Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Long-Time GlobalPittsburgh Supporter Herbert Soltman Honored for Many Years of Volunteer Service by Global Ties U.S.

Long-time GlobalPittsburgh supporter Herbert Soltman has been honored for his many years of volunteer service by Global Ties U.S., the national citizen diplomacy organization of which GlobalPittsburgh (formerly Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors) is a charter member.

As a volunteer for more than 50 years, Soltman has hosted an estimated 400 international exchange participants from over 70 countries for dinner and other activities, such as attending Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games.

Soltman, who was described as "the embodiment of a community champion and citizen diplomat" by Gail Shrott, Director of GlobalPittsburgh's International Leaders Program, received the 2015 Lorinne Emery Award for Volunteer Service from Global Ties U.S. at a ceremony May 1 in Washington, D.C.

Herb Soltman receives his
award for volunteer service
in Washington, D.C.
The Lorinne Emery Award for Volunteer Service is given to recognize a Global Ties U.S. community-based organization volunteer who demonstrates exemplary dedication to citizen diplomacy as well as outstanding volunteer spirit.

"When Herb and his family became hospitality hosts in 1962, he filled his dining room with laughter and lively discussions whenever he brought together international guests and local friends," Shrott wrote in her nomination letter. "To this day, he can vividly describe his family's first international dinner guest."

It is loyal volunteers like Herb Soltman who enable GlobalPittsburgh to carry out its work connecting the Pittsburgh region with the world, said GlobalPittsburgh Board Chair John Hindman.

"We are eternally grateful to Herb for the determination and true Pittsburgh spirit that he has brought to his work and to this organization," Hindman said. "It is impossible to measure the value of the good deeds he has done and the positive impact he has made."

Global Ties U.S. President Jennifer Clinton, Ph.D., called Soltman a “consummate citizen diplomat.”

“The one-on-one connections he has made throughout his service as a volunteer have shattered stereotypes and helped build the relationships that lead us to a more peaceful and prosperous world,” she said. “It is thanks to individuals like Herb, who selflessly donate their time, talent, and treasure, that we are able to welcome visitors to our communities and show them who Americans truly are.”

When Soltman retired in 2003, he accelerated his efforts to make international visitors feel welcome in Pittsburgh. For the next decade, he devoted 15-20 hours per month welcoming international guests at the airport and providing personalized tours of Pittsburgh.

Two incidents in particular underscore his exceptional efforts on behalf of our organization. In October 2003, he worked tirelessly to ensure that Milica Kadic Akovic, a participant in the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) from the University of Montenegro, received much-needed medical attention after he realized that she was in acute pain after he drove her to a professional meeting.

Soltman stayed with the visitor and her interpreter from morning until evening, driving her to a hospital for treatment and to secure medications and prescribed supplies. His act of kindness will forever have a positive effect on Ms. Akovic's view of Americans.

Additionally, in 2009, when Japanese IVLP participant Masahide Tanaka suffered minor injuries at a Pittsburgh Pirates ballgame attempting to catch a baseball hit by Chicago Cubs' player Kosuke Fukudome, also from Japan, Soltman saved the day.

He leveraged his baseball contacts to secure a ball signed by Fukudome from a scout for the Cubs. That ball was shipped to Mr. Tanaka in Japan. Soltman successfully transformed a disagreeable experience into a treasured memory of the kindness of an American volunteer.

Global Ties U.S. is a network of over 100 nonprofit organizations across 44 states and 13 countries that connect leaders in U.S. communities with leaders from all around the world. Together these organizations help shape U.S. foreign relations by opening avenues for increased understanding and greater cooperation, security and prosperity. Learn more at www.GlobalTiesUS.org.


GlobalPittsburgh International Barbecue Coming June 20 at Bayardstown Social Club, Celebrating Shared Culture of Grilled Foods Around the World. Win Airline Tickets!

Every culture enjoys a tradition of grilling foods, usually meats, over an open fire, often at a time of celebration or fellowship. And while these traditions may have different names and different twists in Asian, African, Middle Eastern, European, Latin and certainly American cultures, the concept is the same, and it has come to be known as barbecue.

The first ever GlobalPittsburgh International Barbecue will be held Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Bayardstown Social Club in the Strip District, bringing together people who enjoy eating these grilled foods with the people and cultures who prepare them in a way that will recognize, celebrate and enlighten the entire community about this shared experience.

The goal of the event is to highlight and celebrate the common themes that unite people who may come from different countries or speak different languages but who share this common experience in a way that encourages cultural awareness and understanding, diversity and inclusion, and ultimately acceptance and embracing of those different from ourselves.

Attendees will be able to sample grilled foods provided by vendors and food trucks. In addition, everyone attending will be automatically entered in a drawing for two round-trip tickets to Europe or throughout North America on Delta Airlines, as well as for other great prizes.

Tickets, which include coupons for food samples, are $30 for current paid GlobalPittsburgh members, $40 for non-members, and $10 for children ages 5-10. Admission is free for children 4 and under. Prices go up after June 1. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets now.

Six sampling passes to six different food vendors representing international barbecue for adults and two sampling passes for children 5-12. Smaller children will not be getting sampling passes with their free admission but their parents could certainly share their grilled foods. Additional sampling passes will be available to purchase at the event.

The event will be held in an outdoor space that can accommodate 200-250 people, food vendors, food trucks, a safe area for grilling, bands and DJs, craft vendors and cultural performances.

For more information, please contact Nadya Kessler at 412-392-4513 or nkessler@globalpittsburgh.org.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Volunteers Needed to Help Plan Navigating Pittsburgh Event in November

The Latin American Cultural Union and Casa San José have partnered to hold the 1st Annual Navigating Pittsburgh Summit in November 2015. 

Navigating Pittsburgh is an event that will guide immigrants, as well as other newcomers in our region, to successfully navigate local systems and resources in Pittsburgh – through workshops on topics ranging from cultural aspects of American life to specific legal rights, from political participation to job opportunities and affordable education; all in one day, at one location. The expected outcome is to provide immigrants and newcomers with the necessary tools and skills to overcome the challenges of moving into a new culture and city. At the same time, it will re-energize those who have been in Pittsburgh for a while.

The agenda and speakers will be focused in five different pillars:

1. Civic Knowledge (rights, visas, government involvement, advocacy, etc)
2. Education (k-12 education system, college, institutes, GED, ESL, etc)
3. Financial Capability (banking, job hunting, business, savings)
4. Health and Wellness (health/life insurance, prevention, mental health, obesity, nutrition, etc)
5. Community Engagement (preserving and promoting culture, volunteering, community events )

LACU has received a grant from Vibrant Pittsburgh and Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh to arrange for five buses to transport people to the event location and for onsite childcare.

Navigating Pittsburgh organizers are looking for a group of dynamic, committed, self-motivated, responsible and action-driven volunteers to help with the planning and development of the Navigating Pittsburgh event. Up to five to seven hours a week will be needed; meetings after 4pm during the week when needed, or usually conference calls. Tasks will range from social media and email writing, to coordinating catering to finding sponsors. Click this link to fill out a brief form if you are interested in helping out: http://goo.gl/forms/0AgHWZilSB

If you know someone who can represent your organization and help in the working group, please forward them this information.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Music Lineup Announced for Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival June 5-14

Three Rivers Arts Festival 2015 Headline Music Line-Up

All shows are free and open to the public, live on the Dollar Bank Stage, in Pittsburgh’s beautiful and historic Point State Park. No tickets are required. Learn more.

Jenny Lewis | Friday, June 5
Railroad Earth + Elephant Revival | Saturday, June 6
Bluegrass Day supported by Colcom Foundation
Alvvays | Sunday, June 7
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in concert with Pittsburgh Opera | Monday, June 8
The Felice Brothers + Hurray for the Riff Raff | Tuesday, June 9
Milo Greene | Wednesday, June 10
Rhiannon Giddens | Thursday, June 11
Richard Thompson | Friday, June 12
Neko Case | Saturday, June 13
Benjamin Booker | Sunday, June 14

Monday, March 16, 2015

Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh & UPMC Form Alliance To Transform Health Care Through Big Data

Leveraging “big data” to revolutionize health care and wellness is the focus of the new Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance, a powerful new collaboration announced by Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC.

Today’s health care system generates massive amounts of data — patient information in the electronic health record, diagnostic imaging, prescriptions, genomic profiles, insurance records, even data from wearable devices. Information has always been essential for guiding the care of individuals, but computer tools now make it possible to use that data to provide deeper insights into disease itself.

For example, the use of smart data could help hospitals and doctors rapidly detect potential new outbreaks and immediately alert staff and authorities to take appropriate actions. Systems based around this principle of finding emerging events in complex data sets have already been made possible by collaborations among UPMC, Pitt, and CMU.

This one-of-a-kind alliance is a wide-reaching commitment to advance technology and create new data-heavy health care innovations over the coming years, resulting in spinoff companies and furthering economic development in the region.

The alliance, funded by UPMC, will see its work carried out by Pitt-led and CMU-led centers, with participation from all three institutions. The centers will work to transform the explosion of health-related data into new technologies, products and services to change the way diseases are prevented and how patients are diagnosed, treated and engaged in their own care.

Using health care data to its full potential will require close collaboration among the leading health sciences research at Pitt, world-class computer science and machine learning at CMU, and the clinical care, extensive patient data and commercialization expertise at UPMC. The close proximity and world-leading talent among these organizations provide the ideal setting to transform all aspects of health care, not only in western Pennsylvania but around the world.

“The complementary strengths of the alliance’s partner institutions will allow us to re-imagine health care for millions of people in our shared, data-driven world,” said Subra Suresh, president of CMU. “Through this collaboration, we will move more rapidly to immediate prevention and remediation, further accelerate the development of evidence-based medicine, and augment disease-centered models with patient-centered models of care.”

The new research centers at CMU and Pitt will be funded with $10 million to $20 million per year over the next six years by UPMC and also will benefit from several hundred million dollars in existing research grants at all three institutions. They promise to create what UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff calls an “innovation ecosystem” for health data in the region.

“We are unlocking the potential of data to tackle some of our nation’s biggest challenges: raising the quality and reducing the cost of health care. Not only will this effort benefit patients, but it also will accelerate Pittsburgh’s revitalization,” Mr. Romoff said. Corporate partners and entrepreneurs from around the world will want to be close to this health care data hub, he predicted, just as Google, Apple and Disney already have space in or near Oakland to be close to CMU’s and Pitt’s talented faculty and students.

The alliance will support applied research and commercialization, along with basic foundational research in medicine and computer science. “Through this partnership, our brilliant scientists at Pitt and CMU will have unprecedented resources for turning their innovative ideas into products and services that can truly better the lives of patients and society,” said Patrick Gallagher, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. “The knowledge created here will result in the spinoff of many new companies and thousands of new jobs over the next decade.”

Initially, the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance will include two research and development centers: the Center for Machine Learning and Health (CMLH), led by founding director Eric Xing, Ph.D., a CMU professor in the Department of Machine Learning; and the Center for Commercial Applications of Healthcare Data (CCA), spearheaded by Michael Becich, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Pitt. Scientists from all three institutions will participate in the work of each center.

The CMLH will work on challenging problems at the intersections of health care and machine learning. Data from sources as varied as electronic medical records, genomic sequencing, insurance records and wearable sensors will be utilized to directly improve health care. For example, imagine a smartphone app that suggests the single dietary change that will most improve your health, based on your genetic makeup and medical history. Or suppose a physician receives an automatic alert when a patient enters the earliest stages of rejecting a transplanted organ and can react while the condition is most easily treatable. The center will focus on five areas: big health care data analytics; personalized medicine and disease modeling; issues of privacy, security and compliance in the context of big data; data-driven patient and provider education and training; and a new general framework for big data in health care.

The CCA at the University of Pittsburgh will research and invent new technology for potential use in commercial theranostics and imaging systems for patients and doctors. (Theranostics works to develop individualized therapies for various diseases, and to combine diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities.) These technologies will be based on intelligently engineered big data solutions. Some areas of focus for CCA will be: personalized medicine for understanding diseases such as cancer and various lung disorders; genomics and imaging data; and methods for data capture and health care analytics. A key goal is new technologies and methods to create actionable information.

UPMC Enterprises, the commercialization arm of UPMC, will lead the efforts to turn these innovative ideas into new, for-profit companies and jobs, building on its nearly 20-year track record of investing in and growing companies that solve health care problems.

For more information about the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance, visit www.healthdataalliance.com.

Source: Carnegie Mellon University  

Global Venturing Israel: MedTech & Inclusive Innovation Conference March 26-27 at University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business

Global Venturing Israel: MedTech and Inclusive Innovation

March 26-27, 2015

University of Pittsburgh

Register Now

Conference Chair: Paul T. Harper, PhD

Vision: Global Venturing is a new initiative within the International Business Center at the Katz Graduate School of Business. Under this Initiative, Katz faculty and staff will introduce new courses, produce new research and thought leadership, establish student exchanges, and coordinate special events that highlight the importance of new ventures and innovation as a strong economic driver in our global economy.
Israeli New Ventures & Innovation: In the last 20 years, Israel has distinguished itself as the #2 innovation ecosystem in the world thereby becoming known as the ‘Start-Up Nation.’ The business sectors most affected by Israeli technological innovation include energy, information technology, agriculture, and the life sciences. Through its impact on all of these industries the nation of Israel has improved the well being of people around the world and, as8 a result, has garnered great attention and substantial foreign investment.
Pittsburgh/Tel Aviv Nexus of Innovation: The inaugural event will be a conference that focuses on the innovation economy of Israel with special emphasis on the life sciences. Israeli innovations in the life sciences have been chosen as the focus of the conference for several reasons. The life sciences, including health information technology, medical devices, and drug innovations are areas where Israeli and Southwestern Pennsylvania firms, universities, incubators, and accelerators share similar and complementary strengths. Given these complementary strengths, it is puzzling that there have been only a handful of joint R&D projects, strategic alliances, and commercial acquisitions. The conference Chair, Advisory Committee, organizers, strategic partners, and sponsoring organizations believe that there is a substantial opportunity to establish a new set of bi-national relationships that will lead to new business opportunities, expanded research agendas, more globalized civic cooperation, and economic development. This foundational event will serve the prospecting of these opportunities by convening the relevant university, business, and civic stakeholders.
Inclusive Innovation: One of opportunities made available by this conference is an engagement with the concept of Inclusive Innovation, which will be discussed by a bi-national panel of experts and practitioners. An Arab-Israeli entrepreneur from the city of Nazareth is included in the VIP Investor event, the company showcase, and also the panel on Inclusive Innovation. This added dimension differentiates the conference from others in the U.S. by foregrounding the challenges of inclusion for successful innovation-driven economies.
Conference Goals & Objectives:
  • Showcase Israeli MedTech innovation corporations and new ventures to the Pittsburgh region.
  • Introduce the Pittsburgh innovation ecosystem to Israeli entrepreneurs, incubators, and investors.
  • Contribute to the global venturing and innovation agenda and roadmap for Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.
  • Engage Katz/Pitt faculty and students in an exchange with an exemplary global innovation ecosystem.
  • Create a new business development platform for enhanced bi-national dealflow.
  • Highlight current business connections between Israel & Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Conference Advisory Committee:
  • William Generett: CEO, Urban Innovation 21
  • Gregg Roman: Director for Community Engagement, Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh
  • Eric White: Business Development Executive, Urban Redevelopment Authority
Conference Philanthropic Supporters:
  • Barbara and David Burstin
  • Ira Gumberg
  • Charles Steiner
  • John Wolf
Conference Partnering Organizations:
  • UPMC Enterprises
  • Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership
  • Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh
  • Jewish Healthcare Foundation
  • Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
  • Urban Innovation 21
  • Innovation Works
Conference Ambassadors:
  • Pitt: Aishwarya Garg, Erin Paolini, Samantha Rothman, Amit Shimshi, Mary Bajek, Eric Huntermark, Jesse Hellman, Latriece Holland
  • CMU: Liza Tresser
Conference Student Leadership:
  • LaunchPitt
  • Roberto Clemente MBA Association
Conference Media Partners:
  • Israel & Co
  • World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh
  • African American Chamber of Commerce Western Pennsylvania
  • Vibrant Pittsburgh
  • Global Pittsburgh
  • University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

Global Problems/Global Solutions Conference at La Roche College April 9-10 to Focus on Theme "Saving Our Children: A Global Issue - A Local Response"

2015 Global Problems, Global Solutions Conference
April 9-10

Saving Our Children: A Global Issue - A Local Response

La Roche College will partner with sponsor organizations Brother’s Brother Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Council for Higher Education to host the 10th annual Global Problems, Global Solutions conference on April 9 and 10.   
Organized to focus on critical global concerns, the conference will relate this year’s theme, Saving Our Children: A Global Issue - A Local Response, to the Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations.   

Thursday, April 9: Keynote Address

Hosted at La Roche's main campus, the 2015 keynote address will be delivered by Maureen A. Dunn, division chief of the office of policy and strategy at U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. with the general session following at 7 p.m. and a reception of dessert and coffee afterward in the Zappala College Center Square at La Roche's main Campus.

Friday, April 10: On-campus discussion

Examine local and international child issues during a discussion hosted by local experts from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Ryan Room of the Zappala College Center at La Roche's main campus. 

Saturday, April 11: Cranberry Folk and Food Festival

Come support La Roche students as they participate in the Cranberry Folk and Food Festival.  Enjoy ethnic food sampling, demonstrations, games, music and dance performances from countries around the world from 12 to 3 p.m. at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center Gym (2525 Rochester Road, Cranberry Township, PA 16066).

About Global Problems, Global Solutions

Global Problems, Global Solutions is a free, annual conference. La Roche leads and co-sponsors the conference with local colleges, universities and nonprofits known for their global activism. The conference discusses progress, plans and initiatives related to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals which seek to:
    Dedicated to promoting justice and peace in a constantly changing global society, La Roche supports the U.N. in working to make these goals a reality in Pittsburgh and throughout the global marketplace.

    Previous keynote speakers

    • Robert C. Gallo, MD, Co-Discoverer of HIV Causing AIDS 
    • Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill 
    • Pulitzer Prize Winner Sheryl WuDunn 
    • Deputy Secretary of USAID, Ambassador Donald Steinberg 

    For more information

    Contact Assistant Director of Global Engagement Charlotte Reed at 412-536-1215 or charlotte.reed@laroche.edu.