Rice celebrates largest ever cohort of GEM Fellows

Cohort includes a professional master’s student for first time.

2021 cohort of GEM Fellows

The 2021 cohort of GEM Fellows is the largest ever at Rice University, which for the first time includes a professional master’s student.

The National GEM Consortium brings together a network of employers and universities toward the goal of recruitment, retention and graduation of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduate programs.

The awards include full tuition and fees, stipends and internships and vary based on the level of recognition — GEM Full Fellow, GEM Associate Fellow and GEM University Fellow. Since 1976, GEM has supported over 4,000 Fellows. 

The 2021 cohort of GEM Fellows are as follows:

GEM Full Fellows

Caira Anderson
Ph.D. in Computational & Applied Mathematics
Employer: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Wesley Combs
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering
Employer: The Aerospace Corporation

Raven Johnson
Ph.D. in Computational & Applied Mathematics 
Employer: Lawrence Livermore National Academy

Joshua Samba
Ph.D. in Applied Physics
Employer: 3M Company

Kayla Vokt
Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Employer: Medtronic, Inc.

GEM Associate Fellows

Alejandro Aguilar
Ph.D. in Statistics

Kevin Beckford
Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Maximilian Cobos
Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Imari Fletcher
MBE-GMI in Bioengineering
Employer: NASA Headquarters

Tia Gray
Ph.D. in Materials Science and Nanoengineering

Pictured above, Top row: Caira Anderson, Wesley Combs, Raven Johnson, Joshua Samba, Kayla Vokt; Bottom row: Alejandro Aguilar, Kevin Beckford, Maximilian Cobos, Imari Fletcher, Tia Gray