Carnegie Mellon University

Tartans for Life

Partners. Volunteers. Leaders. Alumni. Friends. The members of the CMU Alumni Association Board are all of these and more!

This hardworking group of alumni reflects the diversity of the university’s alumni body, spanning a broad range of colleges, class years, careers and hometowns as well as interests and experiences. But they all have one thing in common: a dedication and love for CMU.

AAB members use their creativity and professional and volunteer experience to work closely with the Office of Alumni & Constituent Engagement to develop and strengthen programs that connect alumni to CMU and to each other.

If you’re interested in joining this lively group and making some new connections for yourself, board nominations are due annually in January.


Meet the Board

brit-farmer-400x400.jpgAlumni Association Board President: 
Brit McCandless Farmer (DC 2008)
New York City

Favorite CMU memory: The night the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. As news editor of The Tartan, I watched the game from the office as we put the newspaper to bed. A few of us left to celebrate, then came back to finish The Tartan in the middle of the night.

Why did you join the AAB? I love Carnegie Mellon. I am grateful for the opportunity to be involved at this level, to interface with faculty and staff, and to represent the diverse voices of our alumni. Through the AAB, I feel I’m able to offer a positive impact on the alumni community.

"Carnegie Mellon feels like home. I stay engaged because I enjoy being inspired by current students, collaborating with like-minded alumni, sharing in longstanding campus traditions, and continuing to learn from some of the country’s brightest minds."

AAB Members

lenny-an.jpgLenny An
(ENG 2011, 2012)
Brooklyn, NY

Favorite CMU memory:
My most cherished memories are when I was together with my amazing community, whether it be studying together in the ChemE cluster, practicing a piece for Dancers' Symposium, putting together the roof of SigEp's booth, or sneaking around campus rooftops (oops!).

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
Honestly, the stories from fellow alumni make everything worth it. Each CMU alumni has such an amazing story, whether it's a story of their upbringing, the story of how they got to CMU, their CMU experience, or the story of whatever amazing thing they're inevitably up to.

denise-700x700.jpgDenise Asafu-Adjei 
(MCS 2008)
Chicago, IL

Favorite CMU memory:
Joining Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, being a founding member of COMPASS, SPIRIT fashion show weekends, spending time with my residents when I was a Resident Assistant and hanging out in the CMARC office.

Why did you join the AAB?
I joined the AAB because CMU has left such an invaluable mark on my life. I believe in the vision of CMU and feel it is important to support CMU so that this phenomenal experience can be available for future generations.

eb_headshot.jpgErika Banuelos
(DC 1996)
Denver, CO

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
The University and its initiatives evolve, I like witnessing that and being a part of those initiatives. And, I love meeting other proud alumni that I wouldn't have otherwise met!

Why did you join the AAB?
Representation matters to me, my hope is that I'm unapologetically epitomizing someone from the current student body and/or alumni who are: Latinx, an athlete, an enthusiastic polyglot, a buggy-pusher or that impassioned constructor! I will proudly contribute my small piece to this big CMU puzzle wherever and whenever I can.

nik_bonaddio.jpgNik Bonaddio
(CMU 2004; DC 2005)
New York City

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
Getting to meet new people who share my enthusiasm for the school and for creating the best experience for current and future students.

Why did you join the AAB?
Carnegie Mellon has always held such a special place in my heart and it's given me so much  and now it is time to give back.

bortey2.jpgLawrence Bortey
(HNZ 1996)
Washington, D.C.

Favorite CMU memory:
The one that stands out in my mind's eye at the moment was graduation day. It had been a long road leading up to that day and finally, I had accomplished what I had set out to do.

Why did you join the AAB?
To give back through volunteering, staying informed about all things CMU, showing pride in my education, helping other students just like I had been supported by other alumni and developing new connections.

pauladeasy.jpgPaula Deasy
(TPR 1988)
Oakmont, PA

Favorite CMU memory:
My favorite memory at CMU is the excitement and energy that filled the whole campus in the days leading up to and throughout Spring Carnival. From 5 am pre-buggy gatherings, to the races, to working the booth, riding the rides and just celebrating late into the night with friends. Fun!

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
CMU is in the fabric of my family (Dad, three brothers and two sons are also Tartans). It's amazing to watch CMU evolve and flourish with so many exceptional people making a positive impact on the world. Staying engaged energizes me, expands my mind and opens my heart to new possibilities.

cropped_msft_pic.pngPulkita Dua
(ENG 2018)
Seattle, WA

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
The number of sheer jaw-dropping talented and distinguished alumni that have excelled in their verticals

Why did you join the AAB?
To stay engaged and give back to the University gave me life long friendships, mentors, memories and got me my job, giving me the foundation to set me up for life.

bruce-simeon-edelston-dsc_0240.jpgBruce Edelston
(ENG 1976; HNZ 1976)
Atlanta, GA

Favorite CMU memory:
Pouring asphalt in the middle of the night before buggy rolls.

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
CMU gave me a start to what was a wonderful career and all the tools I needed. I want to continue to ensure that it provides such opportunities to current and future students. It's a good feeling to give back when you can.

Why did you join the AAB?
I joined the AAB to help make a difference to the University. I think alumni engagement is critical to ensuring that CMU remains one of the top universities in the country, and I can do my small part as a member of the AAB.

emani_sujata.jpgSujata Emani
(MCS 2005)
Silver Spring, MD

Favorite CMU memory:
As I walked through campus on graduation day I felt like every step on the sidewalk revealed a flashback to a moment. I felt all my effort, time, friendships and achievements of four years as we walked to the stadium.

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
I enjoy sharing the lessons that have stuck with me from my time at CMU with students. It's equally empowering and energizing to connect with fellow alumni, sharing our accomplishments and exchanging on ways to elevate the University and each other.

vicky-guscoff.jpgVicky Guscoff
(TPR 2008)
Pittsburgh, PA

Favorite CMU memory:
My favorite memory at CMU was to be a part of two acts in Tepper follies my graduating year. I was part of an international fashion show and also did a ballroom dance group number.

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
I enjoy most going to campus events and learning about the latest cutting edge research by students and professors. A bonus is actually taking to the students on their research studies.

chagen-chicago-400x400.jpgChristian Hagen
(HNZ 1996)
Chicago, IL

Favorite CMU memory:
I bleed Carnegie Plaid. If you really want my attention, include Scotty Dog. My first month of school, I had tailgate parties that included such dignitaries as university Deans and the famed mascot himself. This memory is one of my favorites and most mentioned by my good friends from CMU.

Why did you join the AAB?
My passion for CMU has not waned since leaving Pittsburgh. As an alumnus, I have been active with Carnegie Mellon University and Heinz College and participate in many alumni events and programs. This includes recruiting and attending alumni events in Chicago — including those in my neighborhood near Wrigley Field.

james_harrison-700x700.jpgJames Harrison
(CFA 1993)
Houston, TX

What do you like most about staying engaged?
One of the benefits of being on a college campus is the diversity of thought. This diversity challenges your belief system and makes you question your purpose as well as contributions to society. I found inspiration in our student body as this engagement only makes me a better person.

Why did you join the AAB?
MVolunteering has afforded me the opportunity to give back. If we are stronger together, working with individuals who share the same passion for making Carnegie Mellon the best it can be, can only yield a positive outcome. I want to be the representative who encourages other alumni to get engaged.

allison_lin.jpgAllison Lin
(TPR 2005)
Carlsbad, CA

Favorite CMU memory:
Dance Marathon! Planning for a year to dance for 12 hours straight (who needs sleep at CMU?), with almost every student organization represented to raise money for children's cancer.

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU? 
Hearing about what the university, alumni, and students are doing to change the world.

tim_liu.jpgTim Liu
(DC 1985)
Bristol, TN

Favorite CMU memory:
I organized a 3-day technology conference with speakers like futurist Alvin Toffler and William McGowan (founder of MCI Communications) who helped break up AT&T.  Also, In 2011, I was honored to receive a CMU Alumni Service Award for my service as a former AAB Board member and president of the DC network.

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU? 

A better, rewarding experience since I graduated including interacting with students and faculty as well as creating new life-long friendships with alumni from other decades and programs.

lovering.jpgJoanna Lovering
(CMU 2004)
New York City

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
The CMU community is incredibly passionate and caring. Every time I'm surrounded by my fellow alumni, I'm always struck by how accomplished and enthusiastic they are about the impact they're making on the world. I like to be around people who are making moves — they inspire me constantly.

Why did you join the AAB?
I can humbly say that CMU made me the person I am today and I'm incredibly grateful to the staff, faculty, and my fellow students. This is my way of not only giving back to a school I love so much, but also a way for me to stay connected.

danne_smith__mathis-400x400.jpgDanne Smith Mathis
(DC 1979)
Hampton, VA

Favorite CMU memory:
My favorite CMU memory is when I outsmarted those who were against SPIRIT's "Black Week," joined the Student Senate Finance Committee, and made "Black Week" an official arm of the Student Senate so it could be funded directly from student activities funds and not bake sales and car washes.

Why did you join the AAB?
I joined because I was chosen to be a part of this elite group in which I take great pride. It is an honor and a privilege and a once in a lifetime event for me that means I get to give back in my own unique way!

mccormick-400x400.jpgKim McCormick
(CFA 1993)
Lexington, KY

Favorite CMU Memory:
My experience at CMU is a trove of memories: Crew Club, meeting and dating my husband, hard and fun work in the 3D wood shop, and the Beaux Arts Ball. My peers and the staff made each moment special. One poignant memory was sledding by the cafeteria on trays!

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
Tartan pride is alive in my household. The connection we have from studying at, working at, and/or supporting Carnegie Mellon University is genuine and rewarding. It brings me joy to build personal relationships with the CMU community and receive a smile simply from saying, I am a Tartan, too!

shalini_ray_headshot.jpeg.jpgShalini Ray
(MCS 2015; HNZ 2016)
Washington, D.C.

Favorite CMU memory:
I don't think I can pick one memory, but every extracurricular that CMU gave me access to made my experience at college that much better, including Lunar Gala, Bhangra, Kappa Alpha Theta & Greek Life, Student Senate & SVP, Highland Ambassador, teaching Group X Fitness Classes, SASE and Heinz Health Care Club.

Why did you join the AAB?
CMU gave me more than I could have asked for — some of best friends to this day, my start to my career, endless opportunities and support when I needed it the most. Joining AAB is my way to give back to a place that means so much to me.

pamelynshefman.jpgPamelyn Shefman
(DC 1995)
Houston, TX

Favorite CMU memory:
Road trips with the Ballroom Competition Team in the snow! On one trip, we were stuck on one of PA's highways stopped for so long that we all jumped out of the 13 passenger van and had an impromptu snowball fight. Go plaid!

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
Through the AAB, I have been able to learn what is going on on campus, re-connect with alumni and make contact with alumni that I might have never have met as a student on campus. CMU has remained a campus in motion. I love knowing what is new.

chris-stengel-700x700.jpgChristopher Stengel
(SCS 1993; TPR 2000)
Pittsburgh, PA

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
It helps me hold on to my treasured youth, my treasured past with CMU and my treasured friends from CMU. I love knowing the university's current events and I love having the ability to contribute to that love being fostered in future generations!

Why did you join the AAB?
I realize now that alumni were a part of the reason I enjoyed my time at CMU as much as I did and I want to pay that forward. From Buggy to Regional Networks, these networks can have a significant and ongoing impact on our alumni. It's important to support them!

velez.pngAndrés Vélez
(TPR 2014)
New York City

Favorite CMU memory:
Watching my two older sisters apply to, study at, and graduate from CMU was probably one of the most impactful and inspiring CMU memories of mine. They blazed the trail, set the standards and showed me what was possible at, and with, a degree and network from CMU.

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
It is so exciting to be around such a motivated, intelligent and hard-working group of people, across disciplines. I love to hear about what different students and alumni are doing as well as learn from them.

jim_walters_headshot.jpgJim Walters
(MCS 1979; TPR 1979)
Naperville, IL

Favorite CMU memory:
Having the opportunity to meet and become friends with a diverse group of people from all over the world. I became friends with people from diverse academic disciplines during my affiliation with Delta Upsilon Fraternity. I made friends globally via AIESEC, an organization for business students interested in international careers.

What do you like most about staying engaged with CMU?
I enjoy the opportunity to continue making new friends with diverse backgrounds through various CMU alumni activities, events and networks.

Get Involved


Each year, the AAB chooses new members who are energetic and eager to contribute to the university and the global CMU alumni community. New members are chosen on a variety of factors, including current board representative needs, level of volunteer experience at both Carnegie Mellon and other organizations, consistency of giving to Carnegie Mellon and ability to contribute to the overall AAB mission.

Nominations for the Alumni Association Board are due by January 8, 2023.


Frequently Asked Questions

The Alumni Association aims to foster a global community of engaged alumni, serve as a resource for that global community and provide an organization to serve and promote the mutual interests of Carnegie Mellon University and its alumni. The AAB engages in that mission by:

  • Partnering with the university to provide opportunities for alumni to engage and connect with the university and each other, and to assist with programs and events
  • Encouraging alumni to contribute their time, talent and financial support to Carnegie Mellon
  • Advocating for the entire alumni community and the university on issues of mutual interest
  • Communicating needs and news, and celebrating the innovative accomplishments of Carnegie Mellon and its alumni
  • Providing and promoting opportunities for volunteer engagement, professional association, career development, leadership and fellowship among alumni

The AAB has an annual nomination process during which members of the university community may nominate alumni to the board. A nomination form, professional summary and a minimum of one letters of support are submitted for review by the Nominating Committee of the AAB.

The Nominating Committee selection process focuses on current board representative needs, as well as a candidate's level of volunteer experience at both Carnegie Mellon and other organizations, consistency of giving to Carnegie Mellon and ability to contribute to the overall AAB mission.

The AAB is led by a president along with the past president and president-elect. The president serves a six-year term (two years each as president-elect, president and past president) and represents the board and all alumni at official university functions. The president also serves on the university's Board of Trustees.

The AAB  has several committees on which its members  serve. There are 23 to 24 total AAB directors:

  • 4 officers, including the assistant vice president for alumni relations, who serves as board secretary
  • 20 directors serving 4-year terms, beginning July 1
  • 3 ex-officio members: The vice president for university advancement, a student representative and a rotating representative from the Andrew Carnegie Society Executive Board

Attend all AAB meetings and CMU events — The AAB meets three times per year, in the fall, winter and spring. The meetings are typically held in Pittsburgh, although meetings have been held in other cities around the country. In-person attendance at all full board meetings is expected for those who live in North America. AAB directors who live outside of North America are expected to be physically present at a minimum of one full board meeting per year and to participate in all other meetings remotely. In addition to board meetings, AAB directors are expected to attend at least one college event and one global network event annually, and are encouraged to attend Spring Carnival.

Serve and participate on committees — Members of the AAB are assigned to standing and ad hoc committees. Standing committees include:

  • The Executive Committee, composed of the president, president-elect, past president, secretary and all standing committee chairs, is led by the president and assigns AAB directors to serve on one or more committee each year.
  • The Nominating Committee solicits and reviews nominations and selects and submits candidates for directors of the AAB, as well as for president-elect, to the board for its approval.
  • The Awards Committee solicits and reviews nominations and selects and submits candidates for the Alumni Association Awards to the board for its approval. These awards are presented at an annual ceremony held on campus.

Ad hoc and working committees are designed to reflect current and ongoing AAB and university priorities. All board directors are expected to participate fully in the work of the full board and the committee(s) to which they have been assigned. This includes in-person work at board meetings, as well as via virtual channels between meetings. Committee chairs will spend additional time working with staff partners and ensuring that the committee objectives are met.

Support/give back — Every AAB member is expected to make an annual financial gift (in any amount) to the university. They are expected to cover the costs of their travel and accommodations for board meetings and campus events. At the request of the board member, Carnegie Mellon can provide a letter to verify volunteer service for tax-deduction purposes. 

Advocate, participate and mentor — All AAB directors serve as role models to other alumni by keeping their contact information up to date, keeping up on the latest CMU news and activities, and participating in giving, as well as regional and interest group activities, reunions, college and department activities, and campus events. Members of the board may be asked to mentor incoming AAB directors to help with the onboarding process.

Recognize their limitations — Should circumstances arise in the personal or professional life of a board member that prevent full participation at the above-described levels, the member should notify the board president. If it is determined they can no longer fully serve, the Nominating Committee will be responsible for filling the vacancy.