2021 Summer

Pennell, Gregovits, Pauls, Johnson, Capogrosso, Hutton, Bonham

Page B. Pennell, M.D. will become the next chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine on July 1. She comes to Pitt from Harvard Medical School, where she is a professor and vice chair for academic affairs in the Department of Neurology. She also directs research in the …

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Finding Boba Fett

Looking across the detritus left to us by 2020, we understand that we have lost a great deal: people we knew and loved, people we did not know but admired, our personal mobility, social spontaneity and, perhaps, our confidence about what will come next. But we also found inspirations. We discovered abilities we never knew, …

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The State of Higher Ed: Pitt, Penn State, La Roche, IUP

We asked the presidents of the region’s colleges and universities to answer this question: As we move closer to the end of the pandemic, what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats have become more apparent to you for your institution than they were pre-pandemic? Lina Dostilio, University of Pittsburgh (Associate Vice Chancellor) The pandemic has heightened …

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This Johnstown Mob Story Is Business and Personal

The gangster has long stood as an outsized figure in America’s 20th-century mythology, ranging from the brutal Al Capone to the fictitious Tony Soprano. “The Godfather Part I” and “Part II,” as well as “Goodfellas,” rank in the American Film Institute’s Top 100 American Movies of all time, while several others deal in mob tropes. …

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The State of Higher Ed: Allegheny, Clarion, Waynesburg

We asked the presidents of the region’s colleges and universities to answer this question: As we move closer to the end of the pandemic, what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats have become more apparent to you for your institution than they were pre-pandemic? Hilary L. Link, Allegheny College Allegheny College has been fully open all …

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I Am Everyday People

“When I was in college I had an incredible teacher named Mr. Pfaff. He thought I was really good at photography and he encouraged me. He really went the extra mile to make me feel I was special,” Renee Rosensteel remembers. Turns out he was right. For the last 20 years, Rosensteel has built a …

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Arthur Ziegler: The Power of Community

When I was growing up, my parents used to take me by trolley to East Liberty for a Saturday night treat, dinner at Gammon’s restaurant. In those days, East Liberty was considered our “second downtown” in Pittsburgh, and so I had a vague affiliation with the area. Many years later, I would learn what the …

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Living the Wright Way

Fallingwater is arguably Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous design and was named the “best all-time work of American architecture” by the American Institute of Architecture. With 160,000 visitors annually, it commands awe and reverence — no touching, and stay behind the velvet ropes. But drive about 23 miles from Fallingwater to Polymath Park in Acme, …

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The Perfect Antidote

Bob Phillips was in Chile fly fishing with a group of clients in early March of last year. For 10 days, he’d been in places that the news of the world didn’t reach. It wasn’t until he boarded the plane for home that he knew something wasn’t right. “Everyone was wearing masks,” he said. “What’s …

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The State of Higher Ed: Slippery Rock, Westminster, Saint Vincent

We asked the presidents of the region’s colleges and universities to answer this question: As we move closer to the end of the pandemic, what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats have become more apparent to you for your institution than they were pre-pandemic? William J. Behre, Slippery Rock University The pandemic has confirmed something that we …

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The State of Higher Ed: Point Park, Duquesne, CCAC

We asked the presidents of the region’s colleges and universities to answer this question: As we move closer to the end of the pandemic, what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats have become more apparent to you for your institution than they were pre-pandemic? Paul Hennigan, Point Park University When faced with a challenge that seems …

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The State of Higher Ed: WVU, Seton Hill, Washington & Jefferson

We asked the presidents of the region’s colleges and universities to answer this question: As we move closer to the end of the pandemic, what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats have become more apparent to you for your institution than they were pre-pandemic? E. Gordon Gee, West Virginia University I believe that when our world …

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The Black-Throated Blue Warbler

The male is dark blue, white and black. The female is olive brown and grey with a white patch mid-wing, when folded. The contrast is called sexual dimorphism — two versions of the same species depending on gender. Look and listen for something spectacular. This is a bird you’ll want to find. My first encounter …

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The State of Higher Ed: Chatham, Robert Morris, Thiel

We asked the presidents of the region’s colleges and universities to answer this question: As we move closer to the end of the pandemic, what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats have become more apparent to you for your institution than they were pre-pandemic? David Finegold, Chatham University The pandemic highlighted many of Chatham’s historic strengths: …

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Just Askin’… Derek Shelton

Q: What’s the most interesting thing about your job? A: The wide variety of people I interact with on a daily basis. Q: What’s the best advice anybody ever gave you? A: To do your job right the first time. Not half-assed. Q: How do you start the day? A: I drink a lot of …

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The State of Higher Ed: CMU, Bethany, Grove City

We asked the presidents of the region’s colleges and universities to answer this question: As we move closer to the end of the pandemic, what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats have become more apparent to you for your institution than they were pre-pandemic? Farnam Jahanian, Carnegie Mellon University The pandemic has accelerated many of the …

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The Blackberry: The Humblest Jewel

If you were tasked with designing a wild fruit to represent western Pennsylvania, you might come up with the blackberry. Its familiar, arcing canes spread over logged hillsides and reclaimed strip mines, beside railroad tracks and across abandoned farmland reverting to woods. Blackberries are an unplanned bonus from hard-used land. Such a luscious treat, blackberries …

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We Need New Blood

Our region is thirsty for blood. On a typical day, Vitalant Pittsburgh (formerly Central Blood Bank) sees 250 blood donors. It needs 600 donors to meet the local demand for blood. “Our region collects less than half of what we need. People’s jaws drop when we say this,” says Mark Giaquinto, president and chief financial …

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Visiting Western Pennsylvania’s Wild and Beautiful Ohiopyle State Park

About 80 minutes from Downtown Pittsburgh in Fayette County is the town of Ohiopyle and one of our area’s natural gems of rare habitats, dense forests, breathtaking scenic areas and whitewater for paddlers — Ohiopyle State Park. Over the past year, visitation to parks, nature reserves and forests has increased dramatically, as people have sought …

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Wactlar, Henderson, Figgins, DeFazio, Corry, Toker

Howard Wactlar, 77: During a career of more than 50 years at the National Science Foundation and Carnegie Mellon, where he arrived in 1967 and went on to hold positions in both the School of Computer Science and the Robotics Institute, Wactlar developed an impressive array of technology and software engineering systems. He helped to …

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Pittsburgh Philanthropy

Ask a person from Pittsburgh to define philanthropy and they’ll most likely mention an industrialist such as Andrew Carnegie, or a patriarch named Heinz or Mellon. These economic titans loom large in Pittsburgh. The word “Pittsburgh” and its Gilded Age bequests are so intertwined that some think these industrialists invented philanthropy here. Experiences at Carnegie’s …

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Lovable and Inimitable

Original research for this story was conducted by the author for a book he co-authored with David Proctor entitled “Pie Traynor: A Baseball Biography.” Hunched over a lathe on a steamy factory floor, Pie Traynor — World Series champion, future Hall of Famer, and the man widely considered the greatest third baseman who had ever …

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