Giovanni Olaya of Clifton Named 2022-2023 Governor’s STEM Scholar 


The Governor’s STEM Scholars announced Giovanni Olaya of Clifton has been accepted as one of 128 New Jersey high school and college STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) students in their 2022-2023 class, the largest class the program has seen since its founding in 2013.   The Governor’s STEM Scholars is a public-private partnership between the Research & Development Council of New Jersey, the Office of the Governor, the New Jersey Department of Education, the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, and public and private research institutions based in New Jersey.   

  The Governor’s STEM Scholars believes that maintaining a pipeline of talented individuals is critical to maintaining excellence in innovation. In recognition of this, the Governor’s STEM Scholars was created to engage the next generation of research and innovation leaders in the state’s vast STEM economy early.     “New Jersey has always been at the center of innovation excellence and scientific discovery led by some of the world’s most talented STEM professionals. The Governor’s STEM Scholars looks to secure this legacy into the future by inspiring students who will make up the next generation of these scientists, engineers, and innovators. As we welcome 128 exceptional high school and college STEM students into our 2023 Governor’s STEM Scholars class, we look forward to seeing the impact they make on the Garden State, the country and across the globe,” said Anthony Cicatiello, President of the Research & Development Council of New Jersey. 

The Governor’s STEM Scholars introduces New Jersey’s high achieving high school and college students to industry, academic, and government research in New Jersey, to establish a profound relationship between these students, STEM, and New Jersey. By making genuine connections between the Scholars and STEM representatives from the research community, we are keeping these STEM students here to become New Jersey’s future STEM professionals.    

Throughout the academic year, Giovanni Olaya will participate in four conferences to explore different aspects of New Jersey’s STEM economy focusing on STEM in government, academia, and industry.  During the 2022-23 programmatic year, these conferences will be held at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University, Rowan University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Stevens Institute of Technology. Scholars will participate in a research project, led by undergraduate and graduate-level Scholars, that advances the work of New Jersey’s research community. Additionally, Scholars will tour New Jersey STEM facilities and laboratories and network with STEM professionals, to gain a 360° view of STEM opportunities throughout the state.  

  This year marks the ninth class of Scholars. The Governor’s STEM Scholars is proud that its class represents the diversity of New Jersey. Eighty-four percent of the Scholars identify as a Person of Color; 30 percent with a racial identity underrepresented in STEM fields, specifically Black, Latinx or Indigenous. Sixty-four percent of the 2022 class are female and 36 percent male. Eighteen percent of the Scholars are or will be first-generation college students. The Scholars come from across the state and represent 20 of New Jersey counties. When they graduate in May 2023, they will join an alumni cohort of over 700 students.

The Scholars were selected from a pool of more than 600 applicants. Scholars must have at least a 3.5 GPA, be a high school sophomore through doctorial-level student at a New Jersey-based high school or university, and demonstrate a passion for STEM.     The Governor’s STEM Scholars is free for all Scholars to attend, due to sponsorships by BASF, Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, Ocean Wind 1, the PSEG Foundation, Spencer Savings Bank, Stryker, and Verizon.     

Giovanni Olaya is a senior at the Diana C. Lobsosco STEM Academy (DCL STEM) in Wayne.   Read more about Giovanni Olaya and all the 2022-2023 Governor’s STEM Scholars at    


Press Release by: Research & Development Council of NJ

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