The Mould Senior Thesis Award recognizes excellence in research, creative endeavor or impact in one senior thesis each year. The award was established by the family of Dr. William A. Mould, the first dean of the South Carolina Honors College, to commemorate his legacy. Bill helped craft the Honors College in its earliest days and was a driving force behind the senior thesis requirement, believing that it was the ideal capstone experience for bright, eager young minds. One student completing a thesis in the current academic year is recognized at May Revocation and receives a $1000 award.
Students are nominated by their thesis directors, and the winning thesis is selected by a committee within the Honors College. The award is presented at Spring Revocation each year; however, any student completing their thesis within the current academic year can be nominated.
2022-2023 Mould Award Winner
Kirsten Fisher, a December 2022 graduate majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology,
won the 2022-2023 Mould Award. Ms. Fisher’s thesis was a series of interrelated projects
exploring how plants communicate between different parts of their bodies—or with neighboring
plants—via small volatile chemicals called green leaf volatiles. These chemicals are
released when plants are wounded by herbivores. With members of her research lab,
she has already submitted one manuscript for publication, of which she serves as first
Ms. Fisher’s thesis director, Dr. Johannes Stratmann, said: “She is much more creative than any other undergraduate researcher I know, frankly also more than most graduate students. She comes up with her own ideas for how to improve experiments or how to interpret the results in the context of the overarching project. Kirsten combines a sharp intellect with curiosity and passion for her research and won't stop until she has a satisfying answer.”
Ms. Fisher is pursuing a PhD in plant biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Read more about her project here.
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