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May 12, 2011

People of the Times

Marah Gubar, a faculty member in the English department and director of Pitt’s children’s literature program, is being honored with the Children’s Literature Association’s 2009 Book of the Year Award for her book “Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature.”

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) presented an award this month to Helen Clay Frick Foundation Archives project archivists Matthew Yount and Alesha Shumar of the University’s Archives Service Center, part of the University Library System. Their efforts received second place in MARAC’s annual regional competition.

Ed Galloway, head of the center who recently was elected to a two-year term as MARAC chair, accepted the award on their behalf.

Yount and Shumar worked over the course of six years to process the Helen Clay Frick Foundation Archives, which contain material reflecting the business and financial activities of Helen Clay Frick’s father, coke and steel magnate Henry Clay Frick.

Using a grant from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, the archivists processed the massive collection, wrote descriptions of the materials, provided historical backgrounds and scope and content notes and encoded the guide for online use. Only the guide is online; the actual materials can be viewed in the Archives Service Center Reading Room, 7500 Thomas Blvd., Point Breeze.

The Society for Biomaterials has honored William Wagner, a faculty member in surgery, bioengineering and chemical engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering, with the 2011 Clemson Award for Applied Research. The award, which includes a $1,000 prize, recognizes the application of basic science to a significant accomplishment in biomaterials.

Wagner, who also is deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is known for his work in developing technology to treat and diagnose cardiovascular disease, particularly devices that help patients during heart failure.

Wagner is principal investigator for an $18.5 million National Science Foundation-funded collaboration with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of Cincinnati. The project focuses on producing biodegradable and self-adapting devices for craniofacial and orthopaedic reconstructive surgery; similarly behaving cardiovascular devices such as stents, and miniaturized sensing systems that monitor and control the safety and effectiveness of biodegradable metals inside the body.

Bernard D. Goldstein, a faculty member in environmental and occupational health and former dean of the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), will serve as the interim director of the school’s Center for Healthy Environments and Communities (CHEC) while a search is conducted for a permanent director.

Goldstein succeeds Conrad “Dan” Volz, who is resigning as CHEC director effective at the end of May.

Martha Ann Terry, a faculty member in behavioral and community health sciences and director of the GSPH master of public health program, has been awarded the 2011 James L. Craig Award for Teaching Excellence.

Established by GSPH alumnus James L. Craig, this award recognizes GSPH faculty who have excelled in the teaching and mentoring of students. Craig awardees are nominated annually by GSPH students.

ConstantinElena Constantin, a Pitt-Johnstown mathematics faculty member, has received the UPJ President’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Constantin was recognized for the strong focus on her teaching preparation, ensuring that her approaches and her materials are fresh and challenging. Additionally, she is engaged in research to advance her field.

The Pitt-Johnstown advisory board presented its annual Service to Community Award to Nikki Babik, UPJ assistant athletics director. Babik also received a $250 cash prize.

This award was established to recognize students, faculty and staff who have contributed to the quality of life in the region.

BabikBabik was recognized for her involvement as adviser to the student-athlete advisory committee; coordinator of the annual Think Pink game, which has raised more than $3,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center; volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity’s alternative spring break; creator of the annual Make-a-Wish charity basketball game between the faculty/staff and students, and leader of several clothing, food and toy drives for the benefit of the community.

She also established a partnership with the alternative community resource program that has involved Pitt-Johnstown student-athletes as community volunteers and youth mentors.

Two Pitt-Greensburg faculty members were honored recently.

marshDiane Marsh of psychology received the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service for her accomplishments during her 33-year career at UPG.

Marsh, a past winner of both the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Research awards, was recognized as one of the campus’s most prolific and effective researchers, while continuing to serve as a role model and mentor to fellow faculty. During her career, she has been the recipient of 16 awards for achievement, service or mental health advocacy.

Author or editor of 12 books, Marsh brings to her research and to her classroom years of experience as a therapist, consultant and trainer.

The Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association presented its Outstanding Faculty Award to Elisa E. Beshero-Bondar of English.

besherobondarBeshero-Bondar teaches British Romanticism, gender and genre, women poets, fantasy and science fiction and literary history.

The 2009 recipient of the UPG President’s Distinguished Teaching Award, she has chaired the Da Vinci Scholarship selection committee and served as faculty vice president and publicity officer for the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She also is faculty adviser to the campus chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, where she mentors students.

David Servan-Schreiber, a faculty member in psychiatry at the School of Medicine and a Carnegie Mellon University alumnus, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at CMU’s May 15 commencement exercises.

Diagnosed with brain cancer at age 31, Servan-Schreiber authored the international bestseller “Anticancer: A New Way of Life,” which promotes an integrative approach to prevent and treat cancer.

Two Pitt law faculty members recently were honored.

Haider Ala Hamoudi won the American Society of Comparative Law’s Hessel Yntema Prize, which recognizes the best scholarly article published in the American Journal of Comparative Law in 2008 by a scholar under the age of 40.

Hamoudi’s article was titled “The Muezzin’s Call and the Dow Jones Bell: On the Necessity of Realism in the Study of Islamic Law.”

Max Miller, director of the School of Law’s Innovation Practice Institute and an adjunct faculty member, has been recognized by the ABA Journal as one of its 50 “Legal Rebels.”

The magazine describes a legal rebel as an innovator who finds “new ways to practice law, represent their clients, adjudicate cases and train the next generation of lawyers.”

Ann Dugan, assistant dean and founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship Excellence in the graduate and undergraduate schools of business, has been named by Gov. Tom Corbett to the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, one of two state-appointed boards overseeing Pittsburgh’s finances.

Several members of the University community were honored recently as winners of the annual Robert L. Vann awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in journalism related to the coverage of the African-American and African Diaspora community of western Pennsylvania.

Larry Glasco, a faculty member in the Department of History, whose work long has documented black life in Pittsburgh, was granted a special honor.

Others Pitt winners were:

Cara Masset of Pitt magazine, 1st place in the magazine feature story category, for “Love’s Palette.”

Renee Aldrich, 3rd place in the magazine feature story category, for “Power in Black and White,” in “Blue, Gold and Black.”

Amanda Leff Ritchie, Morgan Kelly, Anthony Moore and Patricia Lomando White of Public Affairs, 2nd place in the print series category, for the Black History series in the Pitt Chronicle.

Peter Hart of the University Times, 2nd place in the news feature category, for “Making Pitt Work: Deborah Walker.”


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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