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February 3, 2005

People of the Times

The Department of Communication announced that Donald B. Egolf, associate professor, has been named interim chair, succeeding John Lyne, professor of communication.

A long-time department member, Egolf’s teaching covers a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate communication studies courses, including Communication Theory and Nonverbal/Interpersonal/Small Group Communication.

Lyne will continue his scholarly work on the departmental faculty in rhetorical theory and philosophy, rhetoric of science and argumentation and he will teach in these and other areas.


Kathleen George, professor in Pitt’s Department of Theatre Arts, will speak at the Johnstown campus honors convocation set for March 20.

George, who is a Johnstown native, holds a B.A., M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Pitt. For eight years she taught theatre at Carlow College before accepting a teaching position at Pitt where she continues to direct and teach dramatic literature and playwriting. In the early ’80s, she began to add fiction writing to her repertoire.

Her book-length fiction publications include: “The Man in the Buick,” a collection of short stories; and two novels, “Taken” and “Fallen.” “Taken” has been translated into French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Danish, and Norwegian. She has another novel, “The Kids,” in progress.

George has been the recipient of grants from Pitt and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She has been granted fellowships at artist’s colonies, including the VCCA and MacDowell. Her short fiction has appeared in journals and magazines such as Mademoiselle, Cimarron Review, The North American Review, New Letters and Alaska Quarterly Review. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and one of her stories was listed among the Distinguished in Best American Short Stories.

Her theatre publications are: “Rhythm in Drama” and “Playwriting: The First Workshop,” and the forthcoming “Winter’s Tales: Reflections on the Novelistic Stage,” a scholarly study of the correspondences between fiction and drama.

In progress are a collection of essays titled “Where Storytellers Meet” and a book on improvisation. She has taught for Pitt in London and has served as faculty and as academic dean for Pitt’s Semester at Sea voyages.

She has directed plays at the University mainstage and at the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival. Productions include The Rehearsal, The Country Wife, She Stoops to Conquer, The Winter’s Tale, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, A Flea in Her Ear and Our Town. A number of these productions were listed among the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s ten best of the year.


Jennifer Lingler, postdoctoral scholar in clinical research training in the geriatric psychiatry program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, was awarded the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Doctor-Patient Communication’s pilot project award for her project, “ENACT: Evaluating the Nature of the Alzheimer’s Communication Triad.”

Pitt’s School of Medicine established the Institute for Doctor-Patient Communication in 2003 as part of an ongoing effort to promote the development of effective communication skills between physicians and their patients and to serve as a focal point for education and research on one of the key issues in contemporary medical education.


A textbook edited by Helene Lawson, professor of sociology at the Bradford campus, was named an Outstanding Academic Title for 2004 by Choice magazine. Lawson also contributed an article to the book.

The magazine chose Lawson’s book, “The Cultural Study of Work,” which was published in November 2003 and addresses the cultural aspect of work, for its overall excellence. Choice each January features a list of the best in scholarly titles that includes the top 10 percent of about 7,000 works that were reviewed by the magazine.

The book addresses how people interact socially in the workplace, what kind of identities people derive from work, how people are affected or altered by their jobs and how people view their jobs. The book also deals with the burgeoning service industries and how they’ve created new cultures of work, and the impact of computerization on the work world.

Lawson’s article, Working on Hair, focuses on the differences between a barber shop and a beauty salon, why certain people choose to use specific types of hair workers in specific types of shops and the social implications of those choices.

Lawson has been teaching at Pitt-Bradford since 1991. She earned her doctorate in sociology from Loyola University in Chicago in 1991, a master’s degrees in gerontology and early childhood education and a bachelor’s degree in education from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Choice is a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association.


Dan Songer, director of campus police and safety at Pitt-Bradford, has been named president of the College and University Police and Security Association of Western Pennsylvania.

Songer was appointed to the president’s post after serving as the organization’s vice president for two years. He will serve as the association’s president for two years.

The organization is comprised of chiefs and directors of campus police or security departments at different universities along with their assistants. Members meet quarterly to discuss various problems at the universities where they work and to network with each other.

Songer has been Pitt-Bradford’s director of campus police and safety since 1996. Before being hired as the director, he had worked several years as a part-time campus police officer.

Songer, who has been UPB director of campus police and safety since 1996, also is president of the Community Relations Board for the Federal Correctional Institution, McKean County, and of the Seneca Law Enforcement Agency in McKean County, and is a member of the board of directors for the Northeast Colleges and Universities Security Association.

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