Marc was my advisor as a sociology major at Smith and a mentor to me for many years following graduation. While at Smith, he encouraged me to make my own path and gave great advice and support, always. In particular, after my junior year abroad at the University of Sussex, he had my back with course transfers and doing a senior research project that was an ethnography at a church in Springfield. He took a bunch of us to a student sociology conference in Salem, MA, which was an amazing experience.

Marc and I always had Pittsburgh in common. In fact, I now live in the neighborhood where he grew up and work at Carnegie Mellon University, where his father was a longtime faculty member and Dean. Marc marveled at this fact when I last saw him just a few years ago. We used to meet up whenever I reached out – whether that was for coffee over Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh many years ago when we were both in town, at a Sociology conference we both attended, or more recently when I was back in Noho for reunions or volunteer meetings. He was just so incredibly generous with his time and an absolute pleasure to be around.

I know this – I wouldn’t have a PhD in Sociology nor would I have been so bold as to carve my weird professional path if it weren’t for his influence and advice and support always at just the right time. . . I am sure of it. And I am also sure that he did all the things he did for me for many of his other students as well.


Becky Culyba is Associate Provost at Carnegie Mellon University and an active member of the Smith College Club of Greater Pittsburgh.