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Swain Scholars named at CCU for 2016-2017

September 8, 2016
Donor Kenneth E. Swain with Sydney Brown, left, and Emily Taylor, just named Swain Scholars for 2016-2017.

Two juniors at Coastal Carolina University have been named the 2016-2017 Swain Scholars for the College of Science. Swain Scholars work on community health outreach and research projects designed to improve the health of Horry County residents.

Sydney Brown, an exercise and sport science major from Philadelphia, Pa., and Emily Taylor, a public health major from Andrews, S.C., were selected through a competitive process to participate in the unique scholarship program funded in 2007 by Kenneth E. Swain, a donor from Myrtle Beach.

Brown has been involved in community service through her participation in Relay for Life, American Heart Association, Athletes Helping Athletes and Special Olympics. She hopes to work in pharmaceutical sales.

"I am honored to be a part of such an amazing program where I have the opportunity to improve the health of those in our community," said Brown. "It is very rewarding to conduct research and plan outreach programs to make a difference in our community."

Taylor is a member of the Research Fellows program at Coastal Carolina University. She has aspirations to become a physician's assistant with a specialization in either gerontology or internal medicine. She is currently gaining medical experience through employment at Pawleys Podiatry, has been actively involved in educating others on the need for donated blood, and has been initiating American Red Cross blood drives.

The scholars are charged with developing and presenting a series of educational outreach programs that highlight guidelines for healthy lifestyles raised by research findings. The Swain Scholars program is comprised of selected undergraduate students from the public health, biochemistry, biology, exercise and sport science, and chemistry programs. The students receive scholarships of up to $5,000 per year based on academic and financial criteria.

Some previous projects that students have completed include: researching perceptions of homelessness in Horry County, working with local governments to enhance bicycle education and make the area more bicycle friendly, and conducting a recreational needs assessment for Horry County government. The senior-level scholars are currently working on a collaborative project with CCU's Athenaeum Press to raise awareness about the problem of homelessness in the Myrtle Beach area.

Students Nancy Phillips, Emma Kroger and Kerry Dittmeier return as senior-level Swain Scholars and mentors to Brown and Taylor.

For more information on the program, contact Sharon Thompson, professor of public health for the department of health sciences, at 843-349-2635 or