The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will commemorate the service of US Military Veterans with a series of events during the week of November 5 through November 9. Most of the programs are sponsored by the campus’s SITREP Military & Veterans Program, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Veterans Services and Pitt-Greensburg, including its Millstein Library, History Department and History Club, Chorale, Academic Village, Veterans Write, and Veterans Action Team.
The week opens Monday, November 5, with a public wreath laying ceremony at noon. Participants will gather at the campus flagpoles located outside of Chambers Hall. Sharon P. Smith, PhD, president of Pitt-Greensburg will give the welcome, followed by US Army veteran Jacob Snyder as the keynote speaker. The Pitt-Greensburg Chorale will perform “God Bless America,” and Veterans Write will present material written by one of its members. ROTC Cadets, representing the Three Rivers Battalion, will post the wreath while Tom Beaver, bugler, plays Taps.
Pitt-Greensburg’s chapter of Phi Eta Sigma, the national freshman honor society, will host its sixth annual Veterans Day Luncheon on Thursday, November 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A service project for the group, the event is free and open to all veterans, who are asked to follow the signs on campus to Chambers Hall. This year, Phi Eta Sigma also will be collecting donations for “Joy Riders,” a community biking program for veterans and others with limited mobility.
The public also is invited to attend “Reflections of Service,” a storytelling event that will feature five US military veterans from the region: Nancy Anderson; Bradley C. Nindl, PhD; Daniel Rr. Rota, PhD; Sarah Treadway ’18, and Lee Wagner. The event, set for Thursday, November 8, is modeled after the national storytelling event that is part of the “Got Your Six” programs. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center.
Members of the public who plan to attend the wreath laying ceremony or the Reflections of Service storytelling event are asked to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-836-7188, which will allow SITREP to better prepare for its guests.
The “Reflections of Service panelists include:
Nancy Anderson retired in 2002 with the rank of Colonel from the US Marine Corps and immediately became a “full-time” active community volunteer for several nonprofit organizations at the local, state, and national level. In 1977, as a 1st Lieutenant, she became the first female platoon commander when the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidates School (OCS) at Quantico was gender-integrated, and she led the first three gender-integrated OCS companies. Anderson, whose career encompassed the time between the dissolution of the separate Women Marines and the 2001 terrorist attacks, has authored the book, “The Very Few, The Proud: Women in the Marine Corps, 1977-2001” (History Division, US Marine Corps, 2018).
Most of Anderson’s military service was spent in tactical communications and computers, in billets ranging from platoon commander through chief of staff, G-6, of 3rd Force Service Support Group, Okinawa. She served as both a battalion commander and a base commander. Her staff positions included deputy, Strategic Plans Division, within the Corps' Headquarters Plans, Policies and Operations Division, and both International Strategic Initiatives deputy and Marine Corps Fellow to the Institute for National Strategic Studies. She graduated with honor from the US Marine Corps' Woman Officer Candidate Course in 1972 and from the Woman Officer Basic Course the following year. She is a graduate, with highest distinction, of the Naval War College non-resident program, and a graduate of the National War College.
Bradley C. Nindl, PhD, FACSM, is the director of the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory/Warrior Human Performance Research Center and a professor in the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. He has dual appointments as the Senior Military and Scientific Advisor for the University of Pittsburgh Center for Military Medicine Research and at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He also is an Army Reservist (COL) and Commander of the Southeast Medical Area Readiness Group in Nashville, TN, and was deployed to Mosul, Iraq (2004-2005), where he was awarded a Bronze Star and the Combat Action Badge.
Prior to coming to the University of Pittsburgh, he spent more than 20 years as an Army Medical Department government scientist working for the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine within the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the Army Institute of Public Health within the US Army Public Health Command. Nindl holds degrees from Clarkson University, Springfield College, and the Pennsylvania State University. He also earned a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College.
Nindl's research interests span human performance optimization /injury prevention and biomarker domains with a focus on adaptations of the neuromuscular and endocrine systems (growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-I axis) to both exercise and military operational stress. Internationally recognized for his work in these areas, he co-chaired the third International Congress on Soldiers' Physical Performance in 2014 and performed research sabbaticals at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland (2009) and the University of Wollongong in Australia (2014) with the Finnish and Australian Defence forces, respectively.
Daniel R. Rota, PhD, is the director of the Center for Veterans and Military Families and professor emeritus of Computer and Information Systems at Robert Morris University. His business and military background is in information technology with an emphasis on human factors, IT strategic planning, and knowledge management. He also has consulted for private industry, government, and higher education for more than 15 years in the areas of cultural diversity, change management, and IT leadership. He has presented at numerous national conferences and seminars in leadership and information technology.
A retired Brig. General with nearly 40 years of active and Pennsylvania Air National Guard military service, Rota most recently served as the Chief of Command, Control, Computing, Communication, and Information for the Pennsylvania Air National Guard; Combat Support Commander for the Pennsylvania Air National Guard; and Commander of the Communications Squadron of the 171st Air Refueling Wing.
He is a graduate of the Air Force Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and the National Defense University. He also holds three degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, including a PhD in educational technology, and is certified through the Center for Leadership Studies in Situational Leadership and Strategic Planning through the National Guard Bureau’s Leadership Center.
Sarah Treadway ’18 graduated from Pitt-Greensburg with a degree in history. She is now attending Seton Hill University to obtain a master’s certificate in Genocide and Holocaust Studies. Treadway served in the US Air Force for seven years as an aircraft mechanic. She currently lives just outside of Pittsburgh and is actively involved in educating the community on the Holocaust and other human rights issues. When she isn’t studying, she can be found in the kitchen baking or playing with her dogs.
Lee Wagner is the Veterans Outreach program specialist for the White Oak Vet Center where he focuses on connecting with combat/war zone veterans and any service member who has experienced military sexual trauma (MST). A graduate of Robert Morris University in organizational leadership, Wagner also co-moderates the Western Pennsylvania Veterans Academic Alliance, a coalition of university veterans service offices from two dozen colleges and universities in Western Pennsylvania. His personal experience as a student veteran, corporate manager, combat veteran, and veteran mentor gives him a robust knowledge of the Veterans space in Pittsburgh.
Before joining the Vet Center, Wagner spent two years at Duquesne University School of Nursing as the veterans academic coach for their veterans enrolled in the BSN program. Previously, he worked in the financial services industry as a financial advisor and managing principal for PNC Investments. Wagner also served eight years in the US Marine Corps. In 2003, he was attached to the 1st Marine Division and was part of the invasion into Iraq, serving as a squad leader and convoy commander.
Several other events are planned for the campus community. They include the screening of two films, “Joyeux Noel” (2005) and “Chocktaw Code Talkers” (2010). The campus community is also invited to participate in a RED OUT by wearing read on Friday, November 9, to show their support of all US service members deployed worldwide.