Alumni and Student News

by John Conroy

Kathryn A. Bethea, a graduate research assistant in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, has been selected by the 2015 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division J Travel Grant Committee to receive a travel grant. This grant will aid Bethea with traveling to this year’s AERA annual meeting in Chicago, from April 15-April 20, 2015. At the meeting, Bethea will be presenting in a roundtable session as well as chairing another session.

Jennifer Briggs, a doctoral student in Applied Developmental Psychology (ADP), received the 2015 Graduate Student Award for Excellence in SEL Research from the AERA Social-Emotional Learning Special Interest Group (SIG). Briggs will be formally awarded at the AERA SEL SIG Business Meeting, during the American Educational Research Association's (AERA) conference, occurring from April 15-20, 2015.

Cara Ciminillo, an operations director at the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC) and MEd graduate in international and developmental education, is part of a group of educators that are placing an importance on play for children’s development and the roles of cities in creating more opportunities for kids to play. She was interviewed for a larger article on the topic in a recent Remake Learning story.

The Pastors Wives of the Churches of God in Christ's Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania celebrated nine women who made a difference in their communities at its recent annual Black History Achievement Awards Banquet. One of these women was Phyliss Davis-Jones, who earned her master's degree in education at the University of Pittsburgh, and was recognized for her accomplishments as coach of the Lady Bulldogs varsity basketball team at George Westinghouse High School.

EdD school leadership graduate Todd Keruskin is helping teach children through art and 3D technology at Elizabeth Forward School District. Keruskin, who is assistant superintendent at Elizabeth Forward, works with 3D printing at every school level, including kindergarteners using an iPad app to design cookie cutters and create on a 3D printer, and middle schoolers working at Dream Factory, the school's art, computer science, and tech education program.

Alumnus and North Hills High School Principal John Kreider was awarded as one of the first two winners of the Administrator Appreciation Award from the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association (PSCA). PSCA's mission is to expand the image and influence of professional school counselors, to promote professional and ethical practice, and to advocate for equity and access for all students.

Anthony Mooney, an educational leadership doctorate student, recently joined Quaker Valley as its middle school principal. He previously served as the Highland middle school principal in the Blackhawk School District in Beaver Falls, PA. Before serving as the middle school principal at Highland, Mooney was dean of students. Mooney earned his master's degree in Education and his principal's certification from the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in history with an Italian studies minor.

Doctoral student John Rozzo was featured by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in its "Newsmaker" section. Rozzo, who is graduating this April with a doctor of education (EdD) degree in Education Leadership, is currently assistant superintendent for the Upper St. Clair School District. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recognized Rozzo based on his recent Outstanding Middle Level Administrator Award from the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education, which was presented to him at its conference in February.

Graduate K. Holly Shiflett participated in an American Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) accrediting visit at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL) in Lima, Peru, with a team of international scholars. USIL, a for-profit career school with programs in business, hospitality, and graphic arts, is seeking to be the first university in Peru to achieve United States accreditation. The ACICS accredits career and private colleges in the U.S. and internationally. Shiflett graduated in 2014 with her PhD in higher education management.

Doctoral graduate Sandy Stout, along with her husband Bill, were honored as Philanthropists of the Year in Washington County. The couple donated the historic Brownlee House to Washington County Community Foundation, which is a nonprofit that promotes charitable giving and was itself a frequent beneficiary of the Stouts’ philanthropy. The house will be transformed into a museum focused on Scottish and Irish heritage, as well as office and training space.

Timothy M. Wagner, a middle school language arts curriculum leader and gifted education coordinator at Upper St. Clair School District, received the 2014 Outstanding Young Educator Award [a write up is on page 3] from the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (PASCD). The award recognizes an educator who has made an impact on educating the whole child, leadership, impact on students, and contributions to the profession. Wagner graduated from the School of Education Administrative and Policy Studies Department with his doctorate degree.

MEd in elementary education graduate Maurice Wigley was interviewed for SLB Radio Productions' award-winning public radio program, The Saturday Light Brigade, and specifically, the Crossing Fences series. Launched in 2012, theCrossing Fences series is an oral history project that connects generations of African American boys, youth, and men through conversations on the air.