Winners Announced for Rangos Prizes ‘Four Minutes to Win It!’ Pitch Competition

The John G. Rangos Sr. Prizes are designed to inspire students and faculty to enhance Duquesne’s curriculum, ensuring that it remains relevant and prepares students for productive futures. Eleven teams of faculty and students aimed to do just that as they competed for $1,000 prizes in the Four Minutes to Win It! pitch competition Feb. 25.

Teams had four minutes to present their ideas before a panel of judges, and event attendees provided feedback via an online survey throughout the competition. Winners of the 2020 John G. Rangos Sr. Prizes include:

Faculty Presentations

  • Community Engaged Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Institute: Dr. Amy Mattila, Dr. Jessica Mann and Dr. Sarah Breckenridge Wright
  • From Pedagogy to Practices: Dr. Aleina Smith and Samantha Backstrom with students Abby Nimerosky, Maura Rost and Crystal Beriguete-Castro
  • True Crime and the Justice of God: Dr. Elisabeth Vasko and Dr. Lyndsie Ferrara.

Student Presentations

  • Empathy in the Digital Age: Benjamin Gaddes
  • Interprofessional Education for Health Sciences: Laura Kerschner, Abigail Crum and Maggie Verardi
  • Simulations for Clinical Competency: Hillary Villarreal, Andrew Harrington, Adele Flaherty and Elizabeth Balskus.

“I continue to be impressed by the insight, dedication and collaboration of our faculty and students in creating these path-breaking courses and initiatives,” Duquesne University President Ken Gormley said. “Their innovative ideas, recognized by these Rangos Prizes, will help us shape learning for new generations of students at Duquesne, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to become true leaders in our evolving society. We’re deeply grateful to John Rangos Sr. for creating and funding these prestigious awards that are making Duquesne a national leader in reshaping academic programming for a new era.”

The panel of judges included Jenica Rangos Welch, daughter of John G. Rangos Sr., and the following members of the Duquesne University community:

  • Steve Hansen, director of faculty development and teaching excellence for the Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Emily Resko, junior political science major
  • Kathleen Glenister Roberts, professor of communication and rhetorical studies and director of the Duquesne University Honors College
  • Alan Seadler, associate provost for research and technology
  • Darlene Fozard Weaver, associate provost for academic affairs
  • Eddie Zakreski, junior political science major.

The Rangos Prizes program will resume in the fall semester with an awards ceremony for this round’s winners and another round of competition. Student and faculty teams will again submit proposals for a preliminary competitive review. If they are selected to advance, they will present their ideas in another pitch competition.

For more information on the Rangos Prizes, visit