Personal Mention-Faculty & Staff News - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Personal Mention

Dennis Schebetta’s film “My Date With Adam” will premiere in the Three Rivers Film Festival at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 11 at the Regent Square Theater. Schebetta, communications coordinator for the School of Drama, earned funding to shoot the movie in Pittsburgh this past summer after winning the 2013 Steeltown Film Factory competition last spring. Parts of the film were shot at the CMU Robotics Lab. “My Date With Adam” is a romantic comedy about a woman looking for the perfect man. She finds him but he turns out to be a robot that’s part of a graduate student’s work in artificial intelligence. The film features several CMU alumni, faculty, staff and students, including Schebetta, adjunct drama instructor Randy Kovitz, staff member Olivia O’Connor, and seniors Michael McGuire and Mitchell Marois. School of Drama Props Master Jon Ward handled the props and robot construction and costumes were designed by former staff member Amanda Jenkins. The promotional poster was designed by student Helen Jun. See the film trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPFF6arqFFM.  Tickets can be purchased online through The Three Rivers festival website at http://www.showclix.com/event/3786928.

Amna AlZeyara, a computer science student at Carnegie Mellon in Qatar, won first place in the undergraduate research competition at the 2013 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference in Minneapolis. AlZeyara, a senior, was recognized for her work on Hala, a 3-D animated robot with Arabic facial features that interacts with visitors to Carnegie Mellon Qatar. Her project involved identifying and developing a series of facial expressions, which help engage users by enhancing the non-verbal aspects of human-robot communication. Read more at http://webext.qatar.cmu.edu/news/view/1340.

Paula Martin, director of Health Promotions Programs, was recently honored as a finalist for the Business Times Health Care Heroes Award.  She was a finalist in the Health Care Provider - Nonphysician category. The Health Care Heroes Awards honor individuals, companies and organizations in western Pennsylvania for their contributions to improving health care in the region. Awards are presented in seven categories: Community Outreach, Health Care Innovation, Health Care Provider - Physician, Health Care Provider - Nonphysician, Volunteer, Health Care Executive and Lifetime Achievement. See the list of heroes at 
http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/event/82671.

Marilyn Taft Thomas, professor of theory and composition, will be traveling to Chile this month for three performances of her composition "The Elements: Five Sound Poems for Violin and Ensemble." The composition will be performed in Santiago and Valparaiso by Orquesta de Cámara de Chile, Juan Pablo Izquierdo, principal conductor, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture. Violin Soloist will be Joanna Bello, an alumna of the Carnegie Mellon School of Music and student of Andrés Cárdenes.

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Amir Rahnamay-Azar was a presenter on the Oct. 10 National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) webcast titled "Responsibility Center Management (RCM): How Innovations Have Changed the Nature of RCM." He spoke to how institutions have modified their RCM models, explored RCM innovations from the past five years, and discussed the truths and myths of RCM. CFOs, VPs, controllers, and budget directors from across the country registered for this webinar, which focused on the trends and innovations that have emerged in contemporary RCM models.

Elaine A. King, professor in the School of Art, delivered a paper titled "A Cultural Capital Quagmire" at the Association of International Art Critics Congress in Slovakia.  She demonstrated that there is an analogy between social movement success and recognition as art, so that the major concepts that explain the paths of social movements appear as well as to art worlds. The concepts are economics, power, political opportunity structures, resource mobilization and branding as well as the framing processes. A review of the Congress was published in the Huffington Post and King's paper was cited in the review titled “(R)evolution in Central Europe: AICA's Resurrection of Art Criticism.” Read the review at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-paul-streitfeld/revolution-across-central_b_4031805.html.

Kiron Skinner addresses the alleged U.S. policy of monitoring the phone conversations of world leaders in a New York Times opinion piece titled “Diplomacy Requires Trust Among Allies.” Skinner is associate professor of social and decision sciences and director of the university’s Center for International Relations and Politics. Read the piece.

Victor Hwang, a master’s degree student in the Robotics Institute, is featured in a podcast posted by Story Collider, a national storytelling project. Hwang talks about his experience preparing computer code for a NASA spacecraft. He was one of five Carnegie Mellon students to share their stories about science at an Oct. 21 show at the Rex Theater sponsored by Story Collider and Public Communication for Researchers.

Alex John London and Jay D. Aronson are at the Hague in the Netherlands this week to speak at The Missing: An Agenda For the Future, a high-level international conference that is bringing together experts from around the world to discuss missing and disappeared persons from armed conflicts, human rights abuses, disasters, migration, human trafficking, organized crime and other cases. London, professor of philosophy, and Aronson, associate professor of history, will present a session on standards, ethics and data protection. For more information on the conference, visit http://www.ic-mp.org/international-conference/conference-program/.