Carnegie Mellon University

Dietrich College is like a family, but this family is large and covers many, many disciplines.

We created Students of Dietrich to bring our college into focus and to learn more about one another—our interests, our struggles and our triumphs. Take a moment from your busy day to pause and reflect with some of the students in our Dietrich family. It could be someone in your class, someone you pass in the hall or a new friend.


French Moms and Pittsburgh Weather

madelinecech-800x800-min.pngMaddie Cech, class of 2022, is tackling two majors, behavioral economics, policy and organization and decision science. She is also pursuing a minor in business administration. Maddie hails from Cincinnati, Ohio.

What are you grateful for right now?

I'm grateful for being able to live with a close pod of my friends and for my family members being healthy. I’m also grateful to be able to spend time with my friends in a safe way and for Pittsburgh weather being nice enough that we can go out, enjoy the day and play soccer.

Who is the most influential person in your life?

My mom. I feel like she's the one who has given me such a different perspective on the world, coming from France and having all these different attitudes about just regular day-to-day things. She's always pushing me to think about others but do what's best for me. It's nice to hear that sometimes, especially from my mom. She followed her passion and made her own path, and I’m inspired to do the same. 

Finding Creativity as a Technology Major

claudia-osorio-800x800-min.jpegClaudia Osorio, class of 2022, is majoring in information systems and is also pursuing minors in Sonic Arts and Intelligent Environments. She joined Dietrich College from Brooklyn, New York.

What are you grateful for?

Life. I am really grateful for the opportunity to experience life and everything it has to offer. Going to Carnegie Mellon I have a lot of privilege, and I am able to experience and learn so many things that most people are not able to. It has opened so many doors for me to just find out more. I feel that I’ve found my life’s purpose. I know that I will be helping a lot of people and that the work that I do has the potential to reach so many lives.

What is your favorite college memory?

During orientation for Dietrich College, we went to the Heinz History Center. I went with my roommate at the time, and it was a really great way to get to know each other, just looking around at all the art and all of the exhibits. I had previously met my roommate at the Celebration of Diversity weekend, and this was the first time we really had the chance to hang out as college freshmen. I think it was a really good opportunity to meet other freshmen as well, and I honestly just had a really great time.

What has been your greatest challenge at CMU?

Finding ways to challenge myself outside of academics. I've recently started to pick up various hobbies that are more on the artistic side. This is not something I typically do as a technology major, but I find myself really enjoying it. I can definitely sense that sometimes I am too meticulous about things, I'm not as carefree as I could be, so I think just allowing myself to get more creative in anything I make is a skill that I'm currently working on. 

Gratitude and History Courses

eric-wan-800x800-min.jpegEric Wan, class of 2022, is from Missouri City, Texas.  He is studying statistics and machine learning and social and political history.

What are you grateful for right now?

I am grateful for my girlfriend and my friends and my parents for being extremely helpful and supportive with COVID. Also by extension that definitely goes to the professors in my classes, my advisors who are more than willing to help me when I send them emails and my classmates who engage with the professor during Zoom lectures.

Who has been your most influential professor?

Dr. Vaughn-Roberson, he goes by Clayton in class. He got his Ph.D. I think a year ago from the History Department. I took two classes with him, one on the Black urban experience and one on the civil rights movement. Both are on race, economics, social and political history, and it's all really interesting. He goes more in depth into various movements and people, and it covers a lot of things that normally don't get discussed in the mainstream, such as different ideas and ideologies. It makes the course really interesting because you are learning a lot of new information, and it gives you a lot to think about.