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Governor’s STEM Scholars Select 129 Future N.J. STEM Leaders for 2024 Class

High School and College Students Hail from 20 New Jersey Counties

The Governor's STEM Scholars (GSS) is proud to welcome 129 New Jersey students into their 2023-2024 class. Selected among nearly 1,000 applicants from across this state, these students represent some of the highest achieving students in New Jersey.

GSS 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 Secretary of Higher Education, and public and private research institutions. GSS works to sustain and strengthen New Jersey’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) talent pipeline by introducing the state’s STEM students to the R&D and STEM ecosystem.

New Jersey has the highest concentration of engineers and scientists per square mile in the United States, according to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Recognizing New Jersey’s rich talent pool, GSS serves as a vital bridge for talented STEM students to connect with research and STEM professionals within the industry, academia, and government sectors. By creating this vital bridge we are building up New Jersey’s STEM network.

“New Jersey’s long-tradition of innovation, from the invention of the lightbulb to the development of the first transistor, are powered by some of the best scientists, engineers and inventors in the world,” said Anthony Cicatiello, President of the Research & Development Council of New Jersey. “Through the Governor’s STEM Scholars, we are able to support the next generation of innovators right here in the Garden State, ensuring a continued legacy of invention and discovery that will drive our economy into the future.”

Through conferences, field trips, and research, Scholars are able to explore professional opportunities that can jumpstart their future STEM careers. Scholars attend four conferences to explore the STEM sectors of industry, academia, and government. For the 2023-2024 programmatic year, these conferences will be held at Kean University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, and Rutgers University.

Additionally, Scholars build relationships with diverse STEM professionals by attending field trips and fireside chats at New Jersey companies such as Bristol Myers Squibb, Kenvue, Panasonic, PSEG, Stryker, and United Airlines. Scholars participate in an engineering design research project that will enhance their analytical and 21st century skills.

GSS prides itself in selecting a class that is representative of the diversity of New Jersey. Scholars hail from 20 of New Jersey’s 21 counties. Sixty-three percent of the class identify as female and 82 percent as students of color. When these Scholars graduate in May 2024, they will join an alumni cohort of nearly 900 Scholars.

“Through the Governor’s STEM Scholars, New Jersey STEM students are able to learn from and engage with some of the state’s top STEM and R&D professionals, enhancing the students’ knowledge and understanding of career opportunities and introducing them to the STEM economy in New Jersey,” said Alise Roderer, Director of the Governor’s STEM Scholars. “With this career knowledge and exposure, we are setting these high school and college students on a path to achieve excellence in jobs of the future.”

To qualify for GSS, applicants must have at least a 3.5 GPA, be a high school sophomore through doctoral-level student at a New Jersey-based high school or university, and demonstrate a strong passion for STEM.

The 2023-2024 Governor’s STEM Scholars are:

Matthew Abad

Fatima Abella*

Yeheira Acosta

Nishi Agrawal

Myra Almeida

Cristina Altamirano*

Sarvesh Anand

Krystinna Arevalo

Michelle Ayala

Kerat Bangar*

Mina Basaly*

Suchit Basineni

Julissa Beltrán

Isha Bhatia

Hazel Bonilla

Animesh Borad*

Robert Bress

Malorie Brown

Alexandra Bruno

Kayrine Calderon

Kailan Campbell

Carolina Caro Cano*

Seidy Castillo

Pooja Challi

Juan Chang

Sofia Colella

Michael Domenech

Tionna Dunn

Valerie Duran

Noor EL-Hawwat*

Carolyn Eloy

Katherine Estevanell

Jolie Estevao

Omolola Falana

Aden Falk

Akintunde Fasoro

Razil Fernandes

Isabella Fernandes-Santinho

Mircea Florescu*

Adam Freedman

Kenny Frias

Jenny Gao

Hector Gonzalez*

Ian Grenda

Carolyn He

Lawrence He

Emily Hickey

Shelby Hilarczyk

Liliana Hopkins*

Madeline Hunt

Cinthia Hussein*

Shreyaah Iyer

Andrés Jaquez Cruz

Claire Jiang

Nairenny Jimenez

Kaelyn Johnson

Elizabeth Justin

Raifah Kader

Alexander Kang

Ashley Kim

Marlene Krueger

Anvita Kulkarni

Peter Kutuzov*

Sonal Lakhani

Jiwoo Lee

Keira Lee

Anita Lemus Rivera

Daniel Leykin

Angelina Lin

Charlotte Liu

Lily Liu

Alisson Lopez Donado*

Lola López-Spencer

Madison MacKenzie

Alexandra MacMullin

Nidhi Mandrekar

Muhammad Mir*

Brianna Mosley

Dennise Munyao

Arata Nakano

Pari Narang

Ashley Noboa

Jacob Normand*

Alfardi Nuruzzaman

Aidan Ogborn

Oluwaniademi Ogundana

Kevin Ozkuyumcu*

Chelsea Panton

Misha Patel

Axel Perez

Khushi Prajapati

Anika Pruthi*

Annika Raj

Cesar Ramirez

Disha Rana

Ishir Rao

Alexander Relovsky

Jerrick Romero

Kaelynn Ross

Reeti Rout

Lindsey Samuel

Lithra Sankari

Alexander Savov

Hayden Schechter

Zashaan Tahaqqum Shaik

Mihika Shankar

Shubham Sharma

Ved Shenoy

Isabela Simpson*

Aaron Simpson

Praise Sodimu

Shirin Sood

Marisa Syed*

Janeli Tenecota-Villa

Jennifer Tian

Nennin Toure

Pranav Tripathi*

Vamsikrishna Vaidyula

Riyashi Varia

Shravani Vedagiri

Mia Velasco

Akhil Vemuri

Neeraj Venna

Amber Verma

Raunak Verma

Yash Verma

Madison Walia-Peters

Morgan Walia-Peters

Justen Wen

*denotes college-level Scholar


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