CLEMSON — Two students from Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences will spend the spring semester studying in another country as Killam Fellows.

From left: Canadian students Morgan King and Gillan Grant trade campuses with Clemson students Anna Scott and Savannah Petrone for the Spring 2018 semester to study and learn about different cultures.

From left: Canadian students Morgan King and Gillan Grant trade campuses with Clemson students Anna Scott and Savannah Petrone for the Spring 2018 semester to study and learn about different cultures.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

Honors students Anna Scott and Savannah Petrone are enrolled in Clemson’s plant and environmental sciences program and have received Killam Fellowships to study in Canada. Scott of Lancaster will study at the University of Calgary, and Petrone of Lexington will study at Queens University.

“I applied for this fellowship for a couple of reasons,” Scott said. “I first studied abroad in Spring 2016, my sophomore year, in The Netherlands. I really enjoyed the experience of learning in a new setting and meeting friends from around the world. I wanted to go abroad again, and the Killam program was the perfect fit. I liked the opportunity to explore a new place that I have not been before and build on my intercultural communication skills. Considering that Canada is one of the United States’ closest trading partners, I believe living and studying in Canada will give me a new perspective on the country’s culture, which will help me in my professional career.”

Scott’s plans after college include working for an international company.

“Any international experience I can get now will be very beneficial for me,” she said. “I eventually would like to pursue a position in environmental consulting and help solve environmental problems around the world. This fellowship will allow me to immerse myself in a new region and learn about environmental issues unique to the area.”

Petrone also believes this experience will help her in her post-college life. She hopes to work in international relations after she graduates from Clemson and believes this fellowship will give her great experience and exposure abroad. Petrone plans to continue building her experiences by acquiring an internship in Canada this summer.

“I always have been interested in studying abroad and learning and experiencing different cultures,” Petrone said. “By participating in this program, I hope to gain a better understanding of the political and social relationship between Canada and America.”

Paula Agudelo, a Clemson plant pathology professor and plant and environmental sciences program coordinator, said Petrone and Scott are exceptional students who will gain a lot by participating in this program.

“Anna and Savannah are two extraordinary recipients of this fellowship and will represent Clemson and our plant and environmental sciences program very well,” Agudelo said. “They are two of our most impressive and well-rounded students. They have a passion for the water and soil resources that underpin all ecosystem services. Through their travels, coursework and other interactions, they have grown as scholars without losing their desire to change the world. It fills me with hope to know that intelligent and conscientious leaders like them are educating themselves so that they can be the drivers of the future in plant and environmental sciences.”

It’s not only Clemson students who have the ability to enrich their academic experience. Last fall, Clemson fostered two Canadian scholars, seniors Morgan King of University of Prince Edward Island and Gillian Grant of Acadia University.

King, a biology major with chemistry minor, plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health and continue in medical school. She believes her experience at Clemson has allowed her to focus on a more defined career path because of the university’s diverse set of courses.

Another career-shaping aspect of this program was King’s interaction with individuals who have experienced different social norms than residents in Canada.

“The differences in healthcare between Canada and the United States are pronounced, and I have had many interesting conversations with individuals here,” said King. “While the goal of medicine is to treat the patient, there are overarching societal issues that play a role in the prevention of disease.”

Grant used the opportunity to expand knowledge beyond her normal course studies. A business accounting major with a minor in art, she chose to take such special Clemson courses as “History of Country Music,” “History of Religion in the U.S.” and landscape architecture.

Upon returning to Canada, Grant will begin studying for her Chartered Professional Accountant designation. She plans to get her master’s in professional accounting.

Both students commented on their newfound love for one of Clemson’s quintessential elements – football games.

“One of the highlights of my time at Clemson was watching a football game from the hill. It was so exciting to win and celebrate,” said Grant. “Clemson football games are too exciting to stay away!”

And Clemson’s charm, warmth and overall atmosphere is something both students will keep with them forever, they say.

“The school spirit here is unparalleled, and the hospitality is heartwarming,” said King. “This experience has provided me with a network of incredible individuals from all over the world, defined a path for my future, and given me second home.”

The Killam Fellowships Program is administered by Fulbright Canada. Michael Hawes, chief executive officer for the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States, said the program is “a celebration of extraordinary individuals and their accomplishments.” Students in the program spend either one semester or a full academic year as an exchange student in Canada.

“These students come from all walks of life, and they study and conduct research in all areas – from poetry to physics,” Hawes said. “They come from every ethnic and social group, they speak many different languages, and they hail from every corner of our two countries. What they have in common is a commitment to make the world a better place, to contribute in a meaningful way to the public policy debate and to engage with their local communities, and a desire to deepen our understanding of both the physical and the social world.

“Through their journey, these students have come to a more sophisticated appreciation of what President John Kennedy meant when he told the Canadian Parliament that ‘Geography has made us neighbors, history has made us friends, economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies’.”

American applicants for the Killam Fellowships Program are citizens who are full-time undergraduate students in good standing at a fully accredited degree granting college or university in the United States, have met eligibility requirements of their home university (as they relate to the participation in international exchange programs), are fluent in the English language (and/or French, where appropriate), have a superior and competitive academic record and are nominated by their home university.