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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

NSF Honors Announced

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's
and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.


Brock Fletcher will graduate in May from the South Carolina Honors College with a major in Biomedical Engineering. His undergraduate research, mentored by Prof. Brian Benicewicz, has applied polymer chemistry towards nanoparticle drug delivery and nuclear waste treatment, resulting in a publication and two conference presentations. His freshman-year research for Prof. Bert Ely in bacterial genetics was also published.  Brock serves as President for South Carolina's chapter of Tau Beta Pi, served as Historian and New Member Educator for the Clariosophic Literary Society, and is a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.  He is a National Merit Scholar, Palmetto Fellow, and SURF grant recipient. In the fall, he will begin his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in the Duvall Advanced Therapeutics Laboratory.

Mackenzie Meece-Rayle is a 2016 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a major in Chemistry. She was the recipient of the Hiram and Lawanda Allen Scholarship for Excellence in Chemistry, the Max G. Gergel Award for having the highest GPA in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department, Outstanding Senior Awards, and Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.  Meece-Rayle is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She is currently a Provost Graduate Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, pursuing her Ph.D. in Chemistry. She holds a patent for Reproducible Sample Preparation Method for Quantitative Stain Detection. She is interested in developing technologies for renewable energy storage, and is currently researching electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries.

Honorable Mention

Kelly McCabe is a 2016 graduate of the University of South Carolina, with majors in Chemistry ACS and Marine Science. As an undergraduate, she received the NOAA Hollings Scholarship in 2014, the Outstanding Undergraduate in Marine Science award,
the ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry Undergraduate Award, the Traci J. Heincelman Award in Marine Science, the Marine Technology Society Scholarship, the Baruch Institute Undergraduate Scholarship in Marine Science, and had her research funded by a Magellan Grant. Her research took place in Prof. Claudia Benitez-Nelson's lab, studying phosphorous biogeochemical cycling. McCabe is currently a Florida State University Legacy Fellow pursuing her Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography at Florida State University in the lab of Prof. Angela Knapp, and hopes to become a professor at a Research Institute.