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Four STEM students honored for Student Leadership at the 33rd GMiS Conference

Four talented STEM students were honored with Outstanding Student Leader Awards at the 33rd Annual GMiS Conference as part of the 2021 GMiS Scholars program and HENAAC Awards.

The students, two undergraduate and two graduate, were selected from the pool of GMiS Scholars for 2021, representing the top of the already prestigious group.

They were recognized on October 21st, 2021 at the live Student Leadership Awards, taking place during Week 2 of the GMiS 2021 Virtual Conference. The scholars were introduced by elite Hispanic scientists and engineers, including our Scientist of the Year Daniela Brunner, Ph.D. of Psychogenics.

Meet the winners of the GMiS 2021 Student Leadership Awards:

Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership Award in Science: Nicole M. Colón Carrión

Outstanding Graduate Student Leader – Science
Nicole M. Colón Carrion
Doctoral Candidate
Plant Pathology
University of Arizona
*2021 Corteva AgriScience Scholarship Recipient

Nicole M. Colón Carrión is a Doctoral Candidate in Plant Pathology at the University of Arizona. Self-motivated by socioeconomic hardships and negative stereotypes of Latinas in science, Nicole has persevered to build a strong set of research, communication, and leadership skills as a scientist and is a mentor who advocates STEM diversity.  Soon to be Dr. Nicole, she aspires to return to Puerto Rico and enter academia, where she can develop and communicate innovative strategies to local farmers to improve Puerto Rico’s declining agricultural practices while providing educational opportunities to local students and engaging students in research. As a science communicator and mentor, she looks forward to training the next generation of LatinX STEM leaders with the scientific rigor, while advocating for equality and diversity in science

 Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership Award in Engineering: Marco Avendaño

Outstanding Graduate Student Leader – Engineering
Marco Avendaño
Doctoral Student
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
*2021 Rui and Larissa Cruz Family Scholarship Recipient

Marco is a Doctoral student in chemical and biomolecular engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. For Marco, building support networks at every stage in his education, since arriving to the U.S. from Colombia, at the age of 14 has been key to his ambitious academic success.  This included becoming a part of the GMiS College Captain network as an undergraduate at the University of Houston.  That opportunity to work with underserved youth contributed to shaping his motivation to develop and strengthen the skills needed to become the best sustainability-oriented research engineer, leader, mentor and role model. 

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leadership Award in Engineering: Randy Blanco

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader – Engineering
Randy Blanco
Mechanical Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
*2021 Leidos Scholarship Recipient

Randy is a Senior in Mechanical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Despite financial hardships, student loans, and not deciding until his high school junior year to pursue a college degree, Randy is close to graduation from a competitive institution and making inroads to attending graduate school, an option that was foreign to him. An innovator, mentor and leader, Randy’s resilience has been fueled by his engagement with the Multicultural Engineering Program, which has been a focal point of leadership, internship and mentorship opportunities for his development as a role model for youth, and most especially for his younger sister and cousins.

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leadership Award: Isabel Gallegos

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader – Science
Isabel Gallegos
Computer Science
Stanford University
*2021 Lockheed Martin Corporation Scholarship Recipient

Isabel is a Senior at Stanford University majoring in Computer Science. Seeking to make her place in STEM. Isabel already has one patent, one patent pending, and two peer-reviewed first-author publications! A rising Latina scientist, who aspires to receive a PhD in computer science, Isabel feels responsible and empowered to inspire others to spark change and create new solutions. Her technical prowess was achieved through internships and mentored research. Isabel’s deep passion and commitment to engaging youth in coding, and her on-campus leadership empowering Latina peers in computer science and technology is remarkable!

Congratulations students and we look forward to witnessing the great things you will accomplish in your field!