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Duquesne University Adds Two New Endowed Chairs

Two new endowed chairs added at Duquesne University have been named in honor of Spiritan priests.

Inaugural chair holders Dr. Edward Kocher, professor and former dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music, as the William Patrick Power, C.S.Sp., Endowed Chair in Academic Leadership, and Dr. Paula Witt-Enderby, professor of pharmacology, as the Marie-Clement Rodier, C.S.Sp., Endowed Chair were installed at the University’s Sept. 11 convocation.

Kocher served as dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music from 2000 through the 2013-2014 academic year. A nationally respected authority on music curricula in higher education, he is an accomplished trombonist and passionate advocate for the arts. Under his tenure, the school expanded its academic programs, establishing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music technology. Kocher, professor of music, focuses his current scholarship on using technology to teach improvisation, and continues to teach trombone and perform. His performance credits include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Bolshoi Ballet, Mannheim Steamroller, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.

The chair that Kocher will hold for five years is named for the Rev. William Patrick Power, C.S.Sp., who served as Duquesne’s first rector/president and was a missionary to India, Mauritius and Trinidad.

Witt-Enderby, who focuses much research on women’s issues, holds three patents related to breast cancer and bone implants. She has conducted the first two clinical trials in the world assessing the efficacy of melatonin alone or in combination with micronutrients to improve bone health and quality of life in peri- or post-menopausal women. Witt-Enderby’s training as a biochemist and molecular pharmacologist, and her study of melatonin receptors and cellular differentiation has allowed her to move her work from the bench to the bedside.

She began her career at Duquesne as assistant professor of pharmacology in 1996, achieving the rank of professor in 2008. Witt-Enderby has received excellence awards in teaching, scholarship, advising and service. She served as president of the Faculty Senate from 2004-2010.

The chair Witt-Enderby will hold for five years is named for Brother Marie-Clement Rodier, a Spiritan who developed a species of mandarin that became known as the Clementine fruit. Clement tended the vines and citrus trees at an orphanage and estate in Algeria, grafting an uncultivated tree to produce Clementine trees.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.