FIRST Announces Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship Fund 2024 Scholarship Recipients

MANCHESTER, N.H., June 18, 2024 — FIRST®, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future, announced the Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship Fund 2024 scholarship recipients. This prestigious scholarship fund, dedicated to honoring the legacy of Dr. Bart Kamen, a pediatric oncologist/ cancer pharmacologist and passionate supporter of FIRST, supports FIRST alumni who pursue undergraduate degrees in biomedical engineering or pre-medical studies.
After a rigorous selection process conducted by a distinguished committee, including renowned healthcare leaders, FIRST announced the following outstanding students as recipients of the 2024 Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship:
  • Yulia Kohut, Chicago, Ill., attending University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • Runyi Liu, Newark, Del., attending Harvard University
  • Ellie Tillman-Schwartz, Weston, Mass., attending Yale University
  • Jake Weiss, Scottsdale, Ariz., attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cecilia Neumann, Chair of the Selection Committee, noted that “Dr. Bart Kamen was an exceptionally compassionate physician scientist who brought cutting edge medical research, often his own, to the bedside to treat his critically ill pediatric cancer patients. His brilliance and devotion ensured his patients received the best possible care. The Selection Committee is convinced that these exceptional FIRST students, through their impressive academic achievements and leadership in the FIRST community, exhibit the potential to follow in Dr. Bart Kamen's enormous footsteps. We look forward to learning of their future contributions to biomedical engineering or healthcare." 

The scholarship Selection Committee members include: 

  • Dr. Ruth Saletsky Kamen, Speech language pathologist 
  • Dr. Jennifer MacDonald, Chief Operating Officer of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute | BioFabUSA ; Former Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 
  • Dr. Jonathan Perlin, President and CEO of The Joint Commission; Former Under Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Stuart Schmill, Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship Fund provides renewable monetary grants to undergraduate students pursuing biomedical engineering or pre-medical degrees. By selecting students who have excelled in FIRST programs, the Fund seeks to honor Dr. Kamen's extraordinary legacy.

"I am beyond grateful for the promise and research opportunities Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship will provide me as an international student from Ukraine. Having this immense support, I'm even more inspired to delve into biomedical research and prove that FIRST kids will change the world with science.” said student recipient, Kohut.

About The Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship: 

The Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship Fund supports undergraduate students pursuing degrees in biomedical engineering or pre-medical studies. The scholarship honors the legacy of Dr. Bart Kamen and his dedication to advancing science and technology for the betterment of healthcare.

For more information about The Dr. Bart Kamen Memorial FIRST Scholarship and its recipients, please visit


About FIRST® 

FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured after-school programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges.

An international not-for-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Participants and alumni of FIRST programs gain access to education and career discovery opportunities, connections to exclusive scholarships and employers, and a place in the FIRST community for life. Learn more at