Carnegie Mellon University

Emilie O'Leary

Emilie O'Leary

Senior Academic Advisor, Psychology

  • Baker Hall 352
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Office Location: Baker Hall 352
To schedule a meeting:

Emilie is the primary point of contact for students interested in the Department of Psychology’s programs, which include majors in Psychology, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, and Psychology & Biological Sciences, along with minors in both Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience.

How long have you been at CMU and how did you get here?

I’ve been at CMU since 2006. I always knew I wanted to work in higher education, and started off as a temp at CMU.  I was able to work in a few different departments like special events, student affairs and finally Psychology. The majority of professional career has been in the CMU Psychology department. For me, it checks all the boxes I would want out of a career! 

What is something you love about Dietrich College and/or your department?

Dietrich College is extremely unique and we are lucky to have a diverse group who use both sides of the brain! The Psychology department has caring and motivating faculty members. Students often find themselves taking a psychology course and becoming interested in one of our faculty labs, gaining valuable skills from the faculty members. Often, students form special bonds with the faculty members which can lifelong friendships!

What was your undergraduate major? How did you end up deciding on it?

Communications with a minor in Intercultural Relations. Honestly, I was lost on what I wanted to do!  A took a few courses in the department and enjoyed them. It was the fact that I studied abroad to Galway, Ireland that helped me decide on my career in higher education. I was able to talk to students who were interested in studying abroad and found that I loved sharing my opportunity and connecting with others.  

When was a time when you struggled or encountered a setback? How did you respond?

I'll be honest, I struggle a little each day. Sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small ways. I try to practice yoga or take walks, I take huge giant breaths that sometimes scare my husband because they are so big and deep! It has taken some practice but, I feel like I'm finding ways to help find a calm moment and always looking for new ways to find what helps me.

What is one of your favorite quotations?

“Everyone makes mistakes, so why can’t you?”
- Big Bird