Carnegie Mellon University

Photo of Stephen Cash

January 11, 2021

MSCF Alumnus Establishes Fellowship to Increase Program Diversity

Stephen Cash, a 2005 graduate of the Master of Science in Computational Finance program, has long been an active alumnus, serving on the alumni board, hiring recent graduates, mentoring current students and teaching as an adjunct faculty member over the last several years.

This year, Stephen, a co-founder of Seven Eight Capital, LP, saw a new way to contribute to the program. He established the Stephen E. Cash fellowship in August to directly give back to students, financially, and create a more diverse student body. This fellowship is the first of its kind for the program, ensuring money is allocated directly to students to offset tuition costs.

“The MSCF program did so much for me early in my career, and I’ve always wanted to give back,” said Stephen. “Up until now, I’ve been able to do so with my time, but now I have an opportunity to give back in a financial way.”

From geographic locations and work experience to undergraduate degrees, Stephen hopes the fellowship will encourage prospective students from different backgrounds to consider enrolling in the program. His goal is to create a more robust alumni network as well as influence the landscape of the current quantitative analysis workforce.

With a strong read on the industry, Stephen recognizes the need for diverse perspectives to solve problems and the opportunities for those working in quantitative roles to learn from others from varied backgrounds.

His firm, Seven Eight Capital, is a perfect example. Stephen and co-founder Adrian Sisser, CTO Zachary Murtha and Head of Portfolio Research Puneet Batra all came from very different backgrounds before meeting through CMU. Adrian, Zachary and Puneet are all 2007 MSCF graduates.

“The MSCF program recognizes and values the importance of a diverse student population,” said Rick Bryant, executive director of MSCF. “We are grateful for the generosity of graduates like Stephen Cash to help us continue to work toward this shared value.”

Students who enroll in the MSCF program will automatically be considered for the fellowship. The Stephen E. Cash fellowship will ease some of the financial constraints on the operating budget — while ensuring funds are directly allocated to benefit students.

Cash’s gift is evidence of a growing interest among MSCF alumni looking to give back to the program that helped launch their careers. Recent gifts include anonymous scholarships, naming of campus spaces and special program gifts in honor of faculty.