Distinguished Teaching, Research, and Public Service Awardees Announced
University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher has announced the winners of the 2016 Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching, Research, and Public Service Awards. Each awardee received a $2,000 cash prize and a $3,000 grant for support of their teaching, research, or service activities. Honorees will be recognized during Pitt’s annual Honors Convocation to be held on Feb. 26.
The following five Pitt faculty members received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award: Neal Benedict, James Coyle, Vicky Hoffman, Zhi-Hong Mao, and Nancy Pfenning.
Recipients of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award are: Lucy Fischer, Xu Liang, Cecelia Lo, W. Seth Horne, and Piervincenzo Rizzo.
The two winners of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Awards are Lauren Jonkman and Loren Roth.
Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Awards
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy
Benedict mentors and develops pharmacy students of all levels and has extensive roles as a professional student portfolio advisor and career-learning advisor. He also works with the School of Pharmacy’s Experiential Learning Program, a role for which his students named him “Preceptor of the Year” in 2012. The Experiential Learning Program uses modeling and one-on-one mentoring to teach students the roles and responsibilities of a clinical pharmacist. Among Benedict’s other teaching awards are the 2014 Innovation in Teaching Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the 2011 Innovation in Teaching Award selected by the students of the Rho Chi honorary society at Pitt.
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Science and Disorders, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Coyle is a speech-language pathologist specializing in oropharyngeal dysphagia (swallowing disorders) in adults. He has made extensive contributions to the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, including helping to develop the Doctorate of Clinical Sciences curriculum. Coyle has conducted an active clinical practice and teaching clinics at UPMC since 1999. He currently has research funding from the NIH, is active in continuing education, and is a Fellow of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. He is the recipient of the 2006 Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award at Pitt.
Professor of Business Administration and James H. Rossell Endowed Faculty Fellow, Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration
Hoffman’s research examines cognitive information processing in business decision settings. She is particularly interested in applications of behavioral decision theory in auditing and managerial accounting tasks, and in studying the combined effects of cognition and motivation on accounting decisions. Hoffman has received many accolades during her time at Pitt, including the Excellence in Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching in the College of Business Administration (2000, 2003-2015), the Student’s Choice Award for Outstanding Teacher in Master of Science in Accounting Program (2012-2015), and the Ed & Margaret Kay Award for Teaching Excellence in Accounting (2010).
Associate Professor and William Kepler Whiteford Faculty Fellow, Departments of Electrical and Computing Engineering and Department of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering
Mao’s research interests include human-in-the-loop control systems, which are systems that require interaction with a human being, such as driver assistance features in a car. He also studies networked control systems and neural control and learning. Mao has served on at least 50 PhD dissertation committees and 48 master’s thesis panels during his time at Pitt. He has advised 14 visiting students from other universities both within and outside the U.S. Among his many awards are the 2010 Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation and the 2009 Outstanding Educator Award from the Swanson School.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Statistics, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Pfenning seeks to help students master statistical thinking by using examples from the media, data collected from students themselves, and hands-on activities. Her book, Elementary Statistics: Looking at the Big Picture (Cengage Learning, 2010), is used for teaching Basic Applied Statistics 0200. Pfenning has created Honors courses, which she teaches regularly, and serves on the University Honors College Faculty Executive Committee. She is active in the training of Teaching Assistants in her department and in conjunction with CIDDE. She also serves as a liaison to Pitt’s College in High School Program. In 2011, Pfenning received The Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award.
Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award
Distinguished Professor of English and Film Studies, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Fischer directed Pitt’s Film Studies Program for 30 years and, under her leadership, the program expanded considerably, including offering its own degree programs through a PhD. Her interests in film studies include international cinema of the silent and sound eras as well as narrative and experimental film. Fischer has published seven monographs and four edited books, and her essays have been anthologized 30 times in scholarly volumes. She has lectured internationally and taught abroad. Fischer served as president of the prestigious Society of Cinema and Media Studies from 2001 to 2003 and won its Distinguished Service Award.
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering
Liang is a world-renowned scholar in macroscale hydrological modeling where she has made influential contributions to the study of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and has translated her modeling analyses into important insights concerning Earth’s climate system. She is the recipient of the 2014 Carnegie Science Environmental Award and a fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Her research interests include discovering fundamental laws that govern water and energy cycles, and investigating how these cycles affect the health of our environment and ecological systems. She has been a leader in the growth of the Swanson School’s hydrology and water resources PhD program.
Professor and F. Sargent Cheever Chair, Department of Developmental Biology, School of Medicine
Lo’s research focuses on finding the genetic causes and developmental mechanisms of human congenital heart disease, which remains one of the most common birth defects. Her unique integration of mouse model and human clinical studies promises new directions for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions that can help improve outcomes for infants, children, and adults surviving with congenital heart disease. Lo mentors junior faculty, including three tenure track assistant professors in her department, all funded by the National Institutes of Health. She was an invited speaker at more than 15 scientific conferences last year, and her work has been published extensively.
W. Seth Horne
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
The research program in Horne’s lab focuses on the bioorganic chemistry of proteins and spans the field of organic synthesis, biophysics, structural biology, and materials science. During his tenure at Pitt, Horne has received single-investigator grants from both the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Among the awards he has received is the 2014 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award. Horne is a mentor to seven graduate students, and his research in peptide and protein science has been described by his peers as unique and systematic.
Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering
Rizzo’s research focuses on nondestructive evaluation and structural health monitoring. He has authored eight book chapters, 82 refereed papers, more than 150 conference papers and technical reports, and two patents. He is the only individual who has received both the Achenbach Medal (2012) and the Structural Health Monitoring Person of the Year award (2015). Both honors are selected by the editors of SHM: An International Journal, the top journal in the field. Rizzo holds a Laurea (5-year degree) in aeronautical engineering from the University of Palermo, Italy, and a PhD in structural engineering from the University of California San Diego.
Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy
Jonkman is committed to improving both access and quality of health care in underserved settings locally and globally. Together with Sharon Connor, also an assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Jonkman developed a successful pharmacist-managed clinic at Birmingham Free Clinic on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Overseas, she has had an integral role in helping a small community in Honduras develop a well-staffed full-time clinic. And she provided volunteer support at the University of Namibia to help establish a new School of Pharmacy by teaching patient care and supporting program development.
Associate Senior Vice Chancellor for Clinical Policy and Planning, Pitt’s Schools of Health Sciences; Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine
A leading expert in the field of law and psychiatry, Roth has conducted research and written extensively on the subjects of informed consent, patient competency assessment, confidentiality, and ethics in research. He has held multiple leadership positions within Pitt and UPMC. Roth co-chaired Pitt’s United Way campaign and led the United Way’s Impact Fund Committee on the support of vulnerable seniors and disabled persons. In addition, he has served on the Point Park University Board since 2007. He was the first recipient of the Senior Vice Chancellor’s Extraordinary Service Award in 2002 for coordinating the implementation of a biodefense infrastructure for Pitt.
Other Stories From This Issue
February 15, 2016
On the Freedom Road
Follow a group of Pitt students on the Returning to the Roots of Civil Rights bus tour, a nine-day, 2,300-mile journey crisscrossing five states.
Day 1: The Awakening
Day 2: Deep Impressions
Day 3: Music, Montgomery, and More
Day 4: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Day 5: Learning to Remember
Day 6: The Mountaintop
Day 7: Slavery and Beyond
Day 8: Lessons to Bring Home
Day 9: Final Lessons