GRIP 2013 Begins!

Today, July 21, was the start of this year’s Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP).

About 175 genealogists from all over the country are gathering at LaRoche College in Pittsburgh’s North Hills area for five days of genealogical education and networking.

This year’s GRIP offers six courses:

  • Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper, with Paula Stuart Warren, CG
  • Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard, with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL
  • Bridging the 1780-1840 Gap: from New England to the Midwest, with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
  • Your Immigrant Ancestors’ Stories: Writing a Quality Narrative, with John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.
  • Advanced Land Research: Locating, Analyzing, Mapping, with Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL
  • Military Records: From Cradle to Grave, with Craig Scott, MA, CG.

Additional faculty members are Michael Hait, CG; Angela Packer McGhie, and Debra Mieszala, CG.

I’m taking Josh Taylor’s course.

The first activity at any institute or conference is getting everyone organized. Today’s GRIP registration and check-in went very smoothly. The institute directors, Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, and Deborah Lichtner Deal organized activities beautifully. Distribution of dorm keys and key cards, nametags, meal tickets, course notebooks, and GRIP shirts was very efficient–no lines! Arrangements also included fun, welcoming touches like chocolates on the dorm pillows (complete with Elissa’s and Deb’s phone numbers, in case of trouble) and pads of sticky notes.

Dorm rooms at LaRoche College are large and well air-conditioned. Parking is convenient. The cafeteria and classrooms are just steps away from the dorms. During the institute week Maia’s Books will be available to expand personal libraries. Evening lectures, a walking group, and a Who Do You Think You Are viewing party will ensure that no one lacks something to do.

This evening GRIP faculty and students gathered for dinner and orientation in the college cafeteria, where the food was plentiful and delicious. The noise level in the cafeteria indicated that participants were vigorously renewing old friendships and making new ones. After dinner, participants in the ProGen study groups and the Boston University certificate programs gathered for networking and photos. This year’s ProGen contingent numbered about forty, reflecting the popularity and success of the program!

It’s gotten very quiet in the dorms–classes start extra early tomorrow at 8:15.