Clemson lab manager named Tillman Scholar

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CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Clemson officials announced that a Clemson lab manager and Navy veteran is being named a Tillman Scholar.

Melissa McCullough is one of 60 across the nation to be named a Tillman Scholar this year, which is awarded to a select number of veterans, service members and military spouses to pursue higher education.

The Tillman Scholarship comes from the Pat Tillman Foundation, which was named for the former Arizona Cardinal who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

McCcullough is a Navy veteran and current P.H.D student at Clemson University. She stood out among applicants for her leadership skills. 

“She goes above and beyond,” Clemson Professor Delphine Dean says. “Students know how to find Melissa and I’m very surprised she ever gets work done because they always come to her for help.”

The $11,000 scholarship will fund her research and development of a urinalysis sensor device that she believes could detect early signs of kidney disease.

“This cup will talk to either an app, or your doctors office, community health workers,” McCullough explains. “This is something I’m hoping to design not only for here, to be given to the masses but also for low research regions… By building this device and giving them the option, I think it’s going to allow much more opportunity for testing not only for kidney disease but for other diseases that could have markers in your urine.”

McCullough hopes to finish her P.H.D. and apply for a patent by May of next year.

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