Five seniors selected for $10,000 Furman Fellowships
Five members of Furman’s Class of 2024 have received one of the university’s highest honors. Furman Fellowships are awarded each year to recognize seniors’ accomplishments, contributions and potential, with a $10,000 award to pursue their academic, creative and professional pathways.
To apply, each of this year’s awardees proposed a project that they will lead during their senior year and ultimately present at Furman Engaged, the university’s annual campus-wide celebration of high-impact learning experiences, in April 2024, when a new class of Furman Fellows will be announced.
The Furman Fellowship is an endowed scholarship fund founded in 2004 with a gift from Trustee Emeritus Robert H. Buckman and his wife, Joyce Mollerup. The fund was established to recognize seniors who use their creativity and imagination to make a difference in the school and the lives of others, said Buckman, who praised the awardees as “outstanding examples of the Furman student body.”
Julian Ashby, a physics major, will develop his “Power of Pedaling” project to generate clean energy in communities with limited access to electricity by attaching small-scale generators to the bicycles often used for transportation in those areas. “A charged battery can be removed from the device at the end of the day to power a lamp or cooktop in the home, and suddenly bikes are serving the dual purpose of mobility and clean electricity production,” said Ashby.
Jaeyden Hill-Mims, a politics and international affairs and Africana studies double major, has proposed “The Bridge,” a project intended to “establish a connection of familiarity, understanding and trust” between people of color and local police officers. Monthly gatherings and dialogues can “shift the narrative of ‘all cops are bad’ and that ‘Black means threat,’” said Hill-Mims, who plans to use a summer internship in the 13th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office to begin networking.
Lydia McCarty, a French and politics and international affairs double major, will focus on “Consent Education at Furman,” aimed at increasing campus safety by developing a comprehensive program for students entering the university. McCarty plans to collaborate with students, professors and academic deans to research effective means of consent education “to equip students with knowledge so they can make the best decisions for themselves both while they are at Furman and long-term.”
James O’Connor, a business administration major, proposed “Artistic Flow” to “provide access to an artistic experience and a creative outlet to participants to improve their mental health and individual growth.” By creating a mobile art studio equipped with potter’s wheels, easels, chairs and other art supplies, O’Connor intends to spread the mental and emotional benefits he gained in his own artistic pursuits, including “stress relief and improved focus and concentration, self-expression and increased self-awareness,” he said.
Nicole Warren, a psychology and French double major, plans to spread awareness of autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities through a “Disability Allies” program. Working with Furman’s Student Office of Accessibility Resources (SOAR) and the Center for Academic Success, Warren envisions a series of workshops and dialogues that will eventually lead to an official certification for students, faculty and staff as a Disability Ally, “fostering a campus which includes those with disabilities we cannot outwardly see,” she said.