- Community Impact
- Our City/Our Campus
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If we’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that the world needs problem solvers — and that’s what Pitt people are striving to be.
As 2021 comes to a close, Pittwire revisits stories that show some of the many ways that Pitt made a difference in our cities, our communities and across the commonwealth.
Building a strong research community
The University of Pittsburgh plans to bring manufacturing back to the city — and catalyze game-changing economic growth. A $100 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation will help build the new BioForge facility, a highly specialized biomanufacturing facility on an old mill site and former brownfield in Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood.
Another major effort launched in 2021 aims to improve access to vision care for underserved communities, help build and staff a vision “street lab” to test new treatments and therapies in real-life environments, and support research into breakthrough programs such as biomedical solutions to corneal blindness.
Making a difference for local businesses and families
From laptop donations to planting trees, Pitt volunteers showed up for the community this year.
Five entrepreneurs shared how Pitt’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence is setting them up for success during a panel discussion in Canonsburg during National Women’s Small Business Month.
Companies in the region are hungry for skilled machinists. The Manufacturing Assistance Center at Pitt-Titusville is now providing them.
A pilot program between Pitt and Every1online that’s bringing Wi-Fi to local families in need expanded to the New Kensington and Homewood neighborhoods.
Pitt strengthened its business partnerships in Pittsburgh through an innovative new program that designates 25% of student meal membership dollars for use at locally owned restaurants.
Creating healthy communities
When COVID-19 vaccines were in short supply, a group of Pitt students created VaccinatePA, a crowdsourced website that showed COVID-19 vaccination sites and vaccine availability in Pennsylvania.
FISA & Paralyzed Veterans of America Professor Rory Cooper and Garrett Grindle (ENGR ’04, ’07G) won this year’s Pennsylvania Veterans Service Award for their work protecting veterans and their caregivers during the pandemic.
Pitt remained among the nation’s top 20 public colleges and universities, according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report. This year’s report also ranked Pitt No. 29 in its best colleges for veterans category, a rise from last year.
Through the Pitt Success Pell Match program, now in its third year, the University has been able to expand the representation of Pell-eligible students, nearly eliminate the gap in retention rates between Pell recipients and those who do not require this aid, and measurably reduce the debt students take on in their first years at the University.
And, in scholarship news:
- With 15 Pitt recipients this year, the University reached a new record for U.S. Fulbright Scholarship winners. Plus, for the 10th time in 11 years, Pitt was also named a top producing institution of Fulbright students.
- Two students were also selected for Goldwater Scholarships.
- Another landed a Marshall Scholarship.