Two Grambling State students named as IBM Masters Fellows

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Grambling State University (Courtesy: Grambling State University)

GRAMBLING, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Grambling State University says two of their students have just been named as IBM Masters Fellows.

According to GSU, Crystal Shelling and Elliot Howard have been named as the recipients of the awards.

Shelling is a psychology major from Monroe, Louisiana, and Howard is a social sciences student from Grambling, Louisiana.

Crystal Shelling
Courtesy: Grambling State University

“Crystal Shelling is an emerging scholar who has traversed many challenges to arrive at this point in her academic life. She has been negatively impacted by the very subject of her research, but she has persisted,” Dr. Kevin Washington said about his nominee. “Her resilience coupled with her insight and enhanced by her compassion and passion to make a difference within the world is encouraging,” he said. “Crystal is destined to positively impact the mental health field because she has intellect and empathy. She makes us all want to do better for ourselves and others.”

Shelling says her fellowship will give her an opportunity to complete her education without worrying about financial assistance, because the award also comes with $10,000.

“Graduating with my masters degree has been a dream of mine and my mother for years, and I now proudly tell my mother with a sincere smile, ‘I can finish now,’ ” she said. 

Howard says he has always been interested in the study of race in America and plans to focus on critical race theory in society.

“This fellowship will help me accomplish a great deal,” he said. “With it I will be able to finish out my masters program without funding being an issue. It will allow me to keep buying literature to help my understanding of my field.” 

Elliot Howard
Courtesy: Grambling State University

Howard was nominated by Dr. Matthew Sheptoski, who said,

“Elliott is a standout among his cohort.  I have known him for a number of years; he has taken countless courses with me, presenting his research on several occasions to the Grambling community as well as attending and presenting at regional sociology conferences.  I am consistently impressed with his perseverance and incredible attitude, both of which are unwavering.” 

The 2020 IBM Masters Fellowship program is an initiative by IBM to support their long-standing commitment to workforce diversity and encourages the nomination of women, minorities, and others who contribute to diversity.

Specifically, this innovative new IBM Fellowship seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minority students from disadvantaged backgrounds focusing on strategic areas of science. 

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