Carnegie Mellon University
February 12, 2021

Gwen Stanczak Appointed MCS’s First Director of Graduate Programs

By Emily Payne

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Associate Dean for Communications, MCS

Carnegie Mellon University alumna and longtime staff member Gwen Stanczak has joined the Mellon College of Science as the inaugural director of graduate programs.

Stanczak’s role is part of a coordinated effort to provide central college-wide services for all of MCS’s graduate programs.

Working closely with Associate Dean for Faculty and Graduate Affairs Manfred Paulini and current graduate program heads and coordinators, Stanczak is excited to learn about the culture and processes of each individual program and department and find ways to create a more unified experience for graduate students while maintaining individual identities.

“I hope these initiatives will lead to a greater sense of community and connection to MCS and Carnegie Mellon among our graduate population,” she said.

Stanczak will also lead the launch of MCS’s new Master of Data Analytics for Science program, rolling out this fall. Moving forward MCS plans to develop more professional master’s programs.

“The new director of graduate programs will play a leading role in establishing professional MS programs to better prepare students in the sciences for their next career steps and today’s job market,” said Paulini.

“I very much look forward to working with Gwen, and I can affirm that in her first week, she has already hit the ground running," continued Paulini.

With two decades of experience in enrollment services, undergraduate advising, advancement and graduate admissions, Stanczak is ready for the challenge. Most recently, she served as the director of admissions for CMU’s highly successful and top-ranked Master of Science in Computational Finance (MSCF) program, for which MCS is a partner college. During her five years with the MSCF program, Stanczak built an internal admissions team from the ground up while developing a comprehensive admissions strategy.

A first-generation college graduate, Stanczak earned a dual bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in public management from CMU’s Heinz College. 

In her free time, Stanczak enjoys tending to her vegetable garden, cooking and playing board games with her family. Inspired by her Navy veteran father, Stanczak is a natural explorer — she’s been to more than 25 countries and circumnavigated the globe on the high seas as a staff member on Semester at Sea.