Staff Council President Angie Coldren, who was elected to the post last year, is stepping down because she has accepted at job at Pitt–Greensburg as director of human resources & Title IX liaison (see a letter from Coldren below about her decision).
Coldren has been at the Oakland campus for 26 years, beginning in the School of Dental Medicine dean’s office, then the Department of Pathology and then to the Office of Research Protections.
Staff Council will be holding a special election to fill the vacancy. The position is open to current Staff Council members only and nominations were due by Aug. 25. The nominees are Lindsay Rodzwicz, a bioengineering Coulter Program administrator, and Kenny Doty, associate director of technology, both in the Swanson School of Engineering.
A presidential candidate Q&A will take place on Aug. 31 for Staff Council members. Voting will be on Sept. 1 and 2 via a Qualtrics link. The new president will be announced no later than Sept. 6. To reach Staff Council, send an email to email@example.com.
A letter from the Staff Council President Angie Coldren
I think most would agree that God works in mysterious ways. A door opens and we decide to go through or walk on by. A door opened for me when I least expected it, and I decided to go through it.
I am stepping down as Staff Council president effective Sept. 5. I am not stepping down because I do not have the willingness, passion or strength to continue. I am stepping down because the opportunity that presented itself is one I did not want to pass up. I have accepted a job at Pitt–Greensburg as their director of human resources and Title IX liaison. I did want to finish my term as Staff Council president, but the bylaws say that members must work on the Oakland campus.
I am excited to take on this new role for the following reasons:
1. I live less than 15 minutes from Pitt–Greensburg. I can reclaim over two hours of my day that I spent on commuting — driving, sitting in traffic, and walking from the parking garage.
2. I can use my institutional knowledge, experience and my Pitt network/connections to serve the Pitt–Greensburgh community. Each week at Mass, I thank God for the talents he has given me, and I ask that he allow me to use those talents to the fullest extent to serve him and others. I cannot think of a better example of using and sharing my talents.
3. This will be an opportunity to connect and reconnect with my Greensburg/Westmoreland County community. This is where I live and where my children go to school.
4. I am looking forward to the feeling of a small, intimate campus. My college years were some of the best years of my life, and they were spent at a small liberal arts college just a few miles from Pitt–Greensburgh (the same school where people go to see the Steelers train each summer). That small school feeling has always been a comfortable place for me.
I have enjoyed my time on the Oakland campus. I am still surprised that this small-town girl could navigate the city and such a large institution. If you would have told me 30 years ago that I would work in the heart of Pittsburgh, I would not have believed it. But maybe my next chapter is supposed to feel different.
I plan to volunteer more. I plan to get another degree. I plan to be more present for my family. Since the start of the pandemic, I have put work ahead of my family. I focus so much on my work that most days I do not notice what is going on around me. And I do not make time to appreciate the little things. Job creep is real, and I have lived it longer than I care to admit.
Unfortunately, I am leaving with unfinished business. I have been a member of Staff Council for over two decades, serving in officer roles for many of those years. In that time, I have never seen such a multitude of contentious issues. Staff Council is working hard. We are a group of volunteers. We are not paid to do what we do. We use our own time, and we juggle our schedules to attend meetings that allow us to be part of the shared governance process.
Just because you have not seen monumental results does not mean we are not having the difficult discussions with senior leaders. Big changes take time, especially if we want them done right. I hope the Staff Council Spotlight sessions continue and bring the transparency you have requested.
At the beginning of a song from one of my favorite bands, Def Leppard, are the lyrics, “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away.” Maybe that statement makes sense if you are a rock star, but if you are just an ordinary gal like me, I do not want to do either. I want to stay strong, to continue to have a positive outlook, to make significant contributions, to serve in a variety of ways, and to share my talents. I have done that for staff for over two decades.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you and work with you and for you! Thank you to the Staff Council officers who have been incredibly supportive. It has been a pleasure collaborating with you and sharing our strengths. Thank you to Lola Suvak who has been my biggest advocate and has kept me on track. Thank you to the Staff Council members. You are doing great work. I am proud of what we do, and it has been an honor to lead the organization.
Thank you to my special contacts all over campus. You know who you are because I have reached out directly to you many times over the years. Thank you to those who I have served with on committees. You have given me many opportunities to gain experience.
Lastly, a special thank you to my colleagues at the Office of Research Protections. I have enjoyed taking all administration duties off your hands. You gave me an opportunity to develop my customer service skills every day. You are like extended family to me.
I wish you all continued success! And I am still only an email or phone call away.