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Stony Brook Simons STEM Scholars Program Welcomes Inaugural Class

Simons stem scholars signing

Dedicated to fostering diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the Program boasts a preambular cohort of 29 accomplished scholars with a mean weighted GPA of 99.

Simons stem scholars student group shotStony Brook, NY — May 24, 2023 — Stony Brook’s Simons STEM Scholars Program has signed its first-ever cohort of incoming students after a rigorous selection process. Roughly 800 erudite applicants were considered in a series of interviews and symposiums to determine the finalists.

Simons stem scholars with pres. mcinnis“To help solve the most challenging issues of our time, we need to prepare the next generation of researchers and experts who will innovate with purpose, integrity, breadth of perspective, and diversity of experience,” said Stony Brook president Maurie McInnis. “The number and quality of applicants we received in this inaugural year reinforces the positive impact this program will have on the science and math communities. We are grateful to the Simons Foundation for its vision and partnership in making the Simons STEM Scholars Program a reality.”

Simons stem scholars studentsFunded by a $56.6 million donation from the Simons Foundation and Simons Foundation International, the Program provides members with full scholarships, housing, research opportunities, internship stipends, advising, mentoring and more to supercharge the pathway to STEM careers for underrepresented students. The selected scholars’ SAT scores represent the top 1% in the nation.

Simons stem scholars signing“These students came to us with maximum AP credits, high-level research experience, and exceptional test scores,” said Executive Director Erwin Cabrera, PhD. “But those aren’t the only things we looked for in the selection process. To be an honors student at this university is not just about accolades – it is about who you are and your humanity.”

From volunteering at hospitals to tutoring and mentoring younger students, the inaugural Simons STEM scholars share a commitment to service that sets them apart in the academic sphere and beyond. Some students in the cohort have contributed to cutting-edge cancer research, one has helped save lives in an ambulance and another has received multiple gold medals at various leadership conferences led by SkillsUSA.

Future Simons STEM Scholars will be inducted in groups of 50, but the inaugural class was condensed to 29 to better pilot the program before its staff expands from four members to eight. Roughly 90% of the selected students are New York residents. Life science and engineering are the most popular majors among the group, with other students opting for social science, applied sciences or math and physics.

“It’s so exciting to see our vision for the program coming together with this first cohort of students,“ said Simons Foundation President David Spergel. “The Simons Foundation is thrilled to be spearheading a program that is not only going to be life changing for these students, but will bring much needed diversity to STEM fields.”

The scholars were celebrated and signed at the Flatiron Institute in Manhattan. They will move onto campus on Sunday, June 25 for a six-week Summer Bridge Program dedicated to preparing them for their collegiate careers.

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About Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University — New York’s flagship university and No. 1 public university — is going far beyond the expectations of today’s public universities. It is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. With more than 24,000 students, more than 2,800 faculty members, more than 200,000 alumni, a premier academic healthcare system and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs, Stony Brook is a research-intensive distinguished center of innovation dedicated to addressing the world’s biggest challenges. The university embraces its mission to provide comprehensive undergraduate, graduate and professional education of the highest quality, and is ranked among the top 35 public universities by Forbes and one of the top 80 universities in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges listing. Fostering a commitment to academic research and intellectual endeavors, Stony Brook’s membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places it among the top 65 research institutions in North America. The university’s distinguished faculty have earned esteemed awards such as the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. Stony Brook has the responsibility of co-managing Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy — one of only eight universities with a role in running a national laboratory. Providing economic growth for neighboring communities and the wider geographic region, the university totals an impressive $7.23 billion in increased economic output on Long Island. Follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter(@stonybrooku)

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