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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 2020s

Alumni Spotlight: Amanda Bateman '16

Amanda Bateman photo

Amanda Bateman attended Pitt-Greensburg from which she graduated in 2016 with a BA in English writing.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

The small class sizes

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

  • Resident Life
  • Resident Student Council
  • Nerdfighters

I was the features editor of the campus newspaper The Insider.

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

  • Lori Jakiela
  • Sayre Greenfield, PhD
  • Al Thiel

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class that most impacted you or was your favorite? Why?

Jane Austen: Books and Film with Dr. Sayre Greenfield. It gave me an appreciation for Jane Austen as a classic author.

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

I remember most vividly helping to establish hall-o-ween, and assisting to create The Insider’s April Fool’s Day edition called “The Outsider.”

What have you been up to since graduation?

I went on to pursue my M.Ed. at Slippery Rock and have been teaching high school English at Westinghouse Arts Academy in Wilmerding. I have also just received my Instructional Level II, teaching certificate. I currently serve as the advisor for the school’s chapter of the national honor society and also serve as an advisor for the prom.

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

Oddly enough, I was an English writing major, and I teach both English and literary arts (writing). I also feel like my minor in psychology helps me to get my students to think critically about the characters we study.

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

As a teacher who primarily teaches seniors, I do a lot of college prep. Since our school population is small, I often recommend they consider Pitt-Greensburg as their next step.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

It’s never too late to get involved on campus, and never skip General Tso’s in the dining hall!

For fun:

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch? White Lotus on HBO! I’m obsessed.

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

  1. I’ve been a certified lifeguard for over 10 years.
  2. I’ve worked in the summer camp industry for over 10 years.
  3. I met and went on stage with Julie Andrews at the Mellon Arena as a child.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Deborah Mucha '04

Deborah Mucha photo

Deborah Mucha attended Pitt-Greensburg from which she graduated in 2004 with a BS in psychology.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I was a non-traditional student so quality education close to my home and job brought me to Pitt-Greensburg.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I was involved in PSI CHI national honor society and PHI KAPPA PHI national honor society.

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

Dr. Randi Koeski

Of all the classes you took, what is the one class that most impacted you or was your favorite? Why?

Introduction to Trauma Psychology. Dr. Koeski taught it. It was an amazing class -- so amazing that I became a trauma therapist and now teach this class at Pitt-Greensburg.

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

  • The quality of education
  • Small classes
  • Professor interactions
  • Close-knit community

What have you been up to since graduation?

I received my doctorate degree in counseling psychology. I work in private practice and teach at Pitt-Greensburg and West Virginia University. I also work with individuals who have been charged with capital murder.

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

I met great people and teachers who became my mentors, especially Dr. Koeski. Pitt-Greensburg opened my eyes to what I love to do, trauma psychology. All of the great interactions I had at Pitt-Greensburg helped me become more confident in myself.

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

I work at Pitt-Greensburg, but I also offer internship opportunities through my outpatient and mitigation practice.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Enjoy every second of college, friends, experiences (laughter, tests, and papers included) for one day, too quickly, it is going to be a memory.

For fun:

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch? Dead to Me, Maid, Ted Lasso

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

  1. I am a spin instructor.
  2. I hang out with best friends on the weekends. We are known as FNDC.
  3. I make homemade pierogi.

Alumni Spotlight: Chrissy Bortz '03

Chrissy Bortz photo

Chrissy Bortz attended Pitt-Greensburg from which she graduated in 2003 with a BA in English writing.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

The location. Being near family and friends, having the opportunity to learn my craft as a budding artist, and embracing the education experience without having to travel far were beneficial.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.

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

I didn't have a particular favorite. Every professor and staff member, who I encountered, mentored me in their own way.

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?

Freshman Seminar. The class helped me adjust to college life. I don't remember who the professor was, but I felt at ease knowing I had made the right decision about my education.

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

The vibrancy and the small town-country feel of the campus. The way the University's beauty naturally radiates is appealing to students who appreciate nature's blessings.

What have you been up to since graduation?

Since graduating in 2003, I have been enjoying the pleasures of being a Pitt-Greensburg alumna and an accomplished artist. I also have become an accomplished poet and photographer.  Since 2010, I have been a member of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. And, I have been employed as a culinary service aide since 2004.

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

It has allowed me to embrace who I am as a person, an artist, and an alumna.

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

I have taken part in local events sponsored by Pitt-Greensburg to help guide future generations of students, such as the New Pitt Student Send-Off. I also have been giving back to the community by being part of charities such as the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

My advice for them would be to take their experience one breath, one moment, and one day at a time -- no matter how stressful and overwhelming it feels. Don't rush it; time will fly by. So, it's important to enjoy the journey.

For fun:

What is your favorite food? Anything authentic. Mexican and Asian cuisine.

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

  1. I am a member of the Mudder Fudders as a part of the Muddy Princess Mud Run since 2021. And, yes, I consider myself a princess . . . that is of the caked-in-mud kind.
  2. I am a proud aunt of two human nephews, a step-niece, and numerous fur nieces and nephews.
  3. I have numerous hobbies like fishing, collecting gemstone carvings (skulls, spheres, towers), writing, photography, and camping.
  4. At last year's Annual Art Show at Pitt-Greensburg, I placed third for Judge's Choice in photography.
  5. I placed third in Eber & Wein Publishing's 2014 National Amateur Poetry competition for my poem "Luminarie Trail."

Alumni Spotlight: Rick Shrum '75

Rick Shrum photo

Rick Shrum attended Pitt-Greensburg for one year before transferring to the Oakland campus from which he graduated in 1975 with a BA in English writing.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

After one year at CCAC, I decided to attend Pitt because my parents resided in New Stanton, I opted to commute to nearby Pitt-Greensburg before transferring to main campus.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

None. I had a part-time job and a full academic load. Besides, there weren’t many - or any - options beyond basketball. I was a decent player, but not good enough for the varsity team.

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

Two English instructors, Dr. Donald Reilly and Larry Whatule. Both inspired me to write well and diligently check facts, which helped put me on a track to be an award-winning newspaper reporter.

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?

Mass Media. It may not be part of the curriculum now. Larry Whatule taught the class. He was an excellent instructor. It was a favorite class because I was interested in a career in communications and wanted to know how things transpired.

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

The school was fairly new, and we had few classroom buildings. One was on North Main St. in downtown Greensburg. The professors were good, and I forged some longtime friendships.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I have been a journalist for 47 years, and even though I have cut back to being a freelancer, I still have it. I am a Golden Quills finalist. I also am a father of three and grandfather of one.

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

I had great professors, forged great friendships, learned how to interact with professionals in my intended field, and gained a lot of self-confidence.

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

I have not been supportive in recent years because of family and professional obligations. That will change, especially now that I have more free time.  I am a new member of the PGAA Board of Directors.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Work hard, be honest, and always be at your best.

For fun:

What is the last book you read? Amity and Prosperity

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

  1. I used to play for three slo-pitch softball teams at one time;
  2. I covered Pitt’s national championship football team in 1976;
  3. I may have attended the same elementary school at the same time as Alice Cooper.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Charles "Chuck" Goulding, '83

Charles Goulding photo

Charles “Chuck” Goulding graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 1983 with a BA in political science.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I wanted to attend a local college, and the University of Pittsburgh was my only choice. The best part was the campus so close -- right in Greensburg.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

There were not many activities that I knew of at the time I attended, and I was a newlywed. Plus, I had to work to pay my way.

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

The late Dr. Poke was my advisor at the time, and he was a great influence. The late Mr. Rubinoff also had a great influence on my future decisions. I loved the speech professor and psychology professor too. I was always a history buff, and the history professor was also fantastic. I would say I had many great instructors.

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 cannot recommend just one class. Many of the professors I had are most likely not there anymore.

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

I remember the interest that every instructor showed to their students. It was an excellent place for learning with expert instructors in their fields.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I have worked mostly in government positions since leaving Pitt-Greensburg. When I lived in PA, two jobs I worked were in mental health and PDE. I moved to Florida to be closer to my grandson and have worked at the Monroe County Tax Collector and DMV offices. Currently, I work at The College of the Florida Keys as the Academic Coordinator for Arts, Hospitality, and Business. I am also an adjunct instructor and teach Introduction to Political Science, National Government, and Preparing for Student Success.

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

It provided me with the academic foundation to succeed in my career. It also permitted me to develop the confidence to progress in my career.

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

Since I graduated, I have mostly lived across PA and in FL, and have not been able to attend many of the activities at Pitt-Greensburg. I have given financially, but raising a family has made that not as frequent as I would have liked. I am also a current member of the PGAA Board of Directors.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

I would tell them you have chosen a great place to get an education. Enjoy this beautiful campus and have the time of your life, but also study.

For fun:

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch? Grimm and Man in the High Castle

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

I love to garden, ride my bike, and spend all the time I am able to with my grandson (but this last one is probably no secret).