SRNL Awards Inaugural University Scholars Program to USC Aiken STEM Students

November 09, 2015

Aiken, SC – USC Aiken hosted corporate leaders and scientists to its campus from Savannah River National Laboratory. The event highlighted a new initiative, The Savannah River National Laboratory Cowan-Reines Award, given to student scholars in the STEM field. Dr. Terry Michalske, Laboratory Director of SRNL, and Dr. Sandra Jordan, Chancellor of USC Aiken signed an M.O.U. earlier this year that would allow five upperclassman a scholarship of $4,000 each. In addition to the scholarship, students will be given the opportunity to work with SRNL scientists during a summer internship. The workshop, which was part of the venue, included seven content experts from USC Aiken and SRNL, and offered a venue for students to explore careers in STEM related areas.

The five USC Aiken scholars included Chitravati Choony, Cody Clester, Joshua King, Spencer Tinkey, and Jeremy Weeks. Dr. Jordan shared, “USC Aiken is honored and privileged to be the first comprehensive university to receive this initiative through SRNL. Dr. Michalske and his colleagues continue to support our mission of providing a strong STEM curriculum, and we thank SRNL for their generous corporate support.”

An added element of the program included Dr. Michael Johnson, Department of Energy’s Chief Information Officer, who was in town and able to join this inaugural event. Dr. Terry Michalske stated, "What better way to encourage young scientists a career path than to showcase the top cybersecurity officer from the Department of Energy. We are happy to support USC Aiken through this initiative, and see it as an opportunity to enhance our partnership with the University."  During this first year, the program is awarding five scholarships, and in future years has the potential to award up to ten STEM scholars.

For more information about SRNL and future workforce needs associate with STEM, please visit

USC Aiken, a comprehensive university in the University of South Carolina system, offers undergraduate and master’s degrees to more than 3,500 students in 50 programs of study. USC Aiken is ranked the #1 public regional college in the South by U.S. News & World Report’s guide "America’s Best Colleges." The 2017 distinction marks USC Aiken’s 19th consecutive ranking among the top three in this category and its 12th time in first place.