Peer Leader Spotlight
The Peer Leader Spotlight recognition is awarded monthly to students whom exhibit outstanding commitment to their respected peer leadership group and service to the University of South Carolina overall community. The nomination is due by the last day of each month.
Please send it to the address or email below. Feel free to call the Office of Student Engagement at 803.777.0081 with any questions.
January Spotlight Recipients
Julian Greer is a senior Exercise Science major from Ocean City, Maryland. She has been involved in research since her freshman year, after attending the Discover Seminar. She later started training in Dr. Fayad’s lab until developing her own project, The Role of Adiponectin in Colon Cancer Development. She was awarded the Magellan Apprentice and Magellan Mini-Grant to help fund this project, and eventually developed her independent study project from this topic. She presented on colon cancer research at Discovery Day 2013, and is currently working on a new project. In a new study, named the Snooze Control study she will be working with Dr. Wang to examine the effect of sleep deprivation on glucose metabolism. Once they are approved by USC’s Institutional Review Board they will begin recruiting participants.
Her research experience has led to a passion for investigation, exploring interesting topics outside the classroom, and working with the outstanding faculty on campus. She decided to become a Magellan Ambassador as a way to share her experiences and ignite a desire to explore in the students she has come in contact with through her many roles. She has really enjoyed her experience so far As a Magellan Ambassador and looks forward to hosting and presenting her new project at Discovery Day 2014.
Madeline Willett is a sophomore Spanish major from Dayton, Ohio. She has worked at the Student Success Center as a peer tutor since Fall 2013 and has genuinely enjoyed working with students at all Spanish levels and helping them to improve their skills. Her passion for Spanish language began with her study abroad in Argentina. Since then, she has studied in South Africa and plans to spend next academic year in Spain. Her favorite part of the position is that she can encourage students to be excited about their potential for learning language and where it could take them in the future. She is a member of Buddies Beyond Borders, Honors Council, Project Vida, an English Programs for Internationals partner, an officer in the Epsilon Sigma Alpha service sorority, and is currently doing research through the Magellan Scholars Grant. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in international education.
Juwan Chalmers is from Charlotte, NC majoring in junior finance and marketing major with a sports and entertainment minor. On campus, he is a member of the University Ambassadors, and has been a member since his freshman year. As an ambassador he is responsible for interacting with prospective Gamecock families, through campus tours and meetings, and engaging visitors from the moment they walk inside the Visitor Center. He enjoys ambassadors because he can share his passion for USC with future Gamecocks and give them a student's perspective on the college atmosphere. Working with University Ambassadors has been one of the most rewarding experiences he has had thus far.
November Spotlight Recipients
Morgan Finley is a junior, Public Relations major from Charleston, SC. She has worked at the Student Success Center as a Student Caller since her freshman year. She has truly enjoyed being able to provide resources to students who may be struggling academically or need help getting acclimated to the University. Some of her most memorable experiences include students who come to the Student Success Center frantic, and unsure of where to seek help, and being able to provide them with efficient resources that ultimately, provides them with a sense of relief and comfort. After graduation, Morgan plans on attending graduate school to receive a Master’s degree in public relations. Morgan has also done considerable work with the Association of African American Students, and the Minority Outreach Student Team, during her time here at the University.
Sierra Singleton is a junior Nursing major from Columbia, SC. Sierra is a Changing Carolina Peer Leader, a member/treasurer of Chi Eta Phi Sorority Inc., and a member of HOSA. She has been involved with Changing Carolina since Spring 2013 and in that short time has grown a tremendous love for the organization. Sierra enjoys giving presentations to University 101 classes and being able to connect with students on a one on one level. She also enjoys working with the General Wellness SPIG putting on events and spreading awareness across campus. After graduation Sierra plans on working as an obstetrics nurse and plans on returning to school to become an M.D. in obstetrics and gynecology.
Emily Learner is a senior Exercise Science major from Columbia, SC. She has been a Magellan Ambassador since fall 2012 and has enjoyed encouraging students to pursue research opportunities while at USC. Her research focuses on morphological changes in skeletal muscle due to inflammatory pathways. Some of the benefits she has gained from her research experience include more self-confidence and mentors. While her research is mainly done in a laboratory, she encourages students to think outside of the box and to discover topics that interest them. She finds that sometimes students have preconceived notions that all research looks the same, but states that research can really be whatever the student wants the key is to have fun and to learn something from the experience.
Christina "Bella" Cantu
Christina "Bella" Cantu is a sophomore psychology major and neuroscience minor from Doylestown, PA. She has served as a University Ambassador since freshman year. Within the organization, she interacts with prospective Gamecock families through campus tours and meetings, and she does behind-the-scenes tour preparation as a Captain of Campus Visits. Bella loves sharing her passion for USC with future Gamecocks, and she finds her interactions with prospective students and their families very rewarding. Bella feels honored to be able to educate high school students about the community that has given so many opportunities to her. Academically, she is engaged in undergraduate research at USC's Neurodevelopmental Disorders Lab. Her lab experiences are helping to prepare her for her future endeavors: graduate school for clinical psychology and a career in child psychopathology research.
Cody Kerridge is a sophomore International Business and Global Supply Chain Operations Management major from Denver, CO. He has spent a large amount of time in the Capstone Scholar community, specifically being an Ambassador for the program. As a scholar, Cody attends weekly meetings focusing on benefitting his community, improving his leadership skills and meeting new people. As an ambassador, Cody uses the same skills he learns from his advisors and teaches them to his peers. He is also apart of the Alpha Nu pledge class for the Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity and plans to become a Capstone Fellow.
October Spotlight Recipients
Amber Lynn Dicker
Amber Lynn Dicker is a junior Criminal Justice/Criminology and Psychology double major from Summerville, SC. She is a proud Opportunity Scholar in the TRiO program and South Carolina Honors College at USC. Amber Lynn is also an active member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and frequently volunteers in the Carolina and Columbia communities through those organizations. As a dedicated and passionate Gamecock, Amber Lynn also serves her community through her position as a resident mentor in the Carolina Women’s Community. Fostering positive and lasting relationships, building a strong community, encouraging residents to reach their full potential, and promoting the core values of respect, strength, and friendship are just a few of her many accomplishments as a resident mentor and peer leader. Helping the members of our Gamecock family feel at home at Carolina is one of her most important goals. Amber Lynn looks forward to continuing her service as resident mentor next year!
Amanda Elliott is a sophomore electrical engineering major from Smithfield, Virginia. Although she has only been working for the student success center as a peer tutor since the beginning of Fall 2013, she has found tutoring to be one of the most rewarding experiences of her college career thus far and can’t wait to pursue it further. She loves being a valuable resource to students while encouraging them to ask questions and get excited about the subjects they are learning. Through her tutoring experiences she has decided that after graduation she will pursue a doctoral degree in electrical engineering and hopefully one day become a college professor. Amanda genuinely enjoys working for the student success center because she gets the opportunity to help students every day and potentially make a difference in each student’s life. She is also the recruitment chair for the Society of Women Engineers and a member of the Eta Kappa Nu electrical engineering honors society.
Daniel Fischer is a junior chemical engineering student from Jacksonville, FL. His plans after graduation will take him to graduate school to pursue chemical engineering or environmental science. So far at Carolina, Daniel has become heavily involved with the Methodist Student Network, serving as Treasurer since his freshmen year and leading a Freshmen Bible Study there, in addition becoming involved with Theta Tau, the professional engineering fraternity at USC. In addition to leading at the Methodist Student Network, Daniel serves as a Peer Leader for the McNair and Carolina Scholar communities, coordinating their Scholar Buddy efforts this past year and leading a group of First Year Scholars himself. Being a McNair Finalist, Daniel has been happy and eager to serve in a role that allows him to give back to the university that gave so much to him, even as an out-of-state student. Daniel plans to continue his Peer Leader role throughout the rest of his career at Carolina.
Kelsie Stanley is a senior International Business, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship major from Landenberg, PA. She currently serves at the Study Abroad Italy Ambassador for the USC Study Abroad Office and advises students on how to study abroad. She found her passion for International Education and Studying Abroad throughout her internships and study abroad trips. She has studied abroad three times in Italy and once in Turkey. Her internships include working at the Study Abroad Italy Office in Sebastopol, California, and working at an Italian University Sant'Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy. All of these experiences allowed her to receive a job offer from an Italian University to start up their marketing and recruiting division in the United States and that is her plan after graduation.
Miller Hane is a junior international Business and finance double major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has loved his time at USC, and discovered a desire to share his passion and experiences with first-year students. Miller has served as a University 101 Peer Leader and as a First Year Scholar Peer Leader for incoming Carolina and McNair Scholars. Through his involvement with both organizations, Miller has been able to personally mentor incoming students, and loves helping students find their own ways to utilize their passions and interests to make a difference in the USC community.
September Spotlight Recipients
Hailey Gooding is a senior public health major from Conway, SC. After graduation, Hailey plans to attend graduate school to purse occupational therapy. During her time at USC, Hailey was heavily involved with the University Ambassador professional organization. As an ambassador, Hailey thoroughly enjoys sharing her passion for the university with prospective students and their families. Becoming a member of University Ambassadors has allowed her to give back to the university that has given so much to her and that has been one of her most rewarding experiences thus far. She was also a founding sister of the sorority Alpha Gamma Delta and has worked as a Peer Leader in the Student Success Center for the past three years.
Hilary Daly is a senior exercise science major from Lexington, SC. She has worked with the Student Success Center since spring 2013 and has always loved passing down knowledge while bridging communication between faculty and students. She describes one of the most rewarding aspects about being a tutor are witnessing that “light bulb moment” when students really grasp a concept. She finds joy in helping her peers to succeed in class, and challenges them to look at academics in a new way. Next July she will be interning at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland and then hopes to move to New Zealand and pursue a graduate degree at Otago University in Dunedin. She is also the Vice President of the Exercise Science Club
April Spotlight Recipients
Marie Morrissette is a junior exercise science major from Cary, NC. She is a Magellan Ambassador and had truly enjoyed sharing with students the educational and fun experience of research. Marie's own research is on an epidemiological study comparing injuries in different youth football leagues. She took a research initiatives class and has loved it ever since. Being a Magellan Ambassador has developed her communication skills and built confidence in her research. Marie is looking forward to being a Magellan Ambassador again next year.
March Spotlight Recipients
Eleasa Van Slooten
Eleasa Van Slooten is a senior public health major from Greenville, SC. She is interested in global health and plans to pursue work to make improvements in the healthcare field. With the Office of Undergraduate Research, she researched health literacy in adults and the perceptions developed through mass media. Her positive experience led her to become a Magellan Ambassador, sharing with other students about unique research opportunities and how it is a way to distinguish yourself differently. She is a role model for other students through her gift, passion, want and ability to effect change wherever she is. Eleasa's future plans include applying for PA school.
Holly Sealey is a sophomore visual communications major with a Public Health minor from Richmond, VA. She saw a flyer for Changing Carolina Peer Leader freshman year and applied. She took the HPEB 301 with her fellow Changing Carolina Peer Leaders and presented to many U101 courses. This developed her public speaking skills as she shared with students' wellness opportunities around campus. During My Carolina Beautiful Week, she donated 11 inches of her hair to Beautiful Lengths. Upcoming event she's currently working on is the Changing Carolina 5K on April 27th and De-stress Fest during finals week in May!
Emma Swanson is a junior public relations major from Pittstown, NJ. She joined Changing Carolina as a freshman and has been an active participant since. She learned about the peer leader position through a U101 course freshman year, and now truly enjoys being able to pay it forward and present to the first-year class. She has developed her leadership style along the way, learning how to cooperate with a group and speaking confidently amongst her peers. Currently, she is the General Wellness Co-Chair, but has been elected for Vice President of Changing Carolina next year.
Earnest Saylor is a senior from Aiken, SC, double majoring in finance and risk management. He is a very driven University Ambassador, and loves every opportunity to represent the University. As an Ambassador, he has developed the ability to think of his feet, as students and parents arrive to campus with very different questions and backgrounds. He strives to be a lifelong learner, not only because the Carolina community is constantly changing, but because he loves new experiences. He is excited to continue his love of learning, as he will be working with Northwestern Mutual after graduation.
Casey Brooks is a sophomore from Hilton Head, double majoring in psychology and international studies. She learned about the opportunity to become an EcoRep over the summer, and after spending the summer in Colorado was interested in learning to live a more sustainable life. Casey is an EcoRep in Bates House, and her focus is on integrating composting into the residence halls. She has also worked closely with No Impact Man in the Fall, which encouraged students to eliminate the amount of waste they produce. Since becoming an EcoRep, she has learned about how easy a sustainable life can be and continues to encourage other Carolina students to do the same.
February Spotlight Recipients
Margaret Kramer is sophomore Business Management & Marketing major with a minor in Public Health from Summerville, SC. She was selected to become a Changing Carolina Peer leader in Spring of 2012 as the Mental Health chair. She helps mentor other peer leaders and coordinate events on campus to bring awareness to mental health. Her favorite experience thus far has been Carolina Beautiful Week, where she also organized the Me, Myself and My Body forum discussing participant's relationships with food, physical activity and their body. She also values the connections she made with students throughout the week. Her goal as a peer leader is to continually integrate campus wellness into the USC community while decreasing the mental health stigma.
January Spotlight Recipients
Claire Maeda is a sophomore from Tokyo, Japan, studying business with a minor in Japanese. When she was a freshman adjusting to the USC and the American culture, the Capstone Scholar Program helped her transition and feel at home. As an ambassador, she learned about the resources available to students on campus and became more involved with the university, which made her more confident in the college setting and serve as a better leader. Claire is currently planning an event called Second Semester Blues, focusing on proactive tips to combat the blues and other initiatives to help with student's mental health. She most importantly wants to provide a welcoming transition experience for new students by always keeping their needs in mind!
Rachel Denmark is a junior criminal justice major with a minor is Spanish. She became a Changing Carolina Peer Leader through her passion for helping victims of sexual violence. Rachel leads the Interpersonal Violence Committee and is currently finishing her training as a sexual trauma victim's advocate. Changing Carolina also provided her with many opportunities throughout the year to improve her presentation skills, which she specifically wanted to continue developing. She completed the HPEB 301 course in the spring of 2012, and since then has had a positive experience networking with peers and advisors. She continues to be an essential part of the Changing Carolina team, organizing campus wide events for the semester!