IUP Introduces Elite Public-Safety Program

Plus, Chatham recognized as bike boosters and Pitt plays a familiar tune.

A parachuting pumpkin gracefully descends from the roof of West Virginia University’s Engineering Sciences Building. WVU will host its 24th annual Pumpkin Drop this Friday, Oct. 28 at 10 a.m.; the event is sponsored by WVU’s student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The annual event pits more than 200 teams—ranging from middle school groups to WVU students —against one another in an attempt to deploy an accurate and safe pumpkin-landing device. Associate professor Emeritus Wally Venable will judge this year’s drops, looking for proximity to a landing target, effectiveness of design and—of course—whether or not the pumpkin survives the plunge. Those getting hungry right now will be pleased to learn that pumpkin pie will indeed be available.
—Sean Collier, PM Associate Editor

IUP introduces elite public-safety program
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11-percent job increase in the safety industry over the next seven years, and IUP is hoping to help students capitalize on that boom. In 2013, the university will introduce its newest doctoral program,a Doctor of Philosophy in Safety Sciences. The program, IUP’s eleventh doctoral degree, is intended to give students the tools to recognize, evaluate and control safety, health and other work place hazards. In addition, IUP’s early aims include: enabling graduates to pursue independent research; giving students a better understanding of state and federal policies governing health, safety and the environment; and preparing new Ph.D.s to teach in professional and academic settings.

Students will be able to take classes year-round, both on campus and online, allowing for working professionals to earn the degree. University officials say interest in the program is high, and they hope to have at least 20 students in the first cohort when the program begins.
—Rob McCoy, PM Editorial Intern

Chatham recognized as bike boosters
Pittsburgh is home to tens of thousands of college students, and like the rest of us, they need to get around. A lucky few have cars, and many more opt for public transit; more economical and environmentally minded students, however, use the tried and true method of bicycling. And while college students riding bikes is nothing new, one Pittsburgh university was recently recognized for its exemplary accommodations for two-wheeled transit.

Chatham University, recognized in March by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bike Friendly Business (BFB), has shifted up a gear. The league recently added to Chatham's accolades by awarding the school Bronze Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) status. The designation is designed to recognize colleges and universities that promote and provide bicycle-friendly environments for students, staff and faculty. The award was presented at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference, which was held in Pittsburgh Oct. 9-12.

Chatham is the first Pennsylvania institution to be awarded BFU status. Officials point to the adoption of the Bicycle Commuting Tax Credit, establishment of the Chatham Bike Works educational bike shop and its participation in the federal government’s bicycle commuter benefit program as reasons for its recent success.
—Rob McCoy, PM Editorial Intern

Pitt plays familiar tune with 41st jazz seminar and concert
Toes will be tapping across the city next week as the University of Pittsburgh hosts the 41st annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert. Praised as one of the city’s leading jazz events, the seminar will feature free lectures and demonstrations at Pitt’s campus, local schools and community venues. This year, attendees will lend their ears to the methods and melodies of Pitt alumnus Geri Allen and his piano, the Brecker Brothers’ Randy Brecker and his “explosive” trumpet, and Billy Cobham’s “dynamic” drums, among many others. Since 1970, Pitt Jazz Studies Program director Dr. Nathan Davis has been inviting renowned jazz musicians, critics and historians to share not only their music, but their experience; topics include practice techniques, entry into the music business, composition and arranging music and all that jazz (a necessary cliché).

As always, the seminar will crescendo with an all-star concert, bringing a number of the artists together on stage at the Carnegie Music Hall at 8 p.m. on Nov. 5. Tickets are $18 in advance and can be purchased online at ProArtsTickets. So whether you want to take notes or just hear them played, the Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert won’t come up “staccato” (short).
—Richelle Szypulski, PM Editorial Intern

Categories: Great Minds