Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Welcome from the Associate Dean of Diversity


Sylvanus WosuIt is my pleasure to welcome you to the Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE) Office of Diversity. SSOE diversity refers to the integrated differences and similarities that all individuals and programs contribute in the academic mission of the school. The mission of the Engineering Office of Diversity (EOD) is to create and sustain learning and working environments where those differences and similarities are valued and respected, and all students, especially women and underrepresented students are included and empowered to excel in engineering education. EOD provides continuous academic and community support services through four program areas: the Pitt Engineering Career Access Program (PECAP) pre-college INVESTING NOW and college Pitt EXCEL Programs, Diversity Graduate Engineering Program (DGEP), and Diversity Education Program (DEP).

Sylvanus N. Wosu, PhD

Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs

Sep
10
2019

Adding a Human Touch to Engineering

Civil & Environmental, Diversity, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (September 10, 2019) … During his undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, Isaiah Spencer-Williams (BSCEE ’19) traveled across the globe, witnessing the impact of engineering in places like Flint, Michigan and South Africa. These experiences left a lasting impression and inspired him to reframe his approach to engineering. Spencer-Williams, who recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, wants to remind his peers that they are designing for humanity and has worked to create an environment where students can focus on their wellbeing and grow to better understand the needs of others. “Human needs and problems often direct technological developments, so I think that we need a better understanding of human values and emotions to create the most effective designs,” said Spencer-Williams. “I think this concept is underrepresented in our undergraduate curriculum so I wanted to create a space for students to express themselves and learn to connect with their peers.” CREATING A SAFE SPACE Spencer-Williams and a friend founded The I.N.N.A.T.E. Project, which is dedicated to providing a space in which community members, specifically youths and young adults, can network with artists, challenge normalcy, and spark impactful conversations using natural and developed artistic abilities. The project not only provides a venue for students to have healthy discussions surrounding mental health, societal normalcies, and community engagement, but it also pushes them to explore their creativity, which Spencer-Williams encourages. “Whether it be writing, drawing, painting, or dancing, everyone should find something to distract themselves from the stress of their academic career,” he said. “People really value having this space to create. Engineering students have very rigorous curriculums and often feel siloed in the STEM world. This venue provides a safe space for many of us to branch out and connect with students from across the university and in the greater Pittsburgh community.” The I.N.N.A.T.E. Project holds their events at The Corner in West Oakland and has grown from a small gathering to a group of more than 40 students. They have recently been on hiatus but are working to restart and revamp programming in fall 2019. Finding Inspiration Away from Home Spencer-Williams started writing poetry in 2012, using music as inspiration for his work. He later began performing his poetry during his freshman year at Pitt and has since taken inspiration, in part, from experiences during his undergraduate studies. After his sophomore year, he had the opportunity to travel to South Africa through the Global Engineering Preparedness Scholarship (GEPS), where students are encouraged to think both locally and globally in terms of how to approach different problems in the classroom. New to international travel, this trip inspired him to write Aquatic Rose and Moonlit Lotus, his first poetry collection. Including pieces like “Orchid’s Obituary” and “No Longer With Us,” Spencer-Williams highlighted critical, recent American events in a creative way and called for us to remember our purpose in order to make positive change. “… I pray that our world mirrors your beautiful image, grasps onto your heavenly traits, and realizes that though you are no longer with us physically, you are eternally in the purity of our hearts.” - A line from "No Longer With Us" “My experience in South Africa really expanded my mindset and made me question how engineers can design for a larger community in a way where they balance the impact on the environment with the needs of the people they are serving,” said Spencer-Williams. “The trip also made me reflect on the privileges that we have in America and wonder how we can use that as a platform to better serve those who may be less fortunate.” After his junior year, Spencer-Williams traveled to Flint, MI, a city that has been in the national spotlight for its 2014 water crisis where insufficient water treatment exposed residents to lead and other toxins. Though this experience was difficult for him to write about, it further demonstrated the impact that engineering can have on a community. The Art of Communication “Taking poetry classes alongside my engineering coursework helped me manage my mental health,” Spencer-Williams explained, “but in addition to that, it has also made me a better communicator and has really helped elevate my academic career.” During the 2017 Fall Regional Conference of the National Society of Black Engineers, he participated in the Art of Technical Communication, a competition that challenges future engineers to develop innovative and imaginative techniques to express their knowledge of STEM. He presented Push, a poem communicating engineering principles and the black engineering experience and was awarded first place and the People’s Choice award for his performance. “…ultimately, what I'm trying to say, is that understanding the difficulty of being a black engineer is something on the orders of quantum mechanics…” - A line from "Push" “Developing my writing skills has helped me more effectively communicate my research, which is an important skill to have when trying to teach the general public about engineering,” he said. Spencer-Williams matriculated at the Swanson School’s civil engineering graduate program in August 2019. His goal is to become a professor so that he can encourage students to focus not only on academics but also on developing a stronger sense of self and understanding of how one’s work can impact the lives of others. He believes that fostering a greater sense of community, self-care, and global-mindedness may not only benefit society but also influence the way we teach, learn, and create. ###

Aug
28
2019

In Pursuit of Inclusive Excellence

Diversity

WHEELING, W.V. (Aug. 28, 2019) — Graduate school isn’t just about earning a degree. It’s about a shared experience, a community of scholars sharing little moments of connection across cultures. And that means learning to grow and thrive as a diverse team. That was the message at the 2019 PITT STRIVE retreat, which took place at Oglebay Resort and Conference Center on Aug. 8 and 9. The fourth annual retreat brought together Swanson School of Engineering faculty mentors and PhD mentees from the PITT STRIVE program, which  strives for excellence in academic and faculty engagement cultures that promote the success, transition, representation, innovation, vision, and education of URM PhD students. The program supports underrepresented students as they transition into doctoral engineering programs at the Swanson School, and fosters an inclusive environment that supports their retention and graduation by strong graduate students and faculty community building activities. “PITT STRIVE’s annual retreat gives our fellows and scholars the opportunity to cultivate relationships that will carry them forward into their professional and academic pursuits,” says Sylvanus Wosu, PhD, associate dean for diversity affairs. “A culture of inclusivity is invaluable in academia, and we all have a vital role to play in building it.” The retreat’s goal was clear from the first session. Michael Eatman, a diversity professional who helps organizations develop cultural competence and inclusive learning and working environments, led sessions designed to break down barriers and foster discussion about what inclusivity and diversity truly mean. What We Do Not See Eatman asked the group to find one individual that they do not work with on a regular basis for an exercise called “What We Do Not See.” In this team-building activity, partners looked at one another for two minutes without speaking and took note of the observations and assumptions they made about their partner. “Part of the work building community is being able to honestly share with those we are in community with,” Eatman noted. “Getting to the heart of community is moving through the use of our observations and assumptions as the only reality. Some of our work may be to create communities that allow room to discover who is beneath the facade we learn to put on for survival in institutions.” Some of the participants found this activity to be the most meaningful at the retreat. “I found this activity so significant because not only did I get to learn about another person, but I also gained a new tool to use in order to confront my own biases that I may have about people from now on,” said Isaiah Spencer-Williams, a civil engineering alumnus and rising graduate student. “As a community builder, I think building relationships and getting comfortable enough with people to have real conversations is a quintessential skill that a lot of people aren’t willing to invest into.” Eatman likened the dichotomy between diversity and inclusion to an hourglass, with “diversity” at the top and “inclusion” underneath. The bottleneck prohibiting the free flow of sand from one to the other was marked “share, respect, appreciate.” In order to navigate intercultural perspectives, he explained, we must pursue a shared goal, respect one another’s identity and appreciate cultural differences. “We have to be able to talk openly about diversity,” said Eatman. “We need to be soft on people, but hard on barriers to inclusion.” Building Communities and Ecosystems, Not Silos James R. Martin II, PhD, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering, also discussed building community, specifically how participants can work together as a team to pioneer a new educational paradigm. He discussed how higher education is being disrupted and how as a greater community, we need to determine what we value in education. “We are all a part of the same community to help solve these challenges,” he said. “Universities are supposed to be platforms of upward social mobility. By not investing in higher education, we are undervaluing the creation of new knowledge.” In order to thrive, he said, higher education must value diversity: “Diversity is critical because you need the gathered perspective that not one person has,” he said. “We must build communities and ecosystems in higher education, not silos.” “The dean’s presence made a positive impact on the participants,” says Wosu “Some participants felt the dean’s presence and his remarks on diversity and inclusion were some of the highlights of the event.” Breaking Barriers Medeva Ghee, PhD, executive director of the Leadership Alliance and an assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University, delivered the keynote address this year. Her talk, entitled “The Leadership Alliance: Removing Barriers to Accelerate the Diversification of the Research Workforce,” discussed the lack of diversity in academia and research communities, and the importance of addressing this concern. The Leadership Alliance, a national consortium of 35 institutions of higher education, provides programming to develop underrepresented students into thought leaders in academia and industry. Programs like this one, she explained, remove barriers that prevent underrepresented students from pursuing careers in academia and in research, such as workshops on how to market oneself for research careers, training activities for faculty to learn to recruit and retain diverse talent, and grant writing coaching groups to provide opportunity for junior faculty from minority-serving institutions to develop proposals to fund research. “These barriers are not new and have existed for decades,” said Sossena Wood, BSEE ‘11 PhD BioE ‘18, Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  “It becomes very discouraging at times but supportive networks like the Leadership Alliance allow us to have a community that is equally invested in our success.  As much as programs like the Leadership Alliance support the development of URM graduate students for post-graduate careers in academia and research, continual work and partnership must evolve to reform the environments in which we choose to work.” Ghee also led a workshop titled “Faculty as Change Agents: You Got This!” The workshop provided a toolkit that can promote institutional change in diversity and inclusion. Building a culture of change starts with collaboration, an ecosystem informed by a university-wide strategic plan and evidence-based programs. “My biggest takeaway from the retreat was that in order to continue to build an inclusive and integrated community in the Swanson School of Engineering, efforts like this need to be supported and mobilized,” says Spencer-Williams. “The dean often talks about being the pioneers of a new educational system, and I think having conversations surrounding not only inclusivity, but also realistic integration can help make that transition.” After Ghee’s keynote address, Eatman reconvened with the group to help them gather their thoughts and discuss their response to the topics that were addressed throughout the day. The group then recognized four former PITT STRIVE fellows with the Pacesetter Award: Brandon Jennings, MSCoE ‘16, PhD ECE ‘19; Harold Rickenbacker, PhD CEE ‘19; Florencio Serrano Castillo, PhD ChemE ‘19; and Dr. Wood. The award honors them for serving as a role model in the PITT STRIVE community and for their commitment to the success of underrepresented minority graduate students in the Swanson School. This year’s PITT STRIVE retreat enacted the “Five I’s of Inclusive Excellence” during its two-day run. The community got a chance to come together and solidify its identity. Attendees interacted with one another, asking tough questions and learning about one another’s experiences. The speakers revealed ways to get involved in creating a more inclusive culture and have a real impact on the environment at Pitt. ### Brandon Jennings, PhDJennings, a senior system engineer for Raytheon in Tucson, Ariz., was the first PITT STRIVE Fellow to graduate from the program. He participated in numerous programs encouraging diversity in STEM, teaching robotics for three years for the INVESTING NOW program at Pitt. Jennings published six papers and won several awards during his time at Swanson, including K. Leroy Irvis Fellowship, the AGEP/PITT-STRIVE Fellowship and Chuck Cooper Foundation Scholarship. Harold Rickenbacker, PhDRickenbacker enrolled in the Pre-PhD Program offered by the Office of Diversity at Swanson in 2014. During his time at Swanson, he was awarded the Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement’s Partnerships of Distinction Award in 2019, the National Science Foundation Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Scholar Grant Supplement Award in 2018, the Climate & Urban Systems Partnership: Research Grant in 2017, the Mascaro Center for Innovation Grant Award in 2016, and the Heinz Endowments Next Oxygen-eration Grant Award in 2015. He published six papers, two of which list him as first author. Florencio Serrano Castillo, PhDSerrano Castillo joined the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at Pitt as a PITT STRIVE Fellow in 2014. While earning his doctorate, Serrano Castillo was first author on two peer-reviewed publications and presented his work at several national and international conferences. He joined Fourth Rivers Consulting, where he participated in several engagements for healthcare startups in the Pittsburgh area. He was also part of the winning team of the Pitt Challenge Healthcare Hackathon. Serrano Castillo served two years as vice president of the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association, two years as the Chemical Engineering Department Representative to the Engineering Graduate Student Organization, and one year as the Graduate Student Representative for Pitt SHPE. Serrano Castillo will be starting a new role in industry as a clinical research scientist with Amgen at the Clinical Pharmacology, Modeling and Simulations division, developing system pharmacology models for the development of large molecule therapeutics for various indications. Sossena Wood, PhDWood is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow within the Biomedical Engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University. As she earned her doctorate in bioengineering at Pitt, she was a PITT STRIVE Fellow and a  K. Leroy Irvis and National GEM Consortium Fellow. Additionally, Wood won a number of awards, including being one of the University of Pittsburgh’s Rising Afriacan American Leaders, the National Institutes of Health F31 award, the New Pittsburgh Courier’s FAB 40, NSBE’s 2017 Mike Shinn Distinguished Member of the Year award, and Professional Women’s Network award. She served two terms as the National Chairperson of the National Society of Black Engineers. She is committed to engaging and empowering underrepresented youth to pursue STEM degrees locally and globally.
Maggie Pavlick and Leah Russell
Aug
23
2019

Five Pitt engineering faculty capture nearly $3 million in total NSF CAREER awards for 2018/2019

Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, MEMS, Diversity

PITTSBURGH (August 23, 2019) … Five faculty members from the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering have been named CAREER Award recipients by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Recognized as the NSF’s most competitive award for junior faculty, the grants total nearly $3 million in funding both for research and community engagement. The CAREER program “recognizes faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.” The five awards – one each in the departments of Bioengineering, Chemical and Petroleum, Civil and Environmental, Electrical and Computer, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science – ties the record from 2017 for the most received by Pitt and Swanson School faculty in a single NSF CAREER funding announcement. “Federal funding for academic research is extremely competitive, especially for faculty just beginning their academic careers. Receiving five prestigious NSF CAREER Awards in one cycle is a reflection of our winners’ distinctive research and support by their respective departments and the Swanson School,” noted David Vorp, PhD, the Swanson School’s Associate Dean for Research. He added, “Since a CAREER Award is also focused on community engagement, this is an opportunity for our faculty and their graduate students to promote STEM to children in the area, especially in underserved populations, and we will be working with them to develop impactful outreach programs.”Dr. Vorp also noted that the Swanson School’s recent success with CAREER awards can be attributed to a number of factors, including the School’s Center for Faculty Excellence, directed by Prof. Anne Robertson, and the CAREER writing group developed and run by Julie Myers-Irvin, PhD, the Swanson School’s Grants Developer. “Participating faculty acknowledge that the writing group focus on early preparation, group comradery, technical feedback, and discussions of grantsmanship practices attribute to more well-rounded proposals,” Dr. Myers-Irvin says.The award recipients include:Murat Akcakaya, Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, with Carla A. Mazefsky, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology ($550,000)Title:Toward a Biologically Informed Intervention for Emotionally Dysregulated Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (#1844885)Summary: Although clinical techniques are used to help patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) respond to stress and other factors, none are known to couple with technology that could monitor brain response in real time and provide the patient with feedback. Drs. Akcakaya and Mazefsky are developing a new intervention using electroencephalography (EEG)-guided, non-invasive brain-computer interface (BCI) technology could complement clinical treatments and improve emotion regulation in people with ASD.Dr. Akcakaya will also develop courses related to the research and outreach activities to promote STEM and ASD research to K-12 populations and the broader public. Outreach will focus especially on individuals with ASD, their families, and caretakers. Susan Fullerton, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering ($540,000)Title:Scaling Electrolytes to a Single Monolayer for Low-Power Ion-Gated Electronics with Unconventional Characteristics (#1847808)Summary: Two-dimensional (2D) materials are being explored for their exciting new physics that can impart novel functionalities in application spaces such as information storage, neuromorphic computing, and hardware security. Dr. Fullerton and her group invented a new type of ion-containing material, or electrolyte, which is only a single molecule thick. This “monolayer electrolyte” will ultimately introduce new functions that can be used by the electronic materials community to explore the fundamental properties of new semiconductor materials and to increase storage capacity, decrease power consumption, and vastly accelerate processing speed.The NSF award will support a PhD student and postdoctoral researcher, as well as an outreach program to inspire curiosity and engagement of K-12 and underrepresented students in materials for next-generation electronics. Specifically, Dr. Fullerton has developed an activity where students can watch the polymer electrolytes used in this study crystallize in real-time using an inexpensive camera attached to a smart phone or iPad. The CAREER award will allow Dr. Fullerton to provide this microscope to classrooms so that the teachers can continue exploring with their students. Tevis Jacobs, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science ($500,000)Title:Understanding Nanoparticle Adhesion to Guide the Surface Engineering of Supporting Structures (#1844739) Summary: Although far thinner than a human hair, metal nanoparticles play an important role in advanced industries and technologies from electronics and pharmaceuticals to catalysts and sensors. Nanoparticles can be as small as ten atoms in diameter, and their small size makes them especially susceptible to coarsening with continued use, which reduces functionality and degrades performance. Dr. Jacobs will utilize electron microscopy to develop new methods to measure the attachment and stability of nanoparticles on surfaces under various conditions, allowing researchers to enhance both surfaces and nanoparticles in tandem to work more effectively together.Additionally, Dr. Jacobs and his lab group will engage with the University of Pittsburgh School of Education and a local elementary school to create and nationally disseminate surface engineering-focused curricular units for sixth- to eighth-grade students and professional development training modules for teachers. Carla Ng, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering ($500,000)Title:Harnessing biology to tackle fluorinated alkyl substances in the environment (#1845336) Summary: Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made chemicals that are useful in a variety of industries because of their durability, but do not naturally break down in the environment or human body. Because of their useful oil- and water-repellent properties, PFAS are used in many consumer products, industrial processes, and in firefighting foams, but unfortunately, their manufacturing and widespread use has contributed to the undesired release of these chemicals into the environment. With evidence showing that PFAS may have adverse effects on human health, Dr. Ng wants to further investigate the potential impacts of these chemicals and identify ways to remove them from the environment. She plans to elevate K-12 and undergraduate education through the use of collaborative model-building in a game-like environment. Dr. Ng in particular will utilize the agent-based modeling language NetLogo, a freely available and accessible model-building tool that can be equally powerful for cutting edge research or for students exploring new STEM concepts in science and engineering. Gelsy Torres-Oviedo, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering ($805,670)Title: Novel human-in-the loop approach to increase locomotor learning Summary: Many stroke survivors who suffer from impaired gait benefit from rehabilitation using robotics. Unfortunately, motor improvements following training are not maintained in the patient’s daily life. Dr. Torres-Oviedo hypothesizes that some of these individuals have difficulty perceiving their asymmetric movement, and she will use this project to characterize this deficit and indicate if split-belt walking - in which the legs move at different speeds - can correct it. Her lab will track how patients with brain lesions perceive asymmetries in their gait. They will then measure how their perception is adjusted once their movements are adapted in the split-belt environment. In the second part of this study, the lab will use these data and a unique method to manipulate how people perceive their movement and create the illusion of error-free performance during split-belt walking. The goal is for the changes in their movements to be sustained in the patient’s daily life. Dr. Torres-Oviedo will also use this project as a way to increase the participation of students from underrepresented minorities (URM) in science and engineering. She will recruit, mentor, and prepare URM students from K-12 and college to pursue advanced education, with the ultimate goal of broadening the professional opportunities for this population. ###

Jul
19
2019

ChemE Assistant Professor Susan Fullerton featured in Penn State Engineering's alumni magazine

Chemical & Petroleum, Diversity

Susan Fullerton, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, was featured in the spring/summer 2019 issue of Engineering Penn State, the magazine of the Penn State College of Engineering. View her spotlight on page 38.

Jun
28
2019

Two Swanson School Alumni Elected to Pitt's Board of Trustees

Civil & Environmental, MEMS, Diversity, Office of Development & Alumni Affairs

PITTSBURGH (June 28, 2019) ... The University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees elected five new trustees during its annual meeting on Friday, June 28. The new members, all distinguished Pitt alumni, bring to the board a range of experience that spans decades in industry and public service. The five new trustees are: Robert O. Agbede (ENGR ’79 G ’81) SaLisa L. Berrien (ENGR ’91) Sundaa Bridgett-Jones (GSPIA ’95) Wen-Ta Chiu (GSPH ’89) Adam C. Walker (A&S ’09) Their terms are effective July 1. The board also re-elected Eva Tansky Blum to her fifth and final term as chair of the board, a position she has held since 2015. Thomas E. Richards, a long-serving Pitt trustee and executive chair of the board of directors for the technology services corporation CDW, was named chair-elect of the University’s Board of Trustees. In this capacity, he will become chair after Blum’s final term, which will conclude in June 2020. The board also nominated Richards, Vaughn Clagette, James Covert and John Verbanac to serve on the UPMC Board of Directors. Biographical information for the new members follows:Robert O. Agbede currently serves as vice chair of Hatch USA, a global management, engineering and development consulting firm. He is the former CEO and owner of Chester Engineers, which merged with Hatch Ltd., in 2017. Agbede built Chester Engineers into one of the largest African American owned water/wastewater, energy and environmental engineering firms in the United States. There, he developed a work culture that emphasizes the importance of giving back and viewing corporate social responsibility as good business. He has earned several awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year—Business Services, the Minority Enterprise Development Agency’s Minority Small Business Award and the NAACP Homer S. Brown Award. In 2000, Agbede was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Swanson School of Engineering, where he is currently a member of the Board of Visitors and chair of its Diversity Committee. Agbede helped establish several mentorship and scholarship opportunities at the Swanson School, including the Robert O. Agbede Scholarship for African American students pursuing engineering degrees, as well as the Robert O. Agbede Annual Diversity Award to encourage recruitment and retention of African American faculty and students. In 2009, the University’s African American Alumni Council presented him with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement in Business. SaLisa L. Berrien is the founder and CEO of COI Energy and has more than 25 years of experience in the electric power and smart grid space, working in areas ranging from vertically integrated utility companies to an energy service company on smart grid, clean tech and big data analytics. Berrien is also founder and board chair of STRIVE Inc., a charitable organization that focuses on STEM leadership development training for students in grades three through 12. In 2013, she established COI Ladder Institute to focus on delivering leadership and empowerment services to millennials and women. In 2004, Berrien established the Karl H. Lewis Engineering Impact Alumni Fund for Pitt students of underrepresented groups enrolled in engineering. She later elsewhere established, in honor of her aunt, the Talibah M. Yazid Academic Excellence scholarship for college-bound high school seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or greater. Berrien has earned service awards from the City of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Lehigh University; the National Society of Black Engineers and the YMCA. She is also the recipient of the Allentown Human Relations Commission Human Relations Award and the National Society of Negro Women Mary Jackson Engineering Award. Sundaa Bridgett-Jones leads the Rockefeller Foundation’s support for policy innovations to help solve pressing international development issues, including achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. She has more than 20 years of experience designing and executing global initiatives and public-private partnerships. Between 2010 and 2012, Bridgett-Jones led the Office of Policy, Planning and Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in groundbreaking advocacy on internet and religious freedoms and served as a member of the White House National Security Staff interagency committee. She previously managed C-suite affairs at the U.N. Department of Political Affairs, working on preventive diplomacy plans in South Asia. Bridgett-Jones launched the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative at Princeton University to encourage talented women and men to enter public service. She has taken on lead roles with Global Kids, an organization that develops youth leaders for the global stage. She also serves as a member of the Board of Visitors for Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Wen-Ta Chiu serves as a co-CEO of California-based AHMC Healthcare Inc., a hospital and health system committed to improving access to health care services for the most vulnerable members of the San Gabriel, California, community. In 2011, Chiu was appointed Minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taiwan. During nearly four years of service, he successfully implemented the second-generation National Health Insurance, along with many other health policies. He also led the ministry through several public health crises in Taiwan. Prior to his appointment as minister, Chiu led the successful growth of Taipei Medical University, a world-class medical university and hospital system. Chiu is an accomplished traumatic brain injury researcher who has made significant leadership contributions in public health through the Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium, the Academy for Multidisciplinary Neurotraumatology, the Taiwan Neurotrauma Society and the Asia Oceania Neurotrauma Society. His numerous career honors include earning the Contribution Award for Public Health from the Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium, distinction as a Distinguished Alumnus of Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health and the University’s Legacy Laureate Award. Adam C. Walker is CEO of Summit Packaging Solutions, a leading global supply chain firm, taking the helm in 2014 and applying nearly 20 years of industry expertise to set in motion an accelerated growth strategy. Walker previously co-founded Homestead Packaging Solutions, overseeing facilities in Tennessee and Michigan and garnering industry recognition such as the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council’s Supplier of the Year and the U.S. Department of Commerce–MBDA Manufacturer of the Year. Walker was a National Football League player for seven consecutive seasons, beginning and ending his career with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1990 and 1996, respectively. From 1991 until 1995, he played for the San Francisco 49ers, including the 1994 Super Bowl championship team. Walker has earned the Atlanta Tribune Men of Distinction award and recognition as a New Pittsburgh Courier Men of Excellence honoree. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council and as a member of Procter & Gamble’s Supplier Advisory Council. # # #
Kevin Zwick, University of Pittsburgh News

Diversity
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