University of Pittsburgh
May 10, 2010

Pitt School of Education Honors Nine During Annual Reception

Awards presented in individually named categories to alumni and a graduate student leader
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh School of Education recently honored eight alumni and one graduate student with individual awards during the school's annual Alumni Awards Program reception held April 29 in the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, Oakland.

Four departmental awards and five awards in individual categories are presented annually.

The 2010 award recipients were Distinguished Alumni Award-winner Gwendolyn Cartledge (EDUC '65, '68G), a professor in the College of Education at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio; Early Career Award-winner Fabio E. Fontana (EDUC '06, '07G), an assistant professor in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa; Pre K-12 Educator Award-winner Kathleen K. Harrington (EDUC '98), principal at Pine-Richland Middle School in Gibsonia, Pa.; Department of Administrative and Policy Studies awardee Maria E. Piantanida (EDUC '82G), adjunct associate professor in the Division of Education at Carlow University in Pittsburgh; Department of Health and Physical Activity awardee Paul M. Ribisl (EDUC '60), Charles E. Taylor Professor of Health and Exercise Science at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Department of Instruction and Learning awardee Mary Elizabeth Cataldi (EDUC '73G, '79G), educator and author; Department of Psychology in Education awardee Larry Edelman (SOC WK '75 [in child development, which is now in the School of Education], SHRS '82G), senior instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado in Denver; Falk School Outstanding Alumni Award-winner Sigo Falk (the School of Education's Falk School, '46), chair of the Maurice Falk Foundation in Pittsburgh; and Student Leadership Award-winner Jorge E. Delgado, doctoral candidate in Pitt's Department of Administrative and Policy Studies.

Brief biographies of the honorees follow.

Cartledge, a professor of special education, has an extensive teaching career in both the public schools and higher education. As a faculty member at Ohio State University, Cartledge focused her professional teaching, research, and writings on students with mild disabilities, the development of social skills, and early intervention and prevention of learning and behavior problems through effective instruction. Her current research and writing focuses on early reading intervention with a particular emphasis on urban and culturally/linguistically diverse learners. Cartledge's writing includes coauthored books, social skills curricula, and articles in professional journals. She received her PhD at Ohio State.

Along with pursuing his passion for teaching, Fontana maintains an active research program with publications in national peer-reviewed journals. He also has served on several departmental committees and is assisting with the Kinder Gym program, a physical activity program for children ages 2 to 5. Fontana previously was an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Studies at Eastern Illinois University. During his graduate years at Pitt, Fontana taught and supervised Pitt's Kinder Kinetics program, a physical activity program for children ages 3 to 12 with and without disabilities. He also was a part-time physical education teacher at Pitt's Falk Laboratory School.

Under Harrington's leadership, Pine-Richland has received such accolades as the Don Eichorn Award for Outstanding Middle School in 2004 and state and national recognition as a "School to Watch" in 2007 and 2010. Harrington serves on the State Regional Board of the Pennsylvania Middle School Association and previously was the group's president. She is involved in the Principal's Academy of Leadership and was named Outstanding Educator by the North Hills Board of the American Association of University Women. Prior to working at Pine-Richland, Harrington served as dean of students at Greenway Middle School and as a reading teacher/specialist at Knoxville Middle School; both schools are part of the Pittsburgh Public School District.

Piantanida, also an adjunct associate professor at Pitt, has taught an introductory course on qualitative research and has served on numerous dissertation committees. At Carlow, Piantanida worked with colleagues to develop and teach a Master of Arts program in educational praxis. Piantanida is coauthor, with Pitt professor of education Noreen Garman, of two editions of "The Qualitative Dissertation: A Guide for Students and Faculty" (Corwin Press, Second Edition, 2009) and coeditor of "The Authority to Imagine: The Struggle Toward Representation in Dissertation Writing" (Peter Lang Publishing, 2006). Piantanida previously served as director of the Educational Development Department at Allegheny General Hospital.

Ribisl also is an associate dean for academic planning at Wake Forest. He was cofounder of Wake Forest's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, the first outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program in North Carolina. It became a model for 50 additional programs developed in the state over a 20-year period. Ribisl has served as president of the Forsyth County Heart Association and the North Carolina Cardiac Rehabilitation Association. In 2008, Ribisl received the Wake Forest University Schoonmaker Prize for Community Service. Ribisl's research areas are graded exercise testing in the diagnosis and prognosis of coronary heart disease and exercise programming and prescriptions for patients with chronic degenerative diseases. He holds an MS degree from Kent State University and a PhD degree from the University of Illinois.

An educator her entire professional life, Cataldi served as head of the Calverton School, an independent school in Huntington, Md., for 17 years. She recently published her first book, "Stay Close: A Mother's Story of Her Son's Addiction" (St. Martin's Press, 2009). It is a story about dealing with addiction without withdrawing love and learning to trust again while remaining attentive to "the cautious triumph of staying clean." Currently residing in Florence, Italy, Cataldi is on the board of the International School of Florence and is a member of the American International League of Women.

Edelman has worked in the fields of early care and education, early intervention, health, education, developmental disabilities, family support, and parental advocacy in more than 45 states and abroad. In addition to holding his position at the University of Colorado, Edelman serves as director of dissemination for JFK Partners, the University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and as one of the primary instructors in its Interdisciplinary Training Program. Edelman has written, edited, and produced professional development programs, materials, and videos that have been adopted throughout the United States and internationally. In 2009, Edelman received the Barbara A. Quarantillo Senior Instructor with Distinction Award from the University of Colorado-Denver's Department of Pediatrics.

An active member of the Falk School and the Pittsburgh Community, Falk serves as vice chair of Chatham University and is a trustee of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Falk was a board member of Duquesne Light Holdings, Inc., a director of National Intergroup, Inc., and a trustee of the McKee Income Realty Trust. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including those of the Health Systems Agency of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Allegheny Land Trust, and the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Center. Falk earned his BA degree at Harvard University and his MBA degree at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

A fourth-year doctoral student in social and comparative analysis in education, Delgado is a K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and a research associate in Pitt's Institute for International Studies in Education. Delgado has served as the representative of the Council of Graduate Students in Education to Pitt's School of Education Council. He recently created a student group intended to complement administrative and policy studies students' learning experiences by providing them information and opportunities for collaborative work to publish and engage in research and funding research projects. Delgado came to the United States in 2005. He holds a master's degree in education and a doctoral degree in dentistry, both from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, where he also taught for 15 years before coming to the United States.