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The Graduates: A Look Back at the Class of 2024

These impressive Tartans will soon become Carnegie Mellon University alumni

Media Inquiries
Peter Kerwin
University Communications & Marketing

Long past the unprecedented challenges they faced entering college remotely at the height of a pandemic, Carnegie Mellon University's Class of 2024 graduates have much to celebrate when they gather in person inside Gesling Stadium for the university’s 126th Commencement on May 12.

During their time at CMU, students in the Class of 2024 enriched the campus and surrounding community with their unique perspectives as they sharpened their skills; combined their interests across disciplines; led student organizations; excelled in their academics, research and chosen sports; and shared in the many distinct traditions at CMU.

A mosaic of the faces from Orientation 2020.

The Class of 2024+ carried on the CMU tradition of gathering for a class photo by providing individual photos for this mosaic. Read more

As these newly minted Tartan alumni pack up their CMU education and prepare to take on the world, or further studies, the university celebrates their success with a look back at some of their many incredible accomplishments as well as a glimpse forward to what’s next for this special group of graduates.

2024 Alumni Resource Roundup

As new graduates begin their lives and careers beyond Carnegie Mellon, they retain access to many resources and programming opportunities at the University Libraries(opens in new window). From browsing stacks in physical locations to virtually touring exhibits and attending events, here are all the ways alumni can stay connected and continue to benefit from the Libraries’ offerings.

Learn more(opens in new window)

College of Engineering

Being mentored through the ChemE Pals program(opens in new window) was a welcome introduction to CMU’s chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for Ian Gimino(opens in new window), and he paid it forward by becoming a mentor himself. 

Ph.D. student Mariah L. Arral(opens in new window) was honored as one of 35 Under 35 from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The award is given to AIChE members who have made significant contributions to the field of chemical engineering and to AIChE. Arral is the only graduate student and one of the youngest on this year’s list(opens in new window).

Colette Bilynsky(opens in new window), a Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering, pursued both cancer research and health policy to ensure that potential cures are affordable and accessible to all.

Ian Gimino, Mariah L. Arral and Colette Bilynsky


A composite showing Ollie, a smart voice assistant, a window for the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and the creation of Lemon, a student publication.

College of Fine Arts

A team of master’s students from the School of Design were awarded the Student Runner Up award in the Apps & Platforms category of the Core 77 Design Awards 2023. Angela NamIris CaiAishwarya Rane, and Yuehui Du(opens in new window) presented their project Ollie, a smart voice assistant for Pittsburgh Regional Transit.

A team of School of Design seniors(opens in new window) launched Lemon(opens in new window), a student-run publication that aims to showcase student work ranging from fine arts, performance, music, design, architecture and literature. Each month, the magazine offers readers interviews, activities, art and more.

Jiyeon Chun(opens in new window), a senior specializing in product design(opens in new window) at the School of Design, won a 2024 IDSA Student Merit Award(opens in new window). Each year, Industrial Designers Society of America(opens in new window) student chapters across the U.S. nominate one undergraduate senior who exemplifies excellence within the industrial design field.

Emmanuel Lugo(opens in new window), a senior studying fine arts, ran this year’s B*A presentations series(opens in new window), which gives students across CMU the chance to showcase transdisciplinary research.


Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Multilingualism was the norm for Lily Madojemu(opens in new window) growing up. As she embarked on her undergraduate experience, Madojemu developed a curiosity for language learning and human-computer interaction.

Ziggy Sheynin(opens in new window) won the 2024 Gretchen Goldsmith Lankford Award, which recognizes a senior for outstanding academic achievement and a commitment to graduate study, and a career in education.

Josiah Smith(opens in new window), who played on the men's basketball team and studied statistics and data science, helped organize a tribute to what came to be known as “The Secret Game.”

Lily Madojemu, Ziggy Sheynin and Josiah Smith

A composite of images of Rachael Harris, and GovScan Team Members, left to right: Tyler Faris, Eashwari Samant, Aakash Dolas, and Davis Craig.

Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy

Rachael Harris, a master’s student in the Information Security Policy and Management Program(opens in new window) took second place in the policy category in Hacking4Humanity 2024(opens in new window)(opens in new window), a hybrid policy and tech hackathon that explores new ideas to combat online hate.

A team of graduate students from the Heinz College and Integrated Innovation Institute(opens in new window) helped researchers find the proverbial needle in a haystack in a matter of seconds, not hours, with their generative AI application GovScan that improves the usability of government reports.

Mellon College of Science

Mackenzie Riley is the winner of this year’s Judith A. Resnick Award(opens in new window), named for the space shuttle Challenger astronaut and CMU alumna. The award recognizes Riley’s exceptional work in biological chemistry research.

Rafael Guzman-Soriano is the 2024 K&L Gates Scholar. He will be awarded the $5,000 prize at commencement for inspiring his fellow students to love learning through his combination of intellect, high scholarly achievement, engagement with others and character.

Maddy Burke(opens in new window) traveled to Guatemala during spring break with the Global Medical Brigades, an organization that connects students from the U.S. and Europe with doctors in under-resourced countries. The experience influenced the graduating biological sciences senior to attend medical school, where she hopes to specialize in radiology.

A member of the Tricking Club and All University Orchestra, biological sciences senior Lianna Huang flips from teaching and research to music and handsprings all in a single day’s work.

Mackenzie Riley, Rafael Guzman-Soriano and Lianna Huang

School of Computer Science 

Class of 2024 student commencement speaker Sarah Chen will graduate with university honors, earning a bachelors of science in computer science and a minor in science, technology, and society. At Carnegie Mellon University, she pursued her passions through various roles as a leader and scholar including serving as the president of Delta Gamma and her involvement in Carnival traditions and Buggy. 

Hundreds of students have contributed over the lifespan of CMU's Iris rover project. The Iris team operated from Carnegie Mellon Mission Control(opens in new window) in the Gates Center for Computer Science, home to the School of Computer Science. 

While things may not have gone as planned, students working across disciplines on the Iris mission to land a rover on the moon saw every new challenge as an opportunity and met those opportunities with courage, strength and adaptability.

Students from all of CMU's schools and colleges contributed to the truly out-of-this-world experience, including 2024 graduates Kevin Fang, Nazm Furniturewala, Jeffery John, Shaolin Kataria, Lance Miller, Nikolai Stefanov(opens in new window), Divya Rao(opens in new window), Dhruva Reddy, Inés Rodríguez Hsu, Wren Sakai, Carmyn Talento and Tejas Venkatesh.

Iris icon

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Tepper School of Business

When Isaiah Rodgers(opens in new window) took his leave of absence from CMU, he was sure college wasn’t for him and planned never to return. But seeing the number of stranded motorists waiting for roadside assistance while he delivered food orders sparked an idea for a new business and led to his comeback as well as a successful business via the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship(opens in new window).

Before embarking on her MBA, Ozioma Aniagu(opens in new window) spent a decade with the Department of State Service in Nigeria mastering the art of intelligence and navigating complex government operations. Her coursework and a supportive community inspired her to automate the cooking of a popular African dish so the cuisine can be enjoyed in homes worldwide.

First-generation student Jonathan Muñoz(opens in new window) overcame social challenges to receive his business degree and a full-time job offer after graduation. 

Isaiah Rodgers, Ozioma Aniagu and Jonathan Muñoz


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