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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

  • Large group of national fellowship winners with USC faculty, staff and President Amiridis holding up a sign that says, "Gamecock Excellence."

School is out, fellowships are in: seven USC students earn summer opportunities in the U.S., abroad

“What are you doing this summer?” Seven Gamecocks have intriguing answers to that question. By earning national fellowships, Danny Burnett, Diana Clark, Meagan Dean, Keren Karmiel, Ria Kothari, Mariana Orihuela and Kaylen Pritchard have set themselves up for an exciting summer of beyond-the-classroom activities.

Why it matters

Summer is an ideal time for students to engage in hands-on experiences that they might not be able to pursue during the academic year. These opportunities allow students to engage with experts in their fields, explore new areas of research, study abroad or gain practical insight into their future careers. National fellowships can provide funding and impactful experiences, connecting students from around the country and the world.

Who they are

Two students will spend the summer conducting research through the NIH Summer Internship Program in Bethesda, Maryland.

Danny Burnett

NIH Summer Internship Program

Danny Burnett is a junior McNair Scholar and Honors student majoring in public health. He will work at the NIH Clinical Cancer Center at the Center for Immuno-Oncology. His summer research will focus on characterizing how a patient’s immune system responds to novel immunotherapy treatments. After graduation, Burnett will continue his cancer research as he completes an M.D. or M.D.-Ph.D. program.

Ria Kothari


First-year McNair Scholar and Honors student Ria Kothari is studying biochemistry and molecular biology. At USC, Kothari conducts on-campus research in Dr. Jie Li’s biochemistry lab. She will continue researching this summer at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Kothari’s project will focus on a specific type of pediatric bone cancer, Ewing sarcoma, and she will present her research at the culmination of the program. She plans to attend an M.D.-Ph.D. program and continue researching as a physician scientist.

Diana Clark

Fulbright Canada Mitacs Globalink

Diana Clark is a junior McNair Scholar and Honors student majoring in biological sciences. She earned the Fulbright Canada Mitacs Globalink scholarship to spend the summer conducting research in Ottawa, Canada. This opportunity will build on her previous research at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which focused on bone marrow transplants. Clark aspires to be a pediatric sub-specialist, dividing her time between research and clinical duties.

Meagan Dean

American Enterprise Institute Summer Honors Program

Political science major and Honors junior Meagan Dean will attend the American Enterprise Institute Summer Honors Program in Washington, D.C. Dean interned with the AEI think tank this spring while participating in the Washington Semester Program. As part of the Summer Honors Program, she will engage with a week-long program focusing on workforce development and policy. Dean can draw upon the knowledge she gains from this program as she pursues a legal career.

Keren Karmiel

Hertog Foundation Summer Fellowship

Keren Karmiel is a junior political science major who will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the Hertog Foundation Summer Fellowship. She is currently an intern in the South Carolina governor’s office and will be interning for Senator Tim Scott this summer. Karmiel will continue her political engagement by participating in Hertog’s peace and conflict resolution program. She will learn from foreign policy experts, and she looks forward to connecting with peers in her field. After graduation, Karmiel plans to continue pursuing her passion for political science and begin a career in public service and diplomacy.

Mariana Orihuela

Amgen Scholars Summer Research Program

Junior Honors student Mariana Orihuela is majoring in psychology. She attended the Amgen Scholars Summer Research Program last year, and she has been selected for the CDC John R. Lewis Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Program for this summer. As part of the MCHC/RISE-UP program, Orihuela will take classes, gain the skills needed to serve children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds and connect with leading public health officials at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Through a career in public service, she aspires to advocate for maternal and child health initiatives in underrepresented communities.

Kaylen Pritchard

Fulbright U.K. Summer Institute

Kaylen Pritchard is an Honors sophomore majoring in English. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of Garnet & Black magazine. As a recipient of Fulbright U.K. Summer Institute fellowship, Pritchard will spend three weeks at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. During that time, she will study topics ranging from Renaissance Scotland to Scottish soldier identity and will also visit notable landmarks around the country. This international, interdisciplinary experience will fuel her aspirations to be a professional writer.


National Fellowships and Scholar Programs provides support for national fellowship applicants of all academic disciplines. Students interested in learning more should contact USC’s national fellowships team

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