By the Numb3rs Spring 2018 - People



We here in the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Mathematics are sure that we have the absolute best staff!  We have three staff members who have been with us 27, 32, and 32 years.  They are hardworking, diligent, dedicated and they are attentive to our needs.  We consider ourselves fortunate to have such a wonderful group of staff members.  But alas they have announced their retirement.  We are thrilled to celebrate this special occasion with them, but at the same timeMath Staff we are sad to see them go.  Please join me in congratulating

       Diane Hall – Undergraduate Student Administrator
       LaVerne Kapucensko – Administrative Assistant to the Chair
       Carol Olczak – Administrative support to the Department

We wish them all a happy, healthy, long retirement!!!  We want to thank them for their many years of hard work and dedication to our department.  Each of them will be missed!!!
- Carol Miller

LaVerne Kapucensko

"I’d like to add my thanks to LaVerne for her many contributions during her time in the Mathematics Department. I am especially grateful that she agreed to work directly with me when I was departmental Chair. Although I asked her to join me when I first took on the job, it was several years before she accepted. The fact that she preferred to remain typing our faculty members’ research papers in a dark office with her (overgrown) tree and a space heater certainly made me wonder exactly what she thought working with me would be like. But she finally agreed and took over all of the routine administrative tasks so that I could focus on academic initiatives. She was a breath of fresh air, helping me to survive the administrative duties during my time as Chair. And in the process, we became, and still remain, friends. The only downside that immediately comes to mind is that every year I was forced to look at pictures of her new Halloween costume. Seriously, thanks LaVerne for your help and friendship and best wishes for your next adventures." - Professor John Chadam

Diane Hall

"I just learned that Diane will be joining me in the ranks of the retired in a few weeks. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge her tremendous contributions to the Department and thank her for all her hard work over the years on behalf of our students and faculty. I also want to thank her personally for keeping me on track during my tenure as undergraduate Director.

Diane: As you begin this new adventure, "May your heart always be joyful, may your song always be sung, and may you stay forever young" (Bob Dylan)." - Professor Frank Beatrous

Carol Olczak

"On behalf of all my colleagues, I would like to thank Carol for 27 years of service to the Department of Mathematics. Always at the front desk, Carol has been the friendly face of our department for all these years always ready to answers many inquiries from students and faculty alike. Last but not least, she managed to get our travel and business reimbursements processed in record time. Enjoy a happy and healthy retirement Carol!” - Professor Juan Manfredi

"When I joined the Department of Mathematics many year sago, my first interaction with Carol was about getting office supplies. I remember feeling a bit anxious every time I had to ask her for something. Carol was a true guardian of the supplies and one could never see what was inside these cabinets. One semester I was teaching two courses using white boards and needed markers. Carol gave me a pack with a look on her face saying "Use them wisely". Well, I did, but of course they ran out and a few weeks later I was back in her office asking for another pack. She looked at me suspiciously and said, "Are you leaving them open?". The joke aside, Carol has done a tremendous service for the Department over these many years. During my 10 year service as Chair, I knew I could rely on Carol to perform efficiently any task assigned to her, the most important being Travel and Business reimbursements. She would process these accurately with amazingly quick turnaround. We have been through several changes in the system for processing these reimbursements, transitioning from entirely paper based to entirely digital process. Carol has made these transitions seamless to the faculty, which has been greatly appreciated. She will surely be missed. Carol, on behalf of the entire Department, I would like to thank you for your many years of outstanding service. Enjoy your retirement and come to visit us!"  - Professor Ivan Yotov