Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Show Your International Colors with the New GlobalPittsburgh Expand Your World T-Shirt

You're a citizen of the world so show off your colors with your own GlobalPittsburgh t-shirt! These all-cotton shirts will display your commitment to spreading international awareness while investing in GlobalPittsburgh's programs and activities.

Click on the button below to order your very own "Expand Your World - Get Connected" t-shirt. They also make great gifts for children, grandchildren, parents, friends and maybe those out-of-town college students who might want to show their Pittsburgh pride.

These shirts (in GlobalPittsburgh purple) are yours for $20 plus flat-rate shipping in the U.S. Click on the button below to order yours now. Tell your friends!

Choose your size (men's sizes)


Friday, August 16, 2013

Pittsburgh-Based Wonderaddo Launches Fun, Engaging Global Education Resource for Children and Families

Pittsburgher Mandy Fields Yokim has founded Wonderaddo, LLC, a global education resource focused on promoting the global awareness of children and families in Pittsburgh.

Wonderaddo launched its new website on Thursday, August 15th, 2013 with the goal of providing a valuable community resource that will inspire Pittsburgh residents and visitors to explore the world through global events, activities and connections in our beautiful city – no passport or suitcases required.

The public is invited to Wonderaddo's free Explore the World Launch Event at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District on Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"Wonderaddo is a great resource for parents with young children to experience the world and celebrate diverse cultures in Pittsburgh." - Amiena Mahsoob, Director of Education Programs, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh
As Pittsburgh continues to be recognized on a national and global scale for its many amenities, Wonderaddo strives to inspire even our youngest residents and visitors to appreciate and benefit from all that the city has to offer, says Yokim, a writer and the mother of young children.

"When Mandy visited the GlobalPittsburgh office to talk to us about Wonderaddo, we agreed that she would be filling a niche by helping families with young children learn about global activities in the region and further explore other cultures via fun educational tools.  We believe that Wonderaddo may lead families to consider becoming host families for international visitors for our organization and to inspire kids to travel and consider global careers when they are older." - Gail Shrott, Director, International Leaders Program, GlobalPittsburgh
For more information, go to www.wonderaddo.com.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays Happy Hour Sept. 5 at Luke Wholey's Wild Alaskan Grille in the Strip District

Come meet globally-minded people from Pittsburgh and all over the world to make new friends and learn more about different cultures at our GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays happy hour on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 5:30-8:00 pm at Luke Wholey's Wild Alaskan Grille in the Strip District. 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!

Special features for the September event:
- Free admission for GlobalPittsburgh members
- GlobalPittsburgh Networking PASSport (see below)
- Complimentary appetizers
- Entertaining vendors
- Prize drawings
- Drink specials
- Free seated massages from Massage Envy in Squirrel Hill

Get your GlobalPittsburgh Networking PASSport (attendance stamp card for members). Collect stamps and turn them in for free drinks and prizes.

Discounted membership registration when you sign up at the event. Get $10 off your individual or family annual membership. Signing a friend to be a member entitles you both to free drinks. If you are already a member and you bring a friend who becomes a member at the event, you will both receive free drinks! Online registration for your convenience. By registering online (link below) you will receive a free ticket to one of the drawings at the door. We look forward to seeing you on August 1st.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, do not hesitate to call 412-392-4513 or email nkessler@globalpittsburgh.org.

GlobalPittsburgh is looking to partner with small businesses and organizations for this event. We are offering the opportunity for you to promote your small businesses or organization at our event at a table, advertise your name on our social media, and announce our partnership during the evening. If you are interested in setting up a vendor table or simply would like to donate an item/gift certificate for the prize drawing, please contact Nadya Kessler.

Luke Wholey's is located at 2106 Penn Avenue in the Strip District.

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 www.globalpittsburgh.org/membership and get in free on the night of the event.


If you have questions or would like to set up a vendor table, please contact Nadya Kessler in the GlobalPittsburgh office at 412-392-4513 or by email at nkessler@globalpittsburgh.org. Photos from past First Thursdays and a few other GlobalPittsburgh events, activities, and programs can be viewed at www.flickr.com/photos/globalpittsburgh. See you there!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Carnegie Mellon Students and Graduates Spend Summer Working With Visually Impaired Children in India

Eight Carnegie Mellon University students and recent graduates spent their summer working on technology to assist visually impaired children through the Mathru Educational Trust for the Blind in Bangalore, India.

Among their impressive accomplishments: enhancing three technologies created by previous CMU researchers. They include two forms of Braille Writing Tutors, and software that enables blind students to experience graphics by printing them out as braille patterns.

"It's exciting to see how the device helps. When you see the students so excited by the games we created, when they are laughing and happy, it makes it all worthwhile," said Shree Lakshmi Rao (A'13), one of the students competitively selected for the innovative Student Technology ExPerience (iSTEP) internship that enabled her and the others to travel to India and put the skills they learned at CMU to use.

She was joined in Bangalore by Madeleine Clute (CS '14), Maddie Gioffre (E'15), Poornima Kaniarasu (CS '13), Aditya Kodkany (E'15), Vivek Nair (E'15), and Avia Weinstein (MCS'14) from CMU's Pittsburgh campus, and Aveed Sheikh (TPR'14) from CMU's Qatar campus.

"It's a wonderful experience working alongside a multi-talented, international team and collectively trying to make a difference," Sheikh said.

The iSTEP internship is a global effort, with TechBridgeWorld remotely supervising from CMU's campus in Pittsburgh.

The goal of the Braille Writing Tutor is to provide an affordable and accessible means for children and adults in underserved communities around the world to learn how to write braille using the locally available slate and stylus method.

The original version of the device, which is connected to a computer, provides immediate audio feedback as the user writes on the electronic slate with the stylus. The tutor also teaches the basics, guides writing, corrects mistakes, provides opportunities for practice, and motivates students through educational games.

"We have to keep in mind the restrictions that the Mathru Trust faces, and implement the features of the tutor accordingly. For example, to work around any problems with internet connectivity, we had to make sure that a library of images could be built," explained Kodkany. "And the user interface had to be easy and accessible enough for both blind teachers and those who did not have too much experience with computers in general."

The iSTEP 2013 team also researched the feasibility of connecting the tutor to an Android smartphone instead of a computer, for added portability. They also significantly enhanced the newest standalone version of this tutor, which is based on the original tutor, has onboard computing and is battery powered, which makes the device even more portable, while maintaining affordability.

A new course offered this past spring by M. Bernadine Dias and David Kosbie called "Software Development for Social Good" produced new code written by CMU students that the iSTEP team incorporated into their projects. Dias is TechBridgeWorld's founder and director and an associate research professor in the Robotics Institute. Kosbie is an assistant teaching professor in the Computer Science Department and a volunteer at TechBridgeWorld.

In addition to software development, the iSTEP team maximized their time with the Mathru school by conducting extensive interviews and user tests, and analyzing data in order to fully understand the impact of and potential improvements to the tutors. The CMU interns also trained the Mathru teachers to effectively use computers and other technology available to them at the school.

The team also assessed the needs of a new multi-disability center in preparation for the iSTEP 2014 team to return to Bangalore next summer for continued work with Mathru.

Team photo:
Back, l-r: Vivek Nair, Poornima Kaniarasu, Aveed Sheikh, Avia Weinstein
Front, l-r: Aditya Kodkany, Madeleine Clute, Madelyn "Maddie" Gioffre, Shree Lakshmi "SL" Rao.

Source: Carnegie Mellon University READ FULL ARTICLE

Monday, August 5, 2013

Westmoreland Community College Near Pittsburgh Opening Advanced Technology Center in Former Sony Plant

Westmoreland County Community College recently broke ground for its new Advanced Technology Center at RIDC-Westmoreland in East Huntingdon, formerly the location of Sony's television plant and Volkswagen's auto assembly plant.

“Our Advanced Technology Center will provide affordable, state-of-the-art education and training to prepare WCCC students and incumbent workers for in-demand, technically oriented careers,” said WCCC President Daniel J. Obara.

The ATC will offer programs with an industry-driven curriculum in areas such as mechatronics, advanced and additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, energy, machining and fabrication, metrology and nanotechnology. Mechatronics is a design process that combines mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, control engineering and computer engineering.

Obara said the college’s current facilities and equipment has limited its ability to provide skilled technicians for the region’s manufacturers and energy industries.

“It will be a regional asset for flexible, collaborative, customized job training for the area’s manufacturing enterprises,” Obara said, providing an incentive for new employers to relocate to the RIDC and nearby industrial parks.

The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) will occupy 73,500 square feet at RIDC-Westmoreland to house workforce development programs currently located at the WCCC Youngwood Campus.

The ATC will continue the college’s work with career and technology centers, allowing high school students to advance their education by acquiring “stackable” credentials that prepare them for immediate employment and provide a foundation for future certifications and degrees.

For the new facility’s state-of-the-art equipment, WCCC received a $2 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation through the college’s Investing in Our Community campaign.

Gene P. Ciafre, campaign co-chair and WCCC trustee who announced the grant, said it was the largest gift ever received by the college.

Ciafre said the grant will “greatly advance not only the college but also the workforce training needs and economic growth of our region.”

The campaign also received a $300,000 grant from the Hillman Foundation for the ATC which was acknowledged by Bud Smail, Investing in Our Community campaign co-chair and a 27-year member of the WCCC Educational Foundation board of directors.

In addition to the Richard King Mellon and Hillman Foundation grants, other funding sources for the project include a bond issue authorized by the Westmoreland County commissioners, a Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, several U.S. Department of Labor grants for energy education and training, the college’s capital budget and private donors through the Investing in Our Community campaign.

The college anticipates the Advanced Technology Center will be completed and open for fall 2014 classes.