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March 2, 2017

People of the Times

Pitt staffers Misti McKeehen and Kristen Maser Michaels are included in’s Who’s Next listing of the top 20 up-and-comers under age 40 among local community leaders and activists.

McKeehen, 32, is director of PittServes, where she oversees student volunteerism programs that have logged more than 400,000 service hours per year with more than 300 community partners.

She helps with strategic planning for the Pitt Pantry; the student-run campus thrift store; the Student Office of Sustainability; Pitt Make a Difference Day; International Alternative Break Service and other programming.

McKeehen also is the staff adviser to the National Society for Leadership & Success, Strong Women Strong Girls-Pitt, Alpha Phi Omega and Trash Talk. She is a member of the Clean Pittsburgh Commission, on the board of advisers for the Collegiate YMCA and on the millennial steering committee of United Way of Allegheny County. McKeehen previously worked as site director for Public Allies Pittsburgh and at the Coro Center for Civic Leadership.

She earned degrees at Pitt, Duquesne and Carlow.

Michaels, 34, is executive director of the Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT) at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

The organization works with the City of Pittsburgh and the 39 municipalities that create the urban core of Allegheny County to find ways they can work together across political boundaries. Through CONNECT, Michaels also helped develop a community paramedic program to identify and help patients who frequently call 911. She is the co-founder of the Free Store Wilkinsburg and a committee member for JCC Big Night and Wilkinsburg Community Conversations.

She is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio.

ps POTTs.Ming-Te WangThe American Psychological Association has awarded its Richard E. Snow Award for Early Career Research Contributions in Educational Psychology to School of Education faculty member Ming-Te Wang.

The award is among the most prestigious honors given to psychologists who have been working in the field for fewer than 10 years.

Wang, of the Department of Psychology in Education, is a research scientist in the Learning Research and Development Center and directs the Developmental and Motivation Research Lab. He holds a secondary appointment in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology.

Wang’s research focuses on the psychological and sociocultural factors that determine children’s study efforts and academic achievement. His work draws attention to the need for enhanced educational resilience methods in children by focusing on their learning environments, both in and out of school.

His work has been acknowledged by the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Research on Child Development and the American Educational Research Association.

The late David E. Epperson was honored as part of the 2016 class of inductees into the National YMCA Hall of Fame.

Epperson was dean of the School of Social Work for 29 years. He retired in 2001, serving as dean emeritus and professor emeritus until his death in 2011.

Epperson served for more than 50 years on the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh’s board of directors, including board chair and numerous other roles. He was instrumental in placing more than 400 interns in the Pittsburgh YMCA, many from the School of Social Work.

Epperson was the first African-American YMCA World Service Worker Fellowship recipient in community development, serving a year at the Chinese University in Hong Kong after college graduation in 1961.

He was the first African-American chairman of the national board of directors for the YMCA of the USA, serving January 2005-June 2007.

ps potts.Paula Leslie 2016Paula Leslie, director of the doctor of clinical science program and a faculty member in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, received the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation Louis M. DiCarlo Award for Recent Clinical Achievement during the 2016 convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

The DiCarlo award recognizes significant accomplishments in the advancement of clinical service in audiology and/or speech-language pathology. Leslie was chosen from among individuals nominated by state speech-language-hearing associations throughout the country.

Leslie was recognized for her leadership to integrate speech-language pathology services into palliative care services at UPMC. Over the past six years, she has applied her expertise in speech-language pathology and dysphagia to develop interprofessional protocols, with both speech-language pathology clinical staff and palliative care providers, to benefit patients who are near the end of life, resulting in enhanced communication and care for patients throughout the UPMC system. She has impacted many patients, providers and students through her roles as a clinician, mentor, educator and continuing education provider.

The ASH Foundation is a charitable organization that promotes a better quality of life for children and adults with communication disorders. It is part of the association’s annual convention for speech-language pathologists, audiologists and speech, language and hearing scientists.

School of Social Work faculty member John Wallace and Pitt junior psychology and sociology major Hashaam Jamil were among the awardees in Coro Pittsburgh’s 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Awards. The annual awards recognize those who have honored King’s legacy by demonstrating an inclusive approach to leadership.

Wallace received the Distinguished Individual Leadership Award and Jamil received the Distinguished Emerging Leadership Award in a Jan. 28 ceremony at the DoubleTree in Downtown Pittsburgh.

SHRS recently appointed Rory Cooper as its associate dean for inclusion. Cooper, distinguished professor and FISA/Paralyzed Veterans of America chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, also is director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories.

SHRS Dean Anthony Delitto said: “Dr. Cooper is a most appropriate choice to fill the role of associate dean for inclusion in our school. He has a personal and professional understanding of and appreciation for the needs of people with disabilities and has worked tirelessly to improve access to services, education, housing and transportation and is a strong, visible advocate for the disabilities community.”

Cooper has 20 patents awarded or pending, has authored or co-authored over 300 peer-reviewed journal publications, and has co-authored two books and co-edited three others including “Care of the Combat Amputee.”

ps potts.Debora MillerThe Section on Health Policy and Administration of the American Physical Therapy Association has given Debora L. Miller its LAMPLighter Award for Leadership.

Miller is vice dean of SHRS, vice chair of compliance and administration and a faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy.

pspotts.Truman, JeanJean Truman will become assistant dean of academic affairs at Pitt-Bradford at the end of the spring term. A faculty member in nursing, Truman is coordinator of the Associate of Science in Nursing program and teaches in the RN-BSN program.

In her new role, she will focus on academic assessment efforts while continuing to teach in the nursing program.

Truman holds a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Case Western and received the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award in 2015.

—Compiled by K. Barlow

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