CI Student Spotlight: Sarah Meadows

Meet Sarah Meadows, an economics major from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, now in her third year at Clemson. Meadows has participated in a several CI projects covering a variety of topics. Get to know a little more about her and the projects she has worked on in this Q&A.

What CI project(s) are you involved in?

Media Forensics — Using modern techniques and online tools to detect misinformation and investigate disinformation campaigns across multiple media platforms. These campaigns include political disputes, crypto currency scams and much more. The team then writes a report about the investigation and aims to raise awareness about the dangers of disinformation. I have been involved with two reports:

The 5 Year Spam — this project looked at Chinese campaigns to spread pro-China messages and suppress negative narratives on social media.

Crypto Bestiary — this project examined different types of scams and fraudulent accounts related to cryptocurrency.

Representations of Greek Life (Belonging and Exclusion on College Campuses) — This CI, born out of my student interest in how students view belonging in Greek life organizations, has become a research study looking at college students’ feelings of belonging and exclusion on campus and within all student organizations at Clemson. The team has written a literature review, created a survey, approved it with the IRB (Institutional Review Board) and collected data. The team will now code the data and write an article about our findings, which we hope to publish in an academic journal. We aim to share our research with Clemson in hopes of elevating the student experience and increasing feelings of belonging on campus, especially within marginalized groups.

How has participating in CI been a valuable experience for you?

I learned things I would never have learned in a classroom, for example how to know if something is disinformation or not or how to properly collect and code data. I also am challenged every week in CI to do something that I have never done before. It contributes to my curiosity and confidence in my intelligence, knowing I can accomplish the task at hand, especially with the amazing CI mentors Clemson has. I also now know that I want research to be a part of my future.

What are your future career plans after Clemson?

To do something I love and am passionate about, probably something within entrepreneurship and/or research.

What other activities/organizations of you participate in at Clemson?

Outside of CI, I am president and co-founder of the Women’s Weightlifting Club at Clemson! We aim to empower women through fitness and lifting while fostering an inclusive and judgment free environment. In my free time I enjoy staying active, this includes hiking, biking, yoga, lifting weights and trying to be outside as much as possible.

What is one piece of advice you would give to incoming Clemson students?

Don’t be afraid to try new things and get involved, specifically don’t be afraid to try them alone. Go check out that club or organization you think is interesting. You don’t need someone to go with you.