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Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences Snapshot

June 2013, Issue 13


By managing philanthropic efforts, English alumnus weaves a story

Mike Kane

There is a notion in philanthropy that has to do with storytelling, and it goes something like this: In order to convince donors to make a gift, foundations must find a way to explain their projects in a way that resonates with the giver.
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In Focus

Historian finds his inspiration in Cuba

Jesse Horst

As a high school history teacher in New York City, Jesse Horst liked to think about the bigger picture: What were the processes driving urban politics behind the scenes? And how could he inspire inner-city students to get excited about something he loved?
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Close Up

Scaled to size: Chemistry professor’s research finds the universe within the microscopic

Jill Millstone

In Jill Millstone’s world, things do not start to get interesting until they are invisible to the naked eye. Then all hell breaks loose.
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Wide Angle

Reconnecting, re-engaging, and rekindling are the mission of Dietrich alumna

Debbi Gillotti

As a rising young executive in the nascent field of information management systems, Debbi Gillotti found herself very much in demand among managers whose computer literacy was, diplomatically speaking, not their sweet spot.
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In April, the University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council (AAAC) of the Pitt Alumni Association recognized the inaugural winners of its Rising African American Leaders Award at their ninth annual Interfaith Baccalaureate Service.

The Rising African American Leaders Award recognizes alumni graduating within the past decade who are younger than 40 and have demonstrated excellence in professional achievement and/or community service. Among the inaugural honorees were Dietrich School alumni Marisa Bartley (A&S ’05), a business development officer for Citizens Financial Group, Inc.; and, Adam Iddriss (ENGR ’07, A&S ’07), a medical student at Johns Hopkins University.

AAAC president Tony Fountain (A&S ’70) said that these young leaders represent the best and brightest of the Pitt community. 

“The AAAC felt the need to recognize Pitt African American Alumni who have established a significant record of excellence in the early phases of their careers. These…awardees have received regional and national recognition and are deserving of the title Rising African American Leaders,” said Fountain.

Marcus Rediker, Distinguished Professor in the Department of History, has been honored with the 2013 Sol Stetin Award, given annually by the Sidney Hillman Foundation to recognize lifetime achievement in the field of labor history. Rediker received the award at the Foundation's annual dinner in New York in May.

Rediker’s most recent work, The Amistad Rebellion: A Sea Story of Slavery and Freedom, was published in October 2012.  The Amistad Rebellion zooms in one of the most celebrated episodes of the slave trade, the 1839 seizure of the Spanish ship Amistad by its slave cargo. While previous historical treatments of the Amistad rebellion, including Steven Spielberg’s memorable movie, focused on the U.S. Supreme Court case that confirmed the African rebels’ freedom, Rediker focuses instead on the rebels themselves, and in particular on their African origins, and the African military experiences and community structures that enabled the rebels to plan and carry out their successful rebellion.

Three Dietrich School undergraduate students have received David L. Boren Scholarships from the National Security Education Program via the Institute of International Education to study abroad in China and Tanzania in exchange for promising to work in the federal government for at least one year after completing their education. The Boren program’s mission is to help students “acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation.” 

Patrick Farrell, a senior majoring in Chinese, political science, and economics and minoring in French language and literature, will study Mandarin in China during the next academic year. He is planning to eventually work in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Abigail Majane, a junior majoring in political science and Chinese and minoring in economics, will study Mandarin in China during the next academic year. She would like to pursue a career with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, where she has already completed an internship.

Viveka Mandava, a senior pursuing a major in religious studies, a minor in political science, and a certificate in global health, will spend the fall semester studying Swahili in Tanzania. She would like to eventually work in the Bureau for Food Security of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Visit the Pitt Alumni Association Web site to learn more about the many exciting events planned for this year’s Homecoming celebration.

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