Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
December 1, 2008

Two Renowned Political Analysts to Speak at Pitt Dec. 3

As part of the American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series, the University of Pittsburgh Honors College will host two renowned governmental and political analysts for a lecture on America’s ever-changing political climate.

Thomas E. Mann, the W. Averell Harriman Senior Fellow in American Governance at The Brookings Institution, and Norman J. Ornstein, resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, will participate in a lecture titled “After the 2008 Elections: How Can They Govern?” at 8 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Twentieth Century Club, Bigelow Boulevard and Parkman Street, Oakland. Pitt political science professor and American politics expert Susan B. Hansen will moderate a discussion following the lecture.

Seating is limited for the free public event. Those interested in attending must RSVP with name, phone number, and name(s) of additional attendees to or 412-624-2654.

—Anthony M. Moore

Head of Urban Institute’s Education Policy Center Comes to Pitt Dec. 3

The University of Pittsburgh School of Education’s Learning Policy Center (LPC) will feature Jane Hannaway, founding director of the Education Policy Center within the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., as part of the LPC’s 2008-09 Colloquium Series.

Hannaway’s talk, “Unbounding Rationality: Education Policy and Practice in a Data-rich Environment,” will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 in Room 5604 Posvar Hall.

She will discuss the data systems that states and school districts are developing in response to accountability policies. In addition, Hannaway will consider the likely effects of these data systems on the structure, goals, and processes of education.

An organizational sociologist whose work focuses on the study of educational organizations, Hannaway also is the director of a new federally funded research center, CALDER (National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research). Hannaway previously served on the faculties of Columbia, Princeton, and Stanford universities.

The event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required and can be made at the LPC Web site, For more information, contact Julia Kaufman at 412-624-7035.

—Patricia Lomando White

Book Signing Set for The Fallingwater Cookbook


Elsie Henderson will share fond recollections of her life as a cook for the Kaufmann family at Fallingwater during a University of Pittsburgh Press book signing for Suzanne Martinson’s The Fallingwater Cookbook: Elsie Henderson’s Recipes and Memories (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008) at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Lower Lounge of the William Pitt Union. The book signing will be followed by a reception featuring desserts made from the cookbook.

Martinson is a two-time winner of both the James Beard Foundation Award and the Bert Greene Award for food journalism. She was first inspired to write The Fallingwater Cookbook while writing a story on Henderson in 1991 for the Pittsburgh Press.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Maria Sticco at 412-383-2493 or

—Anthony M. Moore

Dec. 5 Holiday Sale to Support Evelyn Wei Scholarship Fund

The fourth annual holiday sale to support the Evelyn H. Wei Memorial Scholarship Fund in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5 in the First Floor Lounge, Parran Hall.

Wei died on Jan. 23, 2004, after being struck two days earlier by a minivan near her home in Regent Square. She was 33. Wei earned her doctorate in psychiatric epidemiology in 1999 at GSPH. She earned a bachelor’s in psychology at Pitt in 1993. Wei was a senior research principal at the Pittsburgh Youth Study, part of UPMC’s life history studies program at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

The fundraiser is a way to honor Wei’s memory and support the training of promising public health students by providing scholarship and travel funds to enrich their educational experiences. The sale is open to the public. For more information, visit

—Clare Collins

Annual Nationality Rooms Holiday Open House Dec. 7

The University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning Commons Room will be filled with the sounds of music as folk singers and dancers perform and Nationality Room committees offer ethnic foods and crafts for purchase during the free annual Nationality Rooms Holiday Open House from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 7.

Each year, the 27 rooms that encircle the Cathedral of Learning’s Commons Room are trimmed to reflect their ethnic heritages. For the open house, guides in national dress will adapt their daily presentations to include descriptions of holiday traditions celebrated throughout the world.

In addition, open house attendees will be able to view traditional performances by the numerous dance and singing groups.

The Nationality Classrooms are gifts to the University from Pittsburgh’s ethnic groups. Built between 1938 and 2008, the rooms are designed in architectural styles appropriate to the countries for which they are named.

The holiday tours run through Jan 17. The rooms are closed Dec. 24, 25, and 26, 2008, and Jan. 1, 2009. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children ages 8 to 18. Children under 8 are admitted free. For the tour schedule, visit

—Patricia Lomando White

Pitt Plans 2008 Christmas Dinner for the Homeless

The University of Pittsburgh will host its third annual Salvation Army Christmas dinner for the homeless and needy from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 25 at Market Central in the lobby of Litchfield Towers. Pitt’s Volunteer Pool, along with University staff and faculty, serve and coordinate the dinner.

Each individual who attends receives a gift bag with candy and other small items, and a hat-and-glove set. Contributions of hat-and-glove sets can be delivered to 710 Alumni Hall by Friday, Dec. 12. More information is available by contacting Gwen Watkins, 412-624-7702.

Obama Security Detail: Pitt Police and Steelers, Too

The Pitt Police Special Emergency Response Team helped to provide security for President-elect Barack Obama during his visit to Pittsburgh this past spring during the presidential campaign. Left to right: Commander Fran Walsh; Pennsylvania Sen. Robert P. Casey; Officer Michael Pampena; former Pittsburgh Steeler Jerome Bettis; Officer Timothy Brickner; Police Chief Timothy Delaney; Obama; Officer Jason Bush; former Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris; Officer Paul Burgh; and Lieutenant Shawn Ellies.