Carnegie Mellon has appointed Amy Burkert, vice provost for education, as a co-coordinator of the Simon Initiative. Created by CMU President Subra Suresh in 2013, the Simon Initiative is designed to set the university up as a learning research lab that supports data-driven, continuous educational improvement. It is named after Herbert A. Simon, the late CMU and Nobel Prize-winning professor who pioneered using a learning engineering approach to improve education. Burkert, a 1990 graduate of the Mellon College of Science, succeeds Justine Cassell, associate dean for technology strategy and impact in the School of Computer Science (SCS). Cassell has served on the Simon leadership team since the beginning and has helped to represent and promote the initiative’s efforts on national and international levels. She will continue to be involved in the Simon Initiative while focusing on her research and other responsibilities in SCS.
Carmen Martinez, an adjunct professor of Hispanic studies, has received a Creative Teaching Award at Duquesne University. The Creative Teaching awards recognize faculty who use creativity and innovation in their teaching methods and demonstrate the impact these methods have on student learning. Martínez, a Ph.D. candidate in higher education management at the University of Pittsburgh, has extensive experience as a Spanish language teacher, counselor and administrator. She teaches several classes at CMU, Duquesne and Pitt. Along with her professional career in higher education, she has contributed to the arts and multicultural scene in Pittsburgh providing educational music-related workshops and interactive cultural training sessions in Andean music and culture for diverse student audiences at universities, K-12 schools and community events throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Alumna Maya Schumer has been accepted to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) highly competitive Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Schumer, who graduated from CMU with a degree in psychology in 2016, was one of 2,000 to receive the award from a pool of over 13,000 applicants. She will use the fellowship funding to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology at the UCLA. There, she will research the use of Multi-Voxel Pattern Analysis (MVPA) to study and decode the neural biomarkers of anxiety and depression. “I’m delighted to see that the NSF recognizes her star potential,” said Associate Professor of Psychology David Creswell, who has worked with Schumer in his Health and Human Performance Laboratory for several years. Read more about the fellowship.
Neil M. Donahue has been named the winner of the 2017 Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest. Donahue is the Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry, a professor of chemical engineering and engineering and public policy, and director of CMU’s Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research. Given by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Esselen Award recognizes a chemist whose scientific and technical work has contributed to the public well-being and its value to society has become apparent within the last five years. An internationally renowned expert in atmospheric chemistry and air-quality engineering, Donahue investigates how organic compounds behave and evolve in the atmosphere. His research stands to provide a better understanding of how airborne particles affect the environment and human health. Find out more.