Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
November 2, 2009

Listeners Can Vote for Pitt 92.1 WPTS in College Radio Station Competition

The University of Pittsburgh’s radio station, 92.1 WPTS—Pittsburgh’s Progressive FM, has been selected as one of the top five finalists competing for the mtvU Woodie Award for Best College Radio Station.

Listeners and supporters can vote for WPTS via through Nov. 9. The winner will be announced Nov. 18.

Established in 1984, WPTS evolved from the AM station WPGH, which was established in 1958 by a group of students led by Pitt alumnus Adrian Cronauer (A&S ’59), who was the inspiration for Robin Williams’ character in Good Morning Vietnam.

Pitt’s radio station is competing against radio stations from Ball State University; California State University, San Bernardino; University of Missouri; and University of Puget Sound.

—Kristin Shearer

Lecture on Forensic Science, Weapons of Mass Destruction

Forensic science has long been known for its role in solving crimes, but it has recently been playing an increasingly important role in the investigation and prosecution of incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for National Preparedness will present this issue during a lecture titled “Forensic Science and Weapons of Mass Destruction” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, in Room 532 Alumni Hall.

The lecture will be delivered by Randall S. Murch, the associate director of the Center for Technology, Security, and Policy at Virginia Tech and the former deputy director of the FBI Laboratory.

The event, which will be followed by a reception, is free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended by visiting

—Shannon Scannell

C.D. Wright to Speak at Pitt Nov. 5

Critically acclaimed poet C.D. Wright will give her perspective of the past, present, and future of poetry during an interview titled “The Future of Poetry I,” at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. Pitt English professor Dawn Lundy Martin will conduct the interview; Wright also will read selections from her poetry. The event is part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series’ 2009-10 season.

The interview will focus on Wright’s experiences as a writer, how her work has evolved, and the events that shaped her poetry. The discussion also will examine the ever-changing landscape of the genre and those who contribute to it.

Wright is the author of a dozen books, including Rising, Falling, Hovering (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), which won the 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her poems and essays have appeared in such literary magazines as American Letters & Commentary, Arshile, and Conjunctions. Among Wright’s numerous honors and distinctions are fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

All events in the Writers Series are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jeff Oaks at or visit

—Anthony M. Moore

Nordenberg Lecture In Law, Medicine, and Psychiatry to Focus on Genetic Testing

Gail H. Javitt will deliver the annual Mark A. Nordenberg Lecture in Law, Medicine, and Psychiatry, titled “Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing,” at noon Nov. 5 in the University of Pittsburgh Barco Law Building’s Teplitz Memorial Courtroom.

Javitt is counsel in Sidley Austin LLP’s food and drug regulatory division and a research scholar in the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. She previously served as the law and policy director at the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University. At the center, she was responsible for developing policy options to guide the development and use of reproductive technologies and is currently leading an initiative to improve oversight of genetic-testing quality.

Javitt has served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law, where she has taught food and drug law and genetics law. She was a Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics and Health Policy at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University, where she cotaught health law and regulation at the School of Public Health.

The lecture, named for Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, former dean of Pitt’s law school, is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board for one hour of substantive CLE credit. Registration is available at the door. There is a $25 fee to obtain CLE credit, with a check made payable to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
For more information, call 412-647-5700 or e-mail

—Kristin Shearer

Pitt’s Model U.N. Program Set for Nov. 9

Approximately 430 students from 26 high schools will participate in the University of Pittsburgh’s 13th Annual Model United Nations Simulation from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Nov. 9 in the William Pitt Union.

Students participating in the Model U.N. assume the role of diplomats and participate in mock sessions of bodies of the United Nations, including the Human Rights Council, the Environment Programme, the novice-level Development Programme, the Economic and Financial Committee, the Security Council, and the Disarmament and International Security Council. Each school delegation is assigned a country to represent in the negotiations, and this year, 49 countries will be represented. To prepare for the event, students research their assigned countries’ positions on a number of real-world issues.

Participants will discuss such issues as instability in the Asian subcontinent, chaos in Haiti, high-seas piracy, nuclear proliferation, volatile commodity prices, offshore banking, clean water and sanitation, urban sprawl, alternative energy, persistent organic pollutants, slavery, and prisoners’ rights.

For more information, visit or contact Luz Amanda Hank at 412-648-7394 or

—Kristin Shearer

Katz’s J. Jeffrey Inman to Discuss Consumer Marketing

With the downturn in the economy, it is especially important for marketing specialists to understand consumers’ “path to purchase” and how to effectively leverage that information into strategies at the shelf.

J. Jeffrey Inman, the Albert Wesley Frey Professor of Marketing in Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, is a leading researcher in consumer marketing. At 7:30 a.m. Nov. 10, he will discuss the latest trends and topics in consumer marketing and highlight 10 conclusions from his latest research.

The event, which is part of the Katz School’s Pittsburgh Executive Series, will be held on the fifth floor of Alumni Hall. Registration is required. To register or for more information, contact Linda Anderson at 412-648-1608 or

—Amanda Leff