Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
April 13, 2009

Wellness Fair Set for April 14

The University of Pittsburgh Staff Association Council will host the physical fitness forum “Spring Into a Healthy Lifestyle” from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 14 in the Assembly Room of the William Pitt Union.

The event will include more than 10 vendors promoting health and wellness activities, including a yoga demonstration at 12:20 p.m. Participating organizations will include Pitt’s benefits department, Student Health Service, and University Child Development Center, as well as the Greater Pittsburgh Federal Credit Union and the Central Blood Bank. For more information, contact the Staff Association Council Office at 412-624-4236 or

—Anthony M. Moore

Heinz Chapel ChoirHeinz Chapel Choir

Heinz Chapel Choir Celebrates 70th Anniversary Reunion

The University of Pittsburgh’s Heinz Chapel Choir is holding a 70th Anniversary Reunion celebration from April 17 to 19.

The event kicks off with a sing-along at 7:30 p.m. April 17 in Heinz Memorial Chapel, with a reception to follow at the Holiday Inn Select, University Center, 100 Lytton Ave., Oakland.

At 1 p.m. April 18, the choir will host a campus walking tour. A dinner will be held at 6 p.m. in Pitt Alumni Hall’s Connolly Ballroom. From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on April 19, participants will gather for group pictures in the Connolly Ballroom. The event ends with the Annual Spring Concert, which will be held at 3 p.m. April 19 in the Heinz Memorial Chapel.

The campus walking tour and spring concert are free. The cost of the reunion dinner is $80, and the cost of Friday’s sing-along is $10.

The Heinz Chapel Choir is an a cappella choir comprising many talented Pitt students. The group performs numerous concerts in the Heinz Memorial Chapel, including fall, holiday, and spring concerts.

This May, the Heinz Chapel Choir is heading to Asia for a four-city Chinese tour. The members will perform a cappella repertoire from around the world at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Xian Conservatory of Music in Xian, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, and at the He Lu Ting Music Hall of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in Shanghai. It is the eighth time the choir has toured internationally and the first time the group is visiting Asia.

For more information, contact John Goldsmith at or 412-624-4508.

—Meredith Johnson

Pitt Volunteer Pool Seeks After-school Program Items, Children’s Books

The Pitt Volunteer Pool is calling for donations of items to help after-school programs in the Oakland/Pittsburgh area. Some of the needed items, aimed at helping children both educationally and recreationally, include board games (Scrabble, Monopoly, Connect 4, Pictionary Jr., and others), Legos, lacing cards and beads, and math games (Base Ten Blocks, pattern blocks, and others). Donations may be brought to the Volunteer Pool Office, 710 Alumni Hall. Deadline for donations is May 1.

The Volunteer Pool is also sponsoring the 2009 Book Drive to collect 2,009 reading and coloring books as well as crayons for needy children. New or used books (English and Spanish) and crayons may be sent via campus mail to Gwen Watkins, 710 Alumni Hall. The collected items will be given to Children Incorporated (, which delivers all types of school supplies to children in need in the United States and in South and Central America.

The deadline for contributions is Friday, May 29.

Pitt to Present McKinsey Cup Competition April 17

The University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business will once again host the McKinsey Cup Playoffs and Competition, to be held April 17 in Oakland. The competition is the culmination of a course that seeks to equip students with the ability to achieve success in an increasingly complex business world. The class merges traditional and experienced-based learning by placing students with client organizations to work on real-world issues.

During the spring 2009 term, 17 such projects were undertaken with the following clients: American Eagle Outfitters, Bayer BMS, Dlubak Corporation, 84 Lumber Company, Ellis School, HM Insurance Company, Kennametal Inc., Massaro Corporation, Nemocolin Woodlands, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine (Pitt-UPMC), Philips (Respironics) Inc., Precision Therapeutics Inc., Red Oak Café, Respironics Foundation, Samaritan Counseling Service, and the Westinghouse Electric Company.

At the playoffs and competition, students will square off and be judged by faculty, alumni, and business executives from participating organizations. The playoffs, which are open to the media, will narrow the competition to four teams in closed-door sessions. The top four teams will then participate in the McKinsey Cup Competition, which is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Carnegie Art Museum Theater, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Prior to the competition, Glen T. Meakem will present a free public lecture on the Employee Free Choice Act at 12:30 p.m. in the Steiner Atrium in Pitt’s Mervis Hall. Meakem has earned a national reputation as a new economy innovator and leader—first as cofounder, chair, and CEO of FreeMarkets, Inc., and more recently as cofounder and managing director of Meakem Becker Venture Capital.

—Amanda Leff

Library System Offers Improved Online Catalog

Searching for a historic photo of 19th-century downtown Pittsburgh? While looking for a book, would you like to see an image of the cover and its table of contents as well as the full text? Do you want to be notified by Pitt libraries when selections of interest come in? All of this is possible for the Pitt community and people worldwide with the University Library System’s new online catalog, called PITTCat+ (

This new tool allows instantaneous access to millions of print and e-books, articles from tens of thousands of ejournals, and Pitt’s digital collections, including the Historic Pittsburgh Collection; the Archive of European Integration; and PhilSci, on which scholars in the philosophy of science can post their research for review by colleagues. PITTCat+ also provides access to the ejournals, CDs, DVDs, and maps currently available on PITTCat Classic.

PITTCat+ offers an enhanced approach to searching. When a user conducts a search, a visual “cloud” of words appears on the left side of the screen, displaying variant spellings of each search term, associated words, and the same word in other languages to ensure that a user doesn’t miss relevant items. For example, using the search term “global warming” will cause such related words as “greenhouse,” “ozone,” and “climate” to appear. These are clickable and will provide the user with additional results. Images of book covers also appear, accompanied by book reviews and tables of contents, as well as links to the full text.

PITTCat+ allows users to refine their searches by author, topic, dates of publication, volumes on the shelf that are not checked out, or volumes available only online.

A user can save any search as an RSS feed and be notified when new material relevant to a search is added to the library. And a personal bookshelf called My Discoveries allows users to save, tag, rate, and create shareable lists of items.

—Sharon S. Blake