Awards & More

Issue Date: 
October 22, 2007

Anthony Delitto, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, is the first Pitt faculty member to receive the Mary McMillan Award from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The award is given to acknowledge and honor a member of the APTA who has made a distinguished contribution to the profession and to provide the recipient with an opportunity to share his or her achievements and ideas with members through a lecture presented at the association’s annual conference. Delitto will address the annual APTA conference June 2008 in San Antonio.

Michael L. Boninger, professor of physical and medical rehabilitation and associate dean for medical student research in Pitt’s School of Medicine, is the recipient of the eighth annual Ben L. Boynton, M.D., Lectureship. This honor is given through the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Robert J. Weber, professor and chair of pharmacy and therapeutics in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy, has been chosen to receive the Clifton J. Latiolais Award at the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) Midyear Clinical Meeting at Ohio State University. The annual award is given to an OSU graduate who demonstrates exemplary career accomplishments in hospital pharmacy.

Marilyn Hravnak, assistant professor in Pitt’s School of Nursing, has been chosen to receive the 2008 Norma J. Shoemaker Award for Critical Care Nursing Excellence at the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Awards Presentation in February in Honolulu. The award is presented in recognition of an active SCCM nurse member who demonstrates superiority in critical care practice.

L. Dade Lunsford, Lars Leksell Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and codirector of UPMC’s Center For Image-Guided Neurosurgery, was the honored guest and featured speaker at the 2007 Annual Congress of Neurological Surgeons meeting in San Diego in September.

Hans-Christoph Pape, chief of the orthopedic trauma division in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery in Pitt’s School of Medicine, has been appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection and Critical Care. Pape was chosen for his expertise in trauma care and his review of manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Trauma. He will serve on the board for five years.

Kristine Schonder, assistant professor in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy, was appointed to serve as a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Educational Affairs Committee. The committee is developing a pharmacotherapy curriculum tool kit to assist schools and colleges of pharmacy in shaping their own curricula.

Alexander Doemling, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy, conducted the short course, Multicomponent Reaction Chemistry and Its Applications to Drug Discovery, at the University of Bologna in Italy. He conducted the same course at the Technical University of Vienna in Austria, where he stayed as a visiting professor. The course also will be held at the Universities of Lund and Göteborg in Sweden in December.

Albert B. Ferguson Jr., who chaired the Department of Orthopedic Surgery in Pitt’s School of Medicine from 1953 to 1986, is this year’s recipient of the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Distinguished Service Award. Ferguson, who pioneered the use of titanium and other durable materials for hip and knee replacements, joins a distinguished list of past recipients, including Pitt polio vaccine team leader Jonas Salk and former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

Ferguson was nominated for the award on behalf of the Allegheny County Society by its president, Krishnan Gopal. The nomination described Ferguson as an orthopedic surgery pioneer who is credited with setting the standard for using metals in the body. While at Pitt, he trained dozens of the world’s top orthopedic surgeons, who today practice not only throughout the country, but in many foreign countries as well.

Ferguson retired from active practice in 1986. Ferguson has published several medical textbooks and more than 200 scientific articles. In 2004, he was honored with the American Orthopedic Association Medal for outstanding contributions to orthopedic surgery.

Dan Drawbaugh, chief information officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), was honored Sept. 17 as InformationWeek magazine’s “Chief of the Year” for 2006. In its Dec. 4, 2006, issue, InformationWeek spotlighted the efforts of Drawbaugh and his team to deploy integrated information systems that ensure that patients at UPMC hospitals get the right care at the right time.

In addition, UPMC was named to the 2007 InformationWeek 500 list. According to InformationWeek, UPMC’s inclusion was based on its industry-leading efforts to improve service while reducing costs through technology “virtualization.” The resulting consolidation of computers and servers will save the hospital system an estimated $11 million in leases, connection costs, and power consumption over three years.

To be ranked, companies with at least $500 million in annual revenue are asked to complete qualifying applications that include essays on business technology strategies and a quantitative section on technology priorities. UPMC, ranked at No. 105, was among 22 health care and medical companies identified in the top 250. The health system has made the list every year since 2002.

Recent Rhodes Scholar Justin Chalker (A&S ’06) received the top score in organic chemistry for his first year thesis at Oxford University, London, where he pursuing an MS degree in organic chemistry. His thesis was rated along with the other 49 students in organic chemistry.

Terry Smith, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in Pitt’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture, has been named a GlaxoSmithKline Senior Fellow for the year. The award is one of four senior fellowships presented each year by the pharmaceutical company.

Steven L. Kanter, vice dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has been named the new editor-in-chief of Academic Medicine, the monthly, peer-reviewed journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Kanter will become editor of the journal on Jan. 1, 2008, while maintaining his current position at the University, where he oversees the School of Medicine’s faculty affairs and all academic programs. Kanter has served on the editorial board of American Medicine since 2005. His background includes experience in clinical medicine, medical informatics, medical education, and medical school administration.

Lauren B. Resnick, director of Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), was honored with the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training Award on Aug. 18. The APA established the Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training Award in 1999 to acknowledge the career achievements of psychologists who have contributed solutions to learning problems through research findings and evidence-based practices.

Resnick was recognized for her study of how to improve the nation’s schools and for implementing the ideas she developed over several decades, keeping apace with evolving educational issues. Resnick is the eighth APA member to receive the award and one of two current Pitt faculty to be so honored. Pitt’s School of Education Dean Alan M. Lesgold received the award in 2001.

Judy McConnaha was named senior director of undergraduate studies in Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences effective Sept. 17. McConnaha has worked in university administration for more than eight years and has expertise in budgeting, personnel management, team building, and policy development. She earned BA degrees in horticulture and English at Ohio State University and a Master of Public Policy degree at the University of Northern Iowa.

Two faculty members and a student in Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences have been awarded fellowships by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, professor of French literature, received an ACLS Fellowship for her paper The Dream World of Philippe de Mézières (1327-1405): Politics and Spirituality in the Late Middle Ages, which examined the ideals and ideology that defined and divided late medieval Europe and the Near East as well as contemporary religious and political divisions; Cian Dorr, assistant professor of philosophy, received a Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship; and Clayton D. Brown, graduate student in history, received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/ACLS Early Career Fellowship Program Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

ACLS is a nonprofit federation of 69 national scholarly organizations. It describes its mission as “the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning in the humanities and the social sciences and the maintenance and strengthening of relations among the national societies devoted to such studies.” More than 200 scholars were honored with fellowships in 2006-07.