Campus news in brief

Ceremony held to install Rebecca Doerge as dean of the Mellon College of Science

Rebecca Doerge has officially been installed as the seventh dean of the Mellon College of Science. On Oct. 6, hundreds of people gathered in the Mellon Institute Auditorium to witness this momentous occasion. This was the first ceremony held to commemorate the new position of a Carnegie Mellon University dean. Ceremonies will be held to commemorate the installation of future deans.

President Subra Suresh, Provost Farnam Jahanian, and Neil Donahue, Lord Professor of Chemistry and Co-Chair of the MCS Dean Search Committee, all spoke at the event about the importance of science and why Doerge is the right person to lead the Mellon College of Science.

“We have a lot to look forward to, we have a lot to work hard for and we have a new leader in the Mellon College of Science to take us in that direction … to elevate MCS to a new level,” Suresh said, as noted in a university press release.

Doerge was formally installed as the new dean and was presented with a quaich (pronounced quake), a Scottish ceremonial drinking cup offered in friendship or welcome.

Doerge stated that she hopes to build on Carnegie Mellon’s strong research and educational programs and take advantage of collaborations with the other colleges at the university in order to make the Mellon College of Science rise to new heights.

“It is an honor to lead the Mellon College of Science into the next 50 years of history,” Doerge said.

Carnegie Mellon professors look to Clinton’s memoirs in order to decipher perception problems

Carnegie Mellon’s David Kaufer, the Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of English, and the University of Maryland’s Shawn J. Parry-Giles analyzed Hillary Clinton’s two political memoirs, Living History and Hard Choices. Through their research, they sought to uncover links to the U.S. democratic presidential candidate’s public perception problems.

Kaufer and Parry-Giles used DocuScope, a digital humanities tool developed by Carnegie Mellon University, to statistically tag, examine, and visualize the text of her memoirs for rhetorical patterns. They found that Living History delved into Clinton’s most intimate thoughts, while Hard Choices focused on her public service performance.

The study showed that in both memoirs, Clinton remained very guarded. “Our important finding was the interleaving of the styles across both memoirs and Clinton’s choice to employ an institutional style when a personal style was not only expected, but hyped by her publishers,” Kaufer said in a university press release.

Kaufer and Parry-Giles believe that gender played a role in this decision. They cite the “double-bind” that women face in politics. “Women in politics, like Clinton, often find they can’t be too intellectual or too emotional — or too serious or too jovial,” Parry-Giles said. They believe that Clinton’s guardedness is a direct result of this.

The study was published in the National Communication Association’s Quarterly Journal of Speech.