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January 15, 2015

Personal Mention

John AndersonAt the invitation of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, John R. Anderson will participate in the White House Workshop on Bridging Neuroscience and Learning on Friday, Jan. 23 in Washington, D.C. The workshop's goals are to identify research gaps and innovations in research methodology and data analysis, and to generate ideas for effectively disseminating information to the broader public, such as individuals and schools. Anderson, whose human thought and cognition research has revolutionized how we learn, is one of 28 experts in neuroscience, cognitive science, developmental psychology and other relevant disciplines who will participate in the workshop. The R.K. Mellon University Professor of Psychology and Computer Science, Anderson is renowned for his work that combines cognitive psychology and computer science to understand how the brain works, how people learn and how computer-based instructional systems can be used as educational aids. Read more

Darlene ScaleseDarlene Scalese, assistant to the head of the School of Design, has been named a 2014-2015 Western Pennsylvania Jefferson Award winner for her commitment to U.S. troops. Driven by a deep gratitude for the sacrifices soldiers make for our freedom, Scalese began volunteering at Operation Troop Appreciation (OTA) in West Mifflin in 2012, putting together care packages for hundreds of troops who longed for a few comforts from home. One project had Scalese involved in organizing “Welcome Home” packages filled with essential household items for a group of single soldiers returning to their base in Italy after a lengthy stay in Afghanistan. She now manages the "Welcome Home" program in the Pittsburgh area, donating 30 hours per week to local veterans facing extreme poverty or financial hardships. Scalese also works closely with caseworkers through the VA Healthcare for Homeless Veterans program to identify veterans’ needs and then coordinate the purchase of new mattresses, bedding, cookware, dishes, glasses, cleaning supplies and other useful items. Read more in the January Piper.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has named Chester S. Spatt, the Pamela R. and Kenneth B. Dunn Professor of Finance at the Tepper School of Business, as a member of its newly created Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee. Spatt joins an inaugural advisory body comprising distinguished professionals from the financial services industry, academia and public interest groups, which was announced by the SEC. The committee will focus on the structure and operations of U.S. equity markets and act as a formal channel through which advice and recommendations will be provided to the SEC relating to issues that include a review of the SEC’s Regulation NMS (National Market System), the role of exchanges in the current market structure and the presence and effect of conflicts in the routing and execution of equity orders. Learn more.

Gerry Balbier, formerly with the Heinz Endowments, has joined the university as executive director of the BrainHubSM initiative. Balbier will work with faculty to attract increased research funding and visibility for CMU brain research and create opportunities for faculty interaction that can lead to new collaborations. He has already convened the first of what he hopes to be regular “BrainHub Exchange” gatherings of BrainHub-related faculty from across 
the colleges and departments included in the initiative. Balbier earned a master’s degree in public management at CMU's Heinz College. Learn more in the January Piper

Selma Limam-Mansar, teaching professor of information systems, has been named associate dean for education at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. She succeeds Mark Stehlik who is teaching at CMU-Q this semester. Limam-Mansar, who has been at Carnegie Mellon Qatar since August 2007, holds a Ph.D. from L’Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble in France. She has experienced various global educational models while teaching in France, the Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.A.E, before joining Carnegie Mellon Qatar to help launch the information systems major. She has taught information systems courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and to some extent at the executive level. Learn more

Brian Kovak, an assistant professor of economics and public policy at the Heinz College, has been awarded the IZA Young Labor Economist Award by the Institute for Study of Labor. The award honors the best published article in a peer-reviewed journal written by young scholars under 40. Kovak's award-winning paper was titled "Regional Effects of Trade Reform: What is the Correct Measure of Liberalization?" Kovak studies the relationships between international trade and labor markets. His research has examined the effects of trade liberalization on local labor markets and internal migration in Brazil and the drivers of increased wage inequality in the U.S. His current work examines the effects of offshoring on price and productivity measurement in the semiconductor industry.

Lorrie Faith Cranor, a professor in the Institute for Software Research and director of the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Lab, was one of 47 computer scientists named as 2014 Fellows by the Association for Computing Machinery. Cranor is a professor of computer science and of engineering and public policy and is co-director of the Privacy Engineering master's degree program. She was cited by the ACM for her contributions to research and education in usable privacy and security. Cranor has played a key role in building the usable privacy and security research community, having co-edited the seminal book "Security and Usability" (O'Reilly 2005) and founded the Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS). She has authored over 100 research papers on online privacy, usable security and other topics; served on numerous boards; and has testified about privacy issues before Congress. The ACM will formally recognize the 2014 Fellows at its annual Awards Banquet in June in San Francisco.

English Professor Jim Ray Daniels' "Eight Mile High" has been named to the Library of Michigan's 2015 Notable Books List. The annual list features 20 books published in the previous calendar year that are about Michigan or the Great Lakes region, or are written by a Michigan author. This is the second consecutive year that Daniels has been named to the Michigan Notable Books List; his poetry book, "Birth Marks," was honored in 2014. In "Eight Mile High," Daniels, who was born and raised in Detroit, uses Eight Mile Road, the infamous stretch of concrete that divides Detroit racially and culturally, as the setting and main character. Through 14 short stories, Daniels connects characters by specific places, such as the fictitious Eight Mile High School and the always-open restaurant, the Clock. The white working-class community defines the individuals — even those who leave town — as they navigate work and love, change and loss, as best as they can. Learn more

Zoe Levenson, a master's degree student in information systems and management, is this year’s recipient of the Women in Transportation Fellowship. “The Women in Transportation Fellowship is an opportunity for a student like Zoe to gain systemic exposure to the industry,” said Traffic21 Program Director Courtney Ehrlichman. “From research, funding, politics, she sees how Traffic21 partners with real world agencies and organizations to get the technology out of the university and onto our streets.” Levenson is building a database for the National USDOT University Transportation Center for Safety, she is conducting research with the T-SET UTC Mobility Analytics Center, and she is forming a Transportation Club on campus with a group of other students. “So far we have set a vision for the club, tried out a few event types, and are beginning to develop programming for the spring to bring awareness to the campus student body about the breadth and width of the transportation industry,” Levenson said. Learn more

Dimeji Onafuwa, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Design, was named one of the two Applied Innovation Fellows as part of GTECH Strategies' Reclaim Pittsburgh program. Growth Through Energy and Community Health (GTECH) cultivates the unrealized potential of people and places to improve the economic, social and environmental health of Pittsburgh communities. As a fellow, Onafuwa will mentor neighborhood ambassadors who are residents selected to build initiatives to help reclaim vacant land on the North Side. He will be designing activities to facilitate concepting as well as mentor the execution of those plans. This implementation involves working with policy, design, social enterprise, innovation, landscape architecture and community organization. Learn more