Heather Starr Fiedler, Ph.D.

Heather Starr Fiedler serves a tenured professor and department chair of the Department of Community Engagement with a dual appointment as a professor in the School of Communication at Point Park University.  Heather teaches social media courses in the School of Communication and Community Engagement courses in the Department of Community Engagement.  Heather has taught at Point Park since 2000.

In addition to teaching, Heather serves as the founding director of Wood Street Communications, a School of Communication initiative that matches regional nonprofits with students to produce collateral materials.  Heather is also the founding director of the Ph.D. in Community Engagement, the first of its kind in the region. The Ph.D. engages leaders in business, government and non-profit sectors to work together with communities and to become agents of change. Heather also serves as the director of the University’s First-Year Experience course, City-University Life, which helps transition nearly 800 freshman students each year to college life.  Heather also oversees the campus Food Pantry, serves as the advisor to the clothing pantry, and works to support other student basic needs.


Outside of her role at Point Park University, Heather co-founded Play it Forward Pittsburgh, a 501c3 organization that collects and distributes gently used toys, books and games, serving over 5,000 children annually in the Pittsburgh region each year.

Heather has presented at regional and national conferences and taught workshops to the public on Social Media for nonprofits, journalists and businesses, University-Community engagement, Human Centered Design methodology and more.  She serves on nonprofit boards and is the recipient of numerous community awards and grants. 

Heather is a family member, ally and advocate for mental health support.

Heather lives in Indiana Township with her husband Mike and two teenage boys.  She is an avid runner and triathlete.



-Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism and Business from SUNY College at Buffalo

-Masters of Arts in Corporate Communication from SUNY Albany

-PhD in Educational Technology from NOVA Southeastern University

-Leadership Pittsburgh Development Initiative. Class XX

-Founder and Board Co-Chair, Play it Forward Pittsburgh

-Board of Directors, Allegheny Family Network

Allegheny Family Network



CHATLine offers a well trained and experienced Family Support Partner with personal experience raising a child with behavioral issues who can help with connections to community services, negotiating different systems, or emotional support.  The families can also call to request a face to face one on one Family Support Partner through the CHATLine.


* CHATLine hours of operation are 9:00 am—4:30 pm Monday through Friday.  Calls received after hours will have the option of leaving a message and will receive a call back on the next business day. 

* This CHATLine is not a crisis line.  The CHATLine is a support line and referral service.  In the event of a crisis—AFN staff will refer callers to emergency support services such as 911 or Resolve Crisis Network. 

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Family Advocacy, Mental Health, Children