The next two weeks aren’t a break for everyone at Pitt


Pitt may have lengthened the winter recess for most of us, but some Pitt employees (and some students) don’t get a break.


Pitt spokesman Kevin Zwick said that public safety and emergency management workers will continue on duty throughout the winter break, as well as those “deep cleaning University buildings, maintaining research facilities and providing housing support for remaining students on campus.”

Of course, some Pitt places never close, such as Pitt IT’s Technology Help Desk. Its 15 staffers and 15 student workers respond to calls and emails 24/7/365, and have got the campus covered through the holidays.

The Forbes Street Market and retail stores also remain open; in fact, the whole schedule of unbroken break activity at the University is here.

Six teams of student athletes, as well as their coaches and support staff, will be on campus to keep on practicing and competing: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, gymnastics and wrestling.

Other, less obvious work must continue through the December holidays as well.

In the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences alone, for instance, in the undergraduate studies office, members of Sue Crain’s team in Student Records always work at least a part of the break. Crain and staff member Lisa Machi will be checking to see whether impending graduates have their accomplishments noted on the graduation roster, such as University and department honors, not to mention all the correct grades for their degrees. Machi also doublechecks all the Dietrich students’ minors from other undergraduate schools to be sure the students meet those requirements as well.

Michele Montag, the school’s executive director for staff personnel and senior assistant dean, said that “for faculty, the main people working over the break, at least on campus, would be those managing sensitive experiments in the sciences.”

Same goes for staff members, in the main. Pete Chambers, director of shared research support services, says his animal-care team is in every day during the break. “My stockroom and cryogenics people will come in at least one day during the break to provide some essential continuing services for research,” he said.

“Some of our grant-funded staff may also be working if they’re supporting sensitive experiments,” Montag said.

And, as Human Resources has noted, the Pitt Worx transition team will be working over the break as well to transfer many HR processes — such as time-card entry now in PRISM — to the new Pitt Worx system so it will be ready to go on Jan. 4.

Marty Levine is a staff writer for the University Times. Reach him at or 412-758-4859.


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