The Multicultural ExCEL Awards were established to honor members of the College of Charleston community for their efforts to diversify and improve the campus. The Presidential Legacy Awards are a major part of this annual event and acknowledge the legacy and vision of former presidents of the College of Charleston. Charles Kolo Rathburn was awarded the Leo I. Higdon, Jr. Presidential Legacy Award for Outstanding Leadership on March 31st, 2009. Kolo, a marine biology graduate student, is founder member and presiding President of the College of Charleston Graduate Student Association. He is dedicated and passionate about making CofC and his community a better place for graduate students. Under his leadership the GSA participated in the 3rd annual CofC Dance Marathon which generated over $75,000, almost double the previous years amount, for the Children’s Miracle Network, specifically MUSC Children’s Hospital.
In addition, Dr. Owens also visited Townsville, Australia which is the home of James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Our graduate student Joe Pollock is a Fulbright Fellow at AIMS and James Cook University. Under the guidance of Pam Morris of MUSC, Joe is working to develop tools to accurately diagnose coral diseases on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and around the world. Currently, the diagnostic tools are very limited, so coral diseases are distinguished almost exclusively on their macroscopic appearance. He is focusing his efforts on developing a technique to detect the pathogen responsible for the coral disease White Syndrome on the GBR and coral bleaching in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. His research is progressing well and bioassays are underway to test the tool’s effectiveness in vivo.