News around Pitt: Veterans Services, Pitt­–Bradford, Counseling Center and more

There’s so much activity on Pitt’s campuses that sometimes news gets overlooked by the wider University community. We’ll spotlight some changes and achievements here each issue of the University Times. If you have news you want to share, email editor Susan Jones at


Edwin Hernandez, director of the Office of Veterans Services for the past two and a half years, is leaving Pitt to join Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. His last day is Jan. 25.

A search is already underway for his replacement.


Pitt–Bradford has received a $600,000 gift from the estate of Wesleah Blair of Bradford to establish a new scholarship for nursing students.

Blair died last year in Bradford at the age of 92. Attorney Mark Hollenbeck, who helped set up her estate plan, said that Blair’s husband, U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer James D. Blair, died very young and needed a lot of care

“I think Wesleah always appreciated the compassion and quality of life that the nurses who were around brought to him,” he said. “I think that’s why she wanted to create this nursing scholarship. What she envisioned was helping someone who wouldn’t be able to pursue a nursing degree without this scholarship.”

The first scholarship will be awarded for the 2019-20 academic year.


Jay Darr, who most recently was the clinical liaison and coordinator at the University of North Texas in Denton, is returning home to Pittsburgh as the new director of the University Counseling Center, effective Feb. 18.

Darr earned his Ph.D. from Duquesne University’s executive counseling and supervision education program, with a specialization in crisis management. Additionally, he earned a Master of Science in education in counseling education and supervision, with a concentration in school counseling, at Duquesne. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from West Virginia University, where he studied sociology. He is a licensed professional counselor in Pennsylvania, Texas and North Carolina. In 2018, he was the recipient of the American College Counseling Association Counselor of the Year award.

Find more details here.


Dr. Tomas Drabek,  from the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, has been appointed a Fellow of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. The FASA designation recognizes years of dedication to exceptional education, leadership and commitment to the specialty.


  • Amy L. Seybert, associate professor and chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Department at PittPharmacy, has been appointed to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Board of Directors.
  • Jan Beumer, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, was elected co-chair of the National Cancer Institute Investigational Drug Steering Committee Phase 1 Program.