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Kuhn Scholar Aims to Inspire Next Generation of STEM Researchers

By Jessica Sinn

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image of studentFor most college students, planning for life after graduation centers around professional aspirations and career advancement. Stephanie Suarez, a geological science senior,  opts for a different approach to post-collegiate life: giving back to underrepresented communities.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have received and want serve as an inspiration to other first generation students in STEM fields,” Suarez said in a statement provided by the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program.

Suarez recently received the Kuhn Scholars Award, which funds academic enrichment activities for students from underserved communities and prepares them for graduate studies. The support she received from the award allowed her to present at two conferences this school year – the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver and the American Geophysical Union Meeting in San Francisco. Her presentations focused on using spectrometry and radiation-based techniques to study ancient volcanic eruptions and animal species. The first in her family to attend college, Suarez plans to pursue these subjects in further depth in a doctoral program.

“The Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre Graduate Internship program and Kuhn Scholars Award have given me confidence,” explains Suarez, who became an intern in the Intellectual Entrepreneurship program in Fall 2016. “I am thankful for the Kuhn family. Their donation has allowed me to attend national conferences and network with experts in my field.”

Housed within the DDCE and the Moody College of Communication, the IE program connects undergraduates with faculty and graduate students to help them align their passions with their career goals. It also encourages students to share their knowledge and discoveries with UT’s larger community.  Visit this website to learn more.