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

Carnegie Mellon University

December 2013
Christina Fong

A little mystique may go a long way when it comes to landing a job.


CMU researchers have found evidence that sharing too much personal information via social networks can lead to hiring discrimination.


Christina Fong, senior research scientist in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, and Alessandro Acquisti, associate professor of information technology and public policy in the H. John Heinz III College, tested the impact that information posted on a popular social networking site by job candidates can have on employers' hiring behavior.


"While it appears a relatively small portion of U.S. employers regularly searches for candidates online, we found robust evidence of discrimination among certain types of employers," Fong said.


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Pittsburghese: The Story of a Dialect

What's in a word? Plenty, if you're from Pittsburgh, Pa., where phrases like "Yinz going dahntahn to watch dem Stillers?" are symbols of local identity.


A new book by Barbara Johnstone uncovers that there is much more to "Pittsburghese" than how native western Pennsylvanians speak. "Speaking Pittsburghese: The Story of a Dialect" traces the history of Pittsburgh's language as it is imagined and used by Pittsburghers.


"The Pittsburghese phenomenon is unique," said Johnstone, professor of rhetoric and linguistics in the Department of English. "Pittsburghese words and phrases appear on t-shirts, bumper stickers and dolls. I wanted to find out why Pittsburghers became so interested in how they spoke."


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Freshman Seminars Offer Exciting Opportunities
Freshman Seminars
Each academic year, the Dietrich College offers special seminar courses for first-year students.

The Freshman Seminars are designed to introduce students to the various research areas of the college's award-winning faculty.

In intimate class settings, students are able to delve into topics that interest them and receive training on how to successfully research issues in the humanities and social sciences.

Three seminars during the academic year are endowed by gifts to the college. Thanks to generous donors, Dietrich College is able to honor the seminars' namesakes as well as provide students with even more exciting learning opportunities.

Read more about the Dietrich College's 2013-2014 named freshman seminars

Predicting Disease

Predicting Disease

CMU researchers have found an association between lower socioeconomic status during childhood and adolescence and the length of telomeres, protective cap-like protein complexes at the end of chromosomes that ultimately affect the susceptibility to colds in middle-aged adults.


Published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, the study showed that children and teens with parents of lower socioeconomic status have shorter telomeres as adults.


Telomere length is a biomarker of aging with telomeres shortening with age. As a cell's telomeres shorten, it loses its ability to function normally and eventually dies. Having shorter telomeres is connected to the early onset of illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, with mortality in older adults and, as Psychology Professor Sheldon Cohen first discovered, predicts susceptibility to acute infectious disease in young to midlife adults.


This new research now links low childhood socioeconomic status to shorter telomeres and an increased susceptibility to the common cold.


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CMU Alumna Named Rhodes Scholar  

Courtney T. Wittekind

Courtney T. Wittekind, who earned a Bachelor of Humanities and Arts degree from CMU in May 2013, has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest and most prestigious international study awards available to students in the United States.


The Rhodes Trust announced the award and noted Wittekind's work in art, activism and anthropology on behalf of displaced persons and refugees as primary reason for her selection


Wittekind is one of 83 scholars from around the world and one of 32 American students chosen and the fourth person in the university's history to receive this international honor.


Read the full article.

More Dietrich College News 

CMU, Pitt Report Finds Pittsburghers More Civic-Minded Than Average Americans 


Teens Who Drink Alone More Likely To Develop Alcohol Problems as Young Adults, Researchers Find 


Creative Writing Introduces New Faculty Members  


First Dietrich Undergraduate Colloquium A Success 


Student's Interest in Technology Opened Doors to ESPN


A Fresh Perspective: Improve Learning by Taming Instructional Complexity 


Human Rights: Researchers Work To Find Justice for Victims 


Kathryn Roeder Helps Identify Clues to the Origin of Autism 


With Board Games, It's How Children Count That Counts 


Social Change: CMU's First Social Change Semester 


Information Systems Undergraduate Conference Coming to Pittsburgh; Presentation Submissions Due Jan. 20, 2014 

CMU's New Institute for Strategic Analysis Supports National Security With Science, Engineering Expertise 
Dietrich College Multimedia
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."   


Find out what's new with David Koehn (DC'90), Julie Booth (DC'05), Yulin Kuang (DC'12) and others in Class Notes.  


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

Included in this issue are Chante Cox-Boyd, Kasey Creswell, Elisabeth Kaske, Lisa Tetrault and more.

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