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Friday, September 23, 2011

Gajanan, Race to be honored by Pitt-Bradford alumni


BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Alumni Association will honor Dr. Shailendra Gajanan with its Teaching Excellence Award and Ryan Race ’07 as its Distinguished Volunteer as part of Alumni and Family Weekend.

Gajanan was nominated by Danielle Graves ’00, who was an economics minor at Pitt-Bradford, in large part due to Gajanan’s teachings.

“Economics can be a rather uninteresting subject for some,” she wrote in her nomination. “While attending classes with Dr. Gajanan, however, I never felt that he lost anyone’s attention. He used humor and really taught the subject on a level that related to all of the students, such as using examples with beer and pretzels.”

Mark Byrne ’98 also nominated Gajanan.

“As a former student, I can say, without hesitation, that Dr. Gajanan played a major role in my development at Pitt-Bradford. His intellect, subtle wit and keen sense of how to connect with students furthered my educational experience at Pitt-Bradford beyond what I imagined was possible.”

Gajanan has been teaching at Pitt-Bradford since 1992 and has conducted research on water issues and the spread of the chickungunya virus in his native Chennai, India. He has also researched the local economic impact of Pitt-Bradford and of a proposed four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 219. Currently he has teamed up with Jim Dombrosky, assistant professor of hospitality management, to study the Pennsylvania wine industry.

Past recipients include Dr. Vincent Kohler, Dr. Marvin Thomas, Dr. Michael Stuckart, Dr. Patricia Bianco, David Blackmore, Dr. Richard E. McDowell, Dr. Richard Frederick, Jeffrey Guterman, Lizbeth Matz, Isabelle Champlin, Dr. Gautam Mukerjee, Dr. Warren Fass, Don Lewicki, Dr. Helene Lawson and Dr. Stephen Robar.

Race was nominated by Lori Mazza, director of athletics, who cited his work to create the “Panther P” athletic logo used exclusively by Pitt-Bradford and his support of the athletics program.

“Ryan was instrumental in reviving our alumni basketball game,” Mazza said. “He was also a leader in this year’s athletic auction.”

She also mentioned Race’s steady support of the men’s basketball program, attending games and other events on campus.

“Ryan is always willing to help out Pitt-Bradford if he can,” Mazza said. “He has been an excellent representative of the university in Bradford through his work with Northwest Savings. He always mentions Pitt-Bradford fondly and truly represents an alumnus who loves his hometown, alma mater and job.”

Past recipients include Dennis Lowery ’63-’65, Susan Silvestri ’72-’74, Gregory Silvestri ’73-’75, Bill Krieg ’64-’66, David Higie ’74-’76, Sharon Knouse ’88, Sandra Macfarlane ’80-’82, Anita Dolan ’88, Tim Fannin ’78, Ward Garner ’89 and Craig Hartburg ’73-’75.

Both men will be honored at an awards brunch Oct. 1 that will also include Athletic Hall of Fame inductees Matt Barnes and Missy Wahlberg. Additionally, Pitt-Bradford’s first men’s basketball team from 1965-67 will be honored.

The brunch will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons. The public is welcome to attend. The cost is $12. For reservations, call the Pitt-Bradford alumni relations office at (814)362-5091.

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