The Products of Pittsburgh podcast is about the people in Pittsburgh – innovators, scientists, community leaders – and the remarkable stories behind how they came to be and the work they have produced.
Have ideas about who you would like to learn more about? Know someone having a positive impact on the Pittsburgh community? Let us know by emailing us at email@example.com.
January 21, 2020
Ellen Beckjord returned to Pittsburgh in 2007 after years of training as a clinical psychologist and behavioral scientist. It didn’t take long before Beckjord established herself as an innovator at the intersection of digital and population health. From mobile applications to #pinksocks, Beckjord is using her expertise and compassion to support the health of millions of people.
Ellen Beckjord, PhD, MPH is the Associate Vice President of Population Health and Clinical Affairs at the UPMC Health Plan. Prior to joining the UPMC Health Plan, Beckjord was an Assistant Professor and Clinical and Translational Science Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh. She’s also a Pitt Innovation Challenge awardee.
December 3, 2019
Clifton Callaway came to Pittsburgh in 1993 to begin his medical residency and would go on to become a prominent researcher, physician, and leader in emergency care. However, before becoming a doctor, Callaway was a student majoring in psychology and working on an ambulance, an experience that led him to neuroscience and becoming an expert in brain injury.
November 5, 2019
Michael Madison is training lawyers to succeed in the 21st century as leaders and collaborators in the legal profession, in their communities, and in the innovation economy. He’s always been on the cutting edge, whether it be the internet in the 1990s or artificial intelligence of today. His upbringing in the Silicon Valley may have something to do with it. However, in the 1960s and 70s when people were jumping into advancing computer and tech industry, Madison decided on a different trajectory.
October 8, 2019
Rory Cooper and his team at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories have developed over 100 inventions related to wheelchairs, robotics, and wearable instruments designed to improve the lives of people with disabilities and military veterans. Cooper grew up being around mechanics and machines; however, before becoming an engineer and prolific innovator, Rory became an Eagle Scout and at age 17 decided to serve his country by joining the Army.
Rory Cooper, PhD is the Founding Director and VA Senior Research Career Scientist of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Associate Dean for Inclusion, FISA & Paralyzed Veterans of America Professor, and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Science & Technology at the University of Pittsburgh.
September 10, 2019
Moving around a bit in their early life has connected Lina Dostilio to the concept of space and place, particularly as it relates to community engagement and Dostilio’s work within that framework. A self-described hard worker, Dostilio thinks deeply about how to build relationships between and among folks in the community and those engaged in an academic university. A lover of “bizarre British television,” cooking, and her family, Lina balances long workdays with finding joy off the clock.
Lina Dostilio, EdD is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement in the Office of Community and Governmental Relations at the University of Pittsburgh. She is responsible for supporting community-facing work at Pitt that includes community relations, cultivating strategic opportunities to advance Pitt’s community engagement agenda, and implementing the University’s place-based community engagement initiative through the development of neighborhood-based community engagement centers.
August 20, 2019
A lifelong love of books about science and history, coupled with a family of generations of strong black women, has led Erricka Hager to a space of community and health advocacy. Hager’s goal of representation in the field of science will not only blaze a trail for others, but could also land Hager in a dream spot of having a building dedicated in their name.
Erricka Hager is bio-cultural broker who serves as both the integrated special populations’ liaison at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and one of the community engagement coordinators
July 30, 2019
Being a doctor isn’t easy. Sure there are the long hours, but there can also be difficult situations as well as tough conversations with patients and their families. As a critical care medicine doctor, Cameron Dezfulian has had his fair share of challenges, but getting to help people every day? That’s why he does it.
Cameron Dezfulian, MD is an Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Clinical and Translational Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.
July 9, 2019
Bill Strickland spent over half a century teaching kids and training adults. It started on the North Side of Pittsburgh, the neighborhood where he grew up and would name the organization he built: Manchester. In 1968, Bill was a student at the University of Pittsburgh when he founded the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild as an arts program for inner-city youth. A few years later, he built a career training center that, along with the arts program, became a model embraced by cities all over the country. Today, he has the Key to the City – Pittsburgh’s highest civilian award – and travels the world building new partnerships and centers.
Bill Strickland is the Executive Chairman of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in American History and Foreign Relations from the University of Pittsburgh in 1969. Bill serves on the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees.
June 11, 2019
In 1992, Richard Garland graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, a year after being released from the Western Penitentiary. Since then, Garland has become a leader for Pittsburgh’s anti-violence initiative. He is leveraging his unique lived experience to find spaces of light in the lives of gang members and transferring skills gained on the streets to positive and safe alternatives in society.
May 21, 2019
As a young girl, Maliha Zahid knew what she wanted to do – become a doctor. Yet, after becoming a doctor Maliha decided she also wanted to become a scientist and began translating discoveries from the lab to the clinic. And between conducting research and practicing medicine, Maliha finds time for another talent… dancing.
Maliha Zahid, MD, PhD Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Developmental Biology at the University of Pittsburgh. Maliha received her Ph.D. in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics from the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh) 2016 and 2018 awardee