University of Rochester

University of Rochester Joins National GEM Consortium

July 31, 2009

The University of Rochester has been accepted into the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM), a non-profit organization that provides science and engineering fellowships to minority students pursuing graduate degrees.

"These are students we want to recruit."
—Beth Olivares, assistant dean of diversity initiatives

GEM is a consortium of universities and corporations that builds a strong support system for students pursuing advanced degrees. As GEM Fellows, students have access to internship opportunities with corporations including Ford Motor Company, DuPont, Bausch & Lomb, and Exxon Mobil, among others. In addition, GEM Fellows receive a stipend while attending graduate school, which is supplemented by member universities. Students who enroll at the University of Rochester will attend tuition-free.

"One of the greatest benefits to being a GEM institution is that we are now on the radar screen for minority students applying to top-tier research institutions who might not have considered the University otherwise," said Beth Olivares, assistant dean of diversity initiatives. "These are students we want to recruit, who will be very successful in our graduate programs."

The first class of GEM students will matriculate in the fall 2010, but current undergraduates will see the benefits of attending a GEM institution this year. Rochester seniors can access to GEM's Getting Ready for Advanced Degrees (GRAD) Lab, a series of one-day workshops and webinars designed to expose underrepresented students to the value of research and technology careers.

Over the past three decades, GEM has provided funding to more than 3,000 men and women pursing engineering and sciences masters or doctoral degrees. GEM alumni include Ursula Burns, president of Xerox Corporation; Powtawche Williams, member of the Cassini Navigation team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Juan G. Santiago, director of the Stanford Microfluidics Laboratory.

Along with the University, other New York State universities enrolled in the GEM program include Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Syracuse University, among others.