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Dr. Barazzone participates in Rachel Carson Celebration of Biodiversity Symposium at Carnegie Museum

By: Amanda Kennedy, Senior Public Relations Specialist
May 27, 2010

PITTSBURGH (April 24, 2010) … As part of the United Nations World Environment Day celebration in North America, the Rachel Carson Celebration of Biodiversity Symposium will focus on the human impact on biodiversity at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Co-Host) on May 27, 2010.

Esther Barazzone, Ph.D., president of Chatham University, will participate in the panel, “Sustainable Perspectives from the Community.”

Featuring Edward O. Wilson as keynote speaker and including a panel of experts, the conference seeks to envision a New American Dream that is environmentally sustainable and developed by participants in this event – a roadmap that will address the effect people have on the environment, and the critical inter-relationships between human habitat and the quality of life for generations to come.

Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer prize winner, world-renowned entomologist and one of the scientists who provided research data to Rachel Carson while she was writing Silent Spring, will receive the Rachel Carson Legacy Award at a ceremony following our World Environment Day Biodiversity Symposium

The Rachel Carson Legacy Award was established in 2007 as part of the celebration of the centennial of Rachel Carson’s birth. It was designed to recognize and honor people who have made significant impact on the application of Rachel Carson’s principles to modern public policy issues that interface the environment. The biannual award targets recognition for people who are both scientists and authors, in the model of Rachel Carson’s work.

Largely responsible for the study of biodiversity, Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator in Entomology at Harvard. He is also founder of the E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation whose mission is to preserve biological diversity in the living environment by inventing and implementing business and educational strategies in the service of conservation. In addition to the more than 100 awards Wilson has received from around the world, in 2000 he was named as one of the century’s 100 leading environmentalists by both Time and Audubon Magazine. Don’t miss this opportunity of a lifetime to hear E. O. Wilson share his thoughts.

Program Schedule:

1:00 p.m.: Opening and Welcome

1:30 p.m.: Human Impact on the Environment – Panel Discussion:

A panel discussion on the impact of people on the Earth, including Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox, Deputy Director of the United Nations Environment Programme North America, and Dr. Richard Benedick, Ambassador (ret.), President, National Council for Science and the Environment, and Terry Collins, Ph.D., Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry, Institute of Green Science, Carnegie Mellon University.

3:15 to 5:00 p.m.: An Environmentally Sustainable American Dream

Sally Wiggin of WTAE Channel 4/ABC will moderate Sustainable Perspectives from the Community, including Richard Piacentini of Phipps Conservatory, Esther Barazzone of Chatham University, Todd Katzner of the National Aviary, Indira Nair, Ph.D., Vice Provost of Education, Carnegie Mellon University, Doris Carson Williams, Director of the African American Chamber of Commerce Western PA, Brenda Smith, Executive Director of Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, Greg Boulos of Homesteaders Consulting, LLC, James T. Kunz Jr. of IUOE Local 66, Marc Mathieu of BeDo, Inc., among others.

5:00 to 5:15: Networking Break

5:15 – 6:30: Rachel Carson Legacy Award Presentation and Public Lecture

Dr. Edward O. Wilson “The Future of Biodiversity Conservation”

With a special introduction by Mark Madison, Historian, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

6:30 to 8:00 PM: Rachel Carson Legacy Award Reception with E.O. Wilson.

In Memory: Dorothy Pontious, Class of 1935

By: Esther L. Barazzone, Ph.D., President
May 26, 2010

To the Chatham Community,

I am sorry to inform you that we have lost one of our dearest alumnae, benefactors and friends – Dorothy Pontious, Class of 1935. Dorothy always sought to enhance the academic experience at Chatham through the memory of her parents, who had helped her attend Pennsylvania College for Women during the Great Depression. She established the Charles and Ida Pontious Endowed Scholarship, the Charles and Ida Pontious Distinguished Endowed Chair, and just last December to mark our 140th anniversary, the Pontious Distinguished Lecturer. Our students and the entire campus community benefited from her generosity.
Dorothy’s obituary and funeral arrangements are reprinted below from today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Sadly, this fall would have marked her 75th reunion year. She was an incredible woman with a wonderful personality and a charming wit, and we will truly miss her.

Esther B.

Dorothy A. Pontious, 95, passed away Monday, May 24, 2010 after a brief illness. Born July 12, 1914 in Pittsburgh’s East End, she was the daughter of Ida Poehlmann and Charles Storey Pontious. Dorothy graduated from Peabody High School and from Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham University) in 1935. A life-long employee of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, she was a data processing manager and is credited for automating the company’s recordkeeping prior to her retirement in December 1979.

As a student during the Depression, Dorothy was acutely aware and appreciative of the difficulties her parents faced in sending her to college. Because of this, in 2002 she undertook to honor her parents by establishing the Charles and Ida Pontious Endowed Scholarship at Chatham University. Dorothy explained, “Because of my parents’ commitment, Chatham left me with many wonderful memories. Times were difficult when I entered PCW, so the fact that I was able to attend college at all was a great gift from my parents.” In August 2004, she established the Charles and Ida Pontious Distinguished Endowed Chair at Chatham. “Dorothy Pontious was quietly and gracefully generous in her gifts to Chatham. She endowed the Charles and Ida Pontious Professorship, which I am honored to hold, yet she always directed the spotlight away from herself. She was truly modest and humble,” noted Dr. William Lenz, professor of English and recipient of the Pontious Chair.

Dorothy was honored at Chatham’s 140th Anniversary Celebration on December 3, 2009, at which time author Linda Lear, the inaugural Pontious Distinguished Lecturer, presented “A Tale of Two Victorian Rebels: Beatrix Potter and Rachel Carson.” Chatham President Esther Barazzone expressed her gratitude, saying, “Dorothy was a leader, in intellect and in her work life. She was one of the earliest women to work in technology and computers and had a great interest in international travel. Chatham was the grateful beneficiary of her memorial to her parents and their belief in her, and in education for women, with her many gifts to the University, most notably the Charles and Ida Pontious Endowed Chair.”

Dorothy will be remembered for her generosity of spirit as well. Dr. Marlin H. Mickle, a friend of Dorothy’s for more than 30 years, stated, “Dorothy was a most dignified lady and an outstanding friend whom I will cherish all my life,” a sentiment echoed by those who knew her. Dorothy was an avid traveler and reader. She was a faithful member of Albright United Methodist Church and was active in Zonta International and Pacers and the Monday Luncheon Club. Dorothy was preceded in death by her mother and father and an infant sister. She is survived by her dear friend Marlin Mickle. Friends will be received on Friday, May 28th from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at JOHN A. FREYVOGEL SONS, INC. 4900 Centre Avenue at Devonshire Street, Pittsburgh (412-621-1665). Funeral Service will be 10 a.m. Saturday at theTemple of Memories at Allegheny Cemetery, 4734 Butler Street.

Dorothy’s online guestbook is available here.

Chatham students among college Democrats and Republicans offering suggestions to improve civility

By: Allegheny College
May 20, 2010

MEADVILLE, Pa. (May 20, 2010) … Student leaders of College Democrats and College Republicans organizations — representing 14 schools in nine states — released a joint statement today for elected officials and their constituents:

“Ten Tips to Improve Civility”

1. Listen willingly to opposing views.
2. Seek shared values with political opponents.
3. Acknowledge the legitimacy of your adversaries.
4. Identify the problem at hand and focus on it rather than on larger conflicts.
5. Avoid political caricatures, labels and generalizations that may not truly represent the views of your adversaries.
6. Acknowledge disagreement genuinely without suppressing your own positions.
7. Ask clarifying questions before responding.
8. Recognize the value of solutions beyond those offered by traditional party platforms.
9. Recognize that your words and actions will have consequences.
10. Be personally accountable for your political actions.

The students developed the list as one of the culminating activities of Pathway to Civility, a national conference hosted this week by the Center for Political Participation and the Civic Engagement Council at Allegheny College.

“We intended this conference to serve as a pilot program, an early step in our ongoing efforts to look for creative ways to enhance communication between young Democrats and Republicans,” said Daniel M. Shea, political science professor and director of the Center for Political Participation.

“Our idea was to encourage students from both sides of the aisle to work together to examine the serious issue of civility in politics, establish a high bar for the respectful exchange of ideas, and, in the process, perhaps begin to develop some lasting friendships.

“We were quite impressed both with the students’ passion for issues and with their determination to work together to create opportunities to reach consensus where possible. Civility, it seems, may be one of those areas for agreement.”

U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, Pa. 3rd District, was the keynote speaker. Participants included students from Allegheny College, Louisiana State University, Catholic University, Central Michigan University, Macalester University, Chatham University, Hiram College, Indiana University – Purdue University, Slippery Rock University, SUNY Fredonia, Thiel College, California University of Pennsylvania, Winthrop University and the University of Florida.

“The conference was very interesting,” said Amanda McCann, a political science major at Indiana University-Purdue University and vice president of the College Republicans on her campus. “It changed my perception of civility, really deepened my understanding of the concept.”

According to Shea, the need for a conference on civility emerged as the American health care debate turned ugly in recent months. The robust political activity that surged among youth in the 2008 election already has substantially declined, Shea said, and many young Americans have turned away from active political engagement.

“I hope our conversation will continue on Facebook, maintaining both its passionate yet civil tone and allowing students to participate from different parts of the country,” said Matt Lacombe, an Allegheny senior pursuing a double major in economics and political science and a minor in philosophy.

Late last month the Center for Political Participation released results of a study on civility and compromise in American politics, “Nastiness, Name-Calling, and Negativity,” which revealed widespread concern over the deterioration of the tone of political discourse.

About the Study
“Nastiness, Name-Calling, and Negativity,” one of the first comprehensive studies of how Americans view the tone of political discourse, was released on April 21 and found that some 95 percent of Americans believe civility in politics is important for a healthy democracy, and 87 percent suggest it is possible for people to disagree about politics respectfully. It sprang from a comprehensive telephone survey of 1,000 adults nationwide, developed and commissioned by the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College. The poll was conducted by Zogby International during the last week of March, immediately following the historic health care debate. The complete report, which includes dozens of charts and graphs that illustrate the survey results, is available at The findings yield a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection awards Chatham with rain garden grant

By: Susan Rickens, DEP
May 18, 2010

HARRISBURG (May 18, 2010) … Chatham University is among 95 schools, universities, non-profit groups and conservation districts that will receive more than $382,000 in Environmental Education grants for projects to educate Pennsylvanians about important issues such as renewable energy, water conservation, air quality and climate change, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said today.

“It’s important that we make environmental education a life-long learning experience,” said Hanger. “These grants will fund innovative projects and workshops aimed at conservation and resource management that provide young adults, families and communities with the tools and resources they need to be successful stewards of our environment.”

Grants announced today will fund such projects as conducting teacher workshops and developing curricula on alternative energy, installing rain gardens and barrels to demonstrate stormwater management practices, and coordinating native plant workshops for homeowners to promote the use of native plants in residential landscaping.

The grant program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside 5 percent of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education in Pennsylvania. Since then, DEP has awarded more than $7 million in grants to support the environmental education efforts of schools, county conservation districts and other nonprofit organizations throughout Pennsylvania.

Among the grants distributed within Allegheny County, Chatham University will receive $6,285 to develop a rainwater management education program by installing a rain barrel and rain garden, creating a campus map of stormwater management practices and developing a course.

Chatham selects David Zinn as new Athletic Director

By: Lindsey Hyre, Athletic Department
May 10, 2010

PITTSBURGH (May 10, 2010) . . . The Chatham University Athletic Department announced that David Zinn was named new Athletic Director, starting in the 2010-11 school year. Zinn comes to Chatham from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC where he served as the Assistant Professor, Assistant Athletics Coordinator, Academic Advisor, and Strength and Conditioning Coach for the past year. He has taught and worked in athletics in multiple roles for the past six years at Meredith, an NCAA Division III women’s college.

Zinn received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education from West Virginia University and his Master of Science in Human Performance and Sport Studies from University of Tennessee, as well as his Master of Arts in Secondary Education from Cumberland College.

Zinn has taught for over ten years and also had significant involvement and experience as a basketball coach for both girls and boys camps during that time. He has also been involved in numerous professional developmental workshops, clinics, and conferences over the years, including, most recently, the NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Orientation Workshop in Charlotte, NC.

“David’s extensive experience in collegiate athletics, as well as his professional experience will prove to be a vital asset to the Athletic Department at Chatham University. I am confident that he will be a tremendous addition to the staff and will continue to build upon Chatham’s existing athletics programs,” notes Dr. Zauyah Waite, Chatham’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Every Chatham student – women in Chatham’s historic women’s residential college, and men and women in Chatham’s graduate programs – receives a highly individualized, experiential educational experience that is informed by Chatham’s strong institutional commitment to globalism, the environment and citizen leadership. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with Chatham Eastside and the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum, and the 388-acre Eden Hall Farm Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information call 800-837-1290 or visit

Albert Schweitzer Fellowship selects two Master of Physician Assistant Studies students as Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows

By: Patrice Taddonio, Communications Manager, The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
May 5, 2010

PITTSBURGH (May 5, 2010) … The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF)announced today that two Chatham University students have been selected as 2010-11 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows. Over the next year, these two emerging professionals will join approximately 200 other 2010-11 Schweitzer Fellows across the country in conceptualizing and carrying out service projects that address the unmet health-related needs of underserved individuals and communities:

• Danielle Almony and Sara Ward, Chatham University – Physician Assistant Studies Program, 2nd Year

Danielle and Sara aim to improve the health of underserved individuals by developing and delivering a wellness program for patients participating in the East Liberty Family Health Care Center’s Outreach Program. Their program will include individual and group sessions focused on nutrition and exercise, making better choices, and substance abuse.

Upon completion of their initial Fellowship year, Danielle and Sara will become Schweitzer Fellows for Life—and join a vibrant network of over 2,000 individuals who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals.

“I suspect that our nation’s health care crisis will persist for years as the new legislation gradually becomes implemented. In the meantime, health suffers,” Sara says. “And health suffers more in the underserved, under-educated, under-employed than in the more wealthy segments of the population. At the same time, compelling medical literature indicates again and again that a large margin of disease is due to lifestyle choices. Daily habits are something that can be addressed before the insurance predicament is solved.”

“This program will hopefully work with disadvantaged individuals on developing individualized health plans that will address their chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension,” Danielle says.

About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is a national nonprofit that translates idealism into action, supporting 230+ Fellows from the nation’s top health and human service schools as they develop and implement service projects with a direct — and lasting — impact on the health of underserved communities. Annually, U.S. Schweitzer Fellows deliver more than 40,000 hours of health-related community service. A number of Schweitzer Fellows also work at the Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Africa, providing skilled care through over 35,000 outpatient visits and more than 6,000 hospitalizations annually for patients from all parts of Gabon. When Fellows’ initial year ends, they carry their commitment to lifelong service forward as members of the Fellows for Life network, now more than 2,000 strong.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Every Chatham student – women in Chatham’s historic women’s residential college, and men and women in Chatham’s graduate programs – receives a highly individualized, experiential educational experience that is informed by Chatham’s strong institutional commitment to globalism, the environment and citizen leadership. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with Chatham Eastside and the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Farm Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information call 800-837-1290 or visit