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 Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program - University of Pittsburgh

Academic Excellence
Athletic Achievement
Career Development/Graduate School Preparation
Community Service
Financial Education
Health and Well-being
Leadership Development
Character and Personal Development
Panther Game Plan

The Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program acknowledges several individuals for their leadership and service to not only the University of Pittsburgh, but also their devotion to their families and communities. Gifts will be made in the following names:

  • Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and Dr. Nikki Nordenberg - Life Skills
  • John and JeanAnne Pelusi, Sr. - Family Leadership
  • John C. Pelusi, Jr. - Financial Planning
  • Jamie C. Pelusi - Community Involvement
  • Jacquie C. Pelusi - Community Involvement
  • Jodie C. Pelusi - Community Involvement
  • Francis and Charles L. ("Corky") Cost - Community Leadership
  • Rita and Sam Sciullo - Mentoring
  • Mary Lynn and John T. Majors - Football Life Skills
  • Jacqueline and Jamie Dixon - Basketball Life Skills
  • 1976 Football National Championship - Excellence Fund


The mission of the Cathy & John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program is to develop and prepare student-athletes for success while in college and for life after college, utilizing academic, athletic and community resources.

Initiated in 1995 as one of the pilot programs in the NCAA Champs Life Skills Program, The Cathy & John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program continues to expand its commitment to the offerings and opportunities in the following areas:

  • Academic Achievement
  • Athletic Achievement
  • Career Development and Graduate School Preparation
  • Community Service
  • Leadership Development
  • Character and Personal Development
  • Financial Education
  • Health and Well-being

The University of Pittsburgh offers programming to its student-athletes in order to enrich their experiences during attendance at the University. Joining the Athletic Department in these efforts are Academic Support Service for Student-Athletes (ASSSA), Student Affairs, UPMC Sports Medicine, the Pitt Alumni Association, and the Varsity Letter Club.

In addition, the Cathy & John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program offers various programs and speakers centering on topics of interest to our student-athletes. The program is part of the NCAA/CHAMPS life skills philosophy. Programs are selected through the following methods:

  • An annual Needs Assessment completed by student-athletes indicating which topics and careers are currently of greatest interest to them.
  • An annual program Evaluation completed coaches and staff, academic counselors, trainers, student-athletes and administration.
  • Programs suggested by our life skills staff, student-athletes, trainers, coaches, administrators and student-athletes.
  • Influence from current events in the world, nation, and/or in our own community and campus.

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Opened in 2008 with the generous support of the Hearst Foundation, the Hearst Life Skills Resource Center is the location of life skills staff offices, the Career and Graduate School Resource Room, as well as the Hearst Life Skills Conference Room.

Student-athletes utilize this space for career and graduate school research and development, individual meetings with the life skills staff, SAAC officer meetings and small group study sessions.


Penn Semaia Headshot
Penny Semaia
Assistant Athletic Director,
Student Life

Lisa Auld Web
Lisa Auld
Director of Life Skills

Vicki Head Shot
Vicki Vernet
Coordinator of Life Skills

Life Skills - Petersen Events Center | Office: 412-648-8218 | Fax: 412-648-8115 twitter logo small
Name Position Phone @athletics.pitt.edu
Penny Semaia Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student Life 412-648-9369 psemaia
Lisa Auld Director of Life Skills 412-648-8750 lauld
Vicki Vernet Coordinator of Life Skills 412-648-0057 vvernet
TBD Coordinator of Career & Life Skills for Student-Athletes - -