Carnegie Mellon University

Valentina Ortiz de Zárate and Ryan Rusali

September 21, 2020

Two CEE Students Named Andrew Carnegie Scholars

Valentina Ortiz de Zárate has established herself as a leader within the department and university levels. She has been a consistent member of the executive board of our student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), currently holding the office of Secretary. She is a member of the CEE Undergraduate Student Advisory Council, and put in considerable effort to help with remote outreach to admitted students last April. She also worked as a grader for Solid Mechanics Lab, showing skill for helping students understand complex concepts.

Ortiz de Zárate is also pursuing a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and is the founder and President of the Carnegie Mellon Swim Club, which provides a competitive club option for undergraduate and graduate student swimmers. In addition, she serves as an Andrew Ambassador, welcoming prospective students and conducting campus tours as well as a Highland Ambassador, developing student-alumni relations.

CEE/EPP double major Ryan Rusali has distinguished himself in leadership roles since his first year, when he was elected as a first year representative for our student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Since then, he has held many other ASCE officer positions and is currently the Director of Events and Outreach. Outreach is a consistent theme in Rusali's extracurricular activities. He worked with elementary and middle school students through the Gelfand Outreach Center. He has served as both an RA for CMU’s PreCollege Program and as an Orientation Counselor for First-Year Orientation.Rusali is a frequent volunteer with department efforts to reach prospective and admitted students.

Rusali has also sought out opportunities in undergraduate research. He developed an independent study on bamboo behavior with Professor Sarah Christian and participated in the CEE summer research program, working on a modeling project with Professor Jerry Wang.

ACS Scholars are selected each year by their deans and department heads to represent their class in service and leadership. These undergraduate seniors embody Carnegie Mellon's high standards of academic excellence, volunteerism, leadership, and involvement in student organizations, athletics or the arts. Since its inception in 1975, the program has recognized nearly 1,000 students.