John McCauley of Deer Tick to Perform at The Underground on March 2, 2015

John McCauley, the lead singer of the highly-acclaimed band, Deer Tick, will perform a solo acoustic show live at The Underground at 6:30 PM on Monday, March 2, 2015. The performance is free and open to the public.

McCauley has been the bandleader of the legendary Americana group, Deer Tick, since its beginnings. He has written, sung, and played guitar on every track of the group’s five-album discography. The band originally began in December 2004 as an avenue for McCauley’s songwriting, which channeled the gritty elements and sound of Nirvana as much as the lyrics and melodies of Hank Williams. Following the release of the critically acclaimed War Elephant (2007) and Born on Flag Day (2009), the band solidified its current lineup with the addition of guitarist, Ian O’ Neill. Since then, the band has performed worldwide alongside artists like Stevie Nicks, Delta Spirit, Dawes, The Replacements, and countless others. The band released three more albums, most recently Negativity in 2013.

McCauley is well known for his prolific songwriting collaborations outside of Deer Tick as well. He formed the super-group, Middle Brother, with Taylor Goldsmith and Matthew Vasquez, from Dawes and Delta Spirit (respectively), and released the group’s self-titled debut in 2011. In 2012, he formed a new super-group, Diamond Rugs, which featured members of Deer Tick, Los Lobos, The Black Lips, and Dead Confederate. Diamond Rugs released its self-titled garage-rock album in 2012 and recently released its sophomore debut, Cosmetics, on February 24, 2015.

McCauley’s performance at The Underground is free and open to the public, thanks to funding from Carnegie Mellon University Student Activities. The event is organized by the Activities Board, which is dedicated to bringing national entertainment to Carnegie Mellon’s campus. The Underground

The Underground, as part of Carnegie Mellon Dining Services, is offering a special discount during the show, with hand-scooped ice cream for just a $1.50 and 25% off slices of cake. Make sure to come out to see this amazing show and enjoy some great food on March 2 – you don’t want to miss it! Dhruva Krishna

This blog is written by Dhruva Krishna, a sophomore studying creative writing and ethics, history, and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He is a member of Activities Board and loves bringing artists to perform on his campus. Dhruva is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and an active musician performing and recording throughout Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his bands. Make sure to follow him @dkmusicofficial!

Kevin Huber: the Man Behind “The Paco”

Kevin Huber is the owner and operator of four dining locations on Carnegie Mellon University’s campus – Gingers in Baker Hall and the Purnell Center, Stephanie’s in the Mellon Institute, and The Exchange in Posner Hall. With a business partner, he also operates the Red Oak Café on Forbes Avenue in Oakland. Kevin has been at the university for 12 years, and he and his staff are valued members of the CMU community and loved by students who frequent his dining locations. In fact, The Exchange is one of the most popular eateries on campus!

Kevin (right) is pictured above with Mike Clarkson, his longtime friend and staffer at The Exchange. Let’s learn more about Kevin!

Tell us about how you got started in the food industry.

I started as a dishwasher in a bowling alley restaurant. I became interested in the fast-paced action on the hot line and began to stick my nose in here and there, and one thing led to another. I went to culinary school at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and have been in the hospitality industry for 29 years.

What do you like most about Carnegie Mellon University?

The diversity makes Carnegie Mellon a very special campus. It’s refreshing to see Pittsburgh represented as a cutting edge city as opposed to the gritty, polluted steel town that we haven’t been for a long time. Carnegie Mellon plays a significant role in that.

Blue Power OTY, made with blueberries, lemon, vanilla, and hibiscus.
Blue Power OTY, made with blueberries, lemon, vanilla, and hibiscus.

How do you develop your menu?

We like to get feedback from the students and faculty we serve. We also like to offer trendy and healthy items. At the Red Oak Café, we serve OTY, a super-food smoothie made of oats, tea, and yogurt with antioxidant-ripe fruits and nutrient-rich whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

Why are you passionate about food?

It all started with Sunday dinners for me. That was truly the only time that my entire family would be together in one place at one time. The great food and company was the common bond. That’s when my interest was piqued.

Personally speaking, what’s your preference – cook in or dine out?

50/50 for me. I love to try new cuisines with my wife, mostly on Friday nights. During the weekdays, we try to have dinners at home. My wife prepares most of our weekday meals; I’m usually still cooking at work.

What is your favorite meal to prepare/cook/serve?

I love making BBQ and all the fixings that go with it.

All-time favorite food or meal:

Twelve years ago at Restaurant Daniel (Boulud) in New York City, I had the opportunity to enjoy a multiple course tasting, which was – hands down – the best meal ever. I was there on business with two associates, and we left the restaurant in a giggling euphoria.

Willy, one of Kevin's labs, taking a load off ... that's the life!
Willy, one of Kevin’s labs, taking a load off … that’s the life!

Outside of food and work, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

I love to golf, travel with the family, and play with my dogs, Lola and Willy (pictured right).

Last but not least, tell us about “The Paco.” What makes it so good and how did it get its name?

“The Paco” is a special sandwich at The Exchange with caramelized onions, Cajun turkey, spinach, Gouda cheese, and tomatoes, with a Chipotle ranch. I think the “goodness” in “The Paco” speaks for itself!

The name of the infamous sandwich started years ago when someone mistakenly called a former staffer at The Exchange “Paco,” instead of his real name, Pedro. Pretty soon, everyone was calling him Paco, people started calling me Paco, and we all called each other Paco … so the name just kind of stuck ever since!

And lucky for the Carnegie Mellon University community, “The Paco” will make it back on the menu at The Exchange for March!

Getting to Know Lenny Chan

Lenny S. Chan is the Housefellow for Resnik House and the Associate Director of Residential Education.

Lenny earned his bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in college student personnel, both from Slippery Rock University.

How did you come to join CMU?

After earning my master’s degree while working full time, I was looking forward to a new adventure. I began my career at Carnegie Mellon working with Greek Life, specifically with the fraternities and special events (Greek Sing and Greek Council). After three years, I transitioned into a housefellow role in the Oakland community. For seven years, I was the Housefellow for Fairfax Apartments as well as other housing communities in Oakland. This is my first year working in Morewood Gardens, and it’s been great!

Share one of your most prized CMU memories.

This is challenging since I have so many. I would have to say every commencement day. There is something so special about being on campus that day. Regardless of the weather or anything else that is going on in life, commencement makes you feel good about Carnegie Mellon and the work that is done here throughout the year.

What is an important life lesson you have learned from a student or students?

Be passionate about something. Whether it is a professional or personal interest, find at least one thing and go all in.

Lenny and Jennifer's rescue pups, Finn and Riley, looking totally adorbs.
Lenny and Jennifer’s rescue pups, Finn and Riley, looking totally adorbs.

Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?

I enjoy reading nonfiction and learning about local history. I currently serve on the board of trustees for my fraternity (Phi Kappa Theta) and look for ways to engage in the Pittsburgh community. Pittsburgh is a great city and has so much to offer, and I try to take advantage of those things as much as possible. My wife, Jennifer, and I enjoy eating at local restaurants, supporting local businesses, and attending events in the Cultural District. We also have two rescue dogs, Finn and Riley, who are a big part of our family.

All-time favorite book: When Pride Still Mattered by David Maraniss

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Always a tough question since there are so many choices. I would love to have dinner with John F. Kennedy. It would be great to talk about his life, what he could have accomplished, and what he thinks about the state of things today.

You get to eat a meal where fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol get completely wiped off the books. What would be your food of choice for this very special (and sadly impossible) meal?

Pizza, all of the pizza.

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Getting to Know Aaron George

Aaron Thomas George is the Housefellow for Hamerschlag and Scobell, Carnegie Mellon University’s two buildings that house first-year male students. Also as the Coordinator of Community Standards and Integrity, he works with students in the focus areas of academic integrity, bystander education, men and masculinity programming, and respondent support.

Aaron completed his undergraduate studies in mathematics and earned his master’s in educational administration and leadership with an emphasis in student affairs from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. “Pacific was great – a medium, private, liberal arts school,” says Aaron. “Many movies were filmed on our campus because it has an East Coast Ivy League look and it’s only a day’s drive from Hollywood.”

How did you come to join CMU?

After three years working at the University of Puget Sound – a small, private, liberal arts college in Tacoma, Washington – as a Resident Director, I decided it was time for a change. My job search landed me here where I could use my strengths in both Greek life and residence life. My father was born here in Pittsburgh at Shadyside Hospital, so I have always known about Pittsburgh and thought of CMU as a great school. When I saw the job posting, I jumped at the chance.

What are you looking forward to most in becoming the Housefellow for the HamSco communities?

Over the last eight years of my professional experience, I’ve mostly worked with upperclass and fraternity/sorority students. I’m excited to work with first-year students, especially within an all-male community. Part of my work in the Office of Community Standards and Integrity (OCSI) is coordinating efforts around men and masculinity issues. In other words, I provide programming and support for those who identify as male and those who care about them. Together, we work to understand what it means to be a man, how social and media constructs of masculinity support unhealthy attitudes toward ourselves, other men, and women; and how, as men, we can rediscover our maleness and live a life that is both affirming and supportive. I look forward to bringing this programming into the Hamerschlag and Scobell (HamSco) communities and to empower the residents to create a living experience where authenticity is supported and celebrated.

Share one of your most prized CMU memories.

Seeing Buggy/Carnival for the first time. The moment I came for my on-campus interview and then throughout my first year here, everyone talked about Carnival. It didn’t really make sense until I saw the booths starting to go up. Then it sunk in … this is a real Carnival! The craftsmanship was amazing, and the buggy races were out of this world. I couldn’t believe there were actual people inside the buggies. I will always remember my first Carnival!

Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about going to the movies. To me there is nothing like going to the movie theater. Stepping up to the (assumed) high school student selling tickets, the smell of popcorn in the air, getting your favorite snack, finding your favorite seat in the theater still available, the lights going down, the green image signifying that a movie preview is about to be shown, the chatter in the audience simmering down … I am able to turn off the overactive part of my brain and envelop myself in a story that I feel is meant just for me. I’m whisked away from my current reality for a brief movement, and when I return, I feel rested, energized, and excited for the next theater-going adventure.

All-time favorite book?

It’s hard to choose my favorite book. The last book that I read and really enjoyed was Fiend by Peter Stenson. It’s about drug addicts who survive a zombie apocalypse, because they are drug addicts.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

My great-great-grandmother Margarete Lomeli. She had 18 children, crossed over the Rio Grande from Mexico, and worked her way to California as a migrant field worker. She was a very strong woman, and my family credits her with giving us our strong work ethic.

You get to eat a meal where fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol get completely wiped off the books. What would be your food of choice for this very special (and sadly impossible) meal?

Cinnabon all day, every day!!

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Getting to Know Josh Schaldenbrand

Josh Schaldenbrand is the Housefellow for Neville Apartments and the Residence on Fifth first-year community in the Oakland neighborhood of Carnegie Mellon University’s campus. He is also the university’s Coordinator of Community Standards & Integrity.

Josh earned his Bachelor of Arts in history in 2005 and his Master of Arts in counseling in 2008, both from Edinboro University. “Edinboro is located about two hours north of Pittsburgh and 20 minutes south of Lake Erie,” says Josh. “If you have seen the movie, Frozen, then you would be familiar with the weather in Edinboro from October to April.”

In the photo above, Josh and his sister, Sarah, hold his (adorable) nephews, Henry and Baker.

How did you come to join CMU?

I previously worked in residence life at three other universities where much of my work was focused on residential education and staff selection and training. I joined CMU in September 2014. During my interview process, I was so impressed with everyone I met and with how invested everyone is in their work. I was also eager to gain more experience relating to community standards and wanted to return to Pittsburgh, where I was born and raised.

What are you looking forward to most in becoming a housefellow for the Residence on Fifth?

I am super excited to be working with first-year students as they explore campus and learn what it means to be a member of the Carnegie Mellon community. Beyond that, I hope to introduce first years living in the Rez to all the awesome things that Pittsburgh has to offer. Finally, I am looking forward to expanding the amount of pink clothing options I have to choose from on a daily basis!

Share one of your most prized CMU memories.

Even though I’ve only been at CMU for two years, I have some really great memories. Seeing Spring Carnival take place for the first time was really awe inspiring. Students and colleagues had described the booths, buggy, and all the activities, but being there made their stories real for me. Also hosting a weekly social program with residents every Thursday has been a highlight for me. It’s a time where community members come together to laugh, relax, and take a time out from studying. I really value that time spent with students.

What is an important life lesson you have learned from a student or students?

Students have taught me many things. One lesson that I have learned from students I have worked with is to look beyond what exists and create something unique. I am inspired by the work of RA staff who create programs/events that reflect who they are and the things they are most passionate about. This helps me to continually reflect on the work I do, who I am, and the impact that I can have.

Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?

Charlie the Cat steals Josh's glasses ... and takes a selfie.
Charlie the Cat steals Josh’s glasses … and takes a selfie.

I read, I Netflix, I cook, I dote on my partner Meredith’s four cats – Charlie (pictured right), Liam, Oliver, and Eloise. I’m extremely passionate about Pittsburgh sports teams, specifically the Pirates. Most importantly, I love spending time with my nephews, Henry and Baker (pictured above).

All-time favorite books: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (fiction) and The Meaning of Matthew by Judy Shepard (non-fiction)

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?

Martin Luther King Jr.

You get to eat a meal where fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol get completely wiped off the books. What would be your food of choice for this very special (and sadly impossible) meal?

Mineo’s Pizza in Squirrel Hill.

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Getting to Know Holly Hippensteel

Holly Hippensteel is the Housefellow for West Wing. She also serves as a Student Affairs Liaison for the College of Engineering (CIT) and works closely with graduate education colleagues and the Graduate Student Assembly relating to the overall experience of graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University. In partnership with a fellow colleague in the Office of the Dean, she works on awareness of academic integrity issues and responds to violations of the University Policy on Academic Integrity. Additionally, she’s heavily involved in assessment and strategic planning activities for the Division of Student Affairs and serves as the Interim Director of Title IX Initiatives.

Holly completed her undergraduate studies in sociology at La Roche College and earned her master’s in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In her “spare” time, Holly is working towards finishing her doctorate in higher education at Kent State University. “I’m currently ‘ABD’ (all but dissertation) and hope to finish this year!” says Holly.

In the photo above, Holly poses with a Carnegie Mellon alumna, Emma Livne, while they were in the Dominican Republic on a spring break trip with Outreach 360, a student organization that organizes alternative, service-based trips each year.

How did you come to join CMU?

After graduate school, I left Western Pennsylvania for a job at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. It was a great place to live and a fabulous institution, but I missed Pittsburgh. When Carnegie Mellon posted an opening in the Student Life office, I threw my hat in the ring. I have always been impressed with CMU as an institution but it was the people and the culture of the university that really hooked me. I’ve gotten addicted to the energy of this place and am so glad that I found my way here.

Why is the Doherty community so awesome?

There are so many things that are awesome about Doherty! I always brag about how Doherty really “has it all” when you think about amenities like a fitness space, study space, in-room kitchens and baths, and a convenient location. All of that helps us attract a great mix of people from all facets of the campus community. Doherty provides students the opportunity to live a little more independently in an apartment setting just a few steps away from the heart of campus. We have a Doherty tradition called “Just Desserts” where we get together in the lounge every Wednesday night for a sweet treat and conversation. It is nice to know that even though everyone is busy, we can set aside time once a week to just indulge a little.

Holly (center) and CMU alumna Rachel Inman (CFA ’11) meet President Obama when he visited the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) to highlight CMU’s impressive record of launching start-ups. Rachel is now an Interaction Designer at Google.
Holly (center) and CMU alumna Rachel Inman (CFA ’11) meet President Obama when he visited the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) to highlight CMU’s impressive record of launching start-ups. Rachel is now an Interaction Designer at Google.

Share one of your most prized CMU memories.

Some of the most amazing experiences of my life have come from my affiliation with Carnegie Mellon, including meeting President Obama and traveling to places like Qatar, India, and the Dominican Republic. But, out of everything, I would have to say that my favorite CMU memories come from volunteering with Sweepstakes (Buggy) each year during Carnival. I have co-piloted or driven the lead truck during the races for the past 10 years. I love seeing all of the alumni who come back year after year and how excited the students are to compete after a year of intense preparation. It’s such a special and treasured tradition, and it takes a lot of hard work to make it happen. I am so proud to be able to be a part of it.

What is an important life lesson you have learned from a student or students?

I have learned after many conversations with students that there is a difference between being good at something and having a passion for something. Hearing students talk about finding their passion when they are 19 or even 25 years old … it helped me realize that there is a difference between liking something or being good at something and truly being passionate about it. Incorporating my passions with my abilities has been an eye-opening and life-changing experience for me, and I owe that insight to the students here.

Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?

Most of my time outside of work is spent with my three amazing children  – Spencer (12), Hanna (9), and Madalyn (7) – who like to do anything outside – bike riding, swimming, or walking the dogs. When I have time for myself, I love to read. I am kind of a history nerd and am especially fascinated by early American history up through the Industrialization period. I love to watch documentaries and science fiction movies or anything on HGTV. I also love the way that I feel, physically and mentally, after a great yoga session. I like to watch football (Go, Steelers!) and I really like roller coasters. I wish that I had more time to travel, and I am looking forward to my first trip to Europe later this spring.

I am most passionate about learning and education in general. I believe that education is and should be transformative, not transactional. If you want to make the most of any experience, you really need to invest in that experience and take an active role. I think every interaction that we have is an opportunity to learn, whether that is learning about ourselves, another person or perspective, something from an academic discipline, or a just an interesting story.

All-time favorite book?

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. This is the book that inspired me to read more. It was the first book that I had been assigned to read that I really loved. I also really enjoy Kurt Vonnegut.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

If I could have dinner with anyone I would choose Eleanor Roosevelt. I feel like she was so ahead of her time related to the role of women and human rights. She made so many beautiful and poignant statements. I have decorated my daughters’ room with empowering Eleanor Roosevelt quotes like, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” and “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you will be criticized anyway.”

You get to eat a meal where fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol get completely wiped off the books. What would be your food of choice for this very special (and sadly impossible) meal?

I would definitely go to the pizza place where my sister and I worked during college, Luciano’s Pizza, and get all of my favorites like Stromboli, white pizza, bread sticks, and Italian sausage … yum!

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Getting to Know Angie Lusk

Angie Lusk is the Housefellow for Boss House and McGill House, two residence halls located on “the Hill” area of Carnegie Mellon’s campus. She also serves as the College Liaison for graduate programs in the School of Computer Science. Additionally, Angie works across the entire Carnegie Mellon community to enhance the university’s culture of wellness, providing support and guidance for all kinds of wellness initiatives across campus. She teaches thrive@CMU, a six-week mini-course designed to help first-year students learn about the personal, academic and co-curricular opportunities and challenges they may encounter during their time at the university. Her wellness efforts also extend into maintaining the university’s Mindfulness Room, a space in West Wing that is open 24 hours a day to all members of the CMU community to simply rest, breathe, and relax.

Angie completed her undergraduate studies in English and psychology at Washington and Jefferson College and earned her master’s in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

In the photograph above, Angie (seated far left) poses with members of her BaMily.

Read on to learn more about Angie … and her BaMily!

How did you come to join CMU?

I have always lived in Pittsburgh, and while I am drawn to small, intimate communities, the incredible sense of diversity and innovation at Carnegie Mellon has always fascinated me. When I served as the Director of Student Activities at Chatham University, I enjoyed visiting and collaborating with CMU. I attended the MOSAIC conferences, CMU’s annual gender conference, long before Carnegie Mellon entered my mind as a career possibility. Now, working at CMU and leading a small community like Boss and McGill create the perfect marriage of my love for tight-knit communities where people really get to know one another and exploring all that the larger CMU community has to offer.

Why are the Boss and McGill communities awesome?

Boss and McGill are incredibly unique. Boss is a special interest house that students apply to live in because they are passionate about global citizenship, service, leadership, and/or wellness. While students from around the world choose to live in Boss, there is always a shared sense of camaraderie right from the start because of these shared values. Boss has an active House Council and there is an air of maturity found in Boss that is eager to invest in the larger CMU community.

McGill is the only all-women, mixed-class community at CMU. It engenders a relaxed, “walk right in and make yourself at home” kind of vibe; it’s easy to let your guard down. Women supporting and empowering other women: there’s just something about an all-women’s community that is nurturing unlike any other environment I’ve experienced. While both communities have a unique identity, we try to pull them together and affectionately call our communities the “BaMily.” “Peace.Love.BaM.” – that’s our motto.

Share one of your most prized CMU memories.

2013 IMPAQT Team
The 2013 IMPAQT Team

It’s impossible to pick just one, but traveling to Doha, Qatar, with the 2013 IMPAQT (Initiating Meaningful Pittsburgh and Qatar Ties) team was such an eye-opening experience for me. Benchmarking CMU to other institutions is difficult, so to see our Doha campus in action was incredibly rewarding and valuable to me. The opportunity to better understand Qatari culture and CMUQ, Carnegie Mellon University’s Qatar campus, is something I will always cherish. I highly encourage students to consider a semester abroad, whether at CMUQ or elsewhere. It’s the one regret I have about my own undergraduate career. In some ways, CMU has allowed me to fulfill that dream as an adviser, both to IMPAQT and as part of the Orphanage Outreach 2012 team when we traveled to the Dominican Republic.

What is an important life lesson you have learned from a student or students?

I learn something new about the world and myself every single day I work at CMU. I am inspired by people’s ability to dream big and actually bring those dreams to fruition. From the Mindfulness Room to thrive@CMU, if you have the ambition and the drive, you can sincerely make a difference at Carnegie Mellon and beyond.

Outside of work, what are your hobbies/interests? What are you passionate about?

Everything! My passions are a never-ending bucket list for exploration. Anything to do with my family, nature, wellness, animals, children, design, music, food, or travel, I’m in! I suppose I would rather be a novice at many things than an expert in any one thing. This year, I’m trying new adventures in paddle-boarding and low-country cooking.

All-time favorite book?

Picking a favorite book is like picking a favorite band. It really depends on my mood and the time of my life when it resonated most. Today, I would chose I Am Malala. Children can absolutely shape history, maybe even more so than adults. We should give them more voice and opportunity to do so.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I believe I would pick someone that intimidates me, perhaps someone I don’t currently understand. I’m inspired by so many but I think there is more learning to be drawn from the people to whom I cannot relate. Perhaps the president of the National Riffle Association (NRA), Jim Porter. I’d love to hear his opinion regarding how to bridge the gap between Second Amendment freedoms and better gun control.

You get to eat a meal where fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol get completely wiped off the books. What would be your food of choice for this very special (and sadly impossible) meal?

I say eat what you love. Life is too short to be fixated on calories. I just balance it out with a long hike in the woods or chasing after my 7-year old son, Owen. First up on my list would be a PCI (Pretty Cool Italian Club) sandwich from Fat Head’s Saloon on Carson Street.

Join Angie at the Open House for McGill House, CMU’s only all-women’s living community, tonight, Monday, February 9, at 5 pm!