By SUSAN JONES
Emotional well-being will be the focus of 2022-23 “Year of …” initiative, Provost Ann Cudd announced on April 28.
PITT’S “YEAR OF…”:
The “Year Of” initiative, started by Provost Patricia Beeson and continued by her successor Ann Cudd, focuses attention on one area related to the University for the course of the school year. Programs started during past years have continued and grown.
2021-22: Data & Society
2018-19: Pitt Global
2017-18: Healthy U
“The choice of this theme offers an opportunity to engage collectively with a focus on restoring and enhancing our emotional well-being,” Cudd said in her announcement. “The pandemic certainly has underscored the importance of fully supporting the emotional welfare of students, faculty and staff as everyone navigates the new terrain. This is a time of burgeoning research and collective reflection on our emotional needs and the qualities that make for a good life. Undoubtedly, our Year Of topic will also yield learnings that better people's lives well beyond the boundaries of the University.”
Jay Darr, who in March was named associate dean of students for wellness, and Jamie Zelazny, assistant professor of nursing and psychiatry, will lead efforts around the Year of Emotional Well-Being.
As in previous years, a committee of faculty, staff and students will be formed to coordinate the Year of Emotional Well-Being. More information — and a website — will be forthcoming. As in years past, the Office of the Provost will provide matching funds to support events and projects related to the theme.
Year of Data & Society celebration
At an event April 8 celebrating the 2021-22 Year of Data & Society, Cudd said, “A focus on data and society is ideal for a university setting because this is where we gather together to research, analyze and try to better understand and improve the world around us. All parts of our University collect and use data, and each offers unique perspectives on how data can contribute to student and faculty success, human well-being, and the greater social good. And the community has really responded and shown the accuracy of my premise.”
The projects funded during the year built on the work of the Data Science Task Force and its subsequent report.
Cudd cited several of the 31 projects that were funded during the year with grants of $500 to $8,000, including: Black Voices in Computing; Exploring the Churchill Valley Greenway Through Visual and Scientific Data Collection; Pitt Pharmacy Global Health Day; Complementing the Engineering Curriculum with Data for the Social Good; and Infusing Data Science into Health Humanities and the Humanities into Data Science.
The provost also thanked Nora Mattern, director of Pitt’s Sara Fine Institute and teaching assistant professor in the School of Computing and Information, for leading the Year of Data & Society.
“It's been a deeply rich set of programming that we've hosted over the course of the year, and I've learned a great deal and I've been deeply inspired by the conversations that we've had together,” Mattern said.
In choosing the funded projects, Mattern said they looked for work that reflected a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and project leaders that could articulate how they would sustain their impact beyond this year. She said they also tried to support projects that involved students, faculty and staff from across the University, including the regional campuses.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-244-4042.
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