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Muller Center Announces Student Research Fellows for 2017-18

May 4, 2017

Student Research Fellows

The Muller Center at Newberry College proudly announces its Muller Student Research Fellows for the 2017-18 academic year. Benjamin Herring, Sarah Johnson and Mariah Lee will each spend a semester conducting research and using their findings to develop civic projects.  


“The aim of the fellowship is to encourage students to connect academic learning to pressing civic and ethical issues,” said Dr. Krista E. Hughes, Muller Center director. “This is a concrete expression of Newberry College’s mission, which links intellectual and personal development to engaged citizenship.”


Herring, a rising senior from Hopkins, S.C., will use a summer internship in Quito, Ecuador as the foundation for his project. Combining on-the-ground experience with research, he seeks to develop a strategic management system specifically for international non-governmental organizations. Locally he will work to educate about the global aspects of civic engagement.


Johnson’s project addresses early literacy and its impact on educational achievement

across the lifespan. A rising junior and a South Carolina Teaching Fellow from Ruby, S.C., she will focus specifically on the question of how to increase access to books and reading in the home, both to strengthen early literacy in very young children and to address the loss of reading skills when students are not in school over the summer.


Lee, a rising sophomore from Seaford, Del., will conduct laboratory research in microbiology this summer at the University of Georgia. Upon returning to Newberry, she will investigate vaccination rates among elderly populations in Newberry County and develop educational materials on the importance of community-wide vaccinations for preventing the spread of disease.


“The disciplinary variety of these three projects is really exciting,” Hughes said. “They show the wide possibilities for civic engagement. We are pleased by the clear commitment of this class of Muller Fellows to draw their campus peers into their civic projects.” She added, “Student leadership is a key motivator of student engagement. All three of these Fellows are already leaders on campus and, thanks to their work, I expect enthusiasm for civic engagement to grow in the 2017-18 year.”


For more information on the Student Research Fellows and their work, contact Dr. Krista E. Hughes at

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