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GEMs Find Their Way to Brookhaven Lab

The National Consortium of Graduate Degrees for Minorities, Inc., dubbed GEM, was initiated in 1972 to address the critical shortfall in new American engineering and scientific talent. GEM works to provide connections to underrepresented (Native American, African American, and Hispanic) post-graduate science and engineering students by promoting partnerships with universities and research institutions.

GEM Students

Click on the image to download a high-resolution version. (from left) Samuel Fanfan, Terrence Buck, Ray Conley, Bob Dalesio, Eric Huey, Om Singh, Shana Collins, Peter Siddons, Victor Williamson, Jonathan Laster, Bruce Davis, Frederick Windham. Missing from photo: Peter Cameron

The GEM program at Brookhaven is administered through the Human Resources and Occupational Medicine Division (HROM) and the Diversity Office. Each year, the Lab accepts at least two new GEM fellows who are pursuing master’s degrees in science and engineering. Under the guidance and mentorship of a Lab scientist or engineer the students perform hands-on work related to their chosen field. GEM students may work at the Lab for several summers until their studies are complete.

“The BNL mentors have been extremely supportive of this program,” said Terrence Buck of HROM who coordinates the program. “Many of the GEM fellows have told me that they consider their mentors extraordinary role models professionally, personally, and in their communities. The success of this program relies greatly on the dedication of our Lab mentors.”

Each year, graduate students participate in GEM internships around the nation and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. According to GEM’s website, approximately 3,000 men and women have achieved master’s degrees in engineering, and Ph.D.s in engineering and science through GEM’s graduate fellowship program. For more information on the Lab’s role in the GEM program go to BNL's diversity website.

Meet the 2009 Lab GEMs


Shana Collins

Shana Collins

Shana Collins

Mentored by BNLer Bob Dalesio, GEM fellow Shana Collins will spend her summer working in the Accelerator Systems Division at the NSLS-II Project.

Collins received her Bachelor of Science in computer engineering with a minor in mathematics from Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina. Her undergraduate honors and awards include the appointment to Alpha Lambda Delta, National Freshman Honor Society, and Dean’s List. Collins is now pursuing a Master of Science degree at North Carolina A&T State University and plans to obtain a Ph.D in computer science. In her free time, she relaxes by playing the saxophone, listening to music, and surfing the web.

Bruce Davis

Bruce Davis

Bruce Davis

Mentored by BNLer Ray Conley, GEM fellow Bruce Davis will gain new experience in the computing field by working in the Experimental Facilities Division at the NSLS-II project.

Davis graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Davis plans to attend Purdue University to obtain a graduate degree in computer science. In addition to his internship at BNL, Davis has participated in student programs at the University of Iowa and Carnegie Mellon University. His goal is to devise new computer programs that will assist in research and development of new products and systems. His personal interests include swimming, writing, and traveling.

Samuel Fanfan

Samuel Fanfan

Samuel Fanfan

Mentored by BNLers Peter Cameron and Om Singh, GEM fellow Samuel Fanfan will spend his summer working in the Accelerator Systems Division at the NSLS-II Project.

Fanfan received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University. He plans to return to Cornell to pursue a Master of Science degree in the same field. Fanfan’s academic interests include digital VLSI microcontrollers, radio frequency circuits, and product design. In his free time, Fanfan keeps busy by volunteering and learning other languages. He also enjoys fencing, snowboarding, and watching movies.

Eric Huey

Eric Huey

Eric Huey

Mentored by BNLer Peter Siddons, GEM fellow Eric Huey will gain experience this summer working in the Controls and Detectors Division at the NSLS.

Huey received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Huey plans to pursue a Master of Science degree in the same field with a concentration on electronic design and power systems. His past work experience includes internships at his university and a previous internship at BNL where he worked on the development of devices such as gas electron multipliers and electronic programmable loads. In his free time Huey enjoys reading and swimming.

Victor Williamson

Victor Williamson

Victor Williamson

Mentored by BNLer Jonathan Laster, GEM fellow Victor Williamson will be working in the Controls group at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC).

Williamson received his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science in 2005 and is currently pursing his master’s in engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His studies focus on web applications and programming. During his 2008 summer internship at BNL, Williamson developed software to examine post-mortem data at RHIC and worked on operating systems design and cryptography. Williamson enjoys jogging, weightlifting, jiu-jitsu, and singing in his church choir.

Frederick Windham

Frederick Windham

Frederick Windham

Also mentored by BNLer Bob Dalesio, GEM fellow Frederick Windham will garner experience working in the Controls and Accelerated Systems Divisions at the NSLS-II Project.

Windham graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering with a minor in mathematics from Jackson State University, Mississippi. He will attend Penn State University to pursue a master’s in systems engineering. In addition to his studies, Windham also served as the vice president of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and is a member of the Society of Black Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is a recipient of academic scholarships and a music scholarship sponsored by University Bands, recognizing him for his participation as a trumpet player in the “Sonic Boom of the South” marching band.

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