Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program Student Orientation

 Orientation Day at CMU

Though the start of the semester may now seem to have been ages ago, the CMU Portugal Program Orientation night succeeded in gathering students together for a celebration of another class and a dawning semester.

On Tuesday, September 7th, 2010, the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program at CMU organized a night of information and celebration. The night started with a “meet and greet” in the calming environment of the Singleton Room in Roberts Hall. As students entered the room they were presented with their gift of a CMU Portugal drawstring bag filled with helpful academic and program information. Students starting their academic year at Carnegie Mellon University in fall 2010 were invited to the event, as well as the returning students in the program.

After mingling with other Program students, faculty and staff, the informative aspect of the evening began with Program Director, José M.F. Moura, addressing the attendants with a presentation about the CMU Portugal Program. He welcomed the new students and introduced them to some essential details about the Program. In his presentation, he outlined and explained the mission statement of the Program of creating new knowledge in key focused areas of information and communication technologies by means of cutting-edge research, world-class graduate education and a close connection with the Portuguese Industry, thus placing Portugal at the forefront of Science and Innovation.

Professor Moura also explained the goals of the program of internationalization, planting seeds of change, producing highly educated professionals, recruiting the best candidates in graduate students and faculty, and collaborating between Universities and Research Institutes. Additionally, he presented the students with more details on the program itself, even highlighting the organization and leadership structure of the two Program offices. He also stressed the importance of the affiliated companies’ role in the CMU Portugal Program. Additionally, he called attention to the significant growth of the Program and the consistent increase in academic enrollment since the Program’s inception.

 Fonseca de Moura at Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program Orientation Day at Carnegie Mellon

Following a catered dinner, Professor Peter Steenkiste, Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program Area Coordinator at Carnegie Mellon and faculty member in Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering, addressed the room, explaining to the students the role of their advisors, and additionally, emphasizing the importance of proper attribution and avoiding plagiarism. He also stressed the importance of academic discipline and the value of balancing work and the personal life.

After Professor Steenkiste’s presentation, three dual degree Ph.D. students addressed their peers with some tips and advice about being a Carnegie Mellon Portugal student at Carnegie Mellon University. Presenters included: Luís Brandão (Ph.D. student in ECE), Patrick Agyapong (Ph.D. student in EPP), and Alexander Mateus (Ph.D. student in EPP). Students were given advice on techniques to balance work and fun, what to expect in the winter months on campus, best nightlife spots in Pittsburgh, and how to get around the city.

Following the three students presentations, Lori Spears, Associate Director of this partnership at Carnegie Mellon, gave the closing remarks of the event, thanking the students, faculty, and staff for attending the event. She also gave a special thank you to those who made the event happen.

There were approximately 40 people in attendance for the Orientation night. Through and through, the night was a success in presenting this year’s new students with an opportunity to meet their peers, take some pointers from “veteran” program students, connect with staff and faculty, and of course, learn a lot more about the CMU Portugal Program in an evening of celebration.

September, 2010