Staff Council Spring Assembly will explore ‘Better Pitt, Better You’


Staff Council’s annual Spring Assembly, this year on May 14 at the O’Hara Student Center, will present sessions on dealing with the aftermath of recent traumatic events, including the Tree of Life and New Zealand shootings, as well as improving personal and professional communications.

The 2019 theme is “Better Pitt, Better You,” with a keynote presentation from Jamie Kulzer, assistant professor in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences’ master of science in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling program. Her talk, “Managing Distress in the Aftermath of Trauma,” will be accompanied by a breakout session on “Managing Life’s Storms Without Getting Soaked.”

The other three breakout sessions aim to help with staff members looking for personal improvement as well as enhanced workplace skills. They will focus on different styles of communication and management as well as “Leadership during Crisis.”

Attendees can register on the Staff Council website.

Campus safety

Staff Council also has released a report on campus safety based on an on-foot campus survey, the Campus Safety Crawl, undertaken in May 2018.

Participants looked at safety issues that might affect pedestrians, vehicles and bicyclists. The report details spots where students exit buildings right into traffic; sidewalks are crumbling; intersections are not well-marked; bus crossings should be more obvious to pedestrians; steps should be repaired; emergency phones are needed; construction is temporarily blocking safe walking routes; and other hazards.

Staff Council hopes to use the report to convene meetings with Pitt or city officials to find solutions to safety concerns. It plans to hold another Safety Crawl this spring or summer.

President Andy Stephany noted that the group also has representation on the chancellor’s new Public Safety Advisory Board.

Other Staff Council news

  • Pitt Day at Kennywood, organized annually by Staff Council, is earlier than usual this year, and is not on its usual Sunday; it’s on Saturday, June 29. More details will be released as the event approaches.
  • The next two Brown Bag informational sessions will focus on Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Incentive Accounts (June 18) and digital accessibility (July 16). Both start at noon in the O’Hara Student Center ballroom.
  • Staff Council members are reviewing 53 applications for the Ronald W. Frisch Staff Professional Development Award, which will be announced at the Spring Assembly. It gives funds for staff members to pursue professional development opportunities, in honor of the former associate vice chancellor for Human Resources, now retired.

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