College of Science; Research

Chemistry grad student Lopez awarded Call Me Doctor Fellowship


Claudia Lopez stand in a Clemson lab.
Claudia Lopez is one of the College of Science’s most accomplished young graduate students.

CLEMSON – Claudia Lopez, one of the College of Science’s most accomplished young graduate students, has been awarded a Call Me Doctor Fellowship by Clemson University.

The Call Me Doctor Fellowship spans two years and provides recipients with $30,000 each year, along with supplemental funds. As a fellow, Lopez has been tasked with creating and implementing engagement projects through the use of STEM concepts in order to have a positive impact on various communities. The overarching goal of the fellowship is to inspire members of the younger generation to gain interest in STEM fields and to learn how important science can be.

“The Call Me Doctor fellowship is focused on supporting underrepresented minority students pursuing a Ph.D. in the different STEM fields,” said Lopez, a first-year graduate student in the department of chemistry. “I was awarded this fellowship because the lack of STEM representation is very prevalent among Hispanics, and I would like to encourage new generations to join any of the STEM fields and help them to understand how diversification in science is very important in expanding their opportunities in life.”

Lopez, who was born in Ibague, Colombia, has distinguished herself among her peers. Along with her recent fellowship, she has had two first-author papers recently accepted by prestigious journals.

“Seldom do first-year students achieve a peer-reviewed journal article in their first year, and Claudia has already successfully had two first-author papers,” said Lopez’s mentor Rhett Smith, a professor in the department of chemistry. “I don’t think any other first-year student has done this since I have started at Clemson. By earning the Call Me Doctor fellowship, Claudia has set herself on a path to inspire others to pursue careers in STEM and to become a leading researcher and faculty member herself.”

“I now feel more motivated to encourage the new generations of Hispanics and all the underrepresented groups to join the STEM fields, and I would like them to understand how this can be a life-changing opportunity,” Lopez concluded.

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