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The Piper+ December 2010

Happy 175th Birthday, Andy!

Andrew Carnegie Birthday Party

Along with members of the Delta Gamma Sorority, more than 700 faculty, staff, students and alumni celebrated the 175th birthday of Andrew Carnegie in late November at a birthday party sponsored by Annual Giving and Alumni Relations.

National Book Award

Terrance Hayes

In a special ceremony, Pittsburgh City Council proclaimed Nov. 30, 2010, "Terrance Hayes Day" to recognize the CMU English Professor "as one of America's most dynamic and accomplished poets." Hayes won the National Book Award on Nov. 17 for his fourth poetry collection, titled "Lighthead."  After receiving the city's proclamation, Hayes noted that Pittsburgh has a diverse and thriving arts scene unique from any other place he's lived.  "Pittsburgh is where I became a poet," he said.  "Any award or recognition I receive is a result of the resources this city provides."

Read the announcement on his National Book Award.

Pittsburgh City Council Declared Nov. 30, 2010, Terrance Hayes Day.

Read a Q&A with Hayes.    

Watch Hayes read his poetry.

Building Better Brains

Nathan Urban and Michael Tarr Nathan Urban (from left), head of the Department of Biological Sciences, and Michael J. Tarr, co-director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), will be honored on Jan. 20 as part of a celebration and launch of a new strategic research initiative for CMU — brain, mind and learning sciences. Read an interview with Tarr and Urban about why brain, mind and learning research is different at Carnegie Mellon, and about where they see the university headed.
Russo Urna Biswas (left), a junior business administration major, was among the 28 students who met Allison Russo (TRP'88) on Nov. 30. Russo and her husband, Paul (S'86), who is a managing director at Goldman Sachs, visited campus after Goldman Sachs Gives made a $2 million gift this fall to assist students whose families have been disproportionately affected by America's economic recession. Read more about the gift in a related press release.

Reza Vali, an associate professor of composition, is taking an innovative journey to return to his native Iranian roots. He's orchestrated a shortcut to learning Persian music by developing the Arghonoon. Read about the instrument in this month's Piper, and watch a demonstration of the instrument by Eric Barndollar. Plus, Vali offers more about this Arghonoon and his work in a video.

$1 Billion Goal in Sight

We Graphic
WE can make a difference. Carnegie Mellon is on track to reach the $1 billion goal of the Inspire Innovation campaign. Thanks in part to the support of the campus community, the university is in the homestretch to achieve this historic milestone. Visit for the latest campaign news and progress, or to make a gift today. Progress since October 15, 2010: $6,059,411

Piper Trivia

According to this month's Piper, six proposed projects have been identified as priorities for the Pittsburgh campus in the Master Plan being developed. For this month's trivia question, send a list of three of the six projects to Bruce Gerson at and include "December Piper Trivia" in the subject line. Previous winners are ineligible. Winners will receive a prize from the Carnegie Mellon Bookstore.

Top Headlines and Related Links

Winging it Design students helped create an
exhibit at the Carnegie Museum
of Natural History
. Read about
their work in this month's Piper.
• Anniversary Gift Paints Hunt Library
• CMU, Shiv Nadar Partnership Opens Doors in India
• Two New Programs To Debut at MLK Jr. Day, Jan. 17
• Universities InterACT To Give Students a Global Edge
• Classes Find Success with Book-Length Comics
• Creating a Niche
• Students Turn Salvaged Banners Into Artwork
• PennFuture Honors CMU Among Clean Energy Heroes
Master Plan In this month's Piper, read about
how the master plan hopes to
make Forbes Avenue safer for pedestrians.
The Latino Center unveiled a new
mural in November that CMU's
Center for the Arts in Society
create with Jovénes Sin Nombres.
Read more in the Piper.
ULS This month's Spotlight Lecture,
documentarian Michael Sheridan, who
will be bringing his latest project to CMU, is just one of the many guest
speakers who are part of the University Lecture Series this spring.

About Us

The Piper is a source for official Carnegie Mellon news from the Internal Communications Department. Published monthly during the academic year, the Piper includes stories about university research, the people who make that research happen, the students we all support, and the events and activities that make this university and its branch campuses a vibrant place to live, work and learn.

Contact Us

If you have questions, story ideas or comments about the Piper, please contact Editor Bruce Gerson at or Managing Editor Heidi Opdyke at We hope you like what you see. And we hope you'll keep reading.



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