Carnegie Mellon University

Scholar Class of 2019-2020

Cory Bird

Cory Bird (S 2020)

Biological Sciences, Scholar Class of 2019-2020


“I was aware Carnegie Mellon would shape me as an individual when I first stepped on this campus four years ago, but I would have never predicted to what extent.  It has been truly humbling to work alongside and learn from the most brilliant, passionate, and loving individuals that I have ever met.  I continually find myself being pushed by this community both in and out of the classroom, leading to immense personal growth and a deep appreciation for those around me.  The power that resides within Carnegie Mellon’s community to tackle incredibly difficult problems is awe-inspiring, and for that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to remain a fifth year and continue to contribute to its development.”

Originally from Sarver, Pennsylvania, Cory has deepened his love for Pittsburgh while studying Computational Neuroscience with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Carnegie Mellon.  The past four years have enabled Cory to explore the crossroads of his technical and social interests while identifying entirely new passions.  Some of his most impactful experiences have been involvement with the student service organization Project Rwanda, the first-year orientation program, and research in the HCI and Robotics departments.  He has come to learn that collaboration, creativity, and innovation are inherent aspects of the CMU experience and plans to use his fifth year to establish learning spaces on campus that accurately reflect these values.

Miranda Mlincek

Miranda Mlincek (S 2020)

Biological Sciences, Scholar Class of 2019-2020


“My time at Carnegie Mellon has been transformative. I have learned how to grow through hardship, and appreciate the brightness in each day. I have met the most incredible people from all over the world, from some countries I did not even know existed! These diverse perspectives are as valuable as gold. Through the good times and the bad, I have learned the limitless capacity of Carnegie Mellon humans to encompass me with all the love, hope, and inspiration I could ever need, and for that, I am forever grateful. These people, this environment—they have helped me find my voice and discover who I want to be. I want to give back in any way that I can and know that there are students on our campus who are still yearning to find their voices, and wishing for their voices to be heard. I see my fifth year at Carnegie Mellon as a time for me to discover those human stories untold, and advocate for people on our campus whose voices need to be heard.”

A hop, skip, and a jump from Pittsburgh, Miranda grew up in a small town on the west side of Cleveland, spending her summers surrounded by cousins swimming in Lake Erie and winters buried three feet in snow. Coming to Pittsburgh was eye-opening for her, because it is the first time she has lived in a city. Pittsburgh has taken on that feeling of home for her though, with a lot of the same midwestern feels of her hometown with a much more diverse population that has helped her learn about the world. Studying Cognitive Neuroscience has broadened her knowledge of human behavior and helped her choose a career in occupational therapy. Miranda believes in this concept of neurodiversity, where we begin to “see the able, not the label.” She believes each of us has things we struggle with that debilitate us, but that we also have incredible abilities to offer. She wants to bring neurodiversity to the campus conversation on diversity, and help students who feel stigmatized for their emotional and cognitive differences become advocates for themselves and gain a sense of belonging in our campus community. Miranda’s favorite CMU experiences have been working as an RA with Residential Education and traveling to Nicaragua to engage in a public health service project with the Global Public Health Brigade.

Joyce Wang

Joyce Wang (S 2020)

Computer Science and Arts, Scholar Class of 2019-2020


"At CMU, I am constantly amazed and humbled by the minds of my peers and mentors from all corners of campus. As a BXA student, I have the privilege to develop a perspective across academic spaces, but I wish that more people would get to appreciate the diversity of work that we are all creating here. I believe our campus will be stronger if we better understand how each other think. As a fifth year scholar, I want to serve as a facilitator, and create fun and comfortable environments for members of our community to get to know each other's minds."

Born and raised in Beijing, Joyce Wang is currently a student in the B.C.S.A. interdisciplinary program, studying Computer Science, Drama, and many things in between. Originally an engineering student, she found fulfillment exploring across the arts and humanities, and blending these fields through artistic practice and research. She has worked on the media design team for several theater productions, taught intro-level programming, and made and directed a multi-media experimental performance piece. She loves being a member of IMPAQT to connect students from the Pittsburgh and Qatar campuses. She also enjoys working with students in CMU Listens, a new initiative dedicated to cultivating a stronger culture of empathic listening on campus. Often finding herself in between different cultural and intellectual spaces, Joyce is passionate about creating interdisciplinary and intersectional dialogues. For her Fifth Year project, she is examining the history of interdisciplinary education and collaborations at Carnegie Mellon. Based on this understanding of history, she plans to organize workshops and games to disrupt existing academic silos and bring together people with different backgrounds and mindsets.