Campus climate was a factor in John Pearson’s decision to leave Stetson University in sunny Florida to join Point Park as the University’s new provost. “I wasn’t drawn to Pittsburgh because of the weather!” laughs Pearson, who says he was attracted by Point Park’s climate of creativity, cultural activities and commitment to academic excellence. Pearson, who previously served as associate vice president of academic affairs at Stetson in DeLand, Fla., was selected as the University’s chief academic officer after a nationwide search that drew many well-qualified candidates.
Listening to Pittsburgh's Homeless
For students enrolled in Point Park University’s clinical community psychology program, the opportunity to partner with Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net meant taking classroom lessons literally to the streets – something Operation Safety Net has done for nearly 25 years. Calla Kainaroi, Jeremy Northup and Alexandria Bright – all pursuing a M.A. degree in clinical-community psychology – are visiting and speaking with men and women living on the streets of Pittsburgh as part of a practicum in advocate ethnography.
A Teacher at Heart
Karen McIntyre, Ph.D. says that the position she has always treasured most is that of a teacher. Point Park’s chief academic officer will return to her roots as an educator and lifelong learner as she transitions from her administrative role as University provost to focus on leading Point Park’s new Center for Innovative Learning after taking a year-long sabbatical. At Commencement 2016, McIntyre was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her dedication to Point Park, which began in 2005 and has spanned leadership of the University’s Education Department, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and later vice provost, provost and dean of faculty.
Covering the Environment
As environmental issues continue to dominate today’s news cycle, Point Park is responding with a new bachelor of arts degree in environmental journalism beginning in fall 2016. Made possible through a grant from The Heinz Endowments, the degree program is designed to provide the core foundation of modern journalism training, along with the now-critical area of data analytics. Students will also take courses in biology, ecology and environmental science through a partnership with Point Park’s School of Communication and Department of Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology.
Entering a New Stage
Preservation is a key element in plans for Point Park's new Pittsburgh Playhouse, a 92,000-square-foot cultural hub that is in the initial stages of construction on a 1.6-acre parcel between Forbes and Fourth avenues in Downtown Pittsburgh. The first step, the deconstruction of three historic Forbes Avenue facades, was successfully completed during the winter. The pieces will be cleaned and carefully stored away until they are reconstructed in their original form as part of the new Playhouse. The plans incorporate two historic structures – the Stock Exchange building and the University Center – with a new addition that includes space for theaters, technical production and more.
In January 2016, the University announced its plans to add competitive cheer and dance teams to the intercollegiate, varsity sports offerings in the athletic department. The history of Point Park cheerleading dates back to the 1960s with the Varsity Club. Involvement as a Point Park cheerleader has been a source of pride for many alumni through the years. Now, what was once a club has been elevated to varsity status. The competitive cheer and dance teams will operate under the athletic department, compete in the NAIA, and award scholarships to its student-athletes.