• PGAA names PA State Representative Austin A. Davis ’12 its Alumnus of Distinction

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    September 12, 2019
    GREENSBURG, PA – The Pitt-Greensburg Alumni Association will present its Alumnus of Distinction award to the Hon. Austin A. Davis ’12, the Pennsylvania State Representative for the 35th Legislative District (representing part of Allegheny County). Davis will be recognized during the Alumni Celebration Dinner to be held Saturday, October 5, at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg (150 Finoli Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601) as part of the campus’s Blue & Gold Celebration: Homecoming 2019.
    “I am honored and humbled to be selected as this year’s Alumnus of Distinction,” said Davis of the award. “My passion and commitment for public service was fostered at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, and I would not be the public servant I am today without those experiences. It is my hope that the University continues to inspire students to seek careers in public service.”
    The PGAA Alumnus of Distinction Award acknowledges excellence among alumni of Pitt-Greensburg. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of their outstanding level of professional achievement, service to the community, service to the University of Pittsburgh, special recognition or honors, and any other special efforts or success. It is the highest honor given by the PGAA to an individual alumnus/alumna annually. To register to attend the Alumni Celebration Dinner, please visit http://bit.ly/PGAAAlumCelebration. Registrations, made prior to September 30, are $25 per person (with $1 handling).
    Elected to the PA House of Representatives in 2018, Davis serves on the Appropriations Committee, Consumer Affairs Committee as the Democratic Secretary, the Insurance Committee as the Democratic Vice Chair, and the Urban Affairs Committee. He has sponsored 246 bills/Resolutions, including being the prime sponsor of 13 House General Bills.
    At an early age, Davis made the decision to dedicate his life and career to public service. In high school he founded and served as chairman of McKeesport Mayor James Brewster’s Youth Advisory Council. By the time he graduated high school in 2008, Davis decided to attend the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, with his sight set on pursuing a degree in political science.
    "Austin's passionate interest in politics and policy came shining through as a student at Pitt Greensburg,” said Paul Adams, PhD, chair of the Behavioral Science Division and associate professor of political science. “Austin always had something to add to class discussions and debates and was energized by his classes here. His engagement inside and outside the classroom were strong early indicators of his future success as a public official and leader in his community and in our Commonwealth."
    During his college years, Davis was hired as a legislative intern by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. By 21, the Tribune Review hailed him “a veteran at the politics of helping others.” Post-college, Davis accepted a position with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, where he served as an executive assistant to the county executive’s office.
    In this capacity, Davis spearheaded the county executive’s vision/transition teams in the early days of the administration. He also represented the county executive in a number of ways, including serving as Fitzgerald’s representative on the Jail Oversight Board, the Kane Foundation, the Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Advisory Board, and the Shuman Detention Center Advisory Board.
    Additionally, Davis currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Allegheny County Housing Authority board of commissioners; he served as the liaison between municipal/elected officials and the County Executive’s office; and he was responsible for constituent services and many other day-to-day functions at the county executive’s office. 
    Outside of this role, Davis is actively involved and currently serving as the Vice Chairman of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, as well as on the board of directors for the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, The Consortium for Public Education, Communities in Schools of Pittsburgh, and Auberle.
    In 2015, Davis served as United States Delegate to the One Young World Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. He also was a member of the Rules and By-Laws committee during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
    To date, he has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work in government and within the community, including Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40 award, the Josh Gibson Foundation Civil Service award, the McKeesport NAACP Character Leadership award, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Gentleman of Excellence in Government Award. 
    Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pitt-Greensburg offers 29 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in Nursing, Healthcare Management, Public Policy, and Education, as well as 24 minors and four certificate programs. With nearly 1,500 students, more than 10,000 alumni, and faculty and staff numbering 260, Pitt-Greensburg provides a vibrant, diverse community that is a dynamic model of a 21st century liberal arts education. As part of the University of Pittsburgh system, Pitt-Greensburg offers the resources of a world-renowned university combined with the individualized and immersive experiences of a small liberal arts college. Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit permeate the campus and extend into its many collaborative projects with the Westmoreland County community. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands, the campus is surrounded by the region’s outdoor recreation venues and rich history. It is less than an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh.
    Susan M. Isola, Director of Media Relations, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg