Carnegie Mellon University

CMU's second annual Military Community Reception

October 04, 2023

CMU Honors Military and Veteran Communities

By Abby W. Schachter

Lindsay Marcellus
  • Communications Specialist

Carnegie Mellon University's long-standing history of collaboration and support for our US service members was fully displayed on August 31, 2023, as a crowd of some hundred individuals gathered at CMU’s Posner Center for the second annual Military Community Reception. Active-duty military, military-affiliated undergraduate and graduate students, as well as CMU’s Provost, select deans and directors, faculty, and staff convened for a short program of speeches, delicious food, refreshing drink, and lively conversation. This celebratory event was co-sponsored by the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology (CMIST), the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion, the Center for Informed Democracy & Social-Cybersecurity, ROTC, Veterans ERG, and the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy.

As Provost Jim Garrett explained to the audience, the military and veteran community is important to CMU as a whole. “You play an integral role as students, researchers and educators — and you contribute to our work of building a more diverse and vibrant academic and research community,” Garrett said. He spoke as a representative of CMU President Jahanian as well as the entire university administration. Provost Garrett also highlighted the presence of the newest cohort of military fellows, representing the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. 

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CMIST Director Audrey Kurth Cronin shared her family’s longstanding and proud personal connection to the US Navy. Cronin then offered remarks about the new entity she leads. “CMIST is CMU’s home for political science and international relations.” And, she continued, it “is also a university-wide research effort, working cooperatively across campus to address the impacts of emerging technologies on national and international security.” The goal is to combine the cutting-edge research in emerging technologies that is underway by our teammates across the university with cross-cutting analyses of their ethical, social, political, and economic impacts, Cronin explained.

The purpose of the reception is to highlight the contribution of military personnel and veterans to the university and to honor the members of the military community for their service and contribution to the security of the country as a whole. As Assistant Dean M. Shernell Smith put it in her remarks, “we are here to build community.”

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For the members of the Military and Veterans Engagement Advisory Committee, who organized the gathering, the Military Community Reception serves as the opening event of the 2023-2024 academic year. CMIST Fellows Program Manager Abby Schachter noted that the group is looking forward to hosting their next event - a breakfast for the military community after the official flag-raising ceremony on Veterans Day. “We want to take every appropriate opportunity to honor and appreciate those who volunteer to protect and defend us,” Schachter said. “The military and veteran community give so much - we are trying in these small ways to give back to them as well.” 

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(Image 1, L to R: LCDR Tyler Faris (USN), Provost Jim Garrett, Jr., CMIST Director Audrey Kurth Cronin, Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion Executive Director M. Shernell Smith; Image 2, L to R: Provost Jim Garrett, Jr., CMIST Fellows Program Manager Abby W. Schachter, ROTC and Veterans Affairs Coordinator Mike Danko, Heinz College Associate Director of Student Affairs Annie Julian, CMIST Director Audrey Kurth Cronin, Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion Executive Director M. Shernell Smith, Center for Informed Democracy & Social - cybersecurity (IDeaS) Center Manager Sienna Watkins, LCDR Tyler Faris (USN))