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Student Spotlight


Neha Agnihotri '21
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Majors: Public Health and Biology
Minors: Chemistry and Spanish

Neha is a member of the Aiken Fellows Society as well as a Hodge and Pinckney Scholar. During her freshman year, she began research with the Women's Health Research Team and joined Charleston 40 as a tour guide. She helped the MEDLIFE chapter gain national recognition as part of the executive board and spent her spring break in Lima, Peru with 50 other College of Charleston students providing healthcare to underserved communities. She spent her summer becoming EMT certified to start working with College of Charleston EMS as well as shadow and volunteer at a children's hospital in her hometown. Neha is also passionate about dancing and choreographing and works with Dance Alliance and various theater productions on campus and in the Charleston area.


Amanda Anyim '19
Florence, SC
Major: Biology
Minor: Spanish

Amanda Anyim is a recipient of the Honors College's Boykin and Dean’s Excellence Fund scholarships as well as the Center for International Education's Study Abroad Scholarship to support a program at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas at the University of Granada in Spain. Amanda has participated in multiple research projects at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also partnered with the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center to analyze the impact of sertraline hydrochloride on MC3T3-E1 cells. She presented this project at the Mayo Clinic and was awarded, “Best Oral Presenter.” Amanda is active in Alpha Epsilon Delta, the pre-health honors society, in which she founded the Newsletter Committee and served as Social Media/PR Chair. She has also served as an Introductory Psychology Peer Mentor, Orientation Intern, Charleston 40 Tour Guide, Student Ambassador, SCAMP member, FYE correspondent, and MedLife volunteer in Riobamba, Ecuador. Amanda aspires to attend medical school, become a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, and utilize medicine as a tool to combat healthcare and health status disparities amongst African Americans and Hispanics. In her free time, Amanda has enjoyed shadowing with the CARES Clinic, Rutledge Towers Clinic, and Roper Health SCRUBS Program. 


Blaine Billings '20
Florence, SC
Majors: Computer Science, Mathematics, and Spanish
Minors: International Studies and Linguistics 

His freshman year, Blaine discovered his research paper with Dr. Sarvate - GDD(n1+n2,3;lambda1,lambda2) with an equal number of blocks of two configurations - was going to be published in the Mathematics Journal - JCMCC. Blaine is a member of the Aiken Fellows Society and was part of the Honors Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community. He is involved with CSA, the Cyber Security Club, and the Linguistics Club where he serves on the executive boards. Blaine has been named a Goldwater Scholar for the 2018-2019 academic year; this nationally competitive undergraduate scholarship recognizes excellence in the STEM disciplines.


Leanna Conti '19
Cornelius, NC
Major: Marketing
Minor: Information Management

Leanna is a senior in the Aiken Fellows Society, a Swanson Scholar, and a member of the Schottland Scholars in the School of Business. In her freshman year, Leanna was hired by the Honors College as the Content & Community Manager Intern, later that year she participated in the ICAT (now ImpactX) program in the School of Business - to which she later became the Marketing Intern/Research Assistant. In addition to the Honors College & ImpactX program, Leanna has been involved with the Student Government Association - as a Senior Director & Senator, the Honors Entrepreneurship Living-Learning Community - as a member and then Director, and traveled abroad to Honduras on a micro-finance brigade with the School of Business. Outside of the college, Leanna has interned with Levelwing and SnapCap by LendingTree. After graduation, Leanna hopes to enter the field of Digital Marketing with an emphasis in paid search. Leanna is a recipient of the Cistern Award, New Student Leader Award, and ExCEL Outstanding School of Business Student of the Year Award. 


Micah Feinstein '21
Columbia, SC
Majors: Urban Studies and International Studies
Minor: French

Micah is an Aiken Fellow and International Scholar in the Honors College. In his first year on campus, he became a Charleston 40 tour guide, Student Government Senator, and a member of an a capella group. In addition to volunteering at a low-income senior housing facility, he spent spring break on a service trip in Selma, Alabama with Alternative Break. This past summer, he studied abroad in Ghana, London, and Paris on two separate programs and plans to study abroad for full semester later in his CofC career.


Alexandra Helfgott '19
North Augusta, SC
Majors: Political Science and Spanish

In addition to being an Aiken Fellow and Swanson Scholar, Alexandra served as the President of the Student Government Association in her junior year. She was named the Outstanding Student of the Year for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2018 and is the recipient of the McConnell Mood Mohrman Student Government Association Service award, the Cistern award, and a member of CofC's Hall of Leaders. Alexandra is currently studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 


Tripp Keeffe '20
Elgin, SC
Major: Political Science 

Tripp Keeffe is currently serving as the College’s Student Body President and has previously served as the Student Body Vice President, for which he was awarded the Student Government Association’s Peter Pinckney Award. He is also a member of the Aiken Fellows Society and a Huge Scholar. The Harry and Reba Huge Scholarship has provided Tripp with opportunities to intern with Democratic SC State Representative Laurie Funderburk as well as Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham. He has conducted research on the psychological issues that stem from US criminal justice system policies and mass incarceration and has also conducted research on the politics of the Middle East. 


Emmanuel Lopez Rivera '20
Camden, SC
Major: Theatre (Performance concentration)

In his freshman year, Emmanuel was a member of the Entrepreneurship Living-Learning Community, SCAMP (South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation), and The Rival CofC, a digital news publication. Emmanuel also participated in SPECTRA (Speedy Consolidation and Transition) and has worked for the program as a LEADer for two consecutive years as a mentor to new students. He's currently involved in the community as a Resident Assistant in the College Lodge Residence Hall and serves as a Peer Mentor for the Mentoring Matters program, which was created for incoming minority freshmen. As a Theater major, Emmanuel was last seen acting in the College of Charleston's main stage production of "ENRON" and the "We Without Walls" staged readings. Aside from theater, Emmanuel also enjoys creating music and can be seen in Charleston's music community working with other upcoming artists. He aspires to become a professional actor or artist.


Kyra Swartz ‘20
Charlotte, NC
Majors: Early Childhood Education and English (Creative Writing concentration)

Kyra is a member of the Aiken Fellows Society and also acts as Service Chair. She serves on the Executive Board of the Jewish Student Union (JSU)/Hillel, where she is the Tikkun Olam Chair. Kyra plays an active role within the CofC Athletics Department, serving as a Peer Academic Mentor to student-athletes and as an Administrative Assistant in the Student-Athlete Academic Services office. Her other on-campus involvement includes volunteering with Move, Groove, and Get Active, hosting prospective students with the Cougar for a Day program, coordinates the Challah for Hunger Chapter, and serves as a Teacher Assistant at the N.E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center. Kyra is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi honors societies. She aspires to be a lead teacher in a kindergarten or first-grade classroom and a published novelist.