Carnegie Mellon University

Collage of the Tartans on the Rise honorees

March 14, 2023

Rising to the Challenge

CMU recognizes 23 recent alumni making transformational impacts

By Amanda S.F. Hartle

From the surface of Mars to doctors’ offices in Africa and from biochemistry laboratories to virtual reality theater, Carnegie Mellon University’s 2023 Tartans on the Rise are advancing society through technology, celebrating human expression and elevating industries, communities and people everywhere.

Now in its second year, Tartans on the Rise celebrates recent alumni who are making an impact in their organizations and in their communities, across the nation and around the world through leadership, innovation and career achievements.

“I join the entire Carnegie Mellon University community in congratulating this year’s class of Tartans on the Rise,” said CMU President Farnam Jahanian. “These extraordinary Tartans represent the visionary and entrepreneurial spirit of our alumni, and I am in awe of their passion, creativity and leadership. We are truly excited by all they have accomplished and will continue to achieve in the future.”

These recent alumni are innovating health and health care around the globe by connecting patients with providers, developing tests to protect from deadly toxins and reimagining the industry through information science. They’re combating social and environmental issues such as income inequality, climate change, education and representation.

The 2023 Tartans on the Rise are enhancing technology through intelligent email security, by empowering individuals to own their digital identity, and by transforming underserved communities through technology. They’re also reimagining theater through virtual reality and infusing poetry with artificial intelligence.

“CMU’s Tartans on the Rise are making a global impact and shaping brighter futures for all,” said Teresa Trombetta (HNZ 2018), assistant vice president for alumni and constituent engagement. “I am so proud to call them members of our Tartan community.”

The 2023 cohort includes alumni who have founded multiple companies and others who have won D.I.C.E., BAFTA Games and Writers Guild of America awards. There is a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award from President Barack Obama and a Top 40 Under 40 Growth Equity Investor honoree. One has been long-listed for a National Book Award and another inducted into the Technology International Hall of Fame.

This year’s Tartans on the Rise have contributed to the work of high-profile organizations including NASA, the U.S. Department of Treasury, Pennsylvania’s courts, Meta and Goldman Sachs.

Meet the 2023 Tartans on the Rise:

  • Haris Aghadi (CMU 2014), Entrepreneur; Co-Founder, Meddy
  • Rohyt Belani (ENG 2002), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cofense Inc.
  • Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (DC 2006), Writer, Poet and Professor
  • Candace Bever (MCS 2004), Scientist; Manufacturing and Logistics Manager, InBios
  • Emmanuel Chebukati (ENG 2018), Co-Founder, Hepta Analytics
  • Andrea Cinkovic (TPR 2009), Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Asset Management
  • Lisa Seacat DeLuca (SCS 2005), Tech Executive and Web3 Identity Innovator, Unstoppable Domains
  • Bernardine Dias (SCS 2000, 2004), Founder and Managing Member, Diyunu Consulting
  • Neil Druckmann (CMU 2005), Co-President, Naughty Dog
  • Felix Fazliddin (HNZ 2015), Civil Servant, U.S. Department of Treasury
  • Whitton Frank (CMU 2006), Actor, Producer and Writer
  • Samantha Gerard (DC 2005; HNZ 2008), Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Talk: The New Sex Ed, Inc.
  • Jeff Kaditz (MCS 2003; SCS 2003), Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Q Bio
  • Bobuchi Ken-Opurum (CFA 2022), Founder, Re-HOUSED Climate Decision Support Toolkit
  • Ayisha Morgan-Lee (CFA 2007; HNZ 2007), Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director, Hill Dance Academy Theatre
  • Michelle O’Malley (ENG 2004), Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Xander Orenstein (MCS 2014), Judge, Pennsylvania Magisterial District 05-3-10
  • Joelle Pineau (SCS 2001, 2004), Director, Meta AI Research Labs
  • Hooman Radfar (ENG 2004), Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Collective
  • Ramzi Ramsey (TPR 2007), Managing Director, Blackstone Growth
  • Nikhaar Shah (HNZ 2012), Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Home.LLC
  • Aaron Tan (SCS 2010), Chief Executive Officer, Carro
  • Vandi Verma (SCS 2002, 2005), Space Roboticist, NASA