Changes—for the better

We have some very exciting things to tell you about—including a new undergraduate scholarship and the 25th anniversary of the founding of the School of Computer Science—but let me first tell you about the last few months.

We have some very exciting things to tell you about—including a new undergraduate scholarship and the 25th anniversary of the founding of the School of Computer Science—but let me first tell you about the last few months.

It was a very busy summer. We had great, well-attended events for SCS and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department alumni and their families at the Boston Museum of Science and Seattle's EMP Museum.

Yet nothing could have prepared us for July 27’s SCS/ECE event at San Francisco's newly reopened Exploratorium. It was one of CMU’s largest regional alumni events this year, with more than 600 people in attendance. (See pages 30 and 31.)

Although we heard a lot of nice compliments about the San Francisco event and the venue, the evening couldn’t have happened without your support and enthusiasm.

. . .

Cèilidh—formerly known as homecoming and family weekend—came early this year (Sept. 27–29). One new wrinkle was a “TOBOM” race in the Gates Center for Computer Science. This was like our spring Mobot race on the mall in front of Wean Hall, but instead of going downhill, the autonomous robots navigated their way up the Gates Center’s helix.

I especially enjoyed spending time during Cèilidh with J. Renato Iturriaga (S’64, ’67) and his family. Renato was honored Sept. 27 as one of the university’s 2013 Distinguished Alumni.

As one of CMU’s first computer science Ph.D.’s—his advisor was Alan Perlis—Renato is a living link to the early days of the CS department. He has gone onto a truly distinguished career in academia, government and private industry in his native Mexico, and was recently appointed as a liaison between Mexico’s Federal Ministry of Education and the state governor of Morelos.

Renato’s wife and daughters told me he’s been regaling them for years with stories about his days at Carnegie Mellon, but this was the first time they had visited Pittsburgh. It was an emotional and rewarding experience for all of us.

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Network Nights Are Now CMU Connect: It seems like the only constant in CMU’s history has been change. What we’ve been calling “Network Nights” is now known as “CMU Connect.” It’s more than a new name—it’s a whole new philosophy.

Our goal is to expand both the quality and the quantity of the activities we offer for our alumni and students, so they can grow both their social and professional networks. We want our alumni to be able to share their experiences and expertise with students and parents, and our current students to help our alumni reconnect with the university.

Our first series of “CMU Connect” events was held in New York City Oct. 16–20, and included a technology and entrepreneurship workshop hosted by Facebook, a “women in business” networking breakfast, a career panel, alumni career counseling, a career fair, and a reception hosted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

On Oct. 19, we tried something different, as alumni, students and friends of the university volunteered their time to help New York’s public schools during “New York Cares Day.”

Our next CMU Connect events will be held in February in Pittsburgh, followed by events in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco in March. Do you like the change? You’ll have to attend and let me know.

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New Stehlik Scholarship Created: How about this new scholarship I mentioned? It’s the creation of our SCS Alumni Advisory Board, and it’s named for Mark Stehlik, longtime assistant dean for undergraduate education who now serves as associate dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s Qatar campus.

The Stehlik Impact Scholarship is designed to address a concern—raised by some alumni and faculty—that students are too often focused on their grades and their future careers to the exclusion of exploring research and community service.

The Stehlik scholarship will recognize SCS seniors who have demonstrated that they have interests beyond the classroom in research, entrepreneurship and outreach to others.

The scholarship is designed as an incentive to help spark conversation and ultimately change the culture at SCS for the better. Students will be nominated by SCS faculty, and the ultimate selection will be made by the associate dean for undergraduate education. The guidelines for selection are intentionally broad, giving faculty wide latitude to nominate students based on their impact “in the field of computer science, in the community, and in the world.”

The alumni advisory board’s goal is to raise enough money to support a $10,000 annual scholarship. If you’d like to become part of the fundraising effort, please contact me.

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SCS 25th Anniversary: Dec. 1, 2013 will mark the 25th anniversary of the appointment of A. Nico Habermann as the first dean of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. The creation of the School of Computer Science was announced to the public on Jan. 2, 1989.

We are planning a full slate of events later in 2014 to mark our first quarter century. You have played an important part in SCS’s journey so far—so we hope that you will be able to join us during the year as we mark this important milestone.

Make sure you’re registered in our alumni database ( so that you won’t miss an update. And we hope to see you soon!

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Tina M. Carr (HNZ’02)
SCS Director of Alumni Relations

For More Information: 

Tina M. Carr |