The Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (PGAA) is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Young Alumni Leadership Award until July 9, 2018. Complete the form below to submit a nomination.
The Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association Young Alumni Leadership Award, a new award initiated in 2015, recognizes established and future leaders among Pitt-Greensburg’s young alumni.
The Young Alumni Leadership Award was created to recognize and honor Pitt-Greensburg young alumni, ages 35 and under, for their accomplishments and service. The winners of the award have distinguished themselves as a leader among their peers and in their profession, community, and/or the University.
The recipient is requested to receive the honor in person by attending the Alumni Celebration Dinner on campus during Blue and Gold Weekend in October.
Past Young Alumni Leadership Awardees
|2017||Chad Eric Smith||2008|
|2016||Katelyn E. Sadler||2011|
Chad Eric Smith
Chad Eric Smith ’08 received 2017 the PGAA Young Alumni Leadership Award. Smith returned to Washington, DC, after graduating from and working for Pitt-Greensburg for three years.
Smith graduated from Pitt-Greensburg with a BS in psychology in 2008. He is a musician, writer, film director, activist, and an award-winning actor.
As a student, he served as a Resident Assistant and was named Resident Assistant of the Year (2007). He also served as a Pitt Pal tour guide and Presidential Ambassador, as well as performing in campus theater productions and as a member of Soothing Sensations, a student jazz trio.
His work educating others about how to end sexual violence began at Pitt-Greensburg. Partnering with the Blackburn Center, Westmoreland County’s only anti-violence agency, he founded the Men Against Sexual Violence club on campus. Smith currently works as a consultant for the national non-profit, Men Can Stop Rape.
Upon graduation, he worked as a Pitt-Greensburg Admissions Counselor and continued to pursue his interest in the arts, playing a variety of characters in community theaters in and around Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Chapter of the African American Council on the Arts awarded him two Onyx awards (2010).
In 2011, Smith served as a college advisor at high schools within the District of Columbia Public and Public Charter school system. Upon returning to his hometown of Washington, DC, Smith has continued to act in independent films, web dramas, and television.
His current work includes starring in Counselor (2015), a YouTube web drama, for which he received a 2016 IndieCapitol Award nomination, and making his national television debut in the TV One season finale of For My Man. Smith co-wrote and starred in his film directorial debut Dark Therapy (2014), for which he received the TIVA-DC Gold Peer Award. In 2015, he co-produced and composed the original score for the silent short film #SeeTheBoy, and recently premiered his short psychological drama Rumination at the Reel Independent Film Extravaganza. He continues to act in leading, supporting, and featured roles.
Katelyn E. Sadler '11
The Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (PGAA) presented its first Young Alumni Leadership Award to Katelyn E. Sadler ’11 at its Alumni Celebration Dinner on Saturday, October 1, at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg as part of Blue & Gold Weekend: Homecoming 2016.
Sadler, a graduate of Hempfield Township High School who now lives in Pittsburgh, graduated summa cum laude and Senior of the Year from Pitt-Greensburg where she earned a BS in biological science and a minor in chemistry. At Pitt-Greensburg, Sadler served as both a Resident Assistant and Peer Leader in addition to being actively involved in other campus organizations. In the classroom, she developed a love for science that led her to completing an undergraduate research project. Under the supervision of Kristina Pazehoski, PhD, then a member the Pitt-Greensburg faculty, Sadler studied biochemical properties of proteins involved in circadian rhythms. During this time, she also found a passion for undergraduate teaching by serving as a teaching assistant for molecular genetics lab and a tutor for the Learning Resource Center. Her interests in scientific research and teaching led her to pursue a Ph.D. in biological sciences at Duquesne University.
“Kate graduated from Pitt-Greensburg with a long list of accomplishments, so we knew she was destined for success,” said Sharon P. Smith, PhD, president of Pitt-Greensburg. “We are extremely proud of everything that she has accomplished during the past five years and are thrilled that she began her lifelong journey of discovery through research here at our campus. We know that she is only at the beginning of the contributions she will be making as a member of the science community. Kate is the first recipient of the PGAA Young Alumni Leadership Award, and we couldn’t be more proud for her to represent the young alumni in this capacity.”
Currently in her sixth year of graduate school at Duquesne University, she is engaged in research, teaching, and service. Working with Benedict Kolber, PhD, assistant professor of biological sciences, Sadler is investigating the role of the brain in bladder pain processing. Her work, which has been published in six peer-reviewed journal articles, has also been presented at local, national, and international meetings. Most recently, she won best presentation at the American Pain Society meeting for basic science and clinical research. This is in addition to numerous other travel and poster presentation awards. Most notably, Sadler was the first graduate student at Duquesne to receive the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. The award has provided $40,000 annually to fund her research for the past three years. She also received the Bayer School for Natural and Environmental Sciences Award for Graduate Research Excellence and The American Pain Society Young Investigator Travel Award.
Sadler served as a graduate teaching assistant for five semesters, earning the Basic and Advanced Certificates of University Teaching offered through Duquesne’s Center for Teaching Excellence. A mentor to eight undergraduate students working in the Kolber Lab, she is also active in department and university organizations. This includes serving as the president and faculty meeting representative for the Graduate Student Organization of the Biological Sciences. She also volunteers as a judge for the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Sciences and Habitat for Humanity Kid’s Triathlon.
Sadler is defending her doctoral dissertation this fall. After which, she will start a post-doctoral fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin studying sickle cell pain in the laboratory of Cheryl Stucky, PhD, professor of cell biology, neurobiology, and anatomy and director of the neuroscience doctoral program.