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June 10, 1999


Sam Hays, distinguished service professor emeritus in history, received the Organization of American Historians Distinguished Service Award at the group's convention in April. Hays was recognized for a lifetime of service in the field of American history.


Sandra Murray and Susan Harkins were honored by the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh in its 1999 Tribute to Women Winners.

Murray, of cell biology and physiology, was recognized in the category of science and technology. Harkins, of Pitt's College in High School Program, won the award for voluntary community service.


George Jeffrey, professor emeritus, has received the Dr. David Harker Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the advancement of crystallography.

The award, established by the Hauptman-Woodward Institute, commends Jeffrey's pioneering work in crystallography, his landmark studies of sugar structures by X-ray and neuron diffraction, his studies of the properties of the hydrogen bond, and the establishment of the only university crystallography department in the U.S. — at Pitt.

Jeffrey, who was a visiting professor here on a Fulbright travel scholarship in 1950, returned to Pitt in 1953 as a professor of physics and chemistry after earning his D.Sc. from the University of Birmingham.

Hauptman-Woodward Institute is a non-profit biomedical research facility dedicated to improving human health.


Mark Zeidel has been appointed chair of the Department of Medicine and Jack D. Myers Professor of Medicine. He has been interim chair of the department since 1997.

Zeidel received simultaneous B.S. and M.S. degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale in 1976, graduating summa cum laude. He received his M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1980, then completed his internship, residency and nephrology training at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1986; he was recruited to Pitt in 1994 as associate professor of medicine and chief of the Renal-Electrolyte Division.

Zeidel's research has focused on the control of salt and water excretion by the kidney. He has made discoveries in the control of salt transport by atrial antriuretic peptides and in the control of water transport at the molecular level. He also has developed novel approaches to the study of diseases of the bladder such as cystitis and bladder cancer.


Rory Cooper, professor and chair of rehabilitation science and technology in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, has received the Professional Achievement Award from his alma mater, California Polytechnic State University College of Engineering.

The award honors alumni who have had outstanding success in their professional field in the 10 or more years since their graduation.

Cooper earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from Cal Poly in 1985 and 1986 respectively.

He received his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1989.

He is the director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories in the VA Medical Center in Aspinwall, which focus on biomechanical research to improve mobility for people with disabilities. He has received several national awards for his work on the development and implementation of wheelchair standards, as well as for excellence in research, innovation in education and his dedication to service in the field of rehabilitation engineering.


Mariolina Salvatori, associate professor of English, has been named a Pew Scholar by the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). She is part of the second group of academicians from diverse fields to be chosen.

CASTL supports work that fosters long-lasting learning for all students and enhances the practice and profession of teaching. Pew Scholars serve for one year, during which they investigate and document work on issues in the teaching and learning of their own field.

Salvatori plans to theorize an approach to help teachers in English and other disciplines be attentive to "moments of difficulty" as occasions for significant student learning.


Traian Iliescu, of Pitt's mathematics department, was one of three students honored by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics for the best research paper by a graduate student. Iliescu, of Bucharest, Rumania, is the first Pitt student to win the award. Another Pitt graduate student placed second in the competition last year.

Iliescu's research is in computational fluid dynamics, specifically, large eddy simulation of turbulence. His winning paper was titled "Genuinely Nonlinear Models for Convection-Dominated Problems."


J. Nadine Gracia, a second-year Pitt medical student, has been appointed president-elect of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Gracia is the first Pitt student to be elected to serve as president of SNMA, the nation's largest and oldest student organization focused on the concerns of minority medical students.

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