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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

Jack Bingham

Carolina Scholar

Dorman High School
Spartanburg, S.C.
Journalism, Environmental Science

Career plans: I'm planning on combining my degrees to pursue scientific communication; whether that takes form by writing for a newspaper or other publication, helping a company communicate with their users about science, or working in interpretation for a group like the National Parks Service remains to be seen.

UofSC story: In my first semester of college, I was a physics major along with journalism. Long story short, that didn't work out: spending hours in a windowless lab didn't cut it for me. I switched to environmental science, knowing there are many stories to be told there. I wasn't certain about the switch, though, since I was worried I'd be behind. I took a Maymester trip to the Galapagos Islands focused on environmentalism and Latin American history that summer, which removed all doubt whatsoever. The lengths that the people of the islands go to in order to protect their rich natural history are admirable, and I became inspired to bring a similar level of environmental stewardship stateside.

Most impactful experience: In autumn 2020, I was able to cover a Black Lives Matter rally in Columbia's Finlay Park for the Daily Gamecock. I'd attended BLM rallies before, but I'd never had such in-depth conversations with other supporters. Sticking through that event from start to finish, from Jim Clyburn's speech to a march to Lindsey Graham's office, showed me clearly the need for journalism in relaying information to the public.

Best part of being a Top Scholar: The Top Scholar advisors have been a rock for me during my time at USC. I've been able to come to them with questions about anything within the National Fellowships and Scholar Programs or without, even personal matters, and they've always either had the answers or connected me with somebody who did. In a university experience defined by tumult, I've relished how steadfast the Top Scholar program and experience have been.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.