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Furman Fellows Announce 2020 Award Recipients

Furman’s James B. Duke Library.

The Furman Fellowship is an endowed scholarship fund founded in 2004 with a gift from Furman trustee emeritus Bob Buckman and Joyce Mollerup. Each year, five seniors are recognized as Furman Fellows and receive a scholarship to use toward the completion of their degree.

“My wife and I established Furman Fellows in order to recognize outstanding seniors who make a difference in the school or the lives of others, bring creativity and imagination to their daily lives, demonstrate problem-solving abilities and have the respect of their peers and faculty,” said Buckman. “Over the years, these senior students have been outstanding examples of the Furman student body. We are proud of each one of them and what they have accomplished.”

The recipients of the 2020 Furman Fellowships are:

  • Qwameek Bethea ’21, from Dillon, South Carolina, is a pre-law student majoring in philosophy and politics and international affairs and minoring in African diaspora cultures. He has been described as an exceptional communicator who is eager to broaden his educational horizons and distinguishes himself through his relentless pursuit of improvements to his community at Furman and beyond. As president of Furman’s NAACP, Bethea leads campus conversations about the ways in which our government and our society may provide justice to those who are marginalized. He also participates on the Riley Advance Team, Student Diversity Council, Pizza and Politics, and the Western Front War and Remembrance Study Away program.
  • Thomas Doerr ’21, of Berlin, Massachusetts, is a psychology major and Middle East and Islamic studies minor. He is the No. 1 ranked Army ROTC cadet at Furman and is known for his work ethic, leadership, and most notably, his compassion toward others. He serves as the cadet battalion commander in charge of 86 cadets in the Paladin Battalion. Doerr implemented a cadet mentorship program that greatly increased the retention rate of returning ROTC students and led cadets in revamping the battalion’s physical training program. This resulted in a 97% passing rate on the battalion’s physical fitness test – a 5% increase from previous years. Doerr also participated in the 2019 Happiness MayX with travel to Denmark.
  • Evan Myers ’21 is a politics and international affairs major and Latin American studies minor from Birmingham, Alabama. Faculty members have described him as an intelligent student who “plows forward trying to address and change things he sees as problematic.” Myers has been credited with pushing the Paladin Newspaper, where he serves as editor, to focus on serious topics, challenging students to think about important, timely issues on campus. In addition to the Paladin Newspaper, he worked with others to create the “Paladin Conversation Partners” program, participated in undergraduate research, attends Café Català, completed internships in Brussells and Madrid and created a podcast called ZoomUni, which focuses on issues related to college life.
  • Renee Neves ’21, from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is double majoring in Spanish and sociology. She has been described as academically impressive, astute, purposeful, inquisitive, respected and a team-builder who epitomizes The Furman Advantage with her extensive curricular and co-curricular activities and accomplishments. Neves serves as the student director of Shucker Leadership Institute, where a faculty member said, “Renee has been instrumental in moving Shucker forward to be a stronger program.” She also assisted on summer research projects with Furman faculty, is a member of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish honor society and participated in a study away program to Spain in 2019.
  • Anju Saxena ’21, from Simpsonville, South Carolina, is a neuroscience major. She has been described as a fantastic scholar and researcher who is reliable and dedicated, as well as a student who has earned the respect of her peers and Furman faculty. Saxena has participated in in laboratory research for three years and presented her work at local and national conferences, including twice at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference. During the spring of 2018, Saxena completed an internship at Safe Harbor, a local agency whose mission is to provide services to those affected by sexual assault and domestic abuse. She made such an impact that the nonprofit asked her to continue her work. Saxena also serves as the president of the Collaborative Neuroscience Society.
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