Dyer Fellowship Program
The Edgar Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy brings together a group of Coastal Carolina students from all colleges and degree programs to participate in the Dyer Fellowship Program.
The Edgar Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy engages students in active learning opportunities where they gain knowledge in various areas of policy research. Students connect academic theory to practice, becoming engaged civic-minded citizens.
Dyer Fellows receive a monthly stipend and their expenses paid for a spring trip to Washington, D.C. They also meet regularly with a dedicated faculty adviser to guide their research throughout the semester.
2022 Dyer Fellows
Jana Whitmire is a senior from Travelers Rest, S.C. She is majoring in political science with a minor in sociology. She is passionate about finding feasible policy solutions to issues within the criminal justice system. As a part of the Dyer Fellowship, Whitmire will research policy solutions for eliminating cash bail in the state of South Carolina. Additionally, she will propose policy alternatives to cash bail as a way to lower incarceration rates for individuals who have not been convicted of a crime. Upon graduating, Whitmire plans to go to law school to pursue her J.D. to practice law, while simultaneously using her graduate degree to work with nonprofits on policy work surrounding the criminal justice system.
Alexandra (Xandi) Matu is from Baltimore, Md., and is a double major in political science and intelligence and security studies. She is also a member of the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief and the International Association for Intelligence Education. She has a particular interest in cybersecurity and emergency management. As part of her fellowship, she will be researching digital inequities in South Carolina and the impact they have on emergency management across the state. Her research will investigate lack of internet access in rural parts of the state and how it has impacted emergency services serving these areas. With this research, she hopes to identify a solution to closing the digital divide in South Carolina. Upon graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school to study either cybersecurity or applied intelligence.
Shelley Sasser is a native of Conway, S.C. She recently earned a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies at CCU with a concentration in neuroscience and forensics and a minor in medical humanities. As an MBA candidate with an emphasis in health care administration, Sasser’s research interests lie predominantly within areas such as medical sociology, social inequality, and the intersection between deviant behavior and public health. Her research with the Dyer Institute will focus upon improving health outcomes within rural communities in South Carolina, where she will examine the current status of health literacy in counties with high poverty rates and take steps to increase comprehension levels. She also hopes to further develop incentive programs for rural health care professionals.
Alexis Daly is from Milton, Mass., and is a third-year psychology major with a languages and intercultural studies Minor. She is interested in racial equity and social justice. Daly is the vice president of the Coastal Carolina branch of NAACP as well as a French tutor for the Intercultural Language Resource Center at CCU and a member of the French club. She also works for St. Stephen’s Youth Programs in Boston, a nonprofit after-school and summer program that focuses on community building and equity in education. As a part of her fellowship, Daly will be looking at how police brutality effects the mental health of different racial/ethnic groups. She was inspired to pursue this fellowship following the 2020 police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and subsequent protests. With this research, Daly hopes to illustrate the harmful effects of police brutality on society and encourage systemic change. Upon graduating, she plans to study or work abroad in either French-speaking Europe or West Africa before attending graduate school.