Pitt-Johnstown Wins 2015 University Standard of Excellence Web Award

Natalie Bombatch

posted October 27, 2015


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown won the 2015 University Standard of Excellence award for Web Development from the Web Marketing Association’s (WMA) WebAward competition.

Pitt-Johnstown website“Our University is very proud of our website,” said Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar. “With a relaunch in 2014, we knew we had a special product, but we now have received verification in the form of an award from a long-standing and highly regarded evaluator. Regardless of accolades, the intention of this website was and remains the serving of our internal, external, future, alumni, and community audiences. It is a worldwide gateway to our University.”

PittJohnstown.pitt.edu has mobile adaptability and is customizable to reach the University’s target audiences. The site was redesigned and relaunched in August 2014. Dr. Spectar had commissioned an internal web team to develop and heighten the web presence. The site structure was established by Hodgson Consulting, and both Pitt-Johnstown’s Information Technology and the University of Pittsburgh’s IT staffs provided technical support.


The web team, whose efforts resulted in the award, included: Web Manager Mike Morlacci; Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Executive Director of Real World Career Services Robert Knipple; Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services and Director of Admissions Therese Grimes; Career Services Assistant Director Janna Kohler; and Coordinator of Marketing & Communication Natalie Bombatch. Former Institutional Advancement VP Jesse Pisors and retired grant writer Trish Beatty also served on the team.

web award“This web team used its diverse levels of knowledge and University expertise to collaborate, rewrite, and organize the site,” said Morlacci. “It was a detailed approach. We spent a lot of time perfecting the little things, while always maintaining a focus on the bigger picture of producing a great website.

“Each department added vital input regarding its area, and Professor Patricia Hagerich contributed the services of computer science students to move information from the former website to the new site as a setup for the web team. It was an authentic real-world experience for them.

“This is truly an award the University can share,” Morlacci said. “We remain thankful to all.”

The Massachusetts-based WMA has sponsored the WebAwards for 17 years. The program is the longest-running annual website award competition dedicated to naming the best websites in various industries. Learn more about WMA and Pitt-Johnstown’s award > 


Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University is the regional leader, educating for the Real World. The distinctive combination of our people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” by AC Online as one of the “Highest ROI Colleges in Pennsylvania,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been presented with The Seven Seals Award by the US Department of Defense’s office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).