Carnegie Mellon University

Image of Pallave Dasari

August 31, 2018

CMU Australia Graduates Leave With Lessons for a Lifetime

By Kathryn Mitchell

Among the August 2018 graduates of Carnegie Mellon University Australia were the first group to join CMU-A through agreements with the Central Bank of Mexico and the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines.

Since 2006, Carnegie Mellon Australia has graduated nearly 500 students in information technology and public policy and management. The program, which is located in Adelaide, South Australia, is part of CMU's Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy and has attracted students from 26 countries.

Emil P. Bolongaita, head of CMU Australia and Distinguished Service Professor, told students they will find they have shared experiences with CMU alumni around the world.

"We count on you, our fresh graduates, who are now equipped with new knowledge and tools to connect, collaborate and create," Bolongaita said.

The keynote speaker for the August graduation ceremony was David Radzanowski, a former chief financial officer for NASA, and a 1990 alumnus of the Heinz College. Radzanowski is senior vice president of the Equator Corporation and oversees strategic business for Australia's Future Submarine Program, the largest defense procurement program in Australia's history.

"All of you are leaders today, already in many different ways. Whether you realize it or not. You will be leaders going forward," Radzanowski said.

Erick German Rodriguez Alvarez received his master's degree in information technology with concentrations in business intelligence and data analytics.

"Inside the university we are all in the same position and we all worked hard," Alvarez said. "We traveled far away from our families, new places, new people, and in some cases a new language. I am sure each one of us found a way to overcome these problems and to make the most of this experience, which would not have been possible without our friends who became family."

He said professors challenged students to aim for excellence.

"I will carry their lessons throughout the rest of my life," Alvarez said.

Dr. Pallave Dasari was one of two student speakers. Dasari, a breast cancer researcher, described a time when she came to a crossroads of her career and decided to earn her master's degree in public policy and management at CMU-A.

"I still love, and will always love, science, but it was time for a change," Dasari said. "I looked to Carnegie Mellon University for that change."