Joseph Stevan Werlinich, a School of Education faculty member for 47 years, died Aug. 14, 2018, two weeks before his 88th birthday.
Hired in 1965 as a lecturer in counseling education, Werlinich rose to associate professor with tenure in 1975, when he became chairman of the division of specialized professional development for the next three years. He also served as the counselor education program’s doctoral and day master’s program director as well as assistant to the dean in his school. He taught many students now serving as teachers and principals and retired as professor emeritus in 2012.
Born in McKees Rocks on Aug. 31, 1930, Werlinich earned his bachelor’s in 1952 from Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., and master’s in education in 1956 from Pitt. He served as a captain in the Marine Corps and company commander in the First Reconnaissance Company of the Second Marine Division, leading reconnaissance missions during the Korean war.
He also participated in the civil rights movement locally and nationally, marching in Birmingham, Ala., with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and later worked in conflict resolution and diversity training across the country, including for the Department of Justice.
In Pittsburgh, he was a teacher and facilitator for principals, superintendents and other school leaders at the Principals Leadership Academy of Western Pennsylvania, which he founded and co-directed, and via the Danforth Foundation's National Principals Initiative.
In retirement, Werlinich continued to advise school districts, serve on dissertation committees and facilitate the Assistant Superintendents Forum of the Educational Leadership Academy. He received the Grable Foundation’s Decade Award in 2002, was named to the Post-Gazette’s “Top 48 Making a Difference in Education” in 2004, and got an honorary doctorate from Thiel in 2008.
He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Pat Buchanan Dunkis; children Amy Devenzio, Sheri Benson, Joseph Werlinich and Kathy Latorre, and their mother, Sally Whaley Werlinich; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was brother of the late Melva Werlinich Vujan, Stevan and Samuel.
Memorial gifts are suggested to the development office at Manchester Bidwell Corporation, 1815 Metropolitan St., Pittsburgh, PA 15233.