Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

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July 28, 2011

Personal Mention

  • Longtime Executive Education Director John T. Grasso passed away suddenly on July 20. He was 65. Grasso was instrumental in advancing three CMU programs over a 15-year period. He was director of Strategic Development and Distance Learning in the School of Computer Science (1999-2009), director of Professional Education at the Tepper School (1996-1999), and associate director of the Information Networking Institute in the College of Engineering (1994-1996). “John made significant contributions to the university, and he will be missed by his friends and colleagues across all its colleges,” said Alex Hills, distinguished service professor of engineering and public policy and electrical and computer engineering.
  • Dr. David Servan-Schreiber (CS’89,’90), who was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters at commencement this past May, died of brain cancer on Sunday, July 24. He was 50. Servan-Schreiber held senior leadership posts at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he co-founded the Center for Integrative Medicine, and academic appointments at Pitt and CMU. He was a co-founder of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Doctors without Borders U.S., and served in Iraq, Guatemala, India, Tajikistan and Kosovo, addressing epidemics among refugees. At age 31, Servan-Schreiber discovered a tumor in his own brain, was diagnosed with brain cancer and given six months to live. His 16-year journey fighting and seeking to understand his illness, culminated in his 2008 international bestseller, “Anticancer: A New Way of Life.” The book has empowered cancer patients and survivors to combat the disease. Read more in this LA Times obituary:,0,5480879.story
  • David Shapira, a member of CMU’s Board of Trustees, was recently named to Supermarket News’ “Power 50” list. Shapira, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh, was listed at No. 13 for having launched the new “Advantage” advertising campaign, expanding loyalty programs and sustainable store technology. Read more at
  • Andrew J. Gellman, head of CMU’s Chemical Engineering Department, will be honored as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow Aug. 29 at the ACS annual meeting in Denver. Gellman was chosen for his achievements in science and his contributions to the chemical engineering profession. Read more:
  • Associate Professor of Drama Rob Handel was interviewed by Northeast Public Radio about his play “A Maze,” which recently opened the New York Stage & Film's season at the Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College. Listen to the interview, which also includes director Sam Buntrock, at For more on the performance visit
  • Chriss Swaney, media relations director for the College of Engineering, won a 2011 Gold Medal Award in writing from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for her story about the Challenger Space Shuttle breakup 25 years ago and CMU Alumna Judith A. Resnik. Read the article in the March 2011 Piper at
  • LiveScience, in partnership with the National Science Foundation recently posted an interview with Laura McGinnis, the manager of education, outreach and training at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. Watch the video at
  • Jiyong Jang, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering, has received a Symantec Research Labs Fellowship for his work in helping researchers better understand and protect against new online threats. Jang has created more effective algorithms for detecting and classifying malware, malicious software designed to disrupt or deny operations or gather information that leads to a loss of privacy.  Read more:
  • Associate Professor of English Kathy M. Newman recently had an opinion piece published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about how the new WDUQ 24-hour news format is a good thing for civic engagement. Newman is a mass and pop culture expert and radio historian. Read the op-ed, “Talk Radio Makes Me Happy,” at