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Four new Swain Scholars named at Coastal Carolina University

September 21, 2022
The 2022-2024 Swain Scholars are (from left) Clare Cuenya, Abigail Hatcher, Alyssa Avallone, and Caitlyn Flemmer.

Four Coastal Carolina University juniors have been selected as Swain Scholars for 2022-2024. Three of these students have been named Kenneth E. Swain Scholars and one has been named the Jewel Clemmons Swain Scholar. As Swain Scholars, these students will plan and implement community outreach and research projects designed to improve the quality of life of Horry County residents.

Alyssa Avallone is the Jewel Clemmons Swain Scholar recipient. Originally from Dumont, N.J., she lives in Surfside Beach, S.C. She is an exercise and sport science major, a student in the HTC Honors College, and a member of the Exercise Science Club, Doctors of Coastal Club, and CCU’s Dance Team. Avallone volunteers for Miracle League baseball and shadows a variety of health care professionals at Tidelands Health. She plans to further her education in a physician assistant program after graduating from CCU.

The following three students have been named Kenneth E. Swain Scholars.

Clare Cuenya, originally from Naples, Fla., is a public health major and pre-health professions minor with a concentration in dietetics. She faced death and illness firsthand as she survived a traumatic car accident in 2018, losing her best friend. In 2019, she unexpectedly lost her father to cancer. Cuenya’s experiences with loss inspired her to pursue a career in the medical field. She is bilingual and spends her free time volunteering at Conway Medical Center in the acute rehab surgical unit. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Bench to Bedside Club, Pre-Health Associations Club, and vice president of Doctors of Coastal Club. During her breaks from school, Cuenya works as a seasonal medical receptionist/medical assistant at Mid Florida Dermatology and Plastic Surgery. She is the youngest of six siblings and is an aunt to 16 children. After graduation, Cuenya plans to return to Florida and attend medical school. She hopes to one day open her own dermatology practice with a correlation of dietetics.

Caitlyn Flemmer is a biology major and psychology minor with a pre-medical concentration in the HTC Honors College. Originally from South Africa, Flemmer is a first-generation college student and also a first-generation American. She is the vice president of the Coastal Carolina Red Cross, vice president of Bench to Bedside, and secretary of Doctors of Coastal Club. Flemmer has volunteered with many preventive care outreach programs, including Grand Strand Medical Center’s Stop the Bleed program, a moulage training event for residents’ advanced trauma life support certification, and fundraising for the National American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Flemmer plans to attend medical school after graduation and aspires to be a pediatric surgeon with a specialty in neonatal surgery.

Abigail Hatcher, from Knoxville, Tenn., is a public health major with a minor in Spanish for health professions. She recently presented a research analysis about homeopathic remedies within Hispanic cultures at CCU’s inaugural Spanish for Health Professions undergraduate symposium. She plans to continue this research while at CCU. She is a member of Doctors of Coastal Club, a mentor for the Dalton and Linda Floyd Mentoring Program, and an ambassador for the Leonard Service Scholars. Hatcher plans on completing a medical internship abroad while working toward her undergraduate degree, then progressing into medical school. She aspires to be a pediatric surgeon.

The Swain Scholars are selected from top undergraduate students in CCU’s public health, biochemistry, biology, exercise and sport science, and chemistry programs. The students receive scholarships up to $5,000 per year, for a total of four semesters. The program was established in 2009 by Kenneth E. Swain, a former Myrtle Beach pharmacist who passed away in January 2021.