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College of Arts and Sciences


Marine science and geophysics sophomore named Udall Scholar

National award honors students committed to careers in the environment.

Casey Brayton, a sophomore marine science and geophysics major in the College of Arts and Sciences and South Carolina Honors College, has been named a 2017 Udall Scholar. 

Udall Scholars are current sophomores and juniors, who are selected for the national awards on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, American Indian health care, or tribal public policy; leadership potential; academic achievement; and record of public service. Brayton is one of 50 students from 42 colleges and universities selected nationwide from a pool of 494 candidates nominated by 224 colleges and universities.

The scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the scholar’s junior or senior year. Brayton is the 16th Udall Scholar from the University of South Carolina since the creation of the scholarship.

Brayton has a minor in geography and plans to make her career in the area of climate modeling. An accomplished researcher and environmental advocate, she conducts physical oceanography research with marine scientists Alexander Yankovsky in geology and Ryan Rykaczewski in biology.

Brayton served as media relations intern and a GIS volunteer technician with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. This summer, she will complete a Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

 On campus, Brayton is co-chair of the Marine Technology Society and founder and president of Women in Geosciences. She is a member of Students Engaged in Aquatic Sciences (SEAS), and the Geography Club. Her service work includes serving as an intern with the Conservation Voters of SC and volunteering for Resurrections, a non-profit organization focused on feeding the hungry.

The university's Udall Committee is chaired by Greg Carbone of geography and includes faculty members Yeomin Yoon of civil engineering, Joe Jones of marine science and Green Learning Community, Rykaczewski of biology, and Ed Munn Sanchez of the South Carolina Honors College. The committee worked with all the university nominees in preparing their applications.

The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs further assisted the Udall applicants. Read more fellowship news here.