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Foundational Updates June 2022

June 16, 2022

GSSM Breaks Ground on Advanced Hydroponic Lab

The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) launched the installation of its Hydroponic Research Lab on its campus in Hartsville with a ground-breaking ceremony on May 31, 2022.  

Hydroponics are the cultivation of plants using nutrients in a water solution without the presence of soil. It allows high density growing without the use of pesticides or disturbed land and uses less labor, chemicals, and water than traditional growing methods. 

GSSM’s Hydroponic Research Lab was conceived two years ago by teachers and staff as a way for the school fulfill its mission of preparing the next generation of leaders to engage with the world’s most significant issues. It is designed to be a collaborative resource connecting all of GSSM’s programs and disciplines and will serve students on the GSSM campus as well as across the state.  

The lab structure is being custom built to GSSM’s specifications by Farmbox Foods Incorporated in Colorado and is expected to arrive at the school’s Hartsville campus in July. 

The project drew early interest from GSSM alumni and corporate investors who responded with generous investments. At the ground-breaking ceremony, GSSM thanked its investors which included Brighton-Best International, the Byerly Foundation, the Charles W. Coker and Elizabeth H. Coker Foundation, HDR, Integrated Systems, Incorporated, and Nephron Pharmaceuticals. Representatives from these organizations, and the GSSM staff who designed the program, took part in the ceremony. 

Pictured L-R: Beth Dinndorf (GSSM Foundation), Josh Witten (GSSM), Nikki Gillette (Brighton-Best), Brianna Douglas (Byerly Foundation), Dick Puffer (Coker Foundation), Lee Tupper (HDR) , Connor Watkins (Nephron Pharmaceuticals), Danny Dorsel (GSSM), Cara Roberts (GSSM), Jennifer Brown (GSSM), Ryan Masters (GSSM), Bob Brown (Integrated Systems)  

Alumnus Landon Bradshaw '19 Named Goldwater Scholar

GSSM alumnus Landon Bradshaw ‘19 was one of the two people named the 2022 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award for STEM students. Goldwater Scholars go on to become some of this country’s finest scientists.

Bradshaw, a Lake City, South Carolina native, is a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major at Wake Forest University. 

When asking Bradshaw what being named a Goldwater Scholar meant to him, he said, “Firstly, being named a Goldwater Scholar is a testament to all of the mentors, professors, friends, and family who have invested in me along my journey. They have taught me to always bet on myself, and winning this award affirms that life lesson. Additionally, becoming a Goldwater Scholar gives me much hope for the future; it signifies that, perhaps, I have what it takes to make a significant contribution to the field of regenerative medicine in the future. This award also means a lot to me because I join a group of previous Goldwater Scholars, like President Danny Dorsel, my old student council “buddy” and administration partner, who I look up to in many ways.”  

"Landon is an amazing young man and deserving of this prestigious award," said President Danny Dorsel. "While at GSSM, Landon completed his graduation research requirement during the 2018 summer at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany. He studied the epigenetic profiles of crayfish as a model for understanding the epigenetics of clonal tumor evolution. He liked research and was an exceptional researcher so I’m not surprised that he has continued nurturing that passion at Wake Forest. I look forward to future breakthrough discoveries made by Landon!"

After graduating from Wake Forest, Bradshaw plans to attend medical school and become an academic physician. He hopes to develop regenerative medicine therapies in the lab and see them used in the clinic firsthand. 

GSSM Holds 33rd Commencement on May 28, 2022

GSSM held its 33rd Commencement Ceremony for 108 graduates on May 28 at the Harris E. and Louise H. Deloach Center at Coker College. Alumna Shontavia Johnson '99, Clemson University’s Associate Vice President for entrepreneurship and innovation and GSSM graduate, delivered the commencement speech. 

The GSSM Class of 2022 hails from 29 counties across South Carolina and 74 high schools.

Many of this year’s graduates received prestigious institutional merit-based scholarships, including the Hollingsworth Scholarship at Furman University, Presidential Scholarship at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Clemson Breakthrough and National Scholarships, Gates Millennium Scholarship, Johnson Scholarship at Washington & Lee University, Presidential Scholarship at the University of Alabama, Stamps Scholarship at the University of Miami, Carswell Scholarship at Wake Forest University, Questbridge Scholarship, Air Force ROTC Scholarship at Cornell University, appointment to the US Military Academy, and US Navy and US Air Force ROTC Scholarships. In total, the Class of 2022 received more than $29.6 million dollars in scholarship offers.

More than half of GSSM graduates will pursue undergraduate degrees in state, at Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, College of Charleston, Francis Marion University, Furman University, Greenville Tech, Lander University, University of South Carolina-Columbia, Winthrop University, and Wofford College.

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