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South Carolina Honors College

Riley Lankes

Ask me about... international politics, volunteer work and non-STEM research!

I’m a junior from Lexington, SC. I’m an International Studies major, but I started out here as a Mechanical Engineering major! My focus is in international politics, after graduation, my goal is to attend graduate school to study international relations and diplomacy. Afterward, I plan on working in foreign policy and conflict prevention, and eventually becoming a diplomat.

I love: cooking, movies, naps, scuba diving, and my dog!

My Hobbies: There's nothing I enjoy more than cooking a new dish. The kitchen is my lab and I love to experiment in it. A hot stove, loud music, and a group of good friends is my happy place.  

Something I’m proud of: Last year I donated bone marrow to my dad for a stem cell transplant. There’s nothing I’m more proud of than being able to help him fight cancer.

Skill I’d like to master: The ability to fall asleep anywhere.

Favorite study music: Lo-fi hip hop radio - beats to relax/study to.

My motto in life: Fake it ‘till you make it. Confidence is key in everything you do, so if you don’t know what to do in a situation, fake it until you figure it out. Always be ready to learn!

Theme song of my life: Always There by Gretta Van Fleet.

Favorite movie: The Godfather Part II

Favorite childhood memory: I grew up in Syracuse, New York, where winter lasts from November to March. Every weekend when I was growing up all of the kids in the neighborhood would trek up to the top of the big hill across the street from my house with our sleds, and spend hours sledding, snowball fighting, and pushing each other down the hill.

Most likely to be famous for: Being in the Harper College print lab on Monday mornings.

My pet peeve: Microwaving cold coffee. It hurts my soul. It ruins the flavor, and it’s disrespectful of the ritual and tradition of brewing coffee. Make a new cup!

My life goal: My life goal is to become the U.S. Ambassador to a country (which country is up for question) or to the United Nations. It’s in the field I love, it would put me in a position to do good in the world, and it comes with a fun title!

Something I will never do: Say no to fast food. I'm addicted to Bojangles at this point.

My advice for prospective students: If you’re worried about meeting people and finding friends, don’t be. People are wonderful. You’ll find your crowd.

My advice for current students: Sleep more. Pulling all-nighters isn’t productive.

My favorite thing about the Honors College: Living in the Honors Residence Hall with people who push me to be my best. Nothing motivates you like friends who want to see you succeed.

My reason for choosing the SCHC: Out of all the schools I looked at, UofSC Honors was the only college that could offer both challenging academics, as well as a sense of community and home. The South Carolina Honors College will challenge you, but it will also support you through both academic and career building resources, and a tight-knit community to lift you up.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.