Dear Pitt Faculty and Staff: 

Earlier this year, I announced the launch of the Pitt Seed program. This initiative called on you—faculty and staff members from throughout our University community—to pitch ideas that could directly and actively contribute to Pitt’s strategic transformation.

And you delivered.    

In our first call for submissions, we received 171 applications. As a group, these proposals touched on all six goals outlined in the Plan for Pitt, and they showcased the extraordinary strokes of creativity, ingenuity and commitment that are threaded throughout our University community.   

To every applicant who dedicated time and attention to this effort: Thank you.         

After weeks of review—and with the help of 125 faculty and staff members who collectively volunteered for hundreds of hours assessing applications—we selected 23 proposals to fund. These entries represent a wide range of interests and individuals within the University and all six goals within the Plan for Pitt. And, true to the program’s purpose, these projects are poised to help our faculty and staff members advance Pitt’s mission in new and meaningful ways.     

Below is the final lineup of funded projects plus a few details, such as the lead applicant associated with each proposal. It’s an inspiring list—and one that incredibly I’m proud to introduce today.  


Patrick Gallagher

A Feasibility Study for Two New Online Programs at the University of Pittsburgh - Master of Research Administration Graduate Program and a Certificate in Research Administration Program
Faculty member Jennifer Woodward | Office of Research

A Makerspace on the Move: Mobilizing the OPEN LAB to Serve the University and Beyond               
Staff member Aaron Graham | Office of the Provost

A Place for Pitt-Johnstown in the Cure Violence: Johnstown Campaign
Faculty member Christine Dahlin-Schuster | Biology

ACCESS MAPS: Assessing Critical Care and Emergency Service Systems          
Faculty member David Wallace | Critical Care Medicine

Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latino Studies Initiative
Faculty member Michele Reid-Vazquez | Africana Studies

Building Bridges: Sustaining our Commitment to Equity and Justice by Empowering Minoritized Students to Transform the Educational Landscape in Pittsburgh and Beyond     
Faculty member Michael G. Gunzenhauser | Administrative and Policy Studies

Connecting Linguistics to the Community and Industry: Creating an Engagement Platform 
Faculty member Abdesalam Soudi | Linguistics

Contemporary Chinese Village Data
Faculty member Haihui Zhang | Libraries

Creation of The International Center for Conflict Resolution
Faculty member Luis Vargas | Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

Design Thinking and the Built Environment                                           
Faculty member Christopher Drew Armstrong | History of Art and Architecture

Development of Functional Balance/Mobility Assessment Tools in Individuals With Central Vision Loss     
Faculty member Rakie Cham | Bioengineering

Frank Bolden Multimedia Workshop With Pittsburgh Black Media Federation                                
Staff member Ervin Dyer | Office of Communications

Global Water Concerns: An Experiential Learning Project          
Faculty member Nancy Condee | Slavic Languages and Literatures

Goethe-Lexicon of Philosophical Concepts                       
Faculty member Clark Muenzer | German        

LMS Platform for Online Continuing Education                         
Staff member Lorna Kearns | Office of the Provost

Pitt-Greensburg and ULS Partnership with West Overton Village & Museum: Photogrammetry, GIS, and Virtual Tours                                                         
Faculty member Amber McAlister | History of Arts and Architecture

Pitt Prison Education Project
Faculty member Christopher Bonneau | Political Science

Pittsburgh Sarcoma Research Collaborative
Faculty member Kurt Weiss | Orthopaedic Surgery

Serious and Transformational Games for Patient Education and Clinical Interventions                          
Faculty member Dmitriy Babichenko | Computer Science

The Allegheny County Breast Consortium: Developing Synergy for Breast Cancer Control
Faculty member Margaret Rosenzweig | Nursing

The Business of Humanity®—Enhancing Economic, Environmental and Social Sustainability in Disadvantaged Communities through Radical Business Models
Faculty member John Camillus | Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

U.S. Law and Legal English Program
Faculty member Ronald Brand | Law

Ventriculoamniotic Shunting for Fetal Aqueductal Stenosis
Faculty member Stephen Emery | OB/GYN and Reproductive Sciences