Carnegie Mellon University

Advising Philosophy

The undergraduate economics program considers academic advising as one of its most important responsibilities and is committed to providing students with the opportunity to have meaningful and informative discussions about their academic, intellectual, and career interests with a wide range of advisers and mentors. Identifying the primary degree to pursue should be undertaken as a collaborative process with the program advisers.

At Carnegie Mellon, advising is more than choosing classes. Advising involves helping students match their strengths and interests to the particular contents of a program of study and then continuing to design a balanced and rich undergraduate academic experience that will prepare a student to pursue intellectual, personal, and professional goals. We provide holistic advising and encourage students to develop meaningful relationships with their advisers.

Carol B. Goldburg, Ph.D.

carol goldburg

I'm often asked "why economics?" and my reason is quite simple: I enjoy solving puzzles, understanding why individuals and organizations behave as they do, and using organized principles and mathematics to identify and solve problems. Solutions are not always simple or black and white, but ambiguity has never bothered me. In fact, I take it on as an intellectual challenge. As executive director of the undergraduate economics program, a primary goal of mine is to provide students with a robust curriculum, a healthy environment in which to learn inside and outside of the classroom, and access to opportunities to integrate their personal and professional identities. 

Prior to receiving my doctoral degree in political economy and economics (CMU), I worked as a research assistant and a research associate for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's General Economic Analysis Division (Geneva, Switzerland). While an undergraduate student studying mathematics in the U.S. (at CMU) and in Europe (at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland), I freelanced as a translator and interpreter. I also translated for NASA and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology's university press; interpreted at European international congresses; and facilitated for the international media, French secret security, and the Mitterand entourage during former French president Francois Mitterand's visit to Carnegie Mellon University. Since completing my Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon, I have taught at Dartmouth College and Carnegie Mellon.

I invite all of you, including those who are not considering economics as a major, to stop by my office and introduce yourself.

Advisor of record  to all students with declared additional majors in economics.


Kathleen Conway, Ed.D.

kathleen conway

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh but spent several years living and working in Ohio. I earned a bachelor of science in business administration with concentrations in economics and psychology from Youngstown State University, a master of arts in economics from Youngstown State University, and an education specialist post-master's degree in higher education administration from Kent State University.

I earned my doctorate of education at the University of Pittsburgh with a focus on higher education management. My research centers on creating high impact out-of-classroom experiences for undergraduate students that complement their academic coursework. Prior to returning to Pittsburgh to work at Carnegie Mellon, I worked as an adjunct economics faculty member, as a coordinator for tutoring and learning programs, and as a coordinator of first-year orientation programs at a variety of institutions of higher education. I am passionate about partnering with you to create a plan for achieving your academic, professional, and personal goals!

I love exploring Pittsburgh's vibrant neighborhoods, running and biking, traveling, and cooking. My door is always open, and I'm happy to chat with you about any and all aspects of your academic journey!

Advisor of record to all students with declared majors in Economics, Economics & Mathematical Sciences, Economics & Politics, and Economics & Statistics; and to all students with declared minors in economics.


Samantha Nielsen

Samantha Nielsen

My goal is to help you clarify your life/career goals, and develop educational plans for how to achieve those goals. In the development of these meaningful educational plans, we will work together to make sure that they are consistent with your personal interests, values, and abilities.

Once you are a declared Statistics & Data Science student, feel free to make me your point person. You can contact me with any questions you have but the most commons ones might be about your major, courses, research opportunities, resources or accommodations, etc. When in doubt, just send me an email!

Co-advisor of record to all students with declared majors in Economics and Statistics.  You can find out more about Samantha on the Department of Statistics & Data Sciences webpages.

EMAIL Samantha

Emily Half, M.A.

Emily Half

Emily Half is the Deputy Director for the Institute for Politics and Strategy (IPS). She provides strategic support to the director to execute the mission and vision of IPS. Emily advises all undergraduate and graduate students in the Institute for Politics and Strategy. 

Emily is dedicated to holistic academic advising and supports her students in their decisions around course selection and degree requirements, study abroad, research opportunities, fellowships and scholarships, internships, and post-graduation opportunities. She is passionate about knowing each and every one of her advisees and their individual passions in order to assist them in developing a network of resources to support their undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate experiences.

Her goal is to enable their growth as students, scholars, and critical global citizens by presenting them with opportunities and breaking down barriers to success. She is the 2017 recipient of Carnegie Mellon University's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Advising and Mentoring. The Academic Advising Award is intended to recognize a commitment to helping students in selecting courses, focusing and managing research, choosing a major/minor, determining long-term career and personal development goals, and defining and achieving academic goals.

Prior to her work in the Dietrich College, Emily served the university in the division of student affairs in a variety of capacities including study abroad, multicultural programming, and residence life. Emily has been with Carnegie Mellon University since 2000. She has a master's degree in English from Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor's degree in English and Spanish from Bucknell University.

Co-advisor of record to all students with declared majors in Economics and Politics.  You can find out more about Emily on the Institute for Policy and Strategy webpages.