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Chatham News

Words Without Walls reading and launch

Bringing voices from the inside, out

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
July 26, 2011

PITTSBURGH (July 26, 2011) … On Saturday, August 6, 2011, Chatham University’s creative outreach program, Words Without Walls, will hold a special event to celebrate its year of success. The event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Mellon Board Room at Chatham University. The night will include featured readers from the community, inmate writing, artwork from the Allegheny County Jail, and the launching of two annual publications—as well as a new website.

Featured readers have been attending a community workshop, run by Words Without Walls, where diverse voices come together to inspire and workshop new and old writing. Other readers will read work on behalf of those currently enrolled in the Words Without Walls classes. An open mic period will follow.

Two annual chapbooks—a chapbook of work from the winner of the 2011 Sandra Gould-Ford Award and a chapbook anthology of inmate work from 2011—will be displayed and sold. Proceeds benefit the program.

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Director of Chatham’s CWE to be named NAWBO Member of the Year

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
July 26, 2011

PITTSBURGH (July 26, 2011) … Rebecca U. Harris, director of Chatham’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE), will receive the Member of the Year award from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) on August 3. The organization was created to allow businesswomen share information and foster an atmosphere of professional community to further strengthen their entrepreneurial interests. NAWBO represents the unified voice of more than 10 million women-owned businesses across the country.

Ms. Harris is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience as a consultant and marketing specialist. She graduated from Northwestern University as a communications studies major, and received her MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.

She has started and managed several businesses and is passionate about helping women start and grow successful businesses as the director of the CWE, which aims to increase the economic vitality of the region by encouraging women business startups, business growth, and increased employment. Ms. Harris supports NAWBO’s mission through various partnerships and has spoken at NAWBO conferences.

For more than 30 years, NAWBO has been expanding across the United States, with chapters in nearly every major metropolitan area. Through its affiliation with Les Femmes Chefs d’Enterprises Mondiales (World Association of Women Entrepreneurs), NAWBO’s global reach extends to 60 countries on five continents worldwide. NAWBO Greater Pittsburgh is the fifth oldest chapter in the country, founded in 1975. Two past presidents of the national organization were from Pittsburgh—Grace McGarland and Mary Del Brady.

About CWE
The mission of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University is to educate, create economic opportunities, and foster entrepreneurial thinking for women entrepreneurs, women in business, and students. The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University (CWE) provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs in both new development and growth stages of their businesses to start, develop and significantly grow their companies by utilizing Chatham resources, programs, faculty expertise, and student assistance. CWE also provides programming targeted to local and regional women in business designed to teach women in business how to think and act entrepreneurially by focusing on innovation and creativity within the context of an existing organizational environment.

Current and initial funding for CWE provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Initial funding for CWE was provided by the Lois Tack Thompson Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation. For more information about programs offered by CWE call 412-365-1253 or visit www.chatham.edu/cwe.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.

School of Sustainability and the Environment welcomes first faculty

By: Paul A. Kovach, Chief Communications Officer
July 14, 2011

PITTSBURGH (July 14, 2011) … Ready to expand with new academic programming, the School of Sustainability and the Environment (SSE) at Chatham University today announced the names of its new faculty. Founded in 2009, the SSE is a transdisciplinary academic institution that provides sustainable answers to today’s regional, national and global social, economic, and environmental concerns.

The faculty will take the lead in developing SSE’s new Master of Sustainability and online Certificate in Sustainable Management, both of which launch in 2012. They will engage the University’s historic 39-acre Shadyside Campus and Chatham Eastside facility, as well as the recently acquired 388-acre Eden Hall Campus in Richland Township as its living and learning laboratories, according to David M. Hassenzahl, Ph.D., the School’s founding dean.

Michael H. Finewood, Ph.D. is assistant professor of sustainability; Molly G. Mehling, Ph.D. is assistant professor of ecology and sustainability; Crystal L. Fortwangler, Ph.D. is assistant professor of sustainability and anthropology; and Allen G. Matthews, MS will be director and instructor of sustainable agriculture. Funding for the new faculty hires was provided by an anonymous donor. The four join Alice Julier, Ph.D., program director of SSE’s Master of Arts in Food Studies program, which welcomes its second cohort in fall 2011.

“I am pleased to welcome candidates of such caliber at this exciting stage in the development of the School,” Dr. Hassenzahl said. “The combination of their individual research and experience will be important in our work to develop tomorrow’s local, national and global leaders in sustainability.”

“In addition, we received hundreds of applications from around the world for these positions, so the interest for Chatham’s sustainability initiatives is attracting attention.”

Michael Finewood, Ph.D. is assistant professor of sustainability and joins Chatham from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia where he was visiting instructor, Department of Political Science and Geography. Describing himself as a human geographer and political ecologist with an explicit focus on critical geographies and justice, Dr. Finewood has instructed courses in various areas including Environmental Geography, Economic Geography and Map Use and Analysis. Recent presentations include Redeveloping Development: Considering Justice Through Discourses of Sustainable Development, Planning and Environmental Health Science, given at the 2010 Association of American Geographers annual meeting.

He holds a bachelor of arts in anthropology from North Carolina State University and a master of arts in cultural anthropology and Ph.D. in human geography from the University of South Carolina.

Crystal Fortwangler, Ph.D. is assistant professor of sustainability and environmental anthropology and was a Mellon post-doctoral scholar at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. as well as a visiting assistant professor at Oberlin College in Ohio. Dr. Fortwangler’s field research has included environmental protection and social justice and she is currently working on a multi-year project in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands that explores protected areas, human-land-livestock relations in the islands, and the ecological and socio-cultural changes resulting from the introduction of the green iguana. She has written several articles regarding her research as well as other subjects, including book chapters on social justice and ecotourism.

She earned a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, a master of arts in international relations from the University of Chicago, and a master of arts in anthropology and a Ph.D. in anthropology and natural resources & environment from the University of Michigan.

Allen Matthews, MS is director and instructor of sustainable agriculture. Mr. Matthews returns to Pittsburgh after having served as enterprise coordinator/senior outreach research specialist for the Center for Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Vermont. A native of Washington, Pa., Mr. Matthews is a sixth-generation farmer operating Matthews Family Farm LLC, a 143-acre vegetable and greenhouse farm. He developed the first farmer-initiated research grant for the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and has organically certified several farms. Prior to his years at the University of Vermont, he served as the regional coordinator for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s Community FARM Initiative, where he established the Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance, which now counts over 30 farm members.

Mr. Matthews earned a bachelor of science in liberal arts from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind.; and a master of science in community and organizational development from the University of Louisville.

Molly Mehling, Ph.D. is assistant professor of ecology and sustainability and most recently a visiting faculty member at Miami University of Ohio. Dr. Mehling is a science and sustainability photojournalist who founded SustainableFocus.org – a collaborative endeavor to fulfill the needs of the science-photography community. She is a freshwater ecologist whose research interests include sustainability science, global water resources, community ecology, and women’s and children’s environmental health. As a 2011 Research Ambassador Fellow, Dr. Mehling merged science and photography to teach preschoolers about aquatic biota. She also consulted with childcare providers to discuss methods for outreach and engagement for ecology and toxicology for care providers and parents of young children. She holds a bachelor of science in environmental biology from Mount Union College (now University of Mount Union) and a master of environmental science and completed her Ph.D. in zoology at Miami University in 2011.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.

Low-Res MFA program presents free reading and book signing by poet Mary Swander on August 5

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
July 13, 2011

PITTSBURGH (July 11, 2011) … The Chatham University Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program will celebrate its 2011 residency with a free public reading by Mary Swander, poet laureate of Iowa, on Friday, August 5. The evening will begin with a reception from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Mellon Board Room, followed by Ms. Swander’s keynote address titled “The Role of the Writer in a World of Peak Everything” from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a book signing to follow. For more information contact Peter Oresick at 412-365-1264 or poresick@chatham.edu.

August 1-10 marks the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing program’s third residency period, when students from the online program participate in intensive writing, studying, and lecture sessions at Chatham’s Shadyside and Eden Hall Campuses. Launched in 2008, the Low-Res MFA is a 39-credit program that can be completed in two years with two summer residencies of ten days each. The program grew from Chatham’s highly acclaimed residency program and maintains the same innovative focus on nature, environment, and travel writing. In lieu of writing workshops each term, students receive mentorships with a publishing writer.

Ms. Swander is a professor of English and a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University. She is the author of The Girls on the Roof, (2009); The Desert Pilgrim: En Route to Mysticism and Miracles, (2004); Out of this World: A Journey of Healing, (2008); Driving the Body Back, (1998); Parsnips in the Snow: Talks with Midwestern Gardeners, (1990); Succession, (1979); and Heaven-and-Earth House, (1994). In addition, she is the co-editor of Land of the Fragile Giants, (1994) and her work is included in the anthology The Healing Circle, (1998).

She has won numerous awards, including an Iowa Author’s Award (2006), a Whiting Award (The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, 1994), a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the Literary Arts (1986), two Ingram Merrill Awards (1980, 1986), the Carl Sandburg Literary Award (The Chicago Public Library, 1981), and the Nation-Discovery Award (The Nation magazine, 1976). Publisher’s Weekly named Parsnips in the Snow one of the best books of 1990, and the Garden Writers Association of America awarded Swander their Quill and Trowel Award for best magazine writing of 1993.

Ms. Swander’s poems, essays, short stories, and articles have been published in The NationNational Gardening MagazineThe New RepublicThe New YorkerThe New York Times Magazine, and Poetry magazine.

She received her M.F.A from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop.

About Chatham University

Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.

Dean of Chatham’s new School of Sustainability and the Environment to discuss managing uncertainty in environmental health

David Hassenzahl’s presentation will be part of Environmental Toxicity and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, a conference to be held on July 15 in Morgantown, W.Va.

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
July 12, 2011

PITTSBURGH (July 12, 2011) … Nationally prominent doctors and researchers will gather on Friday, July 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to discuss their views at Environmental Toxicity and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, a conference to be held at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, W.Va.

The conference will include a presentation titled “Strategies for Making Health Decisions Under High Uncertainty” by Dr. David M. Hassenzahl, Dean of Chatham University’s new School of Sustainability and the Environment.

“While uncertainty remains one of the biggest challenges to making effective environmental and health decisions, we have developed methods to understand, describe, communicate, manage, and cope with uncertainty,” says Hassenzahl. “For managing the relationship between environmental toxicity and neurodevelopmental disorders, we should frame uncertainty as a management challenge that differentiates among hidden risks, surprises, and emerging and persistent controversies.”

In addition to Dr. Hassenzahl, the national speakers include:

• Isaac Pessah, Ph.D., professor of toxicology, The University of California, Davis School of Medicine;
• Raymond F. Palmer, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio Department of Family and Community Medicine;
• Eric M. Roberts, MD, Ph.D., environmental health tracking program manager, California Department of Health Services;
• Stephanie J. Frisbee, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine;
• Scott Faber, MD, development pediatrician, The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh
• H.M. “Skip” Kingston Ph.D., professor, Duquesne University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and
• Bernard D. Goldstein, MD, professor, University of Pittsburgh Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

The conference is co-hosted by Duquesne University and The Children’s Institute, and funded in part by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Rural Health.

About the School of Sustainability and the Environment

The School of Sustainability and the Environment (SSE) at Chatham University was founded in 2009 after the tremendous gift of the 388-acre Eden Hall from Eden Hall Foundation. The SSE (which currently houses the Master of Food Studies program and the Rachel Carson Institute) is a transdisciplinary academic institution that provides sustainable strategies for today’s regional, national and global social, economic, and environmental challenges.

About Chatham University

Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.