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Alumni Spotlight: Gisselle A. Vélez-Ruiz

Gisselle has been hanging around Rackham for a long time. Initially, she came to participate in the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) when she was an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez. Through the program, she was drawn not only to attend graduate school but to do so here at the University of Michigan. “I knew I liked the University and the people, and I got into several schools, but I felt more comfortable here. I knew I’d be supported and be in a place that wasn’t competitive among students. The funding was really good, and having health insurance as a Rackham Merit Fellow was a big plus. I got great support from my graduate program and from Rackham.”

Alumni Spotlight: George Oser

George Oser didn’t have a plan. Most doctoral alums have a set of goals to accomplish or a career plan to embark upon, but George views things differently. “I’ve never had goals. I just look around and see what is the most interesting for me at the time. I’ve never had a career plan in my life. I’ve never been bothered by that lack of vision. I think I’ve been able to insert myself in ways I never could have imagined if I had had a plan in place.”

Yet, in the absence of a plan, George has had an illustrious career in Optical Physics and has worked tirelessly for civic engagement initiatives, most notably as the school board president in Houston who desegregated the school system in 1970.