Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pittsburgh World Music Day to Premiere June 14 at Three Rivers Arts Festival Featuring Free Live Music, Deejays

Pittsburgh's first World Music Day will be launched Friday, June 14 at the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival at Point State Park. This free event will include live music and deejay presentations from noon to 7 p.m. Two major world music acts, Red Baraat and Jontre, representing traditional and contemporary music of India and Colombia respectively, will debut at the Festival.

Red Baraat
World Music Day is a collaboration of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Global Beats, a regular presenter of world music events, supported by a grant from Vibrant Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization committed to attracting, retaining, elevating and educating people of all backgrounds, including new Americans, and creating an environment that is inclusive and welcoming.

“At the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, we envision the festival as a safe place for the open exchange of creativity and dialogue, ideas and participation," said Veronica Corpuz, Director of Festivals and Special Projects for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. "World Music Day is an opportunity for festivalgoers to learn about different cultures through different art forms. We’re grateful to Vibrant Pittsburgh and our partners at Global Beats for the support."

Carla Andréa Leininger, President of Global Beats, said the focus of the collaboration with the Trust is "to create a welcoming environment where being different is being equal, and contemporary world music is celebrated amongst thousands of spectators in the heart of the city – at no cost and for the whole family." Leininger recently won the Brazilian International Press Award for her years of dedication to the Brazilian Radio Hour (Cantinho Brasileiro no Rádio), on WRCT 88.3 FM Pittsburgh.

The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is one of the biggest summer events in Pittsburgh, annually attracting between 300,000 and 500,000 people to downtown Pittsburgh during the festival’s 10-day run. With this project, the partnership plans to continue to expand the city's diverse artistic and cultural programming while attracting groups from different ethnicities, countries and cultures to network, mingle and enjoy music and culture, Corpuz said.

World Music Day Concerts include:
Jontre | Dollar Bank Stage | 12pm & 6:30pm
In his US premier, Jontre will open World Music Day, performing Latin and African-American grooves with Colombian flavor. Jontre has recently been featured in the “Latin Beat” collection of “Putumayo” world music label.

Red Baraat | Dollar Bank Stage | 7:30pm
This NYC group has drawn worldwide praise for its singular sound – a merging of hard driving North Indian bhangra rhythms with elements of jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip-hop – that manifests joy and unity in audiences everywhere.

Other World Music Day Events:
Lungs Face Feet | Katz Plaza | 5 - 7 pm
Move to the original music of this Pittsburgh-based 9 piece brass band.

DJ Pandemic Pete | Katz Plaza| 5 - 7 pm
Dance to a hybrid of traditional folkloric music with contemporary dance music from around the world.

Machete Kisumontao | Second Stage at Gateway Center | 5 - 6 pm
Enjoy the sounds of Afro--Caribbean roots music.

Floating Echo | Point State Park Portal Bridge | Daily
Artist: Chang-Jin Lee
Floating Echo is a transparent inflatable statue of Buddha sitting in lotus position on the water. The clear giant sculpture floats like an invisible being. It coexists and contradicts with nature, material and the Self. The piece was originally commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park.

Conflict Kitchen | Point State Park Food Court | June 14 | 12 – 9 pm
Jon Rubin, Dawn Weleski and Robert Sayre
A take-out restaurant that serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. This local favorite is on-site at the Festival for one day only offering Cuban specialties. Cuisine is augmented by discussions that expand public engagement with culture, politics, and issues at stake within the rotating focus country.

About Global Beats
Global Beats is a leading producer of global music events in Pittsburgh, PA. It was created to foster multicultural exchanges and to be an agent of social change through the sounds and fusion of world music. It features lounge and dance music from around the world, because quality music comes in all shapes, languages, colors, and sounds. 

About the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

West Liberty University Establishes New Energy and Commerce Institute to Study Economic Impact of Energy Industry, Development of Future Leaders

West Liberty University has announced the establishment of the Institute for Energy and Commerce, which will conduct research on the economic impacts of the energy industry and plot strategy for training the industry's future leaders.

The new Institute will conduct research on issues surrounding the role of the energy industry in the economic future of West Virginia, the surrounding region and the United States. Researchers will include WLU faculty as well as a panel of highly regarded researchers from colleges and universities around the nation and individuals associated with other research organizations. It will also work with the energy industry to determine the academic and professional programs needed to produce tomorrow’s leaders.

"The continuing influence of the coal industry and the rapid growth of the natural gas industry have created both questions and opportunities,” said WLU President Robin C. Capehart. "It’s our belief that West Liberty University, which is strategically located in the heart of both the coal and natural gas industries, is well-positioned to lead this regional and national discussion."

Serving as a visiting scholar and distinguished research fellow at the new Institute will be Dr. Michael J. Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and a professor of economics in the Miller College of Business at Ball State University, Capehart said.

Chairman of the Institute’s Industry Council will be Chris Hamilton, senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association. Hamilton has spent nearly 40 years in the coal mining industry. He has been responsible for legislative, regulatory and technical matters affecting the industry and serves as co-chair of the West Virginia Coal Forum, a joint labor-management group designed to foster a dialogue between miners and coal operating personnel, and as co-chair of the Mountaintop Mining Coalition.

Located about one hour's drive west of Pittsburgh, West Liberty University is a member of the GlobalPittsburgh Education Partnership and an active participant in its Study Pittsburgh initiative.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Combines Programs in Computer Science and Business Development

Budding Carnegie Mellon University entrepreneurs have long turned to campus organizations such as Project Olympus, an initiative of the School of Computer Science, and the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship (DJC), in the Tepper School of Business, for support in commercializing their innovations.

Now their recent partnership — establishing the new cross-campus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) — offers the uniquely-CMU advantages borne of uniting cutting-edge technological expertise with world-class business education.

"We are thrilled that this partnership of our preeminent technological and business capabilities, as embodied by the new CIE, will further enable the remarkable synergies we see when our faculty and students reach across campus to collaborate — and continue to propel our university, and region, into the entrepreneurial forefront," said Mark S. Kamlet, CMU provost and executive vice president and head of the CIE's governing board.

The new center, made possible by a grant from the McCune Foundation's Big Ideas program, is jointly led by Lenore Blum, Project Olympus founding director and distinguished career professor of computer science and David Mawhinney, executive director of the Don Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and assistant teaching professor of entrepreneurship.

"Olympus has from the start worked closely with the Don Jones Center," explained Blum. "As collaborators and key entities of the Carnegie Mellon innovation eco-system, a partnership between Olympus and the DJC — between technology and business, if you will — made perfect sense."

And the center plans an even broader focus.

"As an elite research university, Carnegie Mellon is unique in enjoying world class status in a number of disciplines — engineering, computer science, design, business and more," said Mawhinney. "We're looking for representation from each of the schools because this is truly a cross-campus effort. We're bringing together all those elements to create innovation and to bring that innovation to society through entrepreneurship."

That movement is further accelerated through the efforts of CMU's Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation, instrumental in supporting commercialization of CMU technologies.

It's an eco-system that works. Consider that CMU ranks first among all U.S. universities without a medical school in the number of startup companies created per research dollar spent since 2007. Moreover, CMU professors and students produce an average of 15–20 new companies each year — and more than 300 companies and 9,000 jobs in the past 15 years.

The CIE identifies three overarching goals:
Defining CMU as the 'university of choice' for both student and faculty entrepreneurs,
Fostering an "inside-out" approach — moving cutting-edge research 'outside' into successful business ventures, and
Developing an extensive alumni entrepreneurial network.
Through the DJC, Tepper was one of the first business schools to offer formal entrepreneurship training.

Olympus, since its 2007 founding in the School of Computer Science, has supported more than 100 student and faculty teams at the earliest stages of the value creation chain. Said Blum, "When I talk to venture capitalists, I often say, 'Whatever you've thought of as early stage ventures, we're earlier than that'" — leading to more than 70 companies, two-thirds student-led, and $60 million in follow-on funding.

The CIE will continue the successful activities of both Olympus and the DJC, including Show & Tell showcases, the Spark grant fund for students, the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund for alumni ventures, incubator space for fledgling companies, and hosting workshops and business competitions.

New programs will include Launch CMU events in both Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley that bring top-tier venture capitalists together with university entrepreneurs, as well as undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships.

"We also will be establishing an Alumni Entrepreneurial Network, tapping our many alumni who have started or who are leading successful startups," noted Mawhinney. "Our alumni can provide priceless guidance to the next generation of entrepreneurs and we will be nurturing those connections in every way we can."

"We want Carnegie Mellon to be the destination of choice for students and faculty who are interested in entrepreneurship," stressed Blum. "The knowledge and skills necessary to start a business rarely come naturally, regardless of how gifted a person might be in their chosen discipline. The CIE provides the missing pieces, benefiting not only our faculty and students, but the entire region."

Learn more about the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at

Source: Carnegie Mellon University


Join Us for GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays International Happy Hour at AVA Lounge June 6

Meet people from all over the world in Pittsburgh and learn more about different cultures at the next GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays international happy hour on Thursday, June 6, from 5:30-8:00 pm at AVA Lounge in East Liberty. Bring your friends, family and colleagues or come alone - you will make new friends!

GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays is a regular monthly night of networking and socializing with different themes and different activities - but always with an international flavor - on the first Thursday of every month. It's an evening of friends, interesting conversation and good spirits with an international flair. Everyone is welcome!
In June, our partner is Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. In their 35th year, the company reaches out across traditional lines of demarcation in the arts, presenting works that engage diverse, new and younger audiences, bringing people from different backgrounds together, including supporters of music, theater, dance and the visual arts, and involving them in experiences that have meaning and impact. 
Opera Theater SummerFest returns to enchant audiences for a second season during three weeks in July 2013! From July 6 – 21, a menu of opera musicals, recitals, new works, dining, and cabaret will be ensconced in the lovely Twentieth Century Club in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. With its close proximity to parking, dining, cultural organizations, and public transportation, The Twentieth Century Club is a convenient location. But the elegant Art Deco interiors of the historic club will really dazzle you, and this atmosphere will be reflected in the productions themselves. To read more about SummerFest go to: 
AVA Lounge is located at 126 S. Highland Avenue in East Liberty.
Admission is FREE for paid GlobalPittsburgh members. Admission is $5 at the door for everyone else. Membership information will be available at the event, but you may also join GlobalPittsburgh now at and get in free on the night of the event.
Many thanks to support from Vibrant Pittsburgh, whose mini-grant program helps make these events possible.
If you have questions, please contact Nadya Kessler in the GlobalPittsburgh office at 412-392-4513 or by email at
Photos from past First Thursdays and a few other GlobalPittsburgh events, activities, and programs can be viewed at See you there!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Duquesne University Researcher Aleem Gangjee Receives $1.6 Million Grant To Explore Nontoxic Cancer Fighter

Duquesne University cancer researcher Dr. Aleem Gangjee has received at $1.56 million, three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute to further develop his latest research into treatments that do not harm normal cells like most cancer-fighting compounds.

Dr. Aleem Gangjee
In his 30 years of research as a distinguished professor of medicinal chemistry in Duquesne's School of Pharmacy, Gangjee has developed compounds that target the basic building blocks of cancer cells' DNA. What sets his new research apart is that the compounds don't harm normal cells like standard  treatments.

"There are several drugs that try to inhibit synthesis of DNA," Gangjee said. "But they are extremely toxic."

Gangjee, a native of India, wanted his compounds to be so selective that they would impact cancer cells alone, not normal cells. To do so, he focused on a specific system, called a transport system that is expressed only in select tumor cells. The system is not expressed in normal cells, so the mechanism itself avoids toxicity.

This transport system shuttles chemicals from outside cancer cells to the inside of the cells, carrying Gangjee's tumor-fighting compounds like a Trojan horse, fighting cancer from the inside out. These compounds hitch a ride on a transport system special to certain types of ovarian, breast, liver, lung and colon cancers. Once they gain entry to the cancer cells, they selectively block the signaling systems involved in synthesizing DNA.

"To our knowledge, this is the only type of targeted therapy that deals with transport into tumor cells using a folate transporter," Gangjee said. "The killing mechanism in these cells brings another advantage, that is, the compounds indirectly inhibit the signaling machinery" of cancer cells.

"It is wonderfully selective, exquisitely selective and very, very potent," said Gangjee, a native of India who previously had used a different transporter as his Trojan horse. "The beauty is we do this selectively in tumor cells only, because our drugs don't get into the normal cells."

Gangjee's lab employs 14 people, including graduate assistants.

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in 10 schools of study for 10,000-plus graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility.

Source: Duquesne University


GlobalPittsburgh Co-Hosting International Night at Savoy May 15 With Pittsburgh Social Exchange and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

GlobalPittsburgh is teaming up with the Pittsburgh Social Exchange and the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (PMAHCC) to host the 3rd Annual International Night at the SAVOY Restaurant and Lounge in the Strip District on Wednesday, May 15 from 6-8 p.m.

Join us as we experience "The Good Life" and celebrate the international culture of our great city with food, drinks, fun, and business networking! Admission includes delicious cuisine from different lands across the world. Meet and mingle with members and friends of Global Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of other business people. Space is limited, and we have sold out in previous years, so register now by clicking HERE.

Admission for GlobalPittsburgh members (and PSE/PMAHCC members) is $15 in advance and $45 for non-members. Admission at the door (if tickets are available) is $50 per person. If you are not a GlobalPittsburgh member, now is the time to join. It's only $40 per year, or $50 per household. CLICK HERE for membership information. You can sign up and pay online, and then get member ticket price to this event.

Savoy is located at 2623 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. To register, please CLICK HERE.

The Pittsburgh Social Exchange is Pittsburgh's premier networking organization, with the goal of helping members build their business and professional career by connecting them with other local professionals. PSE specializes in high-caliber events that are designed to bring together local professionals and help them increase their professional opportunities through business networking. For more information, go to

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pittsburgh Deejay and Radio Host Carla Leininger Wins International Press Award for Promoting Brazil

Pittsburgh deejay and radio host Carla Andréa Leininger is among the 2013 Brazilian International Press Awards recipients for her efforts to celebrate Brazilian culture and Brazil’s positive image overseas.

Carla Leininger
Leininger, who was born in Brasilia, Brazil, and moved to Pittsburgh in the late 1970s, started the city's first Latin American radio program in 1999 -- now called the Brazilian Radio Hour or Cantinho Brasileiro no Radio -- and is creator and presenter of a world music series of events known as Global Beats.

“We like to think that we put the 'happy' in Pittsburgh’s Friday Happy Hour," Leininger said of the radio program, which airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on Carnegie Mellon University's radio station, WRCT 88.3 FM. "Folks are riding home in their car, listening to some soft samba music. That puts anyone in a good mood."

The Brazilian International Press Award ceremony takes place May 3 at the end of a seminar known as Focus Brasil, which has become an annual forum for leaders of the Brazilian communities abroad. It fosters issues of interest such as Brazilian culture and the teaching of the Portuguese language.

Leininger attended the Focus Brasil seminars for a few years to network with fellow Brazilians and to let everyone know that the Brazilian flag was waving high above the Pittsburgh skyline. It paid off.

Not only was Leininger recognized for her radio program this year, but a special edition of the Focus Brasil Conference was held in the city recently. The event caught the recognition of city of Pittsburgh officials, and April 13th was declared Focus Brasil Day in the city.

Global Beats was created to foster multicultural exchanges and to be an agent of social change through the sounds and fusion of world music. It features lounge and dance music from around the world, because quality music comes in all shapes, languages, colors, and sounds.

This summer, Global Beats and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust are collaborating and presenting Pittsburgh's first World Music Day at the Three Rivers Arts Festival. Two major world music acts are expected to debut at the festival, thanks to a grant from Vibrant Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization committed to attracting, retaining, elevating and educating people of all backgrounds, including new Americans, and creating an environment that is inclusive and welcoming.