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Alumni Kudos & Awards

Kudos to our 7,000+ Pitt Public Health alumni

New Vice Chancellor named as Pitt marks another record-breaking year in innovation

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PITTWIRE - Under the leadership of EVAN FACHER (HUGEN '97), Pitt innovators started a record 23 new companies in FY18. Facher now moves into the new position of vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship. “Pitt faculty and students are constantly pushing the boundaries of discovery across multiple disciplines," says Facher. “I am grateful for the opportunity to build on the positive momentum that has been established."  

BCHS alum Chelsea Pallatino wins faculty development award supporting work on intimate partner violence & substance use

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PITTWIRE - Doctoral alumna CHELSEA PALLATINO (BCHS ’17) has been awarded the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Award by the University Center for Social and Urban Research to support her pilot research project entitled “Co-occurring Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use: Understanding Barriers to Collocated Integrated Services.” Pallatino is now a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive ... 

Innovation Institute recognized at Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

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PITTWIRE - The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute was recognized for its commitment to building programs that accelerate innovations from the laboratory and research into commercialization at the recent Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Alumni EVAN FACHER (HUGEN ’97) is interim director for the institute. 

Alumna Elbeshbishi receives the Superstar Award from UMPC Health Plan

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YARA ELBESHIBISHI (HPM '16) was nominated for 1st Quarter of the Superstar Award through UPMC Health Plan. UPMC celebrates and honors individuals for their dedication to UPMC Insurance Services Division PRIIDES values. Yara is recognized as a valuable contributor and quickly becoming a subject matter expert for multiple channels within the Exchange Operations Department. 

Zaccard appointed chair of the Chicago Women in STEM Initiative

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To ensure the continuity of the Chicago Women in STEM and Academia Initiative, and represent postdoctoral women, Northwestern University welcomed IDM's COLLEEN ZACCARD to the Northwestern University Postdoctoral Forum (NUPF) Executive Board as the Chair of the Chicago Women in STEM Initiative.   

Melody receives postdoctoral fellowship

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University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston has offered KEVIN MELODY (IDM '17) a postdoctoral fellowship in a BSL-4 research group headed by Thomas Geisbert. Due to the security and proficiency needed to perform the work, Kevin will undergo extensive training before beginning high-containment pathogen-related research.  

Swan joins Cato Research

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"A great company in a great industry," says ZACHARY SWAN (IDM '16) who has recently secured a position as a Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Strategy Scientist at a CRO in the Research Triangle Park named Cato Research.  

Emerson Evans on detail with CDC

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Helping out with The United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Country Operational Plan submission, EMERSON EVANS (IDM '12) is currently working in South Africa on detail with the CDC. 

Poston receives San-Pin Wang Award from the Chlamydia Basic Research Society

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The San-Pin Wang Award for the best graduate student oral presentation at the Chlamydia Basic Research Society 2017 conference was given to TAYLOR POSTON (IDM '17). This award was established in honor of the memory of Dr. San-Pin Wang and a cash prize was generously donated by the San-Pin Wang Endowment Fund.  

Felter: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

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ELIZABETH FELTER (BCHS ’09) joined the faculty as assistant professor in 2010. She has been a Certified Health Education Specialist since 2001 and leads the department’s health communication/health risk communication curriculum. Her teaching portfolio has expanded to include development of infographics, preparation of public service announcements, and use of video for public health communication. 

Chalhoub: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

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DIDIER CHALHOUB (MMPH ’12, EPI ’15) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging Interdisciplinary Studies Aging Section. His areas of research include aging, osteoporosis, and sarcopenia, concentrating on osteoporosis and body composition with a special interest in understanding the effect of muscle-bone interaction on outcomes such as fractures. 

Buchanich: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

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While completing her MPH and PhD degrees, JEANINE BUCHANICH (EPI ’98, ’07) worked full time for the Department of Biostatistics at Pitt Public Health and was appointed research assistant professor and deputy director of the Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology in 2008. She has served as principal investigator or coinvestigator on many studies in occupational health epidemiology, vital status systems and tracing, and other topic ... 

Bear: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

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TODD BEAR (BCHS ’07, ’13) joined the Pitt Public Health faculty as an assistant professor immediately upon earning his PhD in 2013. His primary research interest is the study of adversity, including child maltreatment and exposure to violence, and its effects on health over the lifespan. He utilizes a life-course perspective to study the behavioral and psychosocial pathways by which childhood adversity affects adolescent and adult health. 

Talkowski: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award

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MICHAEL TALKOWSKI (HUGEN ’08) is associate professor of neurology (genetics) at Harvard Medical School and the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate member of the Broad Institute of the Massachusettes Institute of Technology and Harvard where he directs the Broad Structural Variation and Assembly Group. His research has led to paradigm-shifting discoveries that have left a mark on the field of genetics. 

Farmartino: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award

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In 2012, a year before completing her MPH, CHRISTINA FARMARTINO (IDM ’13) was hired as executive director of The Open Door, which provides supportive housing and representative payee services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS—including active injection drug users—to improve their health and housing stability. Among other duties, Farmartino has raised more than $250,000 over three years in additional, diversified funding. 

Peter: 2018 Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award

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BERNADINE PETER (EPI ’88) is population health coordinator and registered dietitian at Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio, Texas. She previously served at Franklin Primary Health Center Inc. in Mobile, Ala., where she educated patients with diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, in addition to securing nutrition and wellness grants for the underserved. 

Murphy: 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination

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FREDRICK MURPHY (MSHyg ’77) is executive director of Atlanta, Ga.-based Lifelong Health Inc., a nonprofit serving inner-city communities around public health and social justice issues. He served for more than 28 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), active and inactive, and adjunct faculty member in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine.  

Norris: 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award for Research

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JILL NORRIS (EPI ’88, ’90) is professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her research focuses on the relationship of environment in the development of autoimmune diseases, including type I diabetes, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus in genetically susceptible individuals. 

Modzelewski: 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice

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A two-time breast cancer survivor, RUTH MODZELEWSKI (HUGEN ’96) has served as mission coordinator for Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh since 2009, when she went from researching cancer at the University of Pittsburgh to practicing and promoting cancer prevention and treatment throughout Western Pennsylvania. She oversees the Komen Pittsburgh community-based health grants program which annually gives close to $1 million back to the community. 

Buzzeli teaching global health at Northhampton Community College

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Alumna MICHELE M. BUZZELI (BCHS ’15) is teaching about global health at Northampton Community College’s Monroe Campus in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, using her coursework at Pitt Public Health to cover the syllabus. She will also teach a section of College Success, a required first semester course for incoming students, helping them navigate the college environment. 

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