University of South Carolina

Honors College students win prestigious Goldwater, Madison awards

It's too early to begin applying for graduate fellowships, so for now South Carolina sophomore Timothy "Hudson" Harper will have to be content to be a 2009 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.

"It's been a wonderful undergrad experience at the University of South Carolina."

He can look forward to a well traversed path taken by students such as South Carolina senior Paige Sadè Fennell, who has been named a 2009 James Madison Fellow. The award will support her graduate studies in history.

The two South Carolina Honors College students and former Magellan Scholars (undergraduate research) are among the 400-plus at South Carolina to win major national scholarships or fellowships in the past 15 years., totaling in excess of $12 million.

Harper, a math major from Birmingham, Ala., is already planning ahead--but not too far. "I'll apply for another national fellowship next year, but I'll have to wait on graduate fellowships since I'm only a sophomore," he says. "This is really exciting, and I'm happy all the hard work paid off."

He came to South Carolina in part because he was impressed with the well organized agenda and personal attention he received on a campus tour. He also met with the undergraduate director of the math department and learned how he could earn a BS and MS through a five-year master's plan.

'A remarkable gift'

Fennell, a Columbia native, is also on an accelerated track. She'll graduate in May and begin her studies for a master's in history the next day. It helps that she's staying at South Carolina.

"I don't have time to do all that I wanted, but that's life," she says. She's been so busy with the final weeks of her senior year, her big news has not quite registered. "I'm excited, but it hasn't really sunk in yet. I am a little overwhelmed."

She's packed a lot into her four years, including a research and senior thesis project on Ward One, a former African American community in downtown Columbia that was displaced and dissolved with urban renewal in the mid-20th century.

"It's been a wonderful undergrad experience at the University of South Carolina," she says. "I met wonderful people, and had wonderful professors and great advisors who helped with everything I've done."

As a South Carolina Teaching Fellow, she has pledged to teach four years in S.C. public schools. After that, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. and return to a university setting as a professor.

Her research advisor, professor Bobby Donaldson, sees a bright future. "She is a brilliant scholar with a remarkable gift for historical research and inquiry. I am confident she will distinguish herself in graduate school and beyond."

Paige Fennell & James Madison Fellowship

  • Fennell is 5th South Carolina student to win fellowship since 2002
  • Fennell honors: South Carolina Palmetto Fellow, Ronald E. McNair Scholar; and member of Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, NAACP, Minority Assistance Peer Program, Minority Honors Student Union
  • Fellowship named for fourth U.S. president
  • Funds up to $24,000 toward a master's degree

Hudson Harper & Goldwater Scholarship

  • Hudson is 35th South Carolina student to win the scholarship since 1990; University has had winner 17 consecutive years
  • Hudson honors: Cooper Scholarship, Lieber Scholarship, and Polston Family Mathematics Scholarship; member of math honors society Pi Mu Epsilon and University Academic Team
  • Scholarship named for former U.S. Sen. Barry M. Goldwater
  • 278 winners selected on basis of academic merit from 1,035 mathematics, science, and engineering students
  • Scholarships cover tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 per year
Posted: 04/14/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 04/23/09 @ 2:58 PM | Permalink