Expertise of Ron Brown Scholar Program Sought for Carnegie Mellon-Norman and Ruth Rales Foundation Partnership

Left to Right: RBSP Director of the Carnegie-Rales Fellowship Christopher Hunter, CMU President Farnam Jahanian, CMU Vice Provost for Education Amy Burkert and RBSP President & CEO Michael Mallory.

The Ron Brown Scholar Program (RBSP) will serve an integral role in the Carnegie Mellon-Rales Fellowship to increase diversity in graduate-level STEM education and expand perspectives in research and leadership.

The $150 million initiative was formally announced on February 23, 2023, at a celebration held at Carnegie Mellon University. President Farnam Jahanian of Carnegie Mellon oversaw the event, with donors Steven, Mitchell and Joshua Rales on hand from the Rales Foundation to discuss their vision for the grant. Keynote Speaker, Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, PhD, president emeritus of Spelman College— an institution well known for its leading role in graduating Black Female scientists—addressed the group about expanding perspectives in STEM. Also in attendance were Pennsylvania Governor, Joshua Shapiro, James L. Moore of the National Science Foundation and Congresswoman Summer Lee.

Representing the Ron Brown Scholar Program were President and CEO Michael Mallory, Dr. Carmelle Norice-Tra, MD-PhD (RBS 1997), Clinical Director, Infectious Diseases, Merck, and Dr. Christopher Hunter, PhD (RBS 1998), who will serve as the RBS Director of the Carnegie Mellon-Rales Fellowship.

Dr. Norice-Tra joined Dr. John L. Anderson, President of the National Academy of Engineering; Dr. Shirley Malcolm, Senior Advisor to the CEO and Director, SEA Change, American Association for the Advancement of Science; and Mitchell P. Rales, Cofounder and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Danaher Corporation and Trustee of the Rales Foundation.  She shared her own experiences navigating the pathway from undergraduate study to the completion of her MD-PhD, detailing the ways in which RBSP supported her in the journey.

“It was a wonderful day for the Ron Brown Scholar Program, and I am so thankful to our visionary and initial benefactor Anthony Pilaro,” says CEO Michael Mallory. “We are proud to be recognized for the work we’ve done to help Ron Brown Scholars become leaders in STEM. We look forward to sharing our expertise, access to networks and recruitment strategies with Carnegie Mellon so more students from diverse backgrounds have similar opportunities to put their lived-experience to use in research and leadership.”  For more information about the Carnegie Mellon-Rales Fellowship and RBSP’s work to create opportunity for scholars interested in careers in the sciences, please explore our STEM Alliance page at