Carnegie Mellon University


Dietrich College alumni have diverse careers in various disciplines and industries. Below are some of the most recent alumni profiles from Dietrich College News. If you have news that you’d like to share or would like to find out what’s going on with your fellow alumni, visit the Class Notes page. Network with fellow college alumni in the LinkedIn Group.

2019 Alumni Award Honorees Announced
Alumni Awards

CMU’s Alumni Association announced 11 honorees for the 2019 Alumni Awards, including two from the Dietrich College: Eileen R. Heisman and Farah Y. Zaman, Esq.

CMU Alumna Is Changing Perspectives

Rubini Naidu (DC ’16) is a Fulbright Scholar, continuing research in India she started while at CMU.

Douglas McIntyre Takes Pride in Being Heard
douglas mcintyre

As senior manager of the marketing team at the Tepper School of Business, McIntyre crafts news stories and features, and provides editorial support for the school’s website and various publications. He’s been a member of the Tepper team for the past five years.

Recap: Dietrich College’s Brunch and Buggy Spring Carnival Celebration
brunch and buggy 2018

This year’s Spring Carnival activities were celebrated and attended by Dietrich College alumni and their families, and the College’s Brunch and Buggy event was no exception.

English Alumni Coming to a Bookshelf Near You
alumni books from department of english

Over the past several months, English alumni have made best of lists for their incisive looks at class in America and have been awarded movie deals for their sci-fi novels, among other things. Check out recent work from Department of English alumni, including Elizabeth Currid-Halkett (DC'00), Tom Sweterlitsch (DC'01), Susan Henderson (DC'89) and Laura Leigh Morris (DC'01). 

Recap: Everything I Learned in the 17 Years Since I Graduated
Sanjay Patel

Sanjay Patel is a serial entrepreneur and founder and CEO of GuestBook, a hospitality enablement software platform. He returned to CMU's campus for a lecture in the Dietrich College Entrepreneurship Series.

Barmer Maps Out a Friday Ritual
Hollen Barmer

Creator of the Pittsburgh Lenten Fish Fry Map, Hollen Barmer (DC'01) is taking Fridays off to feed her passion at lunch and dinner.

Using the Quantitative Social Sciences Scholars Program To Jumpstart a Data Science Career
Jit Nandi

Crediting Dietrich College's QSSS Program for allowing him to pursue his passions, Manojit "Jit" Nandi (DC'14) reflects on his time at CMU and shares his excitement for his new career move.

From CMU Classrooms to CBS News
Laura Podesta

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.

Five Questions With Alumna and OpenTable CEO Christa Quarles
Christa Quarles

Quarles graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with degrees in economics and German. Now, she is the CEO of OpenTable, the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations.

Catching Up With Recent Grad Sarah Gutekunst
Sarah Gutekunst (DC'17)

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.

Dietrich College Alumna and CMU Basketball Star Turns Pro
Lisa Murphy (DC'17)

Lisa Murphy (DC'17) is the first Carnegie Mellon alumna to play professional basketball. As of early November, she is the leading scorer with 19.2 points per game for Lemvig Basket, one of the premier teams in Denmark. While at Carnegie Mellon, Murphy was a psychology major with a concentration in child development.

How a Graduate Degree in Neural Computation Prepares for Career in Medtech
Kubra Komek

After graduating with a Ph.D. in neural computation, Kubra Komek made the switch to the medtech industry. She uses her degree every day.

Carnegie Mellon Study Shows Mindfulness Meditation App Works—But Acceptance Training Component Is Crucial
Mindfullness Meditation

For the millions of mindfulness meditation mobile app users, there is good news: New research shows that they can reduce the body's response to biological stress.

Alumnus Named MacArthur Fellow
Stefan Savage

Cybersecurity expert Stefan Savage, a 1991 graduate from Carnegie Mellon University's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is one of 24 winners of MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, often known as "genius grants." this year. He will receive $625,000 over the next five years.

Public Health Communicator Makes a Global Impact
Tim Ryan

When researchers in Latin America and the Caribbean needed to collaborate on HIV/AIDS, Tim Ryan (DC '96) conceptualized and developed an information and communication system. At the time, he was "only" a technical writer associated with the Mexican National Institute of Public Health.

Alumnus Talks The Strength Behind Ph.D. in Neural Computation
Shreejoy Tripathy
Four years ago, Shreejoy Tripathy was graduating with a Ph.D. in neural computation from CMU's Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition’s. Now, Tripathy is a postdoc in the Pavlidis Lab at the University of British Columbia, studying neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.

Q&A: Alumnus Takes His Ph.D. Training in Neural Computation to the NIH 
Gustavo Sudre
With an overall goal to work at the intersection of genomic, neuroimaging and behavioral data in order to better understand complex, polygenic psychiatric disorders, such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Alzheimer’s disease, Gustavo Sudre uses a combination of machine learning techniques, genomics and neuroimaging to study brain systems.

Atkinson Takes Talents, Passions to Iconic Chautauqua
Atom Atkinson
As visitors descend upon the thriving lakeside educational community of Chautauqua, New York, CMU creative writing alumnus Atom Atkinson thinks about how to transform the group's literary arts experience.

Alumna's Double Life is One for the Books
Khris Chess
A technical director at Hexagon PPM, Kristina Chess spends her days managing a diverse group of departments in user experience, documentation and development services. In the evenings, Chess meets her husband at their Alabama home, they eat dinner, and she sleeps for a few hours before waking up in what most people would consider the middle of the night. These are Chess’s most creative hours.

Sounds of Success
Steve Martocci
Alumnus Steve Martocci is splicing together quite a career. His latest endeavor is a cloud-based music creation platform with a library of more than two million sound samples, which can be used by anyone.

The Country That Dines Together Stays Together
Two Dietrich College alumnae created Make America Dinner again to bring individuals with diverse ideologies in a non-threatening environment—the dinner table—to respectfully exchange views.

Five CMU Friends Keep the Connection
Five Friends
In 1964, five freshman girls arrived at Carnegie Institute of Technology and became close friends. More than 50 years later, the women’s bond that was forged over studying and becoming young adults together remains strong…as does their connection to what is now Carnegie Mellon University.

Senior Dedicated to Giving Back Receives Alumni Association’s Student Service Award
Josh Zak
A chemistry major and Japanese minor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Science and Humanities Scholars (SHS) program, Josh Zak has figured out one of life's greatest secrets. Giving to others is easy, if you love what you do.

What Can You Do With a Master of Science in Computational Finance?
Antonios Tavlarakis
CMU’s MSCF Program is the top-rated financial engineering degree and is a joint program between the Tepper School of Business, the Mathematical Sciences Department, the Department of Statistics and the Heinz College.

Helping Companies Win by Treating Customers Right
Peter Kriss
As consumers have better access to information than ever before, companies can gain a competitive edge by improving the experiences customers have every day.

Peter Kriss (DC '12), lead research scientist at Medallia, applies research based in behavioral economics to help many of the world's largest companies learn about their customers faster and create better experiences. Kriss joined Medallia immediately after earning his doctorate from in behavioral decision research.

Making an Impact on Issues That Matter
Satvika Neti
Satvika Neti (DC’16) is charging full speed ahead, propelled by Andrew Carnegie’s famous dictum: “My heart is in the work.”

As a Coro fellow, Neti is learning the ropes of non-profit fundraising, event logistics and consulting at the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh and Homewood Children’s Village. And she is building her own non-profit organization, WE Education.

Vishwas Prabhakara Doesn't Hold Back
Vishwas Prabhakara
For young professionals on the rise, CMU students picked the lock on a treasure chest of advice. Vishwas Prabhakara (DC’02), general manager of Yelp Reservations, gave students on the verge of entering the workforce a wealth of information at an interactive talk and a roundtable discussion for the Dietrich College Entrepreneurs Speaker Series.

Psychology Alumna Receives Highly Competitive NSF Fellowship
Maya Schumer
Maya Schumer’s exposure to cutting-edge research began during her first year at CMU when she joined David Creswell’s Health and Human Performance Laboratory. She worked under his supervision for her Dietrich College Senior Honors Program thesis as she investigated the effectiveness of brief mindfulness training. She also was part of a brain imaging study that assessed self-affirmation as an intervention for stress.

Sach Takayasu and a Large Voice for Small Business
Sach Takayasu
As president and CEO of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (ACE), Carnegie Mellon University alumna Sach Takayasu played an instrumental role in what she describes as "giving a voice to the business interests of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI)."

Alumna Emily Duff Bartel is Driven to Succeed
Duff Bartel
Duff Bartel, who is based in Pittsburgh, is a product manager for Uber’s Advanced Technology Group (ATG), the research and development hub of Uber’s engineering team. ATG is dedicated to self-driving technologies, mapping and vehicle safety, and is at the forefront of the company’s pilot program that is testing self-driving cars.

There’s More Than One Way to Get From A to Z With a History Degree
Faryal Khan
Faryal Khan is a transcreation director at World Writers – part of Williams Lea Tag, a large marketing and communications agency in New York City.  She credits her success to saying “yes” to opportunities as they arose and following her interests, even when they diverged from her past experiences.

Alumna’s Guide for Social Entrepreneurship
Social Entrepreneurship
One thing Dietrich College alumni know for certain is that their education prepares them for almost anything. Meg Brindle (DC’92), who received a Ph.D. in applied history, left a tenured position at George Mason University to Africa to explore and address root causes of poverty rather than just the symptoms.

2017 Alumni Award Honorees Announced
Sach Takayasu
Included among the recipients are two Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences alumni. Sachiko Takayasu (DC 1985), president and CEO of Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, will receive an Alumni Achievement Award for accomplishments in her professional field. An Alumni Service Award will be given to Ruth Osborne Rouleau (DC 1952, 1953).

Using an English Degree To Do What You Love
Doyle Rolla
What can you do with an English degree? Plenty. Carnegie Mellon University graduates have built diverse careers doing what they love – from publishing to museum administration, children’s entertainment and entrepreneurship.