Alumni Participate in 2008 Commencement

On behalf of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (PGAA)…THANK YOU to everyone who participated in all of the graduation festivities. On Friday, the PGAA held a special reception for all of the graduates in the Bobcat Lounge.  Alumni were on hand to congratulate the students and welcome them to the association. 

Later that evening, graduates and their parents were invited to join the alumni at a special Parent Appreciation Dinner, hosted by Dr. Smith.  There were over 75 people who attended the dinner.  Dr. Smith paid tribute to the parents and recognized that they have contributed to the success of our students.

Gary Amelio (Class of 78), gave the commencement address. Gary & his wife Kim spent time at the events sharing their experiences with the students, and encouraging them to stay connected to Pitt-Greensburg.  In addition to our speaker, there were over 15 alumni, who spent their weekend talking with students and parents about the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and the some of the ways that they can stay involved after graduation.

Alumni played a new role in this year's ceremony.  For the first time, alumni parents were given the unique opportunity to participate in a Legacy Presentation.  If mom or dad was a Pitt alum, (from any campus) they were invited to escort their graduate on to the stage and present the diploma. The parent was recognized as an alum and then a family a photo was taken with Dr. Smith.  This was a very special addition to the ceremony and the PGAA is looking forward to making it a Pitt-Greensburg tradition.


Other new and exciting additions to graduation weekend include:

  •   A Graduation Gift on behalf of the PGAA and the Student Government Association.  Each graduate received a book entitled Life After School Explained.  The book included information and photos of their alma mater, and over 170 pages of answers to many of the questions most people are afraid to ask! (Topics include how to handle your finances, buying vs. leasing a car, health insurance, even how to pick out paint and order the right cut of meat!)  The students loved it!

  •       A special congratulatory letter from the PGAA was inserted into each of the diploma covers

  •       A professional photographer that took photos of the graduates as they received their diploma.  These photos are available online for the students to purchase.     

All of these additions to graduation weekend were made possible by alumni who were willing to donate their time.  Thanks to all of you, the PGAA was able to enhance the commencement experience and create relationships with new alumni.   If you were unable to join us this year, be sure to mark your calendars for 2009.  It will definitely be another memorable weekend for everyone. 

PGAA Recognizes 2007-2008 Award Recipients

2008 Alumni of Distinction Award: Robert Dippolito 

Bob is a police officer in North Huntingdon Township and a 1987 graduate of Pitt-Greensburg with a degree in administration of justice. Dippolito was recognized for his service and dedication to his job and to the community.

In 1999, he was named Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Officer of the Year by the Pennsylvania Crime Prevention Officers Association, and in 1999 and 2000, he and his force were honored with the Crime Prevention Unit of the Year Award by the Crime Prevention Association of Western Pennsylvania. In 2001, he received the D.A.R.E. Project of the Year; D.A.R.E. Jeopardy Award; and the Program of the Year, Junior Police Academy Award, all from the Pennsylvania Crime Prevention Officers Association. He also has a distinguished record of service with the U.S. Army Reserve, the Pennsylvania National Guard and the U.S. Navy Reserve Fleet Hospital Unit.

Dippolito received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1991, and he also holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and criminal justice management from Lacrosse University.


2008 PGAA Outstanding Faculty: Dr. Vickilyn Barnot 

Dr. Barnot is an assistant professor of education, who was selected for her excellence in the classroom and her devotion to the development of students and programs at the University. Dr. Barnot is working on proposals for the development of an education major at Pitt-Greensburg. She is the head advisor for the Pitt-Greensburg chapter of the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association, which was recognized as the most outstanding student chapter for overall professional development opportunities and most creative and innovative programming in the state of Pennsylvania in 2004-05. She also supervises Pitt-Greensburg students in their volunteer activities in the Greensburg Salem School District. Her work with the Lunch Buddy Volunteer Program at local elementary schools in conjunction with Big Brothers Big Sisters earned the 2005 Elsie Hillman Magic of Mentoring Award for outstanding volunteer programs in the Pittsburgh area. 

2008 PGAA Community Service Award: Lynne Marie Marmo-Farina 

Lynne is a senior psychology major from Allison Park, Pennsylvania. Ms. Marmo-Farina is the student coordinator for the Lunch Buddy Program, which matches Pitt-Greensburg student mentors with at-risk children at a local elementary school.  She also completed the Emerging Leaders program and the Scholars in Service initiative, which requires participants to complete 450 hours of volunteer activities. In her community, she has volunteered at St. Ursula School, Hampton Presbyterian Church, Hampton Athletic Association and St. Augustine Independent Living.

2007 PGAA Incoming Freshman Award recipient: Sarah Trojanowski 

Sarah is a Woodland Hills graduate and will begin her studies in pharmacy at the University. She was a member of the high school softball and basketball teams, and she was captain of the high school field hockey team at Woodland Hills. Sarah was a member of the National Honor Society, a softball coach for ages 11-13, and a volunteer for American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. The Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association Incoming Freshman Award is given each year to a student who demonstrates academic achievement, high school involvement, and community service. 

2008 PGAA Study Abroad Award recipients: Janine Pawlowski and Molly DePree 

The PGAA Executive Committee asked students to submit their academic & student involvement transcripts, write an essay and participate in an interview as part of the selection process. They were thrilled with the response from the students. PGAA was proud to present this year’s award to two very deserving students: Janine Pawlowski and Molly DePree.  Thanks to the financial support of the PGAA, both students were given $1000 to participate in the spring break study abroad program. Janine traveled to London, England and Molly went to Berlin, Germany.  Both students did a presentation about their trip at the Alumni Leaders Breakfast on Saturday, April 26, 2008.  

The 2008 Class Agents: Lisa Rendos and Chad Smith 

Lisa Rendos is graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Criminal Justice. She is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, the student athlete honor society, Phi Eta Sigma, freshman honor society, and Alpha Phi Sigma, the criminal justice honor society. She was a member of the women’s soccer team and served as work-study for the Office of Student Services.

Chad Smith is graduating with a BS in Psychology and is a member of Delta Psi Omega, theatre honor society. He is also the recipient of the Westmoreland Cultural Trust Service to the Arts Award. Chad is a very talented musician who, at Dr. Smith’s request, performed the song “It’s Not Easy Being Green” at the Parent Appreciation Dinner.

2008 Resume Contest Winners: Aaron Slafka,  Lisa Rendos, and Lindsay Relich

Congratulations to Aaron Slafka, a senior, for winning the overall competition. He will receive a $100 cash prize.  Runners up were senior, Lisa Rendos and freshman Lindsay Relich.  They will split the second place prize of $50. The prize money was provided by the PGAA and the Office of Career Services.  Thank you to all the alumni who volunteered to serve as judges.        

Alumni News

Brian Moreland (Class of 1998) of Fay West Chiropractic in Mount Pleasant, was recently appointed to the position of Associate Clinical Instructor with the Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique.  Dr. Moreland's new position will allow him to train other chiropractors from across the country and around the world to implement and perform the Activator adjusting technique.  Dr. Moreland was recently awarded Diplomate status in chiropractic rehabilitation by the American Chiropractic Rehabilitation Board.  He is one of the youngest doctors in the country to be awarded Board Certification as a rehabilitation specialist.  At a ceremony held on Saturday, April 26, 2008, in the Connolly Ballroom of Alumni Hall on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Moreland was presented the 2008 Volunteer of Excellence Award by the Pitt alumni Association.

Chris Detar (Class of 1993) was recently elected a Delegate to the Republic National Convention for Pennsylvania Congressional District 18.  Detar is a software developer for Sony Electronics.

P. J. Rey (Class of 2006) has accepted a C. Wright Mills Fellowship in the sociology department of the University of Maryland. Rey, whose primary research interest is social theory, becomes part of a department whose social theory program is arguably the foremost in the nation. After graduating from Pitt-Greensburg, Rey entered the master’s program in philosophy at Duquesne University, where he excelled and from which he will receive his degree at the end of this semester. Rey's Pitt-Greensburg Political Science Capstone paper, “The Brazilian Treatment Model: A New Course for Global Aids Policy”, can now be found in the April issue of the Journal of Third World Studies.

If you are Pitt-Greensburg alum and would like to submit information for an upcoming issue of the Alumni Connection E-Newsletter, please send it to

Alumni Weddings in Campana Chapel

If you, or a family member, are planning a wedding, why not consider getting married in the new Campana Chapel & Lecture Center located on the Pitt-Greensburg campus. This beautiful facility was built in memory of Mary Lou Campana and is only available to those people who have a direct affiliation with the University. (Immediate family members include parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters.) We are now accepting reservations for ceremonies.  If you would like to request more information about reserving the chapel, including a complete set of guidelines, please call Nancy Murphy in Alumni Affairs at (724) 836-7496 or

Annual Fund Campaign

The Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association recently mailed out a letter asking for your support.  The letter focused on the importance of scholarships and the funding we need to continue to recruit high quality students.  We wanted to take this opportunity to once again say, Thank You to all of our donors. We rely on the support of our alum and we are so grateful for your participation. We are excited about all of the changes that are planned for the Pitt-Greensburg campus and hope that you will continue to show your support. When making a contribution, there are a few key things to remember:

ü  Your donation is tax deductable

ü  You can designate where you would like your donation to go (Example: ž Alumni Association)

ü  Your donation can have a much bigger impact if your employer is a part of our matching gifts program

Corporate Matching Gifts Program: It Makes Your Contribution Go Even Further. Did you know that you can double or even triple your contribution to the Pitt-Greensburg campus? The corporate matching gifts program provides a way for alumni, parents, and friends of Pitt-Greensburg to maximize their contributions to the Greensburg campus.  Companies who participate in the matching gifts program “match” their employee’s contribution to Pitt-Greensburg by donating an equal amount of money to the same allocation as the employee’s original contribution.  This additional support is extremely meaningful to the students and to Pitt-Greensburg. Your employer may already be a part of the corporate matching gifts program. Simply check with your human resources department to see if your company is affiliated with the University as a matching gift partner, or contact Emily Hayburn, Coordinator of Development, at 724-836-7039 for more information.

If you have not made a donation, there is still time.  Please print out the information below and return it to:

Nancy Murphy
Coordinator of Alumni Affairs

University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

c/o 203A Lynch Hall

150 Finoli Drive

Greensburg, PA 15601

Or contact Nancy directly at (724) 836-7496 or

Pitt-Greensburg Golf Outing
You may register for the golf outing online or by printing the form and mailing it to the address on the form.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 7, 2008
PGAA Board of Directors Annual Planning Meeting
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00-12:00 p.m. Meeting
Hempfield Room (Chambers Hall

 Friday, June 20, 2008
Annual Golf Outing 10:00 a.m. (shotgun start) at Cherry Creek Golf Course (registration information in this newsletter) 

For more information on upcoming events:


Phone (724) 836-7496

Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Affairs at or 724-836-7496