Photo of Dr. Childress and team in front of the Keys Marine Laboratory

Dr. Michael Childress receives 2015 Phil & Mary Bradley Award for CI Mentoring

Dr. Michael Childress received the 2015 Phil and Mary Bradley Award for Creative inquiry Mentoring at the may 7 general Faculty meeting.

Dr. Childress, an associate professor in biological sciences, has hosted a Creative Inquiry team since the early days of the program, serving as mentor to 44 undergraduates and involving his graduate students as additional mentors to the younger students. His project was featured in the inaugural issue of Decipher magazine, in 2012, in the article, Don’t be Crabby: Creative Inquiry Students are Making a Splash.

Michael’s students are exceedingly productive — they have made 21 presentations at professional conferences, have produced at least one publication (with a graduate student in the lab), and describe their work on an ongoing basis through their blog.

His students respect and like him, in great part because he obviously cares about them. A student made the following comment, in nominating Dr. Childress for this award:

Dr. Childress is a brilliant teacher and communicator and really cares about the success of his students. I spend a good part of every week in the lab, even when I’m not working specifically on data analysis for the project. I credit this largely to the camaraderie among the students and mentors on the CI team. Dr. Childress is always willing to help us with our projects but he also challenges us to think for ourselves and figure out problems without being told the answer. Research with Dr. Childress has really changed my Clemson experience. It’s opened my eyes to real world issues and allowed me to cultivate skills I couldn’t have gained in a regular classroom setting.

Brittany Ann Avin (in pink) poses with her parents and Clements after receiving the Norris Medal

CI Student Wins Norris Medal

Brittany Anne Avin of Greenville, North Carolina was awarded the 2015 Norris Medal for being voted the best all-around student by the university scholarships and awards committee. Brittany spent several semesters on a Creative Inquiry team researching the Biochemical and genetic approaches to understanding acetate fermentation in pathogenic fungi with Doctors Cheryl and Kerry Smith and participating in the team that managed the marketing and the planning for the April 10th Relay for Life.

The Norris Medal is given to the best all-around graduating senior student. The Norris Medal is considered the most prestigious award given to an undergraduate.


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Photo by Ken Scar

Peter Kent teaching the CI Adobe Scholars

2015 CI Adobe Scholars Begin Their Journey

The second year of the CI Adobe Scholars program got underway this week. We have 10 students working throughout the summer learning the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of programs in order to produce the 2016 issue of Decipher, the Creative Inquiry Magazine. As the summer progresses the students will utilize their skills in InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere, and more to create interactive content for the Decipher App as well as the print version. To view the current issue of Decipher and find out more visit