A record 20 graduate students at Rice University have been named 2023 Fellows of the National GEM (Graduate Education for Minorities) Consortium. The fellowship creates opportunities for graduate students to pursue career paths in industry or academia through connection with employers and universities.
"GEM is a tremendous program that opens doors for people who might otherwise not pursue a graduate degree," President Reginald DesRoches said. "I personally benefited from the program and know that without it, I might not be where I am today. I am proud of the Rice GEM fellows and look forward to seeing the great things they will do."
In the four decades since the consortium’s founding, GEM has helped thousands of students in engineering and natural sciences identify opportunities for career pathways in industry and academia, and supported them in securing funding for graduate education.
“We are incredibly excited for Rice’s new GEM fellows,” said Jennifer Hunter, assistant dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies and GEM university representative for Rice. “We are also incredibly grateful for GEM’s partnership and support of graduate education.”
This year, new GEM Fellows will find a new GEM@Rice group waiting to welcome them. Daziyah Sullivan, a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering, decided to create the group to welcome new fellows, provide connection, and act as a resource to students considering applying to the fellowship.
“The purpose of the group is to provide another option for building a community past the first year, and to allow scholars to get involved with the GEM community both on and off-campus,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan noted that the group will be a counterspace - a community where students can feel their identities are being empowered.
“Rice has hosted GEM GradLabs in the past, and we interact with the GEM community to teach undergraduates and graduates about the opportunities offered,” she added.
GEM Employer Fellows:
Employer fellows are awarded full tuition and fees from Rice University. Additionally, a GEM employer sponsor provides $16,000 toward stipend and an internship.
Diana Alvarado, Ph.D., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Christopher Botello, Ph.D., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Sponsored by National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Caleb Combs, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering. Sponsored by Apple, Inc.
Carlos Gonzalez Rivera, Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Sponsored by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
AJ Haller, Online Master of Data Science. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.
Steven Hudgson, Master of Computer Science. Sponsored by ManTech.
Neica Joseph, Ph.D., Bioengineering. Sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive Company.
Sydney Kepler, Master of Bioengineering - Global Medical Innovation. Sponsored by Medtronic, Inc.
Dante Miller, Ph.D., Computer Science. Sponsored by NASA Headquarters.
Miriam Silberman, Ph.D., Systems, Synthetic and Physical Biology. Sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Jeffrey Vanegas, Ph.D., Bioengineering. Sponsored by MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
Nola Wilson, Master of Bioengineering - Global Medical Innovation. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.
GEM Associate Fellows:
Associate Fellows are awarded full tuition and fees by the GEM member university, and are provided a stipend that supports the cost of living.
Rodolfo Cantu, Ph.D., Materials Science and NanoEngineering.
Danielle Chew-Martinez, Ph.D., Chemistry.
Mohamed Mohamed, Ph.D., Bioengineering.
Damon Spencer, Ph.D., Computational Applied Mathematics and Operations Research.
GEM University Fellows:
University Fellows are awarded full tuition and fees by the GEM member university.
Anyssa Castorina, Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Marjorie Curry, Master of Data Science.
Elmo Garza, Master of Mechanical Engineering.
Ana Saucedo Saucedo, Master of Bioengineering - Global Medical Initiative.