Faculty and Staff News

by John Conroy

News and awards related to faculty and staff in the School of Education.

John Jakicic was honored with the Albert J. Stunkard Founders Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Obesity Research. The award is given biannually by the University of Pennsylvania in recognition of outstanding achievement in obesity research. The recipient is expected to contribute to science at a level comparable to that of Stunkard, who founded Penn’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders in 1957. Honorees typically have published in the prior year an outstanding article in a top–10 journal or have achieved lifetime accomplishment as a scientist, as reflected by a body of research cited 5,000 times or more (as captured by Science Citation Index). Jakicic has published three first-authored papers in The Journal of the American Medical Association, including one this past year concerning the intensity of lifestyle modification needed to achieve clinically significant weight loss.

Laurie Mulvey, director of the Division of Service Demonstrations in the Office of Child Development (OCD), was honored with the Community Human Services Corporation (CHS) Community Ally Award. CHS is a growing community-based nonprofit that provides shelter, supported housing, a food pantry, free medical and mental health services, outreach to the homeless, rental assistance, community support, and in-home help to adults with disabilities, with a focus on building assets to strengthen communities. The Community Ally Award was given to Mulvey for her nearly 40 years of leadership in family services, child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice, and education systems. While at OCD for more than 20 years, Mulvey has provided leadership for projects designed to improve the lives of children and families. Mulvey also serves on the boards of several organizations and is an active member of the Pittsburgh community.

Amy Rickman was granted fellow status by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Rickman is an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Physical Activity and serves as assistant director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. The purpose of the honor is to recognize distinguished achievement in sports medicine and related disciplines, acknowledge a deep and ongoing dedication to the goals and long-range activities of ACSM, and encourage continued service to ACSM in a leadership role.

Tanner LeBaron Wallace was awarded an MET Early Career Research Grant by the National Academy of Education. Her proposal, “Employing Urban Adolescent Interpretations of Instructional Practice to Distinguish Teacher Proficiency from Ceiling Effect in the Classroom Organization Domain,” focuses on refining measures of effective classroom management practice in secondary classrooms to support teachers with building and maintaining positive and productive relationships with adolescent students. In it, she states, “Adolescent student perceptions of a classroom environment, constituted in adolescent-adult interactions, are the primary mechanism through which adolescents assent to learn in high school classrooms. If students do not form a positive connection with their teacher, it is within their control to minimally learn core content or refuse to learn anything at all.” The MET Early Career Research Grants program, led by members of the National Academy of Education, is conducted in partnership with the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

Naomi Zigmond received an award for her contributions to the field of learning disabilities. Zigmond was recently presented with the Jeannette E. Fleischner Career Leadership Award at the 2013 Council for Exceptional Children Convention and Expo in San Antonio, Texas. The award honors those who have advanced the field of learning disabilities through direct services, policy development, community service, research, or organizational leadership throughout their career. Zigmond’s research interests have included secondary and postsecondary school experiences of students with mild disabilities, the improvement of high school programs for such students, and the impact of graduating or dropping out.