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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

  • Goldwater Scholar Neal Hammond poses on the Horseshoe

    Neal Hammond is one of four USC students to be named a 2023 Goldwater Scholar.

USC announces 4 Goldwater scholars

Four University of South Carolina students were awarded prestigious Goldwater scholarships Friday.

  • Shannon Elizabeth Depratter, a sophomore biomedical engineering major from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Depratter studies the link between traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Neal Hammond, a junior biological sciences and neuroscience double major from Greenville, South Carolina. Hammond aspires to research behavioral interventions for addiction and substance abuse disorder.
  • Emma Mason, a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major from Marietta, Georgia. Mason researches nerve repair.
  • Amber Pospistle, a sophomore baccalaureus atrium et scientiae major from Huntersville, North Carolina. Pospistle plans for a career that combines her interests in biology, genomics and computer modeling.

Why it matters: Becoming a Goldwater Scholar creates new opportunities for aspiring professional researchers. USC’s previous Goldwater Scholars have pursued careers as surgeons, clinical directors, biomedical engineers and leading educators, and two winners went on to become Rhodes Scholars.

By the numbers

  • This is USC’s 31st consecutive year producing Goldwater scholars.
  • USC has celebrated 67 Goldwater winners.
  • More than 5,000 college sophomores and juniors applied from 427 academic institutions.
  • Each institution can nominate four students per year.
  • 413 scholarships were awarded for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Rewind: The $7,500 scholarships were established in 1986 to honor Sen. Barry Goldwater and encourage undergraduate students to pursue research careers in natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.

It takes a village: Students work closely with top research faculty members. This year’s Goldwater faculty committee was chaired by Melissa Moss (engineering and computing). Committee members were Dave Barbeau (earth, ocean and environment), Zhengqing Fu (biological sciences), Doug Meade (mathematics), Mark Uline (engineering and computing) and Yanwen Wu (physics and astronomy).

Light it up: Capstone will glow garnet Tuesday, April 4, to celebrate the scholars.

For more information, contact Laura Kammerer at or 803-707-9243.

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