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, Lazarus 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.

Dena Haritos Tsamitis headshot

Source: College of Engineering

With over a decade of work fostering diversity at the INI, including the founding of Women@INI in 2005, Tsamitis exemplifies Lazarus’ 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.”

I believe in the importance of creating a nurturing and inspiring environment that promotes and celebrates gender and cultural equality.

Dena Haritos Tsamitis, Director, Information Networking Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

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.

“One of CMU’s greatest strengths is the caliber of our people,” said Dean James H. Garrett Jr., at a reception held to honor Tsamitis on April 20. “It is my pleasure to celebrate the achievements of our friend and colleague Dena as she receives this incredible honor named after another legendary CMU woman.”