• Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
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Partnership Boosts Pitt Commons

Two people sitting at a table looking at a laptop together
As she approached graduation last year, Alyce Palko (A&S ’20) was looking for a network that could connect current Pitt students with alumni; she was pleased to find the Pitt Commons platform.

“My experience has been great so far. I find it very user friendly,” said Palko, who’s now a communications associate at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. “Pitt needed a network like this to connect current students and alumni.”

Pitt Commons is a web portal designed exclusively for users with a connection to Pitt. It allows students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University to connect and to establish meaningful networking and mentoring relationships. Users can join groups based on common interests, post and answer discussion questions and browse various resources.

Learn more about Pitt Commons

Join Pitt Commons training sessions on March 29 and April 12 at 11 a.m. to learn more about best practices and useful features of the platform. Log in the site to register.

The portal is now set to receive a boost from a new partnership as the University joins nearly 40 other institutions to launch the Taskforce on Higher Education and Opportunities, a collaborative effort to take collective action against the challenges caused by the pandemic, income inequality, the changing nature of work and levels of unemployment among recent college graduates nearly double those seen during the 2008 recession.

The mission of the Taskforce on Higher Education and Opportunities is for member institutions to inspire both each other and the broader higher education sector to provide greater opportunity to students and communities. Its goals include preparing students for a post-pandemic economy, rebuilding communities for inclusive recovery and re-imagining the future of higher education—including how it is delivered.

The taskforce collectively represents 2.5 million students nationwide attending 38 member institutions, including four-year public, four-year private and two-year institutions.

Part of Pitt’s involvement will be the formation of the Early Career Alumni Employment and Networking Community Initiative, which will use the Pitt Commons platform to expand existing resources by providing mentorship and networking experience to individuals who lack access to traditional networks.

“Pitt Commons puts social capital to work,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “It helps University of Pittsburgh students and graduates come together, lean on one another and leverage the power of community to seek out and secure meaningful opportunities.”

The initiative will integrate career and networking advice on the Pitt Commons platform by leveraging University of Pittsburgh alumni as volunteers, making professional network building more accessible and more meaningful to students as they near graduation. Beyond growing registered users on the Pitt Commons platform and increasing the quality of interactions on the site, the Early Career Alumni Employment and Networking Community initiative will lay the foundation for inclusive access to critical career resources like mentorship and professional networks.

"Over the course of the last several years, we have seen exciting growth in our networking tool, Pitt Commons," said Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Joseph McCarthy. "I am very pleased that we can now advance this important initiative in transformative ways to benefit the University community at large but, most particularly, to provide mentoring and networking for students and recent graduates who may not have had such opportunities in the past and who have great need for them."