Building a path beyond the classroom

Elizabeth Moore has always been interested in science and math. Health care was something she was naturally drawn to but watching her grandmother struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease sparked a passion for research that the University of South Carolina junior hopes to pursue in her career.

Moore, a junior biomedical engineering major, first got her feet wet with undergraduate research by working in the lab with professor Melissa Moss in the College of Engineering and Computing.

“I like to challenge myself and engineering is all about problem-solving so I think that’s cool,” says Moore, a Greenville native. “You learn to solve medical problems within the body, and when the body stops functioning properly, how to fix that.”

Her interest hasn’t stopped in the lab. As a freshman, Moore got to see firsthand health care in Romania through a study abroad trip with the South Carolina Honors College. Students on the trip spent three weeks shadowing doctors in an oncology center. 

“That really opened my eyes to medicine and so I think that’s really where the passion started,” she says. “We got to see everything the residents and the doctors did all day long. We were right by their side.”

Moore has made the most of her time at Carolina by getting involved as much as she can. She works regularly with her service sorority, coaching basketball at a local church and serving as a director with Dance Marathon, one of the university’s largest student-run organizations.

She hopes all of these out-of-the-classroom experiences help her as she pursues doctoral and medical degrees when she graduates.

“The goal is to work at the intersection of the basic science research and the clinical aspect and connect my research to patient outcomes,” she says. “Because my career path is at the intersection, that’s where my education and my classes and undergrad research come in. But I think the clinical side, interacting with patients and running a research lab, that’s all people skills and that’s where everything else comes into play.” 

Moore’s drive has landed her coveted spot as a finalist for the Truman Scholarship, a highly competitive and prestigious scholarship that is awarded to approximately 60 juniors nationally for superior academic ability, a strong record of service and leadership and plans for careers in public service. She will interview for the scholarship on March 30.

“I don’t think that would be my path if I didn’t come here,” Moore says. “All that out-of-the-classroom experience that I’ve had here, whether it’s the trip to Romania or undergraduate research, those experiences have helped form this path for me.”

Learn more

The university provides advisement and support to students competing for national fellowships. Learn more about upcoming workshops and find out how to apply for these programs on the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs website

Share this Story! Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about