View this email in your browser
Panther Parents Association
January 2017 Issue

Sandy's Message | Student Affairs Calendar | Panther Leadership Summit | Healthy U | Survey | Internship Week & Spring Career Fair | Student Payment Center News | OCC Cultural & Global Awareness | New Year, New School | Scholarship Information | Commencement | Inclement Weather Policy | Fraternity and Sorority Life | Did Ya Know? |Emergency Notifications | Save the Dates

Parent and Family Liaison's Message

Sandy's Message
We may still be wishing friends and family a Happy New Year!  But your college student may already be discussing Spring Break Plans with peers.    

Spring Break!  Saying the words evokes images of warm breezes, blue skies and fun – especially for college students.  We all want our students to enjoy their break, but we also want them to be safe and optimally use this time in a positive way. 

Pitt students have many opportunities for spring break.  Below are some ways that parents and families can help them discern what is best, practical, safe, and affordable for them.
  • Plan ahead – if you haven’t already done so, establish a time when you can discuss your expectations, as well as your student’s expectations. 
  • Before the conversation takes place, have in mind how much (if any) funding you will offer for an experience.  Ask your student how they plan to pay for it and talk about the hazards of charging these types of events on a credit card.
  • Browse Pitt Serves “Alternate Spring Break”  and a Seattle Cultural Immersion Trip opportunities, so that you can talk about a positive experience as well as a resume-builder.  
  • Ask your student about possible research opportunities that might be offered through their school.
  • Even if you’re not in complete agreement with your student’s plan, hear them out first and then discuss your concerns in an adult-to-adult manner. 
We all want our students to be safe and have a wonderful spring break.  Advance planning can go a long way towards that end.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know at 412-624-8548 or


Sandy Talbott
Parent and Family Liaison

Encourage your Student to check out the Student Affairs calendar for positive, social, and learning activities that are held every day, every week!  

Panther Leadership Summit
February 4


Summer Rothrock, Interim Director, Cross Cultural and Leadership Development
The Panther Leadership Summit is an annual professional leadership development conference for Pitt students and Pittsburgh area university students.  This year the summit will be celebrating the Year of Diversity. 

The summit’s morning program will feature 10-minute leadership development presentations by notable Pitt alumni and friends of Pitt in a dynamic format similar to the TEDx model. Participants will be given opportunities to network with fellow students and speakers. After lunch, students will have the opportunity to enhance their leadership development skills through 45-minute, interactive workshops presented by Student Affairs professionals, student leaders, and community leaders. Workshop topics will feature the Summit’s five content areas: diversity in leadership, leadership identity, critical thinking skills, leadership theory and communication, and transferable skills for the workplace.

Educating Students about
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Megan Stahl, Health Educator

The Student Health Service Office of Health Education and Promotion seriously considers all aspects of the Pitt experience to enhance the personal and community health and well-being of our students. As a result, we have implemented a comprehensive prevention program to help our students – your students – make safer and well-informed decisions.

In addition to providing informative programming to educate underage students about alcohol consumption and abuse of drugs during orientation, all incoming students are also required to complete an online program prior to arriving to campus. In past years we used AlcoholEdu and Haven to provide this service, however this year we have switched to Campus Clarity’s Think About It series. This award-winning, research-based comprehensive online training program prepares students to confront and prevent serious issues such as alcohol and other drug misuse and sexual violence. It provides students with confidence and skills to identify risks and intervene to help create a safer, supportive, and responsible community. More than 1300 higher education institutions use this program every year. For questions about this program or the completion requirements, students or parents can contact Megan Stahl, Health Educator, by calling 412-383-1872.

The University also has a variety of other programs and services provided by the Student Health Service, Office of Health Education and Promotion, and the University Counseling Center to further educate and support our campus community. Each year we host the HealthyU Fair, an annual event intended to provide the students of the University of Pittsburgh an opportunity and place to promote healthy behaviors and enhance wellness. We also plan a variety of activities during National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, and other campus programs and events throughout the academic year to engage our students.

Further supporting our commitment to health, wellness and safety, most recently, the University of Pittsburgh Office of Government and Community Affairs and the Student Health Service received a grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to further enhance our efforts to reduce high risk and underage drinking through expanding our programs, campaigns and outreach efforts.


Please help us determine what information is most useful to parents and families by completing this survey

Internship Week and Spring Career Fair


Talk with your student about their plans for Internship Week, Spring Fair Prep Days, and the Spring Career Fair! 

Recruiting season is in full swing, and these events are the last opportunity to engage with many of these top-tier employers this semester for upcoming internships and full-time opportunities.   

Just a few of the 200+ employers who will be on campus include:

  • UPMC
  • ADP
  • Cigna
  • Hershey
  • ALDI
  • Norfolk Southern
  • Eaton
  • BNY Mellon
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Plus a variety of other corporate, non-profit, government agency, and gap year opportunity employers!

All students welcome!  

Do they need appropriate professional attire for the Career Fair?  Thanks to generous donations from many of you, the Career Development Placement Assistance office Career Closet is a place that they can go to check out suits, skirts, ties, and even accessories!  Advance appointments are strongly recommended for the best result.  Limited sizes.


  • Internship Week:  January 23-27
  • Spring Career Fair Prep Days:  February 6-14
  • Spring Career Fair:
    • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math:   February 15-16
    • Business, Humanities and Social Sciences:  February 17

Student Payment Center News

Waitlisted Classes and Tuition Rates
 The student account reflects tuition and fees based on a student’s actual enrollment as a full-time or part-time student.  Waitlisted classes are not included in the student’s enrollment, so they are not factored into the calculation of tuition and fees. For example, an undergraduate student is enrolled in 9 credits and is waitlisted for 3 credits. Tuition and fees will be based on the 9 credit, part-time enrollment, even though 3 additional credits are waitlisted.  If the student actually becomes enrolled in the waitlisted class, the total enrolled credits will increase to 12, which is full-time. Incremental tuition and mandatory fees will then post to the student’s account to bring the part-time rates up to full-time rates. 
Stay Informed
The Student Payment Center communicates with students at their email address. Please make sure your student is monitoring their Pitt email account regularly and responding to time-sensitive notifications that require attention. 

Please make sure spring term balances are paid in full by the due date on the eBill (always the 17th of the month) to avoid a $50 late fee and a financial hold that prevents your student from receiving grades and transcripts and registering for future terms. Authorized Payers can login to PittPAY to view Current Account Details to see if any spring term balance is due; students login from, then select PittPAY Login.

Outside the Classroom Curriculum:
Global and Cultural Awareness 


Julia Qian | Graduate Intern | Office of Parent and Family Resources

Happy New Year! As we are celebrating the new year, do you and your students know that many cultures around the world use lunar calendars to calculate dates and have different new year dates?  [Read More]
From July 2016 through April 2017, the Office of Parent and Family Resources will feature Pitt’s Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) program and discuss how your students can achieve each of the 10 goals. To complete the entire curriculum, receive the green OCC cords (combination of blue and gold!), and be recognized at the annual Honorary Society Induction Ceremony, students must complete 68 requirements. January is the month of Global and Cultural Awareness.  

In order to achieve the Global and Cultural Awareness goal area, students should fulfill at least seven of the requirements below:
  • Attend 7 global and cultural awareness events and complete one of the following:
  • Learn about the study abroad process or global internships.
  • Participate in a study abroad experience or travel to a country different from your own and reflect on the experience. 
There are many programs and events that help your students understand diverse cultures and function, and become global citizens who are informed about issues that impact people, society, and nations. Today, the forces of global engagement are helping many people identify as global citizens who have a sense of belonging to a world community.  Nelson Mandela said in 2000, “In the long run, nobody benefits from the existence of islands of riches in a sea of poverty. We also need a globalization of the responsibility. This is our greatest challenge in the century we have just entered.”

One signature program is the MLK Social Justice Symposium, being held on Thursday, January 19. Students are encouraged to RSVP to attend this powerful session, "Creating a Just Community by Unmasking the Faces of Privilege."

Parents can encourage students to explore many global internships or study abroad opportunities through the Pitt study abroad website.  
New Year, New School
Georgia Vidal, Senior Media and Professional Communications major
Mid-year transfer students face unique challenges. They often have a small amount of time to finish exams and paperwork at their previous institution, and enroll and adjust to their new surroundings at Pitt. The support system provided by parents and families is crucial to making the transition as smooth as possible. Transfer students have already been exposed to a college setting, but are in many ways as new to Pitt as incoming freshmen.

Listening to students is essential in easing your student’s transfer to a new university. Instead of directing students, listen to their thoughts or issues and offer advice when asked. Encourage students to stay involved in activities they enjoyed at their previous school. Whether it is academic, artistic, athletic, or any other type of organization, this will create familiarity. If Pitt does not offer a club students were involved in before, they can form a new organization on campus.

Large amounts of paperwork must be finished before the semester begins, which can be overwhelming. As the semester starts, it may be difficult for students to tie up any last minute loose ends to complete the transfer to Pitt. Asking students if they need assistance with phone calls or paperwork is helpful so that they are able to focus on their schoolwork.

Encourage your transfer student to contact Pitt’s First Year Experience (FYE) office where they can find assistance in their transition.


University Honors College announces scholarship opportunities!
Check out all of the options here.


Spring University Commencement is Sunday, April 30, 2017.  Please monitor the Special Events page for updated 2017 information on parking, venue, and other helpful details.  Individual schools will host smaller, more intimate recognition ceremonies over the same weekend.
Your graduates will be emailed information including “Graduation Central,” a time and place where they can order regalia, graduation announcements, rings, and receive final commencement details. 

Some of you have asked about recreational vehicle parking.  The University does not have space for that option.  However, interested parties can contact Pittsburgh Parking Authority (well in advance) to inquire about overnight parking.   

Pitt’s Inclement Weather Policy

Please read (and encourage your student to read) Pitt’s Inclement Weather Policy 
In individual circumstances, faculty may cancel individual classes.  Students should check syllabi to make sure that they know how faculty will contact them in case of cancellation.

Pitt Fraternity and Sorority Life

The latest Parent and Family Resources webinar was on Fraternity and Sorority Life.  The entire program including all related slides can be found here.  Thank you to our Greek Life panelists for volunteering their evening to participate!

Did Ya Know? 

Did you know that you can access the electronic Parent and Family Resource guidebook anytime?  Other casual resources like area restaurants, hotels, airport shuttle service, and more can also be found at

Emergency Notifications

Pitt has two main ways to notify our community of alerts including one for parents and families:
Emergency Notification System (ENS)
Students can register up to three third parties to receive emergency notifications by phone, email, or text here.
Crime Alerts
Users with a Pitt email address can sign up to receive text crime alerts.  Family members cannot receive crime alerts, however, they can view crime alerts, statistics, and other helpful information on the Pitt Police website.

Save the Dates 

  • Academic Calendar   
  • Panther Leadership Summit:  February 4
  • Spring Break: March 5 – 12
  • Finals Week:  April 24 – 29
  • University Commencement Convocation: April 30
The University of Pittsburgh
Division of Student Affairs 
Office of Parent and Family Resources
130 William Pitt Union
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | 412-624-8548

Copyright © 2015 University of Pittsburgh, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list
update subscription preferences