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CMU Community News

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August 25, 2021

News Briefs

COVID-19 Vaccine Now Required of Faculty and Staff 

With growing concerns about the delta variant, President Farnam Jahanian has announced that CMU will require all faculty and staff working in Pennsylvania, California, Washington, D.C., New York and Virginia to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The vaccine requirement for all enrolled students was announced this past May.

“With the support of our Board of Trustees, the university’s academic and administrative leadership team has decided to take this step in order to protect the health of our campus and neighboring communities and to preserve the privilege of in-person activities,” President Jahanian said in an email to the university community. “We are specifically keeping in mind the protection of the thousands of CMU students arriving to campus shortly, as well as those in our community who are immunocompromised or who have young children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.”

Faculty and staff are expected to upload confirmation of their vaccination status to the CMU Vaccine Database no later than September 30, which means those who are not yet vaccinated will need to soon make plans to receive the vaccine. 

Instructions on how to upload your information is posted online. For those who have not yet been vaccinated, CMU is offering free vaccine clinics this month and in September.  Please visit this link to schedule an appointment. You can also visit Pennsylvania’s vaccine information page to access a list of providers near you.

Read President Jahanian’s full announcement.

CMU Scientists Participate in Black in Neuro Week

composite image of Sossena Wood, Jasmine Kwasa, Arnelle Etienne and Evangeline Mensah-AdyekumPictured are (l-r) Sossena Wood, Jasmine Kwasa, Arnelle Etienne and Evangeline Mensah-Agyekum.

Carnegie Mellon University neuroscience was well represented at Black In Neuro Week 2021, the second annual celebration of Black excellence in neuroscience related fields.

Sossena Wood, a current presidential postdoctoral fellow who will transition to assistant professor in January 2022, gave the keynote address. In her talk, "The Fruit of the First," she discussed her experiences being the first in her family to go to graduate school. Joining Wood from CMU at Black in Neuro Week were Jasmine Kwasa, Arnelle Etienne and Evangeline Mensah-Agyekum.

Several of the week's talks discussed systemic biases that exist in neuroscience. In a panel discussion on inclusive neurotechnology, Kwasa and Etienne discussed how developing more socially just and inclusive technologies affects research.

Etienne, a research associate in the Grover Lab and co-founder of startup Precision Neuroscopics, discussed her work on developing braiding techniques and devices that work with electroencephalography (EEG) to allow for better connectivity. Mensah-Agyekum, an undergraduate student in the College of Engineering, joined Etienne for a discussion between EEG researchers and Black hair stylists who are working to make EEG more inclusive.

Kwasa is an auditory neuroscientist and joint postdoctoral researcher in the Neuroscience Institute's Lab in Multisensory Neuroscience and the Grover Lab. She studies auditory "selective attention," or the ability to listen to one sound among many other sounds.

Learn more and watch the keynote address and panel discussion.

Care@Work Offers a Backup Child Care Solution

As the school year begins and your family’s schedule changes, you may have concerns about possible gaps in child care, such as during school closures or holidays. Carnegie Mellon can help.

CMU is offering eligible faculty, staff and graduate students access to a unique benefit that can help during these challenging situations.

Care@Work Backup Care provides subsidized in-home or in-center care for when your regular care arrangement is not available. In-home care is $4/hour, in-center care is $10/day per child. You can request Backup Care as much as 90 days in advance or with as little as 24 hours’ notice, making it perfect for either planned or unexpected needs. Eligible individuals have 15 Backup Care days to use during this benefit year (April 22, 2021 – April 21, 2022).

The next time you get a call from your child’s school about a closure or have a gap in your care plan, remember that Care@Work Backup Care can be a great solution. This benefit can provide much-needed peace of mind and support as your family navigates this upcoming school year.  

Visit the Care@Work website to learn more. If you would like personalized assistance with child care or any dependent-care related topic, please reach out to the Family Care Specialists at

Rosé Named Interim Director of the Language Technologies Institute

portrait of Carolyn RoseCarolyn Rosé will take over as interim director of the Language Technologies Institute as the School of Computer Science continues its search for a new director of that department.

Rosé, a professor in the LTI and Human-Computer Interaction Institute, studies conversation and how to improve it between people and with computers. She earned her master's degree and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon and joined the university's faculty in 2003.

LTI has been without a full-time director since Jaime Carbonell, the founder of the institute, died in February 2020. Jamie Callan was appointed interim director, and after 18 months in the role, stepped down on August 15.

"My goal is to draw from my research on collaboration to build up community and improve communication and interdisciplinary collaboration within the department and with SCS," Rosé said.

Swartz Center Seeking Teams for Fall 2021 I-Corps Training Program

The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship is currently recruiting teams for its fall 2021 NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) customer discovery training program. CMU faculty, staff, students and alumni graduated within the past year are eligible to participate in the program. Teams can be reimbursed up to $3,000 for eligible customer discovery expenses to assess the commercialization potential for their STEM technology. 

Further details on the I-Corps program and eligibility can be found on its website. There have been 195 teams in the program since fall 2014 and they have received more than $66 million in additional funding for their ideas. The deadline for teams to apply is Monday, September 13 at

Attention Students: The Tartan Ambassador Program Is Seeking Applicants

Are you a student who is looking for a fall on-campus job? If the idea of getting paid to talk about your CMU student experience interests you, you may want to consider applying to become a Tartan Ambassador. 

University Communications & Marketing is looking to hire a diverse group of current undergraduate CMU students that represents different schools, programs, years and experiences at CMU. Each paid position will in-person and virtually welcome, connect and engage visitors (primarily prospective undergraduate students) through written communication and events including in-person and virtual tours and panels. 

This position includes both in-person and virtual work. An application is available through Handshake for the following positions: Fall Tartan Ambassador Application (Handshake # 5124640), Fall Host Tartan Ambassador Application (Handshake #5124719), Fall Lead Tartan Ambassador Application (Handshake #5124756) 

For more information about Handshake, please see the Career & Professional Development Center’s website. Please note, selection for the position will be on a rolling basis as applications are submitted, and training for selected candidates will begin in late August/early September.

Learn a New Skill through the University Libraries' Workshops

Have you ever wanted to learn a skill, but haven’t found the time? Interested to learn more about library resources, straight from a librarian? The Libraries' workshops, which are offered by the Libraries each semester on a variety of topics, are designed to help attendees learn a new skill, deepen their understanding of a specific topic, or gain exposure to an unfamiliar technology, tool or technique.

All workshops are available at no charge and are open to Carnegie Mellon students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. Seating is limited and registration is required.

If you’re not able to attend a specific workshop, but would like to learn more about the topic, please contact University Libraries. Librarians and subject specialists are also available to schedule additional workshops for classes, or facilitate one-on-one meetings.

Explore the workshops calendar.

Join or Renew Membership to Carnegie Mellon Women's Association

Join the Carnegie Mellon Women’s Association (CMWA) to celebrate the diversity and achievements of women at Carnegie Mellon and to build a greater sense of community life on campus. Membership in the CMWA is open to all faculty, administrators, trustees, and staff or spouses/partners and friends of faculty, administrators, trustees, and staff who support the advancement of women in the university community.

Learn more.

Who's New at CMU?

Carnegie Mellon welcomes the following new staff members this week.

  • Janelle Miles, Temporary Employment Service, HR Operations;
  • Erin Sigmund, Associate Director of Online Programs, MBA 3YR Flex Program (Tepper);
  • Glenn Watson, Entrepreneur In Residence, Computer Science Department;
  • Hannah Ethridge, Research Associate I, Psychology;
  • James Koval, Assistant Swimming Coach/Assistant Aquatics Director, Campus Engagement;
  • Jeremy Olisar, Director of the Kiltie Band, Campus Engagement;
  • Kelly King, Academic Advisor, Heinz General & Administrative;
  • Lauren Begun, Early Childhood Educator, HR Operations;
  • Michael Zauzig, Goalkeeper Coach (Part-Time), Women's Soccer, Campus Engagement;
  • Nicholas Scibetta, Vice President for University Communications and Marketing, Presidents Office;
  • Sandra Mazziotta, Early Childhood Educator, HR Operations; and
  • Veella Grooms, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Civility Initiatives, Community Standards & Diversity Initiatives.

Did You Know?

baker hall staircase
Created by renowned Spanish builder Rafael Guastavino, this Baker Hall staircase is made with layers of interlocking terra cotta tiles set in a herringbone pattern. The structure is so complicated that no one has figured out how to replicate the geometry.