University of Mississippi

Scotland Calling Economics Major Neal McMillin

Neal McMillinTaylor Medalist Neal McMillin of Madison spent the summer in Scotland pursuing his dream. He used a $5,000 Barksdale Award from the UM Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College in pursuit of creative, courageous projects and ambitious, independent programs of study and research.

McMillin, a Newman and Barnard Scholar with a double major in Southern Studies and economics, investigated Scotland’s pioneering use of the ocean for renewable energy.

Meetings with public officials, leaders in university environmental centers and renewable energy businesspersons and visits to key development sites were planned to inform McMillin’s thesis about hydroelectric innovation in Scotland and the American South.

“My project juxtaposes the cultural significance of Scotland’s contemporary wave and tidal technology with the Depression-era South’s hydroelectric dams,” he said. “I will analyze the circumstances that contributed to the peculiar state of affairs in which these historically underdeveloped regions emerged as the vanguard of innovation in hydroelectricity.

“Through the venture and the thesis, I will gain perspective on the intricacies of humanity’s crucial relationship with water.”