Dena Haritos Tsamitis, director of the Information Networking Institute, is the first recipient of the newly established Barbara Lazarus Professorship in Information Networking.
Carnegie Mellon created the professorship to celebrate the legacy of Barbara Lazarus, associate provost for academic affairs, teacher, scholar and beloved member of the Carnegie Mellon community from 1985 to 2003. A nationally and internationally known scholar and activist, Barbara worked tirelessly for the equity of women in the workplace, and the well-being and flourishing of graduate students and junior faculty at the university.
With over a decade of work fostering diversity at the INI, including the founding of Women@INI in 2005, Dena exemplifies Barbara's commitment to promoting equality and inclusion.
"I believe in the importance of creating a nurturing and inspiring environment that promotes and celebrates gender and cultural equality, both within and beyond the INI," said Tsamitis. "Barbara Lazarus was an early champion of the belief that culture matters. I am inspired by her example and honored to receive this professorship in her name."
In fact, this is the second time Tsamitis has received a recognition honoring Lazarus' legacy. In 2012, Tsamitis received the university's Barbara Lazarus Award for Graduate Student and Junior Faculty Mentoring for her work with women and underrepresented minorities and her commitment to creating a culture that supports all.
In celebration of the professorship, the INI offered two public events on Friday, April 21 embodying the spirit of diversity and inclusion for which Tsamitis is known. Valerie Plame, ex-CIA operative and best-selling author, discussed her experiences as a woman in the intelligence field followed by a panel discussion with industry and higher education thought leaders about the challenges and benefits of cultivating inclusion in STEM fields.