Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

August 30, 2007

What's New? – People

The hustle and bustle that marks the beginning of each academic year is here again. But the Pitt community has not slept through the summer months, which saw everything from the cleaning of the Cathedral of Learning to the establishment of new academic programs to the hiring of employees.

The University Times asked deans and other school officials to provide a brief look at “What’s New? People, Places and Things” in their areas.

The summaries here are not all-encompassing, but rather are overviews of school news based on material submitted.


Stephen Carr from the Department of English recently assumed the role of assistant dean of graduate studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, taking over for Tony Walters who retired at the end of last year.

Professor of neuroscience and psychiatry Alan Sved is starting his second five-year term as chair of the Department of Neuroscience.

A sample of new Pitt faculty in Arts and Sciences includes assistant professor Andrew VanDemark, who joined the Department of Biological Sciences. Most recently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah, VanDemark studies the structural biology of chromatin, the complex of DNA and protein that makes up chromosomes. He earned his PhD at Johns Hopkins University.

Three new assistant professors are joining the mathematics faculty this fall. They are Brent Doiron, Huiqiang Jiang and Reza Pakzad.

Doiron comes from New York University, where he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Neural Science and Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He received his PhD in physics at the University of Ottawa. An expert in stochastic differential equations, his main research interests are in neuroscience, where he applies dynamical systems and stochastic methods to various biological problems.

Jiang most recently was the Dunham Jackson Assistant Professor in the University of Minnesota’s School of Mathematics. He works on nonlinear partial differential equations in the physical and biological sciences and recently solved a 30-year-old problem regarding the Gierer-Meinhard system in pattern formation, thin films and free boundary problems.

Pakzad comes to Pitt from the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany. He works in nonlinear partial differential equations, form geometry, calculus of variations and geometric analysis.

Assistant professor Timothy Nokes joins Pitt’s psychology department from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, where he was a fellow at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He received a PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Nokes employs both experimental and modeling methodologies to study learning and problem solving.

The Department of Statistics has a new faculty member. Assistant professor Rob Krafty comes from the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his PhD in biostatistics and epidemiology this summer. His research interests include imaging, spatial statistics and Bayesian modeling and analysis.

Assistant professor Geoffrey Hutchison comes to Pitt’s chemistry department from Cornell University, where he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Cornell Center for Materials Research. A specialist in materials and computational chemistry, Hutchison received his PhD from Northwestern University, focusing on computational modeling and understanding of conductive plastics.


Three faculty members and two new visiting faculty members have joined the Katz Graduate School of Business/College of Business Administration this term. New faculty are Sherae L. Daniel, Chan Li and Sara B. Moeller.

Assistant professor Daniel will receive her PhD in information systems with a minor in econometrics from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Her dissertation examines how characteristics of the developer and user communities contribute to the success of open-source software projects.

In addition to open-source software development, her research interests include online communities, electronic commerce, and statistics and econometrics.

Li recently earned a PhD at the University of Kansas and joins Katz/CBA as an assistant professor. Li will enhance the accounting interest group’s teaching in accounting information systems, a course to be added to the CBA curriculum next spring.

Her research interests include the role of internal controls in financial reporting quality, corporate governance and financial reporting and the effects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on the audit environment.

Moeller, formerly on the faculty at Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management, joins the finance faculty as an associate professor of business administration.

New visiting faculty members are Samuel Calian and Andrew D. Heary.

Calian is professor and president emeritus of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He joins the business school’s strategy, environment and organizations interest group.

Calian’s research interest is the interface between business and religion, particularly the practice of forgiveness within today’s global society. Calian earned a PhD from the University of Basel, Switzerland.

Heary joins the information systems interest group, bringing 25 years of experience in information technology, process re-engineering and health care. He earned a DSc in information systems and communications at Robert Morris University.

Heary’s research interests include re-engineering the U.S. health care system through electronic medical records and personal health records, technology to structure electronic medical records, architectures for a national health care information infrastructure, regional health information organizations, bench-to-bedside research technology platforms, and studying the inhibitors to using health information technology.


At Pitt-Bradford, Tammy Haley, an assistant professor of nursing, has been named coordinator of the bachelor of science in nursing program. She will serve as initial contact for the BSN program and work to promote its continuous growth. She also will work with the regional health care community to coordinate student clinical experiences at the BSN level and serve as academic adviser.

Haley has been teaching at UPB since 2003 and practices as a nationally certified family nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health. She earned a master’s degree in nursing at Pitt and currently is pursuing her doctorate in nursing at Pitt.

Laura Megill has joined UPB as visiting assistant professor of business management. A graduate of the Wharton School, Megill is a lifelong entrepreneur in both non-profit and for-profit enterprises. Her academic focus includes entrepreneurship finance, management and marketing along with rural economic development through entrepreneurship.

James Dombrowsky has joined Pitt-Bradford as an assistant professor of hospitality management. He brings to campus extensive marketing and management experience in the tourism industry and teaching experience at West Liberty State College. Dombrowsky is completing a doctorate program in food service and lodging management at Iowa State University. He holds an MBA from Pitt.


New to the School of Dental Medicine are Elia Beniash, visiting associate professor in the Department of Oral Biology, and Peter Guevara, program director of the general practice residency at the UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Dental Center and assistant professor in the Department of Prosthodontics.

Beniash comes to Pitt from Harvard School of Dental Medicine where he was an instructor in oral biology, and from the Forsyth Institute, where he was a staff member in the Department of Biomineralization. He earned a doctorate in structural biology and chemistry at Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. He will focus his research on the formation of mineralized tissues such as bone, dentin and enamel.

Guevara comes to Pitt from Fort Bragg, N.C., where he was assistant director for the Army’s advanced education in general dentistry residency. He is a graduate of Pitt’s School of Dental Medicine.


Richard J. Correnti, assistant professor, joins the Learning Policy Center in the School of Education with a joint appointment at the Learning Research and Development Center. His research interests focus on how policy and educational reform initiatives can improve instruction and student learning, and how these efforts are influenced by implementation issues.

At the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Correnti worked on a study of instructional improvement grant where he was the primary analyst for a formative evaluation of three large comprehensive school reform programs.

He received his PhD in educational administration and policy from the University of Michigan. In 2006 Correnti received the American Educational Research Association’s distinguished dissertation award. While at the University of Michigan he received a Spence fellowship and the Charles Milne Greig Award.

Patricia A. Crawford, associate professor, has been hired in the Department of Instruction and Learning’s program in early childhood education. Crawford’s research interests focus primarily on literacy learning of young children. She examines texts read by children, texts generated by children and texts designed to guide literacy instruction of children.

Crawford, who has published a book on elementary education, previously taught at the University of Central Florida.

She obtained her doctoral degree in education from Penn State with a major in curriculum and instruction.

Karen M. Wieland, assistant professor, was hired in the reading education program in the Department of Instruction and Learning. Her research focuses on vocabulary acquisition and vocabulary instruction for middle and secondary students and the investigation of effective preparation of pre-service and in-service teachers.

Weiland comes to Pitt from the State University of New York-Buffalo’s Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction, where she was a reading educator of children in the western New York region.

Wieland, who holds a PhD from SUNY-Buffalo, also taught at SUNY-Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education.

Jennifer Lin Russell, assistant professor, joins the Learning Policy Center in the School of Education and has a joint appointment in the Learning Research and Development Center. Her research agenda includes continued use of organizational and institutional sociology to examine the consequences of national and local policy shifts specifically on school improvement efforts and teachers’ work. She earned her doctoral degree in education from the University of California-Berkeley, where she received a Spencer dissertation fellowship.

Russell worked as an adjunct researcher for a mixed-method longitudinal study conducted by the RAND Corp. that was designed to identify factors enhancing the implementation of standards-based accountability, foster positive changes in school and classroom practice and promote improved student achievement.

W. James Jacob joins the program in social and comparative education in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies as a visiting assistant professor. He has experience working in 27 developing countries over the past 15 years, and as an assistant director of the Center for International and Development Education at UCLA. His research involved working with a number of private, public, bi-lateral and multi-lateral organization, including UNESCO, the World Bank and USAID.

Jacob’s recent research has been among ethnically diverse populations within the United States and abroad.

He earned his PhD in education from the University of California.

Amanda Hirsch joins the applied developmental psychology program in the Department of Psychology in Education as an assistant professor. A PhD graduate of Michigan State University in school psychology, Hirsch has worked with underserved populations including youth with depression, sexual minority youth and urban and/or low-income youth.

Hirsch recently completed an internship with the Omaha Public Schools where she provided school psychological services.

She has received research funding from Michigan State and the National Association of School Psychologists.

Three current and former superintendents, Diane Kirk, R. Gerard Longo and William Kerr, have joined the School of Education.

Kirk, retired superintendent of Peters Township, works with the faculty in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies to improve the training of superintendents through curriculum design, clinical experiences and recruitment and placement of students.

Longo, retired superintendent from Steel Valley and the Quaker Valley school districts, is the University leader of the Western Pennsylvania Forum for School Superintendents and a key player in the Educational Leadership Initiative.

Kerr, Armstrong School District superintendent, is taking a semester’s leave of absence this fall to study the relationships between education and regional workforce development as a visiting fellow at the education school. His research will benefit Armstrong School District in its quest to improve its students’ education so they can better compete globally.

John Jakicic, chair of the Department of Health and Physical Activity and director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, was appointed director of the NIH-funded Obesity and Nutrition Research Center. Jakicic is a leading scholar in the area of physical activity and weight control. His current research examines the appropriate dose of exercise combined with healthy eating recommendations to prevent weight gain in adults.

Jakicic serves as the coordinator of the “America on the Move in Pittsburgh” initiative that is a collaboration of academic, corporate, medical and community organizations throughout the western Pennsylvania region. This initiative is part of a national program to improve the health of children and adults through modest increases in physical activity and modest reductions in dietary intake.

Linda Berardi-Demo is the new director of administration for the School of Education. Prior to joining the school, Berardi-Demo was dean of enrollment for Robert Morris University and one of the deans in student affairs for the osteopathic medicine project at Robert Morris. For 12 years she was director of admissions for Pitt’s School of Medicine. Prior to that she worked in Pitt’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid on programs for minority and underserved students.

At the education school, Berardi-Demo will assist with the implementation of the strategic plan, work with student services and enrollment planning and do financial planning.

Ellen Smith has joined the Falk School faculty as a middle school math and English teacher. She is a Pitt graduate and did her MAT internship at Falk two years ago.


A number of new faculty members are being welcomed to the School of Engineering.

Aaron Batista has been named assistant professor in bioengineering. His research interests involve how the brain controls movements. His goal is to develop technologies that can restore motor function to paralyzed individuals by harvesting movement command signals directly from the cerebral cortex. Batista earned his PhD from the California Institute of Technology, then conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University.

Amy Landis joins the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as an assistant professor. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Illinois-Chicago in its Department of Civil and Materials Engineering and the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy. A Fulbright Scholar and Environmental Protection Agency Scholar, Landis focuses on sustainable engineering, including alternative fuels and bioproducts.

Brian Gleeson is the Harry S. Tack Chair in Materials Engineering and professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. He comes to Pitt from Iowa State University.

Gleeson earned his PhD from the University of California-Los Angeles. He was a postdoctoral fellow and faculty member at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

From 2001 to 2006 he also was director of materials and engineering physics program at the U.S. Department of Energy Ames Laboratory, which is managed by Iowa State. His research interests include the high-temperature degradation behavior of metallic alloys and coatings; phase equilibria and transformations; deposition and characterization of metallic coatings, and diffusion and thermodynamic treatments of both gas/solid and solid/solid interactions.

Also new in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science is assistant professor Jung-Kun Lee. Lee was a technical staff member at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies in Los Alamos National Laboratory. He received his PhD from Seoul National University, Korea. At Los Alamos, he was involved in several research projects on photovoltaics, nanoscience, spintronics and semiconductors. His major research topics include sophisticated processing and characterization of nanostructured materials and electronic materials for photovoltaic and information technology.


Paul Petrovich has joined the Office of Enterprise Development, Health Sciences as assistant director of technology commercialization. He will spearhead the University’s efforts to enhance the start-up company component of its commercialization activities. Petrovich will work with University faculty and business development and licensing professionals to identify faculty innovations that could form the nucleus of start-up companies.

Petrovich was a senior technology and small business innovation research consultant at Pitt’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence Small Business Development Center.


The College of General Studies’ new assistant dean of Academic Programs, Sean-Michael Green, announced the appointment of Linda Howard as director of Extended Education. Howard most recently worked in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, but is no stranger to CGS: She is a CGS alumna as well as a former staff member.

Howard will be responsible for the oversight and management of all Extended Education programs, including CGS off-campus sites, the Saturday College, day and evening programs, degree completion at Butler County Community College and self-paced courses.

Jim Stricklin joined CGS in July as the new payroll/personnel coordinator. Stricklin came to CGS from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where he was the accounts administrator.


At Pitt-Greensburg, Sharon P. Smith began her tenure as the new campus president July 1, succeeding Frank A. Cassell, who retired.

Smith came to Pitt from the National University System, where she served as vice chancellor for academic affairs, provost and vice president for academic affairs and special projects adviser.

Smith served from 2001 to 2006 as professor of management systems and dean of the Colleges of Business and the Faculty of Business at Fordham University. She also was dean of Fordham’s College of Business Administration from 1990 to 2001.

Smith received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude, and master’s and doctoral degrees — all in economics — from Rutgers University.

UPG also hired one new faculty member.

Newly minted Pitt PhD Nathan Bowers joins the faculty as a visiting assistant professor of music. Bowers, who also holds an MA in musicology from Pitt, has focused his research on the social and musical forces through which consumers and businessmen shaped an in-home culture for sound recordings during the late-19th and early-20th centuries.


Several new faculty members have been named in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. John Abt has become an assistant professor in the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition. Abt, whose expertise is in neuromuscular research, earned his PhD at SHRS and has been serving as a visiting assistant professor and research associate in the department.

Rebecca J. Harmon is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Information Management. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health information management at SHRS and a master’s in public management at Carnegie Mellon. She is completing a doctorate in higher education at Pitt’s School of Education.

Deborah Moncrieff and Michael W. Dickey have been named assistant professors in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders.

Moncrieff, who comes from the University of Connecticut, has expertise in audiology.

Dickey, an expert in linguistics, was a senior research associate at Northwestern University.

Guy Guimond has been named an instructor in the emergency medicine program. Originally from New Brunswick, Canada, where he started his career in emergency medicine, Guimond earned a BS in emergency medicine and an MS in health care supervision and management at SHRS.


Jem Spectar became the fifth president of the Johnstown campus on July 1. Spectar had been provost at Western Oregon University; associate provost of academic affairs at the University of Scranton; director of studies at Princeton University, and assistant dean of students at the University of La Verne.

Spectar also was an associate professor of law at the University of La Verne, a lecturer in political science at Princeton University and a professor of political science at the University of Scranton. He was awarded the 1998 Professor of Distinction Award at La Verne College of Law and the 1995 Professor of the Year, Legal Studies, at the University of LaVerne.

Spectar earned his PhD in political science at Claremont Graduate University. He also holds a law degree from University of Maryland Law School, and an MBA from Frostburg State University.

Spectar will be inaugurated as campus president at a special ceremony on Sept. 28 as part of week-long celebration of the campus’s 80-year history.

Among his first actions as president, Spectar named two staff members to his senior executive staff: Kelly Austin as associate vice president for student affairs and acting vice president for student affairs, and Robert Knipple as director of alumni and community relations.

Austin most recently served as UPJ’s director of student union/student activities. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a master’s in student personnel from Slippery Rock University.

He is working toward his doctorate in social and comparative analysis in education at Pitt.

Prior to his work at UPJ, Austin held positions in student affairs and academic support services at Embry-Riddle, with additional experience in the airline and finance industries.

Knipple most recently served as UPJ director of outreach and professional services. He received a bachelor’s degree from UPJ and master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Knipple is an active community member and serves as president of the East Hills Business Association; chair of the board of directors for the Learning Lamp; member of the board of directors for the United Way of the Laurel Highlands, and a member of the Johnstown Area Regional Industries business and education consortium.


Leanne Bowler will join the School of Information Sciences faculty in January. Bowler received her PhD in 2007 from McGill University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. Her dissertation was on “The Role of Metacognitive Knowledge in the Information Search Process: An Exploratory Study of Adolescent Information Behavior.”

Bowler’s research and teaching interests include: children’s and young adult library service/school librarianship, children’s and young adult information behavior, information design/design methodology, human/computer interaction, family literacy and evidence-based librarianship. She will teach in the library and information science program, focusing on children’s literature and librarianship.


The School of Law has named two new faculty members.

Associate professor Haider Ala Hamoudi received his JD from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Hamoudi has been a legal adviser to the finance committee of the Iraq Governing Council, as well as a program manager for the International Human Rights Law Institute of DePaul University School of Law to improve legal education in Iraq. He continues to advise the Iraqi government, primarily through the Iraq Mission at the United Nations.

Hamoudi’s scholarship focuses on commercial law, Islamic law and the intersection of the two in the contemporary era.

Associate professor David Harris, who earned his JD at Yale Law School, focuses on police behavior and regulation, law enforcement and national security issues and the law.

Harris is a leading national authority on racial profiling. His 2002 book, “Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work,” and his scholarly articles in the field of traffic stops of minority motorists and “stops-and-frisks” influenced the national debate on profiling and related topics.

Harris will be joining the law school faculty in the spring term.


Several new professors have joined Pitt’s School of Medicine.

Among them are Larry W. Moreland, who comes to the Department of Medicine as professor and chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology. He also will hold the Margaret Jane Miller Chair in Arthritis Research.

Moreland had been professor of medicine, Anna Lois Waters Professor of Medicine in Rheumatology and associate dean for clinical research at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s medical school. He also directed the Pittman General Clinical Research Center, the arthritis clinical intervention program and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

Moreland’s research is focused on novel therapeutic approaches for osteoarthritis and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus and vasculitis.

Soldano Ferrone, a member of the Department of Immunology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and professor of microbiology at the State University of New York-Buffalo, will join Pitt’s Department of Surgery. His research focuses on tumor antigens, why they may not be recognized by the immune system and how this recognition could be promoted therapeutically. He received his MD and PhD from the University of Milan, Italy.

Yoel Sadovsky is the new scientific director of the Magee-Womens Research Institute and will hold the Elsie Hilliard Hillman Chair in Women’s and Infants’ Health Research. He also will serve as professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.

Sadovsky comes from the Washington University School of Medicine, where he was director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine and Ultrasound and professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of cell biology and physiology.

Sadovsky’s research focuses on reproductive development and function, including placental differentiation and gonadal function. He received his MD from the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem.

Mitchell B. Max, a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, joins Pitt as a professor and director of the new molecular epidemiology of pain program in the Department of Anesthesiology. He has served as chief of the clinical pain research section at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and medical director of the Pain Research Clinic in the Pain and Neurosensory Mechanisms Branch of NIDCR. Max’s research interests include the mechanisms and treatment of neuropathic pain as well as the genetics of chronic pain. Max received his MD from Harvard Medical School.

Erika Fanselow, an assistant professor of neurobiology, was recruited from Brown University, where she worked as a postdoctoral associate. Her research involves electrophysiological analysis of inhibitory interneurons in the neocortex to examine neuronal dynamics. Fanselow received her doctorate from Duke University.

Guillermo A. Calero comes to Pitt’s Department of Structural Biology from Stanford University as an assistant professor. He received his MD from the Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, in Mexico City, and his PhD from Cornell University. Calero’s postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Roger Kornberg resulted in a patent application on the identification of components of mammalian biochemical networks as targets for therapeutic agents. His research investigates the mechanics underlying complex biological processes such as signaling networks and transcription.


Donna Nativio, associate professor and director of the family, adult pediatric and the new neonatal nurse practitioner programs at the School of Nursing has been appointed as director of the new doctor of nursing practice program and promoted to vice chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Development.

Kathryn Puskar, professor and coordinator of psychiatric clinical specialist master’s program, was promoted to vice chair of the Department of Health and Community Systems.


The School of Pharmacy has added two new faculty members.

Alexander Doemling, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, comes to Pitt from ABC Pharma, a virtual biotech and consulting company that he founded in Munich.

Doemling’s research interests in chemistry and biology involve protein interactions, membrane-bound proteins and enzymes in the therapeutic areas of oncology, anxiety and neurodegenerative diseases.

Doemling holds a doctor of chemistry degree from Technical University in Munich.

Xiang-Qun (Sean) Xie joined the faculty as a professor of pharmaceutical sciences, with research experiences and expertise in medicinal chemistry/biophysics and computational chemical genomics. His research focuses on medical uses of marijuana and the drug-like molecules that have therapeutic potential to treat a wide range of immune system disorders.

He comes to Pitt from the University of Houston.


John T. S. Keeler began his appointment as dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) in July.

He most recently was on the faculty of the University of Washington at Seattle, where he was a professor of political science and chaired the Department of French and Italian Studies.

Keeler received his MA and PhD in political science from Harvard University and was the elected chair of the European Union Studies Association until earlier this year.

Akinori Tomohara and Alok Ray join the faculty at GSPIA this year as visiting professors in economics.

Tomohara, who comes from the University of Kitakyushu, Japan, holds a PhD in economics from Johns Hopkins University.

Ray most recently served on the faculty of the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta, and has been a consultant to such organizations as the United Nations, the governments of India and West Bengal, and the World Bank. He earned his PhD in economics from the University of Rochester.

Frank Hofmann begins a two-year appointment at GSPIA as the Central Intelligence Agency’s officer-in-residence. Hofmann has been with the CIA for more than 30 years.

Effective Sept. 1, Paul Nelson will serve as director of the Division of International Development at GSPIA. Nelson began his career with GSPIA in 1998.


Rachel Fusco is one of two new faculty to join the School of Social Work. Assistant professor Fusco’s work experience is in the areas of protective services, domestic violence and the effects of exposure to violence.

Fusco received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

Julie McCrae is joining the school as a research assistant professor. McCrae has experience in social work practice as well as theoretical and substantive knowledge in the fields of prevention and intervention programs in the area of child welfare.

McCrae received her PhD from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.


Linda Williams-Moore was hired recently as the director of the Cross-Cultural and Leadership Development Center in the Division of Student Affairs. Moore was director of residence life and director of student activities, both at Drake University; coordinator of diversity initiatives at the University of Minnesota, and student support services specialist at Iowa State University.


At Pitt-Titusville, Linda Winkler, professor of biology and anthropology, has assumed the duties of vice president of Academic Affairs.


Anthropologist Mazyar Lotfalian has been selected as the inaugural holder of the University Center for International Studies Visiting Professorship in Contemporary International Issues and will spend spring term at Pitt. Lotfalian’s work has focused on the intersection of Islam and modern scientific and technological institutions.

He is working on a book on aesthetics and politics in the Islamic context, and has particular interest in Iranian cinema, and the relationship between religion and media in the Islamic world. The professorship is administered by the global studies program, which will bring to campus scholars in various disciplines with expertise related to the Middle East.

William Chase of the Department of History has been named interim director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies for the fall term.

This year’s Heinz fellows, Ying Peng and Yujie Li, have arrived in Pittsburgh. Heinz fellowships are granted to individuals from developing countries who demonstrate potential as future leaders in the public, government, non-profit or private sectors.

Peng, of Xi’an, China, will focus her studies and practical experiences on public health issues and administration.

She was employed by the Epidemic Department of the Center for Disease Control in Xi’an, where she was promoted to director of epidemic and sanitation system management in local areas. A director during the SARS epidemic, she helped implement an epidemic investigation procedure now used as a model at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2004, Peng joined Plan International as a member of its health program team. The program focuses on children living in poverty in rural areas and their right of development.

Li, of Beijing, is a lawyer and human rights activist. After completing her master’s degree in the history of Western legal law at Peking University Law School, Li joined the Open Constitution Initiative, a group of Chinese citizens who devote themselves to promoting human rights and rule of law in a changing China. Her proposed fellowship program of study includes education in law and its application in society, training in NGO capacity building and management, and establishment of a network of lawyers, legal scholars and social activists.


Mark C. Scott recently was hired by the University Library System as a reference librarian in the public services department at the Hillman Library. Most recently he was documents librarian at Arizona State University. He is a graduate of Le Moyne College and earned his master’s degree in library science at the State University of New York-Albany.

Richard Hoover has become the information technology projects librarian. A Pitt MLIS graduate, Hoover was a ULS intern. He earned his BA in history at Saint Francis University.

Robin Kear is a new reference and instruction librarian at ULS. She comes from Nova Southeastern University. She earned her MLIS at San Jose State University and later took an internship as a librarian for the United Nations in Nairobi, Kenya.

David M. Kupas is the new access services and assistant collections management librarian at the Owen Library at Pitt-Johnstown, part of ULS. He will lead access services, assist with collection management, oversee preservation of the collections and provide reference service and library instruction.

He most recently was head of the local history department at Community Library of Allegheny Valley and was a student assistant for the ULS preservation department. He earned both an MLIS degree and a master’s degree in Russian/Soviet history at Pitt.

Also new at UPJ’s Owen Library is library instruction coordinator/reference librarian Melissa Mallon, a graduate of Louisiana State University’s MLIS program. She earned a bachelor’s in English literature at Wichita State University.

—Peter Hart & Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 40 Issue 1

Leave a Reply