Faculty News

Alumni News and Notes

Pitt School of Social Work grads do amazing things!

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Emma Lucas-DarbyOn October 22, 2020, the board of directors of the Hill House Association was honored at the UPMC 12th Annual Celebrating Senior Champions event. The UPMC Senior Services Community Champion Award is given annually to recognize exceptional organizational leadership that improves the lives of seniors. University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work alumna EMMA LUCAS-DARBY (MSW ’77, PhD ’86) accepted the award on behalf of the Hill House Association, whose board of directors she chairs. Under Lucas-Darby’s board leadership and in collaboration with community partners, the Hill House Association has overseen the expansion of many critical services to seniors in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.



KAREN DEPASQUALE (BASW ’89, MSW ’90) was promoted to vice president of clinical operations at UPMC Health Plan in Pittsburgh. In this role, DePasquale is responsible for clinical and operational oversight of all UPMC Insurance Services Division product lines.

GAY FOGARTY (MSW ’85) was moved to join the Center for Victims board of directors after visiting its Healing Rivers Project. Located at the organization’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, the Healing Rivers Project is an exhibit that provides a safe space for visitors to reflect onthe meanings of trauma, support, and self-care as well as to seek ways to heal.

In June 2020, Bishop David A. Zubik appointed C. MATTHEW HAWKINS (BASW’83, MSW ’84) to serve as parochial vicar of the newly created personal parish dedicated to the Black Catholic community in the Diocese of Pittsburgh under the title of Saint Benedict the Moor Parish. A personal parish is one that responds to specific spiritual needs, often related to a particular culture or an extraordinary need, and anyone who desires to be a part of that Catholic community is welcome to join.



GRETCHEL HATHAWAY (PhD ’93) was appointed to serve as Franklin & Marshall College’s first vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Highmark Inc. announced the election of KEVIN L. JENKINS (MSW ’90) to its board of directors.

ANDRE STEVENSON (MSW ’91, PhD ’05), a social work professor at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, was selected as one of 16 scholars to participate in a Fulbright Seminar focusing on Taiwanese politics, economics, and culture. He will be working with faculty from various disciplines in Taiwan in June 2021 to learn about how his program can partner with them to develop either study abroad or exchange opportunities for their students.



ANNE R. SCHLEGEL (MSW ’02) was named director of Washington County, Pennsylvania’s Children and Youth Services agency in May 2020.



JOSHUA P. BERMAN (MSW ’15) became the new community engagement manager at Aunt Bertha, a public benefit corporation, in July 2020.

SAMANTHA J. BUFFONI (MSW ’19) is a patient care specialist at RISE, a medical marijuana dispensary.

Ashlé Hall




Social work graduate student ASHLÈ HALL (BASW ’18) is a busy entrepreneur with a new line of hair care products designed to fill two very important needs.  Read more on Pittwire.

TALIA LANDERMAN (MSW ’19) started a new job as a development specialist at The Neighborhood Academy in Pittsburgh.

COLLEEN PEDDYCORD (MSW ’18) and TIERRA THORNE (MSW ’19) launched Blanket & Board, a business that creates simple yet sophisticated outdoor dining experiences for people throughout Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Their creative work has been featured by NEXTpittsburgh and The Incline.



ASHLEY S. ASHLEY (MSW ’20) was named to the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary board of directors.


MORGAN OVERTON (MSW ’20) was appointed by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Pittsburgh City Council to serve on the city’s Gender Equity Commission, for which she will be working to achieve equitable and transformational change at the community and policy level.