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C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n magaz in e FAL L 2 00 9

Climbing the �ree of Knowledge

Renowned anthropologist and ethnobotanist John Rashford blooms as the model teacher-scholar

FAL L 2 0 0 9 Volume XIV, Issue 1 Editor

Mark Berry Art Director

Alfred Hall Associate Editors

Alicia Lutz ’98 Jason Ryan Photography

Leslie McKellar Contributors

Trevor Baratko ’08 Jenna Brown ’07 Kip Bulwinkle ’04 Gervase Caycedo ’08 Tim Devine ’09 Bryce Donovan ’98 Sam Fleming ’10 Charlie Geer ’94 Rheana Murray ’08 Alex Pellegrino ’03 Jamie Self ’02 Konstantin Vengerowsky ’10 Maggie White ’10 (M.A.)

The SeaSon is sTarTing. CoaCh CreminS is gearing up, and so should you!

go CougarS!

T-shirts, Frisbees, books, hats, shorts, kids’ apparel, keychains, decals, pens, blankets, magnets, travel mugs … everything you could ever want to show off your school spirit.

Alumni Relations

Karen Burroughs Jones ’74 Executive Vice President for External Relations

Michael Haskins Contact us at

magazine@cofc.edu On the Web

www.cofc.edu/magazine College of Charleston Magazine is published three times a year by the Division of Marketing and Communications. With each printing, approximately 53,000 copies are mailed to keep alumni, families of currently enrolled students, legislators and friends informed about and connected to the College. Diverse views appear in these pages and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or the official policies of the College.

Visit the College of Charleston Bookstore for all your Cougar needs. 160 Calhoun Street • 843.953.5518 • www.cofc.bkstr.com

Errata: In the summer issue, Ian Conyers ’09 was misidentified in the caption on page 16.

[ table of contents ]

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Celebrated author Annie Dillard wrote, “Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.” We beg to differ, and we respectfully enter this photoessay into evidence.



In many institutions, there are scholars, and there are teachers – and never the twain shall meet. However, at the College, things are very different. John Rashford, professor of anthropology, is one such example of the model teacher-scholar – a celebrated researcher in his discipline and a transformative educator in the classroom.

















Some people have that rare ability to look over the horizon and see the Next Big Thing. From innovative technologists to champions of new ways of thinking, the College has its fair share of alumni and students who are working on the cutting edge in a variety of ways.

on the cover: John Rashford, photo by Peter Frank Edwards ’93

AROUND the CISTERN What Lies Beneath

INSIDE THE CISTERN • 4 chambers of brick masonry, 9 feet, 1 inch deep • 1 well • 2 large steel inlets that bring water in • 2 overflows that prevent overfilling • 4 lead pipes that allow a suction discharge



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JaY Wurscher Peered doWn the open manhole. Beneath him shimmered water so clear he could forgive a man for confusing it for gin. More than 30,000 gallons of rainwater were below him, but soon they’d be gone. The College’s Cistern would be pumped dry, and he could descend into the vaulted structure and poke around with a flashlight, making sure the Cistern’s stucco and brick were in sound condition. In a previous life, before operating the College’s Central Energy Plant (known to students as the “smoke factory”), Wurscher had been in the Navy, spending more than 20 years aboard nuclear submarines. Little did the young sailor know that his service would be the perfect preparation for this unusual assignment. Like a submarine, the Cistern is dark and cramped. Leaks and cracks, too, are a very bad thing. Joining Wurscher was Charleston architect Craig Bennett. Readying themselves for descent, the men stepped into full-body contamination suits and strapped on harnesses. Dangling beneath a tripod, they were lowered by cable down an 18-inch manhole. Bennett, already a slight man, made himself even thinner, putting his arms above his shoulders in order to squeeze down the narrow hole into the Cistern’s womb. “It’s definitely an unpleasant trip,” Bennett says. “You’re completely at the mercy of someone winching you up and down. There’s no possibility of self-rescue to get out of there.” In 1857, the Cistern was built at the College to hold water for fighting fires. It was the latest of a handful of construction jobs in that immediate area. A year before, Towell Library was built. A few years before that, architect Edward Brickell White designed Porters Lodge and added wings and a portico to Main Building, known today as Randolph Hall. Rainwater that hit the roofs of Randolph Hall and Towell Library drained into the Cistern.


In September, the College began a $4.4-million restoration of the façades of Randolph Hall, Towell Library and Porters Lodge. Three years before work began, the College readied plans for the restoration and inspected the structures in the Cistern Yard. During this time, Wurscher and Bennett took their memorable trip into the Cistern. When the men touched down almost

9 feet below the lawn, they stood in a mess of muck. They sloshed their way across the 30-foot square chamber, ducking beneath the arched vaults. Wurscher marveled at the engineering. “The level of construction is like an interstate bridge. It’s massive,” he says. Bennett marveled at what seeped around his shoes and oozed out of pipes. “It’s pretty nasty down there,” he notes.

Thousands of alumni have crossed the Cistern to receive their diplomas, but few have ventured below. We asked four faculty members what they think lurks beneath. Here are their imaginative answers: For the better part of a lifetime, I have wondered what our Cistern must contain. Suspicious of a ruse, I dismissed long ago the notion that only water was once stored there. Something more important must surely lie beneath its oval exterior. All I know for certain is that I have walked across the Cistern a thousand times over, played around its bricks, studied in the cool of its luscious grass, enjoyed the views from its perspective and experienced love in its embrace. So among many things it may contain, I am comforted that our Cistern is the source of a lifetime of memories and, as I would like to imagine, the vessel of the same as I melt into its history. – Christopher Starr ’83, computer science Physicists often talk about empty places, but we know that nothing is really empty. The Cistern is full of the real and the ethereal. Each cubic meter in that void is about 1.2 kilograms of air, composed of the usual nitrogen and oxygen, but also neon and helium and krypton and argon, and others. Some reasonable assumptions allow you to calculate that taking a breath in the Cistern, you will breathe some molecules also breathed by Jesus. As profound as that thought might be, the same can be said of a breath you take outside of the Cistern. Get some perspective about recycling, and give a few moments thought to others who breathed the very same atoms – your grandparents and their grandparents, too. – Jeff Wragg, physics and astronomy Most people would be surprised to know that below the Cistern is a beautiful but cozy book-lined room with a soft hooked rug, a working fireplace, cushy chintz chairs and a fabulous selection of wines. On the coziness scale, it ranks up there with the bedroom in the children’s book Goodnight Moon. The only passage to the room runs from a trap door in one of the downstairs offices of the old Towell Library, but I bet the occupant of that office has no idea the passage exists. In fact, I think I’m the only one who knows, and I can’t reveal how I know. – Trish Horn Ward ’78, English

Though a few roots had poked through the brick walls and dozens of old glass bottles were on the floor, Wurscher and Bennett were happy to see that the Cistern was in remarkable condition, if a bit dirty. “It’s perfect, as a matter of fact,” Wurscher observes. Their inspection complete, the men were hoisted back above ground, happy to be out of the muck and back in the sunlight.

AROUND THE CISTERN IN 3 SECONDS • It’s been a year of recruitment records on campus. The College received the most applications in school history (more than 13,000) and welcomed its largest entering class – 2,194 freshmen and 1,080 transfer students. • The rankings are out and the College continues to excel. In the latest edition of the Princeton Review’s The Best 371 Colleges, the College scored especially high in the Quality of Life category. And in U.S. News & World Report, the College ranked fourth among Southern master’s-level public universities. • The College launched a redeveloped and redesigned website in August. Besides improving functionality and navigation, the new website features stories, video and photography that showcase the academic quality, vibrant student life, unparalleled setting and historic character of the College. Check it out at www.cofc.edu.

The Cistern’s catacombs do fill with small amounts of water. Its high-water mark is set immediately following the spring graduation ceremony. Composed mostly of perspiration, trace levels of blood and tears, and sometimes inspiration, this flood surpasses liquid quanta from “natural phenomena.” Thankfully, this rarefied liquid does not remain in the Cistern for long. Overnight it follows the same aquifer to join the Ashley and Cooper rivers and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean, where it disperses and affects the world. Such is the way of the fluids, such is the way of education and inspiration. – Garrett Milliken, psychology FA L L 2 0 0 9 |



[ from the president ]

Planning for the Future You can’t adequately describe the College of Charleston without mentioning its history and traditions. Part of what defines this institution are its staying power and perseverance. The College has endured through wars, fires, hurricanes, financial turmoil, political uncertainty and a host of other challenges. This is an exceedingly important attribute in an age when so much in life, business and society is fleeting. In a culture obsessed with daily news cycles, Twitter, Facebook and 24/7 cable coverage of celebrity gossip and politics – it’s no wonder some seek solace in permanence, traditions and longevity. But lately, even longevity is no guarantee of survival. Look at the recent



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failures or near collapse of stalwart companies such as GM, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. In higher education, we are in the business of creating things that last. Professors hope their scholarly papers and research inspire discussion and study for generations to come. They strive to make indelible impressions on the minds of their students in the hope that those they mentored will go on to perpetuate a cycle of learning and discovery. Students form lifelong friendships and relationships that carry on over time and distance. This was apparent at our fall convocation in August when 50-year alumnus Bill Kanapaux spoke fondly about the Class of 1959. Seated in the

audience and reliving the stories Bill shared with our freshmen were several of his classmates. There, too, was his College sweetheart, Martha Kelly ’60. They married and sent two of their children to the College, and, more recently, a grandson. There are literally thousands of families carrying on this same tradition at the College. But none of these things happen by accident. Creating permanence and longevity, whether it’s by carrying on a family tradition or guiding an organization through the ups and downs of the economy, requires deliberate and careful planning. One of my major responsibilities as president is to look decades into the future and to put in place today the people, programs, partnerships, facilities and resources that will ensure we get there – stronger and better than we are today. To that end, we initiated a strategic planning process in early 2008 to produce a vision for the College for the next decade – and beyond. We sought input from every on-campus and off-campus constituency – everyone with a stake in the College’s future. While time-consuming, this inclusive process resulted in a shared vision for the College. I encouraged the Strategic Planning Committee – our deans, executive administrators, students and other participants – to envision the College as it can be, not as it is. I encouraged them to develop a vision that would ensure the success and quality of the institution and its graduates for decades to come. I also reminded them that the past informs the future, and I encouraged them to study the history, the traditions and the rich culture of the College and the city of Charleston. They did all of this and much more. By the time you read this, we will have submitted the Strategic Plan to our Board of Trustees for approval. I am anxious to begin the exciting work of communicating our shared vision through a variety of campus, community and alumni forums in the coming months. But I’m even more anxious to execute the plan and to ensure that this very special institution remains strong and vibrant long into the future. – President P. George Benson To read more from President Benson, go to www.president.cofc.edu.


CAMPUS ICON JUDY RISER Judith Riser, head cashier at Liberty Street Fresh Foods Company, has been greeting students in the College’s cafeterias since 1975. “I’ve been here forever, but I don’t mind it – the students keep it interesting,” she says. “I like serving the students. I love the students.” What professor or staff member do you think is a campus icon? E-mail us your suggestions at magazine@cofc.edu.


A Sucker for the Little Guy Biology professor Isaure de Buron does not want this article to be about her. She wants it to be about her field of study: parasitology. Forget the childhood in Brittany, the windsurfing in Montpellier, the Fulbright in the Czech Republic. Let’s not bother with the prestigious publications, the fellowships, the major contributions to science. Let’s talk parasites. “Parasites are cool creatures!” de Buron laughs. “You automatically think disease, but really their biology is fascinating.” She flashes a broad, knowing smile: She is used to the layman’s apprehension, accustomed to having to convince the outsider. What she may not know is that her enthusiasm for creatures most of us try to avoid is catching. When



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she proposes a movement in defense of parasites, she’s still smiling, tongue planted firmly in cheek, but the point is taken. Maybe parasites can actually be, well, interesting. For starters, de Buron notes, parasites are highly successful creatures. Although we may think of them as shameless freeloaders who hitch rides and sponge meals, your average parasite has to work mighty hard just to stay alive. The environments parasites inhabit are extremely inhospitable, often harboring cells whose role is to kill them. Some parasites require living in up to three or four different hosts before reaching their definitive host, the one in which they will reach maturity and reproduce. In human terms, that’s like having to first live in an

ocean, then in a volcano and then on the moon – just in order to have kids. What especially interests de Buron are the methods parasites employ in order to survive the various threats to their existence. Some will cloak their identities, camouflage themselves, to confuse the host’s defense system. Others will attack and infect the very cells that should kill them. Still others will modify the behavior of a host so as to favor their own survival. Lest we get to thinking these critters are incredibly crafty, de Buron notes that parasites don’t adopt these tactics on purpose, but by way of natural selection. Every host, “even the tiniest mosquito,” has a defense system which fights parasites. Those that survive the defense system will reproduce and pass their


genes on, which will in turn provoke the host defense system to adopt another tactic, which will in turn weed out ineffectual parasite genes, and so on. In the parlance of parasitology, this is known as an “arms race,” and because it means that parasites and their hosts prompt each other to constantly upgrade their genetic weaponry, in de Buron’s view it is not too much to say that parasites are agents of evolution. Certainly parasites are well-adapted to their environment. Whether we like it or not, they have done remarkably well. “They are everywhere,” de Buron observes. “If someone says, ‘There are no parasites in this area,’ you have to ask, ‘Are there any parasitologists in this area?’” De Buron knows whereof she speaks: When she arrived in Charleston eight years ago, the general thought was that marine parasites, the ones she now studies, were not especially worthy of attention in Lowcountry waters. But the simple fact of the matter was that nobody had looked hard enough. Extensive research had been logged north of Cape Hatteras, and in the Gulf of Mexico, but data concerning the waters in between were markedly scant. When de Buron came to Charleston, the biological richness of the local estuarine systems astounded her. Where there is life, of course, there are parasites. It turns out that Charleston’s local waters are so plentiful with (all kinds of) life, “we need 20 more parasitologists to study it all!” Don’t let that keep you out of the water. She is quick to point out that the presence of parasites usually indicates that an ecosystem is healthy. Parasites are not ancillary to the local biodiversity, but part of it. In the absence of 20 more parasitologists to study them, de Buron puts in more than her share of hours at her lab at Fort Johnson on James Island, poring over tissue samples, collecting data, exploring the ins and outs of marine-parasite life in collaboration with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. At the DNR lab, the atmosphere is lively with scientific pursuit; colleagues and students regularly bring de Buron specimens and questions. Currently her focus is divided between the parasitic worms living in Southern flounder and the spotted sea trout. She

has (or “we have,” she will insist, with a generous nod to the work of her College students) discovered and described numerous species previously unknown to science. With each new species arises a tantalizing new batch of questions: How do the worms survive? What do they do to their fish host? What is their impact on the larger fish population? De Buron welcomes the unknowns. Apart from general mirth, curiosity is perhaps her most salient quality. As a child growing up on the coast of Brittany, she was encouraged to ask questions, and to look for answers. “It started with holes in the sand,” she says. “Just looking to see what was there.” Instead of a television, her family kept stacks upon stacks of books and cultivated an atmosphere of inquiry, so it’s no surprise that a sense of wonder has inspired and informed her work from the outset. “I ask so many questions,” she laughs, “some people probably think of me as a pain in the neck.” The pain-in-the-neck part is hard to imagine, but as a seeker of new points of view, new angles, it’s true she does like to ask questions. When asked if she thinks a person is born with curiosity, her first response is, “What do you think?” Just in case people aren’t born with it, de Buron encourages her students to ask questions. She doesn’t worry that she might not know the answer: The asking of the question itself represents progress. What might be another professor’s dread – not knowing the answer to a student question – is, to her, a challenge. If I don’t know the answer, her logic goes, let’s find the answer, together. In such a way the learning process becomes interactive, a two-way street, and builds on itself. Since her arrival at the College in 2001, demand for the courses she teaches has significantly increased. Formerly, most of the students who signed up for courses in parasitology were pre-med students looking to get a jump on med-school topics. Now the course attracts students from a variety of disciplines. True to form, de Buron hesitates to take full credit for the expanding interest. She links it to the fact that she has brought studies in ecology, studies of the parasite’s place in the broader world, to the course.

In any case, her approach seems to be working. More than a few of her students have made significant contributions to the parasitology field and published in highly regarded journals. The fact that she still calls on some of her former students as collaborators testifies to her talent as much as it does to theirs, even if she won’t put it that way. As de Buron sees it, her primary role as a teacher is to inspire interest in a field of study that is often overlooked. It’s safe to say she’s doing that – and a whole lot more. Parasites may not be glamorous, but they are intriguing. Marvels of adaptation and survival, they are everywhere, and always will be. In the words of de Buron’s screensaver, installed by a former student as a token of appreciation, “PARASITES RULE!” – Charlie Geer ’94

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| Photo by Mark Stanton |

Dusting Off Ancient Empires Matt Canepa likes a challenge. How else to explain this art history professor’s ambition to write a book on ancient Iranian kingship, when his primary sources include ancient coins, texts in dead languages and ruins and rock carvings scattered across the Middle East. How else to explain him tackling an age most easily characterized by what preceded it (Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Persian Empire) and what followed it (the advent of Islam), but not what occurred during it. “This is a time period most people have ignored,” says Canepa. Not for long. Canepa has begun a research blitz on the various cultures that dominated greater Iran prior to the coming of Islam, with extended trips planned for Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the University of Oxford in England. With the help of an $80,000 fellowship from the |


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American Council of Learned Societies, he’ll publish his research in his second book, Iran Between Alexander and Islam. To write the book, Canepa analyzes texts, architecture and images to discern what constituted kingship in Iran. Oftentimes, he studies how surviving frescoes, sculpture, stucco carvings and metalwork express power. The fragmentary nature of Middle Iranian history, with many cultures vying for power over a vast region for hundreds of years, makes his project a challenging research endeavor, and one not many other scholars have attempted. Studying Middle Iran from Charleston, far from the desert sites so critical to his research, may seem like a hardship at first glance, but Canepa says the College’s support of his preliminary research into Iran has been “absolutely crucial.” “They allow you to start a project and get it to a point where you can get a

national grant,” he says. Lately, Canepa has been on a roll. Beyond being awarded the prestigious fellowship, Canepa was inducted into the Society of Antiquaries of London in March. This fall, his first book, The Two Eyes of the Earth: The Art and Ritual of Kingship Between Rome and Sasanian Iran will be published by the University of California Press at Berkeley. Canepa, who has been at the College since 2005, says the idea and title for his second book came from a class he taught by the same name. He credits his colleagues in the art history and Classics departments for contributing to a stimulating academic environment and encouraging him to perform his fascinating research. “It’s good,” he says, “to be in an environment where you have people thinking of these different cultures from different points of view.”


Comedy, It’s No Laughing Matter Seen any good comedies lately? Apparently no one has – at least not according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Go by its esteemed expert opinion, and you’d think there hasn’t been a truly outstanding traditional comedy since 1977, when Annie Hall won Best Picture. But John Bruns, for one, is tired of great comedies being laughed off as immature or somehow unimportant. For him, comedy is no laughing matter. “Comedy should be on a level playing field with the other genres – it has just as much meaning and just as much to teach us as dramas or historical films do,” says the assistant professor of English and director of the College’s Film Studies Program. In his new book, Loopholes: Reading Comically, Bruns “attempts to rescue comedy from decades of literary criticism trivializing it and reducing it to a source of relief or a break from all things serious – kind of like recess in school.” After all, comedy isn’t all fun and games. “Comedy is not an escape at all. If it’s an escape from anything, it’s from the predetermined, scripted way of looking at things,” says Bruns, explaining that his approach to comedy – which is largely inspired by Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of the carnivalesque – appreciates it as a way of understanding the world through an almost absurdist perspective. “By doing what I call ‘reading comically,’ you are mindful of keeping things open to other possibilities – there is no final word. It’s a way of evading foregone conclusions.” This approach, which has its origins in ancient rhetoric, both takes comedy seriously and finds comedy in the serious – in the unexpected outcome, the illogical behavior, the unsettling turn of events. “Comedy is never seen as an option, and I want to show that it’s actually the opposite: Comedy is always an option.” Even, Bruns says, when you’re talking about the events of Sept. 11, 2001. “The kind of uncertainty and chaos and lack of control that we felt at that point in history is the very core of comedy – the idea that we can never know what to expect, there’s no certainty in the world, so we can never really have

the last word,” he says. “The tragic take on that is that the world is full of risk. But, in the comic spirit, it means that the world is full of unforeseen opportunities as well.” The fragility of the world as we know it is reflected time and time again across all cinematic genres, and – for those of us who aren’t mindful of our perspective – how we read the uncertainty depends largely on how it’s presented. In the book he’s currently writing, Bruns explores what we can learn from this. “Film teaches us how to remain hopeful and have ethics in a disturbing world. It teaches us how to live, how to behave, how to think,” he explains. “Film is a huge part of our culture, our memories, our lives. It defines part of who we are.” Film first became an important part of

Bruns’ own life when he was around 12 years old. “I was sitting on the couch, watching Jaws, and it really just blew my mind,” he says, adding that Fahrenheit 451 and Rear Window were the other two major eyeopeners for him. “Those three films made me realize there was someone behind the camera, and that that person was having so much fun.” It’s this awareness of the people behind the camera – the decisions and the choices they make – that Bruns promotes in his students. “I want students to pay attention to how films are put together,” he says. “Once they’re alert to the directors and what they’re doing – what they have to lose to give us something – then they can really appreciate film.” Comedies and all.

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Outing the Media There was a time not long ago, says communication professor Leigh Moscowitz, when television news segments on gay Americans consistently featured stereotypical images of seedy gay bars, boisterous gay pride parades or leather festivals. After that, when gay marriage became a national debate, news reports made repeated use of strong sexual scenes. “It would almost be a same-sex kissing montage opening the nightly news,” says Moscowitz. Some gay-rights advocates cried foul at the aggressive imagery, complaining that depictions of love and intimacy between heterosexual couples were not nearly as explicit. Moscowitz, meanwhile, became increasingly interested in how the media color the debate surrounding gay marriage. Before coming to the College, she began her dissertation at Indiana University on the subject and reviewed 18 months of national television and magazine news coverage. She also |


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interviewed gay-rights activists who were most commonly quoted in news reports. Moscowitz’s research soon caught the attention of her peers. Her dissertation, “For Better or for Worse: News Discourse, Gay Rights Activism, and the Same-Sex Marriage Debate,” was the recipient of the 2009 Nafziger-White-Salwen Dissertation Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Among Moscowitz’s notable findings, her research revealed that only about 20 percent of gays prominently featured visually in a news report were also quoted. “It was a seen-but-not-heard type of thing … almost this zoo effect,” Moscowitz says. “Let’s look at the gay and lesbian couples but not allow them a chance to speak.” One Newsweek issue, for example, had a cover image of a gay couple, but a lengthy article inside did not quote them. “They’re visual ornaments,” Moscowitz says.

Moscowitz also documented that gays were quoted considerably less in news reports than political and religious leaders who opposed legalizing gay marriage. “That says something about how the debate was weighted,” she says. Gay activists told Moscowitz they did not relish being quoted in news reports opposite the president, senators and ministers – all people occupying wellrespected offices or positions. “I’m losing this debate before I even walk in the door,” they told her. Ten states now allow gay marriage, and Moscowitz says there is plenty more for her to study. She wonders, for example, when the media will feature gay couples of color regularly. She wonders when the media will not identify a source simply by their sexual orientation, but by other characteristics as well, such as if they’re rich or poor, living in a rural area or a city. Lastly, she wonders when the media will focus on an underrepresented subgroup: gays who are opposed to gay marriage.


Our Own Lizard Man Who: Eric McElroy, Assistant Professor of Biology Who else: His students, who last spring designed and conducted a markrecapture study of some of the anole lizards on campus. Their Study: Four students used racetracks and endurance tracks to test 50 lizards for speed, acceleration and stamina. Once the lizards’ test results, genetic information and habitat were recorded, the students tagged and released the little green guys, who will be recaptured next spring to determine how their physical performance affects their survival rates. His Lifelong Study: “My research goal is to integrate studies of how animals move (performance – meaning speed, acceleration, endurance, etc.) with studies of how movement is important for fitness (survival and numbers of offspring). I do this through lab and field studies of lizards in South Carolina and around the world. The lizard in the picture is a long-tailed grass lizard, which is native to China and lives in bamboo and grasses. It’s amazing because its tail is almost two times longer than its body!” Check out Eric McElroy and his students’ lizard research online at www.youtube.com/user/ collegeofcharleston.

SUMMER 2009 |




| Photo by Watson Lau |

Faculty Fact

Δ Lee-Chin Siow, associate professor of music and director of the College’s strings program, released her debut recording, Songs My Father Taught Me – a wide range of pieces dedicated to her father, a pioneering violinist in the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. To listen to excerpts of her pieces, check out www.leechin.com. • The College’s Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art received an $80,000 program grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Now that the Halsey Institute has moved into its new gallery in the Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts, these funds will provide additional support for its exhibitions, lectures, films, artist residencies and website. • Bonnie Devet, professor of English and director of the College’s writing center, presented her paper – “What Teachers of Academic Writing Can Learn from a Writing Center” – at the European Association of Teachers of Academic Writing conference, held in Coventry, England. • Robert Crout, adjunct faculty in history, was an on-camera expert in the PBS documentary Lafayette: The Lost Hero. • Herb Silverman, professor emeritus and distinguished professor of mathematics, is a columnist for the



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Washington Post’s “On Faith” section, an online forum where figures from education, diverse faith traditions and journalism weigh in on different topics each week. • Paul Allen, professor of English, who teaches poetry and writing song lyrics, has released a new album of original songs called Waiting for the Last Bus. Preview his album at www.cdbaby.com/cd/paulallen. • Joyce Barrett, adjunct faculty in communication, taught journalism this summer in Iraq and Burma. Barrett consulted with Iraqi journalists and government officials through the U.S. Department of State International Informative Speakers program. She also worked with journalists in Rangoon, Burma, to help prepare them to cover their national elections expected in 2010. • The College launched the Global Scholars Program this fall – a university-wide initiative designed to help students and faculty to become productive global citizens. The program recognizes students and faculty members who structure their learning and work around developing a wider global world view. The first faculty members to earn their Global Scholar designation are as follows: Nadia Avendano (Hispanic studies), Thomas Baginski (German/Slavic

studies), Emily Beck (Hispanic studies), Deborah Bidwell (biology), Chen-Huei Chou (marketing), Maria Colomina (Hispanic studies), Timothy Coates (history), Roxane DeLaurell (accounting and legal studies), Helen Delfield (political science), Stephen Della Lana (German/Slavic studies), David Desplaces (marketing), Samuel Francis (Hispanic studies), José Gavidia (marketing), Raisa Gomer (German/Slavic studies), Mike Gomez (Hispanic studies), Marvin Gonzalez (marketing), Kea Gorden (political science), Enrique Graf (music), Frank Hefner (economics), Mary Beth Heston (art history), Oksana Ingle (German/Slavic studies), Renling Jin (mathematics), Morgan Koerner (German/Slavic studies), Simon Lewis (English), Hao-Chen Liu (economics), Guoli Liu (political science), Bill Manaris (computer science), Gladys Matthews (Hispanic studies), June McDaniel (religious studies), Meglena Miltcheva (German/Slavic studies), James Mueller (management), Rene Mueller (marketing), Courtney Murren (biology), Nancy Nenno (German/ Slavic studies), mutindi ndunda (teacher education), Bill Olejniczak (history), Giaconda Quesada (marketing), Bing Pan (hospitality and tourism), Silvia Rodriguez (Hispanic studies), Kathleen Rogers (English), Gorka Sancho (biology), Elijah Siegler (religious studies), Lisa Signori (French, Francophone and Italian studies), Alison Smith (French, Francophone and Italian studies), Andrew Sobiesuo (Hispanic studies), Barry Stiefel (historic preservation), Parissa Tadrissi (Hispanic studies), Godwin Uwah (French, Francophone and Italian studies), William Veal (teacher education), Marianne Verlinden (Hispanic studies), Robert Westerfelhaus (communication), Joseph Weyers (Hispanic studies) and Yu Xie (marketing).


Inside the Academic Mind: Angela Cozart Angela Cozart is a teacher of teachers. Since 1998, she has been helping prepare tomorrow’s classroom leaders at the College. Cozart, an associate professor of teacher education, took a few minutes from her busy class schedule to share her thoughts about education, magic bullets and buttercream frosting. What advice do you give those students interested in teaching? Loving children is important, but it’s not enough. We must have a solid foundation in our content areas and know how to teach that content. We must also understand the impact of culture, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status upon learning and teaching. Teaching is not just standing in front of a class and delivering information. You have studied educational pedagogy around the world. What countries are most innovative in their approaches? From my experience, the U.S. is the most innovative. When we went to China, they very much wanted us to teach in the “American” style. They wanted interaction, collaborative work, graphic organizers, critical thinking, etc. Strategies that we have been using here for decades were considered innovative there. if you had the power to fix education, how would you do it? My answer has two parts, but both parts have to do with perception. First, I would change the perception society has of teachers. The vast majority of teachers are worthy of our highest respect. Who else in society would lock themselves up in a room for seven hours a day with 20–30 children, all from different backgrounds? At the end of the day, teachers open those doors and our children come out – in one piece – with added knowledge about history, mathematics, languages, science, etc. Second, I would make every politician have to teach two weeks at a school. Politicians would come to understand what schools are really like. They would think twice about budget cuts and the legislative pedagogical decisions they make. Yes, they would have to eat the school breakfast and lunch, do bus duty, administer standardized tests and grade homework. At the end of the two weeks, students would be assessed to see if they actually learned anything during that time. If they fail their test, the politician would give back his/her two weeks’ salary (the large one earned as a politician, not the small substitute teacher pay) to the school. Of course, I’m attempting some humor here – there are no magic bullets, but I do wish that those who make pedagogical decisions had a better background in education. I wish they knew more about working with children in poverty, human growth and development, children with disabilities, working with limited supplies and teaching with technology. What’s your comfort food? Cake with buttercream frosting. Well, really, the cake is just an excuse to get to the buttercream frosting. If I had my way, cakes would be 1 inch tall and have about 5 inches of buttercream on top!

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MAKING the GRADE When Sanaz Arjomand decided to blog about her recent summer trip to visit her extended family, she had no idea if anyone would even read her posts. In any event, she certainly did not set out to be a political spokesperson offering an insider’s perspective of the ensuing chaos following the June Iranian presidential election. As with many bloggers, her goal was simply to create an online journal of sorts, which would include information about her immediate surroundings and current events as she saw them unfolding in Iran. Of course, a key differentiating factor between Arjomand’s daily events at the time and those of the “typical” blogger was that her particular circumstances involved a highly salient issue of global interest – after all, history was in the making. As Arjomand blogged, she was aware only of the two or three readers who regularly posted comments on her offerings. It was a true surprise to her when, after having returned to the United States in early July, she learned via the College’s Twitter page that her blog had been featured on the Huffington Post, a popular news website. Suddenly what began as a personal little blog was quite public, and she was starting to gain some perspective as to how many unknowns out there might have been reading her musings. The revelation was exciting. And a bit daunting. Of course, the very nature of a blog is that it offers a portal for the blogger to share personal opinions and observations with the world at large. It’s somewhat amazing to consider that any number of people, at any given time, could be influenced by the posts of any one individual blogger. A double-edged sword, that same situation, as Arjomand found out, could also be deemed frightening. Having your opinions out there could be harmless



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| Photos by Jenna Brown ’07 |

Uncovering a True Identity

enough on most accounts, but it certainly becomes more loaded when the topics covered include an alleged political scandal and its ensuing violence. Add to that brewing pot the fact that reporting on the politics of a country in which you are not a permanent resident is likely to attract some criticism, especially when that country’s government stands in frequent opposition to and condemnation of your own, the United States. The irony is palpable. As an American college student, Arjomand is consistently encouraged to speak her mind, cultivate her passions and develop her own individual voice, and she found herself walking a tight line between that identity and another she also considers her own – within a culture where speaking out against the “norm” is taboo, where young

people (and women especially) have no real voice, where even an errant lock of hair left uncovered is considered an expression of defiance. As a political science major and a member of the Honors College, Arjomand is extremely interested in world politics and was excited that her visit to Iran coincided with the June election. At 20 years old, she had just cast her first ballot in the 2008 U.S. presidential election and was eager for the opportunity to participate in another election where change could indeed prove to be the operative word. Possessing dual citizenship, she looked forward to voting for Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the candidate for reform who seemed to have a fighting chance against the strongly conservative incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Making the Grade

When Ahmadinejad was revealed as the landslide winner, many were convinced that the victory was fixed. The riots that ensued created what is known as the biggest rift between the conservative and the reformist parties in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Although not fearful for her life, Arjomand inevitably felt the energy in Iran – it was driven by

the majority of her extended family still lives. But an even deeper personal feeling was revealed and affected her on a visceral level. This country – with which she maintains such close physical and emotional ties – was demonstrating true ugliness to her. It was difficult to reconcile how she could continue to foster and relate to this half of her

violence and uncertainty, the sort she had never before experienced. It was largely due to this political unrest and the feelings the situation imparted amongst residents and visitors alike that she opted to cut her visit short and re-entered the United States on the Fourth of July. Her ability to report on politics with a rare insider’s perspective, devoid of the American mass media “spin,” is arguably what created the buzz around her blog, yet the main reason for her visit was not tied to politics at the outset. On a much more personal level, she was seeking to reconnect with and explore an important aspect of her identity. She had arrived at a place and time where she felt she could appreciate her heritage and wanted to visit the country where her parents were born and where

identity when it stood in such stark opposition to the other half as an American college student. During her last visit, at age 15, she had resented many of the restrictions placed upon her as a woman and as an outsider, largely because they resulted in personal inconvenience. This time, at age 20, the differences in lifestyle profoundly affected her, and she was keenly aware of the political and social divides that make Iran such a wholly different place from Johns Creek, Ga., where she grew up, and where her parents still live. Because she was taught to speak her mind freely and openly in the United States, it now occurred to her that her blog, just by its very nature of being a place to voice unfiltered thoughts and

opinions, could land her in a significant amount of trouble. Yet she was compelled to tell her stories, to provide a viewpoint of life in Iran, so she forged on – relying heavily on her American citizenship – to reassure herself that she would not face consequences for her political blogging. Interestingly, she placed herself squarely in the spokesperson role not because she wished to impose her judgments onto others, but because she had an insuppressible urge to rectify the two cultures with which she identifies in her own life. Perhaps as a result of this recent blogging venture, and the unsolicited acclaim it received, Arjomand is quite sensitive to the importance of weighing her words. She learned that her blog was featured on World Focus – a television show airing on American Public Broadcasting – and it was here that they strung together several separate thoughts of hers to present an “excerpt” she did not exactly write. Although such an occurrence in no way detracted from the fact that she was simultaneously thrilled and humbled by the attention her blog gleaned, she became well aware that any bit of information she offers could be taken out of context. Of course, the flip side is that she also has a new understanding for the potential of influence and the power of one person to make a difference: an exciting prospect for someone who is seeking to harmoniously blend different cultural identities. Arjomand plans to return to Iran in another five years, if not sooner on a visit with her mother. She also plans to continue blogging (now at www.sanazarjomand.blogspot) and to keep exploring the question of what it means to be an American, what it means to be an Iranian and, most importantly to Arjomand, what it means to be an Iranian-American. – Maggie White ’10 (M.A.) To read Arjomand’s blog about her Iranian adventures, check out www.asummerundercover.blogspot.com.

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An Idea Takes Root When Matt Gregory turned in his philosophy paper on urban farming, he knew it was far from done. Sure, he’d thoroughly developed a thoughtful,



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comprehensive argument – but all that reflection on the subject had gotten him thinking: There should really be a vegetable garden on campus. The seed had been planted. Now it was up to him to make it grow. He talked around – to science professors, like-minded students, the student club Alliance for Planet Earth, facility administrators. He knew the interest was out there – it was just a matter of finding the land. “Then, through word of mouth, the idea circulated around to the grounds department,” recalls the senior English major. And that’s when things started to take root. Before long, a sunny spot had been secured for a raised-bed vegetable garden behind the Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center. “It’s such a prime spot because it’s out of the way, so it doesn’t seem out of place, but it’s not so far off the beaten path that it doesn’t get noticed,” says Grounds Supervisor Paty Cowden, adding that the area is also home to a native garden as well as a collection of rain barrels that help conserve water and reduce runoff. “I think it’s kind of cool to have this little corner of campus that’s showing what it takes to be sustainable.” And showing people how little it takes to build a sustainable food system is Gregory’s main M.O. “I want people to see that it’s easy to grow your own food – and you reap such huge benefits,” he says. “Edible gardens give you the freshest food at the lowest cost. You don’t have to worry what chemicals it has on it – and you’re cutting energy use. Plus, growing food raises your consciousness.” And, while the little garden behind the Science Center produced corn, okra, black beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash over the summer, it’s that awareness – that inspiration and motivation – that Gregory is really trying to harvest. “I wanted to introduce people to the concept with this one edible garden – it’s a microcosm of what we should be doing on a bigger scale,” he says. “This is just one small step.” The next step? More mini-edible gardens scattered across campus – starting

behind the sociology and anthropology departments’ St. Philip Street offices, where Tracy Burkett, associate professor of sociology and coordinator of the Environmental Studies Program, has reserved a garden patch for the urban agriculture course she’s teaching this spring (and which was largely inspired by Gregory’s enthusiasm). “I could see the garden as a very important part of the environmental studies minor,” says Burkett, noting that she hopes to establish hands-on internship opportunities in urban agriculture as well. But, she points out, there’s so much more than agricultural practices, soil types and runoff prevention that can be learned from the gardens: “There’s something here for business students, for education students – you name it. I really think this is something that could be used across the curriculum.” But the potential impact of Gregory’s urban-gardening initiative isn’t limited to the College’s curriculum or even to its landscape. “If we have another Matt Gregory come along, there’s no telling how far this could go,” laughs Burkett. But even something as simple as cultivating a good-sized garden at the College’s Dixie Plantation could generate enough produce to sell at the farmer’s market, serve at catered events and even donate to community organizations. “We have a real opportunity here.” For Gregory, that opportunity lies within the College’s natural position of leadership in the greater Charleston area – something that should not be taken lightly. “We rooted this in education because academia is supposed to be about progress, preparing for the future. The College has to be the role model for the whole city,” he says. “If we do this right, we could establish ourselves as South Carolina’s urban-gardening authority – the state’s mecca of community gardening.” And, considering the groundwork Gregory has already laid for such large-scale success, it’s not an entirely unrealistic scenario. After all, he’s got the entire campus rooting for him.

Making the Grade

Beauty of Design “Mathematics has inherent beauty and structure. It may not be symmetrical – it can be very awkward – but that is its inherent challenge,” says mathematics professor Dinesh Sarvate (left). “People do mathematics for its beauty and surprise, to discover something different.” That’s exactly what Sarvate and his then-student Will Beam ’07 did when they came up with what became known as Sarvate–Beam designs – a new kind of mathematical block design that is intriguing mathematicians the world over. “What appeals to people is that it’s completely opposite from what was being done,” says Sarvate, explaining that, heretofore, block designs were assumed balanced. “People insisted on balance – they put restrictions on design.” By lifting this restriction, Sarvate and Beam (now in his first year at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine) re-envisioned design, finding within it something new, something different. And, for them, that’s the beauty of it all.

Stopping Traffic As the son of a U.S. diplomat, Will Nugent had to get used to change from a very young age. Born in Paraguay, he then lived in China, Australia, Thailand, Micronesia and Vietnam. As a teenager, Nugent followed his sense of duty and his passion for action to the Persian Gulf, where he enlisted in the infantry battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps and survived two seven-month tours across the blistering dunes of Iraq. After fulfilling his service obligation, Nugent has returned to America to participate in a different kind of fight. In the summer of 2008, Nugent caught wind of atrocity back in Southeast Asia. It had been roughly seven years since he’d been home, and the heartwrenching words of a visiting lecturer on campus advocating the “Not For Sale” campaign awakened his resolve. As the speaker addressed the increase in human trafficking in Asia, Nugent identified a likewise increasing angst and torpor in people who “wanted to help” but appeared to prefer sitting around talking about the problem rather than actively pursing a solution.



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“That night,” the senior religious studies major explains, “I decided that it made a lot of sense not to do nothing.” So he flew to Thailand, where he spent five years of his adolescence and, coincidentally, had had his first encounters with human trafficking. “If you go downtown in Bangkok,” he recounts, “the sex industry is just another part of the tourist industry. The sex trade is overwhelmingly a business – and a lucrative one, at that.” “Human nature is at the root of it, just like any enterprise,” he adds. From Thailand, Nugent went to Cambodia, where, upon arriving, he had to decline drugs and, of course, women, as he set out on an uncharted course, following instinct only. Little did he know his hunch would lead him directly into contact with James Pond, a member of a nongovernmental organization called Transitions Global. This organization helps trafficked women by providing them an education, medical treatment, jobs, skills and, ultimately, reintegration into the community from which they were stolen to be forced into prostitution.

“This group isn’t proselytizing,” Nugent explains. “They’re simply trying to make a difference and help these women make what may appear an impossible change.” Nugent came back to the States, and with the help of friend and fellow religious studies major Robert Graham ’08, who now lives in Hong Kong, they started a fundraising organization – Fight for Others – to help support Transitions Global. “People always ask me, ‘What can I do to help from all the way around the world?’ Simple,” Nugent answers, “give to Transitions Global, in whatever way you can.” As for the skeptics, Nugent suggests they “research other organizations that are well-established, or go and see for yourself.” But the most important thing, according to Nugent, is involvement at any level: “Because this is a fight worth fighting.” – Sam Fleming ’10 To learn more about Nugent’s volunteer project Fight for Others, go online at www.fightforothers.com.


Remembering Maddie as I Push Through Tiredness to Write It’s a little after eleven and we are first to start. You in a black apron, I begin to wonder if you’ve been here for a while, in the mornings before conversations of bodies fill a studio where the ceiling droops a little too low. Behind me they are talking. We are quiet, mostly, once a question then another, perhaps it was Captain Philips back in Vermont. Turning to face you, the layers of faces familiar rise orchestral behind you as I ruminate remnants of radio shows, the bike ride to the studio. I want the scratch of your pencil as you make a broad stroke across the page, then another; to be lulled by the working calculations as we both sit here. And I meant to tell you if you ever need this face again

Still Life With Poetry English major Lauren Capone took ENGL 401: Poetry and Process, and she shares here her writer’s perspective on the making of her poem in this experimental class. laSt SprinG, profeSSorS cliff peacocK (studio art) and Carol Ann Davis (English) arranged a few meetings between their classes. Each poetry student was paired up with a painting student, who then began a portrait – with the idea of the final product being exhibited in a collaborative show in the student gallery of the Simons Center. My partner was maddie reyna ’09, a studio art major. Professor Davis asked the poetry students to write as we sat for the painting students. It felt odd for me to write in such a social setting: people talking, milling about, laughing and eating donuts, apple slices. Mostly I was writing fragments of conversations, plus specific observations

and a few ruminations in my own mind from the morning and the previous night. It was mostly about Captain Richard Phillips, who had safely returned to Vermont. He’s the captain who was held hostage by Somali pirates and had offered himself as a hostage to save his crew and was later rescued by the U.S. Navy SEALs. Beyond the writing, I felt myself responding to Maddie’s studio and was keenly aware of being surrounded by her work, which hung on the walls. After the meeting, I kept working with the raw material, these fragments of language I’d accumulated from the experience. Admittedly it was not going well. It has always been and continues to be a challenge for me to write directly from a specific experience. One of my methods for aiding this type of situation (i.e., poems not going well) is to spend a day or two away, so I left the poem for a few days. In the interim, I saw Maddie crossing

St. Philip Street as she walked toward the arts building. It sounds like an inconsequential event, and at the time I didn’t think much of it, but somehow it added a new dimension to the circumstance I was in with the poem and with the portrait experience with Maddie. When I returned to the poem, something had been illuminated by the sight of Maddie walking toward the arts building and presumably to her studio to work. It felt that I’d discovered something in my world that had been there all along, though had gone unnoticed. There was a happiness in realizing that we were together in something – she went off to work alone just as I do here at my desk. I appreciated the feeling that we could be together in our devotion to this kind of artistic work. Then I began to piece the fragments from the portrait experience together in light of my new findings. – Lauren Capone ’09

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| Photo by Mike Ledford |


Net Worth anGeLo anasToPouLo DiDn’T know exactly what he was getting into. It was the summer of 1991, just two years after he’d graduated from college, and the avid tennis player was undecided on law school. He was giving private tennis lessons, but had never seriously considered a coaching career. The College was in need of a tennis coach, and Anastopoulo’s friends encouraged him to apply. “My first day on the job [then athletic director] Jerry Baker ’74 gave me the keys and said, ‘Go run a tennis program. Let me know if you have any questions,’” recalls Anastopoulo, who, at 24, was the youngest Division I tennis coach in the country.


Fast forward 18 years, and it’s obvious Baker found the perfect fit. Anastopoulo’s career reached a high point in 2009, when he was named the Southeast Women’s Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the country’s governing body for collegiate tennis. The accolade, along with also being named the Southern Division College Coach of the Year by the U.S. Professional Tennis Association, capped a banner season for the Cougars, who advanced to the NCAA tournament after claiming the SoCon tournament championship. Anastopoulo’s winning percentage is better than 70 percent (503-201 overall record) for his career, which includes 10

years at the helm of both the men’s and women’s programs and the last eight years in charge of the women’s team. Under his guidance, the program has grown immensely. The days of getting by with minimal equipment and spectators sitting atop bumpers of cars parked along Burns Lane seem like a distant memory. The Cougars are now well-settled into a top-notch new home, the College of Charleston Tennis Center at Patriots Point Athletics Complex, one of the SoCon’s premier facilities. “The best part has been seeing players succeed after they graduate and knowing I may have had a hand in that,” says Anastopoulo, who has undoubtedly played a major role in more than a few lives. “I might not have realized it at the time, but he helped me be the successful person I am today,” says Jenna Marks Robbins ’06, now a C.P.A. “He really pushed me, and pretty much everything I accomplished in college was because of him. He just cared so much and did everything he could for us. I’m so grateful I met him.” Anastopoulo also made a lasting impression on Casey Van Valkenburgh ’97. “Coach Angelo brought back my passion for the game,” says Van Valkenburgh, a lawyer. “He knows how to motivate players and adjust to everyone. He made hard work fun, which isn’t always easy. You know you always have a friend in Coach Angelo.” What’s the secret to all his success? “A lot of it’s just been luck,” Anastopoulo says. “I’ve never woken up and not wanted to go to work. You never know where your day is going to lead. I’ve had great players and parents who have trusted their children with me for four years. I strive hard each year and work as hard as I possibly can.” – Alex Pellegrino ’03

Former men’s basketball coach John Kresse was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. Kresse, who coached the Cougars for 23 years (highlighted by an NAIA championship, four NCA A Tournament appearances and two NIT berths), finished with a record of 560-143 and the second highest winning percentage among active coaches (.797). + The College won the SoCon’s Germann Cup, claiming the award for |


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| Photo by Mike Ledford |


The Perfect Assist “There are cows everywhere,” says senior Emily Morgan, of the month and a half she spent in Paraguay this past summer with Athletes in Action, an international evangelical nonprofit. “And the food wasn’t that good. Tons of pasta dishes, although I loved Zucaritas, their

version of Frosted Flakes,” she continues. So, why Paraguay? Paraguay is one of only two landlocked countries in the Eastern Hemisphere. Paraguay’s geography is made up of grassy plains, low hills and marshes. No white sand beaches, clear blue water or luxury

resorts like those that draw people into the rest of South America. Not exactly your typical summer vacation destination. Instead there was only the old Olympic Village, where Morgan stayed, and soccer fields. Lots of them, littered with mud, sinkholes, anthills and cow dung. And there’s the answer to the question: Morgan went to Paraguay for soccer, sort of. A psychology major and a three-year veteran of the women’s soccer team, Morgan heard about the opportunity to go to Paraguay through her roommate. In late May, she flew down to Paraguay, along with teammate Megan Manthey ’09. Together, with an Athletes in Action team comprised of players from around the nation, Morgan and Manthey played local club teams in Paraguay and put on soccer clinics for children living in the streets. “Despite the cows, mud and food,” Morgan laughs, “it was a great experience. Paraguay has a lot of character, and when it came time to leave, it was tougher than I thought.” The best part of the trip, certainly for Morgan, was working with the children. Despite the differences in language and culture, she was able to build connections on the field. The clinics she helped host gave her the opportunity to incorporate her personal faith and beliefs onto the soccer field, and to have an impact on the children that transcended the game. Morgan was not sure what to expect at first, but she came away with a lot: not only a new appreciation for what she has, but a new appreciation for the sport. “I realized when I was there that soccer is soccer,” Morgan notes. “It’s a privilege I have been given to play … something I really love. My personal faith gave me a different motivation for something I’m very passionate about. I learned there that there is actually more to soccer, more to playing sports. It’s about making the people around you better, loving your teammates and enjoying every minute of it.” – Tim Devine ’09

excellence in women’s athletics for the second time in school history. + Women’s soccer standout Megan Manthey ’09 signed with Fortuna Hjørring in Denmark. + Zeke Horowitz won the Robert L. Johnstone Trophy for the Laser class at this year’s U.S. Youth Sailing Championship in Greenwich, Conn. + Along with earning SoCon Player of the Year honors, third baseman Kristie Shifflett was named to the First-Team All-South Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. + FA L L 2 0 0 9 |



| Photos by Mike Ledford |

Home-field Advantage Branko Gavric is not one to be content. Since he first kicked a soccer ball at age 2 in his native Yugoslavia, he has been diligently working to improve his game and build on his successes. Persistent is how he – and many others – describe his character both on and off the field. “Branko loves the game,” says Ralph Lundy, head coach of the Cougars men’s soccer team. “He has tremendous integrity and commitment, self-discipline and leadership skills. Players listen to him.” Those ingredients along with his technical skills and inspired play are what caught Lundy’s eye when he first met the midfielder at a premier Canadian soccer academy in Toronto. Gavric had already established himself as an exceptional player at his high school in Kitchener, Ontario. During the 2007 season, he served as team captain and was named the team’s and league’s MVP.


But Canada was cold. It was 12 degrees below zero when Coach Lundy came up to see him play. Gavric had three other scholarship offers on the table, but chose the College because of the combination of a strong athletics program and a solid academic reputation. Charleston’s temperate weather seems like a pretty good move. Gavric, this year’s Cougars team captain and a biology major, made the all-conference SoCon team last season and represented Canada at the World University Games, held last summer in Serbia. Gavric, who started every game in the tournament, was one of only three Canadian players to be chosen from the U.S. The event, which hosted some 6,300 athletes from 142 countries, had the atmosphere of an Olympic venue. “I didn’t realize how large it was until I actually got there,” Gavric says.

But the tournament’s size wasn’t what made it a big deal for him. What mattered most was that it was a homecoming to a country he had left 14 years ago. Serbian by nationality, Gavric grew up in the former Yugoslavia. A few years after fighting began in the region, his family emigrated to Canada. The ethnic and religious war in the Balkans claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people in its three-year span. And the conflict continued in the former Yugoslav republics until 2001. “There was a lot of war … a lot of stuff kids my age shouldn’t have seen … a lot of death,” recalls Gavric, who, despite the lingering memories of the conflict, still tries to visit his homeland every few years. “It makes you feel humble for everything that you have here. And that just makes you want to work that much harder.” – Konstantin Vengerowsky ’10

Third baseman Joey Bergman earned SoCon Player of the Year, third team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and third team Louisville Slugger NCA A Division I All-American. Bergman was also drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals, but is returning for his senior season + Pitcher David Peterson was named to the 2009 Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-American team. + Drafted this summer by the Milwaukee Brewers, second baseman |


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| Photo by Mike Ledford |


The Strikeout Queen For Terri Mesko, ace of the Cougar’s softball pitching staff, it’s vital she not step on the line when taking the field at Patriots Point. “Never, ever … you can’t step on the line,” says a smiling Mesko. “And I can’t look the batter in the eye. Any time I look them in the eye, they get a hit.”

She may have 535 career strikeouts for the College, the most in Cougar softball history, but in true ballplayer fashion, Mesko has her superstitions. Superstitions are all they are, though. Because it’s not whether she locks eyes with the opposition or steps on the chalk that has shaped her success, it’s her fervent

devotion to the game. That, and her deceptive drop and curve balls. “Her ball completely drops off the end of the table,” notes softball coach Shelly Hoerner. “The movement on her pitches is amazing.” For a decade now, Mesko’s been sending batters back to their dugouts shaking and scratching their heads. Softball has always been a passion, Division I always an aspiration. “I never had any doubt I wanted to play in college,” she says. “As soon as I visited Charleston, I was sold – the campus, the academics … King Street, of course.” She’s struck out thousands since her years playing traveling ball in metro Atlanta, but it was last March in Charlotte when she notched the K to place her in College of Charleston eminence. Not bad for a gal with a season and a half left in her career. “I didn’t really know about the record until the season began and people started bringing it up,” she says. While 45 school records and a career 2.88 ERA are striking, the accounting major says wins and rings are what matter, not records. “The most important thing this year is winning the league,” Mesko says. “I take a lot of pride in my pitching. It’s a team sport, but we all have our individual roles.” Hoerner acknowledges Mesko’s trait of personal responsibility. “We win and lose as a team,” Hoerner says, “but there’s no denying that a lot of responsibility falls on the pitcher. Terri understands that and takes it very seriously. She holds herself accountable.” Still, Hoerner says, the star hurler can act a lovable prima donna at times – enough so to earn her the well-embraced nickname of “Princess.” “Princess, that’s how we all know her,” Hoener observes. “It’s not meant in a bad way. All pitchers can be princesses at times. She works extremely, extremely hard, but she’s still a little princess.” Although maybe now it’s time to call her “the Queen.” – Trevor Baratko ’08

Brandon Sizemore was named to the third team National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association NCA A Division I AllAmerican baseball squad and the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-Atlantic Region Team. + Outfielder Matt Mansilla was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and pitcher Jesse Simpson was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in this year’s MLB draft. + High jumper Emily Smith was named to the 2009 Women’s Division I All-Academic Track and Field team. FA L L 2 0 0 9 |




[ student ]

Wanderlust 101 Study abroad is a life-changing experience for those lucky enough to take advantage of it. BY NATHAN FR ANDINO ’10 THE DUST FROM GALLOPING HORSES HANGS IN THE SHADOWS. The sky stretches for miles without a cloud in sight and the sun heats the granite boulders punctuating the green rolling hills. A round building of white stucco and a red-shingled roof desperate for repair practically glow. This picturesque landscape reminiscent of verse by poet Federico García Lorca was my morning view, every day, for three and a half months. As dawn broke, I lifted the shutters and let the sun creep into my second-floor room, filling it with a heartwarming sensation that reminded me every day of where I was, and how far I had gone from whom I was before. I told myself at every waking hour it was a life I could never have imagined. I was living and studying in Trujillo, Spain.



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Each morning I strolled past the coliseum, where in May, hundreds make their pilgrimage to watch the bullfights of Spain. The fighters in their traditional green, gold and red move around the large ring measuring the bulls, like partners of a passionate dance. The crowds roar as blood is shed. A Moorish castle sits atop the hill with its patron, the Virgin of the Victory, standing behind a glass casket guarding Trujillo since its Christian takeover in 1233. The walls protecting the ancient part of town have remained intact despite the Extremaduran wind howling over the lush Spanish countryside. The Virgin kept her keen eye on me as I hiked the hill known as Cabeza de Zorro, or Fox’s Head, to get to my classes in La Coria, a restored 17th-century convent where vines sprawl across the walls and columns and arches surround a secluded garden. Down in the Plaza Mayor, the conquistador Francisco Pizarro sits atop a saddled horse overlooking the restaurants and outdoor patios where men and women break for tapas and beer,


| Illustration by Helen Rice |

and talk in Castellan accents as heavy as the bread they sponge in olive oil. They spit olive seeds on the granite patio and sip the beverage of choice, sangria. Behind Pizarro is the Church of San Martín. White storks fly above, clacking their beaks. Friendships are forged every day in bars such as el Patio de Toros. The men talk soccer and the women boast about their children. Tomás Casillas picks up his 4-year-old daughter, Miriam, and tickles her as she squirms in his lap with high-pitched giggles. Casillas’ brother, Antonio, hangs his 9-year-old nephew, Arturo, upside down from his ankles. Their laughter is drowned out by the others in the bar. Another man taps lightly on his friend’s shoulder. His friend turns to the right to check who tapped him, but there’s only the black-and-white–checkered floor. His friend smirks. The laughter is contagious. Everyone piles cured ham and sardines onto bread and drinks regional cerveza. On Sundays, families pack the bar to watch fútbol. Cigarette smoke fills the air as Real Madrid fans jump in the air, singing their victory songs in belligerent unity. Fists of triumph pump high in the air. These are the moments when body language says it all, when fans wear their national pride on their shirts and the emotions of victory and defeat on their faces. Every season, the people of Trujillo accept a new Americano. And in the spring of 2008, the quaint rural community of central Spain, known to itself as the Cradle of Conquistadores, opened its doors and its history to me, a 19-year-old native of South Carolina, on the verge of becoming a man.

I never imagined that leaving my parents’ home for the first time would mean me living on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean with a family I’d never met, in a culture I’d never known. Until then, the scope of my world had been limited to the steeples of Charleston’s skyline, under which I’d lived until my sophomore year of college. Despite a strong education and the invaluable influence of a loving family, I was still limited in my world view. For me, Trujillo had been nothing more than a dot on the map, a romantic notion whispered by distant voices. Spain was only written about in history textbooks. I knew nothing of how the people of this history-rich city would accept an introvert from South Carolina. What would become of a shy teenager from the Bible Belt? It didn’t take long for me to find out. Immediately, I felt welcome. My host parents waited patiently as I spent minutes to string together simple sentences. They corrected my grammar when I fumbled words. They answered every question with care, with sincerity. They taught me everything. From the history of Trujillo to new words, they made sure I learned something new about the culture every day. My host parents saw their own parents every day. My abuela, or grandmother, welcomed me with open arms as if I were another grandson. She was kind and gentle, always pinching my rosy cheeks when I arrived and then giving me kisses when I left. Lunch was even better. My host mom, Sonia, never made a mistake in the kitchen. There was something about her yellow rice with peas, chicken and shrimp that made my mouth water. The sangria quenched my thirst and took the edge off the spicy paella. Toward the end of the trip, I was spitting out Spanish left and right. The words floated off my tongue like I was a native. I spoke swiftly with my host dad, Tomás, and sometimes I spoke faster than the locals. What I thought was just an improvement in my capacity for a second language was so much more than that. I was confident. I was able. And soon I would be back “home,” applying this newfound sense of self to another journey that was only just beginning, aware all the while of the world that lay beyond my borders. Before I knew it, three and a half months passed and I was back in Charleston, but not before Trujillo had changed my life. My eyes now wander beyond the rocky terrain of Trujillo. My ears rejoice and hear more than the prideful songs of Real Madrid soccer fans. My mind stops time as I taste more than just the sweet sangria and sizzling blood sausage. I can see an open road that invites me to experience other exotic cultures around the world. From crowded market streets to desolate, dirt roads leading into the great beyond, it’s the perfect adventure I long for. The stone walls that stretch for miles and have surrounded aged towns like Trujillo for hundreds of years have only inspired me to take the road less traveled. I’m now a sojourner and the journey is far from over. – Nathan Frandino is a senior communication major and former editor-in-chief of the George Street Observer, the College’s student newspaper. Last spring, Nathan was awarded the Murdy Scholarship from the S.C. Press Association Foundation.

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POINT of VIEW [ faculty ] Still Alive and Well A Poe expert looks at the master of the macabre as the gothic writer turns 200. BY SCOTT PEEPLES ONE OF THE NICE THINGS ABOUT BEING AN EDGAR ALLAN POE scholar is that every now and then you get invited to middle schools, where there’s a chance (remote, and possibly imaginary) that somebody might think what you do is cool. Back in May, I got to talk about Poe with eighth-graders at Northside Middle School in Columbia, S.C., and one of the students asked me: If I could hang out with Poe for a day, where would I take him? I had no idea. But I didn’t want to say that, so I said that I would take Poe to Barnes and Noble, get some coffee, let him look around, see how many editions of his work were on the shelves, including the illustrated editions in the bargain racks (where the prices would still seem extravagant to a guy who never made more than $1,000 in a year). I would show him the mystery section, a couple of aisles filled with writers who regard him as the genre’s founding father. Eventually we’d get around to Googling him, checking his Amazon sales rankings and so on. As I told the eighth-graders, I suspect that Poe would be extremely pleased that, at the age of 200, and 160 years after his death, he was one of the world’s most popular writers, but that he would act as if he weren’t surprised at all. And he would demand royalties.

/ Three-fifths of him genius and two-fifths sheer fudge.” Years later, in 1876 to be precise, Henry James dismissed all future Poe scholars by remarking that “an enthusiasm for Poe is the mark of a decidedly primitive stage of reflection.” That’s not a line I like to use with middle-schoolers, nor do I include it in my tenure-and-promotion packet, but I actually think there’s some truth to James’ heartless remark, if we take “primitive” in this case to mean “early” or even “adolescent.” Though Poe’s reputation as a writer of mysteries rests on a few detective stories (“The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Purloined Letter” and “The Mystery of Marie Roget”), he was also a mystery writer in the larger sense that his stories repeatedly ask insoluble questions. Many of these are questions that preoccupy adolescents: Am I really the person I think I am? Why do I do things that get me into trouble even though I know they’re going to get me into trouble? How do I know that the real world is real? (Is it really more real than the world I make up?) What’s it like to be dead? If someone you love dies, do they still know that you’re thinking about them? Poe addresses these questions rather differently than most “young adult” fiction does, which might be the key to his success with young readers. The key to his success with older readers, perhaps, is the fact that those “primitive” questions don’t get answered when you hit 21; they may even bother you just as much in middle age as in adolescence. Poe doesn’t answer the big questions, of course. Instead, he confronts them honestly and dramatically, with little regard for

gothic motifs

Poe didn’t invent ... nor were his stories the goriest or most sensational of his time. His genius lay in tying these macabre elements to existential questions, while carefully crafting his stories to heighten their mysteries and intensify their effects. Poe’s continuing popularity might not surprise Poe, but it probably would surprise many of his contemporaries. For instance, several years after his death, the Boston-based North American Review suggested that “if the human brain is indeed a palimpsest ... then most assuredly should we pray for some more potent chemistry to blot out from our brain-roll for ever ... the greater part of what has been inscribed on it by the ghastly and charnel-hued pen of Edgar Allan Poe.” Poe had many, equally vehement defenders, but even a friend such as publisher George Rex Graham regretted that Poe’s genius “was not such as to command a ready or lucrative market.” In a satirical poem written just before Poe’s untimely death, James Russell Lowell split the difference: “There comes Poe, with his Raven, like Barnaby Rudge,



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realism or good taste. The narrator of “William Wilson” believes that his own will (pun clearly intended by Poe) determines who he is, and that as a unique, strong-willed person, he can control any situation. Then he meets someone who looks just like him, who has the same name and who thwarts his attempts to impose his will on other people. At the story’s climax, the narrator plunges his sword into the rival Wilson, then in a moment of confusion believes he sees himself in a mirror: “as I stepped up to it in extremity of terror, mine own image, but with features all pale and dabbled in blood, advanced to meet me with a feeble and tottering gait.” Or not – he tells us he was wrong, it was the other Wilson, but really, who can be sure? With his dying words the double informs him, “In me didst thou exist – and, in my


the goriest or most sensational of his time. His genius lay in tying these macabre elements to existential questions, while carefully crafting his stories to heighten their mysteries and intensify their effects. In so doing, Poe created fiction that is accessible but never disposable. On the contrary, filmmakers, writers, musicians and other artists continue to resurrect him in various ways, and he continues to be one of the most written-about American authors, from middle school to graduate school. Like the corpses in his fiction, his writing has a way of not staying buried. – Scott Peeples is a professor of English.

| Illustration by Jay Fletcher |

death, see by this image, which is thine own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself.” The easy reading of this story is that it’s a parable of conscience, which it is, sort of – but it strikes me as less about morality than about the construction of identity: Am I really the unique, self-governing person I thought I was? Do I even get to decide who I am? “The Tell-Tale Heart” also gives the appearance of a story about conscience: as any middle-school student knows, the beating of the old man’s “hideous heart,” which drives the narrator to confess his murder, is really the sound of the killer’s guilt and fear. But that’s not what makes it such a good story. What makes it a good story, aside from Poe’s use of verbal repetition and rhythm to register the increasing anxiety of the narrator, is the problem of motive. “Object there was none,” the killer tells us. “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. ... For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye!” He thinks – but I don’t buy it. He loved the old man. He probably looked into that “pale blue eye” from time to time and saw his own reflection in it. He tells us he knows how the old man feels sitting up in bed, listening – “just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.” Is the evil eye that he wants to vanquish really the evil I, as a number of readers have supposed? Those death watches (beetles) in the wall are echoed – twice – in the story by his comparison of the beating of the old man’s heart to the sound of a watch. Watching – eye – watch – time – heartbeats, each one bringing the old man, and the young man who loves him, closer to death. Is it time, and the mortality that comes with it, that he’s really afraid of, and that he’s trying to kill? I’m not sure, but there’s definitely more going on here than a psycho killer and an evil eye. In the opening paragraph of one of Poe’s most frightening tales, “The Black Cat,” another confessed murderer attributes his crimes to “the spirit of perverseness,” which Poe refers to elsewhere as the “Imp of the Perverse.” The narrator hanged his cat “with tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse in my heart,” but he did it “because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin”; he breaks the law just because it’s the law. He insists that this impulse is in everyone, just as he believes his bizarre story to be an “ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.” The story asks, is the difference between a healthy, sane person and a psychopath nothing more than the ounce of self-control (or social control) that keeps the “Imp of the Perverse” at bay? Poe didn’t mind recycling plot elements, and “The Black Cat” ends much like “The Tell-Tale Heart,” this time with a doppelganger cat, entombed in the wall along with the wife, alerting the police with its cries. As I often tell my students, nothing stays buried in a Poe story. An obvious point, perhaps, but Poe demonstrates again and again that not only crimes but impulses, memories, dreams and desires find their way back to the surface, whether we like it or not. In his most famous work, “The Raven,” a grieving man realizes, by asking questions to which the answer can only be “nevermore,” that the pain he feels is not going away. Poe didn’t invent gothic motifs such as doppelgangers, black cats, creepy old houses and premature burial, nor were his stories

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[ alumni ]

Ghost Towns Past and Present History may not exactly repeat itself, but it certainly moves in familiar cycles – as one alumna discovers as she explores and photographs ghost towns of the past and present.

existence of ghost towns in that part of the country. The French have always had a fascination with cowboys, Indians and Route 66, which I have always found endearing. But what was it about ghost towns and specifically Western ghost towns that made them so fascinating and mysterious? Soon after I began to coordinate my trip to the States to start the ghost town project, I started to read more and more

AS WE DROVE THROUGH THE IMPOSING GATES, INTO A WORLD of ostentation and excess, we couldn’t help but notice the unfinished golf courses. My guide, a family friend, motioned out the driver’s side window, “Down this road is Celine Dion’s house.” We looked to our left at an impressive housing compound behind uninviting front gates. Our family friend and his wife had recently moved to Nevada and had been looking to buy a home. They had been looking right in the middle of the developing credit crisis, later known as the subprime mortgage crisis, and also looking in one of the hardest hit areas in the United States. We stopped in front of two houses, with only their unkempt and withering side yards separating the two. We walked into the first house and were greeted by overturned tables, cables hanging from the walls, holes in the ceiling and a dust-covered kitchen counter strewn with real estate agents’ business cards. “Can you believe they show these places ‘as is’? They don’t even have time to clean the houses now … there are just so many,” our friend observed as he walked out into the backyard to have a look at the pool that had turned green. We were standing inside a home in one of the more lavish neighborhoods, only a short drive from the glittering Las Vegas strip. The house had been left to ruin by the owner, who was forced into foreclosure and had simply walked away from the property without waiting for the bank. Both houses had the same eerie feeling of sudden abandonment: living room chairs, laundry, a collection of toilet brushes, even an entire stereo system left behind, not enough room in the moving van and clearly not enough time. These were the first “subprime” homes I was able to visit, soon after the crisis hit in February 2008. I was visiting my parents in New Mexico, and we were on a road trip for a photo project I was beginning on “Ghost Towns of the American Southwest.” As an American photographer living and working in Paris, France, I have become increasingly aware of things that make us uniquely American: characteristics, both negative and positive, that truly do set us apart from other nations. After my parents relocated to New Mexico, I became more aware of one of these historical dimensions symbolized by the



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| Photos by Molly Lowe ’03 |



about the growing subprime mortgage crisis and was struck by their similarities. The subprime crisis was hitting parts of the Southwest particularly hard, displaying a false sense of success and material wealth and exhibiting some people’s penchant to take a huge gamble, which only an American would typically be willing to take. Case in point, the gold rush of 1849 and the subsequent other precious metal rushes that lasted well into the 1920s in the American West led to great wealth for a few lucky entrepreneurs and the creation of industrial empires, but it also brought on ruin for many fortune hunters and the abandonment of entire towns. A century later, at the end of 2008, new ghost towns began to appear: entire suburbs of condominiums and houses left open and empty, a product of the subprime mortgage crisis and a visible result of the economic recession that had hit the economy. Our collective imagination and perhaps the passing years may have allowed us to think that the unlucky fortune hunters

leaving their towns were not leaving in despair and desolation, but rather in the hopeful expectation of finding new fortunes elsewhere. History, however, tells us that they did not abandon their towns for the promise of another El Dorado – because, simply, there was no more gold or silver. Those precious metals had either run out or been mined by more successful, avid entrepreneurs. Today’s dispossessed inhabitants did not leave their homes in the search for gold. However, the reality facing people in the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis was just as harsh. Their ruin was just as visible and the personal and collective consequences just as dire as for their unsuccessful ancestors. This phenomenon of seeking new opportunity and fortune that seems so distinctively American, raises an interesting question: How is it possible to create an economic situation in which one is forced to abandon everything? Unlike the French system, welfare and Social Security are not as accessible here. The recession has caused mass job loss. Furthermore, the notion of variable mortgage rates and the ease with which these were handed out to previously ineligible candidates lacking the required credit history and income rendered the entire home equity ownership system vulnerable to the oncoming financial crisis as well as being one of its prime contributors. Upon visiting both ghost towns of the 19th century and the subprime homes of the 21st century, I developed the idea to create a project demonstrating a photographic as well as contextual parallel between the two events. I employed dyptychs to show the parallels: an image taken of a 19th-century ghost town paired with an image of a new ghost town of the 21st century. Using structure, subject and graphic composition, the images become a mirror of one another. I developed this project to demonstrate the ironic parallels between these two events and to reflect on the American Dream: be it in the precarious hunt for gold and silver or the determination to own a home. Many Americans are driven by their dreams of social status and individual success, as well as by an extraordinary naïveté and the illusion that all will turn out well. The modern history of our country – with the quest for the imagined fortunes in the American Southwest and the triumph of capitalism – have shown many that free market law is often the law of the jungle: Only the most ingenious, the most foreseeing and the most aware of market evolution in both social and political contexts will survive. Despite the great “all can succeed” discourse of the American Dream, the self-interest of the strong and the absence of an established system of protection for the weak is what often prevails. The reckless hunt for material wealth, the “I deserve more” of the “me-generation” indoctrinated by the modern American way of life, reflects a lack of critical reflection that has in part triggered the current crisis. The American Dream is not dead, but it’s been compromised. – Molly Lowe is a photographer living in Paris, France. These images, along with many others, appeared in her exhibit The Abandoned Homes of the American Dream at the Galerie Spéos in Paris last summer. Check out more of Lowe’s photography at www.mollylowe.com.

FA L L 2 0 0 9 |



(work•space) t can be a place of sanctuary. Or a daily prison. Maybe it’s an escape. Or your home away from home. More often than not, the places where we work define our daily lives. The walls of our office or cubicle or shop provide our frame of reference for at least eight hours of the day, if not more. These settings can inspire us or be the very definition of drudgery. At the College, the campus is celebrated for its beauty. The live oaks, the Spanish moss, the historic structures, the brick sidewalks – all combine to make it one of the most charming places in which to study and work. For this photoessay, we explored some of the workspaces around campus, both inside and out. Get ready to be inspired.

| images by leslie mckellar



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The Theatre Department’s Costume Shop Workroom, Simons Center for the Arts JANINE MCCABE ’98, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF THEATRE AND COSTUME DESIGNER What Goes on Here: “A lot happens in this little room! I teach the Costume I and the Costume II classes that focus on sewing, the process of design and pattern making. We also build all the costumes for the theatre department’s season, which totals eight shows a year. In this room, the costume shop manager supervises labs and the work that students are doing on all our productions. So fittings, meetings, sewing, pattern making, research, dyeing, painting, draping, wig-working, millinery, drawing, in addition to group and individual mentoring, happens in here.” The Vibe: “The most inspiring thing about this workspace is the amount of students who spend time and dedicate their energy to collaborating on our productions. At any time in this room, there will be many students, several projects happening, music pulsating throughout and people working together toward our next impending deadline. It’s usually a bit of a mess – with bolts of fabric, dress forms, pattern pieces, books, images, renderings, tools and countless other things. And, although we have outgrown our current space, there’s a constant energy and sense of close community in here. It’s our creative hub.”

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College of Charleston Observatory Dome, Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center JAMES NEFF, PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY What Goes on Here: “We use the 16-inch telescope for our general education classes, advanced astronomy lab class and student research projects. I keep the telescope maintained and equipped. The lab underneath the dome also contains our remote observing and analysis facility for our 20-inch telescope in the Virgin Islands.” The Vibe: “It’s a place to get away from the daily rigors. I like to tinker with the telescope hardware and instrumentation. There’s a lot of software maintenance involved, too. I’ve always loved telescopes (having had quite a few of my own over the years), and I’ve observed with many of the world’s best ground-based and spacebased telescopes.”



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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility at the Hollings Marine Laboratory, Fort Johnson Complex on James Island KAREN BURNETT, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, GRICE MARINE LABORATORY AND THE DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY What Goes on Here: “I study disease and disease resistance in marine organisms, especially the health of marine animals that we like to eat, such as crabs, shrimp and oysters.” The Vibe: “This beautiful space was designed to house a powerful magnet that allows us, in collaboration with our colleagues from the National Institute of Standard and Technology, to peer into the metabolic pathways that operate in marine organisms. Every element of the architecture optimizes the function of the magnet. Isn’t it beautiful, too? I love that function is optimized by the beauty of the architecture here. “By working at the Hollings Marine Laboratory, we are able to combine our expertise in biology with the incredible power of NMR-based metabolics and the talents of our NIST colleagues to find ways to understand and preserve the natural marine resources for future generations to enjoy.”

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McKinley Washington Auditorium, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture CURTIS FRANKS, DIRECTOR OF MUSEUM EDUCATION AND EXHIBITS What Goes on Here: “This third-floor auditorium is the Avery Research Center’s primary space for lectures and public programs and is also used as an exhibition/gallery space. I have the extreme good fortune ‘to do my thing’ (work) in one of this country’s most valuable treasures. The Avery building was constructed in 1868 as a private school for African American children. The entire building is steeped in history and serves as a constant reminder, as well as a powerful testament, of the importance and relevance of historical and cultural memory.” The Vibe: “In terms of its contents, meaning the building, it’s quite wonderful that it’s used to house historical source materials, primary and secondary, and material culture related to the African and African American experience in South Carolina, with particular emphasis on the Lowcountry. “To have the opportunity to work in this environment as I have for more than 15 years has been very transformative. In fact, as I think about my time and ongoing work here at Avery, I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes, made by Frederick Douglass, ‘A man is worked on by what he is working on. ... He may carve out his circumstances but his circumstances will carve him out as well.’”

J. Stewart Walker Jr. Sailing Complex COLIN BENTLEY ’85, DOCKMASTER What Goes on Here: “I teach and coach sailing, as well as maintain the fleet and facility. I do it all – repairs, maintenance, painting, carpentry, welding, whatever needs to be done. We have 50 boats, so there’s always something that needs to be repaired.” The Vibe: “I am outside, around good people and have a view that some pay millions for.”

St. Philip Street Entrance on Green Way JOHN DAVIS, LANDSCAPE DESIGNER AND CAMPUS ARBORIST What Goes on Here: “The College’s downtown campus has approximately 45 acres and is an arboretum – or botanical garden. After more than a decade working as an art and science museum executive, I was tired of the coat and tie every day, so I re-invented myself and became a landscape designer, coming to the College right after Hurricane Hugo 20 years ago. As a landscape designer, I visualize things from overhead, and I’ve found that if it looks good in the drawing, it’ll look good in the garden.” The Vibe: “I designed this particular entrance to campus early on. Years ago, this space only had the crape myrtle in it, and the students used it as a shortcut. It presented a very ugly space to anyone passing the College on St. Philip Street. It was one of my first renovations on campus.”

Porters Lodge, Office No. 2 CATHY DENHAM HOLMES ’78, SENIOR INSTRUCTOR IN THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT What Goes on Here: “I meet with students, grade papers, read, write and pinch myself often that I do it all before such a stunning view.” The Vibe: “I’ve been in my perch on the Cistern since 1992. I love its reassuring beauty. I also like its interesting variety. Over the years, I’ve seen movies made, heard candidates speak and watched a parade of students come and go. Whatever’s happening on campus makes its way to the Cistern. I’m lucky to be here.”

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young man stares intently at the floor of his cell. A sliver of daylight illuminates a meandering thin black line that runs from his cell’s ground-level window to this spot on the floor. It’s the 1960s in East Africa, and the prisoner is John Rashford, a Quaker student circling the globe as he studies human culture. His trip to study Swahili in Tanzania has hit a bit of a road bump. After a 30-hour trip from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam on a crammed and uncomfortable bus, Rashford wakes up with his money and proper documentation stolen and is promptly dropped off with the local authorities.

punctuated by several varieties of green, leafy plants and a few scattered boxes of Miracle-Gro, some empty, some full. In the inner room, where his desk is engulfed in more papers and more plants, you get a snapshot of John Rashford the scholar. Books are like kudzu in this part of his office. They overtake you. They tower over you. They envelop you. His shelves are overstuffed, sometimes two or three books deep, with titles like Fantastic Trees and Supernatural as Natural: A Biocultural Approach to Religion packed tightly against The Wealth of Nations, Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture, Uganda poet Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Lawino and numerous tomes


Not only the victim of a robbery, Rashford is a victim of bad timing. He has arrived in Tanzania right on the heels of Stokely Carmichael, the Black Panther advocate who had recently criticized the country’s government and society in general. It’s not exactly a good time to be seen as an “American,” especially without means and a passport. “There’s a proverb in my home country,” Rashford says in his rhythmic Jamaican voice. “If you can’t catch Quaco, catch him shirt. I am the shirt, you understand.” His detention occurs on a Thursday, Thanksgiving to be precise, and the U.S. embassy is closed for the long weekend. So, Rashford, penniless and without contacts, spends his days alone in jail studying the movement and cooperation of ants as they haul off minute pieces of grizzle from the meat of his meals. There’s nothing else to do. The police had taken everything – his guitar, his books, his writing materials – so the ants serve both as his companions and his subjects of study. “I found those ants infinitely interesting,” Rashford recalls with a smile. And that’s John Rashford for you: consummate student, curious observer – no matter the circumstance, whether a college library or a Tanzanian jail cell.

BLOSSOMS OF THE MIND In a Charleston single house located on St. Philip Street, you can find John Rashford’s office. Walking up the creaky steps to the second floor, you enter a doorway on the right, into a two-room suite. The outer room is stacked with the staples of academia – mounds of scholastic journals, papers, magazines and books,



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on Hegel’s philosophy. Paintings and prints of the baobob tree – all gifts from former students – hang on his walls. The gourd-like fruit of the baobob (which look more like maracas than food) rest randomly on his bookshelves. The branches and leaves of a Japanese red pine fall like dreadlocks off his desk – what he calls “Jamaica-style Bonzai.” Piles of papers, photos and other materials obscure a Yamaha keyboard, bongo drums, record albums, a microphone and amplifier. In the corner, almost hidden between two bookshelves, a sleeping bag serves as a makeshift case for his sitar. A casual observer might rightly be confused in this academic den and come up with several conclusions about the nature and interests of this scholar: Obviously, he’s a musician. No, a philosopher. Perhaps a botanist or biologist. Maybe, a poet. Of course, a historian. But John Rashford is, first and foremost, an anthropologist. “My travels early on opened me up to anthropology,” explains Rashford, who as a college student at Friends World College trekked around the world, with stops in Mexico, Sweden, Austria, Kenya, Ethiopia, India, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan, to name but a few. “Seeing how so many different people, so many different cultures respond to their geography, their times and to each other … that got me interested in understanding the bigger picture of human evolution.” For Rashford, that “bigger picture” centers on the environment in which people live, and that means recognizing plant life. “Understanding the human-plant relationship is a critical prerequisite,” Rashford says, “for understanding human evolutionary history, whether it’s medicine, the origins of



John Rashford is an expert on the cultural significance of the baobob tree, one of the largest kinds of trees in the world. “The baobob is one of the most sacred trees across Africa,” he notes, “and is considered the Tree of Life in many cultures. Some baobob trees grow up to 120 feet in circumference and live for thousands of years. It is a source of water and food as well as medicine for some indigenous populations.” Over the course of his career, Rashford has looked at many of the cultural aspects and utilitarian uses of the baobob as well as its dispersal in India and in the New World.

agriculture, religion or the rise of the industrial world. Plants are fundamental for understanding what it means to be a human being. If you look at the Western religious tradition, the fate of human beings is determined by our relationship to trees.” Rashford’s interests in flora did not start from an academic viewpoint, but from his cultural background. As a boy coming of age in the 1950s in Port Antonio and later Kingston, Jamaica, Rashford and his friends would gather wild fruits, such as tropical almonds, tamarinds, cucumbers and passion fruit, in the woods close to home. “My family always grew things in our garden,” he adds. “Growing stuff and collecting stuff were important to us all.” So that inherent interest in plant life and its relationship with humanity informed his research in the area of ethnobotany– which some scholars identify as “the science of survival.” Rashford’s doctoral dissertation explored the practice of intercropping in Jamaica. He is widely regarded as the expert on the dispersal and cultural importance of the baobob tree in the Americas. He has written the seminal paper on the ackee fruit’s cultural significance to Jamaica and has done considerable research on the sacredness of fig trees in human tradition. But his many academic accomplishments may pale in comparison to his past four years of service and leadership. He serves as one of three scientific advisers to the National Tropical Botanical Garden. He is the president of the Charleston Museum’s Board of Trustees. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, a dual-mission nonprofit dedicated to land conservation and the arts in the Lowcountry and Chicago. After a long tenure on the board of the Coastal Conservation League, he also worked on the Trust for Public Land’s S.C. Advisory Council. And he served a three-year commitment as the president of the Society for Economic Botany, the premier scientific society for research on the interrelationships between people and plants. He also had the honor of coordinating and hosting the society’s 50th anniversary this past summer, which included the organization of a symposium on African ethnobotany in the Americas. “I knew that if I didn’t do it now, I wouldn’t do it,” Rashford says of his service. “You might call this the flowering of my career.” |


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Needless to say, no moss has gathered on this rolling stone of a scholar. And the top researchers in his discipline recognize just that. “Some people may have visited more places around the globe,” says Bradley Bennett, a professor of biological sciences and director of Florida International University’s Center for Ethnobiology and Natural Products, “but I doubt that there are very many who have immersed themselves in so many different cultures. John is a broadly trained scholar with diverse interests. Though trained as an anthropologist, he knows more plant taxonomy than many botanists.” Rashford’s expertise is not lost on Will McClatchey, professor of botany at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “John is a lover of trees,” McClatchey observes. “He knows they are critical to the survival of not only the earth, as its very lungs, but that so many of earth’s cultures have invested their souls within the bowels of trees, and that trees are also critical to the survival of cultural diversity. He has championed several sorts of trees and the cultures that elect to share intertwined lives with them. In this way, he has become intertwined with trees himself, probably as all people should.” Perhaps more importantly, “John is a leader who inspires other scientists,” McClatchey continues. “He motivates through his willingness to commingle biology, art, social inquiry and the joy of exploration.” James Miller, dean and vice president for science at the New York Botanical Garden, agrees: “His ability as a keen observer of human behavior and culture and his understanding of how people interact with plants and other natural resources, coupled with the clarity in his writings, help him teach the rest of us great things about why plants are so important in our day-to-day lives and why he is so respected as a leader by his peers in the field.”

PLANTING PASSION The last student hurries into the full classroom of ANTH 362: Social and Cultural Change. She turns sideways, trying not to hit the other students with her book-heavy backpack as she shuffles to the back of the room, stepping delicately over coffee mugs and plastic soft drink bottles. She finds a seat and thumbs her cell phone to mute it. John Rashford stands at the front of the class going over the roll. She hears her name, responds with



a breathless “here,” and receives an understanding “OK” and a sincere smile. Rashford turns and draws a long blue line across the white board and bookends it with “5–8 million years” and “present.” Today’s discussion is about Marx and Engels’ The Communist Manifesto, and its role in changing society. But that classic work is not the centerpiece of that day’s lecture. Far from it. “Sharing is the cement … the glue of social evolution,” he tells the class. “The great apes don’t share food. Only humans share. Exchange is the heart of human life.” Rashford then spends the next hour talking with his students about the different types of human exchange, moving seamlessly up and down the blue timeline on the whiteboard, as well as interjecting short lessons on horticulture, philosophy, history, ethics and genetic engineering. When one student fumbles over his thoughts regarding the universality of social hierarchy and attempts to abandon his answer, feeling the pressure and eyes of the 29 other students, Rashford smiles and prods him, “Don’t give up the delight of scholarship. We are here to speculate.” There is a calmness and gentleness to John Rashford, like a warm Caribbean breeze. The student relaxes and does just that – he speculates. That speculation is critical in Rashford’s mind because it gets to the core purpose of the liberal arts and sciences experience: Students must recognize that all living things are connected and all disciplines are connected. “I truly believe that a liberal arts education is a prerequisite for a life well spent,” Rashford says. “And by better understanding the world and life – that it’s more than a good job, a good living, a good income – it will help you enjoy the life you live and will help you live the life that is meaningful to you.” Since his arrival at the College in 1983, a John Rashford class, for many students, is a before-and-after event in their life. It’s a class you dare not hit the snooze button on or skip it for the beach. It marks an evolutionary step in your intellectual development. Perhaps the greatest praise any professor can receive comes from Lucas Moriera ’09: “I can honestly say that he was the most important part of my education, at the College or otherwise. It’s not an exaggeration when I say that I majored in John Rashford.”

While Rashford may have a long way to go in becoming a recognized major, his contributions to his students are abundant. Just ask Amanda Watson Smith ’90: “Professors like Dr. Rashford helped me see that many of the ‘norms’ and expectations we have are just societal constructs that are different elsewhere. What an eye opener for a traditional Southern girl! He taught me that people approach things differently because of the society they are from. Remembering that helps me understand people better, and that has helped me at work, in graduate school and in my faith life.” Phillis Kalisky Mair ’93 was one of the students who was sure to get to class early and find a good seat. “I would have to sit up front because of his soft voice,” she remembers. “Once there I realized I had a front-row seat to higher education.” For Allison Cleveland ’98, he was a perfect combination of kindness, enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. “Most of us sat spellbound when he lectured,” she recalls. “He didn’t just lecture about concepts – he combined those concepts with real-life examples, making his classroom lectures relevant to the real world. He encouraged travel and exploration and appreciation for other cultures. I thought of him often as I worked on my Ph.D. in psychology at the Max Planck Institute in Germany.” Rashford simply shrugs when he hears such praise, more out of modesty than indifference. “I think my students respond to my enthusiasm of the subject, my curiosity. Because what I am teaching is what I am working on myself,” Rashford explains. “My motivation has never been to be a great teacher or eminent scholar. I have simply been satisfying my own curiosity.” As his mind turns to retirement in the next few years, Rashford sounds nothing like a future retiree. Rather, he sounds like a man on a mission to contribute even more. “There are several projects I would like to finish and write about,” Rashford says. “Like this idea of anthropology and time, the importance of the notion of the tree of life and human culture, human beings and plant dispersal and mimicry in nature. These are just a few things that I have worked on for a long time, and I think I can contribute something to the general literature.” “But you know,” he adds, a large smile spreading across his face, “learning never ends. Something else might just interest me.” And knowing John Rashford and his relentless curiosity, the best may be yet to come.


As a young man, Rashford traveled around the world and carried his guitar wherever he went. An avid music lover and performer, he would find locals to play with, which opened rare windows into different cultures. But Rashford was no tourist. He wanted to immerse himself in the cultures he visited in order to truly understand them. So, he learned the local instrumentation as well. For example, he played classical music on violin and Renaissance music on guitar in Sweden. He studied the melodic scales called Ragas on the sitar in India. And in the Far East, he learned the koto, the national instrument of Japan. Today, you might hear him in his office playing a little bossa nova on his keyboard or plucking Bach arrangements on his classical guitar with other musically inclined faculty members in the sociology and anthropology department. Or, if you are so lucky to attend an ethnobotany conference, you might catch him jamming late night with other top scholars from around the world.

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They are young and old. They live in different places around the world. Their expertise is varied. But beyond their history at the College, there is one thing they share in common. Each is shaping what is coming neXt.

You will read about men and women seeking new solutions to old problems, including homelessness, pollution and poverty. You will read about others leveraging technology to augment communication, foster learning and promote alternative transportation.

They represent scores of College of Charleston graduates and students improving the world through innovation and ambition. They look at the world at a slightly different angle. These men and women are bold and brave, eager to experiment. You would be right to call them pioneers.

In your hands is a crystal ball. Kindly flip through the pages ahead, and you will see the future. Thanks to the contributions of a handful of alumni and a graduate student, the future is bright.

After graduating with degrees in philosophy and anthropology, Farrow was heading to the Big Apple. The city is a magnet for dreamers of all backgrounds, and Farrow’s dream was to study environmental law and save the world. The first trick was to get there. And this is the awakening of Farrow’s inner hustler. He had thrown a rod in his car’s engine and was in desperate need of new transportation. A unique opportunity presented itself, allowing him to trade a $97 pallet of sod from his family’s landscaping business to a funeral home for its junkyarddestined but workable delivery van. The van became a lifeline for Farrow as he struggled to find his way in the Big City – with only $30 to his name. The van, which he lined with blue carpet found alongside a dumpster and affectionately called the “Blue Guru,” was not only his makeshift apartment for a month, it also served as a means for income.


If the solutions are hard or inconvenient, many of us simply live our lives and blithely sidestep the dilemma. A head in the sand, we learn all too quickly, isn’t that uncomfortable. Not for Justin Farrow ’02. He’s tackling a social issue head on and in a way that re-imagines the problem and the solution. “Most everything that people are doing to address the homeless, in my opinion, is just PR – it doesn’t go far enough,” Farrow explains. “They provide short-term fixes, like a ten-day pass to a shelter, a one-way ticket out of town or their names on a waiting list for project housing. How does any of that keep them off the street?” It’s a valid question. And the answer has been waiting for someone with Farrow’s unique life point of view. Part philosopher, part anthropologist, Farrow considers himself a participant observer, but what he really is, is a hustler. And it’s the hustler’s mentality that is the root of the solution.

Some problemS are juSt too big, it SeemS.

juStin Farrow ’02

the home-Free CruSader

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Farrow’s idea is pretty simple, yet revolutionary. Rather than trying to bring the homeless to one location – like a shelter or soup kitchen – why not bring the mountain to Mahomet, so to speak. And it starts with that bread truck.

home free

For most New Yorkers, the homeless are as much a part of the cityscape as a brownstone or a yellow taxi cab. Farrow, since his arrival in New York, had always had a fascination with the homeless. “I guess I identify with people on the periphery,” he admits. “I respect their ability to survive. Their stories are fascinating. For example, I met a homeless man named Joey, who claimed to be a former Mouseketeer. I drank beers with a guy called Spider while looking at street art and chatting about Einstein’s genius. I talked philosophy and Kierkegaard with a homeless woman born in Denmark. All these random encounters taught me something new.” That conversation about Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was especially poignant and enlightening. A personal hero of Farrow, Kierkegaard wrote extensively about how human indifference breeds animosity. Farrow was committed not to fall into that easy trap of apathy regarding homelessness, but rather, to care intensely – and to act boldly. “We have to realize that we are not ships passing in the night,” Farrow says. “We’re all connected somehow. For many of these people on the streets, life has just spiraled out of control. They have questions, but no way to answer them.” By this time, 2006 to be precise, Farrow was living in an old pie factory converted into loft apartments. He was still pushing real estate and a little of everything else – search engine optimization, social networking, photography, you name it. Next door was a bread factory, and as Farrow was wont to do on any given day, at any given hour, he chatted up a stranger, who was sitting in front of the bread factory. The stranger was the bread factory owner, who confided that he was having a hard time getting rid of his old bread trucks. He even had a graveyard of sorts in Queens where the trucks went into “retirement.” Wait, Farrow thought. Internet … Wi-Fi … the Blue Guru … bread trucks. It all clicked.

vagabond heart

Using free Wi-Fi connections at various cafés around Brooklyn, Farrow ran a few ads on Craigslist, offering his vehicle and his muscles to do some small moving jobs. While helping people relocate around the city, he noticed many empty apartments. Twelve evening classes later and Farrow was in the real estate game. “The majority of realtors in New York City spend a lot on advertising,” Farrow says. “I didn’t have that kind of money, so I only used the free tools available to me. At that time, I was the 400th person to sign up for MySpace, I started a real estate blog and I posted ads on Craigslist, branding myself ‘the Loft Ninja,’ a real estate super hero. A little humor can go a long way.” His humor and online efforts worked, and he started helping people, including himself, find new locations around town. With that, his dream of environmental law soon changed, but not the part of the dream about saving the world.

With one bread truck in hand and more planned for the future, Farrow has begun the process of transforming and outfitting this vehicle into a mobile help center. “Homeless doesn’t equal helpless,” Farrow says. “If we’re able to help them take advantage of some of those free resources, like Craigslist or other online classifieds, we might bring them in off the streets for good.” Farrow hopes that this truck, like his van from years ago, can be their lifeline. It will be equipped with a highly specialized search engine, a wireless hub and donated computers so that users can access the Internet in order to look for jobs or use genealogy sites to locate family members. “We’re going to help them get e-mail,” he says. “They can use the truck as a P.O. box address and they will have access to a community voice mail. We will offer résumé-building workshops and will also have donated ‘business’ clothes for them to wear to a job interview. But that’s just the start.” Farrow envisions the bread truck, which will have a biodiesel engine and run on donated biodiesel fuel (courtesy of Tri-State Biodiesel of Brooklyn), to be an umbrella of sorts for all kinds of assistance. “I would like to see different people volunteering with the van, using and sharing whatever skills they may have,” Farrow says. “For example, we pull into Union Square, and we may have someone with technology skills helping a person locate a job, a counselor listening to a particular problem and a medical professional providing aid. Everyone can give, and everyone has something to offer.” Currently, Farrow is pretty busy pulling it all together. He’s securing permits in NYC so that he can park the truck around the city and is hiking the paper trail to 501(c)(3) status for The term “home-free” includes the people whose primary daytime residence is in an institution that provides a residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or in a public or private place not designed for use as a regular sleeping condition for human beings.

home-Free Home-Free is the condition and social category of people who lack housing, because they cannot afford, or are otherwise unable to maintain, regular, safe, and adequate shelter.

Words matter. And Justin Farrow ’02 understands that. As part of his crusade to help those on the streets, he entered a new word and concept into the lexicon of the popular website www.urbandictionary.com. Here’s his contribution to our evolving language:

a SemantiC adjuStment

Learn more about Justin Farrow and Home Free Organization at homefreeorg.blogspot.com.

_MARK BERRY photo by _mike ledford

Home Free Organization, his nonprofit initiative. He’s setting up a social media site connecting homeless people directly with volunteers and fine-tuning the technology schematics of the truck design. He’s working with J.R. Ward ’00, who plans to set up a Home Free truck in Atlanta, and is hoping to expand to other big cities. And Farrow is also trying to coordinate a partnership with the Salvation Army in order to broaden his nonprofit’s reach and scope as well as tap into their network of resources. “There are no limits to what Home Free might become,” Farrow notes. “This is a mobile ‘pay it forward’ and everyone can contribute to the solution.”



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had a knack for connecting with people. He’s always had a penchant for making use of cutting-edge technology. And he’s always had a hankering for a career in advertising and marketing. Lucky for him, there’s an app for that – all of it. “It’s all come together for me – I’m working in marketing and using technology to connect people to the things they want,” says Coppola, who started his career as an assistant to an entrepreneur, flying around the country with bigwigs from companies like Coca-Cola, MTV and Gillette. “It was a lot of fun, but the big thing was that I was connecting with people that I otherwise would have never met.” And the fact that it’s all about who you know was something that Coppola understood instinctively. “I kept in touch with some of my contacts after I left that job, and many of them reached out to me for guidance in establishing a presence on social networks like Facebook,” recalls the communication major, who minored in business. “I’m really into social networking and stuff, but I’d never been interested in or focused on the more technological side of how to use those components to connect. But, for some reason, I started thinking about pursuing the world of technology. It was weird.” By October 2008, however, he’d gotten over the “weirdness,” and was determined to do something different. “I wanted to start my own thing, pursue my passion,” he says. “That’s when it kind of hit me: I’m obsessed with helping companies connect to consumers. The No. 1 thing I’m passionate about is helping brands connect with people in the easiest, best way possible.” And so, the then-28-year-old Coppola sat down and wrote a business model

mike Coppola ’02 haS alwayS alway

mike Coppola ’02

the apt entrepreneur

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It’s best to think of an app in the most basic of terms: as an abbreviation of the word application. On a computer, an application is a program that has a specific use – Microsoft Word is used for word processing, for example, and iChat is used for chatting with friends. Similarly, applications can be downloaded to mobile phones in smaller, abbreviated formats, known as apps. These apps are like digital shortcuts for accomplishing certain tasks (tracking mileage, calculating tip amounts, looking up fat contents) and visiting particular websites (Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo). Each app has a different use, and – with more than 75,000 third-party apps available from Apple’s App Store alone – there’s something for everybody: the traveler checking flight statuses, the student learning French, the sports enthusiast getting scores, the businesswoman sending e-mail, the average Joe passing time with a brainteaser. If accessing these apps sounds a lot like getting on the Internet, that’s because it is – just on a smaller, more mobile scale. As Mike Coppola puts it: “What websites are to computers is what apps are to mobile phones.”

what’S hat’S hat’ S an app, anyway? anyway ? and theory – on a paper napkin, no less. “What I came up with was what I call the App Ecosystem,” he says. “It’s just a vision I had for connecting these three different key people – the advertiser, the developer and the consumer – in the most efficient way possible. It makes a triangle that creates this kind of marketing mecca. It’s the most harmonious thing ever.” It wasn’t long before Coppola’s “marketing mecca” caught the eye of the young entrepreneurs at Vdopia, who shared his vision and hired him last January to launch a mobile app network that connects people, software developers and advertisers. As a member of the founding team of iVdopia (an offshoot of Vdopia), Coppola discovered a way to combine all of his innate talents and interests – and to make money doing so. “Essentially, we’ve found a way to profit from something that was already there,” says Coppola, explaining that iVdopia partners with advertisers and with developers who make free mobile applications for the iPhone. iVdopia’s technology allows ads to appear when the consumer opens an app. From there, the possibilities are endless. “As a marketing vehicle, the mobile device holds more potential than the Internet ever did,” says Coppola, explaining that, in addition to giving consumers one-click access to advertisers’ locations and phone numbers, mobile devices have the advantage of being, well, mobile. “We’re physically leading people to the products with these ads. We’re giving them what they want as efficiently as possible – all from their back pocket.” It’s a win-win-win situation. “At the end of the day, we’re helping consumers get what they want, we’re helping companies get what they want and we’re helping developers get what they want,” he says, adding that, because developers are competing in a largely free marketplace, they have a hard time making money with apps. “By giving them a cut of the advertising revenue, we’re encouraging them to continue to offer their apps for free – we’re encouraging everyone to be an entrepreneur.” And that includes Coppola. “Right now our focus is on getting people on this network, but we’re always working on new things,” he

You can follow Mike Coppola on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mikecoppola.

_ALICIA LUTZ ’98 photo by _leslie mckellar

says, adding that developing “the next big thing for mobile technology has been powerful. It’s opened a lot of doors.” And, although his job at iVdopia was literally made for him, his entrepreneurial spirit won’t let him rest. “I always have something up my sleeve,” says Coppola, refusing to elaborate. “Let’s just say I’ll be pushing the lines of the future.” And, certainly, there’s an app for that.

Mobile apps take between 5 and 30 seconds to load onto an iPhone, and, typically, the consumer sits idly by, watching a loading bar count from 0 to 100 percent. When the app is developed by one of iVdopia’s partners, however, a brief commercial plays on the iPhone’s screen during the loading process. This is called the PreApp Video, and it uses that otherwise-squandered loading time to plug one of the many companies in iVdopia’s network of brand advertisers. Once the app is loaded, the advertiser’s banner ad appears at the bottom of the screen while the app is in use. The consumer can then click on this ad, called the InApp Banner, to open the InApp Canvas, which is an interactive screen with information about the advertiser’s product. “So, let’s say you’ve just watched this commercial for Dunkin’ Donuts, and you’re thinking a donut might be a good idea,” explains Coppola. “You just click on the banner ad, and it will tell you where the closest Dunkin’ Donuts is, what its hours are, the fastest way to get there, everything.”

how doeS thiS arrangement between app developerS, advertiSerS and ivdopia aFFeCt you, the ConSumer?

tim tanner ’91 (m.a.t. ’94) + emily elliott ’01

the pioneerS oF inStruCtion

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well as an on-screen protractor and games that allow students to stand at the board and sort animals into appropriate categories, such as reptiles and mammals, by touching a picture of the organism and dragging their hand across the screen to the correct barrel. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though, and Elliott and Tanner are keen on telling teachers about all the other functions they can use to engage students already equipped with cell phones, iPods and hand-held video games. “It completely changes the way you teach,” says Elliott, a former elementary school teacher. “The students think it’s magic, especially the little ones.” While SMART Boards will be one of the most widely used devices across Charleston County schools, their office

– tim tanner

“StudentS nowadayS are multitaSkerS. they want it quiCkly. they want it now.”

– emily elliott

“it Completely ChangeS the way you teaCh. the StudentS think it’S magiC, eSpeCially the little oneS.”

It’s a phrase that repulses Emily Elliott ’01 and Tim Tanner ’91 (M.A.T. ’94). It means sticking kids in front of a computer and letting them crunch numbers until the bell rings. It’s for killing time, or, as Elliott says, killing the student’s spirit and desire to learn. It’s exactly what computers in the classroom are not meant for. What are they meant for? Elliott and Tanner would love to show you. They do it for a living, in fact, for the Charleston County School District’s Department of Educational Technology, instructing teachers and administrators on how to effectively use technology in the classroom. Their work includes developing a “Walk and Read” program in which students with low literacy levels exercise while listening to an audio recording of a book on an MP3 player. It also includes delivering iPods into classrooms for students to view video clips. Their biggest project, though, is getting interactive digital devices called SMART Boards installed in every classroom in Charleston County by October 2010 and training teachers to use them. In case you’ve been out of grade school for a while and don’t have children, you should know that the SMART Board puts its predecessors – the chalkboard and dry-erase board – to shame. Instead of screeching chalk and noxious markers, you have pens drawing lines of clean, quiet “digital ink” across a screen. You also have an array of functions available to wow sleepy students, including tools that convert a teacher’s handwriting on the board to neat type and make sloppily-drawn shapes square and round – as

drill and kill.

_JASON RYAN photos by _leslie mckellar

also encourages the use of a variety of other gadgets. Tanner says that it’s imperative to integrate technology into lesson plans because today’s children have been conditioned to expect information to come at them fast and furious. “Students nowadays are multitaskers. They want it quickly. They want it now,” says Tanner, also a former elementary school teacher. He notes that today’s classroom technology has come a long way since his high school days, when he learned keyboarding and basic programming language on computers with one-color monitors: “Back then, we were excited if we could program the computers so our names would scroll back and forth down the screen.” While students are eager to embrace new technology, Elliott and Tanner say, some teachers resist new ways to transmit tried and true lesson plans. “It can be very intimidating,” says Elliott, “especially after you’ve taught one way for your entire career.” When faced with a holdout, Elliott and Tanner endeavor to understand why a teacher may be reluctant to use a SMART Board or other gadgets. Then they try to explain how new tools can enhance a classroom presentation. Recently, after being given a demonstration, one technology-hostile teacher was amazed at what she found she could do with a SMART Board. “We always say to teachers, ‘You’re reacting like this, so will your students,’” says Tanner. “They will pay attention better.”

without a car. She’s selling the Nissan and embracing the bicycle. It’s goodbye gas money and car insurance payments, hello healthy living. And she hopes you’ll consider doing the same. As the director of communications for the American League of Bicyclists, Cahill helps to educate others about the benefits of bicycling, as well as encourage the creation of bike-friendly communities. She’s taken the message she promotes to heart, biking to work at least three times a week, pedaling more than 7 miles each way between her home in Arlington, Va., and her office in downtown Washington, D.C. Commuting by bicycle means she can skip a visit to the gym, and it’s faster than the bus, so she can sleep longer each morning. It’s also helping her cope with asthma. “Now my lung capacity is amazing,” she says. Nationwide, though, Cahill is in the minority. According to the 2000 census, just .38 percent of Americans bike to work. Americans bike an average of .06 miles a day, according to 2003 statistics, while the Dutch average 1.55 miles daily. “Our nation is definitely a car nation,” says Cahill. But that could be changing. High gas prices, concerns about global warming and fitness benefits are all factors in increased ridership. More people are riding their bikes, Cahill says, and that means the League of American Bicyclists has a greater constituency to represent and protect. Cahill spends much of her time producing the league’s bimonthly publication, American Bicyclist, and updating the league’s website, which combats politicians’ sometimes uninformed opinions about

For the FirSt time SinCe She waS 15, meghan Cahill ’03 will be

meghan Cahill ’03

the bike booSter

_JASON RYAN photo by _mark finkenstaedt

bicycling and includes information about how to respond to traffic fatalities involving bicyclists. Cahill wasn’t always so gung-ho about bicycling. In fact, when she interviewed for her position, she innocently asked her future co-workers where the parking garage was. “They pointed to the bike rack – that’s our parking,” they told her. Now she’s a convert, and you’d be hard-pressed to get Cahill back behind a steering wheel. “I’ve definitely switched my logic about transportation,” she says. “There’s nothing negative about the bicycle. You’re either having fun or getting in shape … and you’re not contributing to smog or pollution.”

Source: League of American Bicyclists

Note: Charleston is not a bicycle friendly city, according to the League of American Bicyclists, but Columbia and Spartanburg are.

top bicycle Friendly Cities • Boulder, Colo. • Davis, Calif. • Portland, Ore.

top bicycle Friendly States 1. Washington 2. Wisconsin 3. Maine 4. Oregon 5. Minnesota ... 26. South Carolina

and equipment sold in 2007

$6.1 billion value of bicycles


18. 5 million bikes sold in

work made by bike in the Netherlands

27 percentage of trips to

work made by bike in U.S.

.5 percentage of trips to

biking by the numberS

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you might think the booksellers at Bibliolife were crazy. After all, most of Bibliolife’s products were written more than 75 years ago and fell into such low demand they went out of print. They sell no first editions of these books, just reprints. Indeed, Bibliolife is happy to sell a handful of copies of any title. But listen to Bob Holt ’81 ’81, Mitchell Davis ’93 and Jason Youmans ’02 pitch their unique business model from their office overlooking the Charleston Harbor, and it’s plain they have a few tricks up their sleeves. The three men worked together at Charleston-based vanity press BookSurge (which Holt and Davis cofounded) before Amazon bought it in 2005. Now, with the help of five other College alumni that work for Bibliolife, they’re teaming up to build another on-demand printing company in Charleston, this time for out-of-print books with expired copyrights, most of which were published in the United States before 1923. They operate under the slogan “Old books. New life,” and their goal is to put out-of-print books back in the hands of readers. Like other on-demand publishing companies, Bibliolife has no inventory and warehouses to manage, and no unsold books sitting on its shelves. Instead, all of its books are stored digitally. When a customer orders a copy, Bibliolife retrieves it on a disk, prints it and ships it. Bibliolife gathers the bulk of its collection of titles by striking deals with libraries. Using Bibliolife’s equipment, libraries scan their collections of out-ofprint books and give the company the right to print and sell the works. In exchange,

iF they hadn’t previouSly previouS previou Sly ly StruCk Stru truC Ck k gold in the publiShing publi induStry,

mitChell daviS ’93 + bob holt ’81 + jaSon youmanS ’02

the bookkeeperS Bibliolife preserves a digital copy of the out-of-print books, grants a wider audience access to the work and shares some of its profits when those books sell. “For libraries, it’s a perpetual revenue stream,” says Holt, Bibliolife’s CEO. Such arrangements have resulted in the availability of thousands of titles, including books like S. Emma Edmond’s Nurse and Spy in Union Army (1865) and C.H. Charles’ Love Letters of Great Men and Women: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day (1924). Bibliolife sells books in 41 languages, and some published as early as the 15th century. Bibliolife also prints modern government reports and plans to have maps, scrolls and manuscripts available soon for print.

_JASON RYAN photos by _leslie mckellar

Bibliolife’s executives confess that they have great difficulty predicting which books they acquire will sell, and are reconciled to the fact that many books might never sell at all. They’re mum on how many titles of each book they need to sell to break even, but are confident that by selling a few titles of many, many selections, their business can be a success. “Our definition of a best-seller is totally different,” says Davis. And how many of these best-sellers have they actually read? “We don’t,” says Holt. “I’ve looked through a few,” says Davis. “Too busy working,” says Youmans.



| C o l l e g e o f C h a r l e s t o n magazine

plane leaving Kabul. The landscape unfolding below seems like another planet – planets, really. One minute, it’s lush river valley, an earthly paradise. The next, a rocky, desolate terrain like the moon. Then, Martian-red sandy deserts. Crouch is not your typical visitor. And this is not your typical country. Afghanistan isn’t exactly known as a tourist hotspot. It’s more famous for its impenetrable mountains, its harsh geography and its people’s unbreakable resistance to outside influence for more than a millennium. Just look around; the country is littered with the remnants of one such failed attempt: burned-out Soviet tanks, abandoned armored vehicles and downed assault helicopters. But that doesn’t bother Crouch. He’s here on business. And his message is not falling on deaf or defiant ears.

j.d. CrouCh ’96 lookS out the duSt-Smeared window oF hiS Small

j.d. CrouCh ’96

the breakthrough banker

Crouch represents a new thought in the financial universe. Think of it as a crossroads where altruism meets capitalism. Less patent leather shoes and corporate power tie, more bare feet and shalwar kameez, the traditional Afghan’s outfit known for its comfort and versatility. Basically, Crouch is a banker. More precisely, he is a banking consultant for ShoreBank International, a subsidiary of ShoreBank – a Chicago-

based community development bank in the vanguard of combating poverty and financial inequality in the emerging world. “We represent access,” Crouch explains, “a pretty important concept in improving people’s lives. We are specialists and experts in implementing micro-finance and small-business lending programs.” In 2006, Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi banker and economic

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photos courtesy_ j.d. crouch

intellectual who pioneered the concept of micro-finance, garnered international attention when he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Yunus famously quipped that “poverty is unnecessary,” believing that economic prosperity and world peace are directly related. “I did something that challenged the banking world,” Yunus added. “Conventional banks look for the rich; we look for the absolutely poor. All people are entrepreneurs, but many don’t have the opportunity to find that out.” Enter ShoreBank International and J.D. Crouch. “Now understand, micro-financing is not the silver bullet to end poverty,” Crouch admits. “It simply plants the seed. It gives people hope and dignity. They are treated like anyone else and they know that they can grow their businesses and increase their incomes. It gives them a shot at upward mobility – something we take for granted in America.” The definition of micro-lending is broad, but on the whole, it’s when a group forms (usually 10 to 30 people) to serve as each other’s guarantors to receive a loan from a micro-finance institution, either a not-for-profit or for-profit bank. These loans are usually in the range of $50 to $500, depending on the country and market. “Another important component of what we do,” Crouch notes, “is reaching what is known as the ‘missing middle’ – those individuals or small businesses that need loans from $3,000 to $100,000. By providing financial access to small and mediumsized businesses, you are more likely to create employment opportunities, which in turn is more likely to drive and expand the macro economy.”

“Remember,” he adds, “America is not a lot of Microsofts. The bedrock of most economies is small business. In the emerging world, sometimes there is no access for small businesses because of educational and cultural conditions or just the newness of modern finance to this particular population. What ShoreBank tries to do is bridge this gap by creating and implementing lending programs with local institutions or banks that will then provide access to finance for lower- and/or middle-income markets. In a nutshell, it comes down to access.” In order to open these doors to financial resources, Crouch travels around the emerging world – whether Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine or, most recently, India – and engages with local stakeholders to develop and deploy lending programs tailored to the needs of the market. “It’s a multi-step process,” Crouch explains, “that focuses on working directly with everyone from senior managers on strategy to doing workshops and trainings with frontline lenders, covering everything from business development to how to do cash-based lending.” Not bad for a theatre major with no finance or banking background. What Crouch does bring to the table, besides an incredible aptitude for learning and an ability to communicate with diverse groups, is an international perspective. After graduation, he served in the Peace Corps for six years in Kazakhstan. Soon after returning to the States, he moved to Atlanta and worked at Turner Broadcasting Systems, doing various projectmanager jobs. However, he found himself longing to go back overseas. “I have always been a bit of a wanderer,” he says. In 2005, Crouch landed a job with Emerging Markets Group, an _MARK BERRY photo by _ osama silwadi

international business consulting firm based in Arlington, Va. And soon after, ShoreBank International came calling to see if he was ready to go back into the field. He was – bags ready to go. Now, it was wandering with a purpose. “The developing world is not at all what you think,” Crouch says. “Just like South Carolina, these countries have a lot of different socioeconomic realities – rich areas, poor areas and everything in between. And there is a real opportunity to make an impact because these people are extremely intelligent. They have a tradition of business and trading that goes back thousands of years. And although in some places, it’s as if Hurricane Hugo has hit every day, they survive … even thrive.” These people of the emerging world have done so much with so little for so long. And just imagine, Crouch believes, what newfound financial access can achieve. “The world is increasingly more connected, and the success of the lower-income population in emerging economies affects us all,” Crouch points out. “Stability is the key. A better financial climate in the developing world means better education, better health, a better life for a greater number of people.” And that means a better world.



| C o l l e g e o f C h a r l e s t o n magazine

went in one ear and out the other when Dustin Hoffman’s title character was pulled aside by a well-meaning family friend in the 1967 film The Graduate. Courtney Arthur ’10 (M.S.), however, must have listened closely – though she’s interested in removing plastic, not producing it. Arthur is a research analyst at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Silver Spring, Md., focusing on the effects and prevalence of plastics pollution in our oceans. Not just any plastics, either, but microplastics – bits you can hardly see that are smaller than 5 millimeters in every dimension. Microplastic debris includes preproduction plastic resins and plastic bags or bottles that have weathered and broken down. They enter the world’s oceans in many ways, such as being dumped or swept off land by wind or rain, sometimes through storm drains. The scientific and environmental communities know very little about the impact of microplastics in the natural world, Arthur says, so she’s made it her mission to find out more. When it comes to marine debris, recent media reports have focused on a giant mass of floating trash 1,000 miles west of California in the Pacific Ocean – the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Experts have estimated the amorphous and diffuse blob of pollution is twice the size of Texas – a shocking statement about the amount of trash in our oceans. In September, an expedition to the garbage patch returned to San Francisco with news that, while the

plaStiCS. that Career adviCe


“Yes, I am.”

Just one word … Are you listening?”

“I just want to say one word to you.

Courtney arthur ’10 (m.S.)

guardian oF the Sea

FA L L 2 0 0 9 |



garbage patch contained plenty of fishing floats, broken patio furniture, soda bottles and Styrofoam chunks, a more overwhelming amount of pollution was the amount of small pieces of plastics in the patch. According to reports, researchers aboard the Kaisei took hundreds of samples from the patch, and each contained microplastics. “Every day, every night, we’d pull up samples and pour the water through a sieve. It would be completely clogged with tiny pieces of plastic,” says Margy Gassel, a research scientist with the California Environmental Protection Agency. “It was so disturbing.” Sea birds have choked to death or starved from eating plastic bits, and researchers aboard the Kaisei observed jellyfish eating microplastics. The researchers noted that these jellyfish are eaten by larger fish, such as tuna, which in turn are consumed by humans. As Arthur explains, it’s alarming to see microplastics enter the food chain, as many plastics contain additives, some of which are toxic to humans and other organisms. It’s unknown to what extent these toxins may leach from plastics and under what conditions. There are also theories that some plastic ocean debris may be beneficial by acting as sponges and soaking up harmful chemicals in the water. Nevertheless, despite the limited research, it’s known that microplastics are harming ocean organisms to some extent. “We have seen albatross and other sea birds choke to death or starve with stomachs full of plastic,” says John Hocevar, the oceans campaign director for Greenpeace USA. “A similar phenomenon is likely to occur with other animals.” Arthur says, that while the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been very helpful in raising public awareness of marine debris, she believes that microplastics along beaches and in waterways may have a more direct impact on humans. To estimate how much microplastic material exists along U.S. coastlines, Arthur is devising measurement methods to ascertain how many microplastics exist in a narrow area of beach or water, and then multiplying that number to have an estimate for entire regions. On a basic level, this means combing small areas of beach for trash, or dragging a fine net through 2 feet of surface water to collect debris. With this information, Arthur hopes to identify microplastic hotspots. Suggestions for reducing the amount of microplastic pollution include the obvious, such as properly disposing plastic waste, recycling and reducing the use of certain plastic products. Other suggestions include increased use of biodegradable plastics and installing filters on storm drains that would catch microplastic debris before it enters oceans or rivers. Hocevar says that while there is a considerable amount of plastic pollution in our ocean, the international community has responded to ocean crises before. In the 1980s, 100,000 tons of hazardous waste were incinerated at sea each year. That practice has been banned, he notes, as well as the dumping of nuclear waste, industrial waste and sewage sludge. “This is a global issue that will require global solutions,” Hocevar says. “Phasing out disposable plastic bags would be a good start, but it will take a rethinking of our role on the planet and a comprehensive approach to consumption, recycling and waste disposal before we can fully solve the problem.”

_JASON RYAN photo by _mark finkenstaedt

Arthur knows there are a lot of questions to be answered regarding microplastics before remediation efforts can be effective. She’s in it for the long haul and confident her efforts will be worthwhile. “Chemical contaminants have been increasing in the environment in the last 100 years, and I don’t think that’s changing anytime soon,” says Arthur. “This is an area where people can make a difference. … I think it’s a really rewarding field to be in.”


Richard Porcher is a professor emeritus of

biology at The Citadel and currently a graduate student in The Citadel–College’s joint history program. Richard was named the winner of the 2007 South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award. In 1995, he published Wildflowers of the Carolina Lowcountry and Lower Pee Dee and in 2005, he co-authored The Story of Sea Island Cotton.

Lucy Garrett Beckham ’70 won

the National Association of Secondary Principals’ top honor: principal of the year. Lucy is the principal of Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

This award recognizes individuals early in their ASTM career who have significantly advanced the society’s mission. Steve Johnson was recognized by the Charleston Contractor’s Association at the 2009 Architects and Engineers Award Banquet. Steve is the owner of George A.Z. Johnson Jr. Inc. in Ravenel, S.C. Jeff Kinard was elected to the College’s Foundation Board. Jeff owns an accounting firm on Pawleys Island, S.C.


Mary Nell Mellard (M.ED.) received the 2008–09 Best Mannered Teacher award for her work at Mt. Pleasant Academy in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.


Jane Cothran is the director of information


Mary Sandlin Rowell received the 2009

Adjunct Faculty Presidential Award at Tri County Technical College in Pendleton, S.C., where she teaches microbiology.


Bud Ferillo was elected chairman of the S.C.

Arts Commission in June. Bud is president of Ferillo & Associates, a public relations and advertising firm in Columbia. Dan Ravenel was presented with the inaugural Friend of the Cougar Women’s Soccer Program in recognition of his devotion to the program. The annual award will bear his name. Dan is the owner of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty in Charleston.


Randell Stoney is an attorney with Barnwell

Whaley Patterson & Helms LLC in Charleston and has been named to the S.C. Super Lawyers list for 2009.


Jack Griffith is a managing director of investments for Ameriprise.

Greg Phelps completed a year-long fellowship

in Hospice in Palliative Care at the University of Louisville. Before that, he was chief medical officer at St. Mary’s Health System in Knoxville, Tenn. All three of Greg’s children have graduated from the College.


Michael Brisson is the principal technical

adviser at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions in Aiken, S.C. Michael received the 2009 ASTM International President’s Leadership Award.



| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e

technology with the law firm Motley Rice LLC in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Jane has been with the law firm since 1996 and has received a master’s in computer and information resources management from Webster University. Sharon Brock Kingman is in charge of technology for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, held in Lexington, Ky. Betsy Platt Waters retired as the executive director of the Medical University of South Carolina’s Office of Alumni Affairs after being with MUSC for 43 years. The Joint Alumni Association Scholarship was renamed the Elizabeth P. Waters Scholarship of Academic Merit to honor her dedication to the MUSC Alumni Association.


Angie Bell is a vice president and commercial

lender for Harbor National Bank’s new branch in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Angie is also involved with Rotary of Charleston and volunteers with Rotary Reader to benefit local elementary students. She is a commissioner on the Board of Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Jacki Ball Boyd is the owner of In Good Taste, a wine and cheese shop in Charleston. Iris Hill is a town administrator for Edisto Beach, S.C. Randy and Renee Buyck Romberger welcomed their first grandchild, Madison Greer Freeman, in July. Julie Pierce Welch is a budget analyst in the College’s Office of Budgeting and Payroll Services.


Mindi and Skip Martin announce the birth of twins, Finley Grace and John Walker, in June. The Martins also have two other daughters, Kaitlyn and Emily. Skip is an attorney in Charleston.

Dusty Parker has retired from Unilever

North America and was the recipient of the Unilever President’s Award for the past three years. Dusty plans to enjoy his retirement by spending time traveling and visiting friends and family. John Zemp ran the Boston Marathon for the second time. His time was 3 hours, 52 minutes.


Laura Todd Misenhelter volunteers with

the Charleston Autism Academy. Laura and her husband, Buddy, helped spearhead the campaign to provide an alternative education program for autistic children.


Nadine Orsoff Vogel has co-written a

new book, Dive In, Springboard Into the Profitability, Productivity, and Potential of the Special Needs Workforce. Nadine is the CEO of Springboard Consulting, based in Mendham, N.J.


Ellen Emerson retired from the U.S. Navy

after 20 years of service and is now a chefeducator with the nonprofit Sylvia Center in New York City, where she teaches children about healthy eating. Debbie Smith and Jeff Jordan were married in February. Debbie is the special services coordinator for Richland (S.C.) School District Two. John and Renee Bethea Thomas announce the birth of their daughter, Leigh Renee, born in June 2007 – after 19 years of marriage. The Thomas family lives in Camden, S.C. Teresa Hucks Warner is the director of operations for J Douglas in Atlanta.


Brad Kearse is a captain in the NOAA Corps.

Brad assumed command of NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center in Tampa, Fla. Robby Marion and his daughter spent 10 days in Burundi, Africa, this summer on a mission trip. Robby serves on the College’s Alumni Association Board.


Holland Ashmore Williams is a career

services director in the College’s School of Business and Economics. Holland has also taught at the College since 1994.


Joan von Thron Alexander spent the last 11 years as a media official with the PGA Tour. She now works for IMG College, a college marketing, licensing and media company,


[ alumni profile ]

Making Home Work it was the seventies. The National Organization of Women had just been founded. Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, was a celebrity. And the Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress. But Patty Ricketts Scarafile ’66 was sticking to her plans. She was teaching high school English and happily married. In 1969 she had her first child, stopped teaching and became a stay-at-home mom. She raised her growing family of three children for six years until, to her great surprise, her plans changed. Scarafile realized she wanted more for herself than homemaker, wife and mother. She wanted something all her own. And who doesn’t? So many women do what’s expected of them. Too few women do as they’d like. Scarafile made a decision to have her cake and eat it, too, and she has managed remarkably well since 1977, when she boldly took a stab at a piece of the real estate pie. She began as a part-time real estate agent, and, two weeks later, she was working full time. She never made a conscious decision to move forward, full

speed ahead, with her real estate career. It just took on a life of its own. Scarafile has gracefully balanced her wants and needs along with those of her four children (she adopted her fourth child from Russia in 1997) and about 75 employees and 800 independent contractors at Carolina One. She had become a vice president in the nineties and then CEO in 1999 (when the company merged with Prudential), all the while juggling car pools and tennis matches, college trips and meetings with clients. “It’s just kind of how my life runs,” she says matter-of-factly about the constant hustle and bustle and balancing act she walks each day. Like Betty Friedan, Scarafile is a wonder woman in her own right. It’s evident she loves her job as she sounds off about market share and name recognition and the company’s core values (truth, excellence, relationship and financial benefit for all). But it took her time to forgive herself for joining the workforce and leaving the playground. When Scarafile realized she needed to work outside the home to be fully happy,

she was surprised and torn. She struggled with her own disappointment and the confusion that follows when life switches courses unexpectedly. “I adored these children and they were clearly the priority of my life,” she notes, “and yet, I wasn’t real happy as a stay-at-home mom. That was a huge struggle for me.” These days, with her three oldest children working alongside her at Carolina One, she couldn’t be happier with her life’s work. Insisting that real estate is a more interesting, challenging business today than it was just a few years ago – when “you could barely keep up with it” – she explains, “we have the highest affordability we’ve had in 18 years, based on the national median. As Realtors, we’ve had to be smarter and more strategic … but it’s been a proactive opportunity.” Reflecting on her decades in this highly competitive market, as a pioneering woman blazing trails into a man’s world, she says, “If we keep open minds and open hearts, there are no disadvantages as a woman. It’s really up to the individual to tap her full potential.” – Gervase Caycedo ’08 FA L L 2 0 0 9 |



where she is the director of university relations and fulfillment for Gator Sports Marketing, in association with the University of Florida’s Athletics Department. Daniel Croghan is a senior investment consultant with SCBT Financial Corporation’s investment services group in Charleston. Paula Morrow and David Johnson were married in May. Paula is the global marketing research manager for the Center for Creative Leadership, a global provider of executive education, based in Greensboro, N.C.


Tommy Dew is the co-owner of City Slicker in

Charleston. His company has developed an iPhone application called Charleston City Slicker, which provides a walking tour of Charleston using photos, text and videos. They have opened a storefront in downtown Charleston and are also in the process of developing walking tours for 50 European cities. Weesie and Tradd Newton are the owners of Fleet Landing Restaurant in Charleston and have recently acquired the Vendue Suites B&B. Tradd and Weesie have three children: James, Warren and Chantler.


Kevin Macomber is an engineering manager of integrated technologies with Data Center Resources in Estero, Fla. Specifically, Kevin acts as the interface between consulting and specifying engineers and senior IT management for Fortune 500 companies.


Vincent Cerchione was promoted to captain

Andrew McIntyre is a business development

representative with FLS Energy, a solar and photovoltaic firm. He also continues to develop his own LEED-accredited professional consulting firm, Mac B Designs, in Charleston. Stacey Sparks-Lazurek is the senior care coordinator for the Upstate Deanery at Catholic Charities – Piedmont Region and lives in Greer, S.C. Hillarie Burroughs Stecker is the director of litigation support with the law firm Motley Rice LLC in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

in March. Vincent is the adjutant of the 260th CSSB from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga. He is deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom until April 2010. Cheryl Rivers owns a music school called Trice’s House of Music in Summerville, S.C. She published her first book of poems, Words From My Heart: A Collection of Inspiration Poems, in 2006 and is near completion of her second book of verse.


Marty Huggins is the owner of South Carolina


Collections LLC in Florence.

Doris and Michael Messersmith announce the birth of their daughter, Francesca Catalina, born in June. The Messersmith family lives in Chevy Chase, Md. Alicia Seay lives on Johns Island and is the Southeast regional manager for Pietra Santa, a small winery in Hollister, Calif. James Shield is a managing partner at Partner JD in Richmond, Va. Pam Loudon Sloat is the founder and director of operations and programming for Pattison’s Academy, a school in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., for children with serious functional or mental disabilities. The school was named for Mark and Pam’s daughter, PJ.


Reid and Lucas Dieter Adams ’99 live in

Durham, N.C., where Reid is a Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Bryan Jameson is a policy analyst with

Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies.

Harriet Pollitt Luttrell is a shareholder with the law firm Rogers Townsend & Thomas in Columbia. Harriet concentrates in the area of commercial and business lending. Bo and Robin Porter Thompson announce the birth of their second child, Charlotte Elizabeth, born in May. The Thompson family lives in Savannah, Ga. Stephanie Leonard Yarbrough and Steven Eames were married in September and live in Charleston. Stephanie has been appointed to the S.C. Venture Capital Authority board of directors by S.C. Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell ’69.


Sue Campbell is an on-site sales representative

for D.R. Horton’s Cypress Ridge in Moncks Corner.

Prove the Chinese Calendar Wrong and Make 2009–10 the Year of the Cougar November 12

February 1–6

November 14

marcH 4

December 8

marcH 13

Alumni Awards Banquet

60th Reunion Luncheon – Class of 1949 Ring Ceremony

December 10

Lowcountry Chapter Holiday Party

December 19 Winter Commencement

JaNuary 4

Men’s basketball team vs. defending national champion UNC at the Carolina First Arena

Homecoming Week

“Doing the Charleston” in Charlotte Old Timers Celebration and Induction Class of 1960’s 50th Reunion Dinner

april 24

Alumni Weekend 2010: Alumni Association Annual Meeting A Charleston Affair honoring the Class of 2010

may 8

Spring Commencement

For more details about times and locations of these and all alumni events, check out the events calendar at alumni.cofc.edu or call 843.953.5630.



| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e


| Photo by Matt Hage |

[ dream job ]

Beer on Ice Sometimes the best ideas just need to brew a little. So goes the story of Greg Mills ’01. The path to his current vocation has been anything but direct. As a child, the Anderson, S.C. native thought he wanted to be a doctor. But somewhere around his sophomore year of college, “chemistry started kicking my butt” and he decided to rethink that idea. Upon graduation, he did what many smart kids do when they don’t quite know what they want to do for a living: enrolled in more school. But he knew he was only prolonging the inevitable. Finally, at 23, Mills walked out of the classroom for the last time and into the real world. For a couple of years he worked odd jobs, all the while racking his brain as to what he wanted to do with his life. “I remember saying to one of my buddies,” Mills recalls, “‘There are only two things in this world that I like: beer and science.’” And that’s when it clicked. Almost immediately Mills quit his job doing

construction and enrolled in the master brewers program at the University of California-Davis – or, as his dad calls it, “Brew U.” Over the next eight months, for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, he studied everything there is to know about the science of making good beer. After completing his degree, he applied for any brewing job he could find. Almost on a whim he put his name in the hat for a brewery in Alaska. Within days of receiving his résumé, they offered him a job. Mills politely asked for 24 hours to think it over. Fittingly, he and his closest pals thought it out over a few beers. The next day he accepted the job, packed his things up in his truck and started driving. “I didn’t know the first thing about Alaska,” he says. “I just knew you go up and turn left.” For two weeks he worked at Sleeping Lady Brewing Company in Anchorage before he even got up the nerve to tell his parents.

“I thought everyone in the family was going to make fun of me,” he says. “But instead they all thought it was cool.” Three years later he’s finally getting used to wearing his sunglasses at 2 a.m. in the summer, wearing four layers of clothing in the winter and competing even harder for the small percentage of women. He’s also getting used to winning awards for his brewing. In the past two years he has won virtually every Alaskan beer award there is. Most notably he took home the 2008 and 2009 silver medals at the Great Alaskan Beer and Barleywine Fest. In a given year, Mills will create anywhere from 50 to 60 new varieties of beer. Stouts, pale ales, lagers – you name it, he brews it. Finally, at 29, he’s found a job he loves. A job that’s interesting. A job that’s different. But at the end of the day, he’s just like you and me. He likes to come home, kick up his feet and relax on the couch. While drinking a beer, of course. – Bryce Donovan ’98 FA L L 2 0 0 9 |



Terry and Meredith Gibson Farruk announce the birth of their son, Gabriel Gibson, born in May. The Farruk family lives in Carlsbad, Calif. Helen Ann Siegling-Thrower is the chief of staff for the office of S.C Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer. During her career, Helen Ann has served as an assistant clerk for the House of Representatives and legal counsel for the Legislative Ethics Committee; the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism; the S.C. Medical Association; and the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee.


Eric Bullington’s company, Clinical

Translations, located in Columbia, was featured on National Public Radio in July. Eric is a certified freelance translator in French, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. Austin Center is the director of corporate acquisitions for a venture-capitalist investment group in Chattanooga. An accomplished sculptor and painter, Austin is also the chair of Avant Art, a young professionals group affiliated with the Hunter Museum. Lydia Masao is the author of No More Theories Please: A Guide for Elementary Teachers. Whit Rugg is an account executive with Mechtronics Global Merchandising Solutions. Whit and his wife, Kelli, live in Connecticut. Thad Schmenk is the assistant principal at Fort Dorchester High School in Charleston. Heather and Scott Spann announce the birth of a son, Andrew Harrison, born in May. Scott recently established LifeSpan Financial Planning LLC, a fee-only financial planning firm located in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Michelle Hanick Swain is an account director with Integrated Marketing Services in Charlotte. Stephen Van Horn is an interventional cardiologist for Columbia Cardiology. Stephanie Warner lives in Telluride, Colo., where she is a territory sales manager for Waste Management. She is refurbishing an old house and garden.


Chris Conroy is an athletic trainer with the

Memphis Redbirds, a minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Chris was named the 2009 Athletic Trainer of the Year for the Pacific Coast League. Dewey Golub and Kira Antoniotti ’05 were married in June. Dewey works for Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty in Charleston.

Chip Baysden ’00 won a White

House Press Photographer’s Association Award for a sports story he did about bicycle polo. With the award came a trip to the Oval Office and a handshake from President Obama. Chip is a sports photographer for the Fox affiliate WPPG in Washington, D.C.



| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e

Angie Baker Lavigne is the founder

of DanceCarolina, a dance studio in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Daniel and Nicole Haring Polfliet announce the birth of a daughter, Isabella Gray, born in December 2008. The Polfliet family lives in North Charleston. Wesley and Stephanie Figard Sams announce the birth of their second daughter, Caroline Clifton, born in March. The Sams family lives in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Jacey Godfrey Whittemore is the director of marketing communications for Camiant, a provider of policy control and application assurance technology in Marlborough, Mass. The editors at Multichannel News named Jacey one of their “Forty Under 40” for being an innovative and influential executive in the cable and telecommunications industry.


Lucas Dieter Adams (see Reid Adams ’94) Eric Betzhold and Lynne Marie Dingerson

were married in January. Eric is employed by GetWell Network. Willis and Susanne Buck Cantey announce the birth of a daughter, Margaret Waring, born in June. Susanne serves on the College’s Alumni Association Board. Rich Light (see Alice Bickley Light ’03) Elizabeth and Skip Limbaker announce the birth of a son, Mills Waye, born in June. The Limbaker family lives in Greenville, S.C. Scott and Kristin Seawell Selby announce the birth of a son, Sadler Lawrence, born in October 2008. Aimee and John Tiller announce the birth of a son, John Tiller Jr. John is the owner of JCT Studios, a recording studio in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Brian Waite is an information technology specialist with the Housing Authority of the City of Charleston.


Omaro and Latarsha Grant Asby announce the birth of their third child, Bailey Lynn, born in October 2008. Latarsha is pursuing a master’s in counseling from Webster University. Andrew Baltzegar (M.S. ’06) and Jennifer Fountain ’04 were married in May and live in Raleigh, N.C. Daniel Carson is a specialist in oral and maxillofacial surgery for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates in Charleston. Patrick and Kerry Donohoe Delay announce the birth of twin boys, Adam Henry and Eli James, born in June. The Delay family lives in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Sarah Williams Espano and her husband, Brian, are co-owners of Enve Creative, a marketing company in Torrington, Conn., dedicated to helping small businesses compete and expand in today’s marketplace. Kelly Hankins is an eighth-grade social studies teacher at College Park Middle School in Ladson, S.C. Kelly was a finalist for the 2009 Berkeley County School District’s Teacher of the Year. Mahwish Alikhan McIntosh is an English language arts teacher at Goose Creek High School and a Freedom Writer teacher. Mahwish participated in the new book Teaching Hope: Stories from the Freedom Writer Teachers, which came out in August.

Hope Robinson and Daryl Pickens were

married in June. Charlotte and John Tramel announce the birth of their daughter, Caroline Nicole, born in June. The Tramel family lives in Roebuck, S.C. Dwain Waller is the chief operating officer of Liquid Highway, a coffee business based out of Greenville, S.C. Drew Wewers and Emmerline Watkins were married in May and live in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Drew owns and operates DW Installations. Jessica Chenault Whitehead received a Ph.D. in geography from Penn State in August. Jessica is the regional climate extension specialist for the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium and N.C. Sea Grant. She is based out of Charleston.


Jane Aldrich (M.A. ’06) is an archivist

for the South Carolina Historical Society in Charleston. Kippy and Jennifer Cruz Chamberlain ’02 have been very busy this year. Kippy graduated from Mississippi College School of Law and Business School with a J.D./M.B.A. in May. Jennifer graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in May and has started her residency in urology at Ochsner Health Systems and LSU in New Orleans. Katie Coleman is a restaurant and inn manager at Glasbern in Fogelsville, Pa. Kelly Kaskin Cone is a vice president of assessment services with Terry Environmental Services. Kelly is also a registered professional geologist in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Tradd and Sabra Setzler Denny announce the birth of a daughter, Taylor Shalyn, born in November 2008. Tradd and Sabra are both teachers with Lexington School District One and live in Lexington, S.C. Kathleen Kreutner (M.A.T.) received the 2008–09 Best Mannered Teacher award for her work at Mason Preparatory School in Charleston. Zina Watkins is an education specialist at the U.S. Department of Education.


Jennifer Cruz Chamberlain (see Kippy Chamberlain ’01) Tyler Gadberry is the administrative

operations manager for the College’s mail services department. Adam and Kristin Coker Hill ’03 announce the birth of their daughter, Addison Jane, born in May. The Hill family lives in Columbia. Shawn Holland works in the sales department for YRC Worldwide Trucking and lives in Anderson, S.C. Patrick Mohan is a financial restructuring attorney with White & Case LLP in New York City. Dawn Rackliffe and Chuck Goodson were married in June and live in Charleston. Dawn works in the banking industry.


Randy Bitting and Jennifer Meibers

were married in June and live in Plymouth Meeting, Penn.


[ alumni profile ]

A Crazy Day at Work Brad Dixon ’02 is hard-pressed to find something he doesn’t like about New York City. After a minute of contemplation, he seems to settle on the lack of beach options. “Diving into the East River’s not an option,” he laughs. It’s true. NYC is no Folly Beach, but something about Dixon suggests that he knew that all along. Dixon works as an advertising creative at Great Works, an international ad agency headquartered in Stockholm. In their New York office, Dixon’s duties aren’t black-and-white – he writes, comes up with campaigns, helps with casting and selecting photographers, designs and builds websites. And sometimes he works with pop icons. Like Kanye West on an Absolut Vodka campaign. Dixon was a double major in studio art and communication at the College, which was the only school the Baltimore-bred alumnus applied to. “I don’t really give myself options,” he says. During his senior year, he interned at Rawle Murdy, an ad agency in Charleston,

and following graduation, he moved to Miami to attend an advertising portfolio school – a critical step, he stresses. During the two-year intensive program, Dixon completed two internships: one in Amsterdam and one in New York. After school, he moved to New York permanently, and has been working at Great Works for a year and a half. “It’s actually better than I could have imagined,” he says. “I have the opportunity to be working on creative projects every day. I can wear shorts and a T-shirt and still be doing a job that my mom would be proud of.” In addition to the Absolut Vodka campaign, Dixon has worked for the Sundance Film Festival and recently traveled to the Bahamas to oversee filming for his latest endeavor, Radio Maliboom Boom, a 360 ad campaign for Malibu Rum. After the Bahamas shoot, he then rushed to Los Angeles and San Francisco for a few weeks to conclude the digital aspect of the project, working with developers on a website. “For a month, I wasn’t home,” he says. “I was in New York

for only two days, when I had to move into a new apartment.” With the occasional glam factor and traveling, though, comes a price: long hours and hard work. “The hours are insane. Nights, weekends. It’s not a normal 9 to 5,” Dixon says. Hard work and determination go hand in hand, and Dixon urges aspiring ad execs to be prepared. “I think it’s good to be a nerd about whatever field you’re trying to delve into,” he advises. “Be as buttoned up as possible.” “A lot of it comes down to timing, being persistent without being annoying,” he adds. “And, I think, at the end of the day, whether the times are tough or not, it boils down to whether you’re good or not.” Dixon clearly had all his buttons in a row, but he’s quick to remind that the grass isn’t always as green as it looks. “Selling good ideas and challenging clients to create good work is more difficult than one would expect or assume. But that’s part of the fun, too.” –Rheana Murray ’08

FA L L 2 0 0 9 |



Corrie Gilchrist manages all of the annual

Jason Mericles ’02 won the grand

prize of $10,000 on CMT’s The Singing Bee – for correctly singing along to these five songs: George Strait’s “Ocean Front Property,” Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song,” Faith Hill’s “The Kiss” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” Raymond Burroughs is an associate attorney

with Young Clement Rivers LLP in Charleston. Raymond received his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Ben and Tia Williams Byrd ’05 announce the birth of a son, William “Mac” McNeal, born in October 2008. The Byrd family lives in Roanoke, Va. Olga Chajewski graduated from MUSC College of Medicine in 2007 and is a second-year pathology resident at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass. Kerri DeYoung is an attorney for the Massachusetts Dept. of Telecommunications and Cable. In May 2009, she was appointed by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions as an at-large member of the Staff Committee for the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service.

giving programs at the Young Founders Society of the Foundation for the National Archives in Washington, D.C. She was recently featured in a Washington Life magazine piece highlighting up-and-coming philanthropic leaders in D.C. Corrie received her master’s degree from George Washington University. Jessica Gilly is an admissions counselor with Coastal Harbor Treatment Center and lives in Savannah, Ga. Kristin Coker Hill (see Adam Hill ’02) Rich ’99 and Alice Bickley Light were married in August 2007. Alice earned an M.Ed. in literacy from The Citadel in May 2009 and is a teacher at Whitesides Elementary in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Tommy McCullough finished medical school at the University of South Carolina and is completing his residency in Charlotte. This summer, he served on the medical staff of the Carolina Panthers during their training camp in Spartanburg. Allyson Morgan and Leslie Baker were married in July and live in Charleston. Allyson is the office manager of A Morgan Glass. Kathryn Smits earned her law degree from the University of Richmond. She is an attorney in Boleman Law Firm’s Richmond office. Tiffany Turton is a human resources generalist with Europa Sports Products in Charlotte. Tiffany and James Lee were married in April. Amy Webb (M.Ed.) is a teacher with the Charleston County School District. Amy and

M ake the College Part of Your holidaY


The Alumni Association introduces a new series for the holiday ornament celebrating the historic gates of the College. Fittingly, the first ornament in the series is the gates of Porters Lodge.

To order, PLeAse CALL


or e-mAiL ALumni@CofC.edu.



| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e

Chad Reynolds were married in July and live in Summerville. Josh and Sara Saksewski Windjue (M.E.S.) announce the birth of a daughter, Taylin Makena, born in May. Sara and her family live in Stevens Point, Wisc., where she is employed at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in their K–12 Energy Education Program.


Kellie Bentz is the executive director of

HandsOn New Orleans, a nonprofit that helps civic-minded individuals get involved in the community. Kenneth Berger is an associate attorney with the Lourie Law Firm in Columbia. Jace and Jenifer Kampsen Carreras live in Roswell, Ga., where she is an attorney practicing juvenile law and civil litigation. Jacqueline Dixon is a solicitor for Berkeley County, S.C. Shannan Edwards is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Georgia State University. Margaret Ferri and David Lavelle were married in June and live in Charleston. Jennifer Fountain (see Andrew Baltzegar ’00) Melea Gibbons works in professional development training for a military medical nonprofit in Rockville, Md. Claire Golléty earned her Ph.D. in marine biology, conducting her research in benthic ecology at a marine station affiliated with the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. Mariah Hay completed her M.F.A. in industrial design from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus on medical design. Kate and Mike Heinritz announce the birth of their second daughter, Emelia Faith, born in June. Mike works in sales for the Bemis Company in Neenah, Wisc. Marissa Hockenberry is a national account specialist with TransFair USA in the California Bay area. She was awarded a fellowship to study agritourism in Italy. Benjamin Hollingsworth held an art exhibit entitled “A Vessel” in Charleston in May. Ben is working on an M.F.A. from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Marshall and Kristin Green McCall announce the birth of a son, Bryson Marshall, born in March. The McCall family lives in Greer, S.C. Linette Mower is an assistant vice president in Southcoast Community Bank’s commercial lending division. Brian Myhalyk is a human resources assistant at UNC Charlotte. Ivie Parker is a partner at Parker-Sims Interiors, a Charleston-based interior design studio. Holly Sams Peterson is the director of public events with a seminar-booking agency. Holly lives in Saint Marys, Ga., with her husband, Christian, and daughter, Emilia. Garrett and Allison Green Reed announce the birth of a daughter, Emerson Grace, born in May. The Reed family lives on the Isle of Palms, S.C. Sara Jayne Rogers has opened a law office in Mt. Pleassant, S.C. Her primary focus is family law, but she also handles criminal and personal injury cases.


| Photo by Mark Gooch |

[ alumni profile ]

Get out You’re Red Pin A war on grammar has begun, and it’s all the fault of Sharon Nichols ’07. Grammar’s defenders swing red-ink pens and launch complete volumes of the OED at all who dare to dangle a modifier or introduce a pronoun without antecedent, while rebels speak in jarring informalities such as LOL and OMG, and rattle nerves by attaching the suffix -izzle to every other word they utter. The battleground is Facebook, an online social networking utility where anything is possible: where, for example, millions of proud bacon fans celebrate their favorite breakfast meat while revolutionary activist movements take shape. The battle began in 2006 when Nichols saw in her favorite Charleston shop a sign that read, “Now Excepting Applications.” A bit perturbed, and wanting to share this and similar examples of inexcusably poor

grammar and misspellings with friends, Nichols created the Facebook group, “I judge you when you use poor grammar.” “I started the group as a joke,” Nichols laughs. But to her incredulity, membership swelled to its current ranks of 395,000. This army of grammarians has posted on Facebook thousands of bites of butchered English captured in photographs and quoted text. Here’s a sampling: McDonald’s urges customers to “Try a Angus Burger.” A shuttle bus notifies drivers, “Slow Children Will Run.” A neighborhood sign pleas, “Do Not Throwaway Your Trashes, Or Pets Drop To This Lown/ This Is Against Lawn/ We Will Report To Authority With Evidence!!!” Pretty scary, huh? Not all Facebookers agree. Some think grammar rules are elitist, some prefer

run-ons to complete sentences, and some think colons only facilitate the least glamorous of bodily functions. Now these folks gather in groups that proudly judge those who judge others for using poor grammar. But Nichols and her posse aren’t worried, for they have a new weapon in their arsenal. After hearing about her success, St. Martin’s Press asked Nichols to collect the group’s best (or most horrifying) photographs in a new book, I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar: A Collection of Egregious Errors, Inadvertent Bloopers, and Other Linguistic Slip-Ups, to be released this fall. With a book deal and 200 friend requests a week, Nichols is Facebook famous. Only a cluttered inbox slows her down. Every day she deletes dozens of e-mails from cranky grammar haters and flirtatious strangers intent on creeping her out. But Nichols entered the spotlight prepared. In December 2005, she created Thank You Ma’am, a blog for “political commentary and general frivolity.” While completing her degree in political science and philosophy, then moving on to study at Alabama Law, she worked vigorously to make the blog a hit. Her dedication paid off when, in a 2008 poll conducted by the American Bar Association, her readers voted Thank You Ma’am the year’s best legal blog by a student. This fall Nichols begins her final year of law school following an internship at The New Republic, where she’s gaining experience writing and analyzing politics. “When I started law school,” Nichols says, “I wanted to be a lawyer, but then I stumbled into journalism through my blog.” And through her blog, she became a committed pupil and proponent of proper grammar. Nichols will continue to speak out against serious abuses of language that often go unchecked. Those perpetrated by corporate entities and public leaders bug her most. Recalling the linguistic inventions of a former president, Nichols argues, “Our leaders should know better, and we should have higher standards.” But until these modal auxiliaries grow obsolete, Nichols and her followers will keep fighting, red pens poised and waiting to strike. – Jamie Self ’02

FA L L 2 0 0 9 |



Can’t find your name? Then tell us what’s new with you. It’s simple. Visit the magazine’s website and update your class notes there or visit the Alumni Association website to share your news.

www.cofc.edu/magazine alumni.cofc.edu Karey Sanders and Phillip Wilson were

married in April and live in Summerville. Karey works for Southcoast Community Bank. Lauren Scott works for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Jamie Stewart earned a master’s in secondary school counseling from The Citadel. She is an assistant coach for The Citadel women’s soccer team. Candrea Tyrrell and Todd Moser were married in June and live in Summerville, S.C. Candrea is a registered nurse at MUSC. Jay and Catie Atwater Whitt ’05 live in Charleston. Jay is a territory manager of medical device sales with Integra Lifesciences, and Catie is a reservations manager with Holiday Inn Historic District. Herb Wilson and his wife live in Seattle, where he is a national accounts marketing liaison with Premera Blue Cross. Bryan Zeiger earned his master’s in human resource development from Clemson University and is a category manager for the Spinx Company in Greenville, S.C.


Kira Antoniotti (see Dewey Golub ’98) Tia Williams Byrd (see Ben Byrd ’03) Sarah Comeaux is a teaching fellow for the

Princeton in Asia program. She is teaching a course based upon current foreign affairs to enhance her students’ use of English at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. Andrew Davis (M.S.) is an assurance and advisory services senior with Elliott Davis LLC in Charleston. Brian Dolphin and Jessica Schweitzer ’06 were married in April and live in Lancaster, Penn. Trey Eppes is a graduate student in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Heather Farley and Michael Butcher (M.P.A.) were married in May and live in Flagstaff, Ariz. Kedra Ford received a second bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Limestone College and is employed with the S.C. Department of Revenue in Florence, S.C. Gerald Gregory and Nick Jenkins are in a blues-based band called Morimoto with David Linaburg ’06.



| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e

Linsey Haynie is the catering/special events

manager for The Metropolitan Club in Washington, D.C. Michelle Kerner works in the planning and recognition department of Corporate Executive Board in Washington, D.C. Megan Prewitt Koon (M.A.) is the 2009 S.C. Independent School Association Upper School Teacher of the Year. Megan teaches English at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville, S.C. Caroline McPartland is a sales coordinator with OTX Research in New York City. Caroline completed her master’s in communication at the College in May. Heidi Nielsen is an associate in the Atlanta office of HVS, a global consulting and services organization focused on the hotel, restaurant, shared ownership, gaming and leisure industries. Ashley Owen is a special events manager and business development coordinator for the Montgomery County Humane Society in Rockville, Md. Emily Oye and Jon Sealy were married in June. Emily’s bridesmaids included Leslie Fowler ’05 and Jennifer Oye ’02. Joel Parker graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with an M.F.A. in painting. Joel received a Graduate Milliken Traveling Fellowship to live and study in Paris at the Cité Internationale des Arts this fall. Catie Atwater Whitt (see Jay Whitt ’04) Brian and Whitney Holt Whittaker announce the birth of a son, James Huxley, born in July. The Whittaker family lives in Richmond.


Natalie Becknell, an assistant vice president,

is also the office manager for Southcoast Community Bank’s Johns Island location. Stephen Davis is a C.P.A. in Atlanta for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Alfred Dawson Jr. (M.S.) is a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Charlotte. Kevin Day is a senior regional consultant for Alliance Bernstein Investments in New York City. Ryan Dietrich is a graduate student in Hofstra University’s health administration program.

Kelly Epperson and Margaret Kramp ’08

were married in July. Kelly received his master’s in mathematics from the College in 2008 and is in the U.S. Marine Corps. They live in Manassas, Va. Amy Bromberg Erb earned her master’s in elementary education from Wingate University. Amy is a first-grade teacher in Waxhaw, N.C. Meg Haley graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in May. Katherine Grenci Jones is enrolled in the nursing program at Trident Technical College. David Linaburg and Isabelle Selby ’08 were married in April. David is pursuing a master’s in jazz guitar from Queens College and is a member of the band Morimoto with Gerald Gregory ’05 and Nick Jenkins ’05. Edward Martin is working at Booz Allen Hamilton and lives in Washington, D.C. Sarah Barron McGuire (M.A.) is an adjunct instructor of English at Trident Technical College. She and her husband, Matt, live in Goose Creek. Morgan Murphy and Robert Glass III were married in June and live in Charleston. Morgan is a medical student at MUSC. Wanda Smalls Price is a second-grade teacher in Columbia. Edward Royall is a staff accountant for audit services with Elliott Davis LLC in Charleston. Jessica Schweitzer (see Brian Dolphin ’05) Amber Seltzer is the director of government relations for the S.C. Bankers Association and lives in Columbia. Sydney Strong is an assistant coach for the women’s soccer program at the College. Syd was a four-year starter for the Cougars.


Virginia Allen (M.S.) is a staff accountant for audit and assurance services with Elliott Davis LLC in Charleston. Jenna Brown is the owner of Jenna Brown Photography in Charleston. Hope Craddock earned her master’s in rehabilitation science from MUSC. She and Levi Duyn were married in June. Chelsey Didsbury is the group resources manager for the Durham (N.C.) Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Amanda Kilbane is a fifth-grade teacher at

Burns Elementary in North Charleston. Katherine Lelek is a graduate student of arts adminstration at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Amy Levine is a program associate for the Leon Levine Foundation in Charlotte. John Levine is an apprentice with the Associated Branch Pilots of the Port of New Orleans. Laura Lounge was the assistant director and portrayed Anna Freud in The Visitor at the Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden, Colo. Christina Lucas and Kenneth Langley were married in May and live in Charleston. Natalie Nance earned a master’s in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Margaret Pilarski is an editorial assistant for Skirt! magazine in Charleston. Dinah Plyler is an outside sales representative with Adams Golf for Austin and San Antonio. Michael Smith is an associate with Jonathan “Buddy” Kronsberg Consulting LLC in Charleston. Michael is the editor of The Palmetto Times and executive editor of The Ethical Standard, the official publication of The Free Enterprise Foundation, a think-tank housed at The Citadel. He is also a contributing editor to SCHotline, a website devoted to insider politics across South Carolina. Matt Tillman is a third-year dental student at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Lexi Trudeau finished culinary school in December 2008 and is the catering manager/ assistant market manager for Sandstone South on Hilton Head Island, S.C.


Derrick Apple (M.S.) is a senior accountant with Jarrard, Nowell & Russell in Charleston.

Sarah Black is the owner of Belle Couture

Bridal in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Sydney Burroughs is a kindergarten teacher in Memphis, Tenn. Heather Cooper is studying dental hygiene at Trident Technical College. Sara Donahue is the food and beverage manager of the Charleston Wine and Food Festival. Bonnie Fralix is employed with the Charleston County School District. Bonnie and Matthew Walton were married in June.

Neil Goodson earned a master’s in finance from

Washington University in St. Louis. Neil works in the capital markets section for the Federal Reserve Board. Natalie Gordon is a sales planner for the advertising department at The Chicago Tribune. Robert Guinn is the assistant manager of sales and business development for the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore, Md. Bridget Herman is a graduate student in DePaul University’s writing and publishing program and lives in Chicago. Mary Catherine Kennedy is a graduate student in Ohio University’s School of Media Arts and Studies. Mark Kinsey completed the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy in September 2008 and is an officer with the Walterboro Police Department. Margaret Kramp (see Kelly Epperson ’06) Harriett Lee owns a jewelry business called Harriett’s Jewelry and is the membership director of the Charleston Arts Coalition. Taylor Livingston spent the summer as a camp counselor at a Girl Scout camp in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia. She is a second-year graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Abby May is the co-owner of Meals in Motion, a multi-restaurant delivery service operating in East Memphis, Tenn. Erin McCauley is the office manager for Visiture Internet Marketing in Charleston. Mary Tyler Minus is a French teacher at Timberland High School in St. Stephen, S.C. Kristina Morris is a graduate student in Meredith College’s elementary education program in Raleigh, N.C. Noelle Radcliffe is a second-year law student at the Charleston School of Law. Isabelle Selby (see David Linaburg ’06) Paul Zucchino is a second-year law student at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C.


Carol Hannah Whitfield ’07 is a

freelance fashion designer living in NYC. This fall, she was one of the 16 designers competing on this season’s Project Runway on the Lifetime Channel.

in the Sacred Music Program at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. Caroline Gibson is the associate human resources representative for Johnson & Johnson Insurance in Charleston. Brittney Henderson is a research assistant in the biochemistry department at Colorado State University. She is studying the West Nile Virus and Yellow Fever. Ashlee Justice was crowned Miss Myrtle Beach 2009 and won the opportunity to participate in the Miss S.C. Pageant. Dave Marongwe is an auditor for Ernst & Young. Dave is also the executive director of the Zimbabwe Trade & Cultural Expo, which is a nonprofit headquartered in Chicago. Elizabeth Royall is the manager of Wonder Works, a toy store in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Caroline Starr and Logan Edwards were married in November 2008 and live in Columbia. Kahley Sullivan’s essay “The Joy of (Mom’s) Cooking” appeared in the New York Times.

Cameron Harder Handel ’07

is a jazz trumpeter and is touring Europe with the band backing up Michael Bolton this fall and winter.

Ann Bell is a front desk agent with DoubleTree Historic Charleston.

Lindsay Cash is a dental student at MUSC. Jack Cleghorn performed a solo organ

performance as part of Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston in May. Jack is a graduate student

Check out College of Charleston Magazine’s website at www.cofc.edu/magazine.

[ passages ] Rosa Bryan Lumpkin ’36

William Stevens ’49

Stephen Carruthers ’72

Ernest Godshalk ’39

William Burn ’50

Cynthia Edwards McCrary ’73

Mary Loretto Croghan Ramsay ’42

Carolee Rosen Fox ’51

Halbert Clark ’77

July 26; West Columbia, S.C. July 16; Palm City, Fla.

July 25; Charleston, S.C.

Ferdinand Buckley ’47

July 29; Charleston, S.C. May 29; Charleston, S.C. July 11; Charleston, S.C.

December 9, 2008; Barnsville, Ga. August 3; Columbia, S.C. Hanahan, S.C.

July 13; Decatur, Ga.

August 19; Charleston, S.C.

Jane Jennings King ’51

Dolly Woodbury Herald ’84

Thomas Farrow ’49

Sarah Cohen Yablon ’54

Kathryn Keener ’95

Mary Ellen de Veaux Lesemann ’49

Avram Kronsberg ’61

James Ward (staff)

May 19; Charleston, S.C. August 6; Charleston, S.C.

July 8; Charleston, S.C.

August 9; Charleston, S.C.

July 6; Kennesaw, Ga.

August 1; Charleston, S.C. May 28; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

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[ faces and places ]

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There’s always something going on at the College. Here’s a sample from the last few months. 1 Senior class check presentation at spring commencement practice: Dan Ravenel ’72 (Board of Trustees member), Skylar Stetten ’09 (senior class president), George Watt (executive vice president, institutional advancement) and David Hay ’81 (president, Alumni Association) 2 Reception for vocalist René Marie and percussionist Quentin Baxter ’98 during Spoleto Festival USA: Kevin Hamilton ’95, Nandini Banik McCauley ’99, Baxter and Maya Morrill 3 Reception for the theatre department’s Piccolo Spoleto Series, Stelle di Domani: Pat Votava, Jeff Kopish and David Lee Nelson ’00 4 Nick Gavalas, President Benson and Ron Kolanko at a reception for the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation, which provides scholarship assistance to College students with disabilities 5 Recipients of this year’s GKF scholarships: (front row) Alan Sea and Alex Jackson; (back row) Andrew Holloway, Rachel Beahm, Daniel Klein and Ryan Watkins 6 Back-to-School Picnic: President Benson and John Kresse during 30-year pin ceremony 7 Amori Vini: a Friends of the Library event highlighting the wine-inspired compositions of music professor Ed Hart ’88: Jeffery and Cheryl Jalbert |


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8 President Benson at the unveiling of the new AT&T phonebook covers, featuring Randolph Hall and the new Carolina First Arena 9 Convocation: Bill Kanapaux ’59 delivering the alumni talk to the Class of 2013 10 Board of Trustees meeting: Frank Gadsden ’80, Dwight Johnson, Gregory Padgett ’79, Larry Miller, Demetria Noisette Clemons ’75, Joe Thompson Jr. ’74, Marie Land, President Benson, Cherry Daniel ’75, Philip Bell, John Busch ’85, Sam Stafford ’68, Jimmy Hightower ’82, Don Belk ’00, Dan Ravenel ’72 and Lee Mikell ’84 11 Back-to-School Picnic: Phil Jos, Erin Kenneally Blevins ’94, Brian Fisher, Jack Parson and Lynne Ford 12 Amori Vini: John and Jackie Tison 13 Reception for music students and faculty performing in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival: Sean Kinnard, Fernando Troche, Sue Simons Wallace and Enrique Graf 14 Dorothea Benton Frank at the book release party of Return to Sullivans Island at the CofC Bookstore 15 Back-to-School Picnic and 30-year pin recipients: (front) President Benson, Susan Morrison, Joan Newell, Steve Osborne ’73 and Katina Strauch; (back) Andrew Lewis, Robert Chapman Jr., Marty Perlmutter and Michael Vinson

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The Fountain at Randolph Hall I MET MY HUSBAND, BRYAN, AT THE College in the spring of 1998. He was a senior and I was a junior. We were in the same communication class taught by Professor Shirley Moore. Soon after we started class that semester, Bryan asked me out in front of the fountain behind Randolph Hall. I said yes, of course, and please and that following October, he asked me to marry him in the very same spot. I can still see him on his knee there every time I walk by. And I can still hear his voice and the exact words he spoke. I will never forget them. Four years after his proposal, I asked him to meet me at “our spot.” It was there |


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on that day, December 27, 2002, that I told him he was going to be a father. I can still see the tears that came down his face every time I walk by. And I can still hear my voice and the exact words I spoke. I will never forget them. We have “Greenway” engraved on our wedding bands, which is the name of the path on campus where the fountain sits. We wanted to make sure that we never forgot where it all started. We still go to “our spot” whenever we need some perspective on our relationship or to reflect on how far we’ve come. We go there to laugh. We go there to cry. We’ve been there to reconcile and we’ve been

there to just be together. We went to the College for so many other reasons. We never thought that it would be because of the College that we would find each other and then go on to start a family. Our son was born in August 2003. In September 2006, we welcomed a little girl to our lives. This September was our 10th anniversary. And we celebrated each other and all that we’ve created together at “our spot.” – Ashley Smith Perrucci ’98 E-mail us at magazine@cofc.edu with your favorite place on campus and what makes it so special to you.

A Gift (And A Giver) thAt Keep on GivinG Tricia Ory ’96 (M.S. ’97) knows a little something about consistency. Since 1998, Ory, a C.P.A. in Charlotte, has steadily supported the College of Charleston Fund, among other College academic programs and facility improvements. Her firST gifT: $20 to the College of Charleston Fund, $5 to the Cougar Club (1998) Her laTeST gifT: $200 to the College of Charleston Fund; $200 to the Dean’s Fund of the School of Business and Economics (2009) WHy SHe giveS: “I was fortunate to receive scholarships while at the College; thus, I believe I’m paying it forward. My college education has been the base of my professional success.” WHaT SHe THinkS iS THe cOllege’S greaTeST STrengTH: “Individual attention and guidance. While taking ACCT 101 during summer school, Professor Rebecca Herring asked to see me after class. She told me that I had a ‘knack’ for accounting and asked whether I had considered accounting as a major. Not exactly what anyone expects to hear, but in hindsight, that conversation and the subsequent mentoring and support she provided has made a tremendous impact in my life.” To learn more about ways you can support the College of Charleston Fund and other College initiatives, check out www.cofc.edu/giving.

Office Of AnnuAl GivinG www.cofc.edu/giving


Profile for College of Charleston

College of Charleston Magazine Fall 2009  

Within these pages, you're going to find many stories showcasing the College of Charleston's dynamic and intellectually vigorous culture.We...

College of Charleston Magazine Fall 2009  

Within these pages, you're going to find many stories showcasing the College of Charleston's dynamic and intellectually vigorous culture.We...