Chatham University

Chatham News

Chatham University landscape architecture students win UPMC student design competition

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PITTSBURGH (August 31, 2012) …Three Chatham University Master of Landscape Architecture students teamed up to win a first prize in the UPMC-sponsored Living Visual Barrier Student Design Competition for their design for UPMC Mercy, one of two competition sites.

The goal of the students in the competition was to appropriately screen adjacent areas without obstructing access, create aesthetically appealing and visually engaging landscape design elements that is easy to maintain across the seasons, optimize storm water management, comply with the City of Pittsburgh’s property management regulations, and incorporate sustainable landscape planting techniques that fit the challenging urban environment of Pittsburgh.

The Chatham team of Jordyn Melino, Julia Morrison, and James Christopher Ray conceived a design that draws on the environmental context and rock outcroppings of the Monongahela River, developing an efficient retaining wall system for the corner of the Mercy Hospital campus. The terrace rock walls proposed for the site are set in a double helix pattern that guides the eye and references both the flow of the river below and the wind currently found on the site. The design met two primary objectives: blocking the view of the loading dock operations from passersby and providing a visual respite to patients, doctors, and visitors.

“More importantly, the natural aesthetic of the proposed landscape has the potential to inspire patients in the hospital as they gaze out their windows,” said Kyle Beidler, Ph.D., assistant professor in Chatham University’s Master of Landscape Architecture program. “I believe the students’ design proposal was a practical and elegant solution that exceeded the client’s expectations.

“The competition provided us an opportunity to apply what we learned in a classroom studio to a real setting,” said Chatham team member Morrison. “It challenged us to go beyond our comfort zone and acquire new skills that helped push our design to the forefront.”

Criteria for judging included content, demonstration of expertise, overall effective communication, frame valuation of structure, design plan, project timeline, budget, and maintenance plan.

“From an instructional perspective, the most inspirational part of the Living Visual Barrier project was that it was completely student driven,” added Dr. Beidler.  “This group of students took it upon themselves to participate in this competition. My role was simply to guide and encourage; it was their individual enthusiasm and dedication to the profession of landscape architecture that is recognized by this award.”

Penn State students won first prize for the second site, UPMC Shadyside, as a total of seven student teams from both Chatham University and Penn State participated.

About Chatham’s Master of Landscape Architecture
Chatham University’s fully accredited Master of Landscape Architecture Program prepares students for professional careers in landscape architecture. It has a particular emphasis on educating and training a generation of professionals who are grounded in the principles of sustainable design and planning; knowledgeable about the advanced approaches of environmental conservation and management; and skillful in applying ecologically responsible methods and techniques in all types of development.

About Chatham University
Chatham University, founded in 1869, is located in the vibrant Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa. Preparing students from around the world, Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the Pittsburgh region.

Consisting of an undergraduate women’s college and graduate and online programs for both men and women, Chatham has consistently been ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Offering challenging academics and innovative programming in the fields of sustainability and the environment, the health sciences, and business and entrepreneurship, a Chatham education is designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy, today.

Chatham has also demonstrated institutional commitments to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and has been recognized as a leader in sustainability by The Princeton Review, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the League of American Bicyclists, and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.

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Award-winning artist honors Rachel Carson and the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring in new exhibition at Chatham

Artist Kate Cheney Chappell ‘67, Chatham alumna, is cofounder of the natural products company Tom’s of Maine

PITTSBURGH (August 30, 2012) …
To honor Rachel Carson and the 50th anniversary of her groundbreaking book, Silent Spring, award-winning artist Kate Cheney Chappell ’67 will mount a free public solo exhibition at the Chatham University Art Gallery. “InterRelated: One Artist’s Response to Silent Spring” opens with a reception on September 27 from 5-7 p.m. At 4 p.m. on September 28, poets Jean LeBlanc and Marjorie Agosin will give readings of their works that were inspired by Carson; readings will take place in classroom across the hall from the gallery. The show runs through
November 15.

Both alumnae of Chatham, Chappell and Carson also have Maine in common. Carson summered on Southport Island and is one of Maine’s most celebrated scientists. More than 50 miles of southern Maine coastline were dedicated as the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in her memory. Chappell moved “back to the land” with her husband Tom in 1968 and co-founded the natural products company Tom’s of Maine based on “the values of community and caring for the environment,” she says.

During walks in the Rachel Carson Refuge, Chappell passes a boulder with Carson’s words inscribed in bronze:  “All the life of the planet is interrelated… each species has its own ties to others… and all are related to the earth.” Chappell credits Carson with being a “guiding light” in her life. “My work reflects Rachel Carson’s understanding that we are all interrelated, all part of the web of life.”

Silent Spring sparked a debate that led to the banning of DDT and other pesticides in 1974. Chappell hopes to engage the current generation of young people in the 50-year-old environmental questions that still have relevancy today. The letters DDT are hidden in several of the prints the artist made on large etching presses.

The exhibit showcases more than 50 works from monoprints and mixed media to installations and books by the artist. As part of the show, Chappell will collaborate with students to build a life-size eagle’s nest on campus from collected dead branches. Raku-fired clay ‘eagle’s eggs’ she created will be hidden on campus for students to find. The eggs contain messages about DDT and its contribution to the thinning of eagle’s eggshells and the subsequent decline in their population.

“Kate Cheney Chappell’s art is visual lyricism, created in sympathy with the writings of Rachel Carson and in empathy with the earth,” writes Sherry Buckberrough, chair of the art history department at the University of Hartford. Essays by Buckberrough and Patricia DeMarco, the director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham, appear with color reproductions of Chappell’s work in a 50-page show catalogue published by the University. Poems written in response to Carson are included; the catalogue will be available for purchase at the gallery. For more information, visit www.katechappellartspace.com or www.chatham.edu/Interrelated.

About Chatham University
Chatham University, founded in 1869, is located in the vibrant Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. Preparing students from around the world, Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the Pittsburgh region.

Consisting of an undergraduate women’s college and graduate and online programs for both men and women, Chatham has consistently been ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Offering challenging academics and innovative programming in the fields of sustainability and the environment, the health sciences, and business & entrepreneurship, a Chatham education is designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy, today.

Chatham has also demonstrated institutional commitments to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and has been recognized as a leader in sustainability by The Princeton Review, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the League of American Bicyclists, and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.

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Chatham University to host Sept. 7 reading to celebrate the publication of new books by creative writing faculty

Event to also feature author BK Loren

PITTSBURGH (August 28, 2012) … In celebration of the recent publication of two new books by Chatham creative writing faculty members Heather McNaugher, author of System of Hideouts (poetry); and Sheryl St. Germain, author of Navigating Disaster: 16 Essays of love and a poem of despair (nonfiction, poetry), will give free public readings at 7:30 p.m. on September 7. Also featured will be well-known author BK Loren, author of Theft (fiction). The event will be held in the Welker Room of James Laughlin Music Hall on the Shadyside Campus; a reception and signing will follow.

McNaugher teaches poetry, nonfiction, and literature at Chatham, her alma mater, and is poetry editor of the MFA program’s annual literary journal Fourth River. Her work has appeared in 5 A.M., The Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Leveler, and The Cortland Review, and on the radio show, Prosody. She is also the author of the chapbook Panic & Joy. After working as a house cleaner and barista in Seattle and as a dog walker in Brooklyn, she got her Ph.D. in English from The State University of New York at Binghamton.

St. Germain, a native of New Orleans, is the director of Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Her poetry books include Making Bread at Midnight, How Heavy the Breath of God, The Journals of Scheherazade, and Let it Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems. She has also published a chapbook of translations of the Cajun poet Jean Arceneaux, Je Suis Cadien, and a collection of essays about growing up in south Louisiana, Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman. She recently co-edited, with Margaret Whitford, Between Song and Story: Essays for the Twenty-First Century.

Loren, in addition to teaching at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and elsewhere throughout the United States and Canada, has worked as a naturalist, large predator monitor for Colorado State Parks, professional ‘brainstormer,’ assistant chef, ranch hand, furniture maker, and UPS driver. She is a winner of the Mary Roberts-Rinehart National Fellowship and has also received The Dana Award for a novel-in-progress for Theft. Loren currently lives with her partner, two dogs, and two cats in Colorado.

About Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing program
Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing allows students to focus on tracks in creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and writing for children, while encouraging them to explore two tracks simultaneously. Students take innovative field seminars that include travel to such places as Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, and Germany. In 2007 Poets & Writers named the MFA one of “Nine Distinctive Programs” and The Atlantic Monthly named it one of five innovative/unique programs in the country in its “Best of the Best” graduate program listings. In January 2012, The Writer named it one of the “4 top schools you should consider” and in 2009, named it one of ten programs that offer a specialty focus. Chatham University also offers an undergraduate BFA in Creative Writing, an online Master of Professional Writing, and a low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. For more information, visit www.chatham.edu/mfa or contact Sheryl St. Germain at sstgermain@chatham.edu.

About Chatham University
Chatham University’s historic Shadyside Campus, founded in 1869, is located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pa. With accelerated bachelor’s degree and graduate degree programs, residential and low-residency degree programs, and comprehensive online programming, Chatham students from around the world can balance their personal lives while continuing their education. Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the region. In 2008, Chatham received the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus in Pine-Richland, the future home of the School of Sustainability and the Environment, which will be a place of learning, research, and practicing sustainable behaviors that can be replicated elsewhere to make the world a better place.

The Chatham College for Women is dedicated to fostering the next generation of women leaders with more than 40 majors, internship and study abroad opportunities, and an academic approach developed to help students think creatively and communicate more effectively. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham’s College for Graduate Studies and College for Continuing and Professional Studies offers co-educational post-baccalaureate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Integrating strong community partnerships and innovative programming in such burgeoning fields as sustainability and the health sciences, Chatham programs are designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy.

Chatham has demonstrated institutional commitments to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and has been recognized as a leader in sustainability by The Princeton Review, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the League of American Bicyclists, and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.

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The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham to present Susan Catalano, scientist-turned-entrepreneur pursuing drugs to stop Alzheimer’s

PITTSBURGH (August 24, 2012) … The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) at Chatham University will host Susan Catalano, founder and chief science officer of Cognition Therapeutics Inc., as part of its Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series on Friday, Sept. 14, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the James Laughlin Music Center on the University’s Shadyside Campus. Catalano will discuss her journey from scientist to entrepreneur as she pursues the discovery of drugs to halt or reverse the underlying pathological changes in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease.

Setting up a lab and raising capital to finance her work required Catalano to be an entrepreneur as well as a scientist. Catalano founded Cognition Therapeutics in 2007, and relocated the company to Pittsburgh from California to take advantage of the world-class neuroscience research, highly educated workforce, and synergies with local companies that the city’s healthcare-driven economy offers.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 5.4 million Americans and is expected to increase to more than 11 million by 2040. Nationally, the direct costs associated with caring for patients with the disease are $183 billion annually. Nationally, 70 percent of the 5.4 million Alzheimer’s patients live at home, where 14.9 million Americans, most of them women, provide 17 billion hours of unpaid care for them at a total cost of $202 billion. There are currently no disease-modifying treatments available to fundamentally halt the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.

The $25 admission fee includes a continental breakfast and networking session, which precede the presentation. Program partners for this event are Springboard Enterprises and Pittsburgh Life Science Greenhouse. To register or for more information visit www.chatham.edu/cwe or call 412-365-1253.

About Susan Catalano
Catalano has extensive experience in the field of Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery. She served as director of discovery biology for South San Francisco-based startup Acumen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. She has more than 14 years of experience as a cell biologist in the fields of neuroscience and oncology, and nine years of experience in the drug discovery industry. Catalano received her Ph.D. from U.C. Irvine and postdoctoral training at U.C. Berkeley and Caltech in the field of neurobiology.

About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship
The mission of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship is to educate, create economic opportunities, and foster entrepreneurial thinking for women entrepreneurs, women in business, and students. CWE provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs in all stages of businesses to start and grow their companies by utilizing Chatham resources, programs, and expertise. CWE programming is also designed to teach regional businesswomen how to think and act entrepreneurially by focusing on innovation and creativity in the workplace. CWE also offers specific programs for both undergraduate and graduate students that help develop the skills needed to become successful businesswomen.

Founded in 2005, CWE has expanded its reach throughout Southwestern PA to help an increasing number of businesswomen learn, network, connect, and achieve their business goals.

Current and initial funding for CWE provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.  Initial funding for CWE was also 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’s historic Shadyside Campus, founded in 1869, is located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pa. Preparing students from around the world, Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the Pittsburgh region.

Consisting of an undergraduate women’s college and graduate and online programs for both men and women, Chatham has consistently been ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Offering challenging academics and innovative programming in the fields of sustainability and the environment, the health sciences, and business & entrepreneurship, a Chatham education is designed to help students meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy, today.

Chatham has also demonstrated institutional commitments to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and has been recognized as a leader in sustainability by The Princeton Review, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the League of American Bicyclists, and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.

Chatham University welcomes Wenying Xu as vice president of academic affairs

PITTSBURGH (August 13, 2012) … Chatham University welcomes to campus Wenying Xu, Ph.D., as vice president of academic affairs. In this role, Xu will provide administrative oversight and academic leadership at Chatham, which has experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region throughout the past decade.

Xu most recently served as professor and chair of English and interim associate dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letter at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla., where she was closely engaged in accreditation and enrollment management and oversaw budget, tenure cases, and graduate programs. She just completed a three-year term serving as president of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States.

“In Wenying Xu, Chatham University welcomes an academic leader with great experience and a passion for providing education of the highest quality in new and innovative ways,” said Chatham President Esther Barazzone, Ph.D. “Her commitment to international education, scholarship, and Chatham’s educational mission were among the things that appealed to us in selecting her as our new Vice President of Academic Affairs, and we look forward to working with her to realize our exciting vision for Chatham’s future.”

“I am deeply attracted to what Chatham stands for: women’s leadership, global awareness, and environmental sustainability,” says Xu. “These have been my values for decades. I am also very excited to play a leadership role in this university as it moves forward to build its international reputation.”

Born and raised in China, Xu received her B.A. in English from Hebei University, where she taught English for three years after receiving her degree.  She came to the United States for graduate studies at West Virginia University, where she received an M.A. in English. Xu received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Pittsburgh, where she wrote her dissertation on a comparative study of 19th century American and Chinese realism, a study of literature as social criticism in two different cultures.

Prior to serving as professor and chair of English at FAU, Xu served as both director of graduate studies (2005-2007) and director of undergraduate studies (2003-2005). Previously, she served as associate professor of English at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., and as visiting professor at the American Studies Center at Sichuan University in China. In 2002, she had the honor of serving as a Fulbright Lecturer at Xiamen University in China. In 1999, Xu attended the prestigious Iowa Summer Fiction Workshop.

She is the author of “Historical Dictionary of Asian American Literature and Theater” (Scarecrow Press, 2012); “Eating Identities: Reading Food in Asian American Literature” (University of Hawaii Press, 2008) and “Ethics and Aesthetics of Freedom in American and Chinese Realism” (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2003), as well as many articles in international and national journals and several chapters in publications.

Xu relocated to Pittsburgh with her husband Henry Ruf, Ph.D., a retired professor of philosophy, and their 19-year old son, Alan.

About Chatham University
Chatham University’s historic Shadyside Campus, founded in 1869, is located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pa. With accelerated bachelor’s and graduate programs, residential and low-residency degree programs, and comprehensive online programming, Chatham students from around the world can balance their personal lives while continuing their education. Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the region. In 2008, Chatham received the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus in Pine-Richland, the future home of the School of Sustainability and the Environment, which will be a place of learning, research, and practicing sustainable behaviors that can be replicated elsewhere to make the world a better place.

The Chatham College for Women is dedicated to fostering the next generation of women leaders with more than 40 majors, internship and study abroad opportunities, and an academic approach developed to help students think creatively and communicate more effectively. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham’s College for Graduate Studies and College for Continuing and Professional Studies offers co-educational post-baccalaureate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Integrating strong community partnerships and innovative programming in such burgeoning fields as sustainability and the health sciences, Chatham programs are designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy.

Chatham has demonstrated institutional commitments to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and has been recognized as a leader in sustainability by The Princeton Review, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the League of American Bicyclists, and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.

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