el u N a n IO T Em EC er S th L o IA M EC SP
C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n magaz in e
Matt Czuchry â€™99 has taken center stage in the eyes of critics and fans alike.
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Fa l l 2 0 1 5 Volume XX, Issue 1 Editor
Mark Berry Art Director
Alfred Hall Managing Editor
Alicia Lutz ’98 Associate Editors
Ron Menchaca ’98 Jason Ryan Photography
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Michael Adeyanju Hannah Ashe ’12 Kip Bulwinkle ’04 Dan Dickison Mary Jo Fairchild ’04 (M.A. ’08) Harlan Greene ’74 Maura Hogan ’87 Jennifer Romano Holly Thorpe Online Design
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68 REMEMBERING MOTHER EMANUEL
In this special section, the College honors the victims of the tragic shooting of Emanuel A.M.E. Church; pays tribute to one of the fallen – Cynthia Graham Hurd, who was a longtime librarian on campus; and provides several faculty reactions to President Barack Obama’s “Amazing Grace” speech, which was delivered at State Sen. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral, held in the College’s TD Arena.
LEARNING TO BREATHE BY ALICIA LUTZ ’98
For his entire life, Brennen Reeves ’14 has been living and struggling with cystic fibrosis. He’s always wanted others to not only hear his story, but to see the way he has seen, fear the way he has feared, laugh the way he has laughed. His one-man show has helped him breathe it all to life – to breathe his life into art.
DEPARTMENTS AROUND THE CISTERN
LIFE ACADEMIC 6 MAKING THE GRADE 10 TEAMWORK 16 POINT OF VIEW
CLASS NOTES MY SPACE
BY MARK BERRY
Matt Czuchry ’99 didn’t have a lifelong dream of becoming an actor. He didn’t even major in theatre, for that matter. His realization came to him late in College, as an unlikely participant in the Mr. CofC Pageant his senior year. But after that, he focused on learning the craft. And, today, in this new golden age of television, Czuchry is an accomplished actor and a mainstay on the critically acclaimed show The Good Wife.
on the cover: Matt Czuchry ’99 photo by JÖrg Meyer
AROUND the CISTERN Encore Performance
THE WORLD WIDE WEB, STEM CELL research, the Hubble Space Telescope, GPS, the Human Genome Project, Google: A lot of global game changers have emerged out of the past quarter century. Twenty-five years ago, we couldn’t have foreseen the transformation in our landscape, the far-reaching impact these developments would have in our daily lives. Now it’s hard to fathom a world without them. In 1990, the College introduced its own game changer when it established the School of the Arts, forever changing the academic and cultural landscape of the institution and of Charleston’s arts scene. Twenty-five years later, it’s hard to imagine the College – or the city – without it. Not only does the school have one of the largest footprints on campus (consider the 2009 addition of the 70,000-square-foot Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts, which includes the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Arts as well as studios, practice rooms and offices), it has one of the largest and most high-profile presences within Charleston’s arts and cultural scenes as well. “For a quarter century, the school has presented educational and cultural programs that have enriched the lives |
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of South Carolinians and visitors to the state,” the South Carolina Arts Commission says of the College’s SOTA, which it awarded the prestigious Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award in 2015. “The service that its students, alumni, faculty and staff have rendered to the state make it an integral part of a vibrant arts community that extends well beyond the Lowcountry.” Indeed, the school’s programs, faculty and students are integral to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto Festival. And, with more than 200 events offered to the public each year, its educational and cultural programming (such as exhibitions, lecture series, the Charleston Music Fest, International Guitar Series, Charleston Jazz Initiative, 2nd Monday Series and International Piano Series) has become a staple on the city’s cultural calendars. Just as the Internet didn’t come about overnight, SOTA didn’t emerge suddenly as a star. It was born out of a long, slow, deliberate expansion of the College’s interdisciplinary major in fine arts. In fact, the Albert Simons Center for the Arts was constructed in 1979 – anticipating the
school’s establishment by a decade. And, once it was created, the school took off, growing into four departments (art and architectural history, music, studio art, and theatre and dance) with programs in arts management, historic preservation and community planning, and computing in the arts – and it has added graduate programs in teaching the performing arts and arts management as well. “The school has grown. There were 600 majors when I got here in 1998; there are over 900 now,” says Dean Valerie Morris. “There has been a growth in the quality in the programs, too. There have been all kinds of significant developments.” And, Morris promises, there will continue to be. Her objectives for the next chapter include building the school’s national recognition by hosting conferences and other groups on campus, as well as fulfilling the long-held plans to renovate the Simons Center. “That’s a multi-multi-multi-million dollar project – over $50 million,” says Morris. “The earliest that would begin would be 2017, and that’s being optimistic. But that’s the next big thing to come.” It may seem like a distant dream now, but – hey, a lot can happen in a quarter century.
AROUND the CISTERN
| Photo by Adam Bruce |
Anniversaries, by definition, only come around once a year. Unless, it seems, you’re the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, which this year celebrates two important ones: its 30th and 150th. Let’s start with the latter. The American Missionary Association established the center in 1865 as Charleston’s first free secondary school for African Americans. Initially named after abolitionist Lewis Tappan, the school was named the Avery Normal Institute in 1868, when its building was completed thanks largely to Reverend Charles Avery of Pittsburgh. Operating as a private institution for Charleston’s most prominent black families until 1947,
when it became a public city school, the Avery Normal Institute closed just months before the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. But that wasn’t the end. The Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture was established at the College of Charleston in 1985 as an education and research hub for the preservation of the history, traditions and culture of African Americans and their place within the American narrative. Thirty years after it came to the College and 150 years after it was first established, the Avery Research Center still plays a central role in Charleston’s African American community. And that alone is cause for double the celebration.
Recording History I HAD NEVER HEARD OF SINGERsongwriter Dave Loggins before my editor asked me to track him down for this story. I figured it would be fun to reminisce with Loggins about the origins of his song “Finding Roots and Gaining Wings,” a melodic tune about the College recorded in 1985 to celebrate the bicentennial of our university charter. It seemed like a straightforward assignment until I ran into one dead end after another. I had a digital copy of the song and its lyrics, provided by Special Collections in Addlestone Library, but little else to go on. I Googled his name and discovered that Loggins had been a major recording
artist in the 1970s and ’80s and that he is the third cousin of singer Kenny Loggins. No one responded to a contact form I submitted on a website devoted to Loggins’ music career. The site appeared to be maintained by his son, whom I unsuccessfully tried to contact on Facebook. I also tried several telephone numbers after discovering that Loggins might still be living in the Nashville area. Still, no luck. As I searched for other leads, I continued to learn about Loggins’ successful music career. His stuff is all over YouTube. His 1974 single “Please Come to Boston” reached No. 5 on the Billboard pop charts and was nominated for a Grammy. Over the years, it’s been covered by many popular artists, including Joan Baez, Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett.
In 1984, Loggins and country music singer Anne Murray scored a huge No. 1 hit with their duet “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do.” They were nominated for a Grammy in 1985 and that same year won the Country Music Award for Vocal Duo of the Year. He also wrote dozens of songs and a few hits for artists such as Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire and Wynonna Judd and groups such as Alabama and Three Dog Night. But when it comes to staying power, no other Loggins piece has endured as well as the 1982 theme song he penned for the Masters Golf Tournament. Still a staple of CBS’ coverage of the annual spectacle, it is said to be the longest-running sports theme song in history. That longevity – and the fact that it still generates the occasional retrospective news story about Loggins – is how I ultimately found him. I came across an article about the Masters song from 2012 that quoted Loggins. This meant he was probably still living and apparently still granting interviews. I contacted the reporter who wrote the article, and he kindly passed along a phone number for Loggins. When I tried to call the number, I was continually greeted by a woman’s voice on an answering machine. I left messages explaining why I was trying to reach Loggins and hoped for the best. As weeks went by, I was beginning to think I’d struck out on finding the singer when I decided to try the number one more time. To my surprise, a man answered on the second ring. He sounded a little groggy. I thought I had woken him up. I introduced myself: “Is this Dave Loggins, the recording artist?” He said it was and asked if I was the same fellow who called earlier. The information about the song didn’t ring any bells, he said. He hadn’t called me back because he assumed he wasn’t the guy I was looking for. “I definitely didn’t write that song because that’s not a title I would use,” he said. “I not only wouldn’t write it; I don’t think I’d be singing it. I don’t know how I got into this equation. I’m sorry I can’t help you.”
Loggins was polite but seemed ready to get off the phone. I apologized for having bothered him. But I had to ask: would he mind listening to the song and looking over the lyrics so we could be certain they were not his? He gave me his e-mail address and promised to give the song a listen. When I called him back the next day, he sounded chipper. And with good reason: “That’s definitely me singing,” he said confidently. A singer’s voice and style create an unmistakable vocal fingerprint. When Loggins read the lyrics I sent him, he knew immediately how he would sing certain words. When he played the audio clip, he found himself singing along in perfect unison to a song he had not sung nor heard in three decades. It was as if he’d performed it a thousand times before. “I heard my style in it,” he said. “I knew how I would do a certain word, and I did it. The way I said wings, that’s when I realized it was me. That couldn’t be anybody else.” But the mystery wasn’t completely solved. While the voice on the recording is unmistakably his and while he recognizes bits of his own writing style, Loggins suspected someone else wrote most of the lyrics, arranged and titled the song. To seek those answers, I turned to Mary Jo Fairchild ’04 (M.A. ’08), manager of research services in Special Collections, who located a box of materials pertaining to the College’s bicentennial celebration, Renaissance 200. Inside was a folder containing a 45 RPM vinyl record of the song, still tucked neatly in its original paper sleeve. The College had sold copies of the record as part of the anniversary festivities. News clippings in the archive materials revealed that the song was based on a speech by former College president Edward Collins Jr. highlighting the College’s strong roots and the wings on which it would soar into the future. Walt Woodward, a folk singer and advertising jingle writer, adapted the speech for the song. Charleston’s WCSCTV, owned by the Rivers family (namesake of the John M. Rivers Communications Museum on campus), helped cover the recording costs, and David Rawle’s public
| In March 1985, the College held a celebration called Renaissance 200, which commemorated the
College’s 1785. During the week-long festivities, the College awarded its first Founders medals, given to James Edwards ’50, Ted Stern (former CofC president) and Willard Silcox ’33. | bicentennial of the charter in
relations firm arranged for Loggins to record it. It’s not surprising Loggins doesn’t remember singing the song about the College. Around the time it was recorded, he was crisscrossing the country, making music, touring and writing commercial jingles for the likes of McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. “I love Charleston,” he admitted, “but I swear I just can’t remember doing it.” Now 67, retired and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Loggins said this wasn’t the first time a long-forgotten piece of music from his career found its way back to him.
“I wrote for 30 years,” he said. “Every day you go in and sit in a wooden straight-back chair and hold a guitar for 10 hours and think and try to write something nobody has ever said. Your brain turns to gravy.” But when I finally tracked down Loggins 30 years after he recorded “Finding Roots and Gaining Wings,” he knew one thing for sure: “I think it sounds great. It’s really moving.” – Ron Menchaca ’98 Editor’s Note: To listen to Dave Loggins’ performance of “Finding Roots and Gaining Wings,” go to magazine.cofc.edu.
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| Photo by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |
Guten Tag, Opportunity
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#OPPORTUNITY: IT’D BE A FITTING hashtag for one of the College’s most effective – and least known – internship programs. Listed formally as the Summer Internship Program in Germany, this three-month excursion is part immersion experience, part on-the-job training – and all impact when it comes to students’ post-graduation employment prospects. “The cultural exposure that these students get and the advancement of their language skills are inherently valuable on their own,” says Stephen Della Lana, senior instructor in the Department of German and Russian Studies, who has managed the program since 2003. He also notes that there are numerous scholarships to underwrite the costs of the program, so it provides a chance that’s hard to pass up: “If you’re a student, this is really an exciting opportunity.” Students spend the first month of the program in Berlin, where they live with a German family and intensively study the language at the Carl Duisberg Centren, an international training center. “Both experiences ramp up their fluency,” says Della Lana. Then, the students move on to their internship and work for the next two months with whatever company, institution or organization they’ve been assigned. And this is where the program plays into individual students’ specific interests. Together with the nonprofit Cultural Vistas, Della Lana works to find the most appropriate internship for each individual student. From a nonprofit that addresses child labor issues, to the marketing department of a major pharmaceutical company, to a summer camp in Bavaria: There are opportunities just about anywhere you can imagine.
“It’s very important that we find internships that fit each student’s academic interests and career goals,” says Della Lana, noting that – although international business majors make up a sizable percentage of the participants – students from across all majors have participated and benefited from the program. “The students who apply and ultimately participate come from a variety of academic disciplines. Over the years, we’ve had philosophy majors and those from international business, history, geology and biology. Regardless of their discipline, the hands-on experiences they get are remarkable.” Take, for example, the student who interned in logistics and accounting for automotive-electronics giant Audiovox: Upon graduation, he used that experience and connections he made there to secure a job with Pierburg, a German firm in Greenville, S.C., that supplies parts to auto manufacturers. And then there’s the student who interned at a hospital in Lennestadt, graduated with a B.S. in biology and went on to become a research associate at the Medical University of South Carolina. And don’t forget the student who returned from the program, graduated with a B.A. in German and a B.S. in international business and moved back to Germany to work in management in the automotive industry there. In fact, many of the 86 students who’ve participated in Della Lana’s Summer Internship Program in Germany since it was launched more than a decade ago have gone on to fulfilling careers in their individual fields It makes you think: Given the pivotal impact this program has on so many students, maybe we should just tag it #Success.
IF THE EXPERIMENT IS A BIT OF A TEASE, at least it’s all in the name of science. Psychology professor Amy Kolak will walk into a room, place a few toys on a table and prepare to leave. But before walking out, she says one thing to the 2-year-old and his or her parents: “We’re going to play with the toys, but don’t touch them until I return in a few minutes.” It’s a command that sows fear into the hearts of toddler and parents alike. What do you mean we can’t touch the toys? What are we supposed to do? Kolak knows about two-thirds of her research subjects will ultimately disregard the instructions and touch the toys. But the other third will employ all sorts of techniques in order to self-regulate their behavior. Toddlers might sing or dance to distract themselves, run in circles or engage their parents in conversation – anything to stop themselves from thinking about those toys. “There are some really, really clever kids,” says Diana Devine, a senior double majoring in psychology and French, who has researched self-regulating behavior with Kolak since her freshman year. “Some
of these kids have blown me away.” Some toddlers, Devine says, deal best with temptation by ignoring the toys and keeping them out of sight. But one boy chose the opposite tack and stared down the toys for nearly three minutes before his will gave out. Sometimes, parents will even move their children away to prevent their progeny from grabbing the items on the table. When the toy experiment is finished, Kolak repeats the procedure, but this time she puts a wrapped gift on the table. “Don’t touch,” she tells the toddlers again, “until I return to the room.” And then Kolak turns to the parents, asking them not to reinforce the instructions, but to just leave their children to their own devices. Again, just about one-third of the toddlers will be able to resist opening the wrapped gift. Among this population, recalls Devine, is a toddler who tried to trick his father into opening the gift, telling him, “Dad, Dad, you have a present. You should go open your present.” But what’s interesting, says Kolak, is that when the toy is wrapped, the toddlers more often rely on themselves
to self-distract instead of turning to their parents. It’s no easy task for toddlers to selfdistract, or self-regulate their behavior. As one parent described the challenge Kolak imposes on the toddlers: “It’s like they’re being asked to do mental gymnastics for an hour.” The gymnastics have a purpose. The self-regulation of behavior, Kolak explains, is a critical skill for people of all ages. “People are always working to control behavior,” says Kolak. “They’re always struggling to manage their own behavior in the face of changes in their environment.” To discover predictors for selfregulating behavior and to obtain a sense of how self-regulating behavior changes over time, Kolak has begun to retest some of her research subjects, comparing their behavior as 2-year-olds to their behavior today as 5-year-olds. She also examines the actions of parents, and their influence on a child’s behavior. All told, if there have been changes in the toddlers’ ability to self-regulate, Kolak seeks to understand what shaped their behavioral shifts. The insights she gains can help parents and educators better teach and rear young children. “How can we improve children’s developmental outcomes?” asks Kolak. “Kids don’t come with a manual or workbook that is unique to the individual child, and therefore, it can be challenging for parents to feel confident they are raising their children to succeed in the world.” In today’s world, where so-called “helicopter” parents seem increasingly prevalent, Kolak says research has indicated that kids have fewer opportunities to self-regulate, as their behavior is frequently moderated by adults. Later in life, this deficit could lead to depression and a reduced ability to problem solve. But life is full of challenges, notes Kolak, and a child is best served when he or she is given a set of skills to navigate such difficulties. Ultimately, she says, children must learn to survive on their own, and it’s never too young to start.
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INSIDE THE ACADEMIC MIND: ANTONIO TILLIS Since coming to the College in 2014 to lead the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs, Dean Antonio D. Tillis has been an impassioned advocate for greater cultural awareness and the importance of international experiences. We caught up with the globetrotting dean to find out more about his literary influences, his taste in music and his love of salsa (the dance, not the sauce). AS A KID GROWING UP IN MEMPHIS, YOU WERE SURROUNDED BY THE BLUES. WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU ENJOY? My music taste is quite eclectic, ranging from blues, jazz, gospel, hymns and spirituals to classical compositions (vocal and instrumental). WHAT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM YOU PURCHASED? I believe that it was Prince’s self-titled album, 1979, unbeknownst to my folks. Prince was gaining national attention among my peers and I loved his acoustic-electric guitar sound. Actually, sneaking to his concert years later, in 1982, resulted in one of my longest punishments. HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN SPANISH LITERATURE? My earliest recollection is when I was probably 5 years old. My aunt Sheila was taking Spanish in high school. She taught me how to count to 10 in Spanish; a lesson that I never forgot. In the academic optional program at Memphis Central High, we had to choose areas of concentration; and, as you can probably guess, one of my areas was Spanish. I just loved the sound of the language and thought it neat to speak another language. WHAT BOOK HAS HAD THE MOST INFLUENCE ON YOU? Wow! That’s a tough one for a literary scholar. However, I must say that it’s a toss-up between Miguel de Unamuno’s Niebla and Piri Thomas’ Down These Mean Streets. Unamuno’s work was the first philosophically creative work that challenged me to think about notions of being (ontology), knowing (epistemology) and existing (existentialism). I was totally consumed by this novel as protagonist Don Augusto (presumably Unamuno) grappled with ideas of creation, humanity, eternity and the like. Additionally, I was fascinated by the life of Piri Thomas when I first read his memoir. The idea of someone expressing or trying to understand/celebrate a bi-ethnic identity in the U.S. during his coming-of-age era was quite novel. Specifically, partly due to my burgeoning love of Spanish and Latino culture, I was intrigued by Piri Thomas’ struggle to assert an identity that celebrated being both black and Spanish-Caribbean. It challenged critically my understanding of the “one-drop rule” and the Duboisian concept of the Negro “doubleconsciousness” in American society. YOU HAVE WRITTEN EXTENSIVELY ON POET BLAS JIMÉNEZ. HOW DID YOU CONNECT WITH HIS POETRY? I actually met the poet before discovering his work. Blas was an invited guest
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to the Afro-Romance Institute at the University of MissouriColumbia, where I did my doctoral work. His talk on blackness in the Dominican Republic was quite provocative. The following semester, I enrolled in my first Afro-Hispanic literature class, where his first collection was on the required reading list. Thus, the affair with his poetry began. WHAT’S ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND RIGHT NOW? Junot Diaz’ This Is How You Lose Her. HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED? Man, let’s see … probably some 40 plus. WHEN YOU TRAVEL, DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING? Most definitely. When I can afford it, I buy local art. In addition, I buy native spices, especially hot sauces, and coffee. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SPANISH WORD? I would say salsa, a word that needs no translation. Being passionate about music and dance, when I hear the word, it makes me want to move. I love the hissing sound of the s in the first syllable. IF YOU COULD TAKE ANY CLASS AT THE COLLEGE TODAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Arabic and Chinese. WHAT OBJECT IN YOUR OFFICE DO YOU CHERISH MOST? A small, tattered photo of Frederick Douglass. WHAT ONE BIT OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE AN INCOMING FRESHMAN STUDENT? Dare to explore the endless possibilities that the new journey brings. WHY IS AN EMPHASIS ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION IMPORTANT? Today’s generation of students is even more connected globally by means of technology, especially social media. It’s imperative that students in this generation understand their place and responsibility in the global world. There is virtually no profession that doesn’t have a global reach. It’s literally impossible to embrace fully the implications and understandings of such a statement without a focus on global education.
• Creating Conservatism: Postwar Words That Made an American Movement, written by Michael Lee (communication), received the National Communication Association’s 2015 Diamond Anniversary Book Award, the 2015 Winans and Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric | Michael Lee | and Public Address and the 2015 Kohrs-Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism. • Classical guitarist Marc Regnier (music), who was nominated for a Grammy in 2011, released a new album this summer titled Tempo do Brasil, which features instrumentalists Marco Sartor ’03 and fellow faculty members Natalia Khoma (cello), Tacy Edwards (flute) and Volodymyr Vynnytsky (piano). • Steve Johnson (studio art) received a FulbrightNehru Academic and Professional Excellence Teaching Fellowship for his project “Drawing: Creative Lines of Inquiry,” which is being hosted by the College of Fine Arts, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, in Bengaluru, India.
IF YOU COULD BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY FOR A DAY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? I would make a significant international experience be a requirement for graduation, which is not necessarily limited to study abroad.
• Mark Sloan (Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art) is the artistic director of the Bloomberg Public Art Challenge in Spartanburg, S.C., which is a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships and drive economic development.
HOW DO YOU BLOW OFF STEAM? By meditating, walking through my neighborhood, cooking and grooving to jazz vocalist Gregory Porter.
• Wendy Cory (chemistry and biochemistry) received South Carolina’s 2015 Outreach Volunteer of the Year Award from the American Chemical Society.
WHAT IS YOUR VICE? As I watch and feel the inner tube surrounding my waist inflate, I’ll have to say eating deliciously fattening Southern food. It just makes me happy!
• Scott Harris (geology and geosciences and the archaeology program) received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research regarding coastal change and sea-level rise scenarios in the North Euboean Gulf of Central Greece.
WHAT HAVE YOU ENJOYED MOST ABOUT CHARLESTON SINCE YOU MOVED HERE? ¡Sin duda la comida! (definitely the food!).
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MAKING the GRADE Changing His State of Mind LAST MAY, ZACH STURMAN STEPPED OFF A plane and into an Eastern European city rife with palpable political tension. Just a little earlier that month, the three Baltic members of NATO – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – had asked the organization to send them each thousands of ground troops to prevent further hostility from Russia. This call for military support came after months of Russian aggression toward Ukraine, which resulted in Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. The tension within the Baltic states would play a major role in Sturman’s summer, which he spent working in Estonia’s U.S. Embassy as an intern for the U.S. Department of State. “My application essay for the internship was geared specifically toward Estonia and what’s going on there with increased Russian aggression and NATO relations,” says the junior political science and Spanish double major and astronomy minor, who got the internship with a scholarship from the Harry and Reba Huge Foundation. “My internship was focused on politics and military, so, pretty much every day, I had something to do with NATO or Baltic operations.” Estonia’s relationship with and proximity to Russia not only shaped much of Sturman’s average workday, but also the impression he had of Estonia prior to his arrival. “I thought of post-Soviet states as gray, kind of dark and bleak, but I got there, and Tallinn was vibrant,” the Honors College student observes. “It’s one of the most innovative countries in the world: Wi-Fi everywhere, home of Skype, startups in your backyard. And in the summer, there are about 20 hours of daylight, so it’s anything but gray.” In fact, the long hours of daylight so define Estonian summers that the country’s biggest holiday takes place
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MAKING the GRADE
at the end of June to commemorate the summer solstice. “Jaanipäev [pronounced: YAWN-ee-PIEev] is their midsummer’s day festival,” Sturman explains. Traditionally, Estonians leave the city and flood the sun-drenched countryside to stay up all night singing and reveling around bonfires. In addition to being a celebration of summer’s balmy weather and bright sunlight, Jaanipäev became synonymous with military victory when the Estonian army defeated Germany on June 23, 1919, in Estonia’s War of Independence. Before that, the holiday survived the Christian crusades of the early 13th century, during which the Baltics’ pagan rituals were uniformly condemned. It has also outlived the decades of Soviet rule, thus cementing Jaanipäev’s place as something truly, uniquely Estonian. “I also learned that it’s really rare to be invited to one of those as a foreigner. Everyone at the embassy told me they hadn’t been invited yet and it was one of their goals. Within my first month in Estonia, I got invited!” Sturman says, smiling. “It was such an awesome experience: sitting around the bonfire. Later you even go jump into ice-cold ponds and stay up all night celebrating Estonian independence.” Sturman’s Jaanipäev experience highlights his ability to quickly strike up lasting friendships: “I made a couple of Estonian friends; they’re really great people. I still keep in touch with them.” In his free time, Sturman and his friends traveled within Estonia so he could get to know the country better and take full advantage of living abroad. His travels made the Florida native much more knowledgeable about Estonia, which came in handy when he helped arrange visits from American senators, congressmen and even U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. Although Sturman, the president of the College’s Student Government Association, hopes to begin his career stateside, his internship gave him a greater interest in the foreign service as well as a stronger grasp on the inner workings of American and foreign politics. “Previously I’d thought of the U.S. government as this large body with a very organized structure: this mysterious,
nebulous concept,” Sturman observes. “But once you’re in it, you realize it’s just everyday people working there, contributing to the policies we make. This internship demystified that for me.”
Indeed, by the time he stepped back onto U.S. soil, Sturman had learned a whole lot – not just about foreign politics, but about the colorful culture of Estonia – and, ultimately, about himself.
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| Photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |
Buzzing Along EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT THE BEE’S knees, but what about its compound eyes? That’s what biology major Anna Collett cares about when she’s studying the European honeybee in professor Jason Vance’s lab at the College’s Harbor Walk campus on the Charleston Harbor. Collett and Vance are trying to better understand the visual system of honeybees, including their compound eyes (honeybees also have three simple eyes, called ocelli), and to what extent visual cues contribute to a bee’s ability to quickly change motion while in flight. Previous experiments have shown that bees are
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extremely reactive to certain sensations, such as a gust of wind, and can right themselves within a tenth of a second if they are blown sideways. But what role bees’ compound eyes play in the process has remained a mystery. To accomplish this sleuthing work, Collett and Vance first prepare a bee for experimentation. Taking one of the insects from a Plexiglass case in the lab, Collett places it on a table and exposes it to a bit of carbon dioxide. The bee is soon sedated. Next, using sandpaper, Collett shaves a small patch of the sleepy bee’s back
between its wings. Then she applies a drop of superglue to the shaved area and attaches the bee to the head of a pin. In minutes, the glue dries and the bee awakens, resulting in a fully functional, but tethered, bee. No matter the considerable amount of practice Collett has had, it’s not easy to be a bee anesthetist and surgeon. “I started in November last year, and I’m still not an expert,” says Collett. “It depends on how wiggly they are. Sometimes they get a little feisty.” With the bee firmly tethered, they suspend the insect in front of a panel of custom LEDs, or what Vance calls the “bee Jumbotron.” Indeed, the bee is essentially placed in front of a giant Imax screen of bright lights. This accomplished, Collett can test the bee’s reactions to visual stimuli. When the LED screens simulate a pattern that make it seem as if the bee is falling, it will flap its wings quickly, 200 wingbeats a second on average, in an effort to prevent it from crashing to the ground (even though it is held firmly in place by the pin). “In our experiments, we’re making the bee think it’s moving,” notes Vance. “We’re simulating egomotion – the perception of self-motion.” Previously, the Office of Naval Research funded Vance’s work on bees’ visual systems and flight abilities, as the military is interested in how lightweight insects control flight and complicated aerial maneuvers. Vance explains that biologically inspired sensory systems could be very useful in applications like drones. The more scientists learn about flying insects’ visual systems, the better the chance engineers can implement those principles to control lightweight, small-scale flying platforms. “Ultimately, the goal is to understand the limits of how bees use their visual systems for reactive flight control,” says Vance, who keeps an apiary in the backyard of his home on Johns Island. For Collett, who has hopes of becoming a veterinarian, the research experience has been invaluable, giving her increased exposure to animal biomechanics, physiology and anatomy. And, having studied honeybees so closely, she can now safely say: Compared to its eyes, the bee’s knees are grossly overrated.
MAKING the GRADE
| Photo by Kevin Hoth |
On the Ascent
YUHONG TU HAS OFTEN STRUGGLED TO be understood during his years at the College. A native of Nanchang, Jiangxi, in China, the senior music major’s English is good, but like any non-native speaker, some things get lost in translation. This is one reason that Tu has always loved music. “Music is a pure form of communication. I love to express myself, so I love to play music,” says Tu, whose instrument of choice is a 100-plus-year-old German violin, a gift from music appreciator Nelson Hicks, whose late wife used to play it. Tu plays it in her memory. “I love the violin because of the unique sound quality and the beautiful shape.” Tu’s love, talent and tireless dedication to the violin have already taken him around the world to study in Charleston. This past summer, it also took him to the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, Colo., thanks in large part to scholarships from the College and from the music festival and school, and to a modest crowdfunding campaign backed by his
friends. In Aspen, Tu studied under worldfamous conductors, performed in his first spotlight concert, hiked several nearby mountain trails and, to his surprise, organized his evening schedule around avoiding some of the local wildlife. “I would practice until 11 p.m.,” he says. “Then I’d take the bus back. If I missed the bus, I’d have to walk, and walking was dangerous because … there were bears.” Tu actually didn’t see any bears, but one bear did visit his residence hall while he was at practice. “All these girls are screaming, running around and screaming!” he recalls. “The bear – he doesn’t care. He just walks up, walks around and then he leaves.” That bear was likely the only thing at the music festival and school that lacked interest in being there. Tu was surrounded by passionate professors from the likes of the Juilliard School, the Yale School of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music, and by new friends from all over the globe, many of whom he accompanied on stage
during weekly concert performances. Though he’d known what his course schedule would entail during his time in Colorado, Tu was amazed by just how much he learned; he cites teamwork and collaboration as two critical skills he honed in Aspen. Now back in Charleston, Tu looks ahead to wrapping up his undergraduate career and saying goodbye to the ensemble of professors and fellow students who have defined his time at the College. Specifically, his goodbye to adjunct faculty member Yuriy Bekker will be bittersweet. “He has taught me so much about music and about life,” Tu says. “Most importantly, he taught me to calm my mind, focus on what I want the music to say and play it beautifully.” Tu will keep Bekker’s lesson in mind as he pours his heart and soul into his applications for graduate programs. Where he’ll go next, he’s not sure, but one thing is certain: Tu will leave the College on a high note.
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MAKING the GRADE
SPIRIT CENTRAL As it has been for more than two centuries, the Cistern Yard is a center of activity at the College. This fall was no exception, with a variety of groups infusing a lot of energy into the bucolic beauty of the grand oaks that line the brick walkways in the very heart of campus. It’s easy to appreciate the College’s school spirit and the excitement of the early fall semester in these photos of the following events: • Convocation (the College’s official launch of the scholastic year and a welcome to incoming freshmen and transfer students) • Bid days for Greek life (fraternities and sororities) • Free ticket giveaway for Darius Rucker’s “Instant Jam” performance on the Isle of Palms, which was arranged by CMT and aired on the network in September.
TEAMWORK The Final Hurdle IMAGINE RUNNING DOWN THE TRACK, clearing hurdle after hurdle and being in first place and mere meters away from becoming the Colonial Athletic Association 400-meter hurdles champion. Now, imagine approaching that final hurdle and jumping over it only to have your leg buckle underneath you. Consider the physical and emotional pain as you lie there and watch your competitors running past you. Alexia Neal doesn’t have to conjure up such a heartbreaking scenario: She lived it last May. Neal, a biology major, wasn’t even supposed to be a threat in that 400-meter race. In fact, she was, by all accounts, the underdog in the competition. Once she was there, however, her determination and grit made her a force to be reckoned with. You can hear the emotion in Neal’s voice as she says, with great confidence, that had she not fallen, she would be the CAA champion. That’s not the voice of someone who gives up easily. No, that’s someone who believes in herself and her ability to defy the odds. And that may be her greatest gift – inspiring not just her own confidence, but that of her teammates as well. “Alexia gave them the belief that they themselves could do more than they thought possible,” says Amy Seago, head coach for the Cougars’ track and field and cross-country teams. After all, making the impossible possible is a running theme in Neal’s life. Neal got her start in track and field in seventh grade, picking it up after watching her older cousin compete for Beaufort High School in Beaufort, S.C. The sport came easy for Neal. She was a
the SPORTSTICKER |
Three members of the track and field team earned All-CA A honors: Tiffany Sisk ’15 (shot put), RoShani Glover (triple jump) and Julisa Tindall (high jump). + Five sailors were named ICSA All-Americans: Jake Reynolds and Clerc Cooper ’15 (skippers), Ali Blumenthal ’15 and Tierney Driscoll ’15 (crews) and Dodge Rees (skipper, honorable mention). + For the sixth year in a row, the women’s tennis team earned ITA |
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natural. In middle school, she ran with high school students. She was that good. Even then, Neal didn’t mistake her natural talent as something she could take for granted. And today is no different. She’s extremely thankful for her physical gifts and works hard every day to become 1 percent better. Neal recognizes the number of people who
times. Most athletes want to come off of an injury and get back to their old self. Not Neal: She wanted to raise the stakes. And so she did. Her sophomore year, she came back stronger and faster than ever and had a breakthrough performance at the Shamrock Invitational, where she set a personal record in the 400-meter hurdles.
personal and school records in the 400meter hurdles, the 100-meter hurdles and the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays. And, as if that weren’t enough to pull off, Neal – who is of Belizean ancestry and has competed on the international level as a representative of Belize – has big plans for the 2016 Central American Championships in Athletics. She already
don’t live up to their potential in sports and has vowed to never be part of that number. She is determined to make the best of what she was blessed with. It’s a big part of what drives her as a runner – that, and her family and coaches, of course. Neal trains almost year round and has battled many hip injuries. During her freshman year for the Cougars, she struggled, only competing a handful of
That year, she also set a new personal record in the 100-meter hurdles at the Weems Baskin Invitational and a new 100-meter dash personal record at the Carolinas Cup. Then, as a junior, Neal set a new school record in the 400-meter hurdles. She also hit her personal best in the 100-meter hurdles in the preliminaries of the CAA championships. But she’s not satisfied. Her goals for her senior season include breaking more
posted two second-place finishes in the 2014 games and captured the silver medal in the 100-meter hurdles and the bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles in 2015. But this time around she hopes to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. And Neal is feeling pretty optimistic. She knows how to make the impossible possible. And she’s looking forward to that one final hurdle – and, of course, soaring over it.
All-Academic Team honors. The Cougars also received the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their academics. + Six women golfers were named WGCA All-American scholars: C.C. Buford ’15, Vici Drechsler, Laura Fuenfstueck, Julia Neumann, Louise Olsson and Morgan Webber. + Taylor DuPree (softball) was named to the CAA first team and allrookie team after ranking in the CAA’s top 10 for batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored and stolen bases. FA L L 2 0 1 5 |
Turning Up the Heat MATT “HEATER” HEATH HAS THIS anecdote he likes to tell. It’s about fleas. “It’s a long story,” warns the new Cougars head baseball coach. It goes like this: Fleas are known for jumping – they’ll jump out of almost anything, and they can jump 100 times their height. But if you put a flea in a closed jar, the flea will eventually forget how to jump. What’s more, its offspring won’t be able to jump either: That closed jar permanently cripples even the flea’s descendants’ ability to jump. This closed-jar scenario might sound great if you have a flea problem, but that’s not Heath’s point. “I promise not to put a lid on the talent on this baseball team,” he concludes. The Florida native’s vow not to stifle his players’ abilities or aspirations is born out of the liberties and encouragement he was given in his own baseball career. After learning the ins and the outs of the game as a catcher and outfielder for Louisiana State University, Heath
began his coaching career as a hitting coach at Tallahassee Community College, the College of Charleston and Auburn University before returning to the College as the pitching coach under former head coach Monte Lee ’00. His rare combination of experiences as both a hitting coach and a pitching coach prepared him for almost anything. But there was one thing he couldn’t possibly expect when he became the new head coach: “The number of phone calls has quadrupled!” Heath laughs. “That’s been the biggest change so far.” But all those phone calls have hardly slowed him down. “I’ve been recruiting for the early signing period,” he says. “I’ve been doing a whole lot of traveling. There was a period right when I started the job that I was gone for two straight weeks.” Now back on campus, Heath is ready to take the field, and – while every team is different – he feels fortunate to start this
season with the solid foundation he and Lee laid over the last five years. In 2014, the team went to the NCAA Super Regional Tournament, where it came up just a few runs shy of making it to the College World Series. Then, in 2015, the team made it to the Tallahassee Regional Tournament, stopping just short of another invitation to the Super Regional. Both years the team earned national acclaim for its team production and the talent of its individual players. One of those individual players is Bailey Ober, a pitcher whom the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association named 2014 Freshman Pitcher of the Year. Earlier in 2014, he was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Rookie of the Year and the CAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. In addition to Ober, Heath has helped groom another outstanding pitcher: Nathan Helvey, a junior sociology major whom Heath touts as a natural leader. Helvey brings equal concentration to both his athletic and academic careers, and it’s this kind of dedication that impresses Heath the most about his players. “They’re very focused in the classroom and very well-rounded,” Heath says of those who emerge as team leaders. “They use their voices on the team, but they lead through their actions.” As for Heath’s own leadership and coaching philosophy: He’s adopted many of the same qualities that he admired of Lee during the former coach’s tenure. “Like Coach Lee, Heath’s coaching is built on values like focus, discipline, hard work, sacrifice, honesty and accountability,” Helvey says. “His main goal is to help us understand that the adversity and hardship we go through while playing the game will make us better men when all is said and done.” And, when it’s all said and done, Heath feels confident that giving his players the freedom to explore their talents and dreams will result in a huge jump in their skill level and overall game. After all, if fleas can jump 100 times their height, there’s no telling how far the Cougars can go.
+ Several baseball players garnered top CA A honors: Taylor Clarke (Pitcher of the Year); Blake Butler (Player of the Year & Defensive Player of the Year) and Monte Lee ’00 (Coach of the Year); All-CA A players were Butler, Clarke, Brandon Glazer and Carl Wise. + Sailor Laura Beigel ’13 helped win the 2015 International Lightning Class World Championship. + Taylor Clarke (baseball), Zach Munroe (men’s golf) and Laura Fuenfstueck (women’s golf) were CAA Scholar-Athletes for the spring sports season. |
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New baseball head coach Matt Heath assumes the helm of a college baseball juggernaut. Thatʼs not hyperbole. Thatʼs a fact. In a sport driven by statistical analysis, let's have the numbers tell the story of the Cougarsʼ rise on the national stage.
No. of players drafted or signed a professional contract
National Freshmen of the Year
76 2 7 NO.
Highest overall pick in MLB draft: Taylor Clarke
7 MLB teams that have had a Cougar:
(Arizona Diamondbacks, 2015)
NCAA Super-Regional appearances
Conference championships (SoCon and CAA)
Top row: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Bottom row: San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics
Conference players of the year (position, pitcher and rookie)
NCAA Tournament appearances
MLB All-Star Brett Gardner ’05 New York Yankees
POINT of VIEW
[ student ]
Pulling Back the Curtain Russia holds an interesting place in the American imagination – a country viewed suspiciously by many through the lens of Cold War rivalries. One student put her graduation on hold in order to learn more about this world and better understand its differences and its commonalities. BY KATHLEEN HOLDEN ’15 I CAME TO THE COLLEGE KNOWING ONE THING: I WAS NOT GOING to take Spanish for my language requirement. Not ever. I took Spanish for three years in high school and still can’t even ask where the bathroom is. Luckily, I had plenty of choices here, including Hindi and Russian. I have always had an interest in Russia; something about how big and far away it is always intrigued me. So, my first semester, I took Professor Oksana Ingle’s course, Window Into
Everyone else, especially my parents, seemed to expect the Russians hate Americans. They worried about how our little group would be received in Russia – that we would not be safe there. The opposite was true.
Russia, and fell in love with the Russian people and their culture. Coincidently, I found a language requirement that wasn’t Spanish! After completing Oksana’s course, I declared my Russian studies minor, which wound up fitting perfectly with my anthropology major. From there, I began focusing solely on those two areas of study. I started my final year of college last fall, when Oksana was promoting her Maymester in Russia to all the department’s classes. I don’t think she was having very much success; a lot of people were afraid to go or didn’t want to spend the money to go “somewhere so cold.” At first, I didn’t even consider going. I was on track to graduate in May and was thinking about a million other things. However, one day I ran into Oksana in the hall, and she made me feel a little guilty about my lack of interest in the trip. When I explained that I was graduating in May and probably couldn’t go, she told me not to worry about that: She’d had a student on a past trip who’d already graduated.
It’s actually not quite as simple as she made it sound: In order to go on a Maymester after graduation, you must still take the required classes, and you have to push your actual graduation date back until the end of summer. These things were not explained to me up front, but – once I got the idea of going to Russia in my head – I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. I changed my graduation date to August and started looking for enough scholarship money to pay for most of the Maymester abroad. I knew early on that the typical Center for International Education scholarship wasn’t going to cut it, but then I learned that the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) and the anthropology department were both offering special scholarships for summer studies abroad. Both were competitive scholarships, and I knew whatever research I wanted to complete in Russia would have to stand out in order for me to be considered. In addition to an upper-level language class and a Russian literature course, I would be conducting an independent study – and that was what I was most interested in, and I had the freedom to choose any topic about Russian life, history or people.
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Earlier in 2014, I’d learned that Russia would be hosting the 2018 World Cup and that the government was attempting to “modernize” the host cities there. I’d taken Social and Cultural Change the semester before, and knew that words like modernize are red flags for cultural change. Seeing the perfect connection between anthropology and Russian studies, I developed an independent study of the economic and cultural effects of Saransk hosting the World Cup. After what happened in Brazil, the World Cup and its effects had become a hot topic, and the subject caught the attention of both the HSS and the anthropology department. I was able to get enough scholarship money to go abroad! It didn’t hit me that I was actually going to Russia until the night before I left. The two months before had been a blur: I was focusing on graduating and moving out of my downtown apartment, definitely not on being in Russia. Maybe that’s why I had almost no preconceived notion of what to expect. Everyone else, especially my parents, seemed to expect the Russians to hate
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POINT OF VIEW
Americans. They worried about how our little group would be received in Russia – that we would not be safe there. The opposite was true. While St. Petersburg and Moscow are like any other big city in the world – lots of people from all over, and nobody exceptionally friendly – Saransk, a little town south of Moscow, was where we spent most of our time. And, in Saransk, the people are amazing! They were extremely open and welcomed us with open hearts. None of the young people behaved as if they hated Americans; they were just curious about our lives and the differences in how we grew up. As it turns out, there are very few differences, perhaps because American pop culture is so big there. The older people were a little reserved, but not because they hated Americans; rather, the Russian government portrays America in the same light that the American government does Russia, so they were skeptical and thought that all Americans hated Russians. Once we were able to sit down and talk to people, it was clear to see that – aside from cultural differences – we were not different at all. We’re just people trying to make the best life we can in this world. This made my independent study especially interesting. People wanted to share their thoughts and feelings on Saransk
becoming modernized for the World Cup. Most people thought the city needed to become modernized (e.g., new roads and better infrastructure). But many also felt like the government didn’t have the community’s best interests in mind. Economic security, a good education system and health care are what matter most to the people of Saransk, and they don’t really feel like the government is taking those things into consideration. Instead, they feel the government is only planning for the short term. It makes them a little uneasy. Overall, I loved my trip to Russia. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot about the culture. It was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done – getting enough scholarship money, overcoming the language and cultural barriers and completing my independent study – but it was definitely the most beneficial. I was very lucky to make a couple of amazing Russian friends, as well as have my independent study published in one of Saransk’s academic journals. I will always be in Professor Oksana Ingle’s debt for encouraging me to have this amazing experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world! – Kathleen Holden ’15 graduated this past summer with a degree in anthropology and a minor in Russian studies.
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POINT of VIEW [ faculty ] The Compassion Gap As more women enter the political arena as elected officials and secure positions of power, one economics professor breaks down the numbers to determine how gender may influence legislative decision-making and what that may mean for international relations. BY BEATRIZ MALDONADO-BIRD
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A COMMON QUIP IS THAT IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN politics women need to be more like men. Indeed, advocates of this archaic witticism point to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and even U.S. presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, claiming that these women have been politically successful because they did not push their female preferences, but have instead behaved like their male counterparts. Needless to say, in such a cynical world, female politicians have to tread a fine line between choices that could be labeled as women’s preferences and the expectations society sets for them as politicians. When looking at politicians, is there any reason to think that gender might play a role in how someone behaves while in public office? It turns out that theory predicts that the answer is resoundingly yes. As most couples can attest, men and women
often have different preferences. Frequently these are as trivial as tastes for sports, hobbies, cars and fashion choices. But gender differences sometimes appear in more meaningful spheres like career and parenting decisions. In fact, existing laboratory experiments have already shown that different preferences lead men and women to behave, on average, slightly differently in otherwise identical settings. For instance, some studies have shown that in bargaining situations, women tend to be more generous than their male counterparts. My research focuses on the gender composition of national legislatures (instead of female heads of state like Thatcher and Merkel, of which there are depressingly too few to meaningfully analyze). For example, the national legislature (i.e., Congress) is made up of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Today’s Congress has 84 women in the House (out of 435 total seats) and 20 women in the Senate (out of 100 seats). In both legislative bodies, approximately 20 percent of the seats are held by women, the highest percentage of female legislators in the country’s history. Although low, the share of women in government in the U.S. has actually been steadily rising, accelerating quite a bit during the 1990s. As more women run for office and win, do we see a change in the way the legislature votes on items based on the increased number of women legislators? One study found that women in the U.S. Congress, on average, are less likely than their male counterparts to support aid packages that include military aid regardless of their party affiliation. That is not to say that
POINT OF VIEW
from a disaster (such as an earthquake) and from war (both international and civil). Consistent with these humanitarian goals, we find that as the share of women in national legislatures increases, more aid flows not to political allies, but instead to less developed regions of the world or regions that exhibit greater economic need.
When looking at politicians, is there any reason to think that gender might play a role in how someone behaves while in public office? It turns out that theory predicts that
the answer is resoundingly yes.
Why does all of this matter? Since women are underrepresented in politics, having more women in legislatures helps advance democratic values of fair representation and gender equality and is obviously a desirable goal in and of itself. But this isn’t the end of the story. Our research suggests that in addition to contributing to gender-balanced politics, more women in legislatures may actually impact policy outcomes in important ways. As the empowerment of women in governments around the world advances, our findings suggest that we could expect to see increases in foreign aid, particularly aid directed towards the world’s poorest regions and targeted towards human development. We should also expect to see a foreign policy environment more responsive to the humanitarian concerns of the international community and exhibiting a different, more representative, underlying set of motivations for foreign aid. – Beatriz Maldonado-Bird is an assistant professor of international studies and economics.
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all congresswomen vote this way, but it’s a visible trend in the documented votes. In my research, I examine how the gender composition of legislative bodies affects policy not only in the U.S., but also in other nations. Looking at this broader set of countries for the last 40 years, my co-authors and I study whether changes in the share of men and women in national legislatures affect the amount and type of foreign aid governments choose to donate. Foreign aid is a broad term, encompassing money given in the form of loans or grants to other countries either directly by one nation or through international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank. Since on average, women and men have different preferences, and studies have found women to be more generous in experiments, we might expect that as the proportion of women in national legislatures increases so would the amount of foreign aid given. In fact, when we look at the international data on women in parliaments and foreign aid given, we do find a relationship between the proportion of women and the amount of aid given. Legislatures with a larger share of women, on average, give more foreign aid. One could say that these legislative bodies become more “generous” when more women are elected, even after accounting for the ideology and parties in power. Because women and men differ in average preferences for a whole range of things, we might also expect that they may have different opinions on how their foreign aid money is used, as with women in the U.S. being less likely to support military aid. While there is no international data on how military aid flows other than for the U.S., we do have information on how most general aid is earmarked. These categories span uses such as education, health, general budget, support for small businesses, etc. When looking at these categories, we find that women in office support higher levels of foreign aid directed specifically for education and health. They also give more aid during times of acute need – after natural disasters and during war. In other words, we show that countries with more women in office are more responsive to the immediate needs of nations suffering
SUMMER 2015 |
POINT of VIEW
[ alumni ]
Little by Little Tiny is huge right now. In fact, there’s a whole movement of people looking to minimize their spaces in order to maximize their lives. For one alumna, she discovered firsthand that big things can come in small packages. BY MAUR A HOGAN ’87 I LANDED A SPOT ON NATIONAL TELEVISION FOR THE SMALLEST thing I have ever done. How small was it? To be exact, it was 578 square feet, the entire footprint of my pint-sized new Charleston house. Yes, my husband, Scott, and I have embraced the current craze for diminutive domiciles, and have set out, along with our toddler daughter, to find out if less is really more. And, we have done so in downtown Charleston, a locale known for grand Southern gestures rather than the likes of our tiny Tara.
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What’s more, our pursuit of a downsized dream home captured the attention of the creators of Tiny House Hunting, FYI Network’s popular show that showcases small space residences across the country. First, a bit of backstory. In 2013, we relocated with our young daughter to Charleston from New York City, where I had lived and worked since graduating from the College in 1987. I quickly discovered that peninsular living was an altogether different proposition than it had been in my childhood days. Back then, I called home an 8,500-square-foot antebellum manse on Legare Street. But Charleston has changed. I doubt the earthquake bolts that reinforce old Charleston houses can stand up to the seismic shift in property values here. So we opted instead to apply our citified savvy with constrained spaces to our quest for a new home that would give us flexibility to build later or keep as a pied-a-terre. After the producers of Tiny House Hunting caught wind of our plan, they cajoled us into signing on for season two. Why did we do it? First, we were assured that the show’s ethos eschews the
POINT OF VIEW
... we had to think
on our feet, shoot from the hip, speak in a strange new language, and then do the same three times over again. It was a cognitive boot camp that gave me a deeper understanding of the rare talents it takes to make a 20-minute show.
surprised me with his own self-characterization, tapping his public relations background to deliver countless made-fortelevision bon mots and zippy one-liners. There were many revelations on the reality of show business. Hollywood glamour was all but missing on the set: no makeup artists or artisanal sparkling water. However, in its place was heart and humor, more than I would have thought possible with the minute-by-minute production stressors. The scrappy, stalwart crew remained agreeable and upbeat through rain-soaked retakes, location gaffes and even unsolicited suggestions from the cast (that would be me). On gaspingly tight budgets and even tighter timelines, the crew punched through a shot list, cramming into corners and peering from closets to get the right footage. Our gentle-natured director of photography kept our nerves calm and energy up long after my face had fallen. Our director somehow managed to coax a host of TV moments from rank amateurs like us. His goofy candor made it impossible to take offense, even when his “notes” were less than flattering. By the time we wrapped, we were utterly exhausted, but curiously energized. For four days, we had to think on our feet, shoot from the hip, speak in a strange new language, and then do the same three times over again. It was a cognitive boot camp that gave me a deeper understanding of the rare talents it takes to make a 20-minute show. A few months later, with one eye shut, we viewed our episode. It was then that I came to also appreciate the evil genius of the television editor. For all my cheerleading, the editor had still somehow extracted a handful of “Debbie Downer” lines. I felt like I came across as the wet blanket of the couple, with my long list of “concerns.” In the parlance of the industry, I had been given the “villain edit.” Conversely, my self-avowed curmudgeon of a husband somehow was made to look like the eternal optimist of the two, daily battling my naysaying with dogged glee. I didn’t really mind in the least. It was even curiously freeing to have my well-spun pleasantries left on the cutting room floor. More importantly, the College made it into the cut as the stunning, inspired spot where I earned my degree and where I now call “the office.” So that was my reality as a one-time reality TV star. And that’s a wrap.
| Illustration by Joy Halstead |
“bad behavior” approach of some reality TV shows. While I am happy to show off my new home, I am not up for airing my dirty laundry. After viewing some past episodes, Scott and I concurred that the show zoomed in more on creative solutions for small footprints than on personal shenanigans. Then there was my school pride. Not only am I an alumna, I’m also a member of the College’s marketing team. The chance to show off our famously beautiful campus on air was catnip for this Cougar, and I agreed, assured by the producers that they would consider filming my backstory on campus. So what is the reality of reality TV? It is not for those short on stamina. At the crack of 7 a.m. on the first morning of filming, the director rapped on our front door, a tad earlier than expected. A groggy, crumpled me greeted him, toting my diaper-clad, wary daughter. She immediately erupted into tragic wailing at the presence of this strange man in black jeans barreling into her home before her morning bottle. Pandemonium ensued. Within minutes, a veritable SWAT team of crewmembers descended on our modest living room, piling in a black mass of cameras, microphones and other intimidating apparati, which soon laid claim to every counter top and outlet available. One by one, the team sized up our humble home like the Terminator, mumbling concern over tight angles, electrical access, unforgiving light. For four straight days, four takes at a time, we blazed through three petite properties, the College and a few favorite local spots (including D’Allesandro’s Pizza, owned by Ben D’Allesandro ’05). We drove on backstreets and out-of-the-way places in our Jetta, rigged up with Go-Pro cameras and a Walkie Talkie that shouted commands and fed us suggestions from the crew, as we hashed out, sized up and squared off. We also stole moments between takes to check our teeth in mirrors, text the nanny and come up with new on-camera sound bites. With each insistent clap of “action!” Scott and I nosed our way through cabinets; poked into closets; critiqued kitchen counter space; quipped about décor; and marveled over modern ingenuity. Take Two: We did it again, this time with less starch. Take Three: We took it back to the beginning, this time traveling first to the couch, then to the dining table, like we were supposed to (consistency is key, we quickly found out). Take Four: We started from square one after an uninvited truck engine botched Take Three. There were artistic differences. In other words, I kept forgetting I wasn’t the director. There were happy accidents. Our real estate agent, Vikki Matsis ’07, turned out to be a Cougar, too. There were awkward moments. Who knew a teeming wake would spill onto our new street fresh from a funeral at the very time of the filming of the joyous “reveal” scene toasting our new home? There were also the on-screen marital dynamics. During filming, Scott kept extolling the praises of “The Bungalow,” the tricked-out hipster pad on Folly Beach. I was firmly fixed on “The Traditional,” with its classic Charleston cottage charm. This, of course, was greatly encouraged by the director, who was frantically mining for dramatic tension in our wholly civilized marriage. Regardless of this quasi-conflict, I amped up my perk factor take after take. After all, I was intent on securing my status as a paragon of marital grace. At the same time, my reserved husband
– Maura Hogan ’87, who enjoyed a writing/marketing career with The New York Times, The New Yorker and Time Inc., among others, is the College’s director of advancement communications in the Division of Marketing and Communications.
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MOTHER EMANUEL ON THE EVENING OF JUNE 17, 2015, TERROR CAME TO THE HOLY CITY. That terror found its way to a Bible study in the basement of Emanuel A.M.E. Church on Calhoun Street, just a few blocks from the College of Charleston. When that terror left, nine people had been shot dead. As helicopters flew over Charleston through the night and a manhunt across the Carolinas began, news leaked out that there had been a crime at the church known as Mother Emanuel. Yet not until the next morning did the police and mayor announce details of the shooting, revealing it to be one of the more ghastly attacks in American history, on par with the slaughter of first-graders and teachers in Connecticut, the massacre of moviegoers in Colorado, the slaying of college students in Virginia, and so on. Charleston, and the rest of the world, was stunned … appalled … heartbroken. Yet as tears fell and hearts hung heavy across Charleston, something remarkable happened: healing. Immediate healing. Healing inspired by the grace of those hurt most by this terrible event: the relatives of the shooting victims and members of the A.M.E. church. Rather than react in anger, they preached unity, love and even, incredibly, forgiveness. In the days and weeks that followed, Charleston experienced more of the remarkable. The Confederate flag, embraced by the alleged killer as a symbol of hate, was removed from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse through an act of the state legislature. The president of the United States visited the College to deliver a eulogy for the slain Rev. Clementa Pinckney, using the makeshift pulpit in TD Arena to honor the fallen but also to address perennial problems in our country, including racism and gun violence. Perhaps most impressively, people gathered in Charleston to pay tribute to the dead and to refute the racist beliefs of a killer. Through emotional vigils, funerals and demonstrations across the city, one message was clear: In Charleston, it is love, respect and hope that transcend all. In the following pages, we document one of Charleston’s darkest moments and how its residents, including members of the College of Charleston community, responded with nothing short of amazing grace.
STORYBOOK LIFE BY RON MENCHACA ’98 ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANDREW THOMPSON
Cynthia Graham Hurd was everywhere – always working, always helping, always looking out for others. And yet, because she moved through life with such understated grace and poise, her guiding and nurturing hand was not always evident. Only now, in celebration of her life, can we fully recognize the true extent of her reach and the enormity of her impact.
f Cynthia Graham Hurd had not been killed in the basement of Emanuel A.M.E. Church, had she lived to walk among us in our grief and sadness in the hours and days after the tragedy, many would have gone to her for answers. We seek librarians when we have questions. We seek people of religious faith when our deepest beliefs are shaken. We seek the strong and the nurturing when we hurt. We seek someone like Hurd. At a time of profound loss, in the desperate, hazy search for answers, for truth and healing, we would turn to Hurd and ask her why –¬ why would someone commit such unimaginable acts of violence? It was embedded in her truest nature to help, to comfort and to listen. But after the shootings, the one to whom we would turn might herself have struggled to find the right words. Instead she might have offered a hug, a prayer or a tear-filled gaze that would have said I too am hurting. Had she sat behind the information desk in Addlestone Library on the Sunday following the shootings, exactly where she could be found most Sundays after church, the library patrons she helped would not have known it was her 55th birthday or that she was calling the celebration her double-nickel. The fact that Hurd didn’t allow herself to rest on Sundays said a lot about her character and work ethic. Never mind that she had already put in more than a full week’s work as branch manager at one of Charleston County’s busiest libraries. Or that she maintained a busy schedule outside of work – volunteering on community boards and serving as an active member of her church. If she could be of service to others, she found the time. James Williams ’95, associate dean of the College’s libraries, often stopped by the library on Sundays to talk with Hurd, his colleague and close friend. Both grew up in Charleston and had known each other since the mid-1980s. They also shared in common their religious faith and library careers. In recent months Williams had been wrestling with a decision about his plans after retirement, and he knew he could trust Hurd to help guide him toward the right answer.
LIFE OF BOOKS A Charleston native, Hurd began her life of service to others in the happiest of places: an ice cream parlor. It was a fitting job for a purveyor of smiles like Hurd. Ice cream is the universal reward for a job well done, a sweet distraction for a fussy child, a shared moment among friends, a couple’s tradition. Even back then, Hurd was dispensing joy. She grew up on Benson Street, a short lane tucked between upper King Street and Interstate 26. The brick bungalow where she grew up and remained as an adult was a reflection of her personality – warm and inviting. Visitors and passersby could see her love of gardening on display in the flower boxes that adorned the home’s white picket fence. She was the daughter of Melvin and Henrietta Graham and one of six children. Emanuel A.M.E. Church was the family’s home away from home. Hurd’s mother sang in the church choir. All of the children attended the church, and Hurd sang in the youth choir. Hurd’s brother, Malcolm Graham, recalled that his sister always seemed to have her nose buried in a book. “She was always a book nerd, always a very smart young lady, and she loved reading from a very young age,” he says. She was a Charlestonian through and through. After attending James Simons Elementary School and the High School of Charleston, she moved to Atlanta to attend Clark College (now ClarkAtlanta University), where she earned a bachelor’s in mathematics in 1982. At Clark, she was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Her passing was a blow to the tight-knit group of sorority sisters with whom she bonded during her undergraduate years. At a candlelight vigil organized by the university after the tragedy, classmates remembered Hurd for her sense of humor and boundless optimism. By 1984 she had started her career with the Charleston County Public Library system, a remarkable tenure of service that would continue for the next 31 years. Along the way, she earned a master’s
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of library science from the University of South Carolina in 1989 before being named branch manager of the library’s John L. Dart Branch in 1990. She would become a mainstay in that library and in the surrounding community over the next two decades. Sherry Gadsden, head of circulation for the College’s libraries, knew Hurd for more than 30 years. She says Hurd derived such happiness from sharing with others the life-changing power of books. “Her respect and love for books was unwavering,” says Gadsden. “It was amazing to watch her face light up or that of a patron’s when something new and exciting was revealed or discovered through the joy of reading.” With no children of her own, she worked to educate generations of Charleston’s youth, helping them grow intellectually – from story time to receiving their first library cards, from their first high school research papers through college and job applications. She knew she’d made a lasting impact when, years later, those she helped brought their own children back to the library. “She was a librarian’s librarian,” says Malcolm Graham. “She enjoyed working with the kids, but she also realized her job extended beyond the walls of the library. She helped them discover themselves and learn skills that gave them the ability to live and grow, but she also was there to help people work through their problems. It went beyond just checking out books and helping people find jobs; she was there for people throughout the community who sought her advice on a variety of issues.” Hurd first came to the College to work as a part-time librarian from 1991 to 1992. She returned to the College in 1999 and served continuously until her death, becoming the College’s longestserving part-time librarian. Through her many library-related roles and positions over the years, Hurd’s reach extended across the Lowcountry. Williams remembers when Hurd was working at the county’s Dorchester Road branch in North Charleston, where he would take his children to study and read. As his kids scoured the stacks, Williams would catch up with Hurd. “We would chat about library stuff, community, culture, mutual friends,” Williams recalls. “A lot of our conversations involved religion and how the world needed to be a better place. But even when we discussed the bad things, she always made it come out with a positive spin.” In 2011, Hurd was named manager of the St. Andrews Regional Library. Though she had to leave the Dart library that had become such an important part of her life, the move meant she could spread her positivity and bring her skills to another area of the community. In the wake of her passing, the county announced that the library in West Ashley would be named in her honor. As Williams’ career progressed at the College and he assumed more administrative responsibilities, Hurd became one of the staff members reporting to him. He marveled at her ability to solve problems at work in a quiet, unassuming way. “Any issue didn’t become an issue because she would work to nullify it,” he notes. “It was just her spirit. She always had a way of finding a resolution.” A veteran librarian, Hurd brought her extensive network of community connections to bear on scholarly projects and community initiatives. She was well known and respected as a leader in her profession, but she didn’t seek glory or recognition. She was as comfortable spearheading a team of professionals as she was answering a child’s question about a book. Harlan Greene ’74, head of the College’s Special Collections, knew Hurd professionally for decades: “As a reference librarian, you want to find out what the person wants, but you don’t ask why. She personified that in her personality because she was so nonjudgmental. She would treat everyone the same.” She encountered a little bit of everything at the library information desk: frazzled students pulling together bibliographies for papers due the next day, members of the public looking for a needle in a haystack, professors and scholars conducting research. She thrived on each challenge and made that person’s problem her problem. “That’s where her expertise was so valuable because she was so used to serving everybody in the community,” Williams says. “There wasn’t a question she hadn’t heard or that would throw her.”
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MOTHER EMANUEL TRUE LOVE It was while working at the Dart Branch Library that Hurd met her future husband, Arthur Hurd. It was love at first sight, Arthur Hurd remembers their first encounter in 1993: “I was riding with my brother in the car, and I almost wrecked the car looking at Cynthia. I still remember what she had on. She was just the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.” Hurd told his brother to take the wheel as he hurried out of the car to catch up with her. “‘I’m going to marry her,’” he promised. He later proposed, and they officially tied the knot in October 2001. Arthur Hurd’s job as a merchant mariner meant long stretches away from his beloved bride, which made the times they spent together that much sweeter. “She was a really smart lady, a very beautiful lady, a very colorful lady, a multitalented lady,” he says. “We used to cook together, bake pies and make macaroni together … just walk through Lowe’s and have ideas. I wasn’t one for gardening, but I would garden with her.” Hurd was assigned to a ship in dry dock in Oman in the Middle East when the shootings occurred. It took him three days to get back to Charleston. All the while, he prayed there had been a mistake, that his Cynthia would be there waiting for him. He now clings to the memories and little details that made their life together unique and special – the way she curled up in the back seat of the car to take naps as he drove them on long trips, the time he felt her heart beating in perfect rhythm with his own. “I miss everything about her. Every single thing.” As busy as she was, Hurd made family a priority. Her brother, Melvin Graham Jr., says he and his sister were planning a trip to Virginia the following week to see their other sister. Years earlier, when brother Malcolm Graham ran for a seat in the North Carolina legislature, Hurd shuttled back and forth between Charlotte and Charleston to help him get elected. Whenever he talked about serving his constituents, she reminded him that she too had constituents – the library users who counted on her day after day. She stood in as the family matriarch to her siblings after her parents passed. After the shooting, Malcolm Graham told CNN’s Anderson Cooper a story about how he was feeling sorry for himself after losing a bid for Congress. His big sister was there to deliver some tough love. “Man, get over it,” Graham recalled his sister telling him. “Don’t look backwards, look forwards. When I only saw doom and gloom, she was able to paint a different type of picture.” Patricia Williams Lessane first met Hurd soon after moving to Charleston to become executive director of the College’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. Hurd reassured her new friend that she would find her way in the city and be successful in her new role. Things just didn’t seem to rattle Hurd, says Williams Lessane, recalling the occasions when she brought her children along to project planning meetings. “While I would be mortified by my children’s restlessness, Cynthia was unbothered by their behavior and always engaged them with a
book or other activity. She was truly a librarian and teacher.” Hurd also had a way of telling it to you straight. She was comfortable in her skin. She knew what she knew and seemed at peace with what she had accomplished in her life. One of her sorority sisters, Casina Pressley-Washington, told an Atlanta reporter that Hurd would have gone to her death peacefully. She could imagine her friend saying, “If it’s my time, it’s my time, and all is well with my soul.” When you live a life of service, humility and faith, life’s regrets are few. Hurd’s life and legacy will live on in the thousands of lives she touched. Her name will forever be associated with education and literacy. The College’s Board of Trustees designated one of the Colonial Scholarships, the university’s most prestigious academic scholarships for South Carolinians, as the Cynthia Graham Hurd Memorial Scholarship. And plans are being made to install a memorial to Hurd on Rivers Green, outside Addlestone Library. The plaque will pay tribute to Hurd’s life of service and quest for knowledge. On a larger scale, Harlan Greene says the most lasting tribute to Hurd and to all of the victims would be for the community to continue seeking answers to the larger questions surrounding the tragedy: “That’s what she spent her life doing is helping people answer questions that were important to them. In the wake of what happened, we are still trying to find answers to these big questions.” James Williams will remember Hurd as someone who was always more interested in hearing what others were feeling and thinking rather than talking about herself. He remembers clearly one of the last things he told her before she died. “She and I had talked on several occasions about the fact that I was interested in going into the ministry. I told her my biggest fear was standing up in front of a church congregation and having to speak.” Hurd said she would help him work on that and that one day soon he’d be standing on a church pulpit. Ironically, Williams would stand in front of a church congregation for the very first time when he spoke at Hurd’s wake. “A strong woman of God, she had service in her heart which is evidenced by all of the lives she touched,” Williams said in his speech. “Whether with her professionalism or her sense of humor, she had a way of bringing out the best in us.” Williams is now making plans to enter the clergy after he retires from the College. His good friend, in life and in death, had much to do with helping him find the answer.
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TIME STAMPED TD ARENA, JUNE 26, 2:56 PM
On June 26, 2015, the president came to the College. Arriving in Charleston nine days after the tragedy at Emanuel A.M.E. Church, President Barack Obama delivered a speech that was instantly regarded as one of his finest. Eulogizing the slain Rev. Clementa Pinckney in the College’s TD Arena, Obama touched on themes that included the legacy of racism, gun violence and the historical importance of the black church in the United States. Here are the president’s words, as well as commentary from five College of Charleston professors.
— WORDS BY BARACK OBAMA : PHOTOS BY MIKE LEDFORD —
iving all praise and honor to God. The Bible calls us to hope. To persevere, and have faith in things not seen. “They were still living by faith when they died,” Scripture tells us. “They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on Earth.” We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith. A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered, knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would deliver a better life for those who followed. To Jennifer, his beloved wife; to Eliana and Malana, his beautiful, wonderful daughters; to the Mother Emanuel family and the people of Charleston, the people of South Carolina. I cannot claim to have the good fortune to know Reverend Pinckney well. But I did have the pleasure of knowing him and meeting him here in South Carolina, back when we were both a little bit younger. Back when I didn’t have visible gray hair. The first thing I noticed was his graciousness, his smile, his reassuring baritone, his deceptive sense of humor – all qualities that helped him wear so effortlessly a heavy burden of expectation. Friends of his remarked this week that when Clementa Pinckney entered a room, it was like the future arrived; that even from a young age, folks knew he was special. Anointed. He was the progeny of a long line of the faithful – a family of preachers who spread God’s word, a family of protesters who sowed change to expand voting rights and desegregate the South. Clem heard their instruction, and he did not forsake their teaching. He was in the pulpit by 13, pastor by 18, public servant by 23. He did not exhibit any of the cockiness of youth, nor youth’s insecurities; instead, he set an example worthy of his position, wise |
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beyond his years, in his speech, in his conduct, in his love, faith, and purity. As a senator, he represented a sprawling swath of the Lowcountry, a place that has long been one of the most neglected in America. A place still wracked by poverty and inadequate schools; a place where children can still go hungry and the sick can go without treatment. A place that needed somebody like Clem. His position in the minority party meant the odds of winning more resources for his constituents were often long. His calls for greater equity were too often unheeded, the votes he cast were sometimes lonely. But he never gave up. He stayed true to his convictions. He would not grow discouraged. After a full day at the Capitol, he’d climb into his car and head to the church to draw sustenance from his family, from his ministry, from the community that loved and needed him. There he would fortify his faith, and imagine what might be. Reverend Pinckney embodied a politics that was neither mean, nor small. He conducted himself quietly, and kindly, and diligently. He encouraged progress not by pushing his ideas alone, but by seeking out your ideas, partnering with you to make things happen. He was full of empathy and fellow feeling, able to walk in somebody else’s shoes and see through their eyes. No wonder one of his Senate colleagues remembered Senator Pinckney as “the most gentle of the 46 of us – the best of the 46 of us.” Clem was often asked why he chose to be a pastor and a public servant. But the person who asked probably didn’t know the history of the A.M.E. church. As our brothers and sisters in the A.M.E. church know, we don’t make those distinctions. “Our calling,” Clem once said, “is not just within the walls of the congregation, but … the life and community in which our congregation resides.” He embodied the idea that our Christian faith demands deeds and not just words; that the “sweet hour of prayer” actually lasts the whole week long – that to put our faith in action is more than
REMEMBERING THE REV. CLEMENTA PINCKNEY
BERNARD POWERS JR. (HISTORY)
Like President Barack Obama, I remember the Rev. Clementa Pinckney fondly. Our relationship was mainly but not entirely professional; I worked with him on church and community projects since his arrival in Charleston. Pinckney was also easy to know as a man because he often described his personal life, his family and growing up in Jasper County, S.C., when discussing his twin avocations: the African Methodist Episcopal Church ministry and public service. The A.M.E. Church was established to promote the Gospel, while bearing prophetic witness to the injustices suffered by African Americans in a slaveholding society. The sacred mission of the church continues unabated today, and confronting racial injustice remains a crucial part of its social gospel mission. Pinckney was perfectly suited to Emanuel A.M.E. Church. First, he was a nurturing and teaching pastor to his congregation. Second, he understood that the church’s mission only began with the congregation. He believed that a pastor and indeed all Christians were called to transform the communities where they lived according to godly standards. These concepts were rooted in biblical principles, in his family traditions and in the history of his church. Pinckney was descended from a line of ministers who were also civil rights leaders. He also reveled in the activist history of his own congregation, whose post–Civil War leader was
the Rev. Richard Cain, a state legislator and later a congressman. Public service was an extension of Pinckney’s ministry. He entered politics to become a state senator, representing a very impoverished area of the South Carolina Lowcountry whose population often falls on the bottom end of important socioeconomic indices. He promoted bills that sought to empower people. For example, he stood against restrictive voter identification laws and promoted higher wages for hospitality workers, Medicaid extension and a port development project for Jasper County as a source of needed jobs. Most recently he played a pivotal role in passing legislation requiring South Carolina police to use body cameras. The body camera legislation was prompted by the killing of Walter Scott, an unarmed African American, by a white police officer in North Charleston, S.C. Promoting the bill in the State Senate, Pinckney demonstrated why he has been described as the “moral conscience” of the S.C General Assembly. In a speech to his colleagues regarding the killing of Scott, Pinckney extended his sympathies to the family of the victim and also to the family of the alleged perpetrator because, as he said, “the Lord teaches us to love all.” As President Obama reminds us, we must be inspired to act with that same generosity of spirit.
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individual salvation, it’s about our collective salvation; that to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and house the homeless is not just a call for isolated charity, but the imperative of a just society. What a good man. Sometimes I think that’s the best thing to hope for when you’re eulogized – after all the words and recitations and résumés are read, to just say someone was a good man. You don’t have to be of high station to be a good man. Preacher by 13. Pastor by 18. Public servant by 23. What a life Clementa Pinckney lived. What an example he set. What a model for his faith. And then to lose him at 41 – slain in his sanctuary with eight wonderful members of his flock, each at different stages in life but bound together by a common commitment to God. Cynthia Hurd. Susie Jackson. Ethel Lance. DePayne MiddletonDoctor. Tywanza Sanders. Daniel L. Simmons. Sharonda ColemanSingleton. Myra Thompson. Good people. Decent people. God-fearing people. People so full of life and so full of kindness. People who ran the race, who persevered. People of great faith.
To the families of the fallen, the nation shares in your grief. Our pain cuts that much deeper because it happened in a church. The church is and always has been the center of African American life – a place to call our own in a too often hostile world, a sanctuary from so many hardships. Over the course of centuries, black churches served as “hush harbors” where slaves could worship in safety; praise houses where their free descendants could gather and shout hallelujah – rest stops for the weary along the Underground Railroad; bunkers for the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement. They have been, and continue to be, community centers where we organize for jobs and justice; places of scholarship and network; places where children are loved and fed and kept out of harm’s way, and told that they are beautiful and smart – and taught that they matter. That’s what happens in church. That’s what the black church means. Our beating heart. The place where our dignity as a people is inviolate. When there’s no better
THE A.M.E. CHURCH AS SANCTUARY AND FOUNDATION FOR ACTIVISM
JON HALE (TEACHER EDUCATION)
President Barack Obama alludes to a long history of the black church when he referred to “hush harbors” and “a sanctuary from so many hardships.” Since the era of slavery, black churches inspired collective resistance in response to attempts to silence black religiosity. More than a sanctuary, black churches, as the president noted, were “community centers where we organize for jobs and justice.” The African Methodist Episcopal Church defined how black churches emerged as spaces of resistance that provided a moral compass during our nation’s problematic past. The A.M.E. Church was born in protest, affiliating itself with the Free African Society, established in 1787 by Richard Allen, who denounced the discrimination of black parishioners. Pastors of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston provided an ecclesiastical interpretation of “black liberation theology,” which preached a message of justice rooted in Scripture. Denmark Vesey, a free black in Charleston, plotted a rebellion in 1822 based on his interpretations of social justice that stemmed from the sanctuary of A.M.E. When the church was burned in response, the Emanuel A.M.E. Church congregation went underground, particularly after a law was passed in Charleston in 1834 that banned black religious gatherings without the supervision of whites. The church remained open despite ongoing attempts to silence the resistance the A.M.E. Church and other black churches engendered. The A.M.E. Church emerged from the ashes of the Civil War as a sanctuary and a
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moral authority for the nation as it attempted to recover from the horrors of slavery. The church was, as Obama noted, a “bunker for the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement.” In Charleston, Booker T. Washington addressed the Emanuel A.M.E. congregation in 1909. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in 1962 and Coretta Scott King spoke there in 1969. The clergy who led the A.M.E. Church blazed a path that drew no distinction between religious ministry and political activism. Church leaders served in the state legislature and guided their communities as civic leaders, including the Rev. Clementa Pinckney. Pinckney’s maternal great-grandfather, the Rev. Lorenzo Stevenson, initiated a lawsuit against the state Democratic Party to end segregated primaries. His maternal uncle, the Rev. Levern Stevenson, worked with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to desegregate school buses and sued the governor to create single-member legislative districts. Pinckney’s call for fair policing, a just economy and educational equity within the legislature exemplified a long tradition of demanding justice for all while also pastoring Emanuel A.M.E. Church. The history and ongoing struggle of the A.M.E. congregation has deep moral and national implications. As noted by Obama, the church and its commitment to justice was “not just for blacks, not just for Christians, but for every American who cares about the steady expansion of human rights and human dignity in this country.”
MEMORIAL SERVICE AT MORRIS BROWN A.M.E. CHURCH IN CHARLESTON: (FOREGROUND, LEFT TO RIGHT) S.C. REPRESENTATIVE WENDELL GILLIARD, CHARLESTON MAYOR JOE RILEY AND S.C. GOVERNOR NIKKI HALEY
DO ONLY BLACK DEATHS MATTER? I was not in Charleston during the massacre. Nor was I here for the march across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge or the funerals of the nine men and women murdered in their sanctuary just blocks from my office. By the time I returned, the flowers and letters left at Emanuel A.M.E. Church had been cleared away, but on the grounds of the state Capitol in Columbia, S.C., the Confederate flag still flew at full staff, as it had throughout the massacre’s aftermath. This June was not the first time South Carolinians of all races demanded the removal of the Confederate flag from the state Capitol. And so, when I listened to President Barack Obama’s eulogy, I found myself wondering who he meant by “we” when he said, “For too long, we were blind to the pain that the Confederate flag stirred in too many of our citizens.” For Obama, the removal of the flag was a symbolic recognition that slavery and Jim Crow were wrong, that supporters of both causes used the flag as their emblem, that terrorist attacks on black churches had a deep history in the South. However, for some South Carolina politicians who supported the removal of the flag, their motives, as Ta-Nehisi Coates noted in The Atlantic, stemmed from a “matter of manners” and “politesse.” They signed on to the bill to appease African Americans offended by the flag, but remained blind to the white supremacist roots of the flag,
which is to say, they avoided sharing in the embarrassment that in 2015 such a symbol was given official sanction by virtue of its proximity to the Capitol. To answer Obama’s call to action – his call to not squander God’s grace – local activists organized a rally this summer in Marion Square, which very much resembles the Confederate flag with its rectangular shape and walking paths that stretch from corner to corner and cross at an “X.” The Rev. William J. Barber, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, gave a rousing speech in which he implored why, despite so many previous calls to take down a symbol of white supremacy, it took nine black deaths to finally lower the flag. And if only black deaths mattered rather than black lives, then what did that say about our society and its tolerance for injustice? During his eulogy, the president sang “was blind but now I see,” but Barber’s question tugs at my conscience. Why does it take so many deaths to see, to appeal to the nation’s conscience? And have Americans truly seen if some continue to deny that the central issue of the Civil War was slavery? Have Americans truly seen if most turn a blind eye to the racial injustices that linger, the very injustices Clementa Pinckney, the slain state senator and leader of Emanuel A.M.E. Church, worked tirelessly to combat? Or, is the majority of this nation still blind?
MARI N. CRABTREE (AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES)
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CONFRONTING CRIMINAL INJUSTICE
HEATH HOFFMANN (SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY)
In his eulogy, President Barack Obama implores us to look closely at how “past injustices continue to shape the present.” America’s criminal justice system offers one setting for doing so. Injustices appear early in the lives of American schoolchildren, where black children are more likely than their white counterparts to be expelled and suspended for misbehavior. This is the origin of a “school-to-prison pipeline” that extends beyond the schoolyard and into adulthood. African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately represented among America’s poor and thus live in neighborhoods characterized by highly concentrated poverty, few economic opportunities, disadvantaged schools and high crime rates. As a result, black and Latino communities are subject to higher levels of police surveillance. New York City’s “stop and frisk” policing strategy illustrates this well. Between 2002 and 2013, New York City police officers made more than five million “stops,” a quarter of which were of young black men even though young black men constitute less than 2 percent of New York City’s population. Nearly 90 percent of all people stopped in this program were not in possession of any illegal guns or drugs. Being black or Latino not only increases the likelihood of being arrested, but also puts offenders at a disadvantage when prosecutors decide who should be indicted, who is offered a plea bargain and the length of recommended sentences. Further, black defendants in capital cases are nearly twice as likely as
example of this tradition than Mother Emanuel – a church built by blacks seeking liberty, burned to the ground because its founder sought to end slavery, only to rise up again, a Phoenix from these ashes. When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, services happened here anyway, in defiance of unjust laws. When there was a righteous movement to dismantle Jim Crow, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached from its pulpit, and marches began from its steps. A sacred place, this church. Not just for blacks, not just for Christians, but for every American who cares about the steady expansion of human rights and human dignity in this country; a foundation stone for liberty and justice for all. That’s what the church meant. We do not know whether the killer of Reverend Pinckney and eight others knew all of this history. But he surely sensed the meaning of his violent act. It was an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but
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white defendants to receive a death sentence. Similarly, defendants whose victims are white are four times more likely to receive a death sentence than are cases involving black victims. Finally, while constituting only 30 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans and Latinos make up 57 percent of the population in state and federal prisons. Once released from prison, these men and women of color are disproportionately affected by policies that limit former inmates’ access to employment, housing, voting and education. These are contemporary examples that reflect a long history of American “justice” – both formal and informal (e.g., lynchings) – that has targeted people of color, especially African Americans in the Jim Crow South. Yet, this reality for people of color is obscured and denied by a culture that embraces the myth that America has become a post-racial society. The “Black Lives Matter” movement emerged in rejection of the post-racial narrative by shedding light on the devaluation of black and brown bodies at all levels of America’s legal system. Fortunately, the tide might be turning. Politicians, activists and faith groups are working to end the discrimination that women and men of color experience in the criminal justice system. Until these institutionalized mechanisms of racialized social control are dismantled, it is dishonest to chant “All Lives Matter,” which perpetuates the fiction that race is irrelevant in how justice is practiced in America. To deny the relevance of race is a disservice to the nine parishioners who died at Emanuel A.M.E. Church.
as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress. An act that he imagined would incite fear and recrimination; violence and suspicion. An act that he presumed would deepen divisions that trace back to our nation’s original sin. Oh, but God works in mysterious ways. God has different ideas. He didn’t know he was being used by God. Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer could not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group – the light of love that shone as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle. The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court – in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness. He couldn’t imagine that. The alleged killer could not imagine how the city of Charleston, under the good and wise leadership of Mayor Riley – how the state of South Carolina, how the United States of America would respond – not merely with revulsion at his evil act, but with
big-hearted generosity and, more importantly, with a thoughtful introspection and self-examination that we so rarely see in public life. Blinded by hatred, he failed to comprehend what Reverend Pinckney so well understood – the power of God’s grace. This whole week, I’ve been reflecting on this idea of grace. The grace of the families who lost loved ones. The grace that Reverend Pinckney would preach about in his sermons. The grace described in one of my favorite hymnals – the one we all know: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind but now I see. According to the Christian tradition, grace is not earned. Grace is not merited. It’s not something we deserve. Rather, grace is the free and benevolent favor of God – as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. Grace. As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us, for he has allowed us to see where we’ve been blind. He has given us the chance, where we’ve been lost, to find our best selves. We may not have earned it, this grace, with our rancor and complacency, and short-sightedness and fear of each other – but we got it all the same. He gave it to us anyway. He’s once more given us grace. But it is up to us now to make the most of it, to receive it with gratitude, and to prove ourselves worthy of this gift.
For too long, we were blind to the pain that the Confederate flag stirred in too many of our citizens. It’s true, a flag did not cause these murders. But as people from all walks of life, Republicans and Democrats, now acknowledge – including Governor Haley, whose recent eloquence on the subject is worthy of praise – as we all have to acknowledge, the flag has always represented more than just ancestral pride. For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation. We see that now. Removing the flag from this state’s Capitol would not be an act of political correctness; it would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought – the cause of slavery – was wrong – the imposition of Jim Crow after the Civil War, the resistance to civil rights for all people was wrong. It would be one step in an honest accounting of America’s history; a modest but meaningful balm for so many unhealed wounds. It would be an expression of the amazing changes that have transformed this state and this country for the better, because of the work of so many people of goodwill, people of all races striving to form a more perfect union. By taking down that flag, we express God’s grace. But I don’t think God wants us to stop there. For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask
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some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty, or attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career. Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate. Perhaps it softens hearts towards those lost young men, tens and tens of thousands caught up in the criminal justice system – and leads us to make sure that that system is not infected with bias; that we embrace changes in how we train and equip our police so that the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve make us all safer and more secure. Maybe we now realize the way racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it, so that we’re guarding against not just racial slurs, but we’re also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal. So that we search our hearts when we consider laws to make it harder for some of our fellow citizens to vote. By recognizing our common humanity by treating every child as important, regardless of the color of their skin or the station into which they were born, and to do what’s necessary to make opportunity real for every American – by doing that, we express God’s grace. For too long – for too long, we’ve been blind to the unique mayhem that gun violence inflicts upon this nation. Sporadically, our eyes
are open: When eight of our brothers and sisters are cut down in a church basement, 12 in a movie theater, 26 in an elementary school. But I hope we also see the 30 precious lives cut short by gun violence in this country every single day; the countless more whose lives are forever changed – the survivors crippled, the children traumatized and fearful every day as they walk to school, the husband who will never feel his wife’s warm touch, the entire communities whose grief overflows every time they have to watch what happened to them happen to some other place. The vast majority of Americans – the majority of gun owners – want to do something about this. We see that now. And I’m convinced that by acknowledging the pain and loss of others, even as we respect the traditions and ways of life that make up this beloved country – by making the moral choice to change, we express God’s grace. We don’t earn grace. We’re all sinners. We don’t deserve it. But God gives it to us anyway. And we choose how to receive it. It’s our decision how to honor it. None of us can or should expect a transformation in race relations overnight. Every time something like this happens, somebody says we have to have a conversation about race. We talk a lot about race. There’s no shortcut. And we don’t
A SPEECH FOR THE AGES
BRIAN McGEE (COMMUNICATION)
Grace was the theme of President Barack Obama’s eulogy for State Sen. Clementa Pinckney. The power of grace was the speech’s message for our age and all ages. Thanks to television and the Internet, contemporary political speeches are rarely unified by a single theme. The expectation that speeches will be heard only as fragments, replayed in 10-second excerpts, discourages the speech that builds to a larger conclusion. For today’s politicians, the only story that matters is the one that will be told in the briefest of moments on CNN. In Charleston, on a hot day in June, Obama’s eulogy of Pinckney was a reminder of an earlier age of political eloquence, only occasionally glimpsed in recent decades. The speech made good use of the ancient devices of the orator. To give a few examples, the president uses prosopopoeia, giving his own words more weight and consequence because of their attribution to Pinckney. Obama also uses epistrophe in the speech’s closing, repeating “found that grace” after naming each of the nine victims. Moreover, the speech may eventually be famous in large part because a president burst into song, using “Amazing Grace” to signal the eulogy’s conclusion. This choice is unusual
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for a serious political speech, though hymnody has been more common for African American orators, from Sojourner Truth to the present. But “Amazing Grace” at this moment is much more than a familiar hymn, easily appropriated for what was, after all, a religious service. The eulogy’s 35 references to grace, especially in its closing passages, emphasize the unity of its three dimensions: Admiration for Pinckney and all those murdered by the stranger they welcomed. Praise for the spirit of healing and forgiveness found at Emanuel A.M.E. Church and in Charleston. Calls for changes in public policy. Having received a divine grace, the victims showed grace to others. With the hope of instigating violence, a racist thug succeeded only in showing the nation and the world an example of transcendent grace. And this grace must inspire a more perfect union, where grace will be manifested in both word and deed. “Amazing Grace” was not merely a famous hymn borrowed for rhetorical effect, but the admiring summary of lives well lived, a city in which love conquered fear, an America in which the better angels of our nature will and must prevail.
need more talk. None of us should believe that a handful of gun safety measures will prevent every tragedy. It will not. People of goodwill will continue to debate the merits of various policies, as our democracy requires – this is a big, raucous place, America is. And there are good people on both sides of these debates. Whatever solutions we find will necessarily be incomplete. But it would be a betrayal of everything Reverend Pinckney stood for, I believe, if we allowed ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again. Once the eulogies have been delivered, once the TV cameras move on, to go back to business as usual – that’s what we so often do to avoid uncomfortable truths about the prejudice that still infects our society. To settle for symbolic gestures without following up with the hard work of more lasting change – that’s how we lose our way again. It would be a refutation of the forgiveness expressed by those families if we merely slipped into old habits, whereby those who disagree with us are not merely wrong but bad; where we shout instead of listen; where we barricade ourselves behind preconceived notions or well-practiced cynicism. Reverend Pinckney once said, “Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history – we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history.” What is true in the South is true for America. Clem understood that justice grows out of recognition of ourselves in each other. That my liberty depends on you being free, too. That history can’t be a sword to justify injustice, or a shield against progress, but must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past – how to break the cycle. A roadway toward
a better world. He knew that the path of grace involves an open mind – but, more importantly, an open heart. That’s what I’ve felt this week – an open heart. That, more than any particular policy or analysis, is what’s called upon right now, I think – what a friend of mine, the writer Marilyn Robinson, calls “that reservoir of goodness, beyond, and of another kind, that we are able to do for each other in the ordinary cause of things.” That reservoir of goodness. If we can find that grace, anything is possible. If we can tap that grace, everything can change. Amazing grace. Amazing grace. Amazing grace [singing] – how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind but now I see. Clementa Pinckney found that grace. Cynthia Hurd found that grace. Susie Jackson found that grace. Ethel Lance found that grace. DePayne Middleton-Doctor found that grace. Tywanza Sanders found that grace. Daniel L. Simmons Sr. found that grace. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton found that grace. Myra Thompson found that grace. Through the example of their lives, they’ve now passed it on to us. May we find ourselves worthy of that precious and extraordinary gift, as long as our lives endure. May grace now lead them home. May God continue to shed His grace on the United States of America.
Inhale. There’s a lot to take in – too much, even – when every breath – every lame, rackety, strained breath you’ve ever taken – could be your last. When you can’t breathe without your nightly “tappies,” your parents thumping your sides like a ketchup bottle. When your two-week-long tuneups at the hospital go from three times last year to seven times this year. When, as you follow the progression of the older children like you – the airway-clearance vests, the feeding tubes, the oxygen machines – you realize how many of them are not coming back. When you’re told you won’t make it to age 18. When this is your normal – Exhale. You’re going to see the world differently. You’re going to have your own take on things – on the realities, fears and values of life and your position within it. It’s how you express that perspective – how you process it and what you do with it – that gives your struggle purpose. That’s the gift you offer – and it’s that honesty, that insight, that draws people in and makes them want to listen. That’s when you’ve found your voice – and, as Brennen Reeves ’14 has learned, that’s when you can finally breathe it all in.
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And that’s just it: Brennen was sick. He had cystic fibrosis. You can’t get rid of CF. Everybody knows that. So what do you do? Stop? Give up? Let it fill your life with that vicious, sticky gunk? Well, no. Of course not. You just do what you’ve got to do.
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verybody knew Brennen Reeves ’14 had cystic fibrosis. He didn’t have to write a one-man show to tell people he’d had a double lung transplant. People knew. He’s from Hilton Head Island, S.C. Everyone knows everything there. Even when he was five weeks old, they knew something was up. The doctors called it “failure to thrive” until the blood work came back from California. Then they called it: cystic fibrosis, or CF – an incurable genetic disorder that affects the lungs, making it difficult to breathe, and hobbling patients with frequent lung infections, among other problems. The only person who didn’t know was Brennen. And maybe his older brother Michael. These brothers were different. And they knew that. They knew Brennen had to do stuff that Michael didn’t. All that medicine, the therapy, the “tappies,” the tubes, tanks – Michael didn’t have to do that. His body was never completely arrested by spasms caused by a cough, caused by a laugh. Don’t make Brennen laugh. He’s having a hard day. Michael didn’t have to go to Atlanta for tuneups, either. So he didn’t know what Brennen knew: He was just like all the other kids on the CF wing of the Egleston Children’s Hospital. They, too, were there for tuneups – those two- to three-week stays where they pump you up with antibiotics, deal with whatever havoc the CF is currently wreaking on your body and try to cheer you up with celebrities and clowns. Brennen knew a lot of things that Michael didn’t know. He knew that children die. Friends die. They’re there one day, and, the next, their bed is empty. Their name is wiped off the white board. They don’t exist. Brennen knew, too, that kids don’t always have parents. Or, they do, but their parents just drop them off on the CF wing and don’t come back until it’s time to pick them up. They just sit there alone for two weeks. Alone with their disease. For two weeks. And then, sometimes, there were kids who did have parents, but then one parent would leave. The family would break. It was too much for them. Cystic fibrosis isn’t easy on families. It can rip them apart. It can make people leave. Brennen knew that. He’d seen it. So, by the time Brennen really knew he had cystic fibrosis, it wasn’t the worst thing he’d figured out. And it certainly wasn’t a surprise. It was normal. It didn’t get in his way. Mostly because it was his way. Sure, it sucked when he had to take a break from playing with his friends in the middle of a game, or when he had to leave his buddies in the middle of the school year. Or when he couldn’t for the life of him catch his breath. But it was normal. And he was normal. “He was never insecure about himself or his abilities,” says Ann Reeves, Brennen’s mom. “If he wants something, he doesn’t hesitate. He’s never been shy.” “There was nothing Brennen didn’t think he could do,” agrees his dad, Mike Reeves. “He thought he could do everything, every sport, whatever. And he did.” He could do everything the “normal” kids did. Except breathe. But that’s how things were: Normal, with exception. Normal: Went to summer camp. Kissed a girl. Except: Was a camp for kids dying from terminal diseases. She died two years later. Normal: Went kayaking with his brother in the creek behind the house. Except: Always brought along a rope so that, when Brennen got tired, Michael could tow him back to the house. Normal: Went on weeklong family vacations to the beach. Except: Never actually left town. “We just rented an oceanfront house in Hilton Head and spent a week at the beach. The kids never knew where we were,” laughs Mike. “You just didn’t plan getaways or long vacations. You just never knew when Brennen would get sick.” And that’s just it: Brennen was sick. He had CF. You can’t get rid of CF. Everybody knows that. So what do you do? Stop? Give up? Let it fill your life with that vicious, sticky gunk? Well, no. Of course not. You just do what you’ve got to do. CF isn’t an excuse. It’s not a license to give up or not to finish what you’ve started. It doesn’t permit families to abandon each other or to fall apart. There’s no option for walking away in the Reeves family. They’ve started something here. And so, when Ann and Brennen get back from a two-week-long tuneup, you better believe things will pick up right where they were left.
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Brennen will take off like it never happened, like he’s forgotten what he’s just left behind, and the rest of the family will get right back into the groove, too: playing baseball at the Crossings Park, worshipping at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and – at least six nights a week – sitting down together for the family dinner, complete with all the typical sibling squabbling. Michael: “Chew with your mouth closed, man!” Ann [looking at Michael sharply]: “Michael, he can’t. He’s having a hard time breathing.” Michael: “The kid’s killing me! I’ve got to go eat somewhere else! I’m going crazy! Come on, dude, you’re going to have to help me out a little bit!” Brennen [rattling through an inhale]: “Pass the potatoes.” Normalcy restored.
PROTECTED BY THE MOSS-DRAPED OAKS ON THE BANKS OF POINT COMFORT CREEK, THE REEVES’ HOME IS LIKE A COMFORTABLE EMBRACE – THE KIND THAT RESPECTS YOUR SPACE. If you lived there, you might never want to leave. But Brennen has to leave every now and then. It’s what people do. In that house, though, Brennen is normal. In that family, everything is OK, everything is normal – Brennen never had to question that. He might be the only one with CF. He might be the only one not going anywhere on a sports scholarship. He might never grow past everyone else’s shoulder. He might be the answer to “One of These Things Is Not Like the Others.” But – contrary to that song’s lyrics – he belongs there. He fits into the normal. Hilton Head isn’t a big place. In the mid-’90s, it was even smaller. If you lived there year round, people recognized you. The kids had all seen each other before; the parents had all seen the kids before – they knew which tanned, freckled face with Hi-C¬–stained mouth belonged to whom. Brennen, the parents knew, had CF; the kids just knew he coughed a lot. He was part of the normal. Sometimes, though, his normal didn’t add up. Like that early summer evening after his kid-pitch baseball game at the Crossings Park, when the adults were all milling around talking about boring adult stuff, and he decided to run the bases. It’ll be so cool if I dive into home head first! he thought as he crossed third. And, like any other impulsive 10-year-old kid, he didn’t consider what might actually happen until it was too late. The feeding tube in his stomach had ripped open and blood was gushing out, soaking his shirt. As heads turned and breaths gasped, Brennen realized: No one else on this field gets fed through a tube while they sleep. I’m the only one. These things are going to happen. You just have to learn your limits. Or not. A thing about Brennen: He likes to start trouble. Maybe that’s because – with the protection of his brother and his best friend – he knows he can get away with it. Everyone on the island knew you’d have hell to pay if you messed with Brennen – and if he messed with you, well, best not respond. Here’s why: 1. One punch, and you’ll send him to the hospital. And he’ll probably die. And that’s hard to live with – knowing you’ve killed a tiny kid with cystic fibrosis. 2. Ian Anderson, who is 6’7”, 320 pounds and ferociously protective of Brennen. There weren’t any two kids more physically different than Brennen and Ian. If you’re of their fathers’ generation, imagine Mutt and Jeff. If you’re of their generation, think Rob and Big. The point is, together, their presence is alarming.
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And, growing up through high school, the two were always together. Every day after school, they drove around the island in Ian’s black Dodge Ram. Sometimes they’d end up having long conversations down at the power lines – their hangout spot at the end of some dirt road – sometimes they’d be upstairs playing video games at Brennen’s house or outside on the dock, just talking. In a language no one else could understand. Stuff like this: “I betttttttt, do you? werdddddddd. Peace Presh, SREEEEEEEEEEE.” Yeah, who knows. Not important. It’s what’s behind the language that matters. “Ian is probably the best thing to happen to Brennen,” says Michael. “When Brennen was around Ian, he was happy. I don’t think there was one time that those two weren’t having the time of their life together. If Brennen’s sick at home and Ian happens to come over, it’s like the kid’s not sick anymore: They can sit there and die laughing together.”
It’s true: Brennen has a ton of people who care about him. A ton. There were the prayers, well wishes and phone calls – all that, you can’t even quantify. But let’s just look at the numbers from the online journal that Ann’s sister, Mary Watson, kept while he was preparing for and recovering from his double lung transplant in 2011. There were 28,823 page visits. If you print out the book of guests’ entries, it is 682 pages. “The journal and guestbook helped Anne, Mike and Michael connect with others in a way that demonstrated they were not alone in this battle for Brennen’s life and breath,” says Brennen’s Aunt Mary, who, he says, was a “real warrior” in taking on the challenge of guiding 25,000 people through his daily struggle – and of keeping their faith alive. “Oh, boy, if I missed writing a post a few days, people asked about it – it was then I realized how important this was for not just the family, but for those who love and care about Brennen.”
Case in point: Ian’s note while Brennen was preparing for his double lung transplant: “People say friendship is one mind in two bodies. Most who know us would agree … but we still have that one mind aspect. People go crazy trying to understand the gibberish we say 24/7, but somehow we get it? I don’t know, maybe we are that off. How lucky I am to be considered your best friend, and these people calling showed me how lucky I really am, as well as how many people care about you. You touch so many lives every day and I’m always next to you along for the ride.”
Back on Hilton Head Island, Brennen was a bit of a celebrity. Everybody knew him. But Ian knew him, knew him. Ian knew that, if he asked Brennen how his doctor’s appointment went, all he’d get was, “Good.” He knew Brennen didn’t want him to bring it up. Brennen didn’t talk about CF. And if he did – if he threw out something like, “So, I went to this party after my lung collapsed …” – Ian knew it was serious. And sometimes it was serious.
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MIKE AND ANN WERE BOTH THINKING IT: Oh, boy, we’ve got a problem. We’ve never seen it this bad before. Things are different this time. This is a different sick. It was December 2010. Brennen had just returned from his first semester at the College. And things had deteriorated. Big time. The doctors had told him at age 15 that he’d need a double lung transplant by age 18. Here he was at 19; he didn’t have much longer. He was on oxygen 24/7 and couldn’t walk more than 5 feet. Mike had to carry him up stairs. Brennen couldn’t even think, really. It was his last run. His last stretch. He knew that. He knew that he wouldn’t make it without a transplant. And he knew the risks. What he didn’t know was how he’d be when he emerged from surgery – if he emerged from surgery. But he had to take a chance. He didn’t want to let his family down.
He wasn’t learning to breathe, learning how to re-breathe. His brain wasn’t connecting to his new lungs to tell them what to do. He was breathing the opposite way he was supposed to. His brain was abandoning his body.
The Reeves finish what they start. Quitting isn’t an option. Brennen was going to be the poster boy for a double lung transplant. He was going to sail right through it. That’s what the doctors said. Here’s how that panned out: The day after the initial surgery, there was internal bleeding, and they had to perform a second surgery on his already-spent body. During the second intubation, the surgeon severed Brennen’s vagus nerve, leaving his vocal cord paralyzed. Worse: He wasn’t learning to breathe, learning how to re-breathe. His brain wasn’t connecting to his new lungs to tell them what to do. He was breathing the opposite way he was supposed to. His brain was abandoning his body. “His brain didn’t catch on to the fact that he had new lungs so he could now breathe normally. Brennen always took short fast breaths: that was his normal. When he got his new lungs, he was still taking short, fast breaths. He was not breathing deep enough to expel the carbon dioxide,” says Mike. “Also, his diaphragm muscles were weak, as they had not been used in the past for Brennen’s short, fast breaths, so he had to train them to assist in his deep breathing.” For several weeks, it was touch and go – in and out of ICU. “Oh, it was just horrible,” says Ann. Brennen’s veins in his arms eventually gave out from all the sticking and poking they were doing to test his blood levels. That’s when they
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moved to his groin. “It was just downright pure suffering for Brennen.” Just relearning how to breathe took well over a month. But then there were the five weeks he went without solid food because his paralyzed vocal cord wouldn’t let him swallow. He was just so hungry. “What’d you eat for lunch today? What’d you eat today?” He was always asking, trying to taste through others. “Oh, we didn’t have a chance to eat today,” his family would say. He knew they were lying. “You could tell he was just so demoralized by this whole thing, just emotionally drained,” says Mike. “Watching that was just crushing. We had to get him out of there. He wasn’t getting better. Brennen had reached the point that he had been in the hospital too long and mentally he just couldn’t ...” But he did. Brennen did.
BRENNEN STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HOSPITAL HALLWAY. “Brennen, what’s the matter?” Ann asked. He looked at her, panicked. “I’m not breathing.” “No, you are breathing.” “No, I’m not.” “Yeah, Brennen. These are your new lungs. That’s how you’re breathing!” Ann cried. “No, really, I’m not,” he said, clearly freaking out. “Let’s keep walking,” she said, tears streaming down her face. “You’re breathing, Brennen!” It may not have been in the grand, sweeping gesture his family had wanted, but, in true Brennen form, the victories came in small, subtle moments. Like when Ann taught him that he could breathe and talk at the same time: You can do that? People do that?! It kind of blew his mind. Or when Michael taught him that he could lie all the way back – flat – and still breathe. Or when he turned around from the hospital mirror and said, “Mom, what do you notice?” You need to brush your teeth? Ann mused. “I don’t know, Brennen, what?” “Look how pink my cheeks are!” For the first time in his life, he was getting the oxygen he needed. He was looking alive.
“GOD, YOU LOOK HORRIBLE!” It was Ian’s first visit to the hospital. Brennen was skinny, maybe around 80 pounds, and he was hooked up to so many IVs, he looked like a walking machine. “The kid can’t go anywhere without five nurses trailing behind him, and the first thing he says to me is that I look bad?” Ian shakes his head. “It was still Brennen!” It was still Brennen. Sure, there were someone else’s lungs inside him, but everything else was the same. He came out the same kid who went in. Except now he can ride a bike. Go kayaking. Go up stairs. Breathe. “Now he can laugh,” says Ann, “which is nice to see because Brennen loves to laugh. And laugh often. And make other people laugh.”
Laughter. Humor. Brennen wouldn’t have gotten far without it. He knows that. His family knows that. His friends know that. It’s his voice. It’s something he can share with others. Maybe make him feel a little less alone. When he returned to the College in the fall of 2011, Brennen reached out to classmate Young Stowe ’14. It turns out, they were living right across Bull Street from one another. “Come over,” Brennen said. And, from then on out, Young never really left. “His house was hilarious,” says Young. “It was kind of like a carriage house, but it was a weird, dinky stupid little house. I just thought it was funny, because it was Brennen in house form: small and funny and weird.” They spent a lot of time in there. Watching TV. Laughing. Accidentally napping. “It was a weird time for us,” says Young. “We both needed someone else in our lives. He was the healthiest he’d been in a really long time, but he was also fragile from the surgery. There were a couple of times when he was just too sick to do anything. Recovering from a lung transplant is really hardcore, and it doesn’t really end – there’s constant upkeep, so a lot of our memories are just random Tuesday nights at the hospital. I’ve been in the hospital with this kid I don’t know how many times.” “I’ve got to go to the hospital,” Brennen would say. “I’ve got to go home,” Young would reply. “Take me to the damn hospital!” “Fine. Can we be in the same room as last time?” That’s how they work. Brennen always seems to find the friend who willingly doubles as a protective caregiver. Maybe he just finds what he needs. Maybe his needs elicit that kind of role in people. Either way, spring break at Duke University Hospital for Brennen’s maintenance? It just seemed like the natural thing to do. Nothing was off limits, nothing too absurd. “We have this shared sense of humor. To us, the conversation is a riff on the same joke over and over: about how dumb and useless he is,” laughs Young, who – like most of Brennen’s college friends – is living in New York City. “The thing I worry about with Brennen isn’t his health or his career, but how he’s going to do without all of us around. His friends are really important to him, and I hope he doesn’t feel left behind. We’re a tight group, and he’s a central part of that. “It’s hard for Brennen, because he’s tied down by the medical thing,” continues Young. “That’s the nightmarish thing about all of this – he can’t get away from it.” Friends, Brennen has learned, do leave. He’s watched them go his whole life. The friends he made during his tuneups, the girl he kissed at camp, the friends he made at the hospital in Atlanta, and the ones at Duke. Gone. They all leave him here alone with his disease. But the disease is always right there with him. He can’t ignore it. He can’t leave it out. It remains.
ALL HIS LIFE, CYSTIC FIBROSIS HAS TIED BRENNEN DOWN. It straps him up, squeezes him, has him on lockdown. But why? Why not use it to propel him? Why not use it to take him somewhere? “Why not?” David Lee Nelson ’00 implored Brennen after class. Brennen, then a senior double major in theatre and philosophy,
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was taking David’s solo performance theatre class. It seemed too compelling of a story not to tell. And so, for the first time, Brennen faced his story: all the god-awful injustices, all the absurdities, all the fears. All the stuff he’d deflated with humor his entire life. He coughed all that crap up. And once he started, Brennen couldn’t stop. He just kept hacking away. He needed to keep going. He needed this. “I want to take this further,” he told David when he’d presented his 10-minute project at the end of the semester. “I want to make it into a show.” David sent Brennen away to write. To be by himself. To work on it alone. “Being alone is a great way to slip into a creative shell,” notes Brennen. When he returned, his story scrawled out for David to review, the two worked Brennen’s story into what ultimately became Breathe. A True Story, which premiered at Theater 99 in November 2014. It was his gift. The show came completely out of the blue for the Reeves family, who received a mass email inviting them along with some 40 other people to the premier. It was the first they’d heard that he was writing a play. And, when they heard it was a solo show, they weren’t sure what to think. So, he’s going to be on stage dancing by himself? “In my head, I had it pictured, like, he’s up there in a skirt and dancing around and singing and stuff,” says Michael. “I had no idea what I was walking into. No idea what I was in for.” Ann and Mike had asked a few questions, knew the gist of the show – and, quite frankly, were a little surprised, Brennen typically being so quick to deflect attention away from himself. Still they were proud. “I was amazed that he was able to tell his story in front of an audience,’” Ann says. “Because he does have a story to tell. So I was proud sitting there watching it. But it was tough.” For the first time ever, Brennen had the voice, the breath, to tell the truth – the parts that are hard to hear. His support crew – his family, Ian, Young: They’d never heard this stuff. They’d been kept in the dark. They’d never heard him say he was scared.
“Brennen doesn’t say that kind of stuff – he just glosses over those things,” says Ian, “so to hear those things really had an impact on me.” “Well, yeah, I was scared! But it’d just be so weird if I were just, like, riding in the car and was like, ‘Yeah, damn! I’m scared to die!’” shrugs Brennen. “I just felt like, I need to grow up and deal with things some myself.” And he did. He dealt with a lot by himself. But he knew audiences wouldn’t buy his story if he left out the emotions, the fears. It wouldn’t be real without those things. What was he thinking? They were going to want to know. How did it make him feel? He tells his audience all that stuff. He tells them, “Death is the only thing that really scares me.” But that’s just not true. There are other things. His biggest fear in life is being left alone. “I would rather have lived my life over 100 times than grow up without a mom, dad, brother or best friends,” he says. “Hands down. Hands down. Hands down.” He’d seen people sitting alone in hospitals. He’d seen families dissipate. He’d seen things fall apart. He couldn’t imagine. “So, yeah, I was scared of my parents maybe getting a divorce during that time. I feared a lot of things. I feared my brother getting in trouble. My brother dying. Things like that. And I’m scared to die. Yeah, I’m a person! I’m a human! I feel these things.” Now that it’s out there, though, it’s a relief. He’s happy. And he’s grateful, especially for David, who encouraged him in the first place to tell this story. And who has become more than a teacher or a coach – he’s risen to the ranks of Ian and Young: He’s a friend. “I think that’s a really cool, neat relationship,” says Mike. “I
think they’ve grown together, and that they feed off of each other a little bit, too.” “It’s so funny: I thought I came back to Charleston to play Hamlet a couple years ago, but now I really think that, without even knowing it, I came back to help create this show,” says David. “It’s some of the most gripping theater I’ve been a part of creating.” Since opening, the show was featured in last spring’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival, is the keynote at the South Carolina Theater Association Conference this fall and is headed to the University of Florida in January. But it doesn’t stop there. Brennen and David have big plans. “I think it could absolutely be a book, I think it could be a 10-person play, I think it could be a musical, I think it could be a movie, a TV series,” says David. “I think it could be literally whatever Brennen wants it to be. I’m just excited about being part of the process.” It’s given David something unexpected, too: a sense of value, which is translating into “a really exciting stretch of creativity. … I think a lot of it is because, for the first time in my life, I feel like I know what I’m doing a little bit. And the only reason for that is because this tiny, hysterical guy came along and was like, ‘Will you help me do this?’ and I was like, ‘I guess.’” Together, they’re finding their voices – breathing it all in. Breathing their art to life.
BRENNEN REEVES IS FULL OF CLICHÉS. But the kind that are rare: the genuine kind. “Brennen lives his life in the way you do when you think you might not have a whole lot of life left. I know that sounds cliché, but when you see it, it’s just who he is. That’s just how his brain
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| David Lee Nelson '00 (left) and Brennen Reeves '14 |
“Just because I have to think about exhaling and inhaling isn’t an excuse for checking out. Every breath could be my last. That’s the reality. I’m not going to live forever. I’m just going to enjoy this while I can.”
is wired. I think that’s unbelievably admirable,” says Young. “Live in the moment. Life is short. Live in the now. Live your life and spend time with your friends and family: Nothing else matters. It sounds cliché, but Brennen lives it so vibrantly, that it’s not cliché at all.” “He just has so much tenacity: He just puts his head down and gets it done. His engine is unmatched. He’s as hard a worker and determined person as any on the planet,” says Ian. “It sounds cliché, but when you see it in person, it’s a special thing. This kid is genuine from the top of his head to his toes.” And he’s starting to have a genuine appreciation of the power of his story, too. “What I find great about Brennen’s perspective is just the self-awareness of it. He’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got this thing, and I take it seriously, but I can’t take it too seriously,’” says David. “But even though he has this great perspective, at some level, he’s just a dude. He’s just a dude. He has all the problems a kid his age has: ‘Ugh, I want to meet a girl,’ ‘Ugh, my team lost.’ He’s got this beautiful mixture of cynicism and optimism that I just find so funny.” “I feel like Brennen is always teaching somebody something, whether he’s coming out as trying to teach them or not. There’s meaning to everything he says,” says Michael. “I hope that Brennen feels as successful as I feel that he already is. I just want him to feel the same way about himself that I feel about him. I feel he’s already as perfect as you can be.”
“MOM! See if you can hit this with the club!” Brennen calls out, pitching a golf ball to Ann. She hits the ball across the shaded backyard lawn, and Brennen – his blond hair catching the late afternoon sunlight – runs after it, laughing as he dives onto the ground to catch it. “Can you believe I did that?” he calls back to his incredulous mother, who, no, cannot believe her little boy – the same one who’d ruptured a feeding tube when he’d tried it all those years ago at Crossings Park – did that. He’d always wanted to dive for a ball. “You can’t be scared. If you’re always scared of what’s out there, why would you even get out of bed? And then what’s the point? Don’t forget the big picture. You have to look at quality of life and just live,” says Brennen. “Just because I have to think about exhaling and inhaling isn’t an excuse for checking out. Every breath could be my last. That’s the reality. I’m not going to live forever. I’m just going to enjoy this while I can.” Brennen can’t escape his disease. It goes wherever he goes. It’s in his pancreas, in his sinuses, in his digestive tract. And – even though his lungs are healthy – his body doesn’t know that. His body is still on the attack. The risk of rejection never goes away. He can never really breathe easy. And then there are the drugs – all that medicine he’s been taking since he was eight weeks old, the pounding that his kidneys and his liver have taken over the years: At some point, all those meds are going to catch up. “The bottom line is, though, if Brennen did not have the lung transplant, he would not be alive today. He wouldn’t be with us,” says Ann. “We don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring. We’re just grateful that we’ve had these four years with him, and we pray for many more.”
IT’S A STRANGE THING: KNOWING YOU’RE BODY COULD FLAKE OUT ON YOU AT ANY MINUTE. It’s a lot to take in. But how you process that – what voice you give it – that’s what matters. “I know this is all going to end at some point, but right now, I’m happy. I’m living the dream, so come on! Come with me! Be my friend. You know, that’s what I’m about,” says Brennen. “I’ve had all this crap happen to me, but look at me! I’m fine! I’m laughing! I’m beautiful! This is beautiful! Everything is great! I laugh, I have fun. Enjoy it for what it is. Enjoy life. Smile. Hug, kiss, be a part of each other. “Be here, with me, in the moment,” he continues. “Everyone has their ‘double lung transplant’ in life. But you have to pick up and go. Be a part of this beautiful life. But, mostly, look at me and know I’m OK. “I want to teach people that everything is all right – you’re going to be OK,” he says. “I’m here now, and when I die, it’s going to be OK. It’s all going to be OK. Life’s going to be OK.” You just have to learn how to breathe. Just breathe.
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| Photo by Glen Delman |
Awakening As a star and actor Matt Czuchry’99 is faces in school history. on the critically hailed of the top talents in
mainstay on The Good Wife, perhaps one of the most recognizable His breakout performance last season drama staked his claim for being one this new golden age of television.
WRITTEN BY MARK BERRY : PHOTOGRAPHY BY JÖRG MEYER
are rare. They happen in a flash, like a lightning strike on the psyche. They occur anywhere, anytime – on a bus, in the shower, along the road to Damascus. For those lucky enough to experience them – to truly have the scales fall from their eyes and a once hazy future now appear in pristine, high definition – that moment is nothing less than life altering. For Matt Czuchry ’99, his moment of before and after happened backstage in Sottile Theatre his senior year at the College. His lightning-bolt shock wasn’t religious in nature, but it did show him the way forward: unveiling a path that was wholly unexpected. At least to most. Maybe there was somebody in the audience there in 1986 in East Tennessee, where Czuchry spent half of his childhood. Maybe that somebody saw a glimmer of star power in the 9-yearold boy performing as a California raisin for local school and church groups around Johnson City. Maybe that discerning audience member recognized something more, getting past the white gloves, the oversized shoes, the tights, the round, paperfilled trashbag body grooving mostly in time to “I Heard It on the Grapevine.” Maybe. But not likely. There was one person, however, who did see his acting potential well before Czuchry did. Not in the audience of his childhood, but in his Introduction to Theatre class. Professor Joy VandervortCobb, a talented actor and director in her own right, has for years helped shape and expose students to the power of the stage. Known for her melodic voice and offbeat sense of humor, students have flocked to her because, as her first name suggests, joy is at the heart of theatre – the joy of human expression. “In one of the first projects of that semester,” Vandervort-Cobb recalls, “I noted that Matt had tremendous talent and presence. Whenever I bump into those kids in this non-major humanities class, I try to encourage them to come play in the Department of Theatre and Dance.” Unfortunately, Czuchry couldn’t come to play. All of his “playtime” was dedicated to the men’s tennis team. But Vandervort-Cobb’s encouragement did not go unnoticed. On his final paper for the class, Vandervort-Cobb jotted a line, “saying I should change my major to theatre,” remembers Czuchry, who was already double majoring in political science and history at that point. “However, her note stuck with me, deeply. But it went beyond that. She had a huge impact on me because as a person, she has an incredibly infectious, positive personality and generous spirit. So, her being so beautiful as a person made me associate acting with light, goodness and embracing who you are as an individual.” But his epiphany would have to wait a year or so.
The Beautiful Game
“Put a shirt on, freshman!” Czuchry heard that a lot from his teammates when he came to play tennis for the College. Casey Van Valkenburgh ’97 was one of those upperclassmen rolling his eyes at the new kid, who seemed unable to keep his shirt on during practice or, really, anywhere. |
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He looked like some kind of catalog Adonis – a better fit for Beverly Hills 90210 than the upstart Cougars of the mid-’90s. “He was ripped … and we were flabby,” laughs Van Valkenburgh, a former roommate and one of Czuchry’s closest friends. The seniors repeatedly told Czuchry that college life would eventually catch up with him. His chiseled physique would round out, they said, softened from some good-old Southern food and Charleston’s many distractions. They didn’t know Czuchry well enough then to realize that they were simply feeding a fire. They didn’t know that he lived to prove people wrong. That this supposed poster child for good genes and privilege actually had a chip on his shoulder that even the Incredible Hulk would balk at. Czuchry has always narrowed his eyes at such offhand, know-itall predictions. His workout regimen never slackened. Even as he acclimated to Charleston and the school’s everyday routines – the softness they predicted never happened. Czuchry liked to push himself, to do things that didn’t come easy. As a younger athlete, he excelled at soccer and basketball. His quickness and hand-eye coordination allowed him to stand out on almost every team on which he played. When he decided to focus on tennis in eighth grade, however, he wasn’t some kind of prodigy. Frankly, tennis was the hardest thing he had ever attempted. And he was playing a bit of catch-up to many kids who had already played the sport for years and were more comfortable with the racket, now fine-tuning their forehand, backhand and footwork. “I chose tennis because it was the most challenging sport for me personally,” Czuchry says. “I wanted to conquer it.” For most, conquest is a violent urge. Not so for Czuchry. Yes, he wants to win, whether it’s at ping pong, pool, video games or a tennis match. But, for him, it’s about pushing himself to whatever limit it takes to outpace his competitor. It’s actually not personal against someone else; rather it’s personal with him: Is he performing at his best, is he rising to the task at hand? “Matt was never going to give up,” says Patrick Burns ’99, a fellow Cougar teammate and also one of Czuchry’s best friends. “He was going to outlast you. You had to hit through him: You had to make your shots. He might lose the first sets, but his tenacity would eventually get to you.” That competitive fire is what most impressed Angelo Anastopoulo, who coached both the men’s and women’s tennis teams during Czuchry’s playing days. “Matt exceeded my expectations,” Anastopoulo admits. “His game wasn’t the most powerful, the most strategic. Stroke-wise, he was OK. He relied on his quickness, his being in great shape and simply wearing down his opponent. More importantly, Matt had so much heart. While he was a great gentleman and sportsman on the court, he always wanted to win.” And he did win. In 1996, he claimed the deciding match to top then-regional powerhouse Furman University, the first time the Cougars had beaten the Paladins and a major steppingstone in the program’s history. “I also remember trying to coach him in a match against UNC-Greensboro,” Anastopoulo says. “We were in the conference tournament and we needed Matt to win for us to advance. As I walked up to him, he stopped me and said, ‘Coach, I’ve got this.’ I could look into his eyes and just see it. He did have this. Matt always came through big for the team.”
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Czuchry, who served as team captain his junior and senior years, relished that particular burden: “I liked being the last one on the court – when everything depended on me. All six singles matches go on at the same time. In some cases your match might take longer to finish. The tension builds as your teammates complete their matches. There is a feeling of things whittling down to you. And then you are the last one on the court. And at that time, the win for your team is all on your shoulders. I enjoyed that aspect of pressure.” Maybe like there was an invisible spotlight on him. Everyone watching each stroke, each lunge. The audience searching his face for weakness, for strength, for any kind of emotion. All eyes on him. The court as his stage.
Best in Show
Czuchry stood backstage in Sottile Theatre, waiting for the show to begin. He could feel the rising energy – the expectant crowd members finding their seats, the muffled voices and laughter on the other side of the curtain. Soon that buzz would go silent as their attention turned to the stage. Like in his tennis matches, there was a whittling-down feeling. All eyes on him. He looked around at the other guys backstage who were participating in this Saturday-afternoon charity event: the Mr. CofC Pageant. For most of them, this was a big joke. The contestants were mostly the stars, the funny guys of weekend parties and this was simply a bigger stage for them to act goofy and garner some more laughs. Czuchry, who had been sponsored by the sorority Delta Delta Delta and the tennis team, smiled and enjoyed this light moment of camaraderie. The energy was loose among them, maybe a few nerves and butterflies here and there as the crowd noise grew louder. Czuchry spotted a sheet of paper and picked it up. On it was a list of prizes the winner would receive after the day’s competition. One thing stood out: free acting lessons. It was like a flash of lightning. Everything seemed to converge at this one moment. It all made sense now. Before then, Czuchry had wanted to go to law school. In fact, the last three years of college seemed like a straight pathway to the legal profession. He had assiduously followed the usual game plan: leadership and talent on a varsity team, a double major in political science and history and exceptionally good grades, which would later garner him the Bishop Robert Smith Award – the highest honor given a student at spring commencement. Czuchry was doing everything he needed to position himself for the next step. But one thing had knocked him back: the LSAT. Earlier that year, he began preparing for that dreaded test – the gatekeeper exam that weeded out the wouldn’t-be’s from the would-be’s. Although he wasn’t the best standardized test taker, Czuchry knew if he worked hard, he would do fine. He always did. Because he always worked hard. So, he hit the books and began preparing. He enrolled in a Kaplan LSAT preparatory class – checking yet another box in his lengthy to-do list to be ready. As his former roommate Burns remembers, Czuchry even hedged his bets a little by eating tuna for three weeks before the exam (he had read that it helped bolster memory and brain activity) and took a good luck charm
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with him to the test site – a small, teddy bear keychain that Van Valkenburgh had carried with him when he passed the LSAT and three subsequent bar exams. But for perhaps the first time in his life, Czuchry failed at something. Of course, he’d had defeats before, but this was something different. Those had been micro fails. He knew that this one was a macro fail. Why? Why? Why? he continuously questioned. He had done everything he could to be ready. He was smart and capable, had done the prep work, had made so many sacrifices of his time. His mind – like his body – had not gone soft. But that low LSAT score begged otherwise of his efforts. The dream of law school, of a life as an attorney and the opportunities it might bring, were now gone. It was like a shot striking the net: The point, the match, the game, unfortunately, were not his. So, there in Sottile Theatre, Czuchry had been facing an uncertain future. And now, looking over that paper list of potential prizes, he experienced a pure moment of clarity. Those free acting classes were something worth winning. He knew then and there that he was going to conquer the Mr. CofC Pageant and become an actor. The young men around him had no idea that behind that gentle smile lay an awakened lion. The competitor in him took over. Now, the details of the actual pageant are somewhat hazy. His friends remember him taking off his shirt and flexing excessively for the crowd. But perhaps these former teammates are overlaying and mixing up memories. Czuchry, for his part, denies it; he just remembers being in the moment. “After I saw that list, it all became so very clear,” Czuchry says. “This was an opportunity, and I embraced it. I remember being confident and loose and just interacting with others on the stage. It was all very organic, and I contributed to a scene. The emcee was Nina Sossamon [a local TV anchor] and we had a good banter. I think for the audience, they felt they were witnessing something real and they were with us.” One person in particular took notice. And it was the one person who mattered most: Susan Manseau Green ’79 was a judge that day. The owner of Charleston’s Millie Lewis Models and Talent Agency, she knew she was seeing something special. “Matt had that spark,” Green recalls. “Of course, there was the physical beauty. But there are a lot of good-looking guys out there. He was different. He had a presence about him. He was likeable … just a natural on the stage.” And, of course, he was crowned Mr. CofC. Epiphanies aren’t wasted on the timid.
Birth of a Star
With a new career goal in his sights, Czuchry approached acting like he did law school. Intense preparation. Intense focus. As a student-athlete, he knew there was always an element of luck in determining any outcome, but the best athletes make their own luck with their dedication and will before and during a game. Now was the time to get down to work. Someone like Malcolm Gladwell might snicker at Czuchry’s audacity to change course and expect success, especially in light of having logged so little time against Gladwell’s 10,000 Hours of Practice Rule. Or maybe, Czuchry had already anticipated Eric Ries’ The Pivot, the now much-used business conceit of abrupt change leading to greater success.
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Actually, Czuchry thought nothing like this. Trendy corporatespeak aside, since his first freshman class, Czuchry’s liberal arts and sciences training had reinforced the concepts of versatility and flexibility. It wasn’t naiveté that led him to pursue acting; rather, it was the confidence of a critical mind readied to learn new things and try new paths. This particular path had him traveling back and forth on I-26 to Green’s office in North Charleston, where he was instructed in the Meisner technique, in which actors don’t rely solely on their personal memories in a scene, but rather use their imaginations to fully inhabit their characters. In those free classes, he was learning acting alongside children as well as much older students – all of them hoping to be discovered and to break into the entertainment world. “The classes were pretty basic,” Czuchry recalls, “but I was so raw. I didn’t know what I was doing, and they did help me a lot. Those first lessons have stayed with me even today.” And, finally, it was graduation day, in more ways than one. At the College, after Joy Vandervort-Cobb read his name to cross the Cistern stage to receive his diploma (the universe does love symmetry), Czuchry was ready to pursue a career in acting, but really had no idea on next steps. Again, the Cougar connection played out, as Green advised Czuchry to attend the Actors, Models & Talent Competition (known as “convention” in the trade), which she believed would open the right doors for him to make it. The convention itself was something of a competition, where would-be actors performed monologues and scenes. During that same time, Czuchry served as an extra in New Best Friend, a movie partially filmed in Charleston, and broke scene etiquette by chatting up Edmund Kearney. The veteran actor was impressed with Czuchry’s interest about how the scene was constructed, and the two talked. “Ed asked me to come back to the set the next day,” Czuchry says. “He showed me around the sets, what it looked like behind the monitor. He even invited me to Wilmington, N.C., where they were finishing the filming, to help me with my monologue for the talent convention. He was a great teacher. He saw something in me and was impressed by my courage to go up to him.” That expert coaching on how to deliver his monologue helped Czuchry reach the finals at the convention. While performing in front of a few thousand people in a hotel ballroom in Orlando, Czuchry attracted the attention of the people Green had hoped he could meet. Namely, Christian Kaplan, a casting director for 20th Century Fox, who also saw something special in the aspiring actor and suggested he go to Hollywood to audition for a few roles he had in mind. What happened next for Czuchry was a whirlwind of unlikely success. He moved out to Los Angeles and landed an agent almost immediately, something that many would-be actors struggle for years to accomplish, if at all. Through his connection with Kaplan, he also secured a holding deal, meaning he was under contract with 20th Century Fox for potentially being a part of a Fox TV pilot. Although that contract did not result in a role on a show, within his first 10 months in Los Angeles, he had a line or two in the cult classic Freaks and Geeks (the launching pad for James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel), a recurring role on Young Americans and played a major character in the movie
SUMMER 2015 |
Eight Legged Freaks (trivia fact: his love interest in the film was Scarlett Johansson). Perhaps the cruelest fate for a young actor is a taste of initial success followed by … nothing. After a consistent string of work, Czuchry suddenly had trouble landing a single role. A lesser spirit might give up. But that isn’t in Czuchry’s character. While living off the combination of a family loan and unemployment support services, he auditioned like mad. But, for nearly a year, nothing. All the while, he continued taking acting lessons, now with Lesly Kahn: “With her, I learned a great deal. You figure out that you’re a product. It’s the truth, unfortunately. And that in this industry, there is the art of it and the business side of it. The business is a fundamental part of it, and usually trumps the art of it.” As a product to be marketed and sold, Czuchry knew he had to make some modifications. Namely, his much-lauded physique. “I had to lose a lot of muscle and lean out,” Czuchry explains. “When you look physically bigger, you’re going to get cast in certain types of roles – like the jock I played on Freaks and Geeks. I wanted to broaden the roles I could play, so I stopped lifting weights and focused on cardio. I changed my diet and eliminated carbohydrates.” More importantly, he kept working at better understanding the process of acting: “Through Lesly’s incredible gifts as a teacher, I began to learn the intricacies of the craft of acting. I started seeing how the combination of changing my wellness (the business side, if you will) and gaining new skills and experience in my craft (the art side) would impact my career opportunities.” The makeover – physical and artistic – worked, and Czuchry rebounded with a number of smaller roles in shows such as Jake 2.0 and Hack. However, it was his time on Gilmore Girls, starting in 2004, that proved to be his real breakthrough. Almost overnight, Czuchry became a nationwide teen heartthrob – a face that launched a thousand blogs, earned three Teen Choice nominations and received cover treatment on numerous magazines, including TV Guide. But, as Czuchry knows firsthand, it’s an up-and-down business. And gravity eventually wins out. His role as Rory’s boyfriend Logan Huntzberger finished after three seasons when Gilmore Girls ended its seven-year run. Once again, Czuchry was back in the audition cycle. “That process can be brutal,” Czuchry says. “For The Good Wife, I had five auditions. The last two were with studio executives and network executives. It gets down to eight actors, then five and then three. Usually, you’re sitting in a room with those other actors waiting your turn. Funny, I had just found out earlier that day before my final audition that I had not gotten another big role. So, in a matter of hours, I had to stop the mourning process for something I didn’t get and realize that the next opportunity was right there in front of me. Just like in tennis, you have to quickly forget your defeats and move on.” And in his last audition, the studio and network executives huddled together and agreed that Czuchry was the right fit for their vision of Cary Agos, the foil to the show’s main character.
To fully appreciate how far Czuchry has come as an actor, you only need to watch five seconds from season six of The Good Wife.
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It’s a particular five-second clip – the closing moments in episode 10, “The Trial,” in which Cary Agos is about to change his plea in a startling turn of events. The scene, which serves as the midseason cliffhanger, hinges on very simple blocking: Czuchry in a courtroom, alone in the shot, looking directly into the camera. “That surprisingly was one of the most difficult scenes I’ve ever done,” Czuchry says. “The version you see on TV is either the fourth or fifth take we did. In my line, ‘Yes, your honor, I would like to plead guilty,’ I wanted to convey so many different emotions: confusion, vulnerability and strength. In the version you see in the final cut, I added this small breath, a real moment where my character is trying to gather himself. That moment is the culmination of everything for me in that episode.” For Czuchry, like all of the best performers, acting is a craft – an experience that goes much deeper than just knowing and delivering your lines. His initial preparation is fairly simple. After he receives the episode’s script, usually just a few days before shooting, Czuchry secludes himself in his apartment in New York’s West Village. He sits on his couch and reads it through. Again and again. Then, he breaks down his own character’s arc, envisioning the episode in three acts. He is always narrowing his focus, homing in on the emotions he needs to convey. Then, he turns down the lights to eliminate distractions, perhaps burns some incense, and transforms his living room into a faux set, creating the scene in his mind. The room must be absolutely quiet. On some occasions, he’ll walk the streets to memorize his lines, saying them out loud and testing his delivery, how the phrasing sounds. Once, early in his career, while out in Los Angeles, a homeless man came up to him and said, “Man, are you all right, you’re freaking me out.” Czuchry, caught off guard, took a second to respond: “What?? Oh, yeah. Nah, nah, I’m fine. I’m just going over my lines for an audition.” So much of acting is a struggle locked away in the mind, and Czuchry works hard to find the proper headspace to fully embrace his roles. “I just want to do justice to the character and the material,” he says. “I want to be authentic at the highest level.” For his breakout performance last year in season six, he pushed himself to new limits. “That period of time was taxing, not really fun,” Czuchry admits. “While I really enjoyed the challenge, it took an emotional toll on me. I wanted the audience to believe that here was a guy facing career ruin and a long prison sentence. I wanted people to feel what it is like when the jail door slams, when their clothes are exchanged for the orange jumpsuit and they are left there, stripped of their identity. I did some heavy immersion for this story – in my research on prison life – but I really focused on the raw emotions of the moment. “During that time, I went inward. I isolated myself from friends and family. On set, I distanced myself from everyone, as much as possible. I needed to feel absolutely alone in order to convey that emotion honestly on screen. I’m not one of those actors that can be laughing and joking with the crew one minute and then flip a switch and do a dramatic take. That’s not my gateway into a scene.”
For these intense moments, Czuchry made playlists for each episode, songs that would transport him and set a mood. For “The Trial,” the songs are slow, sad and dark – ranging from Bon Iver’s “Blood Bank” and Bootstraps’ “Sleeping Giant,” to Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and Radiohead’s “Nude.” But the one song that transported him during that five-second internal, emotional war was Gregory Alan Isaakov’s “Master and a Hound,” a song of wistful nostalgia and heartbreaking loss, a dirge for the soul. But all of that pain had a purpose: to create a real moment on television that would connect with people. And Czuchry achieved that. Fans responded to his portrayal of a lawyer framed and shamed. They felt the rawness and honesty that Czuchry had meticulously woven into his portrayal. They could register the agony in his eyes because in many ways, it was real. Many television critics penciled in Czuchry’s name on their short lists for an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor. Over the summer, The Hollywood Reporter featured him in its Emmy contenders’ photo shoot, which included actors Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline) and Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy). Although Czuchry did not hear his name called that July morning among the six Emmy nominees, all was not lost. “I was in the conversation,” he says. “I was close. But we all know that there were certainly more than six great performances on television this past year. All the stars have to align just right for something like that. It’s not just who you are as an actor. It’s the storyline, the writing, the performances. I’m proud of what we achieved this past year on The Good Wife. These nominations basically ask if you’re in the zeitgeist. And I absolutely believe that as a show, we were and we are.”
“I JUST WANT TO DO JUSTICE TO THE CHARACTER AND THE MATERIAL. I WANT TO BE AUTHENTIC AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL.”
– MATT CZUCHRY ´99
Indeed, Czuchry was in the mix for one of the industry’s highest honors this year, and – depending on the alignment of those stars – he will be in the zeitgeist again. His evolution as an actor is simple proof – each minor and major role serving as building blocks in elevating his work, each moment helping to shape his meticulous approach to his craft. “In terms of an actor, it’s an exciting time to be on television,” Czuchry says, “with all of these great stories to tell, all the great material and different ways to access those stories through TV, DVR and streaming services. There are so many great stories, so much great art – that’s what keeps me watching.” And for his audiences, whether in Sottile Theatre nearly two decades ago or in living rooms today, Matt Czuchry – an artist in the truest sense – always delivers something worth watching.
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PHILANTHROPY More Than Talk WITH HISTORY COMES CULTURE. AND with culture comes identity – the one we give ourselves and the one that is perceived. Those identities become realities. And, once reality is established and accepted, we forget to take a step back and look at what that reality really means: There’s no reason to talk about it. No reason to pay attention. But when there’s something as loud as a gunshot firing through the safety of your church, something as blinding as the national media’s spotlighting the familiar streets of your city – it gets your attention. And, the tragedy at Mother Emanuel Church last June got Charleston’s attention. With all eyes on the Holy City, the conversation turned to the history, the culture, the identity and the reality of
race relations in the Lowcountry and the South. And, so that this moment in Charleston’s history can make a positive shift in our cultural identity – in our reality – the College of Charleston, supported by a variety of sponsors, is keeping that conversation alive. Continuing the Conversation In response to the church tragedy, the College’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture began an 18-month Race and Social Justice Educational Initiative to cultivate conversations about race, social justice and reconciliation. Made possible by Google, the program is a collaboration of multiple partners and will take a comprehensive approach that includes campus and community
outreach, exhibits and publications, faculty development and student experiential learning. “The big thing is that we will be commissioning a disparity report on black life around Charleston,” says Patricia Williams Lessane, executive director of the Avery Research Center. “It’ll look at employment, housing, education and overall well-being. Then, Google will have something tangible to look at, and the new mayor of Charleston will have a blueprint for all the right things that need to be done here. So, that really broadens the scope of what we can do with this funding.” In the shorter term, however, the initiative is holding a variety of events, including speakers like author and The Atlantic national correspondent
| The College’s School of Professional Studies created the program Advancing Diversity and Inclusion: Building Successful Organizations and Communities, sponsored by Denny’s restaurant, to address diversity in the workplace. |
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Ta-Nehisi Coates, TED speaker and Equal Justice Initiative founder/executive director Bryan Stevenson and the survivors of the 1963 Birmingham Church bombing. “This award will allow the faculty and staff at the Avery Research Center to play a critical role in promoting a more complete understanding of our shared past,” says Dean of Libraries John White ’99 (M.A.). “It is our sincere hope that we can foster a discussion on important issues of race and reconciliation in our communities.” Over the 18-month period, the initiative will also be raising funds to create the Race and Social Justice Institute within the Avery Research Center. History on Display In addition to further supporting the Race and Social Justice Educational Initiative initiated by Google, SunTrust is sponsoring the educational exhibitions in the Avery Research Center’s gallery and on its first and second floors. The proposed 14 interpretive panels – including “The Spirit That Would Not Die,” “Avery Normal Institute in the Early 20th Century” and “Sports at Avery Normal Institute” – will share stories about the history and achievements of the Avery Normal Institute, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. “For 150 years Avery has been dedicated to African American education and documenting the black experience,” says White. “So much of African American history and culture has roots here, and those roots reach out across the country and around the globe,” agrees Conseula Francis, the College’s associate provost for curriculum and institutional resources. “Talking seriously and openly about race and social justice here in Charleston can go a long way in facilitating these conversations elsewhere.” Celebrating Cultural Identity The College received a grant supporting its four-day public event, “Boundless Words & Voices,” which draws on the College’s role in shaping Charleston’s literary identity and stresses the importance of finding one’s voice and celebrating diversity within one’s community.
| Management professor Angela Passarelli (left) with participants of the inaugural event of the College’s Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Program | The programming of “Boundless Words & Voices” represents a wide range of perspectives and modes of expression – including spoken word, musical performances, prose and poetry readings and student art projects – offering insight to Charleston’s heritage and its diversity of voices. The event culminates in an event this fall with Bruce Watson’s The College Reads! keynote address. Watson’s book about the civil rights movement, Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy, is the 2015–16 book selection for The College Reads! Program, which connects students, faculty and staff through a single book throughout the year’s academic curriculum and campus activities. The Charleston County Council grant facilitates advertising and promotions for the “Boundless Words & Voices” program. Diversity in the Real World To advance the understanding and practice of managing human differences in the workplace and broader community, the College’s School of Professional Studies has created the program Advancing Diversity and Inclusion: Building Successful Organizations and Communities. Denny’s restaurant sponsored the program’s inaugural event in September, which brought together business leaders, practitioners, educators, politicians,
community leaders and the broader community to explore and advance the management of human differences. With two rounds of eight panel discussions, the daylong event covered everything from race and religion to military service to globalization and cultural diversity. The College is working to establish long-term corporate partnerships with Denny’s and others to further promote human differences in the workplace. Expanding Community Opportunities In honor of the victims of this tragedy, Michael R. Bennett and Bennett Hospitality established the “Mother” Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Endowed Scholarship. “I was so moved and inspired by the Mother Emanuel response to this tragedy that I wanted to do something,” says Bennett, founder and owner of Bennett Hospitality. “I encourage all those who were inspired by the grace and forgiveness of Mother Emanuel to contribute any amount to this scholarship. I can think of no better way to strengthen our community than to offer the exceptional academic resources available right here in the heart of Charleston.” “We are deeply appreciative,” President Glenn F. McConnell ’69 says of the scholarship, which will be awarded for the first time in the fall of 2016. “It is emblematic of the extraordinary sense of community that continues to distinguish Charleston.”
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Rising to the Top DON’T TELL ME THE SKY’S THE LIMIT when there are footprints on the moon: It’s one of Sophia Emetu’s favorite quotes. Singer Paul Brandt’s lyrical line speaks to her hopefulness, her belief in setting goals and reaching them, her confidence in her own limitless potential. She knows she’s going to go far, that she’ll continue to climb higher and higher – and that, with the added boost of the RISE Scholarship, even the sky can’t hold her back. “Getting the RISE Scholarship means that I have the chance to prove that I’m worth believing in,” says Emetu, the inaugural recipient of the four-year, needs-based Honors College scholarship. “It means that someone else believes that a small girl like me has a lot of potential.” Emetu’s potential is clear to alumni Ben ’02 and Sara Givler DeWolf ’02, who established the RISE Endowed Scholarship Fund last year. That gift has since prompted four other substantial gifts for the scholarship, which is (R)ecognizing
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(I)ntelligence, (S)trength and (E)ngagement, as its name specifies. “The idea is to give access to education for really outstanding, motivated students who otherwise wouldn’t have the means to go to the Honors College,” says Ben DeWolf, a portfolio manager at Tower Research Capital, who regularly hires CofC graduates at his hedge fund. “A more educated population is good for everyone.” “Part of education is learning about people who are different from you. We’re helping provide a more diverse experience for students by giving them a wider range of perspectives to interact with,” says Sara DeWolf, an Honors College graduate who is now a member of the Honors Advisory Board and a mentor with the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. “It’s just as much an investment in our alma mater as it is in the individual recipient – although, of course, we’re so lucky and honored to be a
part of Sophia’s individual education.” And Emetu is honored and grateful for the DeWolfs’ part, too. “To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have been able to come to the College if it weren’t for this scholarship,” says Emetu. “The College was my first choice, but we needed to make sure it was the best, and the DeWolfs affirmed that for us, not only economically, but overall. So, thanks to them, I am now attending my top choice.” But, Emetu stresses, “the scholarship is more than just money to me. The moral support I receive from the DeWolfs is overwhelming. The first night my family and I met them, there was an instant connection, and I feel like I have become a part of another family. “I also feel empowered, which is something I believe every student needs to have when coming to school,” she continues. “The empowerment that the DeWolfs give me is what will last in my heart. Because no matter what trials I face
during the school year, I can still count on the enormous amount of support from my family, the College and the DeWolfs.” Growing up as a first-generation American in Columbia, S.C., and spending three years in her parents’ native Nigeria, Emetu knows how important it is to have the support of others. She has seen how hard life can be, how much we rely on others’ generosity and help and, ultimately, how far we can go when we put in the effort. “I’ve learned so much from Nigeria. My time there changed my life, it gave me a whole other perspective, and it was there that I finally began to fully appreciate life,” says Emetu, adding that, while “being part of two very different cultures is not an easy task, I feel fortunate to take what’s best from both cultures. I am glad I have the mix because I really get to think about what I want to do. I am not constrained to one side, if that makes sense.” Not that Emetu really needs to think about it: She knows she wants to help people.
“The College was my first choice, but we needed to
make sure it was the best, and the DeWolfs affirmed that for us, not only economically, but overall. So, thanks to them,
I am now attending my top choice.”
– Sophia Emetu
“For a long time I’ve wished that I could make a positive impact on someone, but I was always too shy. Now that I have others believing in me, though, I know I can help others and give back as much as possible,” says Emetu, who plans to study biochemistry and then go to medical school to become a pediatrician. But first she wants to experience “the many opportunities here at the College. I just don’t want to learn: I want my knowledge to expand on a myriad of levels. I want to do things that will leave all the support people in my life with a legacy for others to follow.”
She hopes, too, to be a role model for her four younger siblings. “I want to show them that an education is important and hard work is the only thing that pays off,” Emetu says. “Coming to the College hopefully showed them that nothing is a limit. I want to set the bar as high as I can to encourage them that they can do even better. Most of all, I hope that I showed them that you have to go by hope, not by sight. After all, that’s what got me into Charleston in the first place!” And now that she’s here, she’ll keep rising to the top: The sky is hardly the limit!
| Ben ’02 and Sara Givler DeWolf ’02 |
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CLASS NOTES 1962 Eleanor Allan McPhail has written Summerville, a book about growing up in the Charleston area in the early 1950s.
1969 Jan Muller Goin is the
administrative assistant for SAVE Inc. Jan and Harwood Beebe were married in January and live in Summerville, S.C. Margaret Mohrmann retired from the University of Virginia and is a professor emerita of religious studies, pediatrics and medical education.
1970 Lucy Garrett Beckham, former
Wando High School principal, is now the executive principal of Constituent School District 2. Lucy is still on Wando’s campus in Mt. Pleasant at the school’s Center for Advanced Studies, where she oversees the educational planning and design of the new East Cooper High School.
1971 Carl Johnson is a member of the
Cougar Club Board. Carl is a pharmacist with the Veterans Administration and lives in Mt. Pleasant.
1972 Dan Ravenel is the Alumni
Association’s representative on the College’s Foundation board of directors. Dan is a past chair of the Foundation Board and is currently president of the Alumni Association’s board of directors.
1974 Randell Stoney has been named to
the annual list of the Best Lawyers in America. This is his second year to be included for his work in the areas of construction law and product liability litigation for defendants. Since 2008, Super Lawyers has named Randell one of the top attorneys in South Carolina. He is an attorney with Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms in Charleston.
1975 Trudy Taul Harris is a VBS
programmer for Rexel in Fort Worth, Texas. Mike Kilpatrick is a microbiology and biology instructor at Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Ala. He received his Ph.D. in immunology and microbiology from MUSC and has 22 years of experience in clinical drug development.
1978 Rob Spainhour is the rector at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Swanton, Vt.
1979 Debbie Lane is a senior vice
president and director of real estate management services at Colliers International/ South Carolina. She oversees the largest commercial property management portfolio in South Carolina.
1981 Peggy Gunter Boykin is a member
of the College’s Foundation board of directors. Peggy is the executive director of the S.C. Public Employee Benefits Authority and lives in Columbia.
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Edward Keith is a social worker with the S.C. Department of Social Services. Edward, who received his master’s in management from Southern Wesleyan University, earned his doctorate of business administration from Argosy University Online Programs in January. He is retired from the U.S. Army, the Army Reserves and the S.C. Army National Guard. Edward and his wife, Mildred, live in Hanahan.
1983 Gary Thomas is the president of the South Carolina Oncology Society. Gary is an oncologist on Hilton Head Island.
1985 Liz Boyer Caldwell was awarded
Christie’s International Real Estate Luxury Specialist 2015 at the Top Agent Conference in Chicago in June. Liz is a Realtor in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Mitchell Leverette represented the College at the inauguration of Howard University’s new president. Mitch serves on the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Sheri Snyder Matthews is in retail sales at South State Bank in Charleston.
1986 Sandra Barton Dugan is a franchise owner and a land- and cruise-vacation specialist with Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative.
1987 David McLean (M.S.) volunteers
for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, conducting birding surveys on Bulls Island, S.C. David and his wife, Nan, have a daughter, Ann. Brian Rutenberg has had two of his paintings acquired for the Bronx Museum of Art’s permanent collection.
1988 Daniel Barry is a senior vice
president for Lockton Retirement and a member of the Lockton Executive Benefit team. Daniel works from both Denver and Charlotte. Ben Glass was listed in the Best Lawyers in America for employment law and management. Ben is the managing shareholder in the Charleston office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart. Ben earned his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
1990 Steven Niketas is the president of MOSAIC and has opened The Westendorff, a restaurant on St. Philip St. in downtown Charleston (just a few blocks from campus) named after the hardware seller who was a longtime occupant of the space.
1991 Duffy Baehr owns Baehr Feet
Shoe Boutique in Spartanburg, S.C., and is celebrating the store’s 10-year anniversary. Duffy was asked by Olga Vidisheva to join her Shoptiques site. She finds it interesting that a math and physics major ended up in retail and design, the true joy of a liberal arts education. David and Cornelia Jones Graham announce the birth of a daughter, Catherine Raoul, born in March. According to Cornelia, when Catherine
becomes a CofC student, she’ll be her family’s fifth generation to attend the College. Her happy grandmother is Catherine Oliver Jones ’60. Gurnal Scott is a national correspondent for FOX News Radio in New York City. Tracey and Paulette Westberg Todd ’92 celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary this year. Tracey was named chief operating officer of Middleton Place Foundation, which owns and operates Middleton Place National Historic Landmark. Paulette is a director for operating effectiveness for Cigna and has been with the company for 20 years.
1992 Johnnie Baxley is a member of
the Cougar Club Board. Johnnie is a founding partner and attorney with Willson Jones Carter & Baxley in Mt. Pleasant. Johnnie also serves on the Alumni Association board of directors. Michael Dempsey (M.A. ’98) is the dean and director of Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies in Asheville, N.C. He received his doctorate of education from Western Carolina University in 2013. Mike represented the College at the installation of UNC Asheville’s new chancellor in September. Thomas Gasque is the director of learning and organizational development at Education Corporation of America. David Mason Jr. has earned a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. David has served in the military for 30 years. He and his wife, Patrese, have two sons and live in Columbus, Ohio. William Smoak earned his M.B.A. from Winthrop University. He also has a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma. Paulette Westberg Todd (see Tracey Todd ’91)
1993 Gus Jahnke is the controller at the
Potts Law Firm in Houston, Texas. In addition to having an M.B.A. and a CPA license, Gus is a certified forensic accountant. He and his wife, Delores, have a daughter, Amanda Rose, born in September 2013.
1994 Andrew and Michelle Epstein and their daughter, Alex, have
Garland ’03 moved to Boiling Springs, S.C. Andrew owns a Budget Blinds franchise in Spartanburg, and Michelle has completed her Ph.D. in communication at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is the basic course director for the School of Communication at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Tharwat Ali Safa is a nationally certified school psychologist and a licensed psycho-educational specialist for Lee County School District in South Carolina. She received her M.Ed. and her educational specialist degree in school psychology from The Citadel.
1995 Jay Ahearn is a certified U.S. Coast
Guard Master Captain, earning that distinction in October 2014. Elizabeth Gore Meny (see Darin Meny ’96)
1996 Sean Mann (M.Ed.) received the
Golden Apple Award from WJBF News Channel 6 (Augusta, Ga.) in May. The award
COUGAR PRIDE Jack Huguley ’72 has experienced quite a bit of change during his 10 years as the College’s director of alumni relations. He’s served under three presidents, attended the ribbon cuttings of many significant additions to campus (e.g., the Addlestone Library, the new science center and TD Arena) and has seen the alumni ranks grow by more than 20,000. This fall, Huguley retired from the College, leaving behind an impressive legacy of alumni engagement and signature events. Under his watch, the College increased the number of alumni chapters to 40, with new chapters established in cities across the country and around the globe (including London and Hong Kong). The College community can also thank Huguley for elevating the elegance of the Alumni Awards Gala and for the creation of A Charleston Affair – the once modest get-together of less than a few hundred has become a grand spectacle that, held in conjunction with the Alumni Association’s annual meeting each spring, attracts more than 5,000 alumni to the Cistern Yard. “The College is forever indebted to Jack for his many years of service,” says President Glenn McConnell ’69, “and we are certainly a stronger institution for his commitment and undeniable love for his alma mater.”
honors teachers who believe in the true spirit of teaching by making classrooms a fun and safe place of learning. Darin and Elizabeth Gore Meny ’95 live in West Hartford, Conn. Darin is cofounder of Cenaxo, which was selected by the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Parks Service to restore the Boston Light on Little Brewster Island. The Boston Light is the oldest lighthouse station in the country (c. 1716). Elizabeth is a graduate student at CUNY Law School in New York City. Helen Pratt-Thomas is a senior wealth commercial banker for South State Bank in Charleston.
1997 Nina Marsh-Thomas is the director
of constituent engagement & events at MUSC. Elizabeth Hartley Patrick is the associate director of development for medicine at Emory University. She’s working on Emory Healthcare and Emory School of Medicine’s annual giving programs in Atlanta. Greg Townsley (M.S.) is the lab manager at the College’s Grice Marine Lab. Before returning to the College, Greg spent four years at Utah State University as the facility manager of an algae biofuel research facility.
1998 Heather Simmons Harwell is an
accredited buyers representative and a Realtor for Carolina One Real Estate in Mt. Pleasant. Aaron Marley is an agent for Southern Shores Real Estate Group in Summerville, S.C. He also owns three Biggby Coffee locations in the Charleston area. Laura Rikard is a visiting assistant professor of theater at Brown University. She received her master’s degree from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (where she performed with Paul McCartney) and her M.F.A. from the University of Virginia. Previously, she was head of the B.F.A. in performance program at Stephen F. Austin State University. She also has a career as an actor and specializes in physical theater. Dennis Turner is chief of police for Hanahan, S.C. He’s been a Hanahan police officer for 17 years. Dorie Condon Wallace is vice president of customer support at Blackbaud. She was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Jamie Weatherford is the third generation of his family to work at Crown Candy Corporation. His family’s candy company in Macon, Ga., regularly offers seasonal employment to prison inmates participating in a work-release program with the Georgia Department of Corrections in order to give them a second chance in life. The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership named Jamie the state’s “Face of Manufacturing” in April.
1999 Kerry Brady-Stritch and Drew announce the birth of twin
Stritch ’00 sons, Declan Thomas and William Andrew, born in June. The Stritch family lives in Mt. Pleasant. Bill Carson brings groups together each year for the Groundhog Day Benefit Concert, which raises money for the College’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Bill teaches at Murray LaSaine Elementary School on James Island. Olivia Summers Daniel is a former public school and preschool psychologist and the founder of Developmental Duffle, a kit that includes toys and products matched with activities that promote learning developmental milestones. Olivia is also the strategic curriculum-planning consultant for Daniel Island Academy. |
| C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n m agazin e
John Douglass is a member of the Cougar Club Board. John is a commercial underwriter for First Citizens Bank in Charleston and is the president of the College’s Lowcountry alumni chapter. Aynsley Peel Eastman is a senior manager of business and quality operations for Merial, a Sanofi Company in Athens, Ga. Aynsley received her master’s in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Georgia. Brian Hines and Kelly Hartley were married in September 2014. Brian is an emergency response specialist and manages hoarding and estate cleanup for ServiceMaster of Charleston. Matt Lynch is head of guest services at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Kelly Moorhead is an account executive with the commercial floor covering company Tandus Centiva in Greenville, S.C. Kelly is a member of the Alumni Association board of directors.
2000 Latarsha Grant Asby is a licensed
master of social work at the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston. Michael Bender is corporate counsel for The Intertech Group Inc. in North Charleston and a director of Gas Natural Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio. Susan Mulkey Hume lives in Houston, Texas, and is the human resources director for the law firm of Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey. Monte Lee is the head baseball coach for Clemson University. Monte was formerly the head baseball coach at the College. Lucia McKelvey is the deal agent for eightdivision world champion Manny Pacquiao and the executive vice president of global business development and marketing for Top Rank Boxing Inc. David Lee Nelson has written a new play, A Sudden Spontaneous Event Parts 1, 2, and 3, which will make its world premier at PURE Theatre in Charleston. Ashley Jones Smith is the senior director of advancement for the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rochester. Ashley is the president of the College’s Rochester alumni chapter. Drew Stritch (see Kerry Brady-Stritch ’99)
2001 Julian Burgos (M.S.) lives in
Reykjavik, Iceland, with his wife, Nancy, and their son, Elias. Since 2009, Julian has been at the Marine Research Institute, where he works to conserve benthic habitats and biodiversity. Rebecca Ansert Ehemann is the public art coordinator for the City of West Hollywood, Calif. Ryan Mikkelson is the owner of Mikkelson Law Firm in Bluffton, S.C. JoAnna Summey is a judge at North Area Magistrate Court 3 and was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal.
2002 Christian Chamblee is the chief
operating officer and director of acquisitions at Ziff Properties Inc. and was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. David Crowley was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. David is a partner in The Alley, a bowling alley in downtown Charleston. He is a member of the Cougar Club Board and the College’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Advisory Board. Matt and Jenny Peterson Dorsey have two sons, Ryder and Miles. Jenny is a registered nurse at Physicians Eye Surgery Center in Charleston,
and Matt is a senior loan officer at WR Starkey Mortgage. Matt was named Lowcountry Man of the Year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Brandon Hair is the general manager of Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community in Raleigh, N.C. Brandon earned his master’s in health care management from MUSC. Christy Humphries is a real estate associate with Dunes Properties’ Isle of Palms sales team. Joce Messinger is a director of Marcus and Millichap’s National Hospitality Group in Charleston.
2003 Laura Ball was named one of
Charleston’s “Forty Under Forty” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. She is an active teacher, music director, composer and performer and is known for her innovative collaborations across musical genres and her explorations of contemporary chamber music practices. She is the founder and creative director of the UNED!TED Interdisciplinary Arts Concert Series. Bradley Banias was selected by South Carolina Super Lawyers to the 2015 Rising Stars list. Brad is an attorney with the Charleston law firm of Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms. Jeffrey Bogdan was selected by South Carolina Super Lawyers to the 2015 Rising Stars list. Jeff is an attorney with the Charleston law firm of Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms. Malgorzata and Christophe Bounaix Morand du Puch announce the birth of their first daughter, Eugénie, born in January 2014, and their second son, Félix, born in March. They live in Rilhac Rancon, France. Rhetta Simon Cloyd is a member of the Cougar Club Board. Rhetta is the senior vice president of marketing and sales for iHeartMedia and lives in Mt. Pleasant. Sara Fleeman is the wellness program manager at Fiserv. Michelle Epstein Garland (see Andrew Garland ’94) Ryan and Anna Quigley Hitchins announce the birth of twin daughters, Margot Ryan and Lauren Collier, born in September 2014. The Hitchins family lives in Athens, Ga. Erica James completed her Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of Georgia in August and is an assistant professor of psychology at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C. Erica teaches both undergraduate and graduate students. Brendan Kinnarney is a regional vice president of investments of Stadion Money Management, helping expand the company’s investment solutions in retail distribution channels in New York State and metro New Jersey. Kevin Lominac is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. Kevin received his Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2012. Sloan Newman is president of the Puget Sound American Marketing Association. He is the youngest president in the history of the PSAMA, the largest and most comprehensive professional marketing association in Washington State. Sloan is the head of marketing for Fox Plumbing & Heating in Seattle. Michael and Erica Rovner Rabhan ’04 have returned to Charleston from Atlanta. Michael is the vice president of sales for P&R Dental, and Erica is the senior development officer for the College’s School of Sciences and Mathematics. Melissa Siegel was the recipient of the 2015 Honors College Distinguished Alumni Award in May. Melissa is an associate professor, senior
CLASS NOTES [ alumni profile ]
Just What the Doctor Ordered
HE DOESN’T WEAR A CAPE. HE DOESN’T have a superpower. He doesn’t have some kind of time machine or crystal ball. What James Hodge ’89 does have, however, is the capacity to help save and improve millions of lives around the globe. As a public health lawyer and a national expert on emergency legal preparedness and ethics, vaccine laws and policies and other legal areas, Hodge has the connections that are needed to make grand, sweeping changes affecting not just medical and legal policy, but entire communities. “I’ve been fortunate to build some extremely strong relationships – and to work collaboratively with others to achieve some great improvements in public health,” says Hodge, who studied business administration and philosophy at the Honors College before earning
his J.D. and his LL.M. and, later, teaching at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Now a professor with and director of the Public Health Law and Policy Program at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Hodge has taught public law and ethics classes globally – and last summer came back to his alma mater to teach at the Honors College. “It was a neat class,” says Hodge. “We tackled some very difficult and controversial issues.” One of which, of course, was the shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church, which took place while Hodge was in Charleston teaching the course. “It was really eye opening to look at the issue of gun control from a state and local legal basis, based on such a horrific event,” he says. “Public health
laws related to gun violence prevention can protect us from some acts, but government is limited at times in what it can do to prevent some crimes.” What the government can do to protect the public is what Hodge is most focused on. “You can theorize about these issues, you can write about them, you can lecture nationally – and I’ve done all that,” he says. “But, at the end of the day, players in this field step into the environment to make change through law. That’s what gets me up in the morning. When society responds through the introduction or enforcement of laws that are grounded in good science and known efficacy, my job is done.” From tobacco to trans fats, Hodge uses his expertise and relationships to help align public health laws with science and policy. “If we hit the right marks through law,” he explains, “we can save lives, add value to lives and prevent injuries and deaths.” The public health strategies are always changing, of course. Take, for example, legal responses to last year’s Ebola scare. “Ebola gave us an opportunity for huge change – and revealed the renaissance in the field of public health law,” says Hodge. “For decades, the common reaction in the medical and public health fields before was, ‘Don’t talk about the law’; now it’s, ‘Tell us how we can use law to accomplish our objectives.’ Law has become a primary option for public health improvements – that is monumental.” The next big improvement that Hodge hopes to make is in global obesity prevention. “We’re at the crisis point globally where we have to get serious about the public health implications of obesity across populations. These public health problems are solvable from the legal side,” he says, “but not without some major battles ahead, especially within the food industry. We’ve got to find common ground and solidify legal and policy approaches to the benefit of the public’s health. It’s a transnational, global issue.” Indeed, millions of lives are at stake – lives that Hodge might just have the ability to save. And that, without question, really is a superpower. – Alicia Lutz ’98
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| Photo by Terry Manier |
[ alumni profile ]
Swimming Upstream IT WAS THE LATE 1980S, AND TONY HAROLD was in the thick of research for his dissertation on phylogeny and taxonomy of deep-sea hatchetfishes at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He had been working with a sample of hatchetfish when he noticed some specimens had a unique pattern of dark skin down the sides of their bodies, resembling something like a sideburn. Harold was intrigued, as the sample was supposed to contain a single species, yet seemed to contain multiple species. Could he have discovered a new species of hatchetfish? No matter his excitement, the young scholar was mindful of the larger research obligations he needed to fulfill in order to earn his doctorate. Returning the hatchetfish to an alcohol solution for preservation, he regretfully turned his attention to more pressing matters. “I just left it for future study. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to do anything about it,” says Harold, who has taught marine biology at the College since 1996. “I was hoping to one day find a clever student who could take on this project and find out how many species were in this species complex (a group of closely related species).” More than 20 years later, enter Iris Kemp ’10. Upon meeting the undergraduate student, Harold sized her up, identifying within her a can-do attitude and an “infectious enthusiasm – not just for biology, but for everything.” As time went on, he found himself engaging in long, spirited conversations with Kemp about marine biology, of course, but also classical music, photography and more. “When Iris came along,” says Harold, “I immediately identified her as the student who could do this.” True to expectation, Kemp delivered. As part of her senior thesis, she helped identify new hatchetfish, a fish rarely seen or collected, as they live close to the bottom of the ocean and can fit within the palm of your hand. Or, to be more precise, Kemp differentiated a new species within the Polyipnus triphanos species complex.
This was painstaking work, says Harold, and required professional scientific rigor. Soon, Kemp and Harold’s efforts, along with those of junior Sarah Kate Shore (who has continued Kemp’s work) will be rewarded when an article on their findings is published in the journal Zootaxa. For Kemp, a talented clarinetist, the significance of her discovery hit home while she sat outside a room at the College, waiting for pep band practice to begin. “Wow, I’m a scientist,” she recalls thinking. “I identified a species. There’s something there. I made a contribution.” Since her graduation with a degree in marine biology, Kemp earned a master’s in aquatic and fishery sciences from the University of Washington and started work as a research ecologist for Long Live the Kings, a nonprofit environmental group in Seattle that aims to restore salmon and steelhead populations in the Pacific Northwest. Kemp helps coordinate the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, which brings together more than 40 U.S. and Canadian organizations working to determine the primary factors driving juvenile salmon and steelhead survival in the Salish Sea. One of her tasks has been to help develop and implement a large-scale monitoring program of zooplankton across Puget Sound. Zooplankton are indicators of ecosystem health and function, and are an important food source for juvenile salmon and other fish. By measuring the zooplankton community over time, scientists can model relationships between the food supply and fish growth and survival. The newly established monitoring program is so extensive it requires substantial collaboration between government agencies, nonprofits, academic institutions and local tribes. Another ongoing study in the project is monitoring steelhead survival via the use of acoustic tags. In their two-week journey from the mouths of rivers through Puget Sound to the ocean, as many as 90 percent of the out-migrating juvenile steelhead will die. To track the fish, Kemp and other
researchers anesthetize the juvenile steelhead, make a small incision in their stomachs, insert a fingertip-sized acoustic tag, then sew them up and allow them to recover before releasing the fish back into the wild. Acoustic receivers placed on the bottom of Puget Sound then track the steelhead as they migrate toward the ocean. Researchers also attach mobile receiver packs to the backs of harbor seals and take receivers out on tracking boats to compare steelhead movement with seal movement and to pinpoint sites of mortality. These data, along with concurrent data on fish health and condition, allow researchers to explore disease, pollution and predation impacts on juvenile steelhead. “Ecosystem dynamics are incredibly interesting to me,” says Kemp. “How different groups interact with each other – I find that fascinating.” The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project and Kemp’s work are focused on the marine part of the salmon and steelhead life cycle, which occurs after they leave rivers for the ocean as juveniles, but before they return to those same rivers as adults to spawn and die. While significant resources have been applied to assessing and restoring the freshwater habitats of salmon and steelhead, much less effort has been devoted to focusing on the marine portions of their lives. “The fish have to migrate through the inland waters of the Salish Sea before reaching the ocean, and it seems like that experience affects their overall survival. Our research shows that, for several species, Salish Sea populations have different marine survival patterns than coastal populations,” says Kemp. “We think those survival differences are a really important issue to tease out.” There are no easy answers, however, and it takes years of monitoring to collect enough data for meaningful analysis. But with Kemp on the case, there’s hope these fish populations can be helped. As Professor Harold knows from his experience, “you ask Iris to do something, and she just does it.” – Jason Ryan
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researcher and head of migration studies at Maastricht Graduate School of Governance in the Netherlands. She and Stephanie Wheeler, another Honors College graduate, taught Global Perspectives on Poverty, Inequality and Vulnerability, for the Honors College last summer. James Trabert is a merchandiser at Holmberg Farms Inc. for Home Depot. James lives in Charleston. Stephanie Wheeler is an assistant professor of health policy management at UNC - Chapel Hill.
2004 Philip Antman is an agent in
Carolina One Real Estate’s James Island office. Marian and Collier King announce the birth of a daughter, Georgia, born in January 2014. Collier is a radiology resident at Memorial Health University in Savannah, Ga. In addition to his medical degree, he earned an M.B.A. from Lincoln Memorial University. Tim Kline is the associate director of sales at Hyatt at The Bellevue. Erica Rovner Rabhan (see Michael Rabhan ’03) Matt and Taylor Thomasino Rautenbach announce the birth of twins, Riley Marie and Reese Michael, born in August. The Rautenbach family lives in Seattle. Andrew Parker (see Ashley Read Parker ’06) Jennifer Poolaw and Julian Simmons ’05 announce the birth of a daughter, Jude Clementine, born in June. Jen is the general manager at Elizabeth Stuart Designs in Mt. Pleasant, and Julian is publishing his first children’s novel, The Writer’s Table.
2005 Michael Butcher (M.P.A.) and Heather Farley announce the birth of a daughter, Clara Marie, born in August 2014.
Benton and Carnes Eiserhardt Campbell announce the birth of a daughter, Elizabeth “Eliza” Grace, born in July. Carnes is a proposal manager for SAIC in Charleston and serves as an alumnae adviser for the local Chi Omega chapter. Lander Claassen earned his M.B.A. from the Kelley School at Indiana University, along with his master’s in global management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in December 2014. Lander, who lives in Charlotte, is the district trainer for Ferguson Enterprises and is responsible for talent and leadership development west of the Mississippi. Lee Curtis was one of this year’s inductees into the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame. Lee was a two-time Southern Conference Player of the Year with the Cougars in 2002 and 2003. Lee hit .404 in his two years with the Cougars, which remains the College’s all-time career mark and ranks third in SoCon history. Ben D’Allesandro is the co-owner of D’Allesandro’s Pizza at the corner of St. Philip and Bogard streets in downtown Charleston. Ben is also a constituent school board member for District 20. Mandy Elias is a fine-wine specialist at Henry Wine Group in the San Francisco Bay area. She is also an artist, selling her paintings as well as painting commissions. Eric and Kelsey Powell Marom ’06 announce the birth of their second child, Eliora “Ellie” Jacqueline, born in December 2014. The Marom family lives in Columbia, where Eric is an internist with Midlands Internal Medicine. Joe Mathews (see Lindsey Fairfax Mathews ’08) Ben and Leah Walker McClanahan announce the birth of a son, Benjamin Walker, born in March. Leah was recently recognized by
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the Knoxville Business Journal as one of Knoxville’s “40 Under 40.” She is a law clerk with the U.S. District Court in Knoxville. Heidi Nielsen is vice president at HVS International, a consulting firm for the hospitality industry. Julian Simmons (see Jennifer Poolaw Simmons ’04)
2006 Anna Ardis (M.A.T. ’10) and Daniel
McSweeney were married in July. Anna works for the Berkeley County (S.C.) School District. Josh Atkinson is a member of the Cougar Club Board. Josh is a landscape and watershapes designer for Atkinson Pools and Spas in Mt. Pleasant. Zack DeSario conducts data science and machine learning in Google’s Human/Social Dynamics Research Lab in San Francisco. Zack still references his College textbooks, so he advises not to sell your books! Crystal Glover and Seth Goldwire were married in May and live in Mt. Pleasant. Crystal is a physician practice manager for Roper St. Francis Physician Partners and received her master’s in health care administration from the University of South Carolina. Allen Hodge is the business development manager at Lodging Source in Mt. Pleasant. Melissa Palubiak Loy is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolina Sun Real Estate. She and her husband, Jason, live in Mt. Pleasant with their daughter, Lilly. Kelsey Powell Marom (see Eric Marom ’05) Lauren Kennington Martin is the assistant director of student affairs and academic advising at the University of Cincinnati. She and her husband, Jim, have two sons, Wyatt (5) and Ellis (1). Patrick Melton (M.A.T. ’10) is a vocalist and entertainer with the U.S. Navy. Based in Naples, Italy, he plays a variety of shows, ranging from rock ’n’ roll to jazz to full-concert band performances all over the world. Andrew Muller is the owner of Mappus Insurance Agency of Charleston, which was chosen out of 38,500 agencies nationwide to be Rough Notes Magazine’s Agency of the Month. Andrew and Brittany Dilgren Nicholson announce the birth of their second child, Tucker deGaris, born in October 2014. The Nicholson family lives in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., where Brittany works as an ESL teacher. Adam Paul and his production company, Catch Multimedia, won a 2015 Emmy Award from the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for its excellence in commercial production for Wild Billz (2014), which received 450,000 views online and which will be released in January as a docu-reality TV series on the Sportsman Channel. John Robinson (M.S.) works in the genetics lab at the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and is an adjunct faculty member in the College’s marine biology graduate program. Jenny Scepanski and Matt Farrell were married in June and live in Raleigh. Jenny is a nurse at UNC - Chapel Hill. Laura Vyskocil Weeks is a quality and compliance coordinator at GlaxoSmithKline. Laura and her husband, Phillip, have two children, Parker (4) and Porter Grace (1). Wyatt Wimberly earned his J.D. from the Charleston School of Law and has a law firm in downtown Charleston. Wyatt and Melissa Hughes were married in May. Erica Zakrzewski is a program administrator for Scientific Research Corporation, a North Charleston–based government contractor.
2007 Morgan Calcote is the general
manager of FIG restaurant in Charleston. Rebecca Crosby (M.A.T. ’10) is a program support analyst at KSH Solutions Inc. Rebecca and Steven Kukulka were married in August and live in Charleston. J. Marshall Duane (see Logan Clare ’08) Max Gouttebroze is the associate director of communications at GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) in Los Angeles. Max and Matthew Kane were married in March. Ashly Harrell is an intern at Bergen Street Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y. Kimberly Marable is a member of the Community Support Team for Family Preservation Services and lives in Arden, N.C. Michelle Martin is a real estate agent at Berkshire Hathaway Carolina Sun Real Estate in its East Cooper office. Jay McCutcheon is the vice president and commercial relationship manager for ServisFirst Bank in Charleston. Ali Fisher Muller placed third in her age group in the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series, in which over 250 people participated. Ali owns A. Caldwell Events in Mt. Pleasant. Melinda Patience is a research coordinator in the College’s School of Business and is working on a master’s in data analytics from Southern New Hampshire University. Hunter Stunzi was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Hunter is the cofounder and president of SnapCap, which provides business loans up to $200,000 to existing businesses, usually within 48 hours.
2008 Matthew Boyce is a sales
representative with Medex Surgical and represents Acumed and MicroAire. Logan Clare and J. Marshall Duane ’07 were married in May and live in South Florida. Logan is a registered nurse, and Marshall is an accountant for MSI Lighting Solutions. Ansley Easterlin is the director of development at the Miller Theater Campaign for Symphony Orchestra Augusta. Sarah Evans received her Psy.D. in clinical forensic psychology from the California School of Forensic Psychology in May. Sarah Gatling is an advertising copywriter at Energy BBDO and a teacher at Chicago Portfolio School. Sarah and Mark Latz were married in June and live with their two beagles, Ponce and Jeremy Pepperoni. Ashley Levy Grow is a registered dental hygienist. She and her husband, Lt. Brian Grow, live in Mt. Pleasant. Erika Smith Lambert is an assistant basketball coach for the Abilene Christian University women’s basketball team. Erika and her husband, Paul, have two daughters, Ava and Mya. Erika is also the author of a popular blog, Coach Mom Inc. Joe ’05 and Lindsey Fairfax Mathews announce the birth of their son, Conlon, born in February. The Mathews family lives in Summerville, S.C. Michelle McGrew (M.P.A. ’12) is a research and student services coordinator for the Graduate School, University of Charleston, S.C. Kinsey Scroggs is a senior administrative assistant in NAI Avant’s Charleston office. Brandon and Meghan Oakley Sutherland ’09 live in Simpsonville, S.C., with their 2-yearold daughter, Bennett. Brandon is an account manager for Michelin North America, and Meghan is a special education teacher at Mauldin Middle School.
2009 Shannon Baily is an events manager
for SmithBucklin in Chicago. She organizes international conferences and trade shows ranging in size from 200 to 20,000 attendees for groups in the technology, health care and business trade industries. Caitlyn Cleary is a Realtor in Berkshire Hathaway Carolina Sun Real Estate’s East Cooper office. Sean Clifford is the vice president of business development for SnapCap in Charleston. Ashley Morgan Herod and Henry Brockman III were married in June and live in Nashville, Tenn. Grant Hoskins is the assistant general manager at the Holiday Inn Savannah Historic District. Molly Hurst is a clinical pharmacy specialist with the Veterans Administration clinic in Orangeburg, S.C. Molly and Craig Bennett III were married in July and live in Charleston. The wedding party included Katie Colvin, Mandy Martin and Daniel Freer ’06. Schuyler Moffat is a senior financial planning analyst at Syniverse in Tampa, Fla. Kali Oberholtzer is an exercise physiologist technician at Met-Test. Achille Parmentier is the owner of Three Sheets to the Wind, a company that brokers sailboats. Achille and Mary Harrington were married in May and live in Charleston. Matt Passarello is the manager of 1837 Bed and Breakfast in downtown Charleston. Elena Rodriguez earned a master’s in library and information science from Western University in London, Ontario. She is a reference and instructional librarian with Horry Georgetown (S.C.) Technical College. Meghan Oakley Sutherland (see Brandon Sutherland ’08) Kristen Thompson was a Rotary Fellow and earned a master’s in international relations from the University of Cape Town in South Africa in 2012. Kristen and Leen Remmelzwaal were married in July 2012 and live in Cape Town, where Kristen is a program manager at Numeric.
2010 Jennifer Arnold and Danny Maxwell
were married in July. The bridal party included Alexis Arnold ’13, Elena Boroski, Whitnie Eisele and Kate Yoas. Brien Buffington is an associate development manager with Twin Rivers Capital in Charleston. Brien completed the master of real estate development program at Clemson, holds a S.C. real estate license and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. Elizabeth Coralli is the manager at Palmetto Carriage Works in Charleston. Dallas Corbett is a singer and guitarist in the rock band Wrenwood. She and the band are relocating to Asheville, N.C. Gillian Cote earned a master’s in library and information sciences from the University of South Carolina in 2012 and is the digital initiatives librarian for The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of South Alabama. William Holl is the logistics and special projects manager at Terressentia Corporation. The North Charleston–based company uses technology to create award-winning spirits for retailers and brand owners. Suzanne Lee launched a social media movement on Instagram called PureFaceLove. The photobased inititiave is designed to inspire women to “show some love” for their natural beauty by posting unedited images of their faces without makeup. Suzanne lives in Newburyport, Mass. Austin Morgan is the Cougars’ assistant baseball coach, helping to coordinate recruitment, assisting with hitting and the infield as well as
serving as a bench coach. Austin and Allisyn Miller were married in fall 2014. Emory Parker is the interactive editor for The Post and Courier in Charleston. Emory created digital maps, timelines and more in the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize–winning series “Till Death Do Us Part,” which illustrates the severity of South Carolina’s criminal domestic violence problem. Lauren Patterson is a senior advocacy strategist at The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. Kaitlin Przezdziecki launched a full-service event design and planning firm called Cheers Daring Events in Washington, D.C. Aaron Wood is a systems administrator at Bluetowne in Mt. Pleasant.
2011 Liz Adams is an administrative
assistant at the College’s Center for Disability Services. She received a master’s in social work from the University of South Carolina this year. Kuleigh Beckett Baker is the programs and marketing director at Historic Augusta (Ga.). Jeff Balinskas is a search associate at Razorfish Health, a customer engagement agency in Philadelphia that focuses on health, wellness and pharmaceutical clients, such as Neutrogena, Aveeno and Clean & Clear. Rachael Cechak is a graduate student at the Charleston School of Law and clerked this summer for the Charleston County Public Defenders Office, where she still serves as a screener at the Charleston County Detention Center. Rachael and Salil Arora were married in July. Fellow Cougars in the wedding party were Jacklyn Eby Ferguson, Jeri Mintzer, Nancy Austin and Elise Lasko. Also present at the wedding was Clyde the Cougar, who started off the dance party. Ellie Conlin is a customer service representative in the College’s Treasurer’s Office. Shanon Dooley is the proud grandmother of Jackson Ford James, born in February. Jacklyn Eby Ferguson earned a master’s in social work from the University of South Carolina this year. Jacklyn was named Graduate Student of the Year for the Charleston branch of the College of Social Work MSW Program, and is now a licensed master social worker at Dialysis Clinic Inc. Jacklyn and her husband, Ryan, live in Charleston with their dog, Daisy. Meg Hood is the sales manager for executive meetings at Stowe Mountain Lodge in Stowe, Vt. Cristy Jamison is an account manager at Touchpoint Communications in Charleston, managing day-to-day PR planning, event strategy, copywriting and client service for clients such as the College’s M.B.A. program, Belmond Charleston Place, Nexton, Summers Corner and Kiawah Island Motoring Retreat. Christina Kelley is the program coordinator for the annual fund at Duke University. Sadie Lefitz is an assistant litigation project manager at Seyfarth Shaw in Atlanta. Jessica Mitsch is the director of global campus operations at The Iron Yard and is also president of the Raleigh/Durham alumni chapter. Dil Patel graduated from MUSC in May and began his surgical internship this summer in Denver, Colo. Next year, he will begin his residency in radiology at Loyola University in Chicago. Ryan Schmidt is a research assistant at Public International Law and Policy Group in Washington, D.C. Shannon Soos is the tennis manager and buyer for both the Roy Barth Tennis Center and West Beach Tennis Center at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
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Deanna Trimmer is an account manager at Benefitfocus on Daniel Island, S.C. Tony Williams is the chief executive officer of Charleston Pride Festival, a week-long celebration of the Charleston LGBT community.
2012 Dave Blumenfeld, Necco Ceresani Jordan Homan created the Tender app,
and geared toward young people who want to eat out less and cook more. They describe it as the “Tinder for food.” Erik Bowers is a member of the U.S. Sailing Development Team in the Laser Class. Jena Clem is the event and rental coordinator for the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. She and Ryan Boring were married in November 2014 and live in Mt. Pleasant. Heather Davis is a marketing associate for corporate marketing at Blackbaud and is also a graduate student in the College’s communication program. Heather and Tyler Sgro were married in May. Hampton Frazier is the president of Frazier Land Group in Charleston. Hannah Gmerek is an associate clinical account specialist at Biosense Webster in St. Louis Park, Minn. Lindsay Gordon is the development coordinator for OB/GYN and newborn medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Jacob Jury (see Shea Connell ’13) Nicky Jones held a release party in the College’s John M. Rivers Communications Museum for her new journal of dreams set to art: “Dreemzine.” Emily Joye is a seventh-grade math teacher at Liberty Collegiate Academy, a public charter school in East Nashville, Tenn. Alex Keith is an editorial assistant for Charleston Magazine. Ross Kressel is a graduate student in the M.B.A. program at the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business. Megan Reese is a manager at Benefitfocus on Daniel Island, S.C. Samantha Rochester and Bobby Martin announce the birth of their son, Kaiden Martin, born in May. Samantha is a secondgrade teacher at Grove Elementary in Greenville, S.C. Chelsea Saunders is a digital marketing coordinator for NASCAR. As part of NASCAR’s
Media Group, she focuses on database growth, emails and Google campaigns to give the 28 NASCAR race tracks exposure. David Skaggs is a customer account specialist at Copyright Clearance Center in Wilton, Conn. Whit Slagsvol is a graduate student at Charleston School of Law. Kristin Stover and Peter Feltman were married in February 2014. Kristin is a Ph.D. candidate in the ecology and evolutionary biology department at Brown University and is teaching human gross anatomy to first-year students at the Brown Alpert Medical School. Peter is an assistant in orthopedic research at Rhode Island Hospital.
2013 Olivia Ahern is the outreach
scientist for the University of Rhode Island’s Office of Marine Programs and is also a graduate research fellow at Rhode Island National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to stimulate competitive research. Laura Beigel, a former CofC sailor, became a world champion when her team won the 2015 International Lightning Class World Championship, hosted by the Buffalo Canoe Club in Ontario, Canada. Jordan Boyd earned his master’s in music and conducting at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, and is a professional musician in Charleston. Alison Chism is the director of fitness and youth sports at the YMCA in Lincolnton, N.C. Shea Connell and Jacob Jury ’12 were married in December and live in Atlanta, where Shea works as a sales executive with the Atlanta Silverbacks FC and Jake is the assistant softball coach at Georgia Tech. Michael D’Onofrio is a marketing specialist at Evergage in Boston. Andrew Duggan (M.S.) is a senior accountant for Moore Beauston & Woodham in Charleston. Martin Erbele (M.P.A.) is a mitigation planner with Michael Baker International, a contractor for FEMA Region IV in Atlanta. Martin assists the region with floodplain management and mitigation planning to increase floodrisk awareness and reduce flood risk at the community level. He serves as the Graduate School representative on the Alumni Association board of directors.
Stephane and Deborah Orzech Grauzam announce the birth of a daughter, Tal, born in March. The Grauzam family lives in Charleston. Erin Hollier is a freelance writer and editor living in Atlanta. Lauren Howell is a Ph.D. candidate in biomedical sciences at Florida State University’s College of Medicine. Alli Ladley is the private event manager at the Union League of Philadelphia, which was rated the No. 1 city club in the nation for the second year in a row. Wesley Lyon (M.B.A.) (see Kathryn Morgan ’14) Tom Mackell is a singer and songwriter based in the Lowcountry. His EP is titled Here Come the Days (Coast Records, 2013). Jeremy Olsen earned his master’s in physiology and biophysics from Georgetown University. Kayla Pengelski earned a master’s in social work from Winthrop University. Philip Pope is the owner of Pope Foods in Elgin, S.C., a catering, BBQ and sauce sales company. He is a graduate student in the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Security and Defense. Matthew Priester is a payroll data coordinator in the College’s Office of Budgeting and Payroll Services. Barbara Kolar Schreiner (M.P.A.) was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Barbara is the assistant director of corporate and foundation relations for the College’s development office. Kat Shidler is the conference services manager at The Brice Hotel in Savannah, Ga. Lizzie Urban is a customer success associate at WeddingWire in Washington, D.C. Matt Zutell is a studio technician, musician and drummer for indie-pop combo Human Resources in Charleston. He also worked with Tyler Boone ’14 to form Coast Records, an indie label that focuses on regional acts.
2014 Mary Askew is a traveling chapter
consultant for Phi Mu National Headquarters. Tyler Boone, vocalist, guitarist, songsmith and bandleader, has moved to Nashville, Tenn., to further his career in music. Two of his latest music videos have featured scenes directed by Emmy Award–winning videographer John
[ passages ] Billie Melton Hall ’40
Phyllis Wolkins Yon ’51
Robert Owen ’89
Gladys McCleary Cogswell Clarke ’42
Mildred Mack Toussaint ’52
Eric Marriott ’94
Ruth Chestnut Houghton ’42
James Lanning ’63
Pamela Burgess ’98
Sara Morrison Lofton ’45
Robert Pope Jr. ’65
Davin Voss ’02
Charlotte Martin Patterson ’45
Joe Wannamaker ’77
John Mansure Jr. ’15
Betty Walker O’Connor ’46
David Derry ’80
Brian Burns ’15
Emory Crosby Jr. ’47
Brian McNamara ’82
Cynthia Graham Hurd (staff)
July 27; Charleston, S.C.
June 12; Atlantic Beach, Fla.
May 18, 2014; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. June 13; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. July 15; Pensacola, Fla.
July 25; James Island, S.C. July 10; Charleston, S.C.
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June 5; Tallahassee, Fla. June 17; Atlanta, Ga.
July 9; Charlotte, N.C.
June 25; Corpus Christi, Texas July 2; Hollywood, S.C.
June 20; Walterboro, S.C. November 4, 2014; Mason City, Iowa
July 29; Atlanta, Ga. June 20; Summerville, S.C. August 5; Moncks Corner, S.C. August 4; Shady Side, Md. July 14; Easley, S.C.
July 7; Charleston, S.C. June 17; Charleston, S.C.
Join us in celebrating the remarkable achievements oF some oF the college oF charleston’s best and brightest
Brucie Howe Hendricks ’83 • Ebony Hilton ’04 • Harriett Lee ’08 • Jean and Tap Johnson • Penny Jones McKeever ’69 • Nafees Bin Zafar ’98 2015
Nov. 19 Gaillard Center 95 calhoun street
p r e s e n t e d b y t h e c o l l e g e o F c h a r l e s t o n a l u m n i a s s o c i at i o n
For ticket/event inFormation, check out alumni.coFc.edu ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Barnhardt for the singles “Take Aim” and “Austin.” He and Matt Zutell ’13 formed Coast Records, an indie label that focuses on regional bands. John Curtis is an AV classroom support technician in the College’s IT department. Madison Edwards is the administrative specialist in the College’s Grice Marine Lab. Amanda Elhilow is a graduate student in Meredith College’s nutrition program. Amanda is also a certified personal trainer at O2 Fitness in Raleigh. William Harrison is the food and beverage manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, in Miami Beach. William manages the property’s Ocean Terrace outlet. Jimmy Holton is a volunteer assistant coach for the Cougars baseball team. Jimmy is a former catcher and student assistant coach at the College and will coach the program’s catchers and assist Coach Heath with the pitching staff. Justin Johnson (M.S.) is an accountant with the CPA firm Riser, McLaurin & Gibbons in Charleston Juan Maegli, former CofC sailor, won the gold medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto this summer. Juan will represent Guatemala in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Tara McGarry is the operations accounting manager at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston. Anayis Melikian works for Calder Clark, a boutique wedding and event planning company in Charleston. Jocelyn Moratzka is an associate on the member and component support operations/strategy team at The American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C.
l i m i t e d t i c k e t s ava i l a b l e Kathryn Morgan (M.A.T.) and Wesley Lyon ’13 (M.B.A.) were married in June. Katie is the director of corporate stewardship for Litton Entertainment in Mt. Pleasant, and Wesley is an account executive with WealthEngine. Jennifer Osborne is a graduate student in MUSC’s neuroscience program. Elizabeth Scott is the guest services manager at Festiva’s The Church Street Inn in Charleston. Carly Shevitz is a member of the U.S. National Sailing Team’s Women’s 470 class. Emeline Thorpe is the assistant spa operations manager at Belmond Charleston Place. Morgan Ward earned an M.A.T. from Winthrop University and is a math teacher at York Comprehensive High School in York, S.C.
2015 Sara Beekman is a data analyst at
SnapCap in Charleston. Lydia Bennett is an account manager at Geeks in a Box, a marketing firm in the Charleston area. Pat Branin was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court, recognizing student-athletes who excelled in academics during the 2014–15 season. Pat served as co-captain of the Cougar basketball team during his senior year. CC Buford was a member of the 2014–15 Women’s Golf Coaches Association Division I AllAmerican Scholar Team. CC is a graduate student at the Kanakuk Institute in Branson, Mo., a one-year leadership development program that focuses on Bible study and discipleship practices. Reba Carroll is a residence life hall director at Stephen F. Austin University in Texas. Chaisson Dangerfeld is a spa front desk agent at The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
Taz Dossaji is a graduate student at the New York University College of Dentistry. Gordon Hay is a graduate student at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Mackenzie Johnston is a loan officer with SnapCap in Charleston. Courtney Lawrence is an interning social media coordinator for U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s campaign office. Sean Mueller collaborated with sculpture professor Jarod Charzewski to create three sculptures, one installed in North Charleston’s Riverfront Park, one in Colorado Springs’ Transit Gallery and one in Newport Beach, Calif. Each piece is bicycle themed and two are kinetic, meaning they move by way of people turning the cranks. Laura Mullett and Christopher Fredericks were married in June and live in Germany. Austin Prusak is a loan officer with SnapCap in Charleston. Cheryl Schlaeppi and Joshua Myers were married in June. Peter Spearman and Matthew Navey are cofounders of the music promotion group Pop-Up Charleston, which celebrated its first anniversary in August. Jessie Thayer works for Little Dog Agency Inc., where she helps clients with social media management and public relations outreach. Eric Wiley is a loan officer with SnapCap in Charleston. Tori Williams is a communication coordinator with Knowledge Capital Group, a boutique consulting firm in Charleston.
Check out more stories and information about the College at today.cofc.edu.
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[ faces and places ]
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There’s always something going on at the College: 1 Student Ambassadors (admissions office) 2 Demolition of Physicians Memorial Auditorium 3 August Board of Trustees meeting: Teresa Smith (Multicultural Student Programs and Services) and Greg Padgett ’79 (chair, Board of Trustees) 4 S.C. State Sen. Clementa Pinckney funeral: Kylon Middleton ’95 (pastor, Hopewell A.M.E. Church) 5 Convocation: Rene Mueller (international business) 6 CofC North Campus (check presentation of $24,900 to help fund a military and veterans student services coordinator): Godfrey Gibbison (School of Professional Studies), D. Jermaine Husser (Palmetto Warrior Connection) and President Glenn McConnell ’69 7 Student section for Friday Night Futbol (men’s soccer) 8 Check presentation of $100,000 for the Wells Fargo Business Scholarship: Alan Shao (School of Business), Len Hutchison (Wells Fargo) and President McConnell 9 CofC North Campus: April Kelly, Jill Van Pelt, President McConnell, Graeme Coetzer (School of Business), John Miller (CEO, Denny’s) and John |
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12 14 13
Dillon 10 Tibetan sand mandala built in Addlestone Library rotunda: Lobsang Tsering (Drepung Loseling Monastery Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Practice, and Culture in Atlanta, Ga.) 11 President McConnell manning the Peanuts-inspired information booth on the first day of classes 12 Network Globally, Act Locally (NGAL) event, sponsored by the Huge Foundation: Honorable Eerik Marmei (Estonian ambassador to the United States) 13 The Rev. Jesse Jackson in Alumni Hall addressing students about the importance of voting 14 International student welcome reception with Clyde the Cougar 15 Check presentation of $25,000 from Dominion Foundation for water quality research at Dixie Plantation: Michael Auerbach (School of Sciences and Mathematics), President McConnell and Kristen Munsey Beckham â€™07 (Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission) 16 Jewish Student Union/Hillel welcome back picnic in Stern Center Gardens 17 Bully Pulpit series: U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham in Alumni Hall FA L L 2 0 1 5 |
Hollings Marine Laboratory: Gavin Naylor’s Lab I WORK IN PROFESSOR GAVIN NAYLOR’S molecular evolution lab at the Hollings Marine Laboratory at Fort Johnson on James Island. I first met Professor Naylor at the School of Sciences and Mathematics’ research matchmaking day my first semester at the College. I was very interested in working with him, and I finally got the opportunity through the College’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program later that
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year. That summer, I began studying the evolutionary history of hammerhead sharks, which I’m continuing to investigate this year. I’ve learned that the major difference between lab classes and doing real research is, sometimes in real life, you can do all the right steps, and it just doesn’t work. There is no answer key, and often the professor is just as baffled as you are. My favorite part of the Naylor lab is
the fact that the entire lab group is open to new people and new ideas. From the professor to the lab manager to the undergraduate students: There is an open dialogue and exchange of ideas, as well as a willingness to try new things. Everyone is there to learn, even Professor Naylor. – Jasmin Graham Jasmin Graham is a double major in marine biology and Spanish.
IS OUR TOMORROW
PATRICIA WILLIAMS LESSANE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AVERY RESEARCH CENTER FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE
LET’S TALK ABOUT RACE TODAY
This summer, the College’s Avery Research Center identified today’s clear need for frank talk on race, justice and reconciliation. Thanks to a grant from Google, the College was able to create programming that fosters this crucial dialogue. Now is our time to make our ideals a reality.
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Within these pages, you're going to find many stories showcasing the College of Charleston's dynamic and intellectually vigorous culture.We...