University of South Carolina

University has seven Fulbright scholarship winners

Seven students with ties to the University of South Carolina will be conducting research and studying abroad as part of the Fulbright Scholars program.

The students include: two recent graduates, Nessa Ann Kerr of Loveland, CO, and Jessica Steele of Hilton Head Island, SC; two graduate students, Hannah Theresa Nicol of Wapakoneta, OH, and Michelle Sharonda Williams of Petersburg, VA; and three alumni, Jeremy Paul Gahm of Camden, SC, Chase Powell Stoudenmire of Greer, SC, and Callie G. Van Koughnett of Louden, KY.

The Fulbright program, sponsored by the U.S. government, is the flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to foster understanding with people of other countries. Applicants are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential. Fulbright Scholars have the opportunity to study, teach or conduct research and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns in more than 155 countries.

Kerr, the daughter of Maureen and Tim Kerr of Loveland, CO, is a 2010 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College with a double major in art history and German. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa her junior year and was on both the president’s honor roll and the dean’s list. For two summers, she helped in a German elementary school English classroom while conducting research for a Magellan grant for her undergraduate thesis. As part of the Fulbright Scholar program, Kerr will be an English teaching assistant in a secondary school in Germany. Upon her return to the U.S., Kerr hopes to participate in Teach for America or attend graduate school for museum studies.

Steele, the daughter of Cecily and Donald Steele of Hilton Head Island, is a graduate of the Asheville School. She is USC’s 2010 Woman of the Year and is a graduate of the South Carolina Honors College with a Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae (BARSC) major which combined study in international studies, public health, English and Spanish. Steele was a Carolina Scholar and a Palmetto Fellow and was a co-founder of USC’s Roosevelt Institution. In her junior year, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and was selected as a Harry S Truman Scholarship finalist. During her senior year, she received a Magellan Research Fellowship to explore Nutrition and the Latina Paradox and was named Volunteer of the Year by Palmetto Health. Steele will use her Fulbright award to help ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher training classes in Argentina and work with Argentine programs that offer maternal and child health education. On her return, she wants to enroll in a master’s of public health program and eventually work with non-profits that offer prenatal education programs to underserved populations.

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