Essex County students named Governor’s STEM Scholars

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

CHATHAM, NJ — The Governor’s STEM Scholars recently announced the admission of Isabella Castillo, Ashley Diaz Saguay, Alexandria Hall, Emmanuel Ishola and Mrunmayi Joshi, all of Newark; Alexis Halm-Owoo, of South Orange; Kosisochi Okaro, of Montclair; and Jeffrey Xu and Daisy Yao, both of Livingston, into the 2022-2023 class. The cohort is made up of 128 high school and college STEM students from across the Garden State — making this the largest class the program has seen since its founding in 2013.

The Governor’s STEM Scholars is a public-private partnership between the Research & Development Council of New Jersey, the office of the governor, the New Jersey Department of Education, the New Jersey secretary of higher education, and public and private research institutions based in New Jersey. 

The Governor’s STEM Scholars program believes that maintaining a pipeline of talented individuals is critical to maintaining excellence in innovation. In recognition of this, the Governor’s STEM Scholars was created to engage the next generation of research and innovation leaders in the state’s vast STEM economy early.  

“New Jersey has always been at the center of innovation excellence and scientific discovery led by some of the world’s most talented STEM professionals,” said Anthony Cicatiello, president of the Research & Development Council of New Jersey. “The Governor’s STEM Scholars looks to secure this legacy into the future by inspiring students who will make up the next generation of these scientists, engineers and innovators. As we welcome 128 exceptional high school and college STEM students into our 2023 Governor’s STEM Scholars class, we look forward to seeing the impact they make on the Garden State, the country and across the globe.” 

The Governor’s STEM Scholars introduces New Jersey’s high achieving high school and college students to industry, academic and government research in New Jersey to establish a profound relationship between these students, STEM and New Jersey. By making genuine connections between the scholars and STEM representatives from the research community, the program is keeping these STEM students here to become New Jersey’s future STEM professionals. 

Throughout the academic year, scholars will participate in four conferences to explore different aspects of New Jersey’s STEM economy focusing on STEM in government, academia and industry. During the 2022-23 programmatic year, these conferences will be held at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University, Rowan University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Stevens Institute of Technology. Scholars will participate in a research project, led by undergraduate and graduate-level scholars, that advances the work of New Jersey’s research community. Additionally, scholars will tour New Jersey STEM facilities and laboratories, and network with STEM professionals to gain a 360-degree view of STEM opportunities throughout the state. 

The scholars were selected from a pool of more than 600 applicants. Scholars must have a grade-point average of at least 3.5, be a high school sophomore through doctorial-level student at a New Jersey–based high school or university, and demonstrate a passion for STEM. 

The Governor’s STEM Scholars is free for all scholars to attend, due to sponsorships.

Diaz Saguay is a sophomore, Castillo is a junior and Hall is a senior at Science Park High School in Newark. Halm-Owoo is a senior at Columbia High School. Ishola is a senior at Essex County Newark Tech School of Technology. Joshi is a sophomore at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Okaro is a senior at Montclair High School. Xu is a senior and Yao is a junior at Livingston High School.