Helping the historically underrepresented be represented in graduate school. 


To educate through teaching and learning, to motivate through critical dialogue and success, to embrace opportunities that take us to the next levels, developing future scholars as leaders….inspiring one scholar at a time!

A‌bout the Program

The Excel! Research Scholars Program is an academic enrichment program that prepares undergraduate students who are first-generation and/or low-income and/or underrepresented in research-based, graduate school programs for graduate school admission and success in their programs. Excel! uses a living and learning community and cohort style approach to teaching students by working with students collectively and individually to provide effective and tailored mentorship designed to help each student successfully prepare for the next steps in their education process. 

We invite you to explore our website and learn more about how Excel! can help you. 

Current Excel! Scholars

The 2018-2019 Excel! Scholars were recently featured on the St. Thomas Newsroom for their participation in the Excel! Research Scholars Summer Symposium. Click here to read the article. 

(Pictured From Left to Right: Martin Beck, Mary Yeboah, Linda Nzabamwita, Abigail Heller, Marissa Abara, Xaiver Abdullahi, Bontu Gemeda, Erin Robb, Samual Figueroa)

Recent News

Jonathan Santos

Jonathan Santos, a 2016-2017 scholar, is attending UST fully funded for his Masters in English. This past summer he was the Graduate Writing Specialist for the current cohort of scholars. The research that Jonathan worked on during his time in Excel was featured on the St. Thomas Newsroom. Click here to read the article.

Jonathan Santos - Castor Center List Item Santos

Dustyn Montgomery

Dustyn Montgomery, a 2017-2018 scholar, worked as a peer mentor this past summer for the nine current scholars. He was also featured on the St. Thomas Newsroom during his time in Excel. The story can be found here.    

Dustyn Montgomery - Castor Center List Item Montgomery

Grace Maruska

Grace Maruska, a 2017-2018 scholar, has recently submitted her Fulbright application. We wish her much luck!

Grace Maruska - Castor Center List Item Maruska

Samuel Figueroa

Samuel Figueroa, another current scholar, was a tutor for the REAL Program here at St. Thomas in summer 2018. Click here to read more about the REAL Program.  

Samuel Figueroa - Center List Item Figueroa

Marissa Abara and Bontu Gemeda

Current scholars, Marissa Abara and Bontu Gemeda, both have internships with the Rondo Community in St. Paul fall 2018. 

Marissa Abara and Bontu Gemeda - Castor List Item Marissa and Bontu


Where Scholars are Headed

Hannah Drazenovich

Hannah Drazenovich, a 2016-2017 Excel! Scholar, has accepted a spot at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. She will begin her path to a M.D. fall 2018. Congratulations Hannah!   

Hannah Drazenovich - Drazenovich Center List Item

Ashley Demaio

Ashley Demaio has been admitted into the psychology masters program at Vanderbilt University fully funded! 

Ashley Demaio - Demaio Center List Item

Divine Zheng

Divine Zheng will begin at the University of Oregon School of Law this fall paritally funded. Way to go Divine!

Divine Zheng - Zheng Center List Item

Elizabeth DeNio

Elizabeth DeNio, a 2016-2017 scholar, has accepted a spot in the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology program.

Elizabeth DeNio - DeNio Center List Item