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School of Medicine


Success Stories

Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at the University of South Carolina has helped a number of students from underrepresented groups or from a disadvantaged background pursue their research dreams. Below are several recent student success stories. 

 

Courtney Callahan

Courtney Callahan

As an avid lover of science and all things health related, Courtney Callahan always knew from a young age that she wanted to work in the health field. It was while a junior at Winthrop University working with her zoologist professor that her interest in bacteria and viruses peaked.

Clorissa Washington Hughes

Clorissa Washington Hughes

Hughes' acceptance into the University of South Carolina PREP provided her with invaluable mentorship, academic and professional development. She recently received her Ph.D. from the Chemistry Department at the UofSC, and accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine conducting brain physiology and disease research.

Pederson

Obiamaka Obianyo Pederson

Pederson developed an early passion for science from her father, an internal and emergency medicine physician, who shared with her the transformative powers of medicine. At West Chester University of Pennsylvania, she was introduced to biochemistry and quickly learned that biochemistry is the foundation that can “elucidate how our bodies function and provide the key to unlocking the cures for diseases that plague our society."

Terika Smith

Terika Smith

For as long as Smith can remember, science has always been a part of her career goals. She received her first microscope when she was 8 years old and has been fascinated with exploring the unseen and unknown ever since. Originally, she had planned to choose a career in the medical field; however, watching the hit television show CSI opened up the world of scientific investigation for her.

Kandy Velazquez

Kandy Velazquez

The daughter of two teachers, Velázquez developed a passion for learning early. From a young age she also knew she was interested in science, but she fell in love with research while studying at the University of Puerto Rico. “I love research because it can answer questions,” Velázquez says. “Any question that you have, you can answer with science.”

Yvon Woappi

Yvon Woappi

Woappi's curiosity in life science ignited during his youth in Cameroon. He would often go to local parks with his father to identify various insects and mollusks. This curiosity magnified after his family immigrated to Pennsylvania where he received passionate lessons from an ardent AP biology teacher.