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CCU’s Grant Center selects four students as Real Estate Scholars

July 2, 2019
Sam DiFiore.Austin Johnson.Erin McQuade.

The Grant Center for Real Estate and Economics has selected four students for its Real Estate Scholars Program for the 2019-2020 academic year. The students are:

Austin Johnson, finance major, Conway, S.C.

Erin McQuade, accounting major, Sayreville, N.J.

Alexis Sweet, management major, Lake Villa, Ill.

Samuel DiFiore, finance major, Boston, Mass.

Students accepted into the program are eligible for scholarships of up to $5,000 per student but not to exceed the full cost of tuition. Additionally, Real Estate Scholars are required to complete research, mentorships and other work within the fields of real estate and economics, as determined by the director of the Grant Center.

“We have an outstanding group of students serving as scholars this year, including third-time award-winner Erin McQuade,” said Robert Salvino, Ph.D., director of the Grant Center.

McQuade shared the stage with David Eyzenberg, president of Eyzenberg & Company, and Michael King, vice chairman of the Grant Center’s Advisory Board and president and chief executive officer of KingOne Properties International, at the 21st annual Economic Growth and Real Estate Summit in the spring. She discussed her experiences in the Real Estate Scholars program, including her study abroad experience at Deakin University in Australia her sophomore year.

“Our program continues to offer exceptional opportunities to our students and displays the capacity of the Grant Center and its programs to build meaningful partnerships between industry and academia,” said Salvino. “The program’s structure organically facilitates mentoring relationships that add value for the scholars throughout their professional lives.”

All four students will be formally introduced at the Real Estate Awards, an annual Wall College of Business event hosted by the Grant Center during the fall semester.

The Real Estate scholarship was first awarded in 2016 and made possible through a donation by Tony and Carrie Grant, the benefactors and namesake of the Grant Center, and provides students with more than monetary support. Unique programs and opportunities for scholars include:

• Membership in the CCU Real Estate Club, which is open to both CCU students and area professionals.

• Mentoring from faculty and employers, including those on the Grant Center’s advisory board.

• Internship and research opportunities.

• Collaboration opportunities within CCU’s speaker series and discussion groups.

To be considered for the Real Estate Scholars program, an applicant must be a CCU student in good academic standing with at least a 3.5 high school GPA for incoming freshmen, or a 2.75 college GPA for applicants who have successfully completed at least 12 college credit hours. Students must be enrolled in the commercial and investment real estate minor through the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration for the upcoming year and have demonstrated participation in leadership or extracurricular activities within the last two years.

Recipients are selected based on their submission of an essay, in which the student articulates how participation in the minor relates to his or her academic and prospective career growth. The students must also describe the personality traits and characteristics that make them outstanding representatives of Coastal Carolina University.

The scholarship is awarded annually upon the recommendations of a committee composed of the director of the Grant Center for Real Estate and Economics and the dean of the Wall College based both on responses provided in the essay and academic standing.


The Grant Center for Real Estate and Economics serves students and professionals engaged in all facets of real estate and economic development and provides market analysis, study-based scholarships, networking opportunities, internships and technical study tours of international sites.

The Grant Center leverages global ties to Coastal Carolina University and key partners, including students, alumni, faculty, staff and board members. It offers courses in commercial and investment real estate, publishes scholarly research and produces applied studies for stakeholders in the region. The Center also hosts an annual Economic Growth & Real Estate Summit, provides seminar talks on a regular basis and consults for various private, government and nonprofit groups.

The Center’s key mission is to support the education of its students to the highest levels of competence and professionalism and to broaden the economic base of the region, serving as a bridge between Coastal Carolina University and the wider community.

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