Office of the President

President’s Update: Vaccine upload portal available; recent faculty, student successes


Dear Clemson Family:

We are truly in the homestretch of the semester, and I want to thank everyone for their continued hard work and dedication that has helped us have a safe and successful Spring semester.

I am excited to share that we have restarted in-person campus tours for new students and their families. Tour availability is very limited at this time, so we still encourage prospective students to take advantage of the many excellent virtual event opportunities being offered. All participants must register for a tour in advance. Campus tours are important for our student recruitment efforts, and I look forward to welcoming more visitors back to campus.

Voluntary vaccine upload portal now online

Earlier this week, we announced the availability of a new vaccine upload portal that allows students, faculty and staff to report that they have been vaccinated. This reporting is completely voluntary, but it will help us plan for the Fall semester to know how many people in our campus community have been vaccinated. You can read more about the portal here. While vaccinations are not mandatory for any students, faculty or staff, I want to strongly encourage you to get vaccinated. Having a large percentage of our campus population vaccinated will help make us all safe and will enable us to have a more normal academic year.

$10.6 million COBRE grant to fund research in human genetics

Congratulations are in order to our team of researchers who received a $10.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish the Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in Human Genetics in collaboration with the Greenwood Genetic Center. Dr. Trudy Mackay, the Self Family Endowed Chair of Human Genetics, will lead the Center along with Dr. Robert Anholt, provost’s distinguished professor of genetics and biochemistry, and Dr. Richard Steet, director of research at Greenwood Genetic Center.

Scientists standing in the lab.
L-R: Robert Anholt, Trudy Mackay, Richard Steet

Work at the Center will focus on unlocking the genetic codes that can help determine someone’s susceptibility to diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s, which may help lead to improvements in preventative care and non-pharmaceutical interventions. This is Clemson’s fourth COBRE, and I am extremely proud that so many Clemson faculty are engaged in research that has the potential to make a difference in medicine.

Celebrating student success

I am also incredibly proud of our students, many of whom are also achieving great things. This is the time of year when we are notified of students who have received major national scholarships and fellowships, and we have announced several of those awards recently, including:

  • Venkata “Anish” Chaluvadi, an Honors College senior materials science and engineering major, was the first Clemson student to ever receive the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which fully funds postgraduate study and research at the University of Cambridge.
  • Veronica “Ronnie” Clevenstine, an Honors College junior and National Scholar majoring in economics, received the Truman Scholarship. She was the only student in South Carolina to receive that prestigious award this year. The Truman Scholarship is the nation’s top graduate fellowship for students pursuing careers in public service.
  • Two students from the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the premier national award for students who have the potential to advance research in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. Those students are Gabriel Cutter, a sophomore majoring in computer science, and Lauren Davis, a junior bioengineering major.
  • Seven students received the 2021 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a highly competitive grant that aims to build future scientific and engineering leaders. Those students are:
    • Daniel Custer, a recent Honors College graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering
    • Deyrel Diaz, a doctoral student in the School of Computing
    • Amanda LeMatty, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering
    • Luke Snow, an Honors College senior majoring in electrical engineering
    • Paul “Marston” Copeland, an Honors College Senior majoring in physics
    • Tristan Schramer, a graduate student in biological sciences
    • Cierra Sullivan, a graduate student in biological sciences

We also had six students who received Honorable Mention for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Congratulations to all of these outstanding students and thank you to all of the faculty and staff who taught them, mentored them and supported them throughout their Clemson careers. Our students are able to succeed because of you.

I look forward to celebrating with many of our students at our Ring Ceremony this Sunday and during our Commencement ceremonies May 5-8. I am grateful that we are able to continue these important traditions safely in person again this spring at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville. The arena is large enough to allow us to safely social distance while also allowing our students to have guests at the ceremonies. Click here for more details about May Commencement.

A student receives her ring at the Fall 2020 Ring Ceremony

To our students, good luck on final exams ­— I know you will finish strong. To our faculty and staff, thank you for your great work this semester. And to our alumni, parents and friends, thank you for your support during this challenging year.

Go Tigers!