Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

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June 11, 2015

Personal Mention

Jeanne VanBriesenLori LevinCatalina AchimChemistry Professor Catalina Achim, Language Technologies Institute Research Professor Lori Levin and Jeanne VanBriesen, the Duquesne Light Company Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, (l-r) are three of 31 women faculty from 22 institutions who have been selected to the 2015-16 ELATE (Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering) Class of Fellows at Drexel University. ELATE at Drexel is a one-year, part-time professional development program for women in the academic STEM fields. The program focuses on increasing leadership effectiveness, leading and managing change, and using strategic finance and resource management to enhance organizational missions. Online assignments and community building activities began in May. The first of three week-long, in-residence sessions will begin Aug. 1. The program concludes in March 2016 with a symposium and graduation ceremonies. Learn more about ELATE at Drexel.

Levent KaraAssociate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Levent Burak Kara and his Ph.D. student Ersin Yumer have developed a new method for exploring shape design and product customization. The method incorporates a set of measurable, descriptive characteristics, known as semantic attributes, that allow a user to take an existing design and edit its shape and style without needing to be an expert at design software. For example, a user could alter the design of a shoe to be “more fashionable,” a car to be “more sporty,” or a chair to be “more ergonomic” without the need for detailed geometric manipulations. "Conventional shape design and editing technologies such as AutoCAD, Maya, and SketchUp are difficult to master," Kara said. "Our approach allows any user to 'tune up' or 'tune down' certain characteristics with a click and drag of a sliding tool." Find out more

Edda Fields BlackEdda Fields-Black has been awarded an “Investing in Professional Artists Creative Development Grant” from the Pittsburgh Foundation and an “Advancing the Black Arts Artist Grant” from the Heinz Foundation to support her Center for the Arts in Society (CAS) project, "The Requiem for Rice." Fields-Black, associate professor of history, is using the project to bring the records, stories and lives of Africans enslaved on low country rice plantations to life. Learn more about The Requiem for Rice.

Jim DanielsJim Daniels appeared on the May 30th episode of “A Prairie Home Companion” and read five of his Detroit-inspired award-winning poems: “My Father Worked Late,” “Wheels,” “Factory Love,” My Grandfather’s Tools” and “Anthem.” Watch a video of Daniels, the Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English, on the show. Additionally, Daniels’ latest book of short stories, “Eight Mile High,” won the silver 2015 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) for regional fiction. The IPPY Awards honor the year’s best books from independent and small press publishers. In “Eight Mile High,” Daniels uses 14 short stories to tell stories about Eight Mile Road, the infamous stretch of concrete that divides Detroit racially and culturally. Learn more about the book

Patrick SterkPatrick Sterk will join the Department of Athletics as associate director, effective July 6. Sterk comes to CMU from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he was an athletics administrator since 2011. His roles included assistant director for Compliance and Student Success, senior associate director for Compliance, Business Operations and Administration, and interim director of athletics. At Carnegie Mellon, Sterk will oversee the Athletics Department’s financial operations and provide leadership for athletics communications, with a significant emphasis on marketing and branding. Sterk will manage the summer camps program, provide oversight for department technology and work closely with Director of Athletics Josh Centor on revenue generation, development and alumni relations. Sterk has a law degree from Marquette University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma. Learn more

Gary AldrichHead Track and Field Coach Gary Aldrich has been named assistant throws coach for the 2015 Pan American Games this summer. The track and field portion of the Pan American Games takes place July 20-26, in Toronto, Canada, at CIBC Pan/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium at York University. This marks Aldrich's third coaching stint on the national stage. In July 2010, Aldrich served as the assistant throws coach for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association Under 23 Team and in July 2012, he was throws coach for the United States at the World Junior Track and Field Championships in Barcelona, Spain. Learn more