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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!

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Alumni Spotlight: Huldah Kena, '19

Huldah Kena photo

 

Huldah Kena graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2019 with a BS in natural sciences.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

The beauty of the campus. How small and family orientated the staff and students are during the orientations and tours. The opportunities.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

  • Student Secretary to the President from 2015-2019
  • GEM Graduate
  • Secretary of the Diversity Student Coalition Club
  • Vice President of the Math Club
  • Member of the Spanish Club

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

Dolly (Janet) Biskup was an awesome work study boss and is still a wonderful supportive woman in my life.
Michelle Shuey was my advisor for my last two years at Pitt-Greensburg. She always was so nice to me and available when I needed her.
Dr. Mathew Luderer became my buddy over the summer as I was a student in his organic chemistry classes. He also wrote my letter of recommendation for graduate and medical school.

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?

Since everyone is required to take a language, I would recommend taking Spanish with Professor Contreras, Dr. Orsatti, and Dr. Triplette. They are an amazing trio. I really enjoyed myself and learned so much. It’s one of my proudest moments at Pitt-Greensburg.

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

I remember the amazing events and activities during Blue and Gold Celebration, finals week, and homecoming.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I attended grad school virtually due to the pandemic at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia. I am two months away from graduating with my MHA certification and MS degree. I got accepted to the Saint James School of Medicine at the Saint Vincent campus. I was a caregiver throughout the pandemic. I also started writing my book during the pandemic.

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

My experience at Pitt-Greensburg made me a well-rounded person and helped me be academically successful in grad school.

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

I support Pitt-Greensburg by encouraging other members of my community to attend the school.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Enjoy their undergrad and work towards your dreams no matter what stands in your way. If you work hard and are fully dedicated to your dreams, you will be successful.

For fun:

What is your favorite food? Fries all day

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

1. I am Ghanaian American
2. I speak three languages – trilingual!
3. I have a YouTube Channel that I started during college.


 

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).

 


Alumni Spotlight: Joanne Cenci-Johns '95

Joanne Johns photo

 

Joanne Cenci-Johns graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 1995 with a BS in psychology.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

The campus setting, extensive course/degree options, and the individualized attention from faculty and staff. I loved the feeling of not being lost among the throngs of students and that my voice could be heard.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I was a student orientation leader for three summers. For my junior year, I was selected to be a Resident Assistant at the Courts. I was also a member of the Student Government Association and was elected to the role of vice president. Academically, I was a teaching assistant in the Psychology department for Dr. Debra Evans-Rhodes.

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

Hands down – Dr. Mary Jane Dugan! I recently learned that she passed away in 2017. She was an amazing professor. Mary Jane had grit and tenacity.  She taught with passion, and you knew that she was deeply committed to her work and students. I have never met a student who studied with Mary Jane who didn't appreciate her knowledge and passion for teaching.

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?

Any of the Psychology courses. Trying to understand how people tick is fascinating to me, and the psychology courses helped me realize how we all share a common experience of what it means to be human. I found insights into the various ways that psychology plays a role in every situation and aspect of life. This has helped me to be more thoughtful, empathetic, and understanding in how I approach both my professional and personal life.

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

The lifelong friends that I made--our time at Pitt-Greensburg helped launch us into our adulthoods. Our varied backgrounds, our divergent course work, and our shared college experiences laid the foundation for years of connection.

What have you been up to since graduation?

Soon after graduation, I moved to Philadelphia and began my career in Human Resources. I love supporting teams through complex problem-solving and helping individuals uncover their best professional selves. In 2017, I moved to Colorado, where I was the Director of HR for a large multi-faceted, non-profit that supported individuals with developmental disabilities. While that work was exceptionally rewarding (and often equally challenging), sometimes life takes unexpected turns, and in August of 2020, I moved back to PA with a small gaggle of fur babies (my dog and two cats) to become my mom's primary caregiver. Today, I manage a boutique company creating wearable art and help my mom continue to live her most independent life.

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

Holy smokes--that's a tricky question because I am not quite certain anything truly prepares us for launching into life after college. But, the experiences throughout my college life absolutely honed my sense of responsibility, my work ethic, and time management skills (requisite outcomes for anyone carrying a full caseload while working full time), and my friends and mentors fostered the value of community and connection. I learned how to balance myself with others and work while having fun while delivering high caliber outcomes.

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

In the 25 years since my graduation, I've applied the values of leadership and public service to my professional and personal life. These values were instilled in me while attending Pitt-Greensburg, and they still ring true today. When I moved back home in 2020, I realized there was so much more I could do and wanted to do. Applying to join the PGAA board was the first of many steps in supporting future alumni through fundraising and mentorship.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Enjoy every minute! Even in the worst moments, if you can step back, breathe, and reframe, you can find a sense of peace in the frenzy. The storms will pass, the assignments will get completed, and the years will move by. Take the time you need to care for yourself, and the rest will take care of itself.

For fun:

What song do you always sing along to?

I might rephrase that question and ask what song DON'T I sing along to? If I had to pick one, Last Dance by Donna Summer.

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

  1. In 2018, I went to Germany for the sole purpose of seeing The Rolling Stones in concert.
  2. I used to play golf competitively, and I once stopped someone's drive with my mouth. True story. :)
  3. I find zen in repetition and detail: weeding, running, baking.
  4. I got a hole-in-one once back in Philadelphia, and don't let my competitive golfing background fool you... that is a wildly hard thing to do.

 



Alumni Spotlight: Laura Galmoff '09

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Laura Galmoff graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2009 with a BA in English literature and a minor in education.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

Environment and location.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter.

What activities were you involved with as a student?

SPSEA.

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

Several! They are Drs. Marks, Beshero-Bondar, Koehler, and Greenfield.

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?

Psych of Personality by Dr. Jeff Hoffman. It was such an interesting course and really taught you to look at the different personalities and understand them.

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

Living on campus my first two years in College Hall (Room 310). SPSEA trips.

What have you been up to since graduation?

After teaching for three years, I left the profession and started in the medical field doing the credentialing and privileging for medical providers for all AHN facilities. Then, I became a project manager for Medical Staff Services and recently transitioned into the role of AHN Imaging Institute Services Coordinator.

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

I was able to experience diverse culture with people of various ages and personalities. My education as a teacher has helped me progress in my professional life tremendously because some of those skills are not taught in other courses.

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

Donations.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Follow your dreams. It’s never too late! Don’t settle!

For fun:

What song do you always sing along to?

Anything by Taylor Swift.

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

  1. Almost completed nursing school.
  2. Help my husband run and manage a residential construction company.
  3. Have one child.
  4. Purchased a boat, and it has become my favorite hobby.

Alumni Spotlight: Randy Roycroft '19

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Randy Roycroft graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2019 with a BS in psychology.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I grew up a Pitt fan! The Greensburg campus allowed me to have a relatively easy commute.Cost was also a factor, compared to surrounding universities and colleges.  

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

  • College Republican Committee
  • Circle K
  • History Club
  • Math Club

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

I liked a majority of my professors, but know, I only spent two years on campus, so I was unable to form really strong meaningful relationships with faculty.

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 Public Administration and The Political Systems taught by Kerry Manning. The subject matter is the not most exciting topics in the world, but the conversations and debates were really insightful and allowed us to form our own opinion. It also allowed us to see that just because you are opposite sides of the political spectrum doesn't mean your views are all that different.

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

Relationships.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I currently work as a milieu therapist at Western Psychiatric Hospital. I am also enrolled in the Professional Counseling Program at Carlow University.

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

Being a non-traditional student (over 25), I felt like I had a grasp on life after college. I was looking more for an education that could help propel my career forward.

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

I spread the word of how I was treated and what it was like to go to Pitt-Greensburg to any and all perspective college students.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

If you feel like you are going to struggle with a subject or class, get a tutor before the start of the semester. If you are struggling with a class, it is ok to aim to pass. One C isn't going to diminish all the other As and Bs. Trust me -- most universities and grad programs would rather take on someone with a 3.2 GPA with a genuine and healthy personality than someone with a 4.0 who destroyed their mental health to remain perfect.

For fun:

What is your favorite food?

Calamari

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

  1. I beat COVID-19.
  2. I collect maps/globes, and if I was born 200 years ago, I would probably be a cartographer.
  3. I own a medical manual that was printed in 1864.

Alumni Spotlight: Sierrah Avant '15

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Sierrah Avant graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2015 with a BS in psychology.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I wanted to branch out and go to school out of state while having it feel homey, and Pitt-Greensburg seemed to be able to do both for me.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

  • Community Assistant (CA),
  • Green Scholar Research Assistant,
  • Teaching Assistant,
  • Psi Chi (National Psychology Honor Society),
  • Student Activities Board (S.A.B),
  • Lunch Buddies (Big Sister Mentor),
  • Early College Experience Mentor,
  • Christ Fellowship Club (B.A.S.I.C),
  • Habitat for Humanity,
  • Active Minds,
  • Into the Streets,
  • Phi Eta Sigma (National Freshman Honor Society),
  • Gay Straight Alliance (G.S.A.), and
  • Resident Student Council (R.S.C.)

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

Office of Housing and Residence Life Staff (Fall 2012-Spring 2015), Habitat for Humanity Staff (2012, 2013, & 2014), Steve Satterlee, Dr. Kristen Asplin, and Dr. Russell Phillips.

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?

THEA 0104 BASIC ACTING 3.00 credits with Sheila Confer

I would totally recommend everyone taking this course, no matter their major, to experience tapping into the other sides of oneself and others through characters and perspectives.

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

I remember most vividly developing a second home and family.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I have and continue to attend graduate school to obtain my doctoral degree in clinical psychology. I am a qualified mental health professional in Illinois providing youth with individual and community-based mental health services in their homes, schools, and local centers.

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

My experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg have prepared me for life after college in several ways. The primary impact has been through developing my abilities as a leader. It also allowed me to be active and involved beyond educational learning and facilitated the knowledge and experiences I needed for my career. Furthermore, I learned how to branch out beyond my comfort zones and expand my individuality. 

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

Now that there are more virtual opportunities, I can support it by participating in events.  

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Work hard, play harder. Fight for what you believe in. Know that you are NOT your productivity, and you ARE enough just the way you are! Ask for help, and advocate for yourself and others. Let your primary goal be finding balance within yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Let the rest come and go because even as you grow, you will always be your constant. Seek joy, not happiness. Joy is situationless, while happiness is situational. Learn your love languages in both receiving and giving so that you and others can flourish in them. Do NOT overextend yourself; find balance in rest and productivity. “No” is a complete sentence. And lastly, “Don’t seek to be successful, seek to be valuable.” -Shivam Kumar

For fun:

What is the last book you read?

The Perfect You by Dr. Caroline Leaf

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

  1. I am an ambivert which means my personality type is between extrovert and introvert; I typically need a weekly balance of peopling and me-time.
  2. I love to travel.
  3. I love to dance.
  4. I love to sing, although I have not mastered my voice.
  5. I love dog- and house-sitting.

Alumni Spotlight: Sal Molitierno '02

Sal Molitierno photo

Sal Molitierno graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2002 with a BS in management.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I applied to the Oakland Campus late and was referred to several branch campuses. I was enamored by the beauty of the Greensburg campus during my senior year at Greensburg Central Catholic when I attended a musical competition there.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?  

I was involved with men’s soccer and the UPG Press for four years. I participated in student theater for two years.   As a member of student government, I spent two years as a senator and was the first student elected president for a year.

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

Dr. Kimberly Jew encouraged me to participate in student theater, and Drs. Kerry Manning and Donald Gibson inspired me to become interested in politics and showed me new perspectives. Dr. Parris Carter was a great life coach for my junior and senior years.

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?

Although being a business major has great practical employment applications, I would recommend Acting and Theater. It's analogous to a total body workout as it serves as a confidence booster, public speaking class, physical work out, and memory test all in one.

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

Serving as the first Homecoming King; being the first student elected Student Government president; being the first four-year graduate from the pioneering 1998 men's soccer team; and making the Dean’s List multiple times.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I served as the general manager of the Salvatore Puccini Hair Design located on the Oakland campus for 15 years before purchasing the business in 2019.

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

The ability to learn, ask questions, and continue in personal development was huge. In a way, being completely involved in college is harder than in the real world where you only need to focus on one job.

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

I attend alumni events and performed live music at the coffee shop and dining hall whenever I’m asked.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

You are paying for an education so make sure you get your money’s worth. Be involved in as many activities as you can reasonably commit to. If you can’t be involved in activities, then consider taking on as many credits as you can without an overcharge and add a minor.

For fun:

What is the last book you read?

I read The Harry Potter Series over quarantine. It was a nice diversion from tax and business reading, lol.

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

  1. In spite of being only 5'6" I can palm a basketball.
  2. I can rap, sing, and play the guitar, which I implement in my songwriting.
  3. I have had two ACL replacements in my left and right knee, and I had shoulder surgery. Overcoming each injury at important parts of my life taught me valuable lessons. One was right before attending Pitt Greensburg in 1998, and I learned to focus on academics.  The other was in 2004, and I learned that I'm not a college athlete anymore. In 2017, the final one taught me to be careful when climbing ladders.
  4. I love interacting with people, and pre-pandemic, I interacted with close to 1,000 people per week at my salon, but at night I enjoy quiet time to recover.
  5. My experiences at Pitt-Greensburg gave me an appreciation for being well-rounded and pursuing many different endeavors.

Alumni Spotlight: Billy Lesnak '16

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Billy Lesnak graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2016 with a BS in biological sciences.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

At first, the proximity to where I was living. It was close to home, and I was able to commute while also studying what I wanted to study. What kept me from transferring were the staff and faculty.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I was president of the Theta Pi chapter of Beta Beta Beta and a member of Sigma Alpha Pi. I was a math and computer programming tutor, a PittPAL, a Presidential Ambassador, a Peer Leader, a Student Advocate, a chemistry lab teaching assistant, and a biology lab and lecture teaching assistant. I worked part-time in the Pitt-Greensburg Office of Admissions and the Pitt-Greensburg Office of Student Services. I also assisted with the QUEST summer camps. I either lead or was a part of thirteen separate community service and volunteering programs while playing and managing the college hockey program, which won a league title and a national title under my management. I was named to the Dean's List for seven semesters and was the 2016 recipient of the Jack D. Smith Award.

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

There are so many faculty and staff members who made a significant impact on my college experience, especially Leigh Hoffman, Prof. Jen (Paul) Ingram, Dr. Matt Luderer, and so many other members of Student Services, the Admission Office, and the science department.

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?

Scientific Writing. When I took it with Dr. Olivia Long during my final year, I learned more real-world writing techniques and applications — outside of science-specific writing — that I still use to this day.

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

The people. People make the difference. Whether it's school or work, when you're surrounded by good people, it makes all the difference in the world. Pitt-Greensburg has good people.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I'm currently the marketing coordinator for one of the largest sports card and collectibles retailers in the world, Steel City Collectibles. I started out managing their retail store and was able to work my way up through the company. I'm lucky enough to have combined my scientific background with my passion and experience working with sports and collectibles into a job that I genuinely love. I've gotten to work directly with my favorite professional athletes, travel all over the country, and participate in amazing one-in-a-lifetime events. I look forward to work every day and have done so for four years now. I hope that everyone can find a career that they love as much as I do mine. It's a dream come true.

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

The activities outside of the classroom are really what made a lasting impact. Everyone you're going to school with are taking classes just like you, so you need to set yourself apart. If you only focus on in-classroom work, you'll only reach half of your potential. You won't always know what's out there to try or to be a part of. Always look to try something new every semester. If I hadn't joined the clubs and sports and activities that I had, I doubt I'd have the career that I have now.

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

I've donated autographed memorabilia for fundraising events, and would gladly continue to do so if asked. I will always make myself available for any Pitt-Greensburg student looking for advice or potential professional growth opportunities

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Just because you're in one field of study doesn't mean that your skills, education, and talent can't transfer to another field about which you're more passionate.

For fun:

What is your favorite food? Chicken Parmesan — dinner, pasta, sandwich — doesn't matter to me!

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

  1. I was part of the 2020 Topps Million Card Rip Party, a world record setting event for the most baseball cards ripped at once.
  2. I have a massive personal collection of autographed and game-used hockey memorabilia.
  3. I'm a season ticket holder for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  4. I attended my first autograph signing when I was only 158 days old. It's crazy to think that sports marketing is now my career 27 years later. Since 2016, I've set up and conducted over 30 events, and I'm thankful do love what I do and do what I love.

Alumni Spotlight: Carissa (Hardy) '15 and Chris '15 Speranza

Chris and Carissa Speranza photo

Carissa (Hardy) and Chris Speranza graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2015 with a BA in visual arts and performing arts and a BA in Communications respectively.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

Carissa - When I was applying to college, I lived in the Philadelphia area, but I had a sister who lived in Pittsburgh, which was the perfect distance away from home – not too far. My goal was to attend the Oakland campus, but I was accepted at Pitt-Greensburg. I planned to go to Pitt-Greensburg for a little and then transfer. However, I stayed because I was so involved and gained so many opportunities that I knew I wouldn't get at a larger campus. That was the best decision because it really allowed so much more room for growth as a person. Someone advised me with the saying, “It's better to be a big fish in a small pond; than a small fish in a big pond.” They were right. And, I also fell in love.

Chris - I applied to and toured many colleges in the Pittsburgh area and wasn't really getting a good vibe from any of them. However, when I toured Pitt-Greensburg, it just felt right. They had the communications major I was looking for, and I was positive this was the campus I wanted to be at after talking to the tour guide.

Were you a commuter or a resident?  

Residents

What activities were you involved with as a student?

Carissa -. I was in chorale all four years; Chris was in only two years. Aside from that, we were both involved in the theater productions. I was the President of Delta Psi Omega and Vice President of the Performing Arts Society. Chris was a sports broadcaster/videographer for basketball, hockey, volleyball, and baseball. Our favorite show we did together was A Very Potter Musical where Chris played Voldemort, and I played Luna Lovegood. It was our favorite because the show was hilarious, and we got to perform it with all of our friends.

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

Carissa - Dr. McAlister was probably one of my favorites because she connected so many different chapters of art history in a way that really told a great story about the evolution of art. My favorite thing was to follow her around the museums on the annual Fall Arts trips because I wanted to hear everything she had to say.

Chris - Dr. Prellwitz was my favorite professor because he was extremely passionate about helping his students succeed and always made me feel like he truly believed we could do anything.

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?

Carissa - We both loved Dr. Kimball's U.S. history class! We didn't take it together, but we both remember the awesome energy he brought to class, and he was so brutally honest about our history which is why I think we liked it so much. We spend most of our lives being told sugar-coated versions of history, and Dr. Kimball tells it like it is.

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

Carissa -  We would both have to say the amazing memories of our relationship. One of the first times we met was the start of classes freshman year at Campana Chapel for our first chorale rehearsal. We were waiting in the lobby for our turn to sing for Chris Bartley. We were all nervous so Chris and I along with our very good friend (to this day) Emily Stark ’15 played rock, paper, scissors to see who would go next. I remember the moment I knew I loved Chris was when we and his roommate Jeffrey “Ziggy” Grantz ’16 were playing video games in their dorm in Robertshaw.

Chris – Or, when I saw Carissa eating by herself at the Bobcat and I went to sit by her because I thought she was cute. Definitely our shared love for theater, and getting to spend so much time with our closest friends during rehearsals, and all the great memories that happened backstage.

What have you been up to since graduation?

Carissa - We stayed in Pittsburgh after graduating, just working and figuring out life. We lived with our best friend Ziggy for awhile. In April 2020, we made a big decision to move to Indianapolis to change up the pace and to start fresh in a new city. Chris has been working for the company Fastenal, which is an industrial wholesale supplier.

Chris - Carissa is an Early Childhood Music Teacher at a childcare center called The Play School. She is also in the middle of getting her Master’s Degree in Social Practice Art at the University of Indianapolis.

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

Carissa - We both agree that the experiences we had that prepped us most for real life did not happen in the classroom. It was all the extra stuff, like the productions, clubs, and volunteer work, where we gained the most real life experience. It taught us how to work with different kinds of people.

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

Carissa - By sharing our story on how Pitt-Greensburg changed our life. In 2020, I was a panelist on a career webinar to give advice to students. For a few years after graduating, we both still attended many of the theater productions and chorale concerts to show our support.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Carissa - Do as much as you can while you're there. Do not just go to class and go home. I still have some of my leadership roles that I held on my resume.

Chris - Take in as much as you can in those four years because you will wish for them to be back.

For fun:

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch?

Carissa- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

 Chris- How I Met Your Mother

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

1. We started a podcast called Nerd Mouse about our love for the Disney parks.
2. We have a pet turtle named Franklin and a new puppy named Eliza!
3. Three of our best friends whom we met at Pitt-Greensburg were also in our wedding.
4. We once tried writing our own musical that included an entire song about buying beer.


Alumni Spotlight: Faryaal Alam '20

Faryaal Alam photo

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 photo

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!