Four new National Scholars at Clemson University have already excelled academically while making a difference in their communities. Now they will spend the next four years learning how to apply their talents and energy to better impact the world.
Every year, the university invites a select group of students are invited to be part of the University’s National Scholars Program. These students receive full cost-of-attendance scholarship to Clemson, exclusive academic and community engagement opportunities, intensive advising and mentoring and the benefits of joining a community of scholar-leaders.
Scholars are selected after a review of Clemson University and Honors College admission applications, followed by interviews and other activities with student finalists during a National Scholars Program Weekend every February. The process gives program faculty and staff an opportunity to gauge the finalists’ interest and potential in using their talents to make a broader impact.
The 2021 class were chosen because they demonstrated academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, a wide range of interests and experiences, leadership ability and the potential to make an impact on their local and global communities – qualities that Sarah Winslow, director of the National Scholars Program and senior associate director of the Clemson University Honors College, says are critical to succeed in the program.
“Becoming a National Scholar is an investment in what that student will do and who they can become,” Winslow said. “National Scholars have a drive to use their talents to serve – and Elizabeth, Amandine, Matthew and Elsa demonstrated great potential.”
This year’s Scholars, selected from a pool of more than 2,800 applicants to the Clemson University Honors College, are:
Elizabeth Caldwell, Merrol Hyde Magnet School, Hendersonville, T.N.
A genetics major, Elizabeth was captain of her varsity golf team and founding president of her local chapter of the National Chinese Honor Society. She is also dedicated to her community, focusing on inclusion while serving on her high school student council and volunteering at her local humane society, where she trains new volunteers and treats sick animals.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Elizabeth launched a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Revolution Soap: Soap for Hope to fund dementia research.
Matthew Ployhart, Spring Hill High School, Chapin, S.C.
Matthew is a published author and prolific volunteer, earning a Star Rank in the Boy Scouts of America. He’s served in his high school’s Beta Club, National Society of High School Scholars, National Honors Society, Spanish National Honors Society, Political Debate Club, and was a founding member of its Model United Nations Club. He has self-published two books on philosophy in addition to publishing several essays, poems and satires. A history major minoring in political science, Matthew recently completed research through the EUREKA! program at Clemson and is a member of the Lyceum Fellows Program, which allows students to explore the moral, political and economic foundations of a free society.
Amandine Courbon, Riverside High School, Greer, S.C.
In high school, Amandine founded and served as president of Students for Change, a club focused on social activism and community service that facilitated non-partisan dialogue on issues like gun reform and the climate crisis, and fundraised over $7,000 for the Kids in Need Foundation and One SC Fund. She also served as a multicultural ambassador for the Atlas club promoting diversity and inclusion, was an active member of the South Carolina High School Democrats and played for the varsity tennis team.
Amandine is actively engaged in her community, working with local leaders to organize volunteer events, such as Annie’s House, Clothing Cottage and Tree’s Upstate. Two years ago, Amandine started her own business, Maison de Camille, which serves French pastries to her local community. She is studying business management with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and a double minor in chemistry and food science.
Elsa Saine, Hammond School, Columbia, S.C.
Elsa, a chemical engineering major, co-led her high school math team, competed on the all-state team and served as an assistant coach for the middle school team. She led the Young Feminist Club at her high school, coordinating events to educate the student body about women’s issues.
During the summer of her junior year, Elsa participated in microrheology research with Dr. Paula Vasquez of the University of South Carolina. She also managed and edited a website about the congressional debt burden as an intern for Mr. Bernie Maybank, two-time former director of the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
The National Scholars program at Clemson University offers unmatched learning experiences to a select group of undergraduate students. Scholars receive a dynamic, creative, and engaging array of educational enrichment educational experiences that enhance their intellectual, professional and personal development – and foster their leadership potential. Visit the National Scholars program website for more information.
Get in touch and we will connect you with the author or another expert.
Or email us at email@example.com