Michael Sheetz Appointed to Nuclear Regulatory Commission Committee
Michael Sheetz, clinical assistant professor of radiology in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, has been appointed to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Advisory Committee on the Medical Use of Isotopes as the radiation safety officer representative. The committee advises the NRC on policy and technical issues that arise in the regulation of the medical use of radioactive material.
Sheetz has served as the director of the Radiation Safety Office and radiation safety officer for the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC since 2007. Prior to that, he held the positions of health physicist and senior health physicist within the Radiation Safety Office for over 25 years.
Along with his involvement in several professional and scientific societies, Sheetz serves on the Pennsylvania Radiation Protection Advisory Committee and Pennsylvania's Low-Level Waste Advisory Committee.
Pharmacy's Lauren Jonkman Awarded Fulbright Scholarship for Work in Namibia
Lauren Jonkman, an assistant professor in the pharmacy and therapeutics department at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, was selected as a 2017-18 Fulbright Scholar to support the development of a primary care clinical pharmacy practice at the University of Namibia School of Pharmacy. The Fulbright Program is supported by the U.S. Department of State through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Jonkman will support teaching and research at the University of Namibia, focusing specifically on their new Master of Clinical Pharmacy Program. She has been working with faculty and students from the Namibian university's School of Pharmacy since 2015.
Samara Joy Nielsen to Head New Nutrition Science Bachelor's Program
Samara Joy Nielsen, an assistant professor in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, has been named director of the new Nutrition Science undergraduate major, which will be offered to students beginning in 2019. Nielsen is a nutritional epidemiologist with more than 15 years of experience in the field, studying topics such as U.S. yogurt consumers, U.S. nut consumption and the association between seafood consumption and blood mercury levels in adults and youth. The Nutrition Science program will teach students to apply the science of food and nutrition to the well-being and health of people. Graduates of this program will take their skills to industry, government, academia, NGOs and beyond.
Valerie Watzlaf Elected President of American Health Information Management Association
Valerie Watzlaf, associate professor in Pitt's Department of Health Information Management, was recently elected president of the American Health Information Management Association. Watzlaf joins another Pitt professor from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences who has also served as AHIMA's president — Department Chair Mervat Abdelhak, who was elected in 2005. Along with her involvement in several professional and scientific societies, Watzlaf serves on the editorial advisory boards for several peer-reviewed scientific journals and is chair of AHIMA's Council for Excellence in Education.
Warren Ruder Receives Award to Develop ‘Smart Biomaterials’
Warren Ruder, assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, is developing microparticles that carry engineered bacteria known as smart biomaterials, and the National Science Foundation has awarded him $338,414 through 2020 to continue the work. Ruder will use the biomaterials to reprogram mammalian cell signaling. The goal of the study is to use these biomaterials to better understand how cell signaling works and influence cell behavior when a problem occurs.
Pitt-Greensburg Dining Services Director Honored for Service
Richard McMahon, director of Dining Services for Chartwells Higher Education at Pitt-Greensburg, was the recognized with an Outstanding Performance Award from Compass Group, the parent company of Chartwells. The award recognized McMahon for his 33 years of service with the Chartwells Sector. McMahon's other awards include being the recipient of Pitt-Greensburg’s 2015 President’s Medal for Distinguished Service.
Pitt-Greensburg Named a 2017-18 College of Distinction
For the second consecutive year, Pitt-Greensburg has been named a College of Distinction for its innovative application of high-impact educational practices. This year, in addition to receiving accolades as a 2017-18 College of Distinction, Public College of Distinction and Pennsylvania College of Distinction, Pitt-Greensburg also received recognition for its education program.
Pitt-Greensburg Women's Basketball Ranks Third in Division for Academic Honors
The Pitt-Greensburg women’s basketball team placed third in the nation among NCAA division III women’s basketball teams on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll for the 2016-2017 academic year. The Bobcats posted a 3.647 team GPA, only 0.0026 points out of first place.
The WBCA Academic Top 25 recognizes NCAA Division I, II and III; NAIA; and junior/community college women’s basketball teams across the nation that carry the highest combined GPAs inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season.
Chandralekha Singh Co-leads International Conference on Women in Physics
Chandralekha Singh, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and director of the Discipline-based Science Education Research Center (dB-SERC) was one of the two team leaders of the U.S. delegation to the 6th International Conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP), which took place in Birmingham, U.K., in July 2017. She is also a co-editor of the American Institute of Physics Proceedings for this ICWIP 2017 conference to be published in 2018. Singh is pictured with Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel peace prize winner, who presented at the conference.
Pitt-Bradford and Pitt-Johnstown Make "Best Northeastern" Colleges List
Two University of Pittsburgh regional campuses have been named to The Princeton Review’s “Best Northeastern” colleges list — Bradford for the 14th and Johnstown for the 12th consecutive year.
Their inclusion, based on student survey data, places the schools among the 229 universities most “academically outstanding and well worth consideration” in the region, the nationally known education services company says.
Both campuses gained high student ratings for admissions selectivity, while Bradford scored well in financial aid offerings and Johnstown for campus life.
Pitt-Bradford also appears on The Princeton Review’s recent list of green colleges.
Ryan McDonough Named New Sports Information Director at Pitt-Bradford
The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has named Ryan McDonough as its new sports information director. McDonough, who grew up in Rochester, N.Y., graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2016 with a degree in journalism and mass communication. During college, he spent all four years interning in the St. Bonaventure sports information office and was then brought on as an office assistant following graduation. During the 2016-17 academic year, McDonough served as the primary media contact for six of St. Bonaventure’s sports, while assisting with game day operations for all others sports as well.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to work with the talented staff, coaches and student-athletes at Pitt-Bradford,” McDonough said. “I am honored to join such a passionate and successful staff, and am looking forward to getting started.”
Pitt-Bradford boasts seven women and six men Division III sports in addition to club ice hockey and wrestling.
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.
Two Students and One Alum Win Graduate Scholarships for Study from Germany
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.
Matt Ziance (UPJ ’13) Wins Sports Emmy Award
Alumnus Matt Ziance, a social media and consumer engagement coordinator at NBC Sports, was part of a team that won the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Trans-Media Sports Coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The award ceremony was held in New York City on May 9. Ziance's social media content was a large contributor to NBC’s coverage of the games.
“It’s a special feeling, something that definitely brought a smile to everyone’s face, something that you really want to work hard for,” said Ziance, who has worked at Stamford, Connecticut–based NBC Sports since 2014. Previously, Ziance was part of a team nominated for an Emmy for its coverage of the 141st Kentucky Derby in 2015. Read more about Ziance and his time at the University of Pittsburgh–Johnstown.
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.