Carnegie Mellon University

Sarah Avery

Sarah Avery

Academic Advisor, Information Systems

  • Hamburg Hall 3051
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Office Location: Hamburg Hall, 3051

Sarah advises current Information Systems students.

How long have you been at CMU and how did you get here? What (if any) other roles have you had at CMU? What did you do before coming to CMU?

Career paths are never quite as linear as we expect. Even so, it might surprise you to know that joining the Information Systems community is my third role at CMU! My previous two roles were Student Services Intern in Civil and Environmental Engineering (2015) and Administrative Assistant in the Office of Residential Education (2016-2018). Ever since my first time at CMU, I’ve been drawn to the strong relationships, innovative environment, and clear passion and purpose students, faculty, and staff feel towards building a better future.

Before returning to CMU this third time, I graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Masters in Student Affairs in Higher Education. I also spent two years at Carlow University as the Success Coach for Pittsburgh Promise Students.

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

I have always loved reading and learning, so choosing an English, Secondary Education degree from Westminster College was an easy decision! I wanted to help others find joy in learning.

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

My undergraduate majors were Psychology and Religious Studies. I honestly loved my faculty so much in these fields that I couldn't help but take every class I could with them!

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

Setbacks and challenges are an unavoidable part of life. While they’re uncomfortable in the moment, they help us develop resiliency and strength. They make us who we are. After graduating from my undergrad, I realized I didn’t want to be a classroom teacher and my perception of myself and future path wobbled. I was faced with these questions: “Who am I if I’m not who I always thought I was?” and “What kind of job can I do if I’m not teaching?”

As you can imagine, this was disheartening; however, I wouldn’t be who I am today without that struggle. I had to open doors to new possibilities for myself. I leaned on my network, did a summer internship, volunteered, and tried on different professional hats until I realized what I truly wanted to do with my life- to work one to one with college students on realizing their dreams and imagining the possible paths their futures could take.

What activities/hobbies do you like to do outside of work and/or what do you like to do to de-stress or unwind after a busy day?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s that we must prioritize things that make us happy and healthy! So, you can often find me practicing and teaching yoga at my local studio; reading a good book; playing with my two cats (Toph and Gulliver) and dog (Choji), or renovating the house with my fiancé, Andrew.