Published first on the Progress News, June 21, 2022
Oil City, PA— Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism Redevelopment Manager Selina Pedi graduated with “Highest Honors”, from Harvard University, earning her master’s degree in Sustainability with a focus on community resilience on May 26.
In addition to her 4.0-grade point average, Pedi’s master’s thesis, A Comparative Analysis of Community Engagement Methodologies in Resilience Initiatives, was nominated for the thesis prize.
“We’re very proud of what Selina has achieved,” said ORA President and CEO John R. Phillips, II. “We always support our staff in wanting to continue their education.”
Pedi was accepted as a Sustainability Master’s candidate in 2019 and completed her first full-term just as Covid was hitting.
“I couldn’t have completed this degree program without the availability of virtual learning platforms like those provided through Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education,” she said. “Harvard pivoted to fully virtual courses quickly, and while that meant I didn’t get to visit campus until commencement, it also meant that I was able to continue with my studies and interact with an amazingly diverse and talented group of students and faculty from around the world.”
“I was also fortunate that Harvard’s course catalog is so extensive, I was able to pick coursework that would have the greatest impact on my work with the ORA,” she said.
Pedi joined the ORA part-time in May 2019 as the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley Region Blueprint Community Coordinator. In October 2020 she was promoted to full-time Redevelopment Manager with a focus on Brownfields.
Students from Harvard College and Harvard’s 12 graduate and professional schools participated in the first in-person graduation ceremony since 2019 on May 26 in Boston. The commencement speaker was the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, who, according to Pedi, urged the graduates to consider the effect of division and tribalism in society, as well as individual responsibility to engage with each other meaningfully and intentionally.
Following the festivities on Harvard Yard, graduates moved to their individual schools for luncheons and the conferring of degrees. Pedi and nearly 1,400 of her fellows walked the stage to receive congratulations from Dean Nancy Coleman.
Editor’s Note: Selina has been a regular contributor to The Progress News with her column, “Redevelopment Works”.