Winthrop University senior LaRaven Temoney, 21, has earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program grant. Temoney, who graduates in May, will pursue her Ph. D in public policy at the University of Florida. The grant provides $35,000 annually for Temoney's graduate work.
Temoney, a Sumter native, is an economics major and McNair Scholar at Winthrop. The McNair Scholars program helps prepare first generation, low-income and underrepresented undergraduates pursue a Ph. D., according to the university. The program provides research opportunities and financial support to students working through the graduate admissions process.
Temoney researched the inequity of funding for public school districts across South Carolina. A court case recently settled the Abbeville County School District v. The State of South Carolina lawsuit, brought by the state's poorer, rural districts more than two decades ago. Temoney looked at district data from 2008-2015.
In her research, Temoney found that the state removed measures for school districts such as exit exams, but have not made significant changes.
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"What we found is the state has not made significant changes, they just changed the way they measure things and got rid of some of the standards," she said. "Which has made it seem as if things have gotten better in the area, but they actually have not."
Temoney is the first student in the College of Business Administration’s history to receive a NSF grant.
Temoney also received the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award from Winthrop, which recognizes an alumna for service to others. Temoney has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, the Young Women’s Christian Association, the American Cancer Society and the Children’s Attention Home.
After earning her Ph. D., Temoney plans to work for a government agency or non-profit in research before pursuing a job teaching economic or education policy.
Lake Wylie teen wins Taekwondo championship
Rebecca Adams, 14, of Lake Wylie, won the gold medal in the April 7 National Collegiate Taekwondo Association High School Championship at American University in Washington, a release states.
Adams competed in the junior heavyweight division, defeating her opponent 7-6. She was also recently recognized as the Female Sparring Athlete of 2017 and the 2017 North Carolina AAU Taekwondo Athlete of the Year by the South Carolina State Taekwondo Association.
Adams is a student at Elite Taekwondo Academy in Lake Wylie and holds a third Dan black belt. She is coached by Master Justin Strack, Master Wasiu Tadjou, Grand Master Missy Cann and Adena Adams.
Follow Adams on Facebook at Becca Adams Taekwondo.
Fort Mill High students awarded for talent
The Fort Mill High School winterguard competed against 140 other guards in Dayton, Ohio, in late April. Fort Mill was named one of 24 World Championship finalists. It was the first time since 2006 the group has been named a finalist.
Buzz TV was nominated for eight Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Science Student Production Awards, according to the school district.
Each year, the class also attends the Nationals for Student Television News. This year, the Fort Mill students won Best Morning Show, Best Anchors and an all-expense trip for four students to Russia, according to the district. Last year, the class won Best High School Weekly Broadcast Show. The class has previously won multiple state and regional awards.
York County grads elected to leadership roles at universities
Christian Jones, a 2015 Nation Ford High School graduate and junior at Clemson University, was elected on Feb. 19 a student senate president, according to Clemson.
Collytte Cederstrom, an Indian Land native, was chosen for a leadership role at USC Aiken. Cederstrom was named a Chancellor Ambassador for the 2018-19 school year.
Cederstrom, a psychology major, will represent USC Aiken, the chancellor and the student body during community and on-campus events, according to the university. She will interact with special guests and elected officials.
Scholarship created in honor of beloved Rock Hill teacher
For 30 years, Cindy Johnson taught fourth and fifth grades at Richmond Drive and Sunset Park elementary schools in Rock Hill. She died on Nov. 30, 2017.
Johnson's husband Ben Johnson has established an endowed scholarship in her name at Winthrop, where she earned two degrees. The Cindy McDaniel Johnson Endowed Scholarship will award $2,000 to a junior elementary education major.
"Over the years, she encouraged hundreds of students to see the best in themselves and in each other, and to live lives of purpose and respect,” Ben said of his wife. “She wanted kids and parents to know they could stumble and fall and pick themselves up and move on. It’s not how you messed up, but what you could learn from it.”
Clover students take home wins in livestock judging contest
Clover students competed on April 6 in the Clemson University Youth Livestock Judging International. The contest included nearly 50 students,who evaluated four species of livestock, including swine, sheep and beef cattle, according to the Clemson Cooperative Extension.
The students had to prove they understood the anatomy of the animals and evaluate how the animals stood up to standards. Clover students took home first and second place awards in team scores. The Clover Middle School 4-H Ag Explorers team is coached by Keisha Robinson.