Awards and More

Issue Date: 
April 7, 2008

Pitt Magazine won seven awards at the 2008 Mercury International Awards ceremony on March 13 in New York City.

The publication won four Gold awards—two in the category of University Magazines for best magazine and best writing, one for International Feature Writing, and one for Health Feature Writing. The magazine’s core staff includes Cindy Gill, editor in chief; Gary Cravener, art director; Cara J. Hayden, senior editor; and Ervin Dyer, senior editor. The stories that won feature writing awards were “Beyond Aftermath” by Gill and “The Weight of Change” by former staffer Bo Schwerin.

The magazine also won a Bronze award in the Byline Feature Writing category for Gill’s piece, “On the Edge,” along with Honors for overall Magazines and for Schwerin’s story, “Next Question?” in the Science Feature Writing category.

Robert Hill, Pitt vice chancellor for public affairs, attended the ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park Hotel and received the awards on the magazine’s behalf.

The annual award, named for the Roman god who was the messenger of the other gods, was created in 1987 by MerComm Inc., based in Ossining, N.Y., to promote excellence in the communications fields. Nearly 1,000 entries were submitted from 23 countries.

Several faculty and staff within Pitt’s schools of the health sciences have won awards and been admitted to professional associations.

Tao Cheng, a professor in the School of Medicine’s biochemistry and molecular genetics program, was selected to receive the Scholar Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The award consists of $550,000 over five years and is given to highly qualified investigators who have shown a capacity for independent, sustained original investigation in the field of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Liza Villanueva recently was selected to become a member of the Association of University Cardiologists (AUC). Villanueva is a professor of medicine in the School of Medicine, director of noninvasive cardiac imaging at the UPMC Cardiovascular Institute, and director of the Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics. Founded in 1961, the AUC is an organization with an active membership limited to 125 peer-elected academic cardiologists from the United States. The members are among the leaders in the field and shape the course of research and training in cardiovascular disease in this country.

James Menegazzi, research professor of emergency medicine in Pitt’s medical school, recently won two awards from the National Association of EMS Physicians: Best Scientific Presentation and Best Cardiac Arrest Presentation. In addition, Jon Rittenberger, research fellow instructor of emergency medicine at the medical school, won the Best Fellow Presentation. The awards were presented at the organization’s annual meeting held recently in Phoenix.

Marcus Rediker, a Pitt professor of history, has been selected the 2008 Merle Curti Award winner for The Slave Ship: A Human History (Viking Penguin, 2007) by the Organization of American Historians (OAH). The award, which was presented March 29 in New York City, is given annually for the best book published on American social, intellectual, or cultural history.

In The Slave Ship, Rediker said he set out to describe “what it meant to live in a wooden world.” According to Rediker, what had happened on the slave ship influenced what resulted on land. “It was a social and cultural process that changed people,” he explained. “And the repercussions from that process still resonate today.”

At Pitt since 1994, Rediker is the author of several books, including Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age (Beacon Press/Verso, 2004); The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Beacon Press/Verso, 2000); and Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s Economy, Politics, Culture, and Society, Volume 1 (Pantheon Books, 1989).

Founded in 1907, OAH is the largest learned society and professional organization dedicated to the teaching and study of the American past.