Two Students Receive Chancellor’s Staff Award for Excellence

Two Pitt School of Education students were recently awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Staff — an honor that recognizes the highest level of achievement by University of Pittsburgh employees.

Lauren Wallace, who is in her second year of the Doctor of Education (EdD) program, works as the director of undergraduate recruitment for the university’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. She also has earned her Master of Education (MEd) Higher Education Management. She received the Chancellor’s Excellence in Mentoring Award. Wallace was credited with developing new methods of outreach to encourage students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools to pursue higher education.

Dana C. Romano, an incoming student for the Master of Education program in Higher Education, is the interim director of the Career Management Center at the university’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. She received the Chancellor’s Student Impact Award. Romano was lauded for her personalized approach and innovative program design.

“We are so excited that our students are being honored in these valuable ways by the university,” said associate professor of higher education and higher education program coordinatorLinda DeAngelo. “We are proud to have been a part of their educational experience and contributing to the foundation of the good work that they are doing at Pitt.”

Both Wallace and Romano enrolled in the Pitt School of Education to develop their capacity to better serve students in higher education institutions.

“I had a strong desire to develop a greater sense of sympathy and empathy for the multitude of systemic issues related to educational access,” said Wallace. “I knew that an EdD from Pitt Education would provide a robust understanding of these issues and would assist in my ability to implement programs at Pitt.”

Romano, meanwhile, has supported thousands of Katz graduate students through the years in her work in the career office. She enjoys professional advising so much that she has preferred to keep her job as student-facing as possible.

“I knew the program would ensure that I’m providing the latest and best services to master’s degree students at Katz,” said Romano.

Wallace, who is specializing her EdD in social and comparative analysis in education, has had many defining moments in the program so far. The moment that stands out above the rest is when Valerie Kinloch, the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean at the Pitt School of Education, spoke to the class shortly after the program began.

“She is one of the most powerful, passionate, awe-inspiring leaders I have ever interacted with,” recalls Wallace. “It is honestly hard to put into words: The moment really was about seeing that such a phenomenal, Black woman was at the helm for a decision I was expecting to change the trajectory of my future. It felt amazing.”

Chancellor’s Award recipients receive $2,500 and recognition on a plaque displayed in the William Pitt Union. A ceremony to honor the recipients will be held at a later date.