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Gates Millennium Full Scholarship Awarded to RCC Student

Gates Millennium Full Scholarship Awarded to RCC Student

Chrystal Thomas


DATE: August 30, 2013

CONTACT: Maralin Roffino




Ramapo- Chrystal Thomas, an early admit student in RCC’s Honors Program, was recently awarded a prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship (from the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation), and is heading off to attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA this fall. Thomas attended RCC for two semesters, accruing over 40 college credits while completing high school graduation requirements for Ramapo HS.


Millennium Scholar awards include tuition and may include books, living expenses, and other costs based on financial need and available resources. Scholars in good academic standing can renew their award each year, and for those in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), awards may be continued through completion of graduate school. Thomas plans to continue her studies through a PhD/MD program, with long range goals that include medical research and biomedicine. This past summer she worked at Stony Brook University, having received their Chancellor’s Education Pipeline Biomedical Research Award, and focused on cancer research.


At RCC, Thomas served as a freshman senator to the Student Government Association and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She was a founding member of RCC’s chapter of the national Biology Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta (Ti-Beta), and was a member of the Biology Club. Thomas was a member of the Black Student Union, and served as President of the Asian Club and Treasurer of the Women in Computing Club. With a wide range of abilities and interests, Thomas also enjoys writing and is a published poet, contributing at RCC as a student editor for First Inkling magazine.


Watching the Team Medical Dragon series as a child inspired Thomas’ interest in robotics, comics and Japanese anime, and helped instill her long range goal of working in biomedicine and medical research. Family experiences with healthcare helped reinforce her commitment to working towards a future where all people are ensured the best possible medical care. Moving forward, she values her family’s support in helping her to set and achieve high goals and she appreciates the many academic mentors and friends she made while at RCC.


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