Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

May 31, 2001


The School of Medicine presented awards to faculty at its ninth annual curriculum colloquium on May 22.

Recipients of this year's Excellence in Education Awards were: Jamie Johnston, course director; William deGroat, lecturer, and Georgia Duker, small-group facilitator.

These faculty members were selected from nominations received by first and second year medical students to honor faculty for their contributions and dedication to teaching in the basic sciences and organ systems courses of the School of Medicine curriculum.

Also awarded was the Kenneth E. Schuit Award, recognizing the dean's master educator. This award recognizes basic science and clinical faculty for education-related contributions (e.g. teaching, planning and organization of courses or course sections) to the Pitt med curriculum.

This year's honorees were selected by Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine, from a list of nominations received from the School of Medicine's curriculum committee. This year's recipients of the Schuit award are Allen L. Humphrey, associate professor of neurobiology, and Paul L. Rogers, associate professor of anesthesiology.


Kathleen M. DeWalt, professor of anthropology and public health at Pitt and co-director of the interdisciplinary master's of arts in bioethics, has been named director of Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), effective July 1.

In announcing the appointment, William Brustein, director of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS), said, "Kathleen brings to the position unrivaled knowledge of Latin America and superb scholarly and administrative skills. I believe that under her guidance, CLAS will not only maintain, but further enhance, its position as one of the foremost Latin American and Caribbean studies programs in the world."

DeWalt, who will maintain her current positions at the University, is a cultural anthropologist whose main research interests are in medical and nutritional anthropology, drawing on perspectives from both biocul-tural anthropology and political economy. She is a multidisci-plinary scholar on the Latin American and Caribbean region.

DeWalt received her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 1979. She began her professional career at the University of Kentucky in 1978 as assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Science, was promoted to associate professor in 1984, and professor in 1992.

She joined the Pitt faculty in 1993.

DeWalt is the author or coauthor of four books and more than 40 articles that focus on the impact of economic and agricultural development policies on health and nutrition in Latin America, child survival and adult health in developing countries, nutrition and health of older adults and youth in rural settings in the United States, health decision making in pluralistic settings and research methodology. She has carried out research in Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Ecuador and the United States.

DeWalt's recent administrative experience includes service as chair of anthropology, 1995-96, and associate dean of Arts and Sciences for Graduate Study and Research in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, 1996-99.

DeWalt has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator of numerous research grants and contracts with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging and the United States Agency for International Development.

She is a fellow of the American Anthropological Association and of the Society for Applied Anthropology, and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute of Nutrition, Association for Women in Development, Council on Nutritional Anthropology (president 1986-88), Latin American Studies Association, Society for Medical Anthropology, and Society for International Nutrition Research.


Peter Safar, distinguished professor of resuscitation medicine, was elected to the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars this month. The Society of Scholars inducts former postdoctoral fellows and junior or visiting faculty at Johns Hopkins who have gained marked distinction in their fields of physical, biological, medical, social or engineering sciences or in the humanities.

It was during his time at Johns Hopkins and Baltimore City Hospitals that Safar developed the lifesaving techniques known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.


Assistant professor of bioengineering Michael C. Sacks has been designated by the National American Heart Association as an established investigator. The award carries a $300,000 per year grant. Sacks was recognized for his work on the mechanisms of poor durability in bioprosthetic heart valves.

He also has been named associate technical editor of the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering.


Bartholomew O. Nnaji, Alcoa Foundation Professor in Manufacturing Engineering, has received the Officer of the Order of Niger, a presidential appointment signifying the nation's recognition of his professional accomplishments.

This is the third highest honor conferred by the country, and is given primarily to political figures. Nnaji is the first person outside of Nigeria to receive the award.


Bernard Fisher, distinguished service professor in the School of Medicine and scientific director of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, has received the Flance-Karl Award from the American Surgical Association (ASA).

He is the sixth recipient of the award, which is presented to a surgeon in the United States who has made a seminal contribution to basic laboratory research that has application to clinical surgery.

At last year's ASA meeting, Fisher received the association's Medallion for Scientific Achievement, becoming one of only 14 individuals to receive ASA's highest honor.


The College of General Studies (CGS) has named Laura Hastings associate dean for academic affairs. In this newly created position, Hastings will act as the link between CGS and other Pitt departments and the community, planning new majors and developing new curricula for CGS programs.

"I'll be working with industry advisory groups to make sure that ideas for new programs can happen," Hastings said. "Then I'll work with the University's schools and colleges to get quality faculty to teach these new courses."

One of her first priorities will be taking a closer look at the health services field, meeting with regional health professionals to find out where the field is going and what its needs are. She plans to convene an information technology advisory board in the fall.

Hastings, who will continue to teach in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Political Science, has been at the University for eight years.

She has a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.A. in international relations and Latin American studies from Johns Hopkins. She graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe College with a B.A. in Russian and Soviet studies.


Frederick G. Pohland, professor and Weidlein chair of Environmental Engineering, has been appointed to the National Research Council Committee on Environmental Remediation at Naval Facilities.

The committee provides strategic advice to the Navy on hazardous waste site management, including remedy selection and operation, implementation and maintenance of institutional controls, long-term monitoring and site closure.

He also has been appointed to a three-year term on the National Research Council Committee on Review and Evaluation of the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program. The program provides the Army with independent scientific and technical advice and counsel on the various components of the program at multiple sites, from construction through operation and closure.


The School of Nursing has named Nancy Grove and Judith Kaufmann winners of the 2000 Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award.

The Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award is presented each year by the School of Nursing to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence, sustained commitment, creativity and effectiveness in helping students achieve meaningful goals.

Grove is director and associate professor of the nursing program at the Johnstown campus.

Kaufmann is an instructor in the School of Nursing's Department of Health Promotion and Development.


Melanie Anderson, assistant professor of business and director of continuing education at the Titusville campus, has again been named a Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow for the Student in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team at UPT.

Fellows train SIFE teams. SIFE is a non-profit organization that works with business and higher education to provide college students the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise.

Under Anderson, UPT's SIFE team was first runner-up for educational outreach projects presented at the 2001 SIFE Regional Exposition and Career Opportunity Fair.


Christopher J. Earls, assistant professor and William Kepler Whiteford Faculty Fellow, has been appointed chairman of the American Society of Civil Engineers' Committee on Compression and Flexural Members.

He also has been appointed chairman of the Structural Stability Research Council, Task Group 26-Stability of Angle Members.

Leave a Reply