Campus news in brief

**Lecture focuses on accomplished female architects at Carnegie Mellon University **

Based on data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 14 percent of architects are female and it appears that there is gender discrimination in the field.

However, at Carnegie Mellon University, more than 50 percent of the first-year class for the School of Architecture has been made up of women for these past two years. The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture says this statistic is well above those of other undergraduate schools in the country.

“When my wife started at Carnegie Tech in 1968, she was one of three women out of a class of 65,” School of Architecture Head Stephen Lee said in a press release. “During the 2000s we built up to 40 percent female entering and during the 2010s, we enroll two women for every man.”

Special faculty member for the School of Architecture, Spike Wolff, is cognizant about these disadvantages in the architecture field. Since 2009, Wolff has put on a lecture series that showcases a selection of diverse architects and their variety of work. This year’s lecture was separated into two themes: the fall semester lecture focused on cultural climate and how that influenced architecture, while the spring semester series focused on female architects.

“In a way, this series advocates for inclusion, without compromising standards,” Wolff said.

This lecture discussion has facilitated student conversation about women in architecture and gender rights as a whole.

“The students seem pretty receptive and enthusiastic to these two themed series, both politics in the fall and all women in the spring,” Wolff said in the press release. “It’s good for students to have strong role models, to see women at the top of their field.”

Two student startups earn investments in the McGinnis venture competition

In Carnegie Mellon’s 2017 McGinnis Venture Competition, startups RoBotany and Inventory Connection secured top winnings.

“The McGinnis Venture Competition is the culmination of the entrepreneurship training we provide students at Carnegie Mellon,” said Dave Mawhinney, executive director of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, in a press release. “The McGinnis Venture Competition is an opportunity to bring it all together and showcase their company’s potential to real-world investors.”

From the competition, RoBotany earned a $25,000 investment for getting first place in the graduate student section. RoBotany was founded by business administration master’s students Austin Webb and Daniel Seim. Their company makes robotic indoor vertical farming using automated robotics and software analytics to impact modern agriculture.

“RoBotany has been very fortunate to have the opportunity to plug into Carnegie Mellon and the Tepper School’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Webb said. “I have been able to marry my education at the Tepper School with the growth and progress of RoBotany, allowing for immediate application of my learning in an experiential learning setting.”

The company Inventory Connection, which was founded by senior electrical and computer engineering and engineering and public policy major Kerolos Mikaeil, won the undergraduate competition. Inventory Connection gives sales representatives real-time inventory and point sale data as a way to stock shelves better. They received $4,000 from the competition.