SCS Ph.D. Graduation 2019

Doctoral Student Service Award

The Computer Science Department Doctoral Student Service Award is given annually to a student or group of students who have advanced the interests of fellow students, improved their quality of life on campus, and/or contributed to the larger academic community on behalf of the Computer Science Department.

Examples of service commitment can include but are not limited to:

  • Department leadership — going above and beyond on department committees (requires authentication).

  • CSD Community building — organization of, or committee work for, department events like Open House, Introductory Course (IC), board game nights, etc.

  • Developing or leading department activities advancing an inclusive climate and culture.

  • Representing CSD via leadership in student organizations or activities supporting current graduate student interests on campus or in the community (e.g., Graduate Student Assembly - GSA).

  • Representing CSD beyond CSD/SCS/CMU such as community outreach via CMU programs (e.g., technights, tech4society).

We expect that a single award will be given per year, but multiple awards may be given in exceptional circumstances.

Recipients will receive a monetary award and have their names displayed on a plaque in the Gates-Hillman Center.


Current CSD doctoral students who have demonstrated outstanding service on behalf of the department are eligible for nomination. 

Students who have been nominated in the past or received honorable mention may be nominated again. Previous winners are ineligible.

Selection Committee

The award selection committee consists of:

  • CSD Doctoral Programs Director (committee chair)

  • CSD Doctoral Programs Manager

  • 1-2 CSD doctoral students

  • 2-3 CSD faculty


Graduate Student Teaching and Service awards will be recognized at the CSD Login Ball (or the next department event).

Nomination Process

Nominations may be submitted by any member of the university community (such as students, staff, or faculty) and should describe the qualities and activities of the nominee that make them an excellent candidate for the award.

NOTE: Students who excel in their service related to teaching should be nominated for the SCS Alan J.  Perlis Graduate Student Teaching Award or university Graduate Student Teaching Award.

Nomination packets must include:

  • A nomination letter (not to exceed three pages) addressed to the selection committee summarizing the individual’s accomplishments and impact in the community.

  • Up to five additional letters of recommendation (hard copies or emails) from faculty, staff, current and former students or other colleagues who have substantive knowledge of the nominee’s service activities. A supporting letter compiling comments from various sources (such as five to 10 faculty or students in a department) will also be accepted and counted as a single letter of recommendation.

  • Additional supporting materials that should represent the quality of the nominee’s service accomplishments and information about the direct service. This might include executive summaries, program/service information of activities initiated by the nominee, promotional materials, brochures and/or other materials that represent the services identified in the nomination or supporting letters.

It is recommended that the nominator discuss the nomination with the student so they can get a robust picture of all the areas the student engages in service and the motivation behind their activities. This information can greatly enhance a nomination letter. If the student has a list of service activities in their resume/C.V., this can be submitted as part of the additional supporting materials.

Submission Process

Nominations will be re-opened for consideration in Fall 2023. 

Questions should be directed to the