Campus News in Brief

Carnegie Mellon holds Model UN conference

Last weekend, Carnegie Mellon’s International Relations Organization (IRO) held its third annual Model United Nations conference for high school students. This year’s theme was Revolution, Reaction, and Reform.

The goals of the conference were fostering diplomatic exchange on current global affairs, challenging students beyond their regular academic curriculum, and encouraging them to take an active role in international politics by adopting such roles as delegates, justices, journalists, and national leaders. As a result, students gain an international perspective on current events, according to the IRO’s website.

The IRO was founded to promote awareness of the global community and an understanding of international business.

Islam awarded by National Science Foundation

Mohammad F. Islam, an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science and engineering, has received the Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), according to a February 28 university press release.

Islam will receive $500,000 over a five-year period to research the arrangement of atoms and molecules in certain crystals and alloys. Understanding the structure in which the particles are assembled will affect how certain materials are designed, including those used for drug delivery, biochemical sensors, and in the biomedical and defense industry sectors.

Islam hopes that the research will lead to the discovery of new ways to teach these complicated concepts to undergraduate and high school students, according to the press release.

Islam’s work at Carnegie Mellon has focused on investigating the structure and dynamics of synthetic and biological soft matter in order to understand the relationship between microscopic structure and macroscopic properties, among other traditional concepts, according to the Islam Group’s website.

Islam, who joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 2005, also received a 2007 Alfred P. Sloan research fellowship.

First-years and seniors asked to take NSSE

This spring, Carnegie Mellon first-years and seniors are being asked to take the National Survey of Student Engagement, according to the university’s department of Institutional Research and Analysis.

The survey will assess the correlation between students’ good educational practices and how much they benefit from their college experience.

Students will report the frequency with which they engage in dozens of activities that represent good educational practices, assess their academic performance and personal growth, and record their perceptions of the college environment.

The survey was developed by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. Indira Nair, the university’s vice provost for education, is sponsoring the administration of the survey at Carnegie Mellon.

The test was first administered in 1999 to students at 68 colleges and universities. This spring, 1.1 million undergraduate students at 609 institutions throughout the United States and Canada are expected to take the survey, according to a March 1 article in FOCUS, the university’s faculty newsletter.