Winter 2010 Commencement Speakers' Biographies
Dr. Saundra Kiski Stout has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in education. She graduated from California University of Pennsylvania in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, then earned a Master of Education-Reading Specialist in 1974 and a reading supervisor’s certificate, also from Cal U. Subsequently, she completed certifications in curriculum supervision and earned both a principal’s and a superintendent’s letter of eligibility from the University of Pittsburgh.
At Pitt she was among an elite group of students to form the first cohort of the newly launched Superintendents Academy. She was awarded a Danforth Foundation scholarship and graduated with honors, earning an Ed.D. in administration and policy studies in 1994.
Dr. Stout taught second grade in Upper St. Clair, Pa., and served as a reading specialist in the Central Greene (Pa.) School District before joining publisher Houghton Mifflin Co. as an educational consultant. In 1986 she was recruited by the Highlands School District (Natrona Heights, Pa.) to serve as director of elementary education and federal programs. Over the next nine years she garnered numerous grants for the district and established the first public kindergarten for 4-year-olds in Allegheny County.
The Allegheny County Commissioners appointed her to represent the county’s 42 school districts on the Interagency Coordinating Council. She served as assistant superintendent/acting superintendent for the Keystone Oaks School District (Pa.) until she retired from public education.
After she retired, Dr. Stout was an educational consultant for the Carnegie Science Center and an adjunct professor in the Master of Arts teaching program at the University of Pittsburgh and in the education program at Washington and Jefferson College.
She has served on numerous boards and councils, including the Foundation for California University, the Pittsburgh Opera and the Pittsburgh Opera Association, where she was president and now chairs the board.
An elder and former superintendent of Sunday school for her church, Dr. Stout and her husband, William, divide their time between their homes in Eighty-Four, Pa., and Naples, Fla.
Armand Balsano grew up in Charleroi, Pa., and graduated from California University of Pennsylvania in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences. He went on to earn a master’s degree in health administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Now based in Atlanta, Ga., Mr. Balsano has worked in the health-care industry for more than 30 years and has extensive knowledge of the field.
He has worked with acute care and long-term care facilities, performing evaluations of strategic and financial feasibility and planning for specialty services such as rehabilitation, mental health, cardiology, oncology, geriatrics and home health.
He currently serves as a managing director for Navigant Consulting and heads the Strategy Practice Division.
As a financial expert, Mr. Balsano frequently helps clients to evaluate the financial feasibility of new projects and the financial impact of strategic initiatives. He also has extensive regulatory experience, including the development of Certificate of Need applications, analysis of relevant markets for services, and projections of utilization and financial performance.
Additionally, he is qualified in many states as an expert witness in the areas of health-care planning and financial feasibility.
Mr. Balsano has been a manager with a national accounting and consulting firm and a principal with another regional consulting group. He has served as chief operating officer for an acute care hospital, held corporate management positions, and served as administrator of a post-acute care facility.
Widely published in health-care journals, Mr. Balsano is active in professional associations and has been a guest lecturer for professional associations on topics such as hospital strategic planning, reimbursement and finance.
He and his wife, Dickey, have a grown son and daughter and are the proud grandparents of a 1-year-old granddaughter.