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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Appendix A

Key Offices for Graduate Student Support

Office of the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education

The Office of the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education, AVPGE, directed by Suzie Laurich-McIntyre, Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education, provides central support for graduate students in a number of roles. These include: being an ombudsperson and resource person for graduate students as an informal advisor; resolving formal and informal graduate student appeals; informing and assisting in forming policy and procedures relevant to graduate students; and working with departments on issues related to graduate students and implementation of programs in support of graduate student development.

The Office of the AVPGE often partners with the division of Student Affairs to assist graduate students with their Carnegie Mellon experience. Senior members of the student affairs staff are assigned to each college and are often consulted by the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education and departments on an individual basis to respond to graduate student needs.

The Office of the AVPGE offers a robust schedule of professional development opportunities. Some are geared towards a specific population (master’s students, Ph.D. students at the beginning of their program, graduate students seeking tenure track positions, etc.) and others are open to all graduate students (time management, balancing, staying healthy). A full schedule of programs can be found at:

The Office of the AVPGE also coordinates several funding programs, and academically focused seminars and workshops that advise, empower and help retain all graduate students, particularly graduate students of color and women in the science and technical fields. The fundamental goals of our programs have been constant: first, to support, advise and guide individual graduate students as they work to complete their degrees; second, to contribute to the greatest degree possible to the diversification of the academy. Visit the Graduate Education website for information about:

Office of the Dean Student Affairs

The Office of the Dean provides central leadership of the metacurricular experience at Carnegie Mellon. The offices that fall under the division of Student Affairs led by Dean of Student Affairs Gina Casalegno, include:

Holly Hippensteel, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, serves as the point person in the division for graduate student resources and concerns. Graduate students will find the enrollment information for Domestic Partner Registration in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and on the website. The Office of the Dean of Student Affairs also manages the Emergency Student Loan (ESLs) process. The Emergency Student Loan service is made available through the generous gifts of alumni and friends of the university. The Emergency Student Loan is an interest-free, emergency-based loan repayable within 30 days. Loans are available to enrolled students for academic supplies, medication, food or other expenses not able to be met due to unforeseeable circumstances.

Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are encouraged to self-identify with Equal Opportunity Services by contacting Larry Powell, (412) 268-2013,, to access the services available at the university and initiate a request for accommodations.

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence

Support for graduate students who are or will be teaching is provided in many departments and centrally by the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. The Eberly Center offers activities for current and prospective teaching assistants as well as any graduate students who wish to pre-pare for the teaching component of an academic career. The Center also assists departments in creating and conducting programs to meet the specific needs of students in their programs. Specific information about Eberly Center support for graduate students can be found here.

Graduate Student Assembly

The Carnegie Mellon Student Government consists of an Executive Branch and a Legislative Branch. This is the core of traditional student government, as governed by the Student Body Constitution. The Executive Branch serves the entire student body, graduate and undergraduate, and consists of one president and four vice-presidents. The Legislative Branch for graduate students, The Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) passes legislation, allocates student activities funding, and otherwise acts on behalf of all graduate student interests. GSA also plans various social opportunities for graduate students and maintains a website of graduate student resources on and off-campus. Each department has representation on GSA and the department rep(s) is the main avenue of graduate student representation of and information back to the graduate students in the department.

Intercultural Communication Center (ICC)

The Intercultural Communication Center (ICC) is a support service offering both credit and non-credit classes, workshops, and individual appointments designed to equip nonnative English speakers (international students as well as students who attended high school in the U.S.) with the skills needed to succeed in academic programs at Carnegie Mellon. In addition to developing academic literacy skills such as speaking, reading and writing, students can learn more about the culture and customs of the U.S. classroom. The ICC also helps international teaching assistants (ITAs) who are non-native English speakers develop fluency and cultural understanding to teach successfully at Carnegie Mellon and provides ITA testing.

Office of International Education (OIE)

Carnegie Mellon hosts international graduate and undergraduate students who come from more than 90 countries. OIE is the liaison to the University for all non-immigrant students and scholars. OIE provides many services including: advising on personal, immigration, academic, social and acculturation issues; presenting programs of interest such as international career workshops, tax workshops, and cross-cultural and immigration workshops; supporting international and cultural student groups such as the International Student Union and the International Spouses and Partners Organization; maintaining a resource library that includes information on cultural adjustment, international education and statistics on international students in the United States; posting pertinent information to students through email and the OIE website, and conducting orientation programs.