GEM Membership Improves Graduate Diversity Recruiting
The School of Engineering has joined the national GEM Consortium, a 140-plus member organization that seeks to foster greater diversity among post-graduate educational and workplace populations within the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. The GEM Consortium focuses specifically upon underrepresented groups, including African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans at the master’s and doctoral levels. Also joining the Consortium are various science departments within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
Dean of Engineering Mun Y. Choi is the University of Connecticut’s institutional representative to the GEM Consortium. Commenting on the program, Dr. Choi said that it presents universities and students with a win-win situation: academic institutions benefit from a more diverse graduate population – which serves to enrich the academic culture of the university – and a greater number of underrepresented students find it attractive to pursue graduate studies in STEM subjects. The GEM program also increases the diversity of working professional and academic researcher populations armed with advanced degrees, benefitting industrial, government and academic employers.
GEM offers qualified graduate students generous fellowships to pursue their studies and internships at participating institutions. GEM M.S. Engineering Fellows receive a stipend of at least $10,000 over three semesters or four quarters, which may be supplemented by the host institution. The stipend is intended to cover full tuition and fees throughout the period. GEM Ph.D. Engineering Fellows receive a minimum of $14,000 for the first year of five years. After the first year, participating universities assume responsibility for supporting the GEM Ph.D. Engineering Fellows at the same level as other funded doctoral students in a host department. GEM grants are awarded based on the candidates’ qualifications and application quality.
All GEM Fellows engage in a paid internship of about 12 weeks’ duration with a participating employer the summer following selection. M.S. Fellows intern two or three summers, while Ph.D. Fellows are expected to intern at least one summer before receiving their first-term funding. Details of the GEM Fellowships and program may be found at www.gemfellowship.org/apply/apply_for_a_fellowship.php.