Awards & More

Issue Date: 
October 12, 2009

Rory Cooper, director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories—a partnership between the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC, and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System—will receive the Veteran of the Year Award from the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania. Cooper, who is one of the world’s foremost authorities on wheelchair design, will accept the honor during an Oct. 29 ceremony at the Carnegie Music Hall. The FISA and Paralyzed Veterans of America Chair and Distinguished Professor in Pitt’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, Cooper is a decorated U.S. Army veteran who uses a wheelchair as a result of a spinal cord injury sustained in military service.

Two University of Pittsburgh alumnae were recognized by the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh for excellence and leadership in the workplace and in the community. Valerie McDonald Roberts (SHRS ’77, A&S ‘79G), manager of the Allegheny County Department of Real Estate, and Ellen A. Roth (EDUC ‘82G), president of Getting to the Point, Inc., were honored with Tribute to Women Leadership Awards in the categories of civic engagement and entrepreneur, respectively. Roth was nominated for the award by Robert Hill, Pitt’s vice chancellor for public affairs. Six other women received Tribute to Women Leadership Awards in other categories during the  annual Tribute to Women Leadership Awards Luncheon, held in May at the Westin Hotel, Downtown.

Deborah Walker, assistant to the dean in Pitt’s Office of Student Affairs, wrote an article that was published in the summer 2009 issue of Leadership Exchange, the quarterly publication of NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. The article, “Boosting Retention and Graduation Rates for Disadvantaged Students: University of Pittsburgh Program Helps Students Rise to the Top,” focused on Pitt’s Reaching Inside Your Soul for Excellence (RISE) program. RISE is an intervention program to improve the University’s retention and graduation rates for underrepresented students.

Plays in American Periodicals, 1890-1918 (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2007), written by University of Pittsburgh professor of English Susan Harris Smith, was selected as a Choice outstanding academic book of 2008. More than 35,000 academic librarians, faculty, and key decision makers use the reviews in Choice magazine and Choice Reviews Online to develop collections and conduct scholarly research. Choice is a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association.

Marc Malandro, Pitt associate vice chancellor for technology management and commercialization, has been named to the board of directors of Pennsylvania Bio, a statewide association representing Pennsylvania’s biosciences community.

Dorothy J. Becker, a professor of pediatrics in the Pitt School of Medicine and chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, has been elected president of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society. Becker’s clinical research on Type 1 diabetes has received continuous annual funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the last three decades. She is principal investigator and coordinator of six U.S. centers of an NIH multinational primary prevention trial for Type I diabetes. The 10-year study is designed to determine whether feeding predigested cow’s milk formula to babies who are bottle-fed will prevent insulin-dependent diabetes.

George W. Dougherty, assistant professor of public and urban affairs in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, was elected to the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) National Council for a three-year term. The ASPA sponsors conferences and provides professional services to those who study government policy and public administration. Dougherty’s areas of expertise include education policy, performance measurement, public law, and transportation policy. He was awarded the 2008 Innovation in Education Grant by Pitt’s Office of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business has named Dennis Slevin the inaugural holder of the Tom W. Olofson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies. Slevin, a professor of business administration in the Katz School, will lead the initiative to enhance entrepreneurship instruction to complement the outreach provided by the school’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence. The chair was established by Pitt alumnus Tom Olofson and his wife, Jeanne, who donated $1.5 million to the University through the Tom W. and Jeanne H. Olofson Foundation.

“Dennis Slevin is the ideal person to lead our entrepreneurship initiative,” said John T. Delaney, dean of the Katz School. “He is a recognized scholar in entrepreneurship, has great business experience, and is well connected to our region’s venture businesses. His appointment to the Olofson Chair is well deserved and has generated excitement at Pitt and in the community.”