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Cynthia Sweet Joins Pitt as Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Partnerships
Cynthia Sweet has joined the University’s Office of Economic Partnerships as associate vice chancellor for economic partnerships. In this newly created role, she will work closely with Rebecca Bagley, vice chancellor for economic partnerships, to advance University initiatives that aim to foster economic growth on campus and across the region. Among Sweet’s first priorities will be to guide and focus the corporate engagement office rollout strategy.
Sweet most recently was associate vice president of corporate and government relations at West Virginia University and was the founding director of WVU’s Corporate Relations Office. She previously served as senior university business liaison in the Office of Corporate Relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Sweet holds a bachelor’s degree in geography with a concentration in economic development and international relations from St. Cloud State University and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning with a specialization in international economic development from UW-Madison.
Dietrich Stephan Named Life Sciences Pennsylvania's 2017 Thought Leader of the Year
Dietrich Stephan has been named Life Sciences Pennsylvania’s 2017 Thought Leader of the Year.
The award honors an individual “who has a clearly articulated and enacted vision for advancing the scientific and business prowess of Pennsylvania; has harnessed diverse resources to implement that vision; has advanced Pennsylvania as a hub of the life sciences and has established broad, diverse support for his/her efforts to improve the lives of patients.”
Stephan, a renowned human geneticist and entrepreneur, is a professor of human genetics at Pitt Public Health and chief executive officer of LifeX. The LifeX initiative aims to translate life sciences discovery and invention to the marketplace, focusing initially on fighting cancer, Alzheimer's, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, obesity and diabetes, and rare genetic diseases.
The award will be presented March 14 at the statewide life sciences trade organization’s annual dinner in Philadelphia.
Geoffrey Hutchinson and Amy Murray Twyning Honored with Teaching Award
Geoffrey Hutchison, an associate professor in Pitt’s Department of Chemistry and Amy Murray Twyning, a lecturer in the Department of English, have been named this year’s winners of the Tina & David Bellet Teaching Excellence Awards. The award was established in 1998 to recognize exemplary teaching in undergraduate studies at the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Honorees receive a one-time cash prize of $6,000.
Engineering's Bryan Brown Receives 5-year, $1.57 Million Grant From NIH
The National Institute on Aging, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded Bryan Brown, assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, a five-year, $1.57 million grant to examine how aging affects implantable medical devices. This is the second so-called "R01 grant" from the NIH that Brown has received this year to support his research of implantable materials.
His study, “Assessing the Impacts of Aging upon the Macrophage Response to Implantable Materials,” will specifically address reactions to implantable medical devices by the aged body, including deterioration of the immune system brought on by aging, dysregulation of white blood cell function and polarization, and delayed resolution of acute immune responses. Read more about this grant's work.
Alum Carl Redwood is Thomas Merton Center's New Person of the Year
Carl Redwood (MSW ’87) has been named the Thomas Merton Center's New Person of the Year, an award which recognizes local social justice advocates who dedicate their lives to peace and justice in Pittsburgh. Redwood is the chair of the Hill District Consensus Group's board of directors and a lifelong community activist who fights for economic and social justice. He advocates for affordable housing in Pittsburgh and works to prevent the forces that are pushing some residents of color to less accessible outskirts of the city.
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Kevin Chen to Lead Study of Nuclear Sensors
Kevin Chen, the Paul E. Lego Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Pitt, will lead a collaborative study to develop radiation-hard, multi-functional, distributed fiber sensors and sensor-fused components that can be placed in a nuclear reactor core to improve safety and efficiency. The United States Department of Energy announced the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering will receive $1.275 million for collaborative research that includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Reactor Laboratory, Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Chen’s research into fiber optical sensing technology earned him a 2017 Carnegie Science Award.
Lindsay Hilton Retchless at Pitt-Bradford Receives Fitzgibbons Award
Lindsay Hilton Retchless, director of alumni relations at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, received this year’s Gloria Fitzgibbons Memorial Award from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Retchless earned her Master of Public Policy and Management degree from the school this spring.
The Fitzgibbons award is given in recognition of women who have achieved a strong academic performance and have demonstrated the potential for leadership in areas related to public administration or planning. Retchless, a 1998 graduate of Pitt-Bradford, has served as director of alumni relations since 2006 and teaches in Pitt-Bradford’s freshman seminar program.
Critical Language Scholarships Awarded to Record 12 Pitt Students and Alumni
Twelve current Pitt students and recent alumni have been awarded 2017 Critical Language Scholarships from the U.S. Department of State. The awards provide fully funded summer language and cultural immersion opportunities for American graduate and undergraduate students. The scholarship program is part of the U.S. government’s ongoing effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages.
While setting a new institutional record this year with 12 honorees, Pitt has now won 55 Critical Language Scholarships since the award’s founding in 2007. Pitt’s 2017 scholars are currently studying abroad in the nations of Azerbaijan, China, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Russia, Tanzania, and Tajikistan.
This year's winners are Jacky Chen, JoEllen Marsh, Ruba Idris, Isaac Joseph, Elaina Zachos, Cian Stryker, Alicia Houser, Sana Chowdhry, Alexander Stetser, Adam Shirer, Chisom Obasih and Karlee Williston.
Bradford’s Alan Hancock Receives Staff Recognition Award
Panther Shop online associate Alan Hancock has been chosen by his fellow University of Pittsburgh at Bradford staff members as the recipient of the annual Staff Recognition Award. He was nominated by conference services manager Lynette Campogiani, who said, “Alan is one of the most optimistic and positive people on our campus. He has been involved with Staff Association and is very creative when asked to complete a task. He is an all-around great individual.”
In 2015, Hancock received the Excellence in Service to Students Award from the campus’s National Society for Leadership and Success. Hancock can also be seen on campus filling in at the mail center and as a photographer for the University.
Engineering Professor Minking Chyu Appointed Distinguished Service Professor
In honor of Minking Chyu’s significant contributions to Pitt, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher has named him a Distinguished Service Professor, effective Sept. 1. Chyu is currently the Leighton and Mary Orr Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, associate dean of international initiatives and the inaugural dean of the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute in China. Chyu teaches Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at the Swanson School of Engineering. His research focuses on thermal and heat transfer phenomena associated with energy and propulsion systems, such as gas turbines and power plants.
Royal Society of Chemistry Journal Calls John Keith an Emerging Investigator of 2017
An assistant professor at the Swanson School of Engineering was recently recognized for his research efforts on methods to convert carbon dioxide into useful chemicals and fuels. John Keith, who is also the inaugural Richard King Mellon Faculty Fellow in Energy in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the school, was featured in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry in its list, Emerging Investigators in 2017.
The journal’s themed issue highlighted “rising stars” of materials chemistry research recommended by experts in the field. Keith studies atomic-scale reaction mechanisms to understand how to design better catalysts, whether the goal is a commodity chemical made from CO2 or an anticorrosion coating for the US Navy.
Engineering’s Wei Xiong Receives Office of Naval Research Award to Develop Next-generation Steel
A research project led by Wei Xiong, assistant professor in the Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, has received a three-year, $449,000 award from the Office of Naval Research. The project, titled “Integrated Computational Materials Design for Additive Manufacturing of High-Strength Steels Used in Naval Environments,” aims to find novel ways to develop next-generation metals, especially new ways to manufacture steel and other alloys that would further enhance additive manufacturing — a technology that builds 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material. Xiong's team also includes Pitt's Esta Abelev and Susheng Tan.
Dean of Pharmacy Patricia Kroboth Receives Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania's 2017 Woman of Distinction Award
Patricia D. Kroboth, dean of the School of Pharmacy since 2002, was one of eight recipients of the Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania's 2017 Woman of Distinction Award. The award each year honors eight women in various disciplines across the Pittsburgh area for their commitment and dedication to their field of work and community. Kroboth, who was given the award in the category of Health Care, said there is “no greater distinction” than being awarded by the Girl Scouts. “It’s wonderful,” Kroboth said. “They build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.”
Bradford's Tammy Haley Awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination
Tammy Haley, associate professor of nursing at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford since 2003, has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Haley is director of nursing and radiological sciences at Pitt–Bradford. The School of Public Health recognized Haley for her work using research as a means to engage students, enhance her teaching, add to the body of knowledge in her field and provide service to the global community.
Lindsay C. Page Awarded Education Postdoctoral Fellowship
Lindsay C. Page has been awarded a 2017 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Academy of Education. The program supports important research as well as career development opportunities for scholars with potential to make significant contributions to the field of education. One of only 30 postdoctoral fellows in 2017, Page was awarded $70,000 to support her research on improving postsecondary outcomes among college students who are from low-income backgrounds or who are first in their family to attend college. Page is an assistant professor of research methodology in Pitt’s School of Education and a research scientist in the University’s Learning Research and Development Center.
Pitt Alumnus Samir Lakhani Named CNN Hero
Samir Lakhani's (A&S '14) nonprofit project in Cambodia, called Eco-Soap Bank, recycles discarded bars of soap from hotels and distributes it to people in need. Read more about Lakhani and Eco-Soap Bank at CNN.
James Van Poolen Named the National HDI Analyst of the Year
A support analyst who helps provide technical services throughout campus has been named the National HDI Analyst of the Year. James Van Poolen, 31, who has worked at Pitt’s Financial Information Systems for two and a half years, won a national competition for his understanding of industry standards and his commitment to excellent service. Van Poolen and his colleagues support more than 750 customers and respond to more than 500 requests for IT help across campus every month. He accepted his award at a national competition in Washington D.C.
Dave Brienza Recognized for Pressure Ulcer Care
Dave Brienza, associate dean of research in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, received the National Pressure Ulcer Advisor Panel’s Kosiak Award for his significant contributions to the prevention and/or management of pressure injuries. Brienza, a leader in the wound care provider community, received the award at NPUAP's 2017 Biennial Conference in New Orleans.
Pitt Pharmacy's Kim Coley Named Chair of Editorial Board
The Pennsylvania Pharmacist is a peer-reviewed publication that includes feature articles; legislative, legal and regulatory information; industry trends; association information; and peer-reviewed articles on pertinent pharmacy subjects.
Coley is a faculty member in the pharmacy and therapeutics department.