Pittsburgher Ming-Na Wen To Be Honored As 'Disney Legend'

Aug 9, 2019

On today's program: Duquesne University is opening a new osteopathic medical school; questions remain about a lunchtime double stabbing downtown; Pittsburgher Ming-Na Wen is the latest Disney legend; and an artist-in-residence at PIT unveils work honoring what happens behind the scenes.  

Duquesne University is launching Pittsburgh's newest medical school
(00:00 — 12:06) 

Duquesne University expects to enroll students in a new osteopathic medical program by 2023. Provost David Dausey says the program, which differs from traditional medical school, trains students in a more holistic approach, accounting for lifestyle choices and other complicating health factors.

Duquesne considered opening its own traditional, allopathic medical school years ago but opted against it, because, as Dausey explains, it would've required a lot more research infrastructure, while the osteopathic program can still help address a shortage of personal care physicians in the Pittsburgh region.

One man in custody after a double stabbing downtown
(13:26 
— 17:30) 

One woman is dead and another in stable condition after both were stabbed downtown Thursday afternoon. Police later arrested James Wyatt, 23, of McKeesport on charges of homicide and aggravated assault. 90.5 WESA's Lucy Perkins reports that despite early reports about a possible hate crime, police say there's no indication the attack was racially or religiously motivated. 

Ming-Na Wen: From Pittsburgh kid to 'Disney Legend'
(17:48 
— 32:29) 

Actress Ming-Na Wen will be honored alongside celebrities like Robert Downey Jr. and Bette Midler later this month as the newest class of "Disney Legends." Despite a nearly 30-year career on screens big and small—including an appearance on "Mister Roger's Neighborhood" as one of King Friday's trumpeteers—Ming-Na Wen is still recognized for her role as the voice of the title character in the 1998 Disney animated classic "Mulan." But she's also a Carnegie Mellon University graduate with deep Pittsburgh roots. 

"There's no better place to grow up than in Pittsburgh," she says. "It has a lot of wonderful people, and it's kind of like a small town mentality with a great city behind it."

She would go on to play several strong female roles like Dr. Jing-Mei Chen on NBC's "ER" and Agent Melinda May in Marvel’s "Agents of Shield." Wen tells The Confluence's Kiley Koscinski that she can't always relate to the tough women she plays, so she draws inspiration from women like her mother. 

"This woman survived communism, was able to raise two kids as a single mom on a shoestring [budget]," she says. "Her kids really embody the American dream, like becoming a Disney Legend!" 

She'll be honored at an awards ceremony Friday, Aug. 23 at the D-23 exposition in Anaheim, Calif.

Behind the scenes access shows PIT as a 'living organism'
(32:20 — 39:24) 

Pittsburgh International Airport's first artist-in-residence Blaine Siegel unveiled his first wave of work this week. 90.5 WESA's Bill O'Driscoll reports that Siegel studied interactions between travelers and airport employees to create art reflective of PIT's people and place.

90.5 WESA's Julia Zenkevich, Julia Maruca and Hannah Gaskill contributed to this program.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.