University of Pittsburgh



Saluting Pitt

I recently returned from a deployment supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. My wife (Kristen Benn, CBA ’04) bought me this Pitt flag before one of my deployments. I fly KC-10 tanker aircraft and was onloading an additional 50,000 lbs. of fuel from another KC-10. I tossed the flag up in the glare shield and went to work. This was my fifth deployment, and that flag has logged more than 75 combat missions this year.

Kurt J. Lansberry

Arts and Sciences ’04

Captain, U.S. Air Force

McGuire AFB, N.J.


William Strickland (A&S ’70), president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries, noted this correction to his Bookshelf story, which appeared in the summer issue. The last sentence in the next-to-last paragraph should read: He’s not long back from Israel, where he has had conversations with Arabs and Jews to build a center in the Karmiel Misgav region of northern Israel, which shares a sister city relationship with the City of Pittsburgh. Strickland also is a Pitt trustee and 1996 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation

“genius award.”

Love to Dance

Thanks for the nice Commons Room story about our Love to Dance program (Summer 2009 issue). Three pages later, there was a story about

Michele de la Reza (EDUC ’94G), whom I encouraged to come to Pitt originally. I currently sit on Attack Theatre’s board and love what she and her husband Peter

are creating.

Susan Gillis Kruman

Education ’76G

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Nice Mix

My wife (Patricia Vozniak, A&S ’99) and I always look forward to reading Pitt Magazine. It is a nice mix of educational topics, highlights of current students, and alumni news and events.  Thank you, and we wish you continued success.

Michael Vozniak

Pharmacy ’01G

Philadelphia, Pa.

Not Just a Job

We were very pleased to see that Amy Niceswanger was featured in the Spring 2009 Pitt Magazine. Amy has gone out of her way for years to help Pitt fans like us when we were purchasing season tickets for football and for basketball. It has always been a pleasure working with her. It is clear from our dealings with her that Amy’s work with the athletics department is not a job, it is a passion and a love. I’m glad that all Pitt alumni now know it is people like Amy who help the athletics programs

to prosper.

Bob (Engineering’79) and

Debbie (Engineering ’02) Tomko

South Park, Pa.

Vibrations Continue

I have devoted my life to addressing safety issues for military personnel, and Ervin Dyer’s article “Invisible Harm” touched on my latest challenges. Vibration in the military operational environment damages our troops physically, but it also impairs their ability to perform at an optimum level. There is a lot of data showing human performance degradation in vibration environments. Just imagine what it is like flying a helicopter for seven hours and then landing it under treacherous conditions. I am currently working on unique seat-cushion materials that will lessen impact energy such as that from a mine blast and also lessen induced vibrations to improve human performance under conditions in military vehicles and aircraft.

Thomas Pavlik

Engineering ’69

Hay Market, Va.

Final Four in ’41

The Spring 2009 issue of Pitt Magazine contained an article, “Hope Dreams,” that said the first appearance of the Pitt men’s basketball team in the NCAA tournament was in spring 1974. I have a 1991 article from the Pittsburgh Press that states the 1941 men’s basketball team not only participated in the NCAA tournament but went on to be in the “Final Four.”  This article appeared,  I believe, at the time of the 50th anniversary of the event. My late husband, Paul Lohmeyer (A&S ’43), was a sophomore member of that team. It was one of his proudest memories. It would do honor to the team of 1941 to set the record straight.

Martha M. Lohmeyer

Catonsville, Md.

Editor’s Note: You’re absolutely right, Mrs. Lohmeyer. Congratulations, always, to the 1941 team and its enduring achievement.

Write Stuff

I was the assistant copy editor (with Alice Goldsmith as chief copy editor) of The Pitt News for two and one-half years in 1966-68.  I recently pulled out my stash of newspapers from 1966 to relive a few moments from my past. We worked three nights a week.  Alice and I proofread many of the articles and wrote the headlines, counting spaces, font sizes, and letters. If the headline didn’t fit, we would change the font size, font, or a word or two. We became quite good at this. No computers back then! We had a blast up in the offices.  Now that I look back on the hours and years spent fitting words into spaces, I smile and thank Pitt for the opportunity to be a part of its history.

Beth Lazerick

Education ’68

Boca Raton, Fla.

Since I am probably the oldest and newest writer to answer your call for a story, I hope to win the scratch pad, pencils, and a jaunty hat! After my college graduation (College of Wooster, Mass.), I moved to Pittsburgh with my new husband. With a degree in sociology and a teaching certificate, I preferred working with elementary school children, so I decided Pitt would be the place to work on that dream. In May 1959, I received my Pitt master’s degree in education. There followed some years of being a minister’s wife, raising three children, teaching, and completing a doctorate at Rutgers. Then, I taught at Central College in Pella, Iowa, helping other young teachers prepare for their careers. I retired in 1997. For my 75th birthday this past May, I gave myself a week at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Workshops.  Thus I declare myself, somewhat to my surprise, to be a WRITER.

Lee Joanne Collins

Education ’59

Pella, Iowa

While attending a writers conference at Pitt in 1975, I had my last and ill-fated encounter with Pitt student publications. I took the opportunity to visit the publications offices in the student union to see what my old corner office looked like and meet any student staffers who might be around. Unfortunately, The OwlThe Pitt News office.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“I wanted to see whether any of the yearbook people were around. I was the editor of The Owl in 1960,” I answered.

With seeming amazement, she exclaimed, “Nineteen-six-oh?”

“Yeah. That was only 15 years ago,” I said, trying to reassure her that former Pitt publications staffers were not all dead and buried by then. Some of us actually had careers and were still writing or editing. I don’t remember what, if anything, she said as she went back to typing, but it was probably the 1975 equivalent of “Whatever.” office was locked; nearby, a young woman was typing away in

Ronald Scott

Arts and Sciences ’61

Houston, Texas

Got a chuckle over the photograph from The OwlPitt Magazine. I was on the admissions team for undergraduate study in 1969, selecting the Class of 1974. The task included the search for interesting people. published under “Now and Then” in the summer issue of

Jack Wilkins

Education ’65G, ’68G

Wilkinsburg, Pa.