Page 1

C o l l e g e of C h a r l e s t o n magaz in e

Grace Under Pressure

Meagan Orton '11, this year's Miss CofC, dances through life with an irrepressible spirit

S U MME R 2 0 10


S UMMER 2 0 1 0 Volume XIV, Issue 3 Editor

Mark Berry Art Director

Alfred Hall Managing Editor

Alicia Lutz ’98 Associate Editor

Jason Ryan Photography

Leslie McKellar Contributors

love

You already the College, now we need you to us.

“like”

Kip Bulwinkle ’04 Bryce Donovan ’98 Ron Menchaca ’98 Abi Nicholas ’07 Alex Pellegrino Rogers ’03 Jamie Self ’02 Holly Thorpe Online Design

Larry Stoudenmire Alumni Relations

Karen Burroughs Jones ’74 Executive Vice President for External Relations

Michael Haskins Contact us at

magazine@cofc.edu or 843.953.6462 On the Web

www.cofc.edu/magazine

Join the College’s Facebook community and stay even more connected to what’s happening around campus. Check out interesting news stories, see cool videos and participate in our weekly competitions.

www.facebook.com/CollegeofCharleston

Mailing Address

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 55,000 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 ]

22 2

12

20

6 58

22

72

14

26 60

Life’s Rich Pageant

Departments

30

Around the Cistern

by Jason Ryan

For Meagan Orton ’11, this year’s Miss South Carolina Pageant provides a unique platform for the aspiring beauty queen to give voice to the silent struggles that afflict her and others.

Dorm Gourmet

Photo-essay by leslie mckellar

Life Academic 6 Making the Grade 12 Teamwork 20

36

Point of View

22

Philanthropy

58

State of Shock

Class Notes

Four alumni chefs. One challenge: take an ingredient that defines the typical college diet and cook up a new approach to an old favorite.

by Alicia Lutz ’98

2

My Space

60

72

46

The ground convulses. The walls shake. And everything comes crashing down around you. It’s only a matter of time. Fortunately, four geology professors have mapped out the plans of preparation, relief and recovery in the Lowcountry.

on the cover: Meagan Orton ’11 in a dress designed by Rachel Gordon ’06 photo by Diana Deaver


| Illustration by Jay Fletcher |

AROUND the CISTERN

Open for Business it’s official: the College is in business. For the first time, the institution is enrolling students in a Master of Business Administration program, significantly expanding the College’s graduate offerings and burnishing its international business credentials. The one-year, full-time, accelerated degree program is unique in South Carolina, and will offer more than 30 students advanced business coursework with an emphasis on teamwork and globalization. It may be a win-win situation for potential business students and the College, but don’t expect to hear the champagne corks popping when the inaugural semester starts – there will be little time for celebration. In fact, this July, before the fall semester begins, the College’s M.B.A. students will attend a six-week business boot camp to prepare

|

2

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

themselves for the busy year ahead. The College is counting on many applicants with non-business degrees to enroll in the program, and the boot camp gives students a base knowledge of business and prepares them for the fast pace of the program. With more and more business students choosing full-time, one-year M.B.A. programs over part-time programs, says Rhonda Mack, the School of Business’ associate dean of graduate and professional programs, the College is responding to the marketplace, offering a relatively quick graduate business education without sacrificing quality or value. Students obtaining an M.B.A. from the College should expect to become fully absorbed in their case- and project-based coursework. The M.B.A.

program will follow a cohort model, with students working collaboratively and competitively in small teams while taking the same classes and moving through the program together – a model that is intended to mimic corporate culture both in structure and in tempo. Besides regular coursework, students will engage in intensive professional development sessions once a week with guest lecturers and, toward the end of the program, they’ll participate in a three-week study-abroad course, with possible study destinations in Brazil, Germany, Spain and Vietnam. The majority of the program’s 13 faculty members have significant experience either teaching or working abroad, and all of them view international business education as an important component of the program. In fact, by having an M.B.A. program, the College achieves greater credibility with international universities and increases its opportunities to partner with foreign schools for research and collaborative learning. “Having a graduate program is a step up for sure,” says international business and marketing professor Henry Xie. “Most international cooperation is done on the graduate level.” One last benefit to students earning their M.B.A. at the College is job-placement assistance, which will introduce graduates to companies and help students polish their interview skills. All these components will help the M.B.A. program get off to a fast and successful start at the College, expanding the services the College provides to its community. “It gives us a new group of constituents to talk to that we haven’t talked to before,” says Mack. And that’s just one more reason the College is looking forward to getting down to business. For more information about the M.B.A. program, visit mba.cofc.edu.


AROUND the CISTERN

[ from the president ]

Business School Made Whole by New M.B.A. When I was considering becoming a candidate for the presidency of the College of Charleston, I did some serious due diligence. Besides the usual financial and organizational analysis, I looked hard at the College’s potential and its untapped opportunities for growth and improvement. At the time, I was still dean of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, so I quickly focused in on the College’s School of Business. What I saw was a school growing in size and reputation and boasting a strong, distinguished faculty. But surprisingly, it lacked a full-time M.B.A. program. Much more surprisingly, no university in Charleston offered a full-time M.B.A. program. Thus, long before even being offered the presidency, I knew one key goal I would pursue if hired. Shortly after I became president in February 2007, the College initiated the search for a new dean of the School of Business. A driving force behind the search was our desire to hire a dean with the vision and persistence to create and gain state approval for a full-time M.B.A. program. The search ended with the hiring of Alan Shao from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he served as associate dean of professional and global programs. Within 14 months of his arrival on campus, Dean Shao and his faculty built a curriculum and full-scale proposal for Charleston’s first full-time M.B.A. program. And on May 6, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education approved the new program. This program was literally 20 years in the making. Former School of Business deans who paved the way for today’s M.B.A. program include Howard Rudd, Clarence Condon, Bob Pitts and Interim Dean Rhonda Mack. Their previous attempts to launch an M.B.A. ran into opposition within the state. This time around, with significant assistance from our Board of Trustees and the business school’s Board of Governors, approval was achieved. The missing program is now in place, and our business school is whole. For the past 30 years, our country’s M.B.A. programs have generally required their applicants to have two to four years of work experience. Recently, however, a few major M.B.A. programs have

| President Benson speaks at the launch event for the College’s new M.B.A. program. | begun admitting students directly from undergraduate programs. Such programs enable their graduates to focus on their careers and not have to interrupt them to return to graduate school in their late 20s. This is the direction our business school faculty chose for our new M.B.A. program. It will be a full-time, accelerated program taking only 13 months to complete and will not require work experience. Initially, we expect most of our applicants to be College of Charleston undergraduates. Eventually, as the strength and reputation of the program grow, students will be attracted to Charleston from around the globe. The value of an M.B.A. program to the College is immeasurable. It presents endless opportunities to strengthen academic and economic connections between the College and the world around us. Over time, our M.B.A. graduates will begin to rise up through the ranks of local, national and international companies.

As business leaders, these graduates will become valuable resources for the program, the College, the city of Charleston and future generations of M.B.A. graduates looking to start their careers. The program will also enable greater collaboration between the College of Charleston and nearby universities such as The Citadel, Clemson and the University of South Carolina. On a global scale, the program will help the College build on the momentum of initiatives such as the School of Business’ Center of Vietnamese Enterprise, which was established to enhance economic and cultural links between the United States and Vietnam. Further, with an M.B.A. program in place, the College can begin offering revenue-generating M.B.A. programs abroad. My thanks to everyone who helped launch the new M.B.A. Their hard work and persistence paid off. – President P. George Benson

SUMMER 2010 |

3

|


Self-respect, Bravery, Tenacity, Fortitude,

The deep honor of experiencing history, then making my own.

Originality,

Individuality, Virtue, Adoration, Success, Faith.

– Michael Neufeld ’94

Education, life skills,

husband

and friends. – Emily Fugiel Guess ’66

All I remember were the pennyfor-a-beer nights.

– Randy Farley Guarino ’00

To see a problem analytically

and socially; deconstruct, simplify and build anew.

– Skip Edmonds ’83

FACE-OFF

An education in

We posed a simple question to the more than 16,000 fans who “like” us on the College’s Facebook page: In 10 words or less, tell us what you took away from your time at the College of Charleston.

Becoming a more driven,

the person I did not know before!

– Murray Jones

– Rose Marie Ivy Llera

Join the discussion on the College’s Facebook page and share your thoughts and memories for the next Face-off question.

Myself,

life far exceeding four years.

– Lisa Bollinger Burbage ’81

A mentor,

Ireland, Cistern,

CofC Radio,

An education that grows more valuable every day. Still wear my ring :)

GSO, friends, a challenge. – Dave Regan ’01

– Sandy Call Wilder ’84

independent

and worthy woman and citizen. – Lindsey Breitwieser ’12

Everything except a

diploma! – Paul Hicks

|

4

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

Only great memories exceed the I took with me.

wisdom – Mark Newsome ’81


AROUND the CISTERN

CAMPUS ICON Otto German ’73 He’s seen life at the College as a student, a studentathlete and a staff member. He’s served under six college presidents and has worked in almost every corner of campus, seeing and experiencing firsthand the College’s dramatic transformation from a small private school to a midsized, statesupported university. “Yes, I’ve seen a lot of change, and I’ve done a number of things during my time here,” observes Otto German ’73, who worked in financial aid and veterans affairs, student affairs, and admissions before moving to athletics, where he has been the director of NCAA compliance since 1992. “They all dealt directly with people, and I like helping people.” His favorite job over four decades? “It’s hard to pick one over another because I enjoyed them all, but if I have to choose one, it would be my work in the admissions office,” he says. “Admissions is the first line of contact with the students and their families, and that’s an important part of the process in promoting the College. That admissions position gave me an opportunity to travel and meet people from different backgrounds.” And, looking back, it’s the people he’s met that have made his career at the College so special. “Overall,” says German, “I’ve had the pleasure to work with so many wonderful people, and I’ve built some great relationships that will last a lifetime.” What professor or staff member do you think is a campus icon? E-mail us your suggestions at magazine@cofc.edu.

FA L L 2 0 0 9 |

5

|


LIFE ACADEMIC

Learn It and Run With It Nothing about the students filing into Professor Michael Flynn’s lecture hall on this early afternoon seems particularly unusual. They have that carefree bounce that is characteristic of college students in the spring. Clutching backpacks and reusable water bottles, and wearing shorts and T-shirts, they show no obvious trepidation about the extraordinarily difficult task before them. Even Flynn, chair of the College’s Department of Health and Human Performance, seems serene. Dressed casually in a Cooper River Bridge Run

|

6

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

T-shirt and jogging pants, he smiles pleasantly as the students settle into their seats. Then, Flynn’s face turns serious, and the unique focus of the course reveals itself as his lecture begins: “If you are not doing your long run by now,” Flynn warns the students, “the marathon is going to pay you back.” The “marathon” is the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tenn. The “pay you back” is the physical punishment the marathon will mete out to those who are not adequately prepared to run

its hilly, 26.2-mile course. With less than one month to go before the marathon in April, Flynn is determined to not let that happen. Sure, his students will experience pain like never before. At times, they’ll want to stop, wish they were dead, and ask themselves why they signed up for this hell. But Flynn is confident they’ll get through it. He scrutinized these students carefully before the semester, asking them tough questions: Are they willing to make the commitment? Purchase the proper equipment? Do the training? He stresses that the course is real, not merely a “running class.” In fact, students are not graded on how fast they run the marathon or even on whether they finish it. Instead, students gain a working knowledge of physiology, sport nutrition, training adaptations and other topics that will aid them as they train. When Flynn came to the College in 2009 and brought this marathon class with him, he did so knowing full well that his academic background was likely to be overshadowed by the provocative nature of his favorite course. “I guess the people in my profession know me for my research, and that’s good enough. If I’m known as the marathon professor in Charleston, that’s OK with me.” Last fall, he sent an e-mail to campus announcing Sport Physiology and Marathon Training as a special-topics course. More than 100 replies from interested students flooded his Inbox. He eventually whittled the class roster to about 40, favoring seniors with lighter course loads, runners with established mileage bases and those who had always aspired to complete a marathon. Back in the lecture hall, Flynn is discussing environmental extremes and fluid balance and how they influence running performance. His students have completed training runs in bitter cold, howling wind and pouring rain. But now it’s getting warmer outside, and they are realizing that heat and humidity could be their biggest threats in Nashville.


LIFE ACADEMIC

As the big day draws closer, the students assess their goals for the marathon. Some aspire only to cross the finish line. Others have specific time targets. All have gained confidence and endurance through four months of consistent, structured training. At the beginning of the semester, 26.2 miles seemed unattainable to many. But as their long runs gradually increased in distance week after week – 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 miles – the marathon milestone moved increasingly within their grasp. “The biggest surprise I’ve had so far was running 20 miles and feeling great the whole way,” Bobby Joly, a communication major, says of a recent training run. “I never thought I would be able to do it.” While mileage gains have helped the students believe in their own abilities, the classroom lectures have provided an invaluable base of knowledge. As their bodies endure stress and injuries, the students better understand what’s occurring and why. During labs, the class has dabbled in the geekier areas of running science. Flynn has taught them how to calculate sweat loss, how to measure and assess their body compositions and how to test the body’s oxygen-consuming capacity. All of the lectures and labs hit home for the students in the throes of a long run. Soaked in sweat, legs aching, chests heaving, stomachs churning – they experiment on themselves. “My goal was to develop a course where students would learn while using their own bodies as a laboratory,” Flynn says. Still, there are limits to what books and science can teach students about running a marathon. There’s no equal for the firsthand, practical experience Flynn has gained from having run several marathons. He understands the marathon’s allure, its life-changing power and its unforgiving lessons. He grew up near Boston, the mecca of marathon running, and took up running when the sport first boomed in the 1970s. In his mid-20s, he turned in an impressive sub-three-hour marathon, and in his mid-40s he twice qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon. Doctoral work in human bioenergetics and the births of three boys pushed running aside for a while, but it has been a constant companion most of his life. He runs just about every day, often during his lunch break.

Over the course of the semester, Flynn wears many hats: professor, coach, counselor, cheerleader, trainer, friend. “Doctor Flynn” sounds too formal a title when the class is grinding through a 17-miler. So his students call him “Mick.” The final class before the Nashville Marathon is devoted to last-minute preparations and logistics. They cover pacing, chafing, waterproofing and hydration. Weather is still a big concern. The latest forecast for Nashville calls for highs in the upper 70s and scattered thunderstorms. A student asks if organizers would cancel the marathon

achieving his goal of finishing under four hours. But the worsening weather – including the threat of tornados – forces the marathon’s organizers to cut the race short for runners further back in the pack. It’s a shocking and crushing development for Flynn and his students. Among the College contingent, only Joly and one other student are allowed to complete the course. Three students reluctantly end their quest at the halfway point, and the rest of the class, along with thousands of other runners, are stopped at Mile 23 – just three miles and 385 yards shy of the finish line.

“My goal was to develop a course where students would learn while using their own bodies as a laboratory.” – Michael Flynn, Professor of Health and Human Performance

because of thunderstorms. Though he says that would be unlikely, Flynn recalls that the 2010 Myrtle Beach Marathon was cancelled due to snow. Marathons, like life, are unpredictable. Marathon day dawns deceivingly sunny and beautiful in Nashville. But there’s talk of bad weather on the horizon. Race organizers move up the start time by 15 minutes in an effort to get more runners through the course before the weather turns ugly. As the marathon gets under way, many of the students quickly come to two realizations: The first is that there are A LOT of runners participating (30,000 between the full and half marathon). The other reality check is that the course is much hillier than they expected (thank heavens for those training runs over Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge!). Throughout the semester, Flynn has cautioned students about the proverbial “wall” that many runners hit in the latter miles. For Joly, this occurs at Mile 23. He can no longer feel his legs. His tank is bone dry. A hill looming ahead could deliver the knockout blow. “But I pushed through it with the thought that I only had three miles to go and that if I stopped, how disappointed I’d be with myself.” Joly would go on to complete the marathon in three hours, 50 minutes –

“I was confused and frustrated,” says Kelsi Ward, a senior political science major. “But I was ecstatic to have done well and run the whole time and thrilled to be a part of such an awesome experience.” That same positive attitude was echoed by all of Flynn’s students in spite of the unbelievably disappointing circumstances that befell them in Nashville. Back in Charleston, the class gathers one last time for a debriefing and goodbyes. Flynn is emotional. He says this class was the best prepared of any he has taught. “The way you all responded really made me proud,” Flynn says. “You handled an impossibly difficult situation with class.” But no one likes unfinished business. Many of the students immediately make plans to run other marathons. Some map out their own courses traversing the Lowcountry. A couple travel to marathons in other states. Several set their sights on the inaugural Charleston Marathon in January 2011. Flynn is blown away by the whole experience. Through decades of teaching and running, he thought he’d seen just about everything in the unpredictable orbits of college students and marathons. He was reminded of the marathon’s power to teach life lessons and humbled by the resiliency of young people in the face of adversity. – Ron Menchaca ’98

SUMMER 2010 |

7

|


office space Barbara Duval has packed a lot into her 80-square-foot office over the past 27 years. Despite the accumulation of books, art, novelty items and souvenirs, the printmaking professor in the studio art department has somehow managed to maintain an air of artistic order. Through Duval’s balance of utility and frivolity, it’s easy to see that there’s always room for a little creative chaos.

The snow globes crammed two- and three-rows deep into Duval’s shelves create something of a visual résumé, outlining her studies everywhere from Brooklyn to Belgium, her teaching from Philadelphia to the Dominican Republic and her exhibitions from Cambridge to Japan.

Duval’s little nook is all her own, but her door is always open. “I have students come to me stressed out about their work, and that’s all they can think about. But as soon as they peek their heads in, they forget everything else – they just stare and then start asking questions about all my junk,” says Duval. “There’s enough here to distract anyone!”

Soap-filled characters loiter about, crowding demure Disney princesses together with the likes of Fred Flintstone, Hulk Hogan, RoboCop, Transformers and the X-Men. “How bizarre is it that people make soap bottles with faces and bodies?” marvels Duval, pointing out that “you have to remove someone’s head to use it. What does that say about us?”

|

8

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

The tiny office may be packed from floor to ceiling, but, somehow, it doesn’t feel cluttered. In fact – with its neatly labeled binders creating a sense of organization and its red-and-black motif providing a centralizing backdrop – it’s really quite tidy.

A canister of Red & Black Licorice Piglets fits right in with the office’s color palette.


LIFE ACADEMIC

Duval’s sense of humor and artistic perspective are on display everywhere, especially in the details: the toy wrestlers jiving with the art manikins, the foot bones juxtaposing the hand creams and the pack of bologna-flavored bubblegum hanging next to the “Understand Modern Art Instantly” breath spray.

A crystal chandelier sets the mood for the entire office – giving a playful wink to sophistication and class. “Why can’t an office be a little fancy?” asks Duval. “I think chandeliers add just the right amount of panache to any room.”

Drawers labeled “Superior Students,” “Good Students,” “Average Students,” “Bad Students” and “Morons” give an otherwise ordinary black metal filing cabinet some unexpected wit.

Even before entering Duval’s office, you know you’re in for a treat: Not only does the fortune taped to Duval’s nameplate predict that “success is on its way,” but South of the Border’s Pedro is already smiling.

A collection of Duval’s hauntingly alluring etchings draws the eye away from the office’s one sign of disorganization: a stack of old papers, junk mail and catalogs.

Duval keeps her “pens of the world” collection displayed on her desk, providing a colorful “parade of pens. They’re too nice to hide away.”


Inside the Academic Mind: Bret Lott The College boasts many points of light in its constellation of faculty. Perhaps one of the brightest of these stars is Bret Lott, professor of English and author of 12 books. In January 1999, Lott leaped to the national stage when Oprah Winfrey made his novel Jewel one of her coveted book club selections. Almost overnight, the rest of the nation learned what our College students and alumni had known since he arrived on campus in 1986 – that Lott is a gifted storyteller and a master of language. We caught up with Professor Lott to get his take on the writer’s life, have him explain his penchant for teaching outside and, most important, find out his choice of super powers. How many shoeboxes of rejection letters did you fill before your big break? Only one – but I have big feet. I have kept every one of them, and am nearing 600 as we speak. Just this spring semester I got two more. People think once you publish something – once you get a break – that it’s all easy from there. But rejection is a living breathing mouth to feed at your table if you want to write. You have to keep getting them, not because you want them, but because they keep you writing as well as you can. Rejection doesn’t defeat you, either: The essay I got turned down twice so far this spring is right back out there at another journal, trying to find its place. How did Oprah change your life? In one day a book I wrote went from the Amazon.com sales ranking of 1,069,713 to number 1. That’s quite a change. I saw people walking around in airports carrying a book I wrote. A book I wrote got made into a movie, and that same book was on The New York Times bestseller list for over three months. My kids went to college without our going into debt, I was able to buy my wife a very nice car, and I took my whole big ol’ extended family on the vacation of a lifetime, one none of us could have ever afforded. But it also made it quite hard to write, because I had been writing in relative literary anonymity until then, just plugging along and turning out the books I wanted to have written. Then, suddenly, there was the word “Bestseller” written on my forehead, and I had to write another book. It took me longer to write that one than any I had previously written, and I had to put myself into a closet in our house in Mt. Pleasant in order to find the privacy, both physical and mental, I needed in order to write it. That’s quite a change, too. What rule about writing did you once preach to your students, but you now break? Good question. But I’m kind of a Boy Scout when it comes to writing. I practice as well as I can what I preach to my students. There are no shortcuts to this whole thing, no passes or byes one can give oneself. I struggle with the exact same things they do every time I sit down to write: What am I seeing? Can I see it? What is one thing every aspiring writer should know? This quote, from Walker Evans, the American photographer: “Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare. Pry. Listen. Eavesdrop. Die knowing something.

|

10

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


LIFE ACADEMIC

You are not here long.” This is the foundation for everything I ever want to teach people about the art of writing: This is about empathy. This is about understanding other people. It is about learning who others are, rather than writing about what you already know. You are here to learn something. You are known for taking your classes outside. what’s your favorite campus spot? I love to teach outside because it gives us – or maybe just me, I’m not sure – a sense of there being a larger world outside of us. Four walls and plastic desks and blinded windows feel claustrophobic to me, when writing is meant to be a means by which to leave this world and go to another. Being inside is Predictably Educatory. Being outside is real. The best spot is in the back corner of Rivers Green, behind Addlestone Library – every day we can, I hold classes out under the live oak in the back corner. You’ve got one minute to get out of your house. What books do you take with you? Any of the 20 volumes of Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander novels. If you could have any super power, what would it be? The ability to travel in time, although I think there might be a machine somewhere being devised for this, so it might not actually be a super power. I would love to see moments large and small in history, to be able to go and witness and understand those things we read about in the histories I love to read, and to see what lives not written about were like as well. I want to know what happened. What music do you listen to? I listen to Pat Metheny the most, right now. I listen to “Secret Story” again and again and again, because I listen to the same CD the entire time I am writing a book, and this is the CD for the one I’m writing at this moment. Otherwise, it’s Vince Guaraldi (I’m going to write his biography next), Bill Frisell, Stereolab, Vince Guaraldi, The Beta Band, Fleetwood Mac, João Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto, Stan Getz, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Jamie Cullum and Vince Guaraldi. Oh, and Vince Guaraldi. What’s the best meal you have ever had? That’s easy. The fettuccine carbonara at Ristorante Piperno in the Jewish Quarter in Rome. Isn’t that everyone’s?

Faculty Fact

ids

| Paul Allen |

Δ This summer, several professors have started writing the next chapter in their lives – the retirement years. The College community is greatly indebted to these distinguished teacher-scholars, who represent more than 375 years of combined service: Paul Allen, English (1974); Chip Condon, economics (1980); Linda Edwards, teacher education (1981); José Escobar, Hispanic studies (1982); Linda Fitzharris, teacher education (1994); Kem Fronabarger, geology (1984); Chris Hope, sociology (1985); Thomas Langley, health and human performance (1984), David Mann, political science (1977); Frank Morris, Classics (1978); Robert Neville, library (1981); Jack Parson, political science (1980); Mary Rivers, mathematics (2000) and Hugh Wilder, philosophy (1981). • The College honored several professors this spring with faculty awards of distinction – Distinguished Teaching Award: Narayanan Kuthirummal (physics); Distinguished Research Award: Patrick Fragile (physics); Distinguished Service Award: Lynne Ford (political science); Distinguished Advising Award: Gorka Sancho (biology); Distinguished Advising Award: Catherine Thomas (English); Distinguished Teacher/Scholar Award: Christopher Korey (biology).

If you could steal any writer’s identity, whose would it be? Probably Stephen King. He has a lot of money, and having that guy’s ID would mean access to some deep pockets. Until the law caught up with me, of course. But oh, the damage I could do.

• For his work and leadership regarding afterschool programs, Terry Peterson, senior fellow in the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance, received the C.S. Mott Foundation’s William S. White Achievement Award, a national award given each year to individuals and programs dedicated to excellence in the service of children, schools and communities.

What’s the craziest thing you have seen on one of your book tours? I signed a book to a woman’s dog one time. A very old lady who walked the dog up in a stroller. I thought maybe it was her granddaughter or something, but then she opened up the bundle of blankets in the stroller, pulled out this little rat dog with a pink ribbon in its fur, introduced her as Sophie, and had me sign a book to the dog. To Sophie. I did it, too.

• Frances Anderson, affiliate faculty member, earned a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award, her third since joining the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. Anderson traveled to Pakistan in April and spent three weeks teaching at Karakorum International University.

SUMMER 2010 |

11

|


| Photo by Diana Deaver |

MAKING the GRADE

| Stephen Brown |

Back from the Brink It was November 19. Andrew London was studying for a test on the third floor of the College’s Addlestone Library when a screaming woman broke his concentration. A fellow student, she said, was having a seizure and had suddenly fallen down the stairs. London rushed over with a student from the Medical University of South Carolina to find 19-year-old Stephen Brown convulsing on a library stairwell. Brown stopped shaking long enough to mumble that it was about to happen all over again. With that warning, Brown seized for another minute before going still. He turned pale, then blue. For the next five minutes, London and the MUSC student performed CPR on Brown until paramedics came. London then used Brown’s phone to call the Brown household in Atlanta, reaching Brown’s |

12

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

sister, Rachel ’07. London shared the devastating news that Stephen was being rushed to the hospital and things did not look good. He listened to Rachel Brown’s sobs, and eventually said goodbye. For the next hour, as the library resumed its hushed atmosphere, London tried to study. It was a pointless endeavor, and he soon packed up his things, went home and smoked half a pack of cigarettes before going to sleep. The next day, he did poorly on his test. All he could think of was Brown. “It was very surreal,” says London. “I thought he was dead, I really did.” Brown was, in fact, just about as close to death as possible. While walking down the library steps, he had suffered cardiac arrest. When he arrived at MUSC, just blocks from the Addlestone Library, doctors cooled his body to about 90

degrees and induced a coma, aiming to minimize brain and organ damage from oxygen deprivation. They also gave him a shot of adrenaline to get his heart going. It didn’t seem to be working. As the minutes ticked by, the medical staff prepared to call time and concede Brown was dead. But then, miraculously, some 40 minutes since having a pulse, Brown’s heart started beating again, giving everyone a sliver a hope. The doctors slowly warmed his body over the next day and kept him in an induced coma for a week. Coming out of the coma flashing two thumbs up, Brown slowly began to recover. He had avoided serious brain damage, though the biology major now had to relearn how to walk, talk and even eat. His physical therapy, he recalls, was “almost what 3-year-olds do – pegs matched with colors.”


Making the Grade

CAMPUS EMERGENCY SERVICES

| Andrew London |

Incredibly, Brown returned for the spring semester, continuing his pre-med studies. The incident in the library was the latest medical setback for the former three-season high school athlete. During the last semester of his senior year of high school, he suddenly lost consciousness at home one evening and then suffered cardiac arrest days later while being hospitalized. Brown recovered, but doctors diagnosed him with a rare heart condition: long QT syndrome. To shock and restart his heart in case of cardiac arrest, they installed an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, or ICD, in his chest. Brown was fine until January 2009, when he had another incident during his freshman year at James Madison University, from which he also recovered. Then, after transferring to the College for the fall 2009 semester, he was volunteering at MUSC and pushing a wheelchair when his heart again went out of whack, prompting the ICD to shock him, knocking him back three feet and onto the ground while repacing his heart. This was two weeks before he collapsed in the library, and is one of the last things he remembers before falling on the steps. To try and prevent another episode of cardiac arrest, Brown takes supplements of potassium, magnesium and iron, as well as beta-blockers, which push his heart rate down. Perhaps more taxing than his pill regimen are the lifestyle adjustments he’s had to make. Now, the former soccer player has trouble running or climbing stairs without getting winded. He must

refrain from playing sports in which an elbow or speeding ball could hit his chest and dislodge his ICD. He can’t drink alcohol or smoke. He spends his holidays and breaks in doctor’s offices instead of with his friends. Thrills like skydiving and roller coasters are now no-nos. “My parents say it’s another reason to do well in school since I can’t do those things,” says Brown. “But I was pretty upset that I would never have the regular experience of a college student.” Initially, his health problems and their effects were overwhelming, and he asked, “Why me?” In time, though, he stopped dwelling on what he couldn’t do, and concentrated on what he could. He’s happy to be alive, and grateful to be walking, thinking and breathing. He’s found ways to modify his athletic activities, playing more golf and tennis, and walking around Charleston. He still volunteers at MUSC, and continues to study to become a cardiologist. He’s also met London again, this time while conscious, when London recognized him at a pool tournament. A week or two after performing CPR, London learned that Brown had survived, but seeing him in the flesh again was a nice surprise, as well as a validation of sorts. London had just returned to the College that fall semester after taking a year off from his studies. His role in saving Brown’s life encouraged him that he had made the right decision to return. “It’s definitely given me a sense of purpose coming back to school,” he says.

The College of Charleston Emergency Medical Service celebrated its 15th anniversary this year and capped the spring semester by earning certification as a South Carolina–licensed medical provider. It’s a remarkable achievement for the 40-member student volunteer organization, says Rick Krantz, fire and EMS chief at the College, and the certification validates the rigorous training and discipline practiced by the emergency medical staff. “These guys, they’re sharp,” says Krantz. “I’d put them up against anybody.” In 1995, students Jason Chapman and David Greene ’98 started the College’s EMS service. In the early years, the squad was run out of a student pickup, and, over time, equipment and staffing improved. Nowadays, student paramedics attend most major College events, providing standby medical service. This past year, the College’s EMS participated in two dramatic rescues, helping transport student Stephen Brown to the Medical University of South Carolina after he suffered cardiac arrest in the Addlestone Library in November. Brown, who was without a pulse for approximately 40 minutes, made a full recovery. In March, student paramedics helped save the life of a 54-year-old Asheville man who collapsed while running the annual Cooper River Bridge Run. He was without a pulse until the paramedics used an automatic defibrillator to revive him. This spring, Krantz also reached a milestone, celebrating his 25th year at the College. A stickler for fire safety, Krantz has continually modernized the College’s emergency-response procedures and equipment. Each May, Krantz can be seen next to Porters Lodge, watching a procession of graduates he helped protect. Almost nothing could make him prouder than their smiles. “I love my job,” says Krantz. “I love seeing those kids walk across the stage.”

SUMMER 2010 |

13

|


making their mark Number of graduates: 2,298 Honors College graduates: 134 Triple major: 1 (Travis O’Dell – biology, biochemistry and chemistry and a minor in German) Top five degrees awarded: business administration (289), communication (264), biology (176), psychology (170) and political science (143) Bishop Robert Smith Award recipients: Laura Ferguson (marine biology and Hispanic studies) and Joseph Saei (philosophy) Undergraduate Commencement speaker: Marco Cavazzoni, vice president and general manager of final assembly and delivery at Boeing Charleston Master’s degree candidates: 135 Graduate School Commencement speaker: Lucy Garrett Beckham ’70, principal at Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) and 2010 MetLife/NASSP National High School Principal of the Year

|

14

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


Making the Grade

The Smooth Operator He speaks with confidence and conveys intimacy. His voice is smooth and deep. You don’t mind him interrupting, because he doesn’t linger too long. He’d rather be sharing the music he loves than bending your ear. “We’re rolling into the weekend,” says Alex Jackson ’10. “It’s Friday afternoon, and you’re listening to the A-Train on College of Charleston Radio.” With that comes the gentle singing of CeCe Winans’ “Holy Spirit, Come Fill This Place.” It’s one of Jackson’s favorite songs to open the show, and it serves as a blessing for the two hours of music and talk to come. For five years, Jackson hosted his own weekly show on College of Charleston Radio, serving up a smattering of gospel, R&B, Motown and soul music. Sometimes, he’d slip in some reggae and Christian rock, or invite a guest to play live music on the air. As a freshman, he worried how he’d fill two hours of airtime, and made detailed playlists of every song he would play. By the time he graduated, he was a relaxed veteran of the airwaves, and was more casual in his song selection and show preparation. That Jackson handles his radio duties and other responsibilities with ease is a credit to his strength, optimism and

can-do attitude. As an infant, Jackson was involved in an automobile accident that left him a quadriplegic. During his time at the College, he navigated campus in a wheelchair and was forced to adapt creatively to a number of challenges, which included broadcasting his radio show remotely until he successfully lobbied for the installation of a handicapped-accessible elevator in the College’s student media headquarters in the Calhoun Annex. Nate Mallard ’09 recalls the days when Jackson did his show remotely in a storeroom, and how he persevered through the technical difficulties that inevitably cropped up each week. “I felt disheartened, because I knew Alex loved doing his show, and every week there seemed to be a problem. But it never seemed to bother him,” says Mallard, who worked as the radio’s general manager for a year. “He would just keep going, trying his hardest to learn the new ways I would cook up to make his show happen.” Besides the radio show, the communication major and Charleston native sang with the College of Charleston Gospel Choir, stayed active in his church and volunteered with a local Boy Scout troop as an assistant scoutmaster. Jackson

also worked in the Center for Disability Services, eager to ease the burdens faced by other students with disabilities and offer his suggestions for accessibility improvements in new buildings on campus, including the Carolina First Arena, the George Street Apartments and the Liberty Street Residence Hall. One colleague at the disability center, Kay Fitkin, compliments Jackson for always showing up to work with a smile, sense of purpose and a penchant for joke telling. “His attitude is phenomenal. It helps the people who are with him. He doesn’t sweat the small things,” says Fitkin, a student service coordinator. “He is such a takecharge person.” As Jackson leaves the College and considers public relations job possibilities, he’s confident he’ll find a new place to fit in. At the College, Jackson says, he acquired courage and learned that he could achieve anything he set his mind to. He also learned the importance of good friends and family, and the value of independence. In other words, he is prepared for whatever is on the horizon. “As college should, it opens your eyes to new things and new people,” says Jackson. “It’s definitely made me a better person.”

SUMMER 2010 |

15

|


The Movers and Shakers It could be the tickle of the tassels dangling from the fuchsia top. Or perhaps the jingle of the gold coins clinking together on the crimson hip belt. Or maybe it’s the rustle of the sheer chiffon swishing around in layers of the bright blue skirt. Whatever it is, it can transform you. “When you put on your belly dancing costume, your whole person changes. You’re instantly more confident, more self-aware – I know I am, anyway,” says Sydney Pratt, who, together with Brittany Jones, serves as co-president of the

when the costume comes off: students’ evolution as they progress through the club’s four-level program, which conditions them to isolate individual muscles and teaches them different combinations and choreography. It’s a slow process, and it takes a lot of work (in addition to rehearsals for small-group routines, the club meets for three hours twice a week for lessons led by the senior members of the group) – but, ultimately, it’s very rewarding.

than anything! I’ve developed and matured as a person – and I’ve watched all these girls do the same thing. They start dancing, and their self-esteem just skyrockets.” And that, of course, is the goal. “We want these girls to learn not just how to shimmy, but how to be confident,” says Jones, a senior majoring in math and secondary education, who started belly dancing over three years ago. “It’s not just a dancing club, it’s a support network for everyone involved.”

| ( l to r ) Brittany Jones and Sydney Pratt | College of Charleston Belly Dance Club. “Oh, yeah,” agrees Jones. “I put on my costume, and I feel like my dancing me – that strong, sassy girl that comes out whenever I dance. All of a sudden, it’s just like, ‘I’m here! Look at me!’” Even more dramatic, however, is the transformation that doesn’t go away

|

16

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

“They work hard, and it shows,” says Pratt, who joined the club two years ago as a freshman with no previous dance experience. “I was just like the girls we see starting out now – I was so nervous to show my stomach, and dancing in front of people was probably my biggest fear. But now I love performing more

And that means that no one gets criticized and everyone gets an equal voice. “This is about including everyone and making everyone feel good,” says Pratt, a junior majoring in arts management. “We encourage everyone’s individuality within the group dynamic, but we do have rules that we require the girls to follow. We


Making the Grade

have really high standards, and we expect them to represent us well.” Whether performing with the group or separately, for example, the 40 club members are expected to act professionally and appropriately – wearing full cabaret costumes for every event, taking the proper safety precautions if their routines use fire pieces or swords and using stage names to protect their identity (a measure that’s especially important for the 20 students in the Meira Belly Dance Troupe, which operates off campus). And, of course, the dancers must always honor the traditional values of belly dancing.

and draw up contracts. It’s like we run a little business.” And, by all accounts, business is booming. In addition to its big showcase every semester, the club has been nabbed for on-campus events like Relay for Life, the World Cultures Fair, Martin Luther King Day of Service, Accepted Students Day and new student orientation. And, off campus, the troupe has a regular spot in the Charleston Christmas Parade and at the Coastal Carolina Fair, not to mention one-time performances for restaurant openings and other private events. “We’ve made a good effort of getting out there, and people are starting to seek

They performed four times during the two-day competition, using the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of all women. “In belly dancing, no one’s out there trying to outdo anyone else. It’s about fun, feminism and building women’s confidence,” says Jones. “When it comes down to it, we’re all women and we’re all powerful, and we need to embrace that and use that for the best possible outcome.” And what better way to do it? “Belly dancing is fun, relaxing, good for you and it boosts your self-esteem,” says Pratt. “It completely changes how

“We’re exploring the beauty of different parts of the world through this art form,” says Pratt, adding that, in addition to learning about other cultures through belly dancing, she’s gained some practical knowhow about her own: “I’ve learned a lot about how to present ourselves, how to market ourselves

us out,” says Jones, noting that the request for their performance at the Miss South Carolina USA and Teen USA Pageant at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center last November took everyone by surprise. “We have no idea how they found us, but we couldn’t pass it up!”

you perceive yourself and everything around you.” And with that kind of transformation, it doesn’t matter what you wear. To learn more about the College’s Belly Dance Club, check out lcwa.cofc.edu/arabic/dance/.

SUMMER 2010 |

17

|


Vicious Cycles Going downhill, they exceeded speeds of 50 mph. Uphill, they were grinding out a measly 10. As the College of Charleston Cycling Team climbed the mountains outside Asheville, N.C., different thoughts ran through each of their sweaty, helmeted heads. Brooks Bostick tried to block out the pain. Brian Arne imagined his competitors suffering just as much as him, if not more. Evan Jacobi focused on a single prayer: “Please be over.” Soon enough, it was over, and the College’s intramural cycling team could marvel at the steep sections they climbed, including one 21-percent incline that their cars had trouble traveling. The Mars Hill Road Race in North Carolina in April was one of 15 competitions the College’s cycling team entered its inaugural year as it traveled the South on weekends, competing in assorted

road races, crits and time trials. Two of the team’s riders – Arne and Bostick – competed so well they will race next year in the top college-cycling category against professional racers. In Charleston, where the terrain is, of course, flat, the intramural team of five men and two women trains by riding across the Isle of Palms, Johns Island or Hampton Park. The team, started by freshman Jake Coleman, is looking for new teammates, and Jacobi ’10, is considering starting an alumni riding group. Interested cyclists should know there are at least two things they can do to fit right in with the team. First, it helps to have spirited opinions on motorists’ responsibilities to share the road safely with bicyclists (and vice versa). Second, shave your legs. Unlike swimmers, cyclists don’t move much faster when they shave their legs. Instead, it’s done because hairless skin

is easier to disinfect and wash clean of gravel, should a rider take a spill while racing. Also, significant impact with the road during a crash can cause hair follicles to be pushed inside skin, causing ingrown hairs. For these reasons, the cycling team proudly sports some of the sleekest calves on campus. In fact, in the world of cycling, it’s uncommon to find competitors with hair on their legs. Some riders even shave their arms. “If you go to a race and see a guy with hairy legs, you don’t take him seriously,” says Arne. “Shaving shows a commitment to the sport.” Besides, adds Bostick, “It makes your legs look good. I hate to say it, but it’s true.” For more information about the College’s cycling team, visit cofccycling.webs.com.

| (l to r) Evan Jacobi ’10, Brian Arne, Kerrington Wilson, Jake Coleman and Brooks Bostick |

|

18

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


Making the Grade

let off some steam Steampunk: It’s a subgenre of science fiction, clogged with gleaming gears and pristine petticoats. It’s also an aesthetic, and one that seeks to glorify the heritage of the Victorian era and the Industrial Revolution, a time where grime, grease and grit existed beside formal manners and elaborate costumes. Taking inspiration from the works of writers that include Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, adherents of steampunk seek to reimagine the fantastic possibilities of steam-powered machinery, a technology whose glamour was short-lived, eclipsed by the development of computers, nuclear power and the other less tangible innovations of the 20th century. Here, students Tyler Sawyer and Adrienne Grishaw model steampunk-inspired fashions. In March, the pair were named king and queen of the Steampunk Gala, which was sponsored by the student club College of Charleston Anime Association.


| Photos by Mike Ledford |

TEAMWORK

On Guard Tonia Gerty isn’t the type of player to spend time worrying about her opponents. She doesn’t bother thinking about how high the other team is ranked or how touted its best player is. In fact, she couldn’t care less. “I’ve always believed in playing to your ability and focusing on your game and your strengths,” notes the mentally tough Gerty, whose outstanding play this season earned her the accolade of Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year in a vote by the league’s 11 coaches. Guided by this persistent point guard who led the conference in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio, the Cougars are coming off a historic year, highlighted by the program’s first postseason victories, with a pair of wins in the Women’s Basketball Invitational over Morehead State University and Bradley University.

the SPORTSTICKER |

“She’s a true competitor and extremely self-motivated,” says women’s head coach Nancy Wilson. “Tonia has the athleticism and skills to back up her competitiveness, and she takes pride in being able to affect another team’s offense. She’s quick, low to the ground and has a lot of tenacity to play as hard as she does.” Gerty’s motivation stems from her family and her humble beginnings, along with a strong spiritual foundation. “I grew up not having a lot, but basketball’s always been my strength,” says the communication major. “I have to work hard at what I do and become successful to help my family.” Gerty’s personal responsibility is something that always stands out to Wilson. “I’m really proud of her because I can see her growing by leaps and bounds every year, both on and off the court,”

Wilson says. “She’s a leader, and there’s a lot about her I really admire.” For Gerty, one of the most important lessons has been maintaining a strong court presence. “I’ve learned over the years to be poised and relaxed,” she observes. “You have to perfect what you do best.” Gerty is on track to graduate next May and hopes to extend her basketball career professionally before pursuing a career in coaching. But in the meantime, her focus is on helping the Cougars carry some of this year’s momentum into next season, despite losing several key teammates. She plans to share her tough mindset with the incoming players. “I never want anyone to beat me,” she says emphatically. “I have a job to do, and that’s to stop my opponent any way I can – without fouling, of course.” – Alex Pellegrino Rogers ’03

Matt Leeds (baseball) was named SoCon Player of the Year. The economics major also earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III First Team honors. + Jeremy Simmons (men’s basketball) was named SoCon Co-Defensive Player of the Year. + The women’s tennis team won their secondstraight SoCon tennis championship. + Men’s tennis coach Jay Bruner earned SoCon Coach of the Year. + Lukas Koncilia (men’s |

20

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


TEAMWORK

On each new golf ball he buys, John Duke Hudson uses a specially purchased purple marker to draw a small, strange-looking symbol, something he describes as a combination of the letter V and the number seven. The symbol is a reminder of home. The mark, he explains, matches the brand that his grandparents stamp on each of their cattle at the family ranch in Texas hill country. The purple ink also matches the silks that jockeys wear when racing the family’s horses. Hudson crouches and gently places one of these marked balls on a tee when he begins to play each hole. He calmly sets his feet, extends his arms and lines up his club. Then he unceremoniously whacks it, shooting the ball up to 300 yards away. The ball sinks into the earth when it lands, leaving a sizeable impression before rolling on. For the hack golfer, there’s a small degree of amazement the ball is still intact after being struck so solidly. The lone player on the men’s golf team to play in each tournament of the season, Hudson just finished a spectacular freshman year. His best showing occurred during the Wendy’s Charleston Shootout, when he placed third, shooting a 212 at the tournament hosted on the Cougars’ home course, The Links at Stono Ferry. Just as consistent as his performance, though, was the support from his family – at least one relative attended each of his tournaments, no matter if they were in Utah, Florida or South Carolina. It’s an informal agreement of sorts. They show up to his tournaments – he keeps penning the family brand on his balls with purple ink. “It’s just a reminder of where my roots are,” says Hudson. “Takes me back down to some core values.” Hudson practices at least six days a week, but usually all seven. After finishing his classes at noon each weekday, he hurries off campus to Stono Ferry to perfect his swing and play a few holes. He grimaces when passing Marion Square, seeing his fellow students tossing

| Photo by Mike Ledford |

Family Links

Frisbees. In each flick of the wrist, he sees freedom. Still, he soldiers on, dedicated to improving his game. Everything else plays second fiddle to golf. “I always try to get my practice first,” says Hudson. “Then, if I need to stay up half the night to do homework, I do.” Despite the occasional longing for leisure time, Hudson is used to golfing like it was his job. Growing up in Sonora, Texas, where his family has ranched for six generations, he had to drive an hour to reach the nearest country club or to visit his swing coach. Tournaments were usually at least a four-hour drive away. Fortunately, if he got desperate, his hometown did have a nine-hole municipal course where he could mess around. Just as Marion Square offers temptations to the young golfer, so do the dry, rocky Texas hills Hudson calls home. In high school, the equestrian and 4-H club member often had to resist putting his hands around his bow, rifle or fishing pole instead of picking up his

clubs. Hudson loves hunting deer and turkey, and occasionally he stalks the hills for cattle predators that include coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions. If he were to fall short of his goal to become a professional golfer, he’d love to host a hunting or fishing television show. “Pretty much anything that involves outdoors,” Hudson says, “I’m a fan of.” When Hudson visited the College, it was the first of many schools and golf programs he planned to consider. But after seeing the campus and the varsity golf facilities at Stono Ferry, he cancelled all his other visits. The College, he decided, would be home for the next four years. Mark McEntire, the men’s golf coach, commends Hudson’s freshman-year performance and extraordinary work ethic, but doesn’t hesitate to say he’s counting on the small-town Texas phenom for even bigger and better things in the years to come. “I expect,” says McEntire, “for him to lead this team and be one of the best who ever played here.”

tennis) was named SoCon Player of the Year. + Randy Buchanan posted gold medal–winning performances in three categories at the 2010 CCSA Championships. + Emily Smith won her second-straight SoCon crown in the high jump. + Caroline Newman (women’s tennis), a psychology major with a minor in neuroscience, was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III First Team. + The women’s golf team earned an at-large bid in the NCA A East Regional. SUMMER 2010 |

21

|


[ student ]

| Illustration by Charla Pettingill |

POINT of VIEW

My Mother’s Footsteps Going off to college is a life-changing moment. It’s scary, yet exhilarating. For this student, her arrival at the College was both a departure and a homecoming of sorts. by Celeste Seymore ’13 A college freshman – a college landmark. The freshman is daunted, but also amazed by the structure. Randolph Hall is stoic, unmoving. It’s an integral piece of a magical place that has been here for nearly two centuries, yet the freshman has only just arrived. Her own mother – Cathy Hawkins Seymore – stood here once, a freshman herself, and possibly feeling the same way as the girl who stands here now feels.

|

22

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

Gone with the Class of 1978, she went on to medical school and later became an esteemed doctor. Her daughter and legacy now stands here, almost 31 years later, wondering what footprints she will leave on the College of Charleston. Staring at the building, I am intimidated, but also oddly at home, because the College is a place I have heard about my entire life. As Carl Sagan once said, “You have to know the past to understand the present.” My case is certainly no different. My earliest memories of the College are in my mother’s 1967 blood-red Mustang, churning up the cobblestone roads of downtown Charleston. I’m very young, and struggle over the car’s old leather interior to see out the window. After we arrive, she leads me by the hand across the brick paths and points out the places she frequented as a student. We pass the weathered but beautiful Sottile House, where she once lived. I’m unable


POINT of VIEW

to appreciate its true beauty at that age, but am particularly fascinated by the stained-glass windows. We finally end up at the Cistern, one of the College’s oldest and most sacred locations. Still grasping tightly to her hand, I’m led to the old steps of Randolph Hall. There she explains the graduation ceremony, the white dresses, the dinner jackets and the roses. In my mind I try to imagine her life here, and all the great things she did. It won’t be until I’m older that I truly start to understand her story. As I stare now at Randolph Hall, I think about my mother’s own journey to the College. My mother has always considered Charleston to be her home, though she has not always lived here. Spending her high school years in Batesburg-Leesville, S.C., my mother graduated a year early almost solely to escape the sleepy little place. The youngest of four, my mother knew early on that nothing in life would be given to her. Money was tight, and some days college seemed only a remote possibility. However, she has never let anything stop her from doing what she wants, and this was no different. With her Mustang (affectionately named “Little Red”) packed to the brim,

and holding it in my hands, terrified and excited at the same time. My mother watched me open it through teary eyes, and I think she saw herself standing there. The esteemed doctor had stood there 31 years ago, a meek high school senior, holding in her hands the key to a new life. And as I tore open the seal and shakily read the letter, she realized that now I was holding the key. “Doing all the little tricky things it takes to grow up, step by step, into an anxious and unsettling world”: Sylvia Plath’s words had never meant as much as they did the day I moved into my dorm. Moving in was a whirlwind of activities, most of them stressful. Between unpacking and meeting new roommates, I felt anxious and unsettled, to say the least. Was everyone this scared when they went to college? Was my mom this scared? Did she feel fearful as she watched her mother and her older sister unload the boxes that practically contained her whole life? When it came time to say goodbye to my parents, my mom took me by the hand and gave me something I thought I’d never see. “Here,” she said, placing a small, gold object in my hand. “This is for you.” I looked up, obviously confused.

I stared into the piercing blue eyes of the woman who had raised me and prayed reverently that I could one day be half the woman she is. She closed my hand around the ring and left with my father. my mother escaped from Batesburg and headed to the College on a full scholarship. She has always told me those four years were the best years of her life, so when it came time to leave, she moved next door to the Medical University of South Carolina to pursue her love of medicine. It was there she met my father, married him and, 10 years later, gave birth to a daughter – me. As I stand here before Randolph Hall, I think about my own journey. I grew up in Fort Mill, S.C., but Charleston was never far from my mind. We made numerous trips when I was younger to see family, or sometimes just to see the College itself. I knew all about her life in the Lowcountry, but she insisted I make my own, in Fort Mill. I knew from a very early age that I am nothing like my mother. While she found comfort and ease in academia, I only found mediocrity. I was not the valedictorian she was, and I certainly was not going to be the doctor she is. I grew up with physicians; I knew it was not something I wanted to do. My passion was in two things: music and athletics. I played clarinet all four years of high school, and served as drum major for Fort Mill’s marching band for three. I played volleyball religiously for seven years. No, I was not her doctor, and sometimes I think that made her even prouder of me. When the time came to look for a college, I looked high and low for a place I could call my own. I applied to numerous schools and visited numerous campuses, each preaching its cheesy slogans, insisting it was the place to be. It stressed me out to think about all the places I could end up, but one night it struck me as clearly as if I had been hit in the head. I belonged in Charleston, and I always had. My heart has always been by the ocean, and it still is. I applied in November, and was accepted in December. I remember the day the envelope came,

“But what is it?” I asked. She smiled, through tears: “My class ring. I want you to keep it until you get your own.” She must’ve seen the blatant fear in my eyes, because then she added, “I was just as scared. I knew no one, and I had no clue if I would be able to survive here. But that ring is proof that I did, and you will, too. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.” I stared into the piercing blue eyes of the woman who had raised me and prayed reverently that I could one day be half the woman she was. She closed my hand around the ring and left with my father. I stared at the ring, dumbfounded. Perhaps my mother wasn’t the fearless warrior I thought her to be. Maybe she had been unsure as well, and maybe, just maybe, she had wanted to make her mother proud as well. The only thing that went through my mind was, “I will make you proud.” I stare at Randolph Hall, and feel the warm, salty breeze on the back of my neck. Though my mother is almost 300 miles away, I swear I can feel her here with me now. It’s as if she’s cheering me on, with every breeze and every cricket’s chirp. As the famous lecturer Marianne Williamson once wisely observed, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.” And as I turn away from Randolph Hall, my mother’s ring on my finger and a smirk on my lips, I realize something: My mother’s story here may be finished, but I only hold the pen in my hand, and with that pen I hold power. It’s time to put pen to paper, and write my own story.

SUMMER 2010 |

23

|


POINT of VIEW [ faculty ] Swimming With Snails Since 1983, Rob Dillon has been helping students understand the intricacies of biology. We asked him to share his philosophy and approach to the classroom experience. by Rob Dillon

| Illustration by Nathan Durfee |

The reporter asked me a very reasonable question. It’s one I’ve been asked on many occasions in the past: “Why do you study snails?” And I deflected his question with my usual reply, “I always have.” My 1982 Ph.D. dissertation, “The Correlates of Divergence in Isolated Populations of the Freshwater Snail,

|

24

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

Goniobasis proxima,” still sits on a shelf by my desk for easy reference. In the file cabinet below is a 1972 program from the Virginia Junior Academy of Sciences with a star marking my “Response to Stimuli in the Freshwater Snail, Physa.” Back home I’ve got my mother’s old scrapbook with a 1960 clipping from the Waynesboro News-Virginian, “Five Year Old Collects Rocks and Shells.” I have indeed always studied snails. The reporter took my reply as an answer to his question, but it is not. Nor would a legitimate response have anything to do with the value or importance of snails. The little brown ones I study are useless, and justifiably obscure. I haven’t had a research grant in years. Nor would a


POINT of VIEW

candid answer invoke the involvement of students in the research experience, even though quite a few certainly have contributed. Students would be attracted in far greater numbers to almost any other research topic. Nor do I study snails because my research findings translate easily into the classroom, although amazingly, a paper I wrote with an undergraduate here in 1992 is cited in the textbook we use to teach Genetics 305. In fact, I have no idea why I study snails. The reporter might just as well ask a codfish why he swims. I imagine that most of my colleagues in the biology department would report similar feelings if pressed about their own research. Sure, some of them do work on important questions and get big grants. All of us involve students, and integrate our research experiences into the classroom. But we’re all codfish, and we’re swimming anyway. When we hire new faculty for our department, the first question we consider is the research emphasis to be specified in the headline of the job advertisement. Then, the primary criterion by which we select finalists for interview is their record of scientific publication, and the primary criterion by which we judge each finalist is the quality of the research seminar he or she offers to us, the faculty. My colleagues and I want to see how well the new fish swims. The question of “why” does not enter our minds.

This might surprise a newspaper reporter, or indeed anybody not immediately familiar with the College. We are not a research university. According to the Charter of 1785, our function is “the proper education of youth.” Don’t teaching abilities or classroom experience play some role in the hiring of biology professors at the College of Charleston? Yes, but only secondarily. As is true throughout the liberal arts and sciences tradition, professors at the College are not teachers. We are professionals in some other discipline, who teach. I myself am a scientist, not a teacher. This observation is not intended to slight the teaching profession in any way. My mother was a teacher, my wife is a teacher, and half of both our families are teachers. A teacher’s job is to help his or her students – who are delivered into the classroom with a great variety of interests, backgrounds and learning styles – learn. Every day the teacher faces rows and columns of little codfish, jaybirds and hoptoads, and he or she must engage the entire menagerie in the subjects of swimming, flying and hopping. Thank heaven that’s not my job. I hate school and everything about it – classrooms, desks, tests, grades and even books. About 10 years ago I spent the longest day of my entire life trying to teach biology at Middleton High School west of the Ashley, failing miserably. As much as I admire teachers, I could never be one. We professors do not deal with different “learning styles.” We expect our students to match our own learning styles. In Genetics Lab 305L, we are critical, rigorous, precise and quantitative. We assume the values, language and culture of science. Our lives are focused on the construction of testable hypotheses about the natural world. In other words, we are all codfish in Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center room 200, and we swim. Swimming does not follow simply from “learning about swimming,” as though college were the 13th grade. I often surprise my Genetics 305L students with the admission that I don’t know any genetics, but that it doesn’t matter, because I Google. The pace of scientific advance is so rapid that any arbitrary genetic factoid I might choose to share with them in the first week of the semester will be obsolete by week 14. So professors in the liberal arts and sciences tradition do not answer questions, we ask them. We’re not building castles here, we’re laying roads. Well, torturing my analogy to the very end, in Genetics 305L, I suppose I’m digging a canal. And here is the essence of a liberal education. For these same young men and women who this morning I have tossed thoughtlessly into the canal of science will this afternoon be expected by the jaybird-poet fussing high above his American Literature 207 class to fly. And this evening, the hoptoad-historian squatting in front of her European Civilization 101 will expect them to catch insects with their tongues. Why? None of us ever asks. But students who survive four years of drowning, falling and frustrated insectivory will emerge with vivid appreciations of the many ways one might approach the world. They will have been scolded by jaybirds who know only air and bullied by hoptoads who see but the riverbank. And way back in the corner of Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center room 200, they whisper one to another, there lurks a genuinely nasty codfish, who for some mysterious reason, swims with snails. – Rob Dillon is an associate professor of biology.

SUMMER 2010 |

25

|


POINT of VIEW

[ alumni ]

Abroad Education

by Peter Bauman ’97 One afternoon during my sophomore year, I passed a friend in the Cistern Yard. She was sitting in the grass filling out an application. When I inquired, she said that she was looking for a unique experience and was planning to study abroad in Finland her junior year. My parents always encouraged me to study overseas, but I guess I needed the stimulus to come from someone else. Following our conversation, I walked over to the studyabroad office and began filling out an application. Months later I received notice that I would be spending my junior year in The Netherlands. That year abroad would have a tremendous impact on my life. In fact, it was there that I decided that I would return to Charleston, complete my degree in psychology and then work my way around the world before figuring out a set career path. I had no idea that almost 15 years later I would be working as a conflict and development consultant in conflict zones throughout the world. After graduating, I lived out my dream … bartending in London, living in a château in France, backpacking through Europe, Morocco and southeast Asia, and teaching English in Taiwan. After two years, my mind began to drift toward the future, and the stress of choosing a career was taking its toll. I decided to return to the States. After getting over some serious culture shock, I worked as a live-in counselor at a psychiatric hospital in Atlanta. I wanted to explore the possibility of becoming a psychologist. After a year, I felt that the hospital was a mere holding cell and the major challenges were inherent in the system, not the individual. I also disliked the institutional setting and, therefore, became interested in wilderness-based experiential education. I missed living overseas, so I got a job working as a counselor for experiential education programs in Israel. This also gave me an opportunity to explore my own identity and take side trips to Egypt and Turkey. Three months later, the Second Intifada erupted. I was fairly naïve about the historical conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis, but this experience was a major wake-up call, forcing me to do some soul searching: What did I believe? Who did I support? What could I do? I decided to combine my skills and interests and create a

|

26

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

wilderness-adventure program for Palestinian and Israeli youth. I moved back to the United States and began training to be an Outward Bound instructor to gain the necessary technical skills to start the program. In 2004, this dream became a reality and the first-ever Palestinian/Israeli Outward Bound Unity Project was established. The program made an enormous impression on the individual participants, but, once again, I realized that the problems were inherent in the system, and without changing the structural inequities, individual transformation would have limited agency. At this time I was attending the master’s program in intercommunal coexistence and conflict at Brandeis University to gain a greater theoretical understanding of identity-based conflict. Just like my previous adventures, my next inspiration was about to unfold.

Arriving in Southern Sudan is like landing on a different planet. It’s hot, dry, dusty and poor. There are few paved roads and very little infrastructure. The people are hardened by decades of war, causing their genuine smiles to hide behind a façade of hardship and trauma. While scuba diving in Costa Rica, an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia triggered a tsunami that wreaked havoc from southeast Asia all the way to West Africa. Once again, I searched for ways to make a meaningful contribution. For my M.A. field project, I led a team to explore the impact of the tsunami and tsunami interventions on the conflicts in Sri Lanka and Indonesia/Aceh. I wanted to see if natural disaster would bring people together and create space for peace or if it would politicize and exacerbate preexisting tensions.

| Illustration by Alicia Vergel de Dios |

Continually heeding the call of the open road, this alumnus has seen a lot of the world – in ways and places the average traveler would never think to experience or even visit.


POINT of VIEW


I was astonished by the level of devastation, but even more surprised by the carelessness of the international response. For example, in Sri Lanka, when the tsunami struck, the Tamil Tigers and the government of Sri Lanka were engaged in a failing ceasefire. Both sides still felt that they could defeat the other through military power. Unfortunately, the donor funding was restricted for only the tsunami-affected population. This sounds good in theory; however, it left out the thousands of war-affected internally displaced persons who had been languishing in camps for decades. Unfortunately, this disparity was split along the same ethnic lines as the conflict (Tamil vs. Singhalese), making it easy for both sides to quickly politicize the aid and mobilize their constituencies for war. This was my immersion into the aid industry. After I completed my master’s degree, my goal was to gain as much experience as possible working in conflict environments. By default I became a consultant. My first contract was with Religions for Peace, an organization based in New York City. My job was to help develop interreligious councils for senior religious leaders from Sudan, Iraq and Palestine/Israel. The objective was to convene senior religious leaders in Kyoto, Japan, for “secret” problem-solving dialogues. The work was extremely interesting and the exposure and access I had were remarkable, but I also realized the limitations of senior political and religious figures. They would say one thing in private and the exact opposite in public. They were caught between their individual values and beliefs and their constituencies. I learned that hardliners represent only a small percentage of the population, yet they wield enormous power. Because of this, political and religious figures have very little room for negotiation. While in Japan I received an e-mail from an organization based in Cambridge, Mass. It wanted me to conduct a case study looking at how organizations were implementing programs in the midst of war. Despite the best intentions, interventions of aid often have unintended consequences that can undermine local capacities and exacerbate tensions. Thus, my task was to assess

villages that were Maoist strongholds. I loved Nepal, especially the opportunity to go hiking in some of most breathtaking mountains in the world. After a year and a half, I was ready for a more challenging environment. I wanted to go to Africa. Serendipitously, a D.C.–based INGO contacted me to go to Southern Sudan to advise its team on the development of a major peace-building program being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the development wing of the U.S. government. Arriving in Southern Sudan is like landing on a different planet. It’s hot, dry, dusty and poor. There are few paved roads and very little infrastructure. The people are hardened by decades of war, causing their genuine smiles to hide behind a façade of hardship and trauma.

People often ask me what Africa is like. ... I think of big skies and a very visceral sense of being. Africa how organizations were designing and implementing aid programs in conflict areas without causing more harm than good. I had always wanted to go trekking in the Himalayas, so I suggested Nepal. The organization agreed and I was off to Kathmandu. After completing this study, I was contracted by multiple international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) to assess their peace-building and development programs and advise their teams on ways to increase their positive impact. During this time the United Nations was facilitating a peace process between the Maoists and the government of Nepal. There were strikes and power outages, but I never felt unsafe even when working in some of the most remote

|

28

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

is raw.

In Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan, nearly every international organization can be found hosting hundreds of expats engaged in every kind of business one can imagine – diplomats, Doctors Without Borders, deminers, military contractors, environmentalists, oil company executives, missionaries and multilateral donors working for groups such as the World Bank and the United Nations. Everyone lives on a guarded compound and drives around in big white Toyota Land Cruisers. I often compare my experience in Sudan to summer camp for adults – only in a warzone with guns. After three months, USAID decided to end the funding for this project, and I was hired to work with the U.S. government and the Southern Sudan Land Commission to lead a team of experts to develop Southern Sudan’s first land policy. After decades of


| Images courtesy of Peter Bauman ’97 |

POINT of VIEW

| ( l tor ) Peter Bauman ’97, working as a conflict and development specialist in Nepal in 2006–07 | war, Sudan’s government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army signed a comprehensive peace agreement. In this agreement, the South was given a chance to create its own government and, in 2012, vote in a referendum to become a separate country. Thus, the South would have to create a government from scratch. This was an eye-opening experience in foreign policy and the politics of aid. For a country endowed with oil, every individual and every country have an interest that too often trumps the humanitarian imperative and what is best for the people. Land in Africa and much of the world is at the heart of conflict, especially identity-based war. Thus, I often found myself in the middle of this quagmire. Many people ask if I ever felt unsafe and get excited to hear wild stories. At times I did, but mostly because of the tremendous insecurity and lack of the rule of law. A place like Southern Sudan is unpredictable. If something goes wrong, it can escalate quickly. However, dealing with the emotional and mental stress was much more difficult than any physical concerns. Watching naked children rummage through piles of garbage for their daily bread while billions of dollars in international aid is poured into oil-rich areas can make one weary. After a year, my contract came to an end. It was time to move on. My team was able to make some progress on the land policy, but because land is so controversial, it will likely take years to formalize. In much of the developing world, particularly in Africa, the people have followed customary law for centuries. Mentally transitioning to statutory law and developing the structures to enforce it will take a long time. While in East Africa, I was able to take many trips and go trekking in some of the most beautiful wilderness in the world. I visited the genocide memorial in Rwanda and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, the Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda and the Simian range in Ethiopia. I was able to visit the mountain

gorillas on the border between Rwanda and Uganda and experience the vastness of the Serengeti. People often ask me what Africa is like. In the West, we tend to clump it all together. But, its human and geographic diversity is vast. However, when I do think about Africa, I think of big skies and a very visceral sense of being. Africa is raw. Since my projects in Sudan, I have been working on and off in Liberia, training the government’s peace-building office, and, most recently, I completed a contract with AusAid, the development wing of the Australian government. I was asked to train a team of civilians who will be working alongside the Australian Defense Forces in Afghanistan in a concept called “Conflict Sensitivity.” Their goal is to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people so that they do not join or support the Taliban. I’m skeptical, to say the least, but wish them a safe and successful journey. As I write this, I’m driving from Uluru to Alice Springs, the Aborigines’ homeland in Australia. The scenery is stunning, but I find myself overwhelmed with sadness. Perhaps one of the most successful and sustainable cultures has been destroyed. No apologies or concessions will bring it back. Now, they and their land have become tourist attractions. As I head to the Great Barrier Reef to do some diving, I find myself at a crossroads. At 34, I have lived and worked all over the world. I feel like I have lived many lives, witnessing both the sublime and the tragic. Oftentimes, I find beauty sitting next to the darkness: the hospitality and simplicity found in rural poverty, the people with the least often giving the most, the courage and sense of purpose found in the tragedy of war. Most of my dreams have come true, and I feel like I have just completed a major chapter in my life. When I think back to my time in Charleston, I always smile. As much as I have experienced since college, those years – still – are possibly the best years of my life.

SUMMER 2010 |

29

|


Meagan Orton ’11,

this year’s

good reason to be out of step reasons.

But

Miss CofC, had – in fact, many good

there’d never be enough reasons in all

the world for her to miss a single beat couldn’t hear it.

Life

even if she

is just too precious, too short

not to be dancing every possible moment you can. by

Jason Ryan

photography by

Diana Deaver

hen things were at their worst, when she was deaf in both ears, when insomnia turned her into a zombie, when a rash covered her from head to toe, when 50 extra pounds stuck to her 100-pound frame and Dad had to carry her around the house because her joints were so swollen, Meagan Orton opened books by novelist Nicholas Sparks. An unconventional therapy, maybe, but in those pages she found the familiar: beautiful, young Southern girl confronted with an uncertain fate. For Sparks’ female protagonists, assorted obstacles that include cancer, war and class differences threaten to cut life short and thwart true love. In some of these stories, Sparks penned a happy ending, something Orton could cling to. In others, the endings were not so happy. If these books made her sob, it mattered little. She had already been crying for two days. It was the second straight summer Orton was suffering from a bewildering array of symptoms. In 2008, at the end of her sophomore year, a high temperature and splitting headaches turned out to be viral meningitis, which put her in the hospital for a week and required months of bedridden recovery. This time, in May 2009, a diagnosis was still lacking. All Orton knew was that she woke up one morning before a final exam with no hearing in her right ear. Then she lost all but 20 percent of her hearing on the other side of her head when an infection caused her left eardrum to blow out. Doctors were hoping she could regain hearing in both ears, but were making no promises. Stay still, they’d tell her during near-daily appointments as she lay on a table, her father holding her hand, waiting for them to inject steroids directly into her eardrum in an effort to jump-start her hearing. Then, after performing some tests, the doctor would confirm what was already obvious to Orton: She was still deaf.


|

32

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


Some of Orton’s friends say she reminds them of the characters in Sparks’ books. In that they mean she is friendly, polite, beautiful, smart and well liked, and she possesses a certain innocence, which is not to be confused with naiveté. Senior Sallie Clark, a classmate and fellow Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sister, says Orton’s “always been sweet. I’ve never seen her mad or heard her say an ugly word about anybody.” Another friend and sorority sister, Farah Moustafa ’10, describes Orton as “a little offbeat, but you love her for it.” The novels Orton chose to speed through during those weeks of insomnia and deafness were as much a case of personal preference as they were practical. She was bored, but couldn’t hear television or music. She also had no one to talk to for half her waking hours, since everyone else was sleeping. Sudden hearing loss, Orton says, is like having your world turned off. She desperately wanted it flipped back on, even if life was going to be different, and possibly muted. After the second day without hearing, Orton stopped crying, and vowed not to feel sorry for herself. She chatted with other deaf people on the Internet and investigated the availability of sign language classes. She started reading her family members’ lips. She was determined to script herself a happy ending. In time, she’d validate a truth she already knew: Perseverance, hope and faith pay off. She’d also embark on new adventures, including one that involved donning a tiara and sporting a white sash emblazoned with “College of Charleston.”

In nearly every way, Orton seems a little too good to be true. As a youngster, she argued with her mom about her bedtime because she wanted to study more. At Stratford High School in Goose Creek, S.C., she helped organize pep rallies that recognized academic allstars instead of athletic champs, and she made a habit of meeting a new person each day and sitting with strangers in the lunchroom. She was captain of the cheerleading squad, nabbed the coveted role of Juliet in the school play, was a straight-A student and graduated sixth in a class of more than 600 students. She also earned a superlative from her peers as the “Best Girl to Take Home to Your Parents.” Her wholesomeness could be the source of some good-natured teasing from friends and family. Her brother-in-law, for example, offered some friendly advice before she headed off to the Honors College: “When you get to college, you will get a B at some point. When you do, we’ll get you some counseling.” Despite her mother’s protests, Orton began burning the candle at both ends as soon as she arrived at the College, deciding to rush a sorority, audition for a play, dance and more. A typical day consisted of class, attending rehearsal, sorority obligations and studying until 1 or 2 a.m. Not that she really minded. “I’ve never had free time,” she says half-jokingly. “I’ve had to schedule fun.” Once the play was finished, she was diagnosed with mono. Considering the frenetic pace she kept, the illness was no surprise to her mother, Cindy Orton, who works as a nurse at the Medical University of South Carolina. Besides, when hadn’t Meagan been sick? According to Cindy, there were red flags about her daughter’s health and “sluggish immune system” since she was born six

weeks premature. At 8 months of age, after Hurricane Hugo killed power to the Orton home and their supply of frozen breast milk spoiled, Meagan had a severe allergic reaction to the formula Cindy substituted in her diet, requiring a visit to the hospital. As a child she suffered ear infections and upper respiratory infections galore, requiring tubes to be put in her ears. At age 6, she had an eardrum reconstructed. She had her tonsils removed, as well as her adenoids. She also had two sinus surgeries.

I was so excited to be on stage dancing. I just decided I would have fun with it and represent my story the best I could. “Doctors,” says Cindy Orton, “would tease that she was the EN&T poster child.” There was a broken ankle, then a compression fracture in her spine after a competitive cheerleading accident during her senior year of high school. It seemed like just about everything in Orton’s body could be broken, save her spirit. She had endured years of taunting from middle school classmates who picked on her for being small and wearing braces and coke-bottle glasses. The thick lenses on her glasses magnified her blue eyes so much her classmates mean-spiritedly called her Tweety Bird. By high school, however, Orton’s awkward appearance had given way to beauty. Ugly duckling (or yellow cartoon canary) no longer, she now beamed a big, straight smile, flashed the same big blue eyes (but without glasses) and exhibited her perpetually bubbly personality. Her body betrayed little of the myriad health problems she had experienced as a kid, all the incisions, infections and surgeries she’d endured. It seems silly to focus on illness when talking about Meagan Orton, since the blond 21-year-old radiates youth, health and beauty. But, like anyone who’s been humbled by illness, her regular medical problems have figured considerably in her development and the arc of her young life. Illnesses are distractions for someone with goals, and severe illnesses molest go-getters like thieves, threatening to rob them of their dreams and possibly steal life itself. As Orton, her family and her doctors struggled for weeks to understand her deafness and other symptoms, mother and daughter both had their own breaking points, when all seemed lost. These were brief moments, but honest ones, when fears were bared, no longer hidden by the optimism and hope that were so natural to Meagan, the former cheerleader, and Cindy, the nurse. For Meagan, it occurred after staying by her sister’s side all night as she gave birth, making Meagan an aunt, though one incapable of hearing the newborn’s wail. Overwhelmed with emotion, she later turned to her mother and asked a tough question: “Do you think I’ll be able to hear my own children?”

SUMMER 2010 |

33

|


For Cindy, who, nearly 20 years earlier, helped her husband overcome a grim diagnosis of testicular cancer, the moment came after witnessing Meagan walk around the house like a stick for weeks, after seeing her shake uncontrollably until she took enough Valium to calm down, when a doctor – listening to the Ortons discuss Meagan’s swollen joints, rash, bloating and trembling – suggested she be tested for lupus. It was something the 33-year nursing veteran thought she’d never hear. “I lost it. I just broke down. I just bawled my eyes out,” she says. “I can’t be brave anymore. Game over. It’s done.”

Since she was little, Orton has liked to dance. As a young girl, she had to be pulled off the stage. When she once badly hit her head before a performance, the show still went on. When she broke her ankle, she tap-danced in a pink cast. At the College, she’s taken a dance class almost every semester with professor Ashley Stock, who says Orton is one of the hardest working students she’s taught. “You don’t find people like her that often, who are positive, upbeat and give you 100 percent in everything they do,” says Stock. During the fall 2009 semester, Stock welcomed Orton back to class, though this time her student was sticking close to the front of the class to make sure she was within earshot. Orton had received a hearing aid for her left ear – the one damaged from infection – over the summer. She remained deaf, however, in her right ear, a victim of unexplained sudden hearing loss. For this ear, doctors told her, a hearing aid would be no help. Fortunately, Orton was not diagnosed with lupus, and the unnerving symptoms she experienced in May 2009, which included swelling and a head-to-toe rash, were attributable to a rare allergic reaction to the steroids she was taking. These symptoms ceased upon her ending the steroid treatment.


Doctors advised Orton to take the fall semester off, but the psychology major refused, insisting on at least taking a reduced courseload. Midway through the semester, she visited the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., for more doctor visits. While there, she received a phone call from her sorority sisters. “Surprise,” they told her, “we entered you into the Miss College of Charleston Pageant. You have four days to prepare.” Though Orton is girly, she’s not prissy. Her pageant experience, too, was limited, though she did come out on top of the single contest she entered in high school. Displaying her trademark enthusiasm, she shrugged off her novice status and went on a frantic shopping spree after leaving the Mayo Clinic, snatching up dresses and outfits for the contest. Returning to Charleston, she sought out Stock, who – in an hour between classes – taught her a new dance routine, Bob Fosse’s short theatrical piece “Razzle Dazzle.” Choosing to dance was a bold choice for the talent portion of the pageant, considering she was deaf in one ear and dependent upon a hearing aid in the other. Orton, though, was at ease, glad to be breaking free of the restrictions imposed by her illnesses. “I was so excited to be on stage dancing,” she says. “I just decided I would have fun with it and represent my story the best I could.” The judges were sufficiently impressed with her performance in the pageant, with one commenting that her interview went superbly, as Orton’s answers were candid and refreshing. They voted her Miss College of Charleston, and Orton’s family joined her on stage to celebrate. Her mother, for the second time in six months, started bawling.

This July, Orton will compete to become Miss South Carolina. For this pageant, she’s getting more than four days of preparation, practicing a new dance routine and working with a nutritionist and trainer. She’s also adjusting to having hearing again on the right side of her head. In December, she underwent surgery to embed a bone-anchored hearing aid (Baha), otherwise known as a bionic ear, in her skull. Ask Orton to pull back her hair, and you’ll see a small, titanium knob projecting from behind her right ear. On this knob snaps the Baha, a small box specially colored “Champagne Blond” to match her hair. Unlike conventional hearing aids, which transmit sound through the ear canal, the Baha allows Orton to hear by conducting sound vibrations passing through her skull to her inner ear. The Baha also contains an audio jack that allows her to more or less plug a cellphone or iPod directly into her head. Orton will not talk about her medical problems unless you ask about them. Her friends say it’s not her style to conjure pity or to project her problems onto others. That, however, is about to change. As part of her public service platform for the Miss South Carolina Pageant, Orton is determined to educate the general public about sudden hearing loss, which affects about 4,000 Americans each year, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. “I’m supposed to be a voice for other people like me who are hearing impaired,” she says.

Very quickly,

Orton became

familiar with the routine struggles endured by

those with disabilities , especially people whose disabilities may not be apparent. Orton’s victory at the College pageant might make you think she’s adapted to her hearing-impaired existence with minimal difficulty. In some ways, she has, even sometimes using her disability to her advantage. At night she sleeps with her left ear into the pillow and her deaf, right ear pointed into the air, so she’ll be oblivious to roommates arriving home late. When her boyfriend, Austin Rhodes, whom she credits as being extremely supportive during her hearing loss and recovery, shares a story she finds boring, she’ll tease him and ask him to please switch sides and speak into her deaf ear. Other situations have been more challenging. In class this past year, Orton, who takes much pride in her schoolwork, struggled to take adequate notes. She was also dismayed to receive little compassion from some acquaintances that would not alter their behavior to accommodate her handicap. Very quickly, she became familiar with the routine struggles endured by those with disabilities, especially people whose disabilities may not be apparent. “It’s heartbreaking to have someone yell at you because you didn’t get it the first time,” she says. “I understand it’s an inconvenience for you, but it’s an inconvenience for me, too.” As part of her platform, Orton plans to visit schools and talk to children, encouraging students with disabilities to pursue their dreams at all costs. She also wants to talk to nondisabled students, encouraging them not to shun or ignore those with disabilities. It’s OK, she’ll tell them, to be curious about a classmate’s disability and to ask questions. Her friends have marveled at how she’s overcome her illnesses and found the time to take on such a challenging new endeavor. “I think she embodies grace,” says Moustafa, “taking hardships in stride and coming out better for it.” In July, Orton will perform again before judges, dancing to India Arie’s “Beautiful Flower.” If she previously considered dancing a passion, perhaps now it is also a privilege. Meningitis sapped her strength for months, but she recovered. Her hearing disappeared, but science restored it. Yet there was never a guarantee she’d recover her energy and hearing-enabled rhythm. She just had to believe things would be OK. When she takes the stage at the Miss South Carolina Pageant, Orton says she’ll do so with confidence. This time, it won’t matter if she gets the crown. Dancing itself is reason for celebration. “It’s not going to be a dance, it’s going to be a triumph for me,” says Orton. “I’ll be out there dancing, hearing impaired, to a beautiful song.”

SUMMER 2010 |

35

|


Dorm Gourmet A lum C hefs R eimagine O ur C ollege B asics photo - essay by

L e s l i e M c K e ll a r

Just like any thought-provoking class or favorite professor, food is an essential part of the college experience. Memories form around meals – Just like any thought-provoking class orStreet, favorite professor, breakfast in the cafeteria, lunch on King the occasional nice food is an essential part of the college experience. Memories dinner when family is in town and, of course, the late-night study break. – breakfast in the cafeteria, on King form Foodaround is moremeals than mere nourishment in collegelunch – it means community Street, the occasional nice dinner when family is in town and, and it also represents exploration, pushing yourself to try new things of course, the late-night study break. and experience new cultures. In that vein, we challenged four of our top alumni chefs to reconsider four college staples – ramen noodles, cereal, peanut butter and potato chips. We would have included pizza and beer on that list, but it’s pretty hard to improve on perfection. Only asking that they stay within a $50 budget, we gave these culinary artists carte blanche on their ingredient. And what they have created looks mighty tasty (if only you could eat these pages). Bon appétit.


|

38

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


Ramen noodles Challenger: Joe Palma ’02, Chef de Cuisine, Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert, Washington, D.C. On the Menu: Ramen and black sesame– crusted halibut over a salad of pickled radishes, pea shoots and carrots, with smoked soy Chef’s Description: “We took the raw ramen noodles and beat them up in a food processor, then added black sesame seeds and crusted a nicely seasoned piece of halibut that we had lightly washed with sesame oil with that mixture. We lightly pickled the carrots and radishes in rice wine vinegar, honey, green chiles, smoked soy sauce from Kentucky and ginger. The pea shoots are lightly tossed with a little lemon oil, and they serve as a garnish on top of the fish.” The Challenge Approach: “Well, I had never eaten ramen before, and after seeing the first two ingredients on the seasoning packet are salt and MSG, I decided that they had to go altogether, leaving me with the noodles. I could have done a nice noodle dish, but I figured using it in another way would be more interesting. As the noodles are mostly wheat flour anyway, I decided to use them like bread crumbs, and crust the fish, using black and white sesame seeds to break up the monotony of the ramen and give a little light flavor. That led me in an Asian direction, and, for summer, I decided to go with a simple pickled salad that features some of the great stuff we get in from some Amish farmers at Path Valley Farms in Pennsylvania, and I know are available through all the great farmers down around Charleston.”

SUMMER 2010 |

39

|


Cereal Challenger: Brown Burch ’05, Sous Chef, Le Cirque Restaurant, New York City On the Menu: Fluke crudo with pickled onion vinaigrette, avocado, jalapeño and wild rice crispies Chef’s Description: “Thin slices of sushiquality fluke are topped with a spicy, citrus vinaigrette, made from the pickling liquid of jalapeños and pearl onions, mixed with lime juice and good olive oil. Some slivers of the pickled jalapeños and pearl onions are garnish. Some small pieces of avocado provide a buttery creaminess to the acidic vinaigrette. The fish is then topped with maldon salt and homemade wild rice crispies for crunch and saltiness. The dish is finished with micro cilantro to add an herbal note to tie all the elements together.” The Challenge Approach: “I tried to incorporate cereal in a way that we would use it in a high-end, fine-dining restaurant – as far as technique, plating and taste are concerned. With that said, I thought it would be cool to make my own cereal to show the college kids how their old culinary staples are made. Basically, I wanted to use the crunch of cereal in an elegant, light summer dish that would be interesting to college kids.”


S PRI N G 2 0 1 0 |

41

|


|

42

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


Peanut Butter Challenger: Amanda Hammonds ’93, National Culinary Demonstrator, International Team at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. On the Menu: Peanut Butter Ganache Meltaway Chef’s Description: “Peanut butter mousse with dark chocolate ganache.” The Challenge Approach: “I LOVE peanut butter. I eat it almost every day and pack it on every overseas trip. Peanut butter was developed as a protein source for people without teeth or who had problems chewing – today, it’s as American as baseball and comes in many varieties. I do not know anyone who has not tasted it in the U.S. Here at the Culinary Institute of America, peanut butter with cinnamon seems to be a student favorite, followed closely by peanut butter with warm melted chocolate on top. I’m a pastry chef – no bread. Cakes and plated desserts are my love. I am really into sustainable, organic single-origin chocolates and ingredients. I came up with this recipe based on two of my favorite things: peanut butter and chocolate. I wanted it to melt in your mouth, but be visually interesting, too!”

SUMMER 2010 |

43

|


Potato chips Challenger: Jeremiah Bacon ’95, Executive Chef at Carolina’s Restaurant in Charleston On the Menu: Pan-seared local grouper with a caramelized onion and potato chip “panade” Chef’s Description: “I used Cape Cod chips in the panade. There are roasted fingerling potatoes on the dish and petite garlic chips on the plate as well (a little nod to the potato chip). The sauce was made with Ruffles potato chips, providing a great roasted potato flavor. There are local carrots, local littleneck clams, baby bok choy and red pearl onions. There tends to be a bit of a New England feel to this dish; however, it’s surprisingly local.” The Challenge Approach: “I was pretty excited about this ingredient because everyone loves potato chips. There is at least one style of chip for everyone. Cape Cods are a favorite of mine.” Check out the recipes for these great dishes at www.cofc.edu/magazine.

|

44

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


S PRI N G 2 0 1 0 |

45

|


STATE OF SHOCK by Alicia

Lutz ’98 | illustrations by Pat Kinsella | photography by Terry Manier


It’s only a matter of time before Charleston sees its next big earthquake. That much we know. And – with the help of four geology professors at the College of Charleston – we also know that we will emerge from the rubble stronger than ever. You just can’t shake the Holy City. pictured: Erin Beutel Associate Professor of Geology and Environmental Geosciences Director of the SC Earthquake Education and Preparedness Program


|

48

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


A profound, furious roar. A heaving jolt. And just like that, Charleston crumbles into chaos. Buildings collapse like Jenga towers one level too tall – the rubble plummeting down onto the sidewalks and into the streets, crushing pedestrians, trapping drivers and knocking over the tourist-filled carriages that panicked horses frantically drag through the wreckage. A confused racket builds up out of the mayhem, blaring out as the trembling ground triggers the alarms of safely parked cars and leaves the drivers enduring the writhing, twisting sway of the Ravenel Bridge – not to mention the cars sliding, one after another, into Colonial Lake – without any distress signal at all. There’s nothing that can be done. There’s no time to stop the cruise ships and container vessels from being thrown about the Charleston Harbor like bathtub toys – losing pieces of their respective cargo in the thrashes. And it’s too late to keep the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park from disintegrating into the marshes or to prevent the windows from peeling away from the round frame of the Holiday Inn across the Ashley. Piece by piece, the Holy City’s saintly skyline comes crashing down. St. Matthew’s soaring spire topples, St. Philip’s famous steeple tumbles and St. Michael’s clock tower staggers, its eight imported bells clanking in protest until it finally crumbles into the intersection of Meeting and Broad – the center of the nowderelict Four Corners of Law. Lest we forget: As long as we’re here on earth, the law of nature has the upper hand. It’s been a while since Charleston’s last wakeup call – and firsthand memories of the 7.3 earthquake in 1886 died with its survivors. But the South Carolina

Earthquake Education Preparedness Program is here to remind us: It’s only a matter of time. “There will be another one,” says Erin Beutel, the associate professor of geology and environmental geosciences who heads up SCEEP, which is co-funded by the College’s Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. “All we can do is prepare.” To help get the general community and local and state emergency management personnel ready, Beutel and the other geology faculty members that make up SCEEP share their research about South Carolina earthquakes, train emergency management personnel and community emergency response teams and prepare what-if scenarios for various seismic events, including present-day versions of the 1886 earthquake. Generated by FEMA’s GIS-based hazard-analysis program, these disaster reports show everything, from which utilities will be out to how the previous week’s weather will affect an area’s resilience. SUMMER 2010 |

49

|


“The warning you get with earthquakes is just that they’re coming: Whether it’s within this lifetime or within the lifetime of the city of Charleston is yet to be seen. It could happen tomorrow, but it could happen when the sea level is already up in Columbia.” – Erin Beutel

“We can change different variables out to come up with these different situations,” says Norm Levine, assistant professor of geology and environmental geosciences, whose advanced graduate students in the environmental sciences program worked to annotate the reports’ maps, which FEMA requires in order to release 10 percent of emergency funds at the time of an earthquake. “Our reports predicted the devastation in Port-au-Prince within 10 percent of the numbers it saw in January, so it’s pretty accurate. Here we can almost pinpoint which buildings are going to be demolished, which ones should hold up.” In some ways, the reports make earthquakes seemingly more predictable than hurricanes, which are known for duping one community into evacuating only to hit another and for leaving one house in shambles and the next untouched. Still, it’s always nice to have a timeframe. “The warning you get with earthquakes is just that they’re coming: Whether it’s within this lifetime or within the lifetime of the city of Charleston is yet to be seen. It could happen tomorrow, but it could happen when the sea level is already up in Columbia,” says Beutel. “Our best educated guess is that there’s a 7.0 or larger magnitude quake in Charleston every 400 to 500 years, but it’s one of those things where we just don’t have enough data to be sure that it doesn’t happen more frequently.” Also unclear is how often smaller-magnitude earthquakes might occur. “We don’t have long-period geologic records for quakes with a magnitude of 5 or 6, and they can be just as catastrophic and devastating,” says Briget Doyle, assistant professor of geology and geological geosciences and another member of the team. “Smaller quakes can have a giant impact – and they happen more often.” Charleston lies in one of the most seismically active areas in the eastern United States. Known as the Middleton Place–Summerville Seismic Zone, its fault is different than those in California in that it’s in the center of a large plate, causing shocks to radiate out for thousands of miles in all directions. Even though the MSSZ fault line is actually in Summerville, a greater amount of damage will occur on the Charleston peninsula, which is not only made up of older buildings, but is also largely built on marsh or swamp deposits and artificial fill (which didn’t even exist at the time of the 1886 earthquake). This “made ground” is highly unstable and will act as a liquid during a high-magnitude earthquake. The buildings erected on this land will be more susceptible to complete destruction, and the entire shape of the peninsula will change as a result of such a quake. Every year, Charleston typically gets 10–15 tremors of magnitude 3 or less, usually going unnoticed, but sometimes startling unsuspecting citizens. “Some people are just more sensitive to them,” says Doyle, “but there are a lot of factors that go into it: Are you sitting down? Walking? Are you on the first or second floor? If you’re driving, you might think you have a flat tire – but when everyone pulls over to check their tire, you’ll know. It’s actually called the ‘Flat Tire Effect.’ The type of soil you’re on has the biggest effect. The marshes are like a bowl of Jell-O, whereas if you’re on hard land, you might not feel it at all.” Of course, it’d be hard to miss a magnitude 7.0.

DAY 1*

47 of 2,232 hospital beds (2%) are available 1 of 58 fire stations are functional 369 of 727 bridges are functional 0 of 594 waste water facilities are functional 0 of 29 communication facilities are functional 152,805 of 207,957 households are without electrical power *numbers based on Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties

The ground shakes and, before you know it, you’re on the floor, being clobbered by books flying off the shelves and then by the bookcase toppling over. The big, heavy antique

|

50

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


HAITI: living through it It was 4:52 in the afternoon, and Julie Grier ’04 was preparing dinner in the kitchen. Everything was normal – no different from any other day over the past six months, when she’d moved to the Turgeau neighborhood of Portau-Prince. And then it was 4:53. What I first noticed was a noise: a loud rumbling not unlike that of a large truck going too fast down our steep street. Then the dishes in the kitchen started shaking. I looked up to ask my fiancé what was happening, only to see him stumbling-running, shirtless, out the front door. Realizing the shaking had become worse, I next thought our house was falling down, so – assuming everything outside would be safe – I opened the door to the alleyway. It wasn’t until then, when I saw our 12-foot-tall compound wall swaying back and forth as if it weighed nothing, that I realized it was an earthquake. I took off – running between the moving wall and our house and just praying that neither would fall and crush me underneath – toward our front courtyard, where I found my fiancé and our hysterical landlord and daytime guard. None of us wanted to open our gate, to see what was waiting beyond; we knew that if our reasonably wellconstructed house had barely withstood the shock, the self-made shacks perched precariously on the hillsides of the city – and the hundreds of thousands who lived inside

them – could not have survived. Outside our wall, our normally quiet street was filled with tens of thousands of people, crying, bleeding, searching. When we did open the gate, the despair, grief and fear were palpable. Sunset began shortly after the quake, and we did not feel safe in our courtyard, which was surrounded by tall buildings that could fall with another great temblor. We slipped back into our house as quickly as possible to gather sheets, nonperishable food and water, and then we set out on foot for a small golf course located about 2.5 miles away, just above town. Those first few hours after the earthquake were terrifying. Walking through the destruction of the dark city was like wading through hell. And that night at the golf course, where we lay awake listening to the city alternate between singing hymns and screaming in terror as the aftershocks continued – that night was unimaginable. But, still, Haiti’s struggle to overcome this nightmare won’t be over for years and years to come. – Julie Grier was living just outside Port-au-Prince when the 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti last January. Shortly after the disaster, entries from her blog – everythggoodwastaken.blogspot.com, where she documents her life and work in Haiti – were published in The Miami Herald and other major U.S. news outlets.


There are a lot of scary numbers in the wreckage – a lot of horror, destruction and pain – and yet, when all the rubble is cleared away, Charleston will emerge stronger than ever.

mirror slides off the wall, splintering glass smithereens across the floor before the wall itself starts cracking and then crumbling down around you. Your windows shatter, and it sounds like a dump truck is unloading concrete blocks in your attic – and they could fall through the ceiling any second. “During this, you should not be trying to go outside,” says Beutel. “Once the shaking is over, get out of the house. The plaster, veneers, wall: That’s all falling at this point. So wait under a table or desk until the shaking stops and materials stop falling, then go outside and get to a clearing. What you’ll be facing once you’re out of the house is continued destruction.” Some homes are reduced to rubble, others survive. Yours, you notice, is missing its chimney. Broken gas lines and downed electrical poles spark a fire down the road, and, as the screech of smoke detectors and home alarms pierces the dusty air, you can tell there’s inferno all around. “The water mains are going to be broken, so there’s no way to control the flames. That’s what’s going to be really bad – and, of course, the human reactions: rioting and looting, especially if there’s not a very rapid response,” says Doyle. “And a rapid response would be very difficult in the Charleston area – even if some bridges look like they’re structurally sound, nobody’s going anywhere right away.” Your neighborhood looks like a warzone. Your shoulder throbs where the bookcase hit it, but you manage to climb over the shredded sidewalk and cross the street to check on a neighbor, when: BOOM. You’re on the ground again as the road buckles and loose debris tumbles toward you. “The aftershocks you’ll feel can be as severe as the initial quake – sometimes they’re as high as 6.5 and continue for days, weeks even,” says Doyle. Indeed, in the 1886 quake there were 300 aftershocks reported over two and half years. It’s going to be a long, scary night. You pull your cell phone out and try to call your family – to feel the comfort of a familiar voice – but the line’s dead. “Cell towers may be down and communication will be spotty, at best,” says Beutel. “The main thing is that you will be very isolated. You will feel completely cut off from the world. Help will be on its way, but you won’t really have any way of knowing that – and you’re possibly looking at 72 hours to a week before they can get to you.” “As soon as the initial quake is over, that’s when we go into action here,” says Levine, explaining that the second floor of the new earthquake-resistant School of Sciences and Mathematics Building will be the logistical hub for the response efforts first on campus and then throughout the Tri-County region. “SCEEP oversees the

mission prior to the earthquake, but once it hits, we’re in the Lowcountry Hazards Center.” Emergency response teams and essential personnel gather in the center’s Incident Command Room, assessing the damage, analyzing models and contacting the SCEMD. As soon as the governor announces the natural disaster, relief money is available. “Our hazard plan is included in the country’s funding model, so the funds are there as soon as disaster strikes,” explains Levine. “That’s why we have to be in contact with local and state officials from the very beginning. You have to keep communication open and clear.” The main order of business is initiating lifesaving operations – including coordinating rescue and response efforts, determining the structural safety of the roads and bridges for the transportation of victims and resources, providing medical care and broadcasting safety information for the public. It’s easier said than done.

|

52

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


DAY 3

126,138 of 207,957 households are without electrical power

Almost 32,000 households have been displaced and more than 23,000 people have yet to find shelter. They live among the rubble of their homes, their offices, their schools – wherever they were when the disaster struck. The thousands of people in critical need are still depending on the help of neighbors and the sheer will to survive – trying to hold on longer than the 55 fires that have ignited, smoldered and burned out over the past 72 hours.

And still, no public shelter has opened, only one fire station is operational and there are no medical services available. “Many of our important structures downtown, like hospitals and fire stations, are built on artificial fill, which means they’re very likely to collapse,” says Doyle, explaining that the soft ground of artificial fill and riverbanks is highly susceptible to loosening, or liquefaction. “When you build on that marshy sediment, which is artificial fill to begin with, there’s nothing to keep things together when the earth is moving.” So local emergency workers are not there to help, and, as time goes on, even the healthy people are getting dehydrated and hungry. “Federal relief should arrive within 72 hours of the quake,” says Beutel. “But there are only so many ways in.” SUMMER 2010 |

53

|


There are clues all over Charleston – the leaning tombstones in our graveyards, the jagged cracks in our stucco, the iron stars and lion heads covering the bolts on our exterior walls. But these now characteristically charming remnants of Charleston’s 1886 earthquake don’t begin to tell the whole story of what was the most destructive U.S. earthquake in the 19th century and is to this day the strongest, most damaging earthquake recorded in the eastern United States. It started at 9:51 p.m. on August 31, when – according to Alexander M. Cochran’s firsthand account in The Charleston Earthquake, 1886 – the people of Charleston were awoken “by the fearful rocking and swaying of the houses, by crumbling and falling walls, by the awful trembling of the earth beneath their feet and by the heartwrenching shrieks of thousands of affrighted men, women and children, mingled with the moans of the wounded and dying.” As the tops of buildings came crashing down, crushing the people in the streets below them, fire began breaking out all over the city, lighting the night sky and adding to the sense of terror. “They believed it was the end of the world. The survivors thought they were the only people left on earth,” says Briget Doyle, adding that even though the recorded death toll was 110, “that was only in the City of Charleston, only whites and only those attended by a

|

54

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

loved one or a coroner. More realistically, it was probably in the 200s or more.” The people who lived through the magnitude 7.3 were not, of course, its sole survivors. In fact, reportedly sending tremors over 2.5 million square miles – from Cuba to New York and Bermuda to the Mississippi River – the earthquake was felt by two out of three people living in the United States and caused structural damage in Alabama, Ohio and Kentucky. Charleston itself saw 90 percent of its buildings damaged (which translates to about 24 million tons of debris today), a loss of around $5.5 million then (approximately $900 million today). “In less than thirty seconds,” writes Cochran, “the fairest city on the South Atlantic Coast was laid in ruins, her business paralyzed, her commerce destroyed and her people rendered homeless.” The two-thirds of Charleston’s survivors who were left homeless set up tent villages around town, most notably in Marion and Washington squares, and began to rebuild their lives. And, despite the devastation – homes completely flattened, churches fallen to pieces, entire city blocks reduced to ashes – Charleston managed to pull through, just as Cochran predicted: “A new city will arise from the ruins of the old, more beautiful to look at and in every way worthy of the memories of old Charleston.” And it has done so with absolute charm.

| Courtesy of Special Collections, College of Charleston |

THE 1886 Earthquake


Bridge damage is still extensive – especially on the access ramps. The people who’d been driving and jogging the Ravenel Bridge, for example, are fine – but they’re still trapped above the Cooper River, unable to escape the overwhelming panorama of the damage. And the roads all over the Lowcountry are still precarious, as sand blows – geysers of water and sand shooting out of the ground – die down and the ground settles. “It could take weeks to get the roads and bridges repaired,” says Steve Jaumé, associate professor of geology and geological geosciences, and the fourth member of the SCEEP team. “And it’s going to be very hard to get around until then.” Flying relief in is a possibility – though not at the Charleston International Airport because its runways are crippled by the effects of the trembler. “The airport is on the site that saw the most heavy liquefaction damage in 1886: Ten-Mile Hill,” says Doyle. [A photo of the sand blow at Ten-Mile Hill appears in The Charleston Earthquake, 1886,

with a caption reading, “The water and mud boiled up from 20 to 30 feet in height and threw out during the night 7 different kinds of Sands varying in Color and Shade, which can be had by applying to the publisher. … Price $1.00 per set of 7 bottles.”] “We have to assume no runway will be available.” And waterways are no better: Cranes from the ports have slid into the river, blocking access to the rivers. “But even if they could get through, there’d be nowhere to unload the supplies,” says Doyle. “The damage to the ports is a major concern for relief efforts.” Fortunately, however, Doyle, Jaumé, Levine and Beutel have thought of everything – and the SCEMD is therefore prepared. It isn’t long before some basic resources are delivered to the eight predetermined incident command posts that the team has defined as “safe, accessible islands of hard land where we can place containers of emergency supplies that everybody should be able to reach,” says Levine. “I call them islands of hope.” SUMMER 2010 |

55

|


DAY 7

476 of 727 bridges are functional 26 of 67 ports are functional 8% of hospital beds are available 237 of 594 waste water facilities are functional 21 of 29 communication facilities are functional 84,032 of 207,957 households are without electrical power

The islands of hope are helping. The dark cloud of desolation that hung over the Lowcountry for the first days after the disaster has begun to clear as the presence of the relief workers and the support they’re providing become evident. Basic medical attention becomes available, families are reunited and survivors begin to pick up the pieces of their lives as, slowly, the shock subsides. But for those still looking for loved ones, the hopeful buzz of the generators powering the neighborhoods still without electricity can’t drown out the despair that intensifies with each passing day of the search-and-rescue effort.

WHAT TO DO It’s coming. And, until it does, that’s all we really know. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get ready. The College’s South Carolina Earthquake Education and Preparedness (SCEEP) program has worked with local and state emergency management personnel to develop comprehensive earthquake plans so that everyone – from community response teams to federal funding resources – is prepared when the time comes. But seismic upgrades, extra-big fire hoses and strategic operations can’t ensure your personal safety. That’s up to you.

During the earthquake: If you are inside, stay

Before the earthquake: Reinforce light fixtures

After the earthquake: Check yourself and others

and ceiling fans in the attic; anchor top-heavy furniture like bookshelves and entertainment centers to the wall studs; and check that flexible connectors are installed on all gas appliances, including the hot water heater – which should be strapped to the studs or masonry of the wall to protect connections and to add to the emergency water supply. Store an emergency supply kit at work and at home, and keep a twoweek water supply (allowing one gallon per person, per day), a fire extinguisher and a crescent/pipe wrench (for turning off the gas/water supplies) in an easy-to-access location. Learn first aid/CPR, talk to your neighbors to develop an emergency response team and make a plan so that you and your loved ones know where to meet, how to contact one another and what to do when the earthquake comes. Keep your emergency contact information updated.

|

56

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

inside: Drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold onto its legs; be prepared to move with the desk/table until the shaking ceases. If there is nothing to hide under, crouch in an inside corner of the building; avoid windows, outside doors, elevators and fixtures that could fall. If you are outside, stay outside: Move away from buildings, streetlights and utility wires. If you’re driving, stop the car and don’t get out until the earthquake is over.

for injuries, getting/giving first aid as needed. Check water, gas and electric lines for damage, shutting off valves if you suspect damage; if you smell gas, ventilate and leave the structure and report it to authorities. Clean up spilled flammable liquids immediately, check chimneys for damage and do not use any fire. Stay out of damaged buildings. Turn on the radio and use your phone only in emergencies. If trapped, tap on pipes/ walls, trying not to shout or kick up dust. Expect aftershocks for the next few weeks. For more information about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit fema.gov/hazard/earthquake/.


DAY 30

25% of hospital beds are available 28,461 of 207,957 households are without electrical power

Bridges and roadways are being repaired, some schools are being reopened and utilities are being restored. The full extent of the damage starts to sink in as people, businesses and services begin to pick themselves up, turning from relief to recovery. More than 320,000 trucks swarm around the Charleston tri-county area, ultimately removing eight million tons of debris. Sixty-six percent of the region’s buildings are moderately damaged – 30,000 of them beyond repair – totaling $1.9 billion in building-related losses alone. And, yet things somehow don’t seem as bleak as they did when the total damage was unknown. “It’s important to remember that you’re not looking at total damage – it’s not like everything around you will be flattened,” says Beutel, explaining that the most damage will be done to older, brick and stucco homes. “Some things will be destroyed, yes, but a lot of things will still be standing, though they may be damaged. Newer buildings and wood structures will hold up well. But, really it all depends on the land it’s built on.” The most precarious land, of course, is that artificial fill – ironically made largely of debris from the 1886 quake – such as that underneath Charleston’s 500 acres of port terminals. “That land actually has to be rebuilt before the ports are fully operational again,” says Doyle. “It could have huge economic repercussions for years to come.” All told, the 7.0 quake will cost the region $2 billion in losses (including building damage, direct business interruption, transportation damage and utility damage). Says Levine, “The overall cost will be staggering.”

DAY 90

476 of 727 bridges are functional

It’s been three months, and – although all the ports are functional and bridges continue to be repaired – many schools, hospitals, fire stations and police stations still aren’t up and running. The impact will continue to tremor through the region for years to come – with full recovery from the economic loss estimated to take 15 years. The lives lost, of course, will never be recovered. The majority of the 1,015 casualties of a midday highmagnitude earthquake would be schoolchildren. In that worstcase scenario, 543 people suffer life-threatening injuries, more than 3,000 are in need of hospitalization and more than 11,000 need some medical attention. “The best-case scenario is for it to occur at 2 a.m., when everyone is sleeping and fewer people will wake up and run out in the street,” says Levine. “But even then, we’re looking at 500 casualties and almost 8,000 needing medical attention. And, remember, that first day, no one’s getting to a hospital.”

There are a lot of scary numbers in the wreckage– a lot of horror, destruction and pain – and yet, when all the rubble is cleared away, Charleston will emerge stronger than ever.

“This city is known for coming out OK,” says Beutel. “The recovery plan the city created after the 1886 quake was held up as a model for earthquakes to come – including in San Francisco. Even then we handled it well.”

“Charleston is a resilient place, and it really has a way of turning disaster into a positive outcome. In many ways, Charleston is more equipped for this kind of disaster than any other city.” – Erin Beutel

When faced with its next natural disaster a century later, Charleston once again used the experience to its advantage. “Think about it, when people talk about Hurricane Hugo, they don’t just talk about how bad it was – they talk about how they recovered. They look at Hugo as a positive thing, something that brought the community together,” points out Beutel. “Charleston is a resilient place, and it really has a way of turning disaster into a positive outcome. In many ways, Charleston is more equipped for this kind of disaster than any other city.” “This is one area where Charleston is actually ahead of the rest,” agrees Levine, speaking specifically of the City of Charleston Hazard Mitigation Plan. “Even New Orleans uses our plan.” And, that plan wouldn’t be what it is without Charleston’s resilient spirit and proud determination – not to mention the SCEEP team’s research, preparation and communication in the Lowcountry Hazards Center. “If you’re going to be in a city with a disaster,” says Beutel, “Charleston is the place to be.” And so, as the chaos calms and the dust begins to settle, the people of Charleston know there’s only one thing they can do: Put this Holy City back together again, piece by piece. Because selfpreservation is the first law of nature.

SUMMER 2010 |

57

|


Philanthropy Serving Up Support Her playing days as a collegiate swimmer and basketball player may have been behind her, but Charlotte Buist Dickson ’37 rarely missed a College of Charleston game. Match after match, she could be counted on to cheer in the basketball stands, help out at the swim meets or stop by the Fall Field Festival, a track-and-field contest held on the beach of Sullivan’s Island back in the 1950s and 1960s. Oftentimes, she and her husband, Bob, were also at tennis practices, lending a pointer or two to student-athletes or acting as outright coaches. “She came to everything,” says Tony Meyer ’49, a longtime friend to the Dicksons who also served as the College’s athletics director, coach and counselor, among many other things. “In order to be married to her, Bob had to be at everything, too,” Meyer adds, “or else he wouldn’t ever see his wife. She was always here.” College athletics meant so much to the couple that they donated $25,000 in 1991 to endow a scholarship for tennis and basketball athletes. Tennis was the couple’s favorite sport, and they played almost daily in Charleston, with Bob and Charlotte each becoming city champion, and sometimes teaming up to form an intimidating mixed doubles team. Bob enjoyed tennis so much that he played up until a week before his death in 2007 at age 89. Charlotte had died years earlier, leaving behind a legacy of athletic achievement at the College and generations of grateful players who benefited from her cheering and expertise. “She had a soft spot in her heart for athletes,” says Meyer. As part of their estate, the Dicksons donated $3 million to the College for scholarships, with $1 million of that gift immediately available to the College as a bequest, and $2 million placed in a charitable remainder trust, where it

|

58

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

generates income for a relative. Upon that recipient’s death, the gift will be transferred to the College. “It’s a creative way to give,” says David Masich, the College’s director of gift planning. “It’s a way to give to the College while maintaining flexibility in your personal finances.” There are a variety of ways alumni and their families can contribute to the College through planned giving without sacrificing financial flexibility. A gift to the College through one’s estate, Masich says, is a particularly powerful contribution, as it demonstrates a faith in the College no matter what students and professors

might roam the campus. In the case of the Dicksons, Masich notes, they’ll never meet any of the scores of students they will help afford a College of Charleston education. That’s hardly reason for concern, however, because the Dicksons knew the students would be welcomed into a community they themselves helped shape, and one they were confident would stay great for years, decades and centuries to come. “They believe in the institution itself,” says Masich. For more information on planned giving, please contact David Masich at 843.953.1835 or masichd@cofc.edu.


PHILANTHROPY

Prehistoric present The saber-toothed cat had no way of knowing how much could be learned from the things it left behind 1.5 million years ago. Mace Brown, on the other hand, is fully aware of the educational potential of his prehistoric legacy – which is precisely why the Mt. Pleasant financial adviser intends to leave his collection of over 2,000 fossils to the College. Valued around $1.5 million, the collection – 90 percent of which roamed the South Carolina Lowcountry – is being moved in phases from Brown’s home to the new Natural History Museum in the School of Sciences and Mathematics Building, where it will remain on loan while the College works to fully subsidize the museum. With an 85–million-year-old mosasaur, a tenhorned camel and a triceratops skull already in place, the museum promises to be quite intriguing. “It’s going to be a fantastic facility full of opportunities not just for our academic departments, but for the College’s outreach efforts, as well,” says Jim Carew, geology professor and director/curator of the museum, explaining that school groups and researchers from across the state will eventually have access to the space. “It will be a fantastic educational resource for everyone.” And that’s just the kind of imprint Brown hopes to leave behind.


CLASS NOTES 1958 Yvonne duFort Evans is a

returning member to the Alumni Association’s board of directors after serving as president of the board several years ago. Yvonne is an accountant in Charleston and served for many years on Charleston City Council.

1965 Neil Draisin is the president-

elect of the Southern Council of Optometrists, one of the largest optometry meetings in the world and most comprehensive sources of continuing education for eye-care professionals. He has practiced optometry for more than 38 years in Charleston. Neil is also a member of the College of Charleston Foundation Board. Tom and Barbara LaMarche Holst ’66 live in Charlotte and have four children. Tom, who received his Ph.D. in chemistry after graduating from the College, is the owner of TH Chemical. A.J. Taylor, who retired from the Medical University of South Carolina in April 2009, was a research chemist. A.J. and his wife, Jean, live in Charleston.

1966 Barbara LaMarche Holst (see Tom Holst ’65)

1967 Nancy Yates Chase and Art

Burnside were married in December and live in Aiken, S.C.

1968 Remley Campbell is a

financial adviser with Community FirstBank in Charleston, doing investments through Raymond James Financial Services. Sam Stafford was inducted into the Noah Worcester Dermatological Society, a highly selective national society that limits its membership “to assure intimacy and the high academic standards of the scientific program.”

1970 Anita Condon van de Erve

retired from the College after 23 years of service, highlighted by 15 years as executive director of the Cougar Club and two as associate director of alumni relations.

Julian Wiles ’74 received the state’s

highest honor in the arts – the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award – from the S.C. Arts Commission. Julian is the founder and producing artistic director of Charleston Stage, the state’s largest professional theater company. He has written or adapted 27 original plays and musicals, including Nevermore! Edgar Allan Poe, the Final Mystery, The Seat of Justice and Gershwin at Folly.

|

60

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

1971 Bob Powers lives in Santa Cruz, Calif., and has worked for Bayer HealthCare for 32 years. Bob is also a 15-time national championship medalist in track and field.

1973 Randy Clark was inducted into

the Athletic Hall of Fame at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston. Randy is the middle school principal at Porter-Gaud and was the school’s men’s basketball coach for many years.

1974 Vivian Viles Huguley is a

prenatal nurse case manager for Select Health of South Carolina in Charleston. Sherwood Miler is a member of the College’s Alumni Association board of directors. Sherwood owns Miler Properties in Summerville. He and his wife, Julie, will have two children attending the College this fall. And their oldest daughter, Gibbon, graduated from the College in May. Randell Stoney is president of the Charleston County Bar Association. Randell is an attorney with Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms. He also serves on the foundation board for Trident Technical College.

1975 Jack Griffith is a member of

the national advisory council for Ameriprise Financial. As a manager and broker for Ameriprise, Jack was one of four winners for Brand of the Year and was one of two to be selected for the Circle of Success trip. Marcia Newcomer is the chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University. Marcia recently returned to the College to lead a special seminar celebrating the opening of the College’s new School of Sciences and Mathematics Building. Cecelia Gordon Rogers is the principal of Charleston Development Academy and was named the Charter School Administrator of the Year at the S.C. Annual Charter School Conference.

1976 Nan Jones Banks is the

manager of external affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America. Doug Bostick has written Historic Photos of South Carolina, which features more than 200 black-and-white photographs accompanied by chapter introductions and captions that chronicle the Palmetto State since 1860. Doug is the author of 11 books on Southern history. He and his family live in Charleston. Tim Dangerfield is a business development adviser in the law firm Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd’s Columbia office. Jinny Jervey works for CCA Medical Software Solutions. Jinny and Rick Harris were married in November 2009 and live in Greer, S.C.

1977 Ronald Burch is the chairman

of the board of directors and CEO of Biowave Corporation, a medical device company in Norwalk, Conn. Ronald received his Ph.D. and M.D. degrees from the Medical University of South Carolina and holds numerous patents

Diane Gilruth Fishburne ’80

continues to dominate women’s tennis – she is the No. 1 women’s 50 player in the world. Fishburne has won four world titles as well as 26 national USTA titles. This past February, she was also named the Professional Tennis Registry’s female player of the decade.

related to drug action. He also serves as chief medical officer of Naurex Pharmaceuticals. Ron was a guest lecturer during the April celebration surrounding the dedication of the new School of Sciences and Mathematics Building. Karen Hunt is the owner of Tipping Point Wines and Spirits with offices in Napa, Calif., and Daniel Island, S.C. Her sales and marketing company has a portfolio of mostly familyowned wine and spirits brands. Van Madray is the dean of construction and industrial technology at Pitt Community College in Greenville, N.C. Van earned his Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of South Carolina in December 2009. Van and his wife, Katie, have three children and six grandchildren. Cal Morrison is the owner of PicBio, which provides a photographer for social events and then produces a video slideshow on DVD. One of Cal’s first projects was the 2010 reunion for the College’s men’s basketball teams.

1978 Scooter DeLorme Barnette

was inducted into the College’s volleyball Wall of Fame. The Wall of Fame plaque recognizes the efforts of players, coaches, staff and fans who have helped to build the volleyball program to its current level. Scooter played volleyball for the College from 1975 to 1978. Larry Gale is the owner and chief architect of Perceptual Systems, a Web design and development firm in Mt. Pleasant. Larry is also a freelance photographer. Chip Molony is the treasurer of the Hibernian Society of Charleston. Chip is a partner and CPA with Molony and Condon LLC. Betsy White Warlick Parker lives in Tennessee. Her daughter Chelsea attends the College.

1979 Keith Sanders is a chemistry

teacher at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, Tenn. Keith was the 2009 chair of the Chattanooga section of the American Chemical Society.

1980 Chuck Baker is a vice president

of the College’s Alumni Association. Chuck is a partner with Buist Moore Smythe McGee, a law firm in Charleston. Mary Berry is the chemistry department chair at the University of South Dakota. Mary


CLASS NOTES

[ alumni profile ]

Head of the Class Lucy Garrett Beckham ’70 knows formulas. A former mathematics teacher, Beckham can discuss the finer points of the quadratic equation, Boolean addition, remainder theorem, Ohm’s law or infinite nested square roots. But perhaps the greatest formula she has come across is the one she is writing and perfecting now: what makes a school great. Her formula is startling in its simplicity. “It’s about opportunities,” says Beckham. “That’s it – students need opportunities.” But from an execution standpoint, the “opportunity” formula has more sides and angles than a hecatohedron (that’s an object with 100 sides, for us laymen). And leave it to a mathematician like Beckham to be undaunted by such a challenge. In 1998, when she became principal of Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Beckham walked into a building and a school in disarray. The facility and grounds certainly looked and felt institutional – think prison, not school. So the first thing she did was begin the Herculean task of cleaning it all up and transforming it into something special. “A school has to be inviting … clean,” Beckham says. “Then, students are going to react more positively to the place. They’re going to be proud of their school. And that’s a pretty good starting point for getting them to buy into their education.” Next, Beckham began assembling a leadership team and faculty of gifted teachers. “The strength of a school is in the classroom,” she emphasizes. “As a principal, you must hire the right people. Then, you need to create programs and activities, such as clubs, athletics and performing arts organizations, that serve as hooks for getting the students to believe in their school and their personal educational development.” Her success at creating a wide array of educational opportunities has not gone unnoticed. The recipient of many honors over the years, from teacher of the year to state administrator of the year, Beckham was most recently named the 2010 MetLife/NASSP National High School Principal of the Year. Not too shabby for someone in a state that historically lacks a commitment to (and funding for) public education.

The judging panel in Washington, D.C., marveled at her ability to make South Carolina’s largest high school – with a student body of 3,200 and a staff of 300 – a national model for educational excellence. They applauded her pragmatic approach to leadership, her belief in incorporating new technology into the classroom and her passion for education. For Beckham, education is not for the faint of heart or for those looking to get rich – in a monetary sense. “Teaching is an intense experience,” Beckham explains. “It’s also an extraordinary time commitment. Work doesn’t end at 3:30. Good teachers are at it weekends, nights and holidays. And the best educators are the ones continually trying to improve, maybe it’s reimagining last semester’s lesson plan or taking graduate classes at night, or perhaps its learning a new software program to change up the way you deliver the information. One thing is for sure, technology is revolutionizing education – and the revolution is not over.” So why do it? Why enter a career that is always changing and requires you to constantly change with it? Why take a job that, at times, is thankless and doesn’t pay top dollar?

Maybe it’s in your DNA. For Beckham, she came from a family of educators and even passed the torch to her own children. Or maybe it’s because working in education – seeing firsthand the “aha” moments register in your students’ eyes – is unlike any other professional experience out there. “It’s hard to describe – the joy of teaching,” Beckham admits, her own eyes sparkling. “The classroom is such a special place. It took a lot for me to jump into the administration side of things. But whether you are running a classroom or running a school, the power of education is evident. Here, you have the ability to positively impact not just one student, but entire families – in fact, you may even affect generations of people through your teaching and example.” And Beckham’s example is raising the bar for what is possible in public education. “If you set high expectations,” she believes, “the kids will meet them, even exceed them. “Every child can learn,” she adds. “You just need the right support, high quality of instruction and, of course, opportunity.” And that’s a formula every educator should know by heart. – Mark Berry

SUMMER 2010 |

61

|


Charleston’s Angel Brigade It’s like any morning at Charleston County’s Department of Social Services. Caseworkers sit partially hidden from view in cubicles the color of harbor fog, their telephone voices mixing with the tapping out of endless keystrokes – the gravity of their work not quite registering over the airwaves.

connect abused and neglected children and their caregivers with valuable resources and uplifting experiences. To maximize their impact, HALOS draws its power from a vast community of helping hands who may never actually meet the people they benefit. Call it a brigade of guardian angels.

| Kim Clifton ’94 |

Pam Brooks ’75, Kim Clifton ’94 and Elisa Mundis ’09 (M.P.A.) are nearby in their offices, sending e-mails and making phone calls, the little tasks that amount to so much more than the sounds they emit. In fact, if the goodwill flowing out of these women suddenly burst forth in crowns of fiery gold about their heads, it would only be fitting. Of course, they would say they’re just doing their jobs. And then probably ask for water. Together these women run HALOS (Helping and Lending Outreach Support), a Charleston-based nonprofit organization that works closely with social services to

|

62

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

Their work begins with social services caseworkers who identify children and caregivers with dire needs. Then, to fill those needs, HALOS turns to an ever-expanding community network of nonprofits and businesses, faith-based organizations and foundations, civic groups, clubs and other generous souls looking for meaningful and lasting ways to help others. “It’s such a unique public–private partnership,” says Clifton, the organization’s executive director. The partners’ commitment of money, goods and time allows HALOS the breadth and flexibility to pool resources quickly in

crisis moments and to expand the reach of its ongoing programs every year. Last year, thanks to HALOS, 138 kids attended summer camp, 165 received birthday cards and gifts, 1,200 received new school supplies and more than 2,000 children and their families celebrated Christmas through the holiday giving program. “One of our goals is to make every child feel he or she is just as special and loved as any child,” says Brooks, who works for the Department of Social Services as a liaison with organizations like HALOS. Brooks coordinates HALOS’ annual programs serving children in the social services system. These programs pick up where social services leaves off, offering children who have escaped abuse and neglect the opportunity to enjoy life – children like the little girl who wrote to thank HALOS for the birthday card and the gift she received in the mail. “Thank you for all your hard work,” her letter says. “Jesus loves all of you and so do I.” It’s that kind of thanks that drives HALOS – that and knowing it’s making a difference in the lives of children and caregivers in dire need of support. And, for some families, that means the difference between remaining intact and being torn apart. Clifton tells the story of a grandmother who raised her two grandsons from toddlers. In their tiny apartment they had only two folding chairs, a mattress lying on the floor and a television to call their own. When social services came to inspect the home, the grandmother – partially blind and severely arthritic – said she preferred to sleep on the floor, leaving the mattress for the boys, now ages 13 and 15, to share. Making matters worse, kids at school teased the brothers for wearing dirty clothes, and the Department of Juvenile Justice worried that they were heading for trouble. “There was no lack of love there,” Clifton says. “It was the dire poverty that really struck me about this case.” If only a grandmother’s love could clothe a child or buy him a bed.


CLASS NOTES

[ alumni profile ] Enter HALOS, which – within two days of learning about this family’s predicament – completely furnished their apartment with donations and raised $500 to take the boys shopping for clothes and other necessities. It was around Valentine’s Day when Clifton remembers walking into Target. The younger brother saw all the cards and candy boxes, and the first thing he asked to buy was a Valentine for his grandmother. “These boys were at risk of being brought into care purely because of a lack of resources,” Clifton says. “We were able to get them stabilized.” Most important, HALOS helped this family stay together. Not quite divine intervention, but close enough. During the unfortunate and terribly difficult times when a social services caseworker must take a child into custody, HALOS is also there to help. “Taking a child into custody is very traumatic for the child, the family and the caseworker,” says Brooks, noting that the children usually leave their homes without any personal belongings beyond what they’re wearing. To help them, HALOS maintains a Critical Needs Closet full of bags of children’s clothing, toiletries, school supplies and other items they might need. It’s amazing the kind of comfort that items such as shampoo or toothbrushes – which are so often taken for granted – can give children who have been neglected. Clifton remembers when a caseworker brought a group of siblings into social services. Only the oldest sister, who was 10, understood what was happening. She told the caseworker that she regretted not being able to change her clothes before leaving home. “She didn’t want to go to school the next day wearing the jean shorts she had on,” Clifton says. In the closet, they found a bag containing a cute skirt and costume jewelry for the girl to wear. “I told her she looked beautiful,” Clifton says. “She kept all her stuff very neat in a box. She was very protective of her little world, her stuff, and wanted to make sure it all stayed together. “At that moment,” Clifton continues, “it really hit home what happens when kids are taken from their homes. They’re

left feeling displaced and they don’t have anything they can call their own. HALOS tries to mitigate the poverty they live in.” Moving beyond the doors of social services, HALOS reaches out to relative

including stress-management workshops, family outings and dinners with on-site babysitting to give these caregivers a chance to share stories, advice and good company.

“One of our goals is to make every child feel he or she is just as special and loved as any child,” say Pam Brooks ’75.

| ( l to r ) Elisa Mundis ’09 (M.P.A.) and Pam Brooks ’75 | caregivers across the community through the Kinship Care Resource and Support Program, coordinated by Mundis until recently, when she was promoted to a fundraising position. “Sometimes relative caregivers can feel isolated and alone in their roles,” Mundis says, especially when they are single grandmothers unexpectedly thrust back into parenthood without adequate resources – like most of the caregivers she knows. Imagine being a grandparent, dealing with the complexities of texting and Facebook, while trying to protect a child from STDs or the drugs being hustled on the streets. HALOS knows the difficulty these adults face, so – in addition to organizing monthly support groups for them – it offers several opportunities for respite,

“The support groups are a real source of strength and empowerment for them,” says Mundis. “To be able to work one-onone with people, to run support groups, to talk to them on the phone and visit with them: That’s what really ignited my passion for this work.” Since working for HALOS, Mundis has extended her family. “I don’t have grandparents myself,” she says, “so these grandparents have become my grandparents.” It is precisely this sense of community – a gathering of willing hands, both private and public, all acknowledging their stake in helping others – that drives all of HALOS’s endeavors. It’s the idea that even the smallest efforts, when combined, can have miraculous effects. – Jamie Self ’02

SUMMER 2010 |

63

|


Mitch Freeman ’96 was one of

seven American artists featured in Elephant Parade London 2010, a public arts exhibit to raise awareness of the plight of the Asian elephant. In total, there were 260 painted elephants dotted around London in May and June, and 80 were selected to be made into miniatures (including Freeman’s elephant). “My elephant is titled ‘Utopia,’” explains Mitch, “which comes from a pen-and-ink drawing I did back in 1992, when I lived in Summerville. It’s an image I continue to revisit every few years to apply my current skills and art techniques. The elephant itself is a much further developed work and has a working 3-D maze: from the tip of the trunk, through the legs, and up to a ‘pointy’ pyramid on the right side of the elephant.” Freeman’s elephant was located next to the London Eye (the large Ferris wheel, also known as the Millennium Wheel, along the Thames River). Freeman is an artist and middle school arts teacher in Gainesville, Ga. You can see “Utopia” and check out more of Mitch’s artwork at www.mitchfreemanart.com. is also the director of the Northern Plains Undergraduate Research Center. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and returned to campus to participate in the April dedication ceremony of the College’s new School of Sciences and Mathematics Building.

1983 Nancy Lupton Wilson is the

2009 Charleston County Public Library’s Employee of the Year, announced in April. She is the assistant reference services manager at the Johns Island Regional Library. John Wood is the commercial area executive for First Citizens Bank in Greenville, S.C. John also serves on the College’s Board of Trustees.

1984 Emily and Lee Mikell announce

the birth of their daughter, Melissa Townsend, born in January. The Mikell family lives in Columbia, and Lee serves on the College’s Board of Trustees.

1985 George Beckwith is a member

of the Private Company Financial Reporting Committee, created by the FASB and AICPA. George lives in Charlotte. Megan Hartley has returned to Charleston and is the managing partner of Charleston Real Estate Associates on Broad Street.

1986 Joseph Anderson has redeployed from Afghanistan, where he served for a year

|

64

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

on the NATO Training Mission and Combined Security Transition Command and was the commander of the Medical Training Advisory Group. Joseph has moved to Bethesda, Md., and is the director of international health and an assistant professor of international health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Joseph and his wife, Regina, have a daughter, Kathleen, who will be a freshman in the College’s Honors College this fall. Bobby Creech is a CPA and partner in the accounting firm WebsterRogers in Charleston. Bobby is a member of the College’s Alumni Association’s board of directors. The Creech family lives in Mt. Pleasant.

1987 Laura Workman McConnell is

a research chemist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. Laura has authored or co-authored 70 publications, including 61 peer-reviewed journal articles. Laura is the recipient of the Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Scientist of the Year Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She was a guest lecturer at the College during the April dedication of the new School of Sciences and Mathematics Building. Bradley Smith is the president of ProActive Technology, a software design company in Greenville, S.C.

1988 Sally Taylor Stroman is a

veterinarian and owns a feline-exclusive hospital called Lowcountry Cat Practice in Mt. Pleasant. She earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine at N.C. State. Mark Vetzel works for Synesis International, a business and technology firm in Greenville, S.C. Tammy Workman is the senior marketing manager for The Greenville News.

1989 James Hodge is the Lincoln

Professor of Health Law and Ethics at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. James is also the director of ASU’s Public Health Law and Policy Program as well as a fellow in the Center for Law, Science, and Innovation. Tony Jones is the owner and CEO of Color Resources International in Fountain Inn, S.C. Larry Spelts received his M.B.A. from New York University and returned to Charleston as the director of asset management with Charlestowne Hotels Inc.

1991 Duffy Lee Baehr owns a women’s

and children’s shoe boutique in Spartanburg, S.C. Baehr Feet Shoe Boutique will celebrate its five-year anniversary this summer.

1993 Tiffany Hammond Christian

is an assistant professor of social work at Appalachian State University. She earned an M.Ed. and Ed.S. in counselor education at the University of Florida and an M.S.W. and a Ph.D. in social work from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Tiffany started her own nonprofit, Youth 4 Uganda, to provide international service opportunities for families and younger students, and each year, she leads service trips to Uganda. She is married with four children. Phillis Kalisky Mair writes reviews of restaurants for the Charleston Restaurant

Examiner. Phillis is also co-chair of the Charleston Remember Program, a local organization (through the Charleston Jewish Federation) that teaches tolerance and organizes an annual Holocaust Remembrance March and Program. Elliott and Elizabeth Silcox Phillips ’96 live in Mt. Pleasant with their two daughters, Adelia and Olivia. Elliott is an account executive with C.T. Lowndes Insurance Company. David and Becky Deen Shea announce the birth of their third son, Henry, born in May 2009. The Shea family lives in Columbia. Margaret Urbanic is an attorney with Clawson & Staubes LLC on Daniel Island, S.C. Tim Whisenand manages a school in Changchun, located in northern China. The school has 1,400 students and 50 teachers.

1994 Beth Middleton Burke is the

president of the College’s Alumni Association. Beth is a partner with Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, a law firm in Mt. Pleasant. Hartley Watson Cooper is a member of the College’s Alumni Association’s board of directors. Hartley lives on Sullivan’s Island with her family and works in real estate with Carolina One. Brooke Thompson Decker and her husband have recently relocated from Stockholm, Sweden, to California. Middleton Rutledge and Brandi Medlin ’03 were married in February and live in Charleston. Middleton is employed by Daniel Ravenel Real Estate, and Brandi is employed by David Joseph Steel Company. Jamey and Julie Dotolo Swigert ’95 announce the birth of their son, Jacob Lawrence, born in January. Julie is the studyabroad coordinator in the College’s Center for International Education.

1995 Andy Eberheart is a physician’s

assistant, athletic trainer and sports massage therapist at the Augusta (Ga.) Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Associates. Andy and his wife, Heather, have a 5-year-old son, Noah. Rachel Forsberg is an agent with Keller Williams Realty Charleston-West. Greg Joye is the executive director of the French Heritage Society, a nonprofit that celebrates French culture and French architectural influences. Greg was formerly the development director for the American Friends of the Louvre. Christiaan Marcum received his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law and is a partner with Richardson Patrick Westbrook & Brickman LLC in Mt. Pleasant. His area of practice is pharmaceutical drug litigation. Julie Dotolo Swigert (see Jamey Swigert ’94) Gary White is a senior vice president and marketing executive for First Citizens Bank’s 12-branch greater Charleston region.

1996 Cody Barteet delivered a guest

lecture, “The Palace and Its Influence on Hispanic American Urban Policies,” for the College’s art history department. Cody is a visual arts assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario. Jeremy Finger received a Certified Financial Planner designation in 2009. Jeremy also received a Certified Investment Management


CLASS NOTES

[ alumni profile ]

| Photo by Kimberly Morand |

A Song for the Unsung

Here’s a question for you: Who is Wardell Quezergue? You shouldn’t feel too bad if you don’t know the name – after all, Quezergue is a behind-the-scenes kind of guy, a producer and arranger. And if you don’t recognize his name, maybe his work will ring a bell: “Chapel of Love” (Dixie Cups), “Mr. Big Stuff” (Jean Knight) and “Groove Me” (King Floyd), to name a few. Starting to sound familiar? “Everybody should know his name, and they don’t,” says Aimee Bussells ’05, who heads a New Orleans–based nonprofit devoted to celebrating and honoring the “unsung heroes of American music.” But there was a time when Bussells didn’t have a clue who Quezergue was, either. She certainly never learned about him in college or from music teachers growing up. And she’s no musician herself. The closest she ever came to calling herself one was when she was 12 years old. Piano lessons. “After four months I begged my mom to let me quit,” recalls Bussells. “Now I’m just a professional appreciator, by no means a musician myself. That ship has sailed.” Quezergue, on the other hand, is one of the greats. One of the people everyone should know by name. Someone you should learn about in school. That’s the idea behind the Ponderosa

Stomp Foundation. It’s Bussells’ job as executive director to make sure the stories of these influential musicians never die. You know, the people like Eddie Floyd, Harvey Scales, Otis Clay and, Bussells’ personal favorite, Wardell Quezergue. “I like to think of us as curators,” explains Bussells. “We celebrate and spread the word about these great collaborators or musicians who might not get as much recognition as, say, Fatz Domino, but who are just as important and fundamental in shaping American music and American history.” Whether she’s curating a museum exhibit, creating a curriculum for in-school seminars or putting on a live show – like the annual Ponderosa Stomp, the organization’s longest-running and most popular program – Bussells’ goal is to create for people a more thorough and complete understanding of American music history through these unsung heroes. Having become enthralled with what she’s learned since coming to New Orleans six months after Hurricane Katrina to help with relief efforts for musicians and other community members, Bussells is perhaps most connected to the education efforts of her organization. “We’re exposing kids – from second graders to college students – to music they

wouldn’t otherwise listen to, and making this trajectory with music. It’s really cool to see these ‘I had no idea!’ or ‘I love that song!’ moments, when people make those personal connections,” says Bussells. Even more exciting is when she can introduce students to an actual artist – a “primary document,” she calls them. With an average age of 67, these musicians have “lived a lot of life,” she says. But how did a girl with no musical background and no ties to New Orleans come to be at the helm of a nonprofit organization, championing the cause of educating the public about our country’s lesser-known musical geniuses? You’ve heard the story before: College student gets halfway through school and realizes she has no clue what direction her life is going. Doesn’t know what she wants to study, what she wants to be. Doesn’t know who she is, really. So she takes a leave of absence, a best friend and a backpack and crosses the Atlantic – not that backpacking through Europe is some crystal ball that will magically reveal the purpose of her existence. But it’s a step closer to self-discovery than trudging along the same muddled path. “The leave of absence helped me focus,” she recalls. “I realized there’s a lot more world out there and that my major may not be the end-all, be-all of my universe.” And so, she had a new perspective when she returned from her threemonth trek and resumed classes at the College, this time majoring in sociology and minoring in political science. But of course, her major turned out not to be the end-all and be-all of her professional career. If that were the case, she might have majored in music, or even business. It doesn’t take a special degree to “foster a lifelong love of history, music and art,” says Bussels, adding that it’s that love that she hopes to encourage in others. “I just think it’s important, especially in New Orleans, and especially after the storm. So many things were lost – records and pictures and people themselves. At this point in my life, I think making sure their stories are told and preserved is a wonderful thing to be a part of.” – Abi Nicholas ’07

SUMMER 2010 |

65

|


Analyst designation from the Wharton School of Business in 2008. Mike McKenna is a partner with Green Roof Outfitters in Charleston. Mike received a master’s in marketing from the University College Dublin. Reneé Patchin is a career counselor in the Charlotte School of Law’s Center for Professional Development. Elizabeth Silcox Phillips (see Elliott Phillips ’93) Stephan Schnaiter is a loan officer for Hanover Mortgage Company in Greenville, S.C. Andrea McCann St. Amand received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and is a partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Charleston. Andrea handles a wide range of business litigation matters, concentrating on financial and accounting fraud. Ashley Tobias is an attorney in Greenville, S.C. Chad Vail is the president of Junior Achievement of Coastal South Carolina, based in North Charleston.

1997 Jessica Andrews David is a

founder and the director of development of the Emmaus Women’s Shelter in LaGrange, Ga. Jessica and her husband, Ray David Jr., have two children. Jessica Taylor Harrington is the communications and membership relations manager for the Florence County (S.C.) Economic Development Partnership. Kelly Wiggs is the owner of Sprinkler Tek Inc., a landscape lighting and irrigation company in Greer, S.C.

1998 Rich ’99 and Melody Helms

Bundschuh have opened Waterstone Financial Services, their own financial planning practice in Charleston. Rich focuses on insurance and protection planning, and Melody heads up the investment and asset management side of the business. Chris Findlay is the president of DirectSource Imports, named the 2009 fastest-growing company by the S.C. Chamber of Commerce. Berri Heinz Hicks is a buyer for the Greenville (S.C.) Hospital System’s Materials Distribution Center.

1999 Rich Bundschuh (see Melody Helms Bundschuh ’98) Ryan Werking is a senior credit analyst and vice president with Harbor National Bank in Charleston.

2000 Mike Aiken and Katherine

Erickson were married in April. Roger and Michele Corney Bryant announce the birth of their daughter, Amelia Blair, born in March. Michele has a dental practice in Greenville, S.C., called Bryant Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Richard and Ashley Chavis Cashon announce the birth of a son, Hayes Bennett, born in April. The Cashon family lives in Mt. Pleasant. Jarred Overcash is a vice president and retail sales manager with First Citizens Bank in Charleston. Ashley Palmer is a medical technologist with Spartanburg (S.C.) Regional Medical Center. Kelli Roberson was named the Berkeley County Teacher of the Year. Kelli is a language

|

66

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

arts and social studies teacher at College Park Middle School in Ladson, S.C.

2001 Jane Aldrich is the education

outreach coordinator for the College’s Avery Research Center. Jane earned her master’s in history from the College’s Graduate School. Kerry Badger was named the 2009 Charleston County Government Employee of the Year. Kerry has been with Charleston County government since 2004 and is the senior buyer in the Procurement Department. Jason Barnett and Lara Gordon were married in March 2009 and live in Hanahan, S.C. Jason is a papermaking and diagnostic-services team leader with AstenJohnson. Allison Brown is a senior publishing consultant at CreateSpace. Allison and Robert Boozer were married in April. Fritz Brown (see Jenny Moser ’07) Alison Durgee is an attorney with Young, Clement, Rivers LLP in Charleston. Alison and William Watkins were married in September 2009. Terra Newton is a kindergarten teacher at First (Scots) Presbyterian Kindergarten in Charleston. Terra and Randolph McGann were married in January. Paul Niell delivered a guest lecture, “El Templete and Cuban Neoclassicism: An Ambiguous Signifier as Site of Memory,” for the College’s art history department. Paul is an assistant professor of art history at the University of North Texas, Denton. Richard Pierce is a vice president with Community First Bank in Charleston. He is also the branch manager of the bank’s downtown Charleston location. Sarah Piwinski is the CEO of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation. Sarah Brewer Verstraten is an associate attorney with Turner Padget Graham & Laney PA in their Charleston office. Sarah received her J.D. from the Charleston School of Law. David and Kristin Kowalchuk Wallace announce the birth of their second daughter, Eliana Catherine, born in November 2009.

2002 Tanya Alberts and Thomas

Fitzgerald Jr. were married in November 2009 and will split their time between Charlotte and Mt. Pleasant. Alicia Aloe is the owner of Table Maestro, a phone reservation company for fine-dining restaurants. Alicia lives in Mt. Pleasant and was featured in Charleston’s Skirt! Magazine. Alicia Amico is a senior leasing specialist and received the 2009 Total Overall Performance Operations Award from Roseland Property Company in Boston, Mass. Lyndsey Cash Beasley is the District Teacher of the Year in Clover, S.C. Edward Bryant and Maggi Murray ’03 were married in April 2009 and live in Charleston. Maggi is an assistant vice president of BB&T in Summerville, S.C Ryan Eleuteri is the owner and president of the Charleston Beverage Company, producer of the homegrown Charleston Mix Bloody Mary. David Flynn and Celena Belbusti were married in January and live on James Island. David is employed with the South Carolina Gas and Electric Company. Nick Geary was a finalist for Berkeley County Teacher of the Year. Nick teaches English and creative writing at Goose Creek High School and the Berkeley Center for the Arts.

Megan Johnson and Cameron Crosby ’04 are married and live in St. Louis.

Jonathan Miller has written and illustrated

Sammy on Safari, the second book in the Adventure of Sammy the Wonder Dachshund series. Last year, Jonathan read to 30,000 schoolchildren. Ben Newton (M.S.) is a certified public accountant with Legare Bailey & Hinske LLC. Ben has seven years of experience in public accounting. Leigh Scoggins Scott is the house manager for Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston. She received her master’s in historic preservation from Goucher College. Lindsay Luden Welch played the lead in the Midtown/Sheri Grace Production of Always ... Patsy Cline in Charleston this spring.

2003 Cuyler Applegate is an agent

with William Means Real Estate in Charleston. Cuyler received his master’s degree from The Citadel. Rick and Lisa McDaniel Burke announce the birth of their daughter, Harper Annette, born in December 2009. The Burke family lives in Sumter, S.C. Mary Jordan Neal Lempesis earned her J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in 2008 and is an assistant solicitor for the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit in Beaufort, S.C. Paige Lindler is a graduate student at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. Paige and Jeffrey Lowery were married in April. David McAhron and Charlotte Bruce ’04 were married in December 2009. David is employed with Carolina Wine Source, and Charlotte works for Classic Carriage Tours in Charleston. Patrick McCarty is a student support desk technician with the College’s IT department. Brandi Medlin (see Middleton Rutledge ’94) Maggi Murray (see Edward Bryant ’02) Alyson Podris is an associate attorney with Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein in Charleston. Chad Valitchka is an orthopaedic sales representative with Smith & Nephew in Charlotte. Kim Whitt is a legal researcher for Motley Rice Law Firm. Kim and Hobbs Goodwin were married in January and live in Wilmington, N.C.

2004 Charlotte Bruce (see David

McAhron ’03) Alex Campbell is a senior analyst for Maersk Line in Charlotte.

Cameron Crosby (see Megan Johnson ’02) Terri Blanton Fowler is a nurse practitioner

at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, S.C. Terri is also a doctoral student in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the Medical University of South Carolina. Terri and her husband, Matt, live in Aynor, S.C. Julie Grier works for an international nongovernmental organization in Haiti in the area of public mental health. Julie is also a public policy research fellow at Maastricht University, The Netherlands, working on public mental health policy. Amanda Gulotta works for C.H. Robinson, a global logistics company, in Charleston. Amanda and Eric Reeves were married in March. Haze Harris is an engineering systems designer and project manager for Blue Ridge Aquaculture


CLASS NOTES

[ dream job ]

Keeping It Reel

When Adam Paul ’06 was 12 years old, he stood up in front of his seventh-grade class and told them he was going to catch a marlin. They all laughed. “The teacher told me I was crazy,” he says. But a few months later, after relentlessly driving his father up the wall to take him deep-sea fishing, Paul found himself off the coast of Jamaica reeling in a 200pound blue marlin. Now, as he recounts the story, he’s the one who’s laughing. “If I didn’t have it mounted in my office, I’d say it weighed 2,000 pounds,” he says. Not long after that life-changing experience, Paul met Gene Grey, a retired forestry professor, who taught him every

aspect of freshwater fishing. From there, his path in life began to take shape. First he entered – and was competitive in – dozens of national fishing tournaments. Then he tried his hand working on fishing boats. After graduating with a degree in studio art, he entered the corporate world doing field research for Sufix Fishing North America Inc. That wasn’t enough for Paul, who, in his own words, “wanted to do something more for all the fishermen out there.” So in 2007, with his own money, he started GillznFinz.com, a website devoted to helping fishing enthusiasts not only become more skilled, but have more fun while doing it. Not long after starting the

site, Paul took a hard look at some of the fishing shows on television. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘God, these are so boring.’” So he decided to make his own. His would be different in that it would blend fishing with his own personal passions: music, food and joking around. While taping the first show, he and his crew hit the jackpot, catching the proverbial “grand slam”: a sailfish, a swordfish and a white marlin all in one outing. It was like when he was 12 all over again. From there, things started to take off, with the show’s first season being picked up by several major networks and becoming syndicated in 30-million-plus households. Within a year, those numbers quadrupled. Today, Paul’s GillznFinz show can be seen every week on the VS. Network. Each episode features Paul kicking back and fishing with the likes of Widespread Panic, Snoop Dogg and Kevin Costner. This season he’ll team up with Darius Rucker, Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd, just to name a few. But his fondest memory since starting the show has nothing to do with celebrities. Two years ago, while in Kona, Hawaii, Paul was challenged by some locals to try something they called “hand line fishing” – that is, to fish with nothing but a rope, hook and your bare hands. Much to their surprise, Paul was able to haul in a 150pound tuna. Later that night, back on dry land, he and his new Hawaiian friends threw a luau to celebrate. “It brought me back to the roots of fishing – the friends, the fish, the hunt, the whole thing. I was totally blown away.” It’s experiences like that that force Paul to pinch himself every now and again. “If you told me I’d be doing this two years ago I would have told you you were out of your mind,” he says from his Johns Island, S.C. home. “It’s been one big crazy-ass ride.” But through it all, he’s never lost focus of where it all began: him on the open water, looking for that next fish. – Bryce Donovan ’98 Check out Adam Paul’s fishing show and past episodes at www.gillznfinz.com.

SUMMER 2010 |

67

|


ARE YOU IN IT? Tell us what’s new with you. It’s simple. Visit the magazine’s website and update your class notes there or visit the Alumni Association website to share your news.

www.cofc.edu/magazine alumni.cofc.edu in Martinsville, Va. Haze and Elizabeth Ferrell were married in December 2009. Blair Kingsbury and Peter Oliver were married in August 2008. Martin Kratz is the director of facilities for Sticky Fingers Restaurant in Mt. Pleasant. Martin and his wife, Colleen, have opened Springview Academy, a childcare and preschool located in Summerville, S.C. Meike McDonald was a finalist for Charleston County Teacher of the Year. Meike is a math teacher at Clark Corporate Academy. Erica Bedenbaugh McElreath is an associate attorney with Lawton Law Firm in Mt. Pleasant. Erica earned her J.D. from the Charleston School of Law and served as articles editor of the Charleston Law Review. She received the Excellence for the Future Award from the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction and served as a teaching fellow in legal research and writing. Erica’s practice areas include family law, wills and estates, worker’s compensation and general litigation. Leah Still Schonfeld is the compensation manager in the human resources department at The Citadel. Julian ’05 and Jennifer Poolaw Simmons announce the birth of a son, Julian Reed Simmons V. The Simmons family lives in Hanahan, S.C. Hall Sprott West finished her first year of the educational psychology doctorate program at the University of South Carolina. She previously earned an M.A.T. from the College and lives in Columbia with her husband, Raleigh, and daughter, Elliott.

2005 Caroline Bell earned her M.S.N.

from Johns Hopkins University in May and is a nurse practitioner in Cape Charles, Va. Rachel Fuller received a B.S.N. from MUSC and is moving to Masindi, Uganda, to work in a medical clinic sponsored by Pioneers International and the Palmetto Medical Initiative. Nancy Munn is a vice president with Genesis Wealth Management. Nancy and Paul Guerin were married in 2008 and live in Beaumont, Texas. Amanda Keeling O’Neal and her husband, Michael, moved to Masindi, Uganda, in February to build a medical clinic sponsored by the Palmetto Medical Initiative.

|

68

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

Katie Perkins is an associate attorney in the Charleston office of Melissa F. Brown LLC.

Julian Simmons (see Jennifer Poolaw Simmons ’04) Jon Stowe is an air traffic controller at Norfolk (Va.) International Airport.

Adam Townsend is the assistant general

manager at the Caribbean Resort and Villas in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Melissa Wideman is the campaign manager for (Steve) Driehaus for Congress in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jody Zieverink received his M.B.A with an emphasis in accounting from Winthrop University in December 2009.

2006 Rachel Briggs is an event

designer with Duvall Catering & Event Design in Charleston. Marla Cochran is a student employment coordinator at the College. Michael Cody works for InnerWorkings, a global print solutions company based in Chicago. Christine File is a first-grade teacher for the Charleston County School District and was accepted into the ASPIRE III program at The Citadel. Jackie Flemons earned her J.D. from the University of South Carolina in 2009 and is a law clerk for Judge Alison Lee in Columbia. Jackie is a new member of the College’s Alumni Association’s board of directors. Shameka Fulton works for the Department of State Human Resources Center in Charleston. Shameka and Jermaine Anderson were married in November 2009. Richard and Jeannie Wall Hinson opened TeaGschwendner, a premium loose-leaf tea shop, in Cameron Village, Raleigh, N.C., in September 2009. Laura Kallmeyer is the office manager for Batten & Moore LLC in Charleston. Nate Romberger received the Teacher of the Year award at Hunley Park Elementary School in the Charleston County School District. Emily Shalosky is a physician’s assistant. Emily and Neal Shelley were married in March. Caroline Breckenridge Soper is the federal project coordinator for the architectural firm LS3P Associates in Charleston. Lauren Wold works for Charleston GI Specialists. Lauren and Christopher Collins were married in November.

2007 Jessica Berry is the

administration and special events coordinator for the Hospice of Charleston Foundation. Casey Brazell is a graduate student at Harvard University, working toward his master’s and Ph.D. in American civilization and American history. Dave Butler represented the College in a golf tournament held on Hilton Head Island in February. John Cleveland is a legislative correspondent with Senator Lindsey Graham’s office in Washington, D.C. John specializes in international affairs, national security, budget issues, housing, pensions and Social Security. Katie Murphy Heatherington is the recreation manager for the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. Patrick Klein is the lead front office supervisor for the Charleston Marriott. Laura Mason teaches English as a second language at the Interactive College of Technology in Chamblee and at the Asian American Resource Center in Suwanee, Ga. Jenny Moser earned her J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in December 2009. Jenny and Fritz Brown ’01 are married and live in Charleston. Helen Van Wagoner is working for the London School of Economics in Academic Partnerships and also serves as the director of operations for the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. Helen earned a master’s in international politics from the London School of Economics.

2008 Diane Bader works for Sheraton Hotels, a Starwood company, in Atlanta.

Kendall Bennett is a server at the fine-dining restaurant Table Fifty-Two in Chicago.

Charles Bradley is an account technician in the College’s Treasurer’s Office.

Megan Click is an event designer with Duvall Catering & Event Design in Charleston.

Jessica Farrell is a project archivist with the

College’s Avery Research Center. She is also a graduate student at the University of South Carolina, working on her master’s in library and information science. Sarah Gatling is a student in the creative advertising program at The Creative Circus in Atlanta. Kourtney Jones works in the Retail Dining


CLASS NOTES

Jesse Berger ’09 directed his

first feature film, Republic of Pete, which premiered this spring at the Charleston International Film Festival and took home “Audience Choice for Best Feature.” Division at the U.S. Naval Academy. She is responsible for coordinating events, marketing, accounting and membership. Julie Marburger received her master’s in historic preservation from the University of Georgia in 2009 and is a law student at John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Matthew McClennan is a law student at Wake Forest University School of Law. Mike Patterson has returned to Charleston from New York City and is an algorithmic equities trader with a hedge fund company. Mike is also an elementary school math tutor. Maggie Rackl worked aboard Battleship New Jersey immediately following graduation. She is a communications associate at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C. Chris Snyder is the head teacher of a private school in Seoul, South Korea. Chris coordinates the other American teachers and is the senior foreign instructor. His classes focus on TOEFL writing and SAT prep. Meagan Vucovich is the project coordinator for VSA Arts of Alabama, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving children and adults with disabilities and chronic illnesses through the arts.

2009 Joseph Bennett is an

administrative specialist with the College’s public safety department.

Mitch Besselievre is a customer account

coordinator with Michelin in Greenville, S.C. Daniel Boykin is in marketing and sales with the Odle Group in Hanahan, S.C. Ashlyn Hunt works for the Medical University of South Carolina. Ashlyn and Aaron Boserup were married in May and live in Charleston. Jonah Jeter started a public relations firm in Charleston called The Becket Agency in 2007. Jonah has worked with clients such as Mellow Mushroom Charleston, Caviar & Bananas, Oberon Socks, Charleston Dog Show and Capital Book Festival. Hattie Keyes is a district coordinator with One on One Learning. Carrie McGeehan is an events manager with Patrick Properties in Charleston. She is responsible for organizing and managing events at all of the company’s properties. Charles Murchison is traveling through South America and will attend Yale School of Public Health in September. Peter Neiger is the internal operations manager at Students for Liberty, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Lewkora Phillips is a reservation agent at the new Windsong Resort in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. Edwin Rogers works for S.C. Federal Credit Union. Edwin and Christin Donnelly were married in March and live in Goose Creek, S.C. Skylar Stetten does marketing for a hedge fund administrator called Columbus Avenue Consulting in New York City. Todd Stoudenmire is an events manager of Sun Center National Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J. Sarah Thornton is a development officer for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Houston. Jeremy Wasko is doing volunteer work in Salasacas, Ecuador, with the SKY Foundation.

He is working on multiple projects – from teaching English and math, to construction and maintenance work for the community.

2010 Caroline Burns received a Rotary

Ambassadorial Scholarship and is moving to Kampala, Uganda, to attend graduate school at Makerere University. Alex Felts is a sales coordinator for Marriott Residence Inn on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Dustin Foxworth is a passport associate for the Department of Homeland Security in Charleston. Phillip Hall has started a tourism business in Costa Rica called Surf The Earth Costa Rica. Alok Kotecha is a system engineer for MUSC. Mary McGovern is a researcher with the TIMI Study Group, an academic research organization of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Victoria Meany is the marketing director for Palparco Inc. in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Gibbon Miler is an events coordinator in the College’s alumni relations office. Zach Prince has signed with the Charleston Battery soccer team. Zach was a midfielder and four-year starter for the Cougars. Stefanie Quinn is a curriculum specialist at Daniel Island Academy in Charleston. Laura Reid is a systems programmer with the College’s IT department. Susan Szymialis is a life enrichment coordinator at Brooke Grove Foundation in Sandy Spring, Md. Valeska Upham is a sailing instructor at Alpena Youth Sailing Club in Alpena, Mich.

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

[ passages ] Alice Bray ’28

Thomas Cuttino ’48

Stuart Gilmer Jr. ’87

Marjory Thompson Glenn ’31

Norman Rugheimer ’50

Leslie Kennedy McAdams ’93

Benjamin Berendt ’35

Virginia Sturcken Bachem ’52

Eric Drews ’95

Catherine Langston ’35

Barbara Pearson Moorer ’55

Nancy Brown ’99

December 23, 2008; Arlington, Va. November 28, 2007; Eagle Bay, N.Y. January 28; Charleston, S.C. April 19, 2003; Charleston, S.C.

Bella Goldin Wallace ’37

February 28; Columbia, S.C. February 4; Kalispell, Mont. February 21, 2008; Amityville, N.Y. March 25; Charleston, S.C.

October 12, 2009; Pawleys Island, S.C. May 15; Murrells Inlet, S.C.

February 25; Mt. Pleasant, S.C. April 12; James Island, S.C.

May 1; Orangeburg, S.C.

May 18; Charleston, S.C.

Julius H.W. Guerard ’58

Spencer King ’99

Frances Smythe Edmunds ’39

David Goin ’65

Amanda Thomas ’05

Frances Rodgers Korstad ’40

Clinton Fitts ’76

Marco Nicholas ’08

Robert Eason ’41

Alfred Peeler Jr. ’77

Russell Church (graduate student)

John Frierson Jr. ’41

Kathryn Norris Pearce ’78 March 10; Pamplico, S.C.

March 15; Charleston, S.C.

Frances Cannon Seymour ’44

Timothy Scruggs ’79

Walter Murphy (honorary degree recipient, 1989)

Virginia Whitridge Mitchell ’46

JoAnn Raley Neal ’82

April 30; Charleston, S.C. April 1; Chapel Hill, N.C. April 7; Vermillion, S.D.

February 12; Midlothian, Va. March 9; Charleston, S.C.

March 31; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

February 26; Summerville, S.C. April 11; Amarillo, Texas February 7; Charleston, S.C.

November 21, 2009; Hampstead, N.C.

February 23; Atlanta, Ga. January 2009; Summerton, S.C. May 17; Charleston, S.C. May 15; Travelers Rest, S.C.

Bettyann Scarbrough (former staff)

April 20; Ravenel, S.C.

March 22; Eutawville, S.C.

SUMMER 2010 |

69

|


[ faces and places ]

2 3

1 4

5 6

8 7

There’s always something going on at the College. Here’s a sample from the last few months. 1 A Charleston Affair: Frances Bramlett ’77, Chuck Baker ’80, Betsey Bramlett Baker ’81, Rallis Pappas ’78 and Sherwood Miler ’74 2 A Charleston Affair: Lauren Whiteside ’07 and Rachbob Ballinger ’10 3 The fourth annual Dance Marathon, coordinated by students from the Higdon Student Leadership Center, raised a record-breaking $75,000 for MUSC Children’s Hospital. 4 A Charleston Affair: Ashley Jones Smith ’00, Tony Meyer ’49 and Rebecca Basinger ’10 5 A Charleston Affair: Patricia Sullivan Gustafson ’72, Gus Gustafson ’75, Lauren Goethe ’09 and Michael Massey ’87 6 A Charleston Affair: David Hay ’81, Mariana Ramsay Hay ’82 and Bobby Marlowe ’71 7 A Charleston Affair: Tristan Evans ’10 and Allen Wright ’10 8 Graduate School Commencement: Lucy Garrett Beckham ’70, commencement speaker 9 Undergraduate Commencement: President Benson and Marco Cavazzoni (vice president and general manager of final assembly and delivery at Boeing Charleston), commencement speaker 10 School of Business M.B.A program celebration: George Spaulding and Carrie Blair (management and entrepreneurship) 11 School of Business M.B.A. program celebration: Rhonda |

70

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


CLASS NOTES

9

10

11

12 13

15 14

18

16

17

Mack (associate dean and chair, hospitality and tourism management) and Alan Shao (dean, School of Business) 12 ExCEL Awards Ceremony: Eddie Ganaway ’71 and Remus Harper Jr. ’72, recipient of this year’s Eddie Ganaway Distinguished Alumni Award 13 School of Sciences and Mathematics Building open house: June Brown and Mace Brown 14 School of Sciences and Mathematics Building dedication ceremony: members of Intelligent Design (former chemistry professor Steve Jones and biology professors Brian Scholtens, Jaap Hillenius and Rob Dillon) 15 School of Sciences and Mathematics Building open house: Stephen Jones (CofC Bookstore), Cass Runyon (geology) and Jim Bell (keynote speaker) 16 School of Business’ Adam Smith Week, sponsored by BB&T’s Initiative for Public Choice and Market Process: John Stossel, Fox Business Network commentator 17 2010 Charleston Navy Week: George Hynd (provost), George Watt (executive vice president, institutional advancement), Vice Admiral Anthony Winns (naval inspector general) and Steve Osborne ’73 (executive vice president, business affairs) 18 Undergraduate Commencement: Anita Zucker, honorary degree recipient SUMMER 2010 |

71

|


My Space

The Carolina First Arena For two years of my college basketball career, I played in the Kresse Arena. There, the crowd was close and the energy high, though the venue was small. In 2008–09, during my junior year, my teammates and I moved to the Carolina First Arena, where screaming students and fans filled the new court’s 5,100 seats, surrounding us each game with their support. I was proud to be a member of the first team to play in that gym. To me, the new arena meant the College of Charleston basketball team was a force to

|

72

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

be reckoned with. We were winners. We were big time. We paid respect to the new court through constant contact. We dribbled on it. We pivoted on it in screeching sneakers. We dropped sweat onto it. When the ball came loose, we dove on it. We fought many battles on that court, both good and bad. My senior year, we beat powerhouse UNC. We played Wofford on that court, too, in a nationally televised game. Our fans wore white in an effort to “White Out Wofford.”

We won by two that night. Even when I walk into an empty Carolina First Arena, the fans are there in my head – chanting, waving and screaming for their team. Like I said, we were big time. – Tony White Jr. White was Coach Bobby Cremins’ first recruit at the College, and he finished his highly decorated four-year career ranked in the top-five in the College’s Division I history in scoring and ninth all-time.


A Gift And A Giver thAt Keep on GivinG THE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF SOUTH CAROLINA and the College of Charleston go back – way back. Both were founded in the 1700s, and both share a signer of the Declaration of Independence in their early leadership. Thomas Heyward Jr. served as the first president of the society and was also a founder of the College. But the connection does not stop there. Fast-forward to the 1980s, when society member and College biology professor Harry Freeman ’43 helped to formalize the McLeodFrampton Scholarship. For more than 20 years, marine biology students in the graduate and undergraduate programs have benefited from the assistance the society provides. According to past president T. Heyward Carter Jr. (a descendent of Thomas Heyward Jr.), the society hopes that scholarship recipients will build careers in agriculture, ecology and the marine sciences in an effort to better South Carolina’s environment and commerce. To learn more about different ways you and your organization can support College initiatives, check out www.cofc.edu/giving.

www.cofc.edu/giving

843.953.1835

AdAIR dEmpSEY ’05 (’09, m.S.),

recipient of the mcLeod-Frampton Scholarship


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID College of Charleston Charleston, SC 29424-0001

Cert no. SW-COC-002556

College of Charleston Magazine  

College of Charleston Magazine is the flagship publication of the College of Charleston. Published three times a year, the magazine engages...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you