NJSIM scholarship winners Reizy Raven, Wara Laura and Yelitza Perez

Three Female STEM Students Take Home Prestigious NJSIM Scholarship

Three SASN students were recently named winners of the 2020 New Jersey SIM Foundation Scholarship.

The foundation is a not-for-profit arm of the New Jersey Chapter of the Society for Information Management, which awards scholarships to college students who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and a commitment to community service.

Junior Reizy Raven, and seniors Wara Laura and Yelitza Perez, were each awarded $2,500 to help defray the cost of their studies at Rutgers University–Newark in the coming academic year. All are Computer Science majors, and Laura and Perez are part of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), which supports underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.

NJSIM awarded a total of four scholarships statewide this year. Three of the recipients, all of them female, came from RU-N.

“I have been managing the nomination process for the Office of Chancellor for almost five years,” said Ingrid Renderos, Director of Academic Partnerships at RU-N's Academic Foundations Center. “I know that winning the NJSIM scholarship has motivated these women even more to realize their dreams of working in STEM fields. With NJSIM awarding these scholarships to three of our female students, I hope this will motivate more young women to enter these fields.”

The students were appreciative after hearing the news.

With NJSIM awarding these scholarships to three of our female students, I hope this will motivate more young women to enter these [STEM] fields.

Laura, who is originally from Bolivia and lives in Clifton, NJ, is a Computer Science major with a minor in Mathematics. She completed her associates degree in Computer Science at Passaic County Community College and arrived at RU-N last year. A recipient of the RU-N to the Top and LSAMP scholarships, she’s made the dean's list the past two semesters and is grateful for this latest NJSIM scholarship and to LSAMP for the doors they have opened.

“With the NJSIM scholarship, I can focus on studies instead of working more hours to cover my expenses,” said Laura. “Being a woman and a minority in STEM makes me go the extra mile to be noticed, and LSAMP changed the direction of my career. Through LSAMP I’ve had research internships, found great mentors who always support me and push me, and have decided to pursue a Ph.D.”

Perez, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico, is also majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Mathematics at RU-N. She transferred here in fall 2019 from Essex County College, where she graduated with highest honors in Computer Science and was selected for the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program. Her goal is to earn a master’s degree in cybersecurity and work for the space agency one day.

“I am really thankful for receiving this scholarship because it will help me to continue my studies, especially at this time, with everything going on [with Covid-19].”

Distinguished Service Professor Alec Gates, of RU-N's Department of Earth and Environmental Science, is the Executive Director of the Garden State-LSAMP program, a consortium of nine schools and four closely affiliated community colleges. He’s especially proud that two of this year’s NJSIM scholarship winners are from LSAMP, and both are female.

“The Garden State LSAMP takes pride in helping underrepresented minority students to succeed in STEM, but we are especially proud when our students are recognized for their achievements,” said Gates. “Having two of them win prestigious NJSIM awards is a great achievement for the students and the program. Both are very active and take advantage of the opportunities we provide. It is especially outstanding that two women won these awards considering that women are also underrepresented in many STEM disciplines.”

 

Above photo (L to R): NJSIM scholarship winners Reizy Raven, Wara Laura and Yelitza Perez