The Research & Development Council of New Jersey recently announced the 2018-2019 Governor’s STEM Scholars, of which at least 26 were Indian American and South Asian American students.

Founded in 2013, the Governor’s STEM Scholars Program is a statewide STEM education initiative for New Jersey students in grades 10 through the doctoral level.

A public-private partnership among the Research & Development Council of New Jersey, Governor’s Office, New Jersey Department of Education and Secretary of Higher Education, this program brings together a diverse and representative group of high school and post-secondary student leaders who are interested in pursuing a STEM-related major and career in New Jersey’s vast STEM economy, the scholar page said.

The program selects student leaders who are interested in STEM so that they can be introduced to everything New Jersey has to offer in STEM across all sectors – academia, industry, and government.

Through a series of four conferences during the school year, as well as trips to STEM organizations across the state, the Governor’s STEM Scholars provides students with opportunities to closely interact with New Jersey STEM professionals, research organizations and state policymakers to educate themselves about and experience the state’s STEM economy, the page said.

Ritvik Agnihotri is a senior at Robbinsville High School. He holds six executive positions at his high school and interns at NASA. Ritvik currently plans on studying mechanical and aerospace engineering as he continues with his education.

Rohit Aita is a freshman at the Rutgers University Honors College. He plans on majoring in molecular biology and biochemistry and minoring in entrepreneurship. He also aims to attend medical school to eventually become a physician-scientist.

Sanjana Akula is a senior at Biotechnology High School. Sanjana plans to obtain her MBA and start her own healthcare company; she has conducted independent biochemistry research to that end.

Sreeta Basu is a sophomore at Washington Township High School. She wants to become a university professor in a mathematics-related field, so that she can help others learn and conduct novel research. Sreeta has a plethora of STEM-related accomplishments and awards.

Anjali Chakradhar is a junior at High Technology High School. She is interested in medicine and biochemistry, and hopes to open her own pharmaceutical laboratory and company that will research affordable treatments for cancer.

Atirath Dhara is a junior at West Windsor Plainsboro High School South. Atirath currently plans on majoring in astrophysics in college, and wants to pursue the field of particle cosmology after college.

Sathya Edamadaka is a junior at High Technology High School. He is a nanophotonics intern in the Fakhraai Lab at UPenn and is a co-captain of the VEX robotics team 765X.

Gurshan Gill is a junior at Biotechnology High School. He wants to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in biology and become a physician with a focus on pathogens.

Abinitha Gourabathina is a junior at Montgomery High School. She plans on obtaining a degree in physics and continuing her research in nanotechnology that she has been conducting at Princeton University.

Anjali Gupta is a senior at Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Technologies. She is actively involved in scientific research, and has pursued independent laboratory research projects in the fields of genetics and allergy/immunology.

Vivek Kasarla is a junior at Hanover Park High School. He is interested in biomedical engineering, and hopes to get a job in the field after finishing his education.

Saamia Khan is a senior at Ridge High School. She is interested in computer science, chemistry, and engineering, and hopes to help pioneer a groundbreaking field of research and development.

Yashwee Kothari is a senior at Morris County School of Technology. She plans to study computer science and engineering. Yashwee is the founder of MCST Tech Club and co-founder of hackMCST.

Kanav Mahajan is a senior at the North Brunswick Township High School. Kanav has a strong interest in finance, politics, and computer science. He has worked as an executive intern at a startup in Manhattan called and as a research assistant at Robert Wood Johnson.

Aditya Mehrotra is a senior at East Brunswick High School. He plans on obtaining a Master’s degree or higher in both engineering and computer science, so that he can research robotics.

Anjanay Nangia is a junior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South and hopes to pursue research in neuroscience. He sequences DNA as part of the Waksman Club, is an officer in the JSA club, and plays the alto sax in the Rutgers Youth Jazz Ensemble.

Thriaksh Rajan is a junior at Biotechnology High School. Thriaksh is a computer analyst intern with the USDA and has founded a 3D-printed prosthetics non-profit.

Priya Rajbabu is a junior at NJIT’s Albert Dorman Honors College. Priya plans to attend graduate school to complete a Master’s degree in computer science or quantitative finance.

Ronak Ramachandran is a Junior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. He enjoys taking part in various events and competitions in math, chemistry, and computer science.

Saumya Shetty is a senior at Lawrence High School who desires to enter specialized medicine or public health. She is a Women in STEM Club officer, plays varsity tennis, tutors academically at-risk elementary school students, and will attend an Operation Smile medical mission this fall.

Nivedhitha Sivakumar is a junior at Montgomery High School. She wishes to study computer science, and continue research she has been doing this summer at SRI International.

Eshaan Soman is a senior at Hillsborough High School. Eshaan wants to become a biomedical engineer. He is currently a research intern at Princeton University’s Frick Chemistry Laboratory focusing on biophysics.

Avi Sura is a junior at John P. Stevens High School. His goal is to become a neurologist.

Rishitha Thambireddy is a senior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North. She is interested in computer engineering and hopes to pursue a career in the field.

Neelay Trivedi is a junior at Watchung Hills Regional High School. Neelay is interested in computer science and engineering, and hopes to conduct research on disease detection and diagnostics in the future.

Aditya Vidyadharan is a sophomore at MCVTS Edison Academy. He aspires to be an innovator in computer engineering, particularly in Artificial Intelligence.

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