Thermo Fisher Scientific STEM Scholarship Winners 2016

Thursday, August 04, 2016

NSHSS is proud to announce the winners of the Thermo Fisher Scientific STEM Scholarships 2016! This $2,500 scholarship is awarded to NSHSS college members pursuing a major and career in a STEM field.

Thermo Fisher Scientific STEM Scholarship Winners 2016

Navira Alifa, Texas A&M University
Major: Engineering
Katy, TX

Navira Alifa

Navira has lived in Indonesia and witnessed the scarcity of clean drinking water to those who are underprivileged first-hand. She has also volunteered abroad at an elementary school in Morocco, and she noticed the conditions to be similar to those in Indonesia. Navira quickly realized that diversity of perspectives and skill sets are essential in working to alleviate the infrastructural issues affecting developing countries. Upon beginning her collegiate career at Texas A&M University, Navira joined MSC Freshman Leadership International. She has volunteered at a shelter home for Burmese refugees in Houston. Navira also applied to be a member of Women in Engineering: Supermileage, a research group striving to design a fuel-efficient vehicle. Navira is a member of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers and the Muslim Students’ Association.

Milena Nino, Johns Hopkins University
Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Whitehall, PA


Milena is the oldest of three girls and she is the daughter of immigrants. She is well aware of her privilege to pursue higher education. Milena is the secretary of her university’s chapter of American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She is a mentor for the CASA de Maryland Immigration Center’s after-school program and the STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools program at John Ruhrah Elementary School. Milena will soon serve as the Undergraduate Diversity Champion of her university department’s Committee of Diversity. She looks forward to continuing to encourage Latino students to pursue STEM fields. Milena is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Project Leader for Engineers Without Borders, and the Social Justice Leader and Apprenticeship Coach for Hopkins Christian Fellowship.

Nicholas Norwitz, Dartmouth College
Major: Biology and Neuroscience
Newton, MA


Nicholas explains that his desk is filled with tests he has created and old tests he has taken. He routinely shares his notes with his peers to increase both their and his understanding. Nicholas has even created a “brain dip,” consisting of red kidney beans, which are high in vitamin K, turmeric, which combats degenerative diseases, and black pepper which increases the absorption of vital ingredients in turmeric. Not only is Nicholas advanced in academia and innovative medical technologies, but he was also the youngest qualified runner for the 2014 Boston Marathon. Despite breaking his tibia weeks before the race, Nicholas completed the entire race on crutches. Nicholas is a research volunteer for the Department of Biological Sciences. He is a member of the Club Triathlon Team, and works with the NGO Friends of Ikamva Labantu. Nicholas is a black belt and a distance runner—placing 1st in the 20 and under age group for six half marathons.

Akinola Sugunro, Johns Hopkins University
Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Exton, PA


Akinola explains that his desire to become a physician-scientist is rooted in his interest of translational research and patient care. His passion for research was fueled during his biomedical research internship at Yale University. Akinola has now joined the cancer immunology lab as a student researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He volunteers with the Johns Hopkins Center to Reduce Cancer Disparities. Akinola educates the public about preventative screening tests, vaccinations, and the dangers of smoking during various health fairs throughout the community. He also volunteers at the Baltimore Rescue Mission Clinic, and he serves as the Alumni Student Ambassador for the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association. Akinola is the founder and president of Hopkins United for Music at Johns Hopkins University.