The big names: people to know at Pitt

By Jacob Mraz, Staff Writer

Let’s face it, these first few weeks on campus are likely to be a whirlwind. Right now students are more worried about getting IDs, figuring out where classes are and making friends than remembering a name they briefly heard at orientation. Luckily, The Pitt News is here to give everyone a rundown on faculty and student organization heads students need to know. Consider this the guide to who’s who at Pitt.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher

The chancellor is primarily responsible for maintaining the University’s image and relationship with its local community, as well as facilitating a safe environment for students. Gallagher announced in April that he would step down from his role as chancellor — a position he’s held since 2014 — with plans to return to the classroom as a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the summer of 2023.

Gallagher received his doctorate in physics from Pitt in 1991 and was appointed by President Barack Obama to direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2009.

Ann Cudd, provost and senior vice chancellor 

The provost acts as the University’s chief academic officer, and is responsible for developing and implementing various academic programs and initiatives, such as Pitt’s Success Pell Match Grant, which doubles students’ Pell Grant money at Pitt. Students will likely get a lot of emails from the provost’s office about surveys and important news around campus.

Prior to 2018, Cudd served as Boston University’s Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She holds a doctorate in philosophy as well as two master’s degrees in philosophy and economics from Pitt.

Kenyon R. Bonner, vice provost for student affairs 

The student affairs office is led by Bonner and facilitates campus inclusivity, diversity programs as well as ensuring a welcoming social environment. The primary and most important goal of the office is educating and assisting the whole student — not just the one in the classroom.

Prior to 2021, Bonner served as Pitt’s Dean of Students and has worked at the University since 2004. He holds a doctorate of education in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in counseling from Kent State. 

Carla Panzella, Dean of Students

The Dean of Students oversees student resources, from admissions to social and professional programs such as the Career Center, PITT ARTS, new student programs and student life services on campus.

Prior to being named the new dean in Aug. 2021, Panzella served as Dean of Students for Salem State University in Massachusetts where she led numerous organizations such as athletics and student orientation. She holds a doctorate in higher education from Seton Hall and a masters in organizational psychology from Columbia University.

Clyde Wilson Pickett, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion

A graduate of Pitt’s School of Education in 2017, Pickett is responsible for creating a welcome, inclusive and safe environment for students, faculty and staff. His selection coincided with a 2020 push by Black student organizations for more representation and inclusivity within the University.

Before coming to Pitt, Pickett was the chief diversity officer for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System and the Community College of Allegheny County.

Ahmed Ghuman, interim director of University Counseling Center

Previously led by Jay Darr, who stepped down in March 2022 after 3 years, the University Counseling Center offers an array of services for student mental health from a 24-hour crisis response line to group and individual counseling sessions. The UCC has worked to eliminate wait lists, develop a more diverse staff and implement a Higher Education Assessment and Response Team (HEART) for students in distress since 2019.

Interim director Ghuman is a clinical psychologist who focuses on inclusivity and promoting cultural humility and collaboration with his staff. Ghuman earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and holds a master’s in business administration from La Salle University.

Leigh Culley, director of disability resources and services (DRS)

Under the umbrella of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, DRS is responsible for students with disabilities within undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs and seeks to create an accommodating environment for faculty and staff at the University.

Culley, director since 2015, holds a master’s degree in school counseling from Pitt.

Danielle Floyd, SGB president

Following spring elections, Floyd won the Student Government Board presidency with 59.09% of the vote.

As SGB President, Floyd will represent Pitt students in meetings with faculty and administration for the 2022-2023 school year. Floyd, a rising senior economics major, is an advocate for student mental health services and aims to create a safe and open learning environment for underrepresented students at Pitt.