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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Scholarship named for computer science pioneer

A new scholarship has been named for one of New Mexico State University's first computer science department faculty members.


H. Stark is a former department head and one of the founders of the computer science department, which was established in 1968. He taught at Washington State University and Northwestern University before teaching computer science at New Mexico State. He worked at General Electric in various positions and at Los Alamos National Laboratories on the Manhattan Project, which lead to the development of the atomic bomb. He is one of the few past employees of New Mexico State who were involved in this secret project.

The first Richard H. Stark Scholarship for $1,000 was awarded to Micalah O'Hara, of Las Cruces, and is intended to launch an endowed fund that will allow the scholarship to be given annually.

A selection committee from the computer science department selected a student they considered to be a truly outstanding computer science major. A minimum grade-point-average or number of hours completed were not requirements, said Don Dearholt, initial donor of the scholarship and professor of computer science.

O'Hara, daughter of Michael and Debbie O'Hara of Las Cruces, is a junior at New Mexico State. O'Hara was home-schooled until her sophomore year of high school when she attended Onate High School, graduating with a 4.09 grade-point-average. She enjoys reading and attending theater and sporting events.