Features & Articles

Photos: Pitt In Person

As the Pittsburgh campus shifts to Guarded Risk operational posture starting today, more courses and activities are moving toward in-person experiences. Take a look at some of the classrooms, lecture halls and tents where folks are working under the Flex @ Pitt model.

Text by Aimee Obidzinski, images by Aimee Obidzinski and Tom Altany

A person in sunglasses and a face mask holds her hands up to a window

Connecting Patterns: Clara Wang, a junior studio arts major, installs colorful cellophane squares to the large glass panels inside the Frick Fine Arts Cloister as part of her class with Studio Arts Director Delanie Jenkins. In contrast to this somewhat disconnected time, the piece aims to connect the viewer with the space. As Pitt moves to the Guarded Risk posture this week, more hands-on opportunities like this will be available to students who are craving an in-person learning experience.

"I want something that is simple but could make people feel better (hopefully) at this really particular time, and the cloister is where most people in Frick Fine Arts building would go and enjoy a bit of fresh air and light, so I wanted to locate my work there so that people can see it and experience it," Wang said. (Tom Altany)

A Zoom call of a class
Everything Old is New Again: Professor of mechanical engineering and materials science William Clark, top left, maps out his lesson using a traditional chalk board in the Frick Fine Arts Building as students in the classroom and online attend the lecture. In the past, most engineering classes would be held in Benedum Hall but this cross-over of spaces allows for more distance in spaces, hallways and elevators. (Tom Altany)

A person plays a piano facing five singers, all inside a tent
Raise Your Voices: Singing of the Heinz Chapel Choir fills the big white tent on the Cathedral Lawn. The choir members, who practice in cohorts of 10, wear specialized face coverings so that the tone and pitch of their voices can be heard more clearly. The tent, used by several other choral ensembles and classes, allows users to stay physically distanced, has its own ventilation system and has panels that roll up to promote better air flow. (Tom Altany)

A mostly empty classroom
Flexible Spaces: Employees from the University Center for Teaching and Learning conduct a workshop to assist faculty with the new Flex @ Pitt learning technology that has been installed in more than 180 classroom spaces across campus. In addition to the flexible technology, desks like these in Posvar Hall have wheels so that the room can be configured in many ways to accommodate physical distancing. The red and green designations on them note whether this seat is available or should be avoided due to social distancing guidelines. (Aimee Obidzinski)

A person in a face mask types on a computer
Tech Support: Swanson School of Engineering student Kenton Quach monitors the Zoom meeting and chat function during a chemical engineering class conducted by Susan Fullerton, associate professor and vice chair for graduate education. Quach, who said he is eager to absorb the content even though he is not enrolled in the class, is able to launch all of the necessary technical equipment and host the Zoom broadcast in the event of Fullerton’s absence. (Aimee Obidzinski)

A person in a face mask and tan shirt stands in front of a green screen
Asynchronous Learning: School of Social Work adjunct professor Carl Redwood works with the Center for Teaching and Learning to record his lecture for Pitt’s new anti-racism course. All first-year students have been enrolled in the asynchronous class, Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology and Resistance. (Tom Altany)

A man in a mask faces a large screen with students watching on a Zoom call
Near and Far: Professor of electrical and computer engineering Sam Dickerson checks in with a group of students who are taking his class remotely while others participate in person. Online students were given the option to take the components back to their home study space allowing them to participate in projects and receive an enhanced remote learning experience. (Aimee Obidzinski)

A person in a face mask, a sweater and shorts sitting by a tree, on a laptop
The Great Outdoors: School of Nursing student Chloe Moores takes advantage of a Wi-Fi hot spot on the Cathedral Lawn to complete some of her classwork. Several hot spots have been set up in and around campus for students who do not choose classes in person or who just need to get out of their rooms for a break. Other Wi-Fi connected spaces include Heinz Memorial Chapel, Carnegie Museum Lecture Hall and the patio outside Hillman Library. Find a list of spots to study on coronavirus.pitt.edu. (Aimee Obidzinski)