Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
March 2, 2009

Economic Policy Institute’s Richard Rothstein to Speak

The University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Policy Center (LPC) will present a lecture by Richard Rothstein from 2:30 to 4 p.m. March 3 in 5604 Posvar Hall. The lecture, “Getting Accountability Right,” is part of LPC’S 2008-09 colloquium series, Excellence and Equity in an Era of Accountability.

A research associate of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., Rothstein was the national education columnist for The New York Times from 1992 to 2002 and a visiting professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, from 2003 to 2006. He also is the author of many books, including Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (Teachers College Press, 2004).

Based on his newest book, Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (Teachers College Press, 2008), Rothstein’s lecture will focus on a new kind of accountability plan for public education that relies on higher-quality testing and professional evaluation. The lecture is free to the public, but an RSVP is required.  To RSVP, visit or contact Julia Kaufman at

—Meredith Johnson

Joshua Rifkin Residency to Honor Mary S. Lewis

Musicologist, conductor, pianist, and recording artist Joshua Rifkin will be in-residence in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Music from March 3 to 5 to honor Pitt musicology professor Mary S. Lewis, who is retiring this spring after more than 22 years on Pitt’s faculty.

Best known to the general public for his leading role in the ragtime revival of the early 1970s through his Nonesuch solo recordings of Scott Joplin’s piano works, Rifkin will meet with graduates and undergraduates and deliver a public lecture, “Bach’s Struggle … and Mine. Reflections on the B Minor Mass.” The free lecture will be held at 4 p.m. on March 3 in Room 132 of the Music Building and will be followed by a reception.

Lewis specializes in early music and the music of the Renaissance. Her three-volume work, Antonio Gardano, Venetian Music Printer 1538-1569: A Descriptive Bibliography and Historical Study (Garland Press, 1988), received the Music Library Association’s 2007 Vincent H. Duckles Award, given annually for the best book-length bibliography or other research music tool.

—Phil Thompson

DePaul Distinguished Research Professor of Law to Lecture

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law will present a lecture by M. Cherif Bassiouni, distinguished research professor of law, at 4:30 p.m. March 5 in 113 Barco Law Building. The lecture, “The Conflict Between Justice and Power,” is this year’s selection for the annual Lawyering for Social Change Lecture.

Bassiouni is a research professor of law at DePaul University College of Law and president emeritus of the International Human Rights Law Institute. He also serves as president of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences in Siracusa, Italy, as well as the honorary president of the International Association of Penal Law in Paris, France.

Bassiouni held several positions with the United Nations, including chair of the Security Council’s Commission to Investigate War Crimes in the former Yugoslavia (1992-94). He also is the author of 27 books and hundreds of articles dealing with criminal law and international human rights law.

The event is open to the public and will be followed by a reception. For more information, contact Lila Turner Steffy at 412-648-1305 or

­—Meredith Johnson

FEMA Official to Discuss Federal Emergency Management

To provide insight into the nation’s preparation for unforeseen natural disasters or man-made terror, the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for National Preparedness (CNP) will host a lecture by Jonathan Sarubbi, an administrator for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III, at 3 p.m. March 5 in 528 Alumni Hall. The lecture, part of the CNP’s 2008-09 Seminar Series, is titled “Federal Emergency Management.”

As a regional administrator, Sarubbi coordinates FEMA’s emergency preparedness, mitigation, and disaster- response and recovery activities. His talk will focus on the mission of FEMA and the unique challenges found within Region III, which comprises the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia as well as the District of Columbia. He also will discuss anticipated changes to FEMA’s policies in the Obama Administration.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is recommended. For more information or to register, visit or call 412-624-8291.

­—Anthony M. Moore
Pitt to Host Documentary
Director, Writer Ed Robbins

The University of Pittsburgh’s Global Studies Program and the Global Solutions Education Fund Pittsburgh will present a free public lecture by Ed Robbins, documentary director, writer, and videographer at 6 p.m. March 26 in 113 Barco Law Building.

During his address, Robbins will share his personal experiences in shaping war and crisis stories into documentaries. He also will address the issues associated with that process, including possible ethical implications of amateur photographers disseminating on the Internet images from inside war-torn countries.

Robbins is an award-winning director, writer, producer, and videographer of national and international documentaries on a wide range of subjects. He has worked in many countries, including Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, Iraq, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria. Robbins’ programs have been shown on highly respected broadcasting outlets around the globe, including ABC News’ Nightline, BBC2, PBS, and National Geographic.

This lecture is part of the spring Global Issues Lecture Series, Images of War: Representations of Conflict and their Impact on Public Discourse. For more information, contact Veronica Dristas at 412-624-2918 or

­—Amanda Leff