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OLMA Senior Ava Casale is in Class of Governor’s STEM Scholars

The Research & Development Council of New Jersey is honored to present the 2019-2020 class of the Governor’s STEM Scholars (GSS). The GSS Advisory Board selected 95 of New Jersey’s best and brightest STEM students to join the sixth Governor’s STEM Scholars class. The scholars include Ava Casale, a senior at Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Newfield, NJ. Ava is a three-sport scholar-athlete who is a leader on and off the court. She is looking to pursue a career in engineering and technology.

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The Governor’s STEM Scholars program is a public-private partnership among the R&D Council of New Jersey, the Governor’s Office, the New Jersey Department of Education, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, and Fortune 500 companies, designed to immerse the top STEM talent in grades 10 through the doctoral level in New Jersey’s vast STEM economy and bolster the State’s education and career pipeline.

“These students are the future innovators in STEM,” said Larry O’Connell, chair of the R&D Council. “By joining this program, these scholars are getting an introduction to New Jersey’s robust STEM economy. There isn’t another program like it in the country.”

The students chosen to be a part of GSS have demonstrated exceptional performance and leadership in STEM both in their schools and in their communities across the State. They were selected by an eight-member Advisory Board that has decades of collective experience with STEM in government, academia, and industry.

“New Jersey is one of the best places in the world to explore a STEM education or career,” said Anthony Cicatiello, president of the R&D Council. “The Governor’s STEM Scholars is a truly unique opportunity to get hands-on STEM experience and work side-by-side with industry, government, and academic leaders in a one-of-a-kind environment for innovation.”

The program’s first event of the year will be at Rutgers University on Saturday, September 28. The topic is STEM in Government and the scholars will learn from professionals working in cybersecurity, national security, and environmental protection, among other professions. They will also be introduced to the concept of “STEM citizenship,” visit campus research laboratories—such as the Astronomy and Physics Laboratories, the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, and the W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience—and begin working on research projects in a team setting.

Throughout the remainder of the academic year, the scholars will continue their research project work, obtain internships, participate in field trips and “in conversation” events, and network with STEM thought leaders from across the State.