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Cancer Vaccine Studied: Melanoma, a cancer arising out of the skin's pigment-forming cells kills more than 7,000 Americans each year. Now John Kirkwood of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute has launched a three-year study of a vaccine against melanoma. The therapy is especially important to those who've already been treated for the disease but are now at risk for relapse. "The need is overwhelming," Kirkwood says, noting that the odds of melanoma reoccurrence for those who receive no follow-up treatment is above 50 percent. Asian Studies Grant: Samsung Petrochemical of Korea has awarded a two-year, $50,000 grant to Pitt's Asian Studies program. The grant will support research by Pitt faculty and students on Korean politics, business, and international relations, as well as help to sponsor two major conferences on Korea at Pitt this coming year. Pitt alum Ungsuh Park (Arts and Sciences, '72), president of Samsung Petrochemical, played a key role in arranging the grant.

I've Got an
(Orange) Crush
on You...

The Pitt alum who retold this story is old enough to remember the original cafeteria-style Tuck Shop in the Cathedral--but not mature enough to give his name. We trust that the story is true.

"I was in line to get breakfast at the old Tuck Shop on a cold January morning. I was filling my orange juice glass from the fountain dispensers--the kind you have to push the lever on the bottom to have it pour. Just as I started, a particularly attractive woman came into line behind me. I couldn't seem to keep my eyes from her. After a few seconds, I felt my arm getting heavy--but not from the weight of the juice in the glass. I had inadvertently put the cuff of my winter jacket under the dispenser, and about a pint and a half of orange juice was now sloshing inside the sleeve, under my bent elbow. At that point, I thought that I could be cool by just dropping my arm to my side and holding the glass so that the o.j. would flow into the glass--a sleight of hand trick--and nobody would be the wiser. I tried this tactic, with spectacularly messy results. "I don't think that the woman behind me ever figured out what had happened. She just kept staring open mouthed as a seemingly endless stream of cold, fresh orange juice came gushing out of my sleeve. It must have seemed like the Florida equivalent of Moses striking the rock. "I decided not to pursue a relationship with her."


The dragonfly was almost dead.
Glued, flightless, to algae,
it held with two black legs to life
and writhed and twisted,
each motion slower than the last

until I freed it,
took it on a twig,
and like a surgeon probing
through a lens
loosened wings from scum,
legs from slime.

The wings lay on my knee, transparent,
and the body, the six-inch enamel body,
turquoise, black, shaped for flying,
lay there still, as if with knowledge
that my hands were skilled.

But my hands are adept at nothing.
I cannot sew or play without error.
Given a knife I cut myself and bleed.
Only in this act did I work surely,
willing the ability to soar and hover
back into that slender brilliance
holding to my knee.

Now I can say that once
I saved a dragonfly from drowning,
that it flew, flashed over the pond
and returned again and again
before melting into sky.

--1995 by Jane Candia Coleman. From the poetry collection The Red Drum (High Plains Press, Glendo, Wyoming). Pittsburgh native Coleman (Arts and Sciences '61) is the author of several books on the American West. The Red Drum was nominated for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in poetry.

A few recent
visitors to campus

Writer Diane Hume George, guest of the English department's creative nonfiction track, reading from her essay, "Sex and Death at Devil Canyon." ("It makes perfect sense that a gaze into canyon depths would arouse feelings connected to both life and death....You're always surrounded when you're in wilderness land by evidence of both processes. Life seems pulsingly near, big, important, lush. And yet you feel the necessity for death in the natural cycle.") More than 700 scientists came to Pitt for the International Conference on Raman Spectroscopy. Raman spectroscopy uses laser technology to help researchers identify intimate chemical components in a wide variety of materials--everything from interplanetary dust particles to artificially grown diamonds. Pitt operates the most advanced Raman spectroscopy lab in the world, run by chemistry prof Sanford Asher. Buhl Foundation CEO Doreen Boyce (Education '83), Pitt's 1996 Distinguished Alumna Award winner and speaker at last semester's Lantern Night for freshman women. ("Women have had to fight for the opportunity for an education. It has been achieved at great personal sacrifice. That places on all of us a responsibility to use that opportunity well.")

How pure
is driven snow?

That depends on where it's driven and what it encounters along the drive. Like any precipitation, snow can condense around the nuclei of this or that particulate, so how "pure" it is may depend upon the particulate. The purity is contingent upon what pathway the snow takes. If it's downwind from, say, Chernobyl, well, I might be a bit worried.

--Harold Rollins, professor, geology and planetary sciences

'Round Here...

GSPIA Dean Arrives: Carolyn Ban, new dean of Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, begins her duties this month. Ban, former professor at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs, State University of New York at Albany, said she was drawn to the job because of GSPIA's reputation: "It's a school with a fine tradition, a very well-known school in the field." In addition to her service at SUNY-Albany, Ban has worked with the US Office of Personnel Management, headed evaluation of public-sector programs, and provided consultation for both state and local agencies. Most recently, Ban organized and trained public- and private-sector managers in Russia as part of that country's transition to a free-market economy. Majors Retires: With the final whistle of the '96 season, Johnny Majors' career as the Panthers head coach also came to a close. Majors will stay on at Pitt as a special assistant to new Athletic Director Steve Pederson and Chancellor Nordenberg. Of 29 years of coaching, highlighted by Pitt's fabled 12-0 1976 National Championship season, Majors said, "It's been a labor of love. I have been...associated with several outstanding institutions, none of which holds a finer place in my heart than the University of Pittsburgh."


The Poor People's
March in Pittsburgh

Amid the chaos that was 1968--a year of demonstrations and assassinations--was the Poor People's March on Washington. Thousands made the pilgrimage to DC to protest the welfare budget and the US involvement in Vietnam.

Locals may remember that Pittsburgh was a prime stop on the way to Washington. Buses from Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago stopped here enroute to the mid-May march. Problem was, the SCLC--Southern Christian Leadership Conference, organizers of the march--had trouble accommodating arrivals, forcing more than 500 people into a long layover in Pittsburgh.

The marchers were put up by volunteers, churches, and schools. Many stayed at Pitt's Holland Hall, which was empty between semesters. The visitors made the best of their time: Pirate games at Forbes Field, spontaneous football games in Schenley Park, swimming at Trees Hall. Rallies--featuring speakers such as Andrew Young--were held in the Field House.

Lodging and feeding a sudden influx of 500 guests went remarkably well. "As any undergraduate from Pitt should know, this took a great deal of effort," joked the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Then, on a serious note, the P-G added, "If Pitt has suffered from anything, it was an overabundance of volunteers."

After a few days, the bus trips resumed. While the March on Washington did raise awareness in the halls of Congress, the marchers disbanded a month later amid much mud and some disillusionment. But the idea of "an overabundance of volunteers" helping the marchers--well, it's a nice problem to have, a gentle anecdote amidst a very troubled year.--Mark Collins


January 6--Spring term classes begin....January 13--Pitt English prof Lewis "Buddy" Nordan reads at the Three Rivers Lecture Series, Carnegie Music Hall, 7:30 p.m. (BTW: Nordan's fiction, including the 1993 novel Wolf Whistle, has won much praise. Nordan writes "as if the worlds of William Faulkner and James Thurber had collided," claims the Indianapolis Star. We assume that's a compliment.)...January 17--Add/drop period ends. (BTW: It really should be called "drop/add," because you first have to, like, drop a course before you can, you know....)...January 20--University commemorates Martin Luther King's birthday....February 4--Judy Richardson, associate producer of PBS' Eyes on the Prize, in the WPU Assembly Room, 8 p.m....February 11-23--Odon von Horvath's Tales from the Vienna Woods at the Studio Theatre...February 19--Pitt basketball (vs. Georgetown; Civic Arena)...February 21--University closed for Great Americans' Day. (BTW: Many Great Americans have visited the campus, including such disparate personalities as Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Tip O'Neill, Norman Mailer and Betty Friedan, Mel Blanc and Bruce Springsteen.) Go figure. ...February 25--author Michael Eric Dyson (From God to Gansta Rap), WPU Assembly Room, 8 p.m. ...February 28--Honors Convocation, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.

ON the Mirror
Are Closer Than
They Appear

An unknown individual attempted to ride one of the campus shuttles by hanging on the sideview mirror.
--Reported in
The Pitt News

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