Chemistry Major Tapped as Outstanding Senior
Aiken, SC (05/09/2018) — The University of South Carolina Aiken selected Jason Weeks as the Outstanding Senior Student.
He was honored during the university's Academic Honors Ceremony.
"I do not think I would be where I am today if it wasn't for the opportunities that the USCA has given me," Weeks said during his address to faculty, family and friends.
"USCA has offered me opportunities that even some prestigious undergraduate programs could not offer."
"At every difficult obstacle I have faced, there was always a professor who was willing to help and encourage me to continue. These small class sizes and accepting faculty have made USCA not only feel like an excellent university but also made it feel like a home," he added.
The president of the USC Aiken Alumni Association will recognize Weeks during Commencement Exercises.
After graduating with a degree in chemistry, Weeks will attend University of Texas Austin, where he will pursue a doctorate degree in inorganic chemistry.
"[Jason] is so eager with his studies," said Dr. Chad L. Leverette, chair of the department of chemistry and physics.
"As a student, he turns in high-quality work always on time. He is extremely bright and has a natural talent in the sciences."
For the last four years, Weeks has been enrolled in the USC Aiken Honors Program. He is also an active researcher, working closing with his faculty mentor and scientists at the Savannah River National Lab.
"Jason is an exceptional student and young researcher," Leverette said.
"In research, Jason has been a star, already enjoying co-authorship on two published manuscripts as an undergraduate student.
"This is exceptional and very unusual for an undergraduate student."
To date, he has received numerous awards and grants and has given several presentations at scholarly conferences. USC Aiken is not the only one to notice his research acumen.
The national lab - along with USC Aiken faculty - picked Weeks for the USC Aiken Scholars Program, a unique research opportunity for exceptional science students. As a research assistant at SRNL, Weeks worked on six projects concurrently; led a waste management group; gained invaluable experience with the industrial procedures and practices of a national laboratory and worked on several highly technical initiatives.
Members of the USC Aiken Honors, Awards and Scholarships Committee selects the Outstanding Senior Student each year. Nominees must excel academically and participate in extracurricular service activities both on campus and in the community.
Weeks surpasses the criteria and will graduate Summa Cum Laude. Out of the classroom, he gave 110 percent and embodied the university's core value of engaged citizenship, according to Leverette.
"He has also been a wonderful campus citizen having served in organizations like the Neuroscience Club, Philosophy Club, and USC Aiken Judicial Board."
Other extracurricular activities include the National Society of Leadership and Success, the charity AXE, and Knights of Columbus.
Weeks also served as a chemistry ambassador, another "high honor," Leverette said. Faculty in the department of chemistry and physics appointed him for this role to assist them with recruiting and retention initiatives.
"Jason has a bright future," said Leverette.
"I look forward to following his success in the years to come."