Jory Fleming is currently a senior pursuing both a B.A. in geography and a B.S. marine sciences while minoring in geophysics. In November 2016 Fleming was chosen from a pool of 882 candidates as one of 32 Rhodes Scholars from the United States. Rhodes Scholars are selected for their academic achievements as well as their character, potential for leadership, and commitment not only to others but also to the common good. This award sets a standard of exemplary service and academic excellence that Fleming has embodied throughout his time at USC.
Fleming’s work in the classroom has been lauded many times over through national scholarships and research opportunities. Fleming is a Capstone Fellow and a Magellan Scholar; on summer breaks he stays busy with internships at the SC Air National Guard, Beitz & Daigh Geographics, and the NOAA Digital Coast program. Furthermore, Fleming is pursuing a biogeography research project with the National Park Service. He received the Abraham Anson Memorial Scholarship, the Charles Bussman Scholarship from MITS, the Insight Disabilities Scholarship, the USGIF Geospatial Intelligence Scholarship, and the NOAA Hollings Scholarship. In 2016 he received both the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.
As an advocate for literacy and science education, Fleming is actively involved in outreach. He is the co-founder of Cocky’s Canine PAALS, and he volunteers with PAALS and Cocky’s Reading Express. Fleming is also an Education Outreach Coordinator for the award-winning student organization SEAS (Students Engaged in Aquatic Sciences). He has served as both a University 101 Peer leader and, more recently, a Senior Peer Leader.
Fleming’s accomplishments and outreach are remarkable for any student, but his resilience and care for others is truly outstanding: “I have autism, and the classic hallmark of autism is that social interaction is difficult,” says Fleming. He attributes much of his success to his service dog, Daisy, for helping him face his personal challenges so that he could engage with others. “In my experiences, I couldn’t have overcome some of my challenges without the support of others, so in some way, it makes me want to give back to others and help them with their challenges.”
Fleming will join other Rhodes Scholars at Oxford University in October 2017 to pursue an M.Phil. in the School of Geography and the Environment. Ultimately, Fleming would like to study the nexus of sciences and policy in order to both protect our country’s interests at sea and deepen people’s connection to the oceans.