Claflin U-Rise – 2022-2023 Scholars
Adrian M. Lockwood, Kailee Milligan, Dana M. Joe
Erin N. Thomas, Kyla Aikins
Congratulations U-Rise Scholars

Pre U-RISE and
U-RISE Application 

Undergraduate Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (U-RISE)

The goal of the Undergraduate Research Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE) program is to develop a diverse pool of undergraduates who complete their baccalaureate degree, and transition into and complete biomedical, research-focused higher degree programs (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.). Training grants offset the cost of stipends, tuition and fees, and related expenses, including health insurance, for the appointed trainees in accordance with the approved NIH support levels. Training grants are usually awarded for five years and are renewable.

URISE Program Highlights

  • 60% of tuition and fees will be paid
  • stipend (~$1200/month) to conduct research with a URISE mentor. 
  • financial support to conduct summer research 
  • special advising, seminars and workshops
  • funds to travel to local and national conferences
  • help with graduate school applications
  • Visit our website, for more information
pre-URISE application:

Contact: Keyana Tyree at for more information. 

Keyana Tyree
Program Manager of U-RISE
Adjunct Instructor of Biology

Claflin University
School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

We certainly want to salute our 2021-2022 U-RISE Program Scholars for their achievements and accomplishments. We are very proud of them!
Ms. Chayna Rivers has been accepted into the Master of Science in Forensic Science at Syracuse University for Fall 2022. Ms. Rivers plans to obtain her Master of Science degree before entering a Ph.D. program.

Ms. MiLana Wiltshire has been accepted into the three (and counting) Undergraduate Biology Education Research- Research Experience for Undergraduates (UBER-REU) at the University of Georgia, NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) at the University of Georgia and the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Institute of Aging (NIA) at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine (NIH R25 at USC SOM). Ms. Wiltshire will participate in the NIH R25 at USC SOM this summer. 

Ms. Afua Lincoln has been accepted into the Medical University of South Carolina Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the (MUSC SURP) and MedEX HMX course. Ms. Lincoln will conduct her summer research experience at MUSC SURP and take a virtual MHX, medical education, course at Harvard Medical School.

Ms. Nhandhi Edmonds has completed her application for the Inclusive Excellence Summer Research Experience: Vision Science Undergraduate Summer Research at the University of California at Berkley

New forensic lab open in Orangeburg

This Fall, the Orangeburg Forensic lab partnered with Claflin University. The new lab will serve as both a research lab for students studying Biotechnology and Criminal Justice, and as a functioning lab for the city and the region. Nhandi Edmond, junior biochemistry major and U-RISE trainee, began her internship with the Orangeburg Forensic Lab in October 2021. She is studying the “Evaluation of DNA transfer in forensic science”. Her research mentors are Dr. Samina Noorali, PI of URISE and Professor of Biology and Ms. Amanda Web, lead DNA Technician of the Orangeburg Forensic lab. Click the link to learn more about this partnership.

About U-RISE at Claflin University

The U-RISE Program at Claflin University was established in 2015 and provides academic and summer research experiences, both on campus and at partnering research intensive environments representing academia, industry, and government.

Students have conducted external summer research at the following institutions:

Yale University – New Haven, CT

Washington University – St. Louis, MO

Howard University – Washington, D.C.

University of South Carolina- Columbia, SC

Medical University of South Carolina – Charleston, SC

Wake Forest University – Winston-Salem, NC

Brown University – Providence, RI

University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, PA

University of Alabama Birmingham – Birmingham, AL

Claflin University

Claflin University continues to be recognized as a top-ranked liberal arts college by Washington Monthly. In its 2015 “Best Liberal Arts Colleges” edition, Claflin was ranked as number one liberal arts college in South Carolina and the top Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in the nation. The ranking is based on social mobility –recruiting and graduating low-income students; research – the institution’s ability to produce cutting-edge research; and service – encouraging students to give back to their community. Claflin was named the 2015 AARP/HBCU Digest HBCU of the Year. The HBCU Digest also named Claflin University as the International Alumni Association of the Year.

Claflin was ranked #1 in alumni giving among HBCU’s by U.S. News and World Report. For the seventh year, ranked Claflin University one of the top colleges in the United States based on student satisfactions, post-graduate success, graduation rate, and academic success.

Purpose of U-RISE at Claflin University

U-RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) at Claflin University (CU) consists of interdisciplinary research conducted by Junior and Senior RISE Participants, under the supervision of over 12 researchers at Claflin in collaboration with research institutions, prepare to enter and complete graduate PhD programs in biomedical and behavioral sciences. RISE at CU is conducted in various research programs in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering) and the School of Humanities (Geography, Psychology, Sociology, etc.). Community-based participatory public health research addresses health disparities using Geographic Information Systems and behavioral science models in collaboration with the School of Humanities and the campus-wide Public Health Student Alliance.


URISE – Mentor – Karina Liles, PhD 
Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Below:  Dr. Lillianne Harris Wright is a RISE Alum from Clarke Atlanta and is one of the RISE mentors who completed her doctoral studies at a cancer research center.  View her video clip.


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