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January 22, 1998


Margo Johnson has been appointed as the full-time academic coordinator of clinical education at the Titusville campus. She is responsible for lecture and lab instruction in the physical therapist assistant courses, as well as serving as liaison between the clinical community and the University. She continues her clinical practice with Northwestern Physical Therapy Services, Inc. at the Titusville Hospital as a staff physical therapist assistant.

Prior to accepting the appointment at UPT, she was employed as a therapeutic activities service worker for the Forest/Warren Department of Human Services in the Early Intervention Program. She was also a permanent substitute teacher in several local school districts.


Among the 15 people named by In Pittsburgh Newsweekly as "angels" (stars) for 1997 were two Pitt faculty members: Ralph Bangs of the University Center for Social and Urban Research and Lee Gutkind of the English department.

In Pittsburgh lauded Bangs' "Benchmarks" studies of contrasting living conditions among black and white city residents. The reports "spoke to politicos, press and public alike," the publication noted. Gutkind founded the Journal of Creative Nonfiction, and according to In Pittsburgh, "the work he's done promoting his journal in national and even international academic circles has been a boon not only to the University of Pittsburgh where he teaches non-fiction writing, but to those who might learn from Gutkind's journal that their lives have an inherent drama that transcends milk and bread runs and crowded car pools."


Karl Johnson, assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, is the latest Pitt School of Engineering faculty member to win the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Faculty Early Career Development Award.

The award provides a four-year, $210,000 grant to support Johnson's research. The NSF noted that Johnson is one of the first researchers to study a novel class of materials, carbon nanotubes, and their use for gas absorption and storage, which may provide direct industrial applications.

The early career award is a continuation of the NSF's Presidential Young Investigator and National Young Investigator awards, which likewise recognized and supported the work of aspiring young faculty across the nation. Other Pitt engineering faculty who received the awards in recent years have included professor and chairperson Alan Russell, associate professor Eric Beckman and assistant professor Julie d'Itri of chemical and petroleum engineering; assistant professor Cynthia Atman and associate professor Alice Smith of industrial engineering, and assistant professor Pat Loughlin of electrical engineering.


The Japanese government has bestowed its Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, on John Thomas Rimer, chairperson and professor in Pitt's Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures.

The award recognized Rimer's "special commitment and extraordinary contributions to the introduction and spread of Japanese performing arts and to the enhanced understanding of Japan in the United States," according to the Consulate General of Japan in New York City.


Nicholas Rescher, University Professor of Philosophy, has been elected a member of the Academia Europaea, the European Academy of Arts and Sciences.

While all European countries have their own national academies, Academia Europaea was formed a decade ago to transcend national borders within the European Community as well as disciplinary boundaries by joining the humanities with the natural, biological and social sciences. The academy also admits a limited number of distinguished non-European scholars and scientists.


The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has awarded a $10,000 Fellowship in Literature to Paula Closson Buck, assistant professor of writing and director of the Bradford campus writing program. She was one of nine writers selected for the award out of 220 applicants.


Closson Buck's latest collection of poetry, "The Acquiescent Villa," is currently in publication by the Louisiana State University Press. Her poetry also has appeared in national journals and publications, including The Ohio Review, Shenandoah and The Antioch Review. She has taught at UPB since 1992.


Chris Mackowski, assistant director of public relations and marketing at the Bradford campus, has been recognized by the Theatre Association of New York State (TANYS) for his playwriting. TANYS is the state-wide association for community theatres in New York.

Mackowski will receive a TANYS Merit Award for "exceptional playwriting that expands the bounds of community theatre" for his play "Monty by the Sea." TANYS adjudicator Mary Rolick called Mackowski's work "caliber playwriting" and "highly imaginative."


John M. "Kim" Jessup has joined the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute to lead its program in gastrointestinal cancer. He is also a Pitt professor of surgery.

A leading gastrointestinal cancer researcher and surgeon, Jessup comes to Pittsburgh from Harvard Medical School, where he was an associate professor of surgery practicing at New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston.

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