Four Professors Honored With Provost’s Mentoring Award

Issue Date: 
March 30, 2009

Four members of the University of Pittsburgh faculty are recipients of the 2009 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, an award that recognizes faculty for their mentoring of doctoral students. The winners were selected from a pool of nominees whose names were submitted by Pitt doctoral students and faculty.

The awardees will be honored from 3 to 5 p.m. April 7 at a reception in the Lower Lounge of Pitt’s William Pitt Union.

The honorees are Susan Campbell, professor of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences; Dennis Curran, Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry and Bayer Professor in the School of Arts and Sciences; Raman Venkataramanan, professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the School of Pharmacy; and Bell Yung, professor of music in the School of Arts and Sciences. Each of the honorees will receive a cash price of $2,500.

“Fundamental to the success of our doctoral programs are the faculty members who serve as mentors to our graduate students,” said Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor James V. Maher. “Our faculty mentors provide intellectual and personal leadership that helps to support, encourage, and promote the personal and professional development of our students. The faculty selected for these awards exemplify our commitment to the excellence of graduate education at the University of Pittsburgh.”

Information on each of the recipients follows.

Susan Campbell has chaired the Developmental Program in the Department of Psychology for the past eight years. Prior to that, she was chair of the department’s Clinical Psychology Program. In 1990, Campbell cofounded Pitt’s Joint Program in Clinical and Developmental Psychology, which has become a model used by other psychology departments across the country. Among her students are faculty members at the University of Iowa, the University of Chicago, Penn State, and the University of Pittsburgh. Many of them are in private practice; included among others are the director of the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program at the Miami VA Healthcare System, a research associate at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, and a psychologist at Allegheny General Hospital. Campbell is the former editor and current associate editor of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. She has served as primary advisor for 22 doctoral students and is now advising three others.

Dennis Curran, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is a recipient of the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry, the University of Pittsburgh Innovator Award, and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award. Many of his students are now top senior scientists at such premier companies as Bayer Corporation, Eli Lilly & Company, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and the Merck Corporation. Among others are faculty members at Kent State University, Korea University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Still others are in postdoctoral positions at Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Michigan. He has been the primary advisor to 59 doctoral students and is currently advising three others.

Some of the students who were mentored by Raman Venkataramanan have gone on to become faculty members at Mercer University, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, King Saud University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Others hold top senior scientist positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Glaxo Smith Kline, and the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Venkataramanan is a fellow of both the American College of Clinical Pharmacology and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He was the primary advisor for 16 doctoral students and is currently advising seven others.

Bell Yung, formerly the director of Pitt’s Asian Studies Center, has been the recipient of Ford Foundation grants and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.  He also was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers. Among his students are professors at the University of Maryland, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of California at San Diego, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and at the National Taiwan University. He has served as the primary advisor for 14 doctoral students and is now advising four others.