Pitt students visit State Capitol


Jeremy Wang | Contributing Editor

Students who attended Pitt Day in Harrisburg were treated to tours of the capitol, sit-down conversations with elected officials and a career-advice panel with Pitt alumni who work in the state government.

By Neena Hagen, Senior Staff Writer

Dozens of Pitt students boarded buses at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday to attend Pitt’s annual Day in Harrisburg.

After a three-hour ride to Pennsylvania’s State Capitol Building, students were treated to tours of the building, sit-down conversations with elected officials and a career-advice panel with Pitt alumni who work in the state government.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, who tagged along for the event, said he was excited for students to bring their school spirit to government officials.

“It’s great to be in Harrisburg with so many members of our Pitt community,” Gallagher tweeted Tuesday morning. “Looking forward to meeting with state leaders throughout the day and discussing why #WithPitt #PAwins.”

Many student groups got to meet with state leaders. Student representatives from Pitt’s Community Engagement Center spoke with state Rep. Ed Gainey about the importance of teaching inclusive history and how Pitt can diversify its courses and extracurricular offerings to meet this goal.

“Talking to these representatives … makes it really clear how the work we’re doing really matters,” Rosie Hogan, sophomore community assistant with the CEC, said.

Students also engaged in a career chat with Pitt alumni who now work at the Capitol, including Gladys Brown, a public utility commissioner, and Matt Franchak, chief of staff for state Sen. Larry Farnese. Brown and Franchak both discussed their careers as public servants, appealing to the many politically oriented students in attendance.

But it wasn’t only political science students who showed up. The East Wing of the lower level of was peppered with poster boards with Pitt graduate and honors students showing off their research. Among those students was Kelsey Voltz, a graduate occupational therapy student, who presented her research in occupational therapy for people with disabilities.

Gallagher said the event was for anyone who wanted to show their passion for Pitt and thanked everyone who came.

“I say this often but our alumni, students, faculty and staff are our best advocates and we couldn’t do [Pitt Day in Harrisburg] without your support,” Gallagher tweeted.