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Three University students named Truman Scholar Finalists

Andrea Eggleston, Andrew Kovtun, and Davontae Singleton have each been named a Truman Scholar Finalist. Highly competitive and prestigious, the $30,000 Truman Scholarship is awarded to approximately 60 juniors nationally for superior academic ability, a strong record of service and leadership, and plans for careers in public service.

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All three undergraduates are members of the South Carolina Honors College. Kovtun will interview in Cincinnati, OH on March 26, and Eggleston and Singleton will interview in Atlanta, GA on April 2 for the scholarship. This year, 204 finalists have been named from 138 institutions across the US.

A McNair Scholar (the most prestigious out of state scholarship at USC), Eggleston is pursuing a Biomedical Engineering degree, with minors in Biology, Chemistry, Spanish, and Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. She has served as the President and Treasurer of USC's chapter of Engineering Without Borders, and traveled to Ecuador to work on their "Group Irrigation and Public Health Project." Eggleston volunteers at the Good Samaritan Dental Clinic Manager, Dental Assistant, and Spanish English Translator, and served as the President of the Predental Club at USC. She plans to pursue a doctorate in dental medicine, and spend her career as a dentist focused on oral health disparities in the United States.

Kovtun is also a McNair Scholar, and is completing majors in International Business, Economics, and Marketing, with minors in Russian and French. A recent winner of the USC Proving Ground FanFavorite Prize for his creation of the website, Kovtun also hosts the political talk show "Dogma Shwarma" on WUSC FM, is a Viewpoints Staff Writer for the Daily Gamecock, serves as the Business Senator for Student Government, and is the Defense and Diplomacy Chair for the Roosevelt Institute. He plans to become a Foreign Service Economics Officer with the US State Department.

Singleton plans to complete his undergraduate degree in English with an emphasis on Secondary Education. Executive Director of the Waverly Afterschool Program, he is also president of both Students for Big Brothers Big Sisters and USC's Chapter of No Kid Hungry. He serves as a Big Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia, has been a U101 Peer Leader, and is the Co-Chair of the Student Representative Board of USC Connect. Singleton plans to earn his MT before pursuing a career in teaching English and being an advocate for "At Risk" and high poverty school districts.

University of South Carolina Truman candidates are evaluated and nominated by a USC scholarship committee, chaired by Professor Shelley Smith in the Department of Sociology. Other members of the University Truman Committee include: David Simmons (Anthropology and Public Health), Steven Burritt (USC 1995 Truman Scholar), George Geckle (English), Don Fowler (Political Science), and Robert Felix (School of Law).

USC has had six Truman Scholars. Recent USC Truman Scholars include Asma Jaber in 2007, Thomas Scott in 2006, Jeremy Wolfe in 2004, and Lara Bratcher in 2003.

Click here for the entire list of Truman Scholar Finalists.
SCHC Student Receives Rotary Global Grant

University of South Carolina senior Leila Heidari has been named as a recipient of the Rotary Global Grant to obtain her Masters in Global Health at Oxford University in Oxford, UK during the 2014-2015 academic year. Heidari is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Five Points in Columbia, South Carolina, which is in Rotary District 7770.

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A senior in the South Carolina Honors College, Heidari is pursuing a Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae (BARSC) degree in Environmental Health, with a focus on biology, psychology, environmental science, and public health. She holds the Class of 1939 Reunion Fund Carolina Scholarship, is a Palmetto Fellow, and member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa. Additionally, she received the 2012 Outstanding Student Volunteer of the Year Award, and received a Magellan grant to fund her research project "Developing a sustainable after-school gardening program that emphasizes nutrition and environmental education."

Heidari's interest in global health is supported by her numerous campus activities and research experiences. A member of GlobeMed, she is an active leader with both Project Vida and the Honors Council. She has done research with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, as well as with the Center for Excellence in Learning in Education, Science and Technology in Boston. Heidari has worked with Dr. Tim Mousseau's lab to complete the SURF-funded research project "Is radioactive contamination from Fukushima accident increasing genetic damage in animals?" She has also been involved with the Green Learning Community, Carolina Service Council, and the Newman Club. Alongside her studies at Oxford, Heidari hopes to continue working to address the needs of elementary school students by partnering with local elementary schools to establish a gardening and health promotion and education program. Both her studies and her community project fall under the area of disease prevention, one of the Rotary's six areas of focus.

Rotary is the world's largest privately funded international scholarship program whose scholars further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas by encouraging person-to-person diplomacy. Rotary Global Grants are valued at over $30,000, provide nine (9) months of study abroad, and encourage recipients to engage in community service work.

Heidari brings the university's total of Rotary Scholars to 83 since the 1994 establishment of the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs (OFSP) which assists students as they prepare applications for national fellowship competitions. To learn more about such competitions and view a complete list of the University's Rotary Scholars, visit

For more information about applying for the Rotary Global Grant, join OFSP for a Rotary Workshop on Monday, February 3rd at 3:30 p.m. in the Gressette Room of Harper College.

Click here to read more about Leila and her sponsoring Rotary Club.



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