Carnegie Mellon University

Staff Council

The voice for staff at Carnegie Mellon University

Staff Council Committees

There are so many ways to get involved in Staff Council without running for a seat. There are folks out there who want to know more and get involved, but don't really know how. Here is an open invitation to join us, in whatever way you can.

Please take a look at the committees below and consider where you might be able to share your talents then contact the committee chair. We will do better work if we learn from the diverse voices in our community. And don’t forget that all of Staff Council’s General Body meetings, as well as the committee meetings, are open to the CMU community with the exception of Benefits, Relations Guidance, and the Governance, Elections, and Membership (GEM) committees.

General Body Meetings

Staff Council general body meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month and are open to all staff. Per the constitution, Staff Council is required to meet 10 times each year.

July 16, 2020
August 20, 2020
September 17, 2020
October 15, 2020
November 19, 2020
December 17, 2020 no meeting
January  21, 2021
February 18, 2021
March 18, 2021
April 15, 2021
May 20, 2021
June 17, 2021
Minutes from previous General Body meetings:

parchment paper curled on both ends with a feather pen and ink well in front

Staff Council's Constitution, 8-4-2017 [PDF]

Committee Meetings

The Staff Council general body is comprised of a set of sub-committees that are open to any staff member of the CMU community to join. These committees are Communication, Food Drive, Kennywood & Entertainment Discounts, Take Our Children to Work, Sustainability and Wellness.

Each committee has its own meeting schedule and some committees do not meet on a regular basis due to the nature of their work. If you are interested in joining one of these committees, learn about each committee below and contact the committee chair more information.

Benefits Committee

The Benefits Committee researches and discusses issues related to the staff benefits package and helps to educate staff on the range of benefits and services available to them. 

The committee hears concerns or calls-to-action from staff members and may partner with the Human Resources Department and Faculty Senate to address issues or proposals related to employee benefits. 


Sara Gauntner

Ryan freytag


Communications Committee

The Communications Committee provides vehicles and venues to communicate the activities and goals of Staff Council.

The committee advises on message and engagement strategies to build and strengthen relationships, to connect staff with important information and resources, and to provide channels by which Staff Council gathers questions, concerns, and great ideas from its constituents. 



Kaycee Palko

Tonya campbell

DEI + B Committee

This *new* committee aims to amplify and expand upon the DEI-related work already happening at CMU with special attention given to the issue of belonging. By working collaboratively with other units on campus, we aim to identify and develop initiatives that create an equitable work environment where diverse individuals are not only included but feel that they belong. 

Please contact us.


Tynisha Brice

Katie Walsh

Food Drive Committee

The Food Drive Committee is responsible for planning, organizing, marketing, and implementing the University’s Annual Food Drive. The Food Drive usually begins in late October or early November, lasts for two weeks and is open to participation by all staff, faculty and students. The committee members begin meeting in early September to plan and strategize for the drive. Tasks that need to be completed to make the drive successful include: planning the One Can/One Day event at the annual Benefits Fair, organizing Cans Across the Cut, advertising the drive and the corresponding events, and planning the logistics of the drive. All proceeds benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.


Carole Panno

Governance, Election & Membership Committee

The Governance, Election and Membership Committee is designed to oversee matters related to the internal operations of Staff Council. The committee supports Staff elections and membership activities, advises on the Staff Council Constitution, and implements strategies and guidelines to achieve operational efficiency within the organization. 


amy kunkle

 joel Tachoir

Kennywood & Entertainment Discounts Committee

The Kennywood & Entertainment Discounts Committee plans and organizes the annual employee day at Kennywood Park.  The committee is also responsible for setting the date in June, making arrangements for prizes, raffles and ice cream at the pavilion. View the FAQs page for details.

The committee also coordinates seasonal discounted tickets that can be purchased by CMU staff and faculty for venues such as Cedar Point, Hershey Park, Idlewild, SandCastle, as well as discounts at various vendors and local organizations.


Desirée Chronick

Relations Guidance Advisory Committee

The mission of the Staff Council Relations Guidance Advisory Committee (RGAC) is to serve as a confidential and objective peer resource to university staff experiencing a workplace issue(s) to help ensure fair staff relations and to support the university’s commitment to equality, ethical behavior and respect for others. Learn more...


Sebastian Lacy

Rewards & Recognition Committee

The Rewards & Recognition (R&R) Committee manages the years of service awards that are presented at the annual Andy Awards in the fall semester. The R&R Committee also plans an annual end-of-the-year appreciation lunch for Staff Council members, donates a book to Hunt Library commemorating staff who have passed away in the previous year, and works closely with the Staff Council Communications Committee in highlighting staff achievements.


amanda perkins

Liz fox

Sustainability Committee

The Sustainability Committee was formed in 2010 in order to develop a more comprehensive waste reduction and energy conservation program specifically for staff members working in coordination with CMU's Green Practices Committee. A representative from the Sustainability Committee is typically designated as a liaison to participate on the Green Practices Committee.

Staff Council can lobby to change university policies as they affect staff and the entire campus community. These 'green initiatives' include working to increase CMU's recycling rate, helping facilitate Zero Waste events with Catering / Dining and other campus vendors, and educating staff about alternative commuting and Green purchasing opportunities.


Barb Kviz


Take Our Children to Work Committee

Based upon the national Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work (TODASTW) program (started in 1993), the campus Take Our Children to Work started in 2002. The committee meets several times throughout the year to plan the event, which takes place on the fourth Thursday of April. But the bulk of the work begins in January and culminates on the day of the event, which can be quite busy, but lots of fun!


Pattye Stragar

Wellness Committee

The wellness committee is committed to educating Carnegie Mellon University employees about making healthy choices and decisions regarding their personal wellness that will enhance their work experience. Employees are encouraged to take an active part in their own personal well-being and use the resources on campus; by coming to work healthy and leaving healthier. Promoting the free exercise program for staff and faculty, leading the Walking Club on various routes on or near campus and offering a variety of initiatives and interactive programs to keep the campus community informed.

“We strongly believe that everyday practices can help us live healthier and happier lives, both at work and at home. There have often existed systemic barriers for many to these practices, and now more than ever, we are all challenged by conditions of the pandemic and social injustices in attending to our wellbeing. We hope you’ll find some resources and activities in this newsletter that support your wellbeing during this time. You can even share with your fellow coworkers to support their wellbeing.

In good health,”


Noah riley

libby rodriquez

December 2020 Wellness Newsletter

University-Wide Committees

The Chair of Staff Council, in agreement with university administration, is responsible for the appointment of representatives to University Councils, Committees, and Task Forces. The liaisons are responsible for maintaining communications between the respective body and staff council.