3M Impact Scholarship: Supporting students at the College of Science and Engineering
May 6, 2024

The 3M Impact Scholarship helps undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds pursue a world-class education at the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering (CSE), providing generous annual funding throughout their four-year programs.

Since its inception in 2015, the scholarship has awarded more than $3 million in support to 123 students. These students have pursued a variety of majors and many have landed meaningful employment and graduate study opportunities after their time at CSE.

Examples of majors for 3M Impact Scholars include: 

  • Aerospace engineering 
  • Biology
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Chemistry 
  • Chemical engineering
  • Data science 
  • Electrical engineering
  • Materials science
  • Physics

Examples of post-graduation endeavors for 3M Impact Scholars include: 

  • Building energy analyst 
  • Electrical engineer
  • Engineering technician
  • Product data engineer
  • Senior chemical engineer 
  • Software engineer 
  • Americorps Community Corps member
  • PhD or master’s degree student

Catching up with Gabriella Martinez-Zamora, 3M Impact Scholar, 2017–2021

3M Impact Scholar, Gabriella Martinez-Zamora earned  her degree in bioproducts and biosystems engineering in 2022. Currently, she is based in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where she works as a process engineer for Cargill. 
Tell us about the work you do now, as well as  your career goals.

Currently, I work as a project engineer in the utilities department of a corn milling plant in Eddyville, Iowa. My work involves continuous improvement projects and data analysis to optimize water and energy production. I’ve been in this position for about two years and have worked on projects involving environmental applications, major equipment maintenance, and large project management. In the future, I hope to continue working as a process engineer within Cargill in a more senior role, especially within the growing field of food processing.

How has receiving the 3M Impact Scholarship made a difference to you, professionally and/or personally?

Receiving the 3M Impact Scholarship has made a major impact on my college path and future career. It enabled me to focus on my courses, networking, and career preparation, rather than stressing about finances. This in turn allowed me to overcome barriers I faced along the way and gave me the flexibility to explore new opportunities while in college. In particular, I was able to gain new experiences as a community advisor and go through two internship opportunities while studying at the U of M.
What was your favorite thing about attending the U of M and College of Science and Engineering?

What I enjoyed most about attending the U of M was the many resources available. When I first got into CSE, I had some difficulty deciding my major. However, along that journey, I was lucky to have many resources available to help narrow down my choices, including several department contacts and various meetings where I had the chance to speak with people with direct experience in their majors. In addition, the U of M had a wide variety of extracurriculars that I participated in to meet new people and try new things when I was on campus.

Is there anything else you would like to express or share with your supporters at 3M?

I want to express my extreme gratitude to those who have supported me and others through 3M. Without it, I would have faced many more struggles throughout my college career. I would not be where I am today, or at least not as far along. I’ve had so many new experiences at the U of M, in part due to the 3M Impact Scholarship, and feel my future career in food production has been bolstered by this as well. Going forward, I plan to continue my career in engineering and biological processes, and hope that stories like mine show how this kind of support deeply impacts the futures of U of M students.