Empowerment the Focus of Staff Spring Assembly

Audrey Murrell at Staff Council Spring Assembly

Playing on this year’s Staff Spring Assembly theme of staff empowerment, College of Business Administration Associate Dean Audrey Murrell kicked off the May 15 event, sponsored by Staff Council, by highlighting five keys to empowerment.

First, she said, is perseverance: “If you stand for something, you will face obstacles.” But maintaining your passion for your long-term goals “is not about perfection. It’s about consistency. … Be better, not perfect. That’s perseverance.”

Seeing obstacles as opportunities is the second key, and making a continual effort to do good work is third. “Many talented people never follow through on their plans, their promises, their commitments,” she said. “If you want to be empowered, start by recognizing that your work matters.”

Maintaining your professional expertise is Murrell’s fourth key. Take workshops, attend conferences or get a new degree, she suggested.

Topping her list are mentoring and other professional relationships: “Join the Staff Council. Be part of one of the affinity groups. Be connected. Take care of all relationships,” she said.

“To me it’s the most important key to empowerment.”

Perseverance. Opportunities. Work. Expertise. Relationships. It all adds up to “POWER,” she concluded: “Now I have given you the power; what will you do with it?”

Chancellor: University Benefits Aid Empowerment

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher opened the day’s assembly by urging staff to gain empowerment together, and to use the many benefits of the University to achieve personal satisfaction and professional success.

Pitt offers employees financial planning assistance, tuition help, opportunities to engage with local communities, wellness and fitness facilities and more, he noted.

Looking out for each other’s safety and achievement on the job is also crucial, he said: “In the end it’s not about the power. It’s about the sense of fulfillment we get. We have this amazing community. Team up … and we can do these amazing things together.”

Professional Development Award PresentedSgt. Mark Villasenor

Staff Council chose Sgt. Mark Villasenor of the University's Police Department as the winner of the second annual Ronald W. Frisch Staff Professional Development Award, which will allow Villasenor to attend the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference and exposition in October.

The award was established to honor staff service by helping to fund professional development experiences for University staff. Contributions to the award can be made online.



Marty Levine, martyl@pitt.edu, 412-758-4859