University of Pittsburgh
August 4, 2011

NEWS OF NOTE FROM PITT: Pitt Professor Appointed to Homeland Security Advisory Council and Pitt Junior Selected for Fulbright Summer Institute in the UK

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Pitt Professor Appointed to Homeland Security Advisory Council 

• Pitt Junior Selected for Fulbright Summer Institute in the UK

PITTSBURGH— Behind the larger stories about the University of Pittsburgh are other stories of faculty, staff, and student achievement as well as information on Pitt programs reaching new levels of success. The following is a compilation of some of those stories.

Pitt Professor Appointed to Homeland Security Advisory Council

Lisa Nelson, associate professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, has been appointed to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.

Lisa Nelson

The committee works with the DHS Privacy Office as policy advisors on emerging privacy issues surrounding new technologies.

Nelson joins members of the private sector and academia on the 20-member board that meets four times a year in Washington, D.C. Committee members serve two-year terms and are eligible to be reappointed.

Nelson said the committee members’ professional experiences, which range from academic theory to real-world practice, help in crafting innovative policies.

“The committee tries to predict the types of problems before new technology is rolled out to the public,” Nelson said. “It is important to have a strong security program but also to learn how to make use of all the information that is available, all while protecting the foundational elements of civil rights and liberties.”

Nelson specializes in science, technology, and society. She was coprincipal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant to explore societal perceptions of biometric technology; the results of the research were published in America Identified: Biometric Technology and Society (MIT Press, 2010).

For more information about the DHS, visit www.dhs.gov.

Pitt Junior Selected for Fulbright Summer Institute in the UK 

Tim Ohlsen, a University of Pittsburgh junior majoring in neuroscience and chemistry in Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences, has been selected to participate in the Fulbright Commission Newcastle University Summer Institute in the United Kingdom, one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programs operating worldwide.

While completing the five-week program at Newcastle University, Ohlsen is exploring science from a global perspective as part of an experience he expects will be invaluable in a future research or medical career.

Created by treaty in 1948, the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission is the only bilateral, transatlantic scholarship program offering awards and summer programs for study or research in any field at any accredited U.S. or U.K. university. The commission is part of the Fulbright Program conceived in the aftermath of World War II by late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright to promote leadership, learning, and empathy between nations through educational exchange.

A native of Monroe, Wash., near Seattle, Ohlsen attended Monroe High School, where he was an all-district basketball player and sprinter. He also started a math-tutoring club and volunteered in youth mentorship programs in high school. At Pitt, Ohlsen teaches an introductory chemistry recitation geared towards struggling students and is working on a research project concerning the neuroanatomy behind fluid homeostasis.

Each year, the Fulbright Commission supports approximately 50 U.K. and U.S. undergraduate students undertaking demanding academic and cultural summer programs at leading institutions in the U.S. and U.K., respectively. Nearly 300,000 women and men from all over the world have had their lives changed as participants in the Fulbright Program. Of these alumni, approximately 15,000 U.K. nationals have studied in the United States and nearly 12,000 U.S. nationals in the United Kingdom via the educational exchange programs. 

Notable alumni of the U.S.-U.K. Commission include: novelist Malcolm Bradbury; politician Liam Byrne; economist and 1976 Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman; politician Charles Kennedy; actor John Lithgow; poet Sylvia Plath; Baroness (Shirley) Williams, politician; BBC World Service journalist Vanessa Heaney; and journalist and playwright Toby Young.

The commission is funded partially by the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills in the United Kingdom and the U.S. Department of State, with additional support from a variety of individual and institutional partners.

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