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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

Zola Jane Aplin

Carolina Scholar

Dutch Fork High School
Irmo, S.C.

Public Health

Career plans: I aspire to work in women's health.  I am passionate about reproductive justice and want to incorporate this into my career.

UofSC story: Adding my Women and Gender studies minor and all of the experiences that led me to that point and occurred as a result of it are some of the most impactful parts of my time at USC. My favorite course I've taken at USC was with Dr. Kathryn Luchok who is now a close mentor and my thesis director. It was titled Cultures, Pregnancy, and Birth and after taking it I first considered adding the minor. Closely related to this are my roles as a doula at Lexington Medical center and as co-president of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at USC, as well as my thesis topic of birth disparities in South Carolina. All of these experiences together, including the courses as part of my minor, helped me realize that working in reproductive healthcare and advocating for women's rights will be important parts of my future.

Most impactful experience: One of my most impactful experiences was studying abroad at the University of Limerick in Ireland.  This trip taught me a lot about independence and what my values are.  I was able to expand my view of other cultures and make lifelong friends from across the world.   Even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was able to have an unforgettable, rewarding experience.

Best part of being a Top Scholar: I enjoy the intellectual atmosphere that being part of the scholar community creates. It is a privilege to learn amongst such interesting and intelligent people. The community really pushes me to be my best self and seek to set a good academic example to others.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.