Wilkins School Community Center
WSCC Teachers

The instructors at WSCC come from a variety of backgrounds and life experience. We're working to bring you information about all of our highly qualified and engaging instructors. Check back soon as we add their stories.


  Wayne Albright & Gaye Fifer

  Viviana Altieri

  Debbie Buff

  Kim Curtin

  Daviea Davis

  Connie Durning

  Jamie Fair

Jamie Fair is a classically trained vocalist and actor who may be playing her most important role yet as a musical theater teacher for children atWilkins School Community Center. “I was working a lot in this area doing theater, opera and commercial work, and all of a sudden after three or four years of that, it seemed like opportunities to teach were falling in my lap,” Fair ofForest Hillssaid. A voice major who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, Fair comes from a family of public educators. Deciding to start her own junior musical theater classes for kids seemed like a natural progression of her career.
Every Tuesday, she teaches the junior musical theater class for children in second to fourth grade from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., while every Thursday she teaches musical theater classes to fourth through sixth grade children. “Enrollment is ongoing—a lot of places want you to commit to 8 to 10 classes, but since today’s kids are so involved in so many extracurricular activities, I think it works better if we keep it to a month-to-month basis,” Fair said. “If you’re really busy in October, you can come back in November.” Classes are divided into three sections—an acting warm-up with improvisation games, vocal warm-ups and music, then scene rehearsal, which can involve a few students working on a scene and getting feedback from peers or the whole class working on choreography.

“The kids’ enthusiasm is just infectious,”Fair said. “You cannot help but get a smile on your face at least a dozen times each class with the observations they come up with, and it certainly makes me go out and learn more about theatrical repertoire.”…

For this coming year, she would like to incorporate in-class performances for friends and family. “It gets them used to being onstage and it’s something they need to practice—even if it’s an audience of grandparents, brothers and sisters and friends,” Fair said. The most rewarding part of the job—watching the children transform. “To see their confidence grow and see how they become more sure of themselves, which may translate into them standing up for themselves in school—it’s been wonderful to watch them grow and to hope that maybe I had a tiny role in that,” she said.

For more information and to getinvolved, visithttp://www.eastendperformingarts.org/or call 412-327-1753.


  Chris Forbes

Chris Forbes spent his life in marketing and business development activities in commercial nuclear power and fuel cell development with Westinghouse and Siemens. His lifetime interest in wine began when he graduated from comic books to wine books in high school. He has conducted the wine classes at the Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square since 2000. He also conducts wine classes for OSHER at CMU and has participated in numerous other wine events in Pittsburgh and elsewhere, and frequently visits wineries in the US and Europe.

  Joe Foreman & Leslie Clark

Joe Forman has been teaching dance for Coal Country Traditions for almost 10 years. He has taught swing dance at the Dance Alloy and Community College and also teaches private lessons. He has taught beginner, intermediate, and advanced East Coast Swing, Waltz, and Lindy Charleston. Joe and his regular partner Leslie also teach lessons at parties, weddings, and other events. They have worked with bands like The Boilermaker Jazz Band, Dr. Zoot, Jimmy Sapienza's Five Guys Named Moe, and more. Joe focuses on a social and fun style of dance in his lessons.Joe is a volunteer organizer for Coal Country Traditions which runs regular dances, classes, workshop weekends, and dance weekends.Joe is also an eclectic social dancer and can be seen out dancing at swing, contra, blues, square, Cajun , West Coast swing, English country, waltz, French traditional, and many other dances around the Pittsburgh area.

  Karen Gist

  Judy Greif

  Darlene Halicki

  Tayfun Gol

  Lydia Konecky

  Theresa Lee

  Barbara Litt

Barbara Litt, head instructor of Aikido Kokikai Pittsburgh, 5th dan, has taught Aikido at the WSCC since 1997. She began Aikido in 1988 in Princeton, NJ, and is now a senior student of Sensei Shuji Maruyama, of Nagoya, Japan, whom she sees several times a year, usually in the US. She teaches Aikido because the art has improved her life immeasurably and she wants to share this. Besides, it's really fun! She has also taught Japanese language and culture in public schools and currently at Carnegie Mellon.

  Jim Logan

  Christine Manges

  Marci Mason

As my eyes wonder from the sky to the ground below, my mind is racing thinking of the projected colors. The melted colors of watercolor are by far my favorite.An artist with a natural gift, I began my artistry at a young age and formally and informally studied throughout the years.My early chosen field was not in art although I alwaysenjoyed drawing, painting and crafts as a hobby.I am a member of many local art groups and a member of the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society. My accomplishments include numerous place ribbons,Eat n' Park Golden Sable for watercolor excellence and Best of Show ribbons.I currently teach the art program at Trinity Christian School, teach adult watercolor classes in Monroeville, WSCC in Regent Square, Turtle Creek, Penn-Trafford and Latrobe and coach private students. I also work part time as a dental assistant and work consistently on commission requests.I show my original art in group shows as well as individual venues on a regular basis.My paintings hang in corporate and private collections locally and nationally and are available for purchase in Morninglory Gifts in Murrysville, Alexandra's Tea House in Springdale and the Latrobe Art Center in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.Thank you for enjoying my work. That is my greatest compliment.http://www.marciart.net/


  Wilma Palombo

  Bob Patterson

Bob Patterson is an award winning photographer who specializes in Nature and Wildlife images. Bob is a self-taught photographer and has experience that goes back more than twenty years. He started Patterson Images ten years ago as a freelance, stock photography studio and works full time as a professional photographer. Bob travels around the country photographing wildlife such as wolves, cougars, deer, fox, and bear. His nature photography includes landscapes and scenics as well as florals and lighthouses. He tries to incorporate a little bit for everyone in his portfolio.Bob has won awards at numerous art shows and has been juried into the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Westmoreland Art Nationals, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Council for the Arts-Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley and at Loretto, and the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts. He, along with his wife Christine, has also had gallery showings at The Gallery Space at Monroeville Library, Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, Murrysville Municipal Building, Penn Hills Municipal Building, Penn Hills Library, S&T Bank in Penn Hills and at local private galleries. Bob is a member of the Pittsburgh Society of Artists, the past Vice-President of Penn Art Association, an active member of the East Suburban Artists League and the North American Nature Photography Association.

  Pittsburgh Tangueros

  Ebony Pearson

  JoAnn Portnoy

Joann Leardi Portnoy, a native of New Jersey, is a floral watercolorist whose painting style ranges from stylistic realism topainterly impressionism. Although she obtained her degree in art history from Allegheny Community College, her painting skills are self-taught. For the past 20 years, she has taught the art of floral watercolor painting at Phipps Garden Center, the University of Pittsburgh and at several local art leagues. She is a member and former officer of the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society and the Artists’ and Craftsmens’ Guild of Pittsburgh.

  Kiren Randhawa

  Jamie Rayman

  Carol Scheftic

Carol Scheftic is, along with anything else she does, an educator. Over the years, she has taught subjects she found interesting in both formal and informal settings at all levels from pre-kindergarten through post-graduate professional education. She has also led both in-person and on-line courses for those wishing to learn how to begin and / or improve their own teaching. Metal clay was first introduced to the art world in 1998. Carol began working with it in 2006. She received her first formal certificate in precious metals as a "Metal Clay Artisan" in 2007, and served as a co-founder of the Western PA Metal Clay Guild in 2008.  She was one of only 40 people world-wide to join the first (by invitation only) program of Hadar's Clay™ Teachers; she was among the two-dozen to successfully complete that base metals program and receive this accreditation in 2014.  Her work—in silver, bronze, copper, steel, and gold, plus occasional bits of crystal, glass, gemstone, or other materials—has been featured in local art shows, regional galleries, and even a few international publications. Since 2008, Carol has focused her teaching on the art and craft of making jewelry and other small metal adornments to help spread the word about how much fun this new and accessible art-form can be.  She is also an avid gardener who has spent a decade each in Florida and California. If you bring an orange to one of Carol's workshops at WSCC, she'll be glad to show you how to peel it to reveal a "secret" (one that your geometry teacher may have known but probably never mentioned) about triangles and other shapes that you might even want to use in your jewelry designs! Carol can also help you to make different types of connections—ones that matter to you—and to find ways to express them in your own artful adornments.



  Karen Sloneker

Karen plays second trumpet with the Pittsburgh Ballet and Opera Orchestras. An active performing musician, her performance credits include the Pittsburgh Brass Quintet, Pittsburgh Symphony auxiliary and substitute trumpet, Westmoreland, McKeesport, and Wheeling Symphonies, and the Mendelssohn and Bach Choirs. She was solo cornetist with the River City Brass Band, and appeared as a featured soloist with the Westmoreland, McKeesport, and Carnegie Symphonies.As much as she loves performing, she also loves teaching and has spent all of her professional life teaching and learning. Karen has attended World Music Drumming workshops with Will Schmid, and recently attended Jim Donovan’s Drum Circle Facilitator workshop.A member of the faculty at the Rogers Middle School for the Arts from 1981 to 2009, she has also taught music at Carriage House Children’s Center in Squirrel Hill. Karen taught in the Music Departments at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and at Seton Hill College for 20 years. She will return to teache music education trumpet majors at IUP in September, 2012. She holds Music Together Certification Level II, Early Childhood Music and Movement Association Certification Level II, and Orff Level One Certification. She has appeared as a presenter at the Pittsburgh Association of Educators of Young Children on several occasions, as well as at area childcare centers.She is the mother of two wonderful adolescents (seriously!), Ean, 16 and Marnie, 13. She’s been happily married to Steve Quick for 19 years, and is happy to claim his son Jason, 42, and his family – wife, Mary and son Silas, 6 and daughter Audrey, 8 months – as her own.

  Amy Stubbs

 Amy Stubbs enjoys a varied career performing as timpanist and percussionist on both coasts. Timpanist with Pittsburgh Baroque Ensemble, Amy is also Principal Timpanist with Napa Valley Symphony and Principal Percussionist with Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra. Amy has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, McKeesport Symphony, and toured with River City Brass Band and USAF Heritage of America Band.Ms. Stubbs has appeared as a soloist with the New Century Chamber Orchestra and Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony. Guest artist appearances include San Francisco’s Bay Brass, the Empyrean Ensemble and Left Coast Ensemble along with back-up orchestras for the Moody Blues, Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti and Styx’s Dennis DeYoung. Recordings include the 2005 Grammy nominated operacorpus Evitaby Carlos Franzetti as a member of the San Francisco Camerata.A passionate educator, Amy maintains a thriving private practice in Pittsburgh, sharing her musical enthusiasm with percussion and piano students of all ages. Previously she taught at the University of California Davis, mentored in Oakland East Bay Symphony’s Muse project, and coached the Oakland (CA) Youth Symphony. A noted expert on timpani mallet construction, Ms. Stubbs has presented master classes at Manhattan School of Music; Universities of Maryland, Southern California, Washington, Wichita State; and Interlochen Arts Academy.An honors graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Amy went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music as a scholarship student of Duncan Patton and a Master of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University as a student of Timothy K. Adams. Additional studies with Cloyd Duff, Christopher Lamb, Mike Crusoe, Richard Holmes and Thomas Stubbs.In addition to her performing and teaching activities, Ms. Stubbs is internationally known for designing innovative percussion and timpani accessories through her business, A.Stubbs Percussion (www.stubbspercussion.com), which are sold exclusively at percussionsource.com.

  Stan & Patty Swartz

Stan Swartz has studied T’ai Chi Ch’uan since 1973 with four senior students of Grand Master Cheng Man-Ching: Robert W. Smith, Patrick Watson, Tam Gibbs, Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo.  Stan has taught in New York City, Florida, Europe and Puerto Rico. In 1982 he returned to Pittsburgh, offering beginning through advanced level classes.

Patty Swartz has been studying T’ai Chi with Stan since 1988, also participating in workshops with Ben Lo.  Patty teaches the Eight Methods of T’ai Chi, Beginning Form Classes, private classes for students with physical limitations, and T’ai Chi workshops for equestrians.



  Francine VandenBerg

photo Kay Wetzel

  Mona Wilson

  Self Guided Tour

  Sara Toretti

  Susan Fox

  Blake Mohler

  Michelle Boehm

  Monica Gaydos

  Deborah Hughes

  Kritsa Bremmer and Amanda Hertwick

  Marilyn Noszka

  Erika Bruce

About Erika Bruce

Since graduating from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Massachusetts 13 years ago, Erika Bruce has worked at several bakeries both in the San Francisco Bay Area and Boston, created countless confections as a pastry chef at several high-end restaurants, and started her own wedding cake business (www.lebeaugateau.com). Seeking a more humane life-style, she went on to work as an associate editor at Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, developing recipes, writing about the process, and even appearing on the popular PBS cooking show, America's Test Kitchen. Having relocated to Pittsburgh for her husband’s work, she now keeps busy freelancing from home and raising her two young children, ages 1 and 4.

  Joe Cooper SIlvas


  Brian Wilkins

  Steel City Ukuleles Jam Session

  Lisa Tamres and John Fulmer

  Laurie Arnold-McMillan M.Ed, RN

Laurie Arnold-McMillan M.Ed, RN, Writer, Certified Therapeutic Writing Instructor, has taught creative and therapeutic writing workshops for over 12 years in a variety of settings such as: art galleries, libraries, hospitals, nature centers, schools, and churches. She believes in the transformative nature of writing and group process as well as the craft itself. She facilitates keeping in mind the inner voice is at times timid, and encourages people through creativity and a supportive environment to find and develop their voices and build a sense of community as writers. Writing helps people tell their untold stories and create new stories to expand horizons and honor their life story which is always unfinished. She’s published in Healing Muse, Loyalhanna Review, RN Magazine, Voices in the Attic and Dionnes’s Story. She is the founder of the Pittsburgh Writers’ Studio and a member of Madwomen in the Attic.


  Sheila Kelly

Sheila Kelly is a retired psychotherapist who received her MA in Psychology at Duquesne University. A published poet, she is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic poetry workshops, Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange and the Pittsburgh Writers’ Studio. Three of Sheila’s plays received staged readings at the 2009 Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival. She has worked with gifted middle school writers for a decade and published the annual, St. Bede’s Quill. Sheila believes that writing isn’t simply about putting pen to paper alone in our homes, but means building and nurturing a community of writers.


  Play Space Committee

  Rob Reeder

  Chuck Hier

Chuck Hier earned a PhD in Soviet history from Pitt in 2004. Since then he
has taught at a number of universities in the area including Pitt,
Duquesne, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Slippery Rock. He
currently teaches at the University of Akron. Besides courses in early
Russian and Soviet history, Chuck teaches courses on European history,
peasants, socialism, 19th and 20th Century world history and topics in
intellectual history.

  Joey Travolta

Joey Travolta

  Suzanne Matthiessen


Suzanne Matthiessen has been teaching, coaching and writing about integrated mind-body approaches to personal and group performance and integrated well-being for over two decades. In the early 1980s she became a certified massage therapist and was professionally certified in Polarity Therapy, Touch for Health, reflexology, and Chinese acupressure. Because she wanted to work with people who desired to actively eliminate disempowering thoughts, choices, actions, habits and behaviors, Suzanne chose to become trained and certified in hypnotherapy in 1990. Over the years she went on to receive extensive advanced training in specific hypnosis techniques, guided imagery, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique/acupressure-point tapping), and earned a diploma in hypnotherapy from the nationally accredited college Hypnosis Motivation Institute located in Los Angeles, California. Her B.A. is in psychology with an emphasis in neuroscience.


A practitioner of meditation since her high school years, Suzanne became a student of Transcendental Meditation (TM), and Tibetan and Zen Buddhist meditative practices in the 1980s. Bringing the benefits of meditation practice to the general public inspired her to take a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, a modern-day application of ancient Buddhist mindfulness techniques developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn that is framed specifically around coping with life stressors. After studying, experiencing and teaching each discipline separately, she realized that hypnosis, imagery and mindfulness are extremely compatible modalities that provide similar mind-body benefits, and in the past few years began combining them in her work with hundreds of students and coaching clients. Although she has deep respect for the Buddhist roots of mindfulness, her approach is entirely secular as she believes her work and teachings must be inclusive, open, and approachable for all people, regardless of his or her spiritual or religious beliefs.  Suzanne teaches mindfulness as an attention and awareness sharpening Life Skill that can benefit literally every aspect of anyone's day-to-day life, personal as well as professional. Besides her own classes, she's a senior instructor for Florida-based eMindful.com, a company that provides mindfulness-centered courses for corporate employees via an interactive online classroom.


Suzanne's websites: mindfulpittsburgh.com and mindfulnessbootcamp.com.


  Cynthia Hill

  Allen Baum

  Luisa Marie Nayhouse, MA, MS, LPC


Licensed Zumba Basic Instructor December 2010- Current Active also (will have these 2 additional licenses Zumba Gold and Zumbatomic as of August 18th; Active Zin Member of Zumba network Conference Orlando Florida for 2 additional licenses 2013; Member of American Dance Movement Association. Currently run dance and music group therapy to assist with mood management and expanding definitions of self. Also a licensed counseler and psychotherapist. It has been docmumeted that movement and dance alter moods and build confidence.




  Nedra Williams

  Martyna Matusiak

  Sheila Kelly and Laurie Arnold-McMillian

Laurie Arnold-McMillan is a writer and nurse, who found passion as a certified therapeutic writing facilitator. She facilitates creative and therapeutic writing workshops in: art galleries, libraries, hospitals, nature centers, schools, yoga centers, shelters, and churches. The transformative nature of writing in groups gives people an uncommon opportunity to build a sense of community while sharing the creative process. Laurie's published in: Healing Muse, Loyalhanna Review, RN Magazine, Voices in the Attic and Dionne's Story and she’s the founder of the Squirrel Hill Pittsburgh Writers' Studio and a member of Madwomen in the Attic's writing workshops.

Sheila Kelly is a retired psychotherapist who received her M.A. in Psychology at Duquesne University. She has volunteered with gifted middle school writers for a decade and published their best writing in the annual, St. Bede's Quill. Sheila believes that a writing practice entails much more than the act of writing. It means building and nurturing a community of writers. A published poet, she is a member and regular facilitator of the Pittsburgh Writers' Studio, as well as a member of the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange and the Madwomen in the Attic poetry workshops. Three of Sheila's plays received staged readings at the 2009 Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival.


  Koichiro (Chewy) and Yuilia

Koichiro and Yulia have been danc­ing Tango together since January 2008. They were intro­duced while they were both study­ing at Duquesne University. Koichiro and Yulia’s exten­sive back­grounds in music give them a deep under­stand­ing of musi­cal­ity, incor­po­rat­ing this in their dance and bring­ing a pow­er­ful pres­ence to their per­for­mances. Yulia’s pas­sion for tango and her abil­ity to cap­ture the atten­tion of her audi­ence, led by Kiochiro’s expe­ri­enced and yet vividly impro­vi­sa­tional hand, com­bine on stage to poignantly reveal the essence of Tango:  a man and a woman as one, lovers for the length of each dance they perform.

  Carolina Loyola-Garcia

  Cosette Cornelius Bates

Cosette Cornelius-Bates is a fiber artist living in Pittsburgh, PA. She has had her finger in many pies including knitting to sell at craft fairs, dyeing her own lines of yarn, doing knitwear design (including a book), organizing Indie Knit and Spin Fiber Arts Marketplace, recycling sweaters for yarn, and many other things. One of her first loves is teaching and spreading the love of fiber arts. You can find out more about her at cosymakes.com.

  Paulette Harvey

Paulette Harvey brings 10 years of experience in Public Speaking and Leadership to help others through her own public speaking coaching business, “Speak up with Paulette”. She has taught courses on Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communications at Westmoreland County Community College since 2010. Her proudest speaking engagements include serving as Ambassador for the Heinz History Center and a panelist for GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network). Paulette is a member of Toastmasters International where she earned the highest honor of Distinguished Toastmaster. She holds a Masters of Arts in Leadership from Duquesne University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

  Andrea Marquis

  Simon Huntley

  Heidi Paul

Heidi Paul studied fine art, graphic design, and industrial design at Carnegie Mellon University. She has experience teaching watercolors at Forest Hills Community Center and decorative painting at Michael's and JoAnn Fabrics. She has run her own catering business, participates in local craft shows, and helps with fundraising bake sales. She is also the owner of 4 Seasons Gardens & Design for 14 years, and specializes in garden design, implementation, and maintenance.

  Sasha Connors

  clint hoover

  Penny Anderson

Penny Anderson leads the Pittsburgh monthly shape-note sing and has taught early New England choral music for the Osher Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a published composer of shape-note music. Her musical studies include yearly vocal classes at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV since 2003 and classes at Carnegie Mellon University's Marta Sanchez Dalcroze Training Center. She has sung with many choral ensembles over the years, most recently the 16-voice ensemble Tapestry in Clinton NY. She performs traditional folk songs and original songs locally and at regional festivals, and occasionally sings with Ellen Gozion as the duo Garden Gate. You can hear some of her work atwww.pendletonanderson.com.


  Monica Calero

Monica Calero, PhD is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200). Monica found yoga as a graduate student in Cornell University in 2000. She kept getting frustrated with running injuries and decided to give yoga a try. What she did not expect, was that the practice brought peace and tranquility in her own existence. Since then, yoga has become part of her life. She completed her teacher-training program with world renowned teacher Tiffany Cruishkank. Her classes are a combination of flow sequences with mindful and restorative moments that bring her students to notice the transformations in their minds and bodies. She uses her knowledge of anatomy and physiology to make sure her students are safe in all poses. Monica has completed workshops with Bryan Kest, Gregor Singleton and Claire Este-Mcdonaldand and continues to diligently study every aspect of yoga.

  Alexa Vitale

  James Arnold

Education: B.S. in Philosophy, the history of ideas, at Northwestern, two years graduate study at Berkeley, and Biology at Univ. of Brit. Columbia, with continuing studies in genetics, neuroscience, and theology. Served in U.S. Air Force, briefly Federal Civil Service, much longer designing and constructing homes, contracting homes, investing, and now writing. My website is – jamesfrankarnold.com. Phone 412-404-8717. Email – jafapgh@ yahoo.com

  Erin Faith

 Erin is a graduate from La Roche College's accredited Interior Design program and is a member of ASID.

  Kathy Mulligan and Dan McKinley

  Cathy Reifer

Cathy Reifer has completed 100 hours Level 1 Teacher Training from Amazing Yoga in Nov 2013 in Tulum Mexico. Cathy started to practice Vinyasa Flow Power Yoga 2006 after undergoing a total hip  replacement. Yoga has provided a safe path back to true health and wellness as well as a stronger more flexible body and new appreciation and gratitude for life. After turning 60 years old this year, with the

realization and reality of how fast life is moving, Cathy made the decision to take the next step and learn to teach. Being of the Baby Boomer generation herself she believes Yoga can only be a great asset in helping to accept the transitions of aging, body, mind and spirit, with grace, strength and gratitude. Cathy leads by example that you are never too old, or too injured, or not flexible enough to practice Yoga, the benefits are too numerous not to. cbreifer@gmail.com.

  Ivan White

  Kirk Erickson

Kirk Erickson, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, hosts a casual conversation about healthy brain aging and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.  Kirk will discuss his research lab’s findings about lifestyle choices that can help prevent dementia and encourage healthy brain aging.  There will be plenty of time ask questions.  The discussion is free to the public but donations will be collected to benefit the Wilkins School Community Center.  Kirk runs the Brain Aging and Cognitive Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Philosophy at Marquette University in 1999. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005 and did post-doctoral work at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois until 2008.  He has been a professor at the University of Pittsburgh since August 2008. Kirk’s research interests range from cognitive neuroscience, aging, neuroplasticity, genetics, and molecular mechanisms of cognitive function.  He researches brain changes in late adulthood and the factors that promote successful aging. Kirk has lived in Regent Square, across the street from the Wilkins School Community Center, for over 6 years and is proud to call it home. 

Click the links below for some news coverage of Kirk’s research:





  Sue Schneider, Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT)

  Sarita Wells

  Kathryn Roecklein, Ph.D.

  Betty Jane Rapin


Betty Jane Rapin a free-lance writer, an award-winning author, motivational 

speaker, workshop facilitator, adult education teacher, Clergy, and spiritual 

life coach. As a perpetual student of life Betty enjoys learning from daily 

experiences and shares this insight in her writings, talks, workshops and 

classes to help others explore, experience, and expand their awareness 

horizon. You can find some of this inspiring information on her websites at 

http://www.myspiritualexperiences.com  and 


Betty began writing at the age of twelve, and at the age of sixteen, her first 

published work is as a contributing poet in Rhyme and Rhythm, a book of 

poem and song lyrics. She has published over 300 articles and poetry in 

magazines, anthologies, journals, websites, newsletters, and newspapers. 

She had her own column in a local newspaper—The Evening News. Betty is 

also the author of Life a Spiritual Journey, Make the Divine Connection for a 

Spiritualized Consciousness, and award-wining Dreams Designed by God for 

You.  She is currently working on her fourth book. 

Betty a motivational speaker has appeared on radio and television where she 

talked about her personal experiences with dreams, near death, out of body 

travel, reincarnation, love, relationships, illusion, gratitude, grief and many 

other interesting, informative, and inspiring topics.


  Dr. Verstynen

  Lauren Bergstein

  Abby Chen

WSCC - "Meet Play Learn"