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October 1, 2015

People of the Times

The Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association will give this year’s Teaching Excellence Award to Jean Truman, faculty member in nursing.

Truman will be recognized at the PBAA alumni awards dinner and Athletic Hall of Fame induction at 5 p.m. Oct. 3.

Truman is the coordinator of the associate of science in nursing program at Pitt-Bradford, where she has taught since 2003. Her two research interests are student success with the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse exam and the use of standardized patients in nursing simulations.

Prior to teaching at Pitt-Bradford, she worked as a critical care nurse, coordinator of staff education and nursing supervisor.

She continues to work as a nursing supervisor at Bradford Regional Medical Center and is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society.


Anne M. Robertson, faculty member in mechanical engineering and William Kepler Whiteford Professor at the Swanson School of Engineering, was named a recipient of the 100 Women in STEM Award by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

According to the magazine, the award is being presented “as a tribute to 100 women whose work and achievements not only encourage others in their individual STEM fields, but also inspire a new generation of young women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math. These remarkable women continue to make a significant difference through mentoring and teaching, research, and other efforts worthy of this national recognition.”

Robertson was the first woman hired into a tenure-track position in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and served as director of the graduate program in mechanical engineering 2004-08. She currently is director of the Center for Faculty Excellence in the Swanson school.

Robertson leads a research team that investigates cerebral aneurysms, which are pathological outcroppings of brain arteries that can lead to fatal brain hemorrhages.

She is the recipient of two National Institutes of Health grants to study the link between hemodynamics and wall structure in cerebral aneurysms.


Community Living and Support Services has named Katherine D. Seelman, faculty member in rehabilitation science and technology and associate dean of disability programs in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, as one of its 2015 community heroes.

Seelman and three other winners will be honored at an awards dinner Oct. 14.


Patrick Smolinski, faculty member in mechanical engineering and materials science in the Swanson school, has been named director of the school’s engineering science program. He will succeed John Barnard.

Launched in 2011, the program expanded the interdisciplinary reach of the Swanson school’s engineering physics program, offering new curricula combining science, mathematics and engineering in new ways. The program attracts students interested in in-depth exposure to science and engineering. Students learn how to think analytically across disciplines and tackle technical challenges that require a thorough understanding of combining engineering with disciplines in the physical sciences and mathematics.

Smolinski’s primary research interests include the development of new computational simulation methods and the application of computational methods to problems in manufacturing and biomechanics. He currently is involved with research projects in the extended finite method for modeling solidification processes, the finite element modeling of sheet metal forming, modeling the flow of granular material, stress analysis and design of ankle replacement components, and the study of the wear of polyethylene joint components.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in applied mechanics from the University of Illinois and his master’s and PhD in applied mechanics from Northwestern University.

He also holds an appointment in orthopaedic surgery.

He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering and a founding member of the United States Association for Computational Mechanics.


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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