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May 3, 2012

People of the Times

TotoPamela E. Toto, a faculty member in the Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, has been elected to the board of directors of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

In this role Toto will help guide AOTA in its mission to advance the quality, availability, use and support of occupational therapy in the United States.

Toto has supported occupational therapy through her participation on AOTA boards, task forces and work groups, most recently serving as the chairperson of the special interest section.

WagnerWilliam R. Wagner, professor of surgery, bioengineering and chemical engineering, has been named director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a joint effort of Pitt and UPMC.

Wagner, who has served as interim director since September and has been a deputy director at the McGowan Institute since its establishment in 2001, is an expert in biomaterials and polymer chemistry whose current research efforts focus on repair of damaged cardiovascular tissues.

TuanIn addition, Rocky S. Tuan, the Arthur J. Rooney Professor in Sports Medicine and executive vice chair for research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, has been named associate director.

Wagner, who succeeds Alan Russell, founding director of the McGowan Institute and executive director of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, joined the Pitt faculty in 1991. He is the editor-in-chief of Acta Biomaterialia; deputy director and scientific leader of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center at Pitt; past president of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs; executive board member of the International Federation of Artificial Organs; a chief scientific officer for the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine Wake Forest-Pitt Consortium, and co-founder of Neograft Technologies.

Tuan joined the faculty in 2009 and will continue as the director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He also is co-director of the Wake Forest-Pitt Consortium.

Prior to coming to Pitt, Tuan was chief of the cartilage biology and orthopaedics branch at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

A 2004 recipient of the Marshall Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Tuan’s research focuses on stem cell biology and musculoskeletal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

He is editor of the developmental biology journal BDRC: Embryo Today; founding editor-in-chief of Stem Cell Research and Therapy; board member of the American Society for Matrix Biology and Tissue Engineering and the Regenerative Medicine International Society-Americas, and a scientific advisory council member of the Regenerative Medicine Foundation.

The McGowan Institute serves as a base of operations for 230 University scientists and clinical faculty working in the areas of tissue engineering, cellular therapies and artificial and bio-hybrid organ devices.

Several faculty members at the Swanson School of Engineering have been honored recently.

Mary Besterfield-Sacre and Bopaya Bidanda will receive awards at the 2012 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) annual conference in June.

Besterfield-Sacre, Fulton C. Noss Faculty Fellow in Department of Industrial Engineering and director of the Engineering Education Resource Center, was named recipient of the 2012 ASEE Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering Education.

The Keillor award honors a woman engineering educator who has an outstanding record in teaching engineering students and a performance history of research and service within an engineering school.

Besterfield-Sacre’s teaching interests are in the areas of human factors engineering, decision modeling, statistics and total quality management.

She also is an associate at the Learning Research and Development Center. Her principal research interests are in empirical and cost-modeling applications for quality improvement in manufacturing and service organizations, and in engineering education evaluation methodologies.

Bidanda, Ernest E. Roth Professor and chair of industrial engineering and co-director of the Manufacturing Assistance Center, will receive the 2012 ASEE John L. Imhoff Global Excellence Award for Industrial Engineering Education.

The Imhoff award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the industrial engineering discipline, who exemplifies the highest standards of the professorate in industrial engineering and who has demonstrated global cooperation and understanding through leadership and other initiatives.

Bidanda’s research focus includes computer integrated manufacturing systems, time compression technologies such as rapid prototyping and reverse engineering, and global supply networks and product realization.

brighamJohn Brigham, a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was named a director of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pittsburgh section for the 2012-15 term.

ASCE represents more than 140,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society.

Brigham teaches courses on structural analysis and computer methods in civil engineering.

As principal investigator of the Computational Diagnostics and Inverse Mechanics group, he and his research team investigate fundamental concepts in mechanics and computation spanning a broad range of applications, including assessing service life of civil, marine or aircraft structures and diagnosing physiological changes in biological structures.

Stout• Janet Stout of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering recently was a recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award from Clarion University, her alma mater.

A microbiologist, Stout is a recognized authority on Legionnaire’s disease who discovered the link between the presence of Legionella bacteria in hospital water systems and the occurrence of hospital-acquired Legionnaire’s disease.

She also is the founder and director of the Special Pathogens Laboratory in the Swanson school.

Stout has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on Legionnaires’ disease.

She is a member of the American Society for Microbiology; the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology; the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, and the Association of Water Technologies.

Raymond Vargo, director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence in the Katz Graduate School of Business, has been named the Lending Champion of the Year for western Pennsylvania by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This award recognizes individuals who have had a profound impact on SBA loan activity.

A certified economic development finance professional, Vargo leads a team of consultants who help small businesses across the region create and retain jobs, diversify revenue streams, connect to emerging markets and secure new capital.

ShulloMichael Shullo, a faculty member in pharmacy and therapeutics, recently was elected vice chair/chair-elect of the Pharmacy and Pharmacology Council of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) at the annual meeting in Prague. He will become chair following the ISHLT’s 2013 meeting.

Shullo’s clinical practice interests include solid organ transplantation, immunology and cardiology, with a specific interest in immunosuppressants and cardiovascular drug therapy.

His teaching is focused on producing pharmacists with the educational foundation and clinical skills to be lifelong contributors to the pharmacy profession.

MillerAmy Miller, a faculty member in mechanical engineering technology at Pitt-Johnstown, has received the 2012 President’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Miller was recognized at UPJ’s 40th commencement ceremony April 28, where she was presented with a medallion.

Miller was honored for her teaching style, which blends the technical and practical aspects of engineering into her courses.

In announcing the award, Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar said, “Ms. Miller, through her outstanding work in the classroom along with her successful efforts to mentor students through out-of-class activities including the Pitt-Johnstown American Society of Mechanical Engineers, epitomizes the purpose of this award.

“Her strong interactions with students and her mentoring of them through extracurricular activities clearly demonstrate her dedication and passion for teaching.”

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