Written by Cara J. Hayden
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania honored several Pitt women this year, including a math teacher, a poetry professor, and a bank executive. Michelle Switala, a PhD candidate in the School of Education, was named the 2010 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year. She’s an algebra and calculus teacher at Pine-Richland High School in Gibsonia, Pa.
Each year, the Governor and First Lady recognize a select group of women as Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania, honoring individuals for notable service through their careers or volunteer endeavors. In 2009, Pitt poetry professor Toi Derricotte and trustee Eva Tansky Blum (A&S ’70, LAW ’73) were named Distinguished Daughters of the state. Derricotte is cofounder and director of Cave Canem, an organization that promotes African American poetry. Blum, who cochairs the University’s capital campaign, is the senior vice president and director of community affairs at PNC Bank, and chair and president of the PNC Foundation.