Past Fellows - Coastal Carolina University
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Past Fellows

 2020 Dyer Fellows

Joseph Cain Dyer Fellow 2020 (250) added 2/10/2020 MCD Joseph Cain is a Coastal Carolina University student from Springfield, Ky. He is majoring in intelligence and national security with a minor in Spanish. He is interested in U.S. foreign policy and intelligence matters, specifically concerning Latin America. As part of his fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Cain will research the future of U.S. foreign policy in Venezuela. His research will examine and attempt to provide potential policy solutions that would be in accordance with U.S. national interests, the Venezuelan people, and surrounding countries. Upon graduation, Cain plans to apply to the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky.

  • Exploring U.S. Foreign Policy Responses to the Political Crisis in Venezuela

Tyler Gross 2020 Fellow (250) take 2 added 2/10/2020 MCDTyler Gross is from the Carolina Forest area in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and majors in special education with a minor in criminology. Gross is passionate about working with students who have experienced trauma and who are receiving an education while being in a correctional facility. As part of her research as a Dyer Fellow, she will examine how literacy and creative writing can help dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. In the future, she hopes to teach students in a correctional, or lockdown, facility and hopes to one day start a program at the Department of Juvenile Justice in South Carolina that would show students how to express themselves through creative writing and reading. Tyler plans on achieving a master’s in special education and a master’s in school counseling.

  • Research Topic: Seeing how literacy and creative writing can help dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline

Isiuwa Oghagbon 2020 Fellow (250) added 2/10/2020 MCDIsiuwa Oghagbon is a Coastal Carolina University student from Haymarket, Va. She is majoring in political science and minoring in international business while also being on the Coastal Carolina University women’s basketball team. She is interested in law and politics having to do with voting. As part of her fellowship, she will be researching gerrymandering: its history, effect on the public, and solutions for this problem. With this research, she hopes to educate voters on a key step in the voting process, how it effects each person’s vote, and to present viable options to the public. Upon graduation, she plans on attending law school with the intent of studying business law.

  • Research Topic: Gerrymandering’s effects on public voting and possible solutions.

Erica Richardson 2020 Fellow (250) added 2/10/2020 MCDErica Richardson is a Coastal Carolina University student from Southeast Michigan. She is a public health major with interest in social justice, poverty relief, and sexual health. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Richardson will be exploring potential causal factors of basic need insecurity among college students, specifically undergraduates here at Coastal. With this research, Richardson hopes to develop short-term and long-term solutions to basic need insecurity in order to promote academic achievement and a higher quality of life among college students. Upon graduation, Richardson plans on attending graduate school to pursue a dual master's in public health and social work. 

  • Research Topic: Causal factors of basic need insecurity among college students

Sophia Sumter (250) Added 4/9/20 MCDSophie Sumpter is a Coastal Carolina University student from Little River, S.C. She is majoring in public health with a minor in political science and is interested in the effects of climate change on vulnerable populations. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Sumpter will be exploring the effects of flooding on vulnerable populations in the Federal Emergency Management Division’s special hazard flood zones of Horry County, S.C. With this research, Sumpter hopes to increase awareness of the effects of hurricanes and extreme weather events in Horry County on the quality of life for individuals living in more vulnerable areas. Upon graduation, Sumpter plans to attend a graduate program to pursue a dual degree program allowing her to obtain a master’s degree in social work and a law degree to then pursue public health policy.

  • Research Topic: The impact of flooding on the health of socially vulnerable regions of Horry County

Ozzy Whitley 2020 Fellow (250) added 2/10/2020 MCDOzzy Whitley is a Coastal Carolina University student from Columbia, S.C. She is majoring in anthropology and geography. She is interested in environmental and ecological anthropology, which is focused on human-environment interactions. As part of her research as a Dyer Fellow, she will conduct a study about the presence and behavioral patterns of ghost crabs in the Myrtle Beach area. She hopes to understand how seemingly innocuous beach activity affects these crabs, and what can be done with South Carolina state policy as it pertains to beachgoing activities. With this study, Whitley aims to educate the public on how to better their relationship with the coastal environment and protect the flora and fauna in these popular areas.

  • Sandy Macrofauna Shake-Up: Anthropological Case Study and South Carolina Beach Policy Analysis

Tiffany Dantzler is a Coastal Carolina University student from Beaufort, S.C. She is majoring in intelligence and national security with minors in Tiffany Dantzler (200x200) Added Nov 2018 Dyer Fellowcriminology and African Diaspora studies. As a Dyer Fellow, Tiffany will research the school districts that comprise the "Corridor of Shame" in S.C. As someone who has attended schools in this area of the state, she understands first-hand the need for a more equitable approach to funding school districts state-wide. Tiffany hopes to use this research to compare and contrast U.S. educational policies with that of the policies in the South African education system. Through the U.S. Fulbright Student Program, Tiffany is seeking placement as an English teaching assistant position South Africa. Upon graduation, she will attend graduate school to pursue an advanced degree in international relations.

  • Research Topic: Analysis of teacher retention in the underfunded school districts that make the “Corridor of Shame.”

Kai Legette-Gideon is a Coastal Carolina University student from Orangeburg, S.C., majoring in politicalKai Legette Gideon (200x200) Added Nov 2018 Dyer Fellow science and minoring in philosophy and business administration. He is interested in political organizing for progressive causes. As part of his research with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Kai will provide a descriptive analysis for the distribution of funds for the Community Development Block Grant program in South Carolina. With this research, he hopes to convey effective methods to distribute grant funds. Upon graduation, Kai plans to attend George Washington University graduate school studying political management and public policy. As a career, he aspires to start a political firm emphasizing election strategies, fund raising, polling opinions, and policy research.

  • Research Topic: Descriptive analysis of the distribution of funds in the Community Development Block Grant program within South Carolina

Krystina Millar is a Coastal Carolina University student from Murrells Inlet, S.C. She is majoring in sociology and minoring in women’s and genderKrystina Millar (200x200) Added Nov 2018 Dyer Fellow studies. Her interests include gender, sexuality, health and social justice. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Krystina will conduct a comprehensive analysis of federal and state prison policies related to transgender-specific health care in the U.S. She hopes this research will improve public awareness of the transgender population and how policies affect vulnerable populations in the criminal justice system. Upon graduating, Krystina plans on attending a Ph.D. program in sociology with a focus in gender and health.

  • Research topic: Transgender health care policies in the United States prison system

Maddy Scholar is a Coastal Carolina University student from Marietta, G.A., and is majoring in intelligence and national security studies. She is interested in law enforcement, specifically narcotics prevention. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Maddy will research the implications of decriminalizing marijuana in the U.S. Her research will examine the costs and benefits of decriminalization as well as how it has created complications between federal and state laws. Upon graduation, she will attend graduate school in England, U.K., for a peace and conflict resolution master’s degree.

  • Research Topic: Implications of Marijuana Decriminalization

Brittany Shaughnessy is a Coastal Carolina University student from Myrtle Beach, S.C., majoring in Brittany Shaughnessy (200x200) Added Nov 2018 Dyer Fellowcommunication with a concentration in broadcast news, and a minor in political science. Her research interests include media effects and political communication, which will be expanded upon in the Dyer Fellowship. As part of her fellowship, she will be studying the bias that exists in the United States media, and how that bias is misinforming the public. From the bias, brings the “fake news” phenomenon. As former assistant editor for The Chanticleer newspaper on campus, Brittany has had first-hand experience in the journalism field. Upon graduating, Brittany plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in communication.

  • Research Topic: United States’ media bias and ‘fake news’ phenomenon

Monica Twarog is a Coastal Carolina University student from Worcester, M.A. She is studying political scienceMonica Twarog (200x200) Added Nov 2018 Dyer Fellow with a concentration on domestic politics. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Monica will be conducting research on improving South Carolina's election security. With this research, she hopes to educate the public on the policy changes necessary to secure elections and protect the rights of South Carolina voters.

  • Research Topic: South Carolina election security reform


Coleman Warner is a Coastal Carolina University student from Myrtle Beach, S.C., majoring in political Coleman Warner (200x200) Added Nov 2018 Dyer Fellowscience with a concentration in domestic politics along with a minor in English. Coleman’s interest revolves around campaigns and elections, the American judicial system, and fiction writing. His research for the fellowship will examine the issues within the three different methods that States use to select judges. The goal is to produce an improved method that will limit the existing issues and serve as an alternative for States. After graduating, Coleman hopes to earn a law degree and begin a career in criminal law and/or earn an M.F.A.

  • Research Topic: State’s methods of selecting judges and creating a reform system to remove issues within the methods. 

2018 Dyer Fellows

2018 Dyer Fellow Alexandria Putnam imageAlexandria Putman is a Coastal Carolina University student from Tega Cay, S.C. She studies political science and communication. Her interests include public opinion, the bureaucracy, as well as campaigns and elections. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Alexandria will examine the United States Postal Service as an institution within the bureaucracy. The USPS has increasingly come to be considered one of the most ineffective institutions in the U.S. today, as it loses a significant amount of capital per year. She hopes to find solutions to the problems in the postal service, such as its low public opinion and inefficiency. Upon graduating, Alexandria hopes to attend graduate school to study political science with a focus on political behavior and public opinion.

  • Research topic: The inefficiencies and shortfalls of the United States Postal Service – examining the institution within the bureaucracy

2018 Dyer Fellow John Quinn imageJohn Quinn is a Coastal Carolina student from Long Island, N.Y., who studies political science, marine science and sustainability. As part of his fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, John will be conducting research on sea level rise in Georgetown County. With this research, he hopes to educate the public on the necessary policy changes that are vital in community resiliency in the face of sea rise threat.

  • Research topic: Sea level rise in Georgetown County

2018 Dyer Fellow Allie Sheets imageAllie Sheets is a Coastal Carolina University student from King, N.C., who studies political science with a concentration on domestic politics. She is interested in the inequalities in the criminal justice system. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Allie will investigate the cash bail system. Her research will examine the role of bail in the criminal justice system, inequalities that arise from it and policy solutions for reform. Upon graduation, Allie plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in political science with a focus on political theory.

  • Research topic: The inequality driven by the cash bail system

2018 Dyer Fellow Nicholas D. Smith imageNicholas D. Smith is a Coastal Carolina University student from Charleston, S.C. Nicholas is an intelligence and national security studies major with minors in global information systems (GIS) and philosophy. He is passionate about ethics and how they relate to public policy, specifically the ethics of artificial intelligence. As part of his fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Nicholas will focus on how autonomous computing systems violate the privacy rights of American citizens. He hopes to convey the importance of this issue to the public in an attempt to convey the theory that privacy does not exist in the digital world.

  • Research topic: Privacy rights in the digital age of autonomous computing systems


2018 Dyer Fellow Emily Taylor imageEmily Taylor is a Coastal Carolina University student from Andrews, S.C., who is majoring in public health and minoring in biology and psychology. She is interested in health policy and health disparities locally, nationally and globally. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Emily will research pedestrian safety across S.C. 544, which flanks a major portion of the CCU campus. She will examine the use of school zones for college campuses. Emily aspires to earn a master’s degree in physician assistant studies and will focus on preventative health for underprivileged populations.

  • Research topic: Pedestrian safety and the need for school zones on college campuses

2017 Dyer Fellows

Bethany Bebik ImageBethany Bebik is a Coastal Carolina student from Spartanburg, S.C., who studies public health with a minor in women’s and gender studies. Bethany is passionate about sexual health, sexuality and gender. As a part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, she will be studying the accessibility of condoms and dental dams on local college campuses. With sexually transmitted infections still a large issue in South Carolina, it is pressing that this be addressed. 

  • Research topic: Accessing STI prevention on college campuses


Celeste Benson imageCeleste Benson
 is a Coastal Carolina University student originally from Greensboro, N.C., who studies public health. Her interests include public policy, advocacy, health promotion and disease prevention. After completing her degree, she hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in public interest law. Her research as a fellow with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy will focus on opioid overdose prevention policies recently adopted throughout the United States. These policies, which are intended to prevent deaths from opioid overdoses, allow for increased access to Naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of opioids. Through policy analysis and a thorough review of current data and statistics, she hope to assess whether or not these policies are, in fact, preventing opioid overdose deaths, while also further investigating what, if any, modifications could be made to simultaneously target addiction prevention.

  • Research topic: Opioid overdose prevention policies adopted throughout the United States


Maggie Carr ImageMaggie Carr is a Coastal Carolina University student from Baltimore, Md., who studies intelligence and national security and psychology. She is a member of the varsity women’s lacrosse team and Alpha Delta Pi. Maggie is passionate about counter-terrorism and the radicalization process of individuals. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Maggie will be investigating the efforts of the local government to implement counter violent extremism programs in order to promote deradicalization through nonviolent means and engaging radicalized individuals or individuals at risk for radicalization in alternative ways. She hopes to define the significance of community engagement and resilience required to execute effective CVE programs. Her career aspirations include working in the intelligence community and eventually earning her master's degree in security studies. 

  • Research topic: Community engagement and resiliency through counter violent extremism programs


Rachael Houston ImageRachael Houston is a Coastal Carolina University student from Manassas, Va., who studies political science and communication. She is interested with the intersection of media and politics. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Rachael is investigating digital privacy rights. Her research will examine the lack of government regulation regarding digital privacy and reveal how companies are currently exploiting people’s digital data for financial gain. Upon graduation, Rachael plans on attending graduate school for American politics with a focus in political behavior and political communication. 

  • Research topic: The exploitation of and personal rights relating to digital privacy


Maria Karahalios imageMaria Karahalios is a Coastal Carolina University student from Asbury, N.J., who studies political science and sustainability. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Maria will research successful sustainability initiatives in order to develop a plan specific to the business sector of downtown Conway, S.C. Through her research, she plans to give local business owners the tools to strengthen their community economically, ecologically and socially. Upon graduation, Maria seeks to further her education by attending graduate school and volunteering abroad with the Peace Corps. 

  • Research topic: Powering the future sustainably through access to community-based tools


Ariel Lasher imageAriel Lasher is a Coastal Carolina University student from Upstate New York who plans to be a public interest attorney. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Ariel will research current policies and regulations surrounding access to clean and safe drinking water for Americans. Assessing current policies and standards, Ariel seeks to determine advancements and changes that can be made to improve the current situation regarding access to clean and safe drinking water, such as that of Flint, Mich. In addition, Ariel will examine court precedent in hopes of concluding whether clean water is a constitutionally protected right. 

  • Research topic: Policies and regulations surrounding access to clean and safe drinking water for Americans

2016 Dyer Fellows

John Baldwin ImageJohn Baldwin is a Coastal Carolina University student from Maryland who studies political science with a focus on domestic politics. As part of his fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, John will research the under-representation of the electorate regarding gun control laws at both the state and federal levels of government. Using data points from different states, John hopes to compare the gun laws, analyze crime statistics on gun violence and draw conclusions as to the understanding of which approaches work best to satisfy the need for public safety in the face of personal freedom.

  • Research Topic: Firearm Regulations: Closing the Loopholes

Nicholas Blair ImageNicholas Blair is a Coastal Carolina University student from Portsmouth, N.H., who studies finance. Nicholas is passionate about resource economics and hopes to attend a graduate program in which he can further expand his knowledge and experience in that field. As part of the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Nicholas will be investigating the flaws in flood insurance rates and subsidies with the goal of identifying solutions designed to make policies more economically and ecologically sustainable. His career goals include becoming a university professor as well as consulting with power utilities regarding their renewables portfolios.

  • Research Topic: Risky Shores: An Analysis of Southern Flood Insurance

Kelsey Callahan ImageKelsey Callahan is a Coastal Carolina University student from Pennsylvania who plans to be a teacher. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Kelsey will research whether or not LGBTQ students within the CCU community feel prepared to enter a heteronormative workforce. This is an important and timely issue because of the recent advancements in personal rights for those who identify with the LGBTQ community. Upon graduation, Kelsey plans on teaching middle school social studies and English in the greater Myrtle Beach area eventually earning a master’s degree in literacy.

  • Research Topic: Questioning Attitudes: Surveying LGBTQ+ Students About Their Concerns as They Enter the Workforce

Kelly Shelton ImageKelly Shelton is a Coastal Carolina University student from South Carolina who studies political science and philosophy. Kelly is passionate about sustainability and the environment. As part of her fellowship with the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Kelly will research the use of public trust resources such as navigable coastal waters, submerged wetlands and beaches. Her research will examine citizens’ rights to natural resources in the face of climate change and offshore drilling. 

  • Research Topic: Public Trust Resources, Sustainability, and Sacrifice Zone: A Case of Georgetown, South Carolina