Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
October 24, 2011

Linda Lane to Speak Nov. 4 At Pitt’s Center on Race and Social Problems

The University of Pittsburgh Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP) continues its Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney PC Fall 2011 Speaker Series Nov. 4 with a noon lecture by Linda Lane, superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS).

Lane’s talk, titled “Equity Is NOT an Office,” will take place in the School of Social Work Conference Center on the 20th floor of the Cathedral of Learning. It is free and open to the public, and registration is not required; lunch will be provided. For more information, call 412-624-7382.

In December 2010, Lane was named superintendent of the PPS, a district with more than 26,000 students and 64 schools. Since her appointment, Lane has invested in Pittsburgh’s teachers and school leaders as the catalysts for change in the schools. She was recognized nationally for her Empowering Effective Teachers plan—one of only four such programs selected for funding last year by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Lane joined the PPS in 2006 as deputy superintendent for instruction, assessment, and accountability. During her tenure as deputy superintendent, the district achieved Adequate Yearly Progress for the first time in its history. Prior to her move to Pittsburgh, she served as deputy superintendent of the Des Moines Public Schools and was the first woman from an underrepresented population to hold the position of chief operating officer.

Lane holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Iowa as well as a master’s degree in education administration and a doctorate in education from Drake University. A lifelong educator, Lane was an elementary school teacher from 1971 to 1982.
CRSP’s annual Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC Fall Speaker Series provides an opportunity for faculty, students, and members of the community to engage in race-related discussions of mutual interest.
—Kerry Byrnes

Pitt Goes Green for Office-Supplies Delivery

Four tons of waste. 15,000 boxes. That’s the amount of waste the University of Pittsburgh expects to save this academic year through Office Depot’s new GreenerOffice delivery program.

As of August, more than 3,700 businesses, governments, and universities in Pittsburgh have been receiving their Office Depot supplies in reusable bags or bins rather than paper bags or corrugated boxes. Both types of transporting containers are made from postconsumer recycled materials and are used by carriers to transport the office supplies from delivery trucks to customers’ offices.

“The University, for some time now, has been looking for whatever processes or steps that can be taken to becoming greener and more sustainable,” said Carl DePasquale, procurement specialist in Purchasing Services.

Even though the green delivery program costs the same as regular delivery, savings will be seen in sustainable ways. GreenerOffice eliminates the need for Office Depot to cut down nearly 20,000 trees a year for necessary wood-based resources for corrugated boxes and bags.

Nationwide, the program is expected to replace 4.5 million pounds of cardboard boxes with less than a million pounds of paper.
—B. Rose Huber

Pitt to Host 21st Annual Slovak Heritage Festival Nov. 6

The University of Pittsburgh Slovak Studies Program and the Pitt Student Slovak Club will present the 21st Annual Slovak Heritage Festival from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 6 in the Commons Room of the Cathedral of Learning.

The free event will include performances by such local artists as the Pittsburgh Slovakians, the Slavjane Folk Ensemble, the Pittsburgh Area Slovaks, and the University of Pittsburgh Carpathian Ensemble. Also among the festival’s many performers are returning professional Slovakian artists The Singing Revil’ak Family and Jozef Ivaska.

The Singing Revil’ak Family has received numerous awards in nationwide laureate folklore competitions in Bratislava and Zilina, Slovakia. The ensemble has produced many CDs, which will be available for purchase at the festival. Ivaska, the other featured Slovakian artist, also will have his CDs available. Ivaska, who is making his fifth concert tour of the United States, performs with the Metropolitan Operetta Theatre in Baden, Austria. Among his other accomplishments was discovering the rock group Sirius in the early ’80s.
The festival also will feature cultural displays and lectures, ethnic foods and pastries, and vendors with merchandise from Slovakia and neighboring European countries.

For more information, contact Christine Metil at 412-624-5906 or
—Lara Stasenko

E. Maxine Bruhns Sets Oct. 31 Ghost Watch

As Halloween nears, E. Maxine Bruhns is preparing her spot—and her spooky stories.

Bruhns, director of Pitt’s Nationality Rooms Program, has made a ghoulish tradition of staking out a spot in the Cathedral of Learning’s Early American Room on Halloween night. The affinity stems from Bruhns’ notion that Room 328 is haunted by her grandmother, Martha Jane Poe (who was related to Edgar Allan Poe).

Bruhns will preside over this year’s Ghost Watch from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, in Room 328. It’s free and open to the public. Bruhns may be joined by a special cat, Catula, who dresses for the evening in a Dracula cape. The creature is featured in a book of the same name, written by Melissa Haas, a Pitt alumnus (A&S ’02) and personal friend of Bruhns.

Room 328’s ghostly occurrences began in the 1990s after Bruhns donated some of her grandmother’s belongings, including a wedding quilt and a photo frame, to the room. Bed covers were pulled down when no one had been in the room; corn hanging on the fireplace fell mysteriously two times; a baby cradle began rocking on its own.

Bruhns will recount the sightings and answer questions, but no doubt visitors’ eyes and ears will be attuned to more ephemeral occurrences.
—Jane-Ellen Robinet