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: 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.