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Graduate School

2020 Breakthrough Award Winners Announced

2020 Breakthrough Award Recipients to be Honored for Research Excellence

Each spring, the Office of the Vice President for Research honors a new group of outstanding faculty and graduate student researchers with our signature Breakthrough awards. These awards are designed to recognize the University of South Carolina’s excellent researchers at three distinct career levels:

  • Breakthrough Leadership in Research awards celebrate senior faculty members who have made major research impacts throughout their careers.
  • Breakthrough Star awards honor the strong research achievements made by faculty members relatively early in their careers.
  • Breakthrough Graduate Scholar awards recognize doctoral students who show great promise for distinguished careers in research and scholarship.

This year, we are proud to announce five Breakthrough Leadership in Research awardees, 11 Breakthrough Stars and 14 Breakthrough Graduate Scholars. Vice President for Research, Prakash Nagarkatti said, “This group of 2020 Breakthrough awardees is extremely impressive. It speaks so highly of our amazing research enterprise at the University of South Carolina that we have Breakthrough recipients representing departments ranging from music to mechanical engineering, across eight UofSC colleges spanning three campuses. The faculty and doctoral students receiving Breakthrough awards this year are emblematic of the excellence that characterizes our university. It is my pleasure to thank and congratulate all of this year’s Breakthrough recipients.”

2020 Breakthrough Graduate Scholars

Candace Bethea, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences

Kelli Boling, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, College of Information and Communications

Frances Cashman, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences

Yoo Jin Cho, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health

Otega Ejegbavwo, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

Juan Jimenez, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing

Lynsey Keator, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Arnold School of Public Health

Eilea Knotts, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

Hanfei Mei, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing

Kaitlyn Pilarzyk, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, USC School of Medicine Columbia

Elizabeth Regan, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health

Heather Roman-Stork, Ph.D. candidate in the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment, College of Arts and Sciences

Sutapa Sarkar, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Arnold School of Public Health

Alexander Sougiannis, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, USC School of Medicine Columbia

Read more here.


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