Carnegie Mellon University

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May 25, 2017

Personal Mention

Lauren HerckisLauren Herckis, a research scientist for the Simon Initiative, is leading an effort to better understand why many of the best technology-enhanced learning resources are being left on the shelf. Through a $1 million, two-year grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York in 2015, Herckis and her team are working to develop strategies around the obstacles blocking the way for educators to adopt proven best-in-practice teaching techniques. As an anthropologist with an archeological focus, Herckis is applying a unique perspective to the project. "Archeologists have developed a tremendous variety of methodological approaches for understanding the ways people engage with tools and materials over a long term. In this case, I am studying how faculty engage with technologies and technological change," Herckis said. Herckis will be speaking on her findings this June at the 2017 Global Learning Council Summit in Berlin, Germany. Learn more.

Peggy KnappEnglish Professor Peggy Knapp has announced her retirement after 47 years at Carnegie Mellon. Knapp is known for her exceptional teaching, particularly her classes “The Medieval Semester,” in which students spent the semester learning the reality of the medieval era, and “Shakespeare: Tragedies and Histories.”  “Peggy has been a model citizen, serving on virtually all the committees that make academic life possible,” said Andreea Ritivoi, head of the English Department. “From several terms on the university promotion and tenure committee, to being chair of the Faculty Senate, member of the University Education Council, the Trustees Alumni Committee, the University Committee on Academic Integrity, and even the Environmental Action committee — and this is actually a small sample of her service work.” Knapp writes on topics ranging from medieval sagas to current novels, and has published four books, nine volumes of “Assays: Critical Approaches to Medieval and Renaissance Texts” and more than 50 academic articles, and almost 20 reviews. Knapp received CMU’s Ryan Award and the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Elliott Dunlap Smith Award, both of which recognize distinguished teaching. She has also served as president of the Faculty Senate. Learn more and watch a video tribute to Knapp.

Robert CavalierRobert Cavalier will retire this June after 30 years at Carnegie Mellon. As teaching professor of philosophy, emeritus, Cavalier will continue working with Kenya Dworkin, associate professor of Hispanic Studies, to bring deliberative democracy to Cuba. This project and others are the culmination three decades of innovation that Cavalier has spearheaded at CMU—from pioneering computer-assisted instruction and multimedia exploration of hard cases in ethics, to developing online tools for citizen deliberation and designing face-to-face roundtables to create the conditions for informed, well-structured and civil conversations. Cavalier’s deliberative democracy work led to City Council member Dan Gilman (DC’04) proclaiming May 9, 2017 as “Professor Robert Cavalier Day” in the City of Pittsburgh. Read more about the projects Cavalier will continue to pursue.

Danielle WennerDanielle Wenner has been selected to participate in the Brocher Summer Residency Program in Geneva, Switzerland, where she will spend July 2018 working on a project titled "Non-Domination and the Limits of Relational Autonomy." She will examine autonomy in transnational gestational surrogacy agreements and in international clinical research, and the relationship between autonomy and the role of social determinants of health—including socioeconomic status and education level—in public health policy. The residency is sponsored by the Brocher Foundation, a Swiss non-profit that supports research on the ethical, legal and social aspects of medical developments and public health policies. The foundation hosts scholars from disciplines including law, anthropology, history, bioethics and philosophy. "A summer residency at Brocher is a tremendous honor," said Alex John London, professor of philosophy and director of CMU’s Center for Ethics and Policy (CEP). "Some of the past recipients are among the most accomplished scholars in ethics and health.” Wenner is an assistant professor of philosophy and the associate director of the CEP in the Dietrich College. Learn more about the residency and Wenner's research.