UCSUR names recipients of 20th annual Steven D. Manners Awards

The University Center for Social and Urban Research has selected Randall Walsh, a professor in the Department of Economics, and Jessica C. Levenson, assistant professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, for the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Awards.

The awards are for promising research projects in the social, behavioral, and policy sciences on campus. They honor the memory of Steve Manners, a sociologist who began working at the center in 1974 and served as its assistant director from 1989 until his death in September 2000. His research and service to the center and the University community were dedicated to improving social conditions in the urban environment.

UCSUR made the first Manners Awards in 2001, and this year is awarding two research development grants to support pilot research with scientific merit and a strong likelihood that the project will lead to subsequent external, peer-reviewed funding.

Walsh’s project is on “The Long-Term Evolution of Inequality: Poverty, Pollution and Human Capital.” This project takes a historical perspective on the long-run impacts of economic development in the city of Pittsburgh from 1910-2010. It triangulates on the relationships among race, ethnicity, income and pollution as they evolved over the period, including the long-term effect of pollution exposure on economic outcomes via human capital formation.

Levenson’s research is on “A School-Based Sleep Intervention Program for Adolescents with Absenteeism.” The project developed a school-based sleep promotion program for adolescents with absenteeism, delivered individually by school staff in the school setting, which relies on evidence-based strategies for improving sleep. The research team recently completed a small open trial of this program, which showed initial acceptability, feasibility, and impact on sleep. They are conducting a follow-up assessment with the youth who participated in open trial to examine: whether improvements in sleep duration and variability were sustained one year later; and whether post-intervention sleep patterns, and changes in sleep during the open trial, predict sleep, academic performance, attendance and psychosocial functioning at one-year follow-up.