Awards & More

Issue Date: 
June 8, 2009

Alec Stewart Honored for Excellence in Education

Alec StewartAlec Stewart

For his outstanding contributions in teaching and administration, Pitt professor Alec Stewart was selected for The Simon Award for Excellence in Education by the Kiwanis Club of Oakland.
Stewart, the Bernice L. and Morton S. Lerner Chair and dean of the University of Pittsburgh Honors College, received the award and was recognized at a reception at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children (WPSBC) in Oakland in April.

The Kiwanis Club makes a donation in honor of the awardee to the charity of his or her choice, and the recipient of this year’s contribution was WPSBC.
Stewart joined Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences Department of Physics in 1973. Prior to that, he was a research fellow in physics in the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.
In 1979, Stewart became the first director of the University Honors Program, which he helped design. Under his leadership, the program emerged with an educational emphasis on intellectual scope and student attainment and became the University Honors College in 1984, with Stewart as its inaugural dean.

With Stewart at the helm, the Honors College has developed innovative, challenging, and popular summer research programs for undergraduate students, including the on-campus Brackenridge Program and field-study programs in Yellowstone National Park, Pitt’s Allen Cook Spring Creek Preserve in Wyoming, as well as study in Mongolia.

In addition to serving as Honors College dean, Stewart continues to teach an honors course in the physics department.
Stewart earned a BS in physics at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., graduating with honors, and an MSE in nuclear engineering and a PhD degree in solid state physics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The Simon Award is named for Janet Simon, who retired from WPSBC after 30 years, serving most recently as its executive director. The award seeks to recognize a local leader in children or young adult education. Stewart was nominated by Charles Miller, a professor in Pitt’s School of Dental Medicine.
Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and community at a time. The Oakland Kiwanis club was established 53 years ago.
—Patricia Lomando White

Carnegie Science Center Award

Joe MikschJoe Miksch

Joe Miksch (left), the associate editor of Pitt Med magazine, received the 2009 Carnegie Science Center’s Journalism Award for his coverage of research, clinical, and curricular advancements in the Pitt School of Medicine. The award ceremony was held May 8 in Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland. Presenting the award is Rick Henry, president and general manager of WTAE/Channel 4.