Lives of Impact: Faculty

  • Grammy Contender

    Gerri Allen (A&S ’83G), associate professor of music and director of Jazz Studies, is a celebrated pianist and composer. Her work attracted a 2016 Grammy Award nomination in the Best Historical Album category, and her compositions have been featured on two Grammy-winning CDs.

  • Editor in Chief

    Jeremy Berg, associate senior vice chancellor for science strategy and planning in the health sciences (among other roles), was tapped to serve as editor in chief of Science magazine, the largest paid circulation peer-reviewed general science journal in the world.

  • Pitt's Latest AAAS Members

    Poet Terrance Hayes (pictured) and philosopher James Woodward were elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Both are professors in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

  • Lifetime Achievement

    Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy Nicholas Rescher won the Helmholtz Medal, the highest scholarly honor presented by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, in recognition of outstanding lifetime achievements in scholarship.

University of Pittsburgh faculty are working to define the very boundaries of their fields, as validated by the many honors bestowed by their peers.


Susanne AhmariMarlene CohenSusanne Ahmari (pictured, far left) and Marlene Cohen (pictured, left) were named 2015 McKnight Scholars, one of the nation’s most prestigious accolades for emerging neuroscience researchers. Ahmari is an assistant professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine, and Cohen is an assistant professor of neuroscience in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

Anna BalazsAnna Balazs, a distinguished professor in the Swanson School of Engineering, won the American Physical Society’s annual Polymer Physics Prize, which honors outstanding contributions to polymer physics research. She is the first woman to win this award in its 56-year history.

Yan DongNeuroscientist Yan Dong was honored with the Society for Neuroscience’s Jacob P. Waletzky Award for his innovative research into how drugs such as cocaine hijack the brain’s circuitry, leading to addiction. He is an associate professor of neuroscience in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

David BrentAnne NewmanThree Pitt faculty members were inducted into the Association of American Physicians, honoring their outstanding credentials in biomedical science and/or translational biomedical research. They are: David Brent (pictured, far left), who holds the endowed chair in suicide studies and is a professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, and epidemiology; Anne Newman (pictured, left), the Katherine M. Detre Endowed Chair of Population Health Sciences and chair of epidemiology in the Graduate School of Public Health; and Brian Zuckerbraun, the Henry T. Bahnson Professor of Surgery in the School of Medicine.

Sergey FrolovSergey Frolov, assistant professor in the Dietrich School’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been named a 2016 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. The honor recognizes early-career academic scientists and comes with a $100,000 award for research and teaching.

Ervin SejdicElizabeth SkidmoreFour faculty members received Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE): Tina Goldstein, associate professor of psychiatry, School of Medicine; Ervin Sejdic (pictured, far left), assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and of bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering; Elizabeth Skidmore (pictured, left), associate professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences; and Cynthia Puranik, in communication science and disorders, for work done while at Pitt.

Thomas KenslerThe National Cancer Institute awarded Outstanding Investigator Awards to Thomas Kensler (pictured, far left), a professor of pharmacology and chemical biology in the School of Medicine ($6.3 million), and virologist Patrick Moore (pictured, left), Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and the Pittsburgh Foundation Chair in Innovative Cancer Research in the School of Medicine ($6.4 million). This honor recognizes cancer researchers’ exceptional past achievements and provides support for further significant multiyear research.

Patricia KrobothSandra MitchellPatricia Kroboth (pictured, far left) in the School of Pharmacy and Sandra Mitchell (pictured, left) in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences were elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for their contributions to advancing science or its applications. Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed by the association’s members, who are internationally distinguished scientists, engineers, and innovators. Kroboth is dean of the School of Pharmacy and the Dr. Gordon J. Vanscoy Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Mitchell is professor and chair in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science.

Cait LambertonCait Lamberton, associate professor of marketing and the Ben L. Fryrear Chair of Marketing in Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, received the 2016 Erin Anderson Award from the American Marketing Association Foundation, recognizing the impact of her research publications and the strength of her mentoring activities.

Steven LittleSteven Little was elected a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society. He is a William Kepler Whiteford Professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering.


Paul W. LeuPaul W. Leu, associate professor of industrial engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering, received a National Science Foundation Faculty Career Development Award for his work on flexible metals. The award recognizes junior faculty who exemplify outstanding research and teaching.

Aníbal Pérez-LiñánAníbal Pérez-Liñán, professor of political science, was named editor in chief of Latin American Research Review, an interdisciplinary journal that publishes original research and surveys of current research on Latin America and the Caribbean.

Maureen W. McClureSchool of Education Professor Maureen W. McClure won the National Education Finance Conference Distinguished Research and Practice Fellow Award for exemplary research and practice in the field of public education finance.

H. Richard Milner IVH. Richard Milner IV, director of Pitt’s Center for Urban Education, was named a 2016 Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. He is the Helen S. Faison Endowed Chair of Urban Education and a professor in Pitt’s School of Education.

Deepika Mohan, assistant professor of critical care medicine and surgery in the School of Medicine, won a 2015 Director’s New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health. The award recognizes “exceptionally creative new investigators who propose highly innovative projects that have the potential for unusually high impact.”

Marcus RedikerGhosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels, a film produced by Distinguished Professor of History Marcus Rediker, won the John E. O’Connor Prize of the American Historical Association for the best historical documentary of the year.

Terence Starz was named Arthritis Healthcare Professional of the Year by the national Arthritis Foundation for his leadership role and extensive involvement in arthritis education, care, research, fundraising, and advocacy. He is a clinical professor of medicine and of occupational therapy.

Amy WilliamsAmy Williams, a composer, pianist, and associate professor of music, was named a Guggenheim Fellow, an international honor recognizing those who have demonstrated exceptional creativity in the arts. She also won a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, given to midcareer composers who exhibit exceptional gifts.

Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico presented the annual Milan Hodža Award of Honor to Martin Votruba, head of Pitt’s Slovak Studies Program in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. The award is given for the advancement of knowledge of Slovak history and culture.

Savio L-Y. WooThe American Society of Mechanical Engineers has named an honor for Savio L-Y. Woo, Distinguished University Professor of Bioengineering in the Swanson School of Engineering and the founder and director of the Pitt Musculoskeletal Research Center. The ASME Savio L-Y. Woo Translational Biomechanics Medal will recognize society members who have translated meritorious bioengineering science to clinical practice.