Stehlik: New scholarship is designed to reward more than just ‘good grades’

A new undergraduate scholarship is designed to reward students who go beyond “good grades” to explore research and community service opportunities.

Named for Mark Stehlik, associate dean for education at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, the Mark Stehlik SCS Alumni Undergraduate Impact Scholarship was created by the SCS Alumni Advisory Board and is currently accepting donations.

“Getting good grades is not a bad thing, but getting good grades at the expense of interesting educational opportunities could be,” says Stehlik, former assistant dean for undergraduate education in the School of Computer Science, who helped create the undergraduate computer science program in the 1990s.

The scholarship helps address concerns expressed by faculty and alumni that some students are wary of pursuing research or entrepreneurship for fear that it might negatively impact their grade-point average. Other undergraduates, Stehlik says, may be discouraged from pursuing research because they’re feeling financial pressure and as a result are anxious to get into a salaried job quickly.

“Carnegie Mellon is unique in that students come here knowing what they want to do from the beginning, and specializing and focusing on that from the get-go,” Stehlik says. The new scholarship “is a way, perhaps, to allow students who might otherwise be very career-focused to take a more expansive view of their educations.”

Computer science students, he says, have a far better idea of where technology is headed than most people. “So many things right now are in flux in technology,” Stehlik says. “One person’s good idea can be a million-dollar enterprise in a short period of time. Facebook is a good example of that. I think we want to be able to give students the opportunity to pursue these good ideas.”

The SCS Alumni Advisory Board named the scholarship for Stehlik because, it said, he has been “a tireless force in encouraging a generation of students to excel at computer science, at other activities, and at life.”

Although Stehlik says he’s “touched” by their sentiment, he jokes that “this notion of getting a memorial before I’m due to be memorialized is somewhat discomforting.”

Deadlines and eligibility requirements for the scholarship have not yet been announced.

For more information about contributing to the Mark Stehlik SCS Alumni Undergraduate Impact Scholarship, visit the Giving section of the SCS website.

Jason Togyer | 412-268-8721 |