University of South Carolina

Four grads awarded NSF Fellowships

Four recent University of South Carolina graduates have been awarded 2010 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF).

Emily Elizabeth Matherly, Andrew Harris Moeller, Denise Danielle Sullivan, and Benjamin James Toscano have all been named NSF GRF Fellows. Three others, Jennifer Elizabeth Link, Kevin Matthew Yehl, and Many Ann Elizabeth Fanning, were selected for honorable mentions in the competition.

The National Science Foundation graduate fellowship program is one of NSF's oldest, with roots in NSF's original 1950 charter, offering support for graduate study in all scientific disciplines.

Matherly is a 2011 South Carolina Honors College graduate with a degree in biomedical engineering from the College of Engineering and Computing. At USC, she was a McNair Scholar and was active in Epsilon Sigma Alpha Service Sorority, the SCHC Council, and the Waverly After School Program. She also was a resident mentor in Maxcy and received a Magellan Grant to do undergraduate research on Alzheimer’s disease with Dr. Melissa Moss.

In 2008 she did a biomedical internship at the USC School of Medicine and summer 2009 she worked in the lab of Dr. Terrone Rosenberry with the Mayo Clinic Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. She will attend the University of California-Berkley to work toward a doctorate in biomedical engineering.

Moeller is a 2010 South Carolina Honors College graduate with a degree in biological sciences. As a Cooper Scholar, he received an SCHC Research Grant, a Magellan Grant and a Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research grant to work with Dr. Robert Friedman on the evolution of bacteria and viruses. He is pursuing a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University.

Sullivan is a 2011 graduate of the College of Engineering and Computing with a degree in Biomedical Engineering from the South Carolina Honors College. As a Magellan Scholar she did undergraduate research on tissue encapsulation and stem cells with Dr. James Blanchette in the department of chemical engineering.

She was on the President’s Honor List and the Dean’s Honor list and she received the Lieber Scholarship, the LIFE Scholarship, and the Dean’s Leader Scholarship for her four undergraduate years.

She was vice president of the USC chapter of BMES (Biomedical Engineering Students), a member of Alpha Lambda National Honor Society, and a peer reviewer for Impulse, the Undergraduate Neuroscience Journal. She plans to enroll in the doctoral program in biomedical engineering at Georgia Tech which has awarded her an NSF’s Fellowship for stem cell biomanufacturing.

Toscano is a 2008 graduate of the University of Connecticut. He is a second-year doctoral student in biological sciences in USC’s College of Arts and Sciences, where he is working with Dr. Blaine D. Griffen. His research interests lie within the areas of population and community ecology. His research looks at the importance of multiple facets of biodiversity for the health and functioning of South Carolina’s intertidal oyster reefs.

Link is a 2011 graduate of the University of South Carolina, double majoring in chemistry and biology. She was a Capstone Scholar, a Palmetto Fellow and was awarded the Valedictorian Scholarship and the Victor W. Laurie Junior Year Scholarship. She received the Hiram and Lawanda Allen Scholarship for Excellence in Chemistry as well as the Outstanding Undergraduate Chemistry Major, awarded by the South Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society.

As an undergraduate she received a Magellan Grant for research on a sensor for the carcinogenic molecule benzene under the mentoring of Dr. John Lavigne; the summer before her senior year she received a DAAD/RISE (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst/Research Internship in Science and Engineering) to Germany where she worked to develop a molecule selective for a cellular component involved in inflammatory diseases; and her senior year she received the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award given by the South Carolina Academy of Science and the Charleston and Clemson Chapters of Sigma Xi. Next year she will bio-organic chemistry at Duke University.

Yehl is a 2008 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College. He was a Palmetto Fellow and received the Victor Laurie Junior and Senior Chemist Award as well as a USC Academic Scholarship. As an undergraduate he was actively involved in research: At USC under the mentorship of Dr. Ken Shimizu he worked on developing fluorescent sensors towards detecting biologically relevant acids and he received the DAAD/ACS-RISE (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst/Research Internship in Science and Engineering) award to carry out summer research in Germany. He is doctoral student in chemistry at Emory University. Fanning graduated from the University of South Carolina Honors College in 2008, double majoring in history and anthropology. She was a Palmetto fellow and received the Charles W. Coolidge History Award in 2006 and 2007, and the Outstanding Anthropology Student Award in 2008.

As a Magellan Scholar she worked with Dr. Kenneth G. Kelly during archaeological investigations at Habitation Creve Coeur on the island of Martinique studying pottery distribution across the site. Fanning began her career as a doctoral student in anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz in 2009, and was the recipient of a Jacob K. Javits fellowship in 2010. She is studying West African archaeology and ceramic analysis.

The USC NSF Committee chaired by Erin Connelly (Biology) and comprises Michael Matthews (Chemical Engineering) Melayne McInnes (Economics), Edsel Pena (Statistics), Roger Sawyer (Arts & Sciences), and Ken Shimizu (Chemistry) is to be commended for their work with these students.

The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs identifies and recruits student to apply for nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships, www.sc.edu/ofsp. Since 1994 when the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs was established, 55 University of South Carolina students and recent graduates have won NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 06/07/11 @ 10:00 PM | Updated: 06/07/11 @ 9:25 PM | Permalink