Carnegie Mellon University

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April 03, 2014

News Briefs

Staff Council Nominations Due Tomorrow

There’s still time to submit your nominations for Divisional Representatives to serve on Carnegie Mellon’s Staff Council. The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 4.

All full-time and part-time Carnegie Mellon staff who are not represented by Faculty Senate or a collective bargaining unit are eligible for nomination. Staff Council seeks representatives from all departments and areas and encourages you to nominate yourself.

Members work closely with Carnegie Mellon administrators to address current issues and develop the best solutions for the majority of staff.  Staff Council also is a great way to meet new people and learn about important issues that face the university.

For more information about Staff Council and the election process, go to

Students Compete for Campus Superstar Title

Five Carnegie Mellon students have advanced from nearly 100 competitors to be among the 10 finalists in this year’s Campus Superstar event, an American Idol-like solo singing competition featuring Pittsburgh area college students. The Campus Superstar finale is a spectacular, professionally produced show, in which performers are accompanied by a full band, with all of the "glitz" that one would expect from a concert or Broadway show. This year’s finals will be held at 7 p.m., Sunday, April 6 at Carnegie Music Hall.

The CMU finalists are:

  • Veladya Chapman, a junior majoring in musical theatre;
  • Joshua Grosso, a sophomore musical theatre major;
  • Arica Jackson, a freshman majoring in musical theatre;
  • Clay Singer, a freshman musical theatre major; and
  • Avery Smith, a sophomore majoring in musical theatre.

Tickets are $75, however CMU faculty and staff can purchase tickets for $36 by contacting Josh Glass at 412-621-8875 or

Campus Superstar is presented by the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center. Learn more.

Film Festival Closes With “Sweet Dreams” April 5

Carnegie Mellon’s International Film Festival, “Faces of Work,” closes this week with four award-winning independent films. Here’s the closing schedule:

April 3
“Women’s Day” (Poland 2012)
Women's Day is an enthralling story about the difficult choices and ethical dilemmas that can come along with a paycheck. Not only does it address female solidarity and issues of gender equality, but invests strong emphasis on workers' rights in a post-Soviet Poland.
5 p.m., McConomy Auditorium, University Center

“Trapped” (Iran 2012)
In this gripping thriller about loyalty and betrayal in contemporary Tehran, a diligent student and a party girl must face the burdens of scarce money, shady business, and an imperative dilemma that will test the limits of true friendship.
7 p.m., McConomy Auditorium, University Center
(Q&A with Director Parviz Shahbazi following the screening.)

April 4
“At Berekely” (USA 2013)
At Berkeley is not simply an account of one institution's financial problems; rather, the university stands as a microcosm for social stratification, economic instability, and the need to balance free speech with civil order.
4:30 p.m., McConomy Auditorium, University Center
(Reception follows the screening.)

April 5
“Sweet Dreams” (Rwanda/USA 2012)
In post-Genocide Rwanda, women find creative ways to mend past wounds and look forward to a brighter future: A drumming ensemble, once an activity reserved only for men of the elite, provides an outlet for women from different backgrounds to bond, rejuvenate, and pound out tempos of strength and elation. Past-generational tensions are abandoned, old rivalries forgotten. Poverty may still be an obstacle in this recovering community, but a new business endeavor is about to make considerable changes.
6:30 p.m., McConomy Auditorium, University Center
(Q&A with Director Lisa Fruchtman following the screening.)

Learn more about the closing films.

CREATE Lab Satellite Opens at Carlow University

Carlow University has received a $205,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to establish a satellite of Carnegie Mellon's CREATE (Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment) Lab on its campus. The satellite lab will join three previously established CREATE Lab satellites at Marshall University, West Virginia University and West Liberty University in West Virginia.

This latest satellite lab is being established collaboratively with Carlow's School of Education and The Campus School of Carlow University, and will focus on interdisciplinary practices in education and high performance learning. The Campus School will implement two CREATE Lab projects: Arts & Bots and GigaPan. The School of Education will serve as the lead for another CREATE Lab project, The Children's Innovation Project, and will be implementing it at Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5.

"The CREATE Lab Satellite model is a great approach to innovation in learning," said James Denova, vice president of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. "We have learned in West Virginia that combining CMU's robotics and computer science talent with progressive centers of professional development leads to measurable advances in the classroom."

The CREATE Lab is part of Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute and is directed by Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics. Learn more. 

Nominations Now Open for Student Organization Awards

The Office of Student Activities is presenting the second annual Student Organization Award Recognition (SOAR) program to acknowledge officers, members and advisers of student government-recognized student organizations. During a reception at 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 7 in the University Center’s Danforth Lounge, Student Activities will present awards and recognition for outstanding achievements in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Student Organization
  • Outstanding Student Organization Program
  • Outstanding Student Organization Leader; and

  • Outstanding Student Organization Adviser.

For award descriptions and how to submit a nomination please visit: All nominations are due by noon, Monday, April 28.

Meditation Sessions Thursdays

Ramakrishna Vedanta Ashrama Pittsburgh (, in collaboration with CMU’s Indian Graduate Student Association, is conducting weekly meditation sessions from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Thursdays in Porter Hall 226B. RSVP would be helpful at

Learn To Swim; Improve Your Stroke

Carnegie Mellon’s Adult Learn to Swim and Stroke Improvement Classes will be held each Wednesday in April (April 9, 16, 23 and 30) in the University Center pool. Learn to swim sessions will be held from 4 – 4:30 p.m. and stroke improvement sessions will be held from 6:30 – 7 p.m. 

This program is designed to help the non-swimming adult and basic beginner adult learn survival skills, develop their stroke, overcome fears with swimming and treading, and to improve their overall fitness level by swimming. Instructors are trained to teach swimming skills at all levels. They are proficient swimmers and will be able to teach the necessary swimming skills/strokes for this class. They are varsity swimmers, lifeguards and members of the aquatics staff.

The cost is $15 per session and registration forms are available at the University Center Equipment Desk. Only credit cards or plaid cash will be accepted. Please pay the first night of the class.

Questions? Contact Pattye Stragar at

Responsible Conduct of Research Seminars Continue

The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Seminar Series continues. Upcoming sessions are scheduled from 12 – 1 p.m. in the University Center. Dates and topics are:

  • Tuesday, April 8: International Research Considerations: Foreign Travel and Foreign Collaborators
  • Tuesday, April 15: Ethical Issues with Research Involving Human Subjects
  • Tuesday, April 22: Research Data Management

More information is available on the RCR website. Space is limited, so please register early.