Science & Technology

123 New Jersey Students Graduate from Governor’s STEM Scholars

Students Complete Year-Long STEM Program funded by State of New Jersey, Bristol Myers Squibb, Comcast, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, Panasonic, PSEG Foundation, Spencer Savings Bank, Stryker, and Verizon

On Saturday, May 11, 123 New Jersey high school and college students graduated from the Governor’s STEM Scholars, a year-long program of the Research & Development Council of New Jersey that provides a 360° view of New Jersey’s STEM economy through conferences, lab tours, and a research project.

During the commencement ceremony and conference held at Kean University, each Scholar was honored for their efforts in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with a diploma signed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and a Joint Legislative Resolution sponsored by Assemblyman Chris Tully (LD-38), Deputy Majority Leader and Chair of the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee.

The graduating Scholars heard from speakers including Assemblyman Tully and Stephanie Otis, PharmD CHC, Vice President of US Medical Affairs at Ferring Pharmaceuticals based in Parsippany.

During Commencement, Scholars presented year-long research projects led by undergraduate and graduate-level Scholars that address community-based research questions. The research team led by Cooper Medical School of Rowan University student Anika Pruthi on Unearthing the Hidden Threat: Heavy Metal Pollution and Community Challenges in Hudson County, was awarded an Excellence in Research Award. Team members included Suchit Basineni, Aden Falk, Carolyn He, Annika Raj, and Ishir Rao.

All research projects can be viewed at

“The Governor’s STEM Scholars provides high school and college students with an inside look into New Jersey’s vast STEM economy,” said Alise Roderer, Director of the Governor’s STEM Scholars. “Over the past year, these 123 exceptional Scholars have learned about career opportunities at R&D organizations throughout the state, developed 21st century skills to support their transitions into college and career, and created a research project with community-changing potential. We are proud of their achievements within the program and are looking forward to watching as they become our state’s next generation of innovators.”

The Governor’s STEM Scholars is a public-private partnership between the Research & Development Council of New Jersey, the Office of the Governor, the New Jersey Department of Education, the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, and New Jersey’s public and private research higher education institutions.

Throughout the academic year, Scholars participated in four conferences to explore different aspects of New Jersey’s STEM economy focusing on STEM in government, academia, and industry. During the 2023-2024 programmatic year, these conferences were held at the Rutgers School of Engineering, Princeton University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Kean University. Additionally, Scholars toured New Jersey STEM facilities and laboratories and engaged with STEM leaders at the United Airlines hub at Newark International Airport, Bristol Myers Squibb, Stryker Corporation, PSEG’s Salem and Hope Creek Generating Stations, and Kenvue.

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