SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Dr. David W. Pittman, associate professor of psychology at Wofford College and a 1994 alumnus, has received the Graduate of Distinction Award for the Program in Neuroscience at Florida State University, where he received his Ph.D.

The award, presented to Pittman on Jan. 15, 2014, is given to a former student who has excelled in his or her career since receiving a doctoral degree in neuroscience from FSU. Immediately after graduating from FSU in 2001, Pittman began his academic career at Wofford. 

Pittman spent three days on the FSU campus while receiving the award, meeting with current faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in the program of neuroscience. His visit culminated with a colloquium lecture on his scientific career investigating the influence of anti-anxiety benzodiazepine drugs on taste palatability and weight gain. The title of his colloquial address was “Enhancing Taste Palatability: GABA in the Parabrachial Nucleus.” 

Pittman is the first of the award’s recipients to be recognized for his career at an undergraduate liberal arts institution. He received the award in recognition of both his productive research career and his mentoring and training of future scientists. 

Since 2001, Pittman has published eight research papers in high profile journals with 17 Wofford students as co-authors. He has mentored 76 Wofford students majoring in psychology, biology, chemistry, philosophy and history.

“Most importantly, 70 percent of Dr. Pittman’s students have continued their education in graduate or professional school,” notes Dr. Robert Contreras, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science and the James C. Smith Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at FSU.

“It is humbling to be honored for a career that I hope is not half over yet,” Pittman says. “Wofford College has provided an incredible environment in which we train the scientists of tomorrow, and I owe much of the success of my scientific career to the hard work of the students who have spent time in my laboratory.”

To learn more about Pittman’s research, visit his website at: