Dietrich School Student Marian Kaelin is Going Above and Beyond in the Pittsburgh Community

Marian Kaelin, a junior in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences studying Urban Planning, has been recognized by Councilperson Bob Charland for her superior work interning with his office. She has not only been vital in her interning role, but she has gone beyond the work asked of her and is currently helping a senior resident who needs help with housing.

Jackie, who is a senior resident in the Oakland area, was recently displaced from her apartment where she has lived for the past 20 years. The building that she lives in was bought by Walnut Capital and will be demolished, so she has been left to navigate finding housing on her own. Marian has stepped in and taken the initiative in helping Jackie get all her documents and affairs in order. She’s also helped her to get her ID, Social Security card, made appointments to tour potential housing and has even driven Jackie to the tours. Marian is currently working on getting a team of students together to help Jackie with cleaning her apartment and sorting and moving her items.

Chairperson Charland had this to say about the work Marian is doing:

“All of this happened without me knowing and is definitely way beyond the scope we're looking for here. We've only had good experiences with IOP interns, but this student is really something special. “

Marian says what is happening with Jackie is unfortunately a common reality for a lot of the senior community living in Pittsburgh and she wants to educate the community on how everyone can help in these situations.

“I'd like to spread awareness about what we, as a university and students, and also our local government and its programs, can (and must) do to assist the elder and impoverished community members around us.”

Dr. Michael Glass, the director of the Urban Studies program in the Dietrich School also congratulated Marian, speaking highly of her work,

“It went well beyond her scope of work, and speaks volumes about [her] initiative, humanity, and sense of service.”