Alumnus honored in 2023 class of Tartans on the Rise
CMU recognizes 23 recent alumni making transformational impacts
Amanda S.F. Hartle and Elizabeth Speed
Mar 22, 2023
From the surface of Mars to doctors' offices in Africa and from biochemistry laboratories to virtual reality theater, Carnegie Mellon University's 2023 Tartans on the Rise are advancing society through technology, celebrating human expression and elevating industries, communities and people everywhere.
Now in its second year, Tartans on the Rise celebrates recent alumni who are making an impact in their organizations and in their communities, across the nation and around the world through leadership, innovation and career achievements.
"I join the entire Carnegie Mellon University community in congratulating this year’s class of Tartans on the Rise," says CMU President Farnam Jahanian. "These extraordinary Tartans represent the visionary and entrepreneurial spirit of our alumni, and I am in awe of their passion, creativity and leadership. We are truly excited by all they have accomplished and will continue to achieve in the future."
These recent alumni are innovating health and health care around the globe by connecting patients with providers, developing tests to protect from deadly toxins and reimagining the industry through information science. They’re combating social and environmental issues such as income inequality, climate change, education and representation.
The 2023 Tartans on the Rise are enhancing technology through intelligent email security, by empowering individuals to own their digital identity, and by transforming underserved communities through technology. They’re also reimagining theater through virtual reality and infusing poetry with artificial intelligence.
"CMU's Tartans on the Rise are making a global impact and shaping brighter futures for all," says Teresa Trombetta (HNZ 2018), assistant vice president for alumni and constituent engagement. "I am so proud to call them members of our Tartan community."
The 2023 cohort includes alumni who have founded multiple companies and others who have won D.I.C.E., BAFTA Games and Writers Guild of America awards. There is a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award from President Barack Obama and a Top 40 Under 40 Growth Equity Investor honoree. One has been long-listed for a National Book Award and another inducted into the Technology International Hall of Fame.
This year's Tartans on the Rise have contributed to the work of high-profile organizations including NASA, the U.S. Department of Treasury, Pennsylvania’s courts, Meta and Goldman Sachs.
Emmanuel Chebukati (MSIT '18)
While Emmanuel Chebukati and his classmates were studying at Carnegie Mellon University in Africa, they were asked the same questions again and again.
Can you work on my IT infrastructure?
Can you make it go faster?
Can it be more scalable?
Now with the technical skills he gained at CMU-Africa, Emmanuel and his team of five fellow Carnegie Mellon alumni at Hepta Analytics can answer those questions. These scientists and engineers provide hybrid cloud-based business solutions that didn’t previously exist in Kenya and Rwanda.
"We take advantage of the cloud and all the impressive features that it provides to deliver critical services for citizens of East Africa," Emmanuel says. "We add local context and augment existing technologies to meet the specific needs of our communities. Our work means that local companies can scale infinitely and globally, creating new opportunities for our region."
In East Africa, local laws mandate that financial data can’t leave its country of origin, and big cloud computing players like Amazon Web Services don’t have a strong presence locally. This void created the opportunity to implement hybrid cloud solutions, but the company’s impact extends even further.
Hepta Analytics also developed a method to analyze youth aspirations data, a bill pay system and an audio data collection platform that tracks cases of retrogressive traditional practices against vulnerable girls.
"We are the techies that are able to work within our countries as opposed to bringing in foreign consultants who may not understand and embrace the local contexts like we do," he says.