Academic Accolades AY 2021-2022

Three Pitt researchers earned Charles E. Kaufman Foundation grants

Pitt researchers have been awarded a portion of a $2.1 million grant for Pennsylvania universities from the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation. The foundation, established by chemical engineer and entrepreneur Charles E. Kaufman, supports fundamental scientific research in chemistry, biology and physics at institutions throughout the commonwealth.

4 Pitt faculty members were named 2021 AAAS fellows

They join W.E.B. DuBois, Thomas Edison and Margaret Mead in having received one of science's highest honors.

Keisha N. Blain’s work named among ‘best history books’ by Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian Magazine has named history Associate Professor Keisha N. Blain’s new book, “Until I am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America” (Beacon Press, 2021), as one of the best history books published in 2021. The book is one of ten selected by the magazine.

Swanson School of Engineering Professors Named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

William “Buddy” Clark and Steven R. Little, both from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, have been selected as members of the 2021 Fellow class of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors.

Keisha N. Blain’s work named among ‘best history books’ by Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian Magazine has named history Associate Professor Keisha N. Blain’s new book, “Until I am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America” (Beacon Press, 2021), as one of the best history books published in 2021. The book is one of ten selected by the magazine.

Pitt researchers receive grant to explore wireless technology for people with disabilities

For people with disabilities who require assistance completing daily activities, wireless technologies can improve their ability to control their environment and quality of life — but implementing these systems remains a challenge.  

To help overcome these obstacles, the University of Pittsburgh has received a six-year, $4.6 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, through the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and the Administration for Community Living to create a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC). 

Scott Morgenstern receives Fulbright Specialist Program award

Pitt professor of political science Scott Morgenstern has earned a Fulbright Specialist Program award, the U.S. Department of State and Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has announced.

This nationally lauded scholar is helping Spanish speakers learn complex science.

Cavanaugh is one of 161 students in the 57th class of Presidential Scholars — and one of two Presidential Scholars currently attending Pitt. Both students were featured in a video shared by the Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and are in Pitt’s University Honors College.

The U.S. Presidential Scholar and first-year Pitt student is already exploring research opportunities and taking on leadership roles.

Richard Su Fang was in an AP Psychology class when he learned he would be a 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholar. As a member of the 57th class of scholars, Fang joined a group of 161 students of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. The program, established in 1964, is one of the country’s highest honors for graduates.


Rory Cooper receives the John P. McGovern Science and Society Award 

Rory Cooper, assistant vice chancellor for research for health sciences and STEM collaboration, received the John P. McGovern Science and Society Award from the Sigma Xi Research Society. Recipients of this award represent individuals who have supported research, the communication of science and the impact of science on society.

Tracey Conti elected as new chair of Department of Family Medicine 

Conti will foster collaborative relationships across and beyond Pitt and UPMC, focusing on developing a community-based strategy for primary care in the region.

Jill Sarada named director of the Falk Laboratory School 

Sarada will be responsible for leading with strategic vision, fostering academic excellence, strengthening Falk’s overall community and ensuring Falk’s financial future.

Iris Marion Young Awards for Political Engagement winners announced 

The winners of the award, which recognizes those who promote justice, were honored at a Nov. 11 event.

Todd Reeser will be a fellow at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study 

Reeser will spend next spring in residence at the university to work on a book project exploring trans representation and conceptions of French citizenship.

Robert K. Cunningham appointed interim executive director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition 

The CNBC is a collaboration between Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University that advances research into the cognitive and neural mechanisms that give rise to behavior.

Five Pitt researchers receive National Institutes of Health grants to support 'trailblazing' ideas in biomedical science

These grants accelerate scientific discovery by supporting creative, trailblazing ideas in clinical and basic biomedical science that may struggle under the conventional funding mechanism but could have a transformative effect in addressing important challenges in medicine.

Mathematician Piotr Hajłasz wins Poland’s Sierpiński Medal

Piotr Hajłasz, a professor and graduate director of the Department of Mathematics, is the 2021 recipient of Poland's Sierpiński Medal.

Kevin Kearns receives teaching excellence award

Kevin Kearns has received the Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Danielle Obisie-Orlu champions love, empathy as county youth poet laureate

Allegheny County’s new youth poet laureate said she works to incorporate empathy, understanding and passion into her work and life.

Two Pitt physicists win American Physics Society awards

Physics Professor Vittorio Paolone was part of a team that was awarded the W.K.H. Panofsky Prize, which recognizes achievements in particle physics, while Assistant Professor Andrew Mugler’s team was given the Irwin Oppenheim Award, which recognizes a paper published in the journal Physical Review E.

Jessica Jarvis awarded funding for work to assess racial equity in children’s rehabilitation therapy

Jessica Jarvis, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the School of Medicine, was awarded Gabriella E. Molnar-Swafford Pediatric PM&R Research Grant by the Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Valerie Kinloch will chair the National Council of Teachers of English's annual convention this November

Valerie Kinloch, Pitt Education’s Renée and Richard Goldman Dean and professor, is chairing the convention and is president-elect of NCTE.

Announcing The 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2021

Each year, Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP recognize 40 outstanding individuals under the age of 40 whose creativity, vision and passion enrich the Pittsburgh region. We proudly announce the class of 2021, featuring many members of the University of Pittsburgh!

Utibe Essien Receives AAMC Award

Utibe Essien, assistant professor of medicine in Pitt’s School of Medicine, is the recipient of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2021 Herbert W. Nickens Faculty Fellowship Award.

Ruth Mostern publishes new book

Ruth Mostern, associate professor in the Department of History and director of Pitt’s World History Center, has published her new book titled “The Yellow River: A Natural and Unnatural History.”

Historian Keisha N. Blain named New America Fellow

Keisha N. Blain, an award-winning historian and writer, and associate professor of history in the Dietrich School, added one more prestigious award to her resume.

$25 million grant-funded radio spectrum project includes Pitt professors

A new $25 million NSF grant will fund researchers from 29 organizations developing new approaches and techniques for divvying up the real estate of radio waves that connect many of our devices.

Means Selected for Rockefeller Fellowship

Darris Means, an associate professor at the School of Education, has been selected as a 2021 Richard P. Nathan Policy Fellow of the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Huguley Named Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Associate Professor James Huguley has been named the School of Social Work’s inaugural associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Armony Named Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo Fellow

Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Director of UCIS Ariel C. Armony is one of 25 fellows named to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo.

Patel Publishes New Book

Leigh Patel, a professor in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Foundations, Organizations and Policy, has published her new book titled “No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education.”

Cooper Receives Science and Society Award

Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, has honored Pitt’s Rory Cooper with the John P. McGovern Science and Society Award.

Reid-Vazquez Receives NEA Humanities Grant

Michele Reid-Vazquez, associate professor of Africana Studies, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for Higher Education grant.

Duck Wins Charles Horton Cooley Book Award

Pitt faculty member Waverly Duck has won the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction’s Charles Horton Cooley Book Award for “Tacit Racism.” 

Ghilani Wins Grant to Create Free Materials for Course

Jessica Ghilani, associate professor of communication at Pitt-Greensburg, is among the inaugural recipients of a PA Grants for Open and Affordable Learning (GOAL) award.

Researchers Get $100K Grant to Track Aneurysms

Engineering’s David Vorp and Timothy Chung are working in collaboration with the School of Medicine’s Nathan Liang to develop a new model to better predict at-risk patients. 

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