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January 23, 2014

People of the Times

RaeTwo members of the Pitt-Johnstown staff, Sherri Rae and Pat Pecora, have been recognized for outstanding service by UPJ President Jem Spectar. They received their awards at Pitt-Johnstown’s annual staff recognition luncheon last month.

Rae, director of Student Life and the RealWorld Action program, received the President’s Staff Award for Excellence in Service to the Community. She has been a member of the Pitt-Johnstown staff for 12 years. She has participated in organizations such as Special Olympics, the Goodwill good guides mentoring program, the Outstanding Young Woman Scholarship program and the Cinderella Project.

PecoraPecora, director of athletics, received the President’s Staff Award for Excellence in Service to Pitt-Johnstown. He has been a member of the Pitt-Johnstown staff for 37 years.


The Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) announced the following employee news:

Rebecca Abromitis, reference librarian and liaison to the School of Dental Medicine, has been granted a secondary faculty appointment as instructor in the School of Dental Medicine’s Department of Dental Public Health.

• Reference librarians Andrea Ketchum and Michele Klein-Fedyshin received 1st place in recognized posters for excellence in research, for their poster “A Renaissance of Resources Used for Clinical Searching: What’s the Impact of the NIH Public Access Policy and Open Access on Morning Report.”

The award was made at the 2013 annual meeting of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Medical Library Association.


The Office of University Communications has received two 2014 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II Accolades Awards. The program includes 37 different categories, including alumni relations, communications, design, development, grant writing, magazines, marketing, newswriting, photography, portals, publications and web.

• “A Season of Midges,” which appeared in the winter 2013 issue of Pitt Magazine, won a gold award for best article in the staff writing category.

• Pitt Magazine received an honorable mention in the four-year colleges/universities four-color magazines category.


Walter Rhinehart, an adjunct faculty member in the psychology program at Pitt-Bradford, was a member of the advisory committee on violence prevention that presented its findings to the State Senate judiciary committee last week.

The Senate charged the Joint State Government Commission early last year with forming the committee to examine violent crime and mass shootings and related topics and make recommendations to the legislature.

Rhinehart, who is a clinical psychologist in private practice and formerly chief psychologist with the Federal Correctional Institution, McKean, was one of a couple dozen professionals from the fields of health care, school administration, judiciary and law enforcement to serve on the committee.

The committee made 44 recommendations related to the Mental Health Act, Uniform Firearms Act and statutes and practices related to violent crime. Included were revisions to involuntary commitment standards, codifying duty-to-warn standards, and further study of the effects of exposure to media violence; mental health awareness and early intervention training for those who are likely to come into contact with those in crisis, and funding for community mental health services using expanded Medicaid funding.

While the committee strongly opposed arming school administrators, teachers or other non-law-enforcement school employees, they urged additional mental health services for students, consideration for school threat assessment and crisis teams, and priority status for school safety grant requests from schools that are the farthest from centralized law enforcement.

The full report can be downloaded at


wildsJohn Wilds, assistant vice chancellor for community relations, has been named a 2013 minority achiever by Talk Magazine, a local publication that targets the African-American community.


Bob Stein, director of information technology for Pitt’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, is the recipient of the 2014 Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award from Microsoft.

This is the 11th time Stein has received the award, which recognizes exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world experience with others.


Kane-GillPharmacy and therapeutics faculty member Sandra L. Kane-Gill has been elected to the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Council. Kane-Gill begins her three-year term this month.

The SCCM Council is the society’s highest governing body. Candidates for council are required to have visionary leadership, a track record of hard work and productivity in service to SCCM and to critical care, and specific expertise (e.g., in education or finance) germane to the business operations of the society.


Pitt’s Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership has named Bill Strickland the winner of its 2014 Exemplary Leadership Award.

Strickland is the CEO and founder of the Manchester Bidwell Corp. and its subsidiaries. As an undergraduate at Pitt, he founded  the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (now MCG Youth and Arts), an afterschool program to teach children pottery skills in the Manchester neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where he grew up.

Strickland has been the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship Award and a Goi Peace Award and has been honored as Pittsburgher of the Year.

The award will be presented on March 21.