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Cameron Feriante Earns Summer Chemistry Internship in South Carolina

Cameron Feriante (Chemistry, ’15) spent ten weeks this past summer on an internship he won through the Society for Chemical Industry (SCI) America International Group and the American Chemical Society. This opportunity placed Feriante with Milliken & Company in Spartanburg, South Carolina, a company that develops synthetic flooring, flame resistant fabrics, and infrastructure. He also received a stipend, housing, and funding for travel.

Cameron Feriante (left) with Dr. Hans Schanz

Cameron Feriante (left) with Dr. Hans Schanz

Feriante’s main research task involved preliminary work with room-temperature silicone elastomer composites. Silicone composites are a combination of materials that make fabrics and textiles lighter and more durable. Even though he had no prior experience in this field, he was able to quickly acclimate to a new research environment.  “Learning a different technique and applying it to a problem is something the honors program taught me. There was more self-direction than the average classroom, but I applied the data towards the goal of problem solving,” Feriante said.

The internship gave Feriante a chance to work with top professionals and students in his field.  “I worked with phenomenal minds to seek to promote creativity. It was incredible,” Feriante said.

The learning experience in the internship built on knowledge he gained in Georgia Southern’s classrooms and labs. “The summer internship overlapped well with my general chemistry classes, though my Introduction to Polymer Materials class did prove most useful. The internship was very educational,” Feriante said.  “It let me meet influential people and led me to a second internship this semester. It was an amazing opportunity.”

Feriante is now on a second internship also though Milliken but at a local King America Finish plant. “The internship gave me a chance to network and meet influential people. Now I have a second opportunity that overlaps with my Survey of Industrial Chemistry class,” Feriante said.

Feriante also received an Honorable Mention from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for his research in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries. His research is developing into his honors thesis. The experiences of research, in developing a thesis, and in the honors classrooms helped Feriante assemble competitive applications for all these experiences. “The honors program helped me with advice on my Goldwater application, and that process of revising and editing also applied to the application I developed for my internship,” Feriante added.

After graduation, Feriante intends to continue his studies in graduate school to work with polymers or organic chemistry. He is currently applying to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Northwestern University.


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