This year’s Presidential Scholarship and Solomon Scholarship recipients have been announced at Erskine College.
Mikhayla Dawn Clothier of Honea Path, S.C., and Ann Rose Conner of Greenville, S.C., were named this year’s Presidential Scholars. The Presidential Scholarship covers tuition, required fees, and room and board, minus any state, federal, and outside scholarships or grants.
Clothier, who hopes to major in chemistry, is homeschooled and says her interest in chemistry was sparked by a lab program for homeschoolers hosted at Erskine College. She also participated in a biology lab for homeschoolers at Erskine and completed Chemical Principles I and II with Erskine Professor of Chemistry Dr. Joel Boyd. “My dream job is to be a computational research chemist at a university,” she says. Clothier recently participated in a research project with Erskine senior Julie Butler.
In addition to her enthusiasm for science, Clothier enjoys playing the piano and considers herself an amateur artist. Erskine’s music program is a strong draw for her. “I don’t want to focus purely on science,” she says. “I also enjoy music, art, and volunteer work.” She has served at her church’s fund-raising dinners; has volunteered with Meals on Wheels, a food pantry, and a nursing home; has collected donations for an animal shelter; and has attended Salkehatchie Summer Service, repairing homes for underprivileged people. She was a member of American Heritage Girls, a Christian scouting organization, for five years.
Conner, a student at St. Joseph Catholic High School in Greenville, is unsure what she will major in, but is interested in the medical field. At her high school, she is active in Medical Club, a group whose monthly meetings feature speakers and labs. She helped to found two other clubs at her school—“Agape,” which meets weekly for breakfast, hymns, and a devotional talk, and “The Finer Things Club,” which focuses on literature, film, and food. She spent two years on the track-and-field team and has participated in her high school choir.
A volunteer at Camp Joy who has participated in in mission trips to Appalachia, Conner is active at Greenville ARP Church, and has enjoyed attending Erskine events with her youth group. Her family connections to Erskine are extensive and include a great-grandfather who served as dean of Erskine Seminary. Her mother, Mary Parkinson Conner, is an Erskine graduate and was the 2016 “Signing of the Book” speaker when Conner’s sister Ramsey entered Erskine as a freshman. Erskine students like her sister, Conner has observed, benefit from “relationships with teachers who have invested not only in their academic lives but also in their personal and spiritual lives.”
Mary Roberta Pratt of Summerville, S.C., and Charles Joshua Starnes of Clover, S.C., each received the Solomon Scholarship, which covers up to 16 credit hours of tuition per semester and is renewable for a total of four years.
Pratt attends Northwood Academy in Summerville, where she is a member of the National Beta Club and the National Honor Society. She participates in her school’s theater and choir program and served as class secretary during her freshman and sophomore years. A member of the cross country team, she was a junior marshal and was elected student body treasurer for the 2017-18 school year. She hopes to major in Bible and religion and hopes to become a Bible teacher.
Starnes, who attends Clover High School, spent two years on the varsity cross country team and a year on the varsity track team. He is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at school and in the youth group at First ARP Church in Gastonia, N.C., where he leads an outreach team. He learned about Erskine through his church youth leader. He hopes to major in Bible and religion and go on to seminary.
The scholarship winners will be welcomed to the Erskine community in the fall as members of the Class of 2022.