School of Dental Medicine Year of the Humanities in the University Events


April Presentations


Art and Writing Expo

Friday, April 15
Salk Pavilion Atrium


Untitled, Komal D. Pradhan, School of Pharmacy

The Art and Writing Expo will showcase written entries, artwork, photography, and artisan pieces by students, residents, staff and faculty in the Schools of Dental Medicine and Pharmacy.

Join us for light refreshments during the morning and afternoon.

Best in Category prizes will be awarded for photography, art, writing, and artisanship.



Cityscapes: A look into Virgil Cantini’s public work

Thursday, April 14
Salk Hall, room 458

Presented by:

Isabelle Chartier
Curator, University Art Gallery, Univeristy of Pittsburgh

SCOPE credit will be offered to students


In 2015, the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Dental Medicine inaugurated a new addition to Salk Hall and installed in its lobby a large enamel mural by Pittsburgh artist Virgil Cantini (1919-2009). Aerial Scape, created in 1970, was originally located in the Oliver Building in downtown Pittsburgh. Cantini was a faculty member in the Fine Arts department and founded the Studio Arts department at Pitt. Many of his other work around campus seek to represent Man’s continuous quest to advance intellectual growth and knowledge.


Being Human in Pittsburgh Through the Eyes of August Wilson

This talk has beenpostponed. Please check back soon to see when it is rescheduled.

Presented by:

Christopher Rawson, PhD
Department of English
University of Pittsburgh


This talk has beenpostponed. Please check back soon to see when it is rescheduled.


SCOPE credit will be offered to students

August Wilson (1945-2005) was one of the five great American playwrights. By chronicling the drama of African Americans in Pittsburgh’s Hill District through 10 award-winning plays, one set in each decade of the 20th century, he wrote also about all Americans. He said his plays were all about the same things: “love, honor, duty and betrayal.” Together, they create an epic panorama of the history and values of black culture, but mainly, they tell wonderful stories, ranging from comic to tragic. Professor Rawson has taught in the Pitt English Department for more than 45 years. For 30 years he was also the theater critic at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writing about Mr. Wilson career; he continues as senior theater critic there and at KDKA-TV. He has co-authored August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays (Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 2nd edition, 2015). Dr. Rawson will introduce us to August Wilson and his plays, which enrich our sense of culture everywhere.



March Presentations

A Role for Improv in Healthcare

Presented by:

Nilesh Shah, PhD
Department of Dental Public Health
School of Dental Medicine

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
noon-1pm, room 355

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
noon-1pm, room 457

Principles of improvisation are surprisingly applicable in clinical settings. The presentation will introduce the audience to the basic principles of improvisation, and how improv training has been applied in clinical settings. The workshop that will follow will allow participants to practice improvisation exercises to develop interpersonal skills.



January Presentations

One Book, Salk Hall: Introductory Presentation to the Book Discussion Series

Presented by:
Department of English (Writing Program)
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Ms. Judith Resick, MSN, MPH, RN
Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics
School of Dental Medicine
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
noon-1pm, room 355
The introductory session will be a discussion of the uses of writing and literature in health care professional education and practice, the way they help us rethink the work of healing and acquire greater insight into the condition of our patients. Over the following weeks, you’ll be able to attend one of the five lunch-hour discussions devoted to the memoir The Two Kinds of Decay, a harrowing yet poetic account of a rare, baffling motor-neuron illness that explores the fundamental state of the medical patient and her interactions with caregivers. The book discussion series will be followed by a series of five lunch-hour sessions of reflective writing conducted by Professor Trachtenberg and students from the University of Pittsburgh’s MFA writing program. You will have the opportunity to attend one of the sessions during which you will be guided by prompts that focus on the different ways in which patients and practitioners perceive each other, and the mysterious third party of illness. 
Please indicate during registration if you need a free copy of the book.
One SCOPE credit is offered for Pitt Dental students attending the presentation.

Please sign up for a book discussion and reflective writing session offered during January and February.

Session 1 – Book Discussion Dates
Tuesday, January, 26, noon-1pm
Thursday, January, 28, noon-1pm
Tuesday, February, 2, noon-1pm
Thursday,  February, 4, noon-1pm
Tuesday, February, 9, noon-1pm
Session 2 – Reflective Writing Dates
Thursday,  February, 11, noon-1pm
Thursday, February, 18, noon-1pm
Tuesday, February, 23, noon-1pm
Thursday,  February, 25, noon-1pm
Tuesday, March 1, noon-1pm
One SCOPE credit is offered for Pitt Dental students attending session 1 and session 2.
Please indicate during registration if you need a free copy of the book.
Please contact Dr. Zsuzsa Horvath if you have any questions

November Presentations

Being Human in Hollywood

Presented by Robert Clift, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of English, Film Studies program

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
noon-1pm, room 355

SCOPE credit will be offered to students

Summary of the presentation: Filmmaker and Assistant Professor Robert Clift will address the relationship between a public face and the human beneath it through a discussion of his current film documentary – an in-depth look at his uncle, the classic Hollywood star Montgomery Clift. Clift's acting career is notable for starring roles in films like Red River, A Place in the Sun and From Here to Eternity, and for bringing a new type of masculinity to the American screen. However, portrayed as living a double life marked by “dangerous” gay bars, a Freudian fixation on his mother and a love for Elizabeth Taylor that he could not consummate, his public image came to bear more resemblance to a caricature than a real person. Professor Clift asks how we might have remembered the actor were it not for the homophobic perspectives that have come to define him in the public eye. In the process, Clift reminds us there is always more to a person than what we might see.


Please contact Dr. Joanne Prasad if you have any questions


October Presentations

Connecting to the Present Moment: How Acting Techniques Build Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Presented by Dennis Schebetta, BA, MFA
Assistant Professor, Department of Theater Arts

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
noon-1pm, room 355

SCOPE credit will be offered to students

Summary of the presentation: The ability to listen and respond in the moment is crucial for any role in our society, but even more so in healthcare fields where even the smallest parcel of information, verbal or nonverbal, could affect treatment outcomes or even save a life. In this lecture and the subsequent workshop, we will explore how acting techniques build observational skills in order to read behavior embedded in nonverbal clues such as body language or vocal pitch changes. Actors for hundreds of years have known that deep communication is more than relaying information and that the art of listening, really listening with mind, body and emotion, is what allows an actor to be "in the moment". These simple techniques can be applied easily for use in any profession to enhance interpersonal and communication skills.


Workshop: Connecting to the Present Moment

Presented by Dennis Schebetta, BA, MFA
Assistant Professor, Department of Theater Arts

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
noon-1pm, room 402

SCOPE credit will be offered to students

Summary: This workshop, led by Prof. Schebetta, will provide an opportunity for practice of techniques to enhance interpersonal and communication skills.