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School of Engineering
Rutgers logo
School of Engineering

Maribel Vazquez, a professor in the School of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering, is among the twelve recipients of the 2024-2025 Cheryl Wall Faculty Fellowships.

Maribel Vazquez

The fellowships, which are made possible through a negotiated agreement between Rutgers University and the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, recognize faculty from across the university who are committed to addressing challenges faced by a diverse student body.

The fellowships honor the late Cheryl Wall, a Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English best-known for her scholarship and writings about African American women writers. As an ardent champion of DEI, Wall guided various diversity projects, including Rutgers’ AAUP-AFT’s work on race and gender equity.

Vazquez’ research lab focuses primarily on integrating biomedical engineering systems with mechanistic biology and clinical applications such as regenerative cell-based therapies. Additional research/educational initiatives address health disparities and challenges facing adults in this country.

A Personal Dedication to Enrichment

‘I am personally dedicated to enrichment efforts because I am a first-generation college student and the only engineer in my family,” says Vazquez.

“The Cheryl Wall fellowship is a singular honor because it supports the Rutgers Beloved community. Far too many students self-exclude from careers in engineering because their uneven K-12 preparation instills more fear than hope,” she states.

Vazquez will use her fellowship to develop an engineering enrichment course to help these students gain confidence in their STEM skills and see the incredible career opportunities that lie ahead of them.

“Maribel Vazquez exemplifies excellence in academia and a steadfast commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence,” says Kimberly Cook-Chennault, School of Engineering associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusive excellence, and associate professor of mechanical and engineering.

According to Cook-Chennault, she is an impassioned advocate for fostering inclusive, diverse environments within the school, her mentorship of students from underrepresented backgrounds, promoting diversity in STEM fields, and creating equitable opportunities for all students.” Cook-Chennault notes that “As a recipient of the Cheryl Wall Faculty Fellowship, she will undoubtedly continue to inspire future engineers while advancing the university’s mission of advancing DEI.”