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Pittsburgh Scholar House appoints Dr. Diamonte Walker as CEO


Last updated 4/19/2022 at 8:07am

The Pittsburgh Scholar House, an affiliate of the Family Scholar House based out of Louisville, KY, has appointed Dr. Diamonte Walker as its inaugural CEO. 

Dr. Walker recently served as the deputy executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. She will focus on establishing the Pittsburgh Scholar House as a resource within the continuum of care dedicated to helping income eligible single parents earn four-year degrees as a two-generation strategy to enable economic mobility within the City of Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Scholar House will operate in alignment with the Family Scholar House strategic goal of helping participants complete their post-secondary education and enter high-growth careers to enable economic mobility and sustain a better quality of life for them and their children. This goal is achieved through outreach and expansion by providing resources that include innovative and ethical best-practices for data collection and data-informed services for this subset of the academic community.

“An intentional focus on higher educational attainment is needed to address Pittsburgh’s protracted poverty and economic mobility issues. The data informed two-generation model has repeatedly demonstrated successful academic and life outcomes for families,” said Dr. Walker.

“Those outcomes translate to addressing the solvable, but real challenges adult learners with children face when pursuing higher education. I am honored to lead the Pittsburgh Scholar House as we take a humanistic approach to poverty mitigation by elevating the voices of these scholars as they become thriving college graduates.”

The Pittsburgh Scholar House is supported by all 11 colleges and universities that make up the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE) and funding partners at The Heinz Endowments, Henry L. Hillman Foundation, and PNC Foundation. In 2019, the foundations collaborated with PCHE to begin the process of bringing the Family Scholar House model to Pittsburgh and supported the search of a leader for the affiliate.

“The decision to establish the Pittsburgh Scholar House stemmed from a visit by leaders from several of Pittsburgh’s leading foundations to the five Family Scholar House campuses in Louisville,” recalled Dr. David Finegold, Chatham University president and PCHE chairman. “They were very impressed by Family Scholar House’s results and the comprehensive wraparound services offered to single-parents and their children that helped them achieve college graduation rates of over 90%.”

PCHE Executive Director Karina Chavez added: “We are thrilled to appoint Dr. Walker as the inaugural CEO of the Pittsburgh Scholar House, and confident that with her leadership we will successfully replicate similar educational outcomes here in Pittsburgh.” 

PCHE will incubate the Pittsburgh Scholar House until a dedicated board of directors is formed and the affiliate secures 501(c)(3) status. Dr. Walker’s official start date is April 18, 2022.


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