Two GSU students receive IBM $10,000 Inaugural Masters Fellowship


Elliot Howard (R), Crystal Shelling (L) are recipients of IBM’s Masters Fellowship Award. Each award is valued at $10,000.

GRAMBLING, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Two Grambling State University students have received IBM’s Masters Fellowship Award.

The students are Crystal Shelling, a psychology major from Monroe, Louisiana, and Elliott Howard, a social sciences student from Grambling, Louisiana. Each award is valued at $10,000.

Shelling said the fellowship will help her financially.

“Graduating with my master’s degree has been a dream of mine and my mother for years, and I now proudly tell my mother with a sincere smile, ‘I can finish now,’ ” she said.

Howard said he has long been interested in studying race in America, and is focusing on critical race theory in society.

“This fellowship will help me accomplish a great deal,” he said. “With it, I will be able to finish out my master’s program without funding being an issue. It will allow me to keep buying literature to help my understanding of my field.”

IBM’s Masters Fellowship was created in 2020 to address the gap many students face when pursuing advanced degrees and to improve diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

In its inaugural year, IBM selected 15 students across nine HBCUs who represent a variety of majors, including hybrid cloud, quantum computing, AI, open-source technology, cybersecurity, systems, and data science.

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