Our first winner is the BRIDGES Program.
The selection committee recommended the BRIDGES Program because it utilizes a robust peer-mentoring model to retain and support high-achieving, diverse freshman scholarship students in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. The BRIDGES motto of “Building Relationships, Inspiring Diversity and Generating Excellence in Scholarship” illuminates the purpose for this program. In the last 3 years, it has evolved into a comprehensive program that aids scholars in building relationships, inspiring diversity and generating excellence in scholarship. Simply put: The program’s results are impressive. Its graduation rates, particularly for African American students, are a major accomplishment—as is BRIDGES’s track record in boosting the retention of scholarships among participating students.
Our second winner is the Center for Urban Education.
The selection committee commended the Center’s community-driven outreach, programming and services as a result of their evidence-based research modeling. These efforts are designed to identify relevant societal issues in the Pittsburgh community at large, and offer solutions that will have both immediate and long-term positive impacts in our community. Other programming such as: Mentoring in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Brown Bag Lunches to discuss issues in urban education, and the Visiting Lecture Series that brings leading researchers to campus set the Center apart from others. These programs address persistent societal issues by empowering faculty members to engage in research projects and partnerships. As a result, it has shaped discussions on urban education, especially as they relate to race and class.