The UF Water Institute Symposium Student Diversity Scholarships aim to increase representation of students from historically excluded groups in higher education (i.e. Students who self-identify as members from the Black, Hispanic, Native-American/Native-Alaskan, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, LGTBQ+ communities, as well as persons with disabilities and first-generation students) at the Water Institute Symposium.
This year, the scholarships supported 11 students to attend the Symposium and present their research during the student poster competition. The students came from UF, USF, Florida A&M, Florida International University, University of South Florida and University of Puerto Rico. Seven of the students were first generation college students, seven described themselves as Hispanic, three Black or African American, one Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and one American Indian or Alaska Native. One of the students, Edgar Guerron Orjuela, received one of the four student poster awards!
Funds to support the program were provided by the Water Institute, UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS Research Office, and generous donations to our Gator Nation Giving Day campaign from Amy Goodden, Wendy Graham, Beth Lewis, Elizabeth Perez and an anonymous donor. If you are interested in supporting future iterations of this program we invite you to make a donation to the Water Institute Planning Fund.
As part of the scholarship a special social event was hosted to provide the students with an opportunity to network with the plenary speaker, Dr. Margaret Palmer, as well as Water Institute Affiliated Faculty.