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March 5, 2015

Chancellor’s awards: Staff

Five Pitt staffers are recipients of the 2015 chancellor’s awards for service to the community and to the University, Pitt’s highest honor for classified and union staff members.

Each winner receives a $2,500 prize. Their names will be added to the chancellor’s awards plaque on display at the William Pitt Union.

Community service

Receiving the Chancellor’s Award for Staff for Excellence in Service to the Community are Tami J. Haslett, Sharen M. Radzavich and Brian K. Root.

The honor is the highest award for staff in recognition of dedication and effort to making the community a better place to live and improving the quality of life for others.

Recipients are among those whose work in the community surpasses the expectations of the organizations they serve and whose efforts have made a significant impact on the community.

haslettTami Haslett, a pre-press technician in the Office of University Communications, was honored for service to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the American Cancer Society, Animal Protectors of Allegheny County and the National Aviary.

Sharen Radzavich, an administrative assistant in the Division of Communication and the Arts at Pitt-Bradford, was commended for Radzavich, Sharieher service to Alpha Omega service fraternity, the Take Your Daughter to Work committee, the Women’s History Month committee, the Women of Promise committee, Opportunity Days, Empty Bowls and Baskets, Friendship Table and the American Association of University Women.

Brian Root, assistant director of housing and residence life at Pitt-Greensburg, was recognized for his service to the Kiwanis Club, Habitat for Humanity, the Juvenile Diabetes ROOTResearch Foundation Walk for a Cure and United Way.

A 2004 UPG graduate, Root received the Greensburg campus 2014 President’s Distinguished Service Award for Staff.

University service

Receiving the Chancellor’s Award for Staff for Excellence in Service to the University are Barbara J. Early and Philippa K. Carter.

The honor is the highest award for staff in recognition of outstanding contributions to the University. Recipients are among those whose performance consistently exceeds standards and expectations set for their position and whose commitment and performance has made a significant impact on the University.

EarlyIn his award letter to Barbara Early, clinical research coordinator director in the Department of Critical Care Medicine’s Multidisciplinary Acute Care Research Organization, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher commented: “You created a program which enlists undergraduate students to screen and enroll ER patients in research studies, affording the students an invaluable opportunity to experience clinical research and the practice of medicine, and helping the research programs obtain appropriate, well-advised participants. Your contributions to improving the participant consent process — developing straightforward templates with minimal medical jargon and a related training program for the researchers, study coordinators and IRB members — led to a request to present the program at the annual meeting of the Association for Clinical Research Professionals, disseminating the improvements nationally.”

Philippa CarterIn his award letter to Philippa Carter, manager of diversity initiatives in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Gallagher noted: “One committee member’s observation probably best sums up the reason for your selection: ‘She is like the Swiss Army knife: She does it all, and everyone goes to her for help.’ Your expertise — borne of many years in many roles in the University — to everyone regardless of whether it is in the scope of your official duties. You have also made invaluable contributions in your current position as manager of diversity initiatives to spearhead and grow your role. You are also credited as a driving force behind the success of the Hot Metal Bridge program.”

The two-semester program in the Dietrich School is a post-baccalaureate fellowship aimed at mentoring recent graduates who want to pursue graduate training.


The staff awardees were recognized Feb. 28 at the honors convocation and will be guests of honor at a reception at the chancellor’s residence in May.


Nominees for the annual staff awards must be full- or part-time University employees for a minimum of five years; in good standing, with no adverse employment actions within the past 12 months. Past recipients are not eligible to be nominated again.

An awards committee appointed by the chancellor selects the winners. Voting members are the Staff Association Council president (or designee); a member from the prior year’s committee; a prior year’s award recipient; a regional campus representative; an Office of Human Resources representative; up to four at-large members chosen to represent the diversity of the University staff, and a chairperson chosen by the chancellor. In addition, the associate vice chancellor for Human Resources serves as a non-voting member.

—Kimberly K. Barlow