College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Serena Gilmore helps those who need it most


Serena Gilmore saw that Black students were underrepresented in the Honors College, so she started a recruitment drive.

When Serena learned about food insecurity, she volunteered at the Paw Pantry. She also took on domestic violence as a volunteer at Safe Harbor’s shelter in Anderson, and she volunteered at Clemson Career Closet, which provides students in need with business attire.

Serena Gilmore works in a lab in 1 Rhodes Research Center.

Those are some of the reasons that the Clemson University Commission on Women honored Gilmore with an Award of Excellence for the Advancement of Women in the undergraduate category.

“When I started at Clemson, I didn’t really go in thinking, ‘I’m going for this award,'” she said. “As I was learning more about the tribulations women go through, I was like there’s a problem here, and there are resources for me to aid in the fight.”

Serena graduates this week with a Bachelor of Science in bioengineering and is headed to the University of California, San Francisco to pursue a Doctor of Medicine.

While at Clemson, Serena worked as an UPIC intern at the Clemson Light Imaging Facility, where her manager, Rhonda Powell, encouraged her and helped her talk through some of the challenges of being a woman in STEM.

Serena also conducted research under Dr. Angela Alexander-Bryant, assistant professor of bioengineering.

“She has definitely shown me how it is to be a Black woman in science and specifically in the bioengineering department,” Serena said. “Just seeing someone thrive in the same field I’m interested in and seeing everything that she has been able to accomplish in her short time in her career– it’s inspirational.”

When Serena crosses the stage at Littlejohn Coliseum, she will become the second person in her family with a Bachelor of Science in bioengineering from Clemson. Serena’s brother, Devante Horne, graduated in 2015 and then got a Ph.D. ​​from the UCSF-UC Berkeley Joint Ph.D. Program in Bioengineering.

When Serena moves for medical school, she will have family in the area. Devante lives in San Francisco.

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