News Briefs-Faculty & Staff News - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, October 31, 2013

News Briefs

Open Enrollment for Benefits Runs Nov. 4-18

Open Enrollment for benefits, the time to review your benefit plans and make new elections — if desired — for the coming calendar year, begins Monday, Nov. 4 and ends at 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 18.

If you do not actively select your benefits for 2014, you will be enrolled in the same benefit plans at the same level of participation as 2013, with the exception of a flexible spending account. (You must actively enroll in the spending accounts each year to participate.)

Elections made during Open Enrollment will become effective Jan. 1, 2014, and will remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2014. Unless you experience a qualified life or family status change, Open Enrollment is the only time during the year when you may change your benefit elections.
 
To learn about changes for 2014, plan and rate information and to see the 2014 benefits workbooks, visit the Open Enrollment website. You can also learn about changes for 2014 at the Benefits and Fitness Fair from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 6 in Rangos Ballroom. The fair also includes fitness demos, free health screenings and flu shots, raffles and giveaways

If you have questions, contact the HR Benefits Office at 412-268-2047 or hrhelp@andrew.cmu.edu.

CMU Participates in Transform Africa Summit

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 650 million mobile phone subscribers, 50 million Facebook users and an increasing number of technology and entrepreneurial hubs. With that growth comes a demand for highly skilled workers, and that need is being addressed by Carnegie Mellon University’s graduate programs in Rwanda.

James H. Garrett Jr., dean of the College of Engineering and the Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, discussed the importance of educating the next generation of African technology leaders and the role entrepreneurship plays in boosting local economies at the Transform Africa Summit this week in Kigali, Rwanda. He said CMU's graduate programs in Rwanda are designed to produce Africa’s next generation of technology leaders and innovators.

CMU extended its global academic footprint in 2011 as the first major U.S. higher education institution to offer graduate engineering degree programs in Rwanda, a tech-savvy East African country building a knowledge-based economy. At present, CMU offers a master’s degree in information technology, and will begin offering a second master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering in August 2014.

“Our 16-month programs deliver both theory and practice to students, including successful summer internships at global tech companies," Garrett said.

In addition to Garrett, CMU representatives at the summit included: Bruce Krogh, Jendayi Frazer, Romayne Botti, Michel Bezy, Timothy Brown, Philip Miller, Hedda Schmidtke and Crystal Rugege.

Read more about CMU's involvement at the Transform Africa Summit.

Marija Ilic Leads Smart Grid Research Team

Carnegie Mellon's Marija Ilic is leading a research team to show that with careful design of IT-enabled, data-driven protocols and the introduction of more interactive binding protocols between traditional utilities and new technologies  — intermittent power and responsive demand, in particular — it's possible to provide electric power reliably and efficiently.

Ilic calls the newly evolving cyber-physical energy systems intelligent Dynamic Monitoring and Decision Systems (iDyMonDS), and she's using a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of Standards (NIST) to develop a one-stop shop to demonstrate and test this framework, and to show how it can be used to design more efficient and reliable smart grid technology.

Ilic, a professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) and engineering and public policy, said this "smart grid in a room" will be a test bed to see how cyber-physical systems interact with utilities.

"This hybrid setup has the potential to realistically mimic a large electric energy system with data collected from real-world instrumentation that would ultimately be able to help determine the value of new technologies and their impact on the quality and cost of electricity services, sustainability and potential for reducing pollution," Ilic said.

Read more about Ilic's research team.

Shop and Support CMU's Children's School

Shop at Ten Thousand Villages in Squirrel Hill on Thursday, Nov. 14 and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to the CMU Children's School Scholarship Fund. The Children's School is an early childhood laboratory school at CMU. The school is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children to offer morning and afternoon pre-school and full-day kindergarten programs for children between the ages of 3 and 6.

Ten Thousand Villages at 5824 Forbes Avenue is open from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Read more about the Children's School at http://www.psy.cmu.edu/cs/.

Wanted: Student Applicants for Spring Posner Center Internship

Carnegie Mellon students are encouraged to apply for a unique opportunity to pursue individual study, showcase their research in a public exhibit and earn $3,000 through the Posner Center Internship Program, sponsored by the Posner Fine Arts Foundation.

To apply, compose an essay explaining your interest or proposed research topic, including the materials you would plan to use from the Posner Memorial Collection and a brief bio.

During the spring 2014 semester, the selected intern will research their topic and work with the special collections librarian to prepare an exhibit for display at the Posner Center from summer through fall 2014. The exhibit will be promoted by the University Libraries and accessible to all Posner Center visitors, including the university’s Board of Trustees.

The application deadline is 11:59 p.m., Monday, Nov. 25. Please direct any questions to Special Collections Librarian Mary Kay Johnsen at 412-268-6622 or mj0g@andrew.cmu.edu. Read more about the internship program at http://www.cmu.edu/posner-center/internship/index.html

Alumni Association Board Seeks New Members

The Alumni Association Board (AAB) seeks nominations for its 2014 class. Each year, the board elects five new members to serve four-year terms, beginning July 1. The AAB strives to strike a balance among its members with regard to college affiliation, year of graduation, gender, ethnicity and geographic representation. In addition, the board gives particular weight to the depth and breadth of the nominee’s current and previous volunteer experiences with CMU. To view the AAB Frequently Asked Questions and access the AAB Nomination Form, visit: http://alumni.cmu.edu/s/1410/alumni/index.aspx?sid=1410&gid=1&pgid=375 The nomination deadline is Nov. 30. Questions? Please contact Lynn DeFabio at defabio@cmu.edu.

Alcohol, Drug Policies Online

The university's annual alcohol and drug policies brochure is available online.  The university takes seriously its obligation to ensure community members understand Pennsylvania law and the university’s policies and expectations regarding alcohol and other drugs. Additionally, CMU seeks to provide information on the support available for anyone in need. The publication was compiled as a resource by staff in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. Please do not hesitate to contact Student Affairs at 412-268-2075 should you have questions or comments.

Give to the United Way

Carnegie Mellon’s 2013 United Way campaign is underway and will run through Dec. 12. Last year the university community raised more than $175,000 for United Way and the health and human service organizations it supports. We are still looking for volunteers who would like to serve on CMU’s United Way campaign committee.

You can help make this year a success by incorporating the theme “Live Generously” through donating, advocating or volunteering for CMU’s campaign. Please check out www.cmu.edu/hr/unitedway to make your pledge and find out how to volunteer with local organizations. Visit this webpage often throughout the campaign for success stories, contests and campaign progress.

Nominations Due for Dietrich College Teaching Award

Nominations for the Dietrich College's 2013-2014 Elliott Dunlap Smith Award for Distinguished Teaching and Educational Service are due Nov. 4. Nominees must have achieved distinction as a teacher and educator in the college, and perhaps also in the university, higher education in general, and/or his or her discipline. Nominations should consist of a letter (two pages, maximum, signed by at least three faculty, students or staff) and should be submitted to Joanne Ursenbach, c/o the Dietrich College Dean’s Office, Baker Hall 154. For more information, go to http://www.hss.cmu.edu/pressreleases/pressreleases/edsmithaward.html.

AED/CPR Training Offered

The Environmental Health & Safety Department is offering two upcoming AED/CPR training classes for the university community. Those who have been certified more than two years ago also can attend to renew your certification. All classes begin at 10 a.m. and last about two hours. The schedule is as follows:

  • Nov. 14 - Mellon Institute Social Room
  • Nov. 26 - University Center, Dowd Room

Register for classes at https://ehs-apps.andrew.cmu.edu/secure/ALERT-Online/aed/registration.aspx

Nominations Now Open for Education Awards

The nomination period for the Celebration of Education is now open. Nominations are being accepted for the Doherty, Ryan, Academic Advising, Barbara Lazarus and Gelfand awards. The nomination deadline is Nov. 4. Read more at http://www.cmu.edu/celebration-of-education/.

Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar Series Continues

CMU's Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC) is once again sponsoring the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Seminar Series during the fall semester to provide faculty, students and staff with an overview of topics typically covered in RCR curricula. All sessions will be held from 12 – 1 p.m. in the University Center’s McKenna/Peter conference room.  Upcoming sessions are as follows:
 
  • Thursday, Nov. 7: Safeguarding International Research
  • Wednesday, Nov. 13: Mentor Trainee, Relationships, and Collaboration
More information is available on the RCR website.  Space is limited, so please register early.