Clemson, South Carolina – Clemson University graduate Amani Altwam has been awarded a James Madison Fellowship by the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation of Alexandria, Virginia. She is the first Madison Fellow for Clemson University and the only one for South Carolina.

A young women smiles as she stands in front of a flower bush in an academic cap, hijab and gown for a graduation photo.
A May 2020 graduate with a double major in secondary education and history, Altwam is the first Madison Fellow for Clemson University.

“I am incredibly honored to be selected for the Madison because they typically only award the fellowship to one person from each state,” said Altwam. “I would not have been able to attend graduate school if it was not for receiving this fellowship. I am very excited to pursue my master’s and then begin my career teaching.”

Altwam, who is from Anderson, South Carolina, graduated in May 2020 with a double major in secondary education and history. Altwam was one of 49 students selected in the competition among applicants from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the nation’s island territories.

The fellowship competition, now in its 29th year, is named in honor of the United States’ fourth president and acknowledged “Father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.” The award will pay up to $24,000 towards a master’s degree for college graduates who aspire to become secondary school teachers of American history, American government and civics, especially those who will teach courses on the history and principles of the United States Constitution. Altwam will pursue her master’s in history at Clemson this fall.

The fellowships are supported through the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation, which was founded by an act of Congress in 1986. The independent foundation is funded by Congress and additional private gifts, corporate contributions, and grants from outside foundations.

Recipients are required teach American history, American government or civics in a secondary school for at least one year for each year of fellowship support. The award aims to recognize promising and distinguished teachers, to strengthen their knowledge of the Constitution, and to expose secondary school students to accurate knowledge of the nation’s constitutional heritage.

Students interested in the Madison Fellowship or other nationally competitive programs should contact the Office of Major Fellowships at 864-656-9704 or


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