2017 groupphoto2

Graduate Students

Hasala “Nadee” Lokupitiya

I am originally from Sri Lanka and I obtained my B.Sc honors degree in Chemistry from University of Colombo. Then I joined the USC graduate program in 2013 with a Copenhaver fellowship. My main research is focused on the preparation and characterization of nanostructured materials for future generation energy storage devices such as lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors. Besides chemistry, I manage time to enjoy myself with cooking, running and swimming.

Amrita Sarkar

I am originally from Calcutta, India where I obtained a B.S. and M.S. from Calcutta University. I started the doctoral program at USC in 2013 to pursue a research career in polymer chemistry. My research focuses on synthesis of block copolymers for morphology studies and their application in advanced devices. In addition to Chemistry, some of my favorite activities include exploring new places, reading books and listening to music.

Zachary Marsh

I am from Panama, NY and obtained a BA in chemistry from Washington & Jefferson College. I joined the USC graduate program with a Copenhaver Fellowship in 2014 with a focus on organic chemistry. In my spare time I enjoy football, weight lifting, and brewing. 


Benjamin Lamm

I am from Beach Park, IL and obtained my BS in Chemistry from Illinois Wesleyan University. I joined the USC graduate program with a Copenhaver Fellowship in 2014 and am focusing on inorganic chemistry. My interests include cycling and reading.


Kayla Lantz

I am from Clarksburg, WV and obtained a BS in chemistry from West Virginia University.   I started my PhD at USC in 2014 with a focus on inorganic chemistry. The aim of my research is to control block copolymer morphologies with magnetic fields. In my spare time I enjoy running, reading and watching movies.

WesselWessel Van Den Bergh (Fall 2017)

I am from Holland, MI and obtained a BS in Chemistry from Hope College. I joined USC’s PhD program in 2017 with a focus on analytic chemistry. I enjoy reading philosophy, watching movies, and long walks on the beach in my spare time.

Undergraduate Students

Blake Clamp (Summer 2017)

My name is Blake Clamp, and I’m from Gilbert, South Carolina. I’m a junior at the University of South Carolina pursing an Exercise Science major and Chemistry minor. After my undergraduate I plan on applying to medical school. In my free time I like going to see my family, playing with my dog, or watching football.

SammySammy Ciricillo (Spring

My name is Sammy Ciricillo, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a junior at USC studying Chemical Engineering with minors in Spanish and Chemistry. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies, spending time with friends and family, cooking, and traveling.

GusAugust Cole (Fall

I am a Chemical Engineering undergraduate at the University of South Carolina. I am from Columbia South Carolina. In my free time I enjoy reading, running, and listening to music.


Pei-Hua “Elliott” Chiang (Fall 2017)

I’m originally from Taiwan and I’m a junior majoring in Chemical Engineering at USC with a concentration in materials. After graduation, I plan to pursue graduate school in material science. My biggest hobby is discovering exotic and innovative flavors of ice cream.

Prior Group Members and Visitors

Akshay Thyagarajan (Summer 2017)

I am a final year Chemical Engineering student at SSN college of engineering, Chennai, India. I enjoy playing the guitar, tennis and listening to music..

Laurel Evans (Summer 2017)

I’m from Columbia, SC and I am in the  graduating class of 2018 at Spring Valley high school. In my free time I bake, run crosscountry and play soccer.

Liam Han (Summer 2017)

 I’m an exchange student from Korea visiting through the SC Governors School for Science and Math.

DPP_0001Adeline King (Summer 2017)

 Chemistry Major.

Dae Bigach (Spring, Summer, and Fall 2016)

My name is Dae Bigach, and I’m from York, South Carolina. I’m a freshman Chemical Engineering major at USC.  My hobbies include reading, swimming and creating costumes.

Yong Shin Song (Summer 2016)

I’m from Yongin, South Korea. I’m taking part of SPRI Program at USC with student’s from Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. I’m from Gyeonggi Science High School, and I’m mainly studying Chemistry and Biology. Since my interests are quite broad, I’d like to experience many types of topics of research. In my free time, I like to watch movies, and listen to music.

Laura Murdock (Summer and Fall 2016)

I am a Chemistry and Marine Science double major at the USC and will be graduating in December 2016. I’m originally from Potomac, Maryland. My area of research is in diblock copolymer synthesis. In my spare time I enjoy swimming, being by the water, and when possible, spending time with my parents and three siblings. I’m also really passionate about education and I especially love helping others with science related academics.

Marion Hope (Fall 2016)

I am from West Columbia, SC and am currently a third year Biomedical Engineering student at the USC. During my free time I enjoy playing video games and participating in various 5ks and relay races.

Christopher Scott (Summer 2016)

I am native of Columbia, SC and graduated Lower Richland High School the summer of 1999. I joined the Air Force in 2000 and fought in the Iraqi Freedom Campaign from 2003-2004. My professional experience includes working with Hazardous Materials in the Air Force including chemicals, small arm ammunition, and explosives. I currently attend Midlands Technical College as a transfer student in Mechanical Engineering and plan to transfer to USC soon.

Lam Nguyen (Summer 2016)

Emigrating from Vietnam, I have lived in Columbia for most of my life, and I am here from the Governor’s School of Science and Mathematics to intern in the SPRI program and gain experience from working in a laboratory. I plan to go to college to major in computer engineering and to help improve technology for the future. I like to fill my free time with mostly video gaming and other strategy games such as poker and chess.

Jamaal Jacobs (Summer 2016)

I am from Pelion, SC and currently attend the Governor’s School of Science and Mathematics in Hartsville, SC as a rising senior. I enjoy watching anime, playing cards, going for walks with my chihuahua and of course, Chemistry.

Sumanta Kumar Sahoo (Summer 2014)

Hailing from India, I am enjoying research at USC in the field of electrochemistry. Currently, I am pursuing a Doctoral degree regarding the electrochemical synthesis of graphene nanosheets at the National Institute of Technology in Rourkela, India. I have masters degrees in Physics as well as Nano Science and Technology. In my leisure time, I play badminton, tennis and cricket.

Sean Coleman (2016)

I am originally from Indiana, Pennsylvania and am currently a third year Chemical Engineering student at the University of South Carolina.  My areas of research interest are diblock copolymers, their synthesis, and how they can be utilized in real world applications.  In my spare time I enjoy baseball, football, and weight lifting.

Jordan Mosely (2016)

I am from Atlanta, Ga and I’m currently a third year Biochemistry student with a Music minor. My research is focused in diblock copolymer synthesis. I enjoy playing classical guitar, my instrument of choice, reading, and weightlifting.

Jefferson Langston (2014 Fall-2016 Spring)

I am originally from South Carolina, and am currently a third year Chemistry student at the University of South Carolina. My areas of research interest are polymers and their synthesis and how they can be used in real world applications. In my spare time I enjoy running, watching movies, and reading books.

Kenneth Crawford (2016 Spring)

I am from Irmo, South Carolina and am currently a first year Electrical Engineering student at the University of South Carolina. In my spare time I enjoy running, playing baseball, and watching movies.

Joseph Markovich (2016 Spring)

I am originally from Hazlet, New Jersey but moved to Huntsville, Alabama a few years back.  I am a second year Chemical Engineering student at the University of South Carolina.  I enjoy seeing real world applications of brand new chemistry, especially in industry.  In my spare time I enjoy hiking and weight lifting.

Cash Jowers (2016 Spring)

I am from Jefferson, South Carolina, and am currently in my Junior year as a Chemistry major at the University of South Carolina. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching television, and learning new, unusual things.

IMG_5058Kelby Beam (2014/2015 summer)

I am originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana and am coming from the Governor’s school for Science and Mathematics.  I was able to start research in highschool because of the Governor’s School’s Summer Program for Research Interns.  I am expecting to go to college for a degree in chemical engineering or materials science.  My main hobbies are playing racquetball, working out, and making music.

 Alexis Jones (2014/2015 summer)

I am from Columbia, SC and have been living here all my life.  I will be a senior at Spring Valley High School. There, I am in the Discovery Magnet Program for science and mathematics, where a combination of vigorous courses and research-based classes prepare us for the college life.  My hobbies include listening to music and spending time with my family.

Lydia Henderson (2015 summer)

I am from West Columbia, SC, and am a rising senior at the Governor’s School for Science and Math. I am interning here at USC through the SPRI program created by the Governor’s School to give students real experience conducting research. I plan to go to college and major in a biological science, with the goal to later attend medical school. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to music, playing pool and spending time with my friends and family.

 Donghyun Ko (2015 summer)

I am originally from Seoul, South Korea and am visiting from the Gyeonggi science high school. I could come to USC because of the Gyeonggi science high school’s internship program with the Governor’s school for Science and Mathematics. I want to research brain science in college. For that reason, I want to experience various kinds of research. I hope that I can learn many things at USC. My main hobbies are playing basketball, reading a book, and listening to music.


Dr. Manjunath Puttaswamy (2014)

I am originally from India and I completed my Bachelor of Engineering (B.E) in Materials Science and Engineering from PSG College of Technology, India. Having obtained a keen interest in the field of nanoscience, my pursuit for knowledge continued with a Masters in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden and then a Ph.D at the University of Aarhus, Denmark in the field of atomic layer deposition. My interests apart from science are to play floorball, basketball, tennis and explore the great outdoors.


Are you ready to join the team?

Learn about PhDs in Chemistry and Biochemistry at USC and then apply online for free.


IMG_4006Summer of 2016

2016 spring group

Fall 2015

Summer 2015


Fall 2015


Summer 2014