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Pitt-Greensburg honors outstanding alumni

Jamie Martines
| Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, 11:36 a.m.
James Smith, class of 1975 and president of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (left), poses with Scott Szypulski, class of 2014 and winner of the PGAA Volunteer Excellence award.
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James Smith, class of 1975 and president of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (left), poses with Scott Szypulski, class of 2014 and winner of the PGAA Volunteer Excellence award.
James Smith, class of 1975 and president of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (left), poses with Lawrence J. Helkowski, class of 1974 and winner of the PGAA Alumnus of Distinction award.
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James Smith, class of 1975 and president of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (left), poses with Lawrence J. Helkowski, class of 1974 and winner of the PGAA Alumnus of Distinction award.
James Smith, class of 1975 and president of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (left), poses with Chad Eric Smith, class of 2008 and winner of the PGAA Young Alumni Leadership Award.
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James Smith, class of 1975 and president of the Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (left), poses with Chad Eric Smith, class of 2008 and winner of the PGAA Young Alumni Leadership Award.

The Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association (PGAA) recognized three alumni during the recent Blue and Gold Week Alumni Celebration Dinner.

Lawrence J. Helkowski, class of 1974; Chad Eric Smith class of 2008; and Scott Szypulski, class of 2014 were all honored for their contributions to the Pitt-Greensburg community.

Helkowski, of Irwin, received the PGAA Alumnus of Distinction award for professional achievement and service. After completing three years of study at Pitt-Greensburg, Helkowski transferred to the Oakland campus to compete a degree in management. He went on to work for People's Gas for 33 years while also serving as account executive for the United Way and later as chairman of the board at Westmoreland Community College. He then served as president and CEO of the Westmoreland County Blind Association for 13 years. He has served as president of Westmoreland Human Services since 2002 and also serves on the PGAA Board of Directors.

Szyupulski, also of Irwin, received the PGAA Volunteer Excellence Award for his commitment to the University of Pittsburgh community. In addition to participating in several organizations as a student, Szyupulski has remained active as an alumni. He is currently the PGAA Treasurer and Executive Committee liaison for the events committee. He is also the financial research administrator for the Department of Critical Care for the University of Pittsburgh and has been a member of the Staff Association Council since 2015. He is pursuing a masters of business administration degree at the Oakland campus.

Smith was awarded the PGAA Young Alumni Leadership Award, which recognizes alumni age 35 and under. The award-winning actor, musician, writer, film director and activist returned to his hometown of Washington, D.C., following his time studying and working at Pitt-Greensburg to serve as a high school college adviser with the nonprofit D.C. College Access Program. He educated, assisted and counseled hundreds of students in D.C. public schools. Smith is continuing to pursue an acting career and recently made his national television debut.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-850-2867, jmartines@tribweb.com or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.

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