Outstanding Young Alumnus

The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award honors a graduate under 40 who represents the breadth and scope of new talent, has achieved extraordinary success in a chosen profession and has significantly set themselves apart from their peers.


This year’s recipient is James M. Landreth, ’16 Master of Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing

Empowered by his technical training from the University of South Carolina, James Landreth is a leader in both the US Navy and US Coast Guard. After demanding tours as a Submarine Officer in the Navy and equipped with his Master’s, James began his civilian career as the Lead Mechanical Engineer for the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter propulsion program.

James’ technical successes have had qualitative impacts on the agency’s global mission portfolio as well as quantitative benefits equivalent to millions of dollars saved in sustainment costs. The USCG named James the “2018 Engineer of the Year.” Further, the National Society of Professional Engineers recognized James in the “2018 Top 10 Engineers in Federal Government."

In addition to his civilian role, James continues to serve his country as an officer in the US Navy Reserves. Due to his unique combination of experience and technical education, James was recalled to active duty in 2019 to support US Central Command Headquarters where he serves as a strategist and policy expert for security issues in the Middle East.