People

Katherine D. Seelman, PhD

Dr. Seelman is task leader for the RERC's Education and Outreach activities. She is associate dean and professor of rehabilitation science and technology at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Seelman holds a secondary appointment in the School of Public Health, an adjunct position at Xian Jiatong University, China and is co-scientific director of the National Science Foundation- supported Quality of Life Technology Engineering Research Center. She is one of two Americans serving on the World Health Organization 9-member international editorial committee to guide the development of the first world report on disability. In 2008, she keynoted two international conferences, ICOST and APCHI (Seoul, Korea). 

Kate Seelman has been committed to community service, innovation and teaching and learning throughout her life.  After serving for seven years as the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in Washington, she moved to Pittsburgh in 2001.   In 2002, Governor Edward G. Rendell appointed Seelman, who has a life-long disability, to the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Advisory Council.  In 2004 Seelman was named by the Allegheny County Executive and the Mayor of Pittsburgh to the City-County Task Force on Disability which she co-chairs.  In 2007 the Allegheny County Executive named her to the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Board.   In 2007 the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor presented her with the University’s Distinguished Public Service Award.  The Allegheny County Council has recognized her with two service awards.  In the 1960’s before earning her Ph.D., Seelman was trained and served as a community organizer in locations such as Harlem in New York City and Little Rock.

Dr. Seelman has lectured and keynoted in countries throughout the world including Japan’s National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities and the World Health Organization in 2003 and in Vietnam for the World Bank in 2002.  In 2008, she keynoted two international conferences, ICOST and APCHI (Seoul, Korea). She is widely published with a focus on health and technology policy for people with disabiities and older adults.  Her most recent articles have appeared in publications such as Engineering, Medicine and Biology (2008), Encyclopedia of Special Education (2007), Encyclopedia of Bioengineering (2006) and Disabilities Studies Quarterly (2005).  She is the author of the Forward and a chapter on technology for the Handbook of Smart Technology for Aging, Disability and Independence: Computing and Engineering Design and Application and co-editor of the Handbook of Disability Studies.

During her career, she has received numerous awards including the Gold Key Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Association of Academic Physiatrists, an honorary fellow in the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), a National Science Foundation Assistantship and a distinguished Switzer Fellowship.   In 1995 she was honored by her alma mater with induction into Hunter College Hall of Fame. Dr. Seelman earned her doctorate in public policy from New York University in 1982, with a concentration on science, technology and public policy.

 

 

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