Skip to Content

National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

  • Banner Image

USC Sophomore Awarded Udall Scholarship

The University of South Carolina is thrilled to announce that sophomore Casey Brayton has been named a 2017 Udall Scholar. She is a member of the South Carolina Honors College.

Established by Congress in 1992, the Udall Foundation awards scholarships, fellowships and internships for study in fields related to the environment and to American Indians and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care and tribal public policy. The Udall scholarship honors the legacies of Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on American Indian self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

Udall Scholars are current sophomores and juniors, who are selected on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, American Indian health care, or tribal public policy; leadership potential; academic achievement; and record of public service. Brayton is one of 50 students from 42 colleges and universities selected nation-wide from a pool of 494 candidates nominated by 224 colleges and universities. The Foundation also awarded 50 Honorable Mentions. Each college or university may only nominate up to six students for this award. The scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the Scholar's junior or senior year. Brayton is the 16th Udall Scholar from the University of South Carolina since the creation of the scholarship.

Brayton is a Carolina Scholar holding the Solomon Blatt Scholarship. Additionally, she is the recipient of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, Lieber Scholarship (national merit award), Traci J. Heincelman Scholarship (marine science department), and the Millennium Oceans Award.

Majoring in Marine Science & Geophysics, Brayton has a minor in Geography and plans to make her career in the area of climate modeling. An accomplished researcher and environmental advocate, she conducts physical oceanography research with marine scientists Dr. Alexander Yankovsky (geology) and Dr. Ryan Rykaczewski (biology). This past summer, Brayton was a media relations intern with NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and a GIS volunteer technician with NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. This summer, Brayton will complete a Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF REU) at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography studying the Weddell Polynya with SOCCOM (Southern Ocean Climate Cycle Observation and Modeling) with Dr. Lynne Talley and Dr. Sarah Gille.

On campus, Brayton is co-chair of the Marine Technology Society, as well as founder and president of Women in Geosciences. She is a member of Students Engaged in Aquatic Sciences (SEAS), and the Geography Club. Her service work includes Conservation Voters of SC, and Resurrections, a non-profit feeding the hungry (St. Mary's Episcopal Church).

The University's Udall Committee, chaired by Dr. Greg Carbone (geography) and including faculty members Dr. Yeomin Yoon (civil engineering), Dr. Joe Jones (marine science and Green Learning Community), Dr. Ryan Rykaczewski (marine science), and Dr. Ed Munn Sanchez (South Carolina Honors College), worked with all the University nominees in preparing their applications. The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs ( further assisted the Udall applicants.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.