Carnegie Mellon University

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June 21, 2012

Personal Mention

Marsha Lovett has been named to succeed Susan Ambrose as director of the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, effective Aug. 1.  Ambrose will be leaving Carnegie Mellon July 30 to become vice provost for teaching and learning and professor of education at Northeastern University. Lovett, currently senior associate director of the Eberly Center and a teaching professor of psychology, has been at the center for the past eight years. Throughout her career, Lovett, who earned her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from CMU, has been involved in both local and national efforts to understand and improve student learning. Her research focused on learning, memory, and problem solving, and she developed computational models of strategy selection, skill acquisition, and working memory. Over time, her work turned toward applying these models to real-world learning situations and translating that theory into educational practice. Her book “How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching” (co-authored with several colleagues from the Eberly Center) distills and translates the research on how students learn into a set of fundamental principles that instructors can use to guide their teaching.

Chester S. Spatt, the Pamela R. and Kenneth B. Dunn Professor of Finance at the Tepper School of Business, has been chosen as a member of the Systemic Risk Council (SRC), a private sector, non-partisan body of former government officials and financial and legal experts committed to addressing regulatory and structural issues relating to systemic risk in the United States. At a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 18, the SRC issued a “call to action”, expressing the need for “a strong independent voice” to help monitor financial regulation and expediently implement financial reforms that are necessary to protect the public from financial instability. Spatt served as chief economist and director of the Office of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 2004 to 2007. Earlier this year, he was named to serve on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Model Validation Council, a group organized to assess models used in stress tests for banking institutions.

Donald H. Jones, founder and director emeritus of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School of Business, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association (PVCA) for his accomplishments and contributions to the business community. The PCVA called Jones, who launched four companies during his career, a prolific entrepreneur, seasoned investor, sought-after adviser and beloved professor who has influenced generations of innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders. The PCVA awarded its Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Dennis Ciccone, CEO of the Carnegie Mellon startup Carnegie Learning, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based publisher of innovative math curricula for middle school, high school and post-secondary students. Ciccone is credited for playing a key role in the 2011 sale of Carnegie Learning to the Apollo Group for $97 million.

Paul Fischbeck, professor of social and decision sciences and engineering and public policy, was part of the National Research Council that studied the safety of offshore drilling and production companies. The council released its report this week and recommends that the government modifies oversight practices to ensure safety. According to Fischbeck, “The old way of doing things with just checklist inspections may be thought of as an easy way of measuring safety regulations, but they are simply not effective. We have to get people to think about safety and work to change the culture within these organizations. Companies are going to need to take risks to be more safe." Read the full story.

The University Libraries honored employees for excellence and years of service milestones at the annual Library Appreciation Picnic on June 12. Justin Wagurak, Library Information Technology, was honored for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction. The Hunt Library Circulation team of Charlotte Trexler, Kara Kreger, Ona Taylor and Aimee DeLuca received the Excellence in Increased Productivity Award. Years of Service awards went to Svetlan Kirkov, Jon McIntire and Andrew Perlman for 10 years; Diane Covington for 15 years; Denise Novak and Larry Stanley for 20 years; and Martin Aurand and Terry Hurlbert for 25 years.

Cheemeng Tan, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon’s Lane Center for Computational Biology, is one of eight promising young scientists this year, and the first ever from CMU, to win a prestigious international fellowship by the Zurich-based Society in Science. The Branco Weiss Fellowship awarded to Tan, a Lane Fellow, will help support his research into the use of artificial, man-made cells to stop the spread of drug-resistant infections. Tan works in the emerging field of synthetic biology, a relatively new field that combines techniques of biology, physics and engineering. His work is directed toward new therapeutic treatments for bacterial infections, which is becoming a global health concern due to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Read the full story.

Reza Vali, associate professor of composition, had the world premiere of his composition “Kord” (Calligraphy No. 9) performed by the Mexican cellist Juan Hermida on June 18 at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, as part of the 34th International Forum for New Music Festival. Vali will be traveling to Australia to participate in concerts of his music in Sydney and Melbourne.

Daniel Teadt, assistant professor of voice, recently performed the title role in the New York City Opera's production of Telemann's “Orpheus.” Read the full story in The New York Times.

Jennifer Aylmer, who was recently appointed a special faculty member in the School of Music, performed the role of Despina in the Opera Theatre of St. Louis' production of Mozart's “Cosi fan tutte.” Read the story in

Aamir Masood, who earned his bachelor’s degree in information systems last May from the Qatar campus, won first-place in the IT Risk Management Track at the Association for Information Systems 2012 Student Chapter Conference and Competition in Provo, Utah.  During the competition, Masood presented a case to a hypothetical company on whether the organization should implement an Identity and Access Management (IAM) System. Masood, who bested teams from six universities, highlighted how such an investment would not only streamline IT operations but also improve the business process, meet regulatory compliance standards, and enhance investor confidence. “My gratitude goes to Professor Dan Phelps for his advice and Professor Selma Liman Mansar for her support," Masood said.

Senior Laura Chen earned her seventh and eighth All-America citation from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) for her singles and doubles play this year. She finished the year winning her first round singles match at the NCAA Championships and paired with senior Courtney Chin to reach the NCAA doubles quarterfinals. Chen and Chin finished as the sixth ranked pair in the nation. Chin also earned All-America honors for her play in doubles and finished her career as a three-time All-American. Sophomore Katie Cecil earned All-America honors for her singles play as she finished the year ranked ninth nationally. For the men, junior Duke Miller and freshman Will Duncan earned All-America recognition for finishing the year ranked sixth nationally. The doubles team competed at the NCAA Championships and were runners-up at the ITA Southeast Regional in October.