Gemstone Honors Program


The Gemstone Honors Program at the University of Maryland is a unique multidisciplinary four-year research program for selected undergraduate honors students of all majors. Now in its seventeenth year, the Gemstone Honors Program continues to challenge and support students in the development of their research, teamwork, communication and leadership skills. Learn more about Gemstone.

News and Announcements

Join us for our Gemstone Summer BBQ!

May 23, 2016

Miss your Gemstone friends already? Want to meet some current Gemstone students, alumni, and staff? Join us for our Gemstone Honors Program Summer BBQ!

This event will be held on Sunday, July 17th from 3:00pm-6:00pm (rain or shine) at High Point Farm in Clarksburg, MD. This BBQ is open to all current and incoming Gemstone students, their families, and Gemstone alumni! Per person cost includes a meal and dessert.

For more information and to RSVP, please click here. We hope to see you there!

Congratulations Gemstone Class of 2016!

May 23, 2016

We can't believe another academic year is complete! Congratulations to our new Gemstone Alumni, Class of 2016. To see more photos from Citation Ceremony 2016, please visit our flickr account here. In addition, all of our award winners from Spring Soiree and Citation Ceremony are updated! Visit our awards page here

Team Tesla at the 2016 IEEE Wireless Power Transfer Conference

May 10, 2016

Team TESLA attended the 2016 IEEE Wireless Power Transfer Conference in Aveiro, Portugal this past weekend. The team was represented by Frank Cangialosi and Scott Roman, along with their mentor, Professor Steve Anlage. The students gave talks and presented their poster on their concept for a wireless power transfer system based on time-reversed electromagnetic waves. Team TESLA won the Best Paper Award for the entire conference! For the full story, click here.

Congratulations Arjun Adapa!

May 10, 2016

Arjun Adapa, a senior on Team JUDGMENT, received the 2016-2017 Fulbright Award. He will be living in the Netherlands to conduct Alzheimer's disease research. This is a great opportunity for Arjun to gain new mentors and collaborate with them before he goes onto medical school. Good luck Arjun!
To read more about this scholarship and the experience click here.

Donations for Ecuador

May 03, 2016

About two weeks ago, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador, killing almost 300 people. Upon hearing of this news, Maria Monsalve, with the help of Cesar Velez-Penaloza and, our very own, Adam Stambouli, organized a donation drive that ended just yesterday. The drive focused on collecting insect repellent and powdered milk. To read more about their efforts for outreach, click here.


April 26, 2016

Team VESSEL will be presenting at the 2016 Stanford Research Conference. SURA hosts a forum where undergraduates from all over the country can present their work, connect with other researchers, and hear from distinguished leaders in the research community, including nobel prize winners Dr. Douglas Osheroff and Dr. Paul Berg. Students who share their findings accordingly will receive valuable feedback from the students, alumni, and faculty members in attendance. The conference will facilitate the exchange of information that is necessary for intellectual advancement in today’s highly interconnected society. To learn more about this amazing opportunity click here.

Congratulations Dr. Duraiswami!

April 26, 2016

Dr. Duraiswami, mentor to Team MUSIC,received one of the 2016 University of Maryland System Board of Regents Faculty Awards. He won this award in the scholarship, research and creative activity category. This is the highest honor that a faculty member can receive. He hope that him receiving this award will inspire more students to take an interest in audio research. To read more about this award and its recipients, click here.

Library Award Recipients

April 19, 2016

Last night, the Library Award was awarded to three phenomenal sophomore teams. These three teams were chosen out of the preliminary 12 teams. After presenting their research to a panel, one was chosen to win $2000 to fund their research. Congratulations Team VIRUS! We also want to congratulate Team BioCHIPS and Team BREATHE for being finalists for this award! In addition, good luck to these teams and the other 9 teams as they embark on their research journeys!

Thesis Conference on Friday!

April 12, 2016

The 17th Annual Gemstone Honors Program Thesis Conference is this Friday, April 15, 2016,starting at 1:30PM! We are so excited to invite friends, family, experts to see all that our senior teams have accomplished in their undergraduate research careers. Please join us in the Riggs Alumni Center in just three short days!
For directions and parking information, click here.
To access the Thesis Conference 2016 Program, click here.

Scholarships All Around

April 5, 2016

For the second year in a row, four University of Maryland Students have been named Goldwater Scholars. This foundation and scholarship has been designed to promote advancement of students into careers of science, engineering and mathematics. Of these four scholars is our very own, Adam Berger, a junior on Team Vessel. Congratulations Adam and congratulations to the other three UMD Goldwater Scholars as well! Click here to read more about each of their stories and aspirations.
In adition, Arjun Adapa, a senior on Team JUDGMENT, was just awarded the 2016-2017 Fulbright US Student Grant to conduct research in the Netherlands. He will be studying "Nanoparticle-mediated siRNA Targeting of BACE1 for Subduing Alzheimer's Neuropathology." He will be advised by Dr. Inge Zuhorn of the University of Groningen Medical Center. Congratulations Arjun!

Gemstone Senior Andrea Bajcsy awarded NSF Graduate Fellowship

March 24, 2016

Congratulations to one of our graduating students, Andrea Bajcsy, for being awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships. The fellowship was awarded to only 2000 of the total 17,000 applications, and is given to help passionate young researchers proceed in their scientific inquiry. Andrea has been heavily involved in research throughout her undergraduate career and will use the fellowship to pursue her pHD in Computer Science. To learn more click here

Team CLOT Mentor Dr. Kofina awarded patent!

March 24, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Kofina, former mentor to team CLOT, for being awarded a patent for flexible batteries. Last month, Kofinas was awarded U.S. patent 9,252,456 B2 for creating batteries out of flexible solid material that is lighter and smaller- an innovative solution for creating useful devices for the medical field, such as pacemakers, insulin pumps, and cardiac defibrillator! To learn more click here


March 8, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Glasper, a former Gemstone mentor to team PANCREAS, Dr. Duraiswami, mentor to team MUSIC, and Dr. Araneda, a mentor to team DREAM for winning the Brain and Behavior Initiative's Seed Grant Award. Only five out of 13 proposals received were funded.
To learn more click here
Also, congratulations to Team NATURE for being approved for funding by the University Sustainability Fund. This fund is created to finance projects proposed by students and faculty that are designed to increase sustainability efforts on campus. To learn more click here

Check this out!

March 1, 2016

Our people in Gemstone are doing some amazing things!
Dr. Bing Hu, mentor to Team NATURE, is working on a rechargeable sodium battery that is made out of oak leaves. Read more about his research here.
Dr. Sochol, an expert to Team BioCHIPS, is working on 3D printing lab-on-a-chip microfluidic devices. 3D printing these chips is easier and more cost effective. Read more about his research here.
Robel Tesfay, a junior on Team STRIDE, recently took a trip to Ethiopia with Public Health Without Borders (PHWB)! Robel, along with other Unversity of Maryland students, spent time in Debre Berhan teaching kids and adults about food safety and nutrition. Click here to read more about his experiences and the goals of the organization.

Congratulations Class of 2020!

February, 24, 2016

We extend a very warm welcome to our newest students! Congratulations on your acceptancce to the University of Maryland, the Honors College and the Gemstone Program. We cannot wait to meet you and work with you for the next four years. Visit our Admitted Students page to find out how to get involved!

Apply to be a GEMS100 Section Leader!

January 20, 2016

GEMS100 SL applications are open!
Each SL will co-teach with another SL a weekly 75 minute class that orients new Gemstone students to the Program and the University. Applying to be a GEMSS 100 SL is a multi-step process, requiring an application, training workshop(s), and a group interview. See the inforgraphic and attached documents below for more details about the process. Watch this video or click here to learn more about the process.

To apply, fill out the online application by Friday, February 5th by 5:00PM.

Congratulations Ashley Zachery!

November 30, 2015

We are very proud to announce that Ashley Zachery has been inducted into the Carson Scholars Hall of Fame! She is one of twenty CSF alumni that have demonstrated success and excellence in every aspect of their lives.
View Ashley’s profile on the Hall of Fame website by clicking here.

Congratulations Dr. Coale!

November 12, 2015

Professor Frank J. Coale has been appointed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to the Governor’s Scientific Advisory Board for Chesapeake Bay related issues. In addition to being a professor, he is the Extension Specialist in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Dr. Coale will be sharing and using his 22 years of experience in agricultural nutrient management research and extension education in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to help guide effective and implementable policy development. We wish you the best of luck as you take on this new responsibility!

Congratulations to Andrea Bajcsy!

October 26, 2015

We want to extend our congratulations to Andrea Bajcsy (Class of 2016, Team Haptic) who was selected as one of the Portz Outstanding Student Award recipients for the Honors College! The Portz Outstanding Honors Student award was established in 1978 in honor of the founding Director of the General Honors Program, Prof. John Portz. It is awarded annually to students who combine exceptional academic achievement with outstanding service or accomplishments outside the classroom.
Andrea will be recognized and honored at the Honors Citation Ceremony on November 6th. Thank you for all of your contributions to the Gemstone Program as well as the Honors College Andrea!

Maryland Soil Judgers Win Impressive Victory!

October 19, 2015

This past Friday, Oct 16, 2015, the University of Maryland took first place with an impressive showing in the Northeast Regional Soil Competition that was hosted by the Ohio State University! University of Maryland had two teams among the 13 teams competing. Maryland’s A and B Teams won 1st place 2nd place, respectively! In addition to that, Maryland had six students among the top ten individuals winning honors for examining soils at three sites along a toposequence. Among them was our very own Tori Monsaint-Queeney, a junior on Team CATTAILS. She won third place! We are so proud of Tori and all the members of the UMD team.

Left to Right back row: Sara Mack (Asst. Coach), Moises Umanzor, Jaclyn Fiola (2nd Place Individual), Elizabeth Prinkey, Christopher Seitz (1st place), Kristine Persing (9th place Individual), ), Martin Rabenhorst (Coach), Victoria Monsaint-Queeney (3rd place), Chris Palardy (Asst. Coach), Shelley Porter . Front Row: Natalie Agee, Chenglin Zhu (7th Place), Daniel Smith (6th place).

Gemstone student builds a faster, cheaper 3-D printer!

October 15, 2015

Pre-exisiting 3-D printer models are hard to use, easily broken, and extremely slow. Instead Brett Potter, a senior in Gemstone and a member of the Team TESLA, created the Readybox. This new model is easier to use by the average person, considerably faster and cheaper than the printers already out there. The Readybox can be bought on Kickstarter until November, and will be shipped out some time in early 2016. Show your support in more ways than one. Read more about this truly incredible story by clicking here.

Update: Gemstone Students Return from 2015 Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference!

October 12, 2015

In July of 2015, Gemstone students Julia Wainger (2016, Team BASIC) and Pradip Ramamurti (2017, Team MTB) traveled to Auckland, New Zealand to attend a conference 2015 Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference: Peoples and Places. The conference hosted 25 different research universities from around the world to encourage students to network internationally and to give students the opportunity to present the research they have been conducting at their respective universitites. Both Pradip and Julia had wonderful experiences at the conference and found it to be an enlightening experience. Click here to read about some of their thoughts.

UMD Researchers' New Nanoscale Solar Cells Could Revolutionize Solar Industry

September 10, 2015

Assistant Professor Jeremy Munday, mentor to team QUANTUM SEA, and, graduate students, Yunlu Xu and Tao Gong have designed a new type of nanoscale solar cell that they predict could outperform traditional devices by as much as 40%. This new technology could revolutionize the solar industry by allowing for significantly more power generation from a single device by simply making it much smaller.
To learn more, click here.

Congratulations to Laurel Gordon, the 2015 Gingrich-Firebaugh Scholarship Recipient!

August 31, 2015

For the past two years, Laurel has been actively involved in SEAS (Science Enrichment After School) and the Innoworks Program at the University of Maryland, through which she dedicates her time to providing science education to elementary and middle school students in the area. Laurel also serves as a hotline volunteer for the D.C. Rape Crisis Center in Washington and as a research assistant in the Child Development Lab on campus. She hopes to pursue further studies in medical school in hopes of becoming a genetics professional.

Gemstone is Now a Gold Level Green Certified Office!

April 8, 2015

Gemstone is thrilled to announce that we are now a Gold level Green certified office! Learn more about our sustainability efforts.

Gold Green Office Certified

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