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December 7, 2006


Three Pitt faculty members have been named 2006 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

They are Kenneth D. Jordan, professor of chemistry; Robert Y. Moore, Love Family Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, and Jeffrey H. Schwartz, professor of anthropology and history and philosophy of science.

The AAAS fellows were announced in the journal Science Nov. 24.

This year, 449 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be presented with a certificate and a gold or blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin in February at the fellows forum during the 2007 AAAS annual meeting in San Francisco.

Jordan was elected to the AAAS section on chemistry “for pioneering work in electron transmission spectroscopy, for theoretical studies of water and water clusters and for explorations of reactions at semiconductor surfaces.”

A researcher in Pitt’s Gertrude E. and John M. Petersen Institute for NanoScience and Engineering, Jordan also directs the University’s Center for Molecular and Materials Simulations. He studies the properties of molecules and clusters, of reaction at surfaces and of electron and proton localization and transfer in polyatomic molecules and water clusters.

Jordan’s theoretical studies of semiconductor surfaces have provided insight into the role of chemical reactions breaking and re-forming bonds on such surfaces. His research on the properties of water was named one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs of 2004 by Science.

Jordan is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and Sigma Xi. His awards include the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award and the Pittsburgh Award from the Pittsburgh section of ACS.

Moore was elected to the AAAS section on neuroscience “for pioneering work on the origin of biological rhythms and the anatomical correlates of neurodegenerative disease, and for outstanding service to the community.”

A physician-scientist, Moore has made important contributions in areas related to research, education and clinical care. Through the use of positron emission tomography, his current research seeks to better understand Parkinson’s disease, dementia and the brain’s circadian clock for controlling sleep and arousal. One such study has as its ultimate aim the development of a simple, inexpensive battery of tests to help identify individuals at risk for developing Parkinson’s.

In the clinic, Moore’s practice has been focused on movement disorders, and currently he directs Pitt’s Huntington’s Disease Clinic in collaboration with the local chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

Moore joined the faculty of Pitt’s School of Medicine in 1990 and served as chair of the Department of Neurology from 1996 until 2000. His career has included numerous recognitions and honors as well as participation on editorial boards and membership in many of the most prestigious professional and scientific societies.

He is past president of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms and of The Cajal Club (Society of Neuroanatomists).

More recently, he was appointed by President Bush to the president’s committee for the National Medal of Science.

Schwartz was elected to the AAAS section on anthropology “for innovative and significant contributions to evolutionary theory and to hominid and primate systematics and evolution and for excellence in teaching and popularization of science.”

A fellow in Pitt’s Center for Philosophy of Science, Schwartz also is a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

In March 2005, he was named a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science.

Originator of the orangutan theory of human origins, Schwartz wrote “The Red Ape: Orang-utans and Human Origins,” which provides more evidence for his theory and fully explains his rationale. An updated and revised edition of “The Red Ape” was published in 2005.

Schwartz and colleague Ian Tattersall, curator of anthropology at the American Museum, embarked on a major undertaking a decade ago when they began the study of the human fossil record. Published in a four-volume compendium, “The Human Fossil Record,” the work includes descriptions, photographic images, diagrams and drawings of virtually the entire human fossil record.

In addition, Schwartz recently completed a forensic reconstruction of George Washington depicting him at ages 19, 45 and 57. The life-size models are on display at Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and garden.

Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed by their peers upon members of AAAS, the world’s largest federation of scientists. Potential fellows are nominated by AAAS steering groups, the AAAS chief executive officer or any three current fellows, only one of whom can be associated with the nominee’s organization. The tradition of AAAS fellows distinction began in 1874.

Founded in 1848, the AAAS has worked to advance science for human well-being through its projects, programs and publications in the areas of science policy, science education and international scientific cooperation. The association also publishes Science, an editorially independent, multidisciplinary, weekly peer-reviewed journal.


John T. Yates Jr., R.K. Mellon Professor of Chemistry and Physics and founding director of Pitt’s Surface Science Center, has been awarded the 2007 Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry, to be presented at the spring 2007 American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting. This is Yates’s fifth ACS award.

Established in 1960, the Debye Award has been sponsored by the E.I. De Pont de Nemours & Co. since 1979. The ACS gives the annual award of $5,000 to encourage and reward outstanding research in physical chemistry.

Among Yates’s research highlights are his surface chemistry studies and the use of single-walled carbon nanotubes as tiny test tubes. He and his research group have developed new surface measurement techniques to study molecular processes on metal, semiconductor and insulator surfaces. Yates has examined the molecular structure and chemical reactivity of surface species, as applied to corrosion prevention, catalysis, semiconductor processing and nanotechnology.

“I am, of course, pleased to be recognized by this award for work done at Pitt by my excellent students and postdocs,” says Yates. “I also am pleased that the field of surface chemistry has been recognized by this award in physical chemistry — only the second time in the long history of the award.”

After 25 years at Pitt, Yates will join the University of Virginia on Jan. 1 as a professor and Shannon fellow in the Department of Chemistry.

Yates will remain chair of the research advisory committee of Pitt’s Gertrude E. and John M. Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering, a position for which he will return to Pitt on a monthly basis.

Prior to joining Pitt, Yates was a member of the scientific staff of the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., for 19 years, where he was a leader in surface science research; in 1982, he was recruited by Pitt to establish and head its new University Surface Science Center.

Yates’s awards include the Kendall Award in Surface Chemistry, 1986; the President’s Distinguished Research Award at Pitt, 1989; the M.W. Welch Award, 1994; the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize, 1995, and the Adamson Award in Surface Chemistry, 1999.

He is a member of several scientific organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences.


Panos K. Chrysanthis, professor of computer science and founder and director of the Advanced Data Management Technologies Laboratory in the School of Arts and Sciences, was named a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a technical professional association with more than 365,000 members.

The international association covers technical fields including computer science, computer engineering, biomedical technology and telecommunications, aerospace engineering and consumer electronics.

Senior membership is the highest professional grade in the IEEE, and is conferred upon only 7 percent of the institute’s membership.

Chrysanthis’s general research interests focus on user-centric data management for scalable network-centric applications. Two of his current projects are on data stream processing systems and power-aware data management for mobile and tiny devices including sensor networks.


Nicholas Rescher, University Professor of Philosophy, will receive two awards. He will be awarded the Aquinas Medal for 2007 from the American Catholic Philosophical Association, an organization which he has served as president.

In addition, Rescher will be awarded the Prix Mercier from the Catholic University of Louvain for his 2005 book, “Scholastic Meditations.”

Rescher, who came to Pitt in 1961, has served as chairman of the philosophy department and vice chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science.

He is the author of more than 90 books on a wide variety of philosophical subjects and holds seven honorary degrees.

In June, Rescher was elected as a foreign fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, that country’s equivalent of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 1983 he received an Alexander von Humboldt Prize awarded under the auspices of the German Federal Republic for distinguished scholarship in the humanities.


Bopaya Bidanda, Ernest E. Roth Professor and chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and co-director of the Manufacturing Assistance Center, has been appointed to the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) Board of Trustees. As a board member, Bidanda’s focus will be on continuing education and other international matters of interest to the institute. He also is a senior member and a fellow of IIE.

Bidanda has industrial experience in manufacturing systems, tools and precision manufacturing. His research focus includes computer integrated manufacturing systems and robotic applications, time compression technologies such as rapid prototyping and reverse engineering, traditional industrial engineering, automated data collection and shared manufacturing.

He works with manufacturing industries in western Pennsylvania in the area of cellular manufacturing, work measurement, automatic data collection and shop floor information systems.

Bidanda is the editor of two volumes, “Automated Factory” and “Shared Manufacturing.” He also has been a co-editor of the Industrial Engineering Research conference proceedings. He is a senior member of the IIE’s Society of Manufacturing Engineers and serves as a director of the Pittsburgh chapter of IIE.

Bidanda’s research is in the area of manufacturing systems with a special focus on group technology, reverse engineering, cellular manufacturing, lean manufacturing, human issues in manufacturing, product development and manufacturing modernization.

IIE is the premier society dedicated to serving the professional needs of all people involved in improving quality and productivity. IIE has more than 15,000 members worldwide and more than 280 chapters.


Jean Ferguson Carr and Stephen L. Carr, associate professors in the Department of English, and Lucille Schultz of the University of Cincinnati, were awarded this year’s Modern Language Association’s Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize for their book, “Archives of Instruction: Nineteenth-Century Rhetorics, Readers and Composition Books in the United States.”

Established in 1979 as a memorial to one of the most widely respected scholars and teachers in the field of writing, the Shaughnessy prize is awarded for an outstanding work in the fields of language, culture, literacy or literature with a strong application to the teaching of English.

The authors will receive $1,000, a certificate and a year’s membership in the association.

Jean Ferguson Carr teaches courses in 19th-century American literature and literacy, composition and pedagogy, history of the book and women’s studies, and has been director of the composition program.

She has won the Florence Howe Prize in Feminist Scholarship and the Chancellor’s Diversity Award at Pitt.

Stephen Carr teaches courses in literature and composition that focus on issues of literacy, literary education and the interrelationships of literature and the arts since the 18th century.

His early work on William Blake’s illuminated printing has developed into research in the cultural circulation of texts, access to print culture and the history of the book. He has served as director of the literature program and acting chair of English.


Creative Nonfiction editor Lee Gutkind, professor of English, will be the inaugural distinguished writer in residence at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University in Tempe from Jan. 15 to May 15. Gutkind will teach a writing workshop for MFA students and will give a reading and participate in other events at the Piper Center.


UPMC has added an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in the aging recreational and elite athlete.

One of few women in the field of orthopaedic surgery, Vonda Wright sees patients in the clinic at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and performs surgery at UPMC Shadyside and UPMC South Side. She is assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the School of Medicine.

Wright was the research coordinator for the 2005 Summer National Senior Games — The Senior Olympics, which were held in Pittsburgh and supported by UPMC. Since 2003, she has been evaluating health research data related to senior Olympians, with the hypothesis that athletes over age 40 who maintain high levels of functional capacity and quality of life throughout their life spans may be the best model of healthy aging. Such research findings may assist physicians in caring for seniors more effectively.

Wright’s scientific work has been rewarded in the form of grants, awards, peer-reviewed publications and international and national presentations. Her other research interests include cartilage repair, muscle and tendon aging, gene therapy for the enhancement of bone healing and osteoporosis in men.

She first came to Pitt in 1999 as an orthopaedic surgery resident, following a research fellowship in Pitt’s Musculoskeletal Growth and Development Lab, and was one of only 10 residents to participate in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons clinician scientist development program.

Following the 2005 Summer Games, Wright completed a one-year sports medicine and upper extremity fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.


Steven P. Levitan, John A. Jurenko Professor of Computer Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Computer Science, will serve as general chair of the 44th Design Automation Conference (DAC) executive committee.

DAC is the electronic design automation (EDA) industry’s premier event, and will be held June 4-8 at the San Diego Convention Center. More than 11,000 designers, developers, researchers, academicians and managers from leading electronics companies and universities from around the world are expected to attend.

The volunteer committee, made up of representatives from the electronics and EDA industries and academia, is responsible for planning the technical program, overseeing the exhibition, establishing new initiatives and managing operations and publicity for the conference.

Levitan’s research includes the design, modeling, simulation and verification of mixed technology micro-systems, including sensing, computing and communications functions.


Melanie O. Anderson, interim vice president of academic affairs and associate professor of business at Pitt-Titusville, has been selected to serve on the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) faculty advisory committee at the national level.

SIFE is a non-profit organization active on more than 1,700 college and university campuses in 42 countries and territories. SIFE works in partnership with businesses and higher education to provide students with the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise.

Anderson has served as the SIFE adviser and a Sam Walton fellow on the UPT campus for more than seven years. Under her direction, the UPT SIFE team has claimed five regional championships and achieved national recognition three times in past competitions.


Bernard Poole, associate professor of education and instructional technology at Pitt-Johnstown, has been awarded a Fulbright scholar grant to lecture in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India.

The award was announced by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

During the spring term, Poole will lecture on instructional technology and related areas in the departments of education, computer science and engineering at Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam (Women’s University).

He also will be available to present at conferences and lecture at other universities in India.

Poole is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad to some 140 countries during the 2006-2007 academic year through the Fulbright scholar program.

Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright, the program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

Recipients of Fulbright scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.


Richard E. Miller, author of “Writing at the End of the World,” published by the University of Pittsburgh Press, has won the James H. Britton Award for Inquiry Within the English Language Arts for 2006. The Britton prize is awarded by the Conference on English Education (CEE) at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention.

Miller is associate professor of English at Rutgers University.

“Writing at the End of the World” best exemplified the CEE’s criteria for the Britton prize: to encourage the development of English language teachers by promoting reflective inquiry into teaching and learning.

“Writing at the End of the World” is part of the Press’s Pittsburgh series in composition, literacy and culture, which is edited by Dave Bartholomae and Jean Ferguson Carr. Bartholomae is chair and professor of English at Pitt; Carr is associate professor of English.

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