GSSM to Honor Dr. Barbara Speziale of Clemson University with Distinguished Research Leadership Award

January 30, 2017

The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) will honor Dr. Barbara Speziale with its 2017 Distinguished Research Leadership Award during the School’s 28th Annual Research Colloquium Saturday, February 4, 10 a.m., in Hartsville.  

During the Colloquium gathering, 129 students will present their findings from scientific research conducted during their participation in the 2016 Summer Program for Research Interns (SPRI), or its international counterpart, the Research Experience Scholars Program (RESP). Students will present findings from GSSM’s newest research offering featuring year-long scientific research on the Hartsville campus.

Dr. Speziale, a professor of biological sciences at Clemson University and the Associate Director of Clemson’s Watt Family Innovation Center, has made summer research experiences possible for 419 GSSM students over the past 17 years. She developed SPRI at Clemson and grew it into a multidimensional experience that includes weekly seminars and a poster session. 

In her new role as the director of Clemson’s campus-wide undergraduate research program, Creative Inquiry (CI), Speziale continues to support and champion GSSM student research. CI provides team-based research experiences for more than 4,000 undergraduate students each year, and recently received national recognition from the Council on Undergraduate Research - the 2017 Undergraduate Research Accomplishments Award.

Her support for students also extends beyond research. In 2005, Speziale established Clemson’s FIRST program to support students who are the first in their families to attend college. She has received more than $14.5-million in external grants for science research and education, as well as state and national awards for education, service and scientific awareness.

"Dr. Speziale’s support, creativity and knowledge have made incalculable impacts on GSSM students and elevated SPRI. For this reason and more, we’re proud to honor her with this year’s Distinguished Research Leadership Award," said Randy La Cross, VP for Outreach and Research at GSSM.

SPRI and RESP are capstone programs exclusive to GSSM. For six weeks between their junior and senior years, students conduct research at university or corporate research and development facilities under the mentorship of professional scientists, entrepreneurs or engineers. The students continue to work with research mentors and GSSM advisors during senior year to compile and analyze their research findings and prepare formal research papers. The culmination of summer research is Colloquium, during which, students formally present to their peers, mentors, families and GSSM faculty and friends.

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