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May 26, 2016

People of the times

The Press Club of Western Pennsylvania presented its annual Golden Quill Awards May 12 at the Sheraton Station Square. The competition recognizes professional excellence in written, photographic, broadcast and online journalism in western Pennsylvania.

Gary Kohr-Cravener, art director, periodicals in the Office of University Communications, and photographer Scott Goldsmith won in the magazine photo category for a Pitt Magazine photo, “The Hope Maker.”

Cara Masset, former director of University News, won in the education feature, magazines category for her Pitt Med story, “Inside the World of OCD.” The story also won the Ray Sprigle Memorial Award.

Six other University entries were finalists in the competition:
• Feature, Magazines: Pamela Goldsmith; Pitt Magazine, “The Hope Maker.”

• Business/Technology/Consumer Feature, Magazines: Cindy Gill, Pamela Goldsmith and Kohr-Cravener, Pitt Magazine, “The Hope Maker.”

• Health/Science/Environment Feature, Magazines: Gill, Jill King Greenwood and Kohr-Cravener, Pitt Magazine, “Mobile Master.”

• Profile Feature, Magazines: Ervin Dyer and Kohr-Cravener, Pitt Magazine, “Rubbed by Light.”

• Best Cover Design, Magazines: Harry Giglio and Kohr-Cravener, Pitt Magazine, “Bright Passage.”

• Health/Science/Environment Story, Online: Elaine Vitone and Cami Mesa, Pitt Med, “Second Lives.”

Rory Cooper, director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL), was presented the inaugural Marlin Mickle Outstanding Innovator Award at the Innovation Institute’s recent Celebration of Innovation.

Cooper has been issued eight patents with more pending, and has had many of his technologies licensed. He has forged strong collaborations with entrepreneurial and industry partners to speed the path to commercialization for innovations emerging from HERL that help the elderly and disabled lead more independent and fulfilling lives. He also encourages his students to pursue hands-on experiential entrepreneurship training through the Innovation Institute.

The award was created to recognize a faculty member who exemplifies the passion and commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship of the late Marlin Mickle of the Swanson School of Engineering. Mickle was one of the most prolific innovators in the University’s history.

Patrick M. Kochanek, Ake N. Grenvik Professor of Critical Care Medicine and director of the School of Medicine Safar Center for Resuscitation Research, has been selected to receive the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Critical Care Medicine. Kochanek, who also holds appointments in anesthesiology and pediatrics, as well as in the Swanson school’s bioengineering department, will be presented the award at the society’s January 2017 meeting.


Freddie Fu

Freddie H. Fu, Distinguished Service Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and chair of the School of Medicine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, was elected to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Hall of Fame. The award is one of the society’s highest honors.

Fu also holds appointments in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, the School of Education and the Swanson school, and is head team physician in Athletics.

Susan Fullerton, faculty member in petroleum engineering in the Swanson school, was awarded a 2016 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).

The Powe awards provide seed money for research by junior faculty at ORAU member institutions. The awards are intended to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty and result in new funding opportunities.

Fullerton and her research group use the interplay between ions and electrons to design next-generation electronic devices at the limit of scaling for memory, logic and energy storage. The Powe award will support neutron scattering measurements to characterize the structure of ion-containing polymers used in these devices.


Gwendolyn Sowa

Gwendolyn Sowa has been named chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

She has been a clinician-scientist in the department for more than 10 years and has served as vice chair for clinical outcomes and quality care.  Sowa holds joint appointments in the medical school’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Swanson school’s Department of Bioengineering.

She also is associate dean for medical student research, medical director of UPMC Total Care-Musculoskeletal Health and co-director of the Ferguson Laboratory for Orthopaedic and Spine Research.

Sowa completed her PhD in biochemistry and her MD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her PM&R residency at Northwestern’s Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Her research centers on molecular, laboratory-based translational and clinical research, investigating the effect of motion on inflammatory pathways and the beneficial effects of exercise.

She also has a research program investigating the role of serum biomarkers in guiding individualized treatment in intervertebral disc degeneration and back pain.

Carrie Leana, director of the Katz Graduate School of Business Center for Healthcare Management, was selected as a 2016 resident scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy.

Leana is the George H. Love Professor of Organizations and Management. She holds appointments in the Katz school, the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the Learning Research and Development Center. Her research focuses on organizational behavior and management.

The Rockefeller Foundation supports the work of scholars, artists, writers, musicians, scientists, policymakers and development professionals from around the world through a four-week residency program. For the first time, the foundation, in collaboration with ideas42, is curating an international group of residents whose work connects with the cross-cutting topic of human behavior. ideas42 is a nonprofit organization that uses the insights of behavioral economics and psychology to design innovative solutions to social problems.

Several Pitt faculty members were among the awardees recognized at the University Club at the annual Aging Institute Research Day.

Juliann Jaumotte of the medical school’s Department of Neurology won first place in the junior faculty category for “Enriched Environment Increases Immune Response to Bacterial Toxin in Aged Rats.”

Juleen Rodakowski of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Department of Occupational Therapy was awarded an honorable mention for “Depressive Symptoms and Decline to Dementia for Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment.”

Stephen Smagula of the medical school’s Department of Geriatric Psychiatry won in the post-doctorate category for “Immunological Biomarkers Associated With Brain Structure and Executive Function in Late-Life Depression: Exploratory Pilot Study.” Chelsea Stillman of the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry received an honorable mention in the same category for “Physical Activity in Late Life Is Associated With Decreased Accumulation of Amyloid ß in the Cardiovascular Health Study.”

Winners were selected from among 48 submissions from throughout the University and UPMC systems.

Pitt faculty and staff members were recognized with Student Choice Awards from the College of General Studies (CGS) April 15. CGS students nominate those who have made a difference in their academic pursuits.

Winning Student Choice awards were faculty members George Bandik, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences/chemistry; Sherry Miller Brown, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA); Jake Dechant, nursing; Waverly Duck, Dietrich school/sociology; Mike Epitropoulous, Dietrich school/sociology; Ernest Fullerton, GSPIA; Marylou Gramm, Dietrich school/English; Talitha Cumi Ikeda, Dietrich school/English; Alexander Kash, Dietrich school/mathematics; David Korman, GSPIA and public health; Allison Legg, Dietrich school/biological sciences; Joanne Meldon, Dietrich school/mathematics; Lisa Nelson, GSPIA; Ellen Smith, Dietrich school/English; Kimberly Williams-Shuker, Dietrich school/anthropology; and Laura Zapanta, Dietrich school/biological sciences.

Staff winners were: Tim Carr, advising; Mary Lucas, CGS student government administrative assistant; Brianna McMeekin, career counselor; John Oravetz, advising; Adam Robinson, director of the McCarl Center for Nontraditional Student Success; Jessica Roscoe,  advising; Donna Rosenberger, math tutor and instructor; Krista Stokes, advising; and Mel Watkins, advising.

—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.

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.

For detailed submission guidelines, visit “Deadlines” page.

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