Carnegie Mellon University
December 11, 2023

2023 Coach Award Honors Alumnus Yazid Hamdi

By Jen Potter

Yazid Hamdi, a 2017 graduate of the MSE Professional Programs is the recipient of the 2023 Coach Award. Members of the MSE community who have contributed significantly to the student experience, are consummate team players, and exhibit and promote a positive attitude are considered for the award. 

The award was established in 2007 by the MSE Professional Programs in recognition of James E. “Coach” Tomayko. A teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science and Director Emeritus of the Master of Software Engineering Program, Dr. Tomayko was a key contributor to software engineering education throughout his 16-year tenure with the university.

Yazid distinguishes himself by volunteering for and taking on duties beyond expectations. He has served on the Alumni Advisory Board since 2019, participated in Mock Interviews with students numerous times, consistently acts as an ambassador for the MSE Programs, and has advocated for students and alumni alike. "Yazid has been an outstanding MSE champion in the time I have been with the program. He is reliable, proactive, involved and caring," wrote Alexandra Balobeshkina, Alumni and Corporate Relations Manager, when nominating Hamdi for the award.

Faculty were effuse in their praise of Hamdi. "Yazid has been an outstanding member of our alumni community," Travis Breaux, Director of MSE Programs, said. "He always brings fresh ideas and the willingness to make time to help us realize those ideas. I’m delighted to see him receive our highest recognition for mentoring. He is truly deserving of this award."

Swarna Ashok, Associate Director of MSE for Executive Education and Corporate Engagement, added, "Yazid works closely with our students and mentors to ensure the success of the project [...] not only in monitoring the progress of the project but also in providing technical guidance and facilitating communication with Troutwood employees for integration of the project deliverables into their system. Besides sponsoring capstone projects for the MSE program, has also been instrumental in providing employment and internships for our students. During my participation in the MSE Alumni Advisory Board meetings, I have observed his dedication to the MSE program. His contributions have been valuable in ensuring the excellence of the MSE program." 

“I'm very honored be the recipient of the CMU MSE Coach Award," said Yazid. "My journey with the MSE program has been nothing short of transformative, both as an individual and as an engineer, but also both as a student and as an alumnus. My passion for software engineering and belief in the program's vision and impact have been the main motivation behind my involvement.

"I'm especially thankful to the faculty, staff, and my fellow alumni whose relentless dedication makes this program what it is. Professional partnership through capstone projects, contributions under the umbrella of the Alumni Advisory Board, and participating in various activities have been immensely fulfilling. To be recognized for contributing to our collective mission is incredibly humbling, and I intend to continue doing my best to contribute to its success.”