Carnegie Mellon University

Communications

The Communications team captures the stories that showcase Carnegie Mellon as a world-class university and shares those stories with external and internal audiences.

Through video, photography, news, features and social media, the team communicates what distinguishes Carnegie Mellon from other universities — from its academic excellence and interdisciplinary approach to solving some of the greatest challenges that face society and our planet to our unique partnerships, outstanding thought leaders and one-of-a-kind student experience.

Our team tells the Carnegie Mellon story to news outlets and social platforms across the globe, while also building community among our faculty, staff and students by keeping them informed of university news and events.

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Rebekah Carmichael

Associate Vice President for Communications

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Rebekah Carmichael is the Associate Vice President for Communications, leading teams and strategies for media relations, social media and content production, as well as internal and research communications for the University. Before coming to CMU, Carmichael was Chief Communications Officer and Assistant Dean for Communications for NYU Law, as well as a member of the Law School’s adjunct faculty. Prior to that, Carmichael served in a series of spokesperson roles for the U.S. Department of Justice: in the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of New York and District of New Jersey, and the DOJ's Criminal Division in Washington.

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Jocelyn Duffy

Associate Dean for Communications, Mellon College of Science    

Jocelyn is responsible for setting communications priorities and strategies for the Mellon College of Science (MCS). With the team at MCS, she works on the college’s website, magazine, social media and events. She is co-leader of marketing for the BrainHub initiative.  She was once caught in a water buffalo stampede. Obviously, she survived.

Bruce Gerson

Bruce Gerson

Director, Internal Communication

Bruce keeps faculty and staff informed of "news they can use" through various communications channels, including a very popular weekly e-newsletter. In more than 30 years at CMU, he has served as sports information director, helped to develop internal communications for senior administrators, written and edited news and features, and helped to maintain digital assets. His voiceover work includes the house announcements during commencement and the Andy Awards. He also is a member of the university's Emergency Response Team. In his free time, Bruce enjoys exercising, playing golf, watching sports and spending time on the beach.

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Jean Hayes

Director, Content Strategy

 

Jean directs the content strategy for Carnegie Mellon’s homepage and drives the editorial calendar for the University Communications & Marketing division. She started her career in higher education, and aside from a few years at a global PR and advertising agency and a short time leading her own communications consultancy, Jean has remained committed to helping universities tell their unique stories. A Seattle transplant and Chicago native, she can often be seen running around Pittsburgh in a Seahawks t-shirt and a DePaul cap.

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Michael Henninger

Communications Manager

Michael is an adept storyteller who crafts both written and visual narratives. He comes to CMU after spending nine years as a photojournalist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he photographed stories in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, India and Guatemala. Michael has degrees in Spanish and journalism from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He spends his free time shooting freelance assignments for publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post.

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Peter Kerwin

Director, Media Relations

Peter Kerwin is focused on developing strategies that ensure CMU’s great stories are reaching a broad audience of journalists, editors and producers. He previously served as a Media Relations Manager at the University of Delaware and at the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison, where he developed quarterly reporting systems to track key metrics around media coverage for those institutions. Prior to that, he was a communications lead for several state and local executive officers in Rhode Island and directed outreach and marketing for the state’s 529 college savings plan. He is an avid reader, cook and tennis player and an occasional actor/director with community theater groups.

Kelly Saavedra

Kelly Saavedra

Senior Writer & Editor

Kelly's ability and creativity as a writer, her organizational and technical skills, her keen eye for detail and her flexibility have made her an integral part of the Communications team. After earning a bachelor's degree in engineering from Penn State, Kelly managed the development of project proposals in the iron and steel industry for consultants at Hatch. At Carnegie Mellon, she has written and edited presidential correspondence, marketing materials, event and emergency communications, and hundreds of feature stories for internal and external audiences. Outside of work, Kelly enjoys drawing portraits, watching NHL games with her hubby, learning new songs on the piano and organizing things. But first, coffee.

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Caroline Sheedy

Associate Director of Communications for Research News and Strategic Academic Initiatives

Caroline is part of the university’s research communications team. She works with the Neuroscience Institute and the Simon Initiative to tell stories about the spectacular work that’s happening at Carnegie Mellon. Caroline recently moved back to Pittsburgh after spending more than a decade in Washington, D.C. where she did communications work for Janelia Research Campus, American University, and a boutique strategic communications firm. She has a master’s degree in public communication from American University and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh. When she’s not at work, Caroline loves to explore the world with her husband, Jared, and son, Julian.

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Abby Simmons

Assistant Dean of Communications, Dietrich College

Abby covers the Dietrich College’s latest research and creative projects, including the areas of behavioral economics, decision sciences, history, English, modern languages, philosophy, politics and strategy, psychology, and statistics and data science. She earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. When she’s not at work, you'll likely find her with a garden shovel, hockey stick or travel planner.

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Pam Wigley

Assistant Dean for Communications, College of Fine Arts

Pam promotes the work of faculty, students, staff and alumni of the university’s College of Fine Arts. She has worked in the communications and public relations industry for more than 30 years. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and earned her master’s in human resource management from La Roche College. She travels so often to New York City as part of CMU’s Tony Awards partnership that she looks confident enough for tourists there to keep asking her for directions!