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Panther Parents Association
May 2016 Issue

New Website | Family of the Year Essay Contest | The Importance of Resilience | Pre-Orientation Retreats | New Student Summer Sendoffs | Problematic Internet Usage | Pitt Dance Marathon Recap | Sibling Discount for The Bridge: College Prep & Leadership Academy | Summer Billing & Tuition Rates | Scholarship Opportunities | Save the Dates

Parent and Family Resources has a
New Website!

Your one-stop-shop! Check out the new-and-improved Parent and Family Resources Website.  

I have heard parents say that life with their students is like being in an action adventure, drama, or sitcom. Certainly, having students enroll in (or return to) college adds a new dimension in the family dynamic as parents transition from a Director’s role in this production to a “Best Supporting Actor/Actress.”

The Office of Parent and Family Resources is here to help you be your best at the supporting role! One of the ways we do this is by making information and resources easy to access on our Website. Whether you are interested in the most popular Oakland places to take your student for dinner, need resources to advise your student about safety on campus, or are interested in reading articles about parenting a college student in today’s world, you will be pleased with this one-stop-information-shop. 

If you access the Website and do not see what you need to support your student, please contact us at 412-624-8548 or We want to provide you with everything you need to win your student’s nomination as “Best Supporting Actor/Actress” at the University of Pittsburgh.

Hail to Pitt!

Sandy Talbott
Parent and Family Liaison

Pitt’s 2016 Family of the Year!

Does your family bleed blue and gold? Do you gather around the TV for Pitt sporting events and attend campus functions? Would YOUR family qualify as Pitt’s 2016 Family of the Year? If so, encourage your student to enter the Family of the Year Essay Contest. Nomination form is online, and the submission deadline is Friday, July 8.
Family of the Year
The Lee Family - Pitt's 2015 Family of the Year pictured with Vice Provost and
Dean of Students, Kenyon Bonner
Hervey Family

The Importance of Resilience

By Mary Apostolakos Hervey, Panther Parent Ambassador

A Panther mom shares insight on the importance of promoting resilience in college students. 

It is hard to believe that my daughter and first-born child is at the end of her freshman year at Pitt. It was incredibly difficult to drop her off last fall and leave her to commence her college life but we somehow garnered the strength to do so. 
The first year of college often presents students with challenges they are not thinking about in the blur of activity surrounding the college application and acceptance process.  They are on their own for the first time. There are many new people entering their lives. They must manage their own time and schedules. There is no one to pick up after them, tell them to eat, or monitor their daily lives. This is a good thing and in my view one of the most important aspects of the college experience. 
In an era of helicopter parenting, college offers students the opportunity to test their wings in a safe environment with ample support available to those who need it. Our children are able to set their own course and take ownership of their lives.  In the process they win some and they lose some. They learn something from both outcomes, including from their failures.  When a student suffers a blip along the road they must figure out how to pick themselves up and get back on track. In the process they develop resilience, a critically important life skill that will help them in all aspects of their life and career for the rest of their life. 
For this reason, I resisted the temptation to interject myself into my daughter's first year of college. Her father and I kept in touch and were available to offer support and guidance, but rather than telling her what to do we just tried to listen. She has grown and matured over the year and is now more ready than ever to stand on her own.  We look forward to returning for Pitt Family Weekend next fall to get a glimpse of her life as she commences her sophomore year, and are confident that one of the best gifts we can give her as parents is the space to develop resilience.

Your Input is Valued

Please complete this brief survey so that we may better serve Pitt Parents with more webinars, programs, and resources. 

Attention Parents and Families of Incoming First Year Students

PantherConnect Pre-Orientation Retreats registration is now live! These retreats are designed to provide an opportunity for incoming first year students to connect with campus, with one another and to their passion prior to the Pitt's orientation week. Students will build meaningful relationships with fellow classmates and upper-class students, learn about campus life, get a jump start on orientation, and move-in to the residence halls early. Participants can choose to attend one of the five retreat themes offered:
  • Arts and Culture
  • Leadership
  • Service
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Sustainability 
Registration is now available. Retreat cost is $125 and financial assistance is available for eligible students. Limited space available! 
New Student Sendoffs!
Every summer, dozens of Pitt Alumni clubs around the country host Panther Send-Offs to welcome the newest class of Panthers to the Pitt family!
These outings provide an opportunity for students to make connections before they arrive in Pittsburgh, and for their families to talk about ride-shares and possibly sharing contact information for future reference. Register here to attend one near you! 

Many times, Panther Parent Ambassadors assist regional Alumni with the send-offs by helping to set up, clean-up, and facilitate these family events. This is an opportunity for interested parents to provide a service to the University while also supporting their Panther and many other students, parents, and families. 

To read more about this and other details of becoming a Panther Parent Ambassador, click here or contact Sandy Talbott at for details.

Problematic Internet Usage (PIU)

by Sandy Talbott, Parent and Family Liaison

A recent study shows that it is becoming increasingly difficult for students to “unplug” from their devices.  Sometimes this results in behavioral disorders.

Summer is a great time for parents and students to talk about what went well during the school year, learning that took place, and relationships that were formed. And, looking forward, these conversations might include how students can better position themselves to succeed academically, socially, and behaviorally – including time management. 

In this article researchers discuss a growing concern with Problematic Internet Use (PIU) that is affecting a growing number of students. In this study, students who spent more than 25 hours/week (in addition to using the internet for school work) on the internet were targeted. Twenty-five hours/week may seem like a lot, but when you think about how often students check their Twitter feed, Snapchat, Facebook, music, and other accounts, the hours add up quickly.  

The Pitt Dance Marathon: For the Campus…FOR THE KIDS!

PDM Reveal
PDM with Patient
PDM Dancing
See how Pitt Students show off their dance moves and raise funds FOR THE KIDS at the Pitt Dance Marathon!  
On April 9, 2016, over 1,000 students entered the William Pitt Union at 8am to kick off the 11th Annual Pitt Dance Marathon—a 16 hour dance marathon benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network program at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.
Last year, the students raised over $153,000 “FOR THE KIDS”, breaking a new fundraising record of student organization philanthropy, with an 87% increase in funding from the year prior. Another record was shattered when the students revealed this year’s fundraised total. Check out this very cool video reveal!
Started by members of Pitt fraternities and sororities, the Pitt Dance Marathon is a cherished Pitt tradition that highlights the philanthropic nature of our students. Now a truly campus-wide event, the Pitt Dance Marathon student organization welcomes students from all walks of the campus communities, including fraternity and sorority life, residence life, club sports, and student government. Both residents and commuters danced the night away until the final minute struck.
Most unique about the Pitt Dance Marathon is that any member of the Pitt family can sign up and donate. Using DonorDrive, a secure third-party fundraising platform sponsored by the Children’s Miracle Network, individuals can set personal fundraising goals, or join teams of other fundraisers to raise money FOR THE KIDS. You can set up a DonorDrive account here.
For more information, contact Dr. Matthew Richardson at

Younger siblings can become prepped for college application success! 
The registration deadline for Pitt's The Bridge: College Prep & Leadership Academy is quickly approaching on Wednesday, June 1. In 2015, The Pittsburgh Tribune Review quoted a Bridge alum, “… she keeps in touch with friends from The Bridge and took away leadership skills from the program that extended beyond college application into 'overall life and how to stand out.'"
Siblings of current Pitt students receive a special 10% off the registration fee with code PITTFAMILY. Contact with questions.

Summer Billing and Due Dates

The Billing and Due Date Schedule for summer term is posted hereNote, the timing of the eBill depends on the timing of your student’s enrollment for classes. For more student account information, visit the Student Payment Center’s website.

2016-2017 Tuition Rates

Tuition and fees for the upcoming 2016-2017 academic year will be published after the Board of Trustees approves them, typically in mid-to-late July.  For current and historical rates, click here.

Scholarship Opportunities

Use this summer to sit down with your student and discuss possible scholarship opportunities. 

The University Honors College National Scholarships office works with students to identify and apply for nationally competitive scholarships, fellowships, internships, and grants that help them reach their academic and professional goals. After discussing students’ plans and recommending potential awards, our advisors help students craft personal and project statements, select appropriate letter of recommendation writers, and otherwise put together competitive applications.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is just one of several cultural and language immersion awards our office helps students with. Offered through the U.S. Department of State, the CLS is a fully funded summer program for American students to master a critical language and build a relationship between the people of the United States and other countries. Programs are offered in thirteen languages—such as Arabic, Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish, and Urdu—at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Six undergraduates were awarded the CLS this year, including several underclassmen. Zoe Toigo (freshman, electrical engineering) will study Chinese in Suzhou, China. Roisin O’Dowd (sophomore, molecular biology, linguistics, and chemistry) will study Persian in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Alexis Crossland (freshman, environmental studies) will study Chinese in Dalia, China.

The CLS application generally opens in early October and closes in late November. Interested students should first attend a National Scholarships general information session, held Mondays and Tuesdays at 12:00 PM in CL 1409.  Questions can be directed to

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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