UMBC student Naomi Mburu receives Rhodes Scholarship

Naomi Mburu ’18, chemical engineering, is the first student in UMBC history to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. She is one of 32 students from across the United States to receive this prestigious honor for the 2018 year. Several UMBC students have been finalists for the Scholarship in the past.

Established in 1902, The Rhodes Scholarship is the world’s oldest international scholarship award. Rhodes Scholars are selected based on their academic and research accomplishments, their leadership and commitment to others.

“Being selected as a Rhodes Scholar will provide me with the network and resources to be an influential scientist and education advocate on the global level,” says Mburu.

Mburu is currently working with Gymama Slaughter, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering, to develop a bioreactor to extend the viability of human organs awaiting transplant. The sensors will track glucose levels, lactic acid, and nitric oxide to ensure that the organ remains healthy as it is transported to the recipient.

“Increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields reflects our changing world and is what we desperately need for working toward discoveries that will improve the human condition,” says Slaughter. “As a mentor, I’m fortunate to work with the best and brightest students at UMBC, including Naomi, who have a strong desire to change the world. Naomi’s aspiration is to become an advocate for scientific advancement in renewable energy sources and education equality. The Rhodes scholarship is a well-deserved recognition of the positive impact she will have in the field of nuclear engineering and on the human condition across the world. We are very proud of Naomi’s accomplishments.”

You can read more about Naomi Mburu’s accomplishments and plans at UMBC News.

Adapted from a UMBC News article by Megan Hanks, Photo by Marlayna Demond ‘11 for UMBC.