Staff & Board

Staff

Rachel Filippini, Executive Director

Rachel has worked at GASP since 2001. Prior to becoming Executive Director, she served as the Executive Assistant, and as Program Coordinator for the GASPer Air Monitor Program. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Much of her past experience has centered around environmental education, including being a lead poisoning prevention educator, nature camp instructor, and Site Director for an after-school program. See our Spotlight on GASP Staff article in our Hotline. rachel@gasp-pgh.org

John Baillie, Staff Attorney

John received his JD from the University of Pennsylvania and his BS from Georgetown University. Before joining GASP, John worked for another environmental organization in Pittsburgh, where he focused on regional air quality issues, gas drilling, and the regulation of public utilities. John has also worked as a litigation attorney at law firms in Pittsburgh and as an in-house attorney for a railroad company. See our Spotlight on GASP Staff article in our Hotline. john@gasp-pgh.org

Jamin Bogi, Policy and Outreach Coordinator

Jamin joined the GASP staff in June 2010 and was previously a Board Member. He earned his BA in Interdisciplinary Studies–Language and Culture from Wheaton College (IL). Jamin is an avid reader of international fiction, a struggling gardener, and a former Board Member with the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline. jamin@gasp-pgh.org

Joe Osborne, Legal Director

Joe received his JD from Boston University School of Law. While attending law school he was editor in chief of the Boston University Public Interest Law Journal and served as a lecturer in environmental law through the Boston College Political Science Department. In the past Joe has assisted groups including Earthjustice and Toxics Action Center in their litigation and advocacy efforts. Joe also holds a BA in Political Science from Indiana University. See our Spotlight on GASP Staff article in our Hotline. joe@gasp-pgh.org

Suzanne Seppi, Project Manager

Sue served as GASP’s Executive Director for six years before deciding to work for GASP in a part-time position. Sue has an MA in Management with a concentration in Environmental Policy. Prior to becoming the Executive Director, she served as a long-time board member of GASP. See our Spotlight on GASP Staff article in our Hotline. sue@gasp-pgh.org

Jessica Tedrow, Education and Events Coordinator

Jessica studied at Slippery Rock University for both her undergraduate and graduate work. She obtained her BS in Secondary Education in 2011, M.Ed. in Environmental Education, and MS in Park & Resource Management in 2013. Before coming to GASP she enjoyed her time as a Graduate Assistant with the Slippery Rock University Honors Program and Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Teaching participant. Jessica spends the majority of her time traveling within the US and abroad and volunteering with other nonprofits in her hometown of Washington. See our Spotlight on GASP Staff article in our Hotline.  jessica@gasp-pgh.org

Board of Directors

Julie Bamonte Burgo

Julie Bamonte Burgo is the Pennsylvania Chair of Clean Air Revival, Inc., a national non-profit organization that provides education about the health hazards of wood smoke and other fine particulate pollution. She is a member of several national cancer prevention organizations, including Breast Cancer Action, Pure Prevention, and Healthy Child Healthy World. Julie graduated with a degree in psychology from Bethany College in 1989 and earned her elementary education teaching certificate from Carlow University in 1992. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Maren Cooke, PhD

Maren Cooke is the Secretary of GASP. She is a planetary scientist by training, having received her PhD from Cornell in 1991. After a postdoc at MIT, she worked for NASA but also stepped up her activities in science education including teaching, informal outreach, and curriculum development and illustration. A lifelong environmentalist, Maren has been active on air quality, land use, and other sustainability issues since coming to Pittsburgh in 2000. She began working with GASP in 2003. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Zelda Curtiss

Zelda Curtiss served as supervising attorney for the Environmental Law Clinic at Duquesne University School of Law, Clinical Program in 2008 and from 1979 through 2007 as an assistant regional counsel and supervising attorney at the PA Department of Environmental Protection. Her responsibilities there included work in the NPDES, sewage, mining, waste, wetlands, oil and gas, storage tanks, and remediation areas. Zelda has extensive trial and appellate experience. Zelda received her JD from Duquesne University, School of Law. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Roger Day

Roger Day, ScD, has been an associate professor of biomedical informatics and biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh for 28 years and is a consultant for ALung Technologies. He is an effective study design consultant, data analyst, and software developer–skills which will contribute to GASP’s mission. With retirement impending, he can return to his roots in public health. His interest in air pollution issues in the region stem from their adverse effects on a sensitive family member and from the region’s “leading” role in the country in poor air quality. His interests in the global issues stem from the frightening level of adverse health effects from harsh air quality in Asia. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Greg DiMedio

Greg DiMedio is the Green Business Certification Program Director with the Green Business Bureau. Greg develops certification programs with partners in cities around the country, including San Diego, Key West, and Pittsburgh. He is a founder of Greener Pittsburgh and a green consultant for Pittsburgh Earth Day. Greg has an MA in Rhetoric and Linguistics from the University of South Carolina and over 12 years of experience promoting businesses, nonprofits, and causes through print and internet marketing media. An avid hiker and fly fisherman, Greg has served as a steward and lifetime member of Trout Unlimited and as a writer and activist for the Sierra Club. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

David Eibling, MD

David Eibling is a practicing Ear-Nose-Throat physician at the VA Pittsburgh and a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh. His career has focused on treating patients with head and neck cancer and teaching, primarily to residents, medical students, physicians and nurses. Throughout his career he has maintained an active interest in one specific source of pollution–tobacco combustion–an interest now expanded to include other sources of pollution that affect all of us, even when outside our homes and businesses. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

James Fabisiak, PhD

James Fabisiak, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. He performed graduate studies in Pharmacology at NYS College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University (MS) and Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine (PhD). He now conducts cellular and molecular toxicological research pertaining to the response of the lung to environmental insults such as air pollution, as well as working on applied and translational environmental health issues in Pittsburgh communities. He has been a resident of Pittsburgh for over 25 years and a representative for the University on the Air Quality Collaborative for the last 4 years. Dr. Fabisiak wants to not only help improve the regional air quality but also raise awareness as to how this issue relates to the global problems of climate change and sustainability

Michelle Fanzo

Michelle Fanzo is President of Four Corners Consulting, where she works at the intersection of many of today’s development and security issues, such as environmental sustainability and food insecurity. She is also a Fellow at the World Policy Institute, a think tank on global issues. Michelle first came to Pittsburgh in the 1990s as a journalist. She received her masters degree from GSPIA at the University of Pittsburgh and founded PUMP (Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project). She then went to work for the United Nations in Africa, Asia, and New York, and returned to Pittsburgh in 2014. An avid outdoorswoman, Michelle is a skydiver and yoga instructor.

Marla Ferrency

Marla Ferrency has been involved with GASP since the mid 1990’s. She is currently GASP’s newsletter editor and serves on the event committee. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from Gettysburg College and is active in several local non-profit organizations, including Arsenal Family & Children’s Center, the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park, Allegheny Group of the Sierra Club, and the Pittsburgh Mothers’ Center. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Walter Goldburg, PhD

Walter Goldburg, PhD, is the 2nd Vice President of GASP. He is a long-time board member of GASP, having served as President in the past. He has a PhD in Physics and recently retired from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a Professor of Physics. A long-time defender of clean air, Mr. Goldburg has specialized in coke oven emissions. He served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Oversight of the EPA, the PA Air and Water Quality Advisory Committee, and on the County’s Air Pollution Advisory Committee. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Karen Grzywinski

Karen Grzywinski has an undergraduate and Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a volunteer with GASP’s Smoke Readers since the program began. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Frances Harkins

Frances Harkins is a native of the Pittsburgh area. She studied at Carnegie Mellon University (BA) and the University of Michigan (MA). Her work experience includes 27 years in teaching at the middle and high school levels. For twenty-four of those years she worked as a school library-media specialist. More recently in the summers of 2007 and 2008, she worked on staff as the GASP Outreach Coordinator. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Janis Johnson

Janis Johnson has been serving as the GASP Treasurer since 2007. Her duties have included overseeing the preparation of financial statements, handling the independent audit, planning and monitoring the budget, and preparing the tax returns. In addition, she has been active in fundraising. She is a retired CPA with a BA degree from the College of Wooster and an MS in taxation from Robert Morris University. As an avid participant in outdoor activities, she is committed to improving the air quality in the Pittsburgh region. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Charles D. “Dave” Litton

Charles D. “Dave” Litton is a Senior Research Physicist with the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Pittsburgh. For 45 years, he has conducted and managed research across a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines related to fire, explosion safety, and environmental hazards. For the past 20 years his research has focused on combustion-generated aerosols. He has conducted frontier research to develop new approaches to measuring and characterizing atmospheric dusts and aerosols that will improve understanding of their impacts on health and climate. Mr. Litton is an international expert in fire detection, combustion diagnostics, and measuring combustion-generated particulate matter, and has created many innovations in aerosol measurement technology. He is a member of the Combustion Institute, The International Association for Fire Safety Science, the American Association for Aerosol Research, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Jonathan Nadle

Jonathan Nadle is the President of GASP. He served previously as 1st Vice President for three years and as Board Secretary for five years. He has a BA in Political Science from Penn State University, and now works as an energy efficiency expert. Jonathan is an active member of Pittsburgh’s environmental community. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Paula G. Purnell

Paula G. Purnell, DEd, is an educator and owner of Sense of Place Learning (SPL). SPL’s mission is to create unique educational experiences that explore and celebrate the places we live in through local history, ecology, and the arts, thereby enhancing local residents’ sense of self, community pride, and civic engagement. Before forming SPL, Paula served as an Assistant Professor in the Professional Studies in Education Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is also an accomplished musician. With her band The NewLanders, Paula researches, records, and performs historic folk music of western Pennsylvania, and has toured extensively, both regionally and internationally. She has released six albums of original music, including three Parent’s Choice award-winning children’s albums.

Abby Resnick

Abby Resnick, MA, is a biostatistician with over 35 years experience in that capacity and project management, from development through implementation and analysis. The public health issues she has worked on include programs in tobacco cessation and education, substance abuse prevention and treatment, mental and behavioral health services, quality of life for the elderly, organ donation education, and promotion. One such effort included contributing to the American Lung Association’s Climb for Air. She is excited to work with GASP to help fulfill its mission of improving “air quality to ensure human, environmental, and economic health.” See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Harold Rickenbacker

Harold Rickenbacker is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Harold also works part time at the Kingsley Association in East Liberty as a program manager on a grassroots Environmental Justice Project. Harold’s graduate research focuses on both indoor and ambient air quality, working to uncover relationships between air quality and a community’s perceived quality of life. Harold also does substantial research for the 2030 District in Pittsburgh, through life cycle assessment linking energy conservation to long term trends in spatio-temporal patterns of pollution across our region. Harold is a part of the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Group, Green Workplace Challenge Pittsburgh, National GEM Consortium: GRAD Lab, Cancer Free Economy, Health Cluster, Hill House Passport Academy Charter School mentor program, and Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Outdoor Spaces, and other environmentally-themed groups.

Kate St. John

Kate St. John is the 1st Vice President of GASP. She is Director of Information Technology at WQED Pittsburgh and an avid birder and hiker. She combines these skills in her Bird Blog at www.wqed.org/birdblog. Kate was an active member in CHOC (Citizens Helping our Community), which helped defeat the Sun Coke Plant proposed for the Hazelwood LTV site. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline.

Peri Unligil, MD

Peri Unligil is a physician with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, specializing in internal medicine, and is also a clinical assistant professor there. She studied biochemistry and then medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is very interested in the influence of environmental exposures on human health, and in the health of our local and global environment. She has been a resident of Pittsburgh and member of the Allegheny Group of the Sierra Club for over ten years. See our Spotlight on a Board Member article in our Hotline (p. 9).