Carnegie Mellon University

University Events

The University Events team plans and executes major celebrations, ceremonies and gatherings that bring together the campus community and project CMU’s engagement around the world. These events build participation and affinity among faculty, students, staff and alumni, while strengthening relationships with donors, industry partners, government officials and other key collaborators, supporting the university’s priorities in a direct and powerful way. Among the team’s responsibilities are major announcements, building openings and groundbreakings, VIP visits, major alumni events, Commencement, presidential/executive events and opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of faculty and staff.

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer

Senior Director, University Events

Jen develops comprehensive plans, goals and tactics for major events that promote the university and help educate and engage key constituents. She assembles and collaborates with university-wide teams to ensure that events advance the university’s initiatives, raise visibility and communicate key messages. Jen’s love of organizing started at a young age, when she would spend hours organizing her grandmother’s kitchen drawers, while supposedly being babysat. She is married with two kids, whom she adores most of the time, and lives in Oakmont, which is pretty famous for its bakery and golf course.

Jaye Centor

Jaye Centor

Senior Associate, Executive Engagement

Jaye is responsible for development and management of executive engagement strategy, events and programs for the university and the president. She also serves as the primary staff liaison to the president’s wife. Born and raised #BostonStrong, she earned a bachelor’s of arts in American studies with a minor in education from Brandeis University. Prior to CMU, she planned events for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, where she once helped Walter Cronkite pull up his socks, literally. Jaye and husband Josh frequently discuss their next cruise, retirement and becoming food truck owners.

photo of Kate Conklin

Kate Conklin

University Events Associate

Kate assists the University Events Team with major events and manages several annual events on her own. She graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a focus in Marketing. She was also a member of her school’s Division II field hockey team. Kate loves to make any ordinary occasion special by focusing on the details. She even creates personalized itineraries when her friends and family come to visit. In her spare time she enjoys staying active, coaching field hockey, and trying all of Pittsburgh’s amazing restaurants.

photo of Helen Ewing

Helen Ewing

Sr. University Events Coordinator

Helen makes sure all the pieces are in place for CMU’s events to run smoothly. Her previous event-planning experience includes wrangling petting zoo critters (and some elected officials) at outdoor festivals in Lawrenceville; leading tree plantings; and organizing policy hearings. She’s been obsessed with global politics since moving to England at age 15. She studied political science at the University of Pittsburgh and managed the district office of State Representative Erin Molchany before landing at CMU. On the weekends, she gets bossed around by her dogs and samples IPAs at local breweries.

photo of Katy Simovski

Katy Simovski

Sr. University Events Coordinator

Katy is responsible for managing and executing major university events - focusing on strategic initiative events, VIP visits/lectures, large annual university events (e.g., commencement) and Government Relations events, as necessary. She is a proud graduate of Seton Hill University and Point Park University, with a bachelor’s degree in technical theater and an MBA in sports art and entertainment management, respectively. She enjoys sewing, painting and singing soprano in her church choir, and she won’t pass up an opportunity to redecorate a room. Katy lives in Mt. Lebanon with her husband, two children and French bulldog, George.   

Kate Walter

Kate Walter

Associate Director, University Events

Kate focuses on strategic planning, coordination and management of many high-profile and large-scale university-wide events, such as Commencement, and visits by world and government leaders and other VIPs. She also oversees the alumni events coordinator and university events associate. Kate is a Heinz College graduate, likes big dogs more than most people, travels as much as possible and hate’s inappropriate apostrophe usage.

Sara Werner

Sara Werner

Executive Events Coordinator

Sara plans and implements receptions, formal dinners, luncheons, fundraisers, board functions, social events and meetings hosted by President Subra Suresh. She has a bachelor’s degree in music from Allegheny College and a master’s degree in arts management from the Heinz College. Prior to CMU, she managed events at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. She lives with her husband Michael, a stepson and cats Eileen, Rosie and Zelda. In her spare time, she plays the cello with the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra and does her best not to turn into a full-fledged crazy cat lady.