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Gemstone Honors Program

Over 25 years of Impact and Inquiry

Gemstone is a unique multidisciplinary four-year research program for selected undergraduate honors students of all majors.

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Liam Allen 2023 Recipient of the Gingrich Firebaugh Scholarshop

Gemstone Student Selected for Gingrich Firebaugh Scholarship

Liam Allen, a second-year Gemstone student studying aerospace engineering, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Sarah E. Gingrich Firebaugh Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was established in honor of Sarah Gingrich Firebaugh, B.S. '00, chemistry, who was among the first students to participate in the Gemstone program, and it supports well-rounded students in Gemstone majoring in engineering or science, with a preference given to Pennsylvania residents. Read More.

UMD Do Good Institute

Do Good Showcase Fall 2023

Gemstone Honors Program partnered again with the Do Good Institute for the 6th annual Do Good Showcase, which took place on November 6, 2023. Our fourteen junior Gemstone teams presented an update on their research with a special focus on what urgent societal issue their projects are addressing and how their research contributions will Do Good.

A panel of five judges selected three teams to receive $500 each to support their research efforts. The panel included two Gemstone alumni, Lara Fu '17 (Director Of Development and Communications at DC Prep) and Christina Hnatov '19 (Lecturer with the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, UMD), as well as Allison Lansverk (Associate Director, Gemstone Honors Program), Brianna Lucas (Program Manager for Student Engagement, Gemstone Honors Program), and Katlin Gray (senior program manager, Do Good Institute).

The winning teams for the 2023 Do Good Showcase were team BELI, team FUNGI, and team Supa’Hot. Each team will receive $500 to support their research endeavors. In addition, team SCOOT was selected as the Audience Choice Award recipient, a Gemstone awarded honor, and will also receive funds to continue their research. Gemstone is proud of the hard work, dedication and passion of all the junior teams. 

Picture of Professor Chris Davis

Honoring the Life of Professor Chris Davis, former Director of the Gemstone Honors Program

The Gemstone Honors Program is sad to announce the passing of Professor Christopher Davis, Minta Martin Professor of Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland. Professor Davis passed away on April 1st, 2023 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife Mary, and their three children, Alex, Mark and Fiona. Professor Davis was one of the earliest Directors of the Gemstone Honors Program, from 1997-2001, when Gemstone was still housed in the A. James Clark School of Engineering.

Dr. Davis was a devoted teacher, researcher, and friend to many in the university community. Dr. David Lovell, the current Director of Gemstone, shared a 15-year teaching relationship with Dr. Davis when they were both members of the Keystone Program in engineering. Dr. Lovell is proud to have known Chris and to have learned a great deal from him as they were both teaching the introductory freshman engineering course, ENES 100.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has published a more extensive biography of Dr. Davis, and we refer you to that page for more information:

Tasmin Ullah headshot

Gemstone student wins scholarship from The Society of American Military Engineers

Tasnim Ullah, a second year Gemstone student studying Bioengineering and Information Science, has been selected as a recipient of a prestigious scholarship from The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME). SAME’s mission is to "lead collaborative efforts to identify and resolve national security infrastructure-related challenges,” and one of the ways The Mid-Maryland Post of SAME supports that mission is by providing scholarships to deserving students in engineering, architecture, or related fields. Read More.

Neelesh Mupparapu's head on Irish flag with words: Congratulations

Gemstone alum wins prestigious scholarship

Gemstone student Neelesh Mupparapu ’22 has been named a 2023 Mitchell Scholar, earning a year of graduate study in Ireland. Neel, a Banneker/Key scholarship recipient, graduated from UMD with a degree in biomedical engineering last spring. He is interested in pursuing medicine with an emphasis on equity and social advocacy

group of diverse students in cheer

In accordance with our commitment to racial justice and equity, Gemstone will host a town hall for our community each semester as an opportunity to listen to our community and be held accountable to these commitments and goals.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Initiatives

"I chose Gemstone because I had done some research in high school and wanted to continue in college. I was really intrigued by the flexibility and student-driven approach that Gemstone offered.  I really liked the living-learning aspect of the program because I got to know fellow classmates and the staff. I also got involved in Gemstone Student Council freshman year and got to meet more great upperclassmen. My GEMS100 Section Leaders (Lara and Akhil!) were also great at helping to ease the transition."

Soma Umeozula '19
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of students participate in service-learning opportunities
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of students obtain immediate employment upon graduation
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of students attend graduate or professional school
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