The University of Pittsburgh
School of Arts & Sciences Snapshot

JUNE 2009


Stephen Pellathy: Learning By Teaching

The colorful, oversized banner hanging outside the new Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy invites students to, “Dream. Discover. Design.” And when the Academy, part of the Pittsburgh Public School District, opens its doors on September 3, 2009, the inaugural class of 250 will be able to do all that and much more, thanks, in part, to the efforts of Stephen Pellathy (A&S ‘09G), the Academy’s Science Curriculum Coordinator. Read More.

In Focus

Niklas Frykman: Following in the Wake of Revolution

During the late-18th and early-19th centuries, nations around the world were in a near constant state of revolution. From Sweden to Russia, from Haiti to France, and from North America to China, countries old and young were evolving as new leadership and new philosophies emerged. Throughout this turbulent period, as allegiances and power shifted on land, there was a different war being waged on the seas—a culture war. And it is the maritime/naval activities of the Atlantic during that volatile era that are the primary research focus of Niklas Frykman, a doctoral candidate in the University of Pittsburgh Department of History. Read More.

Close Up

Jana Iverson: Bridging the Communications Gap

When most people think of a lab, images of test tubes and microscopes come to mind. But for Jana Iverson, associate professor in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology, the labs she works in are less likely to involve chemical formulas and more likely to involve baby formula. Iverson is a developmental psychologist and the director of Pitt’s Infant Communication Lab, where she and her research team study the progress of, and connections between, gestures and language in infants and toddlers by visiting them in their homes. Read More.

Wide Angle

Doing Well by Doing Good

Like all units within the University of Pittsburgh, the School of Arts and Sciences is committed to using the expertise of our community of scholars to serve others within and beyond the University. The most recent edition of the University’s Community Impact Report provides details on a number of the outstanding programs and activities that our academic departments and programs support, some of which are featured in the article. Read More.


Nicholas Rescher, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, former chair of Pitt’s philosophy department, and cochair of the Center for Philosophy of Science, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science, engineering, and innovation around the world.

His election marks the fourth consecutive year a Pitt philosophy department faculty member has received the honor. Nuel D. Belnap Jr. was elected in 2008, Mark L. Wilson in 2007, and Anil Gupta in 2006.

Exciting opportunities are always emerging in the field of computer science—and the Department of Computer Science’s Technology Leadership Initiative (TLI) encourages high school students to take advantage of them by pursuing college study and careers in the field. Equitable Corporation recently showed its support by making a $25,000 contribution to the program. Equitable Corporation’s philanthropic efforts focus largely on educational initiatives targeted to pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students, particularly those in underserved or disadvantaged areas.

Founded by Pitt computer science student Tonya Groover, the summer institute offers area high school students academic and career-success workshops designed to inspire, excite, and encourage them to pursue computer science and related degrees in college.

For more information on the Technology Leadership Initiative, visit

Jane Feuer, professor in the Department of English, has received the Fulbright German Distinguished Chair in American Studies for 2009-10.

The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program comprises approximately 40 distinguished lecturing, distinguished research and distinguished lecturing/research awards. This is the only such award for Germany. Awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Awardees must be eminent scholars and have a significant publication and teaching record.

Mark your calendars for this year’s Homecoming celebration. Visit the Alumni Association Web site for a complete schedule of events including the “Welcome Back Reception.”


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