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March 30, 2017

Personal Mention

George KantorThe Girls of Steel robotics team and the team’s lead mentor, George Kantor, both won awards at the Greater Pittsburgh Regional FIRST Competition, March 15-18. The team, which includes 50 girls from 20 Pittsburgh area high schools, won the Engineering Inspiration Award, qualifying the team for its seventh consecutive trip to the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis in April. Kantor, senior systems scientist in the Robotics Institute and co-founder of the team, won the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award, which recognizes the mentor who best leads, inspires, and empowers a team using excellent communication skills.

Robin MejiaIn her role as the acting chair of the American Statistical Association's (ASA) Committee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights, Robin Mejia in conjunction with the ASA urged the government of Greece to stop the prosecution of statistician Andreas Georgiou, who professionalized the country's statistical agency and compiled the country's first accurate debt statistics. A recent press release states Georgiou is being criminally charged for allegedly inflating
the Greek deficit and causing damages of 171 billion euro to the Greek state. Although various judicial procedures have several times concluded the charges against Georgiou are baseless, the charges continue to be revived. Read the press release and the letter to the Greek prime minister. Mejia is manager of the Statistics and Human Rights Program in CMU’s Center for Human Rights Science and has a courtesy appointment in the Department of Statistics.

Hanna BerggrenSenior Hanna Berggren was the first runner-up in the "American Idol"-like Campus Superstars Competition last Sunday at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland. Berggren, a California Bay Area native majoring in music theater, sang “They Just Keep Moving the Line” from NBC-TV’s “Smash.” Campus Superstar is a professionally produced musical spectacular, in which performers are accompanied by a full band, with all of the glamour that one would expect from a concert or Broadway show.  Berggren was one of four finalists from CMU. The other finalists were senior Daryl Paris Bright and sophomores Gena Sims and Ramsey Pack. The winner was Michael Warren of Duquesne University.  Find out more about the CMU finalists.