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Bidanda, Levitan named recipients of 2014 Chancellor's Awards

 Read the full article by Liberty Ferda in the Pitt Chronicle.

PITTSBURGH  (February 24, 2014) ... University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg has announced the winners of the 2014 Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching, Research, and Public Service Awards.

Each awardee will receive a $2,000 cash prize and a $3,000 grant for support of their teaching, research or service activities-and will be recognized during the University of Pittsburgh's 38th annual Honors Convocation, to be held at 3 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 28, in Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public.

Chancellors' Distinguished Public Service Award
Bopaya Bidanda, PhD
Ernest Roth Professor and Chair, Department of Industrial Engineering

The chancellor cited Bopaya Bidanda and his colleague David Cleland for development of Pitt's Manufacturing Assistance Center, which provides customized machinist-training programs for individuals and contributes to the region's economic development. Bidanda has also worked closely with UPMC's leadership to help improve patient care by incorporating industrial engineering concepts into health care delivery. Among the health care projects he undertook was the creation of a workflow design for the Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancer at the Hillman Cancer Center as well as work for Presbyterian University Hospital's Center for Lung Disease. Bidanda has been a leader in national engineering education throughout his career, including serving as past president for the Council of Industrial Engineering Academic Department Heads and as a commissioner for the accrediting body for all engineering academic programs.

Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award
Steven Levitan, PhD
John A. Jurenko Professor of Computer Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professor Steven Levitan is recognized for his use of innovative teaching initiatives to help students become critical thinkers. Levitan employs a "flipped classroom" structure, a form of blended learning where what used to be homework is done interactively in class, and new content is learned in various ways, including by watching video lectures at home. Levitan has also developed new courses, such as Very Large Scale Integration Design, Computer Modeling, and the Digital Design Laboratory. In the award letter, Chancellor Nordenberg wrote that those models "have set the standard" for how the department teaches laboratory courses. Previous recognition of Levitan's excellence in teaching include his receipt of the 2010 Provost's Academic Council on Instructional Excellence Award and the Swanson School's 2013 Outstanding Educator Award.