CMUSV Professor Offers Workshops To Support Humanitarian Aid-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

CMUSV Professor Offers Workshops To Support Humanitarian Aid

Todd Sedano, Director of the Software Engineering department at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, is offering improv workshops on campus this summer to raise money for water relief efforts in South Sudan. Participants are asked to make a donation with full proceeds going to Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that creates better access to drinking water in Sudan by building more wells and latrines. There are 2 upcoming workshops: Be the Change: Patterns of Organizational Change on Tuesday, August 14th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. will allow participants to develop strategies to improve their workplace environment based upon studied patterns. Improv: Movement and Leadership on Saturday, August 18th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. will focus on dance and its connection to workplace leadership style.

Several elements from the workshops are drawn directly from Sedano’s elective, “Improv for Engineers,” a popular course taken by graduate software engineering students. The connection between improv, which often consists of quick games, to software development may not seem readily apparent. However, as Sedano explains, “The ability to create and innovate with no wrong answer, allows me to push my innovation to new levels.” For engineers who are trained to analyze and critique, the freedom to “play” can be both a relief and a boon to their existing skillset, improving creativity, public speaking confidence and abilities to brainstorm and work effectively in teams. Students are taught to “apply knowledge from one discipline –improvisation – to other domains, like software engineering,” says Sedano.

Sedano first became interested in relief efforts in Africa after the Rwandan government sponsored students in CMUSV’s masters programs, a partnership that continued with CMU establishing a new campus in Rwanda this past year. After learning of the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, he knew that the CMUSV community could do their part to pitch in: “While I have no way to help the people who are staying behind, we are raising money to help build more water wells in South Sudan for the refugees who have fled Sudan.”

For more information and to register, visit the workshop website.