Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

Piper Logo
May 24, 2012

Personal Mention

Jeffrey R. Williams, Brandy Aven and Laurence Ales have been presented with teaching awards at the Tepper School of Business.

  • Williams, professor of business strategy, has received the 2012 George Leland Bach Award for Excellence in the Classroom. The award is named for “Lee” Bach, the business school’s founding dean, whose vision of rigor, research and academic respectability dramatically changed American business education. The annual award recognizes a faculty member for outstanding classroom instruction, as chosen by the graduating MBA class. This is the third time Williams has received the honor tying him with Dean Robert Dammon for the most among Tepper School faculty.
  • Aven, an assistant professor of organizational behavior & theory, was awarded the Gerald L. Thompson Excellence in Teaching Award. The award, named for the late Professor Gerald Thompson, honors outstanding classroom instruction in business as selected by undergraduate business students and the Undergraduate Business Program Administration.
  • Ales, the Frank A. and Helen E. Risch Faculty Development Professorship in Business and assistant professor of economics, has received the Richard Cyert Excellence in Teaching Award. The award is named for “Dick” Cyert, one of the original developers of the Graduate School of Industrial Administration — now the Tepper School —  who became the school’s second dean and also served as Carnegie Mellon’s president from 1972-1990. The annual recognition is awarded to a faculty member by economics students and the Undergraduate Economics Program Administration for outstanding pedagogy in economics courses.

Edmund M. Clarke, the FORE Systems University Professor of Computer Science and professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Manuela Veloso, the Herbert A. Simon Professor in Computer Science and Robotics, have been invited to give talks at The Alan Turing Centenary Conference, June 22-24 in Manchester, England. The conference, hosted by the University of Manchester, celebrates Alan Turing, one of the most influential computer scientists of all time, on what would have been his 100th birthday.  Clarke, who won the 2007 Turing Award — the highest honor in computer science — will present a lecture titled “Model Checking and the Curse of Dimensionality.” Veloso, who this summer will become president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, will discuss “Symbiotic Autonomy: Robots, Humans and the Web.” Read the full story.

Ari Lightman, distinguished service professor of digital media and marketing and director of the CIO Institute at the Heinz College, will be a panelist in a virtual town hall meeting that explores how you can share sensitive information without losing control. The virtual town hall, titled “From Obstacle to Opportunity: Secure Collaboration in the Cloud,” will be held from noon – 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 5. For more information and to register, go to

Andrew Shaindlin, associate vice president for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, has authored a chapter in the recently published "Handbook on the Internationalization of European Higher Education." Shaindlin’s chapter is titled "Challenges in Global Alumni Relations."

Emma Brunskill, assistant professor of computer science, is one of seven recipients this year of a prestigious Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, which recognizes pioneering young academic researchers working in key areas of computer science. Brunskill's research area is artificial intelligence and her particular emphasis is on decision making under uncertainty — making a series of decisions without knowing the exact outcome of each decision. This is relevant to many applications, including health care and robotics, though much of her work to date has focused on education. Read the full story.

David Ruppersberger, president and CEO of the Technology Collaborative, will become the joint director for strategic economic initiatives for Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. He also will act as liaison with the City of Pittsburgh’s PowerUp initiative. Ruppersberger’s experience includes senior management positions with Unisys, Symbolics and Carnegie Group, Inc., CEO positions for two high tech start-ups in the Pittsburgh area and partnership in a retail business. He has been active in the Pittsburgh high technology community for over 30 years.

Alumnus Charles M. Geschke, co-founder of Adobe Systems Inc., is one of 30 distinguished men and women elected this spring to the American Philosophical Society, an honorary society whose members are drawn from a wide variety of academic disciplines.  Geschke earned his Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon in 1973. An influential leader in the software industry for 35 years, he has maintained close ties with the School of Computer Science. Recently, he and his wife, Nancy, endowed the directorship of SCS's Human-Computer Interaction Institute. Read more about Geschke.

Kurt Kumler, a member of the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) staff since 2007, has been named director of CAPS, effective June 11. He succeeds Cindy Valley, who has stepped down to pursue a private practice in Atlanta after serving as CAPS director since 1998. “Known for his sharp clinical abilities, his investment in the ongoing development of the CAPS team and his commitment to hard work, Kurt is a welcome appointment for this important leadership role. He knows well the strengths of the organization and the opportunities for CAPS to continue to capably respond to the evolving needs of our students, faculty and staff,” said Dean of Student Affairs Gina Casalegno in an email to the university community. Casalegno said Valley's leadership of the center, her genuine care for and commitment to students and her contributions to the greater vision and mission of the Division of Student Affairs will be deeply missed. Kumler has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ohio State, a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Seattle University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Duquesne University.