School of Interactive Computing Ph.D. student Marissa Gonzales has earned the Goizueta Foundation Fellowship at Georgia Tech, awarded on a limited basis each year to graduate students of Hispanic/Latino heritage with family residing in the United States.
Gonzales’ degree is in human-centered computing, working alongside advisor Professor Ashok Goel to develop systems that facilitate personalized and adaptive help for students online. She came to the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2016 after completing her undergraduate work at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Bachelor of Science in Informatics with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction and computer science.
The Goizueta Foundation Fellowship is designed to assist Georgia Tech in its efforts to attract and promote exceptional doctoral students of Hispanic/Latino origin, a goal that is near and dear to Gonzales.
“There’s a shockingly low number of individuals who come from Hispanic descent who get their Ph.D. It’s really glaring,” she said. “Many come from homes that were like mine, where you work like crazy and there isn’t the time or the funding available to provide the opportunity and assistance to get the education they need. I’ve always been passionate about helping underprivileged communities and minorities, because I am one.”
Her goal is to help improve access to higher education for underserved populations through the advancement of adaptive and personalized intelligence systems.
The Goizueta Foundation Fellowship is made possible by an endowment given by the Goizueta Foundation, established by Roberto C. Goizueta, the late CEO and chairman of the board of directors of The Coca-Cola Company. It provides an annual stipend of $4,000, disbursed in two payments, for 12 months of full-time enrollment. It is renewable for a second year based upon the student’s satisfactory academic performance, evaluation by faculty, progress towards the doctoral degree, and participation in events and activities sponsored by the Office of Hispanic Initiatives.