Marcela Gonzalez Rivas Creates Partnership Connecting Local and Global Issues

Assistant Professor Marcela Gonzalez Rivas, PhD, from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs is partnering with the Nine Mile Run Watershed Authority to provide a real-life learning laboratory for students and international visitors.

CLAS Alumni Named Fulbright English Teaching Assistants

Three recent recipients of Certificates in Latin American Studies, John McGovern, Daniel Snyder, and Sophia Winston, will serve as Fulbright English teaching assistants in Brazil.

John McGovern, of Media, Pennsylvania, is a 2016 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Portuguese minor. He will be a teaching assistant in São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul at UNISOS (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos).

Daniel Snyder, of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, is a 2017 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic languages and literatures, and a Portuguese minor. He will be a teaching assistant at Universidade Federal do Piauí (UFPI)/Federal University of Piauí.

Sophia Winston, of Merion, Pennsylvania, is a 2016 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and in urban studies, and a Portuguese minor. She will be a teaching assistant at Viçosa, Minas Gerais at the Federal University of Viçosa.

UCIS Staff Receive Chancellor’s Award

Two members of the University Center for International Studies are 2017 Chancellor’s Staff Award recipients.

Katherine von Lehman, compliance coordinator in the Office of International Services, will receive the Award in the Innovation in Advancing Administrative and Operational Efficiency. Sarah Wagner, director of the Vira I. Heinz Program, will receive the Excellent Mentor Award.

The Innovation in Advancing Administrative and Operational Efficiency Award recognizes staff members who have made exceptional contributions toward effectiveness and efficiency in the workplace, including implementation of innovative approaches to improving productivity or developing cost-saving plans.

Von Lehman has been with Pitt’s Office of International Services since 2011. Chancellor Gallagher lauded her dedication in implementing and customizing the Sunapsis database, streamlining a previously paper-based system for submitting and tracking immigration documentation. Her efforts improved processing times for multiple tasks, including a reduction from three-to-four weeks to eight days for initial student documents.

“Your work has played an important role in helping the University position itself as a leader in international education,” said Gallagher.

The Excellent Mentor Award recognizes staff members who serve as role models and mentors to their colleagues, helping them to develop or improve their skills, acclimate to new positions, or learn new processes so that they can achieve success in their careers at Pitt.

Wagner has been director of the Vira I. Heinz Program for the two years, previously serving as the program’s coordinator since 2008. As she administers the program at 15 member institutions, one of her many responsibilities is to provide guidance and mentorship to program coordinators. She also plans and executes fall and spring leadership retreats for VIH scholars, who are new to study abroad opportunities. 

Chancellor Gallagher emphasized Wagner’s impact on her colleagues’ careers as she encourages them to develop the skills they need to succeed. He
also highlighted the program’s impact upon students at Pitt’s regional campuses, “opportunities they would not have had if you did not provide guidance and support to the Regional Campus Program Coordinators,” he said.

The awards will be officially presented at a ceremony on December 14, 2017. Both von Lehman and Wagner will receive monetary awards and will be included on a permanent plaque displayed in William Pitt Union.

Kudos for Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership

The Vira I. Heinz (VIH) Program for Women in Global Leadership received an honorable mention for the Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education (EDIIE) Awards institutional category in recognition of its commitment to prepare female students, who have never been abroad, for tomorrow’s global challenges. The award was presented at the 5th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on March 22, 2017. 

The EDIIE honorable mention recognizes the VIH Program’s innovative on and off campus partnerships, curriculum, programming, and outreach that increases access and fosters diversity and inclusion in international education and exchange for targeted female students. Funded by The Heinz Endowments, the VIH Program offers an unparalleled opportunity for international experiences, leadership development, and community service. Every year, a cohort of 45 awardees is admitted into the leadership development program and receive a scholarship to fund a summer international experience, which may include study abroad. The Program has a proven success rate for attracting and retaining diverse students, who develop linguistic, technical, and cultural skills.

The annual EDIIE Awards are granted by the Diversity Abroad Network, the leading professional consortium of educational institutions, government agencies, for-profit and non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion in global education. Diversity Abroad awards highlight outstanding achievements of institutions and organizations that have developed practices that either foster diversity and inclusion in international education and exchange or promotes an inclusive environment for international students on campus.

2016-2017 Sheth International Achievement Awards Announced

Awards Ceremony at the University of Pittsburgh on Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Jump to Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu.

Pitt Nursing Professor Richard Henker recognized for promoting best practices and academic exchanges in Nurse Anesthesia in Asia and Latin America

March 3, 2017 – University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Professor Richard Henker, PhD, RN, CRNA, FAAN, is a leading researcher and practitioner in nurse anesthesia. Dr. Henker has devoted his career to the promotion of best practices for nurse anesthetists, both in the US and overseas, providing academic and technical assistance to universities and governments around the world. He is also a respected voice in the study of risk factors in pre- and post-operative situations as well as an expert in team performance.

In recognition of his academic and professional contributions to furthering international education in the field of nursing, Dr. Henker is to be awarded the 2016-2017 Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement.  Dr. Henker will receive his award at a reception at the University of Pittsburgh on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

A native of Wisconsin, Dr. Henker has established a series of academic exchanges and professional activities to promote nurse anesthesia in Southeast Asia and Latin America. He developed clinical rotation programs for Pitt students at Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia, a country where he also developed nursing practice guidelines in collaboration with the country’s public health authorities. In Thailand, Dr. Henker lectured on teaching methods at Siriraj Hospital Mahidol University and contributed to faculty development at the Boromarajonani College of Nursing. In addition, he helped to forge academic exchanges with Harbin Medical University in China. In Japan, Dr. Henker delivered a series of invited lectures on simulation and advanced practice nursing at a dozen universities. In Belize, he represented Health Volunteers Overseas to develop a nurse anesthesia program.

Dr. Henker’s research focuses on risk factors for the development of opioid-induced side effects in postoperative patients, with specific interest in genotypes that affect post operative pain responses, development of persistent postoperative pain, opioid induced respiratory depression, opioid induced sedation, and postoperative side effects.  His research also includes the evaluation of simulation teaching methods including team performance, and temperature measurement during the perioperative period.

His professional service includes positions as a member of the American Nurses Association Committee on Nursing Practice Standards and Guidelines, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Nurse Anesthesia Overseas section of Health Volunteers Overseas organization, and the Program Director for the Cambodia and Bhutan Nurse Anesthesia Overseas sites. His teaching acumen at the University of Pittsburgh has been recognized with the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2006 and School of Nursing Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1998.

Dr. Henker holds a BS degree in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Science in Medical-Surgical Nursing from the University of Arizona, a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD in Nursing Science from the University of Washington. He currently teaches nurse anesthesia at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, with faculty practice at UPMC-Presbyterian. He is also a clinical preceptor for nurse anesthesia students at UPMC-Presbyterian, Angkor Hospital for Children, and Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital. 



Law School Alumna Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu from the Republic of Kosova Promotes Democracy and Human Rights

Pitt School of Law alumna Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu achieved success at a young age and did so while working in the traditionally men’s world of politics in the Republic of Kosovo.  Since graduating two years ago with a SJD in Law, Dr. Osmani-Sadriu has become a respected voice in Kosovo’s political circles as well as in international organizations.  She has the distinction of receiving more votes than any other women in the history of parliamentary elections in Kosovo and she was the second-most voted for official in her party, the Democratic League of Kosovo.

In recognition of her academic and professional accomplishments in the establishment and consolidation of democracy and human rights in her homeland, Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu is to be awarded the 2016-2017 Sheth International Young Alumni Achievement Award.  Dr. Osmani-Sadriu will receive her award at a reception at the University of Pittsburgh on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

A native of Prishtina in Kosovo, Dr. Osmani-Sadriu served in roles as Chief of Staff, Foreign Policy Advisor, and Legal Counsel to the President of the Republic of Kosovo from 2006 to 2010.  During this period, she was the President’s representative on the Constitutional Commission, the body that drafted the first Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo.  She was also a member of the legal team at the International Court of Justice in the advisory proceedings related to Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence.

In 2011, Dr. Osmani-Sadriu was elected to the national parliament of the Republic of Kosovo and is now completing her second term in office. As a member of parliament, she has served as Chair of the Committee for European Integration and Vice Chair of the Committee for Constitutional Reforms in Kosovo. The European Parliament has adopted a Resolution recognizing and welcoming the initiatives developed by Dr. Osmani-Sadriu to foster cross-party dialog. In addition, the United Nations Development Program named her the 2011 Social Inclusion Champion for her role advocating for social inclusion and welfare in Kosovo.  

Dr. Osmani-Sadriu holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Prishtina, and Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She currently teaches at the University of Prishtina, at the American College of Kosovo, and at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law as a Visiting Professor. Her research focuses on the rule of law, foreign policy, human rights, and social and equality issues.

About the Sheth International Awards:

Founded in 2012, the Sheth International Awards are a result of a gift from Madhuri and Dr. Jagdish N. Sheth (Business ‘62G, ‘66G) through the Sheth Family Foundation.  The awards are administered by the University Center for International Studies at Pitt. The Sheth International Young Alumni Achievement Award acknowledges a University of Pittsburgh alumnus for contributions to the international community through professional achievement and societal impact.  The Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement recognizes the contributions of a current University of Pittsburgh faculty member to furthering international education.

Graduate Student Sloane Davidson Helping Refugee Resettlement

“How You Can Help Refugees in the United States” is the headline of the New York Times article on February 17, 2017 in which Pitt student Sloane Davidson’s refugee resettlement efforts are featured. Ms. Davidson has created a national database to promote refugee resettlement and immigration service agencies in the Pittsburgh region. She is also building a website—Hello Neighbor—to pair volunteers with arriving refugees.   

Ms. Davidson is looking for “a diverse group of passionate neighbors” with a “figure it out as we go” attitude to act as mentors to refugees coming to Pittsburgh. The Hello Neighbor website is accepting financial donations that directly support refugee resettlement and foster the mission to build bridges and breakdown barriers. Sloane Davidson is a Master’s in Public Affairs student at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh.

Fulbright Scholar Grant Awarded to Vanessa Sterling

Vanessa Sterling, Associate Director at the Study Abroad Office, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to participate in the 2017 Fulbright International Education Administrators seminar in Taiwan. For two weeks in March 2017, Dr. Sterling will join a team of 12 US colleagues who will attend briefings with faculty and administration, government officials, and leading educational experts at public and private institutions. The program includes campus visits to a cross-section of Taiwanese universities and colleges, and tours of historical and cultural sites. She will also have an opportunity to connect with a Pitt student currently on a study abroad exchange program at National Taiwan University.

The two-week intensive seminar is designed for US international education professionals and senior-level university administrators whose current role includes a substantial responsibility for enhancing the international dimension of their campus. As a Fulbirght Scholar, Dr. Sterling will have the opportunity to learn more about the Taiwanese education system and make connections with peers at universities and colleges in Taiwan. She will return to Pitt with an enhanced ability to encourage prospective study-abroad students as well as a new networks of US and international colleagues.

Belkys Torres Selected for AIEA Senior Advisors Program

Belkys Torres, Associate Director for International Programs at the University Center for International Studies, has been selected to participate in the Senior Advisers Program for 2017-2018 for the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). This prestigious mentoring program pairs newer Senior International Officers with seasoned professionals in international education, with the goal of working on specific deliverables to benefit Pitt's global priorities. Dr. Torres begins the program at the AIEA  conference in Washington, DC in February, and continues activities throughout the year. She will be mentored by Dr. Bailian Li, Vice Provost for International Affairs at North Carolina State University.

Participation in the Senior Advisers Program will provide Dr. Torres with an opportunity to engage in direct dialogue with other organizations and institutions. The program also allows the University of Pittsburgh--through Torres' work--to increase its strategic international partnerships and advance its Global Plan: Embracing the World. 

AIEA, is the only association in the world focused exclusively on professional development, advocacy, information sharing and networking for university leaders who are charged with strategic and comprehensive internationalization of higher education.

Juan J. Manfredi elected to Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters

Juan J. Manfredi, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and professor of Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh, has been elected a foreign member of the Societies Academy (Class of Natural Sciences) of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters for his outstanding accomplishments in the field of mathematics.  His permanent membership is effective January 1, 2017.   

This honor by the Society recognizes Dr. Manfredi’s deep collaborative ventures with researchers at the Norwegian Technical University of Trondheim, the Mittag-Leffler Institute in Stockholm, and with colleagues at other Scandinavian institutions.  His research focuses on the partial differential equations that govern the nonlinear potential theory of quasi-regular mappings in higher dimensions, their sub-elliptic extensions, and their game theoretic interpretations.  

Manfredi has published extensively in the major peer-reviewed journals of his discipline and has a strong record of National Science Foundation (NSF) support for his research. In addition to his teaching and research contributions.  He has served as an academic administrator—NSF program director, chair of our Department of Mathematics from 2005 until September 2007, and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies at the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences until he was appointed Vice Provost.  He received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1994.

In 1989, Manfredi joined the University of Pittsburgh and was promoted to associate professor in 1993 and professor of Mathematics in 1998.  He was appointed Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies in 2010.  He received his Licenciado degree from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain, and his M.S. and Ph. D. from Washington University in Saint Louis. 

The Trondheim-based Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters is the oldest learned academy in Norway.  The Society has promoted scientific scholarship since its founding in 1760.

Angelina Cotler elected to serve on CLASP Executive Committee

Angelina Cotler, Associate Director at the Center for Latin American Studies, has been recently appointed to serve on the Executive Committee of the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP). This is the first time the University of Pittsburgh will have a leadership role in the Consortium.

In this position, Dr. Cotler will participate in Executive Committee meetings, serve on standing committees, and collaborate with the recruitment of new CLASP members and candidates for the Executive Committee. Her three-year term runs from January 2017 through December 2019. Dr. Cotler served on this committee in the past when she was a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Cotler’s appointment will provide the Center for Latin American Studies with new opportunities to network and collaborate with universities and Latin American Studies centers, expand the reach of their work, and participate in conferences around the country.

The goal of CLASP is to promote all facets of Latin American studies in the United States and to foster global competency, language proficiency and cultural awareness of Latin America and the Caribbean. The Consortium encourages excellence in teaching with several awards; organizes workshops at national and regional conventions; promotes teaching of less commonly taught languages; supports K-12 and post-secondary professional development; and provides access to resources on interdisciplinary Latin American area studies.