CMU Alumni Association Honors Three CEE Alumnus at Cèilidh Weekend-Civil and Environmental Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CMU Alumni Association Honors Three CEE Alumnus at Cèilidh Weekend

 The Alumni Association honored three CEE Alumnus at the Cèilidh Weekend for their outstanding contributions at Carnegie Mellon University and the world at large.

Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award

Hillard M. Lazarus (B.S. '70): An internationally renowned hematologist and oncologist, this professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University is a member of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Care Hall of Fame and a recipient of the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award. Lazarus used stem cells from living adults to perform the first non-embryonic stem cell transplant in Ohio in 1976. As director of Novel Cell Therapies for University Hospitals Case Medical Center, he advances blood and transplantation techniques to treat diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and aplastic anemia. Lazarus has returned to Carnegie Mellon to speak to biomedical engineering classes, serves on academic and admissions advisory councils, and established a Holleran Scholarship with his wife, Joan, in 2003.

Recent Alumni Award

Elizabeth (Higgins) Durika (B.S. '03): In less than a decade after graduating from the College of Engineering on a Navy ROTC scholarship, Lt. Durika has become a decorated military leader with important assignments on three continents. As the officer-in-charge for the Seabee Detachment, her team drilled wells to provide African communities with access to clean water and built an eight-room hospital with a much-needed maternity ward in Ghana. Durika has received the Navy Achievement Medal three times and the Navy Commendation Medal twice. She is currently the public works officer for SIXTH Fleet in Naples, Italy.

Student Service Award

Erica F. Spiritos (B.S. '11): This recent College of Engineering graduate has advocated for causes that have improved the Carnegie Mellon student experience, impacted the environment and provided basic human needs to residents of developing countries. Spiritos is an avid supporter of CMU's Hunt Library, where she spearheaded initiatives to improve group study areas. She co-founded the university's Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapter and the Environment Today mini-course. Spiritos also has led two service trips to Ecuador, one in which her EWB team implemented a water supply and purification project and another in which she supervised a group of U.S. high school students who constructed school bathrooms.