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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: Matthew Schachte '13

Matthew Schachte photo

Matthew Schachte graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2013 with a BA in criminal justice.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

Pitt-Greensburg was a local University that was within a close proximity to my home, and it also provided a broad range of courses that would provide an essential foundation for my legal career.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

Criminal Justice Club

Intramural sports

Ambassador for International Students.

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

Professor Franz

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?

Business Communications. This course still provides me with the essential tools to communicate effectively and professionally. A dying art in most careers.

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

Walking around campus after my night class and feeling a sense of peace.

What have you been up to since graduation?

Law school

Masters program

Owning two separate legal businesses.

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

Developing a sense of community and teamwork were something that Pitt-Greensburg fostered from the very beginning.

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

Community outreach and support.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Enjoy every moment, even the stressful ones.

For fun:

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch? Better Call Saul

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

  1. I was born while my dad was in Iraq War.
  2. I lived in 8 different states
  3. I was the first student at Syracuse University College of Law to receive three degrees from the University.

 


Alumni Spotlight/: Kelsey James '13

Kelsey James photo

Kelsey James graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2013 with a BA in communications.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I was looking for a great school, where I could still enjoy living at home.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

Since I didn’t live on campus, I didn’t find myself getting involved with too many activities outside of my classes. Most of my creative endeavors were outside of school.

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

Dr. Czerwinski and Dr. Prellwitz in the Communications department were wonderful. When I would visit them with questions or to discuss projects, I always got so much help. They both embraced my creativity within my projects and always supported my research in music-related topics. I always felt like these two professors genuinely cared about my success.

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 took Comp 3 with Dr. Maloy. At the time, with other subjects and activities on my mind, proper comma placement was not one of my main priorities. However, I still remember everything I learned from her class, and I think it helped me to speak and write correctly. An in-depth study of grammar and commas would benefit any student.

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

Outside of academics, I most enjoyed walking around the beautiful campus.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I am a full-time musician. I have released two albums with my band, Shiva Skydriver, and we are currently working on our third record. I have been fortunate to be able to play across the US and in Europe and look forward to the new places that performing will take me.

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

The thing that I appreciate the most is how my education opened my mind and way of thinking. I was exposed to books and art that I may not have otherwise embraced. I think these things turned me into a well-rounded person and aided my career as an artist.

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

I am excited to be involved with alumni events by performing and sharing my music.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Embrace any classes and assignments that come your way, even if they seem like they may not be relevant to you right now.

For fun:

What is the last book you read? Brave New World

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

  1. I have I signed letter from the secretary of Tom Robbins.
  2. I collect Game of Thrones memorabilia.
  3. My dog is named after Freddie Mercury.

Alumni Spotlight: Sean Scanlan '16

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Sean Scanlan graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2016 with a BA in History.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I wanted a better college experience as opposed to that of community college.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

History Club

Ski Club

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

Professor Campbell due to his devotion to European culture.

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?

19th Century Europe -- Professor Campbell is very inventive bringing old-fashioned customs into his lecture. For example, he would wear a kilt on special occasions and would usually sport a pocket watch.

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

Living in my dorm with a great view of the campus, and playing in the snow with the other students.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I've worked at Excela Health, William Penn Care Center, and St. Anne's Home, where I am currently employed.

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

They provide me with willingness to accept responsibilities for major projects.

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

By attending activities and keeping in touch with the people with whom I became friends.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Turn today's mistakes into tomorrow's lessons and make the most of what's in front of you.

For fun:

What series do you recommend alumni binge watch? Bojack Horseman

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

  1. I traveled to China to adopt a Chinese sister.
  2. I met Arnold Palmer at St. Vincent's.
  3. I won the Spartan Spirit Award in high school.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Alexis Hepler '20

Alexis Hepler photo

Alexis Hepler graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2020 with a BA in Spanish and has returned to pursue her nursing degree.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

It was super close to my house, and I really liked the atmosphere when I took a tour.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I was involved with Student Alumni Association, Spanish Club, and Student Activities Board. I was also a Pitt cheerleader, a commuter mentor, and a class agent. I was involved with many other clubs and activities on campus and became really engaged with my peers. I am still involved in many of these activities on campus and have become a member of the Student Nursing Association and Pi Gamma Mu.

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

My favorite professors were Elizabeth Contreras and Dr. Stacey Triplette. They watched me flourish for four years, and any time that I had a question or wanted more input on a discussion, I knew that I could reach out to them.

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 recommend everyone take any class that is taught by Elizabeth Contreras. She can make any Spanish class fun and enjoyable to listen to in another language. I think it is important to take a language class because we have more and more people coming to this country who do not have English as their first language, and knowing another language will help to eliminate that language barrier.

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

A time that I remember most vividly was graduation because 2020 was a very weird time with COVID-19. We started the spring semester in person and then transitioned to online classes. Our graduation was also online, and then it was held in person during the Fall 2021 semester. It was a very weird time to have graduation, but I am very glad that I had went and got to experience a Pitt graduation.

What have you been up to since graduation?

Since graduation, I became an esthetician and am back at Pitt-Greensburg as a nursing student. I will graduate in 2025.

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

My experiences and education at Pitt-Greensburg prepared me for the next chapter in my life. It helped me realize that I wanted to have more education and to grow further as a person.

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

I am still involved with PGAA and many other activities and organizations on campus.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Become involved in clubs, activities/organizations, and make friends!

For fun:

What is the last book you read? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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

  1. I LOVE Disney.
  2. I am a 2016 World Champion for Cheerleading.
  3. I have a geographic tongue.

Alumni Spotlight: Kelsey (Campbell) Trumbetta '17

Kelsey Campbell Trumbetta photo

Kelsey (Campbell) Trumbetta graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2017 with a BS in early childhood education with STEM endorsement.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

While in high school, I worked in the dining hall, wiping tables and restocking for dinner. I got to meet a lot of great people while working there and knew it was the school for me!

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Commuter

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I was mostly involved with SPSEA (Student Education Association) and was the student coordinator for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. I was also a commuter mentor for a few years.

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

I had some really great professors, but the staff member who impacted me the most was Jane Hoch, the administrative assistant for education. During my time at Pitt-Greensburg, she became like our college mom. She was always there for us when we needed her most, and I will never forget her kindness.

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 loved all of my education classes, but my favorite class that I would recommend for everyone is World Geography with Dr. Adams. I took this course as a summer class so it was challenging and fast paced. I learned so much about the world outside of the United States.

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

I remember all of the friendships and connections I made. The Pitt-Greensburg professors had a really great connection with the local school districts. They helped me get my foot in the door and make a lasting impact. I also met my best friend Becca. We have now gone through undergrad, internships, grad school, and weddings. We now work at the same district together!

What have you been up to since graduation?

I graduated in 2017 and jumped right into taking masters classes at Pitt to become a reading specialist. I graduated with my masters in 2019 and that same year was hired to teach first grade at Hempfield. In October of 2020, I married my amazing husband, Justin.

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

I learned so much from my education classes. There were so many opportunities to work with students, so we could put into practice the things we were learning. The most important thing I learned was if you “fail to plan, plan to fail.” -- a Dr. Barnot saying.

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

My classroom is always open to student teachers who need field hours or practice presenting a lesson to students.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Take on every opportunity that you can. You never know who you might meet or the networking connections you may make. You might just meet your best friend, the love of your life, or a future employer!

For fun:

What is the last book you read? The last book I read was The Polar Express to my first graders.

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

  1. I have a coton de tulear (dog) named Adela.
  2. I have seen Luke Bryan in concert 6 times.
  3. My classroom theme is pineapples. I love them as decorations, but I cannot eat them.

Alumni Spotlight: Mya Cole '21

Mya Cole photo

Mya Cole graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2021 with a BS in biology and minors in chemistry and psychology.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

I knew that I wanted to go away to college, but did not want to be too far away from home. When I toured the campus, I got the instant feeling that Pitt-Greensburg could be my home away from home.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I was highly involved in the Academic Villages all four years. I participated in campus activities such as Fall/Spring Into the Streets, Pitt Make a Difference Day, the Blue & Gold Celebration festivities, Relay for Life, Up All Night...you name it, I was there! During my senior year, I was President of Tri-Beta, Gamma Sigma Epsilon, and Habitat for Humanity. I participated in a lot of fun activities within those clubs.

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

Mrs. Barnhart will always be the most impactful professor/mentor I had as a student. Mrs. Barnhart took me under her wing during my freshman year and continues to be a very important person in my life 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?

Genetics was my absolute favorite class. At the time, Dr. McClendon taught the class, and she was absolutely fantastic. People automatically assume that learning science is all technical and boring, however it is really cool to learn the science behind why we are who we are, and it is fun! I think more people would be more intrigued than they think they would be.

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

The thing I remember most vividly about my time at Pitt-Greensburg is the constant feelings of having a second home, feeling welcomed, and most importantly, feeling safe. The transition into college life is scary, but Pitt-Greensburg makes it easy to pave your way into adulthood and college life. The warm and open campus environment is constantly maintained, which provides constant reassurance.

What have you been up to since graduation?

Funny thing...I am actually now an employee at Pitt-Greensburg! While I await my graduate program to start, I have been teaching Biology and Anatomy labs. I was fortunate enough to be personally thought of for the position. I am enjoying my time as a Pitt-Greensburg employee and continuing to learn from my fellow professors.

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

My personal and academic experiences at Pitt-Greensburg prepared me to be ready to conquer anything. My personal experiences helped me to grow personally and as a leader. My academic experiences prepared me with the knowledge I will need to further my education and grow as a scientist.

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

I am a member of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association Board of Directors and a 2021 Class Agent. I keep up with the alumni news. I help plan alumni-sponsored events. As an employee, I also keep tabs with my former clubs and do what I can to support them.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Do not be afraid to break out of your shell! Make yourself known on campus. Get involved, make friends, and put yourself out there! Pitt-Greenburg is like one big family; become part of the family.

Get to know your professors. Earn their respect from day one and do not lose it. Your professors will be your biggest advocates as long as you show them respect and that you are ready for what challenges lie ahead.

For fun:

What song do you always sing along to? It’s All Coming Back to Me Now by Celine Dion

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

  1. I was honored as the Senior of the Year for the Class of 2021.
  2. I have been a dancer since I was two.
  3. I can play the violin.

Alumni Spotlight: Fredrick Mejia '13

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Fredrick Mejia graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2013 with a BS in management-accounting.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

It was close enough to home, but far enough away to live at and have a college experience.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

  • SGA Senate -- President (2011)
  • Theatre
  • Chorale
  • Academic Villages

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

Within my major, my favorite professors were Pam Ondeck and Sharon Turchick. Outside of my major, it was Dr. Stephen Schrum. All taught different facets of technical skill and leadership, all of which I use 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?

Dr. Wilson’s Intro to Sociology and Social Theory. Especially today, knowing sociological theory can help us understand other groups, their viewpoints, and their actions. It could even help to heal the division in the United States.

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

Down time in the Villages. Each year my housemates and roommates made the most of being together and had a great time.

What have you been up to since graduation?

I got married in 2016 and recently became a tax manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Pittsburgh. I also moved downtown in 2019 and bought Penguins season tickets.

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

I learned soft skills like negotiation and communication, as well as how to read and analyze information, and write professionally. They are skills that are absolutely necessary no matter your profession. All were practiced and perfected at Pitt-Greensburg.

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

I’ve lost touch with a lot of people over the years and with the campus, I’d like to get back to it soon and see what I can do.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Don’t discount your experience in college, and take a moment, just a moment, when having fun and look around and remember it. Things aren’t always going to be rosy, but hold on to the good experiences. It’s over before you know it.

For fun:

What is the last book you read? Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow

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

1. I am an avid cyclist.
2. I love cooking.
3. My wife and I have two cats.


Alumni Spotlight: Tom Bristol '12

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Tom Bristol graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2012 with a BA in criminal justice.

What brought you to Pitt-Greensburg?

Of all the campuses I visited when I was searching for a university to attend, Pitt-Greensburg was by far the most beautiful. I guess you could say it was love at first sight.

Were you a commuter or a resident?

Resident

What activities were you involved with as a student?

I was a member of the golf and tennis teams, a Community Assistant for the University Courts and Robertshaw Hall, a regular at the coffee house for open mic nights, and, of course, the Hall Olympics.

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

Dr. Melissa Marks, hands down. Of all the courses and professors throughout my time at Pitt-Greensburg, Dr. Marks classes helped me grow academically and intellectually.

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 class that Dr. Marks is teaching. Duh.

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

The snow. So. Much. Snow. And then trudging through that snow to get a delicious panini at the coffee house. No, but seriously, I’ll always remember the incredible friendships I made that will last forever.

What have you been up to since graduation?

Since graduating in 2012, I have been in the Army stationed at Ft. Bragg NC as a Psychological Operations paratrooper. I have deployed multiple times overseas in that span, I got married to my beautiful wife Marie (St. Vincent grad), and we have 2 adorable fur babies names Luna and Penelope.

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

My time at Pitt-Greensburg taught me how to properly manage my time, compartmentalize, and prioritize important tasks in order to achieve a successful outcome.

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

Being that I live in NC, it is difficult to give direct support. However, I always try to give Pitt-Greensburg some exposure when I can, such as recommending it to friends whose kids are searching for a university to attend.

What advice do you have for your fellow Bobcats?

Cue the obligatory motivational metaphor: Even if there’s 5ft of snow, you should still trudge through and get a panini.

For fun:

What song do you always sing along to? The Power of Love by Huey Lewis

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

  1. I can solve a Rubik’s cube in under 30 seconds.
  2.  I’m fluent in Korean.
  3.  I have parachuted into Germany, Norway, Romania, and The Netherlands.

 


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).