University of Pittsburgh
April 22, 1998

SINGLE MOTHER OF TWO IS FIRST PITT NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENT TO RECEIVE TOP HONOR

Contact: 

Sharon Blake

412-624-4364

Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH, April 23 -- Linda Levin Messineo, 56, who raised two sons on her own for 20 years, has received the University of Pittsburgh's Emma W. Locke Award, becoming the first non-traditional adult student to be so honored in the prestigious award's 52-year history.

She will deliver the student address at a ceremony for graduates of the College of General Studies on Friday, April 24 from 7:30 - 9 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave, Oakland.

"A college education was a dream I had given up on," admitted Messineo, a Squirrel Hill resident, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in psychology. But with encouragement from her sons, Messineo enrolled for the Fall 1995 year. She was awarded the J. Steele Gow, Jr. Scholarship and a second scholarship through the American Association of University Women, but financed the rest of her education by working several part-time jobs.

While at Pitt, she became a strong advocate for the non-traditional student and developed three new scholarships, established and awarded by the College of General Studies (CGS) student government. "The opportunities and resources available at Pitt for returning students are unparalleled in this city," Messineo said. "I didn't anticipate all of the rewards that are available through the college experience, especially at this stage of my life." Messineo, who wants to teach, write, and conduct research, has been accepted into two doctoral programs and will make her selection by this fall.

During her Pitt experience, Messineo was the recipient of the J. Steele Gow Outstanding Student of the Year Award, the Chancellor's Evening Scholar awards for 1996-97 and 1997-98, and was a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda and Psi Chi honorary societies, the Golden Key National Honor Society and the Omicron Delta Kappa Society. She was a student representative for the University Senate Council, Provost Advisory Committee for Undergraduate Programs, and other committees, and was also president of the CGS student government.

Her dedication has extended to her personal life. A cancer survivor, Messineo has worked with others to preserve the Cancer Support Network in Squirrel Hill after its funding dissolved.

The Emma W. Locke Award was established in 1946 by Charles A. Locke in memory of his mother, and is presented annually to a graduating Pitt senior in recognition of high scholarship, character, and devotion to the university.

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