Pitt’s Efforts in Innovation and Economic Prosperity and Global Engagement Earn National Awards

The city skyline of OaklandThe University of Pittsburgh was received two awards at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) annual conference.

Pitt’s outstanding efforts in community, social and cultural development—particularly within the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Homewood—earned it the Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) “Place” Award, and the University’s internationalization efforts merited the Gold Level Award for Global Engagement.

The IEP Place award lauds the partnerships Pitt has forged with the Homewood community, making them a centerpiece of its place-based community and economic engagement strategy.

“Our University strives to be an institution that strengthens our communities—from our Pitt community, to our region and the world around us,” said Pitt Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Kathy Humphrey. “I am immensely proud of the work that we are doing as an institution to make a difference. And I am thrilled that the APLU has deemed it fitting to honor the University of Pittsburgh for the meaningful and impactful engagements and collaborations we’re forging with our partners in the Pittsburgh community.”

The University has taken a multifaceted approach to cultivating talent in Homewood, promoting innovation and creating an environment fostering economic prosperity through its 20,000 square foot neighborhood-based Community Engagement Center and associated programs at the Manufacturing Assistance Center, BioShelter and K-12 outreach. Building on long-standing involvement in Homewood by various faculty and schools, Pitt made a long-term institutional commitment to partner the breadth of its engagement assets, across all 16 schools and various business units, with community-based partners to pursue impact and opportunities for the residents of Homewood for the next 25 years.

“Between communities, there are visible disparities in social, educational and economic outcomes,” said Lina Dostilio, associate vice chancellor for community engagement. “To attain parity, we must forge bridges that enable community progress. The University of Pittsburgh is deeply committed to bridging our research, innovation and economic development efforts with the expertise of our community partners to help our communities thrive.”

Two people, a man and a woman, in Pitt face masks and suitsAdditionally, Pitt was cited by the APLU as a leading exemplar of internationalization in global engagement. The University has a host of efforts promoting global engagement, providing important opportunities to enrich the experiences of both domestic and international students, faculty, staff, and Pittsburgh community members.

“The University of Pittsburgh is committed to educating students who are world-ready—able to navigate the complexities of both their professional and personal lives with a global awareness and perspective," said Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd. "It is a great honor to be recognized by the APLU for our efforts."

The University has a host of programs promoting global engagement, providing important opportunities to enrich the experiences of both domestic and international students, faculty, staff and Pittsburgh community members. Educational programs to K-12 schools and community college leaders emphasize international studies and world languages. Pitt also hosts the Mid-Atlantic coordinating site for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia, covering 11 states. Additionally, the University works with local ethnic societies to host cultural events and festivals for students, faculty, staff and the wider community. Pitt also has a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to provide mini-courses on global themes, offered to both students and the public.

“We are extremely proud that an organization devoted to advancing the work of public universities has distinguished Pitt for its excellence in global engagement,” said Ariel Armony, vice provost for global affairs and director of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS). “This prestigious award recognizes Pitt’s leadership in connecting our university and our country with the world.”

Both awards were announced at the APLU annual meeting, held virtually this year, from Nov. 9-11. In 2018, Pitt earned the Innovation and Economic Prosperity “Innovation” Award for its exemplary initiatives spurring innovation, entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development.