The Chancellor’s Science Scholars (CSS) program is challenging preconceptions and creating a more inclusive scientific culture.
“The Chancellor’s Science Scholars program does not exist to give underrepresented minorities a chance — that is not the correct way to look at it,” said Richard Watkins ’14 (Ph.D.), program coordinator for CSS.
“What we are doing is creating the best scientists the world has ever seen, and there is not a certain look to that. There is no rhyme or reason to who ends up being the best — you don’t know who will have that breakthrough that’s going to save the world.”
Take UNC-Chapel Hill graduate Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett ’14 (Ph.D.)Opens in new window, the National Institutes of Health’s lead scientist for coronavirus research. Corbett, one of the world’s top researchers, helped develop a COVID-19 vaccine. She earned her B.S. from the University of Maryland, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar — the model for the Chancellor’s Science Scholars program.
“If it weren’t for the Meyerhoff program, we might not even have hope right now,” Watkins emphasized. “We are in a time when science is as important as the military to our national security. By investing in these scholars, we are investing in our future.”