USC Aiken Boasts 7 More Magellan Scholars

February 15, 2017

The University of South Carolina Aiken announced its newest cohort of Magellan Scholars, which includes seven students from a variety of disciplines.

The Magellan Scholars Program is available to students throughout the entire University of South Carolina System.

The most recent Magellan Scholars who will start their research projects in the Spring 2017 semester are:

Kenneth Glenn, senior, biology major, from Grovetown, Ga.

Mentor: Dr. April DeLaurier, Department of Biology and Geology

Generating mef2ca and mef2cb transgenic zebrafish lines using BAC-mediated recombination

Melissa Groleau, senior, biology major, from Hopkins, S.C.

Mentor: Dr. Andy Dyer, Department of Biology and Geology

Testing for field effects and maternal effects in seeds of the invasive annual grass, Aegilops triuncialis

Meredith Hawcroft, senior, English major, from Nashville, Tenn.

Mentor: Dr. Todd Hagstette, Department of English

The Battle of Bachelorhood and Domesticity in William Gilmore Simms’s Castle Dismal

Alec Jones, junior, biology major, from Aiken.

Mentors: Dr. April DeLaurier and Dr. Nathan Hancock, Department of Biology and Geology

Developing a tool for transposon metagenesis in zebrafish (D. rerio)

Emma Nettles, Senior, Psychology Major, from Aiken.

Mentor: Dr. Adam Pazda, Department of Psychology

Perspective Taking and Self-Other Overlap: How Self-compassion Mitigates the Negative Effect of Blame on Helping Behavior

Lisette Payero, junior, biology major, from Aiken.

Mentor: Dr. Nathan Hancock, Department of Biology and Geology

Understanding the replicative transposition mechanism of the transposable element mPing

Sarah Williamson, senior, English major, from Salley, S.C.

Mentor: Dr. Julie Wise, Department of English

The Poetic Voice of Child Labor in Industrial Britain: Its Literary and Social Contexts

For academic years 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 USC Aiken had a total of 34 Magellan Scholars - compared to a total of 35 Scholars for all of the other non-Columbia campuses combined for those years. Throughout the history of the program, USC Aiken has had 96 Magellan Scholars compared to a combined total of 52 Scholars for all of the other non-Columbia campuses.

The Magellan Scholars Program – which supports research in all disciplines -- provides funds up to $3,000 to support undergraduate research under the direction of a faculty mentor. Students compete for this award with the submission of a research, scholarship, or creative project proposal developed in collaboration with his or her faculty mentor.

“The Magellan program supports creative activities in all disciplines. Students benefit from working directly with their faculty mentors learning more about how to actively engage in creative activities and productive scholarship in their chosen field of study,” said Dr. Bill Pirkle, the coordinator for the Magellan Scholar program at USC Aiken.

Selection is based on the project’s educational and intellectual merit, the potential impact of the project, and the student’s previous academic success. To be considered for this highly competitive – and coveted program -- a student must have a minimum GPA of 3.3 to apply.

The 2017 cohort will join other USC Aiken undergraduates who will present their research during the university’s Scholar Showcase April 14. The public is invited to that event. Additionally, Magellan Scholars will present their work during Discover USC on April 21 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Alec Jones

Alec Jones


Emma Nettles

kenneth glenn

Kenneth Glenn

melissa g

Melissa Groleau


Lisette Payero

Meredith Hawcroft

Meredith Hawcroft

sarah williamson

Sarah Williamson

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.