Office of the Provost

Dear Pitt Graduate and Professional Students,

As the sun is shining and the weather is warming in Pittsburgh, and as more people in our region and country receive the COVID-19 vaccine, I find myself thinking toward summer and feeling eager for a time when we can all gather in person again. The University’s Flex@Pitt instructional model will continue through summer term 2021. The University has begun planning for the fall term, and we will provide more details about our planning, educational format and other details as we know more.

I hope that you were able to participate in some of the programs offered by the University during Black History Month. The range of workshops, panels, performances and speakers offered rich opportunities to learn about Black Americans’ experiences and achievements, as well as solutions to ongoing issues of racial disparities in education, health and other facets of our society. I was honored to host a presentation by Tracey Reed Armant, Allyce Pinchback-Johnson and LaTrenda Sherrell, three Black Pitt alumnae who are working to improve education for Black youth in the Pittsburgh region.

March is Women’s History Month. Upcoming University events focused on women and women’s history can be found here and on our graduate studies Twitter feed.  

In March, the Graduate Studies team will be focusing on mentoring and advising, a critical part of all our graduate and professional programs. We encourage you to attend the University of Pittsburgh Mentoring and Advising Summit on March 11 and the virtual awards ceremony for the Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring on March 31. Both events will offer insights into productive mentor/mentee relationships. This year’s mentoring award winners are Dr. Tia-Lynn Ashman (Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Biological Sciences), Dr. Robert Batterman (Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Philosophy), Dr. Yvette Conley (School of Nursing, Department of Health Promotion and Development) and Dr. Martin Weiss (School of Computing and Information, Informatics and Networked Systems). Congratulations to all of them!

I also want to call your attention to some new COVID-19 resources, including Pitt's vaccine planning efforts. Additionally, the COVID-19 Medical Response Office (CMRO) would like all Pitt faculty, staff and students to complete this survey about the vaccine. Your answers will help the CMRO operate more quickly and efficiently once we receive our own vaccine supply. While the CMRO is working to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place, the timeline of when Pitt receives its supply is determined by public health agencies. Information about the COVID-19 vaccine in the Pittsburgh area can be found on this Allegheny County Health Department website. Finally, you can sign up for COVID-19 alerts from the county, including vaccine clinics. Keep in mind that the county is following Pennsylvania’s vaccine distribution phases.

My next virtual office hour is on Tuesday, March 9, from 4 to 5 p.m. EST. I look forward to talking with you, whether you want to discuss a specific issue or if you just want to introduce yourself! Simply sign up here to choose your time slot.

As always, I hope you are safe and healthy and are taking time for your own wellness.


Amanda J. Godley
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies

Graduate Resources
Graduate News, Policies, and Events

University-wide News and Resources

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA): The David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business has partnered with the United Way of Southwestern PA to provide free assistance for completion of 2020 tax returns. This service is available to all graduate students, including international students, who have an annual income of $57,000 or less. Register for these virtual services.

Meal Scholarship Program: This program from the Campus Basic Needs Committee provides an additional short-term food resource for students facing food insecurity caused by an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances. Apply using this form.

Student Emergency Assistance Fund: The Student Emergency Assistance Fund is available to any Pitt student who may be undergoing financial hardship due to unanticipated expenses or emergency situations.

LGBTQIA+ Task Force Survey: The LGBTQIA+ Task Force seeks to plan and provide resources for Pitt’s LGBTQIA+ faculty, students and staff with an ultimate long-term plan of creating a center on campus. Graduate students are invited to complete the survey.

Updating Demographic Data, Including Gender Identity: The University is committed to ensuring that all campus spaces are inclusive, including our virtual spaces. Pitt Worx now provides the opportunity for postdoc trainees and graduate students who hold graduate appointments (teaching assistants, graduate student researchers, graduate student assistants, pre-doctoral fellow and others) to update their personal demographic information in Pitt’s payroll system. Individuals can now choose from several nonbinary gender descriptions. Use these directions to edit gender and other demographic information. Note that you will be asked to log on via The Frequently Asked Questions section also includes contact information in case you have additional questions.

Center for Creativity Graduate Student Assistant Opportunity: The Center for Creativity (C4C) Graduate Student Assistant position provides a unique opportunity for a dedicated graduate student with a background in producing and understanding the production of creative work (e.g., art, poetry, music, letterpress and book arts, or theater). The GSA will engage with people whose involvement in the creative process may be as a novice, an experimenter or an experienced practitioner. Application deadline is March 31, 2021.

Nominate a Pitt Sustainability Champion: Know someone at Pitt who has gone above and beyond for sustainability? Nominate a student, faculty or staff member by March 8, 2021.

The Big Idea Advantage Fund is now open for applications. The fund provides investments between $10,000 and $25,000 to Pitt students and postdocs who have formed, or intend to form, a startup venture. Application deadline is March 15, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.

Campus Engagement

Minoritized Orientations and Gender Identities Graduate Student Organization (MOGI)

MOGI serves all graduate and professional students at Pitt who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. This collective engages students, faculty, staff and allies to propel the objectives in mobilizing the organization in the most inclusive and transformative practices by offering resources and collaborative partnerships to support the scholarship endeavors of LGBTIA+ cultures and populations. Interested students can email

Additional Opportunities for Engagement

We also encourage you follow us on Twitter and share your accomplishments and honors by tagging us at @PittGradStudies.

Wellness Corner

As we come close to reaching one year of the COVID-19 pandemic, remember that you may have expectations to completely alter how you go throughout your day, both personally and professionally. This is a huge undertaking and can feel confusing and exhausting. It is OK to feel this way. Everyone responds to stress a little differently; avoid comparing your coping style to others. Comparing usually makes us feel worse as we tend to underestimate our resilience and strengths. Focus on yourself and try to be compassionate; you are trying as hard as you can, given the circumstances. The University Counseling Center offers a Virtual Wellness Workshop called “Staying Well While Staying In” to help maintain your well-being during the pandemic. Find out more and register for open sessions.

Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) offers a private library of interactive programs to help gain knowledge and awareness for self-help and wellness. TAO can be completed at your own pace.

The Stress Free Zone (SFZ) offers space for students to learn and practice evidence-based, mind/body stress reduction skills through mindfulness meditation. Classes and workshops will continue operating remotely for spring 2021.

Upcoming Events

Women's History Month, March 2021. The city of Pittsburgh is hosting a number of events and resources to help you learn about and celebrate women’s history through organizations that serve and empower women. On campus, the Center for Creativity will virtually host “Sharing Herstory: A Women’s History Month Open Mic” on Thursday, March 18, at 9 p.m. View all University programming.

Pitt Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition: Speaking to Non-Specialists Workshops. Come and learn all you need to know to compete in the fourth annual Pitt Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, to be held virtually on April 6, 2021. In this workshop, Meghan Culpepper (Office of the Provost) will review the rules and eligibility requirements for the 3MT Competition, and Dr. Joel Brady (Center for Teaching and Learning) will provide students with helpful hints and tips to prepare a three-minute oration and an accompanying presentation slide of their research. Registration is required. Thursday, March 11, noon to 1 p.m.

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Workshop, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 2-3 p.m. Learn how to format your thesis or dissertation using the University’s Microsoft Word template. We’ll also cover converting the finished Word document to PDF and submitting it for review.

Intro to Publishing: How Scholarly/Academic Publishing Works, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 3-4:15 p.m. Whether you’re submitting to a journal for the first time, interested in learning about the peer review process or considering joining a journal’s editorial team, this workshop will provide an overview of how the scholarly/academic publishing process works and what to expect when acting as an author, reviewer, editor or journal manager.

Mentoring and Advising Summit, Thursday, March 11, 2021, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The summit is hosted annually by the University of Pittsburgh. The event is open to any faculty member, staff member, administrator, graduate student or researcher from any institution who is interested in mentoring and advising. This year, the Graduate Studies Team is offering a Graduate Track. View the Grad Track and register today.

Preparing a Resume for Employment Outside of Academia, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 3-5 p.m. During this webinar, you will learn effective strategies for developing a resume that clearly communicates your relevant skills and accomplishments to a prospective employer. Registration required.

Developing a Teaching Philosophy Statement, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, noon to 2 p.m. A teaching philosophy statement is a concise, compelling illustration of an instructor, a useful exercise in reflexive examination of teaching, and a necessary component of many academic job applications. This workshop offered by University Center for Teaching and Learning will provide the fundamentals of writing a teaching philosophy statement.

Government to University (G2U) PGH Spring 2021 Government Virtual Career + Internship Fair, March 18, 2021, 1-4 p.m. This virtual career fair will bring together Western PA government organizations including the U.S. Food & Drug Administration Office of Regulatory Affairs, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, and the Presidential Management Fellowship Program. Registration required and opens March 1, 2021 at noon.

University Library System events. The ULS offers many useful workshops on a wide range of topics from copyright and visual displays of data to photoshop and text-mining. View the full calendar.