Johns Hopkins University officially welcomed the inaugural cohort of Vivien Thomas Scholars during a reception on Aug. 19 on the waterfront in Baltimore’s Harbor East neighborhood.

The Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative aims to address historic underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and math fields by creating pathways for exceptional students from historically Black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions to pursue PhDs in STEM fields at Johns Hopkins. The inaugural cohort is made up 20 scholars from across the country.