Pitt People Changing the World
The German Academic Exchange Service has named Markus Chmielus, an assistant professor in Pitt's Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, as a Research Ambassador for the 2015-16 academic year. This year, the Research Ambassadors program is honoring Chmielus and 13 other individuals who have conducted long-term research projects in Germany at the doctoral level or above.
One of two annual Milan Hodža Awards of Honor was presented in 2015 to Martin Votruba, head of Pitt's Slovak Studies Program, “for the advancement of knowledge of Slovak history and culture in the Slavic department at the University of Pittsburgh and for his support to the preservation of Slovak culture in the awareness of Slovak-Americans and public at large,” according to the award citation.
Pitt is the only university in the United States where students can enroll in Slovak language and culture classes and receive a minor in Slovak studies.
Nancy Condee has been appointed a Fall 2015 Gaidar Fellow at Moscow's Presidential Academy of the National Economy in the School of Public Policy's Center for Russian Studies. Condee is director of Pitt's Global Studies Center and professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, where she is a scholar of contemporary Russian culture, cinema, and cultural politics. During her fellowship in Moscow, Condee will conduct research and give lectures in the master's program in global public policy. The Presidential Academy is Russia's largest federal institution of professional education. The Gaidar Fellows Program supports foreign scholars with opportunities to conduct research and speak in public lectures and seminars.
Pitt economics professor Thomas G. Rawski has been named as one of the United States' Top 20 China Experts by the China Foreign Affairs University, the leading diplomatic school in the People's Republic of China (PRC). The university emphasizd Rawski's deep understanding of the PRC, gained through first-hand research there.
James Cook, associate director of Pitt's Asian Studies Center, has been named as a Distinguished Overseas Educator by China's Ministry of Education. His work brings together Chinese and U.S. researchers to solve critical environmental and public health issues in northwestern China. Cook has completed several grants sponsored by the United States' National Science Foundation and the China Medical Board in cooperation with the Center for Historical Environment and Socioeconomic Development of Northwest China and the Center for Experimental Economics Education at Shaanxi Normal University.
Nicole Constable, director of Pitt's Asian Studies Center and professor of anthropology, was the keynote speaker at the Gendered Regimes in Migration conference at Switzerland's University of Geneva in June 2015. Constable was also the keynote speaker at the University of Toronto's Gender, Migration and the Work Care Project 1st Annual Conference in 2014.
Pitt’s University Center for International Studies awarded its 2014-15 Sheth International Achievement Awards to Pitt engineering professor Minking Chyu and Asha Williams (GSPIA ’07), a social-protection consultant at the World Bank in Washington, DC. Chyu, winner in the Sheth Awards’ faculty category, was honored for furthering international education. He is the inaugural dean of the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute, an engineering-education partnership between the two schools that will enroll its first students in fall 2015. Williams was honored in the Sheth Awards’ alumni category for her social-protection and social-development work, primarily in the eastern Caribbean’s small island states.
While participating in an European Union-funded conference in Turkey in spring 2014, Professor Louise Comfort of Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) made a reconnaissance visit to the site of a huge mining fire in Soma, in Western Turkey. A world-renowned expert on disaster management and response, Comfort (with the help of a GSPIA alumnus as research assistant and translator) conducted interviews with local and national personnel. At the request of the Turkish government, Comfort served on the officlal team that reviewed the national disaster plan for Turkey to make recommendations for redesign.
B. Guy Peters received an honorary doctorate—his fourth—from Belgium's Katholieke Universiteit on Feb. 2, 2015. During the conferring ceremony, Peters was described as "the most eminent public administration scholar of our time" and an "expert in American government, a leading comparativist, a much-read interpretor and creator of administrative paradigms, and a prolific author of profound research and engaging prose." Peters, the Maurice Falk Professor of American Governance in Pitt's Department of Political Science, has written and edited more than 70 books; he also has written numerous articles and founded several leading journals.