Pioneer Public – Jonas Prida


Photo by Lauren Clouser | The Globe

Written By Lauren Clouser, Co-Features Editor

During his hour-long bus ride to work, Jonas Prida often thinks about his job.

“I probably have an hour on the bus every day, and a lot of that is just semi-listening to a podcast that I listen to, but trying to figure out how do we make people’s educational opportunities better,” Prida said. “It sounds stupid but it’s really exciting to me. Like if I was 18 right now, how would I want to experience this thing we call college?”

Prida has been an assistant provost at Point Park for a little over a year and is in charge of accreditation and assessment. Additionally, Prida is the director of the Center for Inclusive Excellence (CIE).

Prida said he enjoyed being a part of the CIE because it was one of the most creative parts of his job.

“Not to talk too abstractly about it, but it’s the direction that every college and university needs to be moving in,” Prida said. “How do we allow more different kinds of people to have a slice of the higher Ed pie? And that’s exciting for me to think about how we’re going to be able to do that.”

Before coming to Point Park, Prida said he had never heard of the term ‘inclusive excellence.’

“It’s been within the last couple of years that the idea of inclusive excellence has really been pushed,” Prida said. “I had never even heard the term until I started working here and again my provost was just like ‘You should look into this idea of inclusive excellence.’”

Now Prida helps to head a committee that focuses on diversity and inclusion efforts within the university.

“I’m one of two people that lead a steering committee that’s going to try to put things forward institutionally that are about, like how do we get the faculty to look more like our student pool?” Prida said. “What kind of ways can we make classes more culturally responsive?”

Before coming to Point Park, Prida worked at the College of St. Joseph’s, a small liberal arts college in Vermont. Prida taught there as an English professor, until the president of the university approached him and suggested that he try administration.

From there Prida went on to become the vice president for academic affairs until he heard about a job opening at Point Park.

“I was looking forward to moving back into the city. I’m an urban person, and so it was when they offered me the job I said yes,” Prida said.

Prida had only been to Pittsburgh once before when he had visited the University of Pittsburgh. Prida did not originally have high expectations for the city, but said he was blown away by the view when first entering the city.

Prida said his favorite part of his job is the variety of people that he gets to interact with.

“The variety of people that I get to come in contact with every day is really fun because I am bored easily and it’s important to have variety in your life if you’re that kind of person,” Prida said.