BXA Advisors & Staff
Dr. M. Stephanie Murray
Director & Academic Advisor | Associate Teaching Professor, BXA
M. Stephanie Murray has directed the BXA Intercollege Programs since 2011. She also teaches the BXA Seminar I for first-year students and BXA Seminar II for transfer students; both classes address representation as a mode of knowledge across disciplines. These seminars consider visual art, graphic novels, podcasts, videos, films, maps and other creative expressions through the lens of critical and aesthetic theory.
Dr. Murray also co-teaches the BXA Capstone Seminars, where she helps guide BXA seniors through their research toward their senior projects, as well as reminding them why failure is an important research method.
From her background in Early Modern English drama, Dr. Murray has expanded her research interests to address ekphrasis and visual representation in text, strategies of epistemology and narrative, and how specialized vocabularies help frame individual experience. She’s currently working on an article about reading, color and the body as text in Shakespeare’s Lucrece and drafting her manifesto for an imaginary Institute of Weird Studies.
Dr. Murray earned her Ph.D. in Literature and her M.A. in Humanities at the University of Chicago, and did her undergraduate work at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Carrie Hagan
Associate Director & Academic Advisor | Assistant Teaching Professor, BXA
Carrie Hagan joins the BXA program from the history department, where she has taught courses on women’s history and the history of juvenile justice. As a scholar of gender and youth, Dr. Hagan is interested in how societies define, at any given time, what behaviors are deemed to be “appropriate” for young people, especially girls. Her research focuses on transitions in mid-20th century American public policy with regard to youthful misbehavior, and how these changes were tied to broader shifts in youth culture, consumption and sexuality. She completed her doctoral and masters work in US social and cultural history at Carnegie Mellon, and became grounded in history and gender studies through a BA at the University of California, Santa Cruz, which has a mascot even more unusual than a “tartan.”
In addition to her scholarly work on adolescence, Dr. Hagan has a background in student advocacy and mentorship, and has been involved in different aspects of student affairs on campus for several years. She is skilled at offering thoughtful advice in matters of both work and life – including, but not limited to – how to ride local transit; how to navigate the channels of academic bureaucracy; how to build a network; how to craft an appealing personal statement; and how to wear many hats at once, attractively. Dr. Hagan’s experience includes a commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, and to the intersection of scholarship and community engagement, working locally with a range of organizations to champion the rights of women and girls, engage in arts-based approaches to urban revitalization and promote harm reduction in public health. She enjoys connecting people to other people throughout Pittsburgh and believes strongly that this city offers a wonderful base camp for making/thinking/learning about art, history and self-invention.
Sr. Academic & Communications Coordinator, BXA
Emily Syes has been part of the BXA Intercollege Degree Programs team since 2007. She is a Staff Council Division 11 Representative for the College of Fine Arts and is a member of the CFA Staff Advocates, Food Drive, Public Art, Rewards & Recognition and Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day committees. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education for Museums and Cultural Institutions from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Education degree in Art Education from Carlow University. She is a PA certified K-12 art teacher with experience in both museum and public school settings. She is also an art instructor at Sweetwater Center for the Arts. Her graduate thesis focused on the fear of failure as an inhibitor to student learning, creativity and total success.
Academic advising is an essential component of a Carnegie Mellon University education. The university is committed to providing the individual advice and assistance that students need at every step throughout their degree programs. A successful system of academic advising is highly dependent upon the shared commitment of students, faculty and staff to the process and the availability of timely, accurate information.
Academic Advising Statement
Students are encouraged to seek advice from all possible resources on and off campus in order to get the most out of the undergraduate years. As a BXA student, you have a rich advising network of individuals committed to guiding your unique curricular experience. Please visit your advisors and make sure they know who you are. Your advisors are valuable resources for today and for your future.
BXA students are responsible for scheduling, preparing for and keeping advising appointments; for seeking out contacts and information; and for knowing the basic requirements of their individual degree programs. Students bear the final responsibility for making their own decisions based on the best information and advice available and, ultimately, on their own judgment.
BXA advisors are responsible for developing a thorough knowledge of the degree requirements within the students' program of study and a working knowledge of academic options and resources throughout the university. Advisors are expected to involve students by encouraging them to ask questions, gather information and explore options so that they may develop a meaningful academic plan. Advisors will be available to students on a regular basis, monitor their advisees' progress, assist in considering career options and make appropriate referrals to other campus offices.