2016 Chancellor’s Staff Awardees Named

Issue Date: 
June 13, 2016

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher has announced 10 recipients of the 2016 Chancellor’s Staff Awards.

This year’s award categories were changed so they align more closely with the University’s Strategic Plan. In previous years, as many as five individuals were selected for each of two categories: service to the University and service to the community. 

Each awardee will receive a $2,500 cash prize and be honored during a dinner to be held later in June. In addition, honorees’ names will be inscribed on plaques displayed in the William Pitt Union.


Leo Constantino Leo Constantino: Administrative and Operational Efficiency

Financial Manager, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration 

Leo Constantino’s skills have had a far-reaching impact on the Katz Graduate School of Business and the College of Business Administration (CBA). The award selection committee cited Constantino’s efforts in helping to transform the financial report system, the faculty research budgeting process, and the process for academic programs at Katz and CBA. Also cited were his transparency in decision making, his development of budget-tracking and contract-management tools, and his willingness to assist other University units.


Margaret A. HavranMargaret A. Havran: Career Achievement

Managing Editor, boundary 2, Department of English, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Margaret A. Havran has earned national and international regard in the realm of academic publications during her 26 years at Pitt. The award selection committee cited her contributions in writing and editing, and her work with high-caliber international authors on behalf of boundary 2, one of the world’s leading English-language journals in the humanities. As an extracurricular activity, Havran also works on the Freedmen’s Bureau Project, a national and collaborative effort to create a searchable index of the names of freed slaves for use by families and researchers. 


Macrina Chelagat LeleiMacrina Chelagat Lelei: Diversity and Inclusion

Acting Director, African Studies Program, University Center for International Studies 

The award selection committee applauded Macrina Chelagat Lelei’s efforts to create a culture of diversity and inclusion on campus—and beyond, as some of her students study abroad through Pitt’s programs in Africa. Chancellor Gallagher, in his award letter, cited an undergraduate student’s comment that Lelei has helped students “’be sensitive toward the individual diversity of culture, language, and lifestyle patterns…” Gallagher also noted that several of the study-abroad returnees have gone on to receive national and international awards. 


James LyleJames Lyle: Student Impact

Senior Electronics Engineer, Swanson School of Engineering 

James Lyle created two Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering classes on soldering, both of which help create a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University. The courses form the basis of the Student Electronic Resource Center, which provides students from across Pitt the opportunity to grow their ideas into finished products. The award selection committee was also impressed with the sustainability impact of Lyle’s repurposing course, which teaches students how to reuse disassembled printer parts for repairs or other purposes.


Thomas H. MisuracaThomas H. Misuraca: Institutional Citizenship 

Assistant Director of Student Life, Pitt Office of Student Affairs 

As the driving force behind many campus events, Thomas H. Misuraca enhances the lives of Pitt students and the University community every day. From assisting students on the Pitt Program Council—the campus’ central programming organization—to spearheading other special projects and events, Misuraca ensures that students and the Pitt community can enjoy Homecoming, lectures, films, and concerts. Chancellor Gallagher, in his award notification letter, wrote that Misuraca “touches the lives of our students from the minute they arrive on campus for the New Student Convocation until the day they participate in Commencement.”


William S. Mitchell Sr.William Mitchell Sr.: Support and Service to the University

Senior Manager of Custodial Services, Department of Facilities Management

William Mitchell Sr. manages a staff of 250 cleaners, supervisors, and managers across the Pittsburgh campus. He does more than is required, including actively working to dramatically increase the Department of Facilities Management’s participation in Pitt’s United Way campaign and volunteering for the University’s Day of Caring program. Chancellor Gallagher, in his award notification letter, also noted the leadership role that Mitchell has assumed in Pitt’s sustainability efforts—serving as an educator and role model through such programs as the Student Government Board Sustainability Committee and Student Office for Sustainability. 


Troy W. RossTroy W. Ross: Community Impact

Director of Housing and Residence Life, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

Troy W. Ross has demonstrated a strong commitment to Pitt-Greensburg students, helping them appreciate the importance of community service through campus programs such as Greensburg Experience More. He has also shown a sustained commitment to several community organizations, including co-sponsoring for 14 years the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s One Walk. Ross coordinates the activities of more than 100 of the walk’s volunteers and about 1,400 walkers at Pitt-Greensburg. In addition, he helped to initiate and expand the Jeannette Head Start Holiday Party that is held annually on the Greensburg campus.


Elizabeth S. StoyleElizabeth S. Stoyle: Early Career Achievement

Graduate Administrator, Departments of History and Sociology, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

This award recognizes a staff member with three-to-five years of experience who has exceeded the expectations of their position and shown an extraordinary commitment to the University. The Award Selection Committee commended Elizabeth S. Stoyle for her impact on several departments, including reorganizing the sociology department’s files and introducing processes and procedures to improve the office’s administrative functions. Her award nomination packet was filled with several letters praising her organizational abilities, professional demeanor, and active assistance to colleagues. 


Shannon ValentiShannon Valenti: Research Impact

Research Facilitator, Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Chancellor Gallagher, in his award notification letter, said the award selection committee was “very impressed” by how Shannon Valenti helped University researchers streamline and quickly translate their research into clinical practice. Valenti shares her knowledge of research regulatory issues through the Research Facilitator Program and the Resident Problem-Based Learning Discussion—novel programs she developed. She is also considered a national leader in the field of research regulations, playing a central role in developing the regulatory governance of the National Institutes of Health’s Accrual to Clinical Trials Network. 


Joelleen P. YeraceJoelleen P. Yerace: Mentoring

Senior Director of Constituent Relations, Pitt Office of Institutional Advancement

A talented and knowledgeable fundraising professional, Joelleen P. Yerace has nurtured several of her colleagues, helping them develop the skills needed to become successful fundraisers. Chancellor Gallagher, in his award notification letter, wrote that Yerace’s coworkers “spoke of your generosity of your own time to help them to get to know the University, your commitment to their achievement, and often referred to you as their champion.” Her abilities are particularly appreciated as public universities seek more private support in the face of declining federal and state support.

(Photos were taken by Emily O'Donnell except photograph of Troy W. Ross.)