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September 1, 2005


Ellen F. Olshansky, professor and chair in the Department of Health and Community Systems at the School of Nursing, has been selected as one of 25 fellows for Zero to Three’s Leaders for the 21st Century program.

This leadership development initiative provides each of the participants with an opportunity to collaborate with leaders from many disciplines, as well as receive assistance for an innovative project aimed at improving the lives of very young children.

Olshansky was named a Harris mid-career fellow (experienced professionals with an established record of leadership and achievement). During the 18-month fellowship she will focus her work on the influence of post-partum depression in previously infertile mothers on their newborns and young children.

Zero to Three is a national non-profit organization founded by pediatricians and child development specialists to share new knowledge on how children develop in the early years.

Leaders for the 21st Century is funded by grants from the Heinz Endowments and other regional funders, as well as core funding from the Harris Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and the Philip and Lynn Straus Philanthropic Fund.


Shalini Puri, associate professor of English, won the Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award for her book, “The Caribbean Postcolonial: Social Equality, Post-Nationalism and Cultural Hybridity.”

The award is given by the Caribbean Studies Association to the best book in Caribbean studies published in the previous three-year period. It is awarded for interdisciplinary scholarship that has a regional impact and may be written in any of the four major languages of the Caribbean, Dutch, English, French or Spanish. Books are judged on originality, depth of research, advance of methodology or theory, and extent to which a Pan-Caribbean problem or issue is addressed.

Shalini is organizing an international conference that Pitt is sponsoring in the fall titled Comparative Postcolonialities: Aesthetics, History, Locality.

The conference, scheduled for Oct. 27-29, will examine how postcolonial scholarship can move beyond the political pessimism that haunts both the discipline and present political moments.

The conference will help rethink the approaches, emphases and methodologies of postcolonial studies by advancing a theoretically nuanced comparative area studies.

Conference details are available at:


Jonas Johnson has been appointed chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology.

Currently, Johnson’s research focuses on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. He is collaborating with others on vaccine development for oral cancer and specifically on DNA-based vaccines for the disease.

He joined the department in 1979 as an assistant professor, and rose to associate professor in 1984 and professor in 1987. He has been vice chairman of the department since 1982 and director of the Division of Head and Neck Oncology and Immunology in the department since 1986.


Jacques E. Chelly, professor and vice chairman of clinical research for the Department of Anesthesiology in the School of Medicine and director of orthopaedic anesthesia and the acute interventional perioperative pain service at UPMC Presbyterian-Shadyside, has been named president of the newly formed Orthopedic Anesthesia, Pain and Rehabilitation Society (OAPRS).

OAPRS is dedicated to a multidisciplinary approach to patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery. The mission of the society is to promote orthopaedic anesthesia and related pain management and rehabilitation as a subspecialty and to establish and promote the best clinical practice guidelines. OAPRS plans to achieve this through education for patients and health care professionals; the development of a specific orthopaedic anesthesia fellowship; research; a discipline specific web site (, and various educational programs.

Chelly is an authority on acute pain management, especially in orthopaedics. He is a leader in the use of nerve blocks in orthopaedic surgery, a procedure that allows a decrease in the use of morphine and other narcotic drugs that often are not well-tolerated by patients. These techniques also provide better post-operative pain control, allowing patients to recover function of their arms or legs faster.

OAPRS membership is open to anesthesiologists, orthopaedic surgeons, physiatrists and corresponding residents and fellows involved and/or interested in the management of orthopaedic patients. The organization will hold its first annual meeting on Oct. 21 in New Orleans.


James Lennox, director of Pitt’s Center for Philosophy of Science (CPS) since 1997, resigned as director, effective Aug. 31.

After a yearlong sabbatical, he will return to teaching and research as a professor in Pitt’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS).

John Norton, professor and chair of HPS, will succeed Lennox as director of the center following a sabbatical this fall. John Earman, University Professor in HPS, will serve as interim director during Norton’s sabbatical, and Sandra Mitchell, HPS professor, will succeed Norton as department chair.

Among the highlights of Lennox’s directorship was his role in securing funding for the center from Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and Provost James Maher, who awarded a $1 million endowment to the center in 2000.

CPS’s centerpiece program, the visiting fellows program, which previously had been dependent on external grants, now is fully funded by the endowment, as is the center’s annual lecture series.

During his tenure, Lennox added two major international collaborations — with the University of Catania in Sicily and the Universidade da Coruña in Ferrol, Spain — to the center’s existing collaborations with Germany’s University of Konstanz and Greece’s University of Athens and National Technical University of Athens.

Some of the center’s other initiatives during Lennox’s tenure have included integrating advances in information technology into the center’s operations; co-sponsoring (with the Bayer Foundation) a lecture series at the Carnegie Science Center, and collaborating on exhibitions with The Carnegie Museum of Art and the Mattress Factory.

Lennox joined Pitt in 1977 and served as chair of HPS from 1993 to 1996.


Allen A. DiPalma, who has served as interim director of Pitt’s Office of Research since January, was appointed director of the office, effective Aug. 1.

As director of research, DiPalma will be responsible for ensuring that the University complies with increasingly complex regulations associated with sponsored research.

He also will be responsible for creating programs that foster a culture of customer service to Pitt’s research community by identifying trends in research management so that the Office of Research and University investigators can navigate these regulations more efficiently.

In addition, DiPalma will give guidance to investigators regarding sponsored program management, provide program information services to the campus community and negotiate agreements.

At Pitt, he worked in the Department of Epidemiology as a senior assistant administrator from 1991 to 1997, in the Department of Research and Cost Accounting as a senior financial analyst from 1997 to 1999 and in the Office of Administration for the Health Sciences as a financial research administrator from 1999 to 2004.

DiPalma was named the Office of Research’s assistant director for education and training in 2004 and appointed its interim director earlier this year.

He earned an M.B.A. in 1996 at Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business.


Savio Lau-Yen Woo, W.K. Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering, was awarded honorary life membership in the Society for Tennis Medicine and Science (STMS) after ending his tenure on its board of directors.

Woo was honored for his services and continued work in tennis medicine and science. He was one of the early supporters of STMS and brought extensive scientific expertise to the understanding of the musculoskeletal aspects of tennis medicine and science.

He also helped develop STMS into an internationally recognized tennis-related medical and scientific organization.


David Christopher, who has spent 34 years working with Fortune 100 companies and helped to manufacture cutting-edge products, was named program director of the new entrepreneurship major at Pitt-Bradford.

Christopher, an assistant professor of business management, will lead the campus’s new major, the first of its kind in the region.

Christopher has 20 years of senior management experience, including traveling extensively throughout North America and the Far East. His entrepreneurial experiences date to the early 1970s when he expanded markets and increased the growth rate of several manufacturing firms. As president of Sunburst Electronics and Bliley Technologies, he led both companies through years of growth by developing and maintaining international customers and markets.

He has been involved in the manufacture of goods for a variety of then-cutting edge products, including the first portable computer — a hefty 25-pound Compaq the size of a large suitcase — and the design and manufacture of the first U.S. digital watch for Gruen Watch Co.


Madelyn A. Ross — former managing editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Pittsburgh Press who guided and edited three Pulitzer Prize-winning projects — was appointed associate vice chancellor for national media relations in Pitt’s Office of Public Affairs, effective Aug. 1.

Ross will direct Pitt’s national news program, with the aim of increasing the University’s visibility in the major national media. Her responsibilities will include creating national media strategies and developing and placing stories that illustrate the University’s commitment to research, education and regional development.

Ross was at The Pittsburgh Press from 1970 through 1993; she was one of the first women managing editors in the United States, serving in that position at the Press from 1983 to 1993.

She became the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s managing editor in 1993, after the merger of the two newspapers. She led the integration of the staffs from the two papers.

She was the first woman to be named to the Post-Gazette Co. board of directors.

Ross is an alumna of Pitt’s graduate program in communication.


Pitt-Bradford’s Alumni Association will present Isabelle Champlin with the PBAA 2005 Teaching Excellence Award during the campus’s Alumni and Family Weekend Oct. 1.

The PBAA Teaching Excellence Award recognizes a faculty member who has exemplified the established educational principles, shown dedication in teaching his or her students and excelled in his or her area of specialty.

Champlin, an assistant professor of anthropology and director of the human relations program, was chosen unanimously by the award committee based on her commitment to the Pitt-Bradford and her students, her enthusiasm about her area of specialty and her interest in participating in additional activities beyond the classroom.

Aside from her teaching and campus activities, Champlin has been involved in many projects with the Allegheny National Forest and has also participated in underwater archaeology. She has an interest in arts and crafts and teaches others how to weave cloth, dip candles and make baskets each year at the Crook Farm Country Fair.

She has been teaching at Pitt-Bradford for 34 years.

Three Pitt-Titusville staff members recently received promotions as part of a consolidation of the Student Accounts and Financial Aid offices into the Office of Student Financial Services.

Nicole Neely, former director of student accounts, has been named director of student financial services. She will be responsible for both functions of the previously separate offices.

Trisha Ongley, former financial aid assistant, will assume the role of financial aid manager and Kathleen Plyler, previously the student accounts assistant, now will serve as student accounts manager.

Neely holds associate degrees in business and accounting, both from UPT. She is working on her bachelor’s degree in business. Plyler has an associate degree in business information systems, and Ongley is currently taking classes toward her associate degree.


Peyman Givi, William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded the NASA Public Service Medal, which recognizes exceptional contributions to NASA’s mission.

Givi received the award “for the development of advanced modeling techniques for designing high-speed and hypersonic propulsion systems for aerospace vehicles.”

Among the first 15 engineering faculty nationwide to be honored at the White House for receiving the Presidential Faculty Fellowship from President George H.W. Bush, Givi also has received the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research and the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

Givi previously held the title of University of Buffalo Distinguished Professor at SUNY-Buffalo. He also has had visiting appointments at several NASA research centers since 1986.

Givi joined Pitt’s Department of Mechanical Engineering in fall 2002.


Nicole Constable, professor of anthropology, has been named to a three-year term as associate dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the School of Arts and Sciences (A&S). In that position she will represent A&S on the University Council on Graduate Studies, chair the A&S Graduate Council and lead the academic services provision team.

Constable will work with A&S chairs and program directors on matters relating to graduate recruitment, curricula, enrollments and funding, including the allocation of the A&S teaching assistant budget and management of the tuition and fellowship budgets.

She also will promote externally funded research, foster cooperative research between A&S faculty and faculty at other Pitt units and head the faculty scholarship and research program.


Pitt-Bradford officials recently announced two staff promotions.

Christina Marrone has been named associate registrar and assistant director of enrollment services at Pitt’s Bradford campus.

Marrone, who most recently was the assistant director of financial aid at Pitt-Bradford, now will be responsible for helping with transfer credit evaluations, scheduling classes and assisting students with registration. She also will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Enrollment Services Office, specifically the student accounts area.

Marrone was hired as a temporary admissions counselor at Pitt-Bradford in 1996. In 1997, she was hired full time as a financial aid counselor. Two years later she was promoted to assistant director of financial aid.

Marrone earned a bachelor’s degree in history/political science from Pitt-Bradford in 1996.

Sue Behan has been promoted to assistant director of financial aid.

Behan worked for three years as an administrative assistant and two years as a financial aid counselor in UPB’s Admissions and Financial Aid offices.

She will be responsible for many of the day-to-day operations of the Financial Aid office. She will continue counseling students and their families regarding their financial aid eligibility, meeting the gap between tuition and aid, counseling on debt management and reconciling funds to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations.

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