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By being the first GEM fellow from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, graduate student Erick Zamora hopes he has opened the door for others. GEM scholars earn graduate school fellowships, paid internships and career networking opportunities through the National GEM Consortium. The consortium's mission is to increase the participation of underrepresented minority groups at the master's and doctoral levels of engineering and science. Zamora, a native of Donna, Texas, was one of 161 fellows selected from more than 700 applicants. He is the first University of Nebraska– Lincoln student to win a GEM fellowship. This summer Zamora had an internship at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. He studied materials characterization, the process of gathering information about a material's structure, properties and potential flaws. "This was something I had little background in and was quickly intrigued by," Zamora said. "With this new experience, I have given more thought to what I want to do once I complete my master's degree." He will have another internship at the laboratory next summer. In the meantime, he is working with Engineering Mechanics Professor Joseph Turner on a project associated with the dynamics of granular media. "Not only have I learned a great deal in an abbreviated amount of time, but it has allowed me to see something else, meet new people and interact with very experienced professionals in their respective fields."