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Jay Costa ’79, Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Jay Costa ’79: 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Senator Jay Costa is being recognized as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his tireless public service and dedication to the people of Pennsylvania’s 43rd senatorial district. 6:51, 17.5 MB

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Jay CostaSenator Jay Costa was recognized as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his tireless public service and dedication to the people of Pennsylvania’s 43rd senatorial district.

The recipient of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from IUP in 1979, he currently serves as a Pennsylvania state senator. He is also a shareholder in the Pittsburgh law firm of Grogan Graffam P.C.

Senator Costa served as a deputy sheriff in Allegheny County from 1984 through 1989. During that time, he graduated from the Allegheny County Police Academy and attended Duquesne University, where he earned his law degree in 1989. From 1992 to 1996, he served as register of wills in Allegheny County.

Senator Costa began serving his fourth full term as state senator from the 43rd District in January 2009. He was first elected to the Senate in a special election on April 23, 1996, and was sworn in on May 13, 1996. He was reelected in 2000, 2004, and 2008. Senator Costa is the Democratic chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, an influential position to which he was elected by his fellow Democratic senators in November 2008. The Appropriations Committee oversees development of the state budget and the expenditure of all state funds. From 2005 to 2008, he served as Senate Democratic Caucus chairman and is a past chairman of the Senate Democratic Judiciary Committee. In addition to Appropriations, he is a member in the current legislative session of the Judiciary, Public Health, and Welfare and the Rules and Executive Nominations committees.

Senator Costa also garnered appointments to the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, Pennsylvania Community Bank Operations Committee, Public Employee Retirement Commission, Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, and the Industrial Resource Center Strategic Advisory Board.

He is a former adjunct professor at the Community College of Allegheny County and is a member of the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County bar associations.

Senator Costa’s commitment to his community is evident through his service to many organizations. He serves as a trustee of the University of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Three Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Program, and the Community College of Allegheny County. He is on the board of directors of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Neighborhood Legal Services in Pittsburgh. He is also involved with a variety of civic, community, and athletic groups throughout his district.

Senator Costa and his wife, Roxanne, have three children: Jessel, Anthony, and Rachel.

Profile published on 12/20/12

John Bodnar ’83
John Bodnar is honored as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his extraordinary work as a photojournalist covering the nation’s most important events. His travels have taken him all the way from WIUP FM to Air Force One—and his adventures continue.
Jay Costa ’79
Senator Jay Costa was recognized as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his tireless public service and dedication to the people of Pennsylvania’s 43rd senatorial district.
Jeremy Critchfield '93
Jeremy Critchfield is honored as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his noteworthy career in culinary arts.
Jim Krenn ’83
Jim Krenn is honored as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his renowned career as a radio personality and for his commitment to the community through the many charities he supports.
Almar Latour '94
Almar Latour is recognized as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his extraordinary career in journalism.
Juan Carlos Salcedo ’77
Juan Carlos Salcedo is honored as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his international business success and his commitment to building lasting relationships with his Chinese counterparts.
Charles Winwood ’69
Charles Winwood is cited as a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus for his notable career with the U.S. Customs Service and for his achievements that have been recognized by U.S. presidents, foreign governments, and community organizations.
Gerald Zahorchak M’88
Career in education includes teaching experience in both elementary and secondary education, as well as teaching and leading in North Star, Shanksville–Stonycreek, and finally Greater Johnstown, where he held a series of increasingly responsible roles, ultimately serving as the district’s superintendent.
 
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