Awards & More

Issue Date: 
January 26, 2009

A number of individuals from the University of Pittsburgh were honored during the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Men of Excellence annual awards luncheon at The Lexus Club at PNC Park.

The Courier honored Larry E. Davis, the Donald M. Henderson Professor and dean of the School of Social Work, as well as the founder and director of Pitt’s Center on Race and Social Problems; Robert Hill, vice chancellor for public affairs; Clyde B. Jones III, vice chancellor of health sciences development and president of the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation; Alonzo W. Webb Jr., Pitt track and field head coach; and John M. Wilds, assistant vice chancellor for community and governmental relations.

Two Pitt trustees were also among the honorees—George L. Miles Jr., president and chief executive officer of WQED Multimedia, and William Strickland (A&S ’70), president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and Bidwell Training Center.

In addition, the Courier honored the following Pitt alumni: Robert O. Agbede (ENGR ’79,  ENGR ’81G), Oliver W. Byrd, (KGSB ’74), Terry Collier (KGSB ’71), Thaddeus Mosley (A&S ’50), Sylvester Pace (EDUC ’82G), and Gregory R. Spencer (CGS ’80).

Dawn Lundy Martin, assistant professor of English in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of English in the School of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ (AAAS) Poetry Prize. Martin is among five poets to receive the award, which recognizes emerging poets of exceptional promise and distinguished achievement. Martin is a founding member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental Black poets; cofounder of the Third Wave Foundation; and coeditor of The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism (Anchor Books, 2004). Her books include The Morning Hour (Poetry Society of America, 2003), a collection of poems that was selected for the Poetry Society of America’s National Chapbook Fellowship, and A Matter of Gathering / A Gathering of Matter (University of Georgia Press, 2007), which won the 2006 Cave Canem Book Prize. Her work has appeared in Hambone, FENCE, nocturnes, Encyclopedia, and Callaloo.

Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell appointed Stephen J. Bagnato, professor of pediatrics in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and assistant professor of psychology in education at Pitt, to the Pennsylvania Early Learning Council. Bagnato is also the director of the Early Childhood Partnerships program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Savio Woo, a University Professor of Bioengineering in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, received an Honorary Professorship from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics while he was attending the Olympic Games in Beijing as a guest of International Olympics Committee President Jacques Rogge. The honor was bestowed upon Woo for his many seminal contributions to biomedical engineering research and education. During the same trip, Woo also received a Doctor of Engineering honorary degree from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The Asian Studies Center’s Confucius Institute at the University of Pittsburgh (CI-Pitt) was named one of 20 Confucius Institutes of the Year by the Chinese Ministry of Education’s Office of Chinese Language Council International. The designation was made during the council’s third conference, which was held in Beijing in December.  Established in May 2007, CI-Pitt was the first Confucius Institute in Pennsylvania. There are 295 Confucius Institutes in 78 countries and regions worldwide.

Jeremy Levy, a professor of physics and astronomy in Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences, received a Nano 50 Award in the Innovator category from Nanotech Briefs, a Web site and digital newsletter published by NASA Tech Briefs, the country’s largest-circulation design engineering magazine. The fourth annual Nano 50 Awards recognize the top 50 technologies, products, and innovators that have significantly impacted, or are expected to impact, nanotechnology.

Levy led a research team that developed a process wherein the ability to conduct electricity can be turned on and off at nanoscale dimensions. This capability could result in more powerful and compact information technologies.

William Brice, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown professor emeritus in geology and planetary science, received the Gerald M. and Sue T. Friedman History of Geology Distinguished Service Award. The award was presented by the Geological Society of America during a meeting held in October in Houston, Tex. The honor was created in 2005 and is given to an individual or individuals for exceptional service to the advancement of the knowledge of the history of the geological sciences.

Diane Lenio, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown administrative assistant in the Personal Counseling Center, was named this year’s recipient of the President’s Staff Award for Excellence in Service to Pitt-Johnstown. Lenio, who joined UPJ in 1998, is an active member of the Pitt-Johnstown Staff Activities and Concerns Association, and raised nearly $500 as the team captain for the Susan G. Komen Passionately Pink for the Cure Campaign.