The notes kept coming. Bob Patterson (CIT '89) was compiling a nomination letter for Dr. Gloria Hill. On short notice, he had sent out a request for input to a number of Carnegie Mellon alumni. The responses were touching, and as he sent off the final copy, many were still eager to speak on her behalf.
Weeks later, word arrived that Hill, assistant vice provost for education, had won the 2008 Education Leadership Award from the Black Engineer of the Year Award Conference.
The BEYA Awards recognize outstanding achievements of African-American leaders.
From 1984 to 2004, Hill served as the director of the Carnegie Mellon Action Project, a program committed to recruiting and providing support services to underrepresented minority students. CMAP has since grown into the Carnegie Mellon Advising Resource Center.
Hill explains, "What we needed to do was teach the students how to successfully navigate the academic experience. We worked to provide an additional measure of support and a safety net for the kids."
President Cohon praised her work, stating, "As an advisor of minority students ... Gloria has no peer. Gloria is a mentor, as well as someone who believes in bringing out the best in students."
The many students whose lives she touched couldn't agree more.
Kevin Joy (CIT '89) put it clearly when he wrote, "My success would not have been possible without her support and guidance."
Since 2004 and the opening of Carnegie Mellon's Qatar campus, Hill has served in a new position. She is now the instrumental link between Qatar and Pittsburgh, assuring that a high-caliber Carnegie Mellon education is delivered in the very different Gulf environment.
Although it is quite a change, Hill's new position is a natural fit.
Hill credits her experience as director of CMAP with helping her in her new role. She explains, "The skills that I learned and honed helped me to move into my position with the Qatar campus. ... [It] really positioned me well to do the kind of work that I do now."