By Laura Cergoll

The College of Charleston Honors College Class of 2016 has studied on almost every continent, presented award-winning research and volunteered in the Charleston community. These top academic performers have taken their talents all over the world, and they aren’t stopping after graduation.

Many graduating seniors received nationally-competitive grants to continue their studies at home and abroad. Some are beginning their programs this summer. Here are some highlights of a few outstanding seniors from the Honors College Class of 2016:

Olivia Ghiz, Chris Bailey, Patricia Cooney, Rachel Parola and Kathleen Crotty (left to right) at the William Aiken Fellows Give Thanks Reception, where students had an opportunity to meet and thank their scholarship sponsors and Honors College faculty.

Patricia Cooney ’16 was awarded a Fulbright grant to fund research at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Munich, Germany. As a biology major at the College, she presented research at local, regional and international conferences. She received several scholarships and grants, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant and the Goldwater Scholarship. After completing her Fulbright program, Cooney plans to pursue a doctorate in neuroscience. Cooney was a William Aiken Fellow and Swanson Scholar.

International Scholar and William Aiken Fellow Madeline Edwards ’16 split her time at college between Charleston and Amman, Jordan. Edwards, a political science and international studies double major, first traveled to Amman when she received a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic. In her junior year, she returned to Jordan to work as a writer and editor at an English-language news site. Edwards plans to continue her work in the Middle East as a journalist and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in journalism or Middle East studies.

Ellie Flock will attend King’s College London to complete a master’s in Global Health.

Ellie Flock ’16, a public health major, William Aiken Fellow and Swanson Scholar, will attend a master’s program at King’s College London to study global health and conflict and security as a Rotary Global Scholar. Flock dedicated her time in Charleston to the community, interning at the American Red Cross and the Center for American Progress in South Carolina. She served as the inaugural president of the Rotaract Club and the Honors Engaged co-coordinator. After completing her master’s degree, she hopes to work with an international health organization.

Olivia Ghiz ’16 plans to put her international studies and Spanish double major to use as an English teacher in South America. After teaching for a year or two, she hopes to attend graduate school to work in bilingual education or interpretation and advocacy for the Hispanic community in the United States. During her time in Charleston, she volunteered as an ESL teacher for Hispanic mothers and participated in an Alternative Break program to work with a nongovernmental organization in Honduras. Ghiz was a Swanson Scholar, International Scholar and William Aiken Fellow.

Archaeology and anthropology double major Cari Howle ’16 will travel to Ireland to continue studying archaeology. This summer, she will work as a trainee supervisor at Achill Archaeological Field School, where she studied and did research last summer. In the fall she will attend University College Cork for her master’s degree, after which she hopes to work in the cultural resource management sector. During her college career, Howle was a member of many clubs and served as vice president of the Archaeology Club.

Some graduates set their sights closer to home, moving a few states away to study and work.

Claire Newman was a recipient of the J. Stewart Walker Cup for Most Outstanding Athlete, among other awards and scholarships.

Claire Newman ’16, a physical education major, served as president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for three years and founded Athletes In Action at the College of Charleston. She will pursue a master’s of education in exercise physiology at the University of Virginia, after which she hopes to start a nonprofit organization to allow inner-city children to excel in academics and athletics. She received several awards as a member of the women’s soccer team, including the J. Stewart Walker Cup for Most Outstanding Athlete and the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance academic award.

William Aiken Fellow and International Scholar Joseph Quisol ’16, a political science and international studies double major, aspires to have a career advocating for social justice issues in politics. After graduation, he will work as a Humanity in Action John Lewis Fellow at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia. Eventually, he plans to pursue a master’s in public affairs or public policy. Quisol initiated a college access outreach program for Charleston-area Latino youth and served as music director of Journey Church. For his four years at CofC, he was supported the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

Joseph Quisol, center, rides bikes with fellow students while studying abroad in Groningen, Netherlands.

More about Honors graduates’ accomplishments and plans can be found in the Honors College Class of 2016 Select Student Profiles.

This article was written by Laura Cergol, a senior from Frederick, Maryland, studying communication and linguistics in the Honors College at the College of Charleston. She is also a William Aiken Fellow and a member of the Global Scholars program.