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September 1, 2016

What’s New at Pitt: Things

rain garden.kkbARTS AND SCIENCES

The National Center for Women & Information Technology selected Pitt’s Women in Computer Science (WiCS) group for a $3,000 student seed fund award sponsored by Google. The award is given to student groups for women in computing and IT programs that increase women’s confidence and technical skills and empower students to actively recruit and mentor other women. The award will help support WiCS’s mission to become an Association of Computing Machinery for Women chapter.

In spring 2017, undergraduate majors in the Department of Religious Studies will be able to structure their coursework around a set of dynamic “thematic clusters” that will offer the opportunity to delve deeply into specific questions. Whether students are most fascinated by the intersections between religion and medicine; the role that religion plays in politics, social justice or environmental concerns; the relationship between religion and creative expression; or the religious aspects of philosophical or ethical questions, the newly designed major enables the investigation of these ideas comprehensively and from a variety of perspectives. For information visit

The Department of Theatre Arts will open its season with “Intimate Apparel” Oct. 6-16 in the Henry Heymann Theatre. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Rounding out the season are: “Hair,” Nov. 10-20; “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Feb. 9-19, 2017; “Baltimore,” March 29-April 9, 2017; and “Peter and the Starcatcher,” March 29-April 9, 2017. For tickets and information, visit

Theatre arts now offers an advanced play practicum, instructed this term by Kathy George. The course is designed for theatre artists (playwrights, directors and actors) to perform scripts produced by students in Playwriting I/II classes. Teams will perform seated and staged readings at lunchtime venues throughout the term.

In the linguistics department, students now can explore both ends of the language spectrum — the creation and evolution of language, and how languages die — through two courses, Language and the Internet and Endangered and Dying Languages.

Dietrich school students can earn an 18-credit sustainability certificate by completing the engineering courses Introduction to Sustainability and Current Issues in Sustainability and the geology course Atmosphere, Oceans and Climate, in addition to three electives, only one of which may be in the student’s major department.

Programs have been revised in the history of art and architecture, studio arts and English literature majors and the Arabic language and linguistics certificate program. For information visit

The University has established the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics ( to highlight, promote and share the poetry and poetic work of African-American writers. The center is a creative think tank for African-American and African diasporic poetries and poetics and also is a space for collaboration among writers, scholars and other artists thinking through black poetics as a field that investigates the contemporary moment as it is impacted by historical, artistic and social repressions and their respondent social justice movements. The center emerged from a meeting with Pitt poetry professors Terrance Hayes, Dawn Lundy Martin and Yona Harvey that was initiated by English chair Don Bialostosky.

The Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures will present a lecture and roundtable series, “European Literature in the 19th Century: Between Nation and Market.” Building on the coordination of graduate-level courses in French and in Italian, the initiative, organized by faculty members Giuseppina Mecchia and Francesca Savoia, will welcome scholars Olivier Delers of the University of Richmond Sept. 14-16 and Gabriella Romani of Seton Hall Oct. 20-22. A concluding roundtable will be held on Dec. 2 within the Pitt modern languages community and will feature Jonathan Arac of English and the Humanities Center, John Lyon of German, Jonathan Platt of Slavic languages and literatures, Ron Zboray of communication, and Italian Fulbright distinguished lecturer Marco Cucculelli, an Italian political economist housed in the College of Business Administration. For information visit

Students majoring in Chinese and Japanese now can earn departmental honors by fulfilling the following criteria:

• A GPA of 3.5 in the major and 3.0 overall at the end of the junior year and maintained until graduation.

• Demonstrated language proficiency (oral proficiency interview, reading and speaking) of advanced-low/intermediate high at the time of graduation.

• A research project, which customarily takes place over three terms and results in a 20-plus page research paper or other comparable intellectual product.

At least one semester of study abroad is strongly recommended but not required.



Maggie and Stella’s Cards and Gifts, a University gift shop at 209 Oakland Ave., will introduce several new lines of clothing and apparel this fall.

In response to increased demand, Panther Central will become a full-service office 24 hours a day, seven days a week, beginning this semester. Panther Central has been available 24/7, but was only full service 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Expanded overnight services include Panther Card printing, bus ticket purchases and I-9 processing.

Dining Services has launched Pitt’s first food truck, the Panther Prowler grill on wheels.

In response to student requests, Dining Services has adjusted the hours at Market Central and The Perch at Sutherland, which will be open 24 hours a day, Sunday-Thursday.

Dining Services has installed a greywater system at Market Central as part of its efforts to reduce food waste. The system transforms food waste into liquid, which then can be released into the sewer system.

Housing Services has created a more concise request form for students making online maintenance requests.



Longtime Pitt-Bradford facilities worker Jeff Armstrong is being remembered with a memorial bench near Tunungwant Creek, a tree and a scholarship. Armstrong, who worked at Pitt-Bradford for 40 years, died in October at the age of 60. (See Oct. 29, 2015, University Times.) The Pitt-Bradford Staff Association led the efforts to memorialize Armstrong, an avid outdoorsman. Continuing donations are needed to make the gift annually or endow a scholarship in Armstrong’s honor. To contribute, contact the Pitt-Bradford Office of Institutional Advancement at 814-362-5091 or visit

Pitt-Bradford’s computer information systems and technology program will launch three new minors/concentrations this fall: applications software development, cyber security and digital forensics, and systems and network administration. The areas will be concentrations for students majoring in computer information systems and technology. Students who are pursuing other majors can add prerequisite courses to each concentration for a minor. Shushan Zhao has been hired to direct the security and forensics concentration/minor. Program director Don Lewicki, faculty member in business management, and Ken Wang, a faculty member in computer information systems and technology, will oversee the other two areas.

Three other minors now are available to students as well: cinema studies, Africana studies and gender, sexuality and women’s studies. For more information visit

The National Arbor Day Foundation has designated the Pitt-Bradford campus a Tree Campus USA in recognition of UPB’s commitment to effective campus tree management.



The Katz Graduate School of Business, in affiliation with UPMC, will offer an executive MBA in health care beginning in spring 2017. The 19-month program is designed to teach health care professionals business analytics and leadership skills. Visit for information.

The College of Business Administration has added a certificate in business analytics. Students will complete 15 credits in required and elective coursework and will learn about both the statistical and managerial sides of business analytics.

New programs for undergraduate business students include:

• A double degree program that allows business students to combine their BSBA in business with a BA in health services offered by the College of General Studies. The program allows students to both specialize in business and learn about health care as an industry.

• The industry professional networks program that gives undergraduate business students the opportunity to join an industry network that is facilitated by an executive-in-residence with expertise in that industry. Available industry networks include consulting, analytics, health care and investments.

• The professional academies program, which gives students the opportunity to complete a series of workshops that gives them professional expertise in a specialization designed to complement their academic major. Workshops include real estate finance and professional sales. The workshops are taught by industry leaders and students earn a certificate after completing all workshops.

• The Alumni-Student Mentoring Initiative, which gives students the opportunity to connect with alumni for career coaching. Students are able to search an online database of more than 200 alumni volunteers.

The MS-MIS program received the federal STEM designation. International students enrolled in the MS-MIS program are eligible to apply for the 24-month STEM optional practical training (OPT) extension on their student visa. With the OPT extension, international students graduating from the programs will be eligible to work in the U.S. for a total period of 36 months before switching to other employer-sponsored visas such as H1-B.



The University has expanded its Be A Good Neighbor block parties to five locations this fall with the addition of an event in South Oakland at Dan Marino Field. The neighborhood meet-and-greet events aim to help off-campus students form relationships with their long-term resident neighbors and with leaders in the Oakland and Pittsburgh communities. Oakland residents are invited to attend any of the block parties.

Block parties are set for 5:30-7:30 p.m.:

• Sept. 8 at Oakland Square Parklet, 1 Oakland Square, for residents of the Oakland Square, Dawson and Parkview sections of Central Oakland.

• Sept. 15 at Niagara Parklet, 354 Craft Ave., for residents of the Oakcliffe section of South Oakland.

• Sept. 20 at Dan Marino Field, Dawson and Frazier streets, for residents of Frazier, Parkview, Dawson and Ward streets in South Oakland.

• Sept. 22 at 234 N. Dithridge St., for residents of the Dithridge, North Craig and Centre Avenue sections of North Oakland.

• Sept. 29 at Oakland Career Center, 294 Semple St., for residents of the core streets of Central Oakland near Forbes Avenue.

Now beginning its fifth year, the Be A Good Neighbor campaign includes the Student Guide to Campus Life publication, off-campus rental workshops, and efforts to connect with incoming students and their parents at summer PittStart sessions, during which representatives of Community and Governmental Relations discuss the University’s expectations with regard to conduct off-campus, addressing key issues such as disruptive behavior, positive engagement with our neighborhoods, parking, littering and over-occupancy.

The annual Pitt-United Way Day of Caring is set for 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sept. 16. Volunteers from the University community will participate in a range of community service projects in multiple neighborhoods. To register, visit



With DocuSign, an e-signature and workflow solution, faculty and staff can send, sign and route documents electronically. DocuSign improves turnaround time for processes involving signatures.

An enhanced Faculty Information System is launching this fall. The system’s new platform, called Elements, features an improved interface and additional options for capturing publications and categorizing faculty teaching activity and professional accomplishments.

The Pitt Passport login page offers single-sign-on to regularly used University services such as My Pitt, PeopleSoft, CourseWeb, PRISM, PittSource and more. The new page always will begin with in the address bar of your browser.

The new Qualtrics Insight Service provides additional resources for generating, analyzing and making data connections from surveys and polls. Features include data visualization methods and customized tools such as text analytics, response tagging methods and dynamically generated reports.

Advanced Threat Protection for My Pitt Email includes two features to help protect against targeted phishing attacks: Safe Links and Safe Attachments.

Safe Links evaluates links in an email message in real time to determine whether they point to a safe or harmful site.

Safe Attachments scans attachments in a virtual environment and analyzes their behavior. Safe Attachments does not analyze attachments in real time, so there may be a short delay in delivery of email messages with attachments.

Pitt departments can look forward to ordering University site-licensed software through an online software store. The software store will integrate with PantherExpress and eliminate the use of paper requisitions when purchasing or renewing software through CSSD.

This fall, CSSD will begin the migration of faculty and staff Exchange email accounts to a secure cloud-based Office 365 solution.



The school is the recipient of a $1.97 million Title VII grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding will support the expansion of the current residency program in pediatric dentistry to include two new program tracks specializing in the care of patients in underserved rural settings and special needs populations. The aim of the program is to improve the quality and quantity of available dental health workforce in rural and underserved regions of western Pennsylvania, specifically in northern Appalachia.

The school’s Give Kids a Smile and Summer Smiles programs were selected to receive a $5,000 E. “Bud” Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award for the 2015-16 school year. The American Dental Association Foundation’s Tarrson award annually highlights significant dental student outreach to vulnerable communities within the U.S.



The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with support from the Office of Human Resources organizational development department, has created a diversity and inclusion certificate program for University employees. The program is designed to provide employees with the knowledge and skills to help the University foster inclusive excellence and to reach its strategic goals relating to diversity and inclusion. A series of six introductory-level workshops, open to all faculty and staff, will address both individual behaviors and University policies that can impact an environment of opportunity and success for all members of the community. All workshops will be offered on a rotating basis each fall and spring through the faculty and staff development program. Participants also will be asked to participate in a capstone conversation session facilitated by a member of the Diversity and Inclusion office. Information will be posted at



The school has launched a post-baccalaureate certificate of advanced study in teaching with an area of concentration in urban education. The 15-credit-hour program provides training to strengthen classroom relations between educators and diverse student populations. The certificate program is housed in the Department of Instruction and Learning and supported by the Center for Urban Education. For information, contact Erika Gold Kestenberg at or 412-961-1994.



The Swanson School of Engineering will offer an environmental engineering major in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering beginning in 2016-17. Enrollment has begun and the first students who are adjusting their course requirements should graduate in April 2017. According to recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, employment of environmental engineers is projected to grow 12 percent between 2014 and 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

The Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation has launched a new website ( designed by the Swanson school’s web technology group.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), on the recommendation of its bioengineering division, established the ASME Savio L-Y. Woo Translational Biomechanics Medal to recognize ASME members who have translated meritorious bioengineering science to clinical practice through research, education, professional development and service to the bioengineering community. The award celebrates the career and achievements of Woo, Distinguished University Professor of Bioengineering and the founder and director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center at Pitt.

The 11th annual electric power industry conference is set for Nov. 14 and 15 at the University Club. This year’s theme is “The Grid in Transformation.” Mechanical engineering alumnus Lloyd M. Yates, executive vice president of market solutions and president of Duke Energy’s Carolinas region, will deliver the Nov. 14 keynote. For information:

As a result of the international Bamboo in the Urban Environment symposium hosted at Pitt in May, organizers drafted the “Pittsburgh Declaration,” a global call to action that seeks to increase international recognition of the benefits of bamboo, and outlines recommendations designed to more effectively harness the plant as a building material. The symposium was part of a U.S. State Department and UK British Council-funded Global Innovation Initiative project that is supporting the development of bamboo as a sustainable and engineered alternative construction material. The meeting, which brought together academic, private sector and civil society actors from 14 countries and territories, was organized by Pitt, Coventry University and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, a multilateral organization with 41 member states. Pitt conference chair was Kent Harries, faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Duquesne Light and the Swanson school announced their intent to partner to help redefine the future of the region’s energy landscape. This strategic partnership will include projects designed to provide Duquesne Light with critical knowledge to help inform future grid design and potential new product and service offerings, while helping to enable expanded research opportunities for students and faculty in the University’s energy and electric power programs. The partnership is one of the first steps in Duquesne Light’s longterm strategy to reinforce its leadership in grid infrastructure, sustainability and management while also furthering its interest in new technologies that will be key to evolving the grid into a dynamic network that enables reliable, seamless two-way flow of power.

Details of the partnership include the design and installation of an urban microgrid at Duquesne Light’s Woods Run Facility on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. With support from the Swanson school’s Electric Power Systems Laboratory and its electric power program, the installation will serve as a real-world laboratory to research microgrid resiliency and the integration of distributed and renewable energy resources into the electric power distribution grid, as well as other enabling technology areas such as power electronics controllers, direct current infrastructure, energy storage systems and smart grid technologies.

Duquesne Light will make a $500,000, multiyear contribution to help fund electric power research, energy efficiency, laboratory facilities and equipment at Pitt, in addition to providing the necessary expertise to interconnect any new electric power laboratory facilities to the existing electric power grid.

Over the past year, with the help of a $400,000 grant from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, Gregory Reed, a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, established the DC-AMPS program (Direct Current Architecture for Modern Power Systems) and has been working to bring DC technology to the forefront, as well as bringing local and regional companies, the City of Pittsburgh and community partners into the fold. Reed announced the receipt of another Hillman grant, totaling $2.5 million over three years, to build upon the initial success of the DC-AMPS program, to bring a DC power grid even closer to fruition, and to make Pitt and Pittsburgh the epicenter of an emerging DC power industry.



Pitt-Greensburg and Seton Hill University have established a partnership that will allow undergraduate students majoring in education at Pitt-Greensburg to enter Seton Hill’s master of arts in special education program upon graduation. UPG undergraduates majoring in education will be able to cross-register for up to two Seton Hill graduate-level courses.

Pitt-Greensburg now offers the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) endorsement program as an option for students earning their four-year degrees in early childhood education. Only 10 institutions have received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to offer STEM endorsement certificates as part of their teacher-education programs.

Pitt-Greensburg has expanded its studies in digital humanities to include the Center for Digital Text.

Under the direction of English faculty members Sayre Greenfield, chair of the Humanities Division, and Elisa Beshero-Bondar, the center will support the training of faculty in digital methods, serve the global community in outreach activities to encourage the launch and development of new projects connected to digital texts and their curation on the web, and give students trained in Pitt-Greensburg’s digital studies program experience in training, outreach and consulting in the wider community of digital scholarship and digital media development.

In 2017, the center will offer a three-day introductory course on coding to develop digital archives, as well as a new advanced course to concentrate on XSLT, XQuery and other transformations of XML into HTML, SVG and more.

UPG has received approval to offer a biochemistry major, increasing the number of majors to 27.

Four Apple iMac computers have been installed in the Cassell Hall computer lab and two have been installed in Millstein Library.

Digital signage is being installed in Cassell Hall, Millstein Library, Bobcat Station in Chambers Hall and Smith Hall to increase access to campus information, emergency details, weather and news. Members of the campus community can post information at no cost by submitting a help ticket to Computer Services. This system augments the Aavelin system displayed on the television screens in Wagner Dining Hall.

Electronics charging stations are being placed in the Campus Store, Powers Hall lounge, Chambers Hall and Smith Hall. The multiple 10-port USB hubs will allow for quick charging of electronic devices.

An autonomous multicondition sensor has been mounted on the UPG Facilities Building to provide current weather information. The weather station will monitor rainfall to ensure that adequate supplemental irrigation can be applied to Ridilla Athletic Fields. Plans call for developing an app or live ticker to share the information via the monitors around campus.

A UV Splash Night Color Run is being added to the lineup for Pitt-Greensburg’s Blue & Gold Weekend: Homecoming 2016. Participants will be splashed with glow-in-the-dark colors at five stations along the course through the UPG campus. The event, set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30, will include vendors, food trucks and an after-party. Register online at, or in person starting at 5:30 p.m. the day of the event. Discounted registration ends Sept. 16.



The Department of Occupational Therapy now is offering a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree. The OTD program is designed to develop the next generation of doctoral-trained occupational therapists who will be able to implement evidence-based practice, understand care delivery models and be prepared to meet the future occupational needs of society. The OTD program is a nine-semester course of study requiring 112 credits, including fieldwork education, an experiential preceptorship and a capstone project. The OTD will replace the Master of Occupational Therapy program beginning in June 2017.



The HSLS molecular biology information service is offering new data analysis tools including:

CLC Biomedical Genomics Workbench: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) data analysis software primarily focused on cancer and hereditary disease experiments performed on human, mouse and rat. (

CLC Microbial Genomics Module: Whole genome/metagenomics NGS-data analysis software, available as an add-on plugin for CLC Genomics Workbench. (

Ingenuity Variant Analysis: A web-based application to interpret the biological meaning in genomic variation data. (

Key Pathway Advisor: A web-based application for identifying biological pathways and key regulatory hubs linked to a list of differentially expressed genes or genomic variant data. (

HSLS now subscribes to AccessPharmacy, an online collection of textbooks including “DiPiro’s Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach,” and other pharmacy-related resources.

HSLS has developed a new tool, search.bioPreprint (, which helps researchers comprehensively search preprint databases to discover cutting-edge biomedical research articles that have yet to be published or reviewed.

HSLS and the Department of Biomedical Informatics will host a free symposium, “Bringing Rigor and Reproducibility to Research,” 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 22 in S120 BST ( Keynote speaker Victoria Stodden of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will discuss “Rethinking the Scholarly Record: Facilitating Reproducibility of Computational Results.” The day will include a panel discussion with members of the Pitt research community and a spotlight on resources that will help researchers bring rigor and reproducibility to their own research. Registration is required:



“Big Data and Healthcare Analytics: A Path to Personalized Medicine” is an interprofessional training course focused on the preparation of health professionals for an era of big data, health analytics and personalized medicine. It is sponsored by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation in collaboration with Pitt’s medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health schools. The eight-week, 32-hour course is designed to introduce the emerging fields of data science and personalized medicine to physicians, nurses, pharmacists and public health professionals. Students are provided with a hands-on opportunity to investigate their own genomic data using a personal saliva-based genomic test, or to use data provided by the program.

The Health Sciences schools, led by the School of Medicine, have begun a research collaboration with global biopharmaceutical company Shire PLC to advance potential treatments for rare diseases, where a sizable unmet need exists. Under the agreement, Pitt and Shire have selected an initial three projects that will be funded by Shire and ultimately could result in a licensing agreement:

• Solomon Ofori-Acquah, medicine faculty member, will be investigating a molecular pathway that may lead to drug targets against sickle cell anemia.

• David Whitcomb, Giant Eagle Foundation Professor of Cancer Genetics and faculty member in medicine and of cell biology, will be researching a molecular pathway relevant to pancreatitis.

• Peter Wipf, Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and Stephen Meriney, neuroscience faculty member in the Dietrich school, will be studying a newly identified molecule that may lead to drug targets against the autoimmune disorder Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome.



A Pitt affiliation no longer is necessary in order to schedule a wedding at Heinz Memorial Chapel, but it pays to be a Panther: Pitt alumni get a 15 percent discount on the chapel fee.

The chapel now is booking wedding dates two years into the future; previously reservations were accepted only one year in advance. Visit details.

The chapel’s Reuter pipe organ has a new electronics system.



The Hispanic & Latino Professional Association and the Hispanic & Latin@ Alumni Council are kicking off the fall term with a Potluck in the Park, set for 1-5 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Frick Park shelter at Forbes and Braddock avenues. RSVP at



The University’s faculty and staff HMO and PPO medical benefit plans have begun providing coverage for certain transgender-related services, including behavioral health support, surgery and medications such as hormones. The amendment has been added to the certificates of coverage for the plans, posted at The changes, effective Aug. 15, were made to bring the plan into compliance with federal rules related to sex discrimination in employment. Questions should be directed to UPMC Health Plan’s Pitt member services line, 888-499-6885.



The Innovation Institute’s academic entrepreneurship course, an introductory primer to the commercialization process for non life-sciences faculty and staff, has been renamed Concept to Commercialization.

The Blast Furnace student startup accelerator, open to students of all levels, is being offered as a three-credit course through the College of Business Administration.

The Innovation Institute is launching a new website ( to better engage faculty and students as well as partners from industry and the entrepreneurial community.

This year’s Innovation Showcase is set for 4-7 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Alumni Hall Connolly Ballroom. Participants can view the University’s latest innovations in health care, materials, Internet of Things, information technology, analytics, energy and more, and network with these inventors and founders, local entrepreneurs, investors and community leaders. Among the innovations will be winners of the Michael G. Wells Student Healthcare Competition and the new Kuzneski Innovation Cup, which will be announced that day.



The Elsie Hillman Civic Forum, the student arm of the Institute of Politics, has launched the Elsie Hillman honors scholars program, a civic engagement training fellowship. The program aims to connect motivated and creative students with community partners for the purpose of developing original, student-led civic engagement research or action projects that explore and address issues important to the community partner and reflect the passion and social commitment of the student. The key tenets of this program are built on Hillman’s leadership characteristics: a strong mind; caring heart; generous spirit; and courage to stand up for those things in which she believed.

Among the partner organizations are Sarah Heinz House, Sustainable Pittsburgh, Allies for Children, the Homeless Children’s Education Fund and the Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank. Students will work closely with the community agency and University mentors to identify and develop outcomes that will advance the goals and mission of the partner organization, while developing leadership skills.


Pitt-Johnstown has begun offering a major in multimedia and digital culture. The program focuses on developing students’ abilities at the interdisciplinary intersections of the humanities and digital technology. It explores the emerging field that capitalizes on electronic media, new media, digital humanities and creative media. The major engages students in innovative human-computer interactions within a curricular framework that also emphasizes effective communication skills and the theoretical and philosophical context of our world’s digital culture.



The Pitt Legal Services Incubator, which will provide legal services to underserved clients, commenced operations in the spring term with its inaugural class of incubator attorneys. The two-year program is open to Pitt law graduates who are licensed to practice in Pennsylvania.

The law school’s Innovation Practice Institute, in collaboration with Pitt’s Business school, won the Higher Education Innovation Challenge for its integrated “3+1+3” social entrepreneurs program, which allows Pitt students to earn an undergraduate business degree, perform a social entrepreneurship “gap” service year and earn a law degree, all in seven years.

The law school’s health care compliance online graduate certificate program welcomed its first cohort of 18 professionals in spring term.

In conjunction with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, this spring the School of Law launched a public policy concentration, which makes it the only law school in the U.S. to offer a semester in D.C. program in conjunction with a graduate public policy school.



The new internship in biomedical research, informatics and computer science program is an undergraduate research program hosted by the Department of Biomedical Informatics in partnership with Carnegie Mellon, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Lincoln University and the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. It aims to build a foundation for a career in biomedical data science through a mentored research and training experience in the emerging fields of big data, computer science and biology and biomedical informatics.

The Department of Computational and Systems Biology has instituted a new course, Scalable Machine Learning for Big Data Biology. Machine learning has become an integral part of computational thinking in the era of big-data biology. This course covers the basics of machine learning and introduces techniques and systems to infer patterns in large-scale biological datasets. The course will use source material from genomic sciences, structural biology, drug discovery, systems modeling and biological imaging. Students will design, implement and test machine-learning algorithms in a distributed environment such as Apache Spark.

Students entering the School of Medicine this fall will begin learning about substance abuse and addiction medicine from their earliest days on campus. Although the school’s curriculum has long included addiction medicine, 2016 will see a new, sharpened focus on opioid abuse in particular. First- and second-year students will undertake a special program on the fundamental causes and effects of the current epidemic of opioid abuse. Part of the impetus for the change came from the fact that, between 2008 and 2014, more people in Allegheny County died from opiate overdoses than from traffic accidents and homicides combined, according to the county Department of Health and Human Services. An eight-week ambulatory clerkship is a key new course. Students will face the challenges of managing pain in an outpatient setting, including pain that persists past an acute episode.
Students will complete a National Institute on Drug Abuse online module on safe prescribing for pain. This case-based module helps students to deepen their understanding of the skills and tools clinicians can use to screen for and prevent abuse in patients with pain.

During prospective med students’ visits — even before they have committed to come to Pitt — they learn how to use a Narcan injector device so that they can help to save someone who has overdosed.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has awarded Pitt a federal contract for the Center of Excellence in Pain Education: Pain Challenges in Primary Care. The CoEPE is a collaborative project to develop interactive virtual cases in pain education ranging from opioid misuse following wisdom teeth extraction to widespread pain and fibromyalgia. The first three learning modules will be implemented into the curricula of all Health Sciences schools, providing a wide range of interprofessional education opportunities. One additional module will be developed each year during the five-year funding period. NIDA will disseminate the modules via a national curriculum resource for inclusion in health sciences curricula.

The School of Medicine is piloting a fourth-year elective that combines social determinants of medicine and molecular medicine.
The new course is based on the premise that the human body doesn’t function in a bubble: Different environments in which people live, work and play affect people’s health, and physicians and biomedical researchers are learning more about those effects. Social determinants of health — neighborhood and workplace pollutants and air quality, access to health care services, exposure to violence, lifestyle choices and income, to name a few — can affect people’s wellness and susceptibility to illnesses and diseases.

Through a partnership with UPMC and the School of Medicine, every City of Pittsburgh employee will be trained in CPR by the end of 2016. Councilman Dan Gilman announced three goals for city residents this summer: get more people trained in CPR; inform everyone about the location of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs); and launch a new smartphone application called PulsePoint (, a lifesaving app that allows anyone in cardiac arrest to get the help they need until an ambulance arrives. The City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, the Henry Hillman Foundation and UPMC have partnered to implement the use of PulsePoint.

The Department of Medicine has launched two training programs designed to boost biomedical research careers of trainees and junior faculty from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. Training successful clinical researchers since 2005 has been the task of the Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE) under co-director Doris Rubio, who also is director of academic programs, director of the Office of Evaluation and Office of Lifelong Learning and director of the Center for Research on Health Care Data Center. Rubio received funding for two training programs: LEADS (Leading Emerging and Diverse Scientists to Success) and PROMISED (Professional Mentoring Skills Enhancing Diversity).

Funded by the National Institute for General Medical Sciences, LEADS is a yearlong program designed to meet the individual needs of trainees and junior faculty from minority-serving institutions who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences and beginning their research careers. Participants are assigned a career coach who will help the trainees identify which online modules they should complete and create a career plan for the year. LEADS allows for some funding for trainees who want to disseminate their research at conferences or travel to receive specialized training. PROMISED, funded by the National Research Mentoring Network, provides online training modules that focus on leadership skills and career coaching training.


The School of Nursing is introducing a nurse-midwife major in its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program this fall. The on-campus, 100-credit program includes coursework covering patient care, health care organization management, ethics and public policy as well as clinical rotations in the region’s hospitals, birthing centers and midwifery/women’s health practices. Full-time study will permit the student to complete the program within three years; part-time study also is an option.



The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) anticipates its water line replacement project along Lothrop, Terrace and Darragh streets will be completed in November, weather permitting.

In an Aug. 16 project update, PWSA reported that installation of the main water line on Lothrop Street between Fifth Avenue and Victoria Street is complete. Final service tie-ins, hydrant installation and sidewalk restoration were scheduled to begin Aug. 29.

Installation of the main water line on Terrace Street between Darragh Street and Sutherland Drive began Aug. 15.

Installation of the line on Lothrop Street between Victoria and Terrace streets is nearly complete. Work remaining includes installation of some water line, final service tie-ins, hydrant installation and sidewalk restoration.

The update can be viewed in the “project info” section at

Works by international visual and digital artist Miguel Chevalier are featured as part of the Innovation Oakland artist series at the Forbes Plaza Digital Gallery. Chevalier’s two works, “Binary Waves” and “Complexe Meshes,” were unveiled Aug. 21 and will run through Sept. 30 at the free outdoor gallery at the corner of Forbes Avenue and S. Bouquet Street.

Chevalier, who was born in Mexico City and now resides in Paris, utilizes virtual-reality installations shown on LED screens, sculptures created with 3-D printers, and holographic imagery to tackle the notion of the interactive image.

Exhibits repeat each hour 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit



Pitt Arts will host Michael Hingson, author of “Thunderdog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero,” for a lecture in commemoration of 9/11 and to celebrate and honor persons with disabilities. Blind since birth, Hingson was trapped with his guide dog, Roselle, on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center Tower on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Sept. 15 event is set for 7-9 p.m. in the Frick Fine Arts auditorium. The Office of Disability Resources Services will provide deaf interpretation and the University bookstore will sell books at the event. Hingson will be available to autograph his books after the lecture.



The Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership’s 2016 Emerging Leader Award will be presented at 4 p.m. Oct. 19 at the University Club. This year’s honoree is civil rights lawyer Alec Karakatsanis, co-founder of the Washington, D.C.-based organization Equal Justice Under Law. Karakatsanis pursues justice for persons who have been ignored or systematically disadvantaged under the current justice system. He has fought successfully against the money bail system, debtors’ prisons and other injustices. To RSVP for the event, email or call 412-648-1336



The Graduate School of Public Health and the Katz Graduate School of Business have launched a joint MHA/MBA in health management. The degree program will prepare students to lead a wide range of organizations and agencies in the health services. Students will gain key business skills and specialized knowledge in health care through a blend of courses in management, finance, health care quality improvement, outcomes measurement and analytics. Over three years, they will complete a 78-credit course of study as well as a management residency in health care services or health-related practice.

In support of the “Certified in Public Health” designation, the public health school has developed a series of continuing education programs ( to offer CPH recertification credits to participating alumni and other professionals in the field. The school currently pays the $385 registration fee for students (and recent graduates) who sit for the exam, provides free study guides and rebates a portion of the exam fee for other alumni.

Public health’s incoming class will include seven dean’s public health scholars. This recently established program supports outstanding incoming master’s students from each department who receive a 50 percent tuition scholarship to support up to two years of full-time graduate studies.

In response to interest from Pitt undergraduates in global and public health, public health is working to expand its 3-2 early admission program for outstanding undergraduates. Qualified undergraduates may apply in their junior year to begin graduate coursework as seniors. Students complete both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years.



The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management recently launched The website provides the Pitt community with emergency updates, safety resources and other preparedness information. It also serves to connect the efforts of Pitt’s police, environmental health and safety and integrated security departments in maintaining a safe campus.



Pitt-Greensburg and Pitt-Bradford have earned national recognition as “Colleges of Distinction” by The Colleges of Distinction website and guidebook recognize schools throughout the U.S. for excellence in undergraduate-focused higher education.

To earn the recognition, colleges and universities must demonstrate results across four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes. High school counselors and educators make nominations, and each school is evaluated on key indicators including student engagement, student empowerment and curricular innovation.


The Pitt-assisted communities and schools (PACS) program is housed in the School of Social Work under the faculty leadership of John Wallace and James Huguley. PACS mobilizes Pitt resources to enrich the lives of children, youth and families and advances the University’s commitment to transformative teaching, research and community service.

Primarily focused on academic, health and mental health support. PACS seeks to serve students, parents, school personnel and the community at large. The program currently works with Faison Elementary, Lincoln Elementary and Westinghouse Academy (6-12). For information visit

218164,August 23 2016,Arrival Survival



Student Affairs recently revamped its website at to make it more user friendly, adaptive to mobile and tablets and intuitive to navigate.

The Office of Career Development and Placement Assistance (CDPA) will change the format and location of the annual Fall Career Fair. The event will move from the Petersen Events Center to the William Pitt Union and will transition from a two-day to a four-day event. On Sept. 28 and 29, students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields will meet with employers, while students pursuing careers in business, humanities and social sciences will connect with employers on Oct. 5 and 6.

CDPA is rolling out Handshake career management software to help connect students and new alumni with employers seeking to hire interns and full-time employees. Handshake will replace FutureLinks. The Outside the Classroom Curriculum, which is now part of CDPA, also will be utilizing a new software called Suitable to track participation in the program. Suitable is a platform that was designed by Pitt business alumnus Mark Visco.

The University Counseling Center, in an effort to increase access for students and reduce wait times, is expanding its after-hours on-call services and has hired additional counselors. The center also is modifying its intake system to increase expediency in responding to student needs. If you are concerned about a student, call the Counseling Center any time at 412-648-7930.

Incoming students now are required to complete three online modules prior to arrival on campus to help them better prepare for the college experience. New students must complete a module on sexual assault, alcohol use and, new this year, financial literacy.

Intramurals and Recreation has changed its name to Campus Recreation to better reflect the programs and services it provides. Visit for more information on programs for faculty and staff.

Student Health Service, in collaboration with HealthStratica, will expand the PantherTRAC text-messaging system, which is designed to curb unhealthy drinking behaviors. PantherTRAC, funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, uses positive interactive text messages to reinforce appropriate behaviors and discourage binge drinking among Pitt students.



Pitt-Titusville campus police and the Pitt Police specialized emergency response team participated with local public safety agencies in an active shooter event training exercise last month on the Titusville campus. The drill, designed to prepare for an actual emergency, simulated shooters opening fire in the Student Union and Henne Auditorium.



The Pitt Global Operations Support website ( provides a central hub of information for faculty and staff conducting international-related work. The site includes international travel, payment, agreement and research information that links to various Pitt departments specializing in these areas.

For staff and faculty who are traveling internationally for work, the international Travel Registry offers expanded insurance coverage, security advice and assistance during in-country emergencies, travel advisories, medical referrals and more through a partnership with International SOS. The Travel Registry can be accessed at

UCIS is launching Pitt’s Global Plan with a series of four World Café sessions designed to educate the Pitt community on the University’s goals for global engagement; generate discussion on how units across campus can collaborate and contribute to the objectives of the plan; and identify promising steps for implementation of select initiatives.

• Faculty and staff are invited to “World Café: Global Partnerships,” set for 9-10:30 a.m. Oct. 10 in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room.

• Faculty and advisers are invited to “World Café: Global Credential,” set for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 11 in the William Pitt Union Kurtzman Room.

• Student leaders by invitation are invited to “World Café: Global Credential,” set for 9-10:30 a.m. Oct. 12 in the William Pitt Union Kurtzman Room.

• Faculty are invited to “World Café: Research Through International Collaborations,” set for 3-4:30 p.m. Oct. 13 in the O’Hara Student Center Ballroom.
RSVP at to attend a session. The Global Plan can be found at

An international alumni panel discussion featuring Kakenya Ntaiya will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 26 in 548 William Pitt Union in conjunction with International Education Week. Panelists will discuss their journey to Pitt, their experiences here and how Pitt prepared them to return home. In 2013, Ntaiya was a top-10 CNN Hero, recognized by Women in the World as a “Woman of Impact,” and awarded the University’s Sheth International Young Alumni Achievement Award. A 2011 School of Education alumna, Ntaiya is the founder and president of Kakenya Center for Excellence based in Kenya. The center educates and motivates young girls to become agents of change in their community and country.
Pitt will celebrate International Education Week Oct. 24-28. For information:

Pitt’s Global Studies Center, in collaboration with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, last month launched a biweekly video digest, “What’s Up With the World?” The video program is a convenient way to stay informed on global events as they happen. These video commentaries by experts on global topics are delivered by email, providing a two-to-five-minute analysis of an issue. The first video segment featured former ambassador Dan Simpson discussing the meaning behind the decades-long policy of briefing presidential candidates on national security issues and the implications of this practice on a national and global level. To subscribe, contact the Global Studies Center at

The European Studies Center now offers a transatlantic studies certificate, a program for undergraduate students interested in comparative study between the United States and Europe. Students can design the certificate according to their interests, with primary areas of study including governance, policy and security issues in the context of the transatlantic relationship, the history of colonialism, cultural exchange and the comparative study of various professional fields such as business and medicine.

The European Studies Center and the Center for Russian and East European Studies will jointly administer the new related concentration in European and Eurasian studies. Tailored to pre-professional students, the related

New Student convocation 2016

New Student convocation 2016

concentration requires only one college-level year of a European language. Students will be able to internationalize their majors, incorporate study abroad and choose from numerous themes in both the humanities and social sciences to organize their coursework.

The European Studies Center is among the first American universities offering Erasmus+ grants to faculty and graduate students for exchanges between Pitt and Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. The faculty grant will cover travel and living expenses for a teaching or research visit of up to five working days; the graduate student grant will cover travel and living expenses for up to one semester in Newcastle. Core themes include business, education and economic development, energy (particularly hydraulic fracturing), community engagement, European Union studies, history, public health, regional governance, sustainability, translational research (notably in health and youth studies) and urban and regional planning. For information, contact

Three faculty members will lead new study-abroad programs this academic year.

• Gregor Thum of the Department of History will lead the new Pitt in Berlin program, which is the first fall-semester program in Germany. The program focuses on German and Central European history, language and culture with excursions in and around Berlin as well as to the central European cities of Dresden, Prague, Krakow and Wroclaw.

• Swedish instructor Eva Albertsson will take students to her homeland in summer 2017 with the Pitt in Sweden four-week program. The core culture course, Sweden Here and Now, is complemented with a crash course in beginner Swedish or intermediate/advanced level Swedish for continuing students.

• Pitt-Johnstown geography professor Ola Johansson will explore sustainable cities with the new Pitt in Amsterdam four-week program in summer 2017. Topics will include history and philosophy of sustainability, ecological footprints, green buildings, alternative energy, innovative transportation solutions and waste/water management.



Recent developments at the University Center for Teaching and Learning, formerly the Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education, include:

• Launching the Instructional Accessibility@Pitt website ( to help faculty create instructional materials that are accessible to all Pitt students.

• Acquiring new items including virtual reality devices (Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard), 360 immersive video cameras (Theta S), and 3-D printers (Rostock Max V2 and MakerBot) to encourage exploration of innovative technologies that show potential for instructional application.

• Installing eight additional video/data viewing devices in the Nationality Classrooms to make it easier for faculty to incorporate technology when teaching in those rooms.

• Producing a new tool for administering the Student Opinion of Teaching Surveys for this fall, with enhanced features for both faculty and students.



UHC has begun sponsoring humanities, arts and social sciences research fellowships for undergraduate researchers. Accepted fellows are paired with a graduate student mentor, who will teach the research methods of the field and assist fellows with conducting their individual research projects. Fellows and their graduate student mentors each receive a $500 award for their work. For information:



In collaboration with the University’s Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity, ULS is offering Archival Scholars Research Awards to 10 undergraduate students this fall. Awardees receive a stipend to work with a faculty mentor to develop independent research projects that draw upon resources found in Pitt’s archives and special collections.

Throughout the semester, students receive archival training from librarians, archivists and curators; attend three workshops; and participate in an end-of-term presentation to report on their research. This year’s focus will be on using archival and special collections materials related to diversity.

ULS will offer the following workshops this fall: Creating Maps on the Web; Introduction to Data Visualization With Tableau; Data Cleaning With OpenRefine; Documenting Reproducible Research With Jupyter Notebooks; Uses and Misuses of Quantitative Indicators of Impact; What Is Your h-index and Other Measures of Academic Impact; Managing a Digital Project; Authoring Multimedia Narratives; Building a Digital Portfolio With WordPress; Introduction to Spatial Analysis; Reproducibility in Social Sciences Research; Resources and Opportunities for New Researchers; Citation Management With EndNote; Citation Management With Mendeley; Copyright for Graduate Students: ETDs and Beyond; ETD Formatting; Self-Directed Research: How to Get Started; Archival Scholars Research Awards Open House; Field Studies Program Workshop; and The Craft of Undergraduate Research Proposals.

View the workshop calendar at

ULS and HSLS will be collaborating on a new regular column in the University Times. It will debut in the Sept. 15 issue.

ULS has created a blog, Faculty Focus, with news about resources and services available to Pitt faculty. Subscribe at

ULS has bibliometrics tools and services that assist researchers with managing their research personas, identifying sources of citations, interpreting metrics and telling the story of the impact of their research. Contact Berenika Webster, head of the ULS Strategic Assessment Unit, at

ULS is planning events to inform the University community about its tools and services that support teaching, learning and research, and to learn from the Pitt community what they need from their library.

• The fourth annual Hillman Alfresco: Party on the Plaza, geared toward undergraduates, is set for 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 1 on the Hillman Library plaza.

• Graduate Students Pints & Pies is set for 4-7 p.m. Sept. 15 in G-49 Hillman Library.

• A faculty event, Join the Library for Wine, Cheese and Conversation, is set for 4-7 p.m. Sept. 29 in the Thornburgh Room on the first floor of Hillman Library. RSVP to

ULS, in collaboration with CMU, is co-hosting the Engineering and Science Day of Discovery: Library Resources for Research, 1-4 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Engineering Library, 102 Benedum Hall. The event will highlight resources available to science and engineering students to help them with their research and learning.

New archival collections include the Robert Johnson Papers, the Kuntu Repertory Theatre collection and Elsie H. Hillman Papers.

• Johnson was an assistant professor of dance in the University’s black studies department and founder of the Pittsburgh Black Theater Dance Ensemble. The collection represents the works of prominent African Americans involved in dance, choreography and music who went on to build solid careers and make meaningful contributions to the performing arts.

• Kuntu Repertory Theatre was the oldest and largest African-American performing arts organization in Pittsburgh. Founded in 1974 by Vernell A. Lillie, professor emeritus of Africana studies, Kuntu produced more than 139 mainstage plays, toured, and conducted over 530 master classes/workshops until it closed nearly 40 years later. Kuntu became nationally recognized for its development of celebrated playwrights and produced more than 180 plays by playwrights including Lillie, James Baldwin, Kathleen Collins, Lorraine Hansberry and Rob Penny. The Kuntu collection was acquired recently and has yet to be inventoried; therefore, it will not be fully open for research for several years.

• Hillman was an advocate for greater inclusion of both African Americans’ and women’s involvement in the political arena and specifically in the Republican Party at local, state and national levels. She also worked as a philanthropist to better the lives of all Americans, particularly the poor, inner-city youth and those affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis.

For more information on the collections, visit

Filed under: Feature,Volume 49 issue 1

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