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August 28, 2014

People of the Times

ManningPatrick Manning, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of World History, is the new president-elect of the American Historical Association. The organization is the largest in the country devoted to the study and promotion of history, and its 14,000 members represent elementary school teachers, professors of history, and people in many other specializations and professions.

Manning, who also directs Pitt’s World History Center, says the association is especially valuable at this time for encouraging historical analysis, both for recent concerns and about our common ancestors. “There has been a recent outpouring of new knowledge about the past in many fields,” Manning said. “I hope to help the association invest in alliances with historians worldwide, focus on graduate education, develop ties with other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, and stay involved in the debate about public education.”

Pitt Police Officer Steve Cetra was honored with the annual Oakwatch Ally of the Year Award for his work with Oakland residents and enforcement partners to reduce disruptive behavior and educate off-campus students about responsible neighborhood living.

Oakwatch is the Oakland code enforcement project hosted by Oakland Planning and Development Corp. It enforces codes on negligent property owners, housing violations, parking violations, disruptive behavior, excessive noise and underage drinking in Oakland. It has brought together community groups, institutions, local government entities, law enforcement and others to collaborate in finding solutions to challenges within the community.

Tony Berich, director of athletics at Pitt-Greensburg, has been elected chair of the NCAA Division III national golf committee.

Berich has served the past three years as a regional representative to this committee, which oversees 299 golf teams as well as the rules regarding Division III golf, the selection of the teams for the Division III golf championship, and the Division III golf championship to be held at North Carolina’s Grandover Resort in May 2015.

ZadorozhnyVladimir Zadorozhny, faculty member in the School of Information Sciences information science and technology program, has received a Fulbright award to Norway.

Amelia Acker, faculty member in the School of Information Sciences library and information science program, received the 2014 ASIST ProQuest Dissertation Award for “Born Networked Records: A History of the Short Message Service Format.” She earned her PhD at UCLA.

This is the first time the award has gone to an archival studies dissertation.

School of Social Work faculty member Rafael Engel has been named the co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Intergenerational Relations.

The journal helps scholars, practitioners, policymakers, educators and advocates stay abreast of the latest intergenerational research, practice methods and policy initiatives.

The Executive Council of the Pennsylvania State Modern Languages Association (PSMLA) selected Pitt-Greensburg’s Silvina Orsatti, part-time Spanish instructor, to receive the 2014 PSMLA Educator of the Year Award. The award, to be presented to Orsatti at the PSMLA conference in October, recognizes individuals and organizations for their distinguished teaching and professional contributions in world languages and cultures.

SowaGwendolyn Sowa, faculty member in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and assistant dean of medical student research in the School of Medicine, is the 2014 recipient of the Physiatric Association of Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation Legacy Award and Lectureship by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The award recognizes an individual in mid-career who has advanced musculoskeletal physiatry through clinical care, education, service and/or research.

Several members of the Learning Research and Development Center have won awards recently.

Einat Heyd-Metzuyanim was selected by the AERA for the Special Interest Group for Research Career Publication Award in Mathematics Education.

Melissa Libertus received a Mind, Brain and Education Society Early Career Award for 2014. This award is designed to recognize early-career researchers who have made significant research contributions to the field of mind, brain and education.

Diane Litman won Google’s Faculty Research Award. She is researching how to enable computers to derive meaning from human language so the computers can analyze student peer assessments in “massively open-access online courses,” or MOOCs.

perfetti• Director Charles Perfetti received the 2014 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Society for Text and Discourse Aug. 4 at the society’s annual meeting and delivered the opening ceremony address, “Reading Comprehension: From Words to Multiple Texts and Back Again.”

Christian D. Schunn was elected a fellow in the Association for Psychological Science.

Natasha Tokowicz has been nominated to participate in the 2014-2015 American Psychological Association (APA) Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology. Established by the APA committee on women in psychology, the institute’s mission is to prepare, support and empower women psychologists as leaders to promote positive changes in institutional and organizational life and to increase the diversity, number and effectiveness of women psychologists as leaders.

Tessa Warren has won a Women in Cognitive Science Mentorship Award.

Jingtao Wang was invited by Google to visit the company’s Android team in Mountain View, California, this summer to continue his research on innovative sensor-based interaction on mobile devices.

Karen Lillis has won the 2014 Acker Award for Avant Garde Excellence in Fiction for her body of work, especially four experimental novels/novellas published 2000-12.

LillisLillis is a staff member of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences (program assistant for the cultural studies program and for the gender, sexuality and women’s studies program).

Her latest published works include a chapbook of poems called “The Paul Simon Project” and inclusion in an anthology of experimental women writers, “Wreckage of Reason Two.” She also is the author of “Watch the Doors as They Close”; “The Second Elizabeth”; “Magenta’s Adventures Underground,” and “i, scorpion: foul belly-crawler of the desert.”

The Acker award recognizes members of the avant-garde arts community who have made outstanding contributions in their discipline in defiance of convention, or else served their fellow writers and artists in outstanding ways.

In addition to writing, Lillis has put her literary and library skills together to create a curated bookselling service. She holds pop-up book sales at art events around Pittsburgh as the Small Press Pittsburgh Bookstand, featuring the output of Pittsburgh writers, poets, publishers and artists alongside independent press books.

Lillis also invented Small Press Roulette, a mail-order bookselling service. With Small Press Roulette, readers choose a price point and a basic genre (such as poetry, fiction, comics, creative nonfiction), and Lillis sends a surprise small-press package including a recommended book or two.

HoockPitt’s Holger Hoock, the J. Carroll Amundson Professor of British History, is starting a five-year term as editor of the Journal of British Studies. Cambridge University Press publishes the quarterly journal on behalf of the North American Conference on British Studies. Hoock’s team of associate editors includes Pitt history department faculty members Janelle Greenberg and Marcus Rediker as well as English faculty members Bruce Venarde and Jennifer Waldron.

The journal will operate from offices in Posvar Hall with Julie Hakim Azzam as assistant editor.

George J. Zimmerman, a faculty member in the School of Education and the coordinator of the University’s vision studies program, has won the Lawrence E. Blaha Award from the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

ZimmermanThe honor was bestowed at the national association’s International Conference in San Antonio this month.

Zimmerman also has served as the chair of the Department of Instruction and Learning and coordinator of the special education program. Prior to arriving at Pitt, Zimmerman taught at Boston College and Vanderbilt University.

In addition to his academic work, Zimmerman has held positions with the Texas Commission for the Blind and the New Hampshire low-vision program.

Established in 1968, the Blaha award is the highest honor bestowed by the association’s orientation and mobility division. It recognizes professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of orientation and mobility and who are dedicated to serving people with visual impairments.

Karen Bursic, faculty member and undergraduate program director of industrial engineering, received the Swanson School of Engineering’s 2014 Outstanding Educator Award.

Research productivity of Pitt’s business faculty members in four of the top marketing journals is No. 16 in the world, according to a report by the American Marketing Association’s DocSIG’s Group.

Over the past five years, Katz faculty were authors or co-authors of 38 articles.

Faculty members J. Jeffrey Inman, Cait Lamberton and Andrew Stephen received individual honors. Inman published 10 articles in the four top journals during the past five years, ranking him No. 10 in the world. Lamberton ranked No. 18 with eight articles and Stephen ranked No. 34 with seven.

—Compiled by N.J. Brown


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