Carnegie Mellon University
February 01, 2018

Three MCS Alumni Honored with Alumni Awards

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Associate Dean for Communications, MCS
  • 412-268-9982

MCS alumni Njema Frazier (S 1992), Mark Gelfand (S 1973) and Ashley Kilp Godisart (CMU 2010) have been named recipients of Carnegie Mellon University’s 2018 Alumni Awards, which recognize their professional achievements and service to the university. They will be honored at a reception on May 18 during Commencement Weekend.

Njema FrazierFrazier, a theoretical nuclear physicist in the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE’s NNSA) and a graduate of the physics department, will receive an Alumni Achievement Award recognizing her exceptional accomplishments and leadership in her field.

Within NNSA, Frazier manages scientific and technical projects that ensure a safe, secure and effective nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing. She has led efforts in nuclear weapons modeling and simulation, weapons physics experiments and international collaborations. She is acting director of the Inertial Confinement Fusion Program, which provides experimental capabilities and scientific understanding for weapons-relevant high energy density physics. 

Frazier was a leadership ambassador for the OneDOE Campaign and a champion of the Department’s Minorities in Energy Initiative under the Obama administration. She is a co-founder of the POWER (Professional Opportunities for Women at Energy Realized) Employee Resource Group at DOE. She holds positions on the National Advisory Board of the National Society of Black Engineers, in the Algebra by 7th Grade Initiative, and in Diversity Science, LLC, an expert-based network of scientists and engineers dedicated to broadening STEM participation.

Frazier has received the Department of Defense Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award, the award for Distinguished Service to the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Black Engineer of the Year Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award. She has been featured in Career Girls, Diverse Faces of Science, the Grio’s List of 100 History Makers in the Making, the Black Enterprise Hot List, the Essence Power List, the EBONY Power 100 list and the Black Girls Rock! Awards, which honored her as the STEM Tech Recipient for 2017.

Mark GelfandGelfand, founder of the Boston-area based Intex Solutions, Inc. and non-governmental organization Stem Synergy, will also receive an Alumni Achievement Award. 

Gelfand has long been interested in industry and technical education. Since earning a B.S. in physics at Carnegie Mellon, he has been a factory worker, computer programmer, engineer, businessman, investor and philanthropist. Forty years ago, he founded Boston-area company Intex Solutions, Inc., which developed the standard calculator for the international structured finance markets. 

For the past 10 years, Gelfand’s physics and electronics background has served as the foundation for many STEM enrichment projects for deserving youth in the United States, Israel, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda. To date in Africa, the philanthropic projects established by his NGO, STEM Synergy, include 18 hands-on science and engineering centers, 31 university STEM outreach programs, 75 municipal schools' virtual computing labs, and many other hands-on STEM enrichment programs. He also is the founder and active manager of TodayTomorrow Ventures, an "impact investment" portfolio of self-sustaining industrial and agro-tech companies in Ethiopia.  

Ashley Kilp GodisartGodisart, an emergency medicine physician at Heritage Valley Health systems, will receive the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award recognizing her professional success and service to the university in her first decade as an alumna.

A Pittsburgh-area native, Godisart graduated from the Mellon College of Science and the Science & Humanities Scholars program in 2010 with a degree in chemistry. She attended the University of Pennsylvania for medical school and returned to Pittsburgh in 2014 for an emergency medicine residency at the University of Pittsburgh, where she served as chief resident. 

Throughout her career, Godisart has sought to stay engaged in her communities. She spends many summers at Dragonfly Forest, a camp for children with serious medical conditions or autism. Her heart is also still in the work in regard to Carnegie Mellon, where she serves on the Task Force for the Carnegie Mellon Experience, which works to closely examine the Carnegie Mellon experience and develop recommendations to enhance the community. 

Godisart is also an advisory board member for Carnegie Mellon's chapter of Camp Kesem, a student-run summer camp for children with a parent affected by cancer. She enjoys sharing her perspective as a CMU graduate in medicine by speaking with multiple student groups on campus and participating in the iDeATe program. She also shares her love of Carnegie Mellon with the next generation as an alumni interviewer for prospective students.

First presented in 1950, the Alumni Awards pay tribute to individuals distinguished by their service to the university and outstanding accomplishments in the arts, humanities, sciences, technology and business. To date, nearly 900 alumni, faculty and students have been honored with these awards.

A full list of Alumni Award recipients and more information about the awards and awards ceremony can be found at