Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

Carnegie Mellon University Integrated Innovation Institute Logo
April 30, 2024

Alumni Volunteers: Community MVPs

Alumni from the Integrated Innovation Institute donate their time and expertise to support and strengthen iii’s community of innovators.

By Mary Kilcoyne

Within the nonprofit sphere, philanthropy wins the adoration, generating headline-making press releases and special announcements from leadership.

Yet, alumni’s invaluable donations of time and expertise deserve just as much admiration.

Alumni help day-to-day operations, supercharge events and academic courses, support the next generation of innovators, and instill pride within the community.

Not only can volunteering lead to personal fulfillment, but it also provides an opportunity to stay connected and to develop new skills.

As National Volunteer Appreciation Month closes, the Integrated Innovation Institute thanks its generous alumni for all the ways in which they continue to support the University, iii, and each other:

  • Assisting Admissions by interviewing applicants, guiding admitted students, and participating in Info Sessions as panelists

  • Holding virtual Office Hours during the academic year to meet 1:1 with students to help with professional development, networking, and transitioning into and out of CMU

  • Conducting mock interviews and providing students with feedback on performance

  • Participating as guest lecturers and panelists to share their career journeys and experience, teach workshops, and lead prototyping sessions

  • Sharing job opportunities and internships within their networks and championing fellow Tartans, as appropritate, for roles at their companies
  • Attending virtual and in-person events
  • Sponsoring IPD Capstone Projects 

Volunteer Spotlight: Admissions Interviewers

Headshot of Harshika Jain

Harshika Jain (MIIPS '19)
Senior Product Designer

Harshika has shipped products for over 10 million users and, in collaboration with CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, published six research papers on tangible morphing artifacts and physical-digital toolkits for STEM education. An expert at building design systems, she is developing a RAG-based GenAI platform for McKinsey.

"Being involved with CMU helps me to establish myself professionally, to expand my network, and to support our community. More than the education, CMU was the place where I made close friends. When I was a student and trying to find mentorship or my next job, there were so many alumni who helped me. I want to pay it forward."
Headshot of Ali Siddiqui

Ali Siddiqui (MSSM '10)
Engineering Leader & Entrepreneur

Ali is a seasoned software engineer who has held leadership roles at major tech companies like Yahoo!, Amazon, Oracle, Microsoft, and Stripe. He left the corporate world to ride the entrepreneurship rollercoaster. Leveraging his experience and expertise, he is the co-founder of an AI-startup that will solve the headaches of running a business on multi-cloud. 

"It's a privilege and honor to be part of the process and to help wherever and whenever I can. I’ve conducted over 2,000 interviews in my professional life so I felt equipped to help. Even with my breadth of experience, ‘admitted students’ are a category of people that I have not interviewed yet so I felt it will add to my experience and increase my horizons. Plus, it will help out a good cause and, hopefully, it will keep the bar high for CMU if I bring industry knowledge into the mix."
Headshot of Taciano Moraes

Taciano Moraes (MSSM '15)
Tech Operations Manager

Since CMU, Taciano has co-founded a profitable meditation app, developed products in AI and Blockchain while managing remote teams across four continents, was a guest professor for five years at the Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG) in Brazil, and ran Google Design Sprints in six states around Brazil for a nationwide innovation project.

"CMU catapulted my career, both in terms of knowledge and experience, as well as financially. Staying involved is not only a way to give back but also an opportunity to grow through the process of guiding students. Participating in these interviews transported me back to the exact moment I got my Admissions email. Remembering this moment filled me with gratitude for this full-circle opportunity to contribute to the future of a program that was once my greatest present."
Headshot of John Soh

John Soh (MIIPS '16)
Design Strategist
Capital One

A 2x CMU alum, John earned a Bachelor of Architecture before his MIIPS degree. Post-grad, he ascended to lead industrial designer before pivoting into the digital realm. He sharpened his service design and strategy skills on Freddie Mac’s CX team and now works at his dream company. John mentors not only for iii but also for, a global mentorship community.

"Alums from the Institute are willing to roll up their sleeves and help students, and I want to be part of that – to give back to the community. That’s what makes the iii so strong; it’s the network. I got lucky with finding a mentor who basically changed how I saw the world. If I could do that same thing for even just one person, then I can pat myself on the back knowing I did something in this world of 8 billion people."

By the numbers: Admissions Interviews & Alumniii Office Hours

Infographic: Clock - 154+ hours, Resume - 450+ Interviews; CMU Mascot Mark - 16 volunteers
iii People Logo in red; within each "i" a number in white: 53, 124, 50, representing the number of students, meetings, and alumni

A Community of MVPs

Our alumni volunteer to help us in countless ways, for which we are so grateful! Many (though not all) of our amazing volunteers are listed in the dropdowns below. 👇 

  • Akriti Aggarwal (MSSM '20)
  • Shobhit Aggarwal (MIIPS '22)
  • Pranathi Alla (MSSM '22)
  • Melissa Appel (MPD '05)
  • Swagata Ashwani (MIIPS '18)
  • Yash Banka (MIIPS '22)
  • Phil Marchetti (MPD '14)
  • Prasen Shelar (MSSM '18)
  • Brian Shyu (MPD '14)
  • Chenyu Wang (MIIPS '16)
  • Yang Yang (MIIPS '18)
  • Rajlakshmee (MIIPS '15)
  • Navtej Singh (MSSM '23)
  • Manas Mahaddalkar (MIIPS '22)
  • Catherine Li (MIIPS '22)
  • Jasveen Kaur (MIIPS '22)
  • Samhita Kanthavar (MSSM '22)
  • Raghvi Kabra (MIIPS '22)
  • Raksha Hukkeri (MSSM '22)
  • Eugenia Huang (MSSM '22)
  • Jonathan Gelfman (MSSM '22)
  • Devang Gaur (MSSM '22)
  • Ashlon Frank (MIIPS '22)
  • Elisa Arango (MIIPS '22)
  • Amol Patil (MSSM '18)
  • Brian Xiao (MIIPS '19)
  • Chenyu Wang (MIIPS '16)
  • Eileen Wang (MIIPS '20)
  • Ghalia Farzat (MSSM '18)
  • Hayley Somerville (MIIPS '15)
  • Manini Chattopadhyay (MSSM '17)
  • Radha Tangirala (MSSM '20)
  • Rahul Udipi (MSSM '17)
  • Reggie Raye (MIIPS '17)
  • Sanghmitra Shrivastava (MSSM '18)
  • Tan Gao (MSSM '12)
  • Vagisha Singh (MIIPS '17)
  • Virgil Looney (MIIPS '22)
  • Dhairyya Agarwal (MSSM '20)
  • Shobhit Aggarwal (MIIPS '22)
  • Melissa Appel (MPD '05)
  • Neha Arora (MSSM '15)
  • Swagata Ashwani (MIIPS '18)
  • Rishabh Banga (MSSM '22)
  • Seema Bansal (MIIPS '19)
  • Raphael Bouchard (MPD '13)
  • Matt Brada (MSSM '09)
  • Yu-Jan Chang (MIIPS '21)
  • Megan Dado (MIIPS '23)
  • Pratyush Dave (MSSM '09)
  • Prajwal Deshkar (MSTV '23)
  • Tan Gao (MSSM '12)
  • Piyush Gupta (MSSM '15)
  • Tanya Gupta (MIIPS '22)
  • Melody Her (MIIPS '20)
  • Anil Iyer (MSSM '10)
  • Harshika Jain (MIIPS '19)
  • Biju Joseph Jacob (MSSM '18)
  • Raghvi Kabra (MIIPS '22)
  • Krish Karanam (MSSM '18)
  • Ben Lewis (MIIPS '14)
  • Zihui Lin (MIIPS '22)
  • Yuan-Fu Lou (MSSM '20)
  • Philip Marchetti (MPD '14)
  • Ian Miller (MPD '10)
  • Julia Mitzinneck (MIIPS '21)
  • Ayusman Mohanty (MIIPS '22)
  • Dan Newingham (MPD '13)
  • David Oh (MSSM '12)
  • Nilay Pal (MSSM '20)
  • Trishala Pillai (MIIPS '22)
  • Rebecca Pinn (MPD '12)
  • Alwal Putta (MSSM '13)
  • Ruben Rincon (MSSM '15)
  • Shivangee Sabharwal (MSSM '22)
  • Samrat Sarovar (MPD '14)
  • Vera Schulz (MIIPS '21)
  • Rahul Sekar (MIIPS '20)
  • Ani Seshasayee (MSTV '20)
  • Mu Jiun Shie (MIIPS '20)
  • John Soh (MIIPS '16)
  • Tim Tan (MSTV '21)
  • Yun Tang (MIIPS '21)
  • Ashwini Vikram (MSSM '14)
  • Chenyu Wang (MIIPS '16)
  • Jiaxin Wu (MIIPS '20)
  • Lisa Yeung (MSTV '21)
  • William Young (MPD '11)

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