Awards & More

Issue Date: 
June 11, 2007


Pitt’s University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) has awarded the seventh annual Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Awards, established in memory of the center’s assistant director who died in September 2000 at age 49. The awards, according to UCSUR director Richard Schulz, are intended to “continue the trend begun by Steve Manners, which was to support faculty members and their research and to improve the research infrastructure at the University.”

This year’s awardees are Patricia Isabel Documet, Jeffrey Shook, and Michael Vaughn. Information on them and their projects follows:

Patricia Isabel Documet, assistant professor of behavioral and community health sciences in the Graduate School of Public Health, won her award for a project titled “Groundwork for Testing a Collectivist Approach to Cervical Cancer Screening Among Latinas.”
Latinas and other underrepresented groups are underscreened for cervical cancer and share a disproportionate burden of disease and death as a result. The project’s research will develop a standardized training curriculum for women who will recruit other women, pilot test measures of social networking and attitudes toward screening among community women, and field a clinic preparation strategy to deliver a collectivist approach to cancer screening. It is important to conduct this research in a “new growth area” such as Western Pennsylvania, because these areas have almost no services addressing cultural differences. If successful, the group visit approach has the potential to deliver culturally competent care and therefore improve compliance with screening guidelines, thus preventing disease and death. This information can be used by researchers, practitioners, public health workers, and Latinos, as well as policymakers and administrators.

Jeffrey Shook and Michael Vaughn, both assistant professors in the School of Social Work, won the award for a project titled “The Back End of the Criminal Justice Process: An Exploratory Study of the Experiences and Outcomes of Juveniles on Adult Probation and Parole.”

Legislative changes over the last several decades have eased the process of treating juveniles as adults in the justice systems. These changes have led to an increasing number of juveniles tried and sentenced as adults. Many of these youth end up receiving a probation or short prison sentence. Using administrative data and probation and parole officer case notes, this pilot project will focus on what is known as the “back end” of the criminal justice process by examining the pathways that juveniles follow after being sentenced to probation or released on parole. This research will both add to existing knowledge concerning the consequences of treating juveniles as adults and examine the feasibility of a larger funded project to expand understandings of the experiences and outcomes of juveniles at the back end of the criminal justice process.

UCSUR offers annual awards in two categories: Research Development Grants to support pilot research in the social, behavioral, and policy sciences; and Infrastructure Development Awards aimed at enhancing faculty capabilities to carry out interdisciplinary research in the social, behavioral, and policy sciences.

For more information about the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Awards, contact UCSUR at 412-624-5442.

Joanna McKee, a University Honors College senior majoring in nursing, was named the 2007 Emma W. Locke Award winner during Pitt’s annual Honors Convocation, held during the spring term. McKee, who had a 3.97 GPA, graduated from Pitt last month with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from the Honors College.

Established in 1946 by Charles A. Locke in memory of his mother, the Emma Locke W. Award is presented annually to a graduating senior in recognition of high scholarship, character, and devotion to the ideals of the University. The student must have at least a 3.85 GPA and plan to continue his or her education after graduation.

Also during the Honors Convocation, seniors Andrea E. Youngo, majoring in marketing and communication and rhetorical studies, and Joseph Pasqualichio, majoring in electrical engineering with a minor in economics, received the 2007 Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Senior of the Year Award.

ODK, founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., is an honorary society that recognizes students who maintain a high standard of leadership in collegiate activities. The award is given to students who possess and exhibit outstanding leadership qualities in service to the University.

The National Council of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity, has awarded Jack R. Anderson, director of bands at Pitt, the Distinguished Service to Music Medal in the Instrumental Music Education category. Anderson received the honor at the Pitt Symphonic Band’s annual spring concert, on April 15.

Pitt’s Alpha Omega Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, which was established in 1919 to promote the advancement of college and university bands, nominated Anderson, an alumnus of the fraternity, for the award, which recognizes extraordinary accomplishments by those actively supporting college and university bands. Anderson joins a distinguished group of previous recipients that includes former Pitt director of bands Robert L. “Ace” Arthur, one of Anderson’s mentors. The fraternity’s membership roster includes such illustrious names as Count Basie, Ray Charles, Van Cliburn, Bill Clinton, John Philip Sousa, and John Williams.

At Pitt, Anderson directs the Varsity Marching Band, leads the Pep Bands at athletic events, and conducts the Pitt Symphonic Band. He has been involved with the Pitt Band since the age of two, when he went to his first Pitt band camp, accompanying his father, who was the assistant director of bands. Anderson played in the Pitt Band in the late 1960s and early ‘70s and holds an undergraduate degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Anderson became Pitt’s director of bands in 1995. In 2001, Tau Beta Sigma, the national honorary band sorority, conferred on Anderson its Paula Crider Outstanding Band Director Award.

Fiona Cheong, a professor in the Pitt School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of English, has received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) 2007 Fellowship to further her artistic career. The honor includes a $10,000 grant, which was awarded on the basis of writing submitted from Cheong’s unpublished manuscript, titled Chinese.

Since its inception in 1966, PCA has fostered excellence, diversity, and vitality in the arts in Pennsylvania. The council annually awards fellowships of $5,000 to $10,000 to support outstanding Pennsylvania artists.

Cheong is the cofounder and co-mentor of the Asian American Writers’ Forum, an organization of graduate and advanced undergraduate writers of color within the Pitt community. She teaches contemporary fiction, Asian American and transnational literature, creative writing pedagogies, and women’s studies at Pitt. Cheong also teaches both graduate and undergraduate fiction workshops. She is a member of Pitt’s Writing Program Committee.

Emil M. Spadafore Jr. has been elected chair of the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville (UPT) Advisory Board. Spadafore had previously served as vice chair of the board, which is made up of local and regional representatives who serve as advocates for UPT and as advisors to the campus’ president.

Spadafore earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Pitt in 1971 and his Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University’s School of Law in 1976. He has been a partner in the law firm of Thomas, Spadafore, Walker and Keenan in Meadville since 1989. For the past six years, Spadafore has served as an adjunct faculty member at UPT, teaching courses in business law, introduction to criminal justice, critical issues in criminal justice, introduction to criminology, courts and the law, society and the law, and law and politics.

John S. Lazo, director of Pitt’s Drug Discovery Institute and Allegheny Foundation Professor of Pharmacology, has received the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.