Graduate student awarded national Javits Fellowship
Nathan Joseph Saunders, a doctoral student in history at the University of South Carolina, is the recipient of a 2011 Jacob K. Javits Fellowship.
Nathan Joseph Saunders
Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the fellowship is awarded to the most promising humanities graduate students in the country.
Javits scholars receive funding to undertake study at the doctoral and master’s levels in selected fields of arts, humanities and social sciences.
Saunders is the fifth Carolina student to receive the prestigious award and the second to use his Javits scholarship at USC.
Saunders is a 2002 summa cum laude graduate of the South Carolina Honors College, where he majored in history as a Carolina Scholar. He earned his MAT in social studies from Duke University and later earned his master’s degree in advanced biblical studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
As a Carolina undergraduate, Saunders studied abroad at Warwick University. He received the Coolidge Award, which honors outstanding history undergraduates, and was named a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduating, he received the James Madison Fellowship, which supports graduate study for aspiring and experienced secondary-school teachers of American history, American government and social studies. He also earned a competitive graduate fellowship from Duke University.
In addition to earning two degrees during his seven years in North Carolina, Saunders taught American history and world history to both honors and non-honors high-school students. He also tutored students in German, Spanish and mathematics, coordinated a senior colloquium for college students doing their student teaching and advised graduating students and supervised social-studies student teachers. During his summers, he took courses in cooperative discipline, English as a second language and educational technology and completed specific coursework to teach IB diploma courses.
In 2008, he returned to Greenville, where he taught high-school history, government, sociology and psychology. Last fall, he returned to USC, where he is taking graduate classes and working closely with history faculty members Dr. Bobby Donaldson and Dr. Ron Atkinson.
Saunders plans to earn his doctorate to teach at the university level and continue to research topics related to church and culture in the U.S. as well as other parts of the world, especially Africa.
Saunders lives in Anderson with his wife, Ruthanne, and their daughter, Lillian.