Carnegie Mellon University

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June 18, 2015

Personal Mention

Keith Webster Provost Farnam Jahanian has appointed Dean of Libraries Keith Webster (right) director of Emerging and Integrative Media Initiatives, effective July 1. In taking this additional responsibility, Webster will facilitate the growth of the Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe), the Emerging Media Masters program, the Integrative Media Program in NYC and the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). Appointed dean in 2013, Webster was integral in establishing IDeATe’s intellectual commons in Hunt Library, where it is fostering interdisciplinary study and research. He will continue to serve as dean of University Libraries, and to hold the rank of principal librarian and a courtesy academic appointment in the School of Public Policy and Management in the Heinz College. Jahanian also has appointed a 10-person Steering Committee to help guide IDeATe. “I believe Keith’s leadership, with support from the Steering Committee, will allow IDeATe to pave the way for new creative and innovative collaborations across the university,” Jahanian said. Find out more.

Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. alumnus Paul Egan, professors Jonathan Cagan and Philip LeDuc, and collaborator Chris Schunn of the University of Pittsburgh won the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Virtual Environments and Systems 2015 Best Paper Award for their work titled “Development of Graphical User Interfaces to Improve Human Design Proficiency for Complex Multi-Level Biosystems.” The award will be presented at the ASME 2015 Computers and Information in Engineering Conference this August in Boston.

Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy has announced two appointments to the newly created Office of Title IX Initiatives.

  • Holly HippensteelAssistant Dean of Student Affairs Holly Hippensteel has agreed to serve as part-time interim director of the office as well as Title IX coordinator. “This appointment builds on Holly’s exceptional contributions as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator who is deeply committed to building a supportive climate in which each of our community members can thrive,” Murphy said. Hippensteel has been a member of the CMU community since 1998 and has served in a variety of roles, most recently as assistant dean of Student Affairs.

  • Jamie EdwardsJamie Edwards, a 2007 graduate of the Dietrich College, has joined the office as assistant director of Title IX Initiatives. Edwards returns to CMU with a law degree and certificate in public health from the University of Pennsylvania. As a student, she held a variety of leadership roles and led numerous campus education and outreach programs related to sexual violence prevention. “Jamie returns to CMU with a genuine commitment to the university and its community members, a strong legal background and a genuine passion for this important work,” Murphy said.

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Steve Collins, along with student co-authors Myunghee Kim, Tianjian Chen and Tianyao Chen, won the 2015 Best Medical Robotics Paper Award from the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society for their paper titled "An Ankle-Foot Prosthesis Emulator with Control of Plantarflexion and Inversion-Eversion Torque." The award recognizes outstanding work in the fields of medical robotics and computer-assisted intervention devices.

A new book by Assistant Professor of English Christopher N. Warren discloses how a Bush Administration lawyer misinterpreted cultural history to justify War on Terror activities such as waterboarding and secret prisons. In researching “Literature and the Law of Nations, 1580-1680,” Warren discovered writings on 16th-century international law by the future Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel John Yoo, who is best known as an author of the so-called “torture memos.” Yoo’s commentaries, published while Yoo was a law professor at University of California, Berkeley in 1997, argued that international law did not apply to non-state combatants. The Bush Administration’s controversial “torture memos” of early 2002 would argue the same. Published by Oxford University Press, “Literature and the Law of Nations” shows that international law today owes many of its most basic ideas to early modern culture. "Today’s international law isn’t perfect, but we do it a profound disservice unless we acknowledge that it has deep historical roots and that it’s shaped and been shaped by a rich cultural history,” Warren said. Find out more.

Ted Massalski, professor emeritus of materials science and engineering, recently returned from a two-week invited lecture tour in China. He delivered the 67th Dachi (Wisdom) lecture at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where he received the Lee Hsun Award for his significant impact and great contributions to the field of materials science and engineering. He also gave a memorial lecture at the Institute of Metal Research in Shenyang and another lecture at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In his talks, Massalski discussed several topics, including phase diagrams, compilations of data, international cooperation, phase stability measurements and theories, laws of thermodynamics, practical use of phase diagrams and the very fast computer calculations that will shape the future in the field. In addition to lecturing, he met with faculty members and students at each university. Topics of discussion with students included massive transformations and meteorites and cosmology. Massalski, who has won numerous honors and awards, is a former director of the Mellon Institute for Research.

Obituary: Hilary Masters

Hilary MastersHilary Masters, an acclaimed writer and beloved professor, died Sunday, June 14. He was 87.

Masters joined CMU’s English Department in 1983 and spent the past 32 years inspiring students. A mainstay in the Creative Writing Program — one of the oldest undergraduate programs of its kind— Masters taught courses, such as Survey of Forms: Fiction and the Personal Essay Writing Workshop, most recently as last semester. Among his numerous awards and honors, he received the American Academy of Arts Award for Literature in 2003.

“Our undergraduate creative writing majors were fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from a consummate writer who was also an extraordinary teacher and mentor,” said Chris Neuwirth, head of the English Department.

“He cared about writing, he cared about stories. He would entertain us with anecdotes about his life, his years at Brown and his trips to France where he often rented a car and drove the blue roads, stopping at truck stops for incredible meals. Most of all he cared about students learning the craft. He wanted them to appreciate the world of fiction, the difficulty of the business but the joy of getting a piece exactly as they first envisioned it,” said Sharon Dilworth, associate professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program.

Find out more about Masters.