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

February 7, 2013

People of the Times

Catherine M. Bender has been named director of the PhD program in the School of Nursing.

She has been a faculty member at the school since 1986.

Bender has chaired 20 master’s thesis committees and been a member on 26 others. In addition, she has chaired four PhD dissertation committees and been a member of seven more. She also has served on the capstone project committees of several Doctor of Nursing Practice candidates, and mentored a number of other post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty.

Bender will continue to pursue her research in oncology nursing and to direct the school’s National Institute of Nursing Research-funded training program, which prepares nurse scientists to lead independent research programs in cancer survivorship.


MortonSally Morton, chair of the Department of Biostatistics at the Graduate School of Public Health, has been named as a statistical methodology expert to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

PCORI is a public-private partnership established two years ago as part of federal health-care reform legislation and is authorized by Congress to use comparative effectiveness research to provide patients and their families the best prevention, treatment and care information.

Morton is a co-investigator on two PCORI-funded Pitt projects and directs the Comparative Effectiveness Resource Core (CERC), established at the University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute to offer training in CER methodology, provide guidance on promoting stakeholder involvement, assist researchers in obtaining external funding and foster collaborations between researchers and established methodologists.


Phil Empey of pharmacy and therapeutics has won the Society of Critical Care Medicine New Investigator Award for his work titled “Phenytoin Concentrations Are Elevated in Children Receiving Therapeutic Hypothermia Following Traumatic Brain Injury.” This award is given to one member of the society each year.


Pitt will be well represented when the 2013 Carnegie Science Awards are presented May 3.

The awards promote outstanding science and technology achievements in the region.

Pitt winners of the 2013 Carnegie Science Awards are:

  • Nancy Minshew, Center for Excellence in Autism Research, Catalyst Award
  • Steven Little, Swanson School of Engineering, University/Post-Secondary Educator Award
  • Elaine F. Houston, Human Engineering Research Laboratories, University/Post-Secondary Student Award
  • Tracy Cui, Swanson School of Engineering, Emerging Female Scientist Award
  • Robert Enick, Swanson School of Engineering, Environmental Award
  • David Vorp, Swanson School of Engineering, Life Sciences Award.

In addition, Emily Elliot of geology and planetary sciences received an honorable mention for the Environmental Award.


Two Graduate School of Public Health staff members have been elected to leadership positions in the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH).

Kristen de Paor, director of development for GSPH, has been elected a co-chair of ASPH’s Development and Alumni Affairs Council.

Mary Derkach, assistant dean for student affairs in GSPH, has been elected a co-chair of ASPH’s Student Services Council.


IannacchioneEngineering’s Anthony T. Iannacchione has been named Professor of the Year by the Pittsburgh section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Iannacchione is a faculty member in civil and environmental engineering and director of the mining engineering program at the Swanson School of Engineering.

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

The Pittsburgh section of ASCE has nearly 1,600 members and represents engineering and construction interests for communities throughout western Pennsylvania.


Alvin Plantinga and Jürgen Mittelstraß are the winners of the 2012-2013 Nicholas Rescher Prize for contributions to systematic philosophy.

Plantinga received his award in November. Jürgen Mittelstraß will receive his award on May 3, when he will give a public lecture on “Justice in an Ageing Society.”

Established in 2010, the award is named in honor of Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy Nicholas Rescher, a faculty member here since 1961.


WallaceAnthony Wallace has been named the 2013 winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. The University of Pittsburgh Press, sponsor of the prize, will publish his collection this fall.

His manuscript, “The Old Priest,” was selected from a field of over 350 entries by author Amy Hempel.

Wallace is a senior lecturer in the arts and sciences writing program at Boston University, where he has taught seminars in American literature for 11 years.

“The stories in ‘The Old Priest’ have to do with time and memory, and I think there is a pattern in which they open out beyond ordinary daily time into something larger — the present moment, perhaps, but a larger conception of it,” Wallace explained.

“The old priest talks about eternity as a place that contains everything that has ever been: every lost dog, as he describes it, every broken watch and burnt dinner, then adds, ‘If eternity really is eternity, then nothing is ever lost. It’s all there, for all time, safe and whole within the sight of God.’ It might be true in these stories that God and eternity are synonymous, or at least coeval, but that’s for readers to decide.”

Hempel praised the title story as “a powerhouse that has the scale and scope of a novel.” She said Wallace’s characters are “people who appreciate simple pleasures while making mistakes they have made before and will likely make again. For all the unsavory behavior, there is a moral core in many of these people’s lives.”

Wallace has published poetry and short fiction in journals such as CutBank, The Atlanta Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Florida Review and River Styx.

Twice he has been a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award. The title story, originally published in The Republic of Letters, won a Pushcart Prize and will be included in Pushcart Prize XXXVII (2013 edition).


The People of the Times column features recent news on faculty and staff, including awards and other honors, accomplishments and administrative appointments.

We welcome submissions from all areas of the University. Send information via email to:, by fax at 412/624-4579 or by campus mail to 308 Bellefield Hall.

For submission guidelines, visit

Leave a Reply