Awards & more

Issue Date: 
January 23, 2012

Betina González-AzcárateBetina González-Azcárate

Betina González-Azcárate, who in 2011 earned her PhD in Hispanic languages and literatures in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, received the 2010-11 Eduardo Lozano Memorial Dissertation Prize, sponsored by Pitt’s Center for Latin American Studies and Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures in the Dietrich School. González-Azcárate was awarded the prize for the dissertation “Plotting Slaves, Talking Animals: The Politics of Morals in Nineteenth-Century Latin American Literature.” The Pitt dissertation prize honors internationally renowned librarian Eduardo Lozano, who developed and directed the Latin American Collection at the University’s Hillman Library from 1967 until his death in August 2006.

Maureen Porter, a professor in the Pitt School of Education’s Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, and Pitt School of Education doctoral students Heather Cunningham and Linda Deafenbaugh were selected as panelists at the annual American Folklore Society (AFS) meeting in Bloomington, Ind., in October. Their panel was titled “The Pennsylvania Standards for Folklife Education in Practice: Three Perspectives in Viability.”

In addition to collaborating on the panel, both Cunningham and Deafenbaugh were honored with merit awards at the conference. Cunningham, a PhD student in language, literacy, and culture who hails from Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood, was awarded the Robin-Roeder-Ward Fellowship, sponsored by the Folklore and Education Section of AFS. The award recognizes an educator engaged in folklore, ethnography or cultural heritage, and K-12 education. Deafenbaugh, a PhD student in the social and comparative analysis of education and a native of Chippewa Township in Beaver County, received the Archie Green Student Travel Award, sponsored by the Public Programs Section of AFS. This award, which helps defray travel costs to the annual AFS meeting, honors students who conduct research in an area of public folklore.

Sanford Asher, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, received the fourth annual Charles E. Kaufman Award of $50,000 for his developments in chemistry. The award is given annually by the Pittsburgh Foundation to an honoree who demonstrates “substantial contributions to science for both the betterment and understanding of human life.” Asher was chosen for his work in the chemistry of new materials and spectroscopic techniques for the study of molecules. He pioneered the development of Ultraviolet (UV) Raman spectroscopy, a technique used to study vibrational models in a system. He is currently working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a scanner that detects explosive materials at a distance.