A Working Weekend: Hesselbein Global Academy Strives to Prepare Future Leaders

Issue Date: 
August 4, 2014

Fifty student leaders from across the globe gathered at Pitt July 26-28 for the Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement Summit.ForTony Fountain, a retired executive for URS Corp. and former president of the Pitt African American Alumni Council, mentors a participating student. the sixth year, the University of Pittsburgh hosted the Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement Summit, pairing 50 student leaders from around the world with professional mentors for leadership training.

Ten Pitt students participated in the by-invitation summit that ran July 26-28. Students worked with professional mentors, participated in interactive workshops and presentations, partook in “Dinner Dialogues” at the homes of civic and campus leaders, and worked with local organizations to solve challenges. The summit partnered with local organizations, including CONSOL Energy Center and The Neighborhood Academy, to provide students and their mentors the opportunity to work on an organization’s challenge or goal.

This year’s mentors were Pitt alumni Keith Schaefer, executive chairman of City Paper Box and chair of the Pitt Board of Trustees’ Student Affairs Committee, and Anthony (Tony) Fountain, a retired senior vice president and chief financial officer for URS Corporation, and a past president of the Pitt African American Alumni Council.

PittKeith Schaefer, executive chairman of City Paper Box and a Pitt trustee, also mentors a student during one of the summit’s work sessions. hosts for the Dinner Dialogues were Kathy Humphrey, vice provost and dean of students; Martha Munsch, a partner at Reed Smith and a Pitt trustee; Chenits Pettigrew, School of Medicine assistant dean for student affairs and director of diversity programs, and Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, an assistant professor and program director for global health and reproductive science at Case Western Reserve University and a former program director in Pitt’s School of Medicine; Donna Sanft, associate dean of students; Marian Vanek, Student Health Services director; and Sam Zacharias, principal of Gateway Financial Group Inc. and a Pitt trustee. Additional dinner hosts were Valerie McDonald-Roberts, chief urban affairs officer for the City of Pittsburgh, and Patricia Waldinger, CEO of the American Red Cross, Southwest Pennsylvania chapter.

Students from 17 countries—Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom—joined domestic students from large and small American colleges and universities from 18 states.

Established in 2009, the Hesselbein Global Academy is named in honor of Pitt alumnus Frances Hesselbein, recipient of the 1998 Presidential Medal of Freedom and the current president and CEO of The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute (formally The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management).