Meet UMBC’s Gates-Cambridge Scholars

Christopher SlaughterChristopher Slaughter ’23, M31 computer engineering, has won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue graduate work at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom next fall. Slaughter is the fifth student from UMBC to be recognized with the prestigious award, established by the University of Cambridge in 2000 with a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates Cambridge Scholars are selected from around the world for their academic talents and commitment to improving the lives of others. Each year around 25 of the 80 total awards are offered to students from the United States.

Slaughter will pursue a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Cambridge, which is the world’s third oldest surviving university, founded in 1209. His career goals are to develop novel biomedical technologies that meet the healthcare needs of under-resourced communities.

Slaughter was named a Goldwater Scholar in 2022, recognizing him among the top engineering students in the nation. He is president of the UMBC chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and, through volunteering at local schools, encourages middle and high school students to develop technical skills and aspire to careers in science and technology. In addition, he serves as the vice president of the UMBC chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the UMBC Club Taekwondo team. He also serves as the lead peer advisor in the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, responsible for organizing events and managing peer advisor relationships across the program.

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’11 Philosophy

Michael J. Young is an M.D. candidate at Harvard Medical School and a Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University. His current research examines the ethical dimensions and philosophical framework underlying standards of care in medicine and public health. Michael is also a co-investigator in the Central Nervous System Metastasis Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in collaboration with the Broad Institute, studying genomic drivers of brain tumors. Michael completed an M.Phil in philosophy from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College) as a Gates-Cambridge Scholar, where he focused on philosophical issues relating to medicine and the mind. His work has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, AJOB Neuroscience, Critical Care Medicine, Nature Immunology, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, BMC Psychiatry, and Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy.

More about Mike.

ralby’02 Modern Languages and Linguistics and Intercultural Communication

J.D., College of William and Mary, 2005Ian M. Ralby, UMBC’s 2002 Valedictorian, will enter the M.Phil. program in International Relations at Cambridge University with funding provided by the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship, considered one of the world’s most selective academic awards.

“President Hrabowski and UMBC helped me to become a Gates-Cambridge Scholar,” said Ralby, who graduated with a B.A. in Modern Languages and Linguistics and a M.A. in Intercultural Communication. “UMBC nurtured my intellectual curiosity. My work in modern languages and linguistics and intercultural communication helped solidify my passion for international affairs. Through study abroad in Switzerland–made possible by my Humanities Scholarship–I discovered the field of international conflict resolution. UMBC has continued to support me throughout my time in law school and in the practice of law. President Hrabowski remains an important mentor and role model for me. His support has been instrumental in helping me get to where I am today.”

While completing his J.D. at the College of William and Mary in 2005, Ralby was part of a legal team that worked with the U.S. Department of Justice to provide legal research and support for the Iraqi High Tribunal as it prepared its legal case against Saddam Hussein.

When Ralby begins his studies at Cambridge in fall 2007, he plans to focus on means of establishing the rule of law in post-conflict societies, examining how post-conflict justice processes could be better used to facilitate reconstruction. He intends to continue studying for a Ph.D. in International Relations. Ultimately, Ralby plans to devote his career toward assisting failed states as they attempt to recover from collapse.

Since earning admission to the Virginia state bar, Ralby has served as an associate in the Norfolk, Va., office of Hunton & Williams, an international law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C., London, Beijing and Brussels.

gray’08 Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
M.D./Ph.D. Yale University

Simon not only has an outstanding record of academic accomplishment, including a 4.0 GPA, but graduated from High School a year early and has finished all the requirements (and then some) for the Chemical Engineering B.S. degree in just three years. In addition to his course work, Simon completed an internship at Lyondell Chemical Company, and has excelled in undergraduate research. During the summer 2007, Mr. Gray was supported by the National Science Foundation to perform bioremediation research through a program organized by the Ocean University of China. His project analyzed the microbial diversity of crude oil contaminated soil of the Yellow River Delta in Shandong Province, China. In addition, he has performed on campus undergraduate research in the laboratory of Dr. Jennie Leach focused on miniaturizing oxygen sensor technology through the use of biocompatible polymers.

Philip Graff

’08 Physics and Mathematics
Ph.D., Astrophysics, 2012 University of Cambridge
Post-doctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab