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February 15, 1996

Chancellor awardees recognized for research, teaching, public service

Seventeen Pitt faculty members are recipients of the 1996 Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching, Research and Public Service Awards

Teaching award winners are: Lester C. Olson, communications; Anthony T. Boldurian, social science-anthropology, Greensburg campus; Paul L. Rogers, anesthesiology; George Reid Andrews, history; Frank H. Beatrous Jr., mathematics and statistics, and Nina Schor, pediatrics, neurology and pharmacology.

The distinguished public service award winners are: Diane Marsh, natural science – psychology, Greensburg campus; John Darling, social science – sociology, Johnstown campus; Margaret Mary Kimmel, University Library System; Vaughn Stagg, psychiatry, and John O. Bolvin, psychology in education.

Research award winners include Massimo M. Trucco, pediatrics, Children's Hospital; Fritz K. Ringer, history; Michael D. Hopkins, chemistry; Eric Hoffman and Olivera J. Finn, both in molecular genetics and biochemistry, and Sanford A. Asher, chemistry.

Each honoree receives a $2,000 cash prize and $3,000 to support his or her public service, research or teaching.

Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Awards Interim Chancellor Mark Nordenberg cited Olson for his "ground-breaking work in developing the rhetoric and human rights course" and his "strong commitment to creating a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students." Boldurian was praised by Nordenberg for his "single-handed development of the UPG curriculum in archeology," as well as his innovative teaching methods, his involvement of students in field work, and his integration of research and teaching.

Rogers was chosen for his development of an "innovative course in the care of critically ill patients," his published research on teaching and the active role he has played in improving teaching in the Department of Anesthesiology.

Nordenberg recognized Andrews for the enthusiasm and dedication with which he approaches teaching and mentoring students and his effectiveness in actively engaging students even in large classes. He was particularly praised for providing feedback on writing assignments despite the large size of his classes.

Beatrous was selected for his "ability to make mathematics relevant to students in various disciplines" and his "innovative efforts with respect to the revision of the calculus curriculum, including [his] work in designing the three-term sequence, creating the new calculus laboratory and writing laboratory materials." Schor was honored for her "triple threat" roles of teacher, researcher and clinician. Nordenberg noted that she deserved special praise for her leadership in the design and development of the Integrated Cases Studies and Medical Decision Making course for second-year medical students.

Chancellor's Distinguished Public Service Awards In the area of public service, Marsh was recognized for being a "leader among leaders" for "improving services to the severely mentally ill and their families." Darling drew praise for his "path-breaking work in developing permanent networks of community action to combat crime, violence and drug use among young people in the Johnstown area." Nordenberg noted that Darling had "succeeded in bringing together the most important and influential leaders of business, industry and education to create strong public-private partnerships for the betterment of the region." Kimmel was honored for utilizing "the resources of the University and the library to serve the most intimate and humanistic of purposes, keeping alive the magic of the story and the roots of literature for children." Stagg earned his award for the leadership role he has played in Pittsburgh's Hill District. "In your work," Nordenberg said, "you have demonstrated the ability to apply professional and academic solutions to serious community problems such as violence, teen pregnancy, and drug and alcohol abuse." Bolvin was praised for his "steadfast commitment and astonishing energy in serving the education and employment needs of the African American population in Pittsburgh's North Side. Your work has been instrumental in bringing African American youth from the community into the University for education and employment." Chancellor's Distinguished Research Awards The Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award is given in two categories. Senior scholar awards go to faculty who have outstanding records of research and scholarly activity and are preeminent in their field. Junior scholar awards go to faculty who have demonstrated great scholarly potential. Winners in the senior category were Trucco, Ringer, Finn and Asher. Junior winners were Hopkins and Hoffman.

Trucco was recognized for his studies of the genetics and immunology of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. His perfection of methods of molecular immunology typing has led to the establishment of the National Marrow Repository and Typing Center at Children's Hospital.

Ringer won praise for his work on the "historical development of German and French education which lies at the intersection of social history, historical sociology and intellectual history." Finn was honored for identifying specific tumor cell antigens that are targets for the anti-tumor activity of a newly recognized class of T-lymphocytes, which she also discovered. Nordenberg noted that "both the breadth and depth of [Finn's] investigations of the molecular mechanisms that account for these novel findings are now widely recognized to have provided important and testable approaches for the treatment of several human cancers by immunotherapy." Asher earned his award for his work in vibrational spectroscopy, where he is a leader in "the field of UV resonance Raman spectrometer. [Asher's] work in the field of self-assembling colloidal crystals has demonstrated a general new method for creating nanoscale periodicities in matter." In the junior category, Hopkins was honored for his "mastery of the fields of synthesis of new compounds and the study of their physical properties." His seminal research into the nature of metal-carbon triple bonds was "the first to establish the nature of the frontier orbitals that make up these bonds, correctly determining the force constant of the bond." Finally, Hoffman drew praise for his "major role in identifying the specific molecular genetic abnormalities in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and the identification of the protein product that may lead to effective therapies."

–Mike Sajna

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