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September 26, 2002


Rory A. Cooper, director of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System's National Center of Excellence for Wheelchair and Related Technology and VA senior career research scientist, received the Department of Veterans Affairs annual Olin E. Teague Award for outstanding work with disabled veterans.

Cooper also is professor and chair, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS); and professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering in the School of Engineering, and of physical medicine and rehabilitation in the School of Medicine.

The Teague Award is granted to a VA employee, or employees working as a team, whose achievements have been of special benefit to veterans with service-connected problems. The award honors the late Olin E. Teague, an advocate of disabled veterans who served as chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs for 18 years.

The award recognizes Cooper's contributions to the treatment and rehabilitation of paralyzed individuals, including: the design of modern manual and electric powered wheelchairs, the development and implementation of wheelchair standards, promotion of the understanding of secondary disabilities among wheelchair users, persistent efforts to improve the availability of high-quality products and services for veterans who use wheelchairs and improving community integration.

A bronze medal winner in the 1988 Paralympic Games, Cooper is recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities in wheelchair design and technology. His work has led to an improvement in wheelchair quality, ultimately improving the lives of those who depend on them. He was instrumental in creating an entirely new class of wheelchair, and in expanding the use of the electric powered wheelchair.

Cooper helped the Department of Veterans Affairs create guidelines for prescribing wheelchairs and helped develop revised eligibility for electric-powered wheelchairs to include veterans who do not have the ability to propel a manual wheelchair due to pain, low cardiovascular capacity or upper extremity injury. His expertise in wheelchair design also has made it possible for many more to participate in activities such as wheelchair racing and cycling.

Cooper received the Teague Award during a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18.


UPMC Health System and Pitt's Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute have recruited internationally recognized transplant surgeon Amadeo Marcos to serve as clinical director of transplantation, a newly created position within the Starzl Transplant Institute, and as professor of surgery at the School of Medicine.

Marcos, who has performed the most adult-to-adult living-donor liver transplants in the United States, assumed his new responsibilities in August after serving for two years as associate professor of surgery and director of the Solid Organ Transplant Program at the University of Rochester, N.Y.

As clinical director of transplantation, Marcos will be responsible for UPMC's living-donor liver transplant program as well as for overseeing adult and pediatric cadaveric liver transplantation and the kidney, pancreas and intestinal transplant programs. Marcos also will pursue his research interests in liver regeneration.

Marcos received his medical degree in 1987 at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas and completed his internship and surgical residency at Jose Maria Vargas Hospital in Caracas.

Between 1992 and 1994, he was a fellow in surgical oncology at the Instituto de Oncologia Luis Razetti in Caracas. In 1995, Marcos came to the United States to continue specialized training, first in Boston as a special fellow in hepatobiliary surgery and liver transplantation at the Deaconess Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and then as a fellow in transplantation at the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University.

In 1996 Marcos joined the Medical College of Virginia's faculty as clinical instructor in surgery. In 1998 he was promoted to assistant professor of surgery and director of the living-donor liver transplant program.

In 1999, Marcos reported in the journal Transplantation outcomes of 25 adult-to-adult living-donor liver transplants, representing the first series of this type of transplant performed in the United States. He has since performed approximately 160 such procedures.


Jerry W. Samples has been named interim vice president for Academic Affairs at Pitt's Johnstown campus.

Samples will continue his duties as director of Engineering Technology, having assumed that position in 1996. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering (1969) from Clarkson University, and a master's and doctorate in mechanical engineering (1979, 1983) from Oklahoma State University.

Samples spent 26 years in the Army Corps of Engineers, retiring as a colonel at the United States Military Academy in 1996. He was director of the Mechanical Engineering Division and director of the Mechanical Engineering Research Center at the academy.

Samples has been involved in teacher education since 1980. In 1994, he was awarded the Society of Automotive Engineer's Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award for excellence in education, research and scholarship.

He has authored numerous papers on education and teaching and has facilitated many workshops on various teaching and learning techniques. As the director of Engineering Technology at Johnstown, Samples has been involved in program development and teacher education.


Pitt's Bradford campus has hired Christina L. Graham as director of student activities.

Before coming to Pitt-Bradford, Graham served in the Division of Student Affairs at the Pittsburgh campus as the program coordinator for the Pitt Program Council. She also was the coordinator for the University's new student orientation program, "Your Campus, Your City and You."

Prior to her position in Oakland, Graham served for two years as the assistant director of student activities at the College of Wooster in Ohio.

Graham is a graduate of Pitt-Johnstown, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics with a minor in computer science.

She also holds a master's degree in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

A faculty member and a student in the School of Information Sciences (SIS) each received an award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA) at its annual meeting last month.


Richard J. Cox, professor of library and information science, received the 2002 Waldo Gifford Leland Award for writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the field of archival history, theory or practice. Cox received the award for his monograph "Managing Records for Evidence and Information" (Quorum Books, 2001); he heads the archive concentration in SIS's master of library and information science (MLIS) degree program.

An SAA fellow, Cox is a second-time recipient of the Leland award. He first won it in 1991 for his book "American Archival Analysis: The Recent Development of the Archival Profession in the United States."

Established in 1959, the Waldo Gifford Leland Award was named for one of North America's archival pioneers and SAA's second president.


Petrina D. Jackson, a student in the archives/preservation track in SIS's MLIS program, received SAA's 2002 Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award.

Established in 1993, the award recognizes undergraduate and graduate students of African, Asian, Hispanic or Native American descent who, through scholastic achievement, demonstrate an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA.

Jackson is the second student from SIS to capture the award.

Founded in 1936, SAA is North America's oldest and largest national archival professional association.


Hak-Ju Kim, a doctoral candidate in telecommunications in SIS, won the grand prize in the student paper competition at the International Telecommunications Society (ITS). The award was given at the ITS biennial conference in Seoul, Korea last month.

The winning paper was titled, "The Principle of Modularity to the Internet QoS Service Model Design."

ITS is a not-for-profit association of 400 professionals in the information sector established to provide a forum where academic, private sector and government communities can meet to share research results and solutions to problems, identify new problems and form new approaches to emerging issues.


Gordon J. Vanscoy, assistant dean for managed care and associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the School of Pharmacy, was appointed recently as honorary chairman of the U.S. Business Advisory Council for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

As honorary chairman, Vanscoy will be invited to political strategy meetings with Republican leaders to help reduce the national debt, simplify the current tax code, cut wasteful government spending and eliminate government over-regulation in businesses.

In addition to his academic duties, Vanscoy also is chairman and chief executive officer of University Pharmacotherapy Associates (UPA), L.L.C., an independent consulting and continuing education organization that was developed in 1989 by a core group of Pitt's School of Pharmacy faculty.

UPA provides assistance with national pharmaceutical systems, clinical advisory panels, pharmaceutical strategic consulting, disease management and expert pharmaceutical litigation evaluation.

Vanscoy's area of interest is assessing the value of medications and managed care in high-risk disease states. He also serves as an executive consultant to the UPMC Health System's Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics and is consulting director of anticoagulation services for the Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs Health System.

Vanscoy received his B.S. in pharmacy and M.B.A. from Pitt and his doctorate in pharmacy from Duquesne University. He has completed an accredited residency and faculty fellowship in geriatrics and is a certified anticoagulation care provider.

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