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May 28, 2014

People of the Times

UPB Nordenberg

Pitt-Bradford President Livingston Alexander, left, presents Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg with a replica of UPB’s panther statue at a dinner and reception May 22. Pitt-Bradford also presented Nordenberg, who is retiring in August, with its highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Distinction. The chancellor is the 26th person to receive Bradford’s presidential medal.

A team from the University Library System (ULS) has won an award in the 2014 Best of Show competition at the PR Xchange in the special programs, exhibits and events/electronic category ($20 million+).

ULS librarians Ed Galloway, Jeff Wisniewski and Miriam Meislik and ULS staff members Kari Peyton and Justin Pastrick put together the website “Pitt Football Through the Years” ( and a larger Hillman Library photo exhibit that ran September 2013-January 2014.

The PR Xchange awards recognize the best public relations materials produced by libraries in the preceding year. Entries are evaluated on content, originality and design by a team of experts in public relations, graphic design, communications and marketing who select the winner(s) in each category.

Awards will be presented June 29 at the American Library Association conference in Las Vegas.


The 2014 Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology was awarded May 21 to Terry B. Strom, professor of medicine and surgery at Harvard Medical School. He also is the Abelson Chief of Transplant Immunology, scientific director of the Transplant Institute and co-director of the clinical and translational immunology program at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Strom is recognized as being at the forefront of transplantation research for more than four decades.

He has focused his research on the design and development of biologics that foster immune tolerance.

Along with the molecular geneticist John Murphy, he pioneered the development of genetically engineered immunotoxins, including IL-2-diptheria toxin fusion protein (Ontak), which is used worldwide for the treatment of T cell leukemia and lymphomas, graft versus host disease and autoimmune disease.

Most recently, Strom generated a novel class of biologicals in which cytokines are genetically fused to immunoglobulin (Ig) molecules.

The annual Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology is sponsored by Pitt’s School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute. The award and lectureship were established in 1996 by the surgery department and subsequently endowed by Fujisawa Healthcare  (now Astellas Pharma) to honor Thomas Starzl.

Starzl, a faculty member in the Department of Surgery, was the first surgeon to transplant kidneys in humans with consistent success, perform liver transplantation and successfully transplant human intestines. He also introduced four commonly used immunosuppressive drugs for clinical transplantation.


Pitt-Johnstown inducted two faculty members into the campus chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society last month. UPJ faculty inductees were Sharon Bertsch, natural sciences/psychology, and Derek Leben, humanities/philosophy.

According to the Phi Kappa Phi website, faculty, professional staff and alumni are selected based upon scholarly achievements.


Graduate School of Public Health alumni were recognized for their outstanding service in the field of public health during a special ceremony at the school’s alumni reunion gala held earlier this month.

Among them, Chung-Chou “Joyce” H. Chang, a faculty member in Pitt’s Department of Medicine, received a Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination in recognition of her leadership in the development and teaching of biostatistics courses and her support of her advisees’ research efforts.

Chang, who also is a core faculty member in biostatistics and clinical and translational sciences, consistently receives outstanding evaluations from students and trainees. She actively promotes the use of innovative statistical methods, applying them to a wide range of studies from HIV/AIDS research to women’s health care.

Additionally, Mary Herbert, clinical director and administrative coordinator for Pitt’s Division of General Internal Medicine’s program for health care to underserved populations, received the Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award for her significant contributions to the community.

Herbert oversees case management efforts, development of policies, procedures and expansion of services, service learning initiatives, specialty services and outcomes.

She also is involved in program fundraising and strategic planning, and regularly gives talks and presentations related to patient care, safety-net clinical services and health policy.


Berklee College of Music awarded Pitt music faculty member Geri Allen an honorary doctorate during its 2014 commencement ceremony.

Allen was honored along with music education innovator Thara Memory, rock legend Jimmy Page and R&B luminary Valerie Simpson.

During Berklee’s commencement weekend concert, Allen performed her own composition and collaborated with Valerie Simpson and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington on Simpson’s “I Don’t Need No Doctor.”

When Allen addressed the graduates, she reminded them that “what we do is a privilege. Music is so much more than a job. You special people are given a chance to do what you love, and it is love for your art which will sustain you through the unexpected twists and turns that will come. As you embark on your brilliant futures, always remember the passion you’ve discovered.”


Debora Rougeux, a faculty member in the University Library System, was named Alumni Advocacy Volunteer of the Year by the Pitt Alumni Association.

She has served on the Faculty Assembly and Senate Council (1992-95), was University Senate secretary (1995-98) and vice president (1998-99) and currently is co-chair of the Senate’s commonwealth relations committee.

Rougeux also is a long-time member of the Panther Club and a life member of the Alumni Association.


Anthony M. Moore, news representative in the Department of University Communications, won a Golden Quill at the 50th annual awards ceremony last week. The Golden Quills competition recognizes professional excellence in journalism in western Pennsylvania.

Moore won in the category of History/Culture Article or Series/Nondaily Newspapers for his January 2013 Pitt Chronicle story on the centennial history of Pitt’s chapter of the national Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

—Compiled by Alex Oltmanns


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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