin Award for Distinguished International Service in the Cause of Diabetes at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting.

The association, the nation’s largest voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy, gives the Rifkin award each year to an individual whose outstanding service has had an international perspective and global impact.

Siminerio, executive director of Pitt’s Diabetes Institute and professor at the schools of medicine and nursing, has contributed to diabetes research studies, co-authored diabetes publications and has served as editor of the journal Diabetes Spectrum and the consumer magazine Diabetes Forecast.

Currently, she is the vice-president of the International Diabetes Federation, the first diabetes research educator to serve in that capacity.


Donna G. Nativio, associate professor at the School of Nursing, was named a recipient of the ECELS Achievement Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics state chapter.

Nativio was honored for her outstanding service as a health consultant committed to promoting health and safety in early childhood day care settings in Pennsylvania. In addition, Nativio was recognized for her pioneering efforts to educate nurse practitioner students about the role of the child care health consultant.

Nativio also was re-elected to the board of the Society of Primary Care Policy Fellows for a two-year term.


The Division of Student Affairs announced the appointment of Anita Triggs as Greek life coordinator.

The Greek life coordinator advises Pitt’s Greek system organizations.

Triggs comes from Penn State, where she was assistant director of fraternity and sorority life. Prior to that, Triggs served as an assistant director of Greek affairs, an assistant first-year adviser and a graduate assistant for minority recruitment and retention, all at the University of Miami (Ohio).


Radisav Vidic, a professor and William Kepler Whiteford Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, during the 2003-2004 academic year.

Vidic will help the University of Belgrade improve and modernize the environmental engineering and science curricula in the school’s Faculty of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy and Faculty of Chemistry.

According to information supplied by the Fulbright Scholars Program, Vidic was selected for the award, which is administered by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, for his “academic and professional achievement and because he has demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in his field.”

The Fulbright U.S. Scholars Program suspended the exchange program between the United States and Yugoslavia for a decade prior to lifting the suspension last year. Vidic’s award will serve to rebuild scientific and engineering collaboration between the United States and Yugoslavia.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

The program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

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