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Student Highlights

College of Charleston students distinguish themselves every day in areas ranging from academic accomplishment to volunteer service.

For example, over the past academic year, our undergraduates have gained recognition by winning national scholarships, appearing on “American Idol,” and volunteering to address significant needs in the community and beyond.

For each of the past six years, our students have participated in Dance Marathon, the College’s largest annual fundraiser, which benefits the MUSC Children’s Hospital. Throughout that time, they’ve raised over $300,000. Other students have raised additional funds for causes as wide-ranging as the American Cancer Society, the Red Cross and Technology for Africa. Individually and collectively, our students apply their time, energy and talent to benefit numerous organizations and individuals including Habitat for Humanity, KeepCharleston Beautiful, the Charleston Area Children’s Garden Project and a small orphanage in rural Nicaragua, among others.

Other students have distinguished themselves academically. Here’s a small sample:

Javier Gomez Lavin

Javier Gomez-Lavin ’12, who graduated Magna Cum Laude with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and psychology, will receive $35,000/year, plus tuition and health insurance to earn his Ph.D. in philosophy at City University of New York (CUNY). Gomez-Lavin’s research was published twice and presented at 10 conferences while he was an undergraduate. At CUNY, he has already earned CUNY’s Enhanced Chancellors Fellowship, the Dean K. Harrison Award and the Mellon Foundation Fellowship.

Caroline Newman ’12, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a bachelor’s in psychology (along with a minor in neuroscience). She also received the Bishop Robert Smith Award, the highest honor bestowed upon an undergraduate student at the College. In addition, Newman was honored with the prestigious 2012 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA)/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship. (It was the first time this award has been bestowed on a male or female student-athlete out of the Southern Conference.)

Mason Hay ’13 (political science major) won both the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and the Critical Need Language Award (a total $8,000), meaning that he’ll spend the fall 2012 semester in Morocco participating in the “Language, Culture, and Society Semester” program sponsored by the Institute for Study Abroad. He is the first student from the College to win both these awards.

Mariel Simpson ’14 (geology major) is currently studying in Iceland on a Gilman Scholarship.

April Adams ‘13 (international studies major) spent the spring semester studying abroad (in Buenos Aires, Argentina) as a recipient of the Gilman Scholarship, as did Stacy Calhoun ‘12 (marine biology and Spanish double major), who studied with the School for International Training’s program in Costa Rica and Panama.

Jeff Lucas

Jeffrey Collins Lucas ’12 graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s in business administration. He was a Schottland Scholar and a William Aiken Fellow. He is now working for, a video-based, social networking company that he started.

Kimberly Arnold ’12, who graduated with a bachelor’s in biology, received a Gates Millennium Scholarship, which will pay for her to attend the Master of Public Health program at Drexel University. Only 1,000 students nationwide are chosen to receive this honor each year.

Mitch Cordes ’12 (Classics and biochemistry double major) graduated Summa Cum Laude and received the Harold A. Mouzon Scholarship, the highest distinction that a Classics major can achieve. After being commissioned in the U.S. Navy, he will attend medical school at the Uniformed Services University.

Philip Justin Hendrix ’12 graduated Summa Cum Laude with degrees in international studies and music. He was a William Aiken Fellow and received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship for post-graduate work, which will fund his attendance at the University of Sussex where he will pursue a master’s degree in Anthropology of Development.

Katherine Gumps

Katherine Gumps ’12, who graduated Magna Cum Laude with degrees in biology and discovery informatics, will receive $24,000/year, plus tuition and health insurance to earn her Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior at the University of Washington. Throughout her four years at the College, Gumps conducted research, was a McNair Scholar and received a National Institute of Health’s Undergraduate Scholarship.

Laura Jackson ’12, who graduated with a bachelor’s in biology, will receive $26,000/year plus tuition to earn her Ph.D. in genetics and genomic science at the University of Alabama.

Candice Ulmer ’12, who graduated with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biochemistry, will receive $22,000/year, plus tuition and insurance to earn her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Florida. Ulmer earned more than 14 awards while at the College.

Daniel Hodge ’13 (marine biology major) was awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Chinese for two months in Shanghai this summer. More than 5,200 students nationwide applied for the award, making it one of the most competitive scholarships in the U.S.