Greater Allegheny student awarded inaugural STEMNetX Fellowship

student outside smiling

Sajan Dangal was recently named a STEMNetX Fellow

Credit: Nick Trunzo

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Sajan Dangal, a first-year computer science student at Penn State Greater Allegheny, has been selected as a recipient of the inaugural STEMNetX Fellowship, a program supported by the Chance to Change Lives CCL-US with funding from the Richard King Mellon Foundation (RKMF). Fernando Soto, associate professor of energy engineering at Penn State Greater Allegheny, nominated Dangal for this competitive fellowship.

"Sajan's dedication and curiosity make him stand out as a future leader in STEM," said Soto. "His research project, focusing on the performance and stability of single-photon emitters, is set to last for a year and hopefully, it will contribute to advancing quantum information technologies."

Soto highlighted the significance of this collaboration, stating, "This fellowship enables students like Sajan to delve into complex research areas, contributing to advancements in quantum science and related fields."

According to Soto, the STEMNetX Fellowship fosters collaborative research between instructors and students. "The significance of this award is that it allows instructor and student collaborations that can potentially lead to a deeper understanding of quantum science and, in our research project, a broad understanding of sensing and quantum materials," said Soto. "I believe this is a win/win collaboration because it allows the students to pursue ideas and, at the same time, allows the instructors to grow their research in new directions."

"Have confidence and believe that you will get what you’re applying for.”

—Sajan Dangal , STEMNetX Fellow

Reflecting on his selection, Dangal expressed gratitude. "I feel deeply honored to have been chosen for this fellowship,” said Dangal. “It's a testament to hard work and the support of my mentors and peers."

He also offered advice to other STEM students, encouraging them to seize opportunities such as fellowships and believe in their abilities. “My advice is to just go for it. It can and will pay off in the end,” said Dangal. “I did not feel like I would get my fellowship because there could have been better candidates, but I received the honor. Have confidence and believe that you will get what you’re applying for.”  

STEMNetX is a STEM engagement and empowerment initiative launched by CCL-US. The fellows will undergo specialized training in skills such as problem solving, coding and data analysis, and network with industry leaders and experts.

To follow Dangal’s experience and to learn more about STEMNetX, visit their LinkedIn page