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April 14, 2016

People of the Times

The American Council for Polish Culture (CPC) will award its 2016 Distinguished Service Award to Oscar Swan of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

The service award, which will be presented at the CPC convention in August, is given to an individual or group that has made a significant contribution to spreading the knowledge and appreciation of Polish culture.

Patty Wharton-Michael

Patty Wharton-Michael

Patty Wharton-Michael received the Pitt-Johnstown 2016 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching April 3 at UPJ’s annual academic honors convocation.

The honor is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates commitment to education, effectiveness in instruction and success in engaging students in the discovery and expression of knowledge.

Wharton-Michael is UPJ’s communication department co-chair and Faculty Resource Center coordinator. She joined the UPJ faculty in 2006.

She received her bachelor’s degree in communication at Pitt-Johnstown, and earned a master’s degree in media studies and a PhD in mass communication from Penn State.

Lester Olson, faculty member and chair of the Department of Communication in the Dietrich school, has been selected as a Rhetoric Society of America 2016 fellow, based on his service, record of success in scholarship, national and international visibility, mentorship of generations of graduate students and leadership in the field.

He is to be recognized at the RSA conference in May.

Melissa Warthen has been appointed associate director of New Student Programs and the First Year Experience in the Office of Student Life.

Warthen took on her new role last month following eight years as an assistant director in the Office of Residence Life. She previously was resident director for Lothrop Hall.

Prior to joining the University staff, Warthen was a resident director at Ohio University.

She earned a bachelor’s in psychology at Clemson University and a master of education degree at Southern Illinois University.

Tyler Bickford, faculty member in the Department of English in the Dietrich school, was awarded an ACLS fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.

This year’s cohort of 69 fellows was selected from a pool of nearly 1,100 applicants.

ACLS fellowships allow scholars to spend six-12 months researching and writing full-time. Bickford’s award will support work on his book project, “Tween Pop: Children’s Music and the Public Sphere.”

pott.tony graceTony Grace, faculty member in neuroscience in the Dietrich school, was awarded the Schizophrenia International Research Society outstanding basic research award at the SIRS meeting April 2-6 in Florence.

The award is given every other year to a SIRS member in recognition of an outstanding basic research contribution to the field of schizophrenia research.

—Compiled by K. Barlow


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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