Carnegie Mellon University

The Piper

CMU Community News

Piper Logo
May 22, 2019

Community Picnic a “Great Day for CMU”

By Bruce Gerson

Carnegie Mellon staff received a big “thank you” from university leaders for their contributions and hard work at the annual Community Picnic, May 22 in the Cohon University Center.

Staff were treated to a free picnic lunch, a chance to win raffle prizes and play picnic-style games, and the opportunity to see and enjoy the company of colleagues. The annual event is organized by Human Resources and Staff Council

“We have nearly 4,700 staff members, and each of them plays an integral role in fulfilling our mission,” said President Farnam Jahanian, who took a turn serving food at the buffet line. “This Community Picnic is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the work they all do and thank them for their tireless efforts on behalf of CMU.”

Vice President for Operations Rodney McClendon said the picnic is a great way to bring staff and contracted service employees together to thank them for their service and dedication.

“I am proud to be a staff member at CMU and enjoyed seeing so many community members relaxing and enjoying their time together." — Michelle Piekutowski

“These individuals serve in vital roles to help ensure we are fulfilling our academic, research and creative missions in a safe and secure environment,” McClendon said. “This event continues to be one of the highlights of my year.”

Michelle Piekutowski, associate vice president and chief human resources officer, called the community picnic a “great tradition” and a “great day” for Carnegie Mellon.

“I am proud to be a staff member at CMU and enjoyed seeing so many community members relaxing and enjoying their time together,” she said. "I would like to thank Staff Council for co-hosting this event with the Office of Human Resources and to our university leadership for their recognition and support of our employees and campus partners,” Piekutowski said.

Kim Sestili, who co-chairs the Community Picnic with Adam Marks, said she enjoys the camaraderie.

“I look forward to the Community Picnic every year.  It’s nice to enjoy some entertainment and good food with colleagues that you typically correspond with only over the phone or email,” she said. 

For the second consecutive year the picnic also featured a Staff Art Show, giving  21 staff members the opportunity to display their artistic creations. 

image of Farnam Jahanian serving at the buffet line
CMU President Farnam Jahanian and Vice President for Operations Rodney McClendon (left) took a turn serving at the buffet line in Rangos Ballroom.
image of one of the tables
One of the many happy tables in Wiegand Gym.
image of Gina Casalegno at the buffet line
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Gina Casalegno greeted picnic-goers at the buffet line.
aerial view of art show
For the second year in a row, the picnic featured a staff art show in the Cohon Center's Kirr Commons.
image of art show
Twenty-one staff members put their artwork on display.
image of Rebecca Doerge and Adam Causgrove at the buffet line
Mellon College of Science Dean Rebecca Doerge helps Adam Causgrove get a hot dog. Causgrove is associate director of Corporate Relations for the Dietrich College.
image of staff person entering the raffle
Shryansh Mehta of the Heinz College took a chance at one of the raffle prizes.
image of person playing Jenga
Picnic-goers played Cornhole and Jenga in the Cohon Center's Merson Courtyard.