Clemson Welcomes Full Inaugural Cohort of Students into Bridge to Doctorate Program

Joining the ranks of Clemson doctoral students this fall will be a full cohort of 12 accomplished individuals from the Clemson University Bridge to Doctorate (CUBD) Graduate Fellowship Program.

“We’re excited to welcome these accomplished men and women to Clemson to further their academic careers,” said President Jim Clements, CUBD Principal Investigator. “To attract a full 12-member cohort in this first group is an outstanding accomplishment for our faculty and staff as we continue to grow this program in the coming years to diversify and strengthen the STEM Ph.D. pipeline.”

Established this year with a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program, along with additional resources provided by the University, full financial support will be provided to the group of 12 incoming underrepresented Ph.D. students enrolled in select programs in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences (CECAS) and the College of Science.

“These 12 remarkable students choosing to continue their education at Clemson is a testament to the work of not only our CUBD team but the tremendous academic reputation of Clemson University as a whole,” said Tonyia Stewart, Director of Graduate Recruitment and Inclusion in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.

Joining President Clements as co-PIs on the CUBD program are Clemson faculty members: Rajendra K. Bordia, materials science and engineering; Cindy Lee, engineering and science education; Oliver J. Myers, mechanical engineering; and Judith Salley-Guydon, biological and physical sciences at South Carolina State University.

The students will receive a $32,000 stipend for their first two years of education and research through the NSF’s funding, and the University will cover the cost of their remaining three years.

In addition to financial support, CUBD Scholars will benefit from Clemson’s supportive community, individual faculty and peer mentoring, advising, and advocacy. Beginning with the application process, CUBD Scholars have access to a built-in network for professional development and support as they pursue an advanced degree. Prospective students will complete a profile to express their interests, career goals and previous research experiences to be paired with leaders from Clemson’s STEM ALL-IN program, a collaborative effort between CECAS and the College of Science to recruit and retain underrepresented students pursuing a graduate degree at the University.

Additionally, students have a research adviser and the opportunity for mentorship from others through the CUBD Faculty Mentor Network. Participating faculty help students navigate graduate school, conduct dissertation research, create and attain goals outlined in individual development plans and network with established industry professionals.

A full cohort of 12 accomplished individuals joined the inaugural Clemson University Bridge to Doctorate (CUBD) Graduate Fellowship Program in 2022. The students will receive a $32,000 stipend for their first two years of education and research through the NSF’s funding, and the University will cover the cost of their remaining three years.

2022 CLEMSON UNIVERSITY BRIDGE TO DOCTORATE GRADUATE FELLOWS

Vincent Davidson, University of Florida, Computer Science, Statesville, NC

Ryan Watts, Ball State, Chemistry, Chicago, Ill.

Destinee Cooper, Winthrop/Stanford, Engineering Science and Education, Anderson, SC

Deon Wallace, Clemson University, Mechanical Engineering, Columbia, SC

Jasmine McKeller, University of Florida, Computer Science, Fayetteville, NC

Samirah Muhammad, Xavier University, Chemistry, New Orleans, La.

Jesus Badal, University of the District of Columbia, Civil Engineering, Washington, DC

Makayla Headley, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Engineering Science and Education, Baltimore City, Md.

Ryan Mbagna-Nanko, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Mechanical Engineering, Silver Spring, Md.

Sevrina Tekle, Vanderbilt University, Bioengineering, Atlanta, Ga.

Jakini Kauba, UNC Greensboro, Mathematics, Maxton, NC

Brandon Sanders, Claflin University, Biological Sciences, Marion, SC

About the National Science Foundation’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation: The LSAMP program honors the life and legacy of Congressman Louis Stokes. He was the first African American Congressman in Ohio who was a champion for social and economic justice and a tireless advocate for expanding opportunities for underrepresented groups. Clemson University is proud to have been selected to continue the commitment and legacy of Congressman Stokes through this Bridge to Doctorate Program.

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