In Memoriam, Vicki Poklemba

We received some sad news last month: Vicki Poklemba passed away suddenly on January 18, 2024.  Vicki had been an employee of Carnegie Mellon University since 1976 and a member of the Entertainment Technology Center since the program moved into the Pittsburgh Technology Center in 2002.  Vicki was the ETC Director of Administrative Operations.  She was active in the process of hiring students, staff, and faculty members.  She used to joke that she came with the building. Her knowledge of the PTC and the workings of CMU was invaluable to the program.  

Upon news of Vicki’s passing, faculty and staff began to share their feelings of the news. Steve Audia, Director of Information Technology and long-time ETC staff member, ‘She was always pleasant and easy-going and helped me so, so, many times with purchasing and accounting problems I had no chance to ever figure out on my own.’  Many more staff and faculty members shared similar experiences with Vicki, always ready to help. John Balash, ETC alum and Director of Educational Outreach communicated,  “With almost half a century at CMU, that’s a whole lot of students she’s engaged with.  I know with my time in the program, she always looked out for the students.”  Carl Rosendahl, Distinguished Professor of the Practice, shared, “Very sad news. She was such a kind person. She helped us so much in running a remote campus, educating us through the machinations of CMU finances, and staying so calm when we messed things up. She was always one of my first stops in the building to say hi face to face when I was in town.”  Anita Nebiolo, who worked with Vicki in the 1980s at Mellon Institute and again at the ETC, stated: “In the early years of knowing her, I learned that she was a loyal friend and a total professional. She was someone you could go to for personal and professional support. She would listen and help you talk through your problems or concerns but very seldom told anyone what to do.” “To the end, she was a loyal friend and total professional. I already miss her, and I am sure there are many in the CMU community that will be impacted.”

Our deepest condolences go out to Vick’s mom Alice, brother Greg, and nephew Greg.  A celebration of life will be held in the future.  We all will deeply miss her.

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