Veronica Peet has been named the School of Computer Science's first assistant dean for undergraduate experience.
Peet joined SCS nearly two years ago as a senior academic advisor to first-year students, working with Tom Cortina, then the assistant dean for undergraduate education. Her new position emerged from departmental restructuring that saw Cortina elevated to associate dean for undergraduate programs.
"My role very much focuses on the transition from high school to full-fledged college student, and all of the special things that take place during that transition," Peet said, adding that she will continue advising first-year students.
Peet has spent eight years at CMU, beginning her time on campus as an academic advisor in the Mellon College of Science dean's office. There, she worked with first-year students and the school's precollege initiative before shifting her focus to the Science and Humanities Scholars Program. Tthe university phased out that program, and she made the move to SCS.
A Detroit native, Peet earned an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics from UCLA, then went to work for a software startup. When the company moved to the other side of Los Angeles, Peet made what she now describes as a fairly easy decision.
"Everything in LA is about the commute, and I didn't want to add an hour to my drive every day. So I went back to the department where I got my degree and started advising math majors," she said.
Peet finds helping students navigate the transition to college life the most rewarding part of her job, even as the pandemic has presented new challenges.
"It's been difficult with the isolation and remoteness that everyone is feeling, but I also make sure that we're celebrating students' victories," she said. "They keep me in the loop about the research they do and the internships they apply for and get. I'm a cheerleader for these students. Just being their advocate is my primary goal, and that part is easy because they're just so good."