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April 18, 2002


Rollanda E. O'Connor, associate professor in the School of Education, has won the fourth annual Distinguished Early Career Research Award from the Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC-DR). O'Connor received a $1,000 award April 5 at the 2002 CEC annual convention.

CEC-DR created the award in recognition of the critical role of research in current and future practice in special education. The award, co-sponsored by the Donald D. Hammill Foundation, is given to an individual who has made outstanding scientific contributions in basic and/or applied research within the first 10 years following completion of the doctoral degree.

A scholar in reading disabilities with a focus on prevention and intervention, O'Connor has pursued research on the effectiveness of phonological-based interventions in children with reading disabilities or poor preparatory skills.

Among the first researchers to deal with this topic, O'Connor found that intervention in phonological awareness and letter-sound skills significantly improved performance.


The School of Medicine has named John P. Williams chair of the Department of Anesthesiology. Williams has been the department's interim chair since June.

Williams is board certified in anesthesiology and critical care medicine and is a diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management. He is an elected member of the American Society of Anesthesiology, the International Anesthesia Research Society, the Anaesthetic Research Society (England), the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Williams's current research interests include the use of thoracic epidural anesthesia for the prevention and amelioration of myocardial ischemia, and the role of the autonomic nervous system in promulgating, enhancing and perpetuating ischemic heart disease in general.


The School of Nursing announced two administrative appointments. Susan A. Al-brecht has been appointed associate dean of development and student services at the school, effective July 1. In her new position, Albrecht hopes to cultivate and acquire new revenue streams for the nursing school and expand the school's recruitment efforts locally and nationally.

An associate professor in nursing, Albrecht has conducted research in the development and successful implementation of a nursing intervention to help pregnant adolescents stop smoking.

Among many awards, Albrecht was a recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award and a University of Pittsburgh Innovation in Education Award. In addition, she recently received the Excellence in Research Award from the National Association of Women's Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nursing.


The nursing school also has appointed Cynthia Allshouse as assistant dean for administration. Allshouse, who has a B.A. from Thiel College and an M.B.A. from the Katz Graduate School of Business, joined the School of Nursing in July 1997 as director of budget and facilities management.

In her new role, Allshouse will manage key administrative functions of the school, including financial administration, space/facilities management and personnel management.


E.J. Josey, emeritus professor of library and information science in the School of Information Sciences, recently was named an honorary member of the American Library Association (ALA). Josey was the first male African American president of the ALA (1984-85), was a member of its council for 30 years and received its Joseph W. Lippincott Award.

According to the ALA, honorary membership may be conferred on a living citizen of any country whose contribution to librarianship or a closely related field is so outstanding that it is of lasting importance to the advancement of the whole field of library service.

In addition, the ALA's Black Caucus established its first independent scholarship, the E.J. Josey Scholarship Award, in his honor. The scholarship is given annually to an African American from the United States or Canada pursuing a degree in an ALA-accredited library and information science program.


Isabel Beck, professor in the School of Education and senior scientist in Pitt's Learning Research and Development Center, will be honored with the 2002 William S. Gray Award, the primary award given by the International Reading Association (IRA), the largest reading research-related association in the world. Beck will receive the award at the IRA national meeting in May.

Among the criteria the IRA used in selecting Beck were "initiation and development of original ideas that have increased knowledge and understanding of the reading process and improved practices in reading."

Beck teaches reading education courses. She has engaged in research on decoding, vocabulary and comprehension and has published approximately 100 articles on her findings.

Beck has received numerous awards, including the National Reading Conference's 1988 Oscar S. Causey Award for outstanding research and the 2000 Contributing Researcher Award from the American Federation of Teachers for "bridging the gap between research and practice."


Miguel D. Regueiro, co-director and clinical head of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center at the UPMC Digestive Disorders Center, was honored last week as the 2002 Physician of the Year by the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).

Regueiro was honored for his patient service and his local volunteerism with CCFA. He is the medical adviser for CCFA's Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Chapter and also serves on this non-profit's board of trustees and executive committee.

Regueiro joined the faculty at Pitt's School of Medicine as an assistant professor in January 2000. He and the UPMC IBD team have developed a multidisciplinary center that operates as a state-of-the-art clinic for patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. More than 1 million Americans are afflicted with these two diseases, known collectively as inflammatory bowel disease, for which there is as yet no cure.


Scott M. Lephart, director of the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, has been awarded the National Athletic Trainers Association's (NATA) Research and Education Foundation's William G. Clancy Jr., M.D., Medal for Distinguished Research.

Lephart is associate professor at the medical school's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, associate professor at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) and chair of SHRS's Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition.

He will be presented with the award on June 17 at the NATA annual meeting. In addition to the medal, Lephart will receive $5,000 to support his research, which focus on the causes and prevention of various sports-related hip, knee and shoulder injuries.

Lephart has served as director of the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine Neuromuscular Research Laboratory since its inception in 1989.

In 1990, Lephart developed and continues to direct the Pitt's sports medicine master's and doctoral programs.

Lephart was the inaugural recipient of the NATA Research and Education Foundation New Investigator Award in 1996. He won the 1994 Charles S. Neer Award for Outstanding Basic Science Research from the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Society.


Katherine Seelman, associate dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS), will receive the Isabelle and Leonard H. Goldenson Technology Award from the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Education Foundation at its annual meeting next week.

The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions in the area of technology development and application that enhance the quality of life of persons with cerebral palsy and other disabilities and their families.

Seelman joined the Pitt faculty last year after serving as director of the National Institute of Disability Rehabilitation and Research (NIDRR).

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