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July 25, 2013

People of the Times

SkledarSusan Skledar,  faculty member in the School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, will be recognized at the 2013 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting as the 2013 recipient of ASHP Section of Inpatient Care Practitioners Distinguished Service Award.

This award recognizes her work with ASHP and with advancing inpatient hospital and health-system pharmacy practice through teaching, service (clinical program development and implementation) and scholarly work.


Rachel Kranson, faculty member in religious studies, has been selected as a Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies Fellow at the University of Michigan for 2013-14. The Frankel Institute gathers a  group of international scholars each year; the 2013-14 theme is “New Perspectives on Gender and Jewish Life.”

Kranson will spend the year working on a book tentatively called “Jewish Voices, Women’s Choices: Jewish Involvement in American Abortion Debates, 1967-2000.” This project aims to correct certain misleading patterns that have emerged in the scholarship surrounding the issue of abortion in America, and which, with few exceptions, has framed the impact of religion on the debate only in terms of the pro-life movement (i.e., Catholic and Evangelical Protestants) vs. pro-choice advocates (i.e., secular liberals and feminists). Kranson will bring the diverse voices of Jewish women into the dialogue.

She also is completing a book manuscript called “An Ambivalent Embrace: Jewish Upward Mobility in Postwar America,” for which she was selected to participate in the 2013 Workshop for Early Faculty in Jewish Studies, sponsored by the American Academy of Jewish Research.


Joanne Baird, faculty member in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences’ Department of Occupational Therapy, received the 2013 Community Support Award, given annually to an individual who has demonstrated significant support to the Chatham University master of occupational therapy program.


constantiniTwo of the four top officers for a national rehabilitation-certifying organization come from Pitt’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

President-elect of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) is Patty Costantini, adjunct professor in Pitt’s rehabilitation science and technology department.

schutteSecretary-treasurer is Jamie Schutte, who is an instructor in rehabilitation counseling.

CRCC is an independent, not-for-profit organization that sets the standard for rehabilitation counseling services through its certification program.


A molecular geneticist whose work uncovered the genetic underpinnings of several neurological disorders has been named this year’s recipient of Pitt’s Dickson Prize in Medicine.

Huda Y. Zoghbi will accept the School of Medicine’s most prestigious honor during Science 2013—Convergence, a showcase of the region’s latest research in science, engineering, medicine and computation that will be held Oct. 2- 4.

Zoghbi is a professor in pediatrics, molecular and human genetics, neurology, neuroscience and developmental biology at Baylor College of Medicine; director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“Dr. Zoghbi has made invaluable contributions to our understanding of the genetic roots of the deadly neurodegenerative disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 and of the autism spectrum disorder Rett syndrome,” said Arthur S. Levine, Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences and dean, School of Medicine.

Zoghbi’s Oct. 3 Dickson Prize in Medicine Lecture will be on “Rett Syndrome and MECP2 Disorders: From the Clinic to Genes and Neurobiology.” In 1999, she discovered the gene mutation that causes Rett syndrome, a pediatric disorder in which children lose language and motor skills after initially normal neurocognitive development. In 1993, she and her collaborator, Harry Orr of the University of Minnesota, found the mutation that leads to spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, characterized by progressive balance and coordination difficulties. Her lab also identified Math1, a gene that plays a critical role in the formation of a wide range of cell types, including inner ear hair cells and intestinal secretory cells.

Other researchers also will deliver plenary lectures at Science 2013. The Mellon Lecture will be given by ubiquitin expert Alexander Varshavsky of the California Institute of Technology; the Hofmann Lecture will be given by VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) expert Napoleone Ferrara, formerly of Genentech and now of the University of California-San Diego, and the Provost’s Lecture will be given by Subra Suresh, president of Carnegie Mellon University.


Tamer Ibrahim has been named the 2013 Texnikoi Outstanding Alumnus at The Ohio State University (OSU). Ibrahim is the William Kepler Whiteford Associate Professor of Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering; scientific director of the 7T research program, Department of Radiology, and director of the RF Research Facility, Department of Radiology.

The Texnikoi Outstanding Alumnus Award recognizes one young (40 and under) alumnus from OSU’s College of Engineering who has risen rapidly in his or her field and who has made outstanding contributions through civic and social activities.

Ibrahim earned his BS in electrical engineering with computer option as well as his MS and PhD from OSU.


IovinoPitt-Greensburg alumna Maria Iovino is the new head coach of men’s and women’s tennis at UPG.

Iovino served as a student assistant coach for UPG’s men’s tennis team in 2013 and helped lead the Bobcats to a fourth-place finish and a berth in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Tennis Championships.

Iovino closed her UPG playing career with an undefeated record in conference play at No. 1 singles. She compiled an 8-0 record in singles and 6-2 in No. 1 doubles (with partner Cayla Ray) and helped propel the Bobcats into the AMCC Tennis Championships for the second time in their three-year history.

Iovino is UPG’s women’s tennis career leader in both singles and doubles wins.


Ann Dugan, executive director of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Katz Graduate School of Business, is the recipient of the 2013 Barbara Hollander Award from the Family Firm Institute.

The award, created in 1995 to honor the late founder and past president of the FFI to perpetuate her interest in family business and her love of education and learning, represents the pinnacle of achievement in the field. FFI is a leader in family business research, education and policy development for families in business and the professionals who serve them around the world.

Dugan served on the FFI board and has been named an FFI Fellow. She co-chaired the 2006 FFI conference in San Francisco and was a member of the FFI Legacy Fund steering committee.

Founded by Dugan in 1993,the institute aims to be the innovative leader of economic renewal and growth for people and businesses in the region.

Through programs and services, the institute has supported the creation of more than 800 start-up companies, raised $300 million in new funding for client companies, impacted 7,000 jobs, had $45 million in increased revenue reported by client companies and presented 1,400 education programs attended by 40,000 business owners.


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

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