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April 14, 2011

People of the Times

John McDowell, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, has won a 2010 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.McDowell

Established in 2001, the Mellon achievement award recognizes humanities professors who have had a lasting influence on their students and colleagues and supports ongoing work that promises to make a significant contribution to the recipient’s field and to overall humanistic inquiry. The honor includes a $1.5 million grant.

With this award, McDowell will build upon his decades-long work to explain how philosophers can think about the natural world without restricting themselves to the observations of the natural sciences, as he believes his contemporaries have been inclined to do in recent years.

“The big-picture issue was how to think about nature,” McDowell said. “There’s a tendency to think the natural world can be considered solely through the natural sciences, but that makes it impossible to think straight about how humans gain knowledge of the environment through our natural interaction with it. Science is great, but it’s not the only answer.”

McDowell first delved into this idea in his book “Mind and World,” where he described an impasse in philosophical thought about how to combine the idea that perception is the result of human reason with the idea that humans have natural capacities for perceptual experience.

McDowell reconciled the two ideas by concluding that human experience can be seen as a result of “second nature,” those human attributes acquired in upbringing, such as the ability to rationalize that allows humans to think scientifically.

Samar R. El Khoudary, a faculty member in epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health, has been awarded the Trudy Bush Fellowship for Cardiovascular Research in Women’s Health. The award is given by the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention to recognize the top three abstracts related to cardiovascular research in women’s health accepted at their annual conference.

El Khoudary’s abstract was titled, “Endogenous Sex Hormones Impact the Progression of Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Women During the Menopausal Transition.”

School of Law faculty member Deborah Brake is the 2011 recipient of the Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement. The award honors Young, the late philosopher and social theorist who was a professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) in the 1990s.

GSPIA and the women’s studies program inaugurated the award in 2008 to honor Young’s memory.

Brake’s scholarship explores the theoretical underpinnings of various dimensions of equality law. She has written articles on retaliation and other negative reactions to equality claims, examining how constitutional and statutory law responds to persons who challenge inequality. Much of her work explores how legal doctrine fits the realities of lived experience, drawing on social science literature to inform that relationship.

She is a nationally recognized expert and author on Title IX and gender equality in sports, and on gender discrimination more broadly.

Geraldine MaurerGeraldine Maurer, a faculty member in the School of Nursing, was named the Pearl of Hope honoree by Sojourner House for her commitment of time, talent and personal resources to advance the mission of the facility. Sojourner House is a faith-based recovery facility providing residential treatment and other services to addicted women and their children.

Maurer, who also is former director of nursing at Magee-Womens Hospital, opened a high-risk obstetrics unit at Magee and was a leader on the planning group to open the Womancare Birthouse in Moscow.

She is a founding member of Sojourner House and since 1989 she has been volunteering at the East Liberty facility. She has served as a board member for 18 years and as president for six.

goldbogenTamara Goldbogen, director of the Shakespeare-in-the-Schools touring outreach program and a faculty member in the Department of Theatre Arts, recently was elected to the advisory board for the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theatre, a division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Goldbogen also has been named to the board of directors of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, the only national theatre organization in the United States that has as its primary mandates the development of professional theatre for young audiences and international exchange.

School of Pharmacy faculty members recently were honored.Day

Billy Day of pharmaceutical sciences, director of the Proteomics Core Lab of the Schools of the Health Sciences, was named to a three-year term as associate editor of the journal Toxicology in Vitro.

Day holds secondary appointments in chemistry, environmental and occupational health and the Clinical Translational Science Institute.

Seybert• Amy Seybert, interim chair of the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, was named a fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Seybert directs the cardiovascular specialty and critical care specialty residencies at the School of Pharmacy and is the pharmaceutical care coordinator for critical care at UPMC’s Department of Pharmacy.

Recently, she was appointed as associate director for pharmacy programs at the Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation Education and Research.

Frank Pokrywka, a staff member in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, has been appointed as a fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).

This distinction is awarded to the 5 percent of AIHA members who make significant contributions to the field of industrial hygiene, which is the science of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating and controlling workplace conditions that may cause worker illness or injury.

Howard KuhnHoward A. Kuhn, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, has won the Eli Whitney Productivity Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers for development of basic research and commercialization of the powder-forging process and titanium forging.

Kuhn is co-founder of Concurrent Technologies Corp. (CTC), an independent nonprofit applied research and development firm headquartered in Johnstown.

He also is the research and development director of The Ex One Co. in Irwin.

NeubauerThe Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, part of the Katz Graduate School of Business, has named Jennifer Lewis Neubauer to the newly created position of membership director.

Neubauer comes to Pitt from Carnegie Mellon, where she served for 13 years as assistant vice president for alumni relations and later as assistant vice president for VIP relations and presidential liaison.

DeCarlucciCourtney K. DeCarlucci recently was named manager of corporate and foundation relations at Pitt-Greensburg. A member of the UPG University Relations and Institutional Advancement team, DeCarlucci is responsible for securing funding for institutional and academic objectives, endowments, current operations and facilities by composing and submitting proposals to appropriate foundations and corporations, as well as identifying prospective funding sources on behalf of the Greensburg campus.

DeCarlucci most recently worked as a grants writer for the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette. She was responsible for maintaining existing funding streams and securing new federal, state, local and private funding to support a variety of programs. She also performed a variety of public relations and marketing activities.

McCloskeyDenise McCloskey has been named vice president for Business Affairs at Pitt-Titusville. McCloskey previously was executive director of the Northwest Commission.

She will direct the offices of Human Resources, Facilities Management, Campus Police, the UPT Book Center, the Computer Center and the Business Office. She also will serve as a member of the UPT president’s senior staff.


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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