The University of Pittsburgh
School of Arts & Sciences Snapshot
ISSUE 1, JUNE 2007


“Haines’s assured debut... is a fun romp, though the author, herself a playwright and actor, provides some dark commentary on avant-garde theater and war as well as an unexpected and wicked twist in the novel’s final act.” Publisher’s Weekly

Success Is No Mystery to Novelist Haines >

Photo of Kathyrn Miller Haines It was the early 1940s. FDR was in the White House, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey ruled the radio, and Uncle Sam was looking for heroes to take on Hitler. Sugar and gasoline may have been in short supply, but pluck and patriotism were at an all-time high. This is the lively backdrop for School of Arts and Sciences alumna Kathryn Miller Haines’s first novel, The War Against Miss Winter, published by HarperCollins earlier this month.

In Focus

Take Heart: MD/PhD Candidate May Revolutionize Cardiac Care >

Photo of Justin Baca Each year, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), more than a million people in the United States have heart attacks and more than half of them die. One of the contributing factors to the sobering statistics is the fact that many victims do not receive the emergency treatment and intervention they need quickly enough to save their lives. Justin Baca, a University of Pittsburgh MD/PhD candidate, is working to change that.

Close Up

Bodie Douglas: Still Making Waves >

Photo of Bodie DouglasThough Bodie Douglas, professor emeritus in the Department of Chemistry, retired in 1989, he remains an active member of the department’s graduate faculty. So when Carol Fortney, a PhD student whose research was in inorganic chemistry—Douglas’s field—was in need of an advisor, Douglas stepped up.

Wide Angle

Outstanding Placements Distinguish Graduate Students, Programs >

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the University of Pittsburgh School of Arts and Sciences is the largest Pittsburgh-area graduate school program.


Snapshot is our new e-newsletter, designed to help keep our community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends informed about the people and programs that make the School of Arts and Sciences the liberal arts core of the University of Pittsburgh.

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Biological Sciences Celebrates the “Big 3–0”

All graduates of the Department of Biological Sciences are invited to a weekend-long celebration of the department’s 30th birthday, September 14–16, 2007.

Events will include:

  • A scientific symposium featuring current and former students and faculty
  • Social activities and mixers
  • Award presentations.

For details and to register, visit the Department of Biological Sciences Web site.

Studio Arts Visiting Lecturer Receives Guggenheim

Barbara Weissberger, visiting lecturer in the Department of Studio Arts since 2004, won a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Weissberger, whose dynamic contemporary art has been exhibited internationally, is one of 189 artists, scholars, and scientists selected from almost 2,800 applicants. The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the Guggenheim awards in April. For more information, visit Weissberger’s Web site.

Alumnus Wins $1 Million Grainger Award

Department of Chemistry alumnus Abul Hussam (A&S ’82) won the 2007 Grainger Challenge Gold Award for inventing a simple, point-of-use filter that removes arsenic from drinking water; the device is now used in his native Bangladesh.

Hussam, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at George Mason University, received the $1 million, first-place prize for developing the low-cost and efficient SONO filter, which purifies water through a series of sand, wood, brick, and iron composite filters.

Homecoming Scheduled for October 17–21, 2007

It is not too early to make your plans to return to the University of Pittsburgh for the annual Homecoming festivities. Visit the Pitt Alumni Association Web site regularly for the most up-to-date information about events and activities.

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