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2016-2017 Honors College Beyond the Classroom Award Winners Announced

The 2016-2017 Honors College Beyond the Classroom Award winners are:
Research: Austin Lewis, nominated by Jeff Twiss, for his research in uncovering immediate early gene networks that rive neural fate.
“[Austin] has become the ‘go-to’ expert in my lab for analysis of immediate early gene levels through RT-ddPCR. This has engaged him in other projects in the lab at a level that I have not seen from an undergraduate previously! He now plans to overexpress those immediate gene products in combinations and levels that mimic neurotrophin-induction to see if these induce spontaneous neuornal differentiation. Regardless of success with this direction, Austin’s major project has already disproven a 25 year old hypothesis that was untestable until now."
Internships: Alexandra Golden, nominated by Chanda Cooper, for her work at Richland Soil and Water Conservation District.
As the Fall 2016 Arbor Day Program Coordinator, Alexandra drafter the 2016 contest announcement, researched and developed a series of interactive forestry outreach program fro K-8 students, scheduled and conducted more than 15 programs for more than 270 students, managed incoming contest submissions, organized the contest judging process, drafter and revised a media release, created certificates and distributed award announcements and $750 in cash prizes, organized and designed an exhibit at the Richland County Public Library, prepared Arbor Day cards for mailing o public officials, and assisted with an Arbor Day assembly/celebration at a local school.
Community Service: Jonathan Keefe, nominated by Elissa Burack, for his work as the Director of the Gamecock Pantry.
Over the past year, [Jonathan] has continuously worked to improve the Gamecock Pantry in order to better address food insecurity among our students. This has included efforts that he spearheaded to increase and diversify the food available at the Pantry by coordinating food drives and donations from several sources across campus. Jonathan has also recognized the importance of spreading the word about the Pantry's services, increasing marketing efforts in order to make sure that the students who most need its services are aware of them. Behind the scenes, he has worked closely with university advisors and has organized a team of assistant directors to make sure that the Gamecock Pantry is not just successful now, but continues to grow in the future.”
Study Abroad: Kelly Taylor, nominated by Amanda Wangwright, for her Honors Maymester experience in Japan.
"Kelly excelled at applying the knowledge she had gained from a previous course to the artworks and historic sites she encountered firsthand in Japan. Moreover, the maturity and dedication she brought to her study abroad experience positively influenced her classmates as well. This semester, Kelly is engaged in an independent study devoted to integrating her experience in Japan with further research and public outreach. For the final project, she is curating an exhibition of prints and handmade paper produced by her study abroad classmates, which will be staged in the Honors Residence Hall in the fall of 2017. Over the course of the semester Kelly has demonstrated tenacity and initiative while she works unflaggingly to bring the diverse components of the exhibition together into a cohesive final product.