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UofSC Junior Awarded National Udall Scholarship


The University of South Carolina is thrilled to announce that junior Ashley Davis has been named a 2018 Udall Scholar.  She is a member of the South Carolina Honors College.

Established by Congress in 1992, the Udall Foundation awards scholarships, fellowships and internships for study in fields related to the environment and to American Indians and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care and tribal public policy.  The Udall scholarship honors the legacies of Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on American Indian self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

Udall Scholars are current sophomores and juniors, who are selected on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, American Indian health care, or tribal public policy; leadership potential; academic achievement; and record of public service.  Davis is one of 50 students from 49 colleges and universities selected nation-wide from a pool of 437 candidates nominated by 209 colleges and universities. The Foundation also awarded 50 Honorable Mentions. Each college or university may only nominate up to six students for this award. The scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the scholar’s junior or senior year. Davis is the 17th Udall Scholar from the University of South Carolina since the creation of the scholarship.

Davis is a recipient of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, the Harry Hampton Scholarship for environmental majors, the Andrea G. and Jerre D. Sumter Scholarship from the Honors College, and three scholarships from the Marine Technology Society including the Charles H. Bussman Undergraduate Scholarship.  She is also the recipient of a South Carolina Honors College SURF grant, an undergraduate research award.

 Majoring in Marine Science & Chemistry, Davis is an accomplished researcher and is a lab assistant for USC professor Dr. Robert Thunell (marine sediments lab) preparing and analyzing samples of sediment and foraminifera shells. She began an independent project in the lab during the fall of 2016 titled “Reconstructing Ocean Acidification Using Fossil Planktonic Foraminifera in Cariaco Basin over the Last 200 Years.” Davis has participated in the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Texas A&M University during the summers of 2016 and 2017 mentored by Dr. Kathryn Shamberger where she researched “Carbonate Saturation Horizons in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands: Implications for Deep-Sea Corals.” She has had one poster presentation and four oral, most notably at the 2017 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) Conference in Honolulu, HI, and at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, OR and Emerging Researchers National Conference in Washington, DC in February 2018.

On campus, Davis is co-vice president of the Students Engaged in Aquatic Sciences (SEAS) and serves on the research committee for this student organization as well. She is the lead scientific advisor to a local National Ocean Sciences Bowl and secretary of Women in Geoscience. 

Davis plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical oceanography to become a researcher who studies the chemical impacts of ocean acidification through a combination of seawater carbonate chemistry and paleoceanography. She also plans to translate her scientific expertise into action by serving as a scientific advisor or member on an international panel.

The University’s Udall Committee, chaired by Dr. Greg Carbone (Geography) and including faculty members Dr. Shamia Hogue (Civil Engineering), Dr. Joe Jones (Marine Science and Green Learning Community), Dr. Ryan Rykaczewski (Marine Science), and Dr. Ed Munn Sanchez (South Carolina Honors College), worked with all the University nominees in preparing their applications. The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs ( further assisted the Udall applicants.

Davis is the daughter of Judy and Clint Davis and attended Dutch Fork High School.

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