University of Pittsburgh
August 13, 2003

New Leadership, New Faces in Pitt's University News

Schmitmeyer becomes news director, Fedele assistant news director; Connelly named editor of Pitt Chronicle, Kimbrough is new science and technology writer
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—John Harvith, associate vice chancellor for University News and Magazines at Pitt, recently announced two staff promotions and two new hires within University News.

Linda K. Schmitmeyer, editor of the Pitt Chronicle since February 2001, has been promoted to the position of director of news, and John A. Fedele, a University News senior communications representative since 1998, has been promoted to assistant director of news.

In her new role, Schmitmeyer oversees Pitt's day-to-day news operation, functions as executive editor of the Chronicle, and works closely with Harvith and Fedele in the unit's efforts to develop and place stories of local, regional, and national interest. Fedele is responsible for planning and coordinating local and regional media relations and supervising University news conferences.

Schmitmeyer and Fedele's appointments began July 21.

New to the Pitt staff are Brian Connelly, for nine years the managing editor of Focus, the Carnegie Mellon University faculty senate newspaper, who assumed the editorship of the Pitt Chronicle on Aug. 1; and Celeste Kimbrough, an editor for Cerebrum: The Dana Forum on Brain Science, who began as the unit's new science and technology writer Aug. 12.

"I am delighted that Linda Schmitmeyer and John Fedele, with their impressive, past track records at Pitt, have agreed to take on these new and challenging leadership assignments that are key to the success of the University's communications mission, and that we were able to attract to University News the talented Brian Connelly and Celeste Kimbrough, who will bring to our unit added firepower in writing and editing," said Harvith. "I believe that the restructuring of University News that these promotions and staff additions represent will move our award-winning operation to even higher levels of accomplishments."

Under Schmitmeyer's leadership, the Chronicle has won several awards, including the 2003 CASE District II Gold Award, the 2003 and 2002 Award of Honor from the Pittsburgh chapter of International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), and a 2003 Matrix Award for the newspaper's Black History Month Series and a 2003 Honorable Mention for the newspaper itself from the Association of Women in Communications/Pittsburgh Alliance.

Schmitmeyer was hired as the Chronicle's editor after working as the features editor for the Butler Eagle from 1995 to 2001. She supervised the features department of the 30,000-circulation daily, in addition to writing a regular column and a number of award-winning articles for that paper. She continues to freelance as a columnist for the Eagle.

Prior to working in journalism, Schmitmeyer taught writing and literature courses at the Community College of Allegheny County and Butler County Community College, and, before that, in Dayton, Ohio, at Clark State Community College and Fairmont High School.

She received the Master of Arts in education degree from Wright State University and the Bachelor of Science in secondary education degree from the University of Dayton.

Originally from Sidney, Ohio, near Dayton, Schmitmeyer lives in Middlesex Township, Butler County.

As Pitt's senior news representative for science and technology, John Fedele has written numerous news releases and articles; placed stories locally, regionally, and nationally; and edited Pitt's Researchreview, an award-winning publication that highlights the University's research accomplishments.

Researchreview has been recognized by the Association for Women in Communications/Pittsburgh Alliance with its Matrix Award in 2002 and by the local and district chapters of IABC with its Golden Triangle Award of Excellence in 2000 and Winners' Circle Award of Honor in 1999, respectively.

After hours, Fedele has written a pair of one-act plays, Emergency Room and Be Mime Baby, which were produced locally, and a pair of screenplays yet to be produced.

Fedele handled publicity for Pitt's School of Engineering and the science and technology disciplines within the College of Arts and Sciences, in addition to interdisciplinary centers and institutes.

Prior to coming to the University, Fedele was a public relations administrator for several organizations, including the Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Carnegie Mellon University School of Urban and Public Affairs, and Duquesne University.

He received the Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Boston College.

Brian Connelly, who helped direct a journalism workshop in Carnegie Mellon's Department of English, has written freelance articles for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and in publications of The Heinz Endowments, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

A Pittsburgh native, he often has written op-ed columns for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about culture and politics as well as the parks in his Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

Connelly is currently working on a script for a documentary about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. He is fluent in Italian and an experienced traveler.

Connelly earned the Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, at Dickinson College, where he majored in both English and Italian.

A recent Pitt alumna and public relations intern for the University's news operations in 2000, Celeste Kimbrough has worked since 2002 for the quarterly journal Cerebrum, first as an editorial intern and later as the editorial assistant.

In 2001 and 2002, she served as editor-in-chief of the Panther Prints Memory Book.

She has published articles in the Pitt Chronicle, Pitt Med, Researchreview, and Collision: The Journal of Creative Nonfiction.

Kimbrough graduated magna cum laude from Pitt earlier this year with the Bachelor of Arts degree in English, the Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience, and a certificate in Women's Studies.