Life of Learning

Education & Learning
7:12 pm
Sat March 16, 2013

Memorial Planned For Seton Hill Lacrosse Coach

A road trip by a college women's lacrosse team came to a horrifying end Saturday when the team bus veered off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and crashed into a tree, killing a pregnant coach, her unborn child, and the driver, and injuring numerous others, authorities said.

Seton Hill University team players and coaches were among the 23 people aboard when the bus crashed just before 9 a.m. No other vehicle was involved, and police could not immediately say what caused the accident.

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Charter School Funding
1:31 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Charter School Groups Fighting Funding Reducing Proposals

Charter school groups are giving bad grades to legislative proposals that would reduce what they receive in funding from their local school districts.

One of the more tense exchanges in a recent state House committee hearing on proposals that would mean less funding for charter and cyber charter schools came during a back and forth on the quality of the education provided at the publicly-funded, privately-run schools.

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School Funding
5:34 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Cyber Charter Schools Raise Larger Questions About Public Ed Funding

As state lawmakers consider proposed changes to funding cyber charter schools, larger problems with how public education is funded are drawing attention. 

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Education & Learning
12:47 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Quarter Million Taken From Butler Catholic Church

A former secretary and bookkeeper at Holy Sepulcher School in Butler has been formally arraigned today on theft of funds charges. Officials at the Diocese of Pittsburgh said forensic audits found that as much as $250,000 was taken from the school by Lynn Tomlinson over a six-year period.

“With the assistance of diocesan auditors, we undertook a thorough financial investigation. Major diversions of school tuition, receipts and scrip purchases were revealed,” wrote Father Gizler, pastor of Holy Sepulcher, in a letter sent Thursday to parishioners and school parents. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Choosing a New Pope

Cardinal Jorge M. Bergoglio SJ (later to become Pope Francis) celebrating mass in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He's the first Latin American Pope.
Credit Aibdescalzo / Wikipedia

It was white smoke and a new Pope Tuesday evening. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review Middle East correspondent, Betsy Hiel has been covering the historic event from Vatican City. She talks about reactions in Rome to the selection of Pope Francis.

And Pope Francis decided to adopt the name of the patron saint of the environment and animals--St Francis of Assisi. Catholic nuns who have devoted their lives to living in the way of St Francis were over the moon when the announcement was made. Our content partners at the Allegheny Front talked with the Sisters of St Francis of the Providence of God Convent in the White Hall section of Pittsburgh about the 12th century saint.

Then, Protocol and ceremony are always part of the selection of a new Pope. So what goes on behind the scenes in the Conclave? What went into the selection of Pope Francis, the first Latin American Pope? What's next for him? Duquesne University Law Professor and Canon Law Scholar, Nicholas Cafardi  talks about the conclave and the papacy.

5:36 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Bishop Zubik Welcomes New Pope

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Bishop David Zubik welcomed the selection of a new pope.
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers are quickly reacting to the word that a new pope has been chosen including Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Bishop David Zubik who said he "prayerfully and joyfully" welcomes Pope Francis I.

“Our new Holy Father brings with him the experience of a dedicated pastor who has served the Church so well in his many years of ordained ministry,” said Zubik.  “That experience – and the rock-steady faith that has guided him – will be his comfort and strength in the challenging days ahead.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:40 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Training for Disaster: A New College Course Teaches Humanitarian Aid

Relief workers unload bottles of water in Gonaives, Haiti. Find out what it takes to be a humanitarian aid worker.
Credit Marion Doss


  Beginning this summer La Roche College will offer a first of its kind - two week training program for people interested in working in Humanitarian and Emergency Aid. We'll talk with the program's instructors Jeff Ritter, Department Chair of Communication and Astrid Kersten, Professor of Management. Then Angela Garcia, Deputy Director of Global Links medical relief and development program talks about the real world application of this training.

Education & Learning
10:43 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Duquesne University Focuses on Africa

Duquesne University's Center for African Studies is hosting three days of events starting Tuesday, which will explore student and faculty connections to Africa.  All events begin at 4:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.  

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Commit to Complete
7:53 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

CCAC Program Aims to Turn Credits into Credentials

Monday marks the kick-off of a Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) initiative that highlights the benefits of earning college degree over college credits.  The Commit to Complete program is part of a larger challenge stemming from the White House and several national organizations including the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

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State Owned Universities
4:24 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

State System Teachers Approve Contract

Faculty at West Chester University and 13 other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Schools have agreed to a new contract.
Credit Kyle Wagaman / Flickr

Unionized faculty members at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities have overwhelmingly endorsed a new four-year contract.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) said Friday that 95 percent of the faculty members who voted supported the pact.

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Education & Learning
2:13 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Duquesne University Focuses on Africa

Duquesne University's Center for African Studies is hosting events from March 12-14 which will explore student and faculty connections to Africa.  All events begin at 4:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.  On Tuesday, March 12, in the Pappert Lecture Hall at the campus' Bayer Learning Center, Emory University professor Dr. Dianne Diakite will speak on "Mother Symbol and Africana Women's Religious Practices of Peacebuilding."  Responses from different perspectives will be offered by law professor Dr. Susan C. Hascall and English professor Dr. Emad Mirmotahari.

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10:02 am
Fri March 8, 2013

CCAC Teachers get a Raise

Teachers at the Community College of Allegheny County will be getting a few more dollars next year as they send their students to the CCAC North Library.
Credit CCAC North Library

The Community College of Allegheny County has approved a three percent raise for about 330 faculty union members.  The deal with Local 2067 of the American Federation of Teachers is for one year only.

The trustees of the school unanimously approved the plan on Thursday night. The deal comes with a price tag of $650,000 in the 2013-14 school year.

CCAC spokesman David Hoovler said annual salaries across the bargaining unit average $65,000.

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Public Safety
12:27 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Pittsburgh Council Votes to Fund CCAC Police Training Program

Although Pittsburgh City Council voted on Wednesday to fund a police education program at the Community College of Allegheny County, at least one Council Member raised questions about the necessity of a rule that requires all Pittsburgh police officers to have 60 college credits before joining the force - particularly for military members.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:32 am
Wed March 6, 2013

The Arlen Specter Collection

Senator Arlen Specter held office in Pennsylvania for more than 50 years, including 7 years as Philadelphia District Attorney from 1965-1973.
Credit Former Senator Specter Website / Wikipedia

This week, the University of Pittsburgh entered into an agreement with Philadelphia University, which owns the archive of the late US Senator Arlen Specter. His massive archive of papers, photos, multimedia, and memorabilia reflect his more than 50-years in office. The archives will be housed for the next 30 years at the University of Pittsburgh Archives Service Center in Point Breeze. University of Pittsburgh Assistant Librarian, Michael Dabrishus has been tasked with combing through and maintaining the collection.

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
2:25 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

The "Light is on" For Catholics to Confess Wednesday

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is hoping confessionals like these will be well used Wednesday.
Credit Kim Tyo-Dickerson/Flickr

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is hoping a special focus on the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week will bring more worshipers into the church.  The diocese is making sure all 203 of its parishes are open for confession Wednesday night from 6:00 to 9:00.

The diocese is marking the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops-sponsored “The Light is on for You” campaign aimed at calling Catholics to the Sacrament of Confession.

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Education & Learning
2:15 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

South Hills Genealogy Day Sunday March 10th

South Hills Genealogy Day takes place Sunday, March 10th from 9 to 2 at the Beth El Congregation, 1900 Cochran Road in Scott Township.  One speaker will be Marilyn Holt, who is head of the Carnegie Library’s Pennsylvania Department, where all the librarians are trained to assist people doing family research.  She said personal computers and online databases have increased peoples’ interest in researching their family history.

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Education & Learning
1:28 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Specter Collection Comes To Pitt to be Archived

The senatorial archives of Arlen Specter will soon be housed at the University of Pittsburgh.

The 2,700 boxes of documents amassed by U.S. Senator Arlen Specter over his 30-year career in the Senate are coming to Pittsburgh to be archived. The papers currently reside at Philadelphia University but the school has reached an agreement with the University of Pittsburgh to take on the collection.

Philadelphia University has never worked with such a large collection so it began looking for a partner after Specter handed over the documents.

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Pennsylvania Budget
11:18 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Corbett Administration Defends One-time Funding for Schools

The state Capitol is where the sausage is made, or so the saying goes. So perhaps it makes sense that, with so many big proposals to negotiate, there's been a lot of talk about links.

One example: the governor's liquor privatization plan has been linked to education funding, in that his proposal would put $1 billion raised through selling off state stores and liquor licenses toward one-time grants for schools - a program called Passport to Learning.

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Education & Learning
10:05 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Education Secretary Wants to Cut Backlog of Complaints

The head of the Pennsylvania Department of Education is looking for a way to solve a buildup of complaints against schoolteachers. 

About $775,000 is being requested to pay for additional lawyers to investigate teacher complaints and help fund the state commission overseeing teacher certifications. The funding will come from an increase in the teacher certification fee.

Education Secretary Ron Tomalis said the funds will help clear up a pile of roughly 500 cases in which teachers face misconduct allegations.

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Carnegie Library
3:47 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Carnegie Library Gets More Revenue than Expected

Hours at several Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branches could soon have longer hours.
Credit Joseph A. / Flickr

The Carnegie Library will be adding services and increasing hours at some of its 19 locations in the City of Pittsburgh because the property tax reassessment in Allegheny County has increased this year’s expected proceeds by $900,000.  Unlike local governments and school districts, libraries are not subject to the anti-windfall provisions of state law that require a millage reduction to limit tax increases.

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Education & Learning
10:29 am
Mon February 25, 2013

“The Big Read” Returns To Pittsburgh

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers is this Big Read In Pittsburgh book.
Credit Claire P. / Flickr

For the third straight year, the Community College of Allegheny County will dedicate a month to literacy.

This year, the Big Read work will be Carson McCullers’ The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. Debuted to great acclaim in 1940, the novel focuses on the experiences of a deaf man in the racially charged atmosphere of the Depression-era South.

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Education & Learning
10:23 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Cooper Foundation Honors Duquesne Students

Five African-American students at Duquesne University are the first recipients of scholarships awarded to honor the legacy of Chuck Cooper, one ofthe greatest basketball players in Duquesne history.

Cooper was the first African-American drafted into the NBA and after a six-year career returned to school to earn a master's degree in social work at the Univeristy of Minnesota in 1961.  Cooper worked as Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Pittsburgh and later as Urban Affairs Officer for Pittsburgh National Bank, now PNC.

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Education & Learning
4:52 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

W&J College Unveils New Presidential Walking Tour

Washington & Jefferson College is unveiling a unique way to celebrate and honor past American Presidents that have spoken, stayed, or visited Washington, PA.

Professors Jennifer Harding and Thomas Mainwaring developed a walking presidential tour which offers a historical look at the connection between fifteen Presidents and the City of Washington.

She originally discovered that there had been several Presidents that had visited this city of nearly 14,000 (current population) because she was teaching the class “The American Presidency in Fact, Fiction, & Film.”

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Education & Learning
3:24 am
Sun February 17, 2013

Thon Is On at Penn State

The beat goes on for more than 700 Penn State students grooving at the annual 46-hour dance marathon for charity.

The IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is billed as the world's largest student-run philanthropy. The signature Penn State event is taking over the Jordan Center this weekend with thousands of students hosting pediatric cancer patients and their families.

As for the 700 dancers, they must stay on their feet in a 46-hour stretch ending 4 p.m. Sunday. They're getting lots of encouragement on the crowded floor set inside the home of Penn State basketball.

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Education & Learning
2:10 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Darwin Day Speaker Says Public Misunderstands Evolution

Duquesne University continues its annual exploration of Darwin's findings
Credit Duquesne University

Misconceptions people have of evolution lead them to believe males are the workers in every species and that some species are more advanced than others.

That’s according to Dr. Marlene Zuk, professor of ecology at the University of Minnesota and tonight's speaker at Duquesne University’s annual Darwin Day lecture.

She said people often see progressive evolutionary charts in biology books, ones where fish evolve into reptiles, then reptiles to mammals.

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Education & Learning
2:44 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Faculty Members to Vote on PA State System Pact

A proposed four-year contract covering 5,500 faculty members at Pennsylvania's state-owned universities is headed for a ratification vote by the union rank and file.

The leadership body of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties endorsed the contract agreement Friday at a meeting in Gettysburg. Union spokeswoman Lauren Gutshall says the tally was nearly unanimous.

The faculty members of the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education have worked without a contract since June 2011.

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Education & Learning
6:42 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

MacArthur Foundation gives $500,000 for New Educational Approach in Pittsburgh

The MacArthur Foundation is awarding a $500,000 grant to create a Pittsburgh Hive Learning Network. The grant will be administered by the Sprout Fund. A Hive is a network of organizations including schools, museums, libraries, afterschool programs, community centers who collaborate to create new learning experiences. Sprout Program Officer Ryan Coon said the Hive is not a physical space.

"It's a program that supports activities in many places. Hive supported activities will occur at the museum, or at the Carnegie Library. It's a mechanism to support new learning activities."

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Education & Learning
6:49 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Coaches Trained for Pittsburgh Promise Students

The $40,000 Pittsburgh Promise college scholarship program is adding a new resource, called "Promise Coaches," in order to help more city public school students qualify for the Promise.   The informal mentors will be available to the scholars for encouragement, advice, or help, but they do not have to meet with their mentees on a regular basis. 

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Education & Learning
6:06 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Philadelphia Firm Recommended for Schenley Re-use

The review team contracted by the Pittsburgh Public School District through Fourth River Development L.L.C. has recommended that the board accept a $5.2 million bid to purchase the closed Schenley High School. 

PMC/Schenley HSB Associates, L.P. expects to turn the shuttered school in Oakland into 175 market-rate, luxury apartments. Fourth River said it chose PMC based on a number of factors including limitation of risk, and the ability and capacity to complete in a timely manner, and proposed uses for the property.

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Education & Learning
6:58 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

CMU Taps National Science Foundation For New President

Carnegie Mellon University has selected the Director of the National Science Foundation to be its next president.  Dr. Subra Suresh will take over the post July 1, 2013 after Dr. Jared L. Cohon ends his 16-year tenure.

"I am truly honored to have the opportunity to lead Carnegie Mellon University as its ninth president," said Suresh in a statement released by the university.  “I look forward to working with the CMU community to further our global impact."

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