Carnegie Mellon University
August 28, 2020

MSCF Announces Stephen E. Cash Fellowship to Increase Program Diversity

On August 1, 2020, the Master of Science in Computational Finance (MSCF) program announced the newly established Stephen E. Cash fellowship to increase diversity of the program’s student body.

Cash, MSCF ’05, is a co-founder of Seven Eight Capital, LP, where he manages a multi-billion-dollar portfolio implementing quantitative trading strategies across the globe. Cash has always been an active graduate of the program. Over the last several years, he has served on the alumni board, hired recent graduates, mentored current students and taught as an adjunct faculty member.

Cash saw the fellowship as an opportunity to directly give back to students, financially, and create a more diverse student body. The newly named fund, which requires a minimum gift contribution of $50,000, is the first of its kind – 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 Cash. “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, Cash 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 quant workforce. 

With a strong pulse on the industry, Cash understands the interests and demands of today’s hiring managers. He 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. Cash, alongside co-founder Adrian Sisser, MSCF ’07, CTO Zachary Murtha, MSCF ’07, and Head of Portfolio Research Puneet Batra, MSCF ’07, all came from very different upbringings. Cash’s undergraduate degree was from Fordham, Sisser’s from Duke, Murtha’s from Binghamton and Batra’s graduate degree from Yale.

“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. MSCF fellowships are given at the recommendation of the admissions team to the Steering Committee and a series of criteria are considered before the program makes the final selection and notifies the recipient in an acceptance letter.

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 of similar size include anonymous scholarships, naming of campus spaces and special program gifts in honor of faculty.

While many graduates may aspire to one day establish a named fund, the MSCF Fellowship Fund also provides direct support to students at any contribution level.

For those interested in learning more about the MSCF Fellowship Fund and other ways to give back to MSCF please visit the MSCF website.