The start of a new year gives us a chance to reflect on the many Pitt Public Health faculty and staff who retired in the last year, many after decades of service to the school. Thanks and best wishes to all!
Cheryl A. Austin, MPH (31 years at Pitt) was a grants manager for the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, handling all the details of budgets, grant applications, and funding for the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) which was just renewed for nearly $4 million annually through 2026. Cheryl worked in IDM for 23 years after previously working in a research lab herself. A very caring person, she would do anything to help out a coworker in need. Pitt Public Health is proud to count her among our alumni (BCHS ’87).
Joyce T. Bromberger, PhD (31 years) retired with the rank of professor emeritus of epidemiology and psychiatry. A psychiatric epidemiologist, she has examined the relationship between depression and physical of middle-aged women with a particular focus on depression and anxiety, the psychosocial and hormonal factors that influence these symptoms/disorders, and their health consequences. In particular, she served for two decades as co-investigator/co-PI of the Pittsburgh site of SWAN, the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, a longitudinal multisite, multiethnic study of menopause and aging supported by NIA. She has also served as PI of the SWAN ancillary study on mental health, “Menopausal Transition, Mental Health and Ethnicity” funded by the NIMH.
View photos from emerita reception.
Joseph P. Costantino (43 years at Pitt) retired in October, receiving emeritus status. He was a professor in the Department of Biostatistics and director of the research project NRG Oncology Statistics and Data Management Center. His primary research interest was the design, implementation, and analysis of clinical trials, particularly those dealing with the prevention or treatment of breast and colorectal cancer. Collaboration in the trials of the National Surgical Breast and Bowel Project has been a major focus. An earlier area of research focused on the assessment of health effects from occupational and environmental exposures to airborne pollutants.
Walter M Cronin Jr (39 years at Pitt) directed the quality assurance program of NRG Oncology, including program development and implementation, assurance of compliance to federal regulatory mandates, development of software operating systems, and development and maintenance of written standard operating procedures. He was instrumental in the executive leadership of the statistical center at the University of Pittsburgh and across the four statistical center offices of NRG Oncology since the merger. In particular, his contributions to the conduct of the NSABP Breast Cancer Prevention Studies made a huge difference in the lives of women at high risk for breast cancer.
Gloria A Curtis (39 years at Pitt) became an administrator for Trevor Orchard 13 years ago, working primarily on his long-term study of the epidemiology of diabetes complications. In this capacity, she played major roles in grant administration, participant recruitment, and payment. She provided administrative assistance to other studies, including drug trials and diabetes research and public health activities in Rwanda. Gloria also served as clinic receptionist for the Nutrition Lipid Program, a medical outpatient clinic. In all these roles she displayed remarkable efficiency and a willingness to take on new tasks and help out wherever the need arose. In addition to excellent work habits, Gloria also had a very friendly and understanding nature which was a major reason for her countless positive interactions with colleagues, participants, and patients.
Barbara L. Folb, MM, MLS, MPH (24 years at Pitt) served as the Public Health Informationist at Pitt’s Health Sciences Library System. As liaison to the Graduate School of Public Health, she provided reference, information services, and training to the school. Upon retirement, Folb was the first Pitt librarian to be honored with emeritus status. Folb continues to work as an instructor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. Areas of interest include evidence-based public health, program evaluation, public health practice, systematic review search methods, disaster preparedness, and grant funding. Upon retirement, Folb was the first Pitt librarian to be honored with emeritus status.
View photos from farewell reception.
Susanne M. Gollin, PhD, FFACMGG (31+ years at Pitt) became a professor emerita upon her retirement from the Department of Human Genetics. A clinical cytogenetics consultant in the Pittsburgh Cytogenetics Laboratory, she was a researcher, teacher, board certified by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Her research interests included cytogenetic alterations as diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic biomarkers for cancers; mechanisms involved in chromosomal instability; defects in the DNA damage response in cancer cells; and cancer patient advocacy. She was on a mission to cure cancer, or at least make it a chronic disease rather than a deadly one.
View photos from emerita reception.
Phalguni Gupta, PhD (34 years at Pitt) has been a professor and vice chairman of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. His research interest included the cellular and molecular basis of HIV pathogenesis, molecular mechanisms of sexual transmission of HIV, and the development of microbicides against HIV and an HIV cure.
Nancy Heath (30 years at Pitt) worked in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology for over 20 years. As a post-award administrator, she was responsible for tracking the expenses and levels for the department’s many research grants. In retirement she plans to spend more time with her two grown daughters and two not-so-grown gerbils (and hopefully a grandchild or two as well!).
Cindy S. Johnston (20 years at Pitt)served as the administrative secretary to the chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. Recounts Johnston, “I am very proud and delighted to have worked for the department for the last 20 years, which allowed me to interact with many wonderful faculty, staff, and students. I plan to spend more time with my family and friends in my retirement!”
Phouthone Keohavong, PhD (27 years at Pitt) retired in June, receiving emeritus status. His research interests centered around elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which environmental carcinogens cause lung cancer and to identify markers for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of this disease. He worked to understand how airway epithelial cells are involved in lung tumors, and how they are influenced by environmental factors that increase lung cancer risk and how they respond to therapies.
Mary Ellen Lytle, MSW (32 years at Pitt) worked with doctors Mary Ganguli, Lewis Kuller, Oscar Lopez, and Anne Newman on the following initiatives: Monongahela Valley Independent Elders Survey, the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study, the Cardiovascular Health Study, and the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly study. In addition to being a clinic examiner specializing in cognitive testing, she was a skilled telephone interviewer with elderly study participants and known as an expert and national resource in conducting interviews of family members with compassion and sensitivity to learn details and circumstances of participants’ deaths.
Nick Malenka (37 years at Pitt) was a building engineer who kept Pitt Public Health’s facilities running, everything from balancing competing air conditioning needs to re-routing around the latest construction detours. He’s known for his big smiles, warm greetings to everyone, and his year-round willingness to go above and beyond to provide a comfortable work environment for all.
Trevor Orchard, MBBCh, MMedSci, FAHA, FACE (39+ years at Pitt) was named a distinguished professor of epidemiology in 2015 and granted emeritus status on his retirement. Well known for his ability to bridge the gap between trials and translation, his research interests included diabetes and cardiovascular epidemiology, with particular emphasis on insulin-dependent diabetes and lipids, management of lipid disorders, and diabetes prevention. His nearly 400 publications have focused mainly on the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease and diabetes complications with a further focus on lipoprotein metabolism and cardiovascular disease. For the last 10 years, Orchard has assisted in the development of diabetes care in Rwanda.
View photos from emeritus reception.
Wesley M. Rohrer, PhD, MBA (42+ years), retired as an associate professor emeritus in the Department of Health Policy and Management and as assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. He taught and mentored over one thousand students in health care management and policy at the graduate level. Scholarly Interests included global comparative health systems and policy and organizational studies and management, including leadership theory and managerial ethics as applied to health care. Rohrer was recognized as the recipient of the James T. Craig Teaching Excellence Award for 2016/17. He has been an active participant in the in the University Faculty Assembly and the Senate Council, and continues as chair of the Senate Budget Policies Committee.
Jeanette Trauth, PhD, MPA (31 years) retired as an associate professor emerita in the departments of health policy and management and in behavioral and community health sciences. Her research focused on the social determinants of health, especially those that create healthier and more equitable communities by promoting social connections. Her contributions to the Working for Kids: Building Skills program, a community-based participatory training initiative that equips parents and childcare workers with knowledge about early child brain development and skills to facilitate healthy growth and development among children in low-income communities in order to facilitate school readiness.