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July 9, 2015

People of the Times

Charles “Chip” Burke III was honored with the Excellence in Safety Award at the 2015 USA Hockey’s Annual Congress/Night of Tribute awards dinner. Burke was recognized for his contributions in improving safety and reducing injury in youth sports through his 20-year association with USA Hockey.

Burke, a clinical associate professor at the School of Medicine  and a UPMC orthopaedic surgeon, has been volunteering with USA Hockey for years, including being a 15-year member of the safety and protective equipment committee and team physician for the 2002 Winter Olympics. He also has served as part of the coaching education program, teaching coaches about safety in youth sports.

During Burke’s 25 years as team physician with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he made his most notable contribution to NHL safety by developing the National Hockey League’s concussion program.


President Barack Obama recently appointed a pathologist from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with UPMC CancerCenter, to a national board charged with identifying the most promising cancer research projects nationwide.

Yuan Chang, distinguished professor of pathology in the School of Medicine, has been appointed with four other scientists to serve as members of the National Cancer Advisory Board.

The National Cancer Advisory Board consists of 12 members who advise the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Cancer Institute.


Richard Schulz, director of the University Center for Social and Urban Research, is the recipient of the American Psychological Association’s 2015 Baltes Distinguished Research Achievement Award. The honor recognizes research careers that have featured exceptional theoretical and empirical contributions to the psychological science of aging. It is the most prestigious research award on aging given by the American Psychological Association.

A distinguished service professor of psychiatry, Schulz’s research centers on adult aging and development. His work has focused on social-psychological aspects of aging, including the impact of disabling late-life disease on patients and their families.


Five staff members at Pitt-Bradford have been promoted to help lead the institution’s newly established Office of Enrollment Management.

James Baldwin, formerly assistant dean of academic affairs, registrar and director of Science in Motion, will assume responsibility for the new office as its vice president of enrollment management.

Both Alex Nazemetz, director of admissions, and Melissa Ibanez, director of financial aid, have been promoted to associate vice president of enrollment management. Bob Dilks, director of transfer and nontraditional student recruitment, has been promoted to assistant vice president of enrollment management. All three will retain their director titles for their respective departments. Christina Marrone, previously associate registrar and assistant director of enrollment services, has been promoted to registrar and director of enrollment services.


The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering has named John T. Sebastian the inaugural McKamish construction management director. Sebastian, president of Sebastian Consulting Solutions, is a faculty member in the department.

The construction management and sustainability program concentration encompasses public and private sector perspectives, building and engineering construction, and the roles played by all the participants on the construction team (owners, contractors, design professionals, and other supporting professionals). The program emphasizes managerial decision-making in an engineering context and teaches students decision-making skills that are important to the successful completion of construction projects as measured by time, cost and quality objectives. In addition, the program develops in the students those professional qualities that will make them effective managers — communication skills, computer applications, ethical standards and leadership attributes.

Sebastian has more than 35 years of experience in the construction industry. He was executive vice president and member of the board of directors of Dick Corp., a national general contractor, and DCK Worldwide, an international contractor and successor company to Dick Corp.


The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses has chosen Susan Albrecht, associate dean for external relations for the School of Nursing, as the winner of the 2015 Distinguished Professional Service Award, the organization’s highest honor.

The association is committed to strengthening the nursing profession and improving health outcomes for women and babies.

Albrecht specializes in smoking cessation, substance use and its relation to pregnancy. Her work, which has been widely published, has been funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Albrecht directs the nursing PhD program. She also works as a nurse practitioner in the Student Health Service, as a substitute school nurse and volunteers as a crisis intervention counselor for Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.


Pitt’s Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy has awarded prizes to two recent University law school graduates.

The J. Evans Rose Jr. Prize for Public Service was awarded to Casey L. Martinez. The honor is granted annually to a recent alumnus of the school who has aspired to a career in public service.

Martinez has accepted a position with the Department of Justice. He will serve as an attorney within the Executive Office of Immigration Review for the U.S. Immigration Court in Las Vegas.

As a Pitt law student, Martinez assisted foreign-born defendants through Pitt’s Immigration Law Clinic. He also interned with the Community Justice Project and the United States Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The prize is named for the late School of Law alumnus and University trustee.

The Dick Thornburgh Prize for Legal Service went to Elizabeth E. Cook. The award recognizes recent Pitt law graduates who have used their legal training on behalf of low-income communities and have expressed aspirations for related career pursuits.

Cook is serving as an attorney within the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office.

While a law student at Pitt, Cook worked as a legal intern for the Allegheny County Public Defenders Office, assisting senior attorneys in devising defense strategies for individual defendants and playing an active role in all stages of trial participation.

Cook was one of 10 law students who taught constitutional law and legal procedures within Pittsburgh’s Propel Charter Schools.

In addition to her JD degree, Cook also received a BA in English literature and a BS in psychology from the  Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences in 2010.


Pitt-Bradford has named Josh Horton as its sports information director.

Horton comes to Pitt-Bradford from his alma mater, Misericordia University, where he was the assistant sports information director, promoting student athletes in 23 NCAA sports.

Horton has spent time as a play-by-play broadcaster for the Morehead City (N.C.) Marlins, a member of the collegiate wood-bat Coastal Plain League and the Mankato (Minn.) MoonDogs of the collegiate Northwoods League.

While in college, Horton served as the assistant director of media relations for the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

He was a sports correspondent for several newspapers and has done freelance work for numerous media outlets.


Two April graduates of the Swanson School of Engineering have been awarded 2015 Whitaker International Fellowships, which provide overseas research opportunities for emerging professionals in bioengineering fields.

Daniel Freer will pursue a Master of Research degree in medical robotics at Imperial College London. While in the United Kingdom, he will assist in the development of a wearable device that will aid in the physical rehabilitation of knee-surgery patients.

Drake Pedersen will work with a team of cardiovascular researchers at the University of Palermo in Italy. He will assist in a large-scale project that seeks to enhance the durability of tissue-engineered heart valves, which are currently used in nearly 40 percent of the world’s heart-transplant procedures.


The People of the Times column features recent news on faculty and staff, including awards and other honors, accomplishments and administrative appointments.

We welcome submissions from all areas of the University. Send information via email to:, by fax at 412/624-4579 or by campus mail to 308 Bellefield Hall.

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