FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University student Steven Blane McCracken of Florence has been awarded a $5,000 graduate fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society.
Only 60 fellowships were awarded nationwide.
McCracken will graduate on May 8, summa cum laude and with university honors, with a major in physics and minors in music and mathematics.
He is the son of Rita Buckles McCracken and Steven V. McCracken. He attended Delmae Elementary, Sneed Middle, and West Florence High schools. Both of his parents, and his older sister, Shannan, are FMU graduates.
McCracken is an accomplished musician. He has played first violin with the Florence Symphony Orchestra, and plays violin, keyboard, and guitar with the band “Flow Town.” He also plays piano, and has been a member of the FMU Jazz Band for four years. In addition, he composes and teaches music.
He is a member of Sigma Pi Sigma (the national physics honor society) and Omicron Delta Kappa (the national leadership honor society). In 2003-04, he served as the student vice president of the FMU Phi Kappa Phi chapter.
At FMU’s recent academics awards day ceremony, he was presented the Physics Award, the Duane P. Myers Honors Award, and the Scholastic Achievement Award. McCracken did three months of research on solar physics during the summer of 2003 at Montana State University, and has presented papers at several professional conferences.
He plans to earn a doctorate in astrophysics, and is currently choosing between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, both of which have offered him scholarships.
McCracken says that he has “a strong desire to learn. I find that I am fascinated by trying to understand everything about the physical world.”
#162 / 4-26-04