Newsmaker: Tracy M. Soska
Noteworthy: Soska received the first-ever Community Ally Award from Community Human Services, which oversees programs on homelessness, health and youth in the Pittsburgh area.
Residence: Pleasant Hills
Occupation: A faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh, Soska chairs its community organization and social administration master's degree program and is director of its continuing education program at the School of Social Work. He is co-director of the university's Community Outreach Partnership Center.
Education: Soska graduated from Pitt with a bachelor's degree in social work in 1974 and a master's in social work in 1978.
Background: After college, Soska spent time as a mill worker before taking a job at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. Before joining Pitt full time in 1993, he did other community organizing, led the Pittsburgh Neighborhood Alliance and helped set up the Westinghouse Valley Human Services Center under the umbrella of the Human Services Center Corp.
Quote: "The work I do, this community partnership center, is based around communities identifying what their own needs are. And then working with them, we can bring our resources to bear to help partner with those groups on those needs. Right here in our own backyard, I want to make sure my university, my school, is working hard in the community and being an ally to those community groups."