C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n magaz in e S U M M ER 2 0 13
New World Order
Sci-fi author Hugh Howey takes the lead in a publishing revolution.
ARE YOU IN IT? Summer 2013 Volume XVII, Issue 3 Editor
Mark Berry Art Director
Alfred Hall Managing Editor
Alicia Lutz ’98 Associate Editor
Jason Ryan Photography
Leslie McKellar Contributors
Kip Bulwinkle ’04 Bryce Donovan ’98 Stanfield Gray Taisya Kuzmenko Ashley Ford Lewis ’07 Jennifer Lorenz Terry Manier Erin Perkins Holly Thorpe Danny Vo ’07 Online Design
Larry Stoudenmire Alumni Relations
Karen Burroughs Jones ’74 Executive Vice President for External Relations
Michael Haskins Contact us at
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Let us know what you’re up to now. Visit the magazine’s website and update your class notes there or visit the Alumni Association website to share your news.
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ATTN: College of Charleston Magazine College of Charleston Division of Marketing and Communications Charleston, SC 29424-0001 College of Charleston Magazine is published three times a year by the Division of Marketing and Communications. With each printing, approximately 60,000 copies are mailed to keep alumni, families of currently enrolled students, legislators and friends informed about and connected to the College. Diverse views appear in these pages and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or the official policies of the College.
[ table of contents ]
Maybe it’s about preservation. Perhaps it’s the complexity and vastness of it all. Or it could be that it just gives them a sense of freedom and being alive. Whatever it is that drew them into their careers, these alumni have found a common passion in water.
Departments Around the Cistern
Life Academic 12 Making the Grade 18
by Alicia Lutz ’98
Point of View
Hugh Howey didn’t set out to be the hero. He didn’t set out to change the world. But, when he self-published his post-apocalyptic story, Wool, the people spoke. And it wasn’t long before the publishing industry listened.
Self-Made: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Class Notes My Space
by Mark Berry
There’s no single path to a successful career in art. The improbable route Ben Hollingsworth ’04 has taken – from goals to galleries – certainly proves just that.
on the cover: Hugh Howey photo by Jason Myers
AROUND the CISTERN Nourishing Traditions An on-campus vegan/vegetarian restaurant where people come together to eat healthy meals, learn about the effects of their food choices and be a part of a community that cares about what they eat: This was his vision. What he hadn’t visualized was his name on the side of the building. That’s why, when Marty Perlmutter first heard that Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold and Anita Zucker had not only raised $1 million for the College’s new vegan/vegetarian dining facility, but also named it in his honor, he didn’t know what to say. “I was humbled, speechless, tearful, altogether moved that they thought of me – partly because it was a total surprise, partly because people I really care about care enough about me to come together and honor me,” says Perlmutter, philosophy professor and the director of the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program. “I have worked hard on this project for a lot of reasons. I never expected to be rewarded for it. Academics don’t do what they do to have dining halls named after them.” But, if they’re going to, the dining halls had better be something they can get behind. And Perlmutter is behind the new facility 100 percent. “I’m most excited about using eating as an opportunity to show there are lifestyle options that are very important not just to your health, but to the environment, the economy and religious tradition, too,” says Perlmutter, noting that the new facility will serve vegan, vegetarian and some pescatarian dishes – all of which will be kosher. “Whether it’s about the Jewish culture or our food industry – there’s so much that goes into what we eat, and this will bring that to light a little bit. It will show that eating is part of a larger process.” More than just a dining hall, the new facility is meant to be its own classroom,
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AROUND the CISTERN
of sorts: educating students, faculty and members of the greater Charleston community about ethical eating through workshops, lectures and, most important, experiential learning. “The experience of eating vegan food is itself a learning experience. I think this is experiential learning at its best – showing hands-on how what you eat affects the world around us,” says Perlmutter, noting that – unlike other campus dining locations – the facility will not offer an all-you-can-eat option. “This will be a place where you are thinking about what you are eating. Because it’s not just about the food, but the lifestyle it represents.” Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are becoming more and more popular in the U.S.: Since 2009, the number of vegans has doubled and the number of vegetarian youth has increased by 70 percent. “A lot of kids have made the choice to go vegetarian or vegan or pescatarian in the past few years, and this just caters to them,” says Perlmutter. “I think this will be useful in recruiting. They’ll think, That’s groovy. I’m a vegan and this place can make that easier for me. Or, even if they aren’t, they’ll think, It’s cool that this place is tuned into this trend. “Either way,” he continues, “it really is a feather in the College’s cap.” With construction beginning this fall and an opening planned for the winter of 2014, the 5,000-square-foot restaurant will occupy the first floor of the expansion of the Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center, will have some outdoor seating, remain open between meals and be open to the public. “We want people to come in from off the street for a cup of coffee. We want the community involved,” says Perlmutter, adding that local restaurant owners and members of the College’s Vegan Society helped with the planning of the facility. “What I’m hoping is that it becomes a center for people who are concerned about what they eat – a congregating zone for those people to come and feel that they’re on a comfort level with likeminded people.” “The facility will bring people with the common goal of healthy eating together, further integrating people from all faiths and backgrounds and expanding the learning opportunities that we offer our students and the community,” says Jenny
Fowler, the senior development officer who helped secure the gift. The pledge, Fowler explains, supports the Jewish Studies Program’s $10 million A Time to Build campaign, which – since launching in the fall of 2011 – has raised more than $7 million. “The dining facility serves as the edifice of the campaign, a tangible illustration of the campaign’s success.” It also illustrates the success of the program itself.
wife – requested the building be named for Perlmutter, thus inspiring Zucker, Alan Kahn and Art and Annie Sandler to contribute to the project. “This project happened because of rolemodel philanthropists,” says George Watt, executive vice president of institutional advancement. “They possessed great vision; they believed in the cause; and, through their own giving, they inspired others. It was an honor to work with them
| early artist’s sketches of the expanded Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center | “The Jewish Studies Program is certainly one of the best in the country, and that is the result of the leadership of Marty Perlmutter. It was so natural for us to support this project and that the facility honor Marty’s unyielding dedication to the program and to fostering community,” says Norman Arnold, who – along with his
and Marty Perlmutter in making their vision a reality.” And, while a sign with his name on it may have never been part of his original vision, in reality, Perlmutter is sincerely honored by the tribute – and thrilled to be bringing ethical eating to the College of Charleston.
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It was an event on campus like no other. An evening that saw Sottile Theatre’s stage shared by a variety of College stars – students, faculty, staff and alumni that are all pioneers in their respective fields. Inspired by idea forums such as Ted Talks and Pecha Kucha Nights, the College’s in!Genius brought together artists, scientists and educators to share their stories of discovery and innovation. Steve Cody, managing partner of public relations firm Peppercomm, member of the Department of Communication’s Advisory Council and part-time stand-up comedian, emceed the eclectic evening with the assistance of Peppercomm colleague Trisha Bruynell ’10. With topics ranging from music composition to living with Asperger’s Syndrome, to discovering a planet, to the importance of men in the classroom and to the wellspring of creativity, the eight energetic presentations struck a chord with the audience and reminded everyone present of the power of a liberal arts and sciences education – and, more important, the power of the College of Charleston experience. Check out the presenters’ videos at ingenius.cofc.edu.
List of Presenters Natasha Adair Joe Carson with Laura Stevens ’13 and Thea Kozakis ’13 Jimmy Freeman ’11 Naomi Gale and Ghazi Abuhakema Alix Generous Edward Hart ’88
Levi Vonk ’13
| Photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |
Brian Rutenberg ’87
AROUND the CISTERN
Still Life At one time the passenger pigeon was the most common species of bird in America. Now not a single one is left, at least not alive. Special Collections, within the College’s Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library, is fortunate to be one of the few places to possess a preserved passenger pigeon, which went extinct around the turn of the 20th century. Another surviving display, named Martha, is part of the Smithsonian’s Bird Collection in Washington, D.C., and is thought to be the last passenger pigeon to have lived, albeit in captivity her whole 29-year life at the Cincinnati Zoo. The late artist and naturalist John Henry Dick donated the College’s passenger pigeon. Among many gifts, Dick also bequeathed Dixie Plantation to the College, as well as a rare, four-volume elephant folio set of John James Audubon’s Birds of America.
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crossing the cistern The College has many traditions, but perhaps its most memorable (and most stunningly visual) is the May commencement ceremony, when the Cistern Yard stage becomes a sea of white dresses and white dinner jackets. Here’s a quick breakdown of the Class of 2013: Degrees granted: 1,512 Honors College graduates: 105 Top five degrees awarded: business administration (291), communication (229), biology (182), psychology (182) and political science (103) New degrees awarded: public health (both a B.A. and B.S.) and exercise science Bishop Robert Smith Award recipients: Levi Vonk (international studies), Liza Wood (political science and biology) and Katherine Shidler (communication) Undergraduate commencement speaker: Glenn McConnell ’69, lieutenant governor of South Carolina
Graduate School commencement speaker: Chloe Knight Tonney ’84, senior vice president for external affairs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation
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| Photos by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |
Master’s degrees awarded: 125
AROUND the CISTERN
Campus Icon: Patricia Clark Maybe it’s because she’s always been there. Because she’s always smiling, always supportive. Maybe it’s because she goes to all the games, cheers them on, listens to them, dotes on them. Maybe. But she has a sneaking suspicion that the reason all the student-athletes compete to be her favorite comes down to something much more simple. “I always have candy out for them,” laughs Patricia Clark – or PC, as she’s affectionately called in the Department of Athletics. Having served as the administrative specialist there for more than 17 years, she has assumed the role of the departmental matriarch, or maybe house mother, and sees herself as an ambassador of the College and its student-athletes. “I’m the first person a lot of them meet, and I really am the silent fan for the student-athletes – their total advocate. We crack at each other, but they also come to me for advice. I’m kind of their mom away from home.” That’s why it’s so heartwarming when the former student-athletes and her studentworkers come back to visit. “It’s rewarding when they follow up with you or they stop in and remember you,” says Clark, who has been around longer than most of her coworkers. “I’m the only face they recognize anymore. People come and go, but I’m still here.” That perseverance is due in large part to Clark’s ability to adapt – whether it be to a new athletics director, a new arena, a new coach or a new prominence in the world of college sports. “This is a vast world. You have to evolve with it,” she says. “It just makes sense that things change.” Some things, of course, never change: Patricia Clark will always support the College and its student-athletes. She will always have candy at her desk. And she will never, ever pick a favorite.
AROUND the CISTERN
history channels Fresh Start Although it may be difficult for incoming students to imagine now, the College is their new home. At the sixth annual convocation ceremony, they were welcomed home by faculty and staff before they signed their names in the class ledger, formalizing their place in the College family. In preparation for the event, students read Jewel by convocation speaker and English professor Bret Lott, who has returned to the College after three years at Louisiana State University. Jewel gained national attention when Oprah Winfrey picked it in January 1999 as one of her book club selections. “Coming home to the College is a dream come true,” says Lott, who previously taught at the College from 1986 to 2004. “And speaking at the convocation underscores the fact that the College is and always has been my real home.”
Ever wonder about those romantic old radios that projected the fireside chats of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt? How about the mammoth televisions that displayed, in black and white, the likes of Milton Berle, Dick Van Dyke and Edward R. Murrow? And what about those giant slide projectors that the neighbors would use to show off images of their family trip to Florida? If you’re interested in antique communications and broadcast equipment, look no further than the John Rivers Communications Museum, located near the heart of campus on the corner of George and St. Philip streets. Named after John Rivers Sr. (1903–1988), a legend in Charleston broadcasting, the museum has shown countless visitors and school groups its unique collection of antique magic lanterns, film projectors, telephones and more. Learn more about the museum and its variety of programs, including open mic poetry readings and unique band performances, at jrmuseum.cofc.edu.
From the President
Educating Silicon Harbor As Charleston develops a diverse, modern and complex economy, its oldest university is evolving to meet the demands of this exciting new frontier. While the College remains committed to supporting and nurturing our city’s traditional assets – such as its port, thriving arts community, African American history, expertise in historic preservation and urban planning, and tourism industry – a handful of new and emerging assets also demand our attention. The emerging assets include the industries of aerospace, digital media and technology, and health care and biosciences. I am particularly excited about the opportunities that exist for the College in the area of digital media and technology. |
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Universities have always been an essential element in the development and growth of technology-driven regions. Well-known examples include Stanford in Silicon Valley, the University of Texas in Austin, and UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. The College can and should play a similar leading role in the development of Charleston’s knowledge economy. The rapid expansion of the high-tech sector in Charleston – prompting some to dub our region “Silicon Harbor” – has created incredible opportunities for the College to become the academic hub of the digital economy and the primary supplier of computer science graduates. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Business Research estimates that Charleston’s digital economy directly supports 11,000 jobs. And
Charleston is among the top 10 fastestgrowing cities for software and Internet technology, according to the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. Currently, 250 small- to medium-sized software firms, including Blackbaud, Benefitfocus, PeopleMatter, BiblioLabs, TwitPic, SPARC and BoomTown, are based in Charleston. This is up from just a handful of such firms a decade ago. Larger companies also see the opportunities in Charleston. In January, Google announced plans to invest an additional $600 million to significantly expand its data center near Goose Creek, S.C. In April, Boeing Charleston announced plans to invest an additional $1 billion and hire 2,000 more employees in Charleston, including 600 high-tech workers to support consolidation of the company’s information technology division.
| Photo by Glenn Barnette | Opposite: Photo by Kip Bulwinkle ’04 |
AROUND the CISTERN
But job opportunities are only part of the equation. Creative types also seek locales that offer a high quality of life. And Charleston’s mix of beaches, climate, nightlife, cuisine, music scene and other attributes are helping to lure a younger demographic that includes digital artists and technology gurus. The website Under30CEO.com recently ranked Charleston as No. 3 on a list of the best small cities in the country for entrepreneurs. The website lauded Charleston’s growth in the information technology field and gave credit for much of the boom to the Charleston Digital Corridor. Launched by the City of Charleston in 2001 and led by Executive Director Ernest Andrade ’85, the Digital Corridor is a nonprofit corporation designed to attract, nurture and promote Charleston’s knowledge economy. Over the past five years, the public-private initiative has worked with 51 companies, resulting in
the creation of 200 jobs and nearly $15 million in payroll. The College plans to become the leading supplier of computer science graduates for the burgeoning high-tech industry in Charleston. Locally based high-tech companies are urging the College to produce more computer science graduates. The CEOs of these companies tell me they could easily absorb 200 of our computer science graduates each year. That’s an untapped opportunity considering that we awarded just 26 undergraduate degrees in computer science in 2012–2013. Chris Starr ’83, chair of our Department of Computer Science, believes that the liberal arts and sciences education our computer science graduates receive gives them a leg up on their peers from more narrowly focused professional programs. “Computer science and data science students at the College become the best software problem solvers because they
have had the added advantage of a liberal arts education across a broad spectrum of the humanities,” says Starr, who earned his degree in mathematics from the College. “Our graduates are positioned to think about problems from multiple academic perspectives.” Beyond educating current and future generations of computer scientists, the College is also making plans to become more involved in the business side of the high-tech industry. A planned Digital Technology Incubator and Center at the College will focus on the commercialization of digital and interactive technologies for software applications in medicine, health care, education, manufacturing, entertainment and the arts. The center would be funded with a $2 million appropriation from the South Carolina General Assembly and an equal amount of private funding. Charleston’s digital economy is still in its infancy compared to established technology meccas like San Francisco and Austin. But that will change as more and more high-tech workers and entrepreneurs from around the country and the globe learn about the exciting opportunities that exist in the Holy City. One initiative that is already helping to draw such attention is Dig South. Part technology conference, part music festival, Dig South is aimed at exploring the intersection of technology, social media, marketing and the arts. The inaugural event took place in the College’s TD Arena and other nearby venues in April. Modeled after Austin’s famous South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, Dig South drew more than 3,000 attendees, representing more than 20 states. Planning is already under way for next year’s event. Dig South Founder and Executive Director Stanfield Gray, whose day job is director of strategic communications in the College’s Division of Marketing and Communications, says there’s a definite buzz surrounding Charleston’s tech scene right now. “This sector of our economy is roaring,” says Gray. “What we’re talking about are jobs of the future, high-tech jobs, and they’re right here in our backyard.” – President P. George Benson
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LIFE ACADEMIC Best of Both Worlds We’ve all heard the stories – the reports of violence, conflict and general unrest in the Middle East. For over a century, we’ve watched the news and read the articles about a region always struggling, always on the brink of crisis. It’s the same old story. Time and time again. But we’re not getting the whole story. We’re not getting the tastes of the paper-thin, unleavened bread. We’re not getting the sounds of the high-pitched, celebratory ululation. We’re not getting the smells of the fortune-revealing Turkish coffee. We’re not getting the dancing, the pop stars, the theater, the poetry. We’re not getting the people.
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That’s another story. And that’s the story that Israeli Naomi Gale and Palestinian Ghazi Abuhakema want to tell. “The Middle East is the people. The people who laugh, reason, think and cry. That is the voice of the majority that you do not hear. That’s the real story,” says Abuhakema, assistant professor of Asian studies, who typically teaches Arabic language and culture. “This is the story that we are telling: the story of the people of the Middle East. We are two narrators. We have real insight. We are uniquely qualified storytellers.” Indeed, having the inside story is a clear advantage for Abuhakema and Gale,
who this spring co-taught the course, Cultures of the Middle East, highlighting religion, family structures, gender relations, literature, music and cinema of the region. That advantage wasn’t lost on their students. “They say they are lucky to be in the class,” says Gale, a Schusterman Visiting Professor of Israel Studies. “They say it’s the first time they have been taught by people who live it. It gives it more authenticity for them, I think.” It also gave them another first: This is the only course in the country co-taught by an Israeli-Palestinian team. Although they are from different perspectives,
I Wish I’d Taken That Nobody dreams of spending the summer in school. After all, who wants to be stuck in a classroom when there are waves to catch, tunes to play and blockbusters to watch? Still, the College offers some pretty sweet courses to lure even the biggest beach bums among us. Here are a few of this summer’s courses that might just make you want to go back to school, too. HIST 350 The Real Pirates of the Caribbean Timothy Coates MUSC 222.01 New Wave: Music of the 1980s Edward Hart
they share a history and a culture, and have a lot to teach each other. “That has been part of the experience for us,” says Abuhakema, who grew up in a refugee camp, where both his parents were buried and three of his brothers and their families still live. “We’re learning from experiencing each other.” “For me, it is a fantastic experience,” agrees Gale, who also stayed in a camp when her family was stripped of their Iraqi citizenship and forced to move to Israel. “We are getting to know each other for our personalities, as people. When people meet and work together, there is humanization, because you get to know the person.” As they know, you can’t really understand a story without getting to know its characters. And, as witnesses to these two characters getting to know each other, students got a good understanding of the story of the Middle East.
“If you look out at the students, you can see it on their faces, you can read that they are really learning. For them, this is new. I think they are into it,” says Abuhakema. “I like the feeling that the students are learning something about me – that I can give a piece of myself to them. It’s a great feeling, because in the future, this will broaden their horizons, it will widen their perspective – change the way they see the world. This will help them open that window.” “It’s just a little opening to the Middle East,” agrees Gale, noting that what the course covers “is just the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg.” Sure, in some ways, the course has to make a long story short, but the one it tells is so much more than that same old story we’ve always heard. It’s one of warmth, of beauty, of tradition and – most important – of people.
PEAC 120 Stand-up Paddleboarding Thomas Carroll FYSM 162 Sociology of Food Idee Winfield RELS 298 Myth, Morality and Meaning in the Films of the Coen Brothers Elijah Siegler CITA 210 Game Programming Aspen Olmsted HIST 261 Drugs in Pop Culture and Film Timothy Carmichael MUSC 222.03 Music of the Beatles Blake Stevens
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Double Vision she’s been writing fiction Since she could clutch a crayon. When Sheridan Hough graduated to pencil, pen and then computer, her enthusiasm for writing remained just as strong. In fact, the philosophy professor’s first play was produced when she was just an 18-yearold undergraduate. More literary and academic works followed, including scholarly essays on the philosophers Søren Kierkegaard and David Hume, a book on Friedrich Nietzsche and The Hide, a collection of poetry. It was not until last November, however, that Hough’s first novel, Mirror’s Fathom, was published. Mirror’s Fathom follows the adventures of Tycho Wilhelm Lund, the fictional grandnephew of Kierkegaard, who must find a lost antique mirror in order to win a lady’s hand. Principally set in two very different European countries, Malta and Denmark (the existentialist Kierkegaard’s homeland), the mystery/love story also |
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happens to take place in two centuries. The two settings, two time periods and the inclusion of a second protagonist were no accident, says Hough, noting the symbolic importance of the mirror in the story. “You can imagine that the trope of a mirror is irresistible to a philosopher,” she says, “especially one who focuses on existentialism.” As the pages turn, the reader learns just how Lund, a 19th-century anarchist and pirate, is connected to a modern-day Maltese housewife who happens to own that once-missing mirror. Beyond this intrigue are some subtly woven lessons about Kierkegaard and his philosophy regarding the self and the purpose of existence. Hough is also very interested in the historical details of her story’s settings: her descriptions of Denmark, Malta and England reflect considerable research, as well as time spent in these countries.
Soon the travel ended, however, and it came time to start writing. Hough did much of her writing in the middle of the night, when the house was quiet, everyone else was asleep, and she could “crawl into an alternate reality.” Imagining herself in a different world of her own creation, Hough then strove to “put away the sound of the academy … and just let the characters talk.” Just letting the characters talk seems to work for Hough, who – in addition to writing an academic text on Kierkegaard and his concept of the self – is currently working on another novel. This one concerns a 19th-century British stage actress’ adventures in the wine country of northern California, where Hough’s commitment to on-the-ground research will be taking her in the following months. Fortunately, she’s just as enthusiastic about travel as she is about writing. Some things, you just never outgrow.
Mightier Than the sword Watch out, she’ll go medieval on you. And that’s a good thing. English professor Myra Seaman is co-editor of postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies, a quarterly publication of scholarship that applies contemporary methodologies, such as eco-criticism, scientific approaches and disability studies, to produce new understandings of the Middle Ages. “In our journal, we strive to see how the past can talk with the present,” Seaman explains. “Scholars from different disciplines, as well as different periods of interest, participate in a wideranging conversation.” And lately that conversation has gained quite a bit of attention. Last year, postmedieval was recognized as 2012’s best new journal by the United Kingdom’s Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers. And before that, it received a 2011 PROSE Award as the best new journal in humanities and social sciences from the Association of American Publishers. High praise, indeed, and worthy of a knight in shining armor.
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Inside the Academic Mind: Gamil Guirgis Since 2001, University Professor of Sciences and Mathematics Gamil Guirgis has been helping students at the College to understand the finer points of chemistry. We popped into Professor Guirgis’ laboratory and asked the former S.C. Chemist of the Year and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry to share his thoughts on his home country, the pull toward studying chemistry and life in the lab. Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. I received my B.S. in chemistry and geology with a double minor in physics and mathematics from Cairo University and M.S. in organic chemistry from Ain-Shams University. Most people are not aware that I have a bachelor’s in divinity from one of the oldest theological schools in the world, which was established in Alexandria in 68 A.D. by the apostle St. Mark. When you think of Egypt, what images come to mind? In my mind, I see a beautiful and peaceful country and good people; however, the images shown in the newspapers and on the television do not reflect that. Why did you choose chemistry to study? I can trace my interest in chemistry to when I used to work with my father and brothers in the summer at their shop as a goldsmith. I saw them mixing pure gold (24 carat) with copper and other metals to obtain different gold shades and different degrees of stiffness. What is the most important skill for a chemist to have? Chemistry is a dynamic science in a dynamic world and it requires continuous reading and updating knowledge. What’s your favorite element? Originally gold and platinum were my favorites, but now because of my research interests, I might choose silicon and germanium. What’s been your greatest professional achievement? It was a very high honor when I was admitted to the Royal Society of Chemistry and received the title FRS [Fellow of the Royal Society]. Which of your 350 published papers is most significant to you? I cannot say that I prefer one paper over the others. All of my 350 papers are like my children, and I love them equally. However, let me put it this way: The best is yet to come. As an example, my current research project involves the study of the conformation of molecules containing six-member rings. It is well known that a ring of six carbon atoms exists in the chair form, but we found that changing three carbon atoms by three oxygen atoms gives a planar molecule, and replacing the oxygen atoms with three nitrogen atoms (3 NH) gives the boat form. These results are rather contrary to everything we know.
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In chemistry, what’s your particular area of expertise? My interest and expertise are a combination of synthesis, spectroscopy and theoretical calculations (molecular modeling). Why should undergraduates do research? Like many disciplines that have internships, student teaching and residencies, chemistry uses a research experience to prepare the students for academic, professional and industrial careers.
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What’s your favorite part in doing an experiment? To obtain new and exciting results ... and to leave the lab in one piece. What’s one thing the average person should know about chemistry? General chemistry is the foundation of all chemical biology, and this knowledge is important in our daily lives. Who is one chemist that you believe everyone in the world should know? Me! But seriously, Linus Pauling because he did not limit his studies to a narrow area. He was a Nobel Prize winner, both for his chemistry research and his peace activism. Pauling is considered one of the fathers of quantum chemistry and molecular biology. For many years, You were a senior research fellow for the bayer Corporation in Charleston. What do you miss most about the private sector? I really do not miss the urgent deadlines, meetings and rigid schedule – but I do miss the money. What’s your favorite part of teaching and working with undergrads? I strongly believe that my job is to give the students the opportunity to learn. If they respond positively, it makes me happy. What’s your favorite moment in the lab? When a student obtains good results with a full understanding of the experiment. What’s the most interesting object in your office? The piles of paper and books brighten my days. But seriously, I have a collection of coffee mugs from around the world. They remind me of places and people. What’s your guilty pleasure? I rarely see movies (four movies in my entire life); however, I watch TV for local and international news. I read a lot and listen to classical music. As a fan of classical music, Who’s your favorite composer? Antonio Vivaldi – he wrote The Four Seasons, four violin concertos depicting scenes appropriate for each season. If you weren’t a chemist, what would you be? I’d imagine that I’d be a goldsmith like every member of my family.
Several longtime faculty members retired this spring. The College is greatly indebted to these gifted teacher-scholars: Douglas Ashley, music (1972); Virginia Bartel, teacher education (1990); Jerry Boetje, computer science (2002); Andrew Lewis, health and human performance (1983); Michael Marcell, psychology (1978); Norris Preyer, physics and astronomy (1998); Howard Rudd, management and entrepreneurship (1984). • Brian Lanahan (teacher education), who received a grant from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, will travel next fall to Bosnia and Herzegovina to research how an evolving democratic nation trains its teachers. • Andrew Shedlock (biology) is one of the lead researchers on a team that decoded the world’s first turtle genome. By understanding the genome of the western painted turtle, researchers may be able to offer insights into human care of the heart and brain in cases of hypoxia-induced injuries. • Several professors were honored this spring with faculty awards of distinction – Distinguished Teaching Award: Ana Oprisan (physics and astronomy); Distinguished Research Award: Simon Lewis (English); Distinguished Service Award: Joseph Kelly (English); Distinguished Advising Award: Genny Howe Hay ’82 (teacher education); and the William V. Moore Distinguished Teacher/Scholar Award: Sorinel Oprisan (physics and astronomy).
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MAKING the GRADE
A New Student Record College is a time for preparing for the future – acquiring all the right skills, lining up all the right opportunities. And the way Matt Zutell ’13 saw it, you don’t do that sitting around making plans. Call him impatient, but he wanted to get started already. There is, he knew, only one way to get something done: Do it. And so he did. He started a recording studio/record label/production company. “I thought it would be a good way to not only build my portfolio, but make some money, too,” he says of Coast Records, which he established in 2012 to prepare for a career in the music industry. “I thought it would make sense to create an umbrella for everything I’m involved with musically, whether it’s writing, recording, producing or publishing. There are so
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many avenues you can take in the music industry – I want to be prepared to do all of them.” Zutell had long known he wanted a career in music. He’s been writing songs and playing in bands since middle school. His senior year in high school, one of his original songs, “A Last Farewell,” was featured on Life on Tour, an EF Tours reality travel web series from the producers of The Real World. It wasn’t until college, however, that he took interest in producing music. He started by playing around with GarageBand on his Mac and consulted his cousin in Atlanta, who records music and who taught him a lot. By the time he transferred to the College of Charleston, Zutell had upgraded to Logic Pro, honed
his recording skills and was eager for more experience. And, as he is wont to do, he got started right away. In the fall of 2011, he contacted Hootie & The Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan, who founded the boutique music company Chucktown Music Group in 2009, and asked him if he could intern for the company the following summer. “My first impression was, Wow, this kid must be on the ball if he’s asking this far out. He was clearly and sincerely passionate about music, and wanting to learn from experience,” says Bryan, who took Zutell up on his offer – and he wasn’t disappointed. In fact, he chose “Out of Mind” – an original song that Zutell produced and co-wrote with two other students – for Chucktown Music Group’s
Making the Grade
Song of the Fortnight. He has since hired Zutell to do engineering, mixing and production work on his own solo tracks, and is always impressed by the “fresh ear and approach” he brings to the music. “No matter what task I have worked
“I wanted to make a hub for all the music going on around campus,” he says, shrugging: “I already had people I was working with, so I started it with base clientele.” All he had to do was establish a
“Knowing the value of what you have to offer, how to offer it and whom to offer it to can make or break a career.” with him on – registering songs with ASCAP, guitar teching shows, organizing websites and social media – he is able to dig in, troubleshoot if necessary and get it done.” Getting it done: That seems to be the theme for Zutell. And, when you take the initiative to get things done, that usually means doing them yourself. Which is one reason Zutell started Coast Records. When he got to the College, he found three things: (1) a lack of music recording club or organization, (2) a real interest in recording music and (3) a ton of talent among students.
brand, build a website, lock up the name Coast Records on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and soundproof the walls of his bedroom. (Yes, the recording studio is currently in his bedroom. Baby steps.) By fall of 2012, he was open for business. “Matt and I were friends before I ever recorded with him, so the vibe and energy went right into the music,” says Adam Pierce, a sophomore who produced his hip-hop mixtape A Fistful of Dollars under the name Ace. “Matt gave me the opportunity to put out quality music. He had the skills and means to help me on my pursuit in the music industry.”
As for his own pursuits in the music industry, Zutell – an economics major – knows the importance of understanding the business side of things, as well. “The music industry, like all industries, has its eye on making money. Knowing the
value of what you have to offer, how to offer it and whom to offer it to can make or break a career. Especially today, when most of the artists aren’t writing their own songs, you have to understand how to market your music and find the right artists to pitch your songs to,” he says, noting that as much as he loves all aspects of the music industry, his ideal career would be writing alternative pop songs. “I’m going to keep writing and recording songs and shop them for the right artists. I want to establish myself as a songwriter for pop/rock artists.” “I think Matt has quite a future in whatever combination of skills he decides to pursue,” says Bryan. “It’s clearly become more of a do-it-yourself world, and you can go a long way if you can consistently get the job done.” And – whatever the job is – you can bet Zutell has already gotten started.
SUMMER 2013 |
Immersed in Discovery Ah, the five-year plan. It’s the go-to schedule for students looking for a little leeway in their course loads, a little spare time to do … well, whatever it is students do in their spare time. But, for Sylricka Foster, the five-year plan was the only way she could pack in everything she wanted to get done during her college career. Between double majoring in geology and political science, double minoring in environmental geology and Spanish, researching climate change, attending scientific conferences and working for the NASA South Carolina Space Grant Consortium (NASA SCSGC), this rising senior hasn’t had a moment to spare since she came to the College in 2009. Hailing from the small, rural town of Van Wyck, S.C., about 35 miles south of Charlotte, Foster spent her childhood exploring the nearby woods and streams, developing an affinity for nature. It’s no wonder, then, that Charleston’s coastal environment enticed her once she got to the College. “One of my favorite things,” Foster says, “is getting in waders and doing some water-quality testing or watervelocity tests.”
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Those waders have been getting quite a workout with Foster, who is currently knee-deep studying the effects of pollution and climate change on Charleston-area wetlands. It’s a recurring theme in her research: Using NASA data and GIS software, Foster began studying the potential effects of rising seas on Charleston in the summer of 2011 and, with the help of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, continued the research the following spring. “Her research significantly furthered our understanding of how hammock islands and wetland systems are affected by a changing climate, specifically sea-level rise. Her work has been nothing less than outstanding,” says geology professor Cyndi Hall ’95, who also serves as the associate director of the NASA SCSGC, where Foster works as a program assistant. There, she has proven herself to be the perfect blend of ambassador and scientist. “She has a passion for outreach, an outgoing personality and a unique knowledge base that is an asset when working with faculty and students at institutions across the state.”
Foster is aware that her assets could help bridge the gap that so often exists between science and politics, especially when it comes to issues like climate change. Not one to shy away from controversy, Foster approaches the discord with a can-do attitude and, refreshingly, hope. “With new science comes a lotof debate between scientists and politicians,” says Foster, who was recently accepted into the nationally competitive Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success in Earth System Science initiative. “I hope to serve as a mediator or translator between the two parties.” Foster may have her hands full – but, of course, that’s something she’s gotten used to during her time at the College, where her capabilities are no secret. “She’s too busy because too many people want to work with her – myself included – and have her get involved in activities,” says geology professor Timothy Callahan, who counts Foster as one of the best teaching assistants he’s had in 12 years. “Syl handles all this very well and is very charming and easy to like. We’re very fortunate to have her.” And for five full years, at that!
Making the Grade
Let’s Get Physical! A lot of people groan when they hear words like exercise and healthy eating. If you’re part of that group, perhaps it’s time for an introduction to Kelcey Davis ’13, who spent part of her senior year convincing, motivating and inspiring CofC employees to take their health into their own hands. As part of Davis’ research for her Honors College bachelor’s essay, the exercise science major presented a series of fitness and nutrition lectures to more than 30 employees of the College’s Physical Plant this past winter, as well as supervised their workouts at a campus gym. With explanations on how to read food nutrition labels and the causes of heart disease and high blood pressure, Davis aimed not only to make participants feel healthier, but also to prevent significant medical problems. The response she received from Physical Plant employees was overwhelming: They couldn’t get enough of Davis’ enthusiasm, know-how and healthy recipes. “There’s a health focus and camaraderie that didn’t exist before,” says Debbie Shumate, Physical Plant’s staffing and training manager. “Everybody just fell in love with her.” Davis worked with professor of exercise science Tim Scheett to develop
the fitness program. Perhaps most impressive, says Scheett, was Davis’ foresight to conduct a focus group before starting the program, investigating what health concerns were most pressing for her audience. “Instead of deciding what they needed,” Scheett says, “she listened to the people and gave them what they wanted.” And what the people wanted was more information on diseases that threatened them and their families, including high cholesterol, heart problems and diabetes. Davis responded by teaching them how to be better buyers and preparers of healthy foods, showing them the ins and outs of nutrition labels and suggesting healthier substitutes for many of their favorite foods, such as replacing the mayonnaise in chicken salad with avocado. Davis even made some of the foods herself and brought them to class to share, prompting her students to beg her for the recipes. But eating better is only half the battle. Davis also encouraged her students to exercise, and taught many people for the first time how to use weights and fitness equipment. According to Davis’ end-of-program survey, 57 percent of students who had never previously exercised regularly now do,
and 26 percent of people who had already exercised regularly now work out even more often. About 87 percent of her students, she proudly says, have more confidence exercising. For Shumate, Davis helped give her a more complete understanding of what it means to be healthy. Shumate had already lost some weight in the last year, but Davis helped her realize that true health involves more than staying thin. “I was setting my whole success by the scale,” says Shumate, who credits Davis for offering tips that have boosted her energy, improved her sleeping and lowered her blood pressure. Shumate is not alone. Scheett says Davis has made a big difference in the well-being of many Physical Plant employees, not to mention the health of their loved ones who are also affected by a family’s eating and exercise habits. That’s music to Davis’ ears, and she hopes that her wellness lessons have permanently empowered her students. “Nutrition, fitness and exercise are the keys to preventing all these diseases that are becoming epidemics,” Davis observes. “They don’t have to be a victim to diabetes or whatever condition. I hope it opened their eyes that they have control over their health.”
SUMMER 2013 |
Making the Grade
This seat’s Taken In those quiet moments of class, did you ever wonder who else sat at your desk during that day, that week? Maybe their gaze, like yours, lingered on something visible through the window. Perhaps, they, too, searched for familiar shapes in the brick walls’ rough texture or imagined themselves diving into the emerald sea evoked by the green chalkboard. What was inspiring them? What notes did they scribble down? What great ideas were they having? What subjects were they learning about in this exact same spot? Well, we wondered that, too. We wanted to see who some of these students might be – these students who selected the center desk in Maybank Hall’s Room 322 this spring semester. Although the players in this drama most likely don’t know one other, may never even cross paths, there is a special connection playing out here. Unlike some of their classmates, these students didn’t choose a seat in the back of the room, where they could be anonymous; they didn’t choose to sit in the front row, where they could be seen. No, out of the 37 desks available, these seven students picked a central seat, one that gives them access to everyone in the classroom – a chair in the center of it all. And, of course, they all share one more thing: They share space.
Ben Brook Senior chemistry major Columbia, S.C.
Kristin Krantzman’s CHEM 342: Physical Chemistry II
Elaina Gyure Freshman history and historic preservation and community planning double major Ft. Myers, Fla.
Christina Oberstar’s HPCP 290 Special Topics: Sleuthing the Past
Elizabeth Hodson Sophomore international studies major West Hartford, Conn.
Kathleen Foody’s INTL 100: Introduction to International Studies
Brendan Greene Freshman biology major with a psychology minor Ashburn, Va.
Anthony Parker’s MATH 111: Pre-Calculus Mathematics
Deniz Houston Freshman international studies major Ankara, Turkey
Thais Voet’s FYES 101 First-Year Experience Synthesis Semester: Economics of Globalization
Abby Wiseley Sophomore exercise science major Columbus, Ga.
Wendy Cory’s HONS 294 Honors Chemical Principles II: Mathematical Treatment of Equilibrium and Kinetics, Introduction to Nuclear Chemistry
Matt Mazzarell ’13 Senior data science major Greenville, S.C.
Amanda Henley’s COMM 104: Public Speaking
TEAMWORK True to Form
the SPORTSTICKER |
is the qualifying event for the national championship. “Every year, I’ve known that there is always room for improvement,” Gibbons says. “This year was all about getting a higher score and breaking that 300 mark. A score of 300 is kind of the coveted goal for all divers to break, and I did it at South Carolina in the fall. Obviously, getting a score high enough to qualify for zones was the next goal, and I was excited to be able to accomplish that, too.”
| Photos by Mike Ledford |
By the end of his college career this spring, Peter Gibbons ’13 had broken every Cougars diving record. He was the top diver in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association for the last three years, was named the CCSA’s Diver of the Week 15 times and in March became the first Cougar to compete in a regional NCAA diving championship meet. And, to think, Gibbons wasn’t even planning on joining the College’s swimming and diving team when he enrolled as a freshman. Gibbons had been diving since he was 8 years old. Back then, his smallness made him unsuitable for other sports but a nimble and efficient acrobat above the water. As he aged, however, Gibbons got big, at least for a diver, growing to 6 feet tall and weighing 180 pounds. Still, he completed an outstanding high school diving career in Virginia before heading off to the College, where a conversation with swimming and diving coach Bruce Zimmerman convinced Gibbons to join the team. It was a wise decision, as Gibbons soon established new records in the 1- and 3-meter dives. Those accomplishments did not come easy. Gibbons earned them, practicing for 20 hours a week, whether in the water, in the gym or on the track. Then, when it came time to perform at a competition, he’d steel his nerves as he walked out on the diving board, launch himself into the air and nail the dive. “You do your best to find a happy place and relax,” he says of handling the pressure. His senior year counted among his best, as Gibbons obtained his highest scores from judges and earned a trip to a regional NCAA Zone Diving Championship, which
He placed 32nd at the zone competition to finish his collegiate diving career. Now the biology major and former ROTC cadet, who was commissioned in May as a second lieutenant in the S.C. Army National Guard, plans to apply to schools to become a physician assistant. Later in life, he hopes to return to the sport of diving as a coach. In the meantime, he’s got some great memories of the pool. “After four years of college diving, I wouldn’t change a thing,” says Gibbons. “I think it was the best decision of my life to dive at the College.”
The women’s tennis team won its fifth-in-a-row SoCon title. Christin Newman ’13 was SoCon Player of the Year. + Josh Lorenzetti (men’s golf) won the SoCon Championship, becoming the first freshman in program history to do so. He received co-Freshman of the Year honors. + Andrew Lawrence ’13 (basketball) was named to the SoCon’s All-Conference team. + Haley McMahon claimed the SoCon title in the 1,500-meter run. |
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Unsquashable capturing the Hawthorn Cup at the Men’s College Squash Association National Team Championships in New Haven, Conn. Nowadays, not just anyone can make the team’s tournament roster. Competition is fierce among the team – translating into a bright future for the Cougars squash team as its founder graduates. The Cougars’ title-winning team members (pictured here) are, from left to right, (front row) Broderson and Evan Casciato; (back row) Byron Vereshagin, Chris Calligan, Reymar Delos Santos, Jeff Heath, Ginger Bauer and Luke Schweitzer.
| Photo by Mike Ledford |
The Cougars squash team has come a long way since Torey Broderson ’13 first scrounged together the club team in 2010. To recruit players, the anthropology major had scoured the residence halls, pleaded with his friends and classmates and, in a coup, persuaded a tennis player to join. At the end of the inaugural season, Broderson begged his team’s way into a tournament, where they were then slaughtered. A moral victory, however, could be claimed: The College’s squash team had been born. Three years later, things are different. In this year’s end-of-season play, the Cougars came out on top,
SUMMER 2010 |
POINT of VIEW
[ student ]
Edgar Allan Poe wrote, “The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague.” As one student discovered, that couldn’t be more true than in this iconic Charleston graveyard. by Phoebe Doty Overgrown with trees, shrubs and vines, the Unitarian Church in Charleston’s graveyard at night inspires frightened looks over visitors’ shoulders, wary glances around headstones and quickened heartbeats. Wild nature overwhelms decrepit old headstones, cracked and worn away from years of the sun’s rays beating down on them. Vines, like slithering green snakes weaving their way up from the shadowed ground, overtake the graves and claim them as their territory, while gray Spanish moss hangs perilously low from the crape myrtles. The vegetation of the cemetery, wild and enveloping, tangles itself around trees, wrought-iron fences and old headstones. Although the Unitarian Church’s graveyard, nestled among posh Old-South antique shops on Charleston’s King Street, meets the spooky criteria for a ghost tour’s tourist trap, the overgrown graveyard is home to more life than death. It’s a Southern jungle for the dead. I begin my exploration of the graveyard on a humid August afternoon, sweat sticking my clothes to my skin, the air heavy with the smell of horses from the passing carriage tours. Breaking away from gaggles of tourists walking with sloth-like speed, I enter the graveyard. Suddenly, I am immersed in green tranquility. Standing just inside the gate, I see before me a romantically morbid garden of South Carolina’s native plants. Thriving in between the remains of faded headstones, some dating back to the 18th century, wildflowers and bushes extend up to the heavens, a living symbol of hope rising above markers for the dead. Little lizards scurry by my flip-flop feet on their short dinosaur-like legs. I go in thinking I’d find tourists with cameras ready for ghosts. Instead, I find life. Nature at its most energetic. Since the church’s founding 200 years ago, the plants grow wherever they please, as long as they don’t interfere with the pathways. This peculiar design, based on the free-flowingly scenic layout of Mount Auburn Cemetery, was envisioned by Caroline Gilman, who moved from Boston to Charleston in the 1820s. Walking along the carefully manicured pathways, stopping often to watch blue jays perched on oak limbs, I watch the animals and plants in the graveyard reaching up to the celestial heavens, asking a higher power for peace: living symbols of the religious fervor that inspired Mrs. Gilman to create such a unique landscape.
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Unlike many of the visitors on the ghost tours that make this graveyard a regular stop, I notice not death, but wild, sinewy vines and tree limbs: physical signs of eternal life. Here are solid beams of gratitude coming up from the ground, not desperate corpses reaching up to visitors. Even if ghost tours traipse through the cemetery searching for moaning ghouls or sighing ghosts – souls waiting eternally for a lost love or for revenge – in my mind, this graveyard is only home to peace and the beauty of life, promising for more to come in the next. Making my way deeper into the grave-filled jungle, I stop and chat with one of the church volunteers caring for the grounds. “We put in a lot of work to make it look like no work is done at all,” he said when I asked about the graveyard upkeep. And I notice this. Even with the hanging moss and tall grasses encasing the headstones, the pathways are clear for visitors. On these pathways I examine the unbridled nature of the tiny leaves dancing on breeze-blown ferns and crape myrtles in the graveyard, little blooms of life on sacred ground dedicated to the dead. A macabre bouquet for the graves. This bouquet supposedly helps cover the unmarked grave of Annabel Lee, the subject of Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem with the same name. I fruitlessly looked for her grave marker, knowing I would find none. Guides of ghost tours love to frighten tourists with Lee’s story, although she is a fictional character. Tour guides say that Lee, to her father’s dismay, had an affair with a poor sailor. When she died of yellow fever, her father buried her in an unmarked grave in the cemetery to keep her lover from finding her. Even though there is no record of Lee’s living in Charleston, ghost tours still tell visitors that the Unitarian graveyard is one of the most haunted cemeteries in Charleston, and she is their most-seen ghost. Guides maintain that she waits eternally for her sailor in the graveyard, hoping to find her lover. Although just a hoax, this message of eternal love rings true in the Unitarian cemetery. Lee’s love for her sailor is captured in the true love of the couples buried together in the graveyard, resting together forever under camellia trees adorned with pink blossoms and dangling Spanish moss. Winding my way out of the cemetery, I pause to look back at the headstones, little dark faces in a sea of green. In lines, all different heights, colors and degrees of wear. A bulky one catches my eye: a joint headstone for a couple whose epitaph reads, “They were lovely and pleasant in their lives together.” Truly, this overgrown graveyard is home not to ghouls, but to grace. – Phoebe Doty is an English major. Her essay was originally written for an advanced composition course taught by Bonnie Devet, professor of English and director of the Writing Lab.
| Illustration by Seth Corts |
A Matter of Life and Death
| Photos by Levi Vonk |
POINT of VIEW
S PRI N G 2 0 1 3 |
| Illustration by Jay Fletcher |
POINT of VIEW [ faculty ]
Leaving the Station This past spring, a stalwart of the School of Business retired from the College after 29 years of service. Howard Rudd, who was the school’s founding dean in 1986, inspired a generation of students with his focus on real-world business leadership. And his example of scholarship and practicality also inspired many of his fellow faculty members – as can be seen in these creative remarks given by a colleague in honor of Rudd’s last lecture. by Thomas Kent The train sat like a hulking creature charging at its tethers as though it couldn’t wait to get on to its next destination. Snorting steam from its nostrils and belching black smoke, it seemed to know the time for its task to begin was approaching.
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The crowd shuffled on the platform. They had all arrived to wish him well and bon voyage. It was time. He could see this day coming for years. But it was never time. There was always more to do. But now – it was time. It had been coming on for a long time; but then it happened. The time to go just showed up. The time just arrived – like this train. And now the crowd talked amongst itself. Some murmuring quietly, some laughing uproariously, remembering silly moments from days gone by so long ago. Some trying not to give voice to those secret eruptions of regrets for things said or done, for moments of thoughtless cruelty. Most not knowing what to say, how to put in a word decades of fondness, of thankfulness, of admiration. After all, what do you say to a man who gave unselfishly, who gave credit but never demanded it, who elevated others above himself, who connected most of these people on the platform with each other for their benefit, not for his. And so he moved Charlie Chaplinesque from soul to soul, almost apologizing for putting them in this terrible position. This awkward stance. Once again, he was taking care of them and
POINT of VIEW
ignoring his own self. As he had for all these years. The years flew by, as they say, with hardly a word of gratitude. It took this moment, this black hole of time on this forlorn platform that marked his leaving yet not quite gone – not yet on the train – to wake them up. All that he had done, all that he stood for, the way he was, who he was, became suddenly clear. For so long, he was the heart of the place. He gave it birth, he breathed life into it, he sustained it. He was its soul as well. Its spirit arose from him and its conscience took form from him. He was its sinew that connected the parts to each other lest they become detached from each other and from the heart. Wait, I see now. You can’t go now. Not now. What will we do? What will become of us? Maybe the train will break. Maybe he’ll change his mind. It’s not too late. What if he didn’t get on the train? Would things be any different? Would we be any kinder? Would we be able to show him how important he is to us? Would we be able to say – we love you? Ah, and that is what had most of the gatherers at least slightly afraid. What will become of us? Oh, we’ll go on. But go on to what? That emptiness sends a shiver down a few spines. But now the shrill whistle blows and the conductor calls out. The train seems to shudder as tethers tighten under the strains of the beast. “All aboard.” The creature lurches once and the tethers strain.
Last farewells are spoken. The creature huffs and bellows. It moves as the tethers break free. It’s really moving slowly now, then faster as the creature gathers its legs. They wave, Bon voyage. Howard, you are my mentor, my role model, my conscience, my pal. See ya, old buddy. – Thomas Kent is a professor of management and entrepreneurship and worked with Howard Rudd for 14 years.
In honor of Howard Rudd’s amazing legacy at the College, Anita Zucker and Justin McLain ’98, both members of the School of Business Board of Governors, endowed the Howard F. Rudd Jr. Distinguished Faculty Award for Service Leadership, which recognizes high-performing business professors who lead in Rudd’s spirit and example to advance the mission and global vision of the School of Business.
SUMMER 2013 |
POINT of VIEW
[ alumni ]
All Things Reconsidered We all have our plans – some auspicious idea of what we’re going to do in life, where we’re going to go and how we’re going to get there. But in this letter to upcoming graduates and young alumni, this alumnus warns against sticking to “the plan.” If our ultimate objective is real happiness and true satisfaction, he says, we have to let go of the agenda and open our minds up to just going with the flow. Only then will we end up where we really belong. by Michael Hollifield ’05
| Illustration by Angela Dominguez |
Dear (Younger, Single, Sans-Children) CofC Family, I’m writing with a little advice. First, I ask that you close your eyes and picture yourself in two, three, four, even five years from now. Got it? Now, throw it out the window. I promise, it’s for your
own good. I’m not saying plans and goals aren’t healthy – just that flexibility and spontaneity will lead you to places you never dreamed you’d go. Quick background check: I’m originally from your standard middle-class family (read: no country club membership) in Spartanburg, S.C. I came to the College in 2001, held a job all four years, received a quality education (special thanks to Rhonda Mack, Bonnie Grossman and Holland Williams) and graduated with a decent GPA. After graduating, I, like most, didn’t know what was next. Sure, I had the dream of working my way up through a global corporation in a major city and getting the corner office. So, after an extra year in Charleston enjoying the life I’d known, I packed it up and moved to Atlanta. I took the coldest of cold-calling jobs out there – selling graphic wraps and car decals – and I quickly learned that my strong suit was not in sales. I gave it my best, but it wasn’t to be. Cue the fallback: waiting tables. Don’t get me wrong, I know jobs in the service industry provide stable, lucrative careers.
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POINT of VIEW
But I always knew it was my in between. So it was an exercise in soul searching and patience when I went to work at a casual restaurant nestled in the skyscrapers of Midtown Atlanta. I waited on the big boys, the giant ad agencies and media conglomerates and on people my age (and younger) whose jobs I knew I deserved. I was applying for their jobs but I wasn’t getting anywhere. It made me resentful. This was 2007, and (as far as I remember) the economy was stable. I remember the press at the time was raving that Atlanta was a “top city for new grads.” Yet, I still couldn’t get anything I wanted. Finally, I got my break. I ended up waiting on the director of private events for a major club and event venue. She offered me a job as a banquet server and I worked my way up from there, eventually creating my own position, marketing and events coordinator. It was the perfect job for me. I managed the entire marketing program – creating ads, doing sales tours, press releases, you name it – and even won a few industry awards. But, after two years, I still wasn’t even full time, and I was realizing there was no room to grow. It was time to go; I had to advance in my career.
balance. Picture high-rise buildings, a serious obsession with luxury goods and an efficient subway system right next door to older buildings with “squattie potties” (toilets in the floor). Strange to most, sure, but it’s what I love about Korea. They are flying forward into the 21st century, but a lot of it is still behind the times (Internet banking, ahem). I found a good life in Korea. The expat community here is very friendly and assimilating was extremely easy. I learned basic Korean, so the language has not been a hindrance. I also met my boyfriend, a British expat who’s an engineer. After my first-year contract ended, I faced my big decision: to stay or to go? It was during that decision process I realized that I was actually truly happy. Aside from the obvious perks – the free apartment, trips all over Asia during vacation periods, money easily saved and sent home, cheap food, abundant culture and nightlife – I was just happy. I’d come to see that I was a good teacher. Seeing the children happy and learning made me feel successful. My school’s administrators were pleased with me and they showed it. Positive reinforcement works wonders.
“In short, I was satisfied with my job. I wasn’t chasing a bigger office, something better that someone else had.
I finally knew what it meant to be
living my dream.”
Fast forward to April 2011. I was working for a local bridal website, managing their social media content, and I took my first real, paid vacation to Spain to visit a friend who was teaching English there. I absolutely loved it, was painfully jealous of her lifestyle and, upon returning to Atlanta, promised myself that I would move abroad to teach if I ever lost my job (and had the ability). Lo and behold, two weeks later, I was laid off. I hit the ground running. After doing some research, I determined that Korea (South, obviously) was the best place to start teaching ESL. I knew absolutely nothing about Korea; I just wanted a complete change. That August I moved to Seoul, Korea, to begin teaching kindergarteners and elementary school children at a private academy. Mind you, I’d never taught anyone anything. It was completely new to me – and it was quite stressful. Communicating with the students could be maddening, and finding a balance with how to treat the different ages and fluency levels was an exercise in patience. But it was better than the constant fight for advancement, for something better, that I’d been in for so long in Atlanta. And it was something different. Korea is a beautiful country. The city of Seoul is fast paced, busy and gritty around the edges. The rapid industrialization of Korea has made an interesting
In short, I was satisfied with my job. I wasn’t chasing a bigger office, something better that someone else had. I finally knew what it meant to be living my dream. And so I stayed. I was rewarded by more responsibility in my new post as head kindergarten teacher. No, I don’t make gobs of money, but I make more than enough to travel around Asia two or three times a year, save and go out five nights a week. That alone is something I wouldn’t have in America. And that is not lost on me. So – aside from my yearly visits home – I don’t plan on leaving Korea any time soon. I’m not saying my corporate days are behind me. Marketing is still a passion of mine and something that interests me – and one day I’d like to go back to university here in Korea, get my M.B.A. and work for a corporation. I’m just saying that, for right now, I’ve found true happiness teaching in Korea. Is it something I expected? Absolutely not. But this unexpected has led me to a place that I’d never dreamed was possible. All this to say: When you think about your plans for your life, don’t be so hard on yourself. Take it one step, one job, at a time. Who knows where you will find yourself? I sure didn’t. – Michael Hollifield ’05 studied business administration with a concentration in marketing at the College and is now the head kindergarten teacher at a private academy in Seoul, South Korea.
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There is something magical about water. Whether ocean, river or lake, water speaks to us, calls to us. We flock to its shores for vacation. We use it as the backdrop of some of our most cherished personal moments: engagements, weddings, family gatherings. We even choose it as screen savers – a colorful escape from our drab offices. And when we gaze upon it, entranced and lost in thought, we find solace, inspiration, affirmation of nature’s vastness and ineffable grandeur. Water plays a prominent role in the life of the College of Charleston as well. It’s an X factor in attracting many people to the institution, from students to faculty. And most graduates leave here with a passion for water, having spent countless hours walking and jogging along the Battery or across the Ravenel Bridge, playing and sunbathing on Charleston’s world-class beaches and feeling the warm salt-air breezes embrace them as they go from class to class. For the seven alumni featured here, they found their careers intertwined with water – what was once an avocation, now a vocation. And they couldn’t be happier.
“There's so much
life in the ocean, and we really only
see a tiny sliver of it ... from the starfish crawling
along the bottom,
jellyfish floating in the water column, to the
incredible journeys of species like the loggerhead turtle and the mystical creatures of the deep –
I’m fascinated by life in the ocean.”
Lindsay Goodwin ’05 (M.E.S.) Coastal Management Specialist, NOAA North Charleston, S.C. [ PortraIt by Mike MoRgan ]
on the ocean surrounded by nature and its forces ground me
put life into perspective.” and tend to
Leah Riley ’00 Cook for professional sailing teams and private charter boats Charleston, S.C. [ PortraIt by PETER FRANK EDWARDS ’93 ]
“I enjoy the freedom and independence that boating provides. The water and weather are always changing, and rarely are two days
rang out, kicking up dirt at the feet of their target. ever the same.” TheFivemanshots turned his head in the direction of the snipers, perhaps
He had flown with his fellow Marines halfway across the world, twitchy warriors tucked into the belly of a big plane. They landed at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, before traveling by armored truck to the town of Musa Qala, deep into Taliban territory. Finally, at 9 p.m. on March 13, 2011, Cpl. Andrew Smith arrived at Patrol Base Mehraj, one of the most southern and dangerous U.S. military outposts in Afghanistan. Weary and hungry from his long journey, Smith dropped his bags and began cutting into his dinner, a military issue MRE (meal, ready-to-eat). The field ration certainly wasn’t anything fancy, but it was food. Before Smith could take a bite, however, machine gun tracer bullets started flying over his head, forcing him to take cover. He had been on base for all of 10 minutes. “That was our welcome from the Taliban,” Smith remembers. “From the next day on, we were in combat.” It was a challenge he relished. For nearly three years, Smith had waited patiently to engage an enemy. He had left the College of Charleston during his junior year to enlist in the Marines, enduring months of training and two non-combat deployments before being sent to war as one of the U.S. military’s most elite soldiers: a Marine scout sniper. Now Smith was on the front line, dodging bullets and preparing for the chance to fight back. He would not have to wait long. A month later, after moving to a different patrol base, Smith and his team members were called to a nearby, abandoned compound that had already been seized by fellow Marines. Such compounds are popular with the U.S. military, regularly used as temporary shelters during patrols for enemies. The Taliban knows this, and they often booby-trap the compounds and surrounding areas with explosives, requiring American soldiers to take great care when approaching a hideout, often scaling its walls rather than entering through doors or windows, where tripwires might lurk. And so it was for Smith and his comrades, who cautiously but quickly traveled the three kilometers to the compound through irrigated farm fields, careful to avoid footpaths and other direct routes that might conceal bombs. Once inside the shelter, Smith ascended to the roof, the favorite spot for snipers to scout their surroundings from prone positions. He joined four other shooters up top, as well as two spotters, who help the snipers aim for their targets. “Once you have eyes on, Andrew, we’re going to engage,” they told him as he settled into position and raised his rifle’s scope to his eye. Soon, he was able to see two men walking across a field of poppies. They were more than 1,000 yards away, barely visible to the naked eye. Through the scope, however, they were clear as day. One of the men, Smith saw, was trying to conceal an AK-47 machine gun beneath his clothing. Under the Marines’ rules of engagement, possession of that weapon made him an enemy. He would be their target. The snipers called out their DOPEs (data on personal equipment) to each other, sharing the settings on their scopes that adjust for wind and distance. The men lined up their shots, and a countdown began, each of the snipers knowing they would fire, as they had trained, on the “t” of “two.” Five. Four. Three. T–
startled, perhaps bewildered, perhaps simply out of instinct. In Tyler Moore ’95
any case, whatever thoughts the Taliban soldier had, they didn’t Docking Pilot last for long. In the 1.7 seconds the snipers’ volley of bullets took Hampton Roads, Va. to reach the enemy’s feet, Smith, with the help of a spotter, had already delicately adjusted his aim. [ PortraIt by KEITH LANPHER ] He pulled the trigger again. This time, Smith did not miss. The bullet traveled right between the Taliban soldier’s eyes. As the soldier dropped and his companion dragged him away (because the companion was unarmed, the Marines would not shoot him), a transition in Smith’s life became complete. Long gone were the conflicted college student and raw Marine recruit. In their places stood a full-fledged, battle-tested soldier. As Smith’s rifle barrel cooled, he felt satisfied to put his training to use, and was convinced the killing was justified. He also felt the scene was surreal. Man, that actually just happened, he thought to himself. Little did he know there was a lot more bound to happen, and soon. ITCHING FOR ACTION | Smith may not strike you as a typical Marine. The 25-year-old is on the small side, though strong and fast. He’s soft-spoken, polite and analytical, and seems not the least bit brutish. He’s cautious and meticulous to a degree that far exceeds the level of order demanded by the military. Before becoming a Marine, he had never picked up a gun. Smith grew up in Easley, S.C., where he was a standout student and soccer player, before coming to the College with the intention of majoring in political science and preparing for law school. For two years, things went well at the College, except for the fact that he discovered he didn’t enjoy studying political science. Instead of John Locke, Machiavelli or Thomas Paine, he preferred reading Charles Henderson, a military writer and author of Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills. That book landed in Smith’s lap courtesy of CofC classmate David Smunk, who went to high school with Smith and who left the College in 2007 to serve in Iraq as part of the U.S. Marine Reserves. Before deploying, Smunk was cleaning out his room in Craig Residence Hall and decided to bestow Marine Sniper on Smith, with whom he had often discussed the military. Smunk was impressed to hear a few weeks later that Smith had finished the book. By his junior year, Smith was becoming bored with classes, and was strapped for cash. During that fall semester in 2007, he took a job at Pita Pit, a popular late-night spot on King Street. While the job provided some money, Smith’s graveyard shifts left him tired and without time to study. His grades suffered, and he became so strung out by semester’s end that he skipped two finals, which, of course, made his grades even worse. He was restless at school, and dwelled on the fact that his life was without action, that he had never left the South and that he had never even been on an airplane. “I didn’t feel I was getting enough life experience just going to class,” Smith says. “There were all these things going on in the world, and I was missing out.”
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feeling of being free – free from gravity – and the ability to float through the water. I’m happiest when I get barreled – “I love the
traveling through the open part of when it’s breaking. the
wave Time slows down when you’re completely surrounded by water.” Phillip Hall ’09 Owner/operator of Surf The Earth Costa Rica Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica [ PortraIt by Sean DAvis ]
dynamic environment of the water. There are so many things that affect conditions, making each day a unique experience.” “I love the
Chris Larson ’88 Owner, Chris Larson Sailing Inc. Annapolis, Md. [ PortraIt by PETER FRANK EDWARDS ’93 ]
“The ocean is such a complex and fascinating system. We may never know all the
intricacies of this ecosystem, and while we are expanding our knowledge about the ocean, it’s critical to do our best to maintain the balance between use and
Jennifer Culbertson ’99 Chemical oceanographer, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Herndon, Va. [ PortraIt by MIKE MORGAN ]
all of my thoughts disappear. I’m no longer stressed or worried. The only thing I think about is the wind and the waves ... and sometimes what might be swimming underneath me.”
“When I’m on the water,
Gillian Ellis ’09 Wedding photographer, kiteboarding team rider for Air & Earth Charleston, S.C. [ PortraIt by PETER FRANK EDWARDS ’93 ]
This is the new world. The world where the people have the power. This is the world that — along with million-dollardeals, Ridley Scott–optioned movie rights and a dedicated cult following — brought about a whole new vision for the publishing industry. This is the world that Hugh Howey built. by Alicia Lutz ’98 photography by Jason
his is the order, the way things are done. It’s strong. It works. It always has. This is what’s keeping it all together. There’s no reason to question it, no reason for change. Besides, what could possibly be done differently? Look around. There is no other view to be seen. There is nowhere else to go, no other path to take. There is no such thing as a “better” way – there is no other way. There’s no space for imagination to wander, no capacity for envisioning a different route. Veer off on your own, and it’s over. You can’t make it out there all by yourself. Those who try? They never make it far. This is the backdrop to Hugh Howey’s story. It’s a world that he knew all along was ripe for revolution. It couldn’t keep on like this. It was only a matter of time before someone came along and set things in motion. And he had just the right character to make it happen.
Bestseller Hugh Howey wasn’t thinking about the world of publishing – or changing it, for that matter – when he sat down to tell the post-apocalyptic story of a totalitarian society living in an underground silo. He wasn’t trying to sell 500,000 e-books, rake in a million dollars, be a New York Times bestseller or be the Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book of 2012. Movie rights and comic adaptations were the furthest things from his mind. He was just sitting at his MacBook Air – sometimes in the early morning in his 8-by-8 home office in Boone, N.C., sometimes during his lunch breaks in the storage room of Appalachian State University’s bookstore, where he worked in the trade books section – doing what he loves to do: write. He was writing because he wanted to. That’s the only reason to do it. As he learned with the other nine novels and novellas he’d self-published before, the reward is the writing itself. And so, in July 2011, when Howey published the 99-cent e-book that would turn out to be the first part of a series of science fiction novellas called Wool, his expectations were low. He published the 40-page story using Kindle Direct Publishing and moved on. It was, he knew, a good premise: this idea that a whole civilization could survive among the 144 levels of an underground silo for generations and generations after the Earth’s surface had become uninhabitable – and all the measures that would have to be taken to ensure that rules were followed, that order was kept. Curiosity must be quelled, talk must be quieted, conjecture must be punished. In Howey’s silo, the various levels of society (the governing and law enforcement bodies, teachers, shopkeepers and IT workers on the top 48 floors; the farmers and supply workers in the middle; the blue-collar mechanics on the bottom 48 floors) are effectively cut off from one another, connected only by a worn spiral staircase and the porters zipping up and down it. “The setting is kind of unusual in that it’s not a wasteland; the people are kind of locked in a bottle and trying to get along with each other,” says Howey, who grew up climbing on top of and inside of the two silos on his dad’s farm in Monroe, N.C., and playing on the spiral staircase at his family’s beach house in Figure Eight Beach, N.C. “I have a very romantic attachment to that staircase, and I’m sure that played a huge part in giving the stairs such a central role in the middle of the silo.” But the idea for this world within the silo, where people are isolated not just from one another, but also from the world outside – their only view of which is through a single screen – was born out of Howey’s concerns about a society that gets all of its news, all of its facts, through some sort of monitor. “I had always traveled a lot and so being suddenly domesticated by my wife and being in one place and then seeing the world through news outlets rather than by being out there on my own feet: That made me realize that when you’re out in the world, you see the good and the bad (and most of it is good), but when you get all your views of the world through the media, you
with over 5,260 reviews and an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars on amazon, wool became amazon's most favorably reviewed book of 2012, as well as one of its bestsellers in several categories, even bumping game of thrones author george r.r. Martin to no. 6 on the top sci-fi list.
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get a skewed vision of what’s going on out there,” says Howey. “It made me worry: What does this do to our concept of the world? And, when you’re in a setting that filters what you think you know, who do you trust?” How do you know, in other words, that the wool isn’t being pulled over your eyes? This notion had the foundations – and the setting – for further exploration. So, when more than 1,000 copies of his short story sold within the first three months, Howey made a shrewd move: He tabled his other writing project and revisited the world within the silo. Between October and December 2011, he wrote four more e-book installments. The second, “Proper Gauge,” sold 3,000 copies in a month; and the third and fourth, “Casting Off” and “Unraveling,” sold more than 10,000 copies in a month. The rapid release of the series helped build buzz – and Howey’s knack for writing a tantalizing cliffhanger built readers’ anticipation with each new 99-cent installment. But it was readers’ word of mouth that really gave Wool the momentum it had when 23,000 copies of the five-book omnibus edition sold within a month of its January 2012 release. “It was absolutely crazy,” says Howey. “I wasn’t doing anything to promote it, but it was just taking off.” With over 5,260 reviews and an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars on Amazon, Wool became Amazon’s most favorably reviewed book of 2012, as well as one of its bestsellers in several categories, even bumping Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin to No. 6 on the top sci-fi list. Beyond Amazon, Wool was a two-week New York Times e-fiction bestseller, a USA Today bestseller and recipient of the Kindle Book Review’s 2012 Best Indie Book Award in the sci-fi/fantasy category. Within a few months, Howey was selling 20,000–30,000 digital copies of Wool ¬– and raking in a $150,000 salary – each month. “At that point, I decided, Well, it’s time to quit, and just concentrate on my writing. If I have to get another job, I can,” recalls Howey, whose entry-level position at the university bookstore had paid him less in over a week than what he was making in a day from the Wool sales. “I’d never thought it’d be possible to quit working my day job and be a professional writer, but it had always been a dream. That was a huge moment.” He’d made it. He was making money – and a name for himself – in the dog-eat-dog world of publishing, and he’d done it all on his own: from writing, editing (with help from mom and 6–8 beta readers, usually unpaid fans, per work) and publishing his books, to interacting with his fans, to managing the demands from Entertainment Weekly, Forbes and Wired and the constant courtship from the likes of AMC, Showtime, HBO, BBC and the SyFy Channel. He seemed to be doing just fine out there on his own. This would have been the perfect time to let the agencies and publishers swoop in and take things from here. That would have been easy – it would have been the norm. But then there wouldn’t be a story. Then nothing would have changed. Then he’d be just another self-published author who caught the attention of the big guys – just another guy willing to give it all away for the right deal, the right amount. That’s not the kind of guy Hugh Howey is. It’s just not what he’s about. Which makes him perfect for the role that makes this story his.
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New Release Hugh Howey has always gone his own way. He’s always done what suited him. As a kid, he was somewhat of a loner, an introvert. Not that he was antisocial or disruptive – not at all. He was a good student, a good athlete and a good classmate. He had one close friend, but got along with everyone. Still, he always preferred the company of the book sticking out of his back pocket. In high school, he managed to stay above the fray – remaining completely unaware of the peer pressure that plagued his classmates. He grew his hair long, played soccer, rode a skateboard and listened to his parents’ rock ‘n’ roll. “I thought of myself as a romantic, reading and writing poetry all the time, which often led to interest from girls who would grow frustrated by my lack of moves and run off with my best friend,” Howey sighs. “It worked out great for him.” He married young and was divorced by the age of 20. It was 1995, and he left his job as a computer repairman in Charlotte, N.C., packed everything he could fit into his Ford Probe and headed to Charleston for a fresh start. “I got to town, got an apartment off Meeting Street, enrolled at the College and found a job as a CPA assistant all in the same day,” Howey says. “I just drove down there, started my life over, and to this day I still feel like Charleston is my home city. That’s where I found myself, where I discovered myself, and it was the best period of my life.” Howey didn’t find much in common with his classmates, but he made some fast friends in mathematics professor Doug Holmes and the owners of Jack’s Café and Clara’s Café. “I spent months of my life hanging out at Clara’s,” says Howey, adding that Rainbow Café was another favorite: “A group of us used to hang out and play chess on that massive set they had on the ground with the 12-inch chess pieces. You sit on burlap coffee bean bags, drink coffee and play chess or kibbutz over games in progress. That was my social life at CofC.” It was a good life – especially when he moved onto Xerxes, the 27-foot sailboat he’d bought and sailed from Baltimore in freezing weather with his best friend. “We spent 36 hours in massive seas, unbelievably sick. We should have died. No autopilot, no idea what we were doing, just making every mistake in the book,” says Howey, who taught himself to sail on the small Sunfish that was kept in a garage of the Figure Eight Beach house his family visited every year. “That Sunfish felt like a massive boat to me when I was 10 years old, requiring a Herculean effort to pull down to the sound and step the mast. But when I was out on the water, I felt completely free.” That sense of freedom is what Howey was chasing when he left the College after his junior year. “I was living on my sailboat at Buzzards Roost Marina, and I was terrified of graduating and getting a job, and my life just flashing before me, so I decided I was going to take off and sail around for a while. I was going to try to sail around the world, but I didn’t make it,” he says. Instead he spent a year “just hopping around” the Bahamas, working as a yacht captain and getting caught in a couple of hurricanes. “There in that late season, I went a space wherein I didn’t see another living soul. Just for the fun of it, I made a point of not singing to music or saying anything, just to see what that would be like.”
His conclusion? “Our minds were not meant for such loneliness.” Although Howey did return to the College, he almost immediately was offered a job he couldn’t pass up on a boat bound for Hong Kong. He enrolled for his third and final time at the College upon his return. “Every time I came back, I took school more and more seriously,” says the one-time physics major who eventually switched to English so he could take more classes with nowretired English professor Dennis Goldsberry. “He was just this cantankerous old man, and I just adored him. I took every one of his classes that I could. He was up on the third floor of one of the English houses, almost in the attic, up these creaky steps, and I would just go up there and bug the hell out of him. I was up there all the time.” “Hugh Howey was the most outrageous, disruptive student I ever had,” Goldsberry recalls affectionately. “I had to bite my tongue to stop from laughing at some comic things he said in class just to keep order. Howey is crazy enough to be a great writer.” As many of Goldsberry’s classes that Howey took, he still didn’t manage to graduate before he left the College in 2000 to take a job on a boat in New York. He was on that vessel, down at the base of the World Trade Centers, the morning of September 11, 2001. “What I remember most are the crowds of people and how curiosity became terror. I watched the second plane come screaming from the south. I could see the emblems on the tail, see that this was a commercial jet and likely full of people and I remember screaming in my head for the pilot to pull up, wondering, What in the world are they doing: Don’t they see the building? And then this great ball of fire and debris rained down, and the crowds, who had been watching the north tower burn, started running and screaming. And I just wanted to join them. But I had this boat there that I was responsible for, and so we had to get them out,” Howey remembers. “The scariest part was having to go down into the engine room to start the boat. I couldn’t see the sky, couldn’t see the imagined third or fourth or fifth plane come in. I was down there for a minute or two, and I was convinced that I wouldn’t live through that moment. The terror was of not seeing the end come.” That terror stuck with him, made him uncharacteristically irritable and antsy for years to come and has cropped up in his writing more than a few times – informing, for example, the pitchblack scenes in Wool. These are the kinds of autobiographical elements that Howey brings to Wool: the mechanical experience he got in the engine rooms of ships, the surge of utter fear he felt on 9/11, the unnatural silence he practiced in the Bahamas, the go-it-alone tendencies of his character. “I think most of my characters are built on who I am and my own personality traits. I think that’s maybe true of a lot of authors – you exaggerate your own inner demons or your hopes of your beneficial qualities – and you try to craft a character of the best and worst parts of yourself,” he says. “And in that way, all my characters are from Charleston, because when I moved to Charleston, I moved there to start over. I feel like it’s where I was born.” It is, in other words, where his story began. It’s where he developed the kind of character that – like his protagonist in Wool – is unafraid of going out there alone, unconcerned with the
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expectations and pressures of the world. The kind of character that has both the foresight to envision a different way of doing things and the courage to carry it all the way through. Even when faced with the force of the Big Six of the publishing world.
Page Turner All eyes were on Hugh Howey. And â€“ as he turned down seven-figure offer after seven-figure offer â€“ it was clear he had the upper hand. The power had shifted. The Big Six publishing houses had lost to a self-publisher. Howey was forging a new way.
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“I am not the story of self-publishing,” he insists. Maybe not, but – as the first self-published author to be offered a printonly contract and a significant six-figure advance by a major publisher – he is certainly the hero of self-publishers everywhere. “It’s the smartest thing I’ve ever done – so many authors are watching this and congratulating me and hoping this becomes a trend,” says Howey. It all started with a call from the Nelson Agency. Kristin Nelson was not the first agent to contact Howey about representing Wool – a reversal of roles in and of itself – but she was the first to
agree that he shouldn’t sell the rights to the book, something he’d adamantly refused to do since it would mean going from earning 70 percent of Wool’s royalties to somewhere around 12.5 percent. Like Howey, Nelson knew this didn’t make sense. “She suggested that we just get the conversation started with the publishers – not because she thought anything would come of it, but because it would lay the groundwork for industry change down the road,” Howey explains. In the meantime, the Nelson Agency signed 24 foreign publishing deals for Wool and shopped out the movie rights, which ultimately went to Blade Runner and Alien director Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox. “The Ridley Scott deal was huge,” says Howey. “Just to have people with that much experience and that much clout that read as much as they do to enjoy it was really humbling.” It also gave Howey more leverage than ever. With the help of Nelson, he turned down all the major U.S. publishers, one after another – some more than once. “The offers started getting quite large, and I was leaving a lot of money on the table, but I was also making enough to pay my bills and set up a retirement plan for myself,” shrugs Howey. “I didn’t have to be motivated by money; I could be motivated by principle, and that freed me up to make what I thought was a good decision.” All he really wanted was a partnership and a fair contract in exchange for an already-established fan base, a bestseller and a brand. He didn’t think it too much to ask. And so he stuck to his guns when, one after another, publishers offered contracts that would double the price of his e-books, take away his digital rights and enforce no-compete clauses. All deal breakers. It all paid off when Simon & Schuster made an unprecedented print-only offer that secured Howey’s digital publication rights. It was more than Howey or Nelson had ever imagined, and it shook up the entire publishing industry’s notion of what was possible – of where self-publishers and e-books belong in this world. “My goals never waivered. And neither did I,” Howey observes. “It turned out it was easier for the publishing industry to change just a little bit, just a smidgen, in order to accept me just the way I am.” The paperback and hardback editions of Wool hit the stores on March 12, 2013, marking a momentous event in publishing – and landing Howey interviews with The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly and Writer’s Digest. “The most exciting thing for me was to break down some barriers in industry practices. I feel honored to have been here to watch the changes happen so closely, and I’m excited about contracts that just make more sense for the reader, the writer and the publisher,” says Howey, explaining that no-compete clauses in traditional contracts kept authors from publishing whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. “That prevented readers from having more material from their favorite authors, and that prevented everyone from having a better standard of living. So, holding off on that and getting that out of contracts has been wonderful.” Still, Howey is reluctant to take any credit for the progress publishers are making. “All these things that have happened were always going to happen – and whoever was there, whoever it happened to, would be fortunate. They would get recognized for something that really, they have little control over,” he says, adding that the deal he made
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with Simon & Schuster is a win-win for both parties. “The only way they would have been able to sign me in to get my digital rights would have been to have paid me a whole lot more money, like several million dollars. So, I think they’re better off this way: They’re paying me less money and they get a guaranteed profit because the book has been tested, and they know it’s going to do well. They’re going to make hundreds of thousands of dollars on the book – and what publisher wouldn’t want to do that and chance making zero, or losing money?” With more and more big publishers looking at indie and self-published authors, it’s certainly not the last deal of its kind. Self-published books made up 25 percent of Amazon’s top-sellers in 2012; e-book sales for adult fiction and nonfiction grew by 36 percent in the first three quarters of 2012; and, in that same period, mass-market paperback sales declined 17 percent and hardcover sales 2.4 percent. “I see myself more as a slight outlier within an overall trend,” says Howey, citing multiple friends and colleagues who are selling millions of their self-published books. “These days, authors want control, and they know things don’t have to be like they used to be. There are thousands of writers paying bills with their work, so that’s not anomalous; that’s a shifting of the bell curve.” So, no, maybe Howey didn’t single-handedly tear down the order of the publishing industry – maybe he wasn’t the only reason that the power has shifted back into the hands of the people. It was, after all, long overdue for some kind of transformation; things had to change to keep up with the digital media and e-readers. But – like his Wool protagonist, who dared to dig a little further, to break away and see what else was out there – Howey took the first opportunity to step outside of the publishing silo. And that one step made everything else possible.
Open Book Ultimately, this is Hugh Howey’s story. It doesn’t belong to his best-selling book. It doesn’t belong to the publishing industry, e-books or indie writers. It belongs to him and it belongs to his readers. This is the story of a real author-reader relationship, of mutual respect and of empowerment. Because, without the readers, this story would not even exist. “No matter what path you take, your book has to prove itself to the readers. They are in total control,” Howey admits. They are the ones who bought that first short story, the ones who reviewed it, passed it along to their friends and created a buzz around it – something that Howey is not comfortable doing himself. “I don’t even like asking people to read my book. What I like doing is interacting with people who’ve already read it and enjoyed it.” At first, when there were just a few Facebook friend requests and emails trickling in, Howey got in the habit of getting to know the fans and being available to them on Twitter, email and his blog. Now with close to 4,000 Facebook friends, Howey somehow manages to stay plugged into his growing fan base – spending his mornings writing and then the rest of the day responding to emails, Facebook and Twitter, as well as conducting interviews and posting to his blog. “I really don’t take a lot of time off – I am always doing something toward the writing and publishing and interacting-with-reader process because I enjoy all three phases of it,” he says, noting that the readers have become a close-knit community since this all began. “I’m having fun getting to know my readers, giving them writing and self-publishing advice.” On his Facebook page and website – and in the Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) he conducted last spring – Howey remains a humble, down-to-earth open book, encouraging fan fiction and fan art based on the world he created in Wool – or, as fans have come to call it, the Wooliverse. “I think fan fiction should be celebrated. It’s like writing with training wheels,” says Howey. “Once people get addicted to writing fan fiction, they’re like, Oh, I can do this, too, and then they’ll start writing their own stories. And then they’re a writer, and that’s such a beautiful transformation. They are self-made artists.”
"I see myself more as a slight outlier within an overall trend. These days authors want control, and they know things don't have to be like they used to be."
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The way he sees it, reading his fans’ works is part of the deal: This is a two-way street. Besides, he’d rather be seen as a mentor or fellow writer than some sort of idol – a role he’ll never get used to. “The fans make you feel appreciated, and it’s hard to put a value on that, even an emotional value. Still, the massive reactions always freak me out a little,” says Howey, who spent February through March traveling through Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United States on book-signing tours. “I don’t feel like I’m supposed to be famous. I keep telling myself that I’m not.” Admittedly, it’s been an adjustment going from having a few to a few thousand readers – and the thought of putting his work out there for so many people to read can paralyze his writing process. “As my readership has expanded, I have to remember to write the stories that I want to read and to stay true to my vision of what a good story is – not write what I think will please a whole bunch of people. It’s been very difficult to think that, OK, now I have a readership of hundreds of thousands, so this next book should be dumbed down, or made more Hollywood or become something other than what it just needs to be to be the best story possible. That’s been a challenge, so I’m just trying to tell myself that I’m still writing for a dozen people,” he says. The even-keeled Howey has managed to keep Wool’s success in check in other parts of his life, as well. Including in his wallet. “Before my books started selling, I was making $300 a week before taxes and living comfortably. I never worried about money before this happened to me, mostly because I don’t take on debt and I live a very simple life,” says Howey, who was living with his wife in a 750-square-foot house in Boone before Wool’s success. They have since moved to a 900-squarefoot house in Jupiter, Fla., where Howey’s wife took a job. “We would have done that anyway. I love living in a small house. It means you own less stuff; you keep your life simpler. I’d rather spend my time outside of my house in nature than have a massive cave to roam around in and stockpile things.” Aside from trading in his truck for a Ford Focus (which boils down to trading four-wheel drive for AC), the only “big splurge” Howey and his wife have made is a pair of paddleboards to take out on the water with their dog, Bella. “The biggest change, I suppose, is that I now have the ability to plan for retirement – and my ability to write full time, which means I can treat writing like a job instead of a hobby that eats up an extra 40 hours a week on top of a job,” says Howey. “The money I’m making is incredible, but I won’t be earning off my writing forever. Every day I keep thinking, OK, this has gone on much longer than it deserved to have, and I just keep my résumé ready. I’m ready to go back to work in a bookstore at any moment.” It may sound downbeat, but that lack of ego and lack of confidence are what motivate Howey to stay humble, stay grounded and stay true to his character. “Every step along the way I kept thinking, This is kind of insane, this is the absolute top of my journey and then it’s just going to be downhill from here,” he says. “I’m constantly surprised when things go further.” But – with Wool’s prequel, Shift, already out on Kindle and paperback; its sequel, Dust, due out in July; its screenplay waiting to be green-lighted; and its comic adaptation slated for reveal at this fall’s New York Comicon – the story of this mysterious, fragile Wooliverse isn’t going anywhere. And – if his photo on the cover of the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest is any indication – neither is the story of Hugh Howey and the new path he has forged for self-publishers and e-publishers alike. More than just a poster child for a new way of publishing, Howey has emerged as the hero in this story. It’s a role he never intended to play, but, faced with the opportunity to escape the old order – the old way of doing things – Howey took it, stood his ground and made it out of the siloed restraints of the publishing industry. He went his own way. And he’s made it farther than anyone ever thought possible.
"The fans make you feel appreciated, and it's hard to put a value on that, even an emotional value. Still, the massive reactions always freak me out a little. I don't feel like i'm supposed to be famous. I keep telling myself that i'm not."
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The children were playing while Holston climbed to his death; he could hear them squealing as only happy children do. While they thundered about frantically above, Holston took his time, each step methodical and ponderous, as he wound his way around and around the spiral staircase, old boots ringing out on metal treads. The treads, like his father’s boots, showed signs of wear. Paint clung to them in feeble chips, mostly in the corners and undersides, where they were safe. Traffic elsewhere on the staircase sent dust shivering off in small clouds. Holston could feel the vibrations in the railing, which was worn down to the gleaming metal. That always amazed him: how centuries of bare palms and shuffling feet could wear down solid steel. One molecule at a time, he supposed. Each life might wear away a single layer, even as the silo wore away that life. Each step was slightly bowed from generations of traffic, the edge rounded down like a pouting lip. In the center, there was almost no trace of the small diamonds that once gave the treads their grip. Their absence could only be inferred from the pattern to either side, the small pyramidal bumps rising from the flat steel with their crisp edges and flecks of paint. Holston lifted an old boot to an old step, pressed down, and did it again. He lost himself in what the untold years had done, the ablation of molecules and lives, layers and layers ground to fine dust. And he thought, not for the first time, that neither life nor staircase had been meant for such an existence. The tight confines of that long spiral, threading through the buried silo like a straw in a glass, had not been built for such abuse. Like much of their cylindrical home, it seemed to have been made for other purposes, for functions long since forgotten. What was now used as a thoroughfare for thousands of people, moving up and down in repetitious daily cycles, seemed more apt in Holston’s view to be used only in emergencies and perhaps by mere dozens. Another floor went by — a pie-shaped division of dormitories. As Holston ascended the last few levels, this last climb he would ever take, the sounds of childlike delight rained down even louder from above. This was the laughter of youth, of souls who had not yet come to grips with where they lived, who did not yet feel the press of the earth on all sides, who in their minds were not buried at all, but alive. Alive and unworn, dripping happy sounds down the stairwell, trills that were incongruous with Holston’s actions, his decision and determination to go outside.
SELF-MADE A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
s o m e f a s h i o n o r a n ot h e r ,
B e n H o l l i n g s w o r t h ’ 0 4 h a s a lway s b e e n a n a r t i s t . F o r a s l o n g a s h e c a n r e m e m b e r , h e ’ s l o o k e d at t h i n g s a l i t t l e bi t d i f f e r e n t ly . S e e i n g b e a u t y i n s t r a n g e p l ac e s . F i n d i n g o p p o r t u n i t y i n o d d s pa c e s . I t ’ s j u s t t h at t h e m e d i u m , t h e c a n va s u p o n w h i c h h e c r e at e s , k e e p s c h a n g i n g . wo r d s :
M a r k B e r ry
G at e ly W i l l i a m s
e stares at this ghostly, almost numbing second skin. His thumb, caked in a polyurethane resin, circles slowly the white-tipped fingers on his right hand. Mesmerized by the counterclockwise, now clockwise motion, Ben Hollingsworth ’04 is lost in thought when one of his interns, Tommy Fox, calls to him to let him know that he’s done cleaning paint, prepping the canvases, sweeping the floor or whatever other chores he’s been doing around Hollingsworth’s converted warehouse space in Charleston’s Neck area. Fox, a studio art major, has grasped pretty quickly Hollingsworth’s advice that he be efficient in everything he does. There had been this moment of intensity that first day of his internship as Hollingsworth gazed, unblinking, into Fox’s eyes: “Do it right, do it fast … fast as you can, fast as you can. Don’t waste a second.” Fox waits patiently, laughing just a little bit to himself about those seconds wasting now, but excited for what’s next. While he’s not always enjoyed some of the grunt work around the studio, Fox appreciates Hollingsworth the artist, this renegade of color and material choices. Especially now, surrounded by these buckets of white goo, as Hollingsworth calls it. For a while, the place has seemed more laboratory than art studio as Hollingsworth and his interns experiment with various polyurethane resins to make molds recreating different pairs of shoes he’s had over the years. “Yeah, man, great, cool,” mutters Hollingsworth, shaking out his hands, flakes like snow falling to the floor, his trance broken, with a smile as bright as the gleaming white sneaker molds strewn around him on several stained, flattened cardboard boxes – a surreal tableau of pristine decay, these empty, laceless shoes seemingly discarded by inner-city spacemen. “Yeah, let’s get to it.” And there’s a lot to get to. Over the next few weeks, Hollingsworth, monk-like in his devotion and isolation, will work relentlessly to get everything ready for Grace, his solo exhibition at Charleston’s City Gallery at Waterfront Park. In those caffeineand nicotine-fueled days and nights leading up to the opening, he’ll finish a wide array of art – ideas and pieces he’s been working on for six months and inspired by the Lowcountry – such as a joggling board made from foam and bent as if by hurricane forces; impossibly stacked chairs and tables; a wooden beam wrapped in copper; ceramic sculptures evocative of human limbs; largescale murals employing a variety of painting techniques; and a clothesline of vibrant fabric paintings, with one sporting a Confederate columbiad cannon. And then there are those shoes: 20 pairs of them, which he has meticulously painted, bent, stressed and broken in just so. “Sometimes things need to be made just to be made,” Hollingsworth says about his art. When the month-long exhibition opens in November 2012, many gallery goers linger beneath “A Higher Calling,” these shoes dangling from makeshift power lines. They read the materials used: enamel, galvanized steel cable and plastic tubing, paint, polyurethane resin and shoelaces. From the piece’s description, they know that this is not found art. And they marvel at the detail, from the worn treads to each shoe’s individual styling. But they don’t trust their eyes, not completely. This must be some artist’s sleight of hand, they think. Some joke he’s playing on us, the viewer. And they keep coming back to them, approaching them from different angles, different points of light. Because these
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shoes, so real, so distinctive, so familiar, look as if they’ve been plucked from the forgotten corner of a closet or perhaps even scavenged out of yesterday’s trash.
My Own Way “Trash! Did you see that? Absolute trash!” Ralph Lundy, head coach of the Cougars men’s soccer team, leans back in his chair, both hands on his head, and simply shrugs. There’s a lot of history, a lot of emotion, in that shrug. He watches the action in grainy video unfold again on the dropdown screen in the athletics conference room. “That play there is Ben Hollingsworth in a nutshell. He could take a bunch of junk – trash, really – and turn it into something memorable, something beautiful.” This particular beautiful moment was a goal-scoring drive against Elon during the 2004 Southern Conference Tournament. Lundy leans forward, a finger pointing to the screen. “Ben’s first touch is terrible, just terrible. He should have taken that ball on the move on the ground. But you see, the ball pops up in his face. That shouldn’t happen. But what’s he do?” his voice rising, a hint of incredulity in his tone. “Ben improvises. He roofs it into space and then his third touch puts it in the back of the net. A brilliant shot with his left foot.” On the screen, the defenders stand, arms out wide, a look of defeat and disbelief in their collective faces, the rival goalkeeper picking himself up slowly off the turf, while Hollingsworth, co-captain of the team, sheepishly smiles back at his teammates and trots nonchalantly, almost skipping, over to the corner flag to celebrate. Lundy laughs, shaking his head, “Ben drove me nuts. He was unpredictable as a player, and I tried to make him more predictable.” There was the rub. Lundy could celebrate and reward unpredictable when it blended and produced within his team structure, but that’s a dynamic that takes time to blossom. And that flower did not bloom overnight. As a child, Hollingsworth had a soccer ball pretty much attached to him. Everyone in his Creekside neighborhood in Mt. Pleasant knew him – this undersized kid with the ball, the short sleeves of his soccer jersey hanging below his elbows, almost to his wrists. But size had nothing to do with determination. Not when it came to him. His initial goal, like many boys, was pretty simple: beat big brother. Beat him in anything, everything – basketball, tennis, life, you name it. Soccer, it occurred to him early on, might be the best bet to take him down, so he narrowed his focus there. Because he was so much smaller than Josh, his older brother – in fact, so much smaller than everyone else his age – Hollingsworth knew he had to work harder, but he didn’t mind it. He liked the challenge. He liked pushing himself to the brink of exhaustion. He found purpose pounding that ball against fences and walls; making it dance with him across the lawn; keeping it airborne with his head, knees and feet for seconds, then minutes at a time. Soccer engaged every part of him, mind and body, and he loved it. By the time he was a teenager, all those touches in and around his neighborhood started paying off. At 15, he successfully tried out for the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., one of the world’s
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premier sports training centers. There, he could eat, sleep, play soccer. It also hardened him. “It’s a little like Lord of the Flies,” Hollingsworth remembers. “At times, you’re just trying to survive and do everything to scrape by because everyone is super competitive. You all have the same goal, and you want to beat them. But you eventually realize that you’re in it together. You learn that you have to push yourself as an individual, that repetition works, and through that focus, you have these little moments of brilliance. That really stuck with me.” Perhaps most important, however, Hollingsworth finally hit his growth spurt at 17, just in time for college recruiters. One of those interested in his talent was Southern Methodist University’s coach, Schellas Hyndman (now the head coach for Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas club). Hyndman’s SMU Mustangs had been an NCAA championship contender the previous season. Lundy, who thought Hollingsworth would be an OK player on his squad, had also recruited him, liking mostly the fact that he was a local kid from Mt. Pleasant. But Hollingsworth, hungry to play for the best in the nation, chose SMU. Dreams and reality have a funny way of colliding, and not in ways expected. Hollingsworth soon discovered that what he really wanted was to actually play. Winning meant little if you weren’t on the field contributing to it. He didn’t want to sit on the bench and watch others do what he knew he could do. By the end of his freshman year at SMU, he determined that he’d made the wrong choice and decided to transfer to the College. But the transition wasn’t without some bumps. Almost comically, from the beginning, the main point of contention between Lundy and Hollingsworth was hair. “I don’t mind long hair,” Lundy admits, “but I won’t let my players color their hair. I don’t want purple hair, green hair. On my team, I don’t want a guy whose hair is a mess. It doesn’t make a man. I have certain standards they have to live by.” Hollingsworth laughs about it now: “Yeah, I came in with long hair. Lundy had his military style, and when you’re 19, you want to rebel against everything, especially something like that. Lundy didn’t want your hair to touch your ears or your collar, so I shaved the front and the sides. I looked ridiculous. But I thought, if you want me to do this, I’m going to do it my own way.” Hair wasn’t the only point of contention. Hollingsworth’s style of play needed to change as well. At times, he wouldn’t make the simple pass to the open man, choosing to ignore what some might deem the “right” play because he imagined possibility where no one else saw it. “Yeah, Ben could frustrate us,” laughs Troy Lesesne ’04, a co-captain with Hollingsworth and an All-American midfielder for the Cougars. “He was a free-spirited soccer player, to say the least. He was always looking to score, always looking for the next opportunity that might be greater. As a scorer, you need to be a little selfish.” Selfish? Maybe a little. But more than anything, Hollingsworth was self-absorbed, inward. During play, he concentrated on his touches, perfecting his footwork, dribbling the ball up field. He didn’t hear anything around him. Just his breathing and the light, metronome pop of cleat against ball. He rarely noticed his flailing coaches on the sidelines screaming, imploring him to “get your head up! Get your head up!” That tunnel vision needed some
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light. It was common for him to dribble the ball over the end line, a cardinal sin in soccer. It wouldn’t happen just once. It would happen again and again. “He couldn’t help it,” Lundy sighs. “When you train with the ball so much on your own, you don’t think to see other players. He would just get going and before he knew it, he was out of bounds. Inexcusable.” And with that, Lundy would yell for him to get off the field. “The greatest coach is the bench,” Lundy says. “The best motivation for someone who wants to play, and Hollingsworth wanted to play – man, did he want to play – is to tell him he can’t. That would drive Ben crazy.” While Hollingsworth might be infuriating at times, his teammates loved his drive, his first-to-practice and last-to-leave mentality. He wasn’t some goal-glory prima donna. He was relentless. He was a workhorse. Really, you couldn’t fault the guy for making a bad play because he would work just as hard to rectify it, chasing the ball back down from his misplay. And his desire to play, to win, was infectious. “He was a soccer junkie,” Lundy says. “He, Troy, Jake Heins ’04 and George Grygar ’04, they couldn’t get enough. They kept pushing each other to be better. I would kill them in practice. And then they would get their breath, get something to eat and then, on their own, come down to Silcox Gym and practice hours doing side volleys, turns, play one on one, two on two on the racquetball courts. Or, they would go into the dance studio and practice their soccer moves in front of the mirror.” By Hollingsworth’s senior year, everything seemed to gel. His teammates had an idea of what he was going to do, and he had a better idea of what he wanted to do. “We were on the same wavelength by then,” Lundy admits. “I stuck with him. You don’t try to take the unique out of a player, even if it’s an ugly unique, especially when it’s productive. Soccer is an interesting game. You have to try to take a player’s natural abilities and inclinations and blend them into a team and, in that process, try not to kill that individuality. You got to let it mature. Let it shine.” Hollingsworth’s uniqueness certainly shone through. He led the Southern Conference that season in game-winning goals at six. And he saved his best for the Southern Conference Tournament, where he scored all the Cougars’ goals. None was more spectacular than his goal against Davidson in overtime during the conference championship game. Jeremy Gold ’08 served a perfect arcing ball into the box, and a leaping Hollingsworth drilled a header into the back of the net. That sudden-death goal, which sent the Cougars back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nearly a decade, cemented his legend as a clutch, scoring machine. For those fans of Cougars soccer, that overtime goal was a where-were-you moment, a split second forever emblazoned in CofC glory. And the celebration afterward was equally as memorable: a screaming Hollingsworth and Lesesne running shirtless around the field until Darren Toby ’08 tackles Hollingsworth behind the Davidson goal and the rest of the team, fans, coaches, leaping, yelling, maybe even crying a little, dog piling on Hollingsworth, only to lift him to their shoulders a few seconds later, chanting in one unforgettable, rhythmic voice: “We’re goin’ to the show. We’re goin’ to the show.”
Whereas many on campus might pigeonhole Hollingsworth as just another passionate student-athlete, his close friends knew he harbored a secret mistress – art. When he was 14, a friend and “Yeah, Ben was definitely the show,” Lesesne smiles. neighbor – Carolina Davila ’05 – gave him his first sketchbook. And this had nothing to do with his soccer prowess. There was He used it as a place to jot down random thoughts and ideas, an energy about him, a spirit to Hollingsworth that made him but mostly doodles. At that time, he also discovered Jean-Michel stand out in the crowd. Anyone who met him knew immediately Basquiat, a Haitian-American graffiti artist from New York City. that he was a different kind of guy. Worldly. Smart. Funny. “I had no idea what art was then,” Hollingsworth recalls, “but I Certainly extroverted, but also knew this was the coolest very private. thing I had ever seen.” Let’s start with his style. Over the years, he kept Besides his Lundy-defiant doodling. By the time he hair choices, Hollingsworth reached college, in between was very conscious of his the practices (both official appearance. As Lesesne and unofficial), games and puts it, “Ben was trendy his studies, he took time before it was trendy. He was to exercise that creative always putting his own twist muscle a little more. on things, maybe buying “He could sketch something and then making anything,” Heins recalls. it his own by adding rips and And he would. Maybe tears, cutting out the collar. it was a female body or a That was his style.” baboon or a giraffe or a You could call it hipster, horse. He expanded his bohemian, Euro-trash. work from the sketchbook Hollingsworth didn’t care. He to larger formats. Using simply knew what he liked. oils, spray paint, chalk, Maybe it was dark, skinny even house paint, he would jeans with high tops or create pieces on plywood, perhaps a shredded tank top because wood was a lot or mesh shirt with boots. cheaper than canvas. He As roommate and teammate painted mountains alive Jake Heins remembers, “When in color or scenes of bright Ben was getting ready to flowers, their green stems go out, he would spend 30 dripping into roots of whites minutes to make it look like it and blacks. took him only five.” But art was just a For his friends, there was playful outlet, a welcome always a lot of laughter around distraction away from the Hollingsworth, many times physical grind, of pushing at his expense. They would himself to the limits. The joke about his “European soccer field was his true B e n H o l l i n g s w o rt h ’ 0 4 , jeans”; then someone else workspace, his true future. c o - c a p ta i n o f t h e c o u g a r s , 2 0 0 4 would crack, “No, those are his At least he thought it was. girlfriend’s jeans.” To them, he was always trying to be ahead of the curve, always edgy, wearing clothes they had never seen men wear before and listening to bands they had never heard of, like Animal Collective, Sigur Rós, The Walkmen or TV on the Radio, Things were going well. Everything was going according to plan. before those groups made it big. After graduating with a communication degree in December 2004, And although they poked fun at him all the time, which he didn’t Hollingsworth signed with the Charleston Battery. The momentum mind, because he certainly gave it back, they knew he was both he had built his senior season carried over to the professional level, style and substance. where he worked his way into the Battery’s starting lineup (first as “To a lot of us, he just seemed more culturally evolved,” Heins a defender and then as a forward). His rookie season, Hollingsworth explains. “Ben would go to Brazil and Sweden on school breaks to was named to the United Soccer Leagues First Division All-Second see and train with old friends from SMU. Through travel, he had Team (the only player from the Battery to make it), he earned three this bigger sense of what was going on. He’s a different cat, so very fan favorite awards, he received the Newcomer of the Year Award different … in a good way.” and he was voted 2005 Charleston Battery MVP.
Heading to the Top
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By the end of that fairly spectacular season, he was getting interest from a few Major League Soccer teams. Rather than sign a development contract (basically securing a spot on a bench), Hollingsworth returned to the Battery, where he knew he could play and continue to improve and show off his game. It seemed like a smart move. That next season, he scored 13 goals in 28 games and was named to the USL’s First Division All-League First Team. International clubs in Sweden and
was only a torn ligament was in reality a fracture. His season was over. “They put two screws in my foot,” Hollingsworth remembers, “and I did my rehab. Everything seemed fine. I was back on track.” Four months later, after being cleared to play, he got the phone call. This was historic. This was a game-changer. Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel’s most successful soccer club, wanted to give him a 10-day tryout in February. If all went well, he might be the first American
Finland were now calling. Hollingsworth’s stock was high, and he knew it. Going into his division’s playoffs, Hollingsworth was ready to continue his goal-scoring streak from the regular season. Although his right foot bothered him a little, as a professional, he knew you play through the pain. There had been nothing in the X-rays to make anyone on the staff worry. He could take it. No big deal. Actually, it was a big deal. As Hollingsworth was chasing down an uncontested ball near the sideline, he heard something pop. It felt like he had been shot in his right foot. What he hoped
to play there. This was a Premier League team and a foot in the door for a possible six- or seven-figure contract. I’m on my way, Hollingsworth believed. He was on his way, just not the way he thought. On the field, he never felt quite right. His foot still bothered him. And no matter how much ice he put on it or the amount of painkillers he took at night, he knew something was wrong. So did the Maccabi Tel Aviv coaches, who took him aside and asked him to get a second opinion. They knew no player should be hobbling around like that in constant pain.
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One of the screws, he discovered, was actually going into the fracture site. During the 18 months to correct that initial surgery, he underwent three more operations and a life on crutches. “Before that last surgery, I thought I could come back. But the bone was dying,” Hollingsworth says. “Crazy, I was right there where I wanted to be. I could have retired playing soccer.” The surgeons told him that he had two options, but these weren’t choices leading to either a lady or a tiger. For Hollingsworth, it was
“When I had first broken my foot,” Hollingsworth explains, “I visited a girlfriend who was studying abroad in Paris. We went to the Pompidou and the Louvre to look at art. And once you see this stuff, experience that culture, you can’t plead ignorance. You are compelled to do something, to add to the conversation.” So, untethered from soccer, he decided to do some talking of his own.
tiger or tiger – because either one meant that he would never play soccer again. They said, “Option 1: We can do an operation that will give you some mobility, but you will be in pain for the rest of your life. Option 2: We fuse your foot to your ankle, but you will have limited mobility and you’ll most likely walk with a limp. But, you can move on with your life.” Move on? Easy for them to say. Their dreams, their careers had not just ended in a puff of smoke. Remarkably, however, before full-on depression could ensnare him and pull him down, Hollingsworth did just what the doctors ordered. He moved on.
Living Plan B How do you start over? Really begin anew? If you’re Ben Hollingsworth, you drive to Washington, D.C., stay with college friends Adam Comar ’04 and James Ward ’05, sell your beat-up Mercedes for two grand and catch a bus to New York City, carrying only a bag of clothes, a Polaroid camera and a few favorite images. You miraculously find a sublet, rent-controlled apartment for $1,300 a month (a steal by New York standards) – a five-floor
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walkup on the Lower East Side with combo bathroom and kitchen. It’s tight, but it’s right, Hollingsworth thinks to himself, able to spread his arms and almost touch the facing walls in his living room. OK, now, how do you become an artist in New York City? That one is a little trickier. If you’re Ben Hollingsworth, you absorb the city like a sponge. You look up old friends trying to make it in art as well and pick their brains. You realize that you need to know a lot more about the arts, not just the manic scene in the city, but in all of history. You go to the nearby Chelsea branch of the New York Public Library, right on the cusp of Chinatown, and check out every book you can about art. You study Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Matthew Barney, Martin Kippenberger. And you watch every season of PBS’s Art21, listening to a wide range of artists discuss place, identity, spirituality and consumption in their work. You visit art galleries and museums, reminding yourself to close your mouth as you take in the pieces at MoMA and the Met. You realize that this struggle, this pursuit feels pretty familiar. It’s like IMG Academy all over again: competing with others, but really only with yourself. Except now, the stakes seem even greater, the pursuit more important than anything you’ve ever done before. But it’s invigorating – to eat, sleep, think Art (and Art, for you, is a capitalized word). Now, four years into his art career, Hollingsworth is being considered by many critics and collectors in the art world as “one to watch.” His work, featured in a variety of art shows from New York to Miami, is generating a lot of buzz. And judging by the reception of his recent solo exhibition in Charleston, there are many more galleries and showings in his future. As Mark Sloan, director and senior curator at the College’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, notes, “Ben has an unusual approach to artmaking. He’s able to distill complex ideas into a cohesive statement using uncommon materials. I’ve always been impressed by his near obsessive interest in laying process bare.
He rarely takes the simple route, and often sets up a situation in which he’s required to spend countless hours sculpting or mark making to complete a piece. That way, the process of the making of the work is evident in the final work, almost like a palimpsest.” Certainly Hollingsworth has never been afraid of pushing himself to the limits of what’s possible. He took that approach with soccer, and, naturally, he takes that same approach with art. Each morning, he wakes up at 7 a.m., chews three or four pieces of Jolt gum (his caffeine shots) and goes on a two-hour run around Manhattan (yes, with one foot fused to his ankle), bikes over to his studio in Brooklyn and then works until late into the night. He eats most of his meals standing up – usually easy things, like bananas, apples, eggs, tuna paste and sweet potatoes. “Everything needs to be on the go. I don’t want to waste time cooking,” Hollingsworth says. “I want to be as efficient as possible so that I don’t waste any time away from working.” For him, Tuesdays look like Saturdays, and Saturdays look like Tuesdays. The day of the week doesn’t matter, only the work matters. Because the work is what drives the conversation in art. And as a relative newcomer on the art scene, Hollingsworth doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines. He’s always come to play, to be in the middle of things. “I’m only starting out, but I want to make art that doesn’t look like art. I want to make something that is completely mine,” Hollingsworth says. “I want to create something you can’t put your finger on, something that defies terms, definitions, labels. I want to push art in a new direction.” Ambitious? Yes. Naïve? Perhaps. But Hollingsworth understands that art is a lifelong pursuit. It’s a grind. It’s repetitive, like running extra sprints around a soccer field or kicking balls on a racquetball court after practice. But he loves it, every part of it. “No one is going to make this happen for me, but me,” he says. “If I don’t show up every day in the studio, it doesn’t get done. Art doesn’t make itself.” He’s right: Art doesn’t make itself. Only an artist, a true artist, can create something memorable from nothing. That is what Ben Hollingsworth has always done, and that’s what he will always do.
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Appreciating Investment The students in the Bonner Leader Program needed to send a thank you, and a plain old note just wouldn’t do. Putting their heads together, they decided to show their gratitude by doing what came naturally: volunteering. For one Saturday in March, 20 students donated their time to the Charleston Animal Society in honor of Stephen and Maureen Kerrigan, who recently committed $160,000 to the College’s Bonner Leader Program to further its mission of promoting leadership and community service throughout the world. Among these Bonner Leaders was Brittany Counts, a rising senior who suffered through a cat allergy that Saturday to show her appreciation of the
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Kerrigans and to help families who came to the shelter to adopt a pet. Thanks to the Kerrigans’ generosity, Counts has made far-flung volunteer trips to Morocco, Puerto Rico and San Francisco. In Morocco, she visited a children’s hospital and, in Puerto Rico, she helped make repairs at a home for boys. One lesson learned about kids around the world, Counts says, is that “you don’t need to speak their language to put a smile on their face.” Another beneficiary of the Kerrigans’ gifts is rising junior Reba Carroll, who has visited Puerto Rico twice through the Bonner Leader Program, volunteering her time to scrub away graffiti and to rehabilitate trails in El Yunque
National Forest. At the Charleston Animal Society, Carroll made toys for puppies and helped organize supplies in honor of the Kerrigans. “We’re very appreciative,” Carroll says. The commitment to the Bonner Leader Program is part of an $800,000 gift the Kerrigans made to the College in 2012. The gift also includes more than $500,000 to create the School of Business Investment Program, which gives College students the chance to drive decisions about the investment of real money. This fall, students in finance professor Mark Pyles’ Applied Portfolio Management course will take charge of $50,000 and begin analyzing and evaluating different ways to create and manage an investment portfolio. In the semesters to follow, additional gifts to the program will boost the size of the portfolio, with any profits from the students’ investments also staying within the fund. The goal of the program, says Steve Kerrigan, is to better prepare students for potential finance careers after college. “There are very few schools around where the kids are investing real money,” says Kerrigan, whose son Sean graduated from the College in 2012, and whose daughter Cailen graduated in 2008 and was one of the College’s first M.B.A. graduates in 2011. “That’s realworld experience.” And while some students will gain that practical experience in the world of finance, the Bonner Leaders will continue to gain it in the world at large. Counts, whose career interests in children were confirmed by her Bonner Leader excursions, says it’s “refreshing” to discover that a passion for community service exists among people across the globe. Also refreshing, she says, is to have a family back home who believes in the good the Bonner Leaders are doing. “The Kerrigans believe in what we do and instill faith in us,” says Counts. “They see hope in us, and that is really humbling.”
Classy contribution Johnnie Baxley III ’92 came to the College in part due to the generosity of others. The scholarships he received made his education affordable and enabled him to continue on to law school and begin a successful legal career – in which he helped found his current law firm, which has grown to be one of the largest workers’ compensation firms in South Carolina. Last year, he decided it was time to give back. Baxley and his wife, Michelle, have pledged up to $7,500 for each of the next five years as a challenge to match each year’s senior class contribution. Should each class answer the challenge, at least $75,000 will be raised for College scholarships and academic programs during this period of time. The Class of 2013 has already done its part. About half the money it raised will go to the College of Charleston Fund, which supports scholarships, and the rest will go to Dean’s Excellence Funds. The Baxleys couldn’t be more pleased with the team effort to better the College. “We believe it’s important to establish with graduating seniors the philosophy of philanthropy. Giving back to your alma mater, even in small amounts, gets each of us in the habit of making the College a priority with our charity,” says Baxley. “I was able to attend the College because previous alumni made it a priority to give back, and I believe in paying it forward.”
CLASS NOTES 1959 Mary and Bill Clowney have moved back to the Isle of Palms, S.C., after many years in Columbia. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in April.
1968 Sam Stafford is the Foundation
Board representative on the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Sam is a dermatologist in Mt. Pleasant.
1971 Bobby Marlowe is a vice president for the College’s Alumni Association. Bobby is the senior vice president for economic development at the College.
1972 Dan Ravenel was elected to his
second term as president-elect of the College’s Alumni Association. Dan is the owner of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby’s International Realty in Charleston and also serves on the College’s Board of Trustees.
1974 Jody Encarnation and his wife,
Kathy Graven, hosted a reception at their home in Boston for students who had been accepted by the College. Jody serves on the College’s Foundation Board. Sherwood Miler is a vice president of the College’s Alumni Board of Directors. Sherwood is a Realtor and developer with Miler Properties in Summerville, S.C.
1975 Linda Poland Gilbertson lives in
Kihei on the Hawaiian island of Maui and works as a grant writer and consultant for law enforcement and nonprofit organizations. William Roumillat received the Good Neighbor Award at the College’s ExCEL Awards ceremony. William is a marine biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
1977 Steve Thompson is the assistant vice president for the Institute for Public Service at the University of Tennessee.
1978 Lewis Lee is the business
development manager with SouthCon Building Group in Mt. Pleasant. Julia Meredith retired this spring after 33 years working for the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. – the last 29 years at the Federal Reserve Board. Rallis Pappas is a member of the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Rallis and his wife, Dendy, live in Atlantic Beach, Fla., where Rallis is president of IDS Sports.
1979 Lori Wilkerson Claussen is a
Realtor with Keller Williams Realty on the Isle of Palms, S.C. Suzy McCall is the founder and field director for the LAMB Institute in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She has written a book, Tania de la Cantera, a fictional account of an unwanted baby girl growing up in Tegucigalpa.
1980 Chuck Baker was elected to his second term as president of the College’s
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Alumni Association in May. Chuck is the managing partner of the law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Charleston. Mark Fox is the medical director for McLeod Hospice and Palliative Care at McLeod Health in Florence, S.C. Susan Frederick Stewart is the Southeast region underwriting counsel for Investors Title Insurance Company in Columbia. Nan Brown Sutton – who owns Lulu Burgess, a gift, clothing and accessory shop in Beaufort, S.C. – received the Master Merchant Award from Main Street South Carolina for her contributions to the city of Beaufort. Greg West is the first pastor of St. Paul the Apostle in Seneca and St. Francis of Assisi Mission in Walhalla, S.C.
1981 Allison Dukes Gilmore is the
founder of Dumore Improv, based in Atlanta. The company, which has expanded to Charleston, uses improv techniques to help business employees develop analytical and leadership skills. Cheryll Novak Woods-Flowers is a real estate consultant and certified relocation specialist with Coldwell Banker United in Mt. Pleasant.
1982 Julie Johnson Armstrong was
re-elected to her sixth term as Charleston County Clerk of Court. Genny Howe Hay received the College’s Distinguished Advising Award and was also the recipient of the ExCEL Award for Faculty of the Year. Genny is a teacher education professor in the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. Terry Kowalczyk is a public safety and parking services manager at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He recently retired from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, where he served for almost 25 years. Kitty Shertzer Robinson is one of The Citadel School of Business’ Leaders of Principle. Kitty, who serves as president and CEO of the Historic Charleston Foundation, was inducted into the CSBA Hall of Fame in April.
1983 Gary Thomas is the CEO of South
Carolina Cancer Specialists and the medical director of St. Joseph’s/Candler Infusion Services in the Hilton Head and Okatie division. Gary completed his medical oncology boards in the top 10 percent of oncologists in the nation. He recently endowed the J. Gorman ’43 and Gladys Thomas Memorial Alumni Scholarship at the College.
1985 Margaret Collins Frierson was
elected to her second term as immediate past president of the College’s Alumni Board of Directors. Howard Hall received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College’s Honors College this spring. Howard is a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and serves as director of the UT Institute for Nuclear Security. He is also a senior fellow in global security policy at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy
and serves as director of the Baker Center’s Global Security Policy Program. Mitchell Leverette received the Eddie Ganaway ’71 Distinguished Alumni Award at the College’s ExCEL Awards ceremony. Mitchell is a geologist and chief of the department of solid minerals in the Bureau of Land Management within the U.S. Department of the Interior. Mitchell and his family live in Manassas, Va. Victor Ott is the deputy director for Intelligence, Plans and Resource Integration at the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency/U.S. Strategic Command Center for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction at Ft. Belvoir, Va.
1986 Dawn Chattin is an assistant vice
president at Diamond Healthcare Corporation in Richmond, Va. Bobby Creech is a vice president of the College’s Alumni Association. He is a partner in the accounting firm WebsterRogers in Charleston. Angela Kirby is on the South Carolina Super Lawyers list in Super Lawyers magazine. Angela practices with Kirby Law in Columbia.
1987 Dee Hope is the owner of Savannah
(Ga.) Bike Tours. Tom Trouche is a member of the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Tom is an executive vice president with First Citizens Bank in Charleston.
1988 Christopher Kahle is the simulation operations manager at Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing, Linfield College, in Portland, Ore. Last year, he joined the board of directors at MRG Foundation, which funds grassroots social justice organizations across Oregon. Heidi Weddendorf is a jewelry designer and goldsmith. She and her husband, Brian Conroy, live in Nantucket, Mass.
1989 Beth Hammond is a director in the
Client and Partner Group at KKR & Co. in NYC.
1990 Paula Graham Huggins was named
Teacher of the Year for Dorchester (S.C.) School District Four. Paula teaches at Clay Hill Elementary School.
1991 Susan Gilliam (M.A.T.) is a
bookkeeper with Jarrard, Nowell & Russell, a certified public accounting and businessadvisory firm in Charleston. Chris Price is a member of the College’s School of Business Board of Governors. Chris is a commercial real estate developer and president of The PrimeSouth Group in Charleston. Michelle Eleazer Smith received the President Alex Sanders Outstanding Public Service Award at the College’s ExCEL Awards ceremony. Michelle is the College’s associate director of institutional research and planning.
1993 Erica Brown Henderson is a
member of the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Erica and her family live on Daniel Island, S.C.
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It’s that small moment between dawn and day, dusk and dark. It’s the mosquitoes swarming, the heron hunting, the frogs chirping. It’s the subtle rustle picking up in the trees’ leaves. The precise cast in that secluded spot. The slightest flick of the wrist, the faintest flutter of the fly. Every fisherman knows it’s the small things that make the difference. And Chris Peralta Thompson ’77 is no different. With a father in the U.S. Navy and a long line of fishermen in the family, Thompson and her three siblings grew up around the water. Every Saturday at 5 a.m., the patriarch, a Philippines native, would wake his children up to go fishing for pompano in the Gulf. For him, it was a way to feed his family. But for Thompson, it was the spark that has fueled her ever since. “That’s how I experienced the natural world growing up – that’s why I love the outdoors,” says the regional director of external affairs for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, who formerly served on the Board of Directors for the National Wildlife Federation and was the first female president of the S.C. Wildlife Federation. Of course, you don’t get that far on just love for the outdoors. That’s just what got her hooked. But there were many, many other small things that bit and took. Like Chip Biernbaum’s ecology course her junior year at the College. “That class changed everything for me,” says Thompson, a first-generation college student who had hitherto set her sights on going on to med school. “I knew from the first week of that class that I wanted to work protecting the environment.” And so the biology major got her master’s in environmental engineering at Clemson and went on to work as an environmental engineer at DuPont, an environmental manager at Westinghouse and a customer care manager at IssueTrak. “I’m an organization groupie,” she laughs. “I love to help organizations be more effective. It’s fascinating to work with people who have different needs, helping them coordinate their efforts,
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Call of the Wild
build bridges and make the most efficient use of resources.” Again, Thompson notes, it’s the small stuff. “All the individual parts have to work together in an organization. It’s about valuing individuals and empowering them to contribute their best.” But it’s Thompson’s work with nonprofit groups like NWF, the Virginia Conservation Network, Wetlands Watch and the SCWF that she finds most satisfying. “I think my most gratifying work has been the stuff I wasn’t paid for. That kind of work keeps you grounded. Like in a lot of relationships, you get even more back than what you give,” says Thompson, who began her service at SCWF as a volunteer and eventually received the prestigious Bartow Culp Award for her leadership there. The NWF recognized her as someone who could contribute on the national level, and, as a board member there for nine years, she served on several committees, including the organization’s first audit committee. But it was the experiences she had – like restoring a
New Orleans community park shortly after Hurricane Katrina and hearing Al Gore present the case for global warming, all in one weekend – that meant so much. “These are the things that help re-energize you,” she says. “When you’re dealing with big, hairy issues like climate change, it’s important to keep hope on the table. You can’t lose hope. That’s why small changes are so important. Huge changes don’t happen overnight. A lot depends on incremental change that happens at the individual level.” And that’s why Thompson and her husband, Steve Thompson ’77, have made sustainable renovations to three homes and created five outdoor NWFcertified Backyard Habitats over the years. Thompson loves the restful feeling she gets in the backyard habitat she’s created in Knoxville, but there’s one relatively inexpensive change that she’s especially proud of: The radiant barrier they installed in their home has helped cut their electric bill by 30 percent! “That’s made a huge difference!” The small things always do. – Alicia Lutz ’98 SUMMER 2013 |
Herbal Instinct She’ll never go hungry. Not so long as she can run wild, at least. On a late-winter romp through the forests of Vashon Island, Wash., Jayne Simmons ’86 is collecting all kinds of woodland specimens for consumption and betterment of health. “Eat a nettle. Try a violet. This is sorrel. It tastes a little sour.” To the urban eye, it may look like indistinguishable foliage, but to Simmons, it’s a buffet prepared by none other than Mother Earth – and she was dishing out some goodness. But – although Simmons does snack on some of these things as she wildcrafts, or forages – to her, the true value of these plants and others is not as food, |
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but as medicine. And, though Simmons occasionally ventures out into the wild, most of the herbs she processes and sells are grown by her own hand on farmland on Vashon Island, a short ferry ride across Puget Sound from Seattle. Simmons, you see, is the owner of herbal remedy company Sister Sage Herbs, and plants like calendula, lavender and arnica are essential to the manufacture of her line of hand balms and tinctures. She takes the herbs she grows on her farm back to her house in West Seattle, where she steeps them in jars of alcohol before making them into tinctures meant to treat ailments like insomnia, pain and the common cold. Her wares are
then sold on the Internet as well as locally in Seattle. When Simmons moved west in 1988, farming was not part of the plan. The Isle of Palms, S.C., native was happy enough just to reach Seattle, as the ’65 VW bus she drove across the country expired soon after delivering her past the Cascades and into her new city. Years went by, and Simmons found herself working for the retail merchandise giant Costco. Simmons worked almost all the jobs there were within Costco’s stores, but, after a while, she had the urge to try something new – and maybe try working in a place with windows. “Costco is like jail,” says Simmons, “but hard to quit because they pay well.”
[ alumni profile ]
Eventually, the money didn’t matter anymore, and Simmons left Costco. And, if her new job didn’t have windows, it didn’t really matter: It didn’t have walls, either. She had applied, and been approved, to use a portion of six acres of farmland protected by a Vashon Island community land trust. “I just applied on some fantasy I had,” laughs Simmons, who planted her first season of crops and launched Sister Sage Herbs in 2006. That fantasy started with a curiosity about herbal remedies and plant life. She’d long been pestering one of her sisters, an herbalist and midwife, about natural remedies. So frequent were her phone calls, in fact, that her sister finally told her, “You can’t call me every time you have a question. You’re just going to have to figure it out, Jayne.”
And so she did. Of course, Simmons never imagined she’d become an herbal expert in the process, much less a farmer or a landscaper. (Beyond Sister Sage Herbs, she operates an associated landscaping business that focuses on creating residential gardens and planting edible shrubs.) But, looking back, she believes her interest in plant life makes sense, considering the impact that John Rashford had on her as an undergraduate at the College of Charleston. More than two decades later, the anthropology professor’s teachings and friendship are still with her. “My interest in plants and their relationship to people came directly from his love of the subject,” says Simmons. “He always referred to his students as colleagues, and I remember his open-door
policy my first year when he would end up having standing room–only sessions about so many various topics that truly blew my mind.” These days, things have equalized, and Simmons can likely teach Rashford a thing or two when it comes to plants. The same thing goes for her herbalist sister, whom she can now call without pestering for advice. She knows her work intrinsically now. Just by moving with the seasons, walking her farmland, feeling the soil, she knows when it’s time for tilling, for planting, for growing. She knows when the farm will once again be bursting with betony, catnip and chamomile. In other words, Simmons will again be serving up a smorgasbord of goodies to nourish both stomach and soul. – Jason Ryan SUMMER 2013 |
JJ Lamberson is the Cougar Club Board representative on the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. JJ is the president of Twin Rivers Capital in Charleston. Amy Hunt Lawson is the director of enrollment and marketing at Holy Cross Catholic School in Lynchburg, Va. Taylor Lee is the senior consultant and medical services practice lead with the Knowledge Capital Group in Charleston. Taylor received his M.B.A. from William & Mary.
1994 Adam Haller, CFA, is a risk analytics manager with Branch Banking & Trust. He resides in Raleigh, N.C., with his wife and three daughters. Jill Hooper received the Alumni Award of Achievement from the College’s School of the Arts in May. Jill is an artist whose work has been in exhibitions in France, England, Italy and the Southeastern United States. In 2007, her self-portrait titled Pugnis et Calcibu was in the BP Portrait Award, the most prestigious portrait competition in the world. Heidi Dearborn Mahoney is a Realtor with Carolina One’s Coleman Boulevard office. She and her husband reside in Mt. Pleasant. Allison Burke Thompson is a member of the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Allison is an attorney with Mullen Wyle in Charleston. An advisor for the Alpha Delta Pi chapter on campus, she received the Advisor of the Year Award at the Borelli Awards ceremony hosted by the College’s Office of Greek Life. Trent Thompson is the senior vice president and chief operational and finance officer of Queen Street America, a national insurance network marketing company based in Charleston. Trent is a 2007 graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.
1995 Jeannie Boulware Champlin is
the owner of Oyster Creek Properties in Charleston. She focuses on managing and leasing houses, townhomes and condominiums on a long-term basis in the Charleston area. Scott and Caroline Dennis Davis announce the birth of their third child, Henry Joseph “Hank,” born in June 2012. Dallas Vaughan is a software developer with SPARC in Charleston. David ’96 and Tiffiny Hattaway Wolf announce the birth of their daughter, Charlotte Gibson, born in February. The Wolf family lives in Atlanta. Eunjoo Yun received the Alumni Award for Service from the College’s School of the Arts in May. She is the founder and executive director of the Charleston Academy of Music.
1996 Tina Cundari, a member of Sowell
Gray Stepp & Laffitte in Columbia, is presidentelect of the John Belton O’Neall American Inn of Court. She has also been named a rising star in the 2013 edition of South Carolina Super Lawyers. Carmen Sessions Scott was named one of Charleston Regional Business Journal’s 2013 Forty Under 40 and recognized on South Carolina Super Lawyers’ rising stars list. She is a medical attorney with Motley Rice. Chad Vail is the work-based learning partnerships coordinator with the Charleston County School District. Tim Wojcik is a section chief with the S.C. Division of Fire and Life Safety. He manages community risk reduction and data management for the state’s fire service. Tim and his family live in Columbia. |
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David Wolf (see Tiffiny Hattaway Wolf ’95)
1997 Brett Bluestein is a vice president
of the College’s Alumni Association. Brett is a senior vice president with U.S. Trust in Charleston. Molly Gross Lacerte is a sales, marketing and advertising consultant at Power Solutions in Rhode Island. Leigh and Howard Longino announce the birth of their daughter, Lucy Lane, born in August 2012. Beth Pierce Meredith is the senior business development manager with Barling Bay in Charleston. Matt Snipes is a mortgage loan officer with TD Bank in Charleston.
1998 Randy Adkins is a senior software
architect at Modus21 in Charleston. Randy participated in this year’s Computer Science Symposium at the College. Ciro Fodere is a piano professor at the New World School of the Arts in Miami. He recently returned to the College to play a recital in the College’s International Piano Series. Celeste Lay and her husband, Chris Fettweis, announce the birth of their second daughter, Kimberly Deborah, born last July. Celeste is an associate professor of political science at Tulane University. Jay Myers is a dentist at Cannon Park Dental in downtown Charleston. Chris Polley is working in Shanghai, China, at Shanghai American School. He has produced the website TeachingInternationally.com and written his first e-book.
1999 Stephanie Alexander is an associate
development officer with the College’s Friends of the Library. Michael Benkoski is a visual arts educator at River Oaks Middle School in North Charleston. Leah Sigafoes Davidson completed her master’s in health systems management in 2010 and is an independent health care consultant. Leah lives in Buffalo, N.Y., with her husband, John, and their two daughters. Rich and Alice Bickley Light ’03 announce the birth of a daughter, Ann Colston, born in May 2012. The Light family lives in Roanoke, Va. David and Jennifer Powell Morrow ’00 announce the birth of a son, Griffin James, born in February. The Morrow family lives in Mt. Pleasant. Barrett and Mary Katherine Trible Peters announce the birth of their second child, Truitt Dunaway West, born in August 2012. The Peters family lives in Richmond, Va. Renée Seaman Treml (M.E.S.) published her first picture book, One Very Tired Wombat (Random House Australia), which was shortlisted by the Children’s Book Council of Australia for this year’s Crichton Award for New Illustrators. Renée and her husband, Eric Treml ’00 (M.S.), have a son and live in Melbourne, Australia. Christie Will Wolf received the Alumni Award of Achievement from the College’s School of the Arts in May. Christie has returned to her native Canada and has founded Vancouver’s first avant-garde black box theater, the Beaumont Playhouse. She has held many positions in television and film, including casting director, producer, director and writer.
2000 John Brooks published his first
book, The Very Old Great Failure, a found poem based on a section of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. An artist and author, John lives in Chicago with his partner, Erik Eaker.
Starr Richardson Jordan is the education director for the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in Charleston. Joshua Lehman is a health care sales representative for VWR International and lives in Waldorf, Md. Jennifer Powell Morrow (see David Morrow ’99) David Lee Nelson received the Young Alumni Award from the College’s School of the Arts in May. David Lee makes his living as a writer, actor and comedian in New York City. His performances are a staple in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and he will be teaching in the College’s theatre department this fall. Julie Perretta-McCarthy is the sales director for advertising for Skirt! magazine in Charleston. Karen Pratt and John McCall Thomas were married in March. Eric Treml (M.S.) (see Renée Seaman Treml ’99 (M.E.S.))
2001 Christina Cicci is the group tours
coordinator with the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y. G. Rutledge DuRant is an associate attorney with Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton in Charleston. Rutledge received his law degree from the Florida Coastal School of Law and works in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense. Kimberly Wysong Gertner is the College’s director of human relations and minority affairs. Kimberly earned her M.B.A. from Webster University and received her J.D. from Charleston School of Law. Beth Hamilton is associate director of career services at Charleston School of Law. Beth received her J.D. from Charleston School of Law. L.R. Mickle and Margaret Shealy were married in March. L.R. is a personal banker and brokerage associate at Wells Fargo on Pawleys Island, S.C. Laura Butkovich Saunders is a Ph.D. student in Emory University’s neuroscience program.
2002 Nadeen Bir and Josh Zaslow were
married in October 2012. Nadeen is the advocacy and organizing director at Student Action with Farmworkers in Durham, N.C. Katie Farrell Cannon is the lead teacher at St. Andrew’s School of Math and Science in Charleston. Drew Connelly is a senior architect with Modus21 in Charleston. He presented at this year’s Computer Science Symposium at the College. David Forbes is an estimator and project manager with Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling of Greater Charleston. Jonathan Miller has completed his third book, Sammy in Space. Ben Newton (M.S.) is a CPA and a partner with Legare Bailey and Hinske in Mt. Pleasant. Kyle Redmond is a physician recruiter with Inova Health System in Washington, D.C. Heather Richie is a postal specialist in the College’s mail services office. She is also an M.F.A. student of creative nonfiction at Sewanee, and her essay, “I’m Bringing Funny Back,” was published in the spring 2013 issue of Saint Ann’s Review. Katrina Wright and L’Maro Bell were married in March and live in Summerville, S.C.
2003 Ryan Earnest is an FHA-certified
residential appraiser with Beresford Appraisals in Charleston. Jenny Hanzel serves on the board of directors for East Cooper Meals on Wheels in Mt. Pleasant and served on the executive committee for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night
[ alumni profile ]
Hail to the Chief
It was supposed to be a quiet day. Like the day before and the day after. Like every day in the small, rural town of Bishopville, S.C. Just five days before, the residents had gathered in a standing room–only ceremony to witness what was a pretty big deal in these parts: Socrates “Sonny” Ledda ’97 was being sworn in as chief of police. “Lace those shoes up good because tomorrow we hit the ground running,” he’d told Bishopville officers during the Sunday ceremony. He had no idea just how right he was. That Friday he received a call: Two men had just robbed a local bank. “And that was my first week on the job,” says Ledda, who knows how to act fast – having served as a civilian police officer in South Baghdad, Iraq, and as a trainer of Iraqi police cadets. When Ledda speaks about his career, he tends to skip over his accomplishments,
which are many. He would rather share stories about his wife and children, his love for his country, community and faith. But when pushed a little more, Ledda, a soldier to his core, rattles off his professional journey as if replying to a drill sergeant, fast and factual: Two years in the military after high school. Two years studying political science at the College. A request from the College to “reconsider his academic options.” (“Let’s just say I didn’t make the Dean’s List,” he laughs.) Another four-year term in the military. Operation Desert Storm. Kuwait. Saudi Arabia. Iraq. Back to the College, where he met Martha Arscott Ledda ’90, his wife of 16 years. The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. The South Carolina Fire Academy. More years, more life-changing experiences. But it’s the time Ledda spent at the College that had one of the most profound effects on his career and life. “The friendships that I made and the
interactions that I had at the College really helped me in both my military and civilian career as a police officer and now police chief,” he says. “Anything that I may have achieved in my personal and professional life, I didn’t do on my own. As President Obama said, ‘I didn’t build all of this by myself.’ And I believe the person that I am today has been molded by the folks that I’ve come into contact with.” And the people he’s come into contact with since he moved to Bishopville in December 2012 are no different. Every person has welcomed him with open arms, perhaps because – as some locals may say – Bishopville isn’t just a town, it’s a fun-loving, close-knit family. “It’s a great town with great people. I’m proud to be a member of the community,” says Ledda, who is also proud of his position there. “It’s a very important job because I am ultimately responsible for the safety of this community and the careers and lives of the 12 officers under my charge.” And the accomplishment of being South Carolina’s first police chief of Asian descent isn’t lost on him, either. “That distinction means quite a lot to me,” says Ledda, a military brat of Filipino descent. “My father, when he was in the Navy, he wasn’t allowed to hold any sort of authority or supervisory positions. It just meant the world to my father when he came to Bishopville and saw me being sworn in as top officer of this community.” Since being sworn in, Ledda has received a variety of calls, from shoplifting to assault. And – although his favorite calls are “the ones where we are immediately able to help someone, even if they just locked their keys in the car” – he’s always ready for those not-so-quiet days, too. As for that notorious bank robbery: The suspects have yet to be found, but the police force did recover most of the money in the getaway van after the dye pack had activated, and – much to the tellers’ relief – it turns out the weapons the robbers had brandished were replicas. Even so, it was far from a quiet day for this Bishopville chief of police. But one that he was ready for. – Ashley Lewis Ford ’07
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Walk. She was profiled in Skirt! magazine as a valiant volunteer. Julie McKinney Hatfield is a senior paralegal with Collins & Lacy in Charleston. Alice Bickley Light (see Rich Light ’99) Brooke Miller is a sales associate at Carolina Lanterns and Accessories in Charleston. Clayton Mozingo is a member of the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Clayton is a partner and director with New Vector Ltd. Sarada Wilson Murchison is an assistant principal in the South Bronx. Michael and Erica Rovner Rabhan ’04 announce the birth of their daughter, Addison Reese. The Rabhan family lives in Atlanta, where Michael is a senior sales executive with Premedex, a company that helps hospitals navigate the Affordable Care Act. Michael serves on the College’s Jewish Studies Advisory Board, and Erica works for the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. Alex Pellegrino Rogers is the administrative assistant to the College’s athletics director. She is also a graduate student in the College’s communication program. Matthew Smith is the head golf professional at the Daniel Island (S.C.) Club. Matthew and Jennifer Wilson were married in April. Patrick and Liz Hudson Smith announce the birth of their daughter, Hanna Karilyn, born in October 2011. Liz earned her master’s in graphic design from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007. The Smith family lives in Washington, Conn. Crystal Smith-Connelly published her second book, Never Trust an Angel and Other Plays, in March. Her first book, For I Am Zeus: A Collection of Plays About Greek Mythology, was voted the best comedy book of 2012 in the Turning the Pages Book of the Year contest. Phillip Spencer is the executive chef at Guckenheimer in Orlando. Stephanie Wallace was named Berkeley County (S.C.) District Teacher of the Year. Stephanie teaches a first- and second-grade class, which is based on a model she and a colleague piloted six years ago at Berkeley Elementary School in Moncks Corner.
2004 Anna Wren Allen (M.A.) is a Realtor
with Carolina One Real Estate in Mt. Pleasant. Alex and Meredith Roy Campbell ’06 announce the birth of their son, Christian Alexander. The Campbell family lives in Charlotte. Steven Infinger and Rachel Worell were married in November 2012 and live in Summerville, S.C. Troy Lesesne (M.A. ’10) is an assistant men’s soccer coach for the Cougars. Troy was honored for the second time as one of the top 15 assistant coaches in the nation by CollegeSoccerNews.com. Meghan and Rob Masters announce the birth of their daughter, Lawton Marie, born in March. The Masters family lives in Mt. Pleasant. Andrew and Ashley Read Parker ’06 live in Tampa, where Andrew is an assistant state attorney. The Parkers have a 5-year-old daughter, Allison Jane. Michelle Quaranto is an EMT with Charleston County EMS. Erica Rovner Rabhan (see Michael Rabhan ’03) Doug Reynolds is the communications manager for Kiawah Island (S.C.) Community Association. Van Taylor and Kelly Smith (M.Ed.) were married in December 2012. Van is a graduate student at Charleston School of Law, and Kelly teaches Classics at Ashley Hall and at the College. Ann Ward Treat is the assistant director of parent giving programs in the College’s development office. |
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Philip and Karey Sanders Wilson started a new Anglican church called Trinity Church Summerville (S.C.).
2005 Alison Cawood earned her Ph.D.
in oceanography from the University of California, San Diego, in December. She and Joseph Pettigrew were married in October 2011. Ike Dingle, who graduated from MUSC in 2012, is an otolaryngology resident at the University of California, San Diego. Stacey Barber Hollings is a member of the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Stacey is a tax manager for Elliott Davis, an accounting firm in Charleston. Sasha Horne is a journalist in Washington, D.C., and appeared on ABC’s Whodunnit? Courtney Frail Kinowski is the marketing coordinator at Dunhill Staffing Systems in Charleston. Arpan Kotecha is the team lead of predictive technologies at Citi in Charleston. He participated in this year’s Computer Science Symposium at the College. Larry Long is a business development director for Clarabridge, a technology company in Boston, Mass. Larry oversees the company’s sales efforts for companies such as Choice Hotels, Hyatt, Marriott and Best Buy by collecting, analyzing and distributing customer intelligence. Sarah Martenstein and Taylor Jefferson are married and live in Henrico, Va. Ellen O’Shaughnessy and Francis B. Drayton III were married in April and live in St. Louis. Sara Pappas is a medical scribe and marketing communications and outreach specialist for MEDcare Urgent Care in Charleston.
2006 Rachel Anderson is a postdoctoral
research fellow at MUSC. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology and behavioral neuroscience at Binghampton University. Stephanie Bacon was named Employee of the Year at the Orient Express International Reservation Center in Charleston, where she is the luxury sales manager and set a new annual sales record. Ryan Billings earned his M.A.T. from the Otterbein University, where he majored in middle childhood education with concentrations in social studies and language arts. Meredith Roy Campbell (see Alex Campbell ’04) Stephanie Gunselman is the deputy general counsel for Massachusetts’ Senate Committee on Ways and Means. Brittany Smith Huey (see Derrick Huey ’09) Ashley Read Parker (see Andrew Parker ’04) Brooke Falk Permenter received the Young Alumni Award from the College’s School of the Arts in May. She is a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University with a specialization in Romanesque and Gothic art. She is the recipient of many honors, including a Paul Mellon Centre Research Support Grant and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute grant for travel to Oxford. Justin Pilla (M.A. ’06) (see Michal Otten ’07) Julie Proell and Justin Reeves were married in May 2012. Julie is working on energy development projects for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Cheyenne, Wyo. Marissa Stuart’s essay qualified her as one of the 100 graduate/Ph.D. students to participate in this year’s St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland. She is an M.B.A. student at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business.
Adem Sumer is a commercial real estate appraiser with Dallas Appraisal District in Dallas, Texas. Wally and Kristin Campbell Tarcza ’07 announce the birth of a son, Everett Frederick. The Tarcza family resides in Jefferson, La. Meghan Norman Walter (see Jay Walter ’07)
2007 Lynette Andrews earned her
master’s in tourism administration at George Washington University. Cristina Bumgartner is a staff accountant with Hood & Selander, CPAs, in Mt. Pleasant. Jenny Gilson is the director of development at the American Heart Association in Charleston. Kati-Jane Hammet and Ryan Donovan Childs were married in October and live in Charleston with their son, Donovan. Drew Healey is a music therapist at a public charter school in Washington, D.C. Danielle Kennedy and Jamie Dickey were married in April and live in Charleston, where Danielle is the service manager at O’Charley’s. Colleen Lawlor is the associate director with Adelphi Research in Doylestown, Pa. Katie McTighe Mellen is an associate attorney in Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough’s Charleston office. Katie received her J.D. from Charleston School of Law. Chelsey Didsbury Morrison is the owner of Gather Together, an event-planning company in Durham, N.C. Michal Otten and Justin Pilla (M.A. ’06) were married in March. Michal is a school psychologist, and Justin is an adjunct professor at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler, Ariz. He also teaches online with Northern Virginia Community College and ECPI. Ashley Parker is the contracts and compliance coordinator for BoomTown, a Web platform and software company in Charleston specializing in the real estate industry. Holly Rickards is the sales manager with the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill and the Grand Hyatt in Metro Center/Penn Quarter in Washington, D.C. John Rizzo is a member of the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. John lives in Charleston and is president of GlobeOnDemand, a company specializing in Web strategy. Alison Silva is the marketing director for Eastham Capital in Needham, Mass. David and Amy Mixson Stasiukaitis ’11 announce the birth of their daughter, Ella Madeleine, born in May 2012. The family lives in Summerville, S.C. Kristin Campbell Tarcza (see Wally Tarcza ’06) Matt and Sydney Burroughs Tillman ’08 announce the birth of their daughter, Anne Caroline, born in February. The Tillman family lives in Johnson City, Tenn. Jay and Meghan Norman Walter ’06 announce the birth of their daughter, Harper Jaymes, born in January. The Walter family lives in Roswell, Ga. Lauren Whiteside is a development associate at MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston.
2008 Diane Bader is a recruiter for Le
Parker Meridien, a 731-room property three blocks from Central Park in New York City. Eddie Brown is a product planning manager with Cummins in Charleston. Ansley Easterlin is a program advisor with CrossCultural Solutions in New York City. Devin Entmacher is a recruiting specialist with Spokeo in Los Angeles.
| Photo by Mike Morgan |
Emily Roos ’00 has her target in sight. She knows what she’s after. She’s taking aim. All it took was one kung fu class, and her direction was clear. And so she steered straight for Washington, D.C., home to some of the best martial arts training and competing in the nation. “Martial arts provide me with a deep sense of awareness of myself and my surroundings,” says Roos, a black belt in wushu kung fu who teaches martial arts in Fairfax, Va. “Wushu in particular helps me transform some of my greatest fears and loves into a meaningful, captivating expression.” And lately that expression has manifested on film: Since Roos began taking weekly acting classes in D.C. and New York City, she has worked on several small films in the D.C./Baltimore/ Virginia area. “Wushu is very much a filmmaker’s dream martial arts style because it’s so acrobatic,” says Roos, who not only performs stunt work, but also does fight choreography. “With fight choreography, you are basically directing the actors. You are showing them how to throw a punch and make it look realistic, how to react to a punch in a safe and realistic manner, how to fall. My job is to make them look like pros.” Of course, any pro knows that there’s more to martial arts than the moves. “Whether I’m training, choreographing a fight or performing,” says Roos, “I am constantly reminded that it’s what’s between the movements that matters most.” And, that, in a word, is focus.
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Fully Furnished Lining the walls and spread out all over the floor of the slightly rusting, 40-foot-long shipping container are various sizes and shapes of cherry, oak, cedar, poplar and pine. The container is so full of wood, there’s barely enough room to walk inside and look around, almost impossible to take it all in. One thing stands out, though: the unmistakable sense – and scent – of nostalgia.
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This is the very thing Michael Moran ’03 creates every day: functional works of art that mean something. Since 2004, he has been making and selling his work to anyone with an appreciation for the beauty and sentimental value of a good piece of furniture. His pieces range from simple end tables to complex armoires and custom bookshelves. They reside in
homes and businesses from Michigan to Tennessee. And when he tells you about some of his favorite pieces, he sounds less like a skilled craftsman and more like a proud parent. “All my clients tell me I can stop by any time to see them,” he says with a smile that lets you know he’s referring to the furniture, not the clients. “But it’s not like I randomly drop in and start petting their coffee table or anything.” Moran is a tall, slender man with dark, thick hair and a full beard. He has exactly the kind of hands you’d expect to see on a woodworker or a sculptor. His long, slightly calloused fingers reach for the medical mask he wears around his face to keep from inhaling the sawdust as he works. He gently pulls it down to explain how he got into furniture making in the first place. “My parents always taught me, if you need something, make it.” Moran grew up in Kentucky, the son of a carpenter-turned-psychiatrist. At the age of 10, when all his friends were begging their parents to buy them skateboards, Moran simply made one himself. It was this sort of practical approach to life – not to mention his carpentry skills – that led Moran to apprentice with a furniture maker while he was at the College. And it was in that workshop that Moran spent any waking hour that wasn’t spent doing schoolwork or playing soccer. That was where Moran found his calling. A couple of years after he graduated with a degree in anthropology, Moran finally got the nerve to go out on his own – despite “not knowing the first thing about business.” It didn’t seem to matter: Based on the reputation he’d been building, work orders immediately started coming in – though not all of it was exactly what he’d hoped for. “I remember a guy calling me one day and saying he needed about 20 chairs and a custom bench,” he says. When Moran pressed him for a little more detail as to what he was after, the man just said he needed them quickly. A little perplexed, Moran quoted him a price and the guy completely balked, saying his gentleman’s club would take its business elsewhere.
[ alumni profile ] Fortunately, it’s been a long time since he’s gotten a call quite like that. These days, he is in high demand, doing so much contract work he can hardly keep up. But, a self-described workaholic, Moran doesn’t seem to mind. “It’s rare for more than 24 hours to go by and I’m not in the shop,” he says of the space around him, which is littered with rulers, hammers and files. On a table a few feet away sits a giant saw, its blade still slightly warm. But, even though some of his works can take as long as six months to finish, Moran doesn’t have a particularly tough time parting ways with them when they’re complete.
“My parents always taught me,
if you need something, make it.” “It’s the creation that gives me the most pleasure,” he says. His creations possess a look of their own: rustic with unfinished edges – simple, yet beautiful. They’re quite distinctive looking – or at least they were before the masses started to fall in love with and emulate his style. “Once you start to see something that looks like yours at Pottery Barn, you know it’s time to change,” says Moran. So his style is constantly evolving, his work subtly changing in a way that reflects his dynamic personality. But, through it all, one thing remains the same: his passion to create that little slice of nostalgia. – Bryce Donovan ’98
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Colleen Cooke and Tipton Fowlkes were married in May 2012. Tipton received his master’s in landscape architecture from N.C. State and is a landscape designer with Hodgson & Douglas in Nashville. Alexandra and Justin Gadsden announce the birth of their daughter, Hadley Mercer, born in February. The Gadsden family lives in Charleston. Proud grandparents are Frank ’80 and Lisa Alexander Gadsden ’78. Kelly Jewell Genn announces the birth of her son, Gavin Thomas, born in Janurary 2012. The Genn family lives in Alpharetta, Ga. Carolina Gomes is the store manager for Sherwin-Williams in Greenville, S.C. Patrice Kiely is an executive assistant with Corporate Executive Board, an international conference-planning company in Arlington, Va. Jennifer Lemanowicz is an attorney in Philadelphia, Pa. Britt Particelli is the special events and grants coordinator for the GADC River House in Cos Cob, Conn. Otis Pickett (M.A.) earned his Ph.D. in history at the University of Mississippi and is an assistant professor of history at Mississippi College in Clinton. He and his wife, Julie, have two children. Katie Nemecek Smith, who earned her M.B.A. from The Citadel in 2010, is the assistant director of annual funds at Wake Forest Baptist Health and Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. Chandler Thomas is a customer service representative with Ben Silver in Charleston. Sydney Burroughs Tillman (see Matt Tillman ’07) Emily Troutman, who spent three years teaching English and studying in France, is a high school French teacher in Lillington, N.C. Jess Tuckman is the assistant director of events in the College’s Office of Alumni Relations. Marcus White is the budget and finance coordinator with the College’s School of Education, Health, and Human Performance.
2009 Neil Alger is an associate attorney
with Pearce Law Firm in Mt. Pleasant. Elizabeth Boensch is a therapist at Aspire Clinic. Elizabeth and Frank Kline were married in April and live in Mt. Pleasant. Elizabeth Bray is the regional sales and marketing manager at Arcadia Publishing in Mt. Pleasant. Ernest Brevard earned his master’s in education from Capella Univeristy in March. Kevin Burns is an associate broker with AmWINS Group in Charlotte. Laura Westby Cannon is the co-owner of The Orange Spot, a Thai coffeehouse in Charleston. Tabatha Deas and Stuart Allen were married in April. Heather Faile works at Coach in Charleston. Heather and Dennis Adams were married in February. Allie Gatlin is the events manager with Charlotte Business Journal in Charlotte. Lauren Greene is the new media director for U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold in his Washington, D.C., office. Ian Hirshlor is a loan officer with Supreme Lending in Denver, Colo. Coleman Hodges and Shannon Vaughn ’11 were married in April and live in Charleston. Lane Hoover is a first-grade teacher at Satchel Ford Elementary School in Columbia. Megan Hudson is a pharmaceutical sales representative for Eli Lilly and Company in Charlotte. Derrick and Brittany Smith Huey ’06 announce the birth of their daughter, Grace Foster, born in February. The Huey family lives in Charleston. Parker Ihrie earned her J.D. from Williams State University Law School this spring. Michael Jowers returned from a deployment to Kuwait as an American Red Cross station manager in support of the ongoing Overseas Contingency Operations. His team worked to facilitate emergency communications between military families and their service members
deployed throughout the Middle East. This was his first deployment as a team leader and his third deployment overseas since graduation. Carrie McGeehan is Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants’ sales and service manager at The George Hotel in Washington, D.C. Michael Mirmanesh and his parents hosted a reception for students accepted to the College from the Philadelphia, Pa., area. Kelly Dewes Mooney is the senior administrative assistant with Shepeard Community Blood Center in Augusta, Ga. Stephanie Pate earned her master’s in environmental education and nonprofit administration and leadership from Western Washington University. Stephanie and Dennis Burgart were married in February and live in Seattle. Tricia Holder Ramage is a junior mortage loan officer with Harbor National Bank in Charleston. Stephen Scibal is a sales representative at Dean Foods – Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms in Lansdale, Pa. Richard Smith is a marine risk management advisor at Atlass Insurance Group in Newport, R.I.
2010 JR Armstrong is an IT architect
with Equifax in Charlotte. He participated in this year’s Computer Science Symposium at the College. Mallory Austin is a teacher with the Charleston County School District. Mallory and Eric Stewart were married in April and live in Charleston. Maria Becker is an office manager with Kuehne and Nagel, a global logistics firm in Charleston. Carol Billingsley is a field organizer with Organizing for America in Washington, D.C. Tim English earned his J.D. (with honors) from Santa Clara University of Law in the High Tech Law Program and is an associate at the Morgan Advisory Group in San Jose, Calif.
[ passages ] Milton Prystowsky ’42
Peggy Sligh ’76
Perry Danielle Adkins ’03
Margaret Welch Lever ’43
Jo-Ann Widney Booker ’78
Michele Higgins ’04
Dena Yaschik Bodziner ’47
Beverly Dotterer Bryant ’82
Lauren Baldwin Baccari ’07
Dorothy Tiencken Green ’47
Benjamin Spence ’82
Rosemary Frayne ’07
H. Cameron Burn Jr. ’49
Samuel Partridge ’90
Theodore Meyer ’07
Kenneth Russell ’57
Karen Shields Mitchell ’91
Leigh Montgomery Cart ’09
Edwin Blitch III ’60
Lance Anderson ’95
Richard Martin ’13
Gerald Cash ’63
Russell Clark ’95
William Martin, student
Richard Dame Jr. ’64
Nathan Paul Straus ’96
Mildred Fields, former staff
Terry Florence ’71
Lee Chapman ’97
Karen Simmons, staff
Claire Krawcheck Nussbaum ’75
Mark Jones ’97
May 10, 2010; Rye Brook, N.Y. April 1; Greenville, S.C. April 5; Savannah, Ga.
March 12; Lumberton, N.C.
April 20; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
August 10, 2012; Flowery Branch, Ga. December 27, 2012; Charleston, S.C. October 29, 2012; Key West, Fla. February 5; Charleston, S.C. March 4; Charleston, S.C. January 20; Charleston, S.C.
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March 6, 2012; Raleigh, N.C. April 3; Charleston, S.C. March 27; Monroe, N.C.
April 14; Summerville, S.C. February 23; Deatsville, Ala. October 4, 2010; Hartsville, S.C. May 24, 2012; Greenwood, S.C. May 5; Walterboro, S.C. March 2; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
December 31; Spartanburg, S.C. February 17; Taylors, S.C.
March 31; Columbia, S.C.
November 2005; Charleston, S.C. January 28; Charleston, S.C. February 5; Long Valley, N.J. January 17; Charleston, S.C. April 15; Charleston, S.C. April 12; Greenville, S.C. April 13; Charleston, S.C.
February 20; Charleston, S.C. May 9; Charleston, S.C.
Guinn Garrett (M.S.) is a water resources agent for Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties at Carolina Clear and Clemson Extension. Jennifer Groverman completed her master’s in globalization and international development at the University of Ottawa. Her research paper analyzed tourism’s relationship to poverty alleviation. Sarah Henderson is a real estate agent with Carolina One Real Estate in Mt. Pleasant. Andrew Holthaus is an operations leadership program associate with Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati. Rachel Horn is the promotion coordinator for the Superfridge Division of Advantage Sales and Marketing. She lives in Cromwell, Conn. Ellen Iroff is the costume shop manager in the College’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Alex Jackson writes a blog (tuesdaytalkwithalex. wordpress.com) about living with a disability and a purpose. Alex is employed by SPAWAR in North Charleston. Tim Logan is the owner of Outta My Huevos food truck in Charleston. Thomas Mathewes is an associate with Roadstead Real Estate Advisors in Charleston. Alison Filosa and RJ Paul Jr. were married in December 2010 and live in Walterboro, S.C. Elisa Ramirez is a human resources services specialist with Sonepar in Charleston. Ryan Rimando graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., in December 2012 with a master’s in computer science with a concentration in information assurance. He works for NSA. Emily Rojas is a law student at the University of North Carolina. Ansley Sade and Derek Feussner were married in February and live in Nashville. Shannon Stuart is a project specialist with PTC Global Education Program in Needham, Mass. Angelyn Thomas is a receptionist and administrative support with Charleston Regional Development Alliance. Lee Wheelwright is a sales representative for EVOL Spirits in Charleston. Charles Wilson is the owner of Baja Burritos food truck in Charleston.
2011 Kristine Abruzino (M.B.A. ’12) is a
law student at DePaul University in Chicago. Logan Bryan is a personal banker with Wells Fargo in Charleston. Harrison Chapman is the manager and coordinator of the Charleston Farmers Market. Nina Deese is a board-certified behavior analyst in Tallassee, Ala., serving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Jacklyn Eby is a graduate student in the University of South Carolina’s M.S.W. program and is also a teacher at the O’Quinn School of Porter-Gaud. Jimmy Ettari is a research and database assistant for American Action Forum in Washington, D.C. Gloria Roderick Fann is the office manager at Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy in Charleston. Samantha Fisher is a concerts and entertainment bookings assistant with MSG Entertainment in New York City. Ben Genn is a graduate student at Charleston School of Law. Courtney Ginty is a social media and communications specialist with United Way in Washington, D.C. Timothy Griesemer is a systems programmer at MUSC. He participated in this year’s Computer Science Symposium at the College. Tori Hagen and Samuel Spencer-Pittman were married in June 2012 and live in Richmond, Va.
Emma Hayman is playing for the New Zealand Fed Cup Team, the female version of the Davis Cup. Holly Kasper is the assistant executive director at Porlight Strategies, a Charleston nonprofit organization that provides disaster relief for people with disabilities. Tom Laffay wrote and directed Solo La Caña, a short documentary on the chronic kidney disease epidemic among sugarcane workers in western Nicaragua. The documentary premiered at the Charleston International Film Festival in April. Adam Maslia is the Lorber director of Jewish philanthropy programming for Alpha Epsilon Pi in Indianapolis. Sam Orelove is the director of chapter services for Alpha Epsilon Pi in Indianapolis. Elaine Savarese is the owner of Frampton’s Flowers on Wentworth Street in Charleston. Andrew Scales is an account manager at Greenville (S.C.) Office Supply. Luke Smith is a law student at New York University. Amy Mixson Stasiukaitis (see David Stasiukaitis ’07) Shannon Vaughn (see Coleman Hodges ’09) Joshua Walton is a junior software developer with SPARC in Charleston. Joshua participated in this year’s Computer Science Symposium at the College. Evan Witten is the staff accountant for St. Columbia’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.
2012 Alexa Albanese is an associate math teacher at Murray-LaSaine Elementary School on James Island. Jackie Benoit is the front office manager with the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Charleston. Samantha Berinsky is a legal assistant with Jordan & Dunn in Rock Hill, S.C. Katie Edwards is a sales representative with Departure Media in Charleston. Chrystal Grant is an administrative specialist in the College’s English department. Jennifer Green is a net developer and team scrum master at Hawkes Learning Systems in Charleston. She participated in this year’s Computer Science Symposium at the College. Corinn Griesedieck is the manager of Warren on King, a women’s clothing store in Charleston. Katie Guttenberg (M.A.T.) and Ryan Hine were married in December 2011 and live on Johns Island. Maggie Harrelson (M.P.A. and M.S.) is the sustainability coordinator for the Charleston County School District. Maggie and James Dangerfield were married in April and live in Mt. Pleasant. Kelsey Johanson is the executive assistant and human resources coordinator at Glasspro in Charleston. Jason Leonard is an applications analyst with MUSC. He participated in this year’s Computer Science Symposium at the College. Nate Lyles is an administrative assistant for the College’s Office of Maymester and Summer Sessions. Matt McGarvey works in financial sales and advertising with Pinnacle Insurance and Financial Services in Jacksonville, Fla. Kelley McGraw is a sales consultant with Paramount Marketing Group, working with Sysco Food System. Kelley is based in Greenville, S.C. Margaret Meredith is a brand ambassador for Starr Hill Brewing Company in Denver, Colo. Marisa Michell works in the account department at Search Influence, a search-engine optimization company in New Orleans. Lily Mortimer received the Alumni Award for
Philanthropy from the College’s School of the Arts in May. Lily, a director and officer of the Mary and Kathleen Harriman Foundation, has generously supported the School of the Arts. She is also the youngest member of the School of the Arts Council. Lily lives in New York City and works for Gagosian Gallery. Kate Mosson is a service writer at Carolina International Trucks in Charleston. Cara Musciano is a social media account manager at The Modern Connection, a social media firm in Charleston. Ewan Oglethorpe is a data scientist with Teradata Aster in San Francisco. Logan Roberts is the owner of Marsh Wear Clothing and Lowcountryfly Charters in Charleston. Al Rush is working in business development with SIB Development & Consulting. Raena Shirali was one of the winners of the “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Contest. The prize includes publication in the Boston Review and a reading at the Unterberg Poetry Center in New York. Ryan Stewart is the box office manager for the Charleston RiverDogs baseball team. Andrew Strickland is a sales manager with SPARC in Charleston. He is focused on a new product launch designed to enhance employee engagement and motivation among large organizational workforces in hospitality, medical, manufacturing and government settings. Clare Sweeney is a project manager with Champ Internet Solutions in Newton, Mass. Arina van der Voort is an analyst of executive compensation at Towers Watson in NYC. Amanda Waters is employed by Fleet Concepts of Charleston. Amanda and Ellison Livingston IV were married in March and live on James Island. Allison Wilde is a performing arts intern at Wingspan Arts in New York City and is a graduate student at New York University. Chip Wilkison is specializing in real estate sales with BrokerSouth Real Estate Partners in Nashville. Kristen Wolfe is the special events manager for the Charleston RiverDogs. Jim Woods is a professional recuiter with Areotek in North Charleston. Madison Wynn is a teller at Southern First Bank in Charleston
2013 Paul Bradley Jr. received the
Diversity Service of the Year Award at the College’s ExCEL Awards ceremony this spring. Kevin Decker returned to Charleston after two years in the minor leagues and joined the Cougars baseball team’s coaching staff as a student assistant. Martin Erbele (M.P.A.) is the Graduate School representative on the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. Robin Garcia (M.S.) received the Safe Zone Advocacy Award at the College’s ExCEL Awards ceremony this spring. Devon Turner received the President Leo I. Higdon Outstanding Leadership Award at the College’s ExCEL Awards ceremony this spring. Emily White is the program coordinator for Fight Colorectal Cancer. She is based in Charleston, but travels across the country training advocates, planning events and meeting with legislators. Jason Williams is a recreational supervisor with the City of Charleston.
Check out College of Charleston Magazine’s website at magazine.cofc.edu.
SUMMER 2013 |
[ faces and places ]
A lot goes on at the College. Here are a few highlight s: 1 in!Genius reception: Levi Vonk ’13, Trisha Folds-Bennet t (Honor s College) and David Cohen (School of L anguages, Cultures, and World Af fair s) 2 S.C. Supply Chain Summit: keynote speaker Bobby Hit t (S.C. secret ar y of commerce) 3 High Tea and P&P (celebrating Jane Aus ten’s Pride and Prejudice) in the Cis tern Yard: Cecilia Roger s 4 Yes! I’m a Feminis t event in the Halsey and Hill Galleries, School of the Ar t s: Melinda Mead Schar s tein (Addles tone Librar y), Sarah Bandy ’09 (Halsey Ins titute), Leila Ross ’00 (M. A .T.) and Leigh Moscowit z (communication) 5 Yes! I’m a Feminis t: Ciera Jones ’13 and Tanya A scue 6 Yes! I’m a Feminis t: Drisana McDaniel ’13, Thet yka Husser and Kris ti Brian 7 Undergraduate commencement speaker Glenn Mc Connell ’69 (S.C. lieutenant governor) 8 Surprise diploma present ation: Jack Simmons, Howard St ahl ’69 and President Benson 9 Commencement: honorary degree recipient Mary Thornley (president, Trident Technical College) 10 Sigma Chi Derby Days: Phi Mu Sororit y on Coming Street |
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11 Sigma Chi Derby Days: Mac Steadman and Matt Garnett 12 Gr aduate School commencement: Toya Pound ’91 (Board of Trus tees) and commencement speaker Chloe Knight Tonney ’84 (senior vice president of ex ternal relations, Center s for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation) 13 Public reading of Mar tin Luther King Jr.’s “Let ter from a Birmingham Jail” in Cougar Mall as par t of the Jubilee Projec t: Hollis France (political science) 14 Randoph Hall ser ved as a beautiful backdrop for a taping of the four th hour of NBC Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda 15 Estonia reception at Charleston Harbor Club: Harr y Huge (Harr y and Reba Huge Foundation) 16 Estonia delegation at the President ’s House: First Lady Jane Benson, Ambassador Marina Kaljurand (Estonia) and President Benson 17 Ceremony of Remembrance at Brit tlebank Park as par t of the Jubilee Projec t 18 Par tnership signing ceremony at the President ’s House: Chancellor Volli Kalm (Univer sit y of Tar tu) and President Benson 19 Live repor ting from the Cis tern Yard: NBC News repor ter Kelly O’Donnell
SUMMER 2013 |
Amanda Petway ’90 Memorial Garden Although I’m writing about a charming garden that sits outside the Addlestone Library established to honor my dearest friend, my space at the College of Charleston isn’t actually a physical place at all. Rather, it’s a nod of gratitude toward an amazing friend who would come to immeasurably change and enrich my life. In 1986, two nervous freshmen, ready for the first day of class, stood toe to toe in the dorm’s slow-but-steady elevator. Our identical outfits from the Gap helped ease us into a first conversation, which quickly signaled we would be friends. Mandi Petway had a sparkle. She just did. She treasured each day and |
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each friend with a certainty, which was inspiring. Together, we experienced many firsts at the College, and we enjoyed being constantly surrounded by laughter. A positive attitude – just one of Mandi’s many incredible qualities – would prove to be her secret weapon against an illness she would battle for her four years at the College. Mandi’s deep faith was also mature for a college student and was a tremendously encouraging example to me at a time of my life when I was most impressionable. Mandi graduated from the College in 1990. Her battle with cancer ended just a few years later, when she was called to heaven to dance with the angels.
For many, the simple garden by the library and the scholarship in her name stand in testimony to her kindness, friendships and presence at the school. For me, they are sweet reminders of the most important space for all of us. My hope and prayer for all those who visit her garden are that, in this busy world, they may be reminded to keep a special space in their hearts for friendship. It was a blessing beyond measure to know and love Mandi, and I remain so very grateful to the College for bringing us together. “If I could sit across the porch from God, I’d thank him for lending me you.” – Molly Brandhorst McMahon ’90
It doesnâ€™t matter where you travel in this world. Your school spirit will always shine through. And a great way to share that love is to make a gift to the College of Charleston Fund. Because as a Cougar, you know firsthand how the College is your passport to success.
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Within these pages, you're going to find many stories showcasing the College of Charleston's dynamic and intellectually vigorous culture.We...