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May 13, 1999


Chiao-min Hsieh, emeritus professor of geology, has been awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Innovator's Grant to create an "Atlas of Chinese History and Culture."

Last year, Hsieh led a group of Beijing cartographers and geographers in a conference, "Mapping China's Past: A Cartographic Reconstruction of Chinese History," at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center in Milan, Italy. The success of that conference, combined with his book, "China: A Provincial Atlas," convinced the foundation to support his current project.

The atlas will depict the land, people and history of China through each of the major dynasties. Four maps for each dynasty will include such information as changes in climate, vegetation and wildlife population, expansion and shrinking of national and provincial boundaries, migration patterns and the evolution of Chinese architecture.


Philip Watts, associate professor in French and Italian languages and literatures, has received a fellowship of $20,000 for the 1999-2000 academic year from the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation, administered by Brown University. Eleven recipients, representing the fields of literary criticism, film criticism and translation, were selected from among 160 nominees.

Watts received the award in literary criticism for his work entitled "Sequels: Film Criticism in France (1944-1962)."


Donna G. Nativio, associate professor of nursing, has received the first Lucie Young Kelly Faculty Leadership Award, which honors nursing faculty who have distinguished themselves in nursing education.

A pioneer in the nurse practitioner movement, Nativio was co-founder of the first formal pediatric nurse practitioner program in the eastern U.S. She was instrumental in the development and adoption of rules and regulations governing nurse practitioner practice in Pennsylvania. In addition, she was among the first nurse practitioners to be designated a certified registered nurse practitioner by Pennsylvania and was instrumental in moving nurse practitioner education to the master's level.


Four Pitt faculty members were among 100 young scientists to be awarded 1999 Sloan Research Fellowships. The Sloan Foundation annually recognizes 100 scholars "who show the most outstanding promise of making fundamental contributions to new knowledge" in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience and physics.

The four Pitt professors are:

Carson Chow, assistant professor of mathematics. Chow's research is in applied mathematics, with an emphasis on computational neuroscience, creating and studying mathematical and computational models of interactions between neurons and how these interactions lead to observable behavior;

Julie Fiez, assistant professor of psychology. Fiez is studying the neural basis of language processing, including mapping the brain regions involved in coordinating how words look and how they sound;

Karl Kandler, assistant professor of neurobiology. Kandler is examining auditory brain cells to learn more about the mechanisms by which inhibitory connections develop and change; and

Tara Meyer, assistant professor of chemistry. Meyer's research is in inorganic polymer chemistry, with an emphasis on creating new polymers using metal-catalyzed reactions.

John Yates, a surface chemist at Pitt, received the American Chemical Society's 1999 Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry for his achievements in uncovering how molecules act on surfaces.

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