Although this campaign has concluded, if you would still like to make a donation to support the Dr. Christina J. Groark Community Engagement Fund, you may always do so here

Dr. Christina J. Groark Community Engagement Fund

Raised toward our $12,000 Goal
40 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 15, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

A Message from Chris

November 28, 2018

Dear Friends of OCD,


It is not coincidental that this funding campaign formally came to an end during the Thanksgiving season. As I watched the generosity of others over these last few months, I felt so many emotions. I was humbled and honored, confident, and ever so thankful.


Let me explain. I was and am humbled and honored that the creators of this campaign thought to label such a worthy cause with my name, this work is the mission of the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development (OCD). I am confident that students, who will benefit directly from these contributions, will carry on the important work of using science and research, through partnerships with community organizations, to improve policies and practices on behalf of children and their families, a legacy of OCD.


I am thankful for the hard work of so many people to see this campaign be successful. There were many offices at Pitt that worked together, behind the scenes, to promote this work including the University’s School of Education, Institutional Advancement, and of course, the Office of Child Development.


And finally, I can’t express my appreciation enough for the generosity of so many people who, by their contributions to this effort, gave a vote of confidence for the future of OCD and its mission. We heard from friends of the past who were connected to OCD decades ago, from families who attribute the success of their children to our work, from university administrators and faculty, from current and former staff and students, who learned from each other, and from so many others who are loyal supporters of this work!


I recognize, once again, how blessed I have been to be a part of something so meaningful. So it is with the deepest sense of gratitude, that I thank you all.


Warmest Regards,


Chris Groark

The final countdown!

November 07, 2018



As we approach the final days of our EngagePitt campaign, we would like to give a special thank you to those who helped set the foundation for the Christina J. Groark Community Engagement Fund over the summer. Because these donations were made before the start of the EngagePitt campaign, the following donors are not listed on the EngagePitt “Donor Wall”:


Joan Eichner--$25.00


Karen and Steven Feinstein--Undisclosed Amount


Jean Ferketish--Undisclosed Amount


Kimberly Goldstein--$20.00


Brian Groark--$1,000.00


Jolie McCarthy--$1,000.00


Miriam Messick --$100.00


Laurie and Ed Mulvey--Undisclosed Amount


Marge Petruska--Undisclosed Amount


Emie Tittnich--Undisclosed Amount


Trying Together--Undisclosed Amount


In addition, we would also like to thank the donors who have contributed to the Fund through the EngagePitt page. These folks can be found on the “Donor Wall.” Please continue to share information about the Fund and help us reach our new goal of $12,000 before November 15!

Exciting News!

October 16, 2018

We are so incredibly thankful for your generosity in supporting the Dr. Christina J. Groark Community Engagement Fund. Thanks to you, we have surpassed our initial goal of $8,000 within the first month of the campaign! While this is tremendous news, it comes as no surprise given Chris’s far-reaching impact. With a month left in our campaign, we have raised our goal to $12,000. The more money we raise for the Fund, the more money we will be able to award University of Pittsburgh students for years to come. Please continue to share the campaign to help us reach our new goal!

And, once again, THANK YOU and cheers to Chris!!

We are off to a fantastic start...

October 02, 2018


We are off to a fantastic start thanks to the generosity of friends, family, and colleagues of Chris. On behalf of Chris and the Office of Child Development we want to share our sincerest THANK YOU! With over 40 days left in the campaign we still have plenty of time to raise money and (dare we say we) surpass our goal of $8,000. We have some exciting campaign emails and social media posts planned so please continue to share the Fund with others to help us reach our goal!

Once again THANK YOU and cheers to Chris!

Choose a giving level


Bachelors in Psychology

Chris graduated from Alliance College in 1973 with a BA in Psychology


Masters in Education

In 1976 Chris graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Masters in Special Education.


Director, Children’s Services

From 1979-1985 Chris served as the Director of Children’s Services at what has now become the Arc of Greater Pittsburgh


Director, Community Relations

Chris was first hired at the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development as the Director of Community Relations in 1986.


PhD-Special Education/Research

Chris graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1989 with a Doctorate in Special Education/Research.



After working at OCD for six years, Chris became OCD’s Co-Director alongside Bob McCall in 1992.



After spending almost five decades serving children and families, Chris retired from OCD in 2018

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