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February 5, 1998


Lydia Saris-Mechenbier, an assistant professor in medicine and a board certified internist at MLDC Internal Medicine Associates-UPMC, has been elected a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the society of internists. Election recognizes achievement in internal medicine, the specialty of adult medical care.


The Johnstown campus chapter of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society has installed its first set of officers and inducted its first group of members.

Newly appointed officers of the chapter are Robert Matson, associate professor of history, president; James Gyure, vice president; Jerry Samples, director of engineering technology, secretary; Neil Woffinden, professor of biology, treasurer; Jon Darling, director of community outreach and professor of sociology, public relations chair, and Albert Etheridge, president of UPJ, honorary past president.

Members of the UPJ chartering group are Elizabeth Bell-Loncella, associate professor of chemistry; Charles Clifton, professor of English; Stephen Curran, assistant professor of mathematics; Jon Darling; Albert Etheridge; James Gyure; William Lochstet, associate professor of physics; Dennis McNair, associate professor of biology; Merrily Swoboda, associate professor of communication; Jerry Samples; Clifford Thompson, associate professor of biology, and Neil Woffinden.

New faculty initiates are James Alexander, professor of political science; Catherine Cox, assistant professor of English; Patty Derrick, associate professor of English; Gregory Dick, associate professor of electrical engineering technology; Robert Martinazzi, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology; L. David Rooney, vice president of Student Affairs; Kamal Verma, professor of English, and Michael Yates, professor of economics.

Also elected to the new chapter were charter members from the Johnstown community and a group of UPJ students Rolf Loeber, professor of psychiatry, psychology and epidemiology, has been named professor of developmental psychopathology at the Free University in Amsterdam. The professorship is an honorary position for a five-year period. Loeber will spend two weeks each year lecturing at the Free University.

Loeber is internationally recognized for his research into the factors surrounding juvenile delinquency and antisocial behavior. David Schmidt has been appointed interim director of University Relations at the Greensburg campus. He will manage all campus public relations and development efforts.

Schmidt was manager of public information for the former West Penn Power Company until he retired in 1996. He has taught advertising and public relations courses at the Greensburg campus for the past 15 years.


Kamal Verma, professor of English at the Johnstown campus, has elected president of the South Asian Literary Association of America for 1998. The South Asian Literary Association of America is an allied organization of the Modern Language Association of America.

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