Student Resources

Academic Advising

Our academic advisors are here to help you navigate the logistics of grad school. They will connect you to the diverse resources available in public and international affairs and at Pitt. You will also have guidance from a faculty advisor about your course of study and career plans.

Contact Academic Advising

Julie Korade
Academic Advisor for students with last names A-L

Kelly McDevitt
Academic Advisor for students with last names M-Z


The Ombudsperson assists graduate students with resolving conflicts and issues that arise in the course of their education and training that they believe have not or cannot be addressed within their academic department. The Ombudsperson can help mediate conflicts and provides information about institutional policies related to the student’s issues, including the University’s grievance procedures. The Ombudsperson directs students to further resources on campus as appropriate.

The Ombudsperson for GSPIA is Renee Kidney, Academic Programs and Curriculum Manager.
Renee can be contacted at

The roles of the Ombudsperson:

  • Listen to graduate student concerns.
  • Explain University and School policies.
  • Explain the grade appeal process.
  • Act as a neutral resource between graduate student and a faculty member or an individual with whom the student is experiencing an academic conflict with.
  • Facilitate communication between and among individuals.
  • Counsel faculty to minimize potential conflict.
  • Coach graduate students on how to talk to faculty and staff.
  • Refer individuals to others as necessary.
  • Act as an informal resource to graduate students, faculty, and staff.
  • Keep information confidential except as required by law or university policy, which includes Title IX issues.

The Ombudsperson does not:

  • Change grades.
  • Change policies.
  • Take sides, but rather tries to facilitate a mutual understanding between differing points of view.
  • Identify individuals without permission, except as required by law or University policy, which includes Title IX issues.
  • Take part in formal grievance processes.