ECE Andy Awards winner and nominees


September 29, 2016

The Andy Awards, named for Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon, are a tribute to the spirit of teamwork and dedication embodied by the staff at Carnegie Mellon University. Individual staff members and teams of colleagues whose work has had a significant impact on the university are recognized for their outstanding performance and commitment to excellence through the Andy Awards program.

Awards were given in five categories: Commitment to Excellence, Commitment to Students, Innovative and Creative Contributions, Spirit, and Teamwork and Collaboration.

Commitment to Excellence

This award honors Carnegie Mellon staff members who take great pride in producing excellent work. They serve their customers with a steadfast commitment to quality performance. Nominees have an upbeat attitude and are consistently willing to invest considerable time and effort to overcome obstacles so that outstanding work might be delivered.

christina cowan

Christina Cowan
Award winner

What is impressive about Christina’s accomplishments is that they run the gamut, from outstanding leadership to creative and innovative service. She developed classes for the ECE staff to increase their morale and motivation. She believes that being valued is crucial to employee satisfaction and has she produced an amazing culture of learning not just within her administrative services group but in the entire department. Christina will encourage feedback and put it into action, anticipate needs before asked, bring new ideas to the table and will go out of her way to make your interaction with her a little more memorable.

Commitment to Students

This award honors staff members who are dedicated to guiding and assisting Carnegie Mellon students. They surpass the duties of their job description to meet students' needs, serving as role models who display a positive and professional image at all times.

tara moe

Tara Moe

Tara's expansive institutional knowledge and expertise are invaluable resources, providing sound advice to prospective and current students. Tara works tirelessly with faculty and staff to ensure that programmatic needs are met and that enrolled students receive the quality educational experience that they deserve. She is an outstanding leader with a commitment to the values of justice and caring for all students. Tara willingly takes risks and manages them to evoke hope in the student population, continuously improving their satisfaction and removing barriers to outstanding service.

Innovative and Creative Contributions

This award honors staff members who have developed new approaches, methods and processes to improve organizational effectiveness. They have demonstrated imagination and creativity in solving problems or fostering change that has benefited the university community. These nominees are expansive thinkers and effectual doers.

meighan harding

Meighan Harding

Since assuming the role of ECE director of operations, Meighan has worked at improving and streamlining the operations of the department. She looks for solutions, does not assign blame and is tremendously thorough. Meighan has tirelessly worked to support, inspire and guide ECE staff with various initiatives aimed at improving work experience and quality of life. One example of Meighan's impact is the implementation of the first ECE Staff Speaker Series, which she created to promote staff learning and development.


This award honors staff members who enhance campus life with their enthusiasm, dedication to the university community and commitment to exceptional service. These individuals embody the university's values of growth and excellence. They foster an inclusive, collaborative and welcoming workplace that transcends organizational and professional boundaries through positive and constructive approaches. 

sari smith

Sari Smith

Since her arrival at the Silicon Valley campus, Sari has transformed students’ campus lives and services through her leadership, continuous innovation and tremendous spirit and energy. She has worked hard to bring the students from our diverse programs together as a campus community, with such things as a monthly series of parties designed to engage our students with each other and to help them to network along, with providing fun ways to relax. Sari brought student-run organizations to life through her mentoring and outreach, giving students the opportunity to lead and to actively create a sense of community, inspiring them to new levels of university and civic engagement.