CLEMSON — Amanda Nicks, a psychology graduate who is pursuing a second baccalaureate degree from Clemson University in criminal justice, has been accepted into the 2019 Focus Forward Fellowship aimed at engaging military-connected women beyond the classroom. Nicks is a U.S. Navy veteran and follows in the footsteps of 2018 graduate Lizz Sampson as a second consecutive student veteran from Clemson to attend the program.

Amanda Nicks at the December 2018 "Hail and Farewell" ceremony for graduating student veterans

Amanda Nicks is a U.S. Navy Veteran who graduated with a psychology degree in December 2018 and is currently working toward a second undergraduate degree.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

“Amanda is the perfect candidate for this fellowship in my opinion,” said Brennan Beck, director of Military and Veteran Engagement. “She has already had a great impact at Clemson through her many different experiences. She will take all she’s learned about leadership and personal development from her time in the Navy and as a Clemson Tiger and elevate to the next level. I can’t wait to see all of the incredible things she is going to accomplish.”

The Focus Forward Fellowship is scheduled for July 17–20 at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. Held annually at the Military Family Research Institute, the competitive national program is charged with instilling skills, leadership and a sense of community among women. Specifically, students involved with the program learn to develop career skills through corporate mentors, assess individual strengths and how to maximize them, identify strategies and resources to increase connections on campus, gain confidence in problem-solving and foster academic goals.

Ashley Johnson, Jim Clements, Amanda Nicks

Nicks joined SVA President Ashley Johnson (left) and Clemson President Jim Clements inside the suites of Memorial Stadium during 2018 Military Appreciation Day ceremonies.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

Nicks, who hails originally from Lewiston, Michigan, was in the Navy for 5 ½ years on active duty as a Master at Arms. She trained with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) on its objectives and also worked with the K-9 unit. She also deployed on assignment to the Bahamas in 2012.

A member of Clemson’s chapter of the Student Veterans of America (SVA), Nicks earned her first undergraduate degree in December 2018. She is expected to graduate the school’s criminal justice program in August. She serves as a member of the Tigers Together suicide prevention creative inquiry team and as a legal advocate for Foothills Alliance.

“I hope to gain greater leadership skills from this experience,” she said. “I also hope to learn new skills that will be useful in helping other female veterans who are transitioning out of working in a male-dominant environment. I am excited to also gain new skills I don’t yet know of!”