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Panther Parents Association
September 2016 Issue

How to Mail Letters and Packages | Parent and Family Calendars | Family Weekend | Bored Students? Not at Pitt! | Career Closet Thank You | Buses Home for the Holidays | Student Payment Center News | University Counseling Center Parent and Family Webinar | National Scholarship Opportunities | Save the Dates

How to Mail Letters and Packages

Orientation Family
Thanks to several of you who read last month’s tips on staying in touch with your student. This month, I’d like to publically answer detailed questions about mail and sending packages to students.  

Texting is great. No doubt about it. But, there may be times when you want to share your thoughts with old-fashioned pen and paper. Actually, writing out a thought can be more, well…. thoughtful! 

Or, you may want to send a care package. Students LOVE getting care packages. Below are some guidelines to mail, send packages from home, or arrange for packages to be sent to your student:

All students have a mailbox in or near their Residence Hall or apartment. Here is a list of all residence hall addresses and mailing guidelines. FYI, students can purchase stamps at the Towers Mail Center, and the closest full-service post office is a short walk down Bouquet Street.

For items too large to fit in student mailboxes, students will be notified (via their Pitt email account) that they have a package in the mail room. They need to provide photo id to pick up the item. 

If you’re thinking about sending your student a care package, take advantage of the Resident Student Association’s care package fundraiser through Our Campus Market (OCM). These care packages are hand delivered to your student with personal notes from you! All profits from this fundraiser to go programming and advocacy initiatives in the Residence Halls. Through this program, you are not only supporting your student with a fun surprise but also contributing to the Resident Student Association’s mission of making Pitt’s Residence Halls feel like home to all who live there. For more details on how to order, check out OCM’s website here

If your student is having a birthday – and even if they’re not! – consider ordering a confectionary delight from the Oakland Bakery or one of Oakland’s other go-to markets. 

Yes, texting is convenient and emojis are fun, but hand-written notes or surprise packages are the best! If you have questions about this or other parent topics, please feel free to contact us at or 412-624-8548.

Please tell us what we are doing right as well as ways to improve Parent and Family Resources. Complete this seven-question survey today!

Hail to Pitt!

Sandy Talbott
Parent and Family Liaison

Parent and Family Calendars

A limited number of hard copy Parent and Family calendars are available in the William Pitt Union Suite 130. Your student can pick one up during business hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or you can pick one up at Family Weekend check-in tables while supplies last! In addition, the electronic version is available here. Check out dates worth noting and tips to support your student on our newest resource for parents and families!

Family Weekend!

Family Weekend
Spend time with your student, explore campus, visit a local attraction, or attend the football game. We’ve got a bit of everything for every family! Final reminder that the registration deadline is September 20, 2016
In addition to the above website, the schedule is available by downloading Guidebook on your mobile device. Look for “Pitt Family Weekend.”

We would like to showcase your Pitt family photos during a slideshow at the Family Weekend Welcome Reception on Friday, September 30, 2016. Do you have memorable Pitt move-in photos or maybe a family photo in your best Pitt swag? If so, send those high resolution images to by September 20. Please note that any photos we receive may be used in this slide show as well as future Pitt media like websites and printed publications. If minors are included in your photo, please complete this waiver, sign, and send it along with your photo. Thanks!!

Bored Students? Not at Pitt!

If your student says, “I’ve been studying constantly; I’m bored,” encourage them to investigate several options including PittServes volunteer opportunities calendar, the Student Affairs Events calendar, or a list of upcoming activities through Pitt Program Council or First Year Experience. Many of these events are Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) eligible. Read more about Outside the Classroom Curriculum in the below article. 

Outside the Classroom Curriculum Challenge

OCC Video
All parents want their students to gain professional experience while in college. It is neither too early nor too late for your students to get ready for the job market, and Pitt’s Outside the Classroom Curriculum Career Preparation goal can help them get ready! 

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. 

This month’s feature is Career Preparation.
It is the time for your students to get ready for Fall 2016 Career Fair! This signature event attracts over 200 employers and over 3,000 Pitt students annually. With over 60% of employers recruiting for internships as well as full-time opportunities, students from all class years should attend, no matter where the students are in the career process.
Why now? If students wait until graduation to begin their job search, they will discover that they have lost valuable time. The employment step starts with developing skills for the job hunt and continues through the process of landing a position. It includes preparing a resume, writing cover letters, making follow-up phone calls, and interviewing for internships and then for a professional position. Parents can help by encouraging students to consider (Savage 2003):
  • What tasks will the student be doing?
  • What will the student learn?
  • Does the internship count toward graduation?
  • How will this step toward qualify them for a job in the future?
If your students need help with building a resume or exploring a career opportunity, please encourage them to visit The Office of Career Development & Placement Assistance. If your students need professional attire for an upcoming interview, Career Fair, or other experience, send them to CDPA’s Career Closet is a service that lends suits, blazers, shirts, ties, and other professional accessories to students in order to help them look their best. 
Reference: Savage, M. (2003). You’re on your own (But I’m here if you need me). New York: Fireside, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Featured in September: CAREER PREPARATION  

Learning Outcome: Your students will have the knowledge, skills, and experience to be competitive in gaining employment or acceptance into graduate or professional school. 

Total requirements for

  • Meet with a career consultant in the Office of Career Development and Placement Assistance (CDPA) or an academic department to create a career development plan.
  • Have your resume reviewed by a career consultant or a faculty member.
  • Develop a relationship with a professional in your field of interest so as to cultivate them as a reference, and request a recommendation letter from them.
  • Attend 5 events sponsored by CDPA to develop your career focus.
  • Attend 2 career fairs.
  • Complete an in-person or online mock interview with CDPA or an academic department.
  • Participate in experiential learning and provide a reflection on your experience
You can find more information about OCC and 10 goal areas here.

Check out which employers are attending the Pitt Fall 2016 Career Fair on September 28 & 29 and October 5 & 6.  Don't see your company or organization?  Click here for more information or to register. 


Julia Qian 
Graduate Student Intern 
Parent and Family Resources 

Career Closet Thank You!

Much of our Career Closet inventory is due in part to generous Panther Parent donations each spring. We sincerely thank you! A total of 584 men and women’s shirts, pants, jackets, suits, shoes, blouses, ties, belts, and more helped to stock the closet this year!

Please remind students who need a suit or any professional attire that we offer the Career Closet to all Pitt students free of charge all year.  With our Fall 2016 Career Fair (September 28th and 29th and October 5th and 6th right around the corner, encourage them to set up an appointment asap to get ready!  They simply need to email us at to set up an appointment.

Are you interested in other ways to help students with career preparation?  Please contact Alyssa Ferguson, Networking Coordinator for Career Development and Placement Assistance at, to discuss hosting Pitt students to shadow at your place of employment, or serve on our Pitt Parents Career Panel.  

Buses Home for the Holidays

The Buses Home for the Holidays program is designed to give students a safe, comfortable alternative ride home for the three major recesses: Thanksgiving, winter, and spring.

Buses depart from the William Pitt Union and most of the destinations served are direct routes. Deluxe motor coaches (Lenzner/Coach USA) transport students in air-conditioned comfort. For details, click here!

Student Payment Center News!

Spring 2017 Payment Plan

Payment Plans are completely optional but are available to families who want to pay the student account balance in a series of monthly installments instead of one lump sum.  Payment plans have definite end dates, so the sooner you enroll, the more installments you receive. Six installments remain for the Spring 2017 plan if you sign up by November 4, 2016. Learn more about payment plans on our website or call the Student Payment Center at 412-624-7520 for assistance. If you decide not to use a payment plan, Spring 2017 charges will be due according to the regular Billing and Due Date

University Counseling Center Parent and Family Webinar

Join us from the comfort of your own home as two professionals from Pitt’s University Counseling Center introduce you to services and resources to help keep students mentally healthy and thriving during their time at Pitt and after graduation. After an overview presentation, parents and families can post questions and get answers as time permits. If you are not able to join the live webinar, you will be able to view the recorded session a few days after the broadcast here.

Webinar Date:
Monday, October 3, 2016
Time: 7-7:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Advanced registration required.

National Scholarship Opportunities!

Zeba Ahmed (BA, Japanese and Sociology, Class of 2014) during her time in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Japan 2014-15
The University Honors College provides guidance to undergraduate students and alumni applying for nationally competitive awards that support study abroad, language learning, research, professional development, gap year opportunities, and post-baccalaureate study. 

Among numerous other experiences, Pitt awardees from this year are learning Mandarin in Beijing, teaching English in Jordan, performing bioengineering research at MIT, researching sustainable fishery practices in Iceland, and pursuing graduate studies in gender and development in the United Kingdom.
Students should get started early with National Scholarships advising. The first step is to attend a general information session, held during the semester on Mondays and Tuesdays at noon in our new offices on the 37th floor of the Cathedral of Learning. Students will then schedule one-on-one appointments with National Scholarships advisors to discuss awards that match their academic, professional, and personal goals. Students should also sign up for our monthly newsletter--which contains information about upcoming deadlines and award-specific information sessions--and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

A student who recently won three separate national scholarships told us that before beginning the advising process, he never thought he would be a competitive applicant. The UHC National Scholarships office is dedicated to helping students from all majors and backgrounds articulate their unique strengths and craft compelling applications. If you have questions please contact

by Ian Riggins
National Scholarships Advisor

Save the Dates

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.

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