Mary Christine Zeise
Director of Admissions & Alumni Relations
As Director of Admissions & Alumni Relations, Chris supports innovators in every step of their journey with the Integrated Innovation Institute. She is one of the first III team members that our applicants engage with; and upon graduating from our programs, she ensures that our alumni stay connected, whether they are based in Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley, or worldwide.
Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon University, Chris had a seasoned career in the U.S. Air Force—as well as a variety of positions in accounting, teaching, and administration. A Pittsburgh native, she earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh and shortly thereafter joined CMU in 1994 as the Assistant to the Department Head. For more than 13 years, she served as the Graduate Program Administrator for the Department of Mechanical Engineering as well as editor of the alumni magazine, Carnegie Mech. In 2009, Chris moved to our Silicon Valley campus to support alumni relations and admissions.
During her 23+ year tenure with Carnegie Mellon, Chris has actively advocated for graduate student causes. She has served on a number of committees, including the President’s Diversity Advisory Committee for Graduate Education, the Foreign Student Advisory Committee, and the Engineering Advancement Committee. She continues to participate in meetings pertaining to graduate education policies and has also been involved in committees for the university’s Staff Council. As co-chair of the Benefits Subcommittee, she was one of the founding members of the Carnegie Mellon Walking Club.
Chris coordinates and hosts special events for all groups within the CMU community. For the department, Chris supports commencement activities, homecoming, and receptions for special faculty career award and chair nominations. For prospective and current students, she organizes events such as Open House, Orientation, and Student Appreciation Week. For alumni, Chris always finds ways to engage through new activities, including Carnival West, a cherished Silicon Valley spin-off of CMU's Spring Carnival in Pittsburgh.
A Pittsburgh native, Chris enjoys the opportunity to return to her home city. Although based in California, she will remain a true Pittsburgher and a lifetime Steelers fan.
- Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Duquesne University
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology - University of Pittsburgh