Skip to main content

Presidential Scholar Stephen Sechler Wins Prestigious George J. Mitchell Scholarship

Sechler is one of 12 scholars this year to be awarded the Mitchell Scholarship, which funds one year of post-graduate study at any of Ireland’s Universities

Stephen Sechler

VILLANOVA, Pa. – The U.S.-Ireland Alliance has selected the 2016 class of George J. Mitchell Scholars, including Villanova University senior and Presidential Scholar Stephen Sechler. As a winner of this prestigious award, Sechler will be studying Bioengineering at Trinity College Dublin engaged in research to develop improved auditory technology for the hearing-impaired.

“The Villanova community is proud of all that Stephen [Sechler] has accomplished in being chosen as a prestigious Mitchell Scholar,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President. “Stephen has distinguished himself as a leader on campus who is dedicated to community service and helping those in need. His important work in Bioengineering and improved auditory technology demonstrates the very bright future he has ahead of him. Stephen is most deserving of this prestigious honor.”

A resident of Fruitland, Md., Sechler studies Electrical Engineering in the College of Engineering at Villanova University. He is a teaching assistant for freshman engineering classes and served as the vice president of PEERS Engineering Tutoring, which eases the transfer to college for engineering students. He is also the vice president of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society. Sechler’s involvement in a variety of service projects include his work with LEVEL, a Villanova student organization dedicated to ensuring that students with disabilities have equal access to educational opportunities.  Stephen also volunteers for Villanova’s Special Olympics and has participated in service trips to build homes in Appalachia and playgrounds in the Philadelphia area.

“As a Villanova University Presidential Scholar who has used his considerable gifts in the service of others through Special Olympics and LEVEL, Stephen Sechler lives the ideals of Veritas, Unitas, Caritas,” said Jane Morris, Director of the University’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. “As a Mitchell Scholar, Stephen will serve as an excellent ambassador for Villanova and the US in Ireland, representing the mission of Villanova and that of the Mitchell as an intellectual leader with a strong commitment to community service.”

The George J. Mitchell Scholarship program honors Senator Mitchell’s role as chairman of the Northern Ireland Peace Talks and the historic 1998 accord between the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom together with the political parties of Northern Ireland. Senator Mitchell's commitment to serve community and country, along with the characteristics he exemplifies of intellectual distinction, leadership, integrity, excellence, and fairness are the qualities sought in Mitchell Scholars.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit