Honors Students Take Advantage of Summer Experiences

How did you spend your summer? If you’re a CofC honors student, chances are you spent the past few months doing something remarkable.

“Summer is such an important time for students,” says Dr. Beth Meyer-Bernstein, Dean of the Honors College. “That’s when they’re able to move beyond the concepts they’ve been exploring in the classroom and put those theories into action.”

Putting theory into action looks different for each honors student. For some, it’s an opportunity to gain valuable experience in a real world setting. For others, a chance to accumulate significant accomplishments like publications and presentations. Still others get to try out a potential future career to determine if it’s the right fit for them.

Check out a few of the ways honors students spent their summer.

Seeking solutions to issues in education

Honors Education majors Isabel “Izzy” Smith and Jay Scott were part of a summer research team that studied challenges currently facing K-12 education. Smith, Scott, and the rest of their team worked with faculty from the Department of Teacher Education to brainstorm ways to improve teacher recruitment programs and also ways that teachers can better address issues of gender, race, religion, and LGBTQ+ in the classroom. The team has submitted their findings to the University of South Carolina Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students conference and to a peer-reviewed journal, and hopes to continue their work during the upcoming academic year.

Developing the skills of a modern marine scientist

In total, nine Honors students participated in the Fort Johnson Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program this past summer: Adriana Apintiloaiei, Emily Dombrowski, Regan Honeycutt, Zoe Munson, Joelle Reich, Sophie Spiegel, Olivia Suarez, Charles Taibi, and Timara Vereen. The 10-week program combines faculty-led research with professional development workshops that prepare students for careers in the marine sciences. With support from the National Science Foundation and mentorship from School of Science and Math faculty, the program is one of most substantive opportunities for undergraduate marine biology students anywhere in the country. Each student completed a different research project on organismal environmental responses, and documented their progress with frequent blog posts.

Publishing articles for the Federal Reserve

Honors student Lucas Moyon worked this summer as an intern with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Moyon, who is triple majoring in economics, physics, and astronomy, worked one-on-one with the bank’s regional economist to conduct research on community development and economic education. The result? Four co-published articles in one summer, including a deep dive into impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on economic opportunities in rural North Carolina.

Exploring the complex role that religion has played in the College’s history

Honors students Allen Duggar and A.J. Williamson, both research fellows in the department of religious studies, used this past summer to wrap up a seriously substantive undertaking: researching the religious history of the College of Charleston. With guidance from religious studies faculty and the College’s special collections archive, the two unearthed a complicated and influential history that still impacts the college experience to this day. Their research revealed more material than initially expected. So much so that both Duggar and Williamson plan to expand their focus to include the history of religious studies at the College. In the meantime, they’ve built a website to document the work they’ve completed so far.

Other summer highlights from around Honors

  • Twelve honors students conducted biomedical research through the SC-INBRE program. Explore the @cofc.ssm Instagram page to learn more about their individual research projects.
  • Honors students Toni Allison, Adriana Apintiloaiei, Rowan Emerson, Cameron Wilson, and Charlie Forstein were among the select participants in the Career Center’s Internship Award (CCIA) program, which provides funding, resources, and educational tools to enhance internship experiences. Read more at the Career Center’s website.
  • Connor Cozad‘s internship with UniData saw him develop a new version of a weather data tool that will streamline meteorological data application. Watch Connor summarize his summer experience on YouTube.
  • Isabel Muehleman, Kirsten Snyder, and Caitlin Watts made up the inaugural cohort of surgical interns in the Pipeline for Aspiring Surgical Scientists (PASS) Program, a collaboration between the Honors College and the MUSC Department of Surgery. Read more about their experiences at the College Today.
  • Jody Bell, Charlotte Heinrich, and AnneMarie Underwood all took time to share a day-in-the-life snapshot of their internships via Instagram takeovers. Check out their stories on the @CofCHonors Instagram page.

Honors students! Tell us what you were up to this summer, and we’ll add your experiences to the list.

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