Science & Technology

126 NJ STEM Students Graduate from Governor’s STEM Scholars

126 New Jersey STEM students graduated from the Governor’s STEM Scholars, a year-long program that provides a 360° view of New Jersey’s STEM economy through conferences, lab tours, and research.

During the Commencement ceremony and conference held at Stevens Institute of Technology, each Scholar was honored for their efforts in STEM with a diploma signed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and a Joint Legislative Resolution sponsored by Senate President Nicholas P. Scutari, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senator Andrew Zwicker, and Assemblyman Chris Tully.

The graduating Scholars heard from esteemed speakers including Assemblyman Tully, who serves as the chairman of the New Jersey Assembly Science, Technology, and Innovation Committee; Research & Development Council of New Jersey Board Chairman Kevin Campos, Ph.D. vice president, head of Process Research & Development, Merck & Co; and Jianmin Qu, Ph.D., senior vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost at Stevens Institute of Technology.

During the Commencement conference, Scholars presented year-long research projects led by undergraduate and graduate-level Scholars, that advances the work of New Jersey’s research community.

The research team led by Kean University student Angela Appiah-Kubi was awarded the Excellence in Research Award for Observing the Expression of Osteopontin in Tumor-Associated Macrophages. High school team members were Emelin Almanzar, Juhi Amin, Cole DuHaime, Rachel Glantzberg, Supraj Gunda, Atharva Inamdar, Davidi Tawfiles, Megan Tseng, Vaishvik Vidavalapti, and Daisy Yao.

A team of Scholars led by Rowan student Yug Yadava was awarded the Civic Award for The Physical, Mental, and Socioeconomic Health of Children in the U.S. by Major Geographical Region: 2019-2020.

High school team members were Sriya, Ghankot, Madeline Heng, Zoe Jenkins-Hiscox, Paola Kotori, Katherine Krishtopa, Avantika Malla, Sophia Merlino, Abhay Sankar, Grace Xia, Jeffrey Xu, and Xinyi Christine Zhang.

A Science Communicator Award went to MySTEMify: Supporting NJ Undergraduate Female STEM Majors with Specialized Research Opportunities and Leadership Skill-Building Resources to Increase Retention Rates, led by Rutgers student Niranjana Ananth, with high school team members Reva Amritkar, Denise Coutinho, Saanvi Goel, Suhani Gupta, Rhea Sethi, Kareena Shah, Vinesha Shaik, and Advika Vuppala.

“Over the past year, 126 of New Jersey’s most promising high school and college students have received an immersive look into the state’s diverse STEM economy,” said Alise Roderer, Director of the Governor’s STEM Scholars. “Through conferences, field trips, internship opportunities, and a collaborative research project, the Scholars developed and honed STEM skills, better preparing them for their future STEM careers.”

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 public and private research institutions based in New Jersey.

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 2022-2023 programmatic year, these conferences were held at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University, and Stevens Institute of Technology. Additionally, Scholars toured New Jersey STEM facilities and laboratories and engaged with STEM leaders at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Bristol Myers Squibb.

The Governor’s STEM Scholars is sponsored by BASF, Bristol Myers Squibb, Comcast, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, the PSEG Foundation, Spencer Savings Bank, Stryker, and Verizon.

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