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"Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service"

"Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service"

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     The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is embarking on the most extensive community service initiative in the college’s history.  During the week of March 28 to April 4, Pitt-Johnstown faculty, staff and students will be at locations throughout Greater Johnstown participating in more than a dozen service projects. 

     The concept for “@ Your Service Week” was developed based on feedback from members of the local community, as well as Pitt-Johnstown faculty, staff and students who identified an opportunity for the campus to foster greater interconnections with the community.  Service to the community is a major component of the campus’ recently developed strategic plan, A New Dimension of Excellence for Real-World Readiness.  “Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service” promotes opportunities for members of Pitt-Johnstown to volunteer in the City, and also promotes collaborative endeavors between members of the local community and Pitt-Johnstown.

     “We are reaching out and giving back to the community that built and sustained us for more than 80 years.  In these challenging economic times, the employees and students at Pitt-Johnstown are Mountain Cat Proud to be able to roll up their sleeves and assist local charitable organizations.  We are also reaching out to local school children with a special story that was written for ‘@ Your Service Week.’  The story emphasizes the importance of education and service to community.  This is a most-robust effort that we plan to make an annual event.” 

    “We invite our friends in the community to join us at several of the public events that will be held throughout the week,” said Pitt-Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar.

     Free copies of the book Evolution of a College will be distributed at many of the public events.  This book tells the story of the small town college whose roots began in the heart of the city and, through the generous support of the local community, has grown into a vital knowledge center and foremost contributor to the local community.
 “Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service” events include:


As part of the “Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service Week” faculty, staff and students are assisting area nonprofits in spring clean-up projects, spreading cheer, putting their culinary skills to the test, and sharing a special story to elementary school students.  Projects include:

Spring Cleaning @ The Learning Lamp
It’s Spring Cleaning time, and the college’s neighbor, The Learning Lamp, needs some help organizing cases of books, which just arrived.  Volunteers will help to sort the books and organize them onto shelves.  A few other spring cleaning tasks will be completed.

Story Time - The Mountain Cat Who Mattered
Volunteers are sharing the never-before-told story of how the Pitt-Johnstown Mountain Cat became the college’s official mascot!  Volunteers will read “The Mountain Cat Who Mattered” to pre-school and elementary school children, and will help the Mountain Cat mascot distribute special Pitt-Johnstown pencils and copies of the story to the children. Story Time sessions will be conducted at East Side Elementary School, West Side Elementary School, Richland Elementary School, Ferndale Area Elementary School, and the Learning Lamp Child Care Centers at Conemaugh Hospital and Westmont.

Goodwill Visit: Conemaugh Hospital
The Pitt-Johnstown Mountain Cat will make its rounds spreading good will (and special Pitt-Johnstown gifts) to children in the pediatric unit, Aloysia Hall, and the Good Samaritan Nursing Care Center. 

Mom’s House Playground Clean-Up
The children at Mom’s House are ready to hit the swings and slides, but their playground needs some work.  Volunteers will help to clean-up the playground area and perform some small repairs to the equipment.

Salvation Army Soup Kitchen
Pitt-Johnstown volunteers are putting their culinary skills to the test when they prepare and serve the evening meal at the Salvation Army. 

Goodwill Visit: Golden Living Nursing Home
Volunteers are delivering spring flowers and songs to the residents of the Golden Living Nursing Home. 

Blanket and Canned Food Drive
Monday through Thursday, March 30-April 2
Pitt-Johnstown faculty, staff, and students are collecting new and gently worn (but clean) blankets and non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army.  Drop off your items in the Student Union (in front of the Cambria Room) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and from 10 a.m. until Noon on Thursday.


The Greater Johnstown community is invited to a number of events throughout the “Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service” week.

PITT-nic at Point Stadium and Baseball Doubleheader
Saturday, April 4 (Picnic from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m; Game at 1 p.m.)
It’s the annual PITT-nic at the Point with an international flavor.  Explore the many cultures and customs that can be found in our local community through interactive exhibits and displays.  Be sure to stay around for the baseball doubleheader as the Pitt-Johnstown team takes on Wheeling Jesuit University.

Pitt-Johnstown PAWS Diabetes Walk
Sunday, March 29 at 3 p.m. (Pitt-Johnstown Track)
The Pitt-Johnstown PAWS (Promoting Awareness & Wellness for Students) and the Personal Counseling Center are sponsoring the 1st annual Walk for Diabetes.  Bring the family and help raise money for an important cause ($15 for individuals or $100 for groups of 10 or more).  Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  

April Fools Basketball Game
Wednesday, April 1 (7 p.m. at the Sports Center)
It’s the faculty/staff versus the student athletes in a friendly game of hoops to benefit the Make A Wish Foundation.  Admission is $5 ($1 for students).  Come and cheer on our team members as they play for a very special charity.  The members of the faculty/staff team are:

Faculty/Staff Team  Student-Athlete Team
  • Kelly Austin, Finance and Administration
  • Chris Stumpf, President’s Office
  • Jon Wescott, Student Life
  • Dr. John Thompson, Mathematics
  • Angie Boyd, Career Services
  • John Ziats, Bookstore
  • Bruce Colbert, Allied Health
  • Rob Eckenrod, User Services
  • Dr. Charles Hinderliter, Natural Sciences
  • Joann Brant, Business Office
  • Scott Mamula, Athletics
  • Marcus Tullis (men’s basketball)
  • Trey Sharpe (men’s basketball)
  • Katie Croyle (women’s soccer)
  • Kristin Kelly (women’s soccer)
  • Abby Gearhart (volleyball)
  • Jamie Gennett (women’s basketball)
  • Kristin Irwin (women’s basketball)
  • Merissa Larrew (volleyball)
  • Shane Valko (wrestling)
  • Will Harris (wrestling)
  • Brittney Miller (track)
  • Kate Shemak (track)
  • Chrissy Forster (track)
  • Shane Davis (men’s golf)


The “Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service Week” focuses not only on the local community but the global community, as well.  These events are part of the college’s new GLOCAL Society Series, which spotlights pressing global and local (GLOCAL) issues.  The Series promotes greater global competency with regard to the pressing issues of our time as well as various social, political, economic, ecological, cultural and technological changes at the global level and their overlapping consequences in our local communities. 

International Service Forum
Monday, March 30 (6:30 p.m. in the Living/Learning Center)
An assembled panel of experts will talk about the rewards of international service and to share their experiences.  Join us for an enlightening and meaningful discussion on international service.  Panelists for the evening will include:
• Dr. Monica Frolander-Ulf – Associate Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and  Amizade Instructor (Jamaica and Navajo Nation)
• Eric Hartman – Executive Director, Amizade Global Service Learning and Volunteer Programs
• Dr. Reinhard Heinisch – Professor of Political Science and Director of International Studies at Pitt-Johnstown and Amizade Instructor (Bolivia)
• Reverend Dr. Joseph Maurizio – Roman Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and Founder of Humanitarian Interfaith Ministries
• Kathleen Pino – Instructor with American Red Cross International Services and International Humanitarian Law
• Dr. Melissa Reed – Peace Corps Volunteer (Chad), Associate Director of Global Studies and Director of the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh

Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown international students from Syria, Hong Kong, Australia, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, and Vietnam will share stories of their native countries with elementary school children from Conemaugh Township and West Side Elementary Schools, and will discuss the ways that life differs in the United States.


It is estimated that nearly 2 billion people around the world live in sub-standard housing, and more than 100 million people are homeless.  Pitt-Johnstown students are doing their part to make a difference. Throughout the “@ Your Service Week,” the Pitt-Johnstown chapter members of Habitat for Humanity will be involved in a number of projects and activities to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness.  The events are part of “Act! Speak! Build! Week 2009: Making Housing a Matter of Action.”

Club House Construction Project
Monday through Friday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Campus Mall)
Members will construct a child’s club house right on the Campus Mall.  Be sure to stop by and check the project on this house, which will be donated to a local Habitat for Humanity family. 

Cardboard City
Monday, March 30 (overnight on the Campus Mall)
Pitt-Johnstown Habitat for Humanity members will create awareness of this serious issue of homelessness by residing in shelters constructed from cardboard boxes… no heat, no electricity, no television, no plumbing.  Cardboard City will be erected on the Campus Mall.

Popsicle Stick Build
Thursday, April 2 (7-8 p.m. in the Student Union)
Pitt-Johnstown Habitat members will participate in a contest to see which team can build the best miniature home from Popsicle sticks.  This activity, which takes places at schools across the country, incorporates the principles of Habitat for Humanity (“decent, affordable homes,” all of which have four walls and a roof) while creating awareness of the organization.

Briars in the Cotton Patch
Thursday, April 2 (5 to 6 p.m. in the Student Union)
Members of the Pitt-Johnstown chapter of Habitat will show the film Briars in the Cotton Patch, which tells the story of the founding of Habitat for Humanity.  Narrated by UN Ambassador Andrew Young, the documentary is a story of race, religion and terror.

For additional information on “Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service” week activities, visit

Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh.   A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic environment, Pitt-Johnstown offers a high quality educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.

Posted by Shook, Kimberly on 3/26/2009 3:30:00 PM