Kimberly Diamond’s love of Pitt started during her senior year of high school, when she performed with the Pitt Band on senior day. “It was an amazing day working with the Golden Girls, learning several of their common drills and performing with them during their time on the field. As a dancer and twirler for most of my life, the opportunity to perform with the best at Pitt was a once in a lifetime experience.”
She didn’t start her studies at Pitt, though. Diamond, now a clinical research coordinator of pediatric neurosurgery at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, began her post-secondary education in science and nursing at two local colleges.
But her best friend was enrolled at Pitt and frequently invited Diamond to the Pittsburgh campus for sporting events and social activities. Diamond said she “always liked that the Oakland campus was full of extreme pride and school spirit that was poured out by not only students but anyone who had a love for this great institution.”
So, when it was time for her to start her career, she knew that she wanted to work at Pitt.
In 1995, she landed a job working for a group of world-renowned ENT surgeons at the Eye and Ear Institute, which was part of UPMC. Working for this group and learning the importance of education in this field, Diamond decided to continue her education part-time and applied to Pitt’s College of General Studies (CGS) in 1997. With a background in science, including several nursing and anatomy courses, Diamond worked with her advisor Tim Carr to design her own major through the Natural Sciences program at CGS.
“While I was working and attending classes, some doors opened up for me and I was able to advance my career by joining an extremely exciting team in the world of plastic surgery,” Diamond said. “With this new position, I also had the wonderful opportunity to join Pitt as a staff member—and boy was I proud of that. I mean, wow, to work for this great institution that I was already expanding my education through was such an honor.”
She used Pitt’s educational benefits to continue her education. “I was floored to find out that working for Pitt enabled you to take classes to become anything that I wanted. It was so exciting, because I knew this would give me so many opportunities that I otherwise never would have been able to have or dreamed of.”
Several years later, in 2004, Diamond donned her graduation regalia and received the first of her bachelor’s degrees, a BS in natural science, at the then-new Petersen Events Center. Eager to see what she could do with her new degree, she took a position in the Office of Clinical Research, Health Sciences, where she became involved in the development of the University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s National Institutes of Health grant.
“I gained an enormous amount of knowledge about the research world and how science transformed from a lab to becoming a treatment for patients,” Diamond said.
‘Part of the Pitt family’
But she also sensed more knowledge and more education would be useful. Soon, Diamond completed a second bachelor’s degree, this time a BA in health service, and a certificate in managing health service programs and projects in 2009, but she wasn’t done yet. She attended many of the educational seminars that Pitt had sponsored to keep herself current on the ever-changing world of science, medicine and research, including the “Mini Medical School” Series, Ask the IRB sessions and the Senior Vice Chancellors Seminar Series.
After working in research for almost 10 years and gaining knowledge and experience she felt it was time to either learn something new or expand on the knowledge that she already had. So, she then in 2018 applied to the Health Care Compliance (HCC) online program through Pitt’s School of Law, which she completed in 2019. While in her last semester of the HCC program, she decided to enroll in the Master of Law program, where she expects to complete her studies and graduate in spring 2021 with her MSL in health law and biomedical and health services research.
While studying and working at Pitt, Diamond has been part of the Safety and Security Committee, the Staff Council and was elected staff consultant to the Board of Trustees for a one-year term. A previous Pitt football season ticket holder, donor to Pitt’s Scholarship Fund and a lifetime member of the Pitt Alumni Association, she strives to remain involved in many other campus activities and programs and promotes and supports Pitt as much as she can.
“I have always been proud to be part of the Pitt family,” said Diamond, who wears so much Pitt gear—including jewelry and attire—that her family and friends thinks it’s all she owns.
“Kim takes her Pitt pride seriously,” said Darla Justus, administrator of community health choices and Medicaid compliance and Diamond’s classmate in the MSL program. “She has a Pitt laptop, she wears a Pitt watch all the time, and she wears her Pitt gear daily during the workday and during class. She could be a Pitt advertisement!”
Diamond said she hopes to continue her career in the institution that has been her home for the last 20 years.