News of note for the
faculty & staff community

Outstanding Faculty Recognized at Honors Convocation

Thirteen Pitt faculty members were honored with Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s Distinguished Public Service, Research and Teaching Awards, announced at the 43rd annual Honors Convocation. The awards carry a $2,000 prize and $3,000 grant to support work of the following recipients:

Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Awards

Thistle I. Elias
Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health

During Thistle Elias’ time at the helm of Bridging the Gaps Pittsburgh, dozens of community-based organizations have benefited from projects — including health curricula, workshop guides, evaluation tools, advocacy films and even playgrounds — developed by our health sciences students. She has promoted undergraduate involvement in community organizations through Civic Pathways in the Office of Community and Governmental Relations and encouraged faculty to forge community partnerships to advance teaching and research opportunities through her role on the Community Engagement Centers steering committee.

Mark Kramer                  
Lecturer, Department of English, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

As an active contributor to the Community Engagement Centers initiative, Mark Kramer has developed partnerships with Homewood agencies for his first-year writing course. He also co-founded The Corner, an arts and community center, in West Oakland and the Hill District in 2010. His work reflects a commitment to racial and social justice and low-income communities. Following Kramer’s remarkable lead, his students participate in a wide range of activities that require them to apply what they have learned in the classroom for the benefit of others and the community.

Steven Little
William Kepler Whiteford Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering

Steven Little has implemented a public service component into two undergraduate core courses. In addition, and with his support, students in the department’s Graduate Student Association have developed an impressive array of public service projects. Beyond University responsibilities, as a member of the EduNations Board of Directors, Little has helped to connect more than 2,000 children in Sierra Leone, Africa, with a free and accessible education.

Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Awards

Derek C. Angus
Distinguished Professor and Mitchell P. Fink Endowed Chair, Department of Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine

Derek Angus provided the first set of significant data on the epidemiology of sepsis, triggering immediate changes in care and shaping two decades of research to follow. He has also informed and inspired today’s intensive care unit practices, including physician staffing, critical care workforce training and fundamental organization.

Nathan Clark
Associate Professor, Department of Computational and Systems Biology, School of Medicine

Nathan Clark’s three most recent articles were all published in high-profile journals. He has attained NIH and NSF funding and is regularly invited to deliver remarks nationally and internationally on not only computational and systems biology, but across disciplines such as species conservation and diagnostic medicine.

JoAnne Flynn
Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine

JoAnne Flynn transformed our understanding of the immunology of tuberculosis by making groundbreaking changes to vaccine administration and introducing the non-human primates model. She is recognized internationally as a renowned expert and thought leader in her field.

Mary Phillips
Professor, Pittsburgh Foundation-Emmerling Endowed Chair in Psychotic Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine

An early pioneer in the use of neuroimaging techniques, Mary Phillips discovered the neural basis of emotions, leading to the dissemination of a brain model that laboratories use worldwide. This work has shone a light on the neuropathophysiological basis of bipolar and other mood disorders.

Matiangai Sirleaf
Assistant Professor, School of Law

Matiangai Sirleaf has attracted the support of competitive grants and funding for innovative research in post-conflict societies and has authored a number of articles in top journals in the field. Her cutting-edge, multidisciplinary approach to global problems has formed a foundation to support efforts to find solutions.

Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Awards

Barbara J. Barnhart
Instructor, Division of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

Barbara Barnhart’s role in developing the Science Seminar at Pitt–Greensburg was integral to the receipt of an NSF S-STEM grant. The Science Seminar has been so successful at increasing retention and graduation rates of science students that it is now being adapted for use in other majors. As one of only two faculty currently advising nearly 200 biological science students, Barnhart has made an enormous contribution in the areas of course advising, registration and student recommendations.

Robin E. Grubs
Associate Professor, Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Public Health

In her role as director of the Genetic Counseling Program, Robin Grubs’ work has resulted in a complete overhaul of the coursework and clinical training curriculum in order to accommodate the rapidly changing genomic technologies field. The international internships she created have helped students break into the global market, exposing them to the strengths and weaknesses of other health care systems.

Tammy Haley
Associate Professor, Division of Biological and Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

As co-director of the Appalachian Teaching Project, Tammy Haley’s work has provided opportunities for students to be involved in community-based research projects aimed at improving the health of families and communities in the Appalachian region. Her integration of the Appalachian Teaching Project into the nursing curriculum has increased students’ exposure to real-life nursing research. Haley is also director of nursing and radiological science, an assistant professor of nursing, and coordinator of the RN-BSN program at Pitt–Bradford.

Daniel Lambrecht
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Daniel Lambrecht’s Mathematical Methods for Chemists course provides crucial mathematical concepts for chemistry majors by drawing on realistic case studies. His inclusion of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning activities within his courses has helped to foster an active and inclusive class environment. In addition, his innovative teaching approach has earned him the Henry and Camille Dreyfuss Special Grant, an Excellence in Education Innovation grant from the Office of the Provost and a dB-SERC Course Transformation Award.

Richard Steinman
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, School of Medicine

As director of the MD-PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and the Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP), Richard Steinman has developed innovative approaches for training medical students to conduct top-tier laboratory-based research. He also has created an interactive trading card board game that teaches immunology, microbiology, public health and oncology concepts to medical students, which earned him an Innovation and Education Award in 2000 and is now used to teach middle and high school students, as well.

Category:
  • Three faculty were honored at the 2019 Honors Convocation ceremony with the Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award. From left to right are Mark Kramer, lecturer, Department of English, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; Thistle I. Elias, assistant professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health; and Steven Little, William Kepler Whiteford Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering.
  • Five faculty were honored at the 2019 Honors Convocation ceremony with the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award. From left to right, top to bottom are Derek C. Angus, Distinguished Professor and Mitchell P. Fink Endowed Chair, Department of Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine; Matiangai Sirleaf, assistant professor, School of Law; Nathan Clark, associate professor, Department of Computational and Systems Biology, School of Medicine; Mary Phillips, professor, Pittsburgh Foundation-Emmerling Endowed Chair in Psychotic Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine; and JoAnne Flynn, professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine.
  • Five faculty were honored at the 2019 Honors Convocation ceremony with the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. From left to right, top to bottom are Richard Steinman, associate professor, Department of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, School of Medicine; Daniel Lambrecht, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; Robin E. Grubs, associate professor, Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Public Health; Barbara J. Barnhart, instructor, Division of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg; and Tammy Haley, associate professor, Division of Biological and Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.