L IA E T IV T EN C I D PE ES OS PR T R E R
C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n magaz in e
Above and Beyond
Jon Hakkila makes a discovery
of astronomical proportions.
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Fa l l 2 0 1 4 Volume XIX, Issue 1 Editor
Mark Berry Art Director
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[ table of contents ]
Around the Cistern
by Mark Berry
As an astrophysicist and leader in the new field of astro-informatics, Professor Jon Hakkila has made a career of trying to better understand the universe. And in his pioneering research of gamma ray bursts, a discovery of mind-boggling magnitude has come to light.
unforgettable by Alicia Lutz ’98
Nobody wants to be forgotten. Nobody wants to lose a loved one. Faced with the reality of his father’s dementia, John-Robert Ward II ’00 uses his camera to capture his family’s love and heartache – ensuring that no one will be forgotten, and nothing will be lost.
Love Story by Jason Ryan
Life Academic 10 Making the Grade 14 Teamwork 18 Point of View
Class Notes My Space
Not every story has a happy ending. Except, that is, in the world of romance novels. Meet several members of the College family dedicated to penning stories that are not only steamy, but deeply satisfying.
Boundless: An Abbreviated History of The College of Charleston
In November, the College launched BOUNDLESS, an ambitious, comprehensive campaign with the goal of raising $125 million for scholarships, academics, facilities and campus programs. As you’ll see, BOUNDLESS marks another important, transformative chapter in our institution’s history.
on the cover: Jon Hakkila photo by Chris M. Rogers
AROUND the CISTERN The Return to Randolph Hall You can’t help but fall in love with Charleston on one of these days. The temperature is warm, but not overwhelming – not like it can be on some spring days, dripping in humidity. A pleasant salt breeze blows through the Cistern Yard, a reassuring reminder of the proximity to the harbor. And the sky is a lush indigo, as if the city were draped in a grand South Carolina flag. Having just delivered the commencement address for the Class of 2013, Glenn McConnell ’69 is taking it all in. Looking out over the crowd, McConnell can feel the emotion as if it were a giant embrace, and smiles as he looks into eyes sparkling with tears of pride. Family members crane their necks to catch a
Charleston graduation. This is an apex moment. Everyone looks beautiful. These graduating seniors seem to shimmer on stage – the sun a natural spotlight on their white dresses and white dinner jackets. In those faces, McConnell sees so much hope, so much promise. And he remembers. He thinks back to his own days back on the Cistern in 1969. Even with Vietnam and the draft looming like a hurricane off the coast, McConnell remembers the pride and optimism he felt walking across that very same stage, shaking hands with new President Ted Stern and getting that diploma. That piece of paper represented so much: the mental struggles, the breakthroughs in his own thinking, his
Live for Today How did it come to this? Three decades of work. Three decades of consensus building. Three decades of forging relationships across the state. All for this? That’s what was running through McConnell’s mind when Ken Ard resigned as lieutenant governor of South Carolina in March 2012. That meant McConnell, who was president pro tempore of the South Carolina Senate and the most powerful senator in the state, would assume a primarily ceremonial role as president of the S.C. Senate (voting only in order to break a tie) and as head of the Office of Aging, which commanded little, if any, clout.
“Different people on this campus believe
different things. That has always been the beauty of this place. At the College, we are a vast collection of people with inquiring minds, but, at our core, we are all about trying to achieve greatness.” – President Glenn McConnell ’69
glimpse of their graduates and their arms hover in impossible angles, in attempts to snap photos – pictures they will hang prominently on their walls or display on their mantels and desks for years to come. These photos with Randolph Hall as a dramatic backdrop will serve as a reminder that it was all worth it. All the work, all the worry, all the sacrifice. As today marvelously reveals, it all made a difference. And then McConnell turns to gaze upon the sea of white sharing the stage with him. Most people think that you’ll look your best on your wedding day – that is, unless they’ve seen a College of |
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maturation toward independent thought and the hard-won confidence in his abilities. Actually, that piece of paper isn’t just a piece of paper. He understands that fully now: Rather, it’s a bond between him and the scholars who truly inspired him – Harry Freeman ’43 and Maggie Pennington in biology, the pipe-twirling Edward Towell ’34 in chemistry, Madame Andree Cochelin-Stafford in French and Sister Anne Francis Campbell, George Heltai and Glenn Grayson in history. These are the shoulders upon which he stands and, because of them, he knows – there on the Cistern stage – that he was and still is ready to face whatever may come.
A master strategist and a lawyer by training, McConnell could have maneuvered himself out of this conundrum. There was wiggle room, but he understood the spirit of the law in the state’s constitution on this particular matter. He knew that principle and commitment had to mean something, even in this new world of “upper-hand” politics and constant spin. That wasn’t his style of leadership. It never had been, and that wasn’t going to be his legacy as a public servant. “I had taken an oath, and I took that oath very seriously,” McConnell recalls. “The time had come for me to fulfill
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that obligation, but I did feel like I was attending my own political funeral.” Funerals are a funny thing. While they may be about endings and imbued with sadness and regret, they are also a time for reflection – and thus, appreciation for what came before the end. And there is a lot to appreciate in McConnell’s rise in South Carolina government. His political journey started while he was a teenager. Raised in a household of Eisenhower Republicans, McConnell followed political races and conventions in the newspapers like they were box scores for his favorite team, and he was particularly inspired by Barry Goldwater’s presidential run in 1964. Remember, South Carolina – especially on the state leadership level – was a Democratic stronghold during the sixties. Being Republican was not a popular choice then, although more and more young people were gravitating in that direction. At the College, McConnell got involved with the student council. He was a member of the College Republicans and
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also later served on the State Student Legislature, which traveled to Columbia twice a year and allowed him to see up close how the state legislature worked. By his senior year, he was president of the student body and, with Margaret Mohrmann ’69 (secretary) and Kathy Mood McKie ’70 (treasurer), he worked to strengthen the Student Government Association. “The three of us really modernized SGA,” McConnell says. “This was as the College was joining the state system, and we were going through a very, very difficult financial situation. As student leaders, we were only concerned with how to move forward, how do we help solve problems and make the campus better.” As part of that solution, McConnell would meet with President Stern and the College’s administrative leaders every Thursday morning to talk about student needs, ranging from parking meters and crosswalks to student activities. One particular student event stands out in his mind: the Grass Roots concert.
The previous year, the College brought the 5th Dimension to play in Silcox Gym, and, although the “Age of Aquarius” band awed the crowd with a great performance, it didn’t make money. McConnell vowed not to make the same fiscal mistake as his predecessors. He canvassed campus to see what students wanted to hear, and decided on the Los Angeles–based psychedelic rock band The Grass Roots, with radio hits such as “Let’s Live for Today” and “Midnight Confessions.” “We packed that gym,” McConnell smiles, remembering the students, their heads swaying back and forth as they sang, “Sha-la-la-la-la-las, live for today.” On the Greek scene, McConnell joined the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi, which was founded at the College, following in the footsteps of his brother, Samm McConnell ’62, and eventually worked his way to archon (or president) his junior/senior year. “I had an amazing student experience,” McConnell recalls. “Every Friday afternoon, we would clean the fraternity
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house and get ready to host a party. Yes, we had a good time during the weekends, but during the week, starting on Sunday, you were focused on your studies. It was a demanding academic curriculum. The classes were small, so you couldn’t hide from your professors and not be prepared.” Even today, McConnell still marvels at the intelligence of the faculty: “They were all brilliant. I remember my history professors had photographic memories. They didn’t lecture from notes. They would walk the room, reciting dates, names and moments. They really cared that you learned the material.” But those halcyon days of college would eventually end. Just a few weeks after he graduated with his degree in political science, McConnell received his preinduction notice to report to Fort Jackson for his physical. On his two-hour bus trip to Columbia, McConnell had plenty of time to think about where his life might go – and, as an avid newspaper reader, he was not thrilled with the prospect of Vietnam,
especially in light of the front-page images of Hamburger Hill and the knowledge that President Richard Nixon was sending 25,000 U.S. troops overseas by August. But fate had something else in mind. During his physical, McConnell learned that he was color blind, so color blind, in fact, that the examining officer told him, “Glenn, you’re going back to Charleston. You’re not going to shoot at your own people.” McConnell went to law school at the University of South Carolina that fall. His enthusiasm for government and law never wavered. It actually grew stronger. After earning his J.D., he was ready to change the world. And that enthusiasm caught the attention of Richard Fields, a municipal judge who had the distinction of being the first African American judge in Charleston since Reconstruction and who also served as chairman of the board for the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Program (known locally as Legal Aid). Whereas many of McConnell’s classmates went into private practice and more lucrative jobs on
Broad Street, he went to Spring Street to work for Legal Aid, a precursor to even the public defender’s office. “I learned a lot there,” McConnell says. “I saw domestic abuse cases as well as struggling families, families that had just broken down, and I saw how big finance companies took advantage of poor folks.” After two years of heavy case loads and a relentless battle against a ceaseless current, McConnell took a job as a labor management relations specialist with the Department of the Navy at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. But a couple of former colleagues from Legal Aid soon convinced him to join their private practice, which he did. At this stage, however, McConnell’s legal career was not his true distinction. Rather, his involvement in Republican politics was. By 1976, at the precocious age of 29, McConnell became county chairman for the Republicans in Charleston. “Remember, we were the vanguard of change,” McConnell points out. “We were the party of young people and new ideas.”
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His first run for office was not one for the history books, however. He was, in political parlance, a ghost candidate, having been put on the ticket for state senator just weeks before the election and facing a Democratic stalwart. No matter the long odds, McConnell dutifully got out there and went door to door, shaking hands and talking with voters. He lost, but not in a landslide. He took around 47 percent of the vote, and more people started taking notice of this rising star, including former S.C. governor Jim Edwards ’50. In 1980, Edwards convinced McConnell to try his luck again. This time, with the former governor as his campaign chairman, McConnell had a real shot.
2013 from several alumni when former president P. George Benson announced he was stepping down. McConnell was flattered, of course, but he had already rolled up his sleeves and begun carving out a life as lieutenant governor. The challenges facing senior citizens in South Carolina were heart-wrenching, and, in only two years of office, he had already increased the budget and the relevance of the Office of Aging. No, this is my duty now, he thought. But that beautiful day in May on the Cistern – so full of hope and optimism – lingered in his thoughts even several months later. McConnell told his friends he would think about it and make a choice before
the new year. He already had quite a bit of campaign money in his war chest for the upcoming lieutenant governor race in fall 2014, and he thought it unethical to pursue both positions at the same time. He must choose – and soon. In the meantime, McConnell picked up a Gates Foundation report on higher education, and what he read shocked him. According to the report, more than 40 percent of the country’s four-year colleges will most likely be absorbed by larger universities or go out of business. McConnell had seen the College teeter on collapse before. It was that way in the late sixties during his undergraduate years, and it was that way in the mid-
“I only know that this is the honorable course for me to take. And I know as a matter of faith that the right thing to do
is always the best thing to do.”
– McConnell in declaring his desire to become the College’s president
He analyzed election results in order to figure out how the Republican Party might grab more than 50 percent of the electorate, and he created a public relations campaign focusing on educational reform, criticizing the money spent by the General Assembly and urging voters to seek a government that “spoke in a voice more like their own.” McConnell and Arthur Ravenel ’50 (longtime state politician and namesake of the bridge spanning the Cooper River today) teamed up, campaigning at every crossroads in Charleston and Georgetown counties (the voting district for this particular seat). McConnell’s message and his personality resonated with voters. And for the next 32 years, McConnell served as a state senator, rising up the ranks until, in 2001, he became the first Republican president pro tempore since Reconstruction.
Striking Home Glenn, you’ve got to consider running for president at the College. They need you. We need you. That was the message being relayed to McConnell late in the summer of
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| McConnell, senior student body president, in Alumni Hall, 1969 |
eighties, when he led a legislative audit of expenses and found an ineffective administration. He cared too much for the College to let it fail now. And while no one was talking failure, per se, McConnell foresaw the possibility of a different kind of defeat as the talks of a merger with the Medical University of South Carolina gained traction in the S.C. Statehouse. “The College was under siege,” McConnell says. “And I saw us in a weaker position if there were a merger with MUSC. The stronger always absorbs the weaker. I wanted the College to be on equal footing and be the master of its own fate.” And so, in an op-ed that appeared across the state in early January, McConnell formally threw his hat into the ring, writing that “the most compelling reason I have chosen this path is because of my love for the College of Charleston and my belief that I can be of service to her during a time of tremendous challenges as well as exciting opportunities.” There was no turning back, and McConnell understood the risk: “I have no idea whether or not I will be chosen. I am aware that I may end up with nothing at all. I only know that this is the honorable
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course for me to take. And I know as a matter of faith that the right thing to do is always the best thing to do.” Well, the “right thing to do” turned out in his favor when the Board of Trustees selected him as the 22nd president of the College, making him the third alumnus in the institution’s 244-year history to hold the top position. However, the choice did not come without some controversy. Various student groups and faculty members led campuswide protests, criticizing the presidential search process as well as McConnell’s passion for Civil War history and his lack of highereducation experience. For McConnell, it was not easy to have his character and credentials questioned like that, to be defined in gross generalizations and fear-mongering stereotypes. Anyone who truly knew him knew better. He was a far different man from the caricature in which some critics wished to paint him. McConnell believed – as did his many supporters – that his record of public service spoke for itself. Without a doubt, he was about consensus, common ground, solving problems. Just look, he wanted to shout. Everything about him spoke to making headway, not headlines. But he took it in stride. In fact, that debate was part of what attracted him back to campus and even reaffirmed his decision to seek this office. It was that passionate fight of ideas: That, for McConnell, is what has made this country great. People should express their opinions about leadership, and he knew that, given a chance, he would change minds. “Different people on this campus believe different things,” McConnell observes. “That has always been the beauty of this place. At the College, we are a vast collection of people with inquiring minds, but, at our core, we are all about trying to achieve greatness. And that is why I came back – to help us keep reaching for greatness. That was my experience when I was here, and I want future generations to have that same opportunity as well. “Now that I have this chance to lead this great institution, my alma mater,” McConnell smiles, looking around Randolph Hall, “I hope to prove that I am the right man, right now.” – Mark Berry
TRUE MAROON Glenn Fant McConnell ’69 Born: December 11, 1947, in Charleston and grew up in Rantowles (between Ravenel and Charleston) Education B.S. in Political Science, College of Charleston J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law Honorary Doctorates University of Charleston, S.C. The Citadel Francis Marion University Medical University of South Carolina College of Charleston Additional CofC Honors Bingham Oratorical Medal (1969) Alumnus of the Year Award (1987) Founders’ Medal Award (1992) Alumni siblings Samm McConnell ’62 Millie McConnell Moore ’64 Debbie McConnell ’73 Diane McConnell ’77 (deceased)
Legislative highlights Lieutenant Governor President Pro Tempore, South Carolina Senate Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Judicial Merit Selection Commission Chairman, Rules Committee Chairman, African American History Monument Commission Chairman, Hunley Commission Movie appearance The Hunley (1999) – played the role of General Thomas Jordan, the chief of staff of P.G.T. Beauregard (portrayed by Donald Sutherland) Things named for him Glenn McConnell Residence Hall (College of Charleston) McConnell, Mood, Mohrmann Student Government Association Service Award (College of Charleston) Glenn McConnell Parkway (Charleston)
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Higher Mission In an effort to accommodate future educational demands, the College’s mission statement was revised by the Board of Trustees to designate the College as a comprehensive university and the University of Charleston, South Carolina, as a research institution. This enables the College to offer doctoral programs if they are needed in the future and if the necessary approvals are received from the state and from the College’s regional
accreditor. The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education has approved the amended mission statement, which does not change the undergraduate College of Charleston name or mission, but gives the institution the means to adapt to and meet the Charleston community’s needs for graduate education and research through UCSC. In other words, it empowers the College to take higher education a little bit higher.
North Star The College’s North Campus and Lowcountry Graduate Center have relocated to a new building that features technologically sophisticated classrooms and lecture-capture rooms, as well as a library with separate spaces for individual and small-group studying, three computer labs, administrative and faculty offices, a large meeting space and a café/lounge area with a grab-and-go market. “The new North Campus facility was designed specifically to promote group learning and interactive teaching, and in our classrooms, faculty can digitally capture and archive lectures for online review,” says Godfrey Gibbison, dean of the College of Charleston North Campus.
Symbolic refresh This past summer, the College unveiled its new logo, designed in collaboration with Gil Shuler Graphic Design of Mt. Pleasant. Combining the College of Charleston’s word mark with a graphic rendition of Randolph Hall, the Cistern in front of it and the live oak trees that shade the Cistern Yard, the new logo
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system captures the spirit and storied history of the heart of campus. “As an alumnus of the College,” says President Glenn McConnell ’69, “I’m proud that this new logo acknowledges our historic past at the same time we look toward our bright future.”
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harboring Education The Cistern Yard might be the heart of campus, but the College’s pulse can now be felt all the way down Calhoun Street on the Aquarium Wharf. Harbor Walk, the College’s newest, most modern facility, is located less than a mile from campus and is divided into two sections: Harbor Walk West – which features fresh and airy classrooms, labs and faculty offices
for the departments of biology and physics and astronomy during the renovation of the Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center – and Harbor Walk East, which includes state-of-the-art classrooms, research labs, student workspaces, a conference room and faculty offices for the Department of Computer Science. Oh, and views – really great views.
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| Photo by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |
Swamped in Research
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For generations of students, it’s been a gathering spot – a place to meet for lunch, to study or just soak up some sun. But for Allison Welch and her undergraduate research students, the small pond in the Stern Center Garden provides the perfect subject pool. “There is a big population of Southern toads and tadpoles in there,” says the assistant professor of biology, who also collects eggs, tadpoles and toads from the College’s Dixie Plantation to use in her research on the effects of environmental changes on amphibians. “We use the Southern toad because they’re so common; we can take a few out of the environment without affecting the population. And amphibians in general make good models because their complex life cycle makes them vulnerable to changes in both the terrestrial and the aquatic environments.” Welch’s interest in amphibian ecology has in recent years focused on conservation biology. For example, she is using tadpoles as a model for freshwater vertebrates to determine how the degradation of common drugs (i.e., ibuprofen and naproxen) affects them. These drugs pass through our bodies and – not completely removed by waste treatment centers – come out in our waterways. “There has been a lot of research about pharmaceutical pollution in the past five years or so, but this takes it a step further,” says Welch, who is collaborating with associate professor of chemistry Wendy Cory for this project. “We really don’t know much at all about how the degradation of pharmaceuticals affects our environment.” Welch and her undergraduate students are running acute tests, observing tadpoles exposed for four days to different
levels of the original pharmaceutical or the compounds it breaks down into. Depending on the levels given, the molecules might kill the tadpoles, paralyze them or just make them lethargic. “The prediction was that the degradation of the molecules is more harmful than the original compounds – and, so far, that prediction has been upheld,” says Welch. In another project, Welch and her students are observing responses of tadpoles and toads to elevated salinity. “Salt and amphibians don’t go together, and this could be a problem as freshwater habitats are becoming increasingly salinized,” says Welch. “We’re studying various life stages to try to understand how the salinity tolerance changes during their life.” What they’ve found is that, once the toads become terrestrial, they can handle more salinity than they can at the aquatic stage of their life cycles. “In the tadpoles, elevated salinity causes reduced growth and activity and, at 6 parts per thousand [ppt], death; but the toads like the 6 ppt as much as freshwater,” Welch explains, noting that seawater is around 35 ppt salinity. “So, this ability to tolerate salt in their environment changes. Maybe I was being naïve, but that surprised me.” Of course, it’s just this characteristic of amphibians that make them so fascinating to scientists like Welch. “The cool thing about amphibians is their metamorphosis. The two stages of their life cycle are so different,” says Welch, noting that tadpoles, for example, have mouths like little suckers, whereas the frogs they grow into have big, wide mouths. “Plus, they are just so cute!” Yet another reason they make the perfect subject.
You’ve got to respect seaweed. As its name suggests, the stuff is remarkably hardy and pervasive, happy to live on rocky ocean bottoms, within tidal pools or even untethered, traveling through the ocean like aquatic tumbleweeds. Some seaweeds are so resilient, says marine biology professor Erik Sotka, that you could place them atop a damp cloth and refrigerate them for nine months and still expect them to grow when they are reintroduced to light. Yet there are a few places where seaweed, which is actually an algae, has not been able to grow very well, and that includes the coast of South Carolina. Sediment-heavy tidal estuaries and the absence of rocky shores have historically prevented too much seaweed from taking hold in the Palmetto State. In the last 10 years, however, things have changed. If you glance across the mud flats at low tide, there’s a good chance you’ll see lots of a type of red seaweed called Gracilaria vermiculophylla. This seaweed, originally from Japan, has teamed up with the decorator worm to make a new home in the mud flats off the southeastern United States. The worm, which lives in tubes buried a foot or two into the mud, glues the base of the seaweed to its tube opening, allowing the seaweed a sunny toehold in the tidal marsh. In exchange, the seaweed provides a habitat for small marine animals that the worm, and other organisms, can farm for food. Sotka and his students at the College’s Grice Marine Lab have been studying this arrangement, trying to determine the consequences of the arrival of this invasive species. Answers, however, are not easy to come by. “The seaweed is increasing the amount of food available in the ecosystem, but there are impacts on the cycling of nutrients in estuaries and on algal blooms,” says Sotka. “We’re also worried we’re going to smother the mudflats.” To mitigate the seaweed’s effects, Sotka has been exploring the idea of harvesting the seaweed for use as a fertilizer or for biomedical applications. More research is needed, however, before he can render a verdict regarding the seaweed’s presence in South Carolina. “With any invasive,” he smiles, “it’s complicated.” And you have to respect that.
| Photo by Gately Williams |
Inside the Academic Mind: Bing Pan Whether leading study-abroad trips to Asia or including undergraduates in his research projects, Bing Pan, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management, has been opening up students’ minds to the greater world since he came to the College in 2005. We caught up with Professor Pan, perhaps known more on campus for his infectious smile and lollipops (his simple motivation technique for ensuring dynamic classroom discussions) than his leading research on tourism. Where did you grow up? I was born and grew up in the city of Jining, Shandong Province. Sitting on a plain in northeast China, it’s an industrial city with 8 million people. It is also the birthplace of Confucius and thus preserves many traditional Chinese values. It’s well known for the loyalty and honesty of its people (and it’s also a heavy liquor–drinking culture). What is one thing every American should know about China? China has cities as rich as New York and Chicago – and places as poor as the poorest places in Africa. Yet, it is very dynamic and competitive. Many problems arose as well as much ambition and hope. The system works pretty well, and people are happier than ever before, though you can still hear many complaints about the gap between rich and poor and the prevalence of corruption. Why did you choose to focus your academic interests on the hospitality and tourism industry? I never traveled outside of my home city until I went to college. As a result, I decided to study something fun and interesting. And it has never disappointed me since. Why is it important for your students to travel to Asia? There is more than one way to see and think about things. Many times people are different, instead of good or bad. We need to learn to understand the context first, and judge second. I hope students can learn about the dynamics and diversity of lives and move beyond seeing things through an American lens. What is the most critical skill for a hospitality and tourism management major to find success in the industry? I will say the most critical skill is handson experience. You have to start at the bottom and have the passion for this industry and the tenacity to stick with it. It is not as glamorous as it seems, but if you enjoy serving others and creating experiences and have a hard work ethic, it can pay off. You did an interesting study looking at the online search habits of today’s generation. how do we help these “digital natives” become better searchers? When searching on Google, students trust the ranking of Google as much as their own judgment on the relevancy of the results based on the snippets displayed. In order to become better searchers, we need to always check the |
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source of the information, check a few more websites and ask for help from experts, if possible. How is technology transforming the hospitality and tourism industry? It has killed some industries as well as created others. Travel agencies are disappearing, while some intermediaries such as kayak.com and airbnb are burgeoning. Information technology is reconfiguring the hospitality and tourism industry. What future trends will affect the tourist industry in Charleston? As Charleston is moving toward becoming a major metropolitan city, it is important to keep its small-town feel and charm. The mayor and the city governance have done well in the past 30 years. It will take careful planning and management to keep the balance in the coming years. Where do you think the next tourism hotspot in the world will be? I think people will travel to all types of unique places with their own character. All types of niche markets will pop up instead of a few hotspots. What do you like to eat? And what’s your favorite American food? My favorite food is tofu. It is healthy, and contains protein. I love all types of American food, from burgers to pizza. I’m not picky, and I enjoy all types of good food with fresh and healthy ingredients. What kind of music do you enjoy? I like classic rock and sixties music – The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, The Eagles and Elvis. I also like Chinese rock. I was very rebellious in my middle school and high school years and listened to a lot of Western and Chinese rock music. My dream then was to join a rock band, until my academic life took over. how do you listen to music now? I use music apps on my phone and download music from there. I primarily use a Chinese music app called Himalaya. What do you do for fun? I play pickup soccer games every week. I also enjoy watching movies on Netflix, but only those movies that have an IMDB rating of 7.5 or above and have won at least 10 film awards. For non-English movies, the criteria is five film awards. What are your favorite books? In English literature, it is The Catcher in the Rye. It resonates with many people during a certain period of their lives. Nobody can capture the psyche of a teenager as well as Salinger. I think I read it in Chinese in my high school years when I was 16 or 17. I re-read it in English several years later when I was in graduate school in the U.S. In Chinese literature, it is Dream of the Red Chamber – a pinnacle of Chinese fiction. What’s your favorite tourist spot in Charleston? My favorite might be Magnolia Plantation. It has a petting zoo, and I can bring my kids and they can spend a whole day there. I love the tranquility of many tourist sites in Charleston.
Faculty Fact • The College named Antonio Tillis the new dean of the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs. Tillis served as the chair of the African and African American Studies Program at Dartmouth College as well as the inaugural director of Latin American and Latino Studies at Purdue University.
| Antonio Tillis |
• As part of his National Science Foundation grant, Chris Fragile (physics and astronomy) worked with undergraduates Winslow DiBona (major in computer science) and Steven Draugel (double major in physics and computer science) to produce Journey to a Black Hole, a free educational app for the iPad about black holes. This app includes lesson plans for students from kindergarten to high school. • Mike Lee (communication) looks at some of the most influential works that shaped conservative political thought in post–World War II America in his new book, Creating Conservatism: Postwar Words that Made an American Movement. • Christine Finnan (teacher education) received a Fulbright to conduct research at the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, a residential school that serves 20,000 indigenous children in Odisha, India. The Kalinga Institute, which provides free education, housing, meals and medical care to impoverished children from poor and remote regions of India, is the largest school of its kind in the world. • Elaine Worzala (finance), who is the director of the Carter Real Estate Center, is the 2014 recipient of the Graaskamp Award, given by the American Real Estate Society. • Scott Poole (history) has written a biography of 1950s actress Maila Nurmi (one of television’s first horror hosts) and explores her impact on pop culture in his new book, Vampira: Dark Goddess of Horror.
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MAKING the GRADE Ashlan Bishop was looking for the big picture. The more she explored and the deeper she dug, the more she found that art mimics life – and that, just as often, life mimics art. That’s when things started coming into focus. Now a premed student majoring in art history and minoring in Hispanic studies, Bishop is the poster child for an interdisciplinary education rooted in the liberal arts and sciences. And – whether in art or in medicine – she hasn’t stopped searching for the bigger picture. “The College has been really good at allowing me to explore all my interests. It’s a good place to have diverse interests and explore them all – and how they connect – because of the liberal arts and sciences foundation. It’s given me many ways to learn, and it’s ultimately given me direction,” says the junior, who came to the College because of its art history program. “The more I studied art history, the more I realized I loved the back story of the artist and the culture the work came from as much, if not more, than the visual piece. Everything I liked kept coming back to studying the life and circumstances surrounding a person. Medicine was what seemed like it would allow me free rein to understand a person. Being nosy with your patient is part of the job!” Besides, Bishop continues, “medicine and art actually have many similarities. They both require careful analytical skills (to interpret elements of a painting or symptoms your patient relates), they both have very visual components and they both center around storytelling. Ultimately, I love people’s stories. You get that in art, obviously, but you can get that in medicine, too. Everyone has a story, and every sickness has a story. You just have to listen.” Bishop began exploring the idea that a patient’s story is just as important as his/her symptoms in an Honors course
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| Photos by Gately Williams |
In Search of a Story
titled Healing Narratives, co-taught by Kathy Beres Rogers, assistant professor of English, and Silvia Youssef Hanna, adjunct psychology professor and academic advisor in the College’s Academic Advising and Planning Center. “It’s part of a general movement in medicine toward this liberal arts and
sciences approach – a more holistic approach that takes into consideration culture, background and history more than just the symptom at hand,” she explains. “It’s more about considering a patient’s whole story, because patients just don’t get sick – there’s a reason for the sickness. Maybe it’s the food
Making the Grade
that’s available at their neighborhood grocery store, maybe it’s generations of a certain lifestyle. It’s more subjective. It’s about listening to the patients and really hearing where they’re coming from.” Take, for example, the patients Bishop worked with at a MEDLIFE clinic outside Lima, Peru, where access to stores with healthful food was scarce and clean
there, the deteriorating walls and the insect and rat infestations. Once the clinic found out about the state of Ariana’s home life, MEDLIFE cleaned up the home and eventually built the family a new house altogether. “It wasn’t just strictly medicine that these people needed. Your whole life contributes to your health. You’re
water even scarcer. There, many people had parasites from the water or GI issues related to diet. And, when one of Bishop’s patients, an infant named Ariana, wasn’t recovering from the surgery she’d had for her heart defect, it helped to know about the conditions at her home, including the heaps of trash that had accumulated
bringing more than just a sickness to your doctor, but a whole background. So there’s more than just medicine that goes into healing,” says Bishop. “Knowing how these situations in patients’ lives are affecting their health can help switch the cycle of care to a more sustainable system, where illness is prevented instead
of simply treated following symptoms.” And that goes for all patients – whether in Lima, Peru, or right here in the Lowcountry – which Bishop can attest to. As a Bonner Leader, she volunteers with Coastal Connections, which works to find resources to help patients who come into the local emergency rooms. “It looks at why they came into the ER in the first place – food, transportation, living conditions – and it links them up with organizations that can help make those conditions healthier,” explains Bishop, who served as the organization’s volunteer program lead last year. “Again, it looks at the whole story.” In addition to her service work as a Bonner Leader (for which she also led a service trip to Washington, D.C.), Bishop is a William Aiken Fellow, serves on the executive board of her Alpha Delta Pi sorority, conducts research through MUSC’s DART Research Fellowship Program and is a founding member of the College’s own MEDLIFE chapter, which sent 17 CofC students to a MEDLIFE clinic in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, over the 2013 winter break and six students to clinics in Peru and Ecuador last summer. “I’ve had a lot of great research, volunteer and leadership opportunities at the College,” says Bishop, noting that this is in no small part due to the William Aiken Fellows program. “The program has given me great advising on how to dig in and explore all that the College has to offer me, based on all my different interests. Every year they ask you about your personal goals and your diverse interests, and they work with you to come up with a curriculum that’s uniquely geared to you and what you want to study, so it really personalizes your college career.” And – with her alternating semesters of art history classes and science classes – Bishop’s college career is certainly personalized. “I like it because it’s a good balance. This way I don’t get too burnt out on either end,” she says. “The liberal arts and sciences education allowed me to pursue experiences, blending the humanities and medicine, that have solidified for me that validity of this odd combination of interests.” It has, in other words, shown her how to look at the big picture.
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| Photo by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |
In His Humble Opinion
The first time mathematics professor Amy Langville heard of Tyler Perini, he seemed like the type of academic superstar that comes through the math department every decade or so. But upon meeting Perini, Langville came away with a different impression. Actually, says Langville, “He’s the type of kid that comes around once in a generation.” That’s high praise for any student, and Perini is quick to return the love to his faculty advisor. He credits Langville as an excellent mentor who demonstrates practical ways in which to apply mathematics. Together the pair recently collaborated with philosophy professor Thomas Nadelhoffer and psychology professor Jen Wright on a research project focused on determining the psychological underpinnings behind people’s abundance of humility or lack thereof. Specifically, Langville and Perini helped create a |
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computer program that can analyze writing samples in order to determine how humble a person is.
of linguistic theories by James Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin, they changed their approach. In his book, The Secret Life of Pronouns, Pennebaker argues that function words are extremely important and can be indicative of all sorts of traits, including whether people are truthful, how rich they are or how much power they think they have. In other words, Perini explains, function words act as an “invisible signature.” So Perini started analyzing every word in a response. He also began scaling up his research, being able to analyze not just a sentence at a time for indicators of humility, but whole paragraphs. Perini made his program 67 percent accurate. Then came a bigger test: What if you fed his program random samples of text unrelated to the experiment? What if you gave the humility-detecting program eight statements from a paragon of virtue? Someone, say, like Mother Teresa? Turns out Mother Teresa is not too humble, at least according to Perini’s analysis. Only one of eight statements she made displayed a significant amount of humility, leading Perini to suspect his textual analysis program needs continued refining. Or, as Langville says, maybe Mother Teresa was a humble person, but not everything she uttered would indicate humility. In any case, Langville says the results of their work have been incredibly satisfying. Already they have applied for a grant to
“He’s the type of kid that comes around once in a generation.” – mathematics professor Amy Langville about Tyler Perini
For example, research subjects were asked questions about their relationships to others, to the universe, to God and to the environment. Their answers were then analyzed by Perini’s program, which then indicated how humble the test subject was. Sounds straightforward, right? Not exactly. At first, Perini and Langville were inclined to have the program ignore what are called function words, which include articles and pronouns. But, after learning
expand their research into analyzing text samples to detect levels of self-control. A lot of the project’s success can be attributed to Perini’s knack for translating mathematical principles and results into plain language and easy-to-understand graphics. Perini, too, seems to revel in his position as liaison and interpreter. “I’m caught between a mathematician, a psychologist and a philosopher, and I have to make sense of it all,” says Perini. “That’s my favorite part of this project.”
| Photos by Gately Williams |
Making the Grade
Man About Town The seas are rising. Fossil fuels are being consumed in record amounts, used by a world becoming ever more populated and industrialized. Weather patterns have become chaotic, resulting in fiercer storms and extended droughts. For those who pay attention to climate change, it’s apparent that something has got to give. Senior Garrett Boudinot is one of those people, and he refuses to remain idle in the face of potential ecological collapse. But where to start? Individual efforts to lead more environmentally friendly lives are often dismissed as noble but insignificant. And expecting significant change from large corporations and governments has been deemed unrealistic; these organizations are controlled by stakeholders who stand to lose too much money or power should the status quo be upended. One possible solution: change initiated on a local level. This, Boudinot and others believe, could be the key to restoring the ecological balance on Earth. In May, Boudinot made a research trip to Totnes, England, which is the world’s first Transition Town, or community trying to free itself of unsustainable habits,
including a reliance on oil. Residents of Totnes do a number of things to make their town more self-reliant and “ecologically resilient,” says Boudinot, from recycling rain and shower water to installing solar panels to creating permacultures, farms or gardens designed to be diverse and self-sufficient. Transition Towns like Totnes also emphasize the importance of strengthening the local economy, as robust local trade decreases a dependence on oil and other sources of energy. Boudinot came away from his visit so impressed that he is convinced Charleston should be one of the world’s next Transition Towns. And the good news is that Charleston is already well positioned to become increasingly selfreliant. There are thriving farmers markets in the Holy City, a dense urban core and a rich historical and environmental heritage that makes people emotionally invested in their community. The more people enjoy these things, Boudinot argues, the stronger and more stable Charleston will be. “To have a relationship with something, we have to spend time with it,” says
the geology major. “Experiencing the Lowcountry is half the battle of saving it.” Overseeing Boudinot’s research on Transition Towns is Todd LeVasseur ’97. The religious studies professor credits Boudinot for being a dedicated and wellread student, especially in the realm of scholarship concerning climate change and so-called green religions, in which ecology plays a central role in one’s way of life. “He’s very interdisciplinary,” says LeVasseur. “He can bridge the natural sciences and the humanities, which is a great skill set.” Transition Towns are simply adaptive communities. They seek to survive in a changing world. And, like it or not, there is broad scientific consensus that the world is indeed changing, which is why LeVasseur champions Boudinot’s attempt to “get this on the radar as a community. “Lying to ourselves is the worst approach,” LeVasseur says of the public indifference associated with calls to curb climate change. “I’d love to see Charleston have this dialogue.” And, Boudinot, for one, is determined to get that dialogue going. FA L L 2 0 1 4 |
| Photo by Mike Ledford |
Tower of Power
If Cougars’ baseball head coach Monte Lee ’00 had a team full of Bailey Obers, he’d surely win a lot of games. He also might get bored. With Bailey Ober, Lee explains, there’s just not that much coaching that he needs to do. Ober arrived at the College last year like the perfect Christmas gift: nicely wrapped, ready to go, no assembly required. “You almost feel guilty,” says Lee. “You feel like you don’t have to do anything.”
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By that Lee means the sophomore, who stands 6’ 8” tall, is the near-complete package, in need of just a bit of fine tuning. He’s got “pinpoint command” of his pitches, says Lee, which is unusual for such a tall guy. He also has “great poise and composure,” the coach continues, “which you don’t often see in younger athletes.” And that’s not just Lee’s opinion. The National Collegiate Baseball Writers
Association named Ober Freshman Pitcher of the Year in July after he finished his first season as a Cougar with a 10-3 record and a 1.52 ERA, the thirdbest ERA in College history and the lowest earned run average among all NCAA freshman pitchers in 2014. Ober was also named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Rookie of the Year and played a critical role in getting the Cougars to the Super Regionals and just shy of the College World Series. There are a couple of reasons it’s so hard to hit against Ober. He packs an arsenal of three devastating pitches, including a curveball, a blistering 92-mph fastball and a changeup that drops to 78 mph. What’s more, Ober throws those three very different pitches from the same arm slot and with the same arm speed, meaning hitters are often unsure of what pitch will be coming toward them until it’s too late. “That is what guys in the big leagues do,” says Lee. “There’s an extreme level of deception.” Beyond that, Ober’s 92-mph fastball, which he throws downhill on account of his height, seems more like 100 mph. All this makes Ober a very high prospect for professional baseball teams, and – after earning an alternate spot on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team during the summer – he is returning for his sophomore year with high hopes for himself and his teammates. “I think we’ll be pretty good,” says Ober. “We’ve got a lot of good guys coming back and we’ve got one of the best coaching staffs in the country.” Not that those coaches have to do much coaching when it comes to Ober. After all, look what they’re working with.
CofC coaching legend John Kresse, who led the Cougars to an NAIA championship and four NCA A Tournament appearances, received the 2014 Lapchick Character Award. + Cougar standout Gunnar Heidt (baseball) was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. + Three golfers played in this year’s U.S. Amateurs: Mary Chandler Bryan, Alex Ellis and Zach Munroe, who was also named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar. |
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Home Court Advantage
| Photo by Diana Deaver |
It’s a whole new season for the Cougars. The College this year welcomed Earl Grant as the new men’s basketball head coach and Candice Jackson as the new women’s basketball head coach – and both coaches are bound to take the Cougars to a whole new level. Having spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach at Clemson University and having learned under John Kresse protégé Greg Marshall at Winthrop and Wichita State, Grant is a native of North Charleston and remembers coming downtown to play basketball in the old Kresse Arena. This is, in many ways, his homecoming. “We are thrilled to welcome Earl back home and to the College of Charleston,” says Athletics Director Joe Hull. “He will bring great energy and excitement to our program.” For her part, Jackson hails from Duke University, where she was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, helping to sign three of the top recruiting classes in the nation. “Candice is a proven recruiter, but she also knows how to teach the game,” says Hull. “We are fortunate to gain someone of her stature, experience and knowledge.”
SUMMER 2014 |
When the redshirt senior forward looks back on her undergraduate career, Sarah Cardamone ’14 realizes her fondest memories took place at the College’s Patriots Point soccer field. Unlike her graduating teammates’ careers, however, Cardamone’s tenure on the women’s soccer team didn’t end with this May’s commencement, when she earned her degree in business administration. She rejoins the team this season as she pursues her master’s in communication in the College’s graduate program. “Grad school has been an adjustment,” she admits. “It’s a different style of learning. It’s a lot of research, which I didn’t do that much of in my particular area in the School of Business.” One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the Pennsylvania native’s love for soccer – oh, and her goals for her team. “Coming into a season, if your goal isn’t to win a championship, then you’ve already sold your team short,” she says. Cardamone is still filling in the blanks when it comes to her ambitions off the soccer field. Right now, she just hopes to keep up her A–B average in school and enhance her research abilities so that she can find a job in sports or entertainment marketing (“preferably sports”). Whatever comes of her future, she knows that she’ll always have soccer – that one constant in her life. “I love the game so much that I’m sure I’ll find a way back to it, either through coaching or being a spectator,” says Cardamone, whose pro-soccer aspirations were complicated by an ACL tear, two knee injuries and a sports hernia, each of which required surgery. Head Coach Christian Michner, who has coached Cardamone for more than four years, trusts that she can meet her goals. “Sarah is an incredibly competitive person,” he says. “She works very hard at everything she does, which is why she has been so successful in the classroom and also on the field. Her passion for the game drives her teammates. But Sarah
| Photo by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |
has also become more vocal on the field – the instruction and encouragement she gives other players is helping mold the next generation of leaders for our program.” In her fifth year on the team, Cardamone says she feels closer than ever to her teammates. “It’s odd, considering that there were
13 new players coming into this season, so it’s almost split: 13 new players and 12 players coming back,” she says. “It’s a good environment where everyone is able to perform at their best.” And, for Cardamone’s part, she is consistently working to perform at her best – no matter what environment she’s in.
Hurdler Alexia Neal (track and field) posted two second-place finishes in the Central American Championships in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. + Jake Reynolds and Ali Blumenthal (sailing) earned spots on the 2014 ICSA All-American Team. Clerc Cooper and Grace Lucas ’14 received honorable mentions in women’s sailing, and Ryan Davidson earned an honorable mention in coed sailing. + Director of Sailing Greg Fisher won the Lightning North American Championship this summer. Zeke Horowitz ’12 served on Fisher’s crew. |
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| Photo by Mike Ledford |
crown victorias It’s been said that where there is unity, there is always victory. The College’s equestrian team certainly proved that last May when it finished second at the 2014 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships in Harrisburg, Pa. “Our win at nationals wasn’t just the six girls representing the team, but all 45 girls on the roster,” says head coach Bob Story. “It was a group effort that got us to nationals – every single member of our team contributed to us getting there.” And, once there, it was two stand-out student-athletes that led the team to victory: then-sophomores Victoria Bauer (first place in the novice fences, pictured left) and Victoria Gonzalez (first place in the walk-trot, pictured right). “Both the Victorias just went out there and did what they had to do,” says Story. “They made us all proud. There are so many things that go into winning, so many things that have to fall into place, just the right way.” Not the least of which, of course, is the team unity that ultimately led the Cougars to victory. SUMMER 2014 |
POINT of VIEW
[ student ]
We all dream of making a difference, of changing the world in a positive way. For one student, that dream became a reality when she went to Ghana, where she discovered she had an opportunity to make a real impact on real peoples’ lives. by Eden Katz The idiom move mountains took on a very literal meaning for me in the summer of 2013. What started out as a misunderstanding over a scholarship turned into a project to figure out a plausible and realistic plan for removing piled-up garbage from a rural village in Ghana. I remember standing in front of the looming mountain of trash, watching goats pick at it and children scramble barefoot over it. The task in front of me was intimidating, but I knew that – with the helpful guidance from experts, the wonderful tool that is the Internet and the incredible teamwork from the people of the village and the nonprofit Project OKURASE – we would be able to literally and figuratively move mountains. It all started when I was awarded a scholarship that I could only accept if I was getting college credit. I was trying to raise funds to participate in a trip to Ghana with Project OKURASE, where I would volunteer with their Village Health Outreach, an annual clinic held in the village of Okurase. I wanted the scholarship, so I figured I would see if I could turn my trip into an independent study. I needed one for the Honors College anyway, so, why not? I met with Cindy Swenson, one of the directors of Project OKURASE and a professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, to discuss my options. Little did I know that I would walk out of that meeting with a project that had the potential to dramatically improve living conditions for the people of Okurase – I was just expecting to conduct some sort of research that would culminate in a paper that I assumed would only benefit myself. But then Cindy told me about an enormous problem that the nonprofit and leaders of the village have not yet begun to address. Okurase has little to no waste management. Their garbage is disposed of either on the side of the road or on one of the several “waste mountains” found throughout the village. These waste mountains are exactly what they sound like: enormous piles of trash and dirt that have accumulated over the years. Dealing with waste in this way has many detrimental health and environmental effects. It is an issue that absolutely must be dealt
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with, but the leaders of the village and the nonprofit have so many other projects on their plate that they have simply not had the time to begin to tackle this problem. I walked out of the meeting with an assignment to research waste management in rural areas and write a proposal for the nonprofit and leaders of the village. This proposal would contain my research and advice on how to tackle the growing problem. I was incredibly intimidated by the task, but also so excited. I’d just been handed not just an independent study (and therefore a scholarship), but the opportunity to work on something that actually had the potential to make a difference. I was in complete shock and over the moon. The Village Health Outreach wasn’t until July, so I spent the first two months of my summer scouring online journal databases looking for papers regarding rural waste management. The Internet is a beautiful thing; I found countless articles on recycling, various forms of composting, controlled dumping and education and community involvement in waste management projects. I also found several websites of nonprofits involved in similar projects. By the time I left for Ghana, I had a 2-inch binder full of articles and notes. While all this research made me more knowledgeable about the subject, it also made me realize what a huge endeavor this was going to be. Our arrival in Ghana was delayed by two days, thanks to Delta Airlines. We also lost our bags for another two days, but none of this dampened our spirits! We were met at the airport by Samuel Nkrumah Yeboah, also known as “Powerful,” the co-director of Project OKURASE, and, the next morning, we all loaded ourselves onto a bus and drove to the village. We received the warmest possible welcome: There were people all around playing drums as we got off the bus at the guest house. Okurase is a drummaking village with an excellent drum troupe, and, that night, we were introduced to it at a lively drumming and dancing performance. Everyone was up out of their seats and dancing. It was an absolute blast. The Village Health Outreach began the next day. Throughout the five days of the clinic, I worked at the registration table, dataentry station, eyeglass station, wound-care station and checkout station. It was incredibly busy and I was worried I wasn’t going to have time to investigate the waste management situation. Fortunately, the clinic presented a great place to do more digging about waste management. The day I worked at the checkout station, for example, I had contact with patients as they left the clinic. I wrote up a list of questions and interviewed them with the help of a translator before they left the clinic. The questions were all regarding their opinions about the way waste is handled in the village, whether
| Illustration by Nick Sadek |
Taking Out the Trash
POINT of VIEW
or not they think it’s a problem and what they think should be done to solve it. I was surprised by the amount of people that did not view it as a problem. But this does make sense: If, for their whole lives, they haven’t used garbage cans, and for their parents’ and grandparents’ lives, generations back, it has never been done – why should they think it is necessary? The people that did have a problem with it were those who lived in close proximity to the waste mountains. These interviews showed me that a large part of the project would be about
bare feet. I think what bothered me the most was that they didn’t really see a problem with it. We hope to build playgrounds on the sites of the waste mountains once they are removed. To motivate myself throughout the experience, I tried to envision those children playing on a jungle gym instead of a mountain of trash. My summer ended with a 23-page proposal containing my suggestions for the waste management project in Okurase. Project OKURASE was incredibly appreciative and excited about my research. While I am proud of my work and its potential
education, because community involvement is so important with projects like this. The people have to want it and think it is important; if not, they will go right back to throwing trash onto the waste mountains. I know this because there were several waste receptacles around the village, with trash scattered around them. This was not going to be a small, simple task. I was even more acutely aware of how significant a project this was when I actually paid a visit to the waste mountains. The largest one can be seen over the roofs of the houses. They were all enormous, and some people lived only a few yards away from the perimeters of the piles. The worst feeling for me was seeing the children play on the waste mountains. Especially in their
to make a difference if implemented, I am also so grateful for this experience and what it taught me. I learned the value of collaboration and teamwork. I would not have been able to write a successful proposal without the help I received from the people of Okurase and Project OKURASE. I know that no one person can change the world, or even the waste management situation of a small, rural village. But a good team, I believe, can accomplish anything. I have high hopes for the future of this project, and will continue to work with Project OKURASE until we have actually moved mountains. – Eden Katz is an international studies major in the Honors College.
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POINT of VIEW [ faculty ] The Biting Truth The hagfish is an unusual creature, to say the least. With its two pairs of sharp teeth that protract and retract, it looks like a cross between a worm and a B-movie monster (think Slither or Night of the Creeps). But for one biology professor, this remarkable ancient form of life may hold the key to unlocking some new doors of discovery. by Andrew Clark
| Illustration by Karl ZurflĂźh |
Animals are unquestionably fascinating organisms, many of them possessing the ability to perform spectacular movement. My childhood obsession with animals began with an early exposure to domestic and wild animals, watching television and drawing. I must acknowledge my parents for being cool with their boy exploring his obsession, which translated into an academic journey entailing earning B.S. and Ph.D. degrees, animal-
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care experiences (as an aquarist for the National Aquarium at Washington, D.C.; as a SCUBA diver for the Miami Seaquarium; and as a zookeeper for the Miami MetroZoo) and various research adventures investigating structural and functional adaptations that animals possess for achieving powerful and rapid movement. Most of my professional and academic training is grounded in the fields of comparative anatomy and physiology. Within these disciplines, my research specializes in comparative biomechanics â€“ a highly engaging topic that interfaces biology with seemingly unrelated academic fields like engineering, physics, materials science, mathematics, computer science and medicine. Because of its integrative nature, my research experiences have involved a variety of animal subjects, such as fish, lizards, snakes, birds and cockroaches. During the past decade, my research activities have included recording and analyzing two- and three-dimensional body movements, muscle activity and force production from hagfish feeding, lizards running and guinea fowls slipping. Most of the research being conducted in my lab at the College investigates the morphology and tensile mechanics of biological
POINT of VIEW
materials such as hagfish skin and cockroach exoskeletons. Though someone like me may be popularly recognized as a “hagfish guy,” swinging from one critter like a hagfish to another critter like a guinea fowl is easy to do, assuming the questions being asked are provoking (i.e., the questions bear strong intellectual merit and broader impact). With that in mind, you do the best you can to address these questions by carefully planning and conducting your experimental methods and analyses, and ultimately seeing the work through to publication. Being part of a supportive, collaborative research team accelerates this process!
of teeth powered by a soft feeding apparatus that, with the exception of keratinous dentition, looks similar to a Vienna sausage in size, shape, color and passive flexural stiffness. The first approaches I used to better understand how these teeth work were videotaping live hagfish feeding behaviors in the laboratory and dissecting the feeding apparatuses, or “sausage jaws,” of frozen specimens. Video recordings helped me quantify tooth movements of feeding hagfish while the anatomical dissections and illustrations helped me generate some very interesting questions and hypotheses regarding the biomechanics
Though someone like me may be popularly recognized as a
“hagfish guy,” swinging from one critter like a hagfish to another critter like a guinea
fowl is easy to do, assuming the questions being asked are provoking.
The largest theme in my research program is the biomechanics of jawless feeding in hagfish. At first sight, one might say that a hagfish (e.g., a 30-cm-long Atlantic hagfish) lying at the bottom of an aquarium looks a lot like a 30-cm-long Ballpark Frank, or perhaps like a 30-cm-long eel devoid of scales and eyes. Despite their unprepossessing exterior and soft, boneless construction, hagfish are capable of executing highly acrobatic and forceful movements when feeding. Hagfish possess a formidable set
of tooth function in hagfish. While in graduate school, my colleagues and I discovered that, despite lacking proper jaws and being soft in feeding apparatus and whole body, hagfish could drive their teeth into food items at forces equal to and greater than the bite forces of equally sized jawed vertebrates. Remarkably, the soft muscle and connective tissues comprising the sausage jaws function in moving the teeth while providing a hydrostatic skeleton to support the tooth movements and muscle forces. In other words, the soft hagfish feeding apparatus can behave like a musculoskeletal system even in the absence of a rigid support skeleton (like jaws made of bone or mineralized cartilage). Soft-bodied marine invertebrates, such as predatory marine worms and octopuses, commonly use this strategy, by which pressurized fluid stiffens soft structures to support forceful biting movements. For several years, Theodore Uyeno (my colleague at Valdosta State University) and I have been perplexed by the resemblance between hagfish biting and octopus biting. We recently have been awarded research funding from the National Science Foundation to investigate these similarities, along with two additional extraordinary traits about the biomechanics of feeding hagfish: their ability to tie their bodies into knots and use the knots for stabilizing and leveraging tooth movements, and their unusually loose skin – which might have contractile abilities – and their soft body core (consisting mostly of muscles arranged more like those in a salamander than in other fish) that mediate their knot formation and manipulation. For the next three years, the NSF funding will be budgeted for research equipment to be housed in Ted’s lab at VSU and my lab at the College, professional and academic training for undergraduates and graduates at both institutions and international travel to field sites in New Zealand, Japan and Mexico. It’s another step forward in my obsession with animals and one that may help us understand our world a little bit better. – Andrew Clark is an assistant professor of biology.
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POINT of VIEW
[ alumni ]
Reflections on Recovery No matter who you are, your body image plays a role in your life. It may empower you – or, in some cases, it may defeat you, ravaging your health, ruining your relationships, destroying your life. One alumna has fought this battle – continues to fight this battle – and what she has learned in this constant struggle has changed everything for her. by Emily Rogers ’13
Trigger warning: This piece contains graphic imagery of living with an eating disorder. Anorexia: Even as I look at the word, it seems foreign. Like a foggy memory of jutting hipbones, exposed ribs, birdlike shoulder blades. It belongs to another Emily, another person. Someone small inside of me, perhaps. But it is me, it was my
emergency blood test to determine if I needed to be hospitalized. I only thought I was being healthy, that I could finally have the body that I wanted, that society told me I needed. It turns out I was sick. It was a disease. I went home that night and laid on my bedroom floor in my underwear, sobbing, feeling my hip bones stab my sides. It only got harder after that, the therapy and process of recovery. It’s like pulling your lungs out of your body and you’re running to get them back. That’s how hard it was for me to eat something different, something more. Like when I made a peanut butter and banana sandwich, to my exact specifications – 1/3 of a banana and only 1 tablespoon of peanut butter – and ended up crying in the bathroom in my high school cafeteria because it was so painful and hard and frustrating for me to eat that sandwich. The funny thing about eating disorders is that they can morph, they are fluid and alive within you. The more comfortable I got eating different foods, the more rigid I got with exercising. One hour at the gym every day, minimum. My muscles weren’t
Recovery is a process. One that I don’t think ever
body. The blurry years of 15, 16 and 17 were marked with identically portioned meals, doctor’s visits and blood tests. “Emily, your iron is too low.” “Emily, please try and eat something else.” “Emily, this isn’t healthy.” It started out slowly, the summer after my freshman year of high school. I used those exercise cards you pull out of fitness magazines. I did them every day and I felt stronger. Then I started to diet: I ate fat-free everything. No chips, no white bread, no peanut butter. Only fruits and vegetables. I lost weight – I lost a lot of weight. And people noticed, they complimented me on it. It felt good; it felt like I was winning. I didn’t admit to myself it was an eating disorder until October, when my mom took me to the doctor, where they gave me an
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hard enough, weren’t toned enough. If I stopped, I’d get fat. Going to the gym became the center of my day; I felt off and uncomfortable and twitchy until I was able to go. I called it exercis-arexia. This stuck around for about a year until it morphed again. Binge-eating disorder: Something within me snapped, I stopped caring. The body I wanted suddenly wasn’t worth the pain I felt. I ate and I ate. All the foods that I had forbidden myself to eat. I gained 70 pounds in three months. I hid food. After school I would buy boxes of cookie dough and muffins and eat until my stomach hurt. I tried to throw up a few times, but I couldn’t get the hang of it. Instead, I kept eating, and my body changed again. The pain didn’t go away, I still hated my body.
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ends. It’s been eight years and it’s still a part of me. ... am not my disease anymore; it does not control me or own me. I love my body, finally.
POINT of VIEW
I hated my disease and myself. I hated my bright-red stretch marks, marks of my shame. Recovery is a process. One that I don’t think ever ends. It’s been eight years and it’s still a part of me. My stretch marks have faded into a translucent white; I exercise again, and some foods still turn my stomach inside out. But I am not my disease anymore; it does not control me or own me. I love my body, finally. Zumba helped me love my body, my shapely, soft body. My body, a body that went through hell. And now, my body, she dances. When I do Zumba, I take back my body. I take back the once-protruding hip bones, the now fleshy ribs. I claim them as my own. I move them and I move with them. I meringue with verve, I salsa with passion, I shake it like I mean it. Zumba allows me to reclaim my once-broken body. At first, I was intimidated by the footwork and coordination I thought necessary to do Zumba, but a friend, a fellow eating-disorder survivor, persuaded me to go to a class. I tripped over my own feet and didn’t care. I felt alive. I didn’t feel the need to hide my body or make excuses for it. I just moved. Zumba helps me tap into my sexuality. My hips make wide arcs and I feel love for them. I check the clock: It’s 5:05 and Zumba starts three blocks away in 10 minutes. I’m already wearing my spandex and sports bra. I’ve got my Zumba shoes on, and I’m fully equipped with a water bottle. There are no excuses, even though I’m tired and my limbs feel like they are stuck in Jell-O when I try to move them. But when I get to the gym and see my friend Amanda smiling at me, I feel more energized. She asks if I have any song requests for class; I respond, “I want to feel like a badass, a bomb chick. I want to dance out my feelings.” She nods and smiles. Amanda gets it.
Zumba helped me love my body, my shapely, soft body. My body, a body that went through hell. And now,
my body, she dances.
The music starts. I feel the bass beating in my chest. “Keep your abs tight and your hips loose,” Amanda shouts to the class. Suddenly, my limbs feel light and nimble, but they also feel strong and fierce. I’m stomping and gyrating and sweating and smiling. My body is mine again, we move together as one. I’m no longer looking at her from the outside, picking out imperfections and storing them to dwell on later. Now, I’m feeling her, every inch of her, and we’re luscious. Now I dance. I dance for me. I dance for Emily – the old Emily, and the new. I dance to celebrate this body that is worth shaking. – Emily Rogers ’13 is a volunteer services coordinator for the SCORE Association in Washington, D.C.
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// Jon Hakkila, professor of physics and astronomy, made history this past year when his international team of astrophysicists claimed to have discovered the largest structure in the universe. And their revelation may change the way we look at everything. // by Mark Berry // photos by Chris M. Rogers
Physics and astronomy professor Jon Hakkila poses with the original telescope that was used in the observatory atop Randolph Hall. Hakkila saved the instrument from being scrapped years ago, and the telescope was later featured in the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art's exhibit From the Moon: Mapping & Exploration in 2011–12.
e really didn’t want to believe it. It didn’t make sense – scientific sense, that is. But the statistical analysis suggested otherwise. This is disturbing, he thought. Really disturbing. This could open us up to so much criticism and maybe even ridicule. What if we’re wrong? But numbers don’t lie. Yet, as he knew and had seen countless times in the history of scientific thought, sometimes they do lie. Or, really they don’t – the scientists just didn’t know how to read them accurately and perhaps didn’t grasp the full picture because they were missing a crucial detail. Science is a lot like the poetry he enjoyed so much dabbling in as a younger man – it’s all about interpretation. Just as two poets can look at the same ocean and evoke very different emotions, two scientists can look at the same numbers and come away with conflicting ideas. And what is the right interpretation of these statistics? He had to trust that his understanding of the numbers was correct. He had to trust his decades of experience in astrophysics and astro-informatics. He had to trust that his team had done the appropriate methodology – that they had measured the 283 gamma ray burst redshifts correctly, had subdivided the nine radial parts accurately and had applied the twodimensional Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, the nearest-neighbor test and the Bootstrap Point-Radius Method all the right way. But, most important, he had to trust in his belief in the scientific method and observation. It was much like a diver walking to the edge of a cliff. It didn’t matter how many times you had successfully made the jump before, there was always a certain amount of fear and doubt mingling in the pit of your stomach as you stood there looking down, feeling the dizzying height and the churning sea below. But nothing would be gained by just standing there. And with that, Jon Hakkila took the leap, putting his name with collaborators István Horváth and Zsolt Bagoly in their discovery of the largest structure in the universe.
The Fault in Our Stars // How is this even possible? How can we discover the largest thing in the universe now? Shouldn’t that have been pretty evident early on? If you’ve been keeping up with everything cosmological in the scientific journals, the “biggest in the universe” has grabbed headlines several times already over the last decade. In 2003, there was the discovery of the Sloan Great Wall (about 1.38 billion light years across), and there is also the Large Quasar Group, announced in 2013, that is perhaps 4 billion light years across. These discoveries are problematic. Size matters when talking about the universe. For a sense of scale, between 100 and 400 billion stars make up just our galaxy of the Milky Way alone (cue Carl Sagan’s voice in your head). And from there, a hierarchy exists to categorize larger groupings (from smallest to greatest): galaxies, groups, clusters, superclusters and walls. When it comes to large-scale structures, like the Sloan Great Wall and the Large Quasar Group, they are made up of superclusters. According to prevailing scientific thought (i.e., the Big Bang Theory), the universe should be expanding at a constant rate and that means the largest structures in the universe should be no more than roughly 1.2 billion light years across. These recent largestructure discoveries challenge that notion and call into question the age of our universe (13.8 billion years, in case you skipped that day in Physics 101) as well as a few other basic tenets. But that’s the beauty of science. It’s less black-and-white than you may think. Its rules are constantly changing as we gather more data and learn more. Like the lives of stars, some theories die out, new theories form and other theories just evolve with more information. And that’s where Hakkila’s team comes in. Together, Hakkila and his Hungarian colleagues Horváth and Bagoly are experts on gamma ray bursts, which are forms of light that are the most energetic, most violent explosions in the universe. As Hakkila describes, “most gamma ray bursts are thought to originate in hypernovae, which are beamed supernovae occurring when massive stars die. If you take the immense energy of an exploding star and focus it into a narrow beam, then the light from that beam will be significantly brighter than that of a normal supernova.” |
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A relative newcomer on the astronomical scene, gamma ray bursts weren’t even discovered until the late 1960s, when the U.S. launched satellites to make sure the Soviet Union was not conducting atmospheric nuclear tests in violation of the SALT I treaty. These satellites picked up flashes of light that were unexplained, and scientists eventually determined that these luminous bursts were coming from space. For those needing a pop culture reference, gamma rays are the culprits in transforming Bruce Banner into the Incredible Hulk, although, as Hakkila points out, “thank goodness the Earth’s atmosphere shields us, or we would all be fried.” And Hakkila should know, he’s had a front-row seat in the research of gamma ray bursts since its inception in the mid-1970s. As a boy growing up in Los Alamos, Hakkila couldn’t escape the stars. The New Mexico night sky radiated with flickering pinprick lights – each evening providing a backyard show of splendor, a performance so grand that Hakkila felt he was seeing into forever. Awestruck by the natural artistry above him, he wanted to see even more, Astrophysics professor Jon Hakkila collaborated with István to know even more. Like many of his friends (also Horváth (National University of Public Service, Budapest, children of scientists at the Los Alamos National Lab), he purchased a telescope and then a clock Hungary) and Zsolt Bagoly (Eötvös University) in their discovery drive and camera to start recording his own of the largest structure in the universe, known now as the observations. Later, as president of his high school’s astronomy club, Hakkila was able to attend an Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall (HCBGW). Using gamma astronomical conference at the lab, where he heard ray burst data gathered by satellites, this international team astrophysicists make the first announcements found a super-structure that is 10 billion light years across about gamma ray bursts. Roughly 15 years later, after earning his Ph.D. and about 1 billion light years thick at about a distance of from New Mexico State University’s astronomy 10 billion light years from Earth. program (co-founded by Clyde Tombaugh, What stands out most for the scientific community, Pluto’s discoverer), Hakkila worked with leading astrophysicist Jerry Fishman (2011 winner of the this discovery appears to violate the concept of universal Shaw Prize, a prestigious international astronomy homogeneity as expressed in the Big Bang Theory, but award now on par with the Nobel), serving as a Hakkila is quick to point out that the existence of the HCBGW member on Fishman’s science team for the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE) on the simply means that our understanding of universal large-scale Compton Gamma Ray Observatory – a satellite structures may need to be modified. edged with eight blocks of rock salt that detected gamma ray bursts. Because gamma ray bursts “This observation does not contradict most evidence for cannot be seen with the naked eye, the sodium in the Big Bang – the idea of an expanding, evolving universe the rock salt interacts with the gamma ray bursts where every location was once the center,” says Hakkila. and produces a visible light, which can then be recorded and tracked. From BATSE, the scientific “The evidence for the Big Bang is overwhelming. Rather, team collected the largest catalog of gamma ray this observation is confusing because it’s inconsistent with bursts in existence. models of how quickly the universe has expanded, and with A few years later, Hakkila’s own research on gamma ray bursts took center stage in what is how much early universe information has been carried as the called astronomy’s second “Great Debate”: on universe evolves.” whether gamma ray bursts were galactic or cosmological, meaning did they originate near the Milky Way or did they come from the distant reaches of the universe. For the astronomy history buffs, the first Great Debate was held in 1920, when scientists deliberated on whether the Milky Way was the center of the universe (spoiler alert: it’s not). In April 1995, more than 350 astronomers, journalists and students filed into the Smithsonian Institution’s Baird Auditorium in Washington, D.C., to hear astrophysicists Donald Lamb and Bohdan Paczynski square off. Like a political convention, scientists in the crowd wore bright-colored buttons proclaiming on which side of the argument they stood: “GRBs are COSMOLOGICAL,” “GRBs are GALACTIC” and “GRBs are OTHER” (some
Too Big Too Exist?
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The Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall is big – so big, in fact, that it tests the limits of human imagination to even comprehend. But let’s try:
Our Milky Way (which is made up of more than 300 billion stars) is about 100,000 light years across. That means, you can fit
500 trillion Milky Ways in the HCBGW. How big is the HCBGW from one end to the other?
10 billion light years That’s big. How many miles make up 10 billion light years? Approximately
5.78 followed by 22 zeroes
If you were driving a car at 50 mph, how long would it take for you to drive the HCBGW? It takes a little more than 13 million years to drive one light year, so set aside roughly
130,000,000,000,000,000 years (that’s 130 quadrillion).
Let’s talk scale. If
the Earth were the size of a carbon atom (fire up your electron microscope), the HCBGW would be the size of the sun.
scientists just can’t commit). While attending another gamma ray burst conference in the Netherlands, Hakkila was astounded to hear that these renowned scientists both supported their claims by citing his research. Although no conclusion was reached at the end of their debate (a gentlemanly agreement among scientists), later observations provided the proof for Paczynski’s argument that gamma ray bursts were indeed cosmological in nature. “In a particular moment, science can be very gray. Then, something new is learned, and that gray becomes black-and-white – until another discovery, and that black-and-white becomes gray again,” laughs Hakkila.
“I know where the flaws are in our research, but the data looks good. We’re not trying to
judge whether this thing makes sense in terms of theories. If I were somebody else, I would criticize it, too. But, this is an observation, and we had a
strong enough statistical case to make it.”
Bigger Than Big // Everything has its moment. Clothes, hairstyles, music, literature, art. Even science is subject to fads. “We were the cat’s pajamas from about the 1990s until the mid-2000s,” Hakkila observes. “Now, no one seems to care about another gamma ray burst.” It was a good run, but other areas became hot topics (such as extrasolar planets, dark matter and dark energy). And the scientific community moved on, so to speak, eager for the next discovery, the next big thing. But Hakkila and his colleagues did not move on. They felt they had only scratched the surface in understanding this amazing cosmological phenomenon and that gamma ray bursts were a rich area to be mined more fully – an astronomical mine that would lead them to their unexpected discovery. Knowing for certain now that gamma ray bursts came from great distances, Hakkila’s team started seeing distinct patterns in the statistics, or “clumping,” as Hakkila calls it. Imagine standing on stage, he explains, and looking out over a darkened arena. You know there is a crowd out there, but you just don’t know how many. You only have one way of knowing it, and that’s by seeing the occasional flashes from their cameras. If you chart those flashes, you can assume where groups of people are gathered and areas where they are not. Over time and with enough flashes, you can get a pretty good sense of where everyone is. That, essentially, is how Hakkila’s team found the largest structure in the universe, which spans 10 billion light years. But as Hakkila well knows, every observation has uncertainty. There may be a bias blinding the researchers – that maybe the arena crowd was not really a crowd or perhaps some of the flashes were missed in other areas. And that’s what made him nervous. “I know where the flaws are in our research,” he says, “but the data looks good. We’re not trying to judge whether this thing makes sense in terms of theories. If I were somebody else, I would criticize it, too. But, this is an observation, and we had a strong enough statistical case to make it.” Their paper, “Possible Structure in the GRB Sky Distribution at Redshift Two,” was accepted by the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics late last year and appeared in January. And with that publication, Hakkila readied himself for the onslaught. But the heavens, you might say, have been quiet. Too quiet, for Hakkila’s taste. “Maybe the theorists are thinking this is just statistical in nature,” he says, “and that our findings will go away because all the other evidence says it is unlikely.” But more evidence coming in now is proving Hakkila’s team is most likely right: “We needed more bursts to determine the shape. And now that we have recorded more gamma ray bursts, this structure is becoming more obvious and is not getting washed out by statistics. It’s hard to argue with data.” To him, this discovery doesn’t eliminate the Big Bang Theory, so don’t worry about Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, Howard and Penny needing a new name for their popular sitcom. No, as Hakkila believes, it simply changes our idea of how long the universe was in an inflationary period and what sorts of things were going on to cause the formations of these large-scale structures. This is a theory evolving, not one being disproved. And he is especially excited that their research approach may inspire other astrophysicists to use gamma ray bursts in looking at large-scale structures in the universe. W hat’s in a Name // Naming rights. It’s a big deal. People pay a lot of money for them. In the past, people even risked their lives for them. It’s validation. A form of immortality, especially in science. Just ask Niels Bohr, Heinrich Hertz, Edmond Halley, Sir Isaac Newton or Charles Darwin. Discoverers tend to command that type of respect. Unless you’re Hakkila’s team.
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“Actually, we never thought of naming it,” Hakkila admits. “During the process, we were more concerned with whether it was real or not.” For the most part, it was called just that: it. A name didn’t pop up for the large-scale structure until after a story ran online with Discovery News, when the writer Irene Klotz asked Hakkila in what basic area of the sky “it” resided. He told her the Hercules and Corona Borealis, but “it” was actually much larger than that and occupied several constellations. Soon after that piece appeared, Hakkila, much to his surprise, discovered a Wikipedia entry dedicated to the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall. According to the page’s view history, the site was created by Johndric Valdez, a teenager from the Philippines with aspirations to be an astronomer. Traveling as if at the speed of light, Valdez’ nomenclature quickly appeared in science blogs around the world and, most noticeably, was used last spring by Huffington Post science reporter Jacqueline Howard in her piece for the online video series “Talk Nerdy to Me.” And so, the name blazes on.
Re aching for the Stars // The irony in all of this is that Hakkila doesn’t really want the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall to be his sole legacy. While’s he proud of his contributions to this discovery, it’s only one small part of his oeuvre of research in gamma ray bursts. It’s kind of like a concert violinist landing a Top 40 song and then being relegated forever to the one-hit wonder category in pop music. No, Hakkila is no simple crossover act. He’d rather be remembered as one of the early scientists in a new discipline – astro-informatics, which combines astronomy, astrophysics and computer science and engineering. He’d rather be known for his efforts with the Stellar Observations Network Group and their attempts to link a chain of observatories around the world in order to create a whole-earth telescope. And he’d rather be lauded for his groundbreaking research into gamma ray burst pulse shapes (his current passion project), which he believes has more far-reaching repercussions. “Because if we can understand how nature works, can truly understand the order of the universe,” he says, “then maybe, just maybe, we can harness it.” No matter how he is remembered, Hakkila says he really only wants to be considered an adequate scientist. We should all be so lucky to be that “adequate.” But for him, adequacy – yes, adequacy – will suffice. You see, in the scientific world, greatness is relative, even fleeting, while knowledge is the real pull. Because at his core, Hakkila is still that same teenage kid, filled with awe and questions, looking up into that glittering New Mexico sky wanting to know how things work. “Ask scientists why they do what they do, why they study any subject,” Hakkila observes, “and they will tell you that it’s the moment when you realize that you know something that no one else does … that you are the first person to figure something out … that you asked the right question and found an answer. That satisfaction lasts a long time, and it makes all the years of research – all the years of failure and struggle – all worth it. That’s why I became a scientist: to answer questions, to see behind the mystery all around us.” And perhaps that’s why Jon Hakkila’s star burns a little bit brighter.
It’s Just Rocket Science For five years now, Jon Hakkila (physics and astronomy) has been team-teaching with planetary geologist Cass Runyon (geology and environmental geosciences) perhaps one of the coolest classes on campus: the NASA Space Mission Project Design/Application. It’s a hands-on course that allows undergraduates to partner with senior engineering students from the University of Alabama – Huntsville in a contest to design space missions. In the past, winners of this competition have gone on to present their proposals to NASA scientists and officials in Washington, D.C. This year, three student groups are planning a mission to Europa (one of Jupiter’s moons) while another group from this class serves as the dedicated science team for a CubeSat mission, sponsored by the U.S. Army, which will launch a real satellite into orbit this spring.
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How do you cope with the diagnosis of dementia? Some might let it crush them. Devastate them. But that’s not an option for John-Robert Ward II ´00 and his family. They have to keep going, to make sense of it. For John-Robert, it means capturing on film the one thing that this disease can’t take away from his family: the love they have for one another.
WORDS by ALiCIA LUTZ ´98 IMAGES by John-Robert WARD II ´00
Imagine looking at your soul mate and seeing no soul at all. Imagine living with the body, the shell, of someone you love fiercely – talking to him, caring for him, protecting him – knowing all along that he’s no longer there. Imagine watching your whole life – your family, your home, your understanding of the world around you – just crumble apart. Imagine knowing the heart-wrenching, unbearably cruel way things are going to go – how it’s all going to end. And imagine there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The Wards couldn’t even imagine. They couldn’t even begin to fathom how to move forward, how to keep the pain and fear from eating them alive – how to cope with the horrors that lay ahead. And so they did the one thing they knew how to do – the one thing that has always worked for them: They relied on the profound and constant love they have for each other. It was, they knew, all they really had.
The Ward family was hardly immune to life’s challenges. It had its fair share of demons: depression, alcoholism, financial hardship. But there was something between these three people – the saintly surgeon, his ever-supportive wife and his adoring son – that lifted them up, that defined them and yet resisted definition. It’s easiest to call it love. When the self-proclaimed wild child Cyndy Hartzog met John Ward – a handsome, eccentric young surgeon doing his residency at the Medical College of Georgia – she had no intention of falling in love or getting married. She’d seen how families operate, had been burned by love as a child and had no more room for that in her life.
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But, it turns out, Cyndy’s life hadn’t even started. And she certainly didn’t know what love was. Not until this blue-eyed boy from Darlington, S.C., whose father was mayor and whose mother was a regular June Cleaver, picked her up in his Buick Electra and opened up her heart again, did she really know how to love or how to be loved. And thus her life – the one worth living – began. Everyone could see that Cyndy and John had something that set them apart. There was something almost palpable between them, something that seemed to speak its own language. And with the birth of their son, John-Robert Ward II ’00, that bond only strengthened. And it proved unbreakable. Nothing could shake the family of three. Not John Ward’s demanding hours as a general surgeon with a solo practice in Sandersville, Ga.; not his battle with depression; not his alcoholism, his rehabilitation or his inclination to sacrifice his family’s fortune for the health of his patients and his community. To be in the presence of the Ward family, people have said time and time again, is to be in the presence of love. It is what they always fall back on.
As an only child, John-Robert Ward II turned to his parents for companionship from the beginning. Sure, there was Dip and Dicko and the other imaginary friends who had their places set at the dinner table. And he was quick to make friends with kids from the neighborhood or from tee-ball or church. But his parents were his best friends. And making rounds with his dad on the weekends was his favorite thing to do. Sometimes he’d have his own patients – a teddy bear on the operating table, for example. But most of the time he’d just saunter into the hospital behind his all-important father and hang out in the nurse’s station, where he’d speak into the “magic phone” (a.k.a. dictation machine), doing his best John Ward impression. When your father is a general surgeon – the general surgeon – in a town with a population of less than 6,000, the lessons you learn about the world are different than those you’d learn if your father were, say, an accountant or a mechanic. You learn, for example, to be real still while your dad uses a marker to draw “incisions” on your body. You learn, more critically, not to cut the grass because this is what happens when you run over your feet with the lawnmower. You learn not to use tools, because this is what happens when you turn the electric screwdriver on your own hand. You learn not to use a pocketknife lest you end up needing stitches like the poor guy who showed up at your back door in the middle of the night. You learn not to get on a go-cart, because, Come on, son. Let me show you what happens to people who ride go-carts. There were things, too, that John Ward would never teach his son, not because of some underlying danger, but just because they were things he didn’t do himself. He couldn’t pump his own gas or change a tire, he couldn’t do his own laundry or microwave a hotdog. But none of that mattered to John-Robert: His father, after all, could put people back together. Can your dad do that?
To say that the young John-Robert was proud of his father is an understatement. He loved when his dad’s beeper would go off in church. My dad’s got to go do stuff. It didn’t bother him in the least when his dad had to leave in the middle of his baseball games. My dad’s important, so, you know. John Ward was important. When he moved his family to Sandersville in 1981, the local hospital didn’t have an emergency room. It didn’t have paramedics. It used an old hearse for an ambulance. John Ward changed all that. Working quietly to turn Sandersville’s medical community around, John Ward wasn’t in it for the recognition. And he certainly wasn’t in it for the money. He gave away more services than he was paid for – sacrificing his own family’s financial comforts for the health and wellbeing of whoever needed his care. It didn’t matter if they had any money, or if they could pay. He asked nothing in return, he just wanted to help. He was, in the eyes of many, a hometown hero. And, in the eyes of John-Robert, he was a super-hero. John Ward would put on his scrubs and go from Dad to Dr. Ward – saving the lives and limbs of whoever needed it: his teachers, his friends, his friends’ dads. Everyone John-Robert knew knew someone who’d been saved by his dad. And the only person he knew who could save his dad was his mom. He’d seen her come to his rescue plenty of times – speaking for him in social situations, making excuses when he was ready to leave, organizing the mess that he’d made in the offices of his practice – but, it wasn’t until John-Robert saw his mom save his dad from himself that he got a real glimpse of her strength. John-Robert knew his dad was an alcoholic. He’d watched him throw back more than a case of beer on plenty of nights. He knew that, while he and his buddy Marcus slept snugly in the G.I. Joe tent pitched in the backyard, his dad was sitting outside drinking beer until sunrise. He knew about the fights. Heard the arguments. And he knew his mom was saving his dad’s life when she made him choose: family or alcohol. John Ward chose family. The Wards always choose family.
This was not the man Cyndy Ward had married. This was not her husband. These were not his eyes. Those incredibly soulful blue eyes that could look into hers and communicate anything – those eyes that had given her strength, friendship, understanding and love for 38 years – had gone flat. There was no one behind them. Like someone had snatched John Ward away from her and left only a shell. Like he’d gone out for the proverbial pack of cigarettes – only he’d left his body for her as a relic, as a haunting memento. It had started with what seemed like another bout of depression – perhaps worse than in the past, but still pretty classic: a couple weeks of getting out of bed only to eat and use the bathroom, generalized anxiety, compulsivity. But depression was one thing. This was different. He was different. John Ward – the man who could put his mind through medical school, expertly learn the ins and the outs of the human body,
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introduce Washington County to laparoscopic surgery – couldn’t seem to learn the simple computer skills required of him at his new job at the VA hospital. He could take the human body apart and put it back together again, but he couldn’t learn how to get through three straightforward steps on the computer. John himself understood that something was not quite right – that he was off his game, if you will. This only led to plummeting confidence, not just in front of a computer, but in front of every little task. He began to question every move he made – every decision, every judgment, every thought that crossed his mind. He couldn’t get anything done. He couldn’t stop himself from obsessing. Sometimes it was about discharging a patient. Sometimes it was about how far he’d have to run to burn off a Little Debbie Snack Cake. Sometimes it was about his wardrobe: He needed his shirts to be hung just so. No, they couldn’t touch each other. He needed more space. Half the walk-in closet wasn’t enough. Cyndy, there isn’t enough room. I need more room for my shirts. Take your things out. I need the closet to organize my shirts. Cyndy did everything she could to accommodate what was clearly abnormal behavior for her husband. She moved her things out of the closet, she answered the same question 30+ times, she decided what TV show he was going to watch. Otherwise, these decisions just wouldn’t be made – the choice between Gunsmoke and The Jack Benny Program was just too much.
In the eyes of John-Robert, he was a super-hero. John Ward would put on his scrubs and go from Dad to Dr. Ward — saving the lives and limbs of whoever needed it. And yet options like, oh, shutting the door before using the bathroom at work, for example, went without consideration. “It’s all just so out of character,” Cyndy told John’s sister over the phone one afternoon, sipping her iced green tea and slouching into the wooden bench on the front porch. “I’ve been to all our doctors. I can’t get anyone to listen. I keep telling them it’s not anxiety. It’s not depression. It’s something else. I’m telling you, something is really wrong.” “Cyn! Cyn!” her husband interrupted. “I forgot to tell you—” “I’ll be with you in a minute,” she called, “I’m talking to your sis — Ohhhh! John! Get your ass back in the house! You don’t have any clothes on!” “But I didn’t come all the way outside,” John Ward contended. “I didn’t go off the porch!” If it all weren’t so alarming – if the behavior wasn’t so extreme, the implications not so worrisome – it may have been funny. And, looking back, maybe it was. But the husband she knew wasn’t really there for her to laugh it off with. There was no knowing exchange between their eyes. There wasn’t even a glint of John Ward behind those eyes – not enough to talk reasonably with. Not enough to ask, John, what’s going on? John had abandoned those eyes. He’d abandoned Cyndy. But she would gladly take the abandonment over the coldness that began to harden beneath this man’s brow. Slowly, his obsessions, his compulsions, his lack of inhibition went from annoying to frightening. There wasn’t much that wouldn’t set him off into a cussing, raging rant: a frog that had jumped into the backyard pool, a clock ticking, a burned-out light bulb. He turned on Elvira: Once his favorite pet, the elderly Pekinese became the object of his scorn. She couldn’t so much as walk into the room without him kicking her. And he’d throw Cyndy’s cat, Eartha Kitt, should she happen into the path of his rage.
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But mostly it was Cyndy who caught the brunt of John’s wrath. He got in her face, called her names and was just downright mean to her. Where was her adoring husband – the one who, even in the toughest times, had worshipped the ground she walked on? What cruel, mean man was this who had moved into his body? The things he was saying to her would never have passed her husband’s lips. And, as his furor – his cruelty – intensified, so did her fear. Could this man hurt me? Cyndy could barely look at John anymore. She could hardly live with him anymore. Not like this. He was horrible. He was ugly. He was threatening and scary. He tortured her with his ridicule and hatred – driving her mad on the daily 7- to 8–mile walks he insisted she go on with him, always at the sun’s highest: on her about this and that, that and this, over and over and over and over again. Until she finally lobbed a water bottle at him. Things had fallen apart. She was defeated. And she felt horrible. What have I done? That wasn’t John talking. This isn’t John. This isn’t the man I married. I’ve got to get John Ward back. I’ve got to get my husband back. I can’t do this alone. When you’re tired enough – when you’re at the end of your rope – you’re just relieved to find someone who will listen, who doesn’t blow you off. Even if that person, with just one look at the shell of your husband, says, “This looks like some sort of dementia. We need a neuropsychological evaluation.” She knew figuring this out was the only way to get her husband back. She also knew there was a possibility he couldn’t come back – that she may have already lost John Ward for good. But she had to try. This was the love of her life, her soul mate. She had to do what she could. She had to fight for her husband. And so she took this man – this stranger with the empty eyes and the mean streak – to be evaluated, watching as he blundered through the tests, unable to recognize basic images, draw the same picture twice or repeat stories told to him moments prior. That mind, that intellect that she’d always respected: Crushed. Cyndy bit her lip, got up and left the room. She wasn’t sure if she was ready for this.
It shattered against the wall, sending glass shards flying – some big, obvious, others so minuscule they’d be felt by unprotected feet for months to come. The bottle of marinade splattered everywhere, making a mess in every direction, sliding down the slick wall like the tears streaming down John-Robert’s cheeks. Nothing was ever going to be the same. The results were in. According to the psychiatric reports and Cyndy Ward – the proactive fighter, the leader in this march, the determined hero – John Ward has frontotemporal lobe dementia. The Ward men, however, insist it’s Alzheimer’s Disease. Call it what you will, John Ward was losing his mind. Why his mind? Why is it his brain, his genius, that has turned on him? Take anything, but don’t take his intelligence! The exasperated anger had been boiling in John-Robert long before he hurled the bottle of Stubb’s Chicken Marinade across his mother’s kitchen that Christmas. They’d received
the diagnosis six months prior, when the dogwoods were still in bloom. John-Robert hasn’t been the same person since that day. He hasn’t been able to shake the anxiety. Hasn’t been able to have fun or to relax. He’s always expecting some phone call or visit bringing terrible news. It’s been seven years. He is so. freaking. tired. He’s angry that he can’t get away from it – that it’s always hanging over him, that it’s not going anywhere. And when it does, it’s taking him with it. The certainty of that prognosis is what gets Cyndy Ward, too. All she ever wanted was to grow old with her best friend, to be 90 and him be 94, and for him still to say, “I need for you to kiss me.” She was desperate to stop this thing from robbing her of that – she researched prognoses, statistics, anything that could slow this monster down. But there was nothing she could do except take a cue from her husband: Adjust. “It worried me a little bit, but there was nothing I could do about it,” says John Ward. “So, I just live each day. And by the time tomorrow comes, it’s today, so I don’t worry about tomorrow. And I don’t worry about the past, because there’s nothing I can do about the past. So that’s a thing I don’t worry about. Just today, and I live it like that. And I’m glad I’m OK now, and if I get worse, what the hell can I do about it?” A lot has already been done to pull John out of “worse.” Seroquel, for one, has balanced out his demeanor, subduing that mean streak that had manifested. A few lifestyle changes have helped as well – most significantly, Cyndy and John left their home of 27 years and moved down the street into a smaller, more manageable rental. Once again, John adjusted better than his wife. Publicly, she put on a brave face, but privately, it took a toll. It was just another hit that Cyndy’s taken with this thing. She’s the caretaker, the one who sees the real effects of this disease – not just the effects that John isn’t able to hide. She’s the one who has to be realistic, who has to think ahead. She’s the one who has sacrificed her home, her social life, her friendships (If you have friends who are diagnosed with dementia, or their spouses are diagnosed with it, don’t forget about them. It’s a very lonely disease.) – many times her own mental health. She’s good at coping with the negativity outside of her, as well as the depression within. And she knows the value in shutting herself in the closet for a good cry every now and then. She’s found comfort, too, in her new job at a skilled care facility, where most of the patients have dementias of some kind. It’s allowed her to stay on top of the latest research while also comparing John’s progression to others with frontotemporal lobe dementia. So far, the Wards have been lucky. But, now six years out of the diagnosis – which, Cyndy figures, was made at least three years after John’s initial symptoms – things are likely to start escalating soon. As if things aren’t intense enough. There’s no such thing as light conversation in the Ward home – everything is uber serious, everything is repeated over and over and over and over again, a constant bombardment of increasing force. It’s one tirade after another. It doesn’t let up. Even when Cyndy retreats to the grocery store, she is chased by at least three
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phone calls reminding her of the things John has already put on her list. And when she comes home and he checks the bags, he’ll ask her why she didn’t get toilet paper. “It’s not on the list, and we’re not out,” she’ll tell him. To which he’ll answer with a speech about how they’ll be out next week. Exhausting. Recently, Cyndy has noticed some memory loss – which John compensates for expertly by taking notes on everything. He takes notes about the TV programs he’s watching. He takes notes about the NASCAR race so he can talk about it with Troy the next time he goes to have his hair colored. He takes notes about movies he’s seen. About how to separate whites and colors for the laundry. He takes notes. Notes. Notes. There are notes everywhere. There are more serious concerns, as well: beating his head against a wall, falling down while out running on the track and opening up the house to strangers (including someone claiming to work for a security system company: No, we don’t have a security system; here are all the entrances). But Cyndy can handle all that. It wears her out, and she worries. But she can handle it. What gets her is looking at John’s body and knowing he’s not there. That is not him. That is not my husband telling me he loves me. She knows that John Ward loves her. But when this man says it, it’s not the same. It’s just not the same as it was when John Ward used to say it. When John Ward told her he loved her, it changed her life. It filled her soul. That was the love that defined them. That was the Wards’ presence. And sometimes now, it just feels … flat.
There is no happily ever after to this story. No fairy-tale ending. All the love in the world can’t turn this one around. The Wards know this. They know they’re already working on borrowed time – that they should be happy they’ve made it this long without a turn for the worse. They aren’t going to escape this. Sooner or later, this thing will rob them of their joy. It will take them down. It will put them to the test. No one can be sure how it will happen, but the biggest fear is of being forgotten. Of those flat eyes no longer recognizing the other parts to his whole. No longer remembering to rely on them – to fall back on their love to get him through. Ultimately, we know how this story ends. We know it will be heartrending. We know it will be hard. But, while we know better than to make sense out of tragedy, let’s say for just one moment there is a silver lining – that there is a positive in this denouement. It would have to be that celebration of the Wards’ shared love – their shared experience – that otherwise may have been overlooked. If it weren’t for John Ward’s diagnosis, John-Robert may not have used his camera to capture his family’s last journey together. He may not have relied on his camera to express his own confusion, anger and sorrow. For John-Robert, the camera has served as a barrier between his emotions and everything he’s faced. It’s allowed him to take it
all in without having to get tangled up in heavy words that don’t quite express what he is feeling anyway. Oh, you want to know how things are going with my dad? Here, check these photos out. That’s how things are going. Pretty shitty, huh? For others, though, John-Robert’s camera has captured more than just the tragedy at hand. It’s captured a profound and unbreakable love, a desperate and exhausting journey and the true spirit of this courageous family. It just takes a disgusting, awful thing and makes it beautiful in a way. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s given John-Robert one more thing to share with his father – one more thing to do together. John Ward, it turns out, loves to model for the camera. And he’s pretty sure these portraits are going to be world-famous one day. If nothing else, the collection, My Father’s Gifted Hands, makes John Ward feel good. And it makes other people feel … something. It makes them cry, it makes them reach out, it makes them share beautiful stories about how the selfless surgeon has touched their lives. And, with any luck, he will continue to do so through the photographs. When John-Robert can no longer photograph his dad, he will photograph the artifacts his father leaves behind – the moleskin notebooks he’s been filling, his prescription pad, the poetry, letters, high school football jersey. It’s his way of ensuring that he can always visit his dad – by handling his physical objects and editing his photos, he can always be with him, always hear his dad’s voice: Oh, you’re destined for greatness. You’re going to do so much. I’m so proud of you. “I do feel at some point these things of my dad’s and these pictures are going to do me a lot of good, that something good will come of all this,” says John-Robert of his ongoing project. “Whether it’s just honoring my dad or furthering my career, I know he’ll be there with me, and that he’ll be a part of whatever happens. That way, he’ll live forever.” It’s one “happily ever after” this disease cannot take away.
No matter what is robbed from the Ward family, it still has more than most families will ever have. It has a love that saturates their lives and lights up the currents between them – every exchange, every gesture, every word, image and emotion. These three people have each other. And they’ve been given the foresight to appreciate every last moment they have together. John and Cyndi hug their boy tight – Love you, son. Love you, son. Love you, John-Robert! – before he gets in his car to head back home to Atlanta. They follow him as he backs his car down the driveway: Love you, son! We love you so much! John-Robert extends his arm out the window, waving his hand high as he pulls away, smiling through wet eyes at the reflection of his mom and his dad – the hands between them clasped, their free hands waving him goodbye – as they get smaller and smaller in the rearview. He keeps his hand reached out to them until they’re out of sight. It is, he knows, all he can do for now.
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No longer just a crutch for bored housewives, romance novels have undergone a revolution in the past few decades, sprouting subgenres that run the gamut from Christian love stories to the paranormal. These days, romance novels offer happy endings to satisfy every type of reader, with many being penned by College alumni and staff authors.
By Jason Ryan
| Illustrations by Max Miller â€™02
onseula Francis read her first romance novels as a teenager, sneaking the steamy stories away from her mother’s bookshelf. Like many curious teenagers, she was interested in sex. And, if you wanted to stay a good girl, books were a safer bet for obtaining an education in the birds and the bees than real, live boys. By the time she got to college, Francis had moved on to other genres of fiction. As a grown black woman, she now found most romance novels less than satisfying. In the first place, there were no black heroines in any romance novels she encountered. In the second place, the white, female protagonists who did fill the pages were not exactly women to be envied. Most of the time they were virgins waiting around to be rescued, hoping a strong and handsome man would lift them from their helpless predicament, whether it was heartbreak, poverty or danger. Besides, Francis felt she needed to drop the love stories to make time for serious literature. “Clearly, I was above romance novels,” she remembers, “in the snotty ways of English majors.” Years later, while working as an English professor at the College and exploring the alternative genres of slash fan novels and urban fiction, Francis rediscovered romance novels. To her surprise, things had changed. Gone were the passive, almost exclusively Caucasian maidens. In their place were bold women of every color, shape and sexual orientation, with all sorts of romantic preferences and fetishes. The variety was astounding. “Love stories with werewolves, love stories in space, love stories in Scotland, love stories with pirates. Whatever type of romance story you want to read, the market is delivering it with regularity,” says Francis. Francis was so encouraged by what she read that she began sharing modern romance novels with her mother – a reversal from her teenage days. Her mother was “floored,” says Francis. Finally, they thought, there were books about ordinary black women and their love lives. “It’s nice to be able to read a story in which someone has imagined a person like you can fall in love,” says Francis.
these all exist), nearly every book features two things: a central love story and an ending described as happily ever after, or HEA. And what if one of these things is missing? “Pitchforks. Readers will find my house,” says Savannah Frierson, a romance writer who works as an administrative assistant at the College’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. Frierson is hardly being facetious. In the world of romance novels, there is an understanding between author and reader that things will turn out all right, that love will conquer all. Readers trust authors to deliver a heartwarming, and sometimes arousing, story to lift their spirits. “People don’t want to be so heavy all the time. People want to escape,” she says. On the surface, such expectations might seem constraining to an author. Yet romance writers say the challenge is working within the framework to craft a tale that satisfies these basic rules while remaining compelling. It’s not ultimately so much what will happen, but how it will happen.
Recipe for Success
Francis and her mother are not alone in their appreciation of these love stories. Sales of romance novels surpass $1 billion each year, making it the most lucrative category of book publishing and representing about 13 percent of all fiction sold. Earlier this year, E.L. James’ Fifty Shades erotica trilogy sold its 100 millionth copy. According to the trade association Romance Writers of America, about 75 million people read at least one romance novel each year. Most of these readers – somewhere near 85 percent – are female. The majority of them are also middle aged and college educated, dispelling the notion, says Francis, that fans of romance novels are “mindless housewives eating bonbons who can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality.” No matter what type of romance novel readers pick up, whether NASCAR-themed, dinosaur erotica or lust among the Amish (yes,
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Savannah Frierson Charleston, S.C.
biggest part of the romance is the feelings that two people have for each other.
There’s only so many ways you can write two people having sex.” Must-Reads: Being Plumville, Loose and Reconstructing Jada Channing
romance novels, such as those in her Wingmen Warriors series, feature the military. As the wife of an Air Force colonel, it’s a subject close to her heart. “There’s an authenticity that comes with writing what you love and know,” says Mann. Other times, her books explore challenges associated with abandoned animals, breast cancer, Down syndrome or becoming a war widow. “It’s not just about falling in love, it’s about overcoming obstacles,” she says. Beyond these varied types of context, perhaps most surprising to readers who have not revisited romance novels in a long time is the fact that in today’s novels, men and women now stand on equal footing. “People are finding out romance novels of today are about empowerment,” says Mann. “It’s not about a hero coming to rescue you, it’s about rescuing each other. A true partnership.”
Sex Sells Kieran Wray Kramer ’85 Summerville, S.C.
happy endings because
I believe in them.”
Must-Reads: Sweet Talk Me, You’re So Fine and When Harry Met Molly Besides, what’s wrong with guaranteeing a happy ending? If you want misery, turn to current, mainstream literary fiction, says romance author Kieran Wray Kramer ’85, where oftentimes “pessimism reigns, despair is king. You know, what’s there to hope for? “I write happy endings because I believe in them,” Kramer continues. “I believe in the power of good and the power of love. I do like inspiring people.” Following stints working for the CIA and as a teacher, Kramer became a mother of three, moving often because of her husband’s Navy career. She tried her hand at novel writing a few times over the years, but was never published. Then, in 2008, her husband deployed to Afghanistan. Kramer decided she would try again to get a novel published, and this time stick with it. To her delight, her period romance When Harry Met Molly was published in 2010. Eight more titles soon followed. “I realized time was passing and I was a lot of talk and not a lot of action,” she says. “You just have to persevere.” Similarly, Catherine Woods Mann ’85 waited until her youngest child entered preschool before trying her hand at writing. She’s been wildly successful, with 50 books published. Many of her
But a couple’s equal footing falls away, at least temporarily, when one lover ties the other up and the spanking begins. If you’re interested in bondage, discipline and sadomasochism, many of today’s erotic romance novels offer that, too. In Captured in Croatia, by Christine Ferrell Edwards ’98, the heroine is suspended from a punching bag and whipped with a belt before she eventually makes love to her captor. In Nordic Lessons, Edwards writes of a Norwegian motorcyclist who introduces an English tourist to bondage. Edwards says her readers demand alpha male characters that are unpredictably sensual and animalistic. “We all have the fantasy of the Viking or the biker. Who wants to get it on with the uptight professor?” asks Edwards. At the same time, Edwards says her readers demand strong, feisty heroines who can stand up to imposing men. Her characters trade control back and forth, their turns of dominance inevitably weakened by crippling desire. And with Edwards, you have to be patient before the lovemaking scenes begin. “Fine erotica is the development of the characters and the buildup of passion so that the readers are on the edge of their seats,” notes Edwards, the author of six books, who says her sales skyrocket on Friday and Saturday nights. For other romance writers, there may be less of a focus on physical intimacy, either by design or because sex scenes can be difficult to write. Kramer says that when she turned in her first draft of a romance novel, an editor in New York told her: “This is not a romance, there are no sex scenes!” Kramer made some edits. Love scenes were similarly challenging to write for College staff member Frierson, who sees more to plumb in the emotional aspects of a relationship. “The biggest part of the romance is the feelings that two people have for each other,” she says. “There’s only so many ways you can write two people having sex.” On the other hand, Frierson admits, it would be disingenuous to focus only on courtship and not to spend time describing a couple’s intimate moments. In the world of romance writing, she says, “there needs to be sex, there needs to be open-door sex, unless you’re a Christian writer. The more they do it, the better it is.”
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“There’s an awful lot of shame when talking about a woman’s sexuality,” says Kramer. “I applaud romance novels for giving women the chance to explore this in a safe way.” Kramer is also proud that readers have written to explain how her books help recharge their libidos and that her depiction of healthy romantic relationships has encouraged them to foster their own. Similarly, Edwards was flattered when she learned that a couple she was acquainted with read her books aloud to each other in bed. For Mann, romance novels are first and foremost a medium for generating joy and bliss. “I like things that celebrate happily ever after. We live in a world that doesn’t celebrate it enough,” says Mann.
Christine Ferrell Edwards ’98 Bethel, Conn.
“We all have the fantasy of the or the . Who wants to get it on
with the uptight professor?”
Must-Reads: Captured in Croatia and Charleston After Midnight
More Than Love
Since graduating from Harvard University in 2005, Frierson has self-published seven books, using her work to explore nontraditional relationships. In Go With Your Heart, Frierson writes about an interracial romance between a Choctaw Confederate soldier and an enslaved black woman. In Loose, co-written with BJ Thornton, she details a three-way relationship between a lesbian and a married couple. Frierson acknowledges that sometimes nontraditional storytelling carries the risk of lower sales. “I’m proud of this story, but it’s going to take my readers a minute to get used to this story,” Frierson says of Loose. As an author, “you want to go and try something else, but your readers might not follow you there.” But Frierson argues these types of romances are not so unusual – they’re just underrepresented in the world of romance novels, much like there had historically been an absence of welldeveloped black characters in love stories. By discussing these types of romance, they are legitimatized. In a broader sense, romance novels legitimize women’s sexuality in general. The novels provide a place where women openly explore their sexual emotions, something long considered taboo in traditional society.
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Catherine Woods Mann ’85 Navarre, Fla.
hero coming to rescue you, it’s about rescuing each other. A true partnership.” “It’s not about a
Must-Reads: Shelter Me, Hot Zone and Taking Cover
Happily Ever After
Ultimately, successful romance novels deliver a few things to their readers. They are entertaining. They validate romantic feelings and experiences felt by the reader. And they give hope to the lovelorn. As much as things have changed in the world of romance fiction, the important things have stayed the same. No matter who is falling in love, whether reunited high school sweethearts or a cavewoman and a triceratops, the pair will live happily ever after. And that means readers will be satisfied, too. As Frierson says of the essential appeal of the romance novel: “At least for 10 minutes, I’m going to feel as happy as these people at the end of the book.”
Robert Marks: a legacy of literary lust Robert Marks (1907–1993) dropped out of the College not once, but twice. Before his second departure, the College president even sent him a personal letter: “The College of Charleston,” wrote Harrison Randolph, “would deem it a pleasure if in the next term you did not re-enroll.” Marks did not seem too bothered by the slight. “School was a bore,” said Marks, who was kicked out of Yale University, too. In light of Marks’ academic struggles, his mother took him to psychologists. They said her son would either be a prodigy, or nothing at all. Marks’ mother feared the latter. Yet her instincts were wrong. Marks would become one of the country’s leading magazine writers and journalists. And late in life, he penned a series of 14 best-selling erotic novels centered in Charleston. Marks grew up on Rutledge Avenue, across from the female preparatory school Ashley Hall, where he took violin lessons. For a man who later wrote so appreciatively of women, especially their anatomy, the youngster regarded his proximity to the school as a curse. “I was terrified of walking through that gate and past all those giggling girls,” Marks said. “I was a lonely, anxiety-ridden little boy and early on I discovered books were more interesting than life. I looked up to those who were sophisticated with book knowledge.” After neglecting his studies at the College and Yale, Marks moved to New York and began a freelancewriting career, just barely scraping by and accepting any work he could find. It was the beginning of a prolific and extremely successful career. In time, Marks ghostwrote Elsa Maxwell’s famous society column, became the aviation and automotive editor for Esquire and traveled the world interviewing celebrities, including beauties like Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Kim Novak and Audrey Hepburn. An enterprising and hungry journalist, Marks was often published numerous times in a single issue of a magazine, requiring he employ a number of pseudonyms. He also recycled his material, submitting assorted versions of the same article to different publications. “For Esquire I would write high serious with a touch of humor, sophisticated,” said Marks. “For Reader’s Digest, I wrote like a telegram with no long words.” Marks was also interested in science. He co-invented a logic machine and was a professor of cybernetics at the New School of Social Research in New York (where he also earned, in three years, a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D.). Marks was the
leading authority on Buckminster Fuller, a futuristic architect, inventor and intellectual. Whenever Marks needed money, he admitted, he wrote another article on Fuller, ultimately penning 40 articles about his friend. Despite Marks’ popularity among magazine editors, his writing ideas were sometimes deemed out of bounds. After pitching a story on “The Life and Loves of a Midget,” Marks received a rejection letter from Cosmopolitan. “The enclosed outline was given serious consideration, but the reaction here among the girls was a definite feeling of revulsion. We have therefore decided to drop the idea,” wrote associate editor A.E. Hotchner in 1949. Marks wrote 40 books, too, on subjects as diverse as mathematics, chess, Italian civilization, photography and hypnotism. “Unfortunately,” he lamented, “people don’t buy books the way they buy liquor.” Yet people did buy the erotic tales he wrote during the 1970s and 1980s under the pen name John Colleton. The first of these books, The Trembling of a Leaf, describes in explicit detail the sexual relationship a teenage boy begins to have with his aunt and others. The book’s title was inspired by a girl the thricemarried Marks knew who shook nervously when undressing. Upon the book’s publication in 1971, The Trembling of a Leaf caused an uproar in Charleston. It also sold more than 10,000 copies in the Holy City alone. Marks had started the book while working as an editor and author at Bantam Books in New York. He had become depressed due to disappointing sales of his most recent books, which attempted to simplify mathematics for readers. At 11 a.m. one morning, Marks downed two double martinis and returned to his office, determined to “write what comes to mind and not censor it.” Soon enough he had written 350 steamy pages that would become The Trembling of a Leaf. The success of Marks’ erotic novels allowed him to leave New York and return home, where, in his own words, he “lived the life of a dilettante.” “Charleston cultivates exceptional people who arrange their lives in unusual ways,” said Marks. “You can make love to an elephant on King Street, if you care to, and no one will bat an eyelash – but you must leave your jacket on. I love the style.” Marks had similar feelings for his (sort of) alma mater. “I have a fondness for the College of Charleston, in spite of everything. It was a place for eccentrics, run by eccentrics … at least back then.” Robert Marks’ papers are part of the Special Collections in the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library.
College of Charleston
— An Abbreviated History of the College of Charleston — The College of Charleston is unlike any other place. There’s just something different about it. The College defies easy description. It’s old, yet new. Traditional and unconventional. Small in feel, big in opportunity. The College of Charleston seems to wear a thousand faces, all of them true. And that’s part of its charm, its distinction. The College is many things to many different people. That’s how it’s been for more than two centuries. The College is an evolving, changing institution. And that’s a good thing. When you’re teaching the liberal arts and sciences, you’re teaching change, adaptability and, ultimately, transformation. That’s what the College of Charleston’s new $125 million comprehensive fundraising campaign is all about: transforming the campus experience for today’s and tomorrow’s students. This is where the College’s history is an important touchstone. What was once an institution of higher learning intended for the Charleston elite back in the late 1700s has expanded over time to include a much larger, much more diverse population. As you’ll see in these pages, as if you’re walking through the halls of a gallery, each era in the College’s life has been vastly different than the one preceding it – the university building on its strengths and becoming something new, whether through the make-up of students, the actual footprint of campus or the size of enrollment. It’s as if the institution’s very DNA of transformation is imprinted in the herringbone pattern on its brick walkways – thousands of greater-than signs pointing forward. And what is the way forward? At the College, we know what was once provincial is now
global. Already the world is looking at the city of Charleston as a premier destination. Business is fast catching on as well, with new high-tech startups and well-established industries finding a home in the Lowcountry. A big part of Charleston’s metamorphosis into a world-class city is the College. And this comprehensive campaign will ensure that the College will be a world-class university. You might argue that the College is already there. Many would agree that the College is an elite institution. We don’t have to look very far to see how our faculty are experts in their fields and our alumni are leaders in a vast array of professions. Their successes are apt testimony to the power of a College of Charleston education. But as an institution, we can do more. And that is what this comprehensive campaign will do – allow the College of Charleston to do more. Through this campaign, we’ll strengthen scholarships so that the best and brightest don’t have to make the difficult decision between their hearts and their pocketbooks. We’ll boost faculty investment so that the amazing professors that have inspired countless students will be succeeded by a new generation of passionate teacher-scholars. We’ll bolster resources dedicated to our facilities and classrooms so that our students and faculty are working together in environments that amplify the learning process. Yes, the College of Charleston is world class in so many different ways. And through this comprehensive campaign, the College, like it has done so many times before, will continue to make great strides so that its possibilities are infinite and its impact and reach, boundless.
It began as a dream among learned men of Charleston, an idea for an exceptional institution of higher learning in one of America’s most promising new cities. These men yearned for enlightenment, and were ashamed to have to send their children away for their education. As prominent rice planter and politician Henry Laurens said in 1771, the lack of a local college is “a great reproach upon our public character.” A year earlier, S.C. Lieutenant Governor William Bull proposed a bill establishing a college in South Carolina, but its passage was derailed. Nonetheless, the spirit of this law lived on. Land was set aside in Charleston, money was raised and support for a college refused to die, even as the American colonies began their fight for independence in 1776. In 1785, after war’s end, South Carolina’s leaders granted a charter (as seen here). The College had been born.
College of Charleston
It was January 12, 1828, and a crowd of students, professors, politicians, clergymen, doctors and more marched from City Hall toward the College’s campus. On George Street, a prayer was said and a hymn sung. Then, a cornerstone was laid, with Masons consecrating the new foundation by pouring corn, wine and oil upon the stone. A year later, the vision of Philadelphia architect William Strickland was realized (his rendering seen here), and the College had a new home. No longer would students be taught in a “mass of ruinous, ill looking, and inconvenient buildings,” as President Jasper Adams had characterized the young College’s previous infrastructure. More than 175 years later, this magnificent building, known now as Randolph Hall and bearing several additions, remains standing, a testament to the College’s enduring grace.
War was near. Professors left campus for military drills, and the senior class asked to be granted their degrees early, so they, too, could prepare for battle. In April 1861, Confederate forces shelled Ft. Sumter. More men joined the fight, and the Collegeâ€™s enrollment dwindled to just seven students. In December 1864, two days before Union troops took Savannah, the College suspended classes. Two months later, Charleston was evacuated. The American Civil War was nearly over. A year later, the College reopened, though its finances, like the city of Charleston seen here, were in shambles. Fortunately, men like planter Ephraim Baynard came to the Collegeâ€™s rescue. With his gift, the College reduced tuition and encouraged its professors to lecture to the public. Soon enough, enrollment was back to pre-war levels, and the College marched on.
College of Charleston
Most of the students in the 19th century may have been local boys, but – armed with a CofC degree – they didn’t stay that way for long. Many left the Holy City to make names for themselves in their respective fields, pursuing careers in politics or medicine as well as the clergy, education and business. Perhaps the most famous alumnus of the time was John C. Frémont ’36 (top left), an explorer known as the Great Pathfinder, who in 1856 became the first Republican presidential candidate. Seen here clockwise, other significant alumni include William Trescott ’41, a diplomatist and assistant secretary of state (1860); poet Paul Hayne ’50, considered the “laureate of the South”; and world-renowned Classical scholar Basil Gildersleeve, who attended the College at age 13. Thanks in part to the success of its alumni, by the end of the 19th century, the College had established itself as a respected institution of the liberal arts. Its standards were high, its spirit, stronger. The College was here to stay.
Conflict begets change. And the Great War in Europe certainly changed the College’s stance on coeducation. Even in the middle of the First World War, President Harrison Randolph had considered the idea of coeducation “unwise.” But, desperate times call for desperate measures, and, by 1918, with many collegeaged men leaving for England and France, President Randolph recognized the benefit of admitting women into the College. “A world of new conditions surrounds us and is to be met and reckoned with. Women on all sides are called upon for work of a sort that had not been open to them before and face everywhere a future full of uncertainty,” he said. “I have become convinced that the only practicable solution of the problem is to extend to women ... all the advantages which the College of Charleston offers.” And, with that, the College opened its doors to women – changing their lives, and life on campus, forever.
College of Charleston
It always comes down to vision – and that’s exactly what Ted Stern had when he was appointed the College’s 16th president. Between 1968 and 1978, President Stern (seen here at the dedication of the new tennis courts) took the small, private school with 482 students, 27 faculty members, 11 degree fields and three intercollegiate sports and grew the student body to 5,193, the faculty to 181, the degree programs to 21 and the intercollegiate sports teams to 10. During Stern’s tenure, the College joined the state system, established a graduate school, began admitting African American students and increased the institution’s budget by $12.5 million. Under his direction, the College laid down the iconic herringbone-patterned brick walkways across campus, purchased 120 buildings, and built nine new buildings. In what would prove to be the institution’s biggest growth spurt to date, the College was coming into its own.
Winning has a way of reshaping everything. Especially when you claim your first national championship. Suddenly, people everywhere take notice. That’s what happened in 1983, when the Cougars, led by Coach John Kresse, won the NAIA Tournament in Kansas City behind the heroics of Stephen Yetman ’83, Greg Mack ’88 and John Brett ’83. Their unlikely victory over West Virginia Wesleyan (the team’s fifth win in five nights) laid the groundwork for the College’s eventual rise to Division I athletics. The James Naismith Trophy adjusted expectations. Maybe not overnight, but things would certainly never be the same. The College now had a taste for the national spotlight, and momentum was building. This team would prove to be no anomaly, but, rather, the vanguard of wave after wave of top scholarathletes – in every sport – hungry for greater competition and recognition.
College of Charleston
By the 1990s and 2000s, what was perhaps one of the greatest hidden gems in the South was finally discovered by the rest of the country. Simply put, people flocked to the College, coming from all over the United States and beyond. Enrollment swelled to 10,000 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students â€“ a far cry from the 500 student population of the late sixties. To accommodate the growing demand, the campus expanded and transformed not only to hold the larger numbers, but to give students facilities equal to the quality of instruction they were getting in the classrooms. The College also became a popular backdrop â€“ for movies (The Patriot, Cold Mountain and Dear John), TV shows (The View, Crossfire and Army Wives), presidential candidates on the stump (Barack Obama, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul) and pseudo-politicians (Stephen Colbert, who launched his campaign for the presidency of South Carolina in the Cistern Yard).
The future, what does it hold? With BOUNDLESS, the College of Charleston has a pretty clear picture: It’s a wide-open sea of opportunity (something like the artwork of John Duckworth ’99 seen here). For more than two centuries, we’ve navigated some pretty tough waters – storms, earthquakes, wars, financial downturns and, at times, our own stubbornness to change. But we always persevere. Because we believe, to our core, that a College of Charleston education is different. It’s the place, it’s the people – and together, they create a learning environment like no other in this world. BOUNDLESS is more than a campaign about dollars. It’s really our moment to shape the next chapter in the College’s history and to ensure a stronger, more open university. Scholarships, endowed faculty positions and improved facilities will do that. But, most important, the engagement of the entire CofC family – working in unison toward this goal – will do just that. Yes, the College of Charleston is great, but through BOUNDLESS, even greater things are on the horizon.
College of Charleston
An Abbreviated Guide to the Campaign for the College of Charleston Campaign Priorities
1 2 3 4
competitive scholarships that attract and retain exceptional students and enhance the College’s affordability, accessibility and inclusivity. Specifically, the College is raising money for need-based and merit-based scholarships, international study-abroad scholarships, summer research scholarships, school-based scholarships in specific academic areas, athletics scholarships and Alumni Association leadership scholarships.
world-class faculty who create new knowledge, collaborate across disciplines and inspire national student research. By increasing our endowed chairs and professorships, faculty awards and number of visiting scholars and artists-in-residence on campus, the College will boost its intellectual vitality and engage more of its students in research and discovery.
distinctive academic and campus-life programs that embrace the College’s history, culture and location and provide unrivaled opportunities for research, discovery and personal growth. In particular, the College will expand the Bonner Leader and Higdon Student Leadership Programs, the International Scholars Program, undergraduate research fellowships and the computer science program.
state-of-the-art facilities that advance creativity, collaboration and innovation in learning and research, as well as enhanced sports facilities for our student-athletes and fans. This campaign will revitalize and build spaces that bring people together, such as the new learning technology center and the planned alumni center as well as renovations and muchneeded upgrades to the Simons Center for the Arts, the Patriots Point Athletics Complex and the Grice Marine Laboratory.
Annual giving funds that support the College’s most immediate needs and priorities and build a culture of philanthropy. Here, everyone can be a philanthropist, and College investors can designate their support with the College of Charleston Fund, the Parents’ Fund, the Deans’ Excellence Funds, the Cougar Club Funds, the Student Affairs Excellence Fund and the Friends of the Library, to name but a few.
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“Our campaign is an important opportunity to
reflect on our past ,
declare our intentions for the future and position the College for an even greater role locally, nationally and internationally. ”
– President Glenn McConnell ’69
$20M :: A nnual G i vi ng
Campaign G oal
$45M :: compet i ti ve sc holar shi ps $20M :: wor ld- class faculty $20M :: di st i ncti ve Academ ic and campus - li f e Pr ogr ams
$20M :: STAT E- of-the- art faci li ti es
the future for the College of Charleston now. The growth of the College and the future of our students , our region and beyond very much depend upon you. ”
“ We are creating
– Steve Swanson ’89, campaign co-chair
Philanthropy Doing a World of Good She might be lying through her teeth, but Georgia Maynard isn’t trying to be deceitful when she tells people she’s from Spartanburg, S.C. She’s just trying to avoid all the questions. “Nobody seems to have any questions about Spartanburg – they just accept it and move on,” shrugs the senior women’s and gender studies major, who, truth be told, grew up in London, England; Norfolk, Va.; Brasilia, Brazil; and New Delhi, India. “It’s a lot to explain. I just don’t feel like going into it all the time. Besides: Where am I from, really?” With a British mother and an American diplomat for a father, Maynard was born a dual citizen in England, where she spent the first eight years of her life. From there, the family moved to Virginia, then Brazil, then back to Virginia before returning briefly to Brazil before moving to London, where she completed her high school years. “I remember on one of my flights recently, I was telling the person sitting next to me about my background, and he said, ‘You either have a million friends or none.’ It’s true, because when you aren’t in one place for very long, it’s hard to stay in touch,” says Maynard, who never got to know her grandmothers due to her family’s peripatetic lifestyle. “It’s a strange thing trying to find an identity when you’re going from one very different culture to the next. It’s developmentally bizarre. But it’s obviously rewarding in terms of my understanding of the world. It has rounded out my world view.” Wherever she went, Maynard had the privilege of attending private school – and she became acutely aware that her native friends, who attended the public schools, were not getting the same education she was. “Living in developing countries shows you that, somehow, not everyone is entitled to the same chances in life,” says Maynard, adding that, as a member |
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of the expatriate community, she was encouraged to volunteer and be active in community service. “So, for example, in Brazil, I volunteered in an orphanage – everyone did. That’s just what you did on the weekends.” In college, Maynard spent her winter and summer breaks in India, where she worked with a mentorship program that paired her with a peer from the slums: one of the untouchables. Dilip and she were the same age, had the same taste in music, the same dreams of love and romance. Only he had no running water, no books and no future. “The most important thing I took from that experience is not to take my education for granted, to be a steward of education and to use my education to make a more equal chance for education globally,” says Maynard, whose decision to come to the College was an “absolutely random” choice, since she’d never even been to Charleston before Freshman Orientation. Since then, she has become quite oriented, indeed – even working in the athletics department doing the instant-replay videos. True to self, however, Maynard has continued to travel – spending two summers working for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, critically examining the injustices within the Indian government institutionally protected by legislation. While she was there, she also worked with an organization dedicated to providing equal education opportunities to the impoverished as well as with a Mormon women’s group, where she witnessed firsthand the oppression of women, the injustices that they suffer there. “The one story that stands out is the story of a woman called Asha, which means hope,” says Maynard, explaining that she became quite good friends with Asha, who was abused by her alcoholic husband, but could not leave him. “There was just no option.” And it’s not an isolated case, says Maynard, who was not far away from the gang rape that occurred on a private bus in Delhi in 2012 and garnered international headlines. Even Maynard herself experienced plenty of stares, catcalls and picture-taking. “It really changes your perspective on how the world views women, so that’s what made me want to study
gender equality,” says Maynard, whose commitment to promoting positive change landed her one of the seven Ketner Emerging Leaders Scholarships this year. In 2007, Linda Ketner started these scholarships – which require recipients to dedicate at least 34 hours per semester to activism – for students interested in
Thanks in large part to her Gender and Violence course, Maynard has taken a particular interest in sexual assault victims and gender-based crime and how it is handled on campus. “I take the feminist approach to handling the problem, researching about what we could possibly do to change the environment of victim blaming and
| philanthropist Linda Ketner speaking on campus at Physicians Memorial Auditorium | women’s and gender studies as well as social justice, public service and civil leadership. It is Ketner’s hope that, by financially rewarding these students, they will be encouraged and inspired to become agents of change – much as she has strived to be through her public service. Ketner, who was a Democratic candidate for Congress in 2008, is the president of the Coastal Community Foundation and One-Eighty Place (formerly Crisis Ministries), chair of the Mayor’s Council on Homelessness and Affordable Housing and the S.C. Housing Trust Fund, co-founder of S.C. Citizens for Housing and Alliance for Full Acceptance and S.C. Equality Coalition, founder of the Women’s Fund, Ketner Fund and Fund for Social Justice at the Coastal Community Foundation and board member for the College’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program, among others. “Linda Ketner is so cool. She is awesome,” says Maynard. “Also, it’s awesome to have the financial help from this scholarship, and it’s encouraged me to be more active on campus and to be more aware of injustices.”
indifference,” says Maynard, whose capstone course was on sexual assault and gender violence. “Once you take away the stigma, this is a problem just like any other problem that needs to be dealt with. We need to make a change.” And that’s exactly what Maynard is committed to doing: making a change. For her part, after graduation, Maynard is planning to study inequality on the global level in a gender studies graduate program in her native England. “It’s hugely important that everybody get involved if we want to make a social change. Change doesn’t happen without people who are dedicated,” she says, noting that change involves a broad understanding of the issue at hand – one that comes best from exposure to many different perspectives. “To fully understand a problem or an issue, I really think you have to get out of your comfort zone and experience other ideas, other cultures.” And who better to speak to this idea of discovering different perspectives than someone who calls Spartanburg home, by way of England, Brazil and India.
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Dawn More ’08
Daughter of Kathy Brannon More ’80
Caroline Starr Edwards ’09
TONY MEYER ’49
Daughter of Chris Starr ’83
Cullen Baldwin (sophomore) Son of Ann Quesenbery Baldwin ’90
Rachelle Lavelle ’00
Daughter of Mary Lee Demetre Lavelle ’72
Gabby Seymore (freshman)
Daughter of Cathy Hawkins Seymore ’78
It’s hard not to bond with the College of Charleston – just ask Tony Meyer ’49, who served in various positions at the College after his student days in post-WW II America: superintendent of the gym, director of intramurals, health and physical education teacher, director of athletics, coach, counselor, Alumni Association executive secretary, director of college relations and vice president of alumni and college relations. “I worked at a time when, instead of a raise, you got a title,” laughs Meyer, who officially “retired” in 1994, but still dutifully comes into the office every single day. In 1995, to honor Meyer’s commitment to the College, Colonel George Buell ’22 contributed a cornerstone gift to begin a scholarship in his name. “Tony has dedicated his life to the College. … He has guided each president, kept the [Alumni] Association moving and been a devoted friend to all,” Buell wrote in his appeal to raise funds for the scholarship. “It would be impossible to recognize fully the extent of Tony’s many contributions to the College, but we would like to honor him in a meaningful way.” The resulting Tony Meyer Endowed Alumni Scholarship, which was endowed in 1996 and will continue to grow thanks to an estate gift from Meyer himself, is reserved for children of alumni – ensuring that family ties will continue to be built between students, alumni and the College for many years to come.
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Rachel Fowler ’14
Daughter of Randy Fowler ’84
Caroline Carpenter Bende ’05 Daughter of Rick Carpenter ’71
Renee Leventis ’03
Daughter of Anne-Marie Noe Leventis ’71
Alexandria Pellegrino Rogers ’03 Daughter of Ann Curley Harper ’69
Lauren Strubeck ’13
Daughter of Lou ’80 and Kay Watkins Strubeck ’80
Flagged for greatness
| Photo by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |
It’s the highest point in all of Africa, rising nearly 6,000 meters above sea level. To reach the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, hikers usually devote six days, maintaining a slow and steady pace that limits the effects of altitude sickness, which can otherwise be crippling. R. Keith Sauls ’90 is a veteran of the mountain, and he’s made the hike a family affair. After Sauls summited himself in 2006, his sister reached the top with his son in 2012. This past summer, Sauls climbed atop Mt. Kilimanjaro with his daughter. Also in tow on Sauls’ latest trip: a CofC flag. Upon reaching the top this past time around, Sauls let the College flag fly. The symbolism to him was obvious: With the College of Charleston, you can reach great heights. The Sauls family has long been givers to the College of Charleston Fund, the School of Business Dean’s Excellence Fund, the Cougar Club and the Leadership Endowment Fund. The Sauls family has also endowed the R. Keith and Melissa G. Sauls Undergraduate Scholarship for business students. This year, Keith Sauls committed even more to the College, initiating the new Boundless Opportunity Scholarship with an endowment and further pledging a $1 million gift to the scholarship through his estate. Such generosity ensures that the College can target unique high school students and competitively recruit a diverse and intellectually impressive student body. When the gift was announced at a recent meeting of the College’s Foundation Board of Directors, several made their own pledges to the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship fund. Additionally, the board voted to allocate a portion of its operating surplus to honor Sauls’ most recent gift and to demonstrate its continued commitment to private scholarship growth. Thanks to this team effort, future students will also be able to reach the top, no matter what summit they may be scaling.
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CLASS NOTES 1946 Jane Lucas Thornhill received the
Maritime Association’s Advocate Award. She is the third recipient of this award.
1965 Neil Draisin is a member of the
College’s Foundation Board. He has practiced optometry in Charleston for more than 40 years and is a national leader in his field. Neil was the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award (given by the Alumni Association).
1967 Nancyjean DeLoache Nettles
served as the 2013 chairwoman of the Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
1974 Sherwood Miler is a member of
the College’s Foundation Board. Sherwood is the owner of Sherwood Miler Real Estate in Summerville, S.C., and is president-elect of the College’s Alumni Association.
1975 Bill Anderson is a vice president and mortgage banker for Park Sterling in downtown Charleston.
1976 Elizabeth Boineau is a member of
the Lowcountry Autism Foundation’s board of directors. She is the founder and owner of the public relations and marketing firm E. Boineau & Co. in Charleston.
1978 Chris Hansen is a business
development representative for Pioneer Capital Group in Raleigh.
1979 Cindy Watkins Wofford (see David Wofford ’81)
1980 Meta Grimball Frasch was
named one of CHARLIE Magazine’s 50 Most Progressive in 2014. She is the head of Special Olympics Sailing in Charleston. Georganne Ridgill is a clinical manager with Roper Heart and Vascular Center in Charleston.
1981 Peggy Gunter Boykin is the director
of the Public Employee Benefits Authority in Columbia. Dawn Henry Clancy is a staff physician at Geriatric Facility Care Specialists in Mt. Pleasant. Dawn is board certified in internal medicine and received her medical degree from MUSC. Suzi Cuomo Raiford (M.A.T. ’04) is the education initiatives director at the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. David and Cindy Watkins Wofford ’79 hosted a send-off reception for incoming freshmen in August at their home in Richmond, Va. Their son, Si, graduated from the College in May. Cheryll Novak Woods-Flowers (M.S. ’99) is a Realtor and relocation specialist with Coldwell Banker in Mt. Pleasant. She is a certified agent advantage specialist, Cartus Broker Network and a Charleston Realtor of Distinction.
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1982 George Cobb is the chair of Baylor
University’s environmental science department and is the chair-elect of the ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry. Ron Cooper’s novel Purple Jesus (Bancroft Press, 2010) is being published in France. His third novel, Gospel of the Twin, is due for release this spring. Ron is a philosophy professor at Central Florida Community College. Jimmy Hightower is a member of the College’s Foundation Board. Jimmy is the president of Hightower Construction Company in Charleston and has served on the College’s Board of Trustees. He was the 2006 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award (given by the Alumni Association).
1983 Scott Cracraft is a member of
the College’s Foundation Board. Scott is a partner and cofounder of Lynch Cracraft Wealth Management Group in Charleston and a managing director for Raymond James. He was the 2013 recipient of the Howard F. Rudd Jr. Business Person of the Year Award (given by the School of Business). He also serves on the School of Business Board of Governors. Brucie Howe Hendricks is a federal judge hearing cases in Greenville and Florence, S.C., and continues to preside over the Bridge Program in Charleston, a federal drug court she created three years ago. Vic Howie is a member of the College’s Foundation Board. Vic is a senior financial advisor for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Charlotte. He is also a member of the Alumni Association’s board of directors. Chloe Knight Tonney is a member of the College’s Foundation Board. Chloe is the senior vice president for external affairs at the Centers for Disease Control Foundation in Atlanta.
1984 Rob Droste is the canon for
congregational development and mission for the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey. He works with a bishop and diocesan staff supporting 150 congregations.
1985 Sheri Snyder Matthews has
12-year-old twins, Hope and Hunter, who have aspirations of coming to the College and playing sports. Sheri is a past president of the College’s Alumni Association.
1986 Joseph Anderson is the
Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Command surgeon and is based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickman, Hawaii. He is responsible for overseeing nine medical treatment facilities and 3,900 Air Force medical personnel in Korea, Japan, Alaska and Hawaii, supporting medical operations from the east coast of Africa to the west coast of the United States, as well as providing medical support to National Science Foundation operations in Antarctica. Carole Baldwin (M.S.) is the division of fishes curator in charge at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Chappy McKay is a member of the College’s Foundation Board. He is the director of development for Trident Construction Company in Charleston and also serves as the chair of the College’s Friends of the Library. Chappy is a past president of the College’s Alumni Association. Christoph Vogel is a new member of the Graduate School Advisory Board. He is an atmospheric physicist and program manager at NOAA’s atmospheric turbulence and diffusion division and at Oak Ridge Associated Universities. He earned his Ph.D. in atmospheric physics from Georgia Tech.
1987 Debra Gammons is a new member of the Graduate School Advisory Board. She is the director of diversity initiatives and a distinguished visiting professor at the Charleston School of Law. Caroline Lesesne is a private banker and senior vice president at South State Bank in Charleston.
1988 JJ Jahn Larson is the president
of the Higher Education Case Managers Association. She is the director for the Office of Student Outreach & Support at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
1989 James Hodge was presented the
Distinguished Alumni Award by the Honors College in May. James is the Lincoln Professor of Health Law and Ethics at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in Tempe. James is a national expert on public health emergency legal and ethical preparedness and public health information privacy law and policy. Ashley Jones Lawrence is a volunteer coordinator for the College’s Cougar PAWWS (Parents and Alumni Working With Students) program in the admissions office.
1990 Keith Sauls returned from a mission trip to Africa, where he climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Keith serves on the College’s Foundation Board.
1991 Trudy Goski is a licensed
professional counselor in Corpus Christi, Texas.
1992 Mike Beckett is a regional vice
president for Georgia with MagMutual. He leads sales and policy-holder services across the company’s first and largest market.
1993 Maureen Fleck Aller is the ESS
secretary for the district school board of Pasco County, Fla. Mitchell Davis is one of CHARLIE Magazine’s 50 Most Progressive in 2014. He is the president of BiblioLabs in Charleston. Mitchell founded BookSurge, which was renamed CreateSpace after it was acquired by Amazon. Byron Gipson is a member of the S.C. Bar Foundation board of directors. Byron is a shareholder at Johnson Toal & Battiste PA with offices in Columbia and Orangeburg, S.C.
[ alumni profile ]
For her daughters, the question Where are you from? is a tricky one. Living in South Korea, the two blond girls, ages 7 and 8, get the question a lot. They have often insisted that they are from Africa, considering that they have spent most of their young lives in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Sensing skepticism, the older one might say, “Well, maybe Greece.” After all, they were born in Athens. But – even though they’ve never lived in the United States – the two girls are as American as their parents, both of whom are in the U.S. Foreign Service. Kirsten Bauman ’93 fully understands the confused sense of home that life in the foreign service brings for her daughters, but sees it as an opportunity for them to grow up as citizens of the world. She and her husband have been serving in Seoul since 2011, and, before that, in Addis Ababa; Athens; Washington, D.C.; and Paris – moving every two to four years. When their tenure in Korea is up in 2015, they expect to be relocated to the United States, where their daughters can finally experience the place that they have always been told is home. Originally from Rockville, Md., Bauman started at the College in 1989. During her four years, she remembers being encouraged to enjoy the city, and also to look beyond it. “I think I got a very good, well-rounded start in higher education at CofC,” she says. “My political science professors taught me that true learning is not only about getting good grades on tests.” It was in the halls of the political science department, in fact, that she saw a poster advertising the U.S. Department of State’s free annual foreign service exam. “I have always been a restless person and I wanted to see the world,” she says. “I took the written exam and passed, but failed the oral segment in Washington, D.C.” A few years later, after getting her master’s degree at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, she successfully retook the exam and began her career with the service in 2000 doing consulate work in Paris. “I was lucky to start my career in such a beautiful place and also meet my
| Photo by Janos Nadudvari |
husband, but I have to dispel the myth that diplomats lead a glamorous life sipping wine,” she says. “My daily job is to facilitate the communication between U.S. and foreign governments in order to build and foster relationships to advance American foreign policy objectives.” After next serving as a World Bank liaison in Washington, Bauman was transferred to Athens, where she served as a political officer responsible for informing U.S. policymakers on issues related to Turkey-Cyprus-Greece relations. But it was her next post in Ethiopia that was the most difficult. There, she worked as an environmental officer for geothermal development and water resource management across 14 East African countries. And there, she and her family faced the daily challenges, both logistical and emotional, of living in a comfortable American-style compound in a developing nation. “Living in Ethiopia for three years was challenging. On our daily drive to my girls’ preschool, I often had to answer questions about why a man was crawling along the gutter with his twisted legs folded under his crumpled body,” she remembers, “or address why a mommy holding her baby and knocking on our car window looked so sad. In exposing my girls to these extreme levels of poverty at an early age, however, I now see that it has instilled them with a
sense of gratitude and a great capacity for empathy.” At the moment, Bauman – who has played host to President Barack Obama and other members of Congress and conducted formal meetings to further the Korea–U.S. Free Trade Agreement – is negotiating a U.S.–Korea treaty on nuclear energy cooperation and working on a variety of other environmental, technological and health-related issues in the region. “In Seoul, a fast-paced and dynamic city, I have learned to take the time to slow down and appreciate the important things in life,” she says. “Although work, ambition and success are still very important, I see how the ceaseless pursuit of these goals can take an extreme toll on family and health.” With her family’s upcoming return to the U.S. in 2015, Bauman says that her highest priority is to acquaint her daughters with their national identity. For the first time, they will be able to state without confusion or anxiety that they are indeed American, and are sure to grow up as worldly and open-minded as their mother. – Kristen Gehrman ’11 Editor’s Note: You can learn more about Bauman’s experience in Ethiopia in her book, Accidental Patriot: A Diplomat’s Journey in Africa Rediscovering America.
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David Lee Nelson ’00 held the world premiere of his play, Folly Beach, at Pure Theatre in Charleston this summer. It was truly a CofC event, including cast members Becca Anderson ’00, Noah Smith ’08, Michael Smallwood ’09, Evan Parry (theatre professor), Cameron Tubbs (theatre major) and Keanu Thompson (theatre major); set design by Allen Lyndrup (retired theatre professor); and costume design by Ellen Iroff (costume shop manager).
Robert Kimpton is a physician with Doctors Care in Georgetown, S.C. Amy Hunt Lawson is the assistant director of development at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte. West Riggs and his parents hosted a send-off reception for incoming freshmen in July at their family home on Nantucket.
1994 Selena McCoy Carpenter is the
country director for Mennonite Central Committee in Nairobi, Kenya. Krissy McKown-Meltzer is an adjunct professor in entertainment law at Charleston School of Law. She performed in Charleston’s Footlight Players’ production of Don’t Dress for Dinner. Abby Edwards Saunders is a graduate student in NYU’s LL.M. program in taxation. Abby earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina. She served as an associate dean at Charleston School of Law. She and her husband, Mark, live in Little River, S.C. Patrice Sebastian is the director of the forensics and valuation services group for WebsterRogers.
1995 Clay Grayson is a partner at the law firm Grayson Thomas in Charleston. Shannon Geary Weisleder’s essay “Finding Me” has been anthologized in Nothing but the Truth So Help Me God: 73 Women on Life’s Transitions, compiled by A Band of Women. Shannon’s essay deals with losing her brother to suicide in 2012. She has launched the website trytomatter.com and set up the Matthew Patrick Geary Trust to provide a fundraising mechanism to support mental health and suicide prevention. Shannon lives in Richmond, Va., with her husband and three boys.
1996 Sue Campbell is a broker-in-charge for Keller Williams Realty in Charleston. Jennifer Bobo Heard is the assistant principal for grades 6–8 at Daniel Island School in Charleston. She earned her master’s in education from Converse College as well as a degree in educational leadership from The Citadel. She and her husband, Greg, have two daughters, Lillian and Lauren.
1997 Yanis Bellil joined Roper St. Francis Physician Partners’ Lowcountry hematology and oncology practice. He earned his M.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, completed a residency at the University of Maryland and a fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.
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Brandon Blankinship is an international operations coordinator with BL Harbert International in Birmingham, Ala. Ragan DuBose-Morris earned her Ph.D. in computing technology in education from Nova Southeastern University and serves as the director of learning services for the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium. Ragan is an assistant professor at MUSC and is working to expand access to health care across the state through telehealth initiatives focused on clinical services, education and research. Kathleen Brophy Forbes is the associate vice president of sponsor relations and signature events for the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. Elizabeth Seay and Kyle Russell were married in March and live in Greenville, S.C.
1998 Saluda Camp performed Mrs. John
Marsh: The World Knew Her as Margaret Mitchell, the one-woman show chronicling the life of Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind, during this year’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston. Saluda lives in New York City. Amy Carter is the director of development with the Charleston Parks Conservancy. Marc Stein is a member of the College’s Cougar Club Board. He is the owner and operator of Alphagraphics of Charleston.
1999 Joey Foxhall is a member of the
College’s Cougar Club Board. He is a principal with Ground Swell Capital and lives on Folly Beach, S.C. Tara Parnell Guerard was named a top five-star wedding planner in Vogue.com’s “The Wedding Guide 2014.” She has also been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings and Southern Living. She is the owner of Tara Guerard Soiree, with locations in Charleston and New York, as well as the owner of Lettered Olive in Charleston. Lane Jefferies earned his J.D. in 2014 from the Charleston School of Law, where he served as a member of the Charleston Law Review board of editors as well as the Trial Advocacy and Moot Court Boards. He is an associate at McNair Law Firm’s Myrtle Beach office focusing on commercial litigation. Kevin Krapp is the general manager with The Indigo Road Restaurant Group’s new Oak Steakhouse in Alpharetta, Ga. Matt Lynch is the vice president of fan experience for the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, which opened in August. Kelly Moorhead returned from a mission trip to Africa, where she climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Kelly serves on the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Troy Porcelli (see Lindsay Johnson Porcelli ’10 [M.A.T.]) Heather Parker Pound is the marketing and events coordinator for the new homes division of Carolina One Real Estate in Charleston. Mike Smith earned his M.B.A. this spring from the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester. He and his wife, Ashley Jones Smith ’00, live in Rochester, N.Y., with their daughter, Baylor. The Smiths are part of the leadership team for the College’s Rochester alumni chapter. Boris Van Dyck was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. He is the owner and president of Icebox and Event DRS, one of the largest professional beverage service companies in Charleston. Boris has also formed the South Carolina chapter of the U.S. Bartenders Guild.
Kevin Winkler lives in New York City and is a business analyst in global tender management at UTi Worldwide, a global supply chain management company.
2000 Latarsha Grant Asby earned a
master’s in social work in May from the University of South Carolina. Ray Berrouet is the general manager of Zero George Street Hotel in Charleston. Kelly Ferrell Criscitiello opened English and More in North Charleston, focusing on working with members of the community for whom English is their second language. She is also the mother of two children: Elena and Dante. Corie Hipp was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. She is the owner of The Corinne Co., a communications and marketing company with a focus on helping nonprofit organizations. Bobby Pilch was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Bobby is the government and citywide conference sales manager/public affairs specialist with the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. He also serves in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Matthew Schreier provides global client services for Iron Mountain (corporate real estate) for CBRE. Matthew and Paige Gillikin were married in April and live in Charlotte. Ashley Jones Smith (see Mike Smith ’99)
2001 Maren Anderson was named one
of CHARLIE Magazine’s 50 Most Progressive in 2014. Maren is the founder of Play Garden, a drop-in learning facility in Mt. Pleasant, providing seasoned caretakers and structured activities for children. Kippy and Jennifer Cruz Chamberlain ’02 announce the birth of their daughter, Mahalia Cruz, born in June. Jennifer finished her urology residency at Ochsner and LSU in June and is on staff at Ochsner Slidell. Kippy is a commercial underwriter for Capital One in New Orleans and earned his M.B.A. and law degree from Mississippi College. Darryl Fyall is a financial services representative with MetLife of the Carolinas. Darryl and Barbara Scurry were married in May. Tom and Beth Kaner-Bibb announce the birth of their second child, Addison Dorothy, born in September 2013. The family lives in Greenville, S.C. Katherine Lee-Koven is the executive director of the Utah State University Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art. Lucas McFadden is a television news anchor and producer for CN2 News in Rock Hill, S.C. The Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded CN2 a Southeast regional Emmy for “Television News Programming Excellence” in 2014. Lucas and his wife, Kati, have a daughter, Collins Kathryn, born in December 2011. Ryan Mikkelson is an attorney and partner with Mikkelson & Bannon in Bluffton, S.C. Ryan earned his J.D. from Mississippi College School of Law in 2005. Susan Oakes (M.P.A. ’08) is the director of admissions at Loyola University New Orleans. Valerie Sessions (M.S. ’02) was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by Charleston Regional Business Journal. Valerie is an associate professor of computer science at Charleston Southern University and a computer scientist at SPAWAR in Charleston. Erica Somerwitz is the education coordinator at Montclair State’s George Segal Gallery.
Tyler Womack (see Amanda Rehberg ’09) Jay and Courtney Droz Young announce the birth of their third daughter, Carly James, born in March.
2002 Jennifer Cruz Chamberlain (see Kippy Chamberlain ’01) Cory Dueger is an agent with Century 21 Properties Plus in Mt. Pleasant. Cory is also the real estate agent for HGTV’s House Hunters reality show, filmed in Charleston this past summer and fall. Jason Stephens earned his Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife, Carissa, have three children and live in Austin. Ola Stokes announces the birth of her second child, Liam Harvey, born in November 2013. Jennifer Turner, an English professor at The Citadel, was named to NerdScholar’s inaugural “40 Under 40.”
2003 Jennifer Jefferies Brown is an agent
with Carolina One Real Estate in Mt. Pleasant. Maggi Murray Bryant is the retail sales manager and vice president for First Citizens in St. George, S.C. Chris Duncan (M.A. ’12) served as president of the South Carolina Public Relations Society of America’s Charleston chapter in 2014. Anna Hamilton was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by Charleston Regional Business Journal. She is the strategic initiatives director with the S.C. Community Loan Fund. The internship for a homelessness-prevention program she did while a student at the College eventually shaped her career. Annie Page-Karjian earned her D.V.M. from the University of Georgia and will graduate next spring with her Ph.D. in veterinary pathology. For 11 years, she has specialized in sea turtle conservation biology and medicine, a career path originally inspired by taking Professor Dave Owens’ course in conservation biology. She was also highlighted as a UGA Amazing Student this past year. Natasha Venner is a teacher at Manhattan Village Academy in New York City, a high-performing Title 1 public school with a minority population of 95 percent. She teaches AP psychology, AP U.S. history and U.S. history. She is also the school’s college readiness coordinator and the National Honor Society advisor.
2004 Meghan Kludt Altier is a digital
account executive with NBCUniversal Digital Media in Chicago. William Bennett is a quarterfinalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award. William is the director of choirs at Cane Bay High School in Berkeley County, S.C. Kent and Mandy Carruth Black announce the birth of their daughter, Kennedy Grace, born in May. The Black family lives in Indialantic, Fla. Jennifer Jefferies Brown is an agent for Carolina One Real Estate in Mt. Pleasant. She also owns Prissy Paws Petsitting in Charleston. Stephanie Felder is a lieutenant commander with the U.S. Public Health Services. Bob Flynn is a virtual sales account manager with Cisco Systems in the Raleigh-Durham area and the vice president of the College’s Raleigh alumni chapter. Bob and Jacqueline Hyatt were married in August. Jennifer Shelton Larkins is the owner of Palmetto SOCIAL Marketing in Greenwood, S.C. Troy Lesesne is an assistant coach for the Charleston Battery. Troy was an assistant coach for the Cougars soccer team for 10 years.
Alisa Long was inducted this year into the volleyball team’s Wall of Fame. Her outstanding play (2000–2003 seasons) helped usher in the Cougars’ 13-year streak of conference titles. Ivie Parker is the director of marketing for Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms. Paul Patrick is the vice president for administration and planning for the College. Previously, Paul was the director of state budget and finance for the S.C. House of Representatives. He and his wife, Laura Karst Patrick, live in Charleston with their two sons. Holly Sams Peterson is an actress and model. She was featured in an art gallery showing in Connecticut called “Alter Ego” and had roles in Matinee – A Short Film and Homicide Hunter. She earned her M.Ed. in instructional technology from AIU in 2006. Michelle Quaranto is an IT contractor and business analyst with Software Specialists in Columbia. Ashley Fleming Stephens was named one of Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Rising Stars for the 2014 Influential Women in Business. She and Brandon Stephens were married in May. Ashley is a social worker for the Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson. Kate Stewart was named one of CHARLIE Magazine’s 50 Most Progressive in Charleston. Kate is a wardrobe stylist, dressing clients such as Brendan James and Elise Testone. Claire Marie Turner is a consultant in the flood control industry. She and Webb Smith were married in April and live in Bluffton, S.C. Boo Walker released his novella, Off You Go (set in Charleston), and a book, Turn and Burn (set in the state of Washington). During his college years, Boo was a banjoist and songwriter for the band The Biscuit Boys and then spent six years working on Wall Street. Marion Warren is the event manager for the Mobile (Ala.) Area Chamber of Commerce.
2005 Adrienne Antonson is the owner of
the State clothing label, based in Brooklyn. Her clothing line features handmade organic cotton britches, smocks and silk tops reconstructed from tops she has collected during her travels across the U.S. Majbritt Bolton-Warberg (M.S.) is a post-doctoral researcher and project coordinator with the National University of Ireland, Galway, on the EIRCOD project, a breeding program for the Irish aquaculture industry. Katie Booth and Vincent Barredo were married in August. Katie earned her J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Sara Davis was inducted this year into the volleyball team’s Wall of Fame. Sara, who played at the College from 2001 until 2004, was part of the NCAA Tournament teams in 2002 and 2004 and ranks sixth all-time at CofC with 1,416 digs. Kelly Flaherty is a collections information specialist at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Josh Gilbert is a lead manufacturing technician at AAIPharma Services Corp. in North Charleston. Nicholas Glover is the commissioner of the enterprise zone development agency for the City of Tampa. He is also the Florida market manager for Gas South. Robbie and Stacey Barber Hollings (M.S. ’06) announce the birth of their first child, Robert “Robbie” M. Hollings IV, born in August. Stacey is a tax manager at Elliott Davis in Charleston and a member of the College’s alumni board. She also graduated from Leadership Charleston in May.
Ashley Martin and George Wendt were married in April 2013 and live in Charleston. After serving in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua, Ashley earned her master’s in public health from Tulane University. Today, Ashley is a chief strategy and analytics officer for MHP, a national health nonprofit. Caroline McPartland (M.A. ’09) is a research manager at Vision Critical in Sydney, Australia. Michael Mule and Merriweather Raidle ’08 were married in March. Michael is president of the national award–winning Republican political consulting firm UPT Strategies and was named one of Charleston’s “Forty Under 40” by the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Merriweather is a portfolio manager with CornerCap Investment Counsel. Chaz Shanton is a logistics and account manager at Charles A. Wells Sales Co. in Charleston and a team manager with Port City Promotion. Erin Yates is the owner of HIVE & SUIT Project Management in Mt. Pleasant. Erin and Robert Spencer were married in March.
2006 Charlotte Barnes and Hunter Rice were married in June and live in Atlanta,
’07 where Charlotte is an independent interior designer and Hunter works for KPMG. Laura Borecki (M.S.) is the lab manager of the fish molecular ecology lab and the microbiology lab at the Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, Pa. Courtney Clarkson is a freelance copywriter in advertising. Courtney and Matthew Farrell were married in 2011 and live in Boulder, Colo. Saviela Edwards is a certified veteran service representative with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Columbia. Saviela and Larry Thorne Jr. were married in December 2011 and later appeared on the Game Show Network’s The Newlywed Game. Benjamin and Cassandra Powers Maglin announce the birth of their daughter, Alexandra Jane, born in May. The Maglin family lives in Fort Rucker, Ala. Julianne McLaughlin earned her Ph.D. in environmental engineering sciences from the University of Florida. She is an Oak Ridge Institute of Science Education postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working on aquatic life criteria issues at the national and regional levels in the Office of Water. Andrew Muller is a managing partner at Mappus Insurance Agency in Charleston and is a member of the board of directors for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of South Carolina. Kate Otter is an inside sales assistant with Classic Escapes in Queens, N.Y. Michael ’08 and Lisa Decker Roy announce the birth of their son, Tripp, born in May. The Roy family lives on Daniel Island, S.C. Liz Strozier (M.A. ’11) is the senior events manager at Forbes in New York City. Kory and Lauren Sawyer Wild announce the birth of their daughter, Sawyer Ann, born in February. The Wild family lives in Columbia.
2007 Melissa Barbour (M.S.) is a tax
manager for WebsterRogers in Charleston. Cristina Bumgartner is a staff accountant with Jarrard Nowell & Russell in Charleston. Sophia Camp is the head pastry chef at Wydown Coffee Bar in Washington, D.C. Katherine Jane Hammet Childs is an M.F.A. student in the University of Alabama’s creative writing program. Rachel Cooper and Bram Colonna were married in October 2012 and live in Charleston. FA L L 2 0 1 4 |
Jessica Edwards earned her M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University. She is the director of parent engagement and community outreach at STEM Preparatory Academy in Nashville. Lindsey Fritz is the director in the digital practice of Weber Shandwick in Baltimore. Jenny Gilson and Colin Alstad were married in May. Alix Grimley earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Florida State University in 2013. Andrea Roebuck Hudacko (see Daniel Hudacko ’08) Jonathan Johnson is an accountant with Harbor National Bank in Charleston. Kelly Lambright completed her residency at the University of Kansas School of MedicineWichita Family Medicine Residency Program at Via Christi. Miles Mader and Taylor Brandt were married in April. Greg Mason (see Johanna Mellis ’08) Lucas Morrison was named one of CHARLIE Magazine’s 50 Most Progressive in Charleston. Lucas specializes in the restoration of dilapidated, yet historic structures in Charleston’s Eastside neighborhood. Hunter Rice (see Charlotte Barnes ’06) Erin Marie Ulmer (M.A.T. ’11) is the executive director of Camp Rise Above in Charleston. Jamie Van Etten defended her Ph.D. thesis (in biochemistry) at the University of Michigan. Scott and Lauren Burton Watson were married in May and live in Annapolis, Md.
2008 Mary Sue Barron is an account
manager at Stratus Video Interpreting in Atlanta. Elisabeth Bischofberger earned her M.B.A. in May from the University of South Carolina. She serves on the board of directors for the American Red Cross. Matthew Boyce is a sales representative with Medex Surgical South in the Houston market. Ethan Burger is a licensed athletic trainer and earned his doctorate of physical therapy. Ethan is also a licensed/certified physical therapist in New York City, working for Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation. Sara Donahue is the owner of Cross & Dot, an event consulting and management/production company in Charleston. Jessica Trombetta e Silva defended her Ph.D. thesis at MUSC. Her dissertation is titled, “Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine and Transglutaminase Regulate Collagen Cross-linking in the Periodontal Ligament in Health and in Disease.” Ciera Gerack earned her Ph.D. in chemisty from the University of Florida and is a chemist at Adesis in New Castle, Del. Carina Gerscovich (M.P.A. ’10) is a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Charleston and is a new member of the College’s Graduate School Advisory Board. Daniel and Andrea Roebuck Hudacko ’07 announce the birth of their son, Gabriel Gage, born in August. The Hudacko family lives in Atlanta. Erik Johnstone defended his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Johanna Mellis, a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Florida, received a Fulbright IIE grant to conduct research for her dissertation, which is titled, “Negotiation Through Sport: Navigating Everyday Life in Communist Hungary.” She will live and conduct research in Budapest, Hungary, for the 2014–15 academic year. Her husband, Greg Mason ’07, is also a Ph.D. candidate in history at Florida. Madeline Rahe is a second-grade lead teacher at Park Day School in San Francisco. |
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Merriweather Raidle (see Michael Mule ’05) Michael Roy (see Lisa Decker Roy ’06) Amy Rhoden Smith defended her Ph.D. thesis (in chemistry) at the University of Texas at Austin. Amanda Thompson is the assistant innkeeper at the Wentworth Mansion in Charleston. Amanda and Ryan Bentley were married in April 2013. John Ward and Molly Spence ’10 were married in June. Molly is an educational consultant for Blackbaud and John is a state and local tax manager for the accounting firm Grant Thornton in Charlotte. Sean Wilson earned his J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in 2011 and is an associate attorney with the Bostic Law Firm in Charleston.
2009 Philip and Shannon Bonville announce the birth of their son,
Berlinsky Brooks, born in June 2013. Tori Bundy (M.A. ’12) is a senior strategist with CDR Fundraising in Washington, D.C. Ben and Brooks Hearn Crom were married in August 2013. Brooks is the director of communication and PR at Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, S.C. Norah Eddy and Alex Kehaya ’10 were married in 2011. Norah earned her master’s in environmental science and management at UCSB’s Bren School and is the owner of Salty Girl Seafood, a sustainable seafood company in Santa Barbara, Calif. Will Freeman is a Realtor with The Beach Company. Will and Meredith Frazier were married in April and live in Mt. Pleasant. Andrew Fyfe is a virtual partner account manager with Cisco in the Raleigh-Durham area. Matt Gasmovic is a senior global solutions analyst with Integration Point in Charlotte. Carrie McGeehan is the conference service manager with Kimpton Hotels at the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia. The boutique hotel was ranked No. 1 in the city of Philadelphia on TripAdvisor.com. Stephen Michael is the co-founder and producer of Bare Knuckle Media in Los Angeles, a film and television production company partnering with Hollywood heavyweights such as Robert Redford and Sean Daniel. Grayson Miller is a sales manager with the Columbia Regional Sports Council. Grayson and David Hopp were married in May. Brittany Musselwhite (M.A.T. ’12) works for St. Philip’s Preschool in Charleston. Brittany and Allen Wylie were married in May. Sara Perry (M.P.A.) is the communication director for the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative. Maggie Poston and Jasen Jones were married in October 2012 and live in Charleston. Maggie is a graduate student in Penn State’s employment relations and human resources program. Amanda Rehberg and Tyler Womack ’01 were married in May. Ashley Wyndham (M.P.A. ’13) is the assistant director of development with the Charleston Parks Conservancy.
2010 Emily Allen and Brian Giarrocco
were married in April and live in Mt. Pleasant. Emily received an NSF Noyce Teaching Fellowship and is a graduate student in The Citadel’s accelerated M.A.T. program. Brian is a fund manager for Ground Swell Capital. Brittany Allgood (M.A.) is a program manager in International B2B Marketing for Delta Airlines in Atlanta. Lindsey Barrow was named one of CHARLIE Magazine’s 50 Most Progressive in Charleston. Lindsey is the founder of Lowcountry Street
Grocery, a retrofitted schoolbus that is a grocery store on wheels, providing access to fresh, local produce to those who live in “food deserts” (places without grocery stores). Jamilia Brevard is a teacher assistant with the Lancaster County (S.C.) School District. Emily Fralinger is the food and beverage director for the Country Club of Charleston. Alison Gabrielle is the sales manager at the Courtyard by Marriott Charleston Historic District. Alison and Matt Wilson were married in May. Alison Greenberg and Collins Bryan were married in June and live in Denver. Maggie Hendricks is a corporate and foundation relations manager with the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston. Alex Jackson (M.A. ’14) received an ExCEL award last spring as the College’s outstanding graduate student. Alex earned his master’s in communication from the Graduate School and is the communications coordinator at SPAWAR. Alex Kehaya (see Norah Eddy ’09) Colie McClellan’s play, They Call Me Arethusa, was featured at this year’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston. Colie lives in New York. Gibbon Miler was named one of the Lowcountry’s Best and Brightest Young Professionals by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Gibbon is the assistant director of economic development at the College. Brittanie Mixon and Joseph Mangum were married in April 2013. Charles and Michelle Cooper O’Dell were married in April and live in Charleston. Charles works for Boomtown ROI, and Michelle works remotely for Meeting Solutions. Champagne O’Hara and Patrick Cornwell were married in May 2013 and live in Myrtle Beach. They announce the birth of their son, Jax Alexander, born in June. Troy ’99 and Lindsay Johnson Porcelli (M.A.T.) were married in November 2012, and the Porcelli family announces the birth of their son, Henry, born in February. Troy is the vice president of Blue Devil Products, and Lindsay teaches fourth grade in Moncks Corner, S.C. Heather Pruitt is the brand manager for The Becket Agency in Charleston. Molly Spence (see John Ward ’08)
2011 Elena Barrio is a front-end
developer at Serino/Coyne in New York City, an agency that manages all of the advertising and marketing for Broadway shows. She is also involved in two improv comedy groups, a sketch-writing group and hosts a monthly comedy show at a theater in New York. Kuleigh Beckett and Alex Baker ’14 were married in June. Alex works in the College’s residence life and housing department, and Kuleigh works in the College’s art history department. Alix Bowman earned her national paralegal certification and is a paralegal with the law firm Bauer and Associates in DeLand, Fla. Charles Carmody was named one of CHARLIE Magazine’s 50 Most Progressive. Charles is the manager of Charleston Music Hall. Cole Dawley was inducted into the College’s Volleyball 2014 Wall of Fame. Cole was part of two NCAA Tournament teams and is considered one of the best setters in school history. Andrea DeSantis is a graduate student in the University of Cincinnati’s education program. Samantha Fisher is a data-processing analyst for television operations at Broadcast Music in Nashville. Kathryn Franks (M.B.A.) is a staff accountant in Athens, Ga. Kathryn and Matthew Jenerette were married in May.
gone with the wind
| Photo by Gately Williams |
Becoming the fastest dinghy sailor in the world was the last thing on his mind. There was no room for daydreaming on his Mach 2 Moth, no time for distractions when he was speeding across the Charleston Harbor at 36.6 knots, or 42.11 mph. “That’s one thing I love about sailing: It clears your head. It gets your mind off all the things you have to think about: the bills you have to pay, the tasks you have to do. It gets your mind out of all that and into the moment,” says Ned Goss ’02, the College’s dockmaster and offshore sailing coach. “When I’m sailing, my mind is in that specific moment, and it carries me with the moment. I’m completely tuned into that moment.” The moment Goss ended his recordbreaking ride, however, he tuned into the numbers. “I knew I’d gone fast, and, at the end, I felt complete excitement,” says Goss, who was a member of the U.S. Sailing Team from 2003 to 2005. “When I hit the button on the GPS and saw the speed and that it beat the record, it was complete elation.” Now that he’s the fastest dinghy sailor in the world, Goss has some other goals in mind: a 40-knot run, perhaps. “Every time I go out on the water, I go as fast as I can. That’s the fun of the sport,” he says. “I’m always trying to go faster and be better. I’m always driven to improve.” And, once he’s focused on a certain goal, there’s no reason Goss can’t do whatever he sets his mind to.
Lauren Frye and Christopher Dixon were married in May. Benjamin Genn is a law clerk with the Law Office of Thomas A. Key in Washington, D.C. Tory Goode and Tim Goslee were married in March and live in Portsmouth, N.H. Matthew Hill and Elizabeth Reeves ’12 were married in June and live in Charleston, where Matthew works for the U.S. Forest Service and Elizabeth does ABA therapy through Carolina Coast Behavorial Services at the MUSC Children’s Hospital. Brandi Hudson received an NSF fellowship that allowed her to work at Kyoto University in Japan this past summer. Brandi is a graduate student in organic chemistry at the University of California, Davis. Allison Kendra is a Ph.D. student in Stanford’s environmental anthropology program. Andrew Khalil received an NSF Graduate Fellowship for his doctoral work in biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Ethan Lingsweiler is an inventory control specialist at TechStrength Solutions in Milwaukee, Wisc. Kim McDonough is an analytical chemistry sales representative at EMSL Analytical in Charleston. Jessica Mitsch is the director of the Durham Campus at The Iron Yard Academy. Jessica is also the president of the Raleigh/Durham alumni chapter. Erin Murray and Paul Hartline were married in October 2013. Pat Odom is a senior accountant with Jarrard, Nowell & Russell in Charleston. Ellen Sandy is a global logistics specialist with Samuel Shapiro in Atlanta.
Will Taylor works in wealth management for Merrill Lynch in Winston-Salem, N.C. Spencer Todd is the student body president of University of Maryland, Baltimore’s seven professional schools. Spencer is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland. Maggie Travis (M.A.) is a senior account executive with the health care division at Ketcham in Washington, D.C. Lauren Vinciguerra is the sales coordinator at The St. Regis Atlanta. Josh and Mollianna Judd Walker ’13 met in an entrepreneurship class taught by Howard Rudd. Their goal is to open a wine shop in Charleston that specializes in quality and encourages people to slow down and enjoy the moment. Robert Williams is a development associate with the National Conference of State Legislatures Foundation in Denver. Jessica Wyche is the office manager and photography editor for Carmen Ash Photography in Charleston.
2012 Laura Allison has been at the
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte since 2012, and she is the education and outreach coordinator. Nathalie Barger is a sales manager at Marriott’s group sales office in Atlanta. Rachel Barkley is a real estate agent for Keller Williams in Mt. Pleasant. Courtney Bates and Andrew Daniel were married in March 2012. Lindsey Breitwieser is a Ph.D. student in gender studies at Indiana University, Bloomington and is affiliated with the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. Michelle Brooksbank is a graduate student in Boston University’s art education program.
She is an elementary art teacher at Christ Our King – Stella Maris School in Mt. Pleasant. Allison Calder is a graduate student pursuing a dual master’s in global innovation management at North Carolina State and global luxury management at the SKEMA Business School in Antibes, France. Elyse Chubb was inducted into the College’s Volleyball 2014 Wall of Fame. Elyse, who played for the College from 2008 through 2011, was selected All-SoCon First Team three times and still holds the school record for highest attack percentage in a single match. Pate Clarson was named to Jacksonville’s “Top 30 Under 30.” Pate works with corporate partnerships for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Shelby Duff is the public relations and events coordinator for The Charleston Museum. Stephen Ferguson is a graduate student in the University of Michigan’s chemistry program. Melissa Fischer is a client services coordinator with The Princeton Review. Ellen Flowers works for the Laurence Manning Academy. Ellen and Michael Kratz were married in May and live in Mt. Pleasant. Emily Gallo is a promotions coordinator with Black River Entertainment in Nashville. Alexandra Giannetto announces the birth of her son, Sterling, born in December 2012. Sarah Havel was inducted into the College’s Volleyball 2014 Wall of Fame. Sarah holds the all-time record for total blocks in a match (17). Allison Jahries earned her master’s in social work from the University of Pittsburgh in April. She is a licensed clinical addiction counselor at Rubicon Counseling in Hartsville, S.C. Christina Lazarus is the marketing and group sales director for Broadway Grand Prix in Myrtle Beach.
[ passages ] Ruth Horowitz Harris ’29
John Duffy Jr. ’52
Matthew Henninger ’99
Melvin Furchgott Jr. ’35
Anne Hill Buchanan ’60
Davin Diamond ’00
Frances Octavie Mosimann ’39
Robert Thomas ’66
Graham Borland ’04
Mellie Clark LaRoche ’42
Elizabeth Lamis Lawandales ’75
Gavin McBrearity ’09
Annie Lesesne Murray ’43
David Pease ’77
R. Bennett Alexander ’10
Robert Pinckney Sr. ’43
Wayne Willis ’78
Patrick Koepenick ’10
Addie Kinard Smith ’43
Cynthia Reynolds Paris ’81
Hannah Strickland ’12
H. Laurence Fritz ’45
Harriet Easley Walker ’83
Nicholas Zumpano ’12
Gloria Sottile Nobles ’46
Kellie Bishop Hewson ’85
J. Bradford Cooper ’13
Fitzhugh Hamrick ’47
Karen Garner Bricklemyer ’89
Alfred Duplessis (former staff)
Betty Jo Brockman Skinner ’47
Thomas Wilkins ’89 June 14; Greer, S.C.
June 28; Charleston, S.C.
William Hamlin Jr. ’48
Johnifer Fashion ’93
Leila Harrison Thomas (former staff)
Charles Aimar ’50
Thomas Gill ’93
Annie Higgins (former faculty)
Gladys Antley Grooms ’50
Joy Dozier O’Kelley ’95
William Zehfuss (former faculty)
June 22; Walterboro, S.C.
April 20; Indianapolis, Ind. June 1; Washington, D.C.
August 23; Clemson, S.C. July 19; Walterboro, S.C. May 17; Jackson, Ga.
May 31; Charleston, S.C. July 21; Charleston, S.C. July 1; Las Vegas, Nev.
May 23; Charleston, S.C. May 23; Charleston, S.C.
April 25, 2010; Johns Creek, Ga. June 3; Sullivan’s Island, S.C.
October 18, 2013: Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
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September 1; Columbia, S.C. June 1; Landrum, S.C.
August 3; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. August 16; Charleston, S.C.
May 12; North Charleston, S.C. May 21; Diamondhead, Miss. July 20; St. Augustine, Fla.
May 16; St. Augustine, Fla. April 8; Spartanburg, S.C. July 28; Omaha, Nebr.
June 21; Goose Creek, S.C. August 7; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. July 9; Beaufort, S.C.
June 22; James Island, S.C. June 28; Las Vegas, Nev.
August 14; Charleston, S.C. June 12; Atlanta, Ga.
August 12; Greenville, S.C.
June 10; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. July 2; Charleston, S.C.
July 25, 2013; Peachtree Corners, Ga. July 4; Folly Beach, S.C.
October 5, 2009; Indianapolis, Ind.
Patricia Lewis (former staff) June 20; Annapolis, Md.
September 18; Chicago, Ill. July 30; Cumming, Ga.
Katie Lee is the business administration coordinator and digital marketing coordinator for iD Brisbane in Australia. Andrew Lejman is a graduate student at New York University’s dental school. Will McIntosh is a staff accountant with ConvergEx Group in New York City. Elizabeth Reeves (see Matthew Hill ’11) David Skaggs is a benefits administrator at Benefitfocus in Charleston. Stefanie Smith is a donor stewardship and operations specialist at the American Heart Association in Boston. Haley Sparks and Wilson Rosario were married in December 2013 and live in Charleston. The Rosario family announces the birth of their daughter, Mildred Lydia, born in May.
2013 Rachel Adams (M.A.) is an account
manager with The Reynolds Group in Charleston. Thomas Aspinwall is the executive director of the Charleston World Heritage Coalition, which is partnering with the Charleston Visitors Bureau to secure Charleston as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rachel Beneroff is a consulting associate with Greenway Packaging and Ntrinsiq Works in Charleston. Max Berry (M.B.A.) is the corporate revenue manager for Charlestowne Hotels. Patrick Burke is a graduate student at Ghent University in Belgium. Seth Clare is a research assistant at the UCLA School of Law. Corey Clayton is the CEO for Southern Ecstasy Beverage Company in Charleston. Meagan Collins is an upper-school physics teacher and an assistant swim coach at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston. Megan Costin is the front desk supervisor with Marriott’s SpringHill Suites in Charleston. Cronin Cullen is an assistant account executive at the marketing company Grey Group in New York City. Michael D’Onofrio is a marketing associate with Evergage in Boston. Caroline Duncan is a medical student at MUSC. Martin Erbele (M.P.A.) is a member of the College’s Graduate School Advisory Board. Martin also serves on the College’s alumni board as the representative from the Graduate School. He is an assistant floodplain coordinator for Charleston County. Allison Flynn is the membership coordinator at Mixson Bath & Racquet Club in North Charleston. Jeffrey Gardner is a professional consultant for Teradata in Charleston. Stuart Grant is a freelance web and graphic designer with Aegis Networking Solutions as well as an implementation specialist with Good Done Great in Charleston. Andrew Hawkins (M.B.A.) and Retta Hepworth ’14 (M.A.) were married in June. Andrew is employed at Benefitfocus, and Retta is an English teacher at Porter-Gaud School. Robert Hitt is a videographer with Robert Paul Productions in Charleston and a front-end developer for Iron Yard. Michelle Innantuono is a dye development chemist for Kemira Chemicals in Goose Creek, S.C. Barbara Kolar (M.P.A.) is the director of development at the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy. Barbara and Brian Schreiner were married in April 2013 and live in Charleston. Ali Leberfinger is a producer at Total Traffic & Weather Network in New York City. Alyssa Maute (M.A.) is the owner of Vestige Communications in Charleston.
Arianna Megaro is the owner of BlokRok, a Charleston-based company that has developed the first practical and easy-to-use alternative suncreen and lotion applicator of its kind. Alex Reiss specializes in events and catering for FoodtoEat in New York City. Roxanne Rice is a personal stylist at Nordstrom in Philadelphia. Hannah Ruth is the social media coordinator for Pet Helpers Adoption Center and Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic in Charleston. Greig Samuelson works for Charleston County EMS and is the College’s EMS compliance and training coordinator. John Scaringi is a medical student at MUSC. Megan Schaeffer is the gallery manager at Jericho Arts in Charleston. Katie Thomason is a graduate student in the University of Maryland’s sustainable development/conservation biology program. Mollianna Judd Walker (see Josh Walker ’11)
2014 Hunter Adams is a law student at
American University. Courtney Alexander is a field director for U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy’s campaign for U.S. Senate. Kathleen Anderson is an event and logistics coordinator for ICEBOX Innovative Beverage Services in Charleston. Alex Baker (see Kuleigh Beckett ’11) Chelsea Bauer is a law student at the Charlotte School of Law. Chantelle Berman is a graduate student at IDC Herzilya, Israel, and is pursuing a master’s in counter-terrorism and homeland security. Matthew Boatner is a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. Cheryl Carmack (M.S.) is a staff scientist with the Charleston Waterkeeper. As part of an internship for her master’s in environmental studies, Cheryl developed a water-quality monitoring program for the Charleston Waterkeeper, a program she now manages. Emily Clisham is a sales representative and assistant buyer for Ralph Lauren in New York. Matthew Coda, Jake Cotreau and Taylor Denny launched Golden Sun Taxi, a fleet of three solar-powered golf cart taxis that shuttle passengers along the streets of Folly Beach. Brian Doheny is a law student at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law. Darcy Dorton was inducted into the College’s Volleyball 2014 Wall of Fame. Darcy was the first player in the College’s history to be a twotime All-American and the first player in CAA history to win the Preseason Player of the Year, Player of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season. Brooklyn Fillinger is a medical student at the University of Michigan. Derek Filosi is an assistant supervisor with Flyway Development in Charleston. Kaitlin Foran is a campaign manager for S.C. Representative Jenny Horne’s 2014 re-election campaign. Alexander Frech is a graduate student in the College’s public administration program. Bethany Greene (M.A.) is the marketing assistant with the commercial real estate firm Belk Lucy in Mt. Pleasant. Hannah Harris is attending Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, to obtain a paralegal certificate. Sean Hartness is a teacher at an English school in Trujillo, Spain. Kees Heemskerk is playing professional soccer for FC Den Bosch in his native Netherlands. Retta Hepworth (M.A.) (see Andrew Hawkins ’13 [M.B.A.])
Logan Herbert is a medical student at the University of Virginia. Amy Hudacko is a special education teacher at Williams Memorial Elementary School in St. George, S.C. Rebecca Hughes is an intern with the Center for American Progress. Austin Hughey is a librarian for the Greenville County Library System. Adam Jenkins is a dental student in the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine at MUSC. Danya Kiernan had a fellowship this summer with community water solutions in Ghana. Lindsey Kruger is teaching English in Thailand for a year through the TEFL program. Ian Moore will be going to Ecuador to teach English and work on water irrigation for his Peace Corps assignment, starting in January. Caitlin Murphy is a graduate student in Tufts University’s art and museum studies program. Richard Murphy is a graduate student in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s biochemistry program. Colton Naval is traveling to Southeast Asia to assist the College’s study-abroad program in Cambodia and Vietnam. Having focused his bachelor’s essay on community-based ecotourism in rural Cambodia, Colton plans on continuing his research there. Brandon Nicolau is a staff manager for Ross in Charlotte. Christopher Olivieri is a sales analyst at Ironic Intuition Incorporated in New York City. Mai-Trinh Pham is a medical student at the University of South Carolina. Roysean Philson is working at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan Campus through the College’s new iCharleston program. Colin Piacentine (M.A.) is a marketing producer with WCSC-TV Live 5 News in Charleston. Crystal Pickar is a marketing intern with Sentrillion in Chevy Chase, Md. Jenny Powell does community outreach and environmental NGO work in Portland, Maine. Corinne Rhea is the event coordinator for Charleston’s Exclusive Toast to History. Joshua Schmidt is a graduate student in Wake Forest University’s accountancy program. Corey Seacrist is a graduate student in the College’s M.B.A. program. Sarah Sheafer is volunteering for 10 months with the Tikkun Olam (“repairing the world”) program in Tel Aviv, Israel. There, she is teaching English to Arab women and working in community centers with children. She is also volunteering with groups that promote coexistence and peace in the region. Sarah Silberstein is a high school English teacher in Italy. Shana Sue Smith is a graduate student in Wilmington University’s elementary education program. Caitlin Stone is a law student at Wake Forest. Mimi Striplin is in a management training program with Ben Silver in Charleston. Matthew Tarpey is a Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is studying American politics and research methodology. Emily Townes is the social media manager for Speedflex in Dallas, Texas. Nina Wiersma is a graduate student at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria. She was a finalist for a Fulbright Diplomatic Academy Student Grant. John Wright is a medical student at MUSC.
Check out College of Charleston Magazine’s website at magazine.cofc.edu.
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[ faces and places ]
6 7 8
A lot goes on at the College. Here are a few highlight s: 1 A Charles ton Af fair 2014: The Eas t Coas t Par t y Band 2 Sororit y bid day on Rivers Green: Sigma Delta Tau members 3 Sororit y bid day: Delta Delta Delta members 4 A Charles ton Af fair 2014: Jackie Flynn, Ann Ward Treat ’04, Ryan Treat ’03, Will Breard ’08 and Melissa Palma 5 Cougarpalooza: Bret t Eldredge on the Cis tern 6 A Charles ton Af fair 2014 7 International Student Orientation: anthropology major Zak Bar tholomew with exchange s tudent s Eelke Ijsbrandij, Jef f McNair and Alex de Turris 8 A Charles ton Af fair 2014: Chris Starr ’83 (computer science), Amy McCandless (dean, the Graduate School) and Stephen Wilson 9 President Glenn McConnell ’69 and Greg Padgett ’79 (chair, Board of Trustees) with the Call Me MISTER Program leaders, members and alumni 10 CofC Gospel Choir 11 English major Ashley Mitchell on a summer study-abroad trip to Spoleto, Italy (led by English professors Bret Lott and Trish Horn Ward ’78) |
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14 12 13
12 International Student Orientation: Clyde the Cougar playing cornhole with new s tudent s in the Gangi Cour t yard at the School of Education, Health, and Human Per formance Building 13 Men’s basketball coaching announcement: Jacci Jenkins Grant ’01 (center), wife of Earl Grant, with her family and sons 14 New men’s head basketball coach Earl Grant addressing the crowd in the Cistern Yard 15 Opening of the College of Charleston Nor th Campus’ new building: Bachelor of Professional Studies students Kathr yn Bunn and Tammy Williams with President McConnell ’69, Nor th Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, Greg Padget t ’79 and Godfrey Gibbison (dean, College of Charleston Nor th Campus) 16 Halsey Institute of Contemporar y Ar t: Mark Long (political science) with ar tist Yaakov Israel, whose exhibit The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey was on display this fall 17 Halsey Institute: ar tist Kathleen Robbins giving a talk at the opening for her exhibit Into the Flatland, also this fall
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North-Side Portico, Randolph Hall “A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.” ― – Joan Didion, The White Album One of my favorite places on Campus is the balcony on the rearside of Randolph Hall, overlooking the Cougar Mall. Perhaps it is the romantic in me, but every time I see this beautiful balcony, with its intricate wrought-iron railings, gargantuan Doric columns and the terra cotta stucco of Randolph Hall looming behind it, I think of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and |
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passionate declarations of love and fidelity. This balcony is one of the most beautiful spots on campus, but many may overlook it if they do not glance upwards and take in the glory of this majestic sight. It provides a bird’s-eye view of the hub of campus life. From this vantage point, you can see students scurrying to classes in Maybank Hall or the Robert Scott Small Building, or catch sight of public poetry readings or study-abroad fairs on the Cougar Mall. In the distance, at the Calhoun Street entrance of campus, you might espy the patina-streaked statue of our school’s mascot, the cougar, titled “On the Prowl”
and sculpted by professor emeritus John Michel of the studio art department. This balcony is a beloved place that I can rhapsodize about forever. It also provides the perfect spot for a snapshot of the campus or a picture of a graduating CofC senior before the commencement ceremonies. Although the front, or south side, of Randolph Hall often receives more public attention, it may now be time for this exquisite rearside balcony to capture a larger share of the spotlight. – Valerie Frazier ’91 Frazier is an associate professor in the College’s Department of English.
At the College, we produce independent thinkers like Brian Rutenberg â€™89: individuals who defy convention, who possess vision, who chase their dreams with uncompromising drive. Be a part of Boundless: The Campaign for the College of Charleston and help us prepare the next generation of students to think differently and color outside the lines.
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