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College of Arts and Sciences


USC Alum makes history with appointment as state's Comptroller General

Governor Henry McMaster appointed Brian Gaines, a two-time alumnus of the Department of Political Science, as South Carolina's Comptroller General. With this appointment, Gaines becomes the first Black statewide Constitutional officer in the state since Reconstruction.

Breakthrough Star Mani Sockalingam develops composite material systems that could benefit aerospace, automotive, defense sectors

Mani Sockalingam’s research supports the development of advanced composite material systems that could find application in the production of lightweight structures for the aerospace, automotive and defense sectors. He seeks to address fundamental scientific challenges at the intersection of materials-mechanics-manufacturing while mentoring students to conduct meaningful research.

Bestselling author Ashley Poston explores time travel in new book

Ashley Poston, who earned her English degree from USC, has published nine books across multiple genres. Her first adult novel, "The Dead Romantics," was a Good Morning America Book Club selection and a N.Y. Times bestseller. Her latest book, "The Seven Year Slip," will be published June 27.

Graduate scholar mines genes in gut microbiome

When Ethan Older thinks of bacteria, he envisions tiny chemists at work inside us. A doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Older researches the bacteria that live in the human digestive tract from a genetic standpoint. His work may lead to breakthroughs in treating diseases scientists have yet to fully understand.

Here’s to the class of 2023!

Even amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the graduates of USC displayed remarkable resilience, provided mutual support and attained great accomplishments.

Aliza Burton poses with Cocky At an age when many folks are thinking retirement, Aliza Burton is earning English degree

For many, reaching the age of 65 means slowing down and enjoying retirement. Aliza Burton, an English major at the University of South Carolina, has chosen a less traditional path.

Celebrating 10 years of Graduation with Leadership Distinction

The Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning is celebrating the Graduation with Leadership Distinction Program's tenth anniversary. Take a look at some of the earliest graduates with leadership distinction.

Breakthrough Leader Ralf Gothe studies interactions between particles essential to quantum field theory

Ralf Gothe is part of a group of scientists exploring quantum chromodynamics at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia. His work focuses specifically on the strong interaction between quarks and gluons, two elementary particles essential to quantum field theory.

David Beasley visits USC to talk politics of food

David Beasley, former South Carolina governor, head of the United Nations World Food Program and 2020 Nobel Peace Prize winner, visited the University of South Carolina campus on April 18 to speak with a group of students about the challenges and opportunities in combating hunger around the globe.

New minor aims to meet need for SC forensic scientists

In her forensic chemistry lab, Molly Kantor learned techniques to analyze crime scenes and gained skills she hopes to use in a future career with the FBI. Kantor is one of the first students to take the forensics minor, a new program organized by Dr. Way Fountain of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Alumna's journey from student government to Supreme Court

Lawyer Erin Brown just landed a job working as a clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court. Brown says earning her political science degree and participating in student government at USC helped set her on the path to Washington, D.C.

Evolutionary biologist Tim Mousseau studies the ecological effects of radiation at Chernobyl

Evolutionary biologist Tim Mousseau has been studying the ecological effects of radiation at Chernobyl for decades, even during wartime.

Geography graduate scholar aims to improve urban planning using emergent tech

Huan Ning, a Breakthrough Graduate Scholar in geography, is using artificial intelligence to bridge technology with geographic information science research.

It started here: USC professor, students research first Black U.S. Army regiment

A class at USC is making significant contributions to the history of the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Part of a project led by history professor Valinda Littlefield, this research involves multiple institutions nationwide.

Garnet research provides clues about Earth's history and its future

McCausland Fellow Besim Dragovic has a favorite mineral —it’s garnet, of course. Garnet is a mineral that carries a wealth of information about unique locations on Earth and their history as well as element-containing rocks hold several possibilities for sustainability.

Understanding people and place

Cultural anthropologist Monica Barra studies how racial inequalities are shaped by scientific practices, racial histories and climate change in the U.S. South.

Dueling Demands

Assistant professor of sociology Jaclyn Wong's book "Equal Partners?" dives into relationship inequality within dual-professional couples.

SEOE researcher launches underwater robots to protect endangered right whales

University researcher Erin Meyer-Gutbrod aims to protect endangered right whales from ship strikes using underwater listening robots to track their locations.

Award-winning author, sociologist to speak on education, social change and 'good trouble'

Tressie McMillan Cottom, a renowned author, sociologist, and cultural critic, will give the 2023 Robert Smalls Annual Lecture for the University of South Carolina Department of African American Studies.

Battling blazes with math and maps

The Columbia-Richland Fire Department is now equipped with unexpected tools to battle blazes: maps, graphs and statistics. A University of South Carolina geography graduate lead the way in bringing these tools that calculate and cut off many fire risks before they even occur.

Meet the Black alumnae whose contributions are commemorated on the Horseshoe

As a tribute to the Black alumnae featured in the student-produced documentary The Backbone, USC’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion installed 18 personalized bricks on the Horseshoe. The honorees' stories span seven decades of university history.

AFAM researcher aims to improve math literacy in K-12 students

Kendall Deas, a post-doc fellow in African American Studies, is using his research on racial equity combined with curriculum from The Algebra Project to advance new models for teaching K-12 math skills.

New innovation projects will enhance the student experience

An enhanced internship program for political science students, an online degree in women's and gender studies and a creative writing outreach program are just a few projects receiving new support from the McCausland Foundation Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Graduate scholar maps the brain, uncovering possible paths to aphasia recovery

Nicholas Riccardi is one of the researchers at USC working to understand the brain and what causes aphasia, the loss of language ability. A doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology, Riccardi was named a 2023 Graduate Breakthrough Scholar.

Poet laureate pens verse for USC

Poetry has been ingrained in Jennifer Bartell Boykin’s life since she was young, and it’s followed her through adventures as a student, journalist, teacher, advisor and more. Now, it’s empowering her as Columbia’s new poet laureate.

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