Chancellor’s Awards for Staff honor nine Pitt employees

Nine Pitt staff members have been named recipients of the 2021 Chancellor’s Award for Staff,

The award, the University’s highest staff honor, is open to all full-time and part-time, classified and union-eligible staff members in recognition of outstanding contributions at the University or within the community-at-large. It also includes a $2,500 prize, and a plaque with the recipient’s name will be added to the Chancellor’s Award for Staff display in the William Pitt Union.

This year’s awards and recipients are:

Innovation in Advancing Administrative and Operational Efficiency

Rochelle Woods: Senior assistant dean of Administration, Operations and Academic Programs,
School of Education. The award notification said: “It is clear that your tireless efforts to streamline your school’s operations and academic offerings has the school and its students, faculty and staff poised for further success.”

Exceptional Early Career Achievement

Laura Winters: Deputy chief of staff, Office of the Provost. Winters’ efforts “managing 15 successful executive search committees have played a key role in strengthening our University’s leadership,” the award notification said. “Also, your service on the Resilience Steering Committee coordination team ensured we provided the best possible educational experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Student Impact

Tiwanda Taylor: Assistant director of Undergraduate Recruitment, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. The award notification said: “It is clear that your partnership with students from arrival to graduation (and beyond) has been critical to their personal and professional success.”

University Engagement

Andy Stephany: President emeritus, Staff Council, and associate and division administrator, Department of Medicine, HVI – Cardiology/Vascular Medicine Institute. Stephany was honored for his work on Staff Council and on the Alumni Associations Advocacy Advisory Group.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Yetunde Olaore: Program coordinator, PITT STRIVE program, Swanson School of Engineering. “It is clear that your work with the PITT STRIVE Program has played — and continues to play — a critical role in advancing a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion in our university community,” the award notification said.

Excellent Mentor

Justin Meyer: Associate director of Clinical Development, Division of Philanthropic and Alumni Engagement. The award announcement said: “Not only did you find success with your concept of ‘Fridays with Friedlander,’ you enabled your colleagues to experience that same success by helping them launch webcasts for the departments they represent.”

Community Engagement

Medina Jackson: Director of Engagement, The P.R.I.D.E. Program, Office of Child Development. Jackson was cited for her “remarkable work — both within your University of Pittsburgh role and outside of it — on behalf of Pittsburgh’s Black community.

Research Support

Sara Izzo: Peer counselor and research associate, Human Engineering Research Laboratories and School of Medicine’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Izzo was honored for her research on spina bifida with the Centers for Disease Control and now the National Institutes of Health, which is poised to have a significant impact on patients and their families. 

Career Achievement

Janet Delany: Data Engineer, Pitt IT. This award is given to a staff member with more than 20 years of service at the University. The award notification said: “Your vast resume of work — ranging from Y2K remediation to your organization of Institutional Research information to the current Pitt Worx conversion — has had lasting effects on our students and employees and their experience at Pitt.”