Awards for Excellence in Global Studies

This award has been made possible by the generous financial support of CresCom Bank with additional support from members of the World Affairs Council of Charleston

John M Settle, Sr / World Affairs Council of Charleston Awards

These annual awards are named in honor of John M. Settle, Sr. He was a graduate of Charleston High School and the Citadel and Chairman Emeritus of Community First Bank, now CresCom Bank.  Until 2002 he served as Chief Executive Officer of the bank.  He was also Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Home Federal Savings Bank in Charleston.  Mr. Settle served four years as Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta representing South Carolina.

His many community service positions include: Chairman of the Development Board Foundation, Board Member of the Citadel Trust Foundation, President of the South Carolina Savings and Loan League, National Director of the Savings Association Insurance Fund, President of the Charleston Chapter of the Institute of Financial Education, President of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Fund Chairman and President of the Trident United Way, and Lowcountry Chairman of the Business and Industry Political Education Committee.  He was also Commodore of both the Carolina and Sea Island Yacht Clubs, Chairman of Commissioners for Pilotage for the Port of Charleston, Director and Chairman of the Development Committee for Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community, Chairman of the Charleston Air Force Association and President of the Optimist Club of Charleston.

The awards would not be possible without the support of CresCom Bank’s generous gift matched by gifts from the membership and with other sources. The foresight of the bank’s leaders and their desire to honor Mr. Settle for his years of community service makes possible this annual award to public high school students.  The World Affairs Council of Charleston’s membership thanks the bank for its support of public education and global studies at the high school level.


Three students in Charleston County Public High Schools won the 2019 John M. Settle/CresCom Bank Award for outstanding achievement in global issues. The students submitted incisive essays weighing challenges as diverse as competition with China to Global Health policy.

Spencer Margosian, a senior at Wando High School pivoted from his Engineering Club focus and VEX Robotics competition to write an award winning essay arguing that neither China’s economic expansion nor its diplomatic expansion in Asia present challenges that American foreign policy cannot successfully manage.

Byron Murphy, a sophomore at Burke High School with a desire to practice medicine and Amyah Wright, a sophomore at Military Magnet School evaluated methods for improving Global Health based on actual results. The factors of public vs private funding, multilateral agencies vs US foreign aid in both research and access were analyzed. Outcomes were evaluated in both humanitarian terms and increases in productivity.

Joe Bonacci, Senior Vice President for Cres Com Bank presented the winners with the latest Kindle devices to assist in furthering their studies. The Award Ceremony was on April 17, 2019 and is an annual undertaking of the World Affairs Council of Charleston to increase academic outreach.      




Joe Bonnaci, Alex Clifford, Alexis Hamilton, Raven Gamble, Austin Setser, A’nya Bennett, Maggie Deas, Adriana Ballinger


At the Academic Magnet High School, Adriana Ballinger has been on the Honor Roll every quarter. She has shown excellence in AP European History and a passion for environmentalism, history, and public policy. Besides her achievements in the social sciences, Adriana has been recognized in other disciplines, as well; she has received a Bioengineering Grant from MUSC/Clemson and has been named to the both the History and the French National Honor Societies. She is a member of the Creative Writing Club, plays the cello, and draws. She utilizes these talents as an art counselor with the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Department.


At Baptist Hill High School, Maggie Deas is a High Honor Roll student and currently holds the top ranking in her class. Her inquisitive mind has served her well in understanding global issues. Also, in biology and chemistry, she has demonstrated high achievement. Maggie is on the Student Council and the Step Team. She plays in the band and volunteers in tutoring and mentoring programs for elementary school students.


Raven Gamble has achieved the highest grades in her social studies classes at Burke High School. Her World Geography class ignited her interest in world health issues, an area she hopes to pursue in a career as a medical professional. She is an A/B Honor Roll student and a good athlete, participating in basketball and volleyball and serving as the captain of the softball team.


Alex Clifford is a 10th grader at the Charleston County School of the Arts. In all disciplines, she has demonstrated an impeccable work ethic, and in World History particularly, she has revealed an excellent understanding of the overarching themes. This understanding has sharpened her analysis of global issues. Her fine writing skills have also earned her awards in poetry, the short story and flash fiction.


Ethan Guthrie is a senior at James Island Charter High School. He has excelled in his AP Human Geography class. Through his deep understanding of the concepts of social studies, he has developed informed opinions on global issues. He grasps the interconnectedness of historical events and he prompts his fellow students to excellence in understanding. Outside the classroom, Ethan is a top-level, varsity swimmer.


At the Military Magnet Academy, Alexis Hamilton has demonstrated a keen interest and sophisticated understanding of world affairs. Her commendable GPA has earned her the rank of Sergeant First Class. Alexis has attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards seminars in past summers, and this year has been selected to attend the Junior Cadet Leadership Council, the Marine Camp for leadership, and the Washington, DC Law and CSI Forum. She plays sports year-round: volleyball, basketball, softball, and volunteers at the Charleston Food Bank.


A'nya Bennett attends R.B. Stall High School, where her excellent GPA has earned her a very high ranking in her 10th grade class. She has excelled in her AP History class, demonstrating impressive writing and critical thinking skills. A’nya also participates in Student Government and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America).


Highly motivated in a wide variety of disciplines, Austen Setser has achieved an outstanding GPA at Wando High School. His expertise in social studies has afforded him a sound perspective on the world around him. His talents in math and science have led him to the Robotics Team, and to volunteering at the Cario Middle School engineering camp and to organizing the Laurel Hill math team. Austin is also a member of the Beta Club and a section leader in the Wando Band.


A 9th grader at West Ashley High School, Jordan Behrens has already demonstrated leadership qualities in the classroom and in his extracurricular activities. With a high GPA, he has earned the Academic Honor Roll, and he has served as co-captain of the Junior Varsity Football team. Jordan also plays the piano and volunteers through his church helping disadvantaged people.




Left to Right - Joe Bonacci, Zachary Kronsberg, Tyeshia Williams, Basil Alfaro, Melodi Marston, Patrick White, Elsi Garcia, Victoria Botzis

At Academic Magnet High School, Zachary Kronsberg has been an excellent history student and has an outstanding academic record. He is a member of the Key Club, has served as the Junior Class President, and has pursued his interests in drama and acting. Zachary has also worked as a summer camp counselor at the Children’s Museum. 

Jaheim Mitchell has excelled in global studies at Baptist Hill High School, with his ability to analyze information and make insightful connections between the past and the present. He has achieved the Honor Roll since elementary school, has been a member of the Student Council, and plays basketball. 

Tyeshia Williams’ deep faith in the well-being of the world and her dedicated interest in other cultures drive her to excellence in global studies. Tyeshia has been on the Honor Roll every semester at Burke High School, is a member of the Robotics Team and captain of the Academic Bowl Team. She has also served as a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House. 

At the Charleston Charter School for Math and Science, James Abercrombie has demonstrated a sincere enthusiasm for history and has achieved high academic excellence. He has maintained Honor Roll status and is a member of the National Honor Society. James also plays basketball and volunteers at the Charleston Horticultural Society. 

Adam Krasnoff has excelled academically at the Charleston School of the Arts, and has revealed sincere interest in social studies that may carry him to a career in government, law, or public service. In addition to achieving High Honor Roll, he’s shown a passion for film, photography and journalism. Adam teaches Sunday school at his synagogue and volunteers at the Liberty Hill Literacy Program. 

An honor student at James Island Charter High School, Basil Alfaro is a Student Council representative and participates in track and cross country. He pursues the piano and the chorus, and with his fluency in Spanish and his abiding interest in global studies, Basil hopes to find his career in Latin America one day. 

Currently holding the rank of corporal at the Military Magnet Academy, Melodi Marston has maintained a high academic performance and achieved the Commandant’s list for academics. She has demonstrated a keen interest in world history and global affairs. Melodi is also a member of the band and the dance team. 

At North Charleston High School, Mary Coaxum ranks at the top of her class. In her social studies classes, she discusses current events and global issues with passion, knowledge and good analysis. She has attended the World War II Leadership Academy in New Orleans, La. and Normandy, France. She also plays volleyball and softball. 

As a 10th grader at R.B. Stall High School, Steven Robinson has attained a very high grade point average and is the top-ranked student in his class. He has excelled in his AP European History class, demonstrating excellent analytical skills. Steven is also a member of the Robotics Team. 

Elsi Garcia has maintained an excellent grade point average at St. John’s High School and has demonstrated particular success in economics, US government and US history. She has also worked as the Kiawah Apprentice through the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. 

At Wando High School, Patrick White is a member of the National Honor Society, the Beta Club, and the Wando High School AP Academy. He is also on the school rugby team, plays the cello, teaches TaeKwonDo, and serves as an acolyte in his church. 

Victoria Botzis upholds a very strong grade point average at West Ashley High School and has shown particular dedication in her AP World History course. She is a leader in the classroom as well as in her volleyball and softball teams. Victoria has also participated in the Heart Walk for Babies.



Besides being scholars, they are artists and musicians and athletes, student council officers and Junior ROTC cadets, book club members and Eagle Scouts, The participate in the National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America and the Prostart Management Competition. They serve on prom committees and as math tutors. They volunteer at recreation departments, in Operation Christmas Child, as assistants in middle school athletic programs, in their churches and their communities.

These young ladies and gentlemen show high academic standards, leadership potential, and dedication to service, They represent a younger generation of which we can all be proud.

Academic Magnet High School
Brennan Kosut

Baptist Hill Middle High School
Anaisia Mann

Burke High School
Shanequa Rainey

Charleston Charter School of Math and Science
Olivia McConnell

Charleston County School for the Arts

McCormick Emge

Garrett Academy of Technology
Nautica Ja-Len Roberts

James Island Charter School
John Medlock

Lincoln Middle High School
Mary Autumn White

Military Magnet Academy

DiAnte’ Walker

North Charleston High School
Pablo Leyva

RB Stall High School
Phelan Lee Murray

St. John’s High School
LaTisha Cuthberth

Wando High School
Reilly Grace Marshall

West Ashley High School
Kelly Michele Cochran