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Hillman Distinguished Professorship

Ellen S. Gawalt, Ph.D.

kinnahanEndowed by the Hillman Foundation, this professorship rotates among Duquesne’s 10 schools for a five-year term. The initial Hillman Professor (2001-2006) was David Allen Wehr of the Mary Pappert School of Music, who now holds the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair.

Rotating to the School of Education, the Hillman Professorship supported Dr. Rodney Hopson from 2006-2011. Hopson teaches and conducts research in the areas of Ethnographic Evaluation, Sociolinguistics, Social Politics and Policy, and Foundations of Education.

Dr. Linda A. Kinnahan then became the third Hillman Distinguished Professor (2011-2016).  Kinnahan, a professor of English in the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, joined Duquesne in 1990. She is an expert in 20th century poetry, women’s and gender studies, and feminist theory.

Dr. Gawalt accepted appointment as the fouth holder of the professorship in 2016.  A professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Gawalt attended Duke University as an undergraduate. There she was a member of the varsity swim team and conducted undergraduate research in bioinorganic chemistry. She moved onto Princeton University for graduate school where she earned her Ph.D. focusing on the surface chemistry of metal oxides. Dr. Gawalt completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago working on reaction kinetics at surfaces and the cellular response to surface changes. Her research group currently focuses on the surface chemistry of biomaterials and improving the tissue-material interaction. She is a member of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and has won the University Creative Teaching Award and the BSNES Excellence in Teaching Award.