Current e-Newsletter

SAC newsletter - April 2014

Medical Benefits:
SAC Brown Bag Series

Learn about Medical Benefits at the Staff Association Council’s next installment of the Brown Bag Series. Bring your lunch and learn from John Kozar, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Benefits.

                                                     Topic: Medical Benefits
                                                     Date: April 17th, 2014 (Thursday)
                                                     Time: 12:00-1:00pm
                                                     Where: William Pitt Union Assembly Room
Click here to register!

Mark your calendars for upcoming Brown Bag Series topics.  Registration links will be available as the dates approach.

May 20th, 2014 (Tuesday) WPU Assembly Room  Stress Management/Mindfulness

Questions?  Please do not hesitate to call 412-624-4236 or email

Forward to Friend
Follow on Twitter

SAC Represents You, the
Staff Member

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about any part of your experience as a Pitt staff member, please contact SAC at or 412-624-4236.  You can always visit our website.  We want to hear from you. 
SAC in the Times
Elections will be electronic
-March General Meeting

Cybersecurity takes everyone
-Spring Assembly

FY13 report shows full-time staff numbers lowest at Pitt in 6 years
-Comments by Rich Colwell, President

Staff urged to make Harrisburg trip
-February General Meeting



For Staff

A number of contracted suppliers have extended discounts to staff.  First Energy is one such vendor. Receive exclusive discounts on your energy bill. Friends and family are also able to get the discount since you work for Pitt!
The discounts don't stop there for staff.  Additional products with Personal Purchase Discounts include:
Cell Phones and Service
Computer Supplies
Office Supplies
Utilities, Electricity

Click for more details!  Vendors marked "yes" to PPD on the spreadsheet provide discounts to Pitt staff!

$50 off iPads for Pitt Staff

The University Store on Fifth is selling iPad 2, iPad Retina, and iPad mini to staff for $50 off. Click on the logo for more details.

University-Wide Food Drive

From the University Times:

This year’s Pitt food drive, conducted in partnership with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, will run April 1-30.

Collection bins will be set in major buildings throughout the Pittsburgh campus. An online donation link also will be available. All Pitt donations are matched by Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.

The most highly sought after items are cereal (low sugar, high fiber); canned tuna or salmon packed in water; canned fruit packed in  water or 100 percent juice; canned beans; peanut butter; hand soap/toiletries; toilet/facial tissue; laundry detergent; adult or infant diapers, and canned vegetables (low or no sodium).

Food drive updates and additional details are available on the Community and Governmental Relations Facebook page.


Thank you for your contributions to our March Food Collection!  Donated items benefited the Oakland Community Food Pantry.  
Congratulations to the 16 Bradford staff members honored for your years of service! Thank you for your commitment!
SAC Member Profile: Meet Fiona!
Fiona Seels is a Systems Administrator for the School of Education’s Technology Department.  She started working for Pitt as a graduate assistant in the Library Archives in 1996.  Fiona’s mother was a faculty member at Pitt.  She says that it seems as if she’s always been here.  “I remember, vividly, drawing with chalk as a child on the patio of what is now the Information Science building.”
Currently, Fiona is responsible for most of the School of Education’s data and reporting which includes working with PeopleSoft, the Data Warehouse, the Student Mart, etc.   She also assists their Help Desk with Mac support and questions related to video.  In addition, Fiona works with the Teacher Certification programs to expose the certification students on how to use technology in K-12 classrooms.
When did she join SAC and what committee is she a part of?   Fiona has been a member of SAC since August, 2013.  Currently, she is the Vice Chair of the External Relations Committee and the coordinator of the Brown Bag Lunch series.
Why did you join SAC?  Fiona says, “I’m very interested in training and professional development…I first thought to get involved after attending the Spring Technology Assembly last year.  I like that SAC has venues to provide Pitt staff information, recreation, and opportunities for community building.”
What does she like best about SAC?  She says that she loves being able to meet people from across the university.  She also says that she enjoys playing a role in helping to get information out to staff across the university through the Brown Bag Series and the SAC Newsletter.
What is her vision on how SAC can impact the University?  “I think that staff members fill so many important roles in the context of this institution.  I would hope that SAC gives the staff a voice with the University at-large and the opportunity to actively participate in its evolution.  I also hope that SAC can help increase opportunities for staff to learn, grow and advance at Pitt and in the community.  I think one of the greatest things that SAC can do is help staff network across departments.  It’s very easy to dwell in little administrative bubbles because Pitt is so large.  It’s really useful to learn how other people do things to help you be critical about your own processes and environment.” 


Wellness Challenge

The Pittsburgh Business Group on Health has invited the University of Pittsburgh to participate in their STEP UP, STEP OUT Corporate Wellness Challenge using the American Heart Association's Start! Walking Program and we want you to join us! The 10 week challenge runs from April 2 - June 10.  Click Here for additional information regarding registration and tracking your progress.
Take a Walk in Schenley Park!
Enjoy our neighborhood!

Situated in the heart of Oakland, Schenley Park has come to be Pittsburgh’s civic park.  Created in 1889 with land donated by heiress Mary Schenley, the park now contains 456 acres of trails, woods, and attractions. 

Enjoy one of the gems of our Oakland neighborhood by taking a walk through Schenley Park on your lunch or come back on the weekend!  Download the Parks Conservancy App to find trails, off-leash dog parks, or even bathrooms!

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Map of Schenley Park
Calendar of Events


Pitt Police want to make sure that you are prepared for the worst.  
Schedule a training session today!


Active shooter training can save lives as those on location play the most crucial role.  Casualties often occur at the onset, prior to law enforcement even being notified.  What is your plan and what are your options?  When trained, you have a better chance of survival by having already considered when to evacuate vs. when to barricade or hide.  You understand the importance of remaining calm and quiet, silencing cell phones, turning off the lights, lock doors, etc.  You feel empowered as you have practiced how to fight back aggressively if your life is at risk.  Active shooters are expecting little resistance from the group – when you show aggression or you have learned techniques of how to disarm someone with a handgun or how to cause the gun to malfunction, you quickly change the situation. 
Be as prepared as you can be.  Review the “RUN HIDE FIGHT” video from the city of Houston on Pitt’s Police website.  Please talk to your department management to arrange a training session and contact Commander Ellies at 412-624-4040 or  He will custom design a training session to meet your needs.


Next SAC General Meeting

SAC General Meetings are the second Wednesday of every month.  The next general meeting for SAC will take place on April 9th at noon in the William Pitt Union Ballroom. Everyone is welcome to attend.  Each meeting begins with a 15 minute session closed to SAC members only, however.

Donate to the SAC Book Fund!

Please consider donating to the Staff Association Council Book Fund electronically and via payroll deduction.  The Staff Association Council was able to award 5 $500 book scholarships thanks in part to contributions by other staff members.  Please consider a donation in any amount, as every dollar goes to rewarding the hard work of children of Pitt staff members.  You can have the donation withdrawn directly from your pay.  Please 
email with questions. Thank you for your consideration and generosity!  
Subscribe to the SAC newsletter!
participates in 
Pitt Day in Harrisburg

Staff Association Council members met with state legislators and policy makers to tell them about our Pitt experience and ask them to prioritize funding for higher education.

SAC Officers and others with Emeritus Trustee Roger Glunt and fellow Trustee, State Senator Jay Costa.
Honorable Paul Clymer, State Rep. and Chair of the House Education Committee, wearing his SAC pin at the reception

SAC President Rich Colwell with ROC and Chancellor Mark Nordenberg


SAC Spring Assembly
Technology Fair

Thanks to all who attended our Spring Assembly on Technology!

Copies of the presentations by CSSD are available on their website.

  • How a Cloud Can Brighten Your Day: Work and Collaborate More Efficiently with
  • Turn “How do I?” into “Now I get it!”: Find the Answers with Online Technology Training  
  • Make it a Great Day at the Office: Essential Tips and Tricks for Office 2013 and Outlook 2013
  • At Your Service: Learn How to Put Our Technology Services to Work for You
  • Is it Safe to Click? Spot Security Threats and Learn How to Protect Your Computer
Chad Hilton has also shared his presentation: Top 10 Student Records Mysteries Solved

Read the article from the University Times' coverage of Jinx Walton's keynote presentation.

March Brown Bag Series: Flexible Spending
The Staff Association Council hosted a Brown Bag event discussing Flexible Spending in late March at the William Pitt Union.  The 65 attendees were educated on the importance of looking toward the future financially and their retirement contribution options.  We would like to thank Dana Osborne from UPMC and Jen Mihelcic from Benefits for speaking at the event.  

These links are provided for your information:
Pitt HR Flexible Spending Accounts
UPMC MyFlex Website

Having trouble keeping up with your New Year's Resolution?  You're not the only one.  Life Solutions can help.

“I’ve lost some weight and I’m exercising a little more over the past couple months as one of my New Year’s resolutions. But I’m losing steam and having trouble staying motivated. This may be outside of what you all do, but I’m looking for any help I can get!”
First of all, congratulations! It’s important to recognize your success and reward yourself (in non-food ways!) for progress toward your goals. And yes, we can help. Supporting people to achieve their health and wellness goals is part of LifeSolutions’ mission! Getting stuck and feeling unsure about how to deal with obstacles is a normal occurrence. One of the key things LifeSolutions does is connect people to resources. Our counselors can help you find community programs that specialize in weight management and explore resources through your health insurance for a personal health coach or other support programs. Additionally, we partner with you to address emotional or relationship challenges that are getting in the way of your progress – for example, struggles with depression or with a spouse/partner who is non-supportive and may even sabotage your efforts. Call us at 1-888-647-3432 to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors. It’s free and confidential. Also, there are many online resources through our website.
We want to support you in maintaining a healthier lifestyle!

Read Pitt's first annual report on sustainability.  Read about the technological initiatives as well as the basic conservation principles that Pitt has adapted to lead the effort in sustainability.  

Spring Supplier Show 2014
Thursday, April 3 10:30am-2:30pm
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Ballroom

*Meet with suppliers and program leaders for insight into green product lines and sustainability programs.
*Consult with a supplier about a specific product or program.
*Celebrate supplier diversity: Certified Small Businesses, Minority Owned Businesses, and Veteran-Owned Businesses will be in attendance.
*Attend an interesting presentation.
*Enjoy lunch, giveaways, and door prize drawings.
*Join others in a festive atmosphere while celebrating diversity & sustainability.

Click here for a schedule of events and more details.

Love your job but hate your commute?
Consider vanpool.

Check out how your fellow co-workers are sharing their ride and the costs of commuting:
Angie, coordinator for vanpool group V203 from Murrysville: “Riding the van saves you gas money, parking fees and the day to day frustration of traffic…Our van riders save their cars 10,000 miles of wear and tear a year by riding the van.”
Mary Beth rides in V214 from Weirton: “I used to drive by myself and about 5 years ago, I gave the [CommuteInfo] program a try. I was paying almost 500 dollars a month in gas, the cheapest place to park was 60 dollars a month, I bought a new set of tires every year which were about 400 dollars and I would get my car serviced every 6 weeks and then it was 25 dollars for an oil change (every 6 weeks)! … riding the [CommuteInfo] van…It is a huge savings.”
Fellow V214 rider, Brigitte says:  “We all know that when driving and you have to sit in traffic how annoying it can be especially after a long day at work.”
So what is a vanpool?  A vanpool is a group of 7 to 15 people who commute together but do not necessarily work in the same location. Vanpools typically travel more than 15 miles one way and only have one scheduled trip into work and back home per day.
The vans used for vanpooling are specially customized for the riders comfort.  The vanpool vehicles are leased directly to the group.  The lease payment includes maintenance, insurance, and use of a replacement vehicle in case of breakdown. 
Currently, there are 10 vanpool groups providing commuters rides to campus Monday through Friday.  The list below shows all the groups, their starting location as well as commuting times.  In most cases, the groups have seats available.  Groups V203 and V214 are actively seeking new riders to join their groups (in anticipation of upcoming rider retirements).
Don’t see your commute listed?  Contact CommuteInfo and they will be happy to help new groups get started.
Van Starting Arrival Departure
V202 Latrobe 750 A 430 P
V203 Murrysville 815 A 500 P
V205 New Kensington 800 A 500 P
V208 Evans City 800 A 500 P
V210 Vandergrift 715 A 430 P
V212 West Newton 740 A 430 P
V214 Steubenville 730 A 445 P
V215 Irwin 745 A 435 P
V216 Greensburg 800 A 450 P
V218 Butler 830 A 500 P
The University’s Parking Office provides free parking spaces for the vanpool vehicles, and courtesy parking for all participants for those days when the riders absolutely have to drive in.  In addition, the CommuteInfo program provides an Emergency Ride Home service to reimburse vanpool participants when they have to leave for an emergency during the workday.
The CommuteInfo program also helps coordinate carpools, bikepools and provides information on park-n-ride facilities.  If you are interested in joining one of the existing vans, starting a new one, or learning more about CommuteInfo’s program services - visit or call 1-888-819-6110.


Staff Receive
20% Off
Football Season Tickets
Celebrate the 125th season of Pitt football this fall at Heinz Field.  Season tickets, mini packages and single game tickets are on sale now!  All University of Pittsburgh faculty and staff are eligible to receive 20% off the ticket price of any season ticket location and may also participate in the payroll deduction program.  Season ticket packages for Pitt employees start as low as $80!  New this season - three-game mini-packages are available.  Choose any three games you want to see – including Iowa, Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Homecoming versus Georgia Tech.   
For more information, call the Panthers Ticket Office at 800-643-7488.

Have you checked out the Staff Handbook lately?  Know your rights.  Know the rules.  All of your employment-related resources are at your fingertips online.  You can find the handbook at
Questions?  Comments?  Concerns?  Reach out to a Staff Association Council member today!  We are here to represent you!  

Peter Adams - Plastic Surgery
Marissa Arlet - Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
Valerie Asbury - Medicine/Geriatrics
Tammeka Banks - Office of Research
Susan Benton - Division of Laboratory Animal Resources
Barbara Bowers - Anesthesiology
Mary Ann Brown - Medicine/Div of Infectious Diseases
Mario Browne - SVC Health Sciences
Camille Burgess - College of Business Administration 
Lucy Cafeo - Biomedical Informatics
Paula Carpinelli - Purchasing Services
Margaret Clements-Dawson - Magee Womens Research Institute and Foundation
Angela Coldren - Katz Graduate School of Business
Rich Colwell - Engineering Operations
Tricia Connell - Office of Institutional Advancement
Monica Costlow - Biostatistics/Comparative Effectiveness Research Core
Lucy Cotter - Otolaryngology
Elaine Devlin - School of Law, Dean's Office
Karen Dicks - Department of Computer Science
Morgan Donaldson - Office of Research
James Doty - Swanson School of Engineering/IT
Deborah Downey - Falk Library of the Health Sciences
Angela Ellis - Computer Science
Rick Fabean - Pharmacy
Colleen Farrell - Cardiology
Richard Fera - Education Technology and Innovation
Diane Fleishman - Continuing Dental Education
Anita Gallagher - Nationality Rooms/UCIS
Chad Hilton - Office of the University Registrar
Carol Hodgkiss - Nursing/Educational Technology and Innovation
Christine Jackson - Occupational Therapy
Michael Jandrasits - Athletic Department - Ticket Office
Michele Kiraly - CSSD
Hillary Koller - College of Business Administration Career Services
Michael Laughlin - Fiscal Services
Gloria Limetti - Otoloaryngology
Monika Losagio - French and  Italian and Hispanic
Adriana Maguina-Ugarte - Center for Comparative Archaeology/Anthropology
Nicholas Mance - Bioengineering
Christopher March - Financial Information Systems
Meg Mayer-Costa - Student Health Service
Jonah McAllister-Erickson - University Library Services/Admin
Crystal McCormick Ware - Administrative Services
Aiju Men - HPM of GSPH
Babs Mowery - A&S Advising Center
Mindy Peskie - Office of the Dean-Arts and Sci
Pamela Rikstad - Swanson School of Engineering, Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Rebecca Roadman - Dietrich School Office of Graduate Studies
Lindsay Rodzwicz - Bioengineering
Lynn Rosen - College of Business Administration Career Services
Anna Sangl - Epidemiology
Lori Schmotzer - Pharmacy
Fiona Seels - School of Education -Technology Department
Megan Soltesz - School of Social Work
Nancy Spice - School of Pharmacy
Andy Stephany - Medicine/Research Administration
Clayton Steup - Medicine/Physician Scientist Training Program
Peng Tang - Research/Cost Accounting
Tiwanda Taylor - College of Business Administration
Kathryn Trent - Facilities Management
Michele Tschannen - Pitt Program Council
Jonna Vallance - Office of General Counsel
Michael Wahl - School of Dental Medicine Office of the Dean
Barbara Zischkau - Pitt Annual Fund
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 


200 South Craig St
504 Craig Hall Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15260

Sitemap  |  SAC Home  |  Pitt Home