Four Students From Middlesex County College Selected As Merit Scholars

Seated, from left: Joseph Powell, Zuri Ramos. Standing: Moya Stewart-Gray and Paola Calero. (Photo courtesy of Middlesex County College)

Seated, from left: Joseph Powell, Zuri Ramos. Standing: Moya Stewart-Gray and Paola Calero. (Photo courtesy of Middlesex County College)

EDISON — Four Middlesex County College students – Joseph Powell (Piscataway), Moya Stewart-Gray (New Brunswick), Paola Calero (Parlin), Zuri Ramos (Milltown) were among 16 Merit Scholars named by the Research & Development Council of New Jersey.

Each year, the R&D Council awards scholarships to outstanding community college students studying in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) field. To become a Merit Scholar, applicants must have a 3.5 GPA or greater, a STEM major, extracurricular activities, financial need and post-graduation career goals.

Powell and Stewart-Gray received $1500 scholarships; Ramos and Calero received $750.

“This class of applicants impressed me with their poise, determination and drive,” said Christos Christodoulatos, scholarship committee member and vice provost of innovation and entrepreneurship at Stevens Institute of Technology. “It is very clear to us these deserving students will continue to be successful as they pursue their academic goals.”

The selection of the 16 Merit Scholars is made by a select committee of senior representatives from industry, academia and government – all members of the R&D Council. The scholarship funds are made available through donations by the Council member organizations. This year, the contributing members are: Bristol-Myers Squibb, ExxonMobil, Honeywell, Montclair State University, Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation, Roche, Rutgers University, Sabinsa Corporation, and Stevens Institute of Technology.

“These accomplished young people are the key to a bright future of research and development in New Jersey,” said Ian Shankland, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Council and vice president and chief technology officer at Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies. “New Jersey can and should be proud of the talent pool of STEM-educated individuals in the state. The Council wants to support these students so they can continue to feed that pipeline of talent that is so necessary for our industries in the future.”

Other merit scholars included students from Bergen Community College, Brookdale Community College, Camden County College, Mercer County College, Sussex County Community College and Union County College.

This August, the Merit Scholars will attend a luncheon at a Council member’s research facility to cultivate further interest in their field of study and strengthen their relationship with the R&D community. All recipients will have an opportunity to meet prominent New Jersey-based researchers and innovators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. During their visit, two panel discussions will take place, one focusing on pursing a STEM education and the other focusing on pursing a STEM career. The R&D Council’s 34rd Thomas Alva Edison Patent Awards Ceremony to be held on Nov. 7 will also recognize the 16 Merit Scholars.

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