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November 25, 2015

People of the Times

The Mid-Atlantic chapter of Medical Library Association has honored two Health Sciences Library System reference librarians recently:

Andrea Ketchum was awarded the 2015 Award for Professional Excellence by a Health Sciences Librarian.

Melissa Ratajeski was awarded the 2015 Marguerite Abel Service Recognition Award, which recognizes exemplary service to the chapter during the past year.


AsherThe Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh honored Sanford Asher, distinguished professor of chemistry, for his contributions to the field.


Marc Coutanche, faculty member in psychology and at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center, has been awarded the 2015 Krieg Cortical Kudos Scholar Award from The Cajal Club, an organization of neuroscientists.


Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, faculty member and director of graduate studies in the Department of Political Science and a member of the Center for Latin American Studies, has been appointed editor-in-chief of Latin American Research Review, an interdisciplinary journal of research on Latin America and the Caribbean.


Ervin Dwyer, a writer/editor in the Office of University Communications, has won a Minority Achiever’s Award for outstanding professional contributions from Talk Magazine. The magazine covers issues important to people in African-American communities.


braxterThe School of Nursing held its annual Cameos of Caring Gala Nov. 7 to celebrate outstanding members of the nursing profession. Included among the 73 honorees was nursing school faculty member Betty J. Braxter of the Department of Health Promotion and Development.

Braxter brings more than 20 years of professional practice to the classroom, as well as her experience of nearly continuous advanced education. After graduating with a  BSN, she  went on to earn certification in nurse midwifery, then a master’s and a PhD in nursing, followed by a post-doctoral research position.

She conducts research on topics ranging from substance abuse among women and effectiveness of doulas in women’s health care, to the mental health responsibilities and outcomes of having a parish nurse.


Kay Brummond, faculty member in the Department of Chemistry, is the 2015 winner of the ACS Pittsburgh Award, presented by the Pittsburgh section of the American Chemical Society.

BrummondThe award recognizes outstanding leadership in chemical affairs in the local and larger professional community. It is given to professionals who have been instrumental in increasing chemical knowledge, promoting the chemical industry or benefiting humanity.

Brummond has been the recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award, the ACS Akron Section Award, the Carnegie Science Center Emerging Female Scientist Award and the Johnson & Johnson Focused Giving Award.

She is an American Chemical Society fellow.

Brummond’s research program focuses on the development of new synthetic methods to expedite the preparation of, and to expand on, nature’s toolbox of biologically relevant compounds. She and her group have published over 60 journal articles, 15 reviews and book chapters, and she has delivered over 160 invited lectures and symposia.

The students and postdocs in her group have presented 56 conference posters and presentations. Twenty-two graduate students have obtained PhD and MS degrees under her direction.


“The Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels,” a film produced by Marcus Rediker, distinguished professor of history, has been awarded the 2015 Richard E. O’Connor Prize from the American Historical Association for the best historical documentary of the year.

Rediker will accept the award in January at the association’s annual meeting, during which there will be a screening of the film.

School of Nursing faculty members Susan Cohen and Dianxu Ren have been named the 2015 recipients of the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Awards. The awards recognize faculty members who best represent the school’s commitment to excellence in teaching.

Cohen, faculty member in the Department of Health Promotion and Development, was selected for her mentoring of graduate students.

dianxu_renRen, faculty member in the Department of Health and Community Systems, was noted for his dedication to teaching a difficult subject (statistics) utilizing student-centered learning and for his willingness to lend his expertise to students who are preparing manuscripts and research projects.


Amy C. Donihi, faculty member in the Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, was selected as a 2015 recipient of the Richard L. Simmons Speak Up for Patient Safety Award at UPMC.

DonihiDonihi was recognized for the work she has done over the past 15 years as a member of the diabetes patient safety committee to improve the glycemic management and safety of people with diabetes or newly recognized hyperglycemia in the hospital setting.

This award honors individuals who speak up for patient safety and who have dedicated much of their career to reducing risk and developing processes to eliminate potential errors. Donihi’s nominator said: “Her carefully calibrated protocols have improved the glycemic management of literally thousands of hospitalized patients.”


Nuno Themudo, faculty member in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), has won The American Review of Public Administration Best Article Award for “Government Size, Nonprofit Sector Strength and Corruption: A Cross-National Examination.”
In selecting Themudo’s paper, the editorial board commented:

“The Themudo article addresses a question of broad, international interest and does so in a way that generates important observations and implications about the field of public administration. Not only is this article well-written and easy to read, it also tackles an important, far-reaching issue: corruption. The analysis was well done and the results are very interesting. Prof. Themudo challenges some important ideological assumptions about government and corruption, and his work has implications for public policy that extend well beyond the U.S.”


The Workforce Development Global Alliance (WDGA) honored Kevin Kearns for his commitment to servant leadership with the 10th Annual Dr. Wangari Maathai Humanitarian Award. Kearns is a faculty member in public and nonprofit management at GSPIA as well as director of the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership.

According to WDGA’s announcement, the award recognizes Kearns’ “unprecedented levels of servant leadership, commitment and impact to mankind from local to global communities.”

WDGA is a Pittsburgh-based organization that promotes economic self-sufficiency through employment opportunities for tomorrow’s workforce, the youth. Global corporate alliances and awareness provide for education, exposure, empowerment, experience and employment opportunities. WDGA operates programs in the Pittsburgh area and in Kenya.


The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences has honored David Birnbaum, chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, by publishing a festschrift, a double issue of Scripta & e-Scripta: The Journal of Interdisciplinary Mediaeval Studies (Volume 14-15), in his honor.

The biographical information included in the journal says of Birnbaum: “The work of Professor David Birnbaum is a remarkable phenomenon both in Palaeo-Slavic studies and digital humanities. A Slavicist by education, already at the beginning of his career as a specialist he was inspired by the idea of new applications of computational methods in the processing and presentation of Slavonic manuscripts in the Web.

“From the beginning of the 1980s to this day, he has initiated and participated in numerous projects related to the edition and study of medieval Slavonic manuscripts by means of digital technology. His research and methodological contributions provoke not only a new angle from which written heritage can be regarded in a convincing and unique manner — they have also outlined the way to achieve new knowledge about manuscripts and the history of texts.”


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

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