Pitt’s pandemic heroes: Work on seeking grants doesn’t shut down


While some research at Pitt has had to pause for months, Carrie Rodzwicz has been busy keeping University Center for Social and Urban Research studies moving. 

“When I help faculty get a grant or keep a grant, that’s keeping our staff on board for the next three to five years,” she says.

Rodzwicz, grant administrator at UCSUR, makes sure faculty grant applications follow foundation or federal rules, not to mention University rules.  

“I like to see how excited the researchers are about what they’re studying,” she says. That can include everything from caregiving in aging populations and elder abuse to sewage and flood mitigation. The results of some studies can help lawmakers form new legislation or suggest how to improve the way that government works.

Pitt was in Rodzwicz’s family, she says, since her father and sister attended and helped influence her love for Pitt football. She earned her bachelor’s degree here in English but felt uncertain about a career path until UCSUR hired her in 2006, first as a temp, then half time, and finally full time in 2009. She began as a research interviewer in the survey research program and moved on to be a fieldwork supervisor (2009-2018). Today she is pursuing a master of education in higher education management, administration and policy in the School of Education.

“My work hasn’t really changed,” she says of the move from campus to home. “I do miss being able to stop by someone’s office to ask a question.”

Her work also includes being assistant editor of the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships. This quarterly, peer-reviewed, international journal publishes research about the relations between older and younger generations, particularly those more than one generation apart.

When Rodzwicz started at UCSUR, faculty member Sally Newman was studying the mutual benefits when the generations come together, in classrooms, daycare or eldercare facilities. Rodzwicz began aiding Newman, who is now emeritus director of UCSUR’s Generations Together program, and today helps the journal get its submissions through the editorial process.

“I can definitely see how working from home wouldn’t be right for everyone,” says Rodzwicz, who tries to use Be Fit Pitt tips to remind her to step outside, take short exercise breaks, “don’t stay glued to your computer. I’m trying not to overwork. People would say this is an issue … But I’m an introvert and pretty independent. I’m just rolling out of bed and excited and on time every day.”

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


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