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Athletics News

Sept. 26, 2013

PITTSBURGH – Highlighted by former All-American and 10-year NBA veteran Charles Smith, the Pitt Varsity Letter Club will honor six former letterwinners as 2013 “Awardees of Distinction” during the club’s 53rd Annual Awards Dinner on Friday, Sept. 27. The event is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET. at the Petersen Events Center.

Along with Smith, honorees include gymnast Alisa S. Collins, tennis player Beth Baughman DuPree, track and field athlete Carlos Reisen Jr., basketball/baseball player Bill Shay and football player John Congemi.

The award ceremony honors varsity letterwinners who have distinguished themselves in their professions and communities and who, by their accomplishments, have enhanced the value of Pitt’s intercollegiate athletic programs. To be eligible, a nominee must have earned a varsity letter in intercollegiate athletics at Pitt 25 or more years ago.

The following six individuals are the 2013 Awardees of Distinction winners:

ALISA S. COLLINS, Gymnastics

At Pitt: Four-year gymnastics letterwinner at Pitt…Team captain and team MVP in 1987…Recipient of the Blue-Gold Award for Academic and Athletic Excellence…Earned bachelor’s degree from Pitt (business administration) in 1989.

After Pitt: Currently serves as the President and owner of Compass Business Solutions, Inc., which is the premier source for human resource solutions in the Pittsburgh region…Clients range from start-up organizations to Fortune 500 companies in industries as diverse as technology, manufacturing, energy and professional sports…Began her career as the Human Resources Manager at Hoechstetter Printing and later became the Human Resources Director and member of the Operating Committee at Shandon, Inc., and several subsidiaries of Life Sciences International…Honored as a recipient of the Pittsburgh Fast-Tracker Award…Active in the Pittsburgh community: former President and founding member of the Temple Ohave Shalom Preschool and volunteer at North Allegheny High School, Ingomar Franklin Park Athletic Association and The Spirit Softball Travel Team…Served on the Board of Directors for the Pitt Varsity Letter Club, Powerlink, Pittsburgh Human Resources Association, The Society for Human Resources Management and the Western Pennsylvania Total Compensation Association…Completed master’s in business administration in 1989 while serving as an assistant gymnastics coach at the University of Massachusetts.

Personal: Resides in Pittsburgh with her husband, Sean Collins, who she met at Pitt, and their three children: Hannah Rose (18), Rachel (16) and Jacob (8).



At Pitt: Four-year tennis letterwinner…Earned a double bachelor’s degree from Pitt (history and philosophy of science/behavioral neuroscience) in 1983…University Honors program member, Judicial Board Study Abroad program…Also served as an academic tutor.

After Pitt: Driving force in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer…Serves on numerous national breast cancer boards and is the founder of The Healing Consciousness Foundation…Earned the Clara Barton Spectrum Humanitarian Award from the American Red Cross, the Visions of Hope Award from Astra Zeneca, and the Women Pioneering the Future Award from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania…Participated in medical missions to underserved locations around the world, and has included her sons on those travels…Voted Philadelphia Magazine’s inaugural “Be Well Philly Health Hero.”…Received one of the inaugural “REAL” awards from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for her work with the care of chronic diseases…Named one of More Magazine and Fitness Magazines’ “10 Fierce Females” as a leader in health care…Inducted into to “The Drexel 100” Alumni Hall of Fame…Published her first book in 2006 “The Healing Consciousness: A Doctor’s Journey to Healing,” which was the catalyst for her non-profit organization called The Healing Consciousness Foundation which funds holistic and wellness therapies for women and men living with a breast cancer diagnosis, and those at risk for developing breast cancer…Has written chapters on Lifestyle Medicine, and women’s health and wellness…Highly sought after public speaker on breast cancer education and women’s health and wellness and has been featured frequently on the NBC Nightly News and many other national media outlets as an expert in breast care…Attended Hahnemann University (Drexel University) where she received her Medical Doctorate in 1987…Completed Residency in General Surgery at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa., and began working as a surgeon in Suburban Philadelphia…Became the Medical Director of the Breast Health Program at Holy Redeemer Health System in 2009, and holds an academic appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania…Board certified in General Surgery and Integrative and Holistic Medicine.

Personal: Resides in Newtown, Pa. with her husband Joe DuPree…Has two sons: Tom (22) and Dean (17).


CARLOS REISEN, JR., Track and Field


At Pitt: Brazilian native who came to America in 1962 and decided to follow in his mother’s footsteps by enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh…Three-year track & field letterman for Pitt…Named a captain during his senior year...Matched the Pitt 440-yard intermediate hurdles school record in 1969, a first place finish in the 4x400 meter relay at the Olympic Invitational in 1970, and a first place finish in the IC4A 4x400 meter relay at the Penn Relays in 1970...Graduated from Pitt in 1970 with a bachelor of arts in political science.

After Pitt: Began his business career as a Marketing Representative for Procter and Gamble and quickly ascended to several positions within the financial community…In 1998, Carlos was named Senior Vice President and Western District Manager of Legg Mason, where he was responsible for $4 billion in custody assets. During his tenure, he was elected Co-Chair of their Branch Manager Advisory Council…In 2004, Carlos took a new position as Senior Vice President and Complex Manager of PNC/Hilliard Lyons where he was responsible for $2 billion in custody assets. While there, revenues increased 75%, and in 2008 he was named one of 100 Leading Branch Managers nationwide by On Wall Street Magazine…Currently President and Owner of Ascent Advisors LLC, providing performance coaching services to financial advisers nationwide…Served four years as a Pittsburgh Athletic Association Director (2000-04)…Also served as the Past President of the Cincinnati-Columbus-Dayton Pitt Club (2005-10), an organization that has assisted over 34 Southwestern Ohio Pitt students with two annual scholarships, and an endowment that tripled during his five-year tenure…Involved in his local community as the President-elect of Civitan, Dayton with a mission to build good citizenship by serving the needs of those with developmental disabilities…Continued his education by enrolling at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he received his masters of business administration in 1976…Worked as an assistant coach for the RPI track team and was part of the staff that led the team to a New York Collegiate Championship in 1976…Earned two executive education certificates from the Wharton School.

Personal: Resides in West Chester, Ohio, with his wife Barbara of 42 years…Together they have three sons: John (34), Marc (30), and David (24). 


BILL SHAY, Basketball/Baseball

At Pitt: Lettered in both basketball and baseball from 1958-61…Graduated with a degree in health and physical education in 1962.

After Pitt: Served as head coach of the men’s basketball team at the Community College of Allegheny County Main Campus for over 40 years and has compiled over 800 victories during his tenure…Credited with being a catalyst for the growth of basketball in the Pittsburgh area and continues to be a mentor for collegiate athletes…Under his direction, CCAC teams have qualified for eight National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament appearances, eight NJCAA Region XX titles, five Division II Championships, four NJCAA Interregional Championships, eight Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association Championships, 16  Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference Championships, and captured the 1990 NJCAA Division II National Championship….Inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1996…Two years later he received the Legends In Leadership Award from the CCAC Educational Foundation…Inductee into the NJCAA Basketball Hall of Fame, and the NJCAA Region XX Hall of Fame in 1999… Awarded with the prestigious Joseph L. “Ziggy” Khan Memorial Award from the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Western Pennsylvania in 2005…Received the 2006 CCAC Excellence in Teaching Award, and the National Institute for Staff and Organized Development Teaching Excellence Award….Co-founder of the Pittsburgh Steelwheelers, a wheelchair basketball team that Bill led through practices in the early days of the organization…Named a member of the Board of Directors for the Harmarville Outreach Program and Educational Network…Authored a book titled, “Do U Own U” that addresses drug and alcohol usage by youth today’s youth, and how to fix that culture…Continued his education at Michigan State University where he earned his Master’s in Health and Physical Education in 1966…Two years later, was named Head Coach for men’s basketball at CCAC and began his illustrious coaching career. 

Personal: Resident of Pittsburgh with his wife Cindy, and their two daughters: Erin (42) and Kyle (40).


CHARLES D. SMITH, Basketball

At Pitt: Considered one of the greatest basketball players in Pitt history…Pitt retired his jersey No. 32 on March 2, 1988…Led the Panthers to the 1986 World Championship Team in scoring and earned gold…Four-year letterman from 1984-88…During his senior year, became the all-time leading scorer in Pitt history with 2,045 points and earned Big East Player of The Year honors…Graduated from Pitt in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts.

After Pitt: Selected with the No. 3 pick overall in the 1988 National Basketball Association draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, and was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Clippers…Member of the 1988 United States Olympic team that summer…Spent 10 seasons in the NBA playing for the Clippers, New York Knicks, and San Antonio Spurs before retiring in 1998…Following his first season in the NBA, Smith was selected as a Player Representative for the NBA Players’ Union…Later instituted as the first ever Vice President of the NBA Players Association…His duties included serving as a principle negotiator for collective bargaining agreements, organized the NBAPA Foundation, and developed the Second Opinion Program for injured players…Following his retirement from basketball, began an equally successful business career…Named Chief Executive Officer for Fluid Sports and Entertainment, which not only organized nationally televised events for charity purposes, but also secured and negotiated marketing efforts for large corporations with active NBA players…Became President of an interactive online network in 1996 called Simply TV…Formed his own company called NewMedia Technology, which provided customizable video based application solutions for sophisticated next-generation broadband services, television broadcast networks, and sports leagues…Returned to the NBA in 2008 as the Executive Director of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, a position he held until 2010, when he left to focus on his new company, The Professional Basketball Alumni, where he serves in the role of Chairman and CEO…With offices in China, Taiwan and Malaysia, his sports marketing firm creates opportunities for current and former NBA Players by using basketball as a bridge for cultural exchange…Earned his master’s in business administration from Seton Hall University in 2012.   

Personal: Resides in Montclair, New Jersey with his wife Lisa and their four boys: Christian (21), Chaz (18), Chayce (15), and Chandler (12).




At Pitt: Completed one of the most prolific quarterback careers in school history…Four-year starter and two-time captain for the University of Pittsburgh football team…After sitting out his freshman season, John became the starting quarterback his sophomore year…Went on to throw for the most yards by a sophomore in 1983 with 1,960…Named MVP of the 1984 Fiesta Bowl, and set two bowl records with 31 completions and 361 total yards…Finished his career second all-time in passing yards and third in total yards…Impacted the Pitt record books, including passing for a single game record of 446 yards against Navy…Honored with the Panther Award in 1986…Graduated from Pitt that year with a bachelor’s of arts & sciences.

After Pitt: Played professionally in the Canadian Football League, spending seven seasons between the Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Roughriders and the Baltimore Stallions…Made two Grey Cup appearances in 1987 and 1994…Following his retirement from playing football, John became a National Football League and college football analyst for Fox Sports Net Florida…He was later hired to become a college football analyst for ESPN in 2001…Served as the Special Events Director for Scratch Golf at Jacaranda Golf Club since 2004…Hired as the Tournament Director for the Dodge Celebrity Invitational in Naples, Fla. in 2007…Took over the role of Director of Community Affairs for Ashbritt Environmental, where he developed relationships in communities across the United States between local government officials and local charities…In 2010, John was hired by the Miami Dolphins as their Regional Manager of Corporate Development, and as a Radio Analyst for Dolphins games…Board member and Golf Tournament Director for “Facing It Together,” which raises funds for cleft lip and palate surgeries…Spent over 20 years assisting the Dan Marino Foundation with a number of their events including golf outings and Autism walks, and has been a supporter of the Mario Lemieux Foundation for over 15 years.

Personal: Resides in Weston, Fla., with his wife of 22 years, Carmela…The couple has two children: Cassandra (20), a current Panther with the women’s volleyball team, and Johnny (19).




Varsity Letter Club to Honor Six Former Pitt Letterwinners at Friday Awards Dinner

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