Carnegie Mellon University

CEE Student and Alumni Services

Director of Undergraduate Programs

francioni-rooney-andrea-fall2022-sm.jpgAndrea Francioni Rooney

I am responsible for providing academic advising to undergraduate students majoring in civil engineering and environmental engineering. Additionally, I serve as a writing instructor for the department. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing and my Master of Arts degree in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon. Currently, I am pursuing a part-time PhD in Rhetoric with a focus on the use of reflective writing in engineering education.

I enjoy communicating with both current and prospective students, and I encourage them to schedule a meeting with me either in person or through Zoom. During my leisure time, I indulge in baking and watching movies and TV shows, particularly anything related to Marvel, Stranger Things, or zombies.



Director of Graduate Programs


David Vey

As the liaison and compliance officer for the PhD program, my responsibilities include handling office, advisor, and TA assignments for current students. Additionally, I oversee the processing of research assistantships and scholarships and organize the CEE graduate student orientation. I am also involved with several student organizations, including EWRI, GSA, and GSAC.

I am a Pittsburgh native, and I live with my wife and two children in the city's northern suburbs. In addition to my work in CEE, I am passionate about exploring the great outdoors and enjoy activities such as camping, kayaking, and hiking in the beautiful countryside of Western Pennsylvania. I also cherish spending quality time with my family during these outdoor adventures.

Manager of Master’s Program

ritchie-melissa-fall2022-sm.jpgMelissa Ritchie

Graduate program admissions; master's program liaison for current students; master's program compliance; CEE open house; CEE graduate student orientation; integrated BS/MS program


Alumni Relations Coordinator & Assistant to the Department Head

Allison McLachlan

Responsibilities: I manage the departmental giving stewardship, donor relations, and alumni efforts. I work towards maintaining positive relationships with our donors and alumni by organizing and overseeing departmental events and keeping them informed about departmental activities and accomplishments.

Additionally, I provide administrative support to the CEE Department Head, assisting with various tasks, including scheduling and organizing meetings.

Events and Administrative Coordinator

provenzano-geena-fall2022-sm.jpgGeena Provenzano

I am a native of Pittsburgh and hold a degree in Journalism from Point Park University. My previous work experience includes special event planning and retail. Given my natural inclination towards planning, I consider coordinating events not only as a job but also as a hobby. As part of my responsibilities, I handle department and special events, coordinate CEE seminars, process campus parking passes, and reserve rooms for CEE spaces. Furthermore, I provide administrative support to the CEE Department Head.

When I am not at work, I enjoy supporting my favorite Pittsburgh sports teams and trying out the newest local restaurants.

Business Office

Director of Finance and Operations

Cathy Schaefer

I am the Primary Business Officer for the department. In my role, I oversee all finance and operations, including financial planning and analysis and human resources. Furthermore, I serve as a resource and advisor to faculty and staff on compliance, policy, administration, and planning matters.

Before joining CMU in 2007, I had successful entrepreneurial ventures, corporate employment, and experience in designing financial derivatives. Outside of work, my family and I love to travel and explore new ski and hiking destinations while indulging in good food. I live in Squirrel Hill with my husband, two teenagers, and three Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. We are currently working on a project house, which keeps us busy and engaged.


Associate Buyer

Beryl Omune

I am responsible for acting as the department's primary purchaser, including labs, equipment, IT, facilities, education, and office supplies. This involves requesting bids, gathering quotes, placing orders, and processing purchase orders, and invoices for final payment. I interface with vendors, manage the vendor setup process and procurement paperwork, and troubleshoot purchasing issues. Additionally, I provide guidance on purchasing-related issues. 

I also handle faculty business, travel, and expense procurement and reimbursement and may serve as a backup for staff members who handle student travel and expenses. As a contact for CMU Procurement Office, Telecom, and Accounts Payable, I am responsible for all associated paperwork, contracts, and monitoring. I also develop and maintain efficient processes for department procurement to provide the best customer service.

I am originally from East Africa and can speak four different languages. I have a passion for traveling and the great outdoors. I am also passionate about helping the less fortunate, especially women and children in third-world countries.

Research and Finance Manager

Beth Hockenberry

I am responsible for managing federal and non-federal research grants and contracts. In my role, I review and approve research proposals, ensuring compliance with funding agency guidelines. I also conduct monthly financial analyses and reporting to ensure that projects are running smoothly and within budget.
As the primary contact for the Office of International Education (OIE), I work to ensure that our research projects comply with all relevant international regulations. Additionally, I process WorkDay transactions for students, research staff, and faculty, including payroll, purchasing, and travel expenses.



Research Administrator

Heather (Cain) Thomas

I manage federal and non-federal research grants, contracts, and subcontracts for our department. In this role, I work closely with our faculty and staff to ensure all projects comply with relevant regulations and guidelines.

Additionally, I oversee student and faculty research effort reporting, which involves tracking and reporting on the progress of our research projects. I also manage PhD WorkDay transactions and support plans, which include processing payroll, purchasing, and travel expenses, among other duties.

My ultimate goal is to ensure that our research projects are successful and that all administrative tasks related to these projects are handled efficiently and effectively.



Director of Communications 

Mireille Mobley

I am originally from Baltimore, Maryland, and have been a part of the department since 2008. My role involves handling communications and media-related tasks, which include managing the website and social media platforms, creating content for the department, designing promotional materials, and promoting events.

Apart from my work, I love photography, traveling, and learning about far-flung places.


Department Facilities

Director of CEE Facilities 

ripper-ron-fall2022-sm.jpgRon Ripper

I am responsible for providing information and updates on our facilities, ensuring that they are well-maintained and equipped to meet the needs of our faculty and students. This involves managing laboratory instrument purchases and maintenance, overseeing laboratory safety protocols, and serving as a backup purchaser when necessary.

In addition, I am also the CEE Sustainability Coordinator, responsible for promoting sustainability practices within the department and implementing initiatives to reduce our environmental impact. Overall, my goal is to ensure that our department operates efficiently and sustainably, providing a safe and productive environment for everyone.



CEE Facilities & Lab Engineer

belowich-brian-fall2022-sm.pngBrian Belowich

I provide course facilitation and support for CEE lectures and laboratories. This involves working with faculty members and managing course-related laboratory activities and equipment. I work to ensure that our students have the resources they need to succeed in their coursework and collaborate with faculty to identify areas where additional support or resources may be necessary.