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Honors & Other Things


Presidential Appointment: Dr. Mitchell

President George W. Bush has appointed Wharton economist Dr. Olivia S. Mitchell to the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security. Previously having taught at Harvard and Cornell Universities, Dr. Mitchell came to Wharton in 1993 as International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor of Insurance and Risk Management. She is also executive director of Wharton's Pension Research Council as well as a research associate at National Bureau of Economic Research--a position she has held since 1988.

Dr. Mitchell has been a consultant to World Bank, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Social Security Administration, U.S. Government Accounting Office and U.S. Treasury, among many other organizations. From 1993-1999 Dr. Mitchell served on the board of directors of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Royal Society Foreign Member

Dr. Clara Franzini-Armstrong, a professor in the department of cell and developmental biology and member of the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, was recently named a Foreign Member of the Royal Society--an independent scientific academy of the UK dedicated to promoting excellence in science--for "her ultra-structural studies of membranes and macromolecular complexes that are responsible for the functioning of skeletal and cardiac muscle. She provided the structural basis for understanding of the spread of the surface membrane electrical signal to the interior of the muscle fiber and the coupling between electrical events and contraction."

Ithiel de Sola Pool Award: Dr. Jamieson

Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, received the Ithiel de Sola Pool Award "for her exploration of the implications of research on politics in a global society," from the American Political Science Association. Dean Jamieson was among 25 people honored for their scholarly contributions to the field at the Association's annual meeting last August.

Elio Antonio de Nebrija Prize

Dr. Russell P. Sebold, emeritus professor of Romance languages, was awarded the International Elio Antonio de Nebrija Prize. The prize, considered the highest award of its kind in the field of Hispanism, is awarded annually to a foreign Hispanist by the Universidad de Salamanca, in Spain.

Dr. Sebold is the former chair of Romance languages. He is editor of the Hispanic Review and a prominent critic in the field of Spanish eighteenth and Romanticism studies. He is also a corresponding member of the Royal Spanish Academy and of the Catalan Academy of Belles Lettres.

Smithsonian Commission: Dr. Sabloff

Dr. Jeremy Sabloff, the Williams Director of the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, was named chairman of the Smithsonian's newly named Science Commission. The commission mission is "to advise the Secretary and the Board of Regents on the design of the full range of elements to be addressed" as it refines and focuses its scientific research activities.

Dr. Sabloff serves along with 18 commission members, whose areas of academic interest span the disciplines from anthropology to zoology.

SEAS Distinguished Research Award

Dr. Raymond J. Gorte, Russell Pearce and Elizabeth Crimian Heuer Professor of Chemical Engineering, was honored as the inaugural recipient of the 2001 Penn Engineering Distinguished Research Award on September 20, at Rainey Auditorium at the University Museum where he presented a lecture on Developing Fuel Cells that Run on Real Fuels.

Ranwell Caputto Award: Dr. Levitan

Dr. Irwin B. Levitan, chairman of the department of neuroscience and the David J. Mahoney Professor of Neurological Sciences at Penn's School of Medicine, has been named the recipient of the Ranwell Caputto Award for 2001.

The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the area of neurochemistry. It was presented at the biennial meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry, at which Dr. Levitan was the Society's Plenary Lecturer, discussing Molecular Mechanisms in the Modulation of Neuronal Excitability.

Dr. Levitan's ongoing research combines biochemistry, molecular biology, and electrophysiology in its quest to discover the ways in which nerve cell activity is regulated to control behavior.

Dr. Levitan is the Secretary of the Neuroscience Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has recently been elected to their Governing Council.

NEH Grant to Dr. Cassanelli

Dr. Lee Cassanelli, associate professor of history who teaches African history, oral history, and comparative world history, was given $126,773 from the National Endowment for the Humanies for The Indian Ocean: Cradle of Globalization, a four-week national institute for 25 college and university teachers to study the emerging scholarship on globalization and world and global history, focusing on communities on the shores of the Indian Ocean.

This award was one of 389 recently announced NEH grants to museums, colleges and other educational institutions across the U.S.--totaling $20.9 million. The grants fall into four areas: preservation and access, research, education, and public programs.

CHOP Names a New Physician-in-Chief

Pediatric hematologist Dr. Alan R. Cohen has been named physician-in-chief at Children's Hospital and chair-designate of the Departments of Pediatrics both at CHOP and the School of Medicine. Dr. Cohen, who has been a UPHS staff member for 23 years, succeeds Dr. Steven M. Altschuler, who was named president and chief executive officer of CHOP last year.

As physician-in-chief, Dr. Cohen leads the Hospital's largest department, encompassing 18 divisions with 345 physicians. Working closely and collaboratively with Dr. Altschuler, Dr. Cohen has major responsibility for the Hospital's missions of patient care, research and education.

Dr. Cohen is world-renowned for his work with thalassemia, also known as Cooley's anemia, and has played a leading role in developing new approaches to the treatment of this inherited blood disorder. In 1997, Philadelphia Magazine cited him as one of Philadelphia's "world class" doctors in pediatric hematology for his expertise in thalassemia and other blood disorders. Dr. Cohen presently is the principal investigator for two research grants related to thalassemia from the NIH.

Veterinary Honors

Bertner Memorial Award

Early last week, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center gave The Ernst W. Bertner Memorial Award to Dr. Ralph Brinster, Richard King Mellon Professor of Reproductive Physiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Established in 1950, the award is conferred annually on a physician or scientist who has made distinguished contributions to cancer research.

... More Vet School Honors

Dr. Carl E. Aronson, associate professor emeritus of pharmacology/toxicology, was given the Lloyd E. Davis Award of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics' (AAVPT). This prestigious award honors outstanding, career-long contributions to the advancement and extension of knowledge in the fields of veterinary or comparative pharmacology.

Dr. Charles Benson, professor of microbiology, was honored by the Boy Scouts of America for his volunteer work. Dr. Benson was presented the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award given by the organization to adult volunteers.

Dr. Benson also received a grant from the Pennsylvania Animal Health Commission for his study, Treatment of Staphylococcal Mastitis using Specific Bacteriophage.

Dr. David Kritchevsky, Caspar Wistar Scholar and professor of biochemistry, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by Purdue University. Dr. Kritchevsky was recognized for "outstanding contributions to nutrition research elucidating the unique tole of lipids, calories and fiber in human nutrition and disease."

Dr. Kritchevsky was also made a fellow by The American Oil Chemists' Society.

Dr. Adrian Morrison, professor of behavioral science, has been elected vice president of the Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research.

W.W. Smith Chair in Pediatric Genomics

CHOP has designated Dr. Vivian G. Cheung as the recipient of the William Wikoff Smith Endowed Chair in Pediatric Genomic Research. The chair was established by a $ 1 million gift from the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust.

Dr. Cheung, a pediatrician and molecular geneticist, is a national pioneer in building and using DNA microarrays. Microarrays are glass or silicon slides holding rows of nucleic acid molecules through which computerized technology is used to rapidly process vast amounts of biological information. Potential uses include gene discovery, diagnostic tests and analyzing variations among individual patients in their disease susceptibility and responses to drugs.

"This endowed chair in pediatric genomics is the first of its kind to be established at a children's hospital and among the first in this burgeoning new field to be awarded at any medical institution," said Dr. Steven M. Altschuler, CHOP president and CEO.

"The gift of this chair brings to 44 the number of endowed chairs at CHOP and brings the Hospital's researchers closer to discovering and ultimately correcting faulty genes responsible for a multitude of childhood diseases," he said.

UPHS ‘Wired' for Health

The University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) has been named one of the nation's "100 Most Wired" hospitals and health care systems in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association.

Nursing Honors

Distinguished Nurse Alumni Award

Dr. F. Deborah McGuire, associate professor in the School of Nursing, has been awarded the Distinguished Nurse Alumni Award from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing.

Lavina Dock Award

Karen Buhler-Wilkerson's new book No Place Like Home: A History of Nursing and Home Care in the United States (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001) won the Lavinia Dock Award from the American Association for the History of Nursing.

College of Physicians Committee Chair

Dr. Ann L. O'Sullivan, associate professor of Primary Care Nursing, was named Chair of the Executive Committee of the Section on Public Health and Preventive Medicine at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

The Committee's focus is to bring attention to public health matters and influence public policy for the betterment of the community. In particular, the Section on Public Health and Preventive Medicine provides programs featuring national, state and local experts responding to pressing, current public health issues.

"It's a credit to The College of Physicians that my colleagues recognize the important role nursing plays in the country's wellness agenda," said Dr. O'Sullivan, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow. "We continue to study public health problems and bring together institutional, professional and municipal perspectives to find solutions."

Episteme Award: Nursing's Linda Aiken

Penn Nursing Professor Linda Aiken will be honored with the Episteme Award from the Sigma Theta Tau International. The Episteme is the most prestigious award in nursing. In conjunction with the Episteme, to be presented in November, Dr. Aiken was also given The Friends of the National Institute for Nursing Research Pathfinder Award and The National Media Award from the American Academy of Nursing to be presented later this month.

Dr. Aiken, who is director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at School of Nursing, was given the Episteme "for her groundbreaking research, particularly in the area of nurse staffing issues," says Honor Society of Nursing President Patricia Thompson. "Dedicated to the improving patient health, Dr. Aiken has demonstrated how practice environments that support professional nurse practice produce excellent patient outcomes--even without high nurse staffing numbers."

"Dr. Aiken's extensive body of cutting-edge scientific work has helped to change negative mindsets within nursing and the larger health care arena by demonstrating that professional nursing practice is in the public's interest," says Dr. Neville E. Strumpf, an Episteme honoree for work in patient restraints, an honor society member and interim dean of the School of Nursing. "I can think of no other candidate more deserving of the Episteme Award than Dr. Aiken."


School of Engineering's Harold Pender Award

The Harold Pender Award was presented to Jack St. Clair Kilby at a reception and dinner at the University Museum on March 21, 2001. Mr. Kilby, the 2000 Nobel Prize winner in Physics, was honored for his contribution to the invention of the integrated circuit and for the profound effect his contribution has had on society. Provost Barchi's remarks at the reception emphasized the significance of the Pender Award and that Mr. Kilby was in esteemed company as previous Pender Award recipients included five Nobel laureates.

The Pender Award, named for Harold Pender, the first Dean of Penn's Moore School of Electrical Engineering, is the School of Engineering's highest award and has been given annually since 1972.

Elected to Board of Trustees of ISHIB

Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika has been elected to a one year term as a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks (ISHIB), a nonprofit, professional society. Dr. Kumanyika is the associate dean for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the School of Medicine, where she is also a professor of epidemiology, a senior scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and a senior fellow of the Institute on Aging.

Dr. Kumanyika is the author of numerous research articles, many of which focus on the problems of obesity and overweight in minorities.

As a member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Kumanyika will assume a leadership position, working to help eliminate health disparities found in ethnic populations. ISHIB was founded to respond to the disproportionate rate of high blood pressure and cardiovascular risk factors present in ethnic populations. Today it has expanded its scope to include diabetes, stroke, lipid disorders, and renal disease.

AABGA Honor: Arboretum's Paul Meyer

Paul W. Meyer, the Otto F. Haas Director of the Morris Arboretum was honored with the 2001 AABGA Professional Citation Award by the International Organization of Public Garden Professionals.

Mr. Meyer was cited for his leadership in the revitalization of the Morris Arboretum. He was selected for playing a key role in the organization of the North American Plant Collection as well as the North American-China Plant Exploration Consortium, his leadership in eight plant-collecting trips to Asia and his "tremendous contributions to the field of public horticulture."

Leadership Award: Mr. Palladino

Michael Palladino, who was named associate vice president of networking and telecommunications at ISC last year, has become the first recipient of the Leadership Award of the Association for Telecommunications Professionals in Higher Education.

Mr. Palladino was recognized for his "dedication to delivering best cost for best service to our customers by the elimination of legacy systems and the active advancement of new technologies, which have been ongoing trademarks of his successful leadership."

Two More Fulbrights

Whitney Miller, a graduating senior in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies with a concentration in Japanese, for Kabuki Theater: Timelessness in a Changing Japan, will study in Japan.

Bert Scruggs, a graduate student in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, for Discursive Space and Identity in Early Modern Taiwanese Literature, will study in Taiwan and Japan.

Distance Learning Graduates

The first Penn Distance Learning Graduates from St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee graduated from Penn October 2. Janet Deatrick, Wendy Hobbie and Carol Ladden went to Memphis for the presentation of their diplomas.


Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 7, October 9, 2001


October 9, 2001
Volume 48 Number 7

President Rodin responds to student visa restrictions.
Jerry Lee Center of Criminology will be dedicated next week.
Three Penn faculty members receive NSF funding for projects in information technology.
Call for Honorary Degree nominations 2003.
Dr. Zuberi is the new director of Afro-American Studies.
Division of Public Safety's Maureen Rush talks about security and Franklin Field institutes new security procedures.
The University Research Foundation Guidelines deadline approaches.
The A-3 Assembly's Employee Resource Fair Raffle Winners.
Research Roundup; Biochemical Pathway Detoxifies heavy metals, Engineers develop a fuel cell that runs on diesel; a gene has been found that carries messages from our circadian clock; and professor develops a game to teach what to do in case of a heart attack.