The Aquarium of the Pacific announced the recipients of its African American Scholar Program Thursday, Feb. 11, and will honor them during a virtual award ceremony later this month.
This scholarship, funded through donor support, is open to students who have demonstrated a commitment to studies related to careers in the aquarium field — including ocean education, animal husbandry, water quality, building maintenance or facilities, microbiology and business management.
More than 30 students applied for this year’s program. The 10 winners — selected by a committee composed of aquarium staff and members of the community — will receive $10,000 each and have been invited to speak during the aquarium’s annual African American Festival, where they will also be honored; the festival is Feb. 27.
The scholarship recipients are:
Kelsy Deckard, a Cal State Monterey Bay student;
Katherine Hannibal, who is working on a master’s degree in biology at Cal State Northridge;
Newton Zachary Hood, a doctoral student in ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Irvine;
Candice Mitchell, who is studying marine and coastal science at UC Davis;
Frederick Nelson, a doctoral student studying ecology at UC Davis;
Leslie Nguyen, a marine biology student at Cal State San Jose;
Jahlen Pinelo, a microbiology student at UC Riverside;
Danielle Sandoval, a marine biology student, who is also minoring in chemistry, at Cal State Long Beach;
Elishebah Tate-Pulliam, who is working on her master’s degree in biology at CSULB; and
Ceyenna Tillman, UC Santa Cruz student majoring in marine biology.
“We hope to bring meaningful opportunities in the marine sciences to African American students,” Anthony Brown, the aquarium’s chief financial officer and the lead committee member for the program, said in a statement, “and to bring diverse minds to solving the issues facing our planet.”