My time at Clemson has been quite a ride. I watched the Tigers win their first football national championship in 35 years. I’ve devoted my senior year to serving as undergraduate student body president. I met former Vice President Joe Biden while working in the fight against sexual assault. I’ve traveled the world from the Balkans to China.
The thing that probably drives me the most is my desire to have an impact on the world and change Clemson for the better. Every morning when I wake up, I take some time and think about different things I could do to make someone’s day a little bit better.
Relationships are so important. I think in our generation one of the things that’s lost right now is personal interaction. Some technology is great, but I think it’s important to meet face-to-face with someone and have a real conversation. That’s how you solve a lot of problems.
In my travels, I’ve learned that everyone is more similar than they are different. Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone wants to find happiness. Even if you don’t speak the same language, just a smile and handshake goes a long way. It’s not always about where you go. It’s about who you meet and who you’re sharing it with.
The honors I’ve received while at Clemson University have been humbling. It’s been wonderful to have been named a Schwarzman Scholar and to have received the Astronaut Foundation scholarship. I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family, the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson, my research mentor Dr. Delphine Dean, all my professors and the Calhoun Honors College.
I’ll miss Clemson after graduation. But I’m excited about the next chapter in my life, and I will always be a Tiger.
Joey is graduating this month with a degree in bioengineering and a minor in global politics and will be pursuing a master’s in public policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, as a Schwarzman Scholar this fall. In 2018, he will move to England to pursue a Ph.D. in oncology as a Cambridge International Scholar at Cambridge University.