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two people walking in sunlight

Human Resources Welcomes Two New Hires

The Office of Human Resources is excited to welcome two new hires to the team:

  • Ali Gibson, recruiter, is involved in all aspects of recruiting, hiring and onboarding staff employees.
  • Elizabeth Herring, human resources assistant, will provide customer support for HR systems and offer administrative support for the Talent Acquisition and Compensation departments.

OHR welcomes its new teammates and looks forward to the difference they will make at Pitt.

Jim Earle

School of Dental Medicine Names Jim Earle to Strategic Development and Operations Leadership Role

Jim Earle, associate vice chancellor for business and auxiliary services in Business and Operations, has been appointed to the position of associate dean for strategic development and operations in the School of Dental Medicine beginning April 1.

He has held key roles at the University for the past 26 years, including leadership positions in both business and auxiliary services and athletics. 

"A trusted, knowledgeable and insightful leader, Pitt Dental Medicine will benefit from Jim's incredible leadership," said Senior Vice Chancellor for Business and Operations Greg Scott.

During his 15 years in business and auxiliary services, Earle’s teams have worked hard to advance the University’s mission and count accomplishments that include:

  • Initiated and funded more than $200 million in housing construction and renovation projects
  • Increased the number of on-campus beds for undergraduate students by 2,000 since 2004 adding Panther, K. Leroy Irvis and Mark A. Nordenberg halls, as well as an expansion to Bouquet Gardens and conversion of Ruskin Hall to undergraduate housing 
  • Renovated the Schenley Quad to make it a student-friendly space
  • Developed and launched the Forbes Street Market grocery store
  • Introduced the Choose to Reuse program to promote the use of reusable containers
  • Secured four electric box trucks to campus, initiating the use and expansion of electric vehicles in addition to expanding EV charging stations on campus to support our commitment to sustainability
  • Renovated the University Store on Fifth and Maggie & Stella’s, driving retail sales through enhanced guest experiences

Earle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Miami University of Ohio and a Master of Business Administration and Doctorate of Education degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.

He looks forward to continuing his dedicated service to the University and working with faculty members, staff and students to take the School of Dental Medicine to new heights.

Ann E. Cudd and Greg Scott speaking outdoors

Initiative Advances Public Art on Campus

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd and Senior Vice Chancellor for Business and Operations Greg Scott have formally announced the Art on Campus initiative. Art on Campus aims to audit and catalog the public art at the University’s Pittsburgh campus, as well as make recommendations for future installations.

“Public art makes the campus a more vibrant place to visit, and special for visitors, faculty, staff and students,” said Cudd.

Art on Campus is the first major step in producing a complete inventory of artworks owned by the University. Its work will lay the foundation for harnessing Pitt’s art collections to meet the University’s strategic goals in the Plan for Pitt 2025.

The initiative is steered by a committee including members of the Office of the ProvostUniversity Library System and Department of History of Art and Architecture. “This committee’s passion and strong expertise will help us move great ideas forward,” said Cudd.

Art on Campus aims to create a data collection methodology and apply that methodology to several sites on Pitt’s main campus, including Alumni and Mervis halls. In the first year, special attention will be placed on assessing and cataloguing artworks in outdoor spaces and producing a benchmarking study for the development of a public art plan at Pitt.

Lisa S. Parker and Robert M. Arnold

Bioethics Researchers Elected Fellows to Hastings Center

Lisa S. Parker and Robert M. Arnold were recently elected fellows to The Hastings Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of research scholars studying ethical questions in medicine, science and technology that help inform policy, practice and public understanding. They are two of 12 newly elected fellows recognized for their outstanding accomplishments informing scholarship and public understanding of complex ethical issues in health, health care, science and technology.

Parker is the Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote Professor of Bioethics at Pitt, where she directs the Center for Bioethics and Health Law. She is also a professor of human genetics in Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health.

Arnold is a distinguished service professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and chief of the section of palliative care and medical ethics at Pitt. He also is a member of the Center for Bioethics and Health Law where he coordinates the clinical ethics education programs.

K. Leroy Irvis

Pitt Marks Black History Month with a Series of Events

Pitt’s Black History Month celebrations kick off in earnest this week, with scheduled guest speakers, panel discussions and a step dance performance taking place throughout February.

A full list of programming can be found on Pitt’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion site

Highlights include a discussion about the history of African Americans' right to vote and the rise of Black elected officials, taking place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Community Engagement Center in Homewood, and the release of "Race, Justice, and Activism in Literacy Instruction," a new book by Valerie Kinloch, the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the School of Education. Kinloch will discuss the topic at noon Feb. 25 in Room 4303 of Posvar Hall.  

Details are forthcoming for Pitt’s signature K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program, which will be a four-day festival from Feb. 26-29 celebrating art, music and poetry as a form of activism and social justice. In 2008, the University named its annual Black History Month event to honor the memory of the legendary Pennsylvania legislative leader, Pitt alumnus (LAW '54) and emeritus trustee. Irvis (pictured here), who in 1977 became the first African American speaker of the House of Representatives in Pennsylvania and the first Black speaker of any statehouse since the Reconstruction Era, sponsored the 1966 bill that made Pitt a state-related institution of higher education.

Black History Month is celebrated every February to acknowledge the contributions of those of African descent to our nation’s life and culture.

Nicole Mitchell plays the flute in a red jacket

Nicole Mitchell Named United States Artists Fellow

Pitt Jazz Studies Director Nicole Mitchell has been named a 2020 United States Artists (USA) Fellow—an honor accompanied by a $50,000 cash award to use as she wishes. She is one of 50 national artists across 10 disciplines to win the award this year. 

“I was driving when I got the phone call and became so flustered I had to pull the car over,” Mitchell said with a laugh, recalling the day she received the news.

In making the announcement, USA President and CEO Deanna Haggag said of this year’s fellows: “Each and every one of them stands out as a visionary influence in their respective field.” 

Mitchell took up the position of Jazz Studies director in January 2019. 

She is a member of the We Have Voice Collective, a national group of musicians, performers and scholars who draw attention to inequity in the music industry. On Jan. 17, three other collective members joined her at Pitt’s Bellefield Auditorium for a panel discussion and concert, a premiere performance for collective members. She also is collaborating in Pitt’s K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program in late February and with Manchester Craftsman’s Guild for student workshops this spring. Mitchell is also looking into a community-focused Jazz and Creative Music Intensive for women and girls.

As far as the USA award, Mitchell is again thinking about helping emerging artists.

“I feel really humbled by this and want to use it to make impact,” she said. “My dream would be to use part of it to create a new grant program for artists who are just at the edge of doing great things.”

Jamie Ducar

Jamie Ducar Earns Second Micro-Credential in Community Engagement

Jamie Ducar, director of community engagement in the Office of Community and Governmental Relations, has earned a micro-credential in Community Engagement Fundamentals through Campus Contact’s Community Engagement Professional Credentialing Program. 

Ducar earned this micro-credential by demonstrating her “competency to effectively and elaborately [summarize] the foundations of the field and breadth of community-engaged work it encompasses.” 

This the second micro-credential Ducar has earned from Campus Compact, a national coalition of over 1,000 colleges and universities “committed to the public purses of higher education.” She is one of only two individuals who have earned micro-credentials in Community Engagement and Community Partnerships. 

Lina Dostilio, Pitt’s assistant vice chancellor for community engagement, helped develop the set of key competencies that are required to obtain this micro-credential and is a member of Campus Contact’s Content Advisory Board.

Debra Voss

Debra Voss Joins Physical Therapy-Clinical and Translational Research Center

Physical Therapist Debra Voss has joined the research team at the Physical Therapy-Clinical and Translational Research Center (PT-CTRC) in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Voss has more than 25 years of physical therapy experience, primarily in outpatient orthopedics, and has worked extensively in the area of hemophilia and other bleeding disorders.

Voss attended Marietta College for athletic training and East Carolina University for physical therapy.

Leah Stephens-Howling

Leah Stephens-Howling Named Clinical Education Administrator

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences has named Leah Stephens-Howling clinical education administrator in the Department of Occupational Therapy. In this role, Stephens-Howling will support the communication and management of the occupational therapy clinical education program in the UPMC Health System. She received her BS in accounting from Pitt in 2011. 

Previously, Stephens-Howling worked in China teaching children English as a second language. She was also a grants administrator for Pitt's Department of Neurological Surgery.

Brooke Klatt

Department of Physical Therapy Adds Brooke Klatt as Assistant Professor

Brooke Klatt has joined the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) as an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. Klatt has 14 years of clinical experience treating patients with balance and vestibular disorders; her research interest is in optimization of vestibular and balance rehabilitation interventions for people with visuospatial deficits.

Klatt received her BS in kinesiology from Pennsylvania State University, DPT from New York University and PhD in rehabilitation science from Pitt SHRS. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.

Judith Chan

Judith Chan Joins School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Judith Chan has been named department financial assistant in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
Chan joins the University from JLL, a real estate services company, where she specialized in public institution accounts—specifically the U.S. Postal Service. Prior to that role, Chan worked for American Dental Partners and Brookdale Senior Living. Chan is a graduate of Ohio University.

Aurora Sharrard

Aurora Sharrard to Serve on Sustainability Advisory Council

Pitt Sustainability director Aurora Sharrard has been named to a two-year term on the advisory council of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. 

Established in 2005, AASHE is comprised of over 900 members in 20 countries worldwide. The organization’s mission is to inspire and catalyze higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation.

Ryan McGarry

Anthropology Chair Teams Up with Pitt Alum on New Netflix Original Series

The new Netflix documentary series “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” is earning buzz. Fast Company called it “required viewing,” saying it “couldn’t have come at a more crucial time with the recent coronavirus outbreak.”

Ryan McGarry (MD ’09), an emergency medicine doctor, Pitt School of Medicine alumnus and cinematographer, is behind the series as an executive producer. This summer, he invited Pitt Anthropology Chair Bryan Hanks to play a role in setting the stage for the series: The first episode opens at an unmarked grave site near Pittsburgh where an unknown number of bodies are buried—victims of the 1918 pandemic flu. Hanks and a team of Pitt students use ground-penetrating radar to estimate about how many people were buried there. 

McGarry, now a faculty member at Cornell University, said he wanted an excuse to get back to Pittsburgh and feature Pitt experts in this docuseries. Check out the new show on Netflix and learn more about his first big experiment, Code Black, in Pitt Med magazine.

Kori Krueger

New Paper Offers Insight to Why Couples Post Pictures Online

An article published online earlier this month in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin is one of the first studies to examine the reasons people post pictures of themselves with significant others on online profiles. It’s a well-known and widely-practiced behavior—but the motivations behind the behavior, and its consequences, have received limited research attention until now. 

“There are lay theories that people don’t really think about what they post online, that they just post whatever pops into their head at any given time and that they’re not really thoughtful about the long-term effects of those things,” said Kori Krueger (pictured), a graduate student in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts Sciences’ Department of Psychology and the paper’s first author. “Our findings suggest that there may be a more strategic reason that some people post couple photos, display their relationship status and mention their romantic partner in social media posts” said Amanda Forest, a faculty member in psychology, Krueger’s advisor and co-author on the paper. Forest’s work looks at interpersonal communication and close relationships. 

“It really seems to be a way to protect your relationship from outside interference,” Krueger said.

The Cathedral of Learning

Pittsburgh Named One of the Best Places to Find a Job

Pittsburgh is one of the best places to find a job the U.S., according to WalletHub’s “2020’s Best Cities for Jobs” rankings.

Pittsburgh ranked 13th overall, seventh in socioeconomics and 36th for market quality. To determine the ranking, the personal finance website compared “more than 180 U.S. cities across 31 key indicators of job-market strength,” such as “job opportunities to employment growth to monthly average starting salary.”

Scottsdale, Arizona, landed at number one on the list, with Detroit, Michigan, rounding out the list at number 182. 

Hickton in a dark blue blazer and light blue tie

Pitt Cyber Launches Task Force to Prevent Bias in County’s Decision-making Tools

The University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security announced the creation of the Pittsburgh Task Force on Public Algorithms on Jan. 22, 2020. The task force, convened with support from The Heinz Endowments, is a coalition of researchers, educators, community service providers and public and private sector stakeholders that seeks to establish best practices and practical guidelines for the use of municipal decision-making algorithms. The task force is supported by an advisory panel featuring representatives from Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh.

The group will use a combination of community outreach meetings and public comments posted on its website to assess county residents’ major concerns with municipal decision-making algorithms. In summer 2021, it will publish a full report of its research and recommendations for best practices for the technology.

“Increasingly, algorithms are being used to facilitate efficient government. We need to ensure that historical discrimination and existing inequities are not reinforced,” said Pitt Cyber Founding Director and Task Force Chair David Hickton (pictured). “Pittsburgh should lead the way in effective and fair oversight of these systems. We can be a national model, ensuring algorithmic accountability and equity for all residents.”

The Cathedral of Learning

Pitt Law Signs Accelerated Admissions Agreement with Bloomsburg University

Pitt’s School of Law is once again offering qualified students from Bloomsburg University (BU) an Accelerated Law Admissions Program (ALAP) that will save them a full year of tuition and costs.

Pitt and BU signed an agreement Jan. 22 that will allow BU students who have earned at least 90 credits and have completed all major and general education requirements by the end of their junior year, to apply for law school admission, as if it was their final year of undergraduate study. Pitt Law will assess those students as if they were ordinary applicants, but it will waive the usual requirement to have completed a bachelor’s degree before admission. The student’s first year of law school will double as their senior year of college.

This allows those students to achieve a bachelor’s degree and a law degree in six years instead of seven. 

Said Pitt Law Dean Amy Wildermuth: “We have had several excellent Bloomsburg graduates as students at Pitt Law and this program will strengthen the terrific pipeline between our two schools. Most importantly, both Bloomsburg and Pitt are eager to find ways to help students reduce their overall debt. By decreasing the number of years a student spends in school, this program will have a significant and meaningful impact.”

Pitt Law already offers its ALAP to students at the University’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences and its College of Business Administration. The program is also available for students from Washington and Jefferson College and Carlow University.

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Teaching Center Honors Four with Advancing Educational Excellence Award

The University Center for Teaching and Learning recognized Charline Rowland, teaching consultant; Mark Vehec, web developer; Robin Albright, senior instructional designer; and Tahirah Walker, manager, Teaching Support for earning its 2019 Advancing Educational Excellence award.

The annual honor is a peer-driven award that recognizes Teaching Center staff members who exemplify the values of the center, demonstrate a positive attitude and commitment to responsibilities and make above-and-beyond contributions to the University.

Max Schuster

Max Schuster Selected for Emerging Faculty Leader Academy

Max Schuster, assistant professor of practice in the School of Education, was selected for the 2019-2020 NAPSA Emerging Faculty Leader Academy, an honor given to only seven faculty members across the country each year.

The highly selective academy is a one-year program designed for early career faculty in student affairs and higher education graduate programs. The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, which supports student affairs administrators in higher education, has 15,000 members from 1,200 institutions around the world.

Schuster (EDUC ’17G) manages the Master of Education in Higher Education program in the School of Education. Read more about Schuster and the Leader Academy.

H2P written in sparklers

Office of Human Resources Welcomes Four New Hires

The Office of Human Resources (OHR) is pleased to begin the new year welcoming four new hires to the team:

  • Danielle des Tombe, compensation analyst, provides customer service through compensation inquiries, Talent Center requests and regular compensation operations.
  • Jodi Hernandez, senior compensation analyst, is responsible for job modifications and offers within the compensation department.
  • Terri Jarzynka, payroll administrator, supports the OHR Shared Services team by providing customer support for payroll questions and issues.
  • Taeler Wright, student employment coordinator, is responsible for supporting the student employment administrator in the day-to-day operations of student employment.

OHR welcomes its new colleagues and wishes them luck in the next chapter of their careers.