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May 15, 2008


Roberta Ness, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the Graduate School of Public Health, has been named a Woman of Distinction in the category of technology and innovation by the Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania.

Honored in the healthy initiatives category was Leslie J. Bonci, director of sports nutrition, UPMC Center for Sports Medicine.

The award recognizes 12 local women and girls who have excelled in arts and humanities, advocacy, community service, healthy initiatives, professional/leadership or technology and innovation.


Denise Chisholm, vice chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, was elected to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s roster of fellows. This award is given to occupational therapists who have made significant contributions to the practice. Chisholm was honored for her contributions to occupation-based practice.

Chisholm is co-author of “Occupational Therapy Intervention Resource Manual: A Guide for Occupation-based Practice” and has presented workshops on occupation-based practice.

Chisholm has served Pennsylvania on the representative assembly of the American Occupational Therapy Association since 2003.


Robert Palmer, a specialist in geriatric medicine, has been appointed director of clinical geriatrics at UPMC.

Palmer has gained national prominence for his efforts to improve the outcomes of hospitalization through geriatric assessment and interdisciplinary care.

He attended medical school at the University of Michigan and completed an internal medicine residency at the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center. He obtained his master’s degree in public health from UCLA, where he completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine.

Palmer comes to UPMC from the Cleveland Clinic, where he was head of the geriatric medicine section.


The Association of American Medical Colleges Northeast Group on Educational Affairs presented its 2008 award for Innovation in Clinical Education to a team from Pitt’s School of Medicine last month.

The award honored work on “Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: A Patient Care and Team Training Simulation for Medical Students,” developed by John Mahoney, associate dean for medical education; Joe Suyama and Francis Guyette of emergency medicine; Samuel Stebbins, Graduate School of Public Health, and Barbara Offen, a staff member in the medical school’s dean’s office.

Andrew Rose, associate professor of civil engineering technology at Pitt-Johnstown, is the 12th recipient of the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Rose was recognized for his engaging manner in and outside the classroom, his ability to convey complex ideas through memorable and practical demonstrations, his deep knowledge of his subject matter and his professionalism.

Rose earned his doctorate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

He joined UPJ in 1999 and teaches courses in university scholarship, as well as upper-level civil engineering technology courses in the areas of structural steel design, soils engineering, foundation design, concrete design and advanced structures. He has served as the civil engineering technology department head for three years.

Rose will receive a $2,000 stipend and $1,000 will be added to his division’s budget for his professional development or curriculum development use.


The People of the Times column features recent news on faculty and staff, including awards and other honors, accomplishments and administrative appointments.

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