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Alumni Spotlight

Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat! Below you'll find our most recent alumni interviews. Explore the successes of our alumni even deeper by clicking on one of the decades below!

1960s/1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s

Alumni Spotlight: Faryaal Alam '20

Faryaal Alam graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2020 with a BA in biological sciences/healthcare management.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

The friendly atmosphere of the campus brought me to Pitt-Greensburg. When I toured it, all of the students, faculty, and staff were so eager to help out and answer all of my questions.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

As a student, I was involved in the Student Activities Board and Health and Rehabilitation Science Club. I was also a Pitt Pal in the Office of Admissions.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

Each and every professor and staff member who I came across during my time at Pitt-Greensburg has really impacted my life, gave me valuable advice and were excellent mentors to me.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

I would recommend everyone take Special Topics of Healthcare with Ron Ott. It is a great way to learn more about the challenges facing healthcare systems.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg?

The thing that I remember most vividly from my time at Pitt-Greensburg would be how caring and genuine all the staff and faculty members were. I also recall all the excellent events I attended such as Up All Night, the Moonlight Breakfast, and Career Panels from the Career Services Division.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I am currently pursuing my master’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

My experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg have helped prepare me to be a well-rounded student and to always take advantage of each and every opportunity.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I participate in many of the events through the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association such as serving as a judge for the resume contest and participating on career panels.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

I recommend all students to get involved in leadership on campus and to seek out internships.

For fun:

What is your favorite food?

Pizza

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I love to watch movies on Netflix.
  2. I read and do arts and crafts in my free time.
  3. My favorite color is pink.

Alumni Spotlight: Jared Hoffman '20

Jared Hoffman graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2020 with a BA in Communication.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I came to Pitt-Greensburg as a transfer student. After my first year of college, I felt really defeated and lost. I looked up communication programs since I knew that was the major I wanted and saw that Pitt had a great program. Knowing that I did not want to go to a large campus, I looked at Pitt-Greensburg. One day I was driving home from my previous college and decided to stop at Pitt-Greensburg. I walked the entire campus myself, and it just felt like home. I came to campus without an official tour or really meeting with anyone, but an admissions counselor. To this day, it was the best decision I have ever made. Pitt-Greensburg gave me a great degree and a place to call home for the rest of my life!

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

Pitt Pal, Presidential Ambassador, Lambda Pi Eta, Ski Club, and Study Abroad.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

There were so many people who impacted my experience. I am not sure I could narrow it down to one favorite. The people who impacted me the most are Dr. Ghilani, Dr. Prellwitz, Dr. Czerwinski, Dr. Underwood, Dr. Kimball, Dr. Confer, and Joani Pletcher, who was my supervisor in the Admissions office!

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

American Revolution and History 1865 to Present with Dr. Kimball. These classes taught me more about the history of our country than any other history class I have ever taken. Dr. Kimball focuses on challenging your beliefs on what you have learned in the past, and shows you many truths. Everyone should take one of these history classes because not only will you know much more about the history of the United States, but you will be equipped with knowledge that will forever impact your future and how you perceive the United States.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg?

All the leadership opportunities I had on campus. I served as a Pitt Pal for two and a half years, which helped me impact so many different students’ lives. It was the best thing to know you made a difference when you saw a student who was on your tour of campus. I also got the honor of being a presidential ambassador which I loved because I was able to develop great relationships with both Dr. Smith and Dr. Gregerson. These were invaluable. On top of that, it was the best feeling to put on that blue blazer and represent campus. I met my best friend Brandon through that program as well. I also had the opportunity to lead a club and to study abroad which equally shaped my experience. I loved talking with other students about different opportunities and trying to make a difference in our community.

What have you been up to since graduation?

Since graduating, I started working as a recruiter for a local business; however, I just recently landed my dream job of being an educational tour consultant with Education First Tours in Denver. I will now be able to bring the world of going abroad to high school students across the United States. Without Pitt-Greensburg, this dream would have never been a reality.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

Pitt-Greensburg helped me get where I am today. It taught me passion for study abroad. Finding that passion and now working with in the educational travel field has changed the game for me. Pitt-Greensburg also taught me to be a leader through many professional development programs offered through Career Services and my major. These skills have helped me to excel in the workplace. I think the biggest takeaway is that many of our professors teach us to be resilient and adaptable.  That has been ever important during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

Right now, I am still learning about how I can support Pitt-Greensburg; however, I hope to get involved with the alumni association and would love to be a resource in any way possible in the future.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Take all the leadership opportunities that you can, and study abroad. There are so many resources for the program at Pitt-Greensburg, yet so few people do it. I assure you that if you study abroad, it will broaden your horizons and give you a whole new outlook on life.

For fun:

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch?

The Office

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I am an avid lifeguard who has still worked after college.
  2. I am moving to Denver without ever going there!
  3. I am a huge local news junkie (My favorite reporter is Mike Holden).
  4. I have watched The Office series from start to finish more than ten times!

Alumni Spotlight: Bobby Walch '15

Bobby Walch graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2015 with a BA in Communication.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

My dad was a long-term, Pitt-Oakland employee working as an engineer in Scaife Hall. I knew for a long time that I wanted to go to Pitt, but I wasn't quite ready to commit to the large campus life in Pittsburgh.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

My freshman year I was fairly uninvolved aside from doing a program called FYE (First Year Experience). Its goal was essentially to create a pod of students living and attending classes together to network and make connections. I also joined the Student Alumni Association (SAA) and became an officer. My sophomore year I founded the Pitt-Greensburg Nerdfighters club on campus, and was hired as a work study student for University Relations and Institutional Advancement (URIA) in Lynch Hall. Senior year I joined the UPG Insider and assisted with the social media.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

My favorite professors were Lori Jakiela, Dr. Melissa Marks, Dr. Jessica Ghilani. Staff members that inspired me would definitely be Al Thiel, Christina Guzik, and all of URIA.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

UPG Insider with Lori Jakiela. I think a lot of folks are scared to join the newspaper because they might not be the strongest writer, but I think as long as you are creative and willing to work in a team, you will do just fine.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg?

Weekends with friends in the Academic Villages, and going to SAB events such as dances, rollerblading in Latrobe, and Statlers.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I worked as a bookseller at Half Price Books in Monroeville for 3 years, and then came back to Pitt-Greensburg to work in Millstein Library as a library specialist. I handle all course reserves, Interlibrary Loans, and manage the library student workers. This semester, I began attending grad school at the Pitt School of Computing and Information for my MLIS Degree.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

My experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg gave me my first realistic work experience, skills on how to work as a team in various organizations, and helped me make lifelong friendships and relationships that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I am a bit bias as a Pitt-Greensburg staff member as well as an alumnus, but I like to stay up to date with what's going on on campus. I think it's fascinating what the new generations are doing to build up this community, and I can't wait to see what great things come as time goes by. I also like to periodically attend various alumni association programs.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Get involved. There's a lot to do on campus, but you have to be resilient and look for it.

For fun:

What song do you always sing along to?

Anything by Lizzo, Lady Gaga, or Taylor Swift. Right now, I am binge listening Folklore by Taylor Swift.

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

1. I was an extra in 2 Pittsburgh-based movies.

2. I went Halloween costume shopping with Jojo (early 2000s singer).

3. I drove from Pittsburgh to Florida by myself on my 25th birthday.


Alumni Spotlight: Meghan (Powell) Sperdute '12

Meghan (Powell) Sperdute graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2012 with a BA in Spanish.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

The beautiful campus and the Spanish department.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

Spanish Club and SPSEA

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

Dr. Nancy Estrada

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

I would have recommended any classes with the late Dr. Nancy Estrada.  The classes were so much fun, and she was truly one of the best!

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg?

How our professors really got to know us and care about us, and how pretty campus was, regardless of the season.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I moved to NYC in 2016 and got married in 2018.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

I learned that it was ok to feel good to be in your comfort zone, but that it is so much fun to push yourself.  Study abroad, which Dr. Estrada pushed me to do, changed my life.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I support Pitt as a whole. H2P!

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Enjoy your time on campus – it’ll go so quickly!

For fun:

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch?

Schitt’s Creek

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I went to graduate school at Duquesne after graduating.
  2. My favorite TV show is The Golden Girls.  I can’t get enough of it.
  3. My favorite food is tacos.  I’d eat them every day.

Alumni Spotlight: Alan Hudock '74

Alan Hudock attended Pitt-Greensburg from 1970 to 1972 and transferred in the fall of 1972 to the Pittsburgh campus from which he graduated in 1974 with a BA in English literature and a BA in history.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I always wanted to go to Pitt. My oldest brother started the trend. Then, me. Then, my youngest brother. We were all there when the main educational building was the mansion (Lynch Hall).

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

Second and third year of the basketball team

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

Norm McWhinney. He brought life to each class.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

Back then, I had a professor who taught a history class, concentrating on the WWII era. She ran a film for us concerning the Holocaust. It was something I never saw before - let's call it visually 'descriptive'. At the end, the lights went up. She was crying her eyes out. I'll never forget that day and vowed never to cut her class.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg?

Dr. Albert Smith and all of those original professors. They truly cared.

What have you been up to since graduation?

Watching my family grow since my marriage in 1975 -- three daughters, four grandchildren. Honestly, I worked too much. Back then, I was part of the “movie” and missed a great deal. Now, I'm able to watch the “movie” and take it all in.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

Being part of the basketball team, we became brothers and are still to this day. I learned what the word “team” meant.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

Through the Pitt-Greensburg Men’s Basketball Alumni Club (MBAC)

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Sit back every day and absorb the college life and those that surround you.

For fun:

What song do you always sing along to?

There are thousands – ’60s/’70s, especially. Yeah, I'm old.

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I jumped across the creek at Pitt-Greensburg. Can you?
  2. I played ping pong in the old wine cellar in the mansion.
  3. I worked in the original library in Greensburg. They trusted me with the keys to close at night -- “Parteeeeeeeee.”

Alumni Spotlight: Jeremy Lenzi '95

Jeremy Lenzi graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 1995 with a BA in English Writing.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

This is going to sound horrible, but it was a last resort for me at the time. And wow, was I wrong in all I perceived about Pitt-Greensburg! I had an absolutely TREMENDOUS experience at Pitt-Greensburg!

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

School Newspaper

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

Drs. Blevins and Vollmer, as well as Stephen Murabito were outstanding mentors to me. They pushed me way out of my comfort zone, and I truly thank them for this.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

Poetry Workshops with Dr. Blevins were incredible.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg?

The bonds I formed with my professors, and the respect I gained for them.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I teach English, Mass Media, and Yearbook at Greensburg Salem High School (GSHS). I also coach cross country and track at GSHS. In the spring, I teach an instruction and learning class at Pitt-Greensburg.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

I was pushed to never accept anything less than my best, and I truly appreciate that.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I talk up my experience at Pitt-Greensburg to anyone who will listen.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Enjoy every single second. There are so many more opportunities available today - take full advantage of them all.

For fun:

What is your favorite food?

Pizza, pizza, pizza!

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I LOVE to read (primarily fiction).
  2. I LOVE to watch movies.
  3. I recently bought a Royal Enfield motorcycle and have truly enjoyed relieving stress on the roads.

Alumni Spotlight: Courtney Brant '17

Courtney Brant graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2017 with a BS in Management.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I had always wanted to attend The University of Pittsburgh. I realized in high school that the Oakland campus was a little much for me because my graduating class was not that big. Pitt-Greensburg was only a short drive from my house, but it let me have that “true college experience.”

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

SAB President 2014-2015, SAB General Member 2012-2017, SAB TNDR 2013-2014, SAB Weekends Chair 2013, Village Senate 2015-2017, Bowling Club 2016-2017

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

During my time at Pitt-Greensburg, I worked very closely with Al Thiel while I was in SAB. He was such an awesome mentor and advisor, and he really allowed me to show my true colors.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

Personal Financial Planning with Sharon Turchick. I wasn’t able to take a class like that in high school, and Professor Turchick was such a great person to instruct it. I’d recommend that class to anyone, regardless if they took something similar in high school!

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg? 

I remember meeting my best friend in 2013. She lived in Athens House, and I was in Apollo House. She transferred to WVU for pharmacy, and left Pitt-Greensburg, but we stayed in contact. She’s getting married in May 2021, and I will be in her wedding as a bridesmaid!

What have you been up to since graduation?

I am currently working for the University (H2P!)  in Oakland in Radiation Safety as a department administrator. It will be 3 years for me in August!

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

I believe all of my leadership positions I held at Pitt-Greensburg helped me in the person I’ve become. Al and Sheila were awesome advisors, and I can’t thank them enough for making me into that person.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I like to attend the off/on campus alumni events. My sister will be attending Pitt-Greensburg this fall, and I, as an alumni, hope that she’ll ask me questions about how to get involved and what classes to take.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Don’t give up if something doesn’t go your way. Take life one step at a time, and make the best of whatever situation gets thrown at you. Allow yourself to try new things, and meet new people. Your best friend may in fact be a future roommate!

For fun:

What is your favorite food?

Sushi

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I’ve been bowling since I was 4 years old (I’ll be 26 in July).
  2. My high game is a 290.
  3. My high series is an 826.

Alumni Spotlight: Jim Murphy '76

 

Jim Murphy graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976 with a BA in English literature.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

The beautiful campus, the small classes, and the basketball team.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

At the time, there was no on-campus housing so I lived in an apartment in Greensburg.

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I played on the basketball team.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

Dr. Reilly was a great English professor. I enjoyed his classes a great deal. I also enjoyed Dr. McWhinney’s classes.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

It’s been so long ago that I really can’t say, but I enjoyed all of my English literature and writing classes.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg? 

The many friends I made there, and two great years that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I just retired from teaching English for 37 ½ years in the Hollidaysburg Area School District in central Pennsylvania. I also served as the teachers’ union president for the past 26 years.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

The classes in my major prepared me well for further study at the main campus in Oakland, where I went on to earn a Master’s degree. In teaching high school and college classes, I tried to remember what made my classes with Professors Reilly and McWhinney so interesting and enjoyable.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

My daughter Colleen was a three-sport athlete at Pitt-Greensburg so I spent the past four years driving all over creation watching Pitt-Greensburg events. I also contribute to the university as finances allow.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

I enjoyed Pitt-Greensburg so much that I recommended it to my daughter, and it turned out to be a great choice. She just graduated as a secondary math teacher and will be teaching in the public school system in the fall.

For fun:

What is the last book you read?

I am currently reading Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War.

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch?

Our family has been watching reruns of The Office on Netflix.

What is your favorite food?

My mother’s potato salad.

What song do you always sing along to?

Hail to Pitt!

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I’ve run seven marathons (not very fast).
  2. I live in Penn State country so I proudly sport my Pitt gear every chance I get. In fact, that’s pretty much all I wear.
  3. I have attended most Pitt home football games since my Dad began taking me to the games in 1963. The highlight was the 1976 National Championship; the lowlight, three consecutive 1-9 seasons in the mid-Sixties.
  4. I attended the last game at Forbes Field, but I didn’t take any souvenirs (not smart).
  5. Since my daughter played in the AMCC, I now know just about every neighborhood in Buffalo.

Alumni Spotlight: Kevin Conlon '05

 Kevin Conlon graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2005 with a BA in communication. 

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

A good opportunity to play basketball and also obtain a University of Pittsburgh degree.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

I was an on-campus resident for three years, and then a commuter from an apartment nearby for one year.

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I was a member of the men’s basketball team for four years and a member of the baseball team for one year. I was also involved in many intramural sports and had a work-study position in the athletics department.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life? 

My basketball coaches including Coach Radday, Coach Kahn, Coach Bowser, and Coach Washburn had a great impact. My favorite professor during my time at Pitt-Greensburg was Dr. Larry Whatule.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

Theories of Persuasion with retired professor Dr. Whatule is the class I would have recommended. A lot of life and work in any profession is sales related, and learning the art of speaking and communicating to persuade was certainly interesting. 

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg? 

A lot of my memories revolve around my experiences playing basketball. I do have vivid memories of having to climb the Robertshaw Hall steps for two years.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I worked at Pitt-Greensburg for two years after graduation in the athletics department before moving to Connecticut and working for ESPN for five years. In 2012, I returned to Pennsylvania and have been working in sales management for a healthcare company for the past seven years.  I am married and have two daughters.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

It was my first opportunity to live away from home and start to learn how to manage myself and my time. Getting a first-class education and having those experiences prepares you for much of the working world, but really it was the friendships, relationships, and social aspect that I’ve really carried with me.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I’ve donated money to different groups and I do try and return to watch the basketball team play about once per year.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Enjoy your time. It will go so fast, and before you know it, you’ll look back and realize you graduated college 15 years ago, and you’ll wish you could have those days back, if only for a little while.

For fun:

What is the last book you read?

Origin by Dan Brown

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch?

Game of Thrones

What is your favorite food?

Wings

What song do you always sing along to?

I sing along to every song in the car.


Alumni Spotlight: Dave Hauger '75

David R. Hauger graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1975 with a degree in math.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

At the time, Pitt-Greensburg only provided the first two years of the four-year degree programs, so it was an opportunity to attend a ‘big’ school while saving some much-needed funds by living at home.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Everyone commuted!

What activities were you involved with as a student?

Working part-time didn’t afford much time, and there were not a bunch of things to choose from back then.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

Dr. Norman McWhinney, who taught English, was always a joy in class and often started with one of his favorite sayings: “Better a gray day in Greensburg than a green day in Graysburg!”

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

Good question. It would have probably been one of the English writing classes taught by the late Dr. Donald Reilly (1938-2014). Social media, texting and a decline of printed publications has eroded our ability of self-expression.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg?

The campus was divided between buildings on North Main Street in Greensburg and the current campus causing the usual parking and commuting headaches that students don’t have to contend with today. Also, I can still smell the great hamburgers served at the Lynch Hall basement snack bar.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I retired after nearly 38 years of coordinating firefighter, police, and emergency medical services classes at Westmoreland County Community College. The last twelve years were spent administering fire and rescue training classes at the Public Safety Training Center near Smithton. I’ve also done some municipal fire service consulting work for the PA Department of Community and Economic Development and still respond to about 200 fire alarms a year as a volunteer firefighter.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

As I like to say, college graduates can “walk, talk, think and chew gum at the same time,” meaning they have a solid set of communication, thinking and life skills to function at many different career choices.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I’ve made financial contributions (no matter how small) that were earmarked for Pitt-Greensburg. Pitt gave me an opportunity to go to college close to home so giving back was a natural.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Stay in school, work hard, and be happy at what you do as money isn’t everything. Life is too short, so relish those initial college years as the memories will fade all too quickly.

For fun:              

What is your favorite food?

Most shellfish rise to the top of the list followed closely by a good slice of pizza.

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I’ve always enjoyed a good card trick.
  2. I’ve always wanted to operate heavy, earth-moving equipment. What kid didn’t?
  3. I’ve always thought playing an electronic keyboard would be fun. Earlier trumpet lessons didn’t go so well.

Alumni Spotlight: John Paul Ritchey '19
 

John Paul Ritchey graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2019 with a BA in visual and performing arts.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

My college journey started when I was placed on disability. I had the desire to reenter the workforce. Like many Bobcats, I came to Pitt-Greensburg after finishing my associate work at WCCC. While I arrived prepared to finish my psychology degree, The Arts had other plans.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

Chorale, Chamber Singers, and The Performing Arts Society

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

There are many people from the Bobcat family who I admire, respect and appreciate for their efforts, educational and otherwise during my time there. Drs. Schrum, McAlister, Asplin, Confer, and professor Bartley were invaluable to my experience as a student, person, and artist.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

There are many. The entire VAPA program is an incredible treasure in the Pitt-Greensburg community, and its faculty are dedicated to impressing the importance of the Arts in a person’s journey. Having now worked professionally in the Arts I can attest that this program is fantastic, I cannot say enough about it. The psychology program with special emphasis on the child developmental studies of Doctor Asplin has been very rewarding in my work as a writer and actor. As challenging a teacher as they come, I don’t think I’ve ever had a more rewarding English class than Comp III taught by Professor Gary Lutz, who is another treasure in the land of the Bobcats.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg?

The other artists and actors in the Pitt-Greensburg community, who would be working The Ferguson Theater, and my time on the stage. Shout out to the cast of Young Frankenstein, the Pitt-Greensburg Spring 2019 performance!

What have you been up to since graduation?

We’ve developed and launched an arts non-profit dedicated to local economic development in under-served or neglected communities called Artistic Prosperity. Working with local entrepreneurs we rehabilitate public spaces for art and culture presentations that drive new consumer dollars to Main Street. Programming is designed to focus on the unique character of each community, limiting direct competition, and encouraging collaboration between facilities.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

As a non-traditional student, I arrived at Pitt-Greensburg disabled with over 20 years of work and military experience in a variety of disciplines, depressed about the idleness of long-term illness, and dealing with a great deal of confusion about who I was and how I would be spending my time. Today I am an artist, focused on helping others. It has been quite an evolution, and one that I will cherish moving forward.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I’ve tried to stay close to the VAPA program, and look forward to their performance efforts in the future.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats? 

Dreams are reality without action. With Pitt-Greensburg being such a small community, the opportunities to learn and grow with this faculty and staff are incredible, invaluable, and very personal. They are collectively the most talented and resourceful group of people you may interact with during your life. Don’t ever take it for granted. Whatever your dream or whatever your passion, there is someone at Pitt-Greensburg that feels it too, or can guide you to someone that does. Find them. Make it a quest, get an achievement, I don’t care, just find them. It is your dream we are talking about. Make it a reality. Trust me, life has a way of moving faster than you expect, and if you don’t take the time now, you may never get another chance.

For Fun:

What’s the last book you’ve read?

Fundamentals of Music Composition by Arnold Schoenberg

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I am a huge advocate for rescue animals in general, and I have fostered and rehabilitated abused, bait, and other injured dogs.
  2. As an actor, I volunteer in children’s productions. It is very fun and rewarding.
  3. I’m a proud, total, and complete geek.

Alumni Spotlight: David Pallof Jr. '08

David Pallof Jr. graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2008 with a BS in management.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

The Greensburg campus is one of the most beautiful parts of Pennsylvania. I fell in love with the campus, the town, the green space, and the atmosphere. The staff went to great lengths to extend to me a warm welcome.  It reminded me of home. 

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident. 

What activities were you involved with as a student?

Sadly, not as much as I should have been, and I regret that.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

Denny Gall.  I remember helping him carry his things to his car after class to pick his brain about anything -- life, school, what was going on in our worlds.  He was just easy to talk to, and I really enjoyed our conversations.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

I really enjoyed Business Law.  It was on Tuesday nights with Henry Moore.  The class was very interesting, and I was fascinated with the content along with how it was presented.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg? 

The friendships I was able to develop.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I started at PNC Bank in the summer of 2008, after graduation, and have been there since.  I received my Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership from Robert Morris University in 2012.  I spent just over eleven years at PNC Bank before moving on to Federated Investors last fall.  Currently, I work in the Managed Accounts area as a business operations manager in the downtown Pittsburgh offices.  

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

Pitt-Greensburg prepared me for all aspects of life.  It taught me how to balance the rigors of going to school, working part time, learning to do things for myself as a young adult, living on my own, and having a social life.  Effectively, it taught me balance and moderation in all aspects for life after college.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I am currently part of the Young Alumni Advisory Board for Pitt and looking to become more involved going forward. I also host an annual mentoring dinner with current students at Pitt called “Dinner with Twelve Panthers.” 

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats? Where do I begin?

I would say a few things:

  • Enjoy your time at Pitt-Greensburg, make many friends and keep in touch with them.
  • Don’t rush things.  The workforce/real world isn’t going anywhere.  Live it up as much as possible. 
  • Get to know your professors on a deeper and personal level.  Learn from their experiences both in and out of the classroom.
  • Learn as much as you can from those who have the experience for what you are searching.  Ultimately though, it is your life and your decision(s).  You live and you will definitely learn.

For fun:

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch?

The Crown on Netflix. It’s a fantastic series based on the historical events in Queen Elizabeth II’s life.

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I am a weekly contributor to a local newspaper called The Valley Mirror.  The newspaper is based out of Munhall, Pennsylvania, and I write about local high school sports.
  2. I am an adjunct professor teaching public relations, personal finance, and quality management.
  3. I am a member of Pitt’s Young Alumni Advisory Team.
  4. My dad, mom, stepdad (recently retired), and stepsister are all employed at the University of Pittsburgh.  They have over 100 years combined of service to Pitt.
  5. I was born, was raised, and still reside in Munhall, Pennsylvania. 

Alumni Spotlight: Kelsey Pierchoski '13

Kelsey Pierchoski graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2013 with a BA in communication.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I was always dead set on going to Pitt since my dad and other family members did. I was originally going to attend Pitt-Johnstown, but then I got a partial scholarship to the Greensburg campus for my high school GPA, and I also could commute to campus.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

In my freshman year, I was a cheerleader, and during my sophomore year, I was in SGA. I was in Lambda Phi Eta and Sigma Tau Delta in my junior and senior years.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

I had two professors who I really enjoyed because of their vibrant personalities: Dr. Eric Kimball and Michael Lucci. They were both just hilarious, fun people.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

Honestly, I would probably recommend the U.S. History elective I took with Dr. Kimball my junior year that covered everything up until the 1860s. Not only is understanding the nation’s beginning and founding really important, but the way Dr. Kimball taught it really captured my attention, kept me engaged, and made me think of various historical figures in a more human way, rather than just figures in a textbook. It was a class I genuinely looked forward to.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg? 

I remember the relationships I developed, some of which left impressions for life. Most of my favorite memories are the everyday things like sitting outside getting sun and eating ice cream with friends in between classes, the way my heels echoed walking through the hallways, the homecoming and spring dances, the freezing walk in the winters from Powers to Smith, the specific way the buildings smelled, and the way the clock’s chimes would echo over the whole campus (usually telling me I was running late).

What have you been up to since graduation?

I’ve worked for a couple nonprofits in marketing and TV production, I wrote for a few newspapers, and currently I work at Pitt-Greensburg as an event coordinator. I’ve traveled a lot (about 20 countries since graduation!), and continued to serve/bartend part-time too. I have started my own photography business, Kelsey April Photography, and published my first book, a nonfiction humor title about the service industry, Would You Like Some Salad with Your Ranch?, available on Amazon.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

It was a well-rounded education in a beautiful outdoor environment where I learned some skills, like writing press releases, which I later used in jobs. My freshman year I went on the Fall Arts Trip to Boston. Knowing no one, it was terrifying at the time, but I ended up having a blast. That was my first travel experience without family, and it really boosted my confidence and took away my fear of group and even solo travel. As a result, I’ve taken multiple solo and group trips with strangers through which some of my best life experiences have come.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I work here!

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Find some way to stand out and be noticed for something positive. Put effort into your GPA – wearing one of those honor cords at graduation isn’t overrated. Be involved in meaningful things that will impress on your resume and make friends with at least one of your professors.

For fun:

What is your favorite food?  Blueberries!

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I golf, bat, and hold a broom left-handed even though I’m right-handed.
  2. I grew up eating all the healthy “trendy” foods like quinoa before they were fads, thanks to my mom who was always way ahead of the time.
  3. Spring is my favorite time of year, and when my birthday falls.
  4. I have a distant family connection to Princess Diana’s ancestors.
  5. I love sloths and think they’re adorable.

 


Alumni Spotlight: Michael Mercea '17

Michael “Mike” Mercea graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2017 with a BS in management.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

Prior to attending Pitt-Greensburg, I actually attended Pitt-Johnstown for a year. However, I grew up in White Oak, and it was quite close to Pitt-Greensburg and much more convenient. I wanted to continue my Pitt degree and also play soccer at Pitt-Greensburg. Additionally, I wanted to get my real estate license nearby because I knew the market well, so I ended up at Coldwell Banker only 15 minutes from the Pitt-Greensburg campus. It all worked out really well.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

I commuted from my apartment in North Huntingdon.

What activities were you involved with as a student?

Soccer was my main involvement outside of classes and work.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?

I would say Professor Hauser and his business law class stuck with me the most. At the time that I took the class, I was starting up our company, Wandrblu, and he was a big help with understanding the legal side of the business. This can really make or break a business, especially down the road as you grow.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?

Professor Hauser’s business law course

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg?

I really remember the times with my soccer teammates the most. Traveling to games, practicing, and hanging out outside of school were all memorable times.

What have you been up to since graduation?

For senior project, I started Wandrblu to create a more personalized travel experience for young adults looking to explore. After graduation, our team started focusing more on the marketing aspect of the travel and tourism industry because that’s where our experience was. We knew how to monetize it. We eventually expanded our marketing services to other industries where we saw an opportunity. Today, our niche is primarily social media marketing, content creation, and website design. It’s been an amazing experience so far, and we’ve met countless like-minded individuals along the way.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?

Understanding a variety of subjects relating to business was definitely important, but I’d say the biggest factors are time management, discipline, and relationships. You’ll meet some people through those years that you’ll keep in touch with for life.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I still keep in touch with some students attending Pitt-Greensburg and am always happy to offer some advice on what to expect after graduating. It’s important that students hear it from someone who has just been through both the failures and the successes.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

 Get real life experience and test different careers out as much as possible before graduating. The real world can be a rollercoaster.
 Don’t expect things to fall into place immediately. It takes time.

For fun:

What is the last book you read? Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. My biggest fear is spiders.
  2. I don’t sleep with a pillow.
  3. At 16-years-old, I lived in Romania for a couple months.  My family is from there, and I considered staying to play soccer. I decided to come back here and attend college instead. Who knows what would have happened if I had decided differently.                  

 


Alumni Spotlight: Dana C. Romano '96

Dana C. Romano graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 1996 with a BS in management.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I grew up wanting to attend the University of Pittsburgh.  Pitt-Greensburg was perfect because it was a beautiful campus that was close to home.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

I was a commuter.

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I wasn’t really able to be involved as much as I would have liked because I was working full-time while obtaining my degree.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life? 

It has been so long, I don’t remember and doubt they are still with the university.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it? 

Human Resources (HR) courses.  An organization is only as strong as its people.  My human resources and psychology courses were my favorite and helped me decide that HR was the field that I wanted to pursue.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg?

I enjoyed working in teams and meeting new friends through group coursework. 

What have you been up to since graduation? 

I was a non-traditional student and worked full-time in HR for the first eighteen years of my career.  My last position was as a human resources manager at a telecommunications company called Marconi (Ericsson), where I was in charge of employee retention for North America. 

In one of my former roles, I was able to work with colleges to help retain talent in southwestern Pennsylvania and thoroughly enjoyed working with students.  I made a career decision to follow what I was passionate about-- helping others, and I started to work for the university that I love. 

I have the best job in the entire world and proudly work as the Interim Director of the Career Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.  I help master’s degree business students from all over the globe which currently includes 17 different countries with career-related professional development.  It is extremely rewarding to watch my students grow throughout their master’s program and know that I played a small part in what made them successful post-graduation.  

Proudly, I was nominated and recently received the Chancellor’s Award in the Student Impact category.  This is the highest honor that a staff member can be awarded at the University of Pittsburgh, and it is extremely competitive.  I am humbled and honored beyond words to be recognized for doing what I enjoy so much. 

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college? 

My love of business was established through my undergraduate degree at Pitt-Greensburg.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I have helped with resume reviews and recently was invited to present in a human resources class on campus.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats? 

Enjoy your time at Pitt-Greensburg and build your network by getting involved in things that interest you.  Your future is yours to write; enjoy this chapter of your novel.  Lastly, my favorite quote and words to live by are this quote from Jennifer Dukes Lee: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

For fun:

What is the last book you read?

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD.

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1.  I enjoy cooking, baking, and entertaining for my family and friends.  My specialties are chicken marsala, baked rigatoni, Italian wedding soup, and chocolate chip cookies.  My girls’ cheerleading squads and son’s football teams have enjoyed baked treats after games for years.
  2.  I am currently obtaining my M.Ed. in Higher Education Management so that I can teach. 
  3. Both of my daughters, Danielle and Gina Romano, are students at Pitt-Greensburg.  Danielle is a junior and following in my footsteps studying business with an interest in HR, and Gina is a freshman entering the nursing program.

H2P!


Alumni Spotlight: Clint Mullen '05

Clint Mullen headshot

Clint Mullen graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2005 with a BA in history.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I liked the close-to-home location, the small class sizes, and the opportunity to play basketball.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

I was both a commuter and a resident.I commuted for my first year and then became a resident.

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I was a member of the basketball team, SPSEA, and intramural sports.

Did you have a favorite professor, staff member, coach, or mentor that really impacted your life?
Dr. Melissa Marks inspired me in my studies to become a teacher.  I am still using many of the lessons that I learned in her classes in my classroom today.

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class you would recommend everyone take? Who taught the class? Why would you recommend it?
I think everyone should take writing courses.  It’s such an important professional skill in many fields.

What do you remember most vividly from your time at Pitt-Greensburg? 
I have fond memories of meeting many new people. As a student and athlete, I made several lifelong friends at Pitt-Greensburg.  We have stayed in touch through life’s milestones, and I’m looking forward to attending one of these friend’s weddings this fall.

What have you been up to since graduation?
I am a middle school social studies teacher at Ligonier Valley Middle School.  My wife and I have two children, a daughter and a son.

How did your experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepare you for life after college?
Pitt-Greensburg provided me with a well-rounded education and showed me how to collaborate well with others.

As an alum, how do you support Pitt-Greensburg?

I attend a few alumni events and follow the basketball teams.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

I hope that students are able to realize that while college is such a short period of their lives, it is one that can have such a huge impact.  Make the most of it.

For fun:

What is the last book you read?

The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros

List 3-5 fun facts about yourself that most people probably wouldn’t know.

  1. I enjoy hunting pheasants with my dog, Nutmeg.
  2. My wife is also a teacher.  She teaches 7th grade ELA at a neighboring school.
  3. In September, I will be participating in a three-day 70-mile hike to raise money for the Veterans Leadership Program of Western PA.