University of South Carolina

Drew DeLorenzo, Parker Barfield, Jaclyn Fisher and Craig Raffenberg
2012 Hollings Scholars (from left) Drew DeLorenzo, Parker Barfield, Jaclyn Fisher and Craig Raffenberg.

USC ties for fourth nationally in Hollings Scholarship winners

By Steven Powell,, 803-777-1923

Four rising juniors at the University of South Carolina have been chosen as 2012 Ernest F. Hollings Scholars. This competitive scholarship was awarded to just 115 undergraduates studying oceanic and atmospheric sciences nationwide.

Parker Prioleau Barfield, Drew Michael DeLorenzo, Jaclyn Kate Fisher and Craig Andrew Raffenberg bring the total number of USC Hollings Scholars to 17 over the eight years of this competition, with 12 won in the past three years.

The University of Miami's seven winners were the most in the country. With four awardees, USC ties two other schools for fourth nationally.

The Hollings Scholarship Program provides academic assistance (up to $8,000 a year for two years) and a paid ($6,500) internship during the summer at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility.

The program helps educate juniors and seniors about the nation’s long history of ocean and atmospheric stewardship, reflected in the dedicated career of Hollings, a retired U.S. senator from South Carolina. Hollings Scholars are expected to become scientists, policy-makers and educators in the future oceanic and atmospheric workforce.

Carolina’s applicants were assisted by Claudia Benitez-Nelson, director of the marine science program with a joint appointment in the department of earth and ocean sciences. "The Hollings Scholarship is one of the top honors that an undergraduate majoring in marine science can receive and highlights the outstanding students within our marine science program here at USC," Benitez-Nelson said.

Hollings Scholars were aided by the University’s Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs. Carolina students interested in applying for national fellowships are encouraged to contact the office for assistance.


Parker Prioleau Barfield is a recipient of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Scholarship as well as the Thornwell Scholars award. He is an anthropology and art studio major in the College of Arts and Sciences, and is interested in the fields of ethnobiology, ethnoecology, conservation biology and natural resource management. He was a research assistant in professor Jerry Hilbish’s ecological genetics laboratory and professor Brian Helmuth’s ecological physiology laboratory. Outside of class, Barfield is active with the USC Outdoor Recreation Program, and Hill of the Lord University Church.

Drew Michael DeLorenzo is a member of the South Carolina Honors College, double majoring in marine science and biochemistry and molecular biology, with a minor in business. A recipient of the Cooper Scholarship, Traci Heincelman Memorial Scholarship, and a marine science department scholarship, he is also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Golden Key International and Sigma Alpha Lambda honor societies. As a Magellan scholar, he works as a research assistant with professor Jerry Hilbish, focusing on population genetics and investigating how climate change affects mussel populations in Europe. He is editor-in-chief of MarSci, the education outreach officer of Students Engaged in Aquatic Sciences (SEAS), and also maintains aquariums for the university. He plans to earn a doctorate in marine science and utilize genetics and molecular biology for coral reef conservation and restoration.

Jaclyn Kate Fisher is a marine science major in the South Carolina Honors College. A recipient of the McKissick Scholarship, she is active with the Honors Council, Alpha Lambda Delta, SEAS, Golden Key Honors Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) and the Honors Green Team. She plans to pursue a research career, focusing on conservation and the human impact on marine ecosystems.

Craig Andrew Raffenberg is a Capstone Scholar in the department of earth and ocean sciences, pursuing a major in marine science. In addition to being the recipient of the McKissick Scholarship, he is a member of SEAS, the scuba club and NSCS. He volunteered as a lab assistant for professor Richard Long, examining marine bacteria. Raffenberg is currently interested in doing field research on coral reefs and their rapid disappearance and plans to complete a doctorate in marine biology.

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Posted: 05/18/12 @ 5:30 PM | Updated: 05/25/12 @ 8:14 AM | Permalink



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