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Honors Spotlight

Get to know some of our top scholars! 

David Ahnen

David Ahnen '17
Bedford, N.H.
Majors: Political Science & Economics

David's research interests include linguistics, political economy and development economics. He is currently writing his bachelors essay on the political economy of constitutional verbosity and will be studying abroad in Shanghai, China in Fall 2016. Aside from being involved in the Honors College, David is a Market Process Scholar in the Center for Public Choice and Market Process, a Charleston 40 tour guide, a marathon runner, an Honor Board Member, and, along with two friends, is founding a software company called Aubal, which will help individuals to better learn new languages. Aubal was created in the ICAT-Accelerator in the School of Business.



Nick Brown

Nick Brown '17
Greenville, S.C.
Majors: Marketing & Theatre (Concentration: Theatre for Youth)

Nick has served as a Peer Facilitator (PF) for the Honors College for two years helping freshmen students transition, grow and develop socially, academically and professionally in their first year at the college. For the 2016-2017 academic year, he will serve as President of Charleston 40, the official tour guide organization at the College of Charleston. He is a William Aiken Fellow, a Swanson Scholar and an Honors Dean's Excellence Scholarship recipient.  He has had the privilege of studying abroad twice--once over the summer and once over a semester. As part of Honors Immersed, the experiential learning component of the Honors curriculum, Nick researched international theatre and how culture can be expressed through theatre. He is working on a project now to develop a way to teach international theatre in a K-12 setting. He will present this completed project as a workshop at the American Alliance for Theatre and Education National Conference in Boston, MA.  Additionally, he teaches acting at the Musical Theater Center in Mount Pleasant, SC. 



Elaina Cole

Elaina Cole '18
New Orleans, L.A.
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Mathematics

Elaina entered CofC Honors as a Leading Edge Scholar and William Aiken Fellow. She is a Student Ambassador for the Department of Computer Science, President of the Women in Computing Club, and Treasurer of the Cyber Security Club. She joined Dr. Bowring’s CIRDLES lab freshman year as a Research Assistant, and her continued work in the lab resulted in her project “Engineering an Open Source Coordinate System Converter” receiving the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) Collegiate Award Honorable Mention. In addition to research, she has also gained industry experience as a Software Quality Assurance Engineer Intern at Blackbaud, a software company headquartered in Charleston that serves nonprofits. Fully taking advantage of the College's liberal arts education, Elaina is also a Film Studies minor and even presented her paper, “Teenage Wasteland: The 1980s Teen Comedy as a Revitalized Screwball Comedy” at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Undergraduate Conference. Her favorite film is Ferris Bueller’s Day of Off, but she can never bring herself to miss a day of class at College of Charleston… not even Western Civilization.



Victoria Edmund

Victoria Edmund '18
Spartanburg, S.C.
Major: Biology
Minor: Biomedical Physics 

Victoria's involvement at the College includes: Treasurer of SCAMP (South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation), a selective program for minorities studying in the field of science, Fundraising Director of the Pre-Vet Society, Student Ambassador, Resident Assistant, and HSA member. Victoria received the 2016 Excel SCAMP Student of the Year Award. She loves animals, and upon graduation she hopes to obtain her degree in veterinary medicine. 


Kathryn Templeton

Kathryn Templeton '18
Irmo, S.C.
Majors: Elementary Education & Teaching

Kathryn started the nonprofit, K4Kids, during her sophomore year of high school. The organization's motto is "pass it, not trash it" which exemplifies their commitment to recycling perfectly good used school supplies that would otherwise be thrown out. In 2014, the organization expanded to collecting used teaching materials as well. In addition to her work with K4Kids, Kathryn is a CofC Cheerleader, a member of Sigma Kappa, and a teaching fellow. 



Amanda Anyim
Amanda Anyim '19
Florence, S.C.
Major: Biology
Minor: Spanish

Amanda is a Charleston 40 Tour Guide, Orientation Intern, Student Ambassador, and holds membership in SCAMP and Alpha Epilson Delta (a pre-professional health honors society). While being a leader is important to Amanda, she believes that academic excellence is, without a doubt, most important. She is a recipient of the SC Life Scholarship and the Honors Dean’s Excellence Scholarship. Amanda hopes to begin research in the science field at MUSC and become EMT certified. Amanda intends to complete her degree at the College of Charleston and continue her education at a medical university to become a physician. Her childhood dream to become a physician was influenced by her parents who are both physicians. Noticing the significant impact that her parents have made in the lives of their patients has served as Amanda’s motivation to do the same. 


Alexandra Helfott
Alexandra Helfgott '19
North Augusta, S.C.
Major: Political Science 
Minor: Spanish

In addition to being a William Aiken Fellow and Swanson Scholar, Alexandra currently serves as Chief of Staff of the Student Government Association and Treasurer of the Political Science Club. In 2016, Alexandra was named Freshman Senator of the Year. One of her initiatives included the restructuring of the mail services procedures. Additionally Alexandra received a SALA New Student Leader Award in April of 2016. Alexandra is a member of the inaugural Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community (E-LLC). 


Blaine Billings

Blaine Billings '20
Florence, S.C.
Majors: Computer Science & Math 

His freshman year, Blaine discovered his research paper with Dr. Sarvate - GDD(n1+n2,3,3;lambda1,lambda2) with equal number of blocks of two configurations - was going to be published in the Mathematics Journal - JCMCC. In addition to executing research as a freshman, Blaine is a WAF and member of the Honors Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community. He is involved with ACM, the Cyber Security Club, and Enactus where he serves on the executive board.