Engineering and Computer Science Alumni Establish Scholarship to Honor Professor C.Y. Roger Chen

Roger Chen

For nearly 37 years, Professor C.Y. Roger Chen has been a guide to many students on their academic and professional journey. Teaching electrical engineering and computer science courses at Syracuse University since 1988, Chen has continued to mentor several doctoral students who have gone on to have successful careers in big tech.  

Naresh Sehgal G’88, Ph.D.’94 is one of many former students whose career was shaped by Chen’s mentorship. As one of Chen’s first master’s students, the two developed a close bond that lasted beyond Sehgal’s time at Syracuse University. Now, after retiring from a 32-year career at Intel Corporation, Sehgal and other alumni are seeking to give back.  

“After leaving Syracuse in 1988, Chen agreed to continue being my Ph.D. advisor remotely before the advent of the internet, Skype, Zoom, or any online meetings. He’s extremely humble and flexible,” says Sehgal. “Along with my former Intel colleagues, Bill and Bharat, who also studied under Chen, we wanted to give something back to him and Syracuse University.” 

Sehgal, along with Bill Halpin ’88, G’95, Ph.D.’05, Bharat Krishna G’94, Ph.D.’05, Nagbhushan Veerapaneni G’87 and Uminder Singh G’91, Ph.D.’94 established the Dr. Roger Chen Scholarship to honor their professor and advisor for his unwavering guidance and support.  For five years, the scholarship will provide financial assistance of up to $10,000 per year to undergraduate students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and will support students studying computer engineering, electrical engineering, or computer science.  

“Syracuse played a huge role in my success and that of my friends. Many of us were able to afford college through assistantships and scholarships,” says Halpin. “The investment by Professor Chen and Syracuse has led us to have fantastic careers and blessed lives. Recognizing him was something that we talked about for a long time.” 

The alumni hope this scholarship sets a precedent of appreciation for the college and its faculty who have played a vital role in shaping the careers of many students. They hope to inspire students to pursue their dreams by supporting them, just as Chen and the University once did for them. 

“During my master’s studies, Syracuse generously supported me through a teaching assistantship which was a big help,” says Sehgal. “We are glad to have attended this university and studied under Professor Chen. We’re forever grateful for his patience and encouragement.” 

“It was natural for us to want to help make college affordable for the next generation of students,” says Halpin. “We hope that this scholarship creates a virtuous cycle where more Alums donate today thereby creating the next generation of Alums who feel the same desire to donate.” 

If you would like to make a gift in honor of Dr. Roger Chen and pay it forward, please visit Dr. Roger Chen’s Scholarship Fund. Thank you!