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Brian Moreland '98
The Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (PGAA) is pleased to announce that Brian Moreland ’98, DC, is the first recipient of its newly established Volunteer Excellence Award. The award was created to showcase and reward a member of the PGAA Board of Directors for his or her outstanding service to the board and to the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
“While president of the PGAA, Brian was instrumental in strengthening the PGAA’s relationship with the Pitt Alumni Association in Oakland, increasing scholarship dollars available to incoming Pitt-Greensburg students, and advocating for the needs of the University.” said Mary Lynn Yothers ’80, DC, president of the PGAA.
Dr. Moreland, owner of Back in Motion Chiropractic in Latrobe, graduated with a BS in psychology from Pitt-Greensburg. He continued his education at Logan College of Chiropractic, earning a BS in Life Science in addition to his Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Moreland has attained Board certification as a Diplomate in Chiropractic Rehabilitation and serves as an associate clinical instructor in the Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique. Moreland served his profession as the secretary/treasurer of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Educational and Charitable Foundation. He also has been published in peer-reviewed journals and is scheduled to begin a National Institute of Health-funded research study through the University of Pittsburgh to compare the results of the Activator Chiropractic Technique to a manual adjusting technique on lower-back pain patients this upcoming year.
“I am very thankful for the success I have achieved as a chiropractor, which is why I desire to give back to my profession and to my alma mater. The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a focal point of this community, and it is exciting and rewarding to be a part of an institution that is advancing many new programs and to serve on an alumni association that is so passionate about helping students achieve their goals and dreams,” explained Moreland.
A Life Member and winner of the 2008 Pitt Alumni Association Volunteer Excellence Award, Moreland recently completed a third term as the Pitt-Greensburg delegate to the PAA board of directors where he served on the legislative and membership committees. Moreland continues to serve as a member of the Alumni Legislative Network and Pitt Career Network for the University, as well as providing internship opportunities to Pitt-Greensburg students at his chiropractic office in Latrobe.
Moreland’s service to the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg includes serving on the board of directors of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association as treasurer, vice president, president, and now, immediate past president. Moreland also served in an ex-officio role on the University’s Advisory Board.
Barbara Christner '85
The Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association has named Barbara J. Christner, Esq., its 2010 Alumnus of Distinction.
“We are pleased to be able to recognize Barbara with the PGAA Award of Distinction,” said Mary Lynn Yothers, DC, president of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association. “Her accomplishments are an illustration of the level of success graduates of Pitt-Greensburg have attained.”
Christner, a 1985 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, is vice president and shareholder at Ward & Christner, PC, in Greensburg. She graduated from Duquesne Law School and passed the bar exam in 1992. Her career in law began when she took a job as receptionist/secretary for John N. Ward, Esq., in 1977. Christner continued to work full-time while earning her undergraduate degree and law degree, advancing to bookkeeper and estate administrator at the law office. As estate administrator, she worked with clients until they reached the auditing phase. Christner earned the respect of lawyers who took over her cases at the auditing phase because of her thorough preparation of the cases and their materials.
“I’m humbled by the award,” said Christner. “There are so many good people out there. I’m just so surprised and thrilled to receive the award.”
Immediate past president of the Westmoreland Bar Association (WBA), Christner has served as a director and officer since April 2003. In addition to coordinating the “Truth about Living Trust Programs” sponsored by WBA, she has served as the co-chair of the Real Estate Committee from 2002 through 2007 and a member of the Orphans’ Court & Elder Law Committee. She also has served as a member of the boards of directors of the Westmoreland Bar Foundation (WBF) and Laurel Legal Services.
Her community service includes serving as a member of the Lutheran Youth and Family Services (now Glade Run), the Westmoreland Choral Society, and serving on various committees at the First Lutheran Church of Greensburg. She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
The PGAA Alumnus of Distinction award recognizes excellence among alumni at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg based on outstanding level of professional achievements, service to the community, service to the University of Pittsburgh, special recognition or honors, and other special efforts or success.
Justin Merriman '00
When Justin Merriman ’00 was named the 2009 Alumnus of Distinction, it was just one of nearly 500 local and national awards he has received for his work since becoming a photojournalist in 1999.
Merriman graduated with a BA in English writing from Pitt-Greensburg. His goal, when he entered as a freshman, was to become a writer.
“Had I not gone to Pitt-Greensburg, I wouldn’t be a photojournalist,” he says. “My degree has been invaluable to me.”
He admits that he approaches photography differently than the typical photojournalism major, noting that they understand the mechanics of a camera. “When I shoot, if you ask me the specifics of what I’m doing, I can’t explain it. I feel my way through it. That’s the writing background, the storyline, the pacing of the story—making people feel the story instead of telling it.”
“I enjoyed the personal attention of the small classes. My professors took an avid interest in me and pushed me to tell stories and do what I love. If I run into a professor today, they still recognize me.”
An attempt to emulate Ernest Hemingway’s newspaper experience opened the door to photojournalism for Merriman. As a junior, he decided join the Pitt-Greensburg newspaper staff and became the co-photo editor. At a photojournalism seminar in Reston, Virginia—where he was the only college newspaper representative—he met photo editors from some of the largest publications in the country. Merriman came back driven to be a photojournalist.
He credits Dr. Mary Beth Spore, then a member of the English faculty at Pitt-Greensburg, with coaching and encouraging him to pursue his dream. She advised Merriman to contact the Tribune Review’s chief photographer, Barry Reeger—and then to keep bugging him. Reeger eventually agreed to use Merriman as a stringer, and his first assignment was to shoot a basketball game at the University.
“He asked me if I had a 70-100 mm lens, a 540 EZ flash, and a camera,” says Merriman. “Even though I didn’t know what these things were, I told him yes. Then I drove to Pittsburgh and charged everything he mentioned on the list.”
Merriman chuckles when he admits that he didn’t even know how to load the film into the camera and had to have another photographer show him how to do it. He shot the basketball game, got some frames that were pretty good, and started working for the Tribune Review as a stringer.
During the past 10 years, Merriman has covered stories across the United States and the world, including the events of September 11, 2001 and the crash of United Flight 93, the Sago, West Virginia mine disaster, the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Presidential elections, the 2008 Parliamentary elections in Pakistan, and the war in Afghanistan. His work has appeared in publications, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, Popular Science, Time Magazine, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Golfweek Magazine, and newspapers across the country. He strives to make images that reveal humanity and document the world around him.