Staff Professional Development Award

2023 Frisch Staff Professional Development Award 

The University of Pittsburgh Staff Council supports the ambition of Pitt staff members who seek to supplement their professional and personal engagement at the University through professional development opportunities. The Ronald W. Frisch Staff Professional Development Award provides monetary resources to selected University of Pittsburgh staff members to pursue professional enrichment opportunities.

● Criteria 

The Ronald W. Frisch Staff Professional Development Award is available to eligible Pitt staff members to defray the costs of approved professional development opportunities determined to provide direct benefit to the staff member’s career and professional growth at Pitt. Uses of the award include, but are not limited to:

  • University of Pittsburgh tuition 
  • Professional conference attendance  
  • Professional workshop, class, or credit  
  • Training benefiting professional career   

The award must be used by the Pitt staff member receiving the award within one year of receiving it. 

Awards cannot be used for organizational memberships, subscription fees, parking or other incidental fees. 

● Eligibility  

Applicants are required to be benefits eligible, non-union, part time or full time professional employees at any of the University of Pittsburgh’s five campuses. Applicants must have been employed by the University of Pittsburgh for a minimum of one consecutive year and are required to receive supervisor permission for participation as part of their application. Staff members on a performance improvement plan or who have received the award within the past three years are ineligible. 

Recipients of the award are chosen by a committee comprised of rotating SC members, a regional campus representative, and an Office of Human Resources representative in accordance with applicable procedures outlined by the University of Pittsburgh. The Staff Council supports and endorses equal opportunities for all Pitt staff members. 

Current Staff Council officers are not eligible to apply. 

● Disbursement  

Applicants can apply for up to a $500 award. Multiple awards not exceeding $500 total may be disbursed based on the number of qualified candidates each cycle. For example, two $250 awards may be disbursed in an award’s cycle.  Award money will be distributed to the awardee based on University financial policies and must be utilized for the awarded purposes within one calendar year. 

Awardees are required to submit a testimonial following their use of the award as a requirement of acceptance. 

Recipients of the award will be notified following a review process and presented at Staff Council’s Summer Bash, which the awardee(s) are encouraged to attend. 



● Timeline
Application closes Friday, April 28, 2023
Committee begins review May 1, 2023
Winner(s) selected and notified week of May 15, 2023
Recipients presented during Staff Recognition Ceremony June 16, 2023


Application Criteria:


Position Title  

Department and campus 

How long have you worked at Pitt? 

Highest level of education attained  

Have you received this award within the past three years? 

Are you on a University performance improvement plan? 

Amount of award requested? 

Intended use of Ronald W. Frisch Professional Development Award 

Essay (500 words or less): Why is this opportunity important at this point in your career? How will successful completion of such an opportunity benefit your position at the University of Pittsburgh? 


2022 Winners

Photos of Bianca and Trupti- 2022 winners


 Bianca DeJesus

 “ I am so grateful and humbled to be selected as the recipient for the Staff Development Award in honor of Ronald W. Frisch. Thank you to Staff Council. I started at the university in January    2021, in the midst of the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, so my onboarding and orientation were far from “normal.” This award allows me to invest in my professional development while I am still early in my tenure and transition to Pitt. This award will contribute greatly to my professional goals which will ultimately allow me to better serve the first year students of the Dietrich School.”

 Trupti Sarode

 "It is such an honor to be recognized as a recipient of the Staff Development Award in Honor of Ronald W. Frisch. The professional development opportunities this will support -- the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference (AEA), the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), and the NASPAA Annual Conference -- are central to my current role as the Director of Innovation and Strategy at GSPIA. Having taken on this role not too long ago (in September 2021), these opportunities will support my learning and growth in key areas like DEI, learning and evaluation, and public service education in general in service toward the school and the larger University of Pittsburgh community. I am grateful to the Staff Council for this recognition."

2021 Winners
Lorraine M. Pollini, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine

"I was very grateful and humbled to be selected as a recipient of the Staff Development Award in Honor of Ronald W. Frisch. I have worked for the University for 17.5 years.  I have wanted to pursue a certification with the Board of Editors in the Life Science (BELS) for the past several years. BELS mission is “to maintain and promote a proficiency in editing in the life sciences.” This award means a great deal to me. I am very excited to pursue the Editor in the Life Sciences (ELS) certification. Thank you for your consideration of me, the honor of this award, and the extraordinary opportunity for advanced professional development".

Brooke J. Riley, University of Pittsburgh Police Department

"Thank you to Staff Council for giving me the opportunity to continue my education and sharpen my leadership skills by awarding me the Staff Development Award in Honor of Ronald W. Frisch.  Lifelong learning is a value that is important to me for personal growth and for fulfilling my duty as a public servant.  I am looking forward to learning from FBI-LEEDA’s Ethics and Supervisor Liability Online Distance Program.  These classes will help give me tools to better serve the Pitt and Oakland Community while reaffirming my commitment to the department’s core values of integrity, respect, service, and fairness".

2019 Winner

Nancy Briones

 "I came to the University with 25 years of industry experience and found it challenging to navigate through the vastly different structure of academia. As much as I tried to move forward, I quickly found myself in a position that offered little chance for advancement. I enrolled in classes to further my education in the hopes that showing progressive professional growth by working toward an advanced degree might provide an opportunity for me to obtain a more challenging position without having to leave the University. I worked with a member of Staff Council and was often updated on the strides taken by them to improve University policies. While reading their webpage, I stumbled on the staff professional development award and applied. I was surprised and extremely grateful to have been chosen amongst all the applicants for this award, which was a generous gift that I could use in the pursuit of my graduate degree in Accountancy. This group is dynamic, and the Pitt community is fortunate to have them working for us."