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Manners Award


Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Awards

Recipients  ·  Announcement

2014 Manners Awardees
Fabio & Mendez  ·  Barry Robertson

“The Development of a Measure of Neighborhood Wellbeing for Pittsburgh Neighborhoods”
Fabio & Mendez
Anthony Fabio, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Dara Mendez, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology

The goal of this study is to develop, through the use of the data included in the Pittsburgh Neighborhood and Community Information System (PNCIS), a neighborhood wellbeing index. This index will be used as a guide for identifying neighborhoods with positive or negative attributes related to public health. We hypothesize that the index will be constructed from three domains: built, social and demographic.  We will validate the accuracy of the index in relation to a measure of collective efficacy. Our short term plan is to apply this index to two ongoing studies: (1) an analysis of the effects of the Consol Energy Center and the Rivers Casino on neighborhood level crime; and (2) the relationship between neighborhood environments and pregnancy and birth outcomes. In the long term, we anticipate that the development of this index will provide preliminary data for future NIH grant proposals related to: (1) neighborhood changes in alcohol outlet density and neighborhood violent crime, and (2) pregnancy and birth outcomes. Finally, we see this index as a resource for other researchers and advocates in the Pittsburgh community conducting work related to the influence of the neighborhood on health and well-being, particularly in addressing issues of equity in the region. Having indices of this type for our community can be invaluable for research and prevention activities. This methodology can be used for other cities as well.

“Social stressors, air pollution, and cancer in Allegheny County”

Linda Barry Robertson, DrPH, RN, MSN
Linda Barry Robertson
Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

The overall goal of this study is to develop methods to explore multifaceted, and potentially interactive, risk factors for cancer — including exposures to neighborhood psychosocial stressors and air pollution, and individual factors including smoking, drinking, obesity, physical activity, and psychological distress. We also plan to accurately map local spatial patterns in two important risk factors for cancer – air pollution and psychosocial stress – towards developing refined, testable hypotheses on mechanistic pathways for different cancer outcomes. We anticipate that this pilot study will provide sufficient preliminary data to confirm the feasibility of our approach, and will highlight the importance of conducting a larger, more comprehensive research study (R01), using this multifaceted and multilevel approach, to better predict cancer risk.


Manners Award

Award Overview

Each year, the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) awards the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Awards to promising research projects in the social, behavioral, and policy sciences on campus. These awards honor the memory of Steve Manners, a sociologist who began working at the Center in 1974 and served as its Assistant Director from 1989 until his death in September 2000. His research and service to the Center and the University community were dedicated to improving social conditions in the urban environment.

Steven MannersSteven D. Manners

We will make two awards of up to $20,000 each, contingent upon the quality of applications and availability of funds. The proposed research must align with UCSUR's mission of working collaboratively to conduct interdisciplinary research that improves communities and addresses social, economic, health, and policy issues most relevant to society. Full-time faculty, post docs, and research associates from all University of Pittsburgh campuses may apply.

Manners Award Summary List

Center for Social & Urban Research
3343 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260