Greensburg, Johnstown campuses start year off strong

The changes at the Johnstown and Greensburg campuses may not be as dramatic as at Bradford and Titusville, which got a new president this summer (see related story in Aug. 27 University Times), but there’s always something new at the regional campuses.


The big news on the Hempfield Township campus is construction of a new Life Science Building, space for Pitt-Greensburg’s growing science and nursing programs to expand. Construction began in August on the new $19.2 million, 32,000-square foot building, which will include a clinical lab, simulation suites, telemedicine space, and a computer lab and office suite for the School of Nursing, as well as chemistry and biology labs. The new facility will be connected to Smith Hall, creating a unified Life Sciences Complex. The building is expected to open for the spring 2023 semester.

Pitt–Greensburg also has added a new major and a new minor.

Students interested in pursuing a major in education will now have a fourth choice. The newly approved major in special education will be offered along with majors in early childhood education, secondary education, and Spanish education. Like all of the Pitt-Greensburg education programs, students majoring in special education will begin their field placement experiences during their freshmen year.

Melissa Marks, associate professor of education and director of the education program, said there is a great need for special education teachers across Pennsylvania and the country. While many programs offer students a double major in early childhood education and special education, very few programs offer this specialized training from Pre-K to 12th grade, leaving secondary students without the qualified teachers they need, she said.

Marks credits Jeanne Burth, associate professor of education, and Jennifer Suppo, former associate professor of education, with preparing the proposal and materials that were approved. 

“Jeanne and Jen pulled from their strong backgrounds in special education to develop the Pitt-Greensburg program,” Marks said. “These two faculty members worked tirelessly on syllabi and developing the programming that meets the competencies required by the State of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh.”

Also new is an international studies minor, developed by Paul Adams, associate professor of political science and chair of the Behavioral Sciences Division, working with Amber McAlister, , assistant professor of history of art and architecture; Pilar Herr, associate professor of history; and Stacey Triplette, associate professor of Spanish and French.

Interdisciplinary in its scope, the international studies minor requires courses from across at least two divisions and from numerous programs and disciplines including anthropology, environmental sciences, French, geography, German, history, history of art & architecture, literature, philosophy, religious studies, Spanish, and others.


Staff at the Owen Library updated the collection and furniture layout while the library was being repaired recently. Most of the print collection is now located on the second floor. The first floor provides more study spaces and new types of study spaces. “We look forward to the library’s new layout providing patrons with an improved library experience,” said Peter Egler, head of the Owen Library. 

UPJ Eats has launched Live Teaching Kitchens for the first time. Student groups, athletes, and the general student body will be selected to meet and interact with Chartwell chefs in the Teaching Kitchen studio located in the Living Learning Center. Tools and education will be offered to prepare various recipes throughout the semester alongside the chefs.  

Students also will have the opportunity to register for family meals, where dishes are served family-style for groups of friends who plan to dine together. Dining offers gourmet meals at a premium once a month for students who want to have a classy sit-down meal.

The Daily Grind in Blackington Hall has re-opened with Starbucks products, along with quick on-the-go foods and snacks Mondays through Fridays.  

The staff of the Office of Health and Counseling Services is back in-person. Counseling sessions are offered in-person (with masks) as well as remotely.