News Page


Extraordinary Professor

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pittsburgh – “Changing lives” is one of Robert Morris University’s core values and the basis of the university’s award-winning advertising campaign. Now a professor is spreading the message globally.

Ordinary People Extraordinary Planet, the fifth book by Shellie Hipsky, associate professor of education, examines how one individual’s actions can inspire others and create a chain of charitable acts. The book, due out in September, is a companion to a radio show of the same name hosted by Ray Leonard on KMR-Media in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The book tells the stories of 12 people, including Mary K. Hoodhood, who provides dinners every day for more than 3,800 hungry children in Michigan. Hoodhood organizes this effort from her wheelchair; she’s a quadriplegic.  Arturo Sandoval is a Grammy and Emmy Award-winning trumpet player who escaped persecution in Cuba to live out his dream.  Roy Juarez Jr. has talked to more 100,000 students through his "Homeless by Choice Tour" about his experience of being homeless at 14.

 “Today, our planet overflows with the love and inspiration that these remarkable people bring by sharing what they have lived and experienced," says Maria Berduco, president of Leadership International and author of How to Think Like a Leader. "Dr. Shellie Hipsky and Ray Leonard cascade these parables as gifts from their hearts to yours.”

Hipsky has written more than 100 articles and four academic books, including Mentoring Magic: Pick the Card for Your Success.  She recently recently was named a Luminary by Inspire Me Today.

“Driven to help others, I delighted in meeting these people who are making a difference,” says Hipsky. Active in several charities, Hipsky has raised more than $18,000 for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund in Allegheny County. She will give 25 percent of net profits from the book to the charities spotlighted in the book.

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.