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Dietrich College News
Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Carnegie Mellon University

February 2013
Brain Images Show How Unconscious Processing Improves Decision-Making
Brain Imaging Research Shows How Unconscious Processing Improves Decision-Making

When faced with a difficult decision, it is often suggested to "sleep on it" or take a break from thinking about the decision in order to gain clarity.


But new brain imaging research from Professor J. David Creswell and James K. Bursley (DC'12), finds that the brain regions responsible for making decisions continue to be active even when the conscious brain is distracted with a different task. The research provides some of the first evidence showing how the brain unconsciously processes decision information in ways that lead to improved decision-making.


Read more.     Watch a video

Artistic Alumna Personifies CMU's Interdisciplinary Culture
Missy Hammond Dunaway
While birds of a feather may flock together, artist Missy Hammond Dunaway (BHA'10) draws inspiration from talking to engineers or studying Shakespeare.

Her interdisciplinary nature can be seen in a series of her paintings focusing on feathers- the largest of which, "Pictorial Encyclopedia of Shakespearean Birds," was recently acquired by The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

Dunaway has truly distinguished herself in the difficult world of painting.

Read more.
Students, Faculty Blog About CMU
Social Change Semester
Social Change Semester Blog
Assistant History Professor Nico Slate and Emily Mohn Slate, a special instructor in the English Department, are leading a group of 10 students on a trip to Qatar and India for the CMU Social Change Semester.

Their goal is to lean how to make positive changes in the world by partnering with groups and organizations that are already making a difference.

The trip began last month in Doha, Qatar, where the students taught migrant workers from South Asia English. In exchange, they learned about the inequalities of travel in order to recognize the privilege of studying abroad in a world where many only travel out of necessity.

Read more. 

Alum Q&A: The Intersection of People, Management and Technology 

Phil Simon

Phil Simon (DC'93) received his degree in policy and management. Since then, Simon has built an impressive career as a technology consultant working to help companies optimize their use of technology.  


He has written five books, including 2011's "The Age of the Platform." He also frequently gives talks on technology and has contributed to Inc. Magazine, NBC, CNBC, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, BusinessWeek, the New York Times and many other top media outlets. Simon's latest book, "Too Big To Ignore: The Business Case for Big Data," will be published in March.


Dietrich College News recently talked to Simon about his career and how he worked with several people with Carnegie Mellon connections for his upcoming book.


Read more. 

Humanities Celebrated 

Humanities Celebrated To highlight recent achievements within the humanities at CMU, the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Center for the Arts in Society (CAS) held "A Celebration of the Humanities with Michael Witmore."

Faculty, students and alumni from the four humanities departments - English, History, Modern Languages and Philosophy - joined Dietrich College Dean John Lehoczky, CAS Director Paul Eiss and other members of the campus community for a look at the past, present and future of the humanities at CMU.

"When I became dean in 2000, I believed that strengthening the humanities departments was vital not only to the success of the college, but essential for Carnegie Mellon as a whole to realize its full potential," Lehoczky said.

Read the full story.

View photos from the program and reception.

Read about the posters 10 humanities students presented.

Watch a video on the humanities at CMU. 

More Dietrich College News 

Dietrich College Multimedia 

Dietrich College is on YouTube! View the most recent videos.

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Class Notes

Please note, due to the college's name change to the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the indicia is now "DC."   


Hollen Barmer (DC'01), Pauline Law (DC'07), Molly Shanley (DC'15) and others in Class Notes.  


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Personal Mention
Dietrich College Personal Mention shares news and accomplishments from the college's faculty and staff.

Included in this issue are Jay Kadane, Leshu Torchin and more.

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"Shapira Challenge" To Benefit
Dietrich College
David Shapira, a Carnegie Mellon life trustee and former board chairman, along with his wife Cindy, and in collaboration with the Giant Eagle Foundation, are giving approximately $2.8 million to the Dietrich College via the Inspire Innovation Campaign.

Of this gift, $2 million will be used to endow the Humanities Scholars Program, and $800,000 will be used to provide a pool of matching funds as a means to encourage additional donors to the college.

Read Dean Lehoczky's full announcement.

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