Carnegie Mellon University

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November 07, 2013

Personal Mention

University Professor of Composition Leonardo Balada and Music professors Nancy Galbraith and Reza Vali are among eight winners of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Composer of the Year Award for 2013-14.

  • Balada has been a faculty member at CMU since 1970. His works have been performed by a long list of the world's leading orchestras, and he has been commissioned by the Aspen Festival, San Diego Opera, the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Lausanne, National of Spain, Radio Berlin, and others. He has received several awards from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Balada's "Symphony No. 6 - Symphony of Sorrows" will be given its American premiere by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Nov. 8, 9 and 10, conducted by the internationally renowned conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos.
  • Galbraith is chair of composition at CMU. Her symphonic works have enjoyed regular performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and her Piano Concerto No. 1 was recorded by Keith Lockhart and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. She has produced major choral works and has been commissioned by the NEA, the Providence Singers, Pittsburgh Camerata and many others. Donald Runnicles will conduct Galbraith's "Euphonic Blues," March 21-23, 2014. Euphonic Blues premiered last year at the Carnegie Mellon School of Music’s Centennial Celebration.
  • Vali, a professor of composition, has been a faculty member of the School of Music since 1988. He has received numerous honors and commissions, and was selected by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as the Outstanding Emerging Artist for which he received the Creative Achievement Award. Vali's orchestral compositions and chamber works have been performed around the world. Earlier this year, he helped establish CMU's Center for Iranian Music and serves as the center's director of education and research. PSO Maestro Manfred Honeck will conduct Vali's "The Elements," a collaborative work that celebrates the Pittsburgh region, Feb. 7-9, 2014.

Read more about the PSO's Composers of the Year.

For more information and tickets to the above mentioned performances, visit

Nancy R. Mead, a principal researcher in the Software Engineering Institute's CERT Division, has been named an SEI fellow. Mead becomes the SEI's seventh fellow, a designation awarded to staff who have made outstanding contributions to the SEI and who continue to advise SEI leaders. Mead, who joined the SEI in 1990, is a principal researcher for Secure Software and Systems and an adjunct professor of software engineering at CMU. Her research interests lie in the areas of software security, software requirements engineering and software architectures. Mead's current work involves the study of security requirements engineering and the development of software assurance curricula. Read more about Mead.

Senior Drama School student Michael Campayno has landed the role of Rolf in the NBC production of “The Sound of Music,” starring Carrie Underwood. Campayno’s local credits include Billy Bigelow in Carousel and Side by Side by Sondheim at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. His uncle is Emmy Award winning makeup artist Joseph Campayno, who also serves as the telecast's key makeup artist. The three-hour telecast will air at 8 p.m., Thurday, Dec. 5. Read more.

Alan Russell, the Highmark Distinguished Career Professor, presented a session at the Partnering for Cures Conference on the Carnegie Mellon Disruptive Health Technology Institute's model to develop healthcare innovations that can be clinically tested and rapidly delivered to patients. The conference, which discussed improving healthcare and other medical issues, was held earlier this week in New York City. "At CMU, we have created the DHTI to help transform health services that have historically been very complicated and expensive into patient-centered solutions that will be effective, affordable and accessible," said Russell, who also is chief innovation officer and executive vice president of the Allegheny Health Network. Read more.

In comments to the White House Review Group on Intelligence and Communication Technologies, Jon Peha recommended a re-evaluation of surveillance practices that weaken commercial products and services. These practices include weakening standards and placing "back doors" into products that are accessible to U.S. government agencies. Peha, a professor of engineering and public policy and former chief technology officer of the FCC and assistant director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology, said deliberately weakening commercial products and services may make it easier for U.S. intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance, but "this strategy also inevitably makes it easier for criminals, terrorists and foreign powers to infiltrate these systems for their own purposes." Peha pointed out that cybersecurity vulnerabilities created to eavesdrop on terrorists could have vast unintended consequences. Read more.

Astria Suparak, director and curator of Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery, is among an impressive group of contemporary curators from around the world who are interviewed in a new book recently released by The Pew Center. In the book, titled "Pigeons on the Grass Alas; Contemporary Curators Talk About the Field," Suparak talks about the Miller Gallery, her programming, and her ideas about curating and art. The Pew Center has awarded a grant to the Miller Gallery to take its new exhibition, "Alien She," to Philadelphia. For more information on the book, go to

Carnegie Mellon's Creative Writing Program will introduce new faculty members Kevin González and Lauren Shapiro to the campus and Pittsburgh communities with a special reading at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the University Center's Danforth Lounge. González, who received his bachelor's degree in creative writing and international relations from Carnegie Mellon, is an assistant professor of English who currently teaches the Beginning Fiction Workshop and Beginning Poetry Workshop. Shapiro, an adjunct professor of English, holds degrees from Brown University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches creative writing and poetry courses. Read more about González and Shapiro.