College of Science; Research

Recent College of Science graduate Mihealsick receives coveted 1897 Fellow Scholarship


Erin Mihealsick poses at Clemson.
Erin Mihealsick received dual Bachelor of Science degrees in both genetics and biochemistry in the spring of 2020.

CLEMSON, South Carolina – Recent College of Science graduate Erin Mihealsick has been awarded the 1897 Fellow Scholarship, which is sponsored by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. The prestigious scholarship of $35,000 is annually presented to the top applicant in STEM.

Mihealsick, who received dual Bachelor of Science degrees in both genetics and biochemistry, is a graduate of the spring class of 2020. The scholarship money will help fund her upcoming graduate education.

“Being awarded this fellowship confirms that not only have I chosen the right field for me but that I’m able to succeed. It’s easy to start questioning yourself about being able to make it through in this field, but receiving encouragement and rewards such as this help keep you motivated,” said Mihealsick, a native of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. “This award will also hopefully allow me to be more competitive for future applications and opportunities.”

Mihealsick has been involved in research since high school and has spent most of her time at Clemson in a lab. Her competitiveness in these awards, she claims, is largely due to the experience and opportunities provided by Clemson. She has also been accepted for the Amgen Scholars Program at Duke University and has won numerous other awards, including Outstanding Junior/Senior in the College of Science, and a Goldwater Scholarship at the national level.

Mihealsick credits her mentor Kerry Smith as being a strong influence in helping her to realize her graduate school potential.

“Dr. Smith has given me the freedom to conduct research at the graduate level while also providing support and mentorship whenever I needed it,” Mihealsick said. “He has encouraged me to pursue scholarships and competitive research programs while constantly being available to write a letter of rec or edit drafts of applications.”

Smith said that Mihealsick has been “an exceptional student and an outstanding researcher.”

“My graduate students and I were immediately impressed with how hard-working and meticulous she was as a researcher,” continued Smith, who is director of Clemson’s Eukaryotic Pathogens Innovation Center. “I have no doubts that she will eventually lead her own research program and that she and her team will make significant scientific contributions.”

Phi Kappa Phi fellowship

“Established in 1932, the Fellowship Program annually provides funding to first-year graduate students who are pursuing post-baccalaureate degrees across all academic disciplines. Endorsed by their local chapter, Phi Kappa Phi Fellows go on to study at some of the nation’s top graduate schools.”

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