Carnegie Mellon University
December 15, 2017

New Associate and Assistant Deans Named

By Ben Panko

Jocelyn Duffy

Three new associate and assistant deans have been appointed for the Mellon College of Science (MCS). William Alba was named assistant dean for diversity, Curtis Meyer was named associate dean for research and Manfred Paulini was named associate dean for faculty and graduate affairs.

William Alba

William Alba has been named assistant dean for diversity for MCS. He is the inaugural holder of this newly created position.

As assistant dean for diversity, Alba is concerned with enhancing a diverse MCS community, where diversity includes but is not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, first-generation educational status, geographic origin, socioeconomic background and sexual orientation. He will look to increase access to MCS academic programs, grow MCS engagement with local communities, connect with campus and regional partners and support and engage members of the college around diversity issues.

Alba came to Carnegie Mellon University in 2005 as the first director of the Science and Humanities Scholars Program. This program supports undergraduate Carnegie Mellon students exploring the university’s academic options through an academic foundation in MCS and the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences before selecting a major best suited to their interests. Since 2006, Alba has also served as director of the Advanced Placement/Early Admission Program, which enables high school students to enroll in Carnegie Mellon summer college courses. As assistant dean, Alba will continue to oversee both of these programs.

Alba is affiliated on campus with the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Moon Arts Group, Center for Arts in Society, and Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and serves as chapter president of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He has an appointment as an associate teaching professor in the Department of Chemistry and regularly teaches courses on the history of ideas about the circle; on scientific, societal and communication challenges confronting energy; and the EUREKA first-year MCS seminar, which he helped to develop. At Carnegie Mellon he has also taught seminars on Ancient Greek, the history and science of optics and time capsules and messaging extraterrestrial intelligence.

Alba earned a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Cornell University.

Curtis Meyer

Curtis Meyer has been appointed associate dean for research for MCS. He is the inaugural holder of this newly created position.

As associate dean for research, Meyer will work to enhance and grow research at MCS. This will include working with partners both within MCS and across the University to help grow industry and foundation grants and to help develop and support new research opportunities.

Meyer joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1993 and is now a professor of physics. For the past five years, he has served as MCS’s associate dean for faculty and graduate affairs. In that position, he supervised the process of promotion and reappointment of faculty, along with managing graduate student organizations within the college. He also oversaw the transition of promotion materials online and helped develop an online presence for researchers at MCS to increase the visibility of their research.

A member of the Department of Physics’ nuclear and particle physics group, Meyer serves as spokesperson for the GlueX particle physics experiment at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia.

Meyer earned his doctoral degree in particle physics from the University of California, Berkeley and his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from Oregon State University.

Manfred Paulini

Succeeding Meyer, Manfred Paulini has been named associate dean for faculty and graduate affairs for MCS.

Paulini joined the Carnegie Mellon University faculty in 2000 and is now a professor of physics. For the past eight years, he has served as head of the graduate program in the Department of Physics. In this role, he oversees all graduate-program related matters within the department, such as coordinating the orientation of incoming graduate students and serving as advisor for all first-year graduate students.

In his new position, Paulini aims to expand on that work by bringing together graduate students from various departments across MCS and helping to prepare them for life after academia. He will also oversee the promotion and reappointment of faculty within the college.

Paulini earned his doctoral degree in physics from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. His research is in experimental particle physics, where he is a member of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. He is searching the CMS data for the production of supersymmetric particles, which are also candidates to explain the dark matter in the universe.