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March 31, 2011

People of the Times

DixonPitt head men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon was named the 2010-11 National Coach of the Year by Sporting News magazine. The honor marked the third consecutive season that Dixon has garnered a National Coach of the Year award.

Dixon guided the Panthers to an outright Big East regular season championship with a school-best 15-3 league record, a 28-6 overall record and the program’s second No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship Tournament.

His 216 wins in the first eight years of a college head-coaching career rank him first all-time among college coaches. Dixon’s record is 216-60 all-time for a .783 winning percentage. His .708 Big East Conference winning percentage is the highest in conference history.

Dixon’s Panthers also won the Big East 2003-04 regular season and 2007-08 tournament championships.

He also ranks among the all-time top-15 men’s basketball coaches in fastest to 200 victories by total games. Dixon is only the second coach, along with H.C. “Doc” Carlson, to surpass that mark in school history.

His previous awards include the 2010 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year, the 2010 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year and the 2009 Naismith National Coach of the Year.

Assad Panah, a geology and environmental science faculty member at Pitt-Bradford, has been elected president-elect of the National Association of Academies of Science (NAAS).

Panah-AssadPanah will serve a total of six years: two as president-elect, two as president and two as past president. It was the first time that anyone has been elected to a second term as president. Panah also served as president of the NAAS from 2003-04.

NAAS is a nonprofit organization that oversees a network of 47 state and regional academies of science affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of which Panah is a fellow.

In 2000, he received a Distinguished Service Award from the Pennsylvania Academy of Science and in 2004 he received the same award from NAAS.

Panah is the director of Pitt-Bradford’s petroleum technology program, which he developed and launched in 2007.

He also developed and taught in the K-12 teacher enhancement program for NASA under a six-year grant from the Mission to Planet Earth and NASA Earth Science Enterprise, 1997-2002.

Panah twice has been named a Fulbright Scholar in addition to other awards. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America.

Anne Nemer, newly appointed executive director of EMBA (executive MBA) programs at the Katz Graduate School of Business, has been named one of 15 Pittsburgh-area women honorees for the Women in Business awards.

nemerThe annual awards are presented by the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Nemer, who also is assistant dean at Katz, heads the Center for Executive Education, with locations in South and North America and central  Europe. She also leads the school’s initiatives in Asia, and is establishing a portfolio of programs for the Indian market.

While managing a global staff and working with faculty, the dean’s office, corporate partners and board members, Nemer is responsible for the implementation of a global strategy for program marketing, the branding of the Katz school, the launching of new programs and global corporate partnerships and the identification of local program resources that can be leveraged globally. She works with corporate partners to develop custom EMBA programs and executive education programs worldwide, with current projects in the United States, Brazil, the Czech Republic and India.

Nemer also manages the planning and delivery of the global executive forums, which take place on three continents and involve current students, alumni, board members and local community leaders.

Diane P. Holder, executive vice president of UPMC, president of the UPMC Insurance Services Division and president and CEO of UPMC Health Plan, is one of 33 CEOs to earn a Leadership in Action award presented by Diversity Journal magazine.

The annual award recognizes business leaders who support and participate in their organization’s diversity and inclusion activities. The winners are featured in the March/April Leadership in Action Awards edition of the magazine, which also includes essays by the award winners that focus on how they are engaged in workforce diversity and how strong diversity initiatives benefit their organizations.

Diversity Journal is a bi-monthly publication based in Cleveland that focuses on diversity/inclusion in business, government, nonprofit, higher education and military settings.

Jenny Ziembicki, a University of Pittsburgh Physicians faculty member and clinician, has been appointed medical director of the Gertrude P. and Donald C.W. Birmingham Trauma and Burn Center, part of UPMC Mercy.

The Birmingham Center, a Level I Regional Resource Trauma Center, recently earned verification through a joint process of the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons. The program is designed to verify a burn center’s resources required for the provision of optimal care to burn patients from the time of injury through rehabilitation. The Birmingham Center is one of only seven in the state to be verified.

Ziembicki came to UPMC Mercy in 2008.

She received her medical degree at Temple University and completed her general surgery residency at the University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. She completed a trauma/burn and surgical critical care fellowship at Metro Health Medical Center in Cleveland.


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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