Dumitras Wins Graduate Student Service Award

 Honored During Graduate Student Appreciation Week

April 1, 2006

ECE graduate student Tudor Dumitras is this year's recipient of Carnegie Mellon's Graduate Student Service Award, which will be presented during an awards ceremony in the Kresge Theatre in the College of Fine Arts (CFA) on April 5. The award is given as part of Professional and Graduate Student Appreciation Week (April 2-8). Dumitras was selected for his support of graduate students not only in ECE, but also at the university, in Pittsburgh and even around the world.

Dumitras is president of the ECE and Information Networking Institute (INI) Graduate Student Organization (EGO) and has been a leader in the group for several years, serving as vice president and social, publicity and sports chair. One of his many accomplishments was to create and direct an EGO video featuring faculty and student comedy routines. Assistant Professor Priya Narasimhan says the movie captured the spirit of Carnegie Mellon and helped bring people in the department closer together.

"So successful was this activity that the department now uses this movie as a recruiting tool for Open House and other events. The department owes him a lot for this," Narasimhan wrote in her nominating letter.

Over the years, Dumitras has also helped international graduate students from other schools and departments with their income tax returns as a participant in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. He's been a mentor to students as a member of the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (PCIV). And he even helped launch an online community called "PCIVfriends."

"His service has had impact way beyond the department, beyond campus, beyond Pittsburgh, and into a global community," Narasimhan said. "He has never hesitated to give of his time when it meant that someone would benefit from it. He is a shining example, not just to students, but also to faculty like myself."

"We are truly fortunate to have an individual of his character, his academic accomplishments and his selfless and untiring service...I wish there had been someone like Tudor on campus when I first came to this country to study," Narasimhan said.

Other graduate students who will be honored this week include Andrea Benvin and Melanie Vrabel in Chemistry, who both earned honorable mention in the Graduate Student Service Award competition, and the Graduate Student Teaching Award winners: Dave Culyba from the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and Adam Wierman from the Computer Science Department.

Presenting the awards will be Carnegie Mellon Provost and Senior Vice President Mark Kamlet and Vice Provost for Education Indira Nair. The presentations will be followed by a keynote address by cartoonist Jorge Cham, creator of the comic strip "Piled Higher and Deeper." The title of this talk will be "The Power of Procrastination." Cham will sign copies of his book during a reception in the CFA great hall following his remarks.

Bruce Gerson, Carnegie Mellon News

ECE graduate student Tudor Dumitras won Carnegie Mellon’s Graduate Student Service Award.

Tudor stands at approximately 15,000 feet, on the Rongai route, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

From left to right: ECE graduate student Soila Pertet, alumna Beth Latronico (Ph.D. 2005), and Tudor visit Bamburi Nature Trail, in Mombasa, Kenya.

Tudor strums the guitar at a talent show during a potluck dinner for the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors.

While staying in Ossining, NY, for a summer internship with IBM, Tudor enjoyed riding his motorcycle, Puffie.