Kennesaw State Recognizes Birla Carbon Scholars

Junior Destiny Paige wins top award during sixth annual symposium

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 3, 2019)

Destiny Paige, top award winner
Destiny Paige, top award winner
Kennesaw State University junior Destiny Paige’s research into a new bioactive glass for use in tissue repair and drug delivery won the Top Poster Award at the Birla Carbon Symposium, at which the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) officially recognized the 11 new Birla Carbon Scholars.

“Congratulations to all of our 11 Birla Carbon Scholars,” said Donald McGarey, the College’s interim dean. “The opportunity to work side-by-side with some of our most talented faculty members performing original research is one of the Birla Carbon Scholars partnership’s great strengths. We are thankful to Birla Carbon for their continuing support.”

In the spring, the College of Science and Mathematics selected 11 students to each receive a $4,000 stipend to pursue their individual research interests during a unique 10-week summer program established by Birla Carbon. 

In marking the sixth year of the scholars program, Birla Carbon increased the number of scholars to 11 from 10 and increased its pledge to $275,000 to support the undergraduate research program in the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) over a five-year period. 

Braden Clinebell
Braden Clinebell

The applicants were chosen based on the recommendations of CSM faculty members, submission of an undergraduate research project abstract, and a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Recipients worked with their sponsoring faculty members on their proposed research projects, which this summer ran the gamut from green chemistry to muon tomography and from the identification of cardiac regulatory genes to forensic analysis of lead-free ammunition residue.

Since 2014, funding provided by the chemical manufacturer has allowed 61 Birla Carbon Scholars to participate in summer research opportunities.

This year’s scholars and their faculty mentors include:

  • Birla Carbon Scholar
    Faculty Mentor
  • Max Andrews
    Anton Bryantsev
  • Braden Clinebell
    Daniela Tapu
  • Robert Cronin
    Chris Dockery
  • Tia Gordon
    Kimberly Cortes
  • Rebekah Henneborn
    Scott Nowak
  • Emma Henry
    Jonathan McMurry
  • Tessa Jordan
    Martin Hudson
  • Naza Okafor
    Michael Stollenz
  • Destiny Paige
    Rajnish Singh
  • Emma Pearson
    David Joffe
  • Hunter Spivey
    Thomas Leeper

The Birla Carbon Team judges awarded Paige, a biology major from Loganville, with the top prize for her research. In her experiment, Paige introduced a novel composition of bioactive glass containing mixed valence cerium oxide nanoparticles into hamster kidney cells. Bioactive glasses are well-known biodegradable and biocompatible materials.  

“More research may ultimately lead to improved chemotherapy for diseases like atherosclerosis, cancer, heart failure, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,” said Paige.

Terence Norman
Terence Norman
Along with the $4,000 stipend each scholar received, Paige received an additional $2,000 in travel funds to present her research at a national or regional conference of her choice. 

About Birla Carbon:

Birla Carbon is the world’s largest producer and supplier of carbon black additives, which are used to make everything from tires to plastics, from paints to electronics. A flagship business of the $44.3 billion Aditya Birla Group, the multinational conglomerate based in Taloja, India. Birla Carbon’s Technology Laboratories are located in Marietta and Taloja, India.

—Robert S. Godlewski

Photos by Jason Getz


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit