Carnegie Mellon University

Our Staff

Rita Caldwell

Rita Caldwell
Financial Assistant

Email Rita
(412) 268-3156

Rita joined CMU in August 2021 as a financial assistant. In this role, Rita processes all financial transactions within an assigned portfolio that includes account receivables, account payables, procurement, coordinating the purchasing card reconciliation process, expense reports, purchase orders, journal entries, redistributions, paying invoices and reconciling purchase orders. Outside of work, Rita likes to spend time with family and friends.


Dawn Capozzolo
Senior Financial Manager

Email Dawn
(412) 268-2796

With Housing Services since 2003, Dawn has had roles in nearly every area within the department. Currently as Senior Financial Manager within the Office of the Dean of Students, Dawn continues to ensure that Housing Services is a good steward of revenue received from each resident and that financial information is presented to leaders in a way that allows them to make sound decisions for housing's future and daily operations. In her spare time, she enjoys long walks with her fur babies.
Gina Casalegno

Gina Casalegno
Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students

Email Gina
(412) 268-2075

Proud to be part of the Tartan family since 2002, Gina serves as vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. She works with an outstanding team of colleagues who are committed to enhancing the CMU experience and supporting student learning and success. Gina’s passion for a career working with students began at the University of California at San Diego, where she studied psychology and theater, and continued at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her M.S. from the School of Education. When she’s not cheerleading student endeavors at CMU or relishing conversation and coffee with a student, Gina can be found enjoying the great city of Pittsburgh with her husband Matt, and their kids, Thomas and Julia.

Joanna Dickert

Director, Core Competencies Initiative

Associate Dean of Educational Experience Assessment

Email Joanna
(412) 268-8676

Joanna Dickert serves as the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Assessment and Strategic Initiatives. In this role, she is responsible for the leadership and oversight of division-wide assessment efforts while serving as a link to related work within the Vice Provost for Education division and with other partners across the university. Currently in her 15th year at Carnegie Mellon, her previous work has included program development and student engagement related to undergraduate research, national fellowship advising, academic integrity, student conduct and women’s leadership. In addition to her work in OCSI, Joanna is a PhD student in the Department of Evaluation and Measurement at Kent State University. Through the alignment of a student-centered process with an evidence-based approach to decision making, she is interested in exploring how assessment and evaluation can optimize student learning, particularly in metacurricular experiences.
Sarah Friedlander

Sarah Friedlander
Administrative Assistant, Office of the Dean of Students

Email Sarah
(412) 268-2075

Sarah joined CMU in the spring of 2022 and currently serves as the Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Dean of Students. With previous experience in customer service and administrative roles, Sarah coordinates various scheduling in the office, helps with division wide events, and works on projects pertaining to Student Emergency Support Funding, Domestic Partnership Registration, Student Legal Consultation, and Fifth-Year Scholars. She enjoys the daily connections with students, colleagues, faculty, and visitors of the university. She is an alum of Point Park University, and when not in the office she enjoys spending time outside in one of Pittsburgh's beautiful parks, listening to music, and traveling to new cities.

Holly Hippensteel
Associate Vice President for Community Standards & Diversity Initiatives

Email Holly
(412) 268-2075

Holly first came to CMU in 1998 and currently serves as the Associate Vice President for Community Standards and Diversity Initiatives. In her role, Holly facilitates divisional professional development and strategic planning efforts and oversees functions in student conduct, diversity initiatives, and assessment and evaluation. Holly is the Student Affairs Liaison to the Heinz College and supports the overall graduate student experience in partnership with other units.  Holly is also a self-described “history nerd” who loves to share nuggets of Carnegie Mellon trivia and a proud mom of three kids who have grown up way too fast.

Kate Ickes

Kate Ickes
Coordinator of Student Affairs & Project Administrator for the Office of the Dean of Students

Email Kate
(412) 268-8964

Joining the CMU community in 2017, Kate became a member of the Office of the Dean of Students in September 2019. As Coordinator of Student Affairs and Project Administrator, Kate manages programs and events for the office and the division of student affairs including Student Emergency Support Funding, Alcohol Event Registration and Social Host Training, Fifth Year Scholars, and enterprise content management. She is proud to serve as co-chair of the Staff Council Sustainability Committee. Kate is an alum of Allegheny College and University of Pittsburgh. In her free time, Kate enjoys fixing up her historic Troy Hill home, music, art, and thrifting for vintage treasures.
Kedar Lincoln

Kedar Lincoln
Financial Assistant for Student Affairs

Email Kedar
(412) 268-2403

Candace Okello bio photo

Candace Okello
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Civility Initiatives

Email Candace
(412) 268-2075

Candace serves as the assistant dean of Student Affairs for Civility Initiatives. In her role, she is responsible for designing and leading initiatives geared toward proactive community building and engagement with an emphasis on civility. These efforts are intended to increase opportunities for civil discourse, enhance students’ capacity to resolve conflicts, and assist in cultivating a deep sense of self-awareness and belonging through dialogue and restorative practices. Candace is an alum of Westminster College and Duquesne University, and she is currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh.


Lorrie Safar
Director for the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Email Lorrie
(412) 268-7802

Lorrie serves as an administrator with the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students. Her passion and focus is centered on organizational effectiveness and professional development in support of our work with students. Joining Carnegie Mellon back in 1991 while completing her undergraduate studies at Duquesne University and pursuing master level courses at CMU, Lorrie’s roles have been many over the years, including positions at the SEI, GSIA (Tepper Business School), and various opportunities within the Division of Student Affairs. When she is away from the office she loves her family, food, travel and a good movie.
Shari Zingle

Shari Zingle
Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students

Email Shari
(412) 268-5601

Shari serves as the Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Students Affairs and Dean of Students. She finds great joy in her daily connections with students, colleagues and faculty, and relishes her role as aide-de-camp to our energetic and dynamic VP and Dean of Students. Outside of work, Shari and her husband Roger enjoy visits with their two grown children and are passionate fans of the arts - appreciating the best in music, movies, plays and musical theater.