The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Opinion | I graduate in two weeks — a thank you to my best friend
Opinion | I graduate in two weeks — a thank you to my best friend
By Nada Abdulaziz, Staff Writer • 12:57 am

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Opinion | I graduate in two weeks — a thank you to my best friend
Opinion | I graduate in two weeks — a thank you to my best friend
By Nada Abdulaziz, Staff Writer • 12:57 am

Darris Means named executive director for rural and community-based education

Darris+Means+poses+for+a+photo.
Photo by Aimee Obidzinski/Pitt Photography
Darris Means poses for a photo.

Darris Means, an associate professor in the School of Education, is now Pitt’s first executive director for rural and community-based education. 

Means, who arrived at Pitt in 2020 and since then has racked up accolades including joining the Rural Education Association’s executive committee, said his passion for rural education comes from his belief that people learn from each other.

“We have a lot to learn from people who have expertise because of a lived experience,” Means said. “I collaborate with students as co-researchers to investigate issues that are impacting their lives. And every time I do, I learn so much. And I leave with a sense of being very hopeful for the possibilities.” 

Means began his research while pursuing a doctorate in 2010, and since then has pivoted to looking for ways to solve issues that frequently affect Black rural youth from entering into higher education. 

“There are critical structural issues that we need to pay attention to when we talk about rurality, but at the same time, we can never forget the humanity and the assets and resources that people from rural communities bring with them,” Means said

Since he was named executive director in January, Means created a group of Pitt stakeholders who want to discuss and solve problems rural students face, and has spent time talking to rural students at Pitt to understand their lived perspectives as well.

About the Contributor
Ryleigh Lord, News Editor
Ryleigh Lord is the head news editor at The Pitt News. She is a junior history and English writing major with an Irish minor. She also contributes to the culture desk, mostly to talk about the shows and movies she loves. In her free time, she's usually cheering on Arsenal WFC despite their best efforts to break her spirit. You can contact her at [email protected]