University of Pittsburgh
April 15, 2004

Pitt Honors Four Faculty with the Bellet Teaching Award

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Four Arts and Sciences faculty recently received the 2004 Tina and David Bellet Arts and Sciences Teaching Excellence Award at a dinner at the Holiday Inn University Center.

The 2004 faculty winners are Ericka Cederstrom-Huston, Department of Chemistry; Geeta Kothari, Department of English; Marla Ripoll, Department of Economics; and Peter Simonson, Department of Communication.

Established in 1998 with a $200,000 donation from the Bellet family, the annual award recognizes outstanding and innovative teaching in undergraduate studies in the Arts and Sciences. Award recipients will each receive a one-time cash prize of $2,000 and a grant of $3,000 in support of his or her teaching.

Cederstrom-Huston, with the University since 1999, is an undergraduate advisor in the chemistry department, coordinator for its supplemental instructor study group, and involved with its teacher-training program. She also served as cochair for Panel Discussion on Student Motivation at the 2003 Teaching Excellence Fair. Her undergraduate classes have included general chemistry I and II, organic chemistry I and II, principles of organic chemistry, and chemistry for the nonscientist.

Kothari, a faculty member at Pitt since 1988, is director of the Writing Center and a member of the Asian American Writers' Group. She has served on the Composition Curriculum Committee and Writing Program Committee. Kothari's classes have included introduction to creative writing, introduction to fiction writing, intermediate fiction writing, senior seminar in fiction, readings in contemporary fiction, tutoring peer writers, women and literature, contemporary American women writers, and the immigrant experience.

At Pitt since 2000, Ripoll is a faculty member in the Center for Latin American Studies and the Global Studies Program in the University Center for International Studies. She has taught intermediate international trade, intermediate macroeconomics, and introduction to development economics.

Also at Pitt since 2000, Simonson is a member of the School of Arts & Sciences Curriculum Implementation Committee and cofacilitator of the A&S Faculty Development Seminar on Communication Across the Curriculum. He has been a panelist on several Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education teaching symposia. Simonson also coordinates the teacher training for graduate students in the communications department and has developed a graduate seminar to prepare students to contribute to the "speech across the curriculum" movement. His classes have included undergraduate course in rhetorical process and communication and political life.