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members of CMU's Knit and Crochet Club standing in Kenner Room on either side of decorated pillar

May 04, 2022

News Briefs

CMU Knit & Crochet Club Members' Creation Complements Spirit of Kenner Room

There is a big concrete pillar in the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room. “It felt like an empty canvas just waiting to tell a story,” said Stephan Caspar, the room’s director and Assistant Teaching Professor in Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Modern Languages. 

So, naturally, Caspar contacted a group of knitters. 

He didn’t have to look far. The CMU Women’s Association Knit & Crochet Club is a community of knitters, crocheters, and other textile makers at Carnegie Mellon who meet regularly to create new work, share ideas, and donate handmade hats and scarves to benefit refugees in the Pittsburgh area. At the club’s helm is Emily Half, Deputy Director of the Institute for Politics and Strategy, whose department shares a home with the Modern Languages in Posner Hall. 

When Caspar asked if the Knit & Crochet Club would be interested in making a cover for the 10-foot tall pillar, Half jumped at the opportunity. “None of us had ever done anything like that before, but it sounded like a really exciting project,” said Half. 

The connection between the Kenner Room, an immersive technology-driven space with multiple virtual reality stations, and the Knit & Crochet Club, a group celebrating a centuries-old practice, is not immediately obvious. But behind the apparent contrast lies a shared appreciation for creation, social connection, and the joy of learning by doing. Read the full article by KellyAnn Tsai

Employee Resource Group Reps Volunteer at Special Olympics

(l.-rt.) Jennifer Pablonis, Jay Marano, Harold Ennulat, Lara Sullivan and Darrell Baltimore

Carnegie Mellon recently launched three Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) — LGBTQIA+ Faculty and Staff Alliance; Sankofa - Black Faculty and Staff Alliance; and the Veterans Alliance — with the goal of supporting a more inclusive, respectful and understanding environment on CMU’s campuses. These ERGs also serve as a conduit for community outreach efforts and other campus initiatives.

With this purpose in mind, co-leads from the three ERGs, along with the staff ombudsperson, took the opportunity to volunteer during the Special Olympics event hosted on CMU’s campus on April 30. The volunteers supported the event by serving food to the athletes throughout the competition. From their vantage point at Tartan Pavilion, they were able to cheer on the athletes as they competed in various events.

Visit the Employee Resource Groups pages to learn more about the groups, their activities and how to get involved.

Diversity Book Display Focusing on Mental Health Awareness Month


As part of Mental Health Awareness month in the United States, this month's Diversity Book Display at the University Libraries will focus on Mental Health, which is as important as physical health, yet is still widely misunderstood and stigmatized in society.

From historical to current treatments, and from the academic to the personal, the display aims to raise awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues, as well as reduce the stigma that so many experience.

With one in five American adults experiencing a mental health issue in 2020, it is vital that we all understand not only what mental health entails, but also how to ask for help when we need it and how to be an ally to those around us who experience mental health issues. So check out, both figuratively and literally (!), the books on display this month.

Watch Live as Tony Award Nominations Are Announced Monday

The 75th Annual Tony Award Nominations will be announced at 9 a.m. (EST) Monday, May 9, on the Tony Awards official YouTube page. Watch to see which CMU alumni are nominated.

Carnegie Mellon alumni, to date, have won 52 Tony Awards. CMU's School of Drama consistently ranks as one of the world's best drama schools and is recognized as an international leader in arts and technology. Year after year, the School of Drama produces graduates who go on to win recognition for their work, both on stage and behind the scenes.

CMU also is the exclusive higher education partner of The Tony Awards. As part of the collaboration, the two organizations launched the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, the first national recognition program to honor kindergarten through high-school theatre educators.

The 75th Annual Tony Awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will take place live from Radio City Music Hall, on Sunday, June 12. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. (EST), with exclusive content streaming only on Paramount+, followed by the presentation of the American Theatre Wing’s 75th Annual Tony Awards at 8 p.m. (EST) live on the CBS Television Network, and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+.

For more information on The Tony Awards, visit

Reminder: RSVP for CMU Community Picnic, Deadline to Submit Art Extended

The CMU Community Picnic, hosted by the Office of Human Resources and Staff Council with support from the Office of the President, honors the vital contributions that CMU Community members make to the university. Please join us as the CMU community gathers to enjoy some good food, outdoor games, raffles and more!

Who:  All CMU Community members are welcome to attend
When:  May 18, 2022 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where:  Wiegand Gym and Rangos Ballroom
RSVP:  Register by May 12, 2022

Artists Wanted! There is still time to share your art with members of the CMU Community as we’ve extended the deadline to submit your art to Wednesday, May 11. The CMU Community Picnic will once again feature a small exhibition of two-dimensional art in Kirr Commons. Refer to the Art Exhibit Instructions and Guidelines [pdf] for details.

Who's New at CMU?

Carnegie Mellon welcomes the following new staff members this week.

  • Hannah Deering, DSSC Program Coordinator, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Sarah Friedlander, Administrative Assistant - Office of the Dean of Students, Dean of Student Affairs
  • Marc Chametzky, Principal Software Engineer, HuBMAP, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
  • Clifford Sircar, System Engineer, Robotics Institute: NREC
  • Israel Ilufoye, System Engineer, Robotics Institute: NREC
  • Anna Hojka, Financial & Administrative Coordinator - Heinz College
  • David Engel, Associate Director of Career Services, Master of Science in Computational Finance, Tepper School of Business Masters Program
  • Eden Kraus, Temporary Employment Service, HR Operations
  • Gabrielle Orslene, Specialist, Alumni and Constituent Engagement, Alumni and Constituent Engagement
  • James Murphy, HVAC Mechanic I, FMS
  • Kayla Washko, Senior Marketing Manager, Tepper School of Business
  • Larry Chan, Gardener I, FMS
  • Megan Gearhart, HR Coordinator - Shared Services, HR Operations
  • Oliver Moss, Administrative Assistant II, Computer Science Department
  • Shaina Clutter, Temporary Employment Service, HR Operations
  • Thorsten Jaeckel, Product Management (Executive) In-Residence Program, MBA 2-year program, Tepper School of Business
  • Amanda Lee, Research Associate I, Psychology