Carnegie Mellon University

Class Notes

Find out what’s new with Dietrich College alumni and students. Have news to share? Let us know.

Please note: Due to the college's name change to the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the indicia is now "DC."

2022: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September


September 2022

Cliff Sharples (DC 1986) is the founder and co-CEO of Fexy, a digital food platform that connects home cooks to grocers, brands and recipe publishers, and executive producer of “Roadfood: Discovering America One Dish at a Time,” available on PBS and Amazon Prime Video.

Nuria Ballesteros Soria (DC 2022) has joined Carnegie Mellon University as a special faculty member in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Dean’s Office.

August 2022

Dataiku, in collaboration with phData, recently announced its Student Award fund winners: Farida Abdelmoneum (DC 2024) and Mia Tang (DC 2023). The Student Award is intended to support students in either their first or second year who are majoring in data science or a related field. The goal is to nurture diverse talent and support the inclusion of underrepresented populations in the tech sector.

July 2022

Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill welcomed Elizabeth Agyemang (DC 2017), an illustrator, printmaker and storyteller, on June 26. Agyemang discussed her graphic novel, “Fibbed,” a magical middle-grade graphic novel about a girl who doesn’t lie but becomes tangled in the web of a trickster spider of Ghanaian lore. Agyemang writes about magic, history, folklore, love, and fairy tales and draws from elements of her Ghanaian heritage and faith. 

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program has awarded grants to three CMU alumni with majors or minors in the Dietrich College. Julia Conti, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2021 in professional writing with an additional major in Hispanic studies, was awarded an English Teaching Assistantship to Bucaramanga, Colombia. Haider Nazir, who graduated with majors in global studies and Chinese studies and a minor in religious studies in 2020, is getting a second chance at a Fulbright experience. In 2020, he was awarded an English Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan but declined. Instead, he accepted a Yenching Scholar award to study law with a concentration in politics and international relations at Yenching Academy of Peking University. Jenna Stanislaw, who graduated in 2022 with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and a minor in German studies will be conducting computational biology research in the Khmelinskaia Lab of the Life and Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES) of the University of Bonn. Read more about Dietrich College’s Fulbright recipients.

Andey Ng has been named a 2022 Yenching Scholar by Peking University's Yenching Academy program. Ng is a master's student in engineering and public policy (EPP) in the College of Engineering who graduated from the Dietrich College in December 2021 with a bachelor's degree in information systems. Read more about Ng’s work to improve access to information and communications technology.

June 2022

Phil Simon (DC 1994) has written his 12th book “Project Management in the Hybrid Workplace.” The book explores the challenges facing project management following the pandemic. The book is on Amazon beginning June 15. 

Deborah Yue (DC 1989) was a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Cyber Insurance for Businesses," published in March 2022 by the American Bar Association. She also published an article titled "Duty to Defend a Biometric Privacy Act Violation" in the book “TortSource, Summer 2021, American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section.”

May 2022

Richard Branscomb (DC 2022) and Robyn Rowley (DC 2022) have received the 2022 Department of English Graduate Student Teaching Awards. The Graduate Committee considered each student’s teaching portfolios, consisting of statements of teaching philosophy, instructional materials and student evaluations, letters, faculty recommendations and other materials, in making their selection.  

William E. Dunstan (DC 1975) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, served as docent for a rare opening of the Rebecca Vaughan House (circa 1794) in Courtland, Virginia, on April 9.  Nat Turner attacked the house during his 1831 slave uprising. Dunstan describes the fate of the inhabitants in his book “Walking with Giants.” He conducts research and writes books as a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina.  

Catherine Evans (DC 2020), a Ph.D. candidate in Literary & Cultural Studies in the Department of English, was awarded the NeMLA Summer Fellowship for 2022. The funds will be used to finance a visit to the Persephone Press materials housed at Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library to inform the project titled, “Lesbian Feminist Revolution: The Rise, Fall, and Lasting Impact of Persephone Press.” In this project, Evans will construct a critical history of the largely forgotten but also very influential radical feminist press. 

Cody Januszko (DC 2025) has received the 2022 Gloria Anzaldúa Rhetorician Award by the Conference on College Composition and Communication. 

Julie Kidder (DC 2023), a Ph.D. candidate in Rhetoric, has received the Gerard Hauser Award for outstanding student paper at the Rhetoric Society of America 2022 Conference for her paper “Hermeneutics, Jurisprudence, & (Re)Interpretations of Antimiscegenation Laws?”

Liz Walker (DC 2022), a Ph.D. candidate in Literary and Cultural Studies, has received a GuSH funding award for her project, “Evaluating Barriers and Motivations Towards Adopting Unbiased Feedback Practices.”

April 2022

Elizabeth Agyemang (DC 2017) will publish her debut graphic novel, “Fibbed,” on June 7, 2022 by Razorbill Books. The story follows a girl who doesn’t lie but no one believes, and who winds up tangled in the web of trickster spider of Ghanaian lore, Ananse.

The U.S. Department of State has recognized Alan Eaton (DC 2008, HNZ 2009) with a Superior Honor Award for his service at the Kabul airport in August 2021. As a Consular Officer with the Foreign Service, he helped conduct the evacuation of more than 124,000 people out of Afghanistan as part of Operation Allies Refuge.

Nisha Shanmugaraj (DC 2013, 2022), a Ph.D. candidate in the Rhetoric program in the Department of English, has won a 2022 CCCC Chairs’ Memorial Scholarship. The Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) is a constituent organization within the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Shanmugaraj is one of four recipients of this award.

Jeremy Toeman (DC 1996) launched Moviedle, a new app like Wordle or Heardle, but for movies. Movie buffs can view a super-short clip and identify the correct movie title, in six guesses or fewer. Moviedle is available on ProductHunt. Check it out.

March 2022

Talia Buksbazen (DC 2023) has received the Grillo-Marxuach Family Scholarship. The scholarship provides an annual stipend of $4,400 to a first-year or sophomore undergraduate creative writing major that automatically renews each year of the recipient's undergraduate career. This award is made possible through the generous donation of CMU and Creative Writing Program alumnus Javier Grillo-Marxuach and his family.

Misty Muscatel Davis (DC 2005) will join IRI, a fast-growing, innovative, global provider of technology, data and predictive analytics for the consumer, retail and media sectors, as global chief marketing officer, effective Feb. 1, 2022. In her new role, Davis will drive marketing and sales initiatives in alignment with IRI’s growth strategies with the goal of accelerating demand, awareness and ecosystem growth.

Emily Barrow Dejeu (DC 2018, 2024), a Ph.D. rhetoric student in the Department of English, has published an article in Journal of Business and Technical Communication, titled "The Ethics of Delivering Bad News: Evaluation Impression Management Strategies in Corporate Financial Reporting."

Adrian Lapadat (DC 2023) has received the S22 Marion Mulligan Sutton Internship Award. The award provides up to $1,250 for part-time internships (typically those done during a semester over 12-14 weeks at approximately 9-10 hours/week), and up to $2,500 for full-time internships (typically done in the summer over the course of 8-10 weeks, approximately 320 hours total work). Lapadat is interning at humanID, as a technical content intern.

February 2022

Mike Laudenbach, Ph.D. candidate in the Rhetoric program has published an article, “Stylistic Variation in Email” in journal Register Studies. Laudenbach worked with coauthor David Brown on the paper.

Hannah Ringler, Ph.D. student in the Rhetoric program in the Department of English, published the article, titled “We can’t read it all: Theorizing a hermeneutics for large-scale data in the humanities with a case study in stylometry” in the journal Digital Scholarship in the Humanities.  The article is taken from Ringler’s work in her forthcoming dissertation.

January 2022

Cassandra Scanlon (DC 2020), Maddison Sullivan (DC 2018) and Gaurav Gupte (TPR 2018) made the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. According to Charmaine McCall, assistant dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law, the Law Review, founded in 1934, publishes excellent academic scholarship over a wide variety of subjects. It is a distinguished honor to be on Law Review and employers look very highly on this achievement.

Class Notes Archives

December 2021

William E. Dunstan (DC 1975) presented a talk in October at the Museum of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on the mysterious 1901 disappearance of Nell Cropsey from her riverside home in Elizabeth City. Five weeks later, her body appeared floating in the river, perfectly preserved. Hysterical mobs pointed angry fingers at her beau, Jim Wilcox. Dunstan found evidence that another person committed this unthinkable crime. Dunstan conducts research as a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has written two books on Nell and Jim: “Nell Cropsey and Jim Wilcox: The Chill of Destiny” and “Haunted: Jim Wilcox Remembers Nell Cropsey.” Dunstan's talk was covered in the October issue of Daily Advance in the article, “Author: Wilcox wrongly convicted of Cropsey murder.”

Eileen Lee (DC 2022), Adhiti Chundur (DC 2022) and a group of eight other CMU students presented “Grow a Garden” at the Frame Gallery on campus. The exhibition included plant art and interactive activities to emphasize mindfulness and well-being alongside nature and plants. The space also incorporated research about biophilic design to create an ambient and soothing space. This interdisciplinary exhibition was supported by the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and brought together a diverse group of artists and researchers.

Preethi Surapaneni (DC 2022), Shwetha Shinji (DC 2022) and Sanjana Jobalia (DC 2022) received first place in the 2021 Keith Block Entrepreneurship Competition. The team developed Olio, a smart web browser extension for personal management that allows users to create easily accessible, adaptive and visually stunning dashboards through app integrations in the form of widgets. Olio encourages prioritization and saves time by providing smart suggestions on what features best suit each user’s work habits.

November 2021

Susan Adams Henderson (DC 1989) has had a productive year. Her story "Dead Eddie" will be in the 150th anniversary anthology of the Elm Leaves Journal out of Buffalo State. Her interview with author Marcia Butler was published in The National Book Review.  In addition, the story “The Flicker of Old Dreams” was included in The Cake Library’s 15 Great Books about Funerals and Mortuaries.  “Alone Together,” a COVID anthology, features Henderson’s essay, “Quarantine,” which won the Washington State Book Award for General Non-Fiction and the Independent Audiobook Award for Non-Fiction. One Book Billings selected her book “The Flicker of Old Dreams” as its October title and will feature a virtual conversation with Henderson in early November. Henderson will participate in a virtual event in March 2022 with Ohio’s Cuyahoga Library to dialogue with Ron Block, Caroline Leavitt, and Jennifer Haupt about the writing process, creativity and Haupt’s upcoming novel, “Come As You Are.” In July 2022, she will be teaching an in-person fiction workshop for The Community of Writers in Olympic Valley, California. 

Robert Vargas (DC 2022) has been awarded the American Psychological Foundation's Visionary Grant, a competitive $20,000 research grant. His project, titled “Using fMRI-measured Attitudes and Actions to Predict Biased Decisions to Punish among White and Chinese Americans,” describes a research plan to understand how our implicit feelings towards people who are racially different than ourselves potentially biases the likelihood to reward or punish them using a novel "role-playing" adventure task. The co-investigator on this grant is Kevin Jarbo, assistant professor in the Social and Decision Sciences Department.

October 2021

William E. Dunstan (DC 1975) of Chapel Hill, N.C., published an article on Nell Cropsey and Jim Wilcox in Gateway Magazine (Fall/Winter 2021), published by the Museum of the Albemarle. In 1901, Nell disappeared from her home in Elizabeth City, N.C. Five weeks later the river surrendered her body in perfect preservation. Her mysterious death became a national sensation. Jim, her beau, was charged with murder on flimsy evidence. Dr. Dunstan has published two books on Nell and Jim. He is a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

September 2021

Phil Simon’s (DC 1994) book “Reimagining Collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and the Post-COVID World of Work” received a 2021 International Book Award in the Business: Communications category.

Pavithra Tantrigoda (DC 2011, 2018) has received an Emerging Voices Fellowship as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah.

Richard Branscomb (DC 2023) recently published an article, titled “Making Manifest: White Supremacist Violence and the Ethics of Alethurgy,” in the Journal for the History of Rhetoric.

August 2021

Amritha Mallikarjun (DC 2014), a cognitive scientist and postdoctoral research fellow at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, is focusing her studies on understanding what dogs actually know. Her work was featured in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article. 

Michael Granovetter (DC 2021) received the American Epilepsy Society Graduate Fellowship

Alana Mittleman (DC 2021) received the Gretchen Goldsmith Lankford Award.

Jeanean Naqvi (DC 2021) received funding for her F31 grant submission for research on racial & ethnic differences in social support and health among individuals with Type II diabetes.

Ven Popov (DC 2020) received the Glushko Prize awarded by the Cognitive Science Society for his Ph.D. dissertation.  

Baris Denizli (DC 2022), working with the Community Liver Alliance, coordinated with Governor Wolf’s office to July 28th as Hepatitis Awareness Day as part of a larger “World Hepatitis Day.” 

Emily Kennedy (DC 2012) and her company, Marinus Analytics, won third place and $500,000 in the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition.

Andrew Furlong (DC 2022) completed a summer internship with the Institute for Defense Analyses in the Cost Analysis and Research Division of the Systems and Analyses Center.

Andres J. Bermudez Hallstrom (DC 2006) was appointed as a Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney by the State of Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice in May 2021. He will be prosecuting domestic violence offenses and other crimes in Bridgeport, CT. 

June 2021

Biwei Huang (DC 2018, 2021) was named an Apple Scholar for her work in Fundamentals of Machine Learning in the Department of Philosophy. Apple Scholars is a program created to recognize the contributions of emerging leaders in computer science and engineering at the graduate and postgraduate level. Each Scholar receives two years of funding as they pursue their PhD, internship opportunities, and a two-year mentorship with an Apple researcher in their field.

May 2021

Chisom Obasih (DC 2021) and Sophie Robert (DC 2021) received National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. In addition, Austin Luor (DC 2021) and Urszula Oszczapinska (DC 2021) received NSF Honorable Mentions.

Stanford Becton (DC 2021), Martina Rethman (DC 2022) and Molly Wigglesworth (DC 2022) received Sutton Internship Awards. Becton, a senior Professional Writing major and African American Studies minor, will be a NCAA Digital Editorial Intern at Warner Media Turner Sports. Rethman, a junior Creative Writing and International Relations & Politics double major and Arabic minor, will intern at Writers House LLC. Wigglesworth, a junior Film & Visual Media major and Gender Studies minor, will be a Social Media Manager for Nick DiGiovanni.

Ryan Roderick (DC 2018) and CP Moreau (DC 2021), who anticipates graduating in 2021, published an article in Writing and Pedagogy, titled “Becoming a scholar.”

Cody Januszko (DC 2018, 2021), a doctoral student in Rhetoric, wrote a review of the book Ecologies of Guilt in Environmental Rhetorics, published in Quarterly Journal of Speech

Calvin Pollak (DC 2011, 2021), a PhD student in Rhetoric, published an article, titled “Legitimation and Textual Evidence: How the Snowden Leaks Reshaped the ACLU’s Online Writing About NSA Surveillance,” in the journal Written Communication.

April 2021

Kurt Saunders (DC 1982) has published his latest book, titled “Intellectual Property and the Law of Ideas.” The book explores the scope of protection available to business and entertainment ideas under the law of intellectual property, contract and property law; analyzes remedies for idea theft and provides guidance as to best practices to idea originators and recipients of idea submissions.  He is a professor and chair of the Department of Business Law at California State University, Northridge.

Benjamin Williams, a PhD candidate in Literary and Cultural Studies wrote the blog “The Topography of Data: Visualizing NEH Grants” for the National Humanities Alliance about his work visualizing the impact of federally-funded humanities programs in the United States. 

Students in the Statistics & Data Science have started the university chapter of the American Statistical Association. The group has elected the first officers, including co-presidents Shamini Wadhwani and Ananya Krishnan, to this brand new chapter. Both Wadhwani and Krishnan anticipate graduating in the next year.

February 2021

Frank Ritter (DC 1993) created a tutorial and related documents (stopTheSpread.health) to help people develop the skills avoid COVID-19 and related diseases.

Julie Ransom (DC 1991) has recently been named "Special Ambassador" by Airbnb. Ransom has been an Airbnb host since 2009 and a Super Host since the program began in 2015. As Special Ambassador, she will assist new hosts assembling furnishings and amenities for a rental home, help create an appealing listing description and provide strategies to market their property to maximize occupancy and revenue.

Emily Kennedy (DC 2012) and her team at Marinus Analytics has been selected as the lone American finalist for the global $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Competition. The Pittsburgh-based technology company uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to fight human trafficking.

January 2021

Joe Chvasta (DC 1982) published an article, “Artificial Intelligence Review of Insurance Contracts – Are we there yet?

Vineet Agarwal (DC 2010) has been named the new President of Assocham, which is India’s oldest Chamber of Commerce.

December 2020

Susan Adams Henderson (DC 1989) judged the 2020 High Plains Book Award for Fiction. She has taught workshops for Hampton Roads Convergence of Writers and the Brandeis National Committee. She was also recently interviewed by Sean Murphy, Executive Director of 1455 Literary Arts about books, the writing process and more. 

Phil Simon (DC 1994) has published his 11th book, “Reimagining Collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and the New World of Work.” It will be available by the close of 2020.

Cassondra Eng and Robert Vargas, both Ph.D. Candidates in the Department of Psychology at CMU, founded a Diverse Recruitment Committee in the Psychology Department with the mission statement of establishing the university’s presence at recruitment events and conferences, including the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, held earlier in November.

Ryan Mitchell (DC 2020), an assistant professor in the Department of English at Lafayette College, is the winner of the 2020 American Society for the History of Rhetoric Dissertation Award, for his dissertation, “Private Parts, Public Selves: The Co-construction of Safe Sex Before the Discovery of HIV.”

The Pittsburgh Penguins have named Sam Ventura (S 2010, DC 2011, 2015) director of hockey operations and hockey research. In this new front-office role, he will handle contracts, the salary cap and the Collective Bargaining Agreement, in addition to his analytics duties.

Yishan Wang and Richard Branscomb, PhD candidates in the English department received Top Paper Awards at The National Communication Association (NCA) convention. Wang’s article is titled, “The eulogistic circulation of ideal gendered citizenship at the crossroads of the past and present: Rearticulating "her" as a "hero" of the nation,” and Branscomb’s is titled, “Manifestos, White Supremacy, and the Alethurgy of Violent Individualism.”

Jae Shim (DC 2008) will premiere her first documentary, titled “Op. Cope: An Algorithmic Opera,” virtually on December 4 at Filmocracy Fest, organized by Slamdance and Santa Barbara Film Festival. The story explores the work of algorithmic composer David Cope. 

November 2020

CP Moreau published the article "Teams that Innovate: The Language of Difference-Driven Inquiry at the Workplace" in the journal Business and Professional Communication Quarterly. 

Clarke V. Simmons (DC 1986) recently moved to Lisbon Portugal with his French wife Claire and their 3 year old son.  His company, Neuville Grid Data, is working on innovative digital infrastructure for the electric power sector.

Ilmun Kim (DC 2020) has been selected for the IMS Lawrence D. Brown PhD Student Award to present his work at the 2021 Joint Statistical Meetings in Seattle.  He will also be honored at the IMS Award Ceremony. 

Carl Zimring (DC 2002) co-authored a book with Cornell historian Sara B. Pritchard, titled “Technology and the Environment in History” published through Hopkins University Press, 2020.

October 2020

Sam Ventura (S 2010, DC 2011, 2015) has been named to the The Athletic's ‘Hockey's 40 under 40’ list. As director of hockey research for the Pittsburgh Penguins, he provides the team with a quantitative assessment of players, teams, strategies, contracts and roster moves. 

The work of Serena Gillian (DC 2020), Shlok Goyal (DC 2020) and Angela Nguyen (DC 2020) has been published in the eighth iteration of the Center for International Relations and Politics journal. Their work examines the fate of US interests as China and Russia grow closer the way in which the US negotiates with China through intermediaries and compares the US and China in the race to leverage artificial intelligence. 

Sam Gibson, a junior logic and computation major and member of the men’s tennis team, was one of 14 Carnegie Mellon University student-athletes named to the 12th annual University Athletic Association (UAA) Presidents Council Scholar-Athlete Team.

September 2020

William E. Dunstan (DC 1975) is writing the final chapter of his new novel, Chauffeur from Canterbury, set in 1909 England, his fifteenth book. 

Shrisha Rao’s (DC 2002) work on cancer vaccines was featured in Technology.Org, which was based on his scolarly work published in July issue of Bioinformatics.

August 2020

Cassie Miller (DC 2020) discussed her research on white nationalist groups with WBUR for On Point. 

Meredith Schmehl (DC and MCS, 2018) was selected as one of the Triangle Business Journal's 40 Under 40 winners for 2020, recognizing her accomplishments and leadership in science communication, policy and advocacy activities.

July 2020

Kent Haina Jr (DC 2004) is now a certified registered nurse anesthetist and and published an article, titled  “Use of Anesthesia Machines in a Critical Care Setting During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic,” in The journal Anesthesia and Analgesia Practice.

Charles Mansfield a sophomore in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, recently published “How Do We Achieve Change?" on the website Medium.

May 2020

Brian Macdonald (DC 1991) was featured in an article that details how COVID-19 isolation brings opportunity for high school students to learn data science.

Meredith Schmehl (DC 2018) received the Richard Merritt Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence in Science Communications from the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering in April 2020 for a piece, titled “Which Weighs More, a Pound of Stone or a Pound of Styrofoam?,” published in Scientific American. This award recognizes the creation of an outstanding piece of media to explain a scientific finding to a lay audience. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Neurobiology at Duke University.

Erika Bañuelos (DC 1996) has been selected to serve on the Alumni Association Board. She has accepted this honor and will serve on the AAB for four years. Her term will begin on July 1, 2020.

Susan Adams Henderson (DC 1989) will publish an essay in the upcoming anthology, "ALONE TOGETHER: Love, Grief, and Comfort During the Time of COVID-19," published by Central Avenue. All net profits will be donated to The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, helping indie booksellers in need. She was one of several authors interviewed for an article about character change by Jack Smith, entitled "Change of Heart," in the June issue of The Writer magazine. Susan was also on the judging committee for the NBCC's John Leonard Prize, which was awarded to Sarah M. Broom's THE YELLOW HOUSE.  

April 2020

Phil Simon (DC 1994) will be publishing his ninth book Slack For Dummies in June. His tenth, Zoom For Dummies, should be out in July of 2020.

Kary Myers (DC 2006) has been named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.

Sarah Hancock, PhD student in Literary and Cultural Studies, received a Visiting Fellowships and Travel Grants for 2020-2021 from the Lewis Walpole Library for her work, “Peculiar Science” of Flowers in the British Landscape Garden.”

Shipra Kanjlia, a postdoctoral researcher, and Steve Ferrigno, a PhD candidate, received the Glushko Prize, which includes a $10,000 award and three years of free membership to the Cognitive Science Society.

Eric Vazquez (DC 2015) was hired this past spring as an assistant prof in the American Studies department at University of Iowa.

Heather Steffen (DC 2004, 2015), a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University, recently published an article, titled “Imagining Academic Labor in the US University,” in the journal New Literary History.

Bart Astor (DC 1969) published an article in Forbes on April 28, 2020, titled “Social Security Recipients: You May Have To Act To Get Your Stimulus Money Electronically”

March 2020

Emily Kennedy’s (DC 2012) company Marinus Analytics, has been selected as one of 10 Semi-finalists in the international IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Competition. The company is competing for a grand prize of $3 million to fund their work. 

David Koehn (DC 1990) has published “Scatterplot,” a collection of poetry. In the text, Koehn navigates a vast landscape of imagination through variations on being lost and found. 

William E. Dunstan (DC 1975) of Chapel Hill, NC, gave a talk at the Oldham Book Club in Raleigh about the treachery and cunning surrounding the 1901 disappearance of young Nell Cropsey in Elizabeth City, NC, as described in his fourteenth book, Haunted: Jim Wilcox Remembers Nell Cropsey.  The mysterious disappearance became a national sensation.  Dr. Dunstan has taught history at five universities and now conducts research and writes as a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina.   

Taruna Emani, a senior in the Information Systems Program, participated in the TechTogether hackathon in Boston. Emani and her team won Best Hack for Women Empowerment. Their tool, SafeSpace, helps change the culture in unsafe spaces to become more inclusive and provides resources to minorities and underprivileged groups.

February 2020

This past summer, Jessica Strelitz (DC 1998) was promoted to Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer of the Online News Association, the world’s largest digital journalism association. Strelitz often returns to Carnegie Mellon to speak with students in the Professional Writing program about digital journalism and her work as a freelance food and wine writer.

Peter Rezk, a current Dietrich College student, received The Media for a Just Society award in the youth media category for his article titled “America’s Criminal Justice System Is Failing Young People Like Me. Clean Slate Laws Are the Answer,”  published in Teen Vogue. This award is the only national recognition of media whose work furthers public understanding of criminal justice, juvenile justice, child welfare and adult protection issues.

Sean Quinn (DC 1986) was recently re-appointed by Governor Tim Walz, Minnesota, to a six year term as a judge on the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals. 

Aaron Krutchen, a senior in the Department of Statistics & Data Science and Mathematics, received an Honorable Mention at the 2020 Big Data Bowl.

December 2019

Justin Fidler (DC 1997) returned to campus to talk with students in Larry Heimann’s class “Mobile Application Development in iOS.” Fidler, an alumnus of the Information Systems Program, is the president and founder of Sona Systems, a cloud-based participant management software.

Andras Molnar received first place for his poster presentation “Choosing the Light Meal: Real-time Aggregation of Calorie Information Reduces Meal Calories” at the Society for Judgment and Decision Making annual meeting in Montreal. Molnar is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences.

Dietrich College is pleased to announce the 2019 Phi Beta Kappa inductees from the class of 2020, including Theresa Abalos, Anjie Can, Leah Ettensohn, Jacqueline Fashimpaur, Shlok Goyal, Haider Nazir, Zachary Rapaport, Sijing Sun and Isabel Yoon.

November 2019

Deborah Brodine (DC 1989) has been appointed president of UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. She will continue to maintain her position as president, UPMC Senior Services, where she will oversee UPMC Senior Communities and UPMC Home Healthcare and hospice services.

Lindsey Shultz (DC 2004) leverages her experience among bagpipes, tartan and Scottie dogs for an upcoming appearance on “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions.

October 2019

Bruno Miguel Direito Pereira Leitão joins the psychology faculty at the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is one of ten visiting faculty this year selected through the Visiting Faculty and Researchers program through the CMU Portugal program.

Coty Gonzalez contributed to research conducted by Webroot, a carbonite company that examined the psychological factors that affect whether a person clicks on an email that is part of a phishing attack.

September 2019

Luke Brindle Khym (DC2001) earned degrees in history and English and is now part of a Manhattan legal team fighting for social justice for incarcerated African American and lower income inmates. Khym is featured as part of the Amazon Prime documentary series "Free Meek Mill."

Jamie Slomka (DC 2020) received first place at the annual Undergraduate Research Office’s Speak Up! Competition, where she shared her work on the psychology of internet searches. Jamie also delivered the student welcome address to the Dietrich College’s Class of 2023.

Andrew Chuang (DC2022), Sarah Shaheen (DC2021) and Kathy Zhang (DC2021) participated in the Pittsburgh Summer Internship Program, a program that connects undergraduates with organizations in Pittsburgh to build the foundations for future careers. Listen to the students discuss their experience.

Susan (Adams) Henderson (DC1989) wrote the novel, “The Flicker of Old Dreams,” (HarperCollins, 2018) which is a finalist for the High Plains Book Awards in two categories—Fiction and Women Writers. Susan recently hosted a CMUConnect dinner in New York City for CMU alumni interested in writing and publishing.

June 2019

Terry Babcock-Lumish (DC 1997) has been named Executive Secretary of the Harry S. Truman Foundation and CEO of Friends of the Truman Foundation. Babcock-Lumish was named a Truman Scholar while at CMU in 1996. Since then, she has played an active role in the Truman Scholars community, often speaking and organizing events, serving on Finalist Selection Committees and contributing to numerous advisory roles.

Matt Ewalt (DC 2002, 2003) was recently appointed vice president and head of the Chautauqua Institution’s educational programs. Ewalt has spent the last year preparing for the more 100,000 visitors that will arrive for the annual, summer season. Read more

Paul Maya (DC 1994) visited CMU’s campus in May to meet with members of the Dietrich College and the women’s tennis team. Rising sophomores Victoria Chang (Social and Decision Sciences) and Danna Taylor (Philosophy), as well as rising senior Vinaya Rao (Economics) represent Dietrich College on the team. Maya earned a B.S. in Information Systems and is the chief technology officer of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Prior to joining the USTA in April 2017, Maya was head of products for the United States Golf Association. He also served as a digital media consultant for The Street and was the global head and general manager of consumer digital properties for Bloomberg.

Emma Nicklas-Morris (DC 2020) received a $1,000 study abroad grant from the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She is one of 75 students nationwide to win the award. A psychology major, Nicklas-Morris will use the grant to study abroad at DIS Copenhagen in Denmark.

Millie Zhang (DC 2021), Emily Peterson (CMU 2020), Joshua Pinckney (DC 2021), Abigale Pfingsten (DC 2020), Chih Yuan William Chang (DC 2018), Karline Jung (DC 2020), Zoe Haskell-Craig (S 2019) and Alison Munden (DC 2020) contributed to the sixth edition of the Center for International Relations and Politics’ CIRP Journal. The journal features research by undergraduate and graduate students at CMU. The theme for the spring 2019 publication is “Decision-Making in International Relations and Politics.” View the CIRP Journal

April 2019

Anna-Jamieson Beck (DC 2019), a senior BHA student studying politics and public policy and drama, attended the 2019 WREN Annual Summit in Columbia, South Carolina. WREN is a South Carolina-based network who mission is to build a movement to advance the health, economic well-being and rights of South Carolina’s women, girls and their families. The theme of the conference was “The Time is Now,” and focused on creating change and opportunity for all South Carolina women.

William E. Dunstan (DC 1975) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, participated in a literary festival at the College of the Albemarle on Thursday, April 4.  Now completing his 14th book, Dr. Dunstan is a retired professor of history at North Carolina State University and conducts research as a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Abby (Schiff) Klemmer (DC 1995) recently published her third book “Fangirling Armitage: Four Years in the Richard Armitage Fandom,” under her pen name Abby Vegas. Learn more about Klemmer and her memoir.

Maggie Mertz (DC 2019) was the Dietrich College’s recipient of the 2019 Carnegie Mellon Women's Association Scholarship. She will study gender and film while pursuing a Master’s of Philosophy in Film and Media Studies at Cambridge University. Learn more about the CMWA Scholarship recipients.

March 2019

William E. Dunstan (DC 1975) of Chapel Hill, N.C., participated in Author Fest at Page After Page bookstore in Elizabeth City, N.C., on Feb. 9 by giving a talk on his book “Nell Cropsey and Jim Wilcox: The Chill of Destiny,” the true story of a young woman who disappeared from her coastal home on a November night in 1901.  Authorities charged her beau of three years with murder after her body appeared floating in the river 37 days later, and the story became a national sensation. Dunstan is a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina.

Patrick A. Gonzalez (DC 2000), a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, recently took over as a commander of Lima Troop, 4th Joint Communications Squadron, Joint Communications Support Element at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Gonzalez earned a B.S. in Information Systems with a minor in political science.

Susan Grunewald’s paper “Beyond the Archive: What GIS Mapping Reveals about German POWs in Soviet Russia” was published in the magazine of the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History. Grunewald is a graduate student in the Department of History. Learn more.

“The Flicker of Old Dreams” (HarperCollins, 2018) by Susan (Adams) Henderson (DC 1989) won the Western Writers of America Spur Award in the category of Best Western Contemporary Novel. It also was chosen as an Honor Book for the Montana Book Award. Learn more.

Paloma Sierra-Hernandez, a senior Bachelor of Humanities and Arts student, and Abigail Salmon, a senior in the English and Modern Languages departments, curated “Home Languages,” a multilingual exhibit that ran throughout March at Assemble. The exhibit featured music, arts and writing about many of the numerous languages and cultures that call Pittsburgh home.

February 2019

Brenda Wang Clough (DC 1977), a published science fiction and fantasy author, had a new trilogy released, “Edge to Center.” Published by Book View Café, the trilogy was released at the end of January.

January 2019

John Barbour (DC 1976) was featured in a Pittsburgh Tribune Review article highlighting his business Warm Timber Saunas. Barbour started this business four years ago after handing his investment firm to his son Sean. In addition to his mobile sauna business, Barbour also builds permanent, in-home models. Read more.

Borge Feliz (DC 2017, 2018), Alex Lin (DC 2017, 2018), Alexandra Pasch (DC 2018), Rahmon Ross (DC 2017, 2018), Susanna Seltzer (DC 2016, 2018) and Robert Stephens (DC 2017, 2018) contributed to the Center for International Relations and Politics (CIRP) Journal for fall 2018. The CIRP Journal is an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to publish their work in international relations and political science. Students from across campus contribute scholarly analyses of current problems facing the United States and the international system and conduct interviews with the nation’s thought leaders. Learn more.

Sally Wen Mao (DC 2009) was featured in the January issue of The New Yorker for her new book of poems, "Oculus." In the article, Dan Chiasson writes, "Mao’s poems intervene in a culture glutted with visual images, on behalf of what she calls 'the self you want to hide'—the 'sad, pretty thing,' lost behind the images. 'Because being seen,' she writes elsewhere, 'has a different meaning to someone / with my face.'" This is Mao's second book. 

December 2018

The Information Systems program announced the following seniors have been nominated for membership to Alpha Iota Delta, the national honor society in decision sciences and information systems: Karan Bokil, Christie Chang, Tiffany Chen, Arnav Gupta, Ashvin Niruttan and Stephanie Pang. Learn more.

Emily Kennedy (DC 2012) has been named to Forbes’ 2019 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs list. As an Ethics, History and Public Policy major at CMU, Kennedy began working with the Robotics Institute’s Auton Lab to create Traffic Jam, software that uses facial recognition technology to help fight sex trafficking. She co-founded Marinus Analytics to further develop AI solutions to help law enforcement, government and the private sector identify and combat criminal activity. Learn more.

November 2018

Frank Dolce has won the LaunchPad Language Education Technology Competition for his app, Banter. The app leverages geolocation to notify members of a community when there are native speakers of a language they are learning (who are also community members) in their vicinity. Banter crowdsources trending topics from their shared community that users can rely on to start conversations. Recommended topics are tied to the interests of the users and can therefore support users in jumpstarting outside-the-classroom interactions with community members who speak their foreign language. In addition to facilitating diverse and dynamic language use, the Banter system includes several patented features, such as receiving feedback on your foreign language use, which allow authentic text and face-to-face chat to be saved and studied by users. The competition is sponsored by the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language. Dolce is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Modern Languages’ Second Language Acquisition Program. Find out more.

William E. Dunstan (DC 1975) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, gave a talk at the Camden County Public Library in October about his recent book “Nell Cropsey and Jim Wilcox: The Chill of Destiny.” In 1901, young Nell disappeared from her riverside home on the coast of North Carolina, and her story became a national sensation. Hysterical mobs blamed Jim Wilcox, her beau, for the tragedy, but had another person cleverly covered his tracks? Dunstan writes books and conducts research as a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kevin Jarbo (DC 2018) has been named one of CMU’s President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. Jarbo is a fellow in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences (SDS). Working with SDS Department Head Linda Babcock and the Psychology Department’s Kody Manke, Jarbo’s research will explore how the risk of confirming a negative stereotype about a person’s individual or group identity influences whether, and how much, they attempt to avoid potentially negative decision outcomes and experiences. Jarbo received a Ph.D. in psychology with a certificate in cognitive neuroscience from the Center of the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie Mellon. His doctoral work focused on how context impacts how people make risky decisions in a way that avoids negative outcomes, and which brain regions are involved in that process.

Emily Joyce (DC 2017), Kayla Lee (DC 2017), Emily Vokach-Brodsky (DC 2017), Mikaela Wolf-Sorokin (DC 2018), and Minnar Xie (BHA 2015) contributed to the Center for International Relations and Politics (CIRP) Journal for summer 2018. The CIRP Journal is an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to publish their work in international relations and political science. Students from across campus contribute scholarly analyses of current problems facing the United States and the international system and perform interviews with the nation’s thought leaders. Learn more.

Susie Lee (DC 1989, HNZ 1990) has been elected to Congress and will represent Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. A Democrat, Lee defeated Republican candidate Danny Tarkanian for Nevada’s Southernmost seat in the U.S. House. Known for its history as a swing district, it includes the area south of Las Vegas. “My career has been about taking on tough problems, rolling up my sleeves, and bringing people together to find solutions that improve people's lives," she said. Lee graduated from the Dietrich College in 1989 with a major in policy and management, a field of study offered by the Department of Social and Decision Sciences. She also earned a master’s degree in public policy and management from the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy in 1990 before launching a career as an advocate for education and the homeless. Find out more.

Xiaofei Tang has been named the recipient of the 2018-2019 Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Graduate Student Teaching Award. Tang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Modern Languages’ Second Language Acquisition Program. While it is atypical for graduate students to teach at all levels in the Department of Modern Languages, Tang, who joined the department in 2015, has taught both elementary and advanced-level courses in Chinese Studies. In her teaching statement, Tang said her goal is to help students become active language learners and cultural ethnographers. Find out more.

Gordon Wissinger (DC 2020) and Lorraine Zhang (DC 2019) accepted nominations to serve on University Advancement’s CMU Student Giving Committee. They were instrumental in encouraging their peers to engage in Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27, and they will be working to promote participation in the Senior Class Gift in the spring.

October 2018

Twenty students were recently inducted into Carnegie Mellon University’s chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society (PBK), including 13 from the Dietrich College: Orchi Banerjee, Anna Beck, Sarah Boyle, Shuangni Huang, Grace Huddleston, Yijin Kang, Maggie Mertz, Gabriella Orbach, Jia En Phang, Nicholas Roberts, Jules Ross, Yong Xin See and Victoria Van Benschoten. PBK is the nation’s oldest honor society, and only 10 percent of students are selected to join. Read more »

The Andrew Carnegie Society (ACS) Scholars Class of 2019 has been announced, and seven seniors from the Dietrich College have been selected: Orchi Banerjee, Sarah Boyle, Seth Henry, Maggie Mertz, Valene Mezmin, Jack Verser and Yu Wu. Scholars are undergraduate students who combine high academic standards with extracurricular activities, such as volunteering, playing sports, taking on leadership roles and participating in student organizations and the arts. Read more »

Rosana Guernica, a senior in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, was honored with a City of Pittsburgh Proclamation by Mayor Bill Peduto for her work coordinating and delivering aid to Puerto Rico following the devastation from Hurricane Maria. After the hurricane hit Puerto Rico, Guernica began chartering flights to evacuate at-risk patients who couldn’t find a way out. Guernica brought 296 people to the U.S. mainland, provided 76,500 pounds of supplies and raised more than $250,000 to pay for the flights.

Brian Maruca (DC 1999) was featured in a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article about the graphic novel series “Street Angel” he co-created in 2003. The newest book, “Steet Angel vs Ningatech” (Image Comics) is due out in early November. Read more »

September 2018

Danna Taylor placed first in the Regional Tennis Tournament in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She played 11 matches in three days, including doubles and singles. Taylor is a first-year Dietrich College student.

Matt Ewalt (DC 2002, 2003) has been named vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Ewalt continues to lead the Institution’s 10:45 a.m. Amphitheater lecture platform and also oversees education, youth and literary arts programs. He has served Chautauqua in various capacities since 2006, most recently as chief of staff.

Jule Pattison-Gordon (DC 2013) wrote a chapter of “Boston’s Banner Years, 1965-2015: A Saga of Black Success.” The chapter, “The Power of Banks,” focuses on issues ­— such as redlining — that made financial self-determination a necessity for the community and details how financial institutions and initiatives aimed to respond to such needs. Among the stories is that of the founding, early struggles and development of what would become the largest black-owned and -managed bank the U.S. The research for the chapter draws on a variety of sources, including interviews Pattison-Gordon conducted with some of the people involved in creating these institutions and initiatives. Pattison-Gordon is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English.

Nitya Chambers (DC 2001) was part of the executive team that won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series for work on “Anthony Bourdain: Explore Parts Unknown.” Learn more »

Apeksha Atal (DC, MCS 2018) has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA). Through her Fulbright, Atal is teaching English in the Thailand province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Learn more »

Meredith Schmehl (DC, MCS 2018) was recognized as the 2018 National Outstanding Member of the Year by Nu Rho Psi, the national honor society for neuroscience. The award recognizes one Nu Rho Psi member at any stage of their career who has demonstrated “significant contributions to the field of neuroscience” in areas such as research, education, service or leadership. While at CMU, Schmehl founded the campus chapter of Nu Rho Psi and served as president for two years, leading the chapter through more than 30 annual hours of neuroscience outreach and educational efforts. Schmehl will formally accept the award at the annual Nu Rho Psi membership meeting during the Society for Neuroscience Conference in November 2018.

Graham Shorr (DC 2013) recently joined SquareFoot as chief of staff. Since joining, the company has finalized the terms of a $7 million Series A fundraising round. SquareFoot is a commercial real estate technology company specializing in helping small- and medium-size businesses find office space. The Series A funding will help grow the company’s core business in New York City and begin expansion across the U.S.

August 2018

RaShall Brackney (DC’09) was appointed the police chief in Charlottesville, VA. Brackney is also a fellow of the CMU Washington Semester Program. Learn more about her recent appointment »

Enrica Rosato (DC’13) is using her degree in linguistics to lead the language understanding team for Apple’s Siri. Learn more »

June/July 2018

In his latest novel “Trial of Madness," Ken Stichter (DC’68) merges backpacking, a buried time capsule and murder. The thriller follows an investigator who uses unconventional approaches to solving a cold case.

William E. Dunstan (DC’75) published his 13th book, "Swamp Wizard and the Robots", which spotlights the adventures of a bold young wizard and his beloved companion, a courageous young woman, in a future world ruled by robots.  A reviewer suggested the book might be "future science fact" rather than science fiction and added that "the dazzling narrative provides a timely and important commentary on our own turbulent times." Dunstan is a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Brenda Clough (DC’77) has a new Victorian thriller out called “A Most Dangerous Women.”

CMU Reflects on 50 Years of Embracing All Students Through CMAP and CMARC: Trina Ramsey (DC’88) talks about the influence of the programs.

Jennifer Keene (DC’91) and Michael Neiberg (DC’96) appeared as experts on the PBS documentary series "The Great War,” which tells the rich and complex story of World War I though various voices including the American troops who became known as “doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African-American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American “code talkers” and others.

Namek Zu’bi (DC’04) was profiled by Forbes in the article, What U.S. Investors Can Learn From An Immigrant Venture Capitalist.

What do popular web series “Pittsburgh Dad,” an Irish company, a Pittsburgh-area school district and Alan Cumming’s one-man version of “Macbeth” have in common? Incoming Alumni Association Board President Alex DiClaudio (DC'09, HNZ'11), who has forged an unconventional career path by seizing opportunities presented by his CMU connections.

Douglas McIntyre (DC’09) is the senior manager of the marketing team at CMU's Tepper School of Business and was profiled for his recent efforts to raise awareness for Pride Week.

Tamar Krishnamurti (DC’10), now an assistant research professor in CMU’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy, co-authored an opinion piece in The Hill on "Passing legislation to collect maternal death information could improve our ability prevent them.”

Using Statistics to Define An Unconventional Career Path: Alex Arkhangelskaya’s (DC ’14) degree in statstistics & data science has lead her to tech jobs with prominent retail companies.

Andy Masich (DC’14) won the 2018 Nau Book Prize for American Civil War Era History for his book, "Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands, 1861-1867.” The award is given by the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia and carries a $25,000 prize.

Lara McLeod (DC’14) was invited to speak at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on diversity and inclusion issues in the workplace. McLeod, who majored in technical writing and communication, stressed the importance of employee resource groups.

May 2018

Darren Canady (DC’04) has been selected as one of the new core writers in the next cohort of writers at the Playwrights' Center. The Core Writer Program gives 25-30 playwrights the time and tools to develop new work for the stage. They each will receive development workshops and professional support over the three-year term. Canady’s work has been seen around the world, including the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Horizon Theatre, the Fremont Centre Theatre, American Blues Theater, London’s Old Vic Theatre and more.

Kent James (DC’05) wrote an opinion piece for the Observer-Reporter titled, "We need to change the way we view taxes.” James received his Ph.D. in history and is now an adjunct professor of history at Waynesburg College.

Rubini Naidu (DC’16) was recently offered a Fulbright research award in India to continue research she was conducting while at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research focused on visual storytelling and community mobilization. Naidu, who graduated this month from Columbia University with a master's degree in sociocultural anthropology, will now use her Fulbright award to serve as a pilot phase for her social technology startup, Empact.

Seventeen students from the Department of English's Creative Writing Program were recognized with an Adamson Writing Award for their work in poetry, fiction, non-fiction and screenwriting. The students included Jake Bentley, Jenny Bornemann, Katherine Bussato, Rebecca Enright, Sinead Foley, Owen Fox, Joss Green, Mercedes Hesselroth, Tracy Le, Summer Jade Leavitt, Marcel Legros, Roosha Mandal, Isabel McCarthy, Maria Navarro-Gutierrez, Vidya Palepu, Bobbie Soques and Yifan Zhao.

Nine juniors were recently named Dietrich College Honors Fellows for the upcoming academic year. The students will spend the summer working on research and creative projects that span across the college’s various disciplines, including psychology, international relations, creative writing and more. The students include Brian Bizier, Will Crouch, Allison Guzman, Alexandra Halberstadt, Paloma Sierra Hernandez, Jieming (Lewis) Li, Maggie Mertz, Isabella Starvaggi and Sahana Thirumazhusai.

Dietrich College students Isabel Bleimeister and Amal Nanavati are two of the five CMU recipients of this year's Fulbright Awards. Bleimeister, who is a senior graduating with a degree in cognitive neuroscience and a minor in biomedical engineering, has been awarded a Fulbright Study/Research Grant to pursue autism spectrum disorder research. Nanavati, graduating with degrees in computer science and global studies, will be traveling to Kyoto, Japan, for his Fulbright Study/Research Grant. He will conduct research in human-robot interaction.

Six CMU students were selected as the top competitors in the first Western Pennsylvania Russian Speaking Olympiada, which was organized by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. It brought together local high school and college students to test their communication skills as well as their knowledge of Russian geography, history and culture, with students also reciting and discussing Russian poetry. Kaylyn Buford, Mikhail Gershenzon, Muling He, Trevor Lazar, John Verser and Christopher Vielott were selected as top competitors and also received Book Prizes.

Will Goldby is this year’s recipient of the Erwin R. Steinberg Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW) Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a third-semester MAPW student who excelled in the style course and who also showcases values of integrity, intellectual curiosity and citizenship.

Mercedes Hesselroth, who is pursuing a combined degree in global studies and drama through the BXA Intercollege Degree Programs, recently had her proposal accepted by the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) program, which brings together leaders with goals to take on global challenges on college campuses. Hesselroth’s Commitment to Action will aim to reduce the waste associated with theatrical productions at CMU’s renowned School of Drama.

Kimberly Hochstedler and Nikita Gupta were two of seven recipients of the 2018 Carnegie Mellon Women’s Association Scholarship award. Hochstedler graduated this month with degrees in statistics and psychology. Gupta graduated with a degree in statistics and data science and is also part of the Business Administration undergraduate program in the Tepper School of Business.

Since graduating with degrees in public policy and management and decision science, Elisabeth Madden (DC ’10) has had a variety of experiences, ranging from attending law school to teaching English in Chile. She recently answered questions about her life since CMU.

Amal Nanavati, a double major in computer science and global studies, won the inaugural K&L Gates Prize, which recognizes a graduating senior who has best inspired fellow students at CMU to love learning through a combination of intellect, high scholarly achievement, engagement with others and character.

John Verser, a senior majoring in decision science with an additional major in Russian Studies and a minor in politics and public policy, was awarded a 2018 Council of American Ambassadors Fellowship for this upcoming summer. The fellowship is designed to foster the development of the next generation of American diplomats.

Kevin Wainczak, who graduated with university honors, a bachelor’s degree in cognitive science and a minor in software engineering, was chosen as this year’s student speaker at CMU’s commencement. Wainczak recently shared what he has loved about CMU as well as his plans for the future.


April 2018

William E. Dunstan (DC’75), a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has a new novel available, “Nell Cropsey and Jim Wilcox: The Chill of Destiny.” The story surrounds the 1901 murder-mystery of Nell Cropsey.

After 17 years as professor of history and department chairperson, Eric G. Tenbus (DC’88) will be leaving the University of Central Missouri to become a dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia College and State University, effective June 1, 2018. Recently, Tenbus has started researching the ongoing challenges surrounding dual or concurrent enrollment within undergraduate education. When sharing the news with the Dietrich College, Tenbus commented, “Who knew I would end up a university administrator? That's the beauty of a foundational education from CMU.”

The Center for Public Integrity recently named Trina Ramsey (DC’88) as its chief development officer. Ramsey has 20 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and management and has served in various capacities for the Center for Public Integrity since early 2016.

Singer-songwriter Anne DiGiovanni’s (DC’06) indie pop duo, Only Bricks, will release “Foundation,” their debut extended play record (EP). “Foundation, ” which will contain seven original songs, is an eclectic and unique collection of rock, pop and dance, mixed with their own individual and uplifting musical sensibility. The single, “Twisted,” is now streaming on Spotify, Apple Music and other major platforms. 

Poet and writer Caroline Kessler’s (DC '11) first chapbook, "Ritual in Blue," published this month from Sutra Press. Kessler completed a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Washington University in May 2017, where she was the T.S. Eliot Scholar and started Ashreinu, the only egalitarian Jewish community in St. Louis City. Currently, she is a 2017-18 Dorot Fellow in Israel and is working on another collection of poems and a collection of lyric essays titled, “The Geography Problem.”

Ph.D. student Jonathan Neu was the recipient of the Department of History’s 2018 Goldman Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award was endowed by Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Goldman, parents of a former Carnegie Mellon History Department undergraduate. It honors a graduate student "who demonstrates particular talent in teaching” and "who, in the course of his or her graduate career, has made good or excellent progress in completing requirements for the degree." Neu will receive his degree in May. 

Earlier this month, the American Statistical Association (ASA) announced the 2018 winners of the Gertrude Cox Scholarship, and the Statistics & Data Science Department had four honorable mention recipients: Current Ph.D. students Kayla Frisoli, Shannon Gallagher, Amanda Luby and alumna Elizabeth Lorenzi (DC'14). Frisoli, Gallagher and Luby were awarded for their outstanding individual academic and research achievements in pursuit of their doctoral degrees,individual service to their communities and remarkable joint advancement of women in statistics via their establishment and impressive administration of the CMU Women in Statistics group. Lorenzi was awarded for her academic achievement in pursuit of a Ph.D. in statistics at Duke University, research success, remarkable contribution to translational statistics as evidenced by successfully co-founding a company that implements her clustering algorithm to assist decision-making in surgical settings, student mentoring and local leadership.

ASA awarded Lingxue Zhu, a Ph.D. student in Department of Statistics & Data Science, with the 2018 ASA Pittsburgh Chapter Student of the Year Award. Additionally, Natalie Klein, who is pursing a Ph.D. in statistics and machine learning, participated in the ASA Pittsburgh Chapter Poster Competition. 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Maria Jahja, a graduate student in the Department of Statistics & Data Science, with the 2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship award. 

Theresa Gebert, a graduate student in the Department of Statistics & Data Science, was awarded with the 2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention. Additionally, Gebert was the winner of and received “Best in Show” at the 2018 hackAuton, a hackathon sponsored by CMU’s School of Computer Science and Robotics Institute. 

Rosana Guernica, a decision science major, was named one of "Larry's Hometown Heroes" for her work coordinating and delivering aid to Puerto Rico following the devastation from Hurricane Maria. 

In an induction ceremony earlier this month, 11 students from the Department of English joined the Omega Tau Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society. This year’s inductees are majoring in creative writing, professional writing and English. The inductees were Aleksandra Ambroziak, Alysa Bradbury, Rebecca Enright, Emma Flickinger, Lauren Kelly, Tracy Le, Paige O'Riordan, Vidya Palepu, Jordan Romah, Naviya Singla and Samantha Smith.

Twenty-one students with primary or additional majors in the Department of Psychology were inducted into Psi Chi this spring:  Rebeka Almasi, Leah Ettensohn, Matthew Fuhrman, Heather Graci, Haidan Hu, Jennifer Minsoo Jo, Hannah Kim, Kiana Leong, Jieming Li, Ryan Lilliock, Yinue Lo, Lynnette Ramsay, Jordan Romah, Nikita Sareen, Yingli Sieh, Kade Stewart, Sylvia Taylor, Elizabeth Thrasher, Lucy Truschel, Anne Widom and Lauren Yan.

Eighteen students from the Department of Modern Languages were inducted into Phi Sigma Iota, an international honor society. Seven of the students inducted are Dietrich College undergraduates: Madeline Gardner, Rachel Gomez, Ella Hepner, Margaret Reager, Jamie Slomka, Glen Wise and Mikaela Wolf-Sorokin.


March 2018

Published science fiction and fantasy author Brenda Wang Clough (DC’77) had a new novel released, “A Most Dangerous Woman,” via Serial Box earlier this month. Serial Box serializes fiction in eBook and audio formats. Clough has published more than eight novels, with the most recent being in e-format.

The Princeton Neuroscience Institute’s co-director Jonathan Cohen (DC’90) is a national expert on cognitive control. He recently gave a lecture on the limitations of human focus, “On the Rational Boundedness of Cognitive Control,” at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. Cohen presented alternative interpretations that offer a computational explanation for the capacity constraints on cognitive control.

Author, speaker and researcher Elizabeth Currid-Halkett (DC’00) is the James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning and professor of public policy at the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Her novel, “The Sum of Small Things,” was named one of the Economist’s Best Books of 2017.

Since receiving his degree in information systems, Sanjay Patel (DC’00) is a self-described serial entrepreneur and founder and CEO of GuestBook, a hospitality enablement software platform. He recently returned to Carnegie Mellon University’s campus for a lecture in the Dietrich College Entrepreneurship Series.

Lisa Thorpe-Vaughn (DC’01) will be virtually presenting on Thursday, April 5, “The Paradigm Shift of Nonprofit Organizations,” where she will discuss how nonprofits can navigate the current paradigm shift that nonprofits are experiencing. She will explain how this shift is occurring due to the increase in the number of nonprofit organizations and the decrease in national, state and local funding. Registration for the event is required.

Fifty years after "Mister Rogers Neighborhood" first aired on PBS, Junlei Li (DC'03) continues to preserve Fred Rogers' legacy. While studying as a psychology graduate student in Dietrich College, Li was Rogers' neighbor. Now, Li is teaching child development as co-director of the Fred Rogers Center and Rita McGinley Professor in Human Development at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., Rogers' hometown.

Committed to her aluma mater nearly two decades later, Joanna Lovering (BHA’04) recently shared her experiences as a dedicated volunteer to the Carnegie Mellon community. From conducting prospective student interviews and CMUConnect webinars to attending Dietrich College’s Under Construction annual career exploration program for the past three years as a panelist, Lovering’s passion for connecting past, present and future Tartans is contagious. 

Sara (Harenchar) Levinson (DC’10), a Pittsburgh native, recently accepted a strategic account director position at LivePerson, where she will be assisting the largest brands in the world to implement live messaging for their organizations. Prior to joining LivePerson, Levinson worked for three and a half years at Clicktale as a strategic account executive, started her software career at IBM in 2012 and worked alongside Tom O’Boyle, an adjunct professor in the Department of English, at the Post-Gazette for two years. Levinson currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Drew Levinson.

Alanood Al-Muftah (CMU-Q’17) was one of three CMU Qatar alumni who received the Education Excellence Award from His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at a recent ceremony. Al-Muftah received the gold award and is an information systems graduate and works as an information systems analyst at Qatar Central Bank. The Education Excellence Award is presented by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and given to students who have demonstrated achievement in the classroom and pass a rigorous interview process. Winners are also judged on their community involvement, extracurricular activities and leadership roles.

Alex Helberg, Ana Cooke, Ryan Mitchell and Calvin Pollak, graduate students pursuing a Ph.D. in rhetoric, are revitalizing the former online publication “Silver Tongue” by launching a new podcast, “Re:Verb,” which will air twice a month and feature rhetoric graduate students’ discussions surrounding current events with a rhetorical twist.

Kellen Carleton, a graduate student in international relations and politics, and Arya Hezarkhani, a senior in the Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Biomedical Engineering Departments, were recently accepted to present their proposal at Harvard University’s inaugural Information Operations Hack-a-thon in Boston this month. In addition to presenting, Carleton and Hezarkhani were also chosen to compete in the Policy Solution portion of the conference.


February 2018

Graduating with a Master of Arts in Professional Writing, Honora Rockar (DC’83) has formally announced his candidacy for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for District 12 in Butler County. Rockar stated that her focus will be on education, technology investments and small business development within the district.

The 2018 Carnegie Mellon Alumni Awards will honor two Dietrich College alumni: Joseph “Jay” Devine (DC’84), recipient of the Faculty & Staff Impact award, and Tommy Oliver (DC’06), recipient of the Alumni Achievement award.

Christa Quarles (DC’95) sat down with CMU’s Alumni Association to discuss the importance of diversity in today’s business landscape, her leadership style as the CEO of OpenTable and why food is essential to the human experience. She earned her degrees in economics and German.

Sanjay Patel (DC’00) is a serial entrepreneur and founder, and currently, he’s the CEO of GuestBook, a hospitality enablement software platform. He earned a degree in information systems and will return to CMU to discuss his experiences since graduation. 

A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing Program, Hollen Barmer (DC’01) is the creator of the Pittsburgh Lenten Fish Fry Map, a collective map that lists the local fish fries happening throughout the Pittsburgh area. Barmer is a writer and editor for the Software Engineering Institute’s Emerging Technology Center. Read more on how popular the geographical creation has become.

Laura Leigh Morris (DC’01) will have her first book released this spring by Vandalia Press, the creative imprint of West Virginia University Press. It will be a collection of short stories entitled, “Jaws of Life: Stories.” Currently, Morris teaches creative writing and literature at Furman University. 

Tom Sweterlitsch’s (DC’01) second novel, “The Gone World,” is set to release this month from Putnam Books. Sweterlitsch earned his Master's degree in literary and cultural theory from Carnegie Mellon. Learn more about the storyline in this next novel.

Christopher Barley (BHA’04) made headlines for his work with Are.na, a platform that permits users to collect and share photos or information without the ability or feature to engage or “like” posts. Barley also founded Consortia, which works in partnership with Are.na and is a strategy and design office in New York City. Barely and his colleagues are changing the digital space with the artist-designed social networks.

Alumna Laura Podesta’s (DC'10) career in broadcast journalism began with an internship while a CMU student. She is now a part of the CBS News team as a Newspath correspondent, reporting breaking news for CBS affiliates nationwide. 

Earlier this month, Emily Kennedy (DC’15) was named 2018’s Toyota Mother of Invention at the Women in the World Los Angeles Salon. Kennedy is currently the CEO of Marinus Analytics, a technology firm that created a new way of helping law enforcement identify and locate human trafficking victims. Kennedy developed a product, TrafficJam, that uses AI technology to identify victims and her company is now analyzing data in 11 countries around the world.

Manojit “Jit” Nandi (DC’14) shared his experience in the  Quantitative Social Science Scholars Program (QSSS) and discussed his upcoming role with Rocketrip, a New York-based startup that aims to help other companies and their employees financially benefit on business trips. 

David Rode (DC’17), who received his Ph.D. from the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, and his team found that the U.S. power sector could meet the Paris Agreement goals even without the Clean Power Plan. Rode’s team included Jeffrey J. Anderson, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Paul Fischbeck, professor of social and decision sciences and engineering and public policy, and Haibo Zhai, associate research professor of engineering and public policy.

Track and field team member Kiersten Chuc was the only Dietrich College student-athlete to have a 4.0 GPA during both spring and fall 2017 semesters. Chuc is studying statistics and French.

Students Borge Feliz, Alex LinRahmon Ross, Susanna Seltzer and Robert Stephens are currently the inaugural cohort in the International Relations and Politics (IPS) Accelerated Master's Program. They were recently in Silicon Valley for the opportunity to see the current issues and potential careers with technology, public policy and international and domestic security.


January 2018

Celebrating her silver year this year as director of Carnegie Mellon University’s The Children’s School, Sharon Carver (DC’86) has been with the laboratory school since 1993 when she carried the torch following founding director Ann Baldwin Taylor’s retirement. Learn more.

Washington D.C.-based political lobbying organization Internet Association announced that Rose Feliciano (DC’87) has recently joined the company as the manager of the northwest state government affairs for its newly opened Seattle office. Feliciano joined the Internet Association after leading government relations for the City of Seattle in various capacities for 15 years. Learn more.

Susan Henderson (DC’89) has a new novel coming out in March 2018 from Harper Perennial, “The Flicker of Old Dreams.” Henderson was recently featured in Publishers Weekly to discuss the upcoming release of her latest novel, “The Flicker of Old Dreams.” Learn more

Meg Brindle’s (DC’92) company, Position, Ltd., was recently featured in the Financial Times for its work on the Maasai project over the past seven years. In addition to her positions as an adjunct professor for Georgetown University and the United States Naval Academy, Brindle is also the director of partnerships and education for Position, Ltd. Read more.

Norman Bier (DC’99) recently spoke at the 2017 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, arguing that learning engineering itself is not a new concept, but one that’s been developing since Herbert Simon coined the approach and phrase 50 years ago. Bier discusses its history, present applications and potential to improve student-learning outcomes. Bier is currently the director of the Open Learning Initiative and the executive director of the Simon Initiative at CMU. Watch a video of his talk

Last month, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto chose Councilman Dan Gilman (DC’04) to be his next chief of staff. Gilman graduated with honors and a degree in ethics, history and public policy. His appointments include the boards of the city Sports & Exhibition Authority, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and the Silk Screen Film Festival.

Alexander Su (DC’05) was recently featured in Above The Law to discuss his career move from practicing law to now working as an account executive for Logikcull, a San Francisco-based startup. Previously, Su was an associate for Sullivan & Cromwell, and prior to that, he had clerked for U.S. District Judge, Edmond Chang, who was nominated by former President Obama. Learn more

Bryan Ovalle (DC'06) has been promoted to vice president of customer success for Romeo Power Technology. He will oversee and be responsible for the entire customer facing value chain including sales engineering & technical applications, sales implementation & on-boarding, engagement management & fulfillment, and product support. Formerly, Bryan was the senior program manager and head of PMO. Romeo Power Technology specializes in evolving energy technology through the design, validation and manufacturing of lithium ion battery packs for electric vehicles and energy storage applications in Vernon, CA. 

CEO and founder of “The League,” Amanda Bradford (DC’07) recently spoke at the 51st International iDate Dating Industry Conference. The League is a dating app that combines data and social graphs from both Facebook and LinkedIn. Bradford spoke about the future of dating. Learn more.

James I. Dougherty (DC’09) has been elected as a partner at the international law firm Withers Bergman LLP, where he began his career five years ago. Based in the firm's Greenwich, Connecticut and New York City offices, Dougherty advises individuals on estate planning and administration, probate matters and litigation arising from trust and estate succession issues. In addition, the second edition of his book, “Connecticut Probate and Estate Administration,” published by LexisNexis, was released at the end of 2017.  

Caity Cronkhite (DC’12) was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal discussing her experiences growing up in a small town and leaving for bigger cities. Read “In a Divided Nation of Big Cities and Small Towns, Caity Cronkhite Thought She Knew Where She Belonged.”

Sarah Gutekunst (DC’17) has spent the past seven months working as a communications assistant for international law firm Fried Frank in their New York City office. Gutekunst majored in professional writing and spent the last semester of her CMU career finishing her coursework, writing for the Tartan, working on her Senior Honors Program thesis and interning for the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Learn more.

Fifteen teams of CMU seniors in the Information Systems program spent the semester developing new, creative apps. Ideas ranged from an app to give customers more control over their dining experiences, a tool to help people plan itineraries for groups of friends and a platform to connect current CMU students to alumni. The students included Ahmed AbdeltawabJacob Bittner, Natalya Buchwald, Travis Chambers, Annette Chen, Eric Chow, Erin Dieringer, Sai Dhulipalla, Connor Fitzgibbon, Alexander Frazier, Serene Gao, Matthew Gruber, Sebastian Guerrero, Xiaorui Hu, Renhao Hu, Jimmy Jameson, Korrawat Jianthanakoanon, Asawari Kanitkar, Akash Kejriwal, Yasir Khan, Helen Kim, Clara Kim, Chris Lewis, Bruce Lin, Sid Malladi, Divya Mohan, Julien Naegeli, Pooja Penninti, Avni Pherwani, Piyush Puri, Abdusamed Sherif, Rho Eun Song, Anu Srikanth, Darryl Sw, Meghana Valluri, Andrew Wang, Wasay Wasay, Katie Williams, Rumby Wilson, Glen Wise, Johnny Wu, Stephen Yamalis, Fang You, Sophie Zhao, Sally Zhao and Ziren ZhouLearn more.

Pittsburgh native Cameron Dively, a senior majoring in ethics, history and public policy, was recently featured in an undergraduate student spotlight where he discussed his past internship experiences, his plans after graduation and his involvement with the Pittsburgh community. Read more.

Hosted by CMU's Department of Athletics, 29 student-athletes paused during finals week to celebrate each other and their successes on and off the field, including Kim Hochstedler, a fourth-year student studying psychology and statistics as well as a member of the Tartan swim team. Learn more.

Amber James, a senior studying technical writing and communication is using her year as a Dietrich College Honors Fellow to create a tool dedicated to sustainability. What originally began as research examining how technical communication could help keep global health projects sustainable, James’ project has turned into a book full of sustainability tips. Learn more.

In the project course “Computing for Good,” several dozen students, including Information Systems sophomore Xinwen Liu, used satellite imagery to detect illegal mines in the Congo, created apps to coordinate timely pickup of harvested crops in Colombia and designed an augmented reality system for farmers in Rwanda. Learn more.