Teaming Up to Empower Tartans

CMU graduate and soccer player inspires the next generation of leaders

By Sarah Burke

For Sharif Siddiqui, a Carnegie Mellon University coach did much more than sharpen his skills on the soccer field. He also inspired Sharif to give back to his community.

After graduating from the Tepper School of Business in 2000, Sharif, who is a member of the Andrew Carnegie Society, established a scholarship in honor of Nick Gaudioso, the head coach of CMU’s men’s soccer team from 1981 to 2007. Two teammates — Dietrich College graduates Tommy Seier and Ben Kartzman — joined him in this effort.

“Nick had an incredible impact on me personally. He taught me some crucial life lessons on humility, commitment and hard work. These were the hallmarks of our team, and they have continued to be important values in my life.” Sharif Siddiqui

Since 2012, the Nick Gaudioso Leadership Scholarship has been awarded annually to a rising senior who demonstrates excellent leadership skills and a strong dedication to service.

This year’s recipient, mechanical engineering major Anthony Kennon, is a committee lead for the yearly Special Olympics Western Spring Sectional and a mentor in the Plaidvocates — a peer health and wellness advocacy program for athletes. Anthony also shines in the classroom and on the field as a regular member of the College of Engineering Dean’s List, an invitee to multiple honor societies and a repeat starter for the CMU football team.

“To me, being a leader means positively influencing as many people as possible,” Anthony said. “This scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies and still have time to contribute to numerous clubs and organizations that I feel called to commit to.”

Over the years, Sharif has corresponded with almost all of his scholarship recipients, helping them connect with internships and providing other opportunities through networking.

“They are a diverse group of students from a variety of backgrounds with very different career goals,” Sharif said of the recipients. “What binds them all together is that they are all ambitious and incredibly hard-working.”

As someone who graduated with substantial student loans, Sharif said he understands how hard it can be for today’s students to meet the growing costs of education.

“The scholarship offers some relief,” Sharif said. “Our hope is that it will inspire others from the CMU community to help the next generation of leaders.”

Headshot of Anthony Kennon

“To me, being a leader means positively influencing as many people as possible. This scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies and still have time to contribute to numerous clubs and organizations that I feel called to commit to.” Anthony Kennon, Mechanical Engineering Major

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