Pitt recognized for local, global engagement efforts


Kaycee Orwig | Senior Staff Photographer

The Global Hub is an open space on the first floor of Posvar Hall which provides students with a place to gather and study with a focus on the global perspective.

By Martha Layne, Assistant News Editor

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities recently honored Pitt with two awards — its Gold Level Award for Global Engagement and the Innovation and Economic Prosperity “Place” award.

The University was granted the Innovation and Economic Prosperity award for its efforts in community, social and economic development, specifically through its Community Engagement Center in Homewood.

The CEC, a 20,000-square-foot space, is home to programs that bring the Pitt and Homewood communities together by promoting innovation and economic prosperity. Programs include career information sessions, after school programs for K-12 students and small business consulting sessions.

Kathy Humphrey, the senior vice chancellor for engagement and secretary to the Board of Trustees, said Pitt “strives to be an institution that strengthens our communities.”

“I am immensely proud of the work that we are doing as an institution to make a difference,” Humphrey said. “And I am thrilled that the APLU has deemed it fitting to honor the University of Pittsburgh for the meaningful and impactful engagements and collaborations we’re forging with our partners in the Pittsburgh community.”

The University was granted the Global Engagement award because of its programs and opportunities for international and domestic students, faculty and staff and the community to “embrace the world,” according to John Stoner, executive director of academic affairs at the University Center for International Studies.

Peter McPherson, president of the APLU, said Pitt was a leading example of internationalization in a global environment.

“Internationalization of campuses is critically important to the success of students and our universities,” McPherson said. “The pandemic is creating new challenges to advancing global learning, research, engagement, but also new opportunities.”

Stoner said there are three programs that exemplify Pitt’s work in global engagement:

  • Pitt to You matches Pitt students with incoming international students to provide mentorship both before and after students arrive to campus.
  • The Global Hub is an open space on the first floor of Posvar Hall that provides students with a place to gather and study with a focus on the global perspective. The area features the Engagement Wall, an interactive touch screen where, after answering a series of questions, the student can discover internationally themed courses, clubs and activities that may be of interest to them.
  • The Global Competence Certificate Program just graduated its first class of participants this fall and is part of Pitt’s Faculty and Staff Development Program. The program gives participants the opportunity to learn about diverse cultures and University policies surrounding diversity.

Additionally, Pitt hosts the mid-Atlantic coordinating site for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia, covering 11 states. The University, in partnership with local ethnic societies, hosts cultural events and festivals for students, faculty and the community. Pitt also has teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University to provide mini-courses on global themes to both students and the public.

Provost Ann Cudd said she is proud to see Pitt’s efforts in global engagement recognized by an outside organization like the APLU.

“The University of Pittsburgh is committed to educating students who are world-ready — able to navigate the complexities of both their professional and personal lives with a global awareness and perspective,” Cudd said. “It is a great honor to be recognized by the APLU for our efforts.”