Meet the 2021-23 Bridge Fellows
Giselle Roca earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and joins the graduate field of materials science and engineering to study applications of block co-polymer membranes as part of the Wiesner Group.
Roca came to the U.S. from Cuba as a young child, an experience she said helped her understand the importance of culture and language as a way of creating bonds among people. Her commitment to understanding other cultures and customs led her to pursue an International Minor for Engineers as an undergraduate student, and to develop intercultural communications skills through her coursework.
Roca was also a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and of the Society of Women Engineers, which gave her the opportunity to promote professional excellence for women and an inclusive community for all.
“As I continue my journey in graduate school and later in my career, I want to continue to be part of similar experiences that enhance diversity in my life and in the lives of others,” Roca said.
Mavis Ofori-Brown earned a B.S. in biology from SUNY Stony Brook and joins the graduate field of chemical engineering to study computational chemistry and pharmacokinetics as part of the Varner Group.
As an undergraduate, she specialized in bioinformatics and discovered a passion for the application of chemistry to solve societal grand challenges. She is particularly interested in the optimization of drug delivery systems.
Ofori-Brown came to the U.S. after graduating high school in Ghana. Being the first in her family to attend college made it difficult to navigate her educational experience and she struggled to find mentorship. She said this experience drives her commitment to earn a doctoral degree and become a mentor for others, including younger relatives and youth in her community.
“Being able to achieve my Ph.D. will not only help me better advise and help other young people, but will also show them that it is possible to be a scientist,” Ofori-Brown said. “I believe in the possibilities of others to acheive their dreams, too, in the midst of adversity.”
Interested in being a 2022-24 Ezra’s Bridge Fellow? Visit the application webpage for more information and to apply.