Pitt-Johnstown "Being Human" Conference

This event will make visible how the humanities have added significant value to Pitt graduates and to the Pittsburgh and Western/Central PA community. A symposium at Pitt-Johnstown will offer cross-disciplinary workshops, keynote speakers, and an awards dinner that address how professional schools learn from the humanities and vice versa.

Students and faculty from a broad range of schools will participate in cross-disciplinary activities. For example, two UPJ faculty members will present their recent co-published research on how psychological theories of cognitive processing can be used to teach communication students about diversity. And two Pitt-Johnstown humanities graduates, Mallory Sikora and Christian Woo, will lead a workshop on how their humanities education added value to their professional plans. Plans are also underway for professional program faculty and students to discuss how collaboratively studying the arts and humanities improves creativity and innovation in their fields. For example, Pitt-Johnstown nursing students could discuss how a required public speaking course specially designed for health-care careers is useful.

Several high-profile Pitt-Alums working professional regional jobs will deliver short addresses. Themes will include how their liberal arts degrees from Pitt-Johnstown added significant value to their professional positions. Pitt-Johnstown graduate Donald Bertschman from Highmark in Pittsburgh, Bachelor of Arts in Composite Writing and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Georgia, will discuss how his success working at an information technology job was largely dependent on his collaborative education. Pitt-Johnstown graduate Sara Factor Mineiro, Korean Specialist with the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy in Washington D.C., Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, will talk about how her humanities training led her to a high ranking governmental position. Patricia Sharpe, Pitt-Johnstown graduate in English, will discuss how her humanities training prepared her for her position as Librarian at Hillman Library. And Paula Carlson, Pitt-Joh nstown graduate, will speak about how her humanities education helped her land a position working for NYPD's Disaster Preparation Unit.

A “Pitt-Johnstown Being Human” award will honor several students in professional degree programs. The process will begin with a campus-wide call for nominations. Entries will be 1-2 page essays that provide evidence of how the research/educational activities of the student’s professional-degree progress embraces the humanities. For example, someone may wish to nominate a psychology student with a music minor who volunteers at the local high school teaching violin lessons to middle-school students. The nominations will be blind reviewed by an awards committee. Plaques and a medal to worn with academic regalia will be awarded to the winners. The winners would also be invited to participate on a student panel earlier in the day.

This event is also sponsored by Pitt-Johnstown's Office of Academic Affairs, Humanities Division, and Natural Sciences Division. For more information, contact Dr. Krisen Majocha at klynn@pitt.edu or Dr. John Mullennix at mullenni@pitt.edu.


Saturday, October 10, 2015 -
9:30am to 2:30pm

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Location and Address

Blackington Hall