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October 10, 2013

People of the Times

Robert W. Paul and Burton M. Tansky were nominated for election as emeriti trustees for life at the Oct. 4 trustees’ nominating committee meeting.

The nominations go to the full board, which is scheduled to meet Oct. 18.

Paul is chairman and chief executive officer of AMPCO-Pittsburgh Corp. Throughout his career with AMPCO-Pittsburgh, which began in 1964, he served in senior leadership positions, including vice president, executive vice president, treasurer, president and chief operating officer, and president and chief executive officer.

He served as a Pitt trustee from June 2004 until June 2013.  He was a member of the executive, health sciences and investment committees and continues to serve the investment committee as a community representative. He also served as University director of the UPMC board  for 10 years, as a member of the UPMC executive committee and as chair of the UPMC board’s investment committee.

Tansky is non-executive chairman of the board of The Neiman Marcus Group. He retired as its chairman, president and chief executive officer in 2010. He had held senior-level positions with The Neiman Marcus Group since 1990, including chairman and chief executive officer of The Neiman Marcus Stores and chairman and chief executive officer of Bergdorf Goodman. Prior to joining The Neiman Marcus Group, he was president of Saks Fifth Avenue.

He was elected a Pitt trustee in June 2003 and served until June 2013.  He was a member of the academic affairs/libraries committee and institutional advancement committee. He cochaired the University’s recent $2 billion capital campaign.


Professor emeritus of music Nathan Davis accepted the BNY Mellon Jazz 2013 Living Legacy Award Oct. 5 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

A program of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the award honors living jazz masters from the mid-Atlantic region who have achieved distinction in jazz performance and education.

“Nathan’s world-renowned talent and his steadfast and uncompromising commitment to jazz education are truly remarkable,” said Jim McDonald, BNY Mellon’s managing director of global philanthropy and employee programs.

Davis arrived at Pitt in 1969 as director of the jazz studies program and soon founded Pitt’s annual jazz seminar and concert, the first academic jazz seminar of its type in the country. For more than four decades, the event has hosted some of the greatest names in American jazz history.


Community Living and Support Services, or CLASS, a nonprofit that assists disabled children and adults become more independent, will honor five local people at its awards dinner this month. Among the awardees will be Morton Coleman, faculty member emeritus in the School of Social Work and director emeritus of the University’s Institute of Politics.

CLASS said the winners were chosen “as a result of their continued commitment and compassion for others and the Pittsburgh community.”


Huda Y. Zoghbi, a molecular geneticist whose work uncovered the genetic underpinnings of several neurological disorders, accepted the School of Medicine’s Dickson Prize in Medicine during Pitt’s Science 2013 symposium. The event, now in its 13th year, highlights the region’s academic and research strengths in science, engineering, medicine and computation and includes plenary lectures by guest scientists.

Zoghbi is a faculty member in the departments of pediatrics, molecular and human genetics, neurology and neuroscience, and the program in 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.

She delivered the Dickson Prize Lecture, speaking on “Rett Syndrome and MECP2 Disorders: From the Clinic to Genes and Neurobiology.”


Kenneth Service, vice chancellor for University communications, has announced some organizational and staff changes within the Office of University Communications, formerly known as the Office of Public Affairs.

The University marketing communications division has been renamed communication services and will be directed by Bill Young.

The former University news and magazines division has been renamed news services and is being restructured into two sections. One section will focus on increased news media relations at all levels, including national, and will continue to be headed by Cara Masset as director of University news.

The other section will comprise the major University periodicals (Pitt Chronicle, Pitt Magazine, Pitt Med) and will be managed by Cindy Gill as senior periodicals editor.  Gill will continue to serve as editor of Pitt Magazine.

Support services for University communications are being combined into the administrative services division, which will be headed by Sandra Moore as administrative services coordinator.


The 2013 Sadie Gerson Distinguished Scholar Award will be presented to Olivera Finn Oct. 16.

Finn is a Distinguished Professor in both the immunology and surgery departments in the School of Medicine and co-leader of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute immunology program.

The award was established in 2009 by Sandy Gerson Snyder in memory of her mother, who died from colon cancer at age 51.

The award supports educational programs for faculty and staff at the School of Medicine as well as the community at large, with the goal of broadening horizons and pushing the boundaries of knowledge as scientists, physicians and patients work together to fight colorectal cancer.


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.

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