Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

September 17, 2015

SAC welcomes new members

The Staff Association Council (SAC) began the school year at its Sept. 9 meeting with 17 new members and the aim to refine its mission, its officers’ duties and its relations with members.

New SAC members are: Rocco Mercurio, data manager in epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health; Beth Ann Nash, executive assistant, Innovation Institute; Sara Jones, senior immigration specialist, Office of International Services;

Eleanor (EJ) Milarski, office and budget coordinator, alumni relations, Institutional Advancement; Maura McCall, health professional, School of Nursing/Center for Research and Evaluation; Brian Pasquini, senior IT security analyst, Computing Services and Systems Development; Cynthia Cercone, center administrator, Department of Physics/Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology Center;

Marsha Lee, administrative assistant, Center for Research on Health Care; Jean Hale, director, alumni relations and development, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs; Karen Sellitto, skills and simulation lab support, School of Nursing; Samantha Jakiel, dean’s office coordinator, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS); Robert Kornosky Jr., finance and personnel manager, SHRS/sports medicine and nutrition;

Tami Haslett, digital prepress technician, Office of University Communications; Brian Deutsch, program administrator, Department of Linguistics/English Language Institute; Scott Szypulski, financial assistant, Department of Critical Care Medicine/School of Medicine; Lisa Joseph, administrative support, University Collections; and Allyson Delnore, associate director, University Center for International Studies.


Executive Vice President Lindsay Rodzwicz announced a two-year project begun by SAC officers to formulate and approve plans for:

• Reworking SAC’s mission and vision;

• Defining its strategic plan;

• Improving new member experiences;

• Better engaging general members;

• Increasing the visibility of its committees’ work;

• Providing more professional development opportunities for members; and

• Creating more detailed descriptions of the roles of officers, committee chairs and others in the organization, including officers emeriti.

Among more immediate changes will be a shift in the way SAC representatives are chosen for Board of Trustees committees, University-wide selection committees and other such groups.

In the past, representatives were tapped by the SAC president. This year, all SAC officers helped select the representatives. Next month SAC will vote on adding to the operations manual a new rule that codifies this method of determining SAC representatives from among member volunteers.

Appointments for 2015-16 to trustees’ committees are: Tiwanda Taylor, academic affairs/libraries; Karen Dicks, affirmative action, diversity and inclusion; Babs Mowery, athletics; Megan Soltesz, audit; Christine Jackson, budget; Carol Hodgkiss, health sciences; Peter Adams, institutional advancement; Clayton Steup, investment; Andy Stephany, property and facilities; Lindsay Rodzwicz, risk and compliance; and Michelle Tschannen, student affairs.

Fiona Seels was appointed as the SAC representative to the School of Education dean search committee.


In other news:

• Ken Doty, head of SAC’s health, safety, IT and transportation committee, reported that the University will be updating the portal to allow staff to put favorite, or most used, items at the top of its online access menu.

• Staff relations committee leader Tammeka Banks said her group is working on a proposal for a paid parental leave program for Pitt staff members.

Currently, staff members are paid on parental leave only if they have enough vacation, personal  and/or sick days accumulated to cover the leave.

One proposal SAC is considering involves staff members offering unused sick days to other staffers who don’t have enough days accumulated, but SAC president Rich Colwell cautioned that such a proposal has been discussed and nixed in earlier years. “It ran into a logistical nightmare,” he said, when discussions turned to staff members of different pay grades and benefit levels attempting such a move.

• SAC honored Sherry Miller Brown, who retired in May after 45 years at Pitt, most recently as director of the McCarl Center for Nontraditional Student Success in the College of General Studies.

In 1970, she was one of the founders of SAC, then known as the Staff Advisory Board. “I’ve had many more downs than I’ve had ups here, but the ups were so grand,” Brown said, resulting in a great career. “If you take advantage of all the many things it offers you,” she said of Pitt, “you have the makings of a really great future.”

• The next SAC meeting will be Oct. 14 in the William Pitt Union’s lower lounge and will include the unveiling of a new bench outside of Posvar Hall, on Schenley Drive, honoring SAC’s dedication to Pitt and Oakland. The Nov. 11 meeting will offer members a chance to have professional headshots taken, while the Jan. 13 meeting will be an informal New Year’s celebration at the University Club. There will be no December meeting.

• SAC members are voting online through the portal until Oct. 13 for a new head of the group’s external relations committee.

Running are Tricia Connell, a prospect researcher for corporations and foundations in Institutional Advancement, and Alex Toner, records manager in the University Library System archives.

—Marty Levine    

Filed under: Feature,Volume 48 Issue 2

Leave a Reply