Nordenberg Announces 2010 Distinguished Teaching and Public Service Awards

Issue Date: 
February 8, 2010

Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg has announced the winners of the 2010 Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Public Service Awards.

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award will be given to the following five Pitt faculty members:

Carl Bodenschatz Carl Bodenschatz

Carl Bodenschatz, a senior lecturer in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Statistics and director of Pitt’s Undergraduate Statistics Program;

Robert J. Gilbert Robert J. Gilbert

Robert J. Gilbert, a professor of business administration in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration;

Anthony C. Infanti Anthony C. Infanti

Anthony C. Infanti, a professor in the School of Law;

Shalini Puri Shalini Puri

Shalini Puri, director of the English Literature Program and a professor in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of English; and

Bill J. Yates Bill J. Yates

Bill J. Yates, a professor of otolaryngology and neuroscience in the School of Medicine.

The 2010 Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Awards, which honor faculty for outstanding contributions to the community, will be presented to the following two Pitt faculty members:

Linda R. FrankLinda R. Frank

Linda R. Frank, a professor in the Graduate School of Public Health’s Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and director of the Master of Public Health Program, Community and Behavioral Interventions for Infectious Diseases; and

Lawrence A. FrolikLawrence A. Frolik

Lawrence A. Frolik, a professor in the School of Law.

Each awardee will receive a $2,000 cash prize and a $3,000 grant for the support of his or her teaching or public service activities. The awardees will be recognized during Pitt’s 34th annual Honors Convocation on Friday, Feb. 26. Their names also will be inscribed on plaques in the William Pitt Union.

Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Awards

Bodenschatz was honored for his abilities to teach and lead, both inside and outside of the classroom. He has taught statistics at Pitt for almost 10 years, and prior to joining the University, he taught in the Department of Mathematical Sciences in the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Nordenberg, in his letter informing Bodenschatz of his Distinguished Teaching Award, commended him for engaging students by posing “real-world” statistical problems. The chancellor also praised him for taking time to mentor students, advising them on issues ranging from professionalism and service to dedication and personal responsibility.
“The impact of your efforts is reflected in the sentiments of the 3,562 students whom you have taught during your teaching career, many of whom consider you to be the best instructor they have had,” wrote Nordenberg.

The chancellor also noted in his letter that the number of statistics undergraduate majors has tripled since Bodenschatz became director of the Undergraduate Statistics Program.

Gilbert was recognized for his passion for teaching and his innovative approach in the classroom.

Nordenberg praised Gilbert for his course development innovations, which, the chancellor said, have drawn national attention to Pitt’s undergraduate business program. “Your Projects in Marketing class has afforded students the opportunity to develop a marketing campaign for world-class firms such as Honda, Nissan, Recording Industry Association of America, and Goal Financial,” wrote Nordenberg.

Gilbert has consistently received high ratings on student evaluations in teaching questionnaires. In addition, he has been recognized by his peers as the College of Business Administration Teacher of the Year for four out of the past six years. “Your outstanding record of teaching accomplishment adds to the distinction of the University of Pittsburgh,” Nordenberg said.

Infanti joined Pitt’s faculty in 2000 after leaving his private legal practice in New York City. His primary area of expertise is taxation, and the majority of his courses at Pitt have focused on the tax arena, including federal income tax, as well as corporate, international, and estate and gift taxes.

Nordenberg, in his letter notifying Infanti about the award, said Infanti’s selection recognized his “exceptional commitment” to preparing his students for the practice of law.

“Your dedication is also evident in the work that you do beyond the formal curriculum, including coaching student teams in tax moot court competitions and serving as chief faculty editor of the student-run journal, the Pittsburgh Tax Review,” the chancellor wrote.

Puri joined Pitt’s faculty in 1994 and was given the responsibility of globalizing the University’s curricular offerings in English. She was eventually named director of the English Literature Program, which has allowed her to continue to help shape the department’s teaching agenda. Puri has taught across Pitt’s English Studies curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate students.

In his letter notifying Puri of her Distinguished Teaching Award, Nordenberg wrote that the honor “recognizes your impact on the teaching mission of the Department of English in expanding the horizons of your students through novel interdisciplinary and cross-programmatic methods.”

“Your expertise has been used to educate docents at the Carnegie and your classroom teaching has been inspiring, challenging, and continuously successful, as evidenced by the high marks on student evaluation of teaching that you have received,” the chancellor added.

In his letter notifying Yates of his award, Nordenberg wrote, “this honor recognizes your dedication to undergraduate research, your sustained commitment as a mentor to your students, and your progressive teaching style.”

Nordenberg noted that Yates, as a faculty member in the School of Medicine whose primary responsibility is running a successful laboratory, is not required to teach. However, Yates chose to do so by seeking a secondary appointment in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Neuroscience.

Yates works with an average of seven undergraduate students a term in his lab; he has coauthored journal articles with 34 undergraduate students and awarded one of his students the privilege and responsibility of lead authorship. “The University is proud to reward your many contributions to excellence in teaching with this award,” Nordenberg wrote.

Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Awards

In a letter congratulating Frank for her award, Nordenberg wrote that “the selection committee was particularly impressed by your many public service contributions that have increased general knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS, diminished the stigma associated with the disease, and reduced disparities with regard to patient access among minorities and other underserved populations.”

Frank has served on numerous committees, organizations, initiatives, and regional boards, including the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force and AIDS Action, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group that engages legislators, government officials, and others in efforts to ensure that HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment receive a high funding priority. Frank has been funded at major levels by federal and state agencies to launch training and technical assistance programs and demonstration projects, including multiyear federal funding to serve as the principal investigator and executive director of the Pennsylvania/Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education and Training Center, headquartered at Pitt.

Frolik is known as one of the founders of the field of elder law. His scholarly work in the areas of establishing trusts by parents of adult children with disabilities and treating aspects of guardianship has resulted in several appointments, including an academic membership on the Special Needs Trust Alliance and appointment to a special committee of the Pennsylvania State Government Commission charged with considering changes to the state’s guardianship law.

“You have made a significant impact on the quality of life for older adults in our state and our nation,” Nordenberg wrote in his letter informing Frolik of his award. “As a member of the Executive Council of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons, you played a pivotal role in shaping AARP’s position on various components of long-term care, provided guidance and direction on elder-abuse issues, and worked to ensure the well-being and protection of older adults,” the chancellor added.