Monday, November 21, 2011

University of Pittsburgh Student Cory Rogers Wins 2012 Rhodes Scholarship; Studied in Tanzania, Mongolia

University of Pittsburgh student Cory J. Rodgers has been named a 2012 Rhodes Scholarship winner. Rogers has been studying for a Bachelor's of Philosophy degree in Africana studies and the history and philosophy of science and a BS degree in biological sciences with a minor in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College and Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

Cory J. Rogers
Rodgers is the seventh Pitt undergraduate-degree recipient to win the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, the fourth Pitt student to do so in the past seven years. There are only 14 universities or colleges in the United States whose students have won the award at least four times in the last seven years. Pitt is one of only two public institutions to do so; the other 12 are private schools.

Rodgers is a first-generation university student from Somerset, Pa. In 2011, he was Pitt’s inaugural recipient of the 2011 Samuel Huntington Public Service Award. He is spending this year in Tanzania on a project that assists people living with HIV and AIDS. At The University of Oxford, Rodgers will seek to incorporate anthropological, cross-cultural, and human rights frameworks into an interdisciplinary approach to designing participatory health programs. He will pursue the MSc in medical anthropology during his first year and the MSc in migration studies during his second year. His goal is to be a medical practitioner working among people affected by displacement, urbanization, and cultural pluralism.

Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest of the international study awards available to U.S. students, provide two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

“The coveted Rhodes Scholarship is one of the highest honors available to young adults who successfully combine intellectual excellence, positive character, effective leadership, and a genuine concern for others,” said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. “This prestigious award publicly recognizes individuals who have built an existing record of high achievement and impact and who are judged to have exceptional potential for future service to humankind. The entire University of Pittsburgh community congratulates Cory for earning this very special form of recognition and for further strengthening Pitt’s rich legacy of student success.”

“Cory Rodgers has the extraordinary curiosity and drive that characterize the finest undergraduate students at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Pitt Honors College Dean Edward Stricker. “He has sought opportunities, both at Pitt and abroad, in which he could explore disease modeling, administration of palliative care, and health policy, and his graduate work in medical anthropology at Oxford will further that education. The Rhodes Scholarship is recognition of his commitment to academic excellence and leadership in his journey to become an outstanding physician and global health practitioner.”

Rodgers is in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, working on an urban agricultural project for people with HIV/AIDS in the low-income Manzese area. He and two HIV support groups are using innovative farming techniques, raising free-range chickens, and managing water resources to improve the groups' capacity to generate a sustainable source of food and income. The project utilizes participatory design techniques to involve group members at all stages of project research, planning, and implementation.

In 2010, Rodgers conducted a research project through KADERES to identify the barriers created by HIV and AIDS, interviewing those affected, getting their perspectives, and capturing their experiences. KADERES plans to use Rodgers’ report in planning for its microfinancing programs, which provide loans to local peasants and small-holder farmers, funding for area clinics, and building projects.

Rodgers’ 2010 research experience in Tanzania included study in Swahili, cultural immersion, and service learning. In 2009, he also studied at the National University of Mongolia in Ulaabaatar, Mongolia, through a Pitt Honors College program.

As a Pitt undergraduate laboratory researcher in chemistry, Rodgers also took time to volunteer. Through the Pitt program “Keep It Real,” he tutored a Somali-Bantu refugee family; he also served as a hospice volunteer, assisting in daily patient care, and worked with Habitat for Humanity through Pitt’s Alternative Spring Break program. Rodgers also served in UPMC Patient Transport.

Among Rodgers’ many honors are a University Honors College Scholarship, Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Brackenridge Undergraduate Fellowship from Pitt’s Honors College, Helen Pool Rush Award from Pitt’s Nationality Rooms Summer Study Abroad Scholarship Program, Foundation for Asia Pacific Education Scholarship, Sigma Phi Epsilon Balanced Man Scholarship Award, and membership in Phi Beta Kappa.

This year’s Rhodes U.S. winners—32 students from 18 institutions of higher learning—came from a pool of 210 interviewees from 99 colleges and universities. Those chosen will enter the University of Oxford next October.

Rhodes Scholarships are the legacy of British colonial pioneer, statesman, and philanthropist Cecil J. Rhodes, who died in 1902. Although intellectual distinction is a necessary requirement for selection as a Rhodes Scholar, it is not sufficient. The selection process seeks excellence in qualities of mind and of person, which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. Thus, winners are chosen on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential, and physical vigor, among other attributes.

The value of the Rhodes Scholarship varies depending upon the academic field, the degree (bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral), and the Oxford college chosen. The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees, provides a stipend to cover necessary expenses while in residence atOxford as well as during vacations, and transportation to and from England.

Pitt’s other six Rhodes Scholars are David Frederick (1983), who graduated from Pitt’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences in 1983; Donna Roberts, (1987), who graduated from the Dietrich School in 1985; Nathan Urban (1991), who received an undergraduate degree in 1991 and graduate degrees in 1996 and 1998 from the Dietrich School; Justin Chalker (2006), who graduated from the Dietrich School in 2006; Daniel Armanios (2007), who graduated from the Dietrich School and the Swanson School of Engineering in 2007; and Eleanor Ott (2010), who graduated from the Dietrich School in 2009.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

GlobalPittsburgh to Celebrate Region's International Entrepreneurs at Annual Dinner Dec. 19 at LeMont

GlobalPittsburgh will celebrate the region's international entrepreneurs and recognize the important contributions they have made to the region’s economic growth and cultural diversity at its Annual Dinner on Monday, December 19, 2011, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at LeMont restaurant.

Headlining the 2011 GlobalPittsburgh Annual Dinner event will be Richard T. Herman, noted speaker and co-author of the book "Immigrant, Inc. - Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are Driving the New Economy (and How They Will Save the American Worker)."

The evening also will feature presentation of the GlobalPittsburgh International Bridge Awards, book signing, exclusive dinner, live music arrangements, prize drawings and more.

Richard T. Herman is a dynamic speaker who has appeared on National Public Radio, FOX News, and various affiliates of NBC, CBS, and ABC. He has also been quoted in such publications as USA Today, InformationWeek, PCWorld, ComputerWorld, CIO, Site Selection and National Lawyers Weekly.

Richard T. Herman
He is the founder of Richard T. Herman & Associates, an immigration and business law firm in Cleveland, Ohio which serves a global clientele in over 10 languages. As co-founder of a local chapter of TiE, a global network of entrepreneurs started in 1992 in Silicon Valley, he is one of the architects of a movement to revitalize the Rust Belt through federal and local policies to attract job-creating high-skill, entrepreneurial and investor immigrants to distressed regions of the country.

More information about his book can be found at

Advanced registration for the Annual Dinner is requested before Dec. 12, 2011. Reservation prices are as follows:
- Members - $60 per person, $480 for table of 8, $600 for table of 10.
- Non-Members - $75 per person, $100 for dinner plus GlobalPittsburgh family membership, $600 for table of 8, $750 for table of 10.
CLICK HERE for a downloadable registration form.

Thanks to our sponsor Tucker Arensberg Attorneys (click the logo to go to their website). Sponsorship opportunities are available at the Platinum ($3,000), Gold ($2,000) and Silver ($1,000) levels. CLICK HERE for more information about sponsorships.

For more information, contact Nadya Kessler at 412-392-4513 or

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Number of International Students in Western Pennsylvania Grows by 8.8 Percent in 2010-11 School Year, Generating $256.3 Million in Economic Benefit, Report Says

The number of international students attending colleges, universities and English language programs in Western Pennsylvania increased by 8.8 percent during the 2010-2011 academic year, and their economic impact increased by 5.6 percent to $256.3 million, according to a new report.

The number of international students in the region grew to 9,322 at 30 institutions in 2010-11, up from 8,570 in the previous year, according to the report by NAFSA, an organization of international educators, to coincide with International Education Week, which runs from November 14-18.

"This is exciting and encouraging news for the Pittsburgh region, because international students are a key component in the region's cultural and economic diversity, and in our future growth," said Thomas Buell, Jr., Director of the Study Pittsburgh initiative at GlobalPittsburgh, whose goal is to promote the region around the world as an excellent place to study.

About two-thirds of international students in the Pittsburgh region attend Carnegie Mellon University (3,853) and the University of Pittsburgh (2,607). Intenational students at Penn State University total 5,207 but were not separate among individual campuses by the NAFSA report.

The number of international students in the state of Pennsylvania grew 8.6 percent to 30,507 during the same period, and made a total economic contribution of $965 million, according to the NAFSA report. Pennsylvania placed sixth on the list of states attracting the most international students.

Top countries with students studying in Pennsylvania were China (25 percent of the total), India (17 percent), South Korea (10 percent), Saudi Arabia (4 percent) and Taiwan (4 percent), NAFSA reported. 

Pennsylvania District Map
The institutions included in the NAFSA report are divided by Congressional Districts 3, 4, 12, 14 and 18, which cover most of Western Pennsylvania (see map).

International student enrollment across the United States increased by 4.7 percent to a total of 723,277, according to NAFSA. The economic impact of international students and their dependents for the year totaled more than $20 billion.

The economic benefits were calculated by adding tuition and fees with living expenses for the students and their dependents, less the amount of scholarships and grants provided to them.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Two Pittsburgh Universities Participating in STEM Scholar Program For Women From Predominantly Muslim Countries

Two universities in Pittsburgh are participating in a U.S. government program to encourage young women from predominantly Muslim countries to pursue undergraduate degrees at women's colleges in the United States in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Carlow University and Chatham University are among 50 women's colleges in the U.S. participating in the NeXXt Scholars program designed to "provide access to leadership, internship and research opportunities to build the skills and confidence needed to become the next leaders, problem-solvers, and innovators in their communities."

Women selected under the NeXXt program will receive:
- Five-year membership to the New York Academy of Sciences (four years during undergraduate studies + one year post-graduation).
- Individual STEM mentor and networking opportunities provided by the NYAS
- Access to internship & research opportunities.
- Incredible science, technology, engineering and math education environment with high-tech equipment and hands-on learning.
- A STEM-Sister NeXXt Scholar (an entering American STEM peer is nominated by the admitting college to also receive the NYAS benefits; to discover and navigate STEM educations together.)

Carlow and Chatham are members of the GlobalPittsburgh Education Partnership, a consortium of 17 colleges, universities and graduate programs working together to attract international students to the region through the Study Pittsburgh initiative.

NeXXt Scholar applicants must be citizens of a predominantly Muslim focus country (see table), currently residing in and attending a focus country high school, although they do not have to be Muslims. Students must apply directly to any of the 50 U.S. women’s colleges, be accepted by the college, and major in a STEM field. Tuition is not covered by the NeXXt program, although students may apply for financial aid from the accepting institution.

Students interested in applying should contact a regional EducationUSA Adviser in their country to request a nomination letter for the NeXXt Scholars program. To find an email address for a regional EducationUSA Adviser, go to

For more about the NeXXt Scholars Initiative, send email to

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pittsburgh Contest Offers $100,000 to "Midlife Dreamers" - Entrepreneurs Over 45 Willing to Relocate to Region

Pittsburgh is looking for Experienced Dreamers™ – people with a bit of experience under their belts and a desire to do something different with their lives. The winner of the Experienced Dreamers contest - who must be over 45 and not lived in Pittsburgh for at least 10 years - will receive a total of $100,000 pursue their dream.

Pittsburgh is a place with a long history of dreamers – pioneers in arts and culture, business, medicine, robotics, and more. It's also a place where people care about their community, with a legacy of philanthropy that rivals any region in the country. It's a place where ordinary citizens work hard to build businesses and a better community for future generations.

One visit, and it's no wonder Pittsburgh has again and again been named "America's most Livable City" by publications such as Forbes, The Economist and Places Rated Almanac. Pittsburgh is a place where we honor our past and constantly look to the future – a place that encourages dreamers to imagine what they can do here … and then to do it.

"The Experienced Dreamers contest is all about getting you to think about your dream – whatever it is you believe you were born to do – and asking if you have the courage to pick up your life, move to Pittsburgh and make it real," the contest website says. "If you've got a dream and the passion to follow it, we want to hear about it. And – for one dreamer – we're going to give you the resources to help you do it."

The winner of the contest will receive $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in the form of a charitable trust in their name.

Applications for the contest will be accepted until December 16, 2011. There's no fee to enter, but applicants must be 45 or older and you must not have lived within 100 miles of Pittsburgh in the last 10 years.

In the spring of 2012, 20 semifinalists and five finalists will be chosen based on the originality, creativity, passion and clarity demonstrated in their applications. And the winner will be chosen from among the five finalists by a vote of the people of Pittsburgh.

"The Experienced Dreamers contest truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent yourself – to pick up your life and chase your dreams in a new place and with a community of people who are rooting for you to succeed," the contest website says. "It's also a unique opportunity to create a lasting legacy of giving, through your own charitable trust, to improve the quality of lives for your neighbors throughout the region."

Experienced Dreamers contest is a partnership of foundations and civic and government organizations including the Benedum, Buhl, Jewish Healthcare, Pittsburgh, and R.K. Mellon foundations, the Heinz Endowments, Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, and Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bill Strickland of Manchester Craftsmen's Guild to Receive Award From Goi Peace Foundation in Tokyo

The Goi Peace Foundation announced that it will bestow the 2011 Goi Peace Award on Bill Strickland, social innovator and the President and CEO of Pittsburgh's Manchester Bidwell Corporation -- an extraordinary jobs training center and community arts program, which gives disadvantaged students and adults the opportunities they need to build a better future.

Bill Strickland
The annual Goi Peace Award honors individuals and organizations in various fields that have made outstanding contributions toward the realization of a peaceful and harmonious world for humanity and all life on earth. Created in 2000, previous Goi Peace Award recipients include Oscar Arias, Bill Drayton, Bill Gates and Deepak Chopra.

Strickland will receive the award at a ceremony during the Goi Peace Foundation Forum 2011 to be held at Ginza Blossom Hall in Tokyo on November 19, 2011.

The selection committee has chosen Bill Strickland for the Goi Peace Award “in recognition of his visionary social work to help the underserved population transform their lives. By offering innovative educational and cultural opportunities with emphasis on the arts, beauty and respect, he has empowered thousands of youth and adults to restore hope and dignity and become creative contributors to their communities. The example of his own life and successful career has inspired others to dream bigger and make a difference in the world.”

Strickland was born in 1947 and grew up in an inner-city neighborhood of Pittsburgh. His life changed when he was introduced to pottery throwing by his high school art teacher, who became his mentor and helped him obtain entrance to the University of Pittsburgh.

Building on his personal experience, Strickland founded Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild while still in college in 1968 to bring arts education and mentorship to inner city youth in his neighborhood. The MCG Youth & Arts program, as it is now called, serves public school students by offering courses in ceramics, design, digital and photography studios. Gaining self-confidence, more than 80% of the students in the program complete high school and attend college.

In 1972, Strickland assumed leadership of a struggling vocational school. Today, Bidwell Training Center provides market-driven career education created through strong partnerships with leading local industries. It offers disadvantaged adults tuition-free training programs in fields as varied as culinary arts, chemical laboratory technologies, medical, and horticulture, with job placement rates that rival most universities.

Manchester Bidwell, a nonprofit corporation with these two main operations, has proven to be a successful model for social change. With his simple philosophy that environment shapes people’s lives, Strickland has created a world-class institute with an empowering atmosphere of art, light, music and respect to realize the genius in everyone. His model has been replicated in San Francisco, Cincinnati, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, with more being planned in other cities and countries.

Throughout Strickland’s distinguished career, he has been honored with numerous prestigious awards for his contributions to the arts and the community, including the MacArthur “genius award.” He is the author of Making the Impossible Possible, which includes his story of how a kid from Pittsburgh's ghetto would go on to lecture at Harvard and serve on the board of the National Endowment of the Arts. He is also founder of the Grammy-winning MCG Jazz, the most successful jazz subscription series in America, and currently a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions appointed by President Obama.

About the Goi Peace Foundation
Established in Tokyo, Japan in 1999, the Goi Peace Foundation is a public benefit organization with a mission to support the evolution of humanity toward a peaceful and harmonious new civilization. Through various educational and outreach programs, it promotes consciousness, values and wisdom for creating peace, and builds cooperation among individuals and organizations across diverse fields, including education, science, culture and the arts. The Foundation is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It also maintains official relations with UNESCO. For more information, go to