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June 11, 2009


Alec Stewart, the Bernice L. and Morton S. Lerner Chair and dean of the University Honors College, recently received the Simon Award for Excellence in Education from the Kiwanis Club of Oakland for his contributions in teaching and administration.

Stewart joined Pitt’s Department of Physics in 1973. In 1979, he became the first director of the University honors program, which he helped design. Under his leadership, the program emerged with an educational emphasis on intellectual scope and student attainment and became the University Honors College in 1984, with Stewart as its inaugural dean.

With Stewart at the helm, the Honors College has developed innovative, challenging and popular summer research programs for undergraduate students, including the on-campus Brackenridge program, field-study programs in Yellowstone National Park and Pitt’s Allen Cook Spring Creek Preserve in Wyoming, as well as study in Mongolia.

In addition to serving as Honors College dean, Stewart continues to teach an honors course in the physics department.

The Simon Award is named for Janet Simon, who retired from Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children (WPSBC) after 30 years, serving most recently as its executive director. The award seeks to recognize a local leader in children or young adult education.

The Kiwanis Club makes a donation in honor of the awardee to the charity of his or her choice, and the recipient of this year’s contribution is WPSBC.


Cynthia Golden, a vice president of the nonprofit professional association EDUCAUSE, has been named director of Pitt’s Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education effective Aug. 1.

Based in Washington, D.C., and Boulder, Colo., EDUCAUSE serves higher education information technology professionals in the areas of instruction and learning, research and scholarship, and management and leadership. Golden, who works for EDUCAUSE out of its Washington office, earned her Master of Science degree in information science at Pitt in 1983 and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1980.

Golden’s work at EDUCAUSE has brought her into contact with leaders and practitioners in teaching and learning. She is responsible for the association’s conference and professional development activities and leadership and management programs and institutes, as well as its content and knowledge management initiatives.

Prior to joining EDUCAUSE in 2001, Golden held senior management positions at Duquesne University, where she led the educational technology effort and served as executive director of computing and technology services and co-director of the Center for Distance Learning.

Her work at Duquesne included leading aspects of instructional design, distance education, computer labs, media services and other technology units, and working with the provost, deans and faculty.

Prior to her work at Duquesne, she was a manager in the Information Systems group at MIT. Golden’s career began in 1984 at Carnegie Mellon University, where she held the position of associate director of administrative systems.


Staff members in the Office of Public Affairs received six awards at the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s 26th annual Robert L. Vann Awards ceremony last month.

Robert Hill, vice chancellor for Public Affairs, won first place in the magazine public affairs category with his May 14, 2008, “Address to African American Chamber of Commerce,” published in Blue Gold & Black 2008.

Gary Cravener, art director for Pitt magazine, won the sole award given in the magazine illustration category for “Flying Lessons” in the magazine’s winter 2008 issue.

Senior editor Ervin Dyer’s “Charles Florence, the Great Debater” article in the summer 2008 issue of Pitt magazine won a first-place award in the magazine features category.

Pitt magazine editor-in-chief Cindy Gill’s “The M Factor, Audrey Murrell and Mentoring” in the spring 2008 issue won second place in the magazine business feature category.

Sharon S. Blake, Amanda Leff, Morgan Kelly and Jane-Ellen Robinet of the Pitt Chronicle placed second in the newspaper series category with their “Black History Month Series.”


Three affiliates of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) will receive awards from the Pennsylvania Council for International Education (PaCIE).

E. Maxine Bruhns, director of the Nationality Rooms and intercultural exchange programs, and Bob Donnorummo, former associate director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies, have been selected to receive the 2009 W. LaMarr Koop Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to international education in Pennsylvania.

The award is presented to international educators who have demonstrated longstanding excellence, commitment and leadership in the field of international education.

Reinhard Heinisch, professor of political science at Pitt’s Johns-town campus, is being honored with the 2009 David A. Portlock Outstanding International Educator Award. This award recognizes international educators in mid-career who have exhibited ongoing mentoring of colleagues in the field and exemplary leadership in international education on their campuses.


Lead author Kristine Lalley, director of international engineering initiatives at the Swanson School of Engineering, and co-authors Josephine Olson, professor of business administration, professor of economics and director of the International Business Center at the Katz Graduate School of Business, and Brant Hawk, College of Business Administration student, will receive the Best Paper Award from the international division of the American Society of Engineering Education.

The winning paper is titled “Evaluating a Short-Term, First-Year Study Abroad Program for Engineering and Business Undergraduates: The Impact on the Student Learning Experience.”


Melissa Somma McGivney, assistant professor of pharmacy and therapeutics and director of the community practice residency program at the School of Pharmacy, was appointed to a second three-year term as an American College of Clinical Pharmacy representative to the Pharmacist Services Technical Advisory Coalition. PSTAC is a coalition of seven national pharmacy organizations founded to improve the coding infrastructure necessary to support billing for pharmacists’ professional services.

McGivney has developed a patient care practice for community-based pharmacists, created training programs for practicing pharmacists and designed community outreach programs.


Wesley Lipschultz, manager of student services at the School of Information Sciences, has been selected to receive the 2009 Service to Commission Award from the National Academic Advising Association’s (NACADA) Technology in Advising Commission.

The award recognizes those who have provided outstanding service, leadership and commitment to a particular commission.

The NACADA Technology Advising Commission helps academic advisers and advising administrators to understand the impact that technologies (such as online registration and student information systems) have on academic advising; to use technology effectively in their work, and to appreciate the appropriate uses of technology in higher education.

Lipschultz has served as manager of student services at the school since 2008. In addition to his other responsibilities, he has increased the use of technology in areas such as registration, student applications and tracking, as well as records management.


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

We welcome submissions from all areas of the University. Send information via email to:, by fax at 412/624-4579 or by campus mail to 308 Bellefield Hall.

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