Each spring, one Clemson student is chosen as the recipient of the Norris Medal, the highest honor for an undergraduate. Established in the will of Clemson trustee D.K. Norris, the honor is awarded to the graduating senior judged the best all-around student by the Scholarships and Awards Committee.
This spring, that student was Austin Herbst of Easley, who graduated with a dual degree in biochemistry and genetics, with a double minor in microbiology and psychology. Two weeks before graduation, he took home multiple awards from the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, including being named the outstanding senior in genetics and biochemistry and receiving the Martin Award, which honors the student in the life sciences with the highest GPA. The Blue Key Academic and Leadership Award and the Phi Kappa Phi Certificate of Merit rounded out the list. The Blue Key award is given to one senior in each of Clemson’s seven colleges to honor outstanding scholarship, campus leadership and service.
Last spring as a junior Herbst was awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for excellence in science, mathematics and engineering. He was involved in undergraduate bioengineering research during his first three years at Clemson, and conducted research at both Furman and Emory universities. He published five peer-reviewed articles. He has volunteered in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua, and was active in Engineers without Borders, Engineering World Health and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, of which he was president.
Having been admitted to medical school at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt, Herbst is planning to attend Harvard this fall. He would like to pursue a career in global health and work internationally.