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.

Nicol, the daughter of Laura and Mike Nicol of Wapakoneta, OH, is a 2010 graduate of USC with a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. While at USC, Nicol was a co-instructor for University 101 and a graduate assistant in the Career Center, graduate intern in Off-Campus Student Services and practicum assistant with International Student Services and Study Abroad. Nicol received an undergraduate degree in philosophy and interpersonal communication with honors from Bowling Green State University. As a Fulbright Scholar, Nicol will teach English and lead cross-cultural activities at a university in Macau. Nicol wants to stay in higher education, either continuing in the area of international education or pursuing a doctorate with the goal of becoming a full professor.

Williams, daughter of Dorothy Williams of Jacksonville, FL, and Lawrence Williams of Richmond, VA, is a doctoral student in public health at the Arnold School of Public Health at USC. While at USC, she received a research award from the Institute for African American Research and a graduate incentive fellowship. In 2009, she was a scholar with the National Institutes of Health Minority Health International Research Training Program in Ghana. She will use her Fulbright award to examine the impact of a culturally appropriate cervical cancer education program for women in Kumasi, Ghana. Williams received her undergraduate degree in biology and a master’s in public health from Florida A&M University.

Gahm, son of Mary Gahm of Panama City, FL, and Bruce Gahm of Lexington, SC, is a 2001 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in finance and international business. He was a member of the South Carolina Honors College and a Palmetto Fellow. He is a recipient of a 2009 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. As a Fulbright Scholar, Gahm will study at the Instituto de Empresa Foundation Business School in Madrid, Spain. After his Fulbright year, Gahm has an interest in venture capital and infrastructure finance in the developing world.

Stoudenmire, son of Kim and Lynn Stoudenmire of Greer, SC, is a 2008 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in history. While at USC, he was a columnist with The Daily Gamecock, president pro-tempore of the Student Senate, 2007 Homecoming king and president of the national leadership society, Omicron Delta Kappa. Stoudenmire recently earned a master’s of education degree in higher education from the University of Arkansas and is currently pursuing a master’s of art in history at Arkansas. As a Fulbright Scholar, he will teach English in Georgia and conduct research on the impact of study in the United States on the civic behaviors of students in an emerging democracy. After his Fulbright year, he will teach English at a university in Eastern Europe with the United States Peace Corps.

Van Koughnett, daughter of Diane and Callahan Van Koughnett of Louden, TN, is a 2007 graduate of USC’s South Carolina Honors College with a degree in marine science. She was a McNair Scholar, USC’s premier out -of-state academic scholarship, and was named a US Environmental Protection Agency GRO Undergraduate Fellow. She will use her Fulbright award to research how national science content standards are taught in teacher preparation programs in Denmark. She will disseminate her Fulbright research to both American and Danish colleagues and will return to the US to teach high school biology. Van Koughnett is a master’s student in science and math education for teachers at the College of Charleston.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 06/18/10 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 06/18/10 @ 4:42 PM | Permalink