CSU Magazine - Meet the Press - Student & Alumni Making the News

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On the cover: The Buc News crew writes, produces and hosts a weekly news show during the academic year. Buc News cast: Morgan Layton, graphic designer; Christi Porter, studio camera; Sean Petrie, researcher and field reporter; Danielle Hensley, anchor and lead writer; Kelli Manigo, anchor; Leah Kahkola, producer/director; Matt Foster, anchor, and Jacob Poole, field reporter Photo by Richard Esposito


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Kelsey Riggs is in front of the camera at WCNC in Charlotte

Behind the Scenes with the Buc News Crew 2 Fat 2 Fly: Alum and his friend are taking the food industry by storm in Columbia


Brandon McGrew goes from SGA president to police officer


Class Notes, Baby Bucs and more

A double rainbow appeared over campus the day before exams began for spring semester. Photo by Richard Esposito




from the president

Dear Friends, We are about a month away from the start of a new academic year and welcoming the Class of 2020 to Charleston Southern. It is always an exciting time on campus. New and returning students will enjoy the expanded dining hall and renovated Russell East residence hall. A new semester also brings the start of a new football season. The Bucs will be playing North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D., Aug. 27. The game will be televised on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern time). In this issue of CSU Magazine, you can learn about the changes taking place in our communication and media arts department. Change is constant in the communication industry, and our professors are equipping students to navigate our fast-paced world. You can also go behind the scenes to learn how our students are producing Buc News, a weekly newscast. Our annual spring symposium recognizes the research and scholarly projects that our students and faculty are pursuing. A few of this spring’s projects are highlighted in this issue, including important work in breast cancer research. Our features include alum Kelsey Riggs, a sportscaster in the Charlotte TV market; alum Corey Simmons who has created a unique business venture in Columbia; alum Cindy Crook who is director of education at Lowcountry Pregnancy Center, and Brandon McGrew, recently graduated Student Government Association president, who is joining the Mount Pleasant Police Department. I hope you will visit campus this fall and see for yourself the growth and changes taking place. Come for a ball game, a tour of campus, or to bring a prospective student for a visit. I think you will be impressed. I am appreciative of your continued support and prayers as we educate another generation of leaders.


Jairy C. Hunter, Jr.


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volume 26 number 2 Summer 2016

EDITORIAL STAFF: Jan Joslin ’82, Editor, Director of Publications John Strubel ’11, ’14, Director of Integrated Marketing Jon Merkling, Graphic Designer Richard Esposito, Multimedia Coordinator

DESIGN INTERN: Cory Towler ’18

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Amy Albrecht Luke Blackmon

contents LEARNING

4 Meet the Press 6 The Changing Landscape of Communication 14 Ruth Opera Debuts 15 5 Qs with Brandolyn Muldrow 15 Emeritus Faculty Still Serving 16 Class of 2016 Graduates 19 Retiring Faculty Members 19 NCLEX Success 19 International Visitors 20 Student and Faculty Research

Paul Bowers Matthew Campbell Leah Kahkola ’17 Mike McCann ’07, ’11 Brittany Richardson ’19



22 Boeing’s CTO Inspires Students 22 New Positions Announced 23 Campus Construction 24 CSU and Spoleto 28 Golf and Track & Field Success SERVING

CSU Magazine is published three times a year by the university relations office for alumni and friends of Charleston Southern University. Address changes should be sent to advancement@csuniv.edu. CSU Magazine on the web: csumagazine.com Email: magazine@csuniv.edu CharlestonSouthern.edu

Design and layout by:

bobduranddesign@gmail.com • www.facebook.com/bobduranddesign

Printed by:

© 2016 Charleston Southern University

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30 McNeal Named Newman Civic Fellow 30 Baseball Team Honored 31 Thank You Letter to My RA 34 Canine Therapy 36 5 Qs with Cindy Crook of LPC SCHOOL TIES

38 Class Notes 39 2016 Teachers of the Year 41 Brick Program 42 Singleton Baseball Complex 42 Football Schedule 43 Baby Bucs 44 Alumni Events 45 Pearson Impacting Millennials 45 Meet Your Alumni Association 46 T-shirt Honors Mom 46 Scholarships 47 CSU Family Tree 47 CSU Giving Day 48 Alumni Award Winners

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MEET THE PRESS By John Strubel

We p i n c h , t a p , s w i p e a n d s c r o l l . We a r e w a t c h i n g m o r e a n d r e a d i n g l e s s ; sharing more and communicating less; consuming more and learning less. Te c h n o l o g y h a s c h a n g e d t h e w o r l d – a n d h a s p e r m a n e n t l y c h a n g e d t h e w a y w e learn and communicate. Newspaper readership is in decline. Radio listenership is d o w n . T h e d a y s o f p r i m e t i m e a p p o i n t m e n t t e l e v i s i o n a r e l o n g g o n e . Tr a d i t i o n a l media has officially been the victim of disruption by all things digital. T h e s e i s m i c s h i f t i n t o d a y ’s m e d i a h a s a l s o c r e a t e d n e w c h a l l e n g e s f o r h i g h e r education. What skills will this generation of media professionals need?

t’s a question Dr. Dan Fultz, chair, department of communication and media arts, and Dr. Jason Peterson, assistant professor of communication, had been wrestling with when they arrived at Charleston Southern two years ago. The pair used their extensive professional experience, industry contacts and research to spearhead curriculum changes that now include courses in digital media, web design, sports communication, journalism,

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multiplatform editing, advanced public relations and reporting. The courses also include practical application for video, audio and social media content to prepare students for today’s digital first media industry. “Students need to be prepared to do a little bit of everything,” said Peterson. The summer issue of CSU Magazine takes you behind-the-scenes of CSU’s communication and media arts program. Fultz and Peterson sit down to discuss the curriculum and how the changes have created

a new energy among the student body and relevance for the program and its future. CSU also recognizes the importance of hands-on experience. This past year, the university launched the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) to give students enriched educational opportunities via internships, practicums, clinical experience, field courses and other real-world application of classroom theory. The initiative is off to a fast start right here on campus with the addition of Buc News, a

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weekly campus newscast written, produced and hosted by CSU students. Richard Esposito, multimedia coordinator, worked closely with faculty and program directors to identify students interested in film and television production. Within three semesters, Esposito went from two students to a team of eight interns and work-study students. You will hear from alumnus and former Buc News host Brandolyn Muldrow. Her experience paid immediate dividends. One week after graduation she landed a full-time job as a production assistant at WCSC (Live 5 News), the local CBS affiliate in Charleston. Muldrow joins alums Tessa Spencer (’90), Warren Peper (’74) and Kelsey Riggs (’10) in the media profession. Riggs, a James Island native and former CSU soccer player, is working as a sports anchor at NBC affiliate WCNC in Charlotte, North Carolina. She said her education and internship opportunities were the building blocks to success. We are excited to share the recent success of our academic programs and alumnus success stories with you. We hope you’ll enjoy them.

Dr. Dan Fultz presents the Outstanding Graduate in Communication Award to Logan Lowder at the annual awards day in April. Photo by Richard Esposito



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By Jan Joslin I photos by Richard Esposito

r. Dan Fultz and Dr. Jason Peterson arrived at Charleston Southern in 2014 and have spearheaded significant changes to the communication curriculum to address the ever changing media landscape. The new curriculum is designed to prepare students for the professional world through internships and hands-on class projects and to provide the tools students need to be successful in graduate school. Fultz is also interested in students thinking deeply

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Jason Peterson

about Christianity and their role in the church. “How do we as Christians tackle the questions and start and keep conversations going?” said Fultz. The story stays the same, but in today’s multimedia world, students must learn to write in different ways. One way students are prepared is by going back thousands of years to the deep thinkers such as Plato, Socrates and Augustine. Fultz uses the ancient scholars to talk about media platforms such as Twitter and how students are establishing credibility on different platforms. Fultz, chair of communication and media arts, has spent a good deal of time designing the department’s capstone course, Communication Research and Professional Development. The capstone course assists students in building a portfolio for the job market and producing a research idea for a graduate level research paper. Fultz said CSU’s liberal arts foundation assists professors in teaching students how to think. The combination of classic Christian thinkers and recent scholarly research teaches students to think from a communication scholar standpoint. “We expect students to take ownership of their education,” said Fultz. While Fultz is preparing students to think as scholars, Peterson spends his days deeply immersed in the finer details of the industry. A former print journalist, Peterson, assistant professor of communication, remembers the first time someone brought video equipment into the newsroom. He said the news-

room held the stereotypical view that print was superior. But, he said, gone are the days where a journalist can just write or just take pictures. Today, journalists are expected to be able to do it all – print, broadcast and web. Peterson keeps his finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the industry. In addition to teaching the nuts and bolts of journalism, Peterson works to instill a curious mindset in his students. “If they are willing to learn and are inquisitive, that’s half the battle,” he said. He’s teaching students to be savvy media consumers and to be cognizant of the mediums they’re accessing.

Dan Fultz Summer 2016, vol.26 no.2

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY Internships are an important part of training students for the workforce. In addition to internships in the community, Peterson relies on the CSU university relations office and sports information office to bridge the gap between the classroom and the work world. “I see them as an extension of what we’re trying to do in the classroom,” he said. Peterson focuses on replicating what would happen in the industry as closely as he can. Recently he paired students in his PR writing class with students in an editing class. Writers had to pitch a feature idea to an editor and then turn the finished piece over to the editor who edited for print and web and wrote a synopsis of where they would try to get the piece published. “Audiences tend to take what’s on the surface and accept it,” said Peterson. He uses the political process to teach a wider range of information and asks questions to help students come to a critical understanding. “This process results in a more informed individual and a better contributor to society,” he said. Communication students are exposed to various formats and expected to be competent in all of them. “Students need to be prepared to do a little bit of everything,” said Peterson. For example, he teaches students to see Twitter as a legitimate news tool and to tell a story in 140 characters. As an undergrad, Peterson served as editor of his college newspaper when he was a senior and worked with a staff heavy with freshmen. It was later when he was a working journalist that he realized he missed mentoring and helping people learn the industry and turned his career toward the classroom. He’s just finished his 10th year of teaching, and more than just helping students build portfolios, Peterson seeks to instill a passion for journalism in his students. “I enjoy building students’ spirits and confidence, mentoring and massaging skill sets.” He keeps himself up-to-date in the industry through his personal work. Peterson’s research has been published in American Journalism and his first book, Full Court Press: Mississippi State University and the Battle Against the Press to Integrate State College Basketball, 1955-1973, is in press with the University Press of Mississippi and is due out this fall.

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COMMUNICATION & MEDIA ARTS The revised curriculum includes courses in digital media, web design, sports communication, journalism, multiplatform editing, advanced public relations and reporting. The courses include practical application for video, audio and social media content in today’s fast-paced digital first media industry. MAJORS • Communication Studies (BA Degree) • Graphic Design (BA Degree) MINORS • • • • • • • •

Art Communication Studies Family Communication Graphic Design Journalism Public Relations Sports Communication Theatre


10 GREAT CAREER OPTIONS IN COMMUNICATION: 1. Public Relations/Community Relations 2. Marketing 3. Social Media 4. Content Provider 5. Fundraising 6. Freelance 7. Create a start-up 8. Media: Newspapers, Magazines, Radio 9. Sports 10. Advertising Source: Hanover Research

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GAME ON KELSEY RIGGS A l umn u s K e ls ey Riggs ’11 is a sp orts anchor and reporter at NBC affiliate WC N C i n C h a rlo tte , N or t h Ca rolin a , t h e 22nd larg est television market in the co u n tr y.


By John Strubel I photos by Richard Esposito

elsey Riggs is living a sports fan’s dream. Since landing her current job as sports reporter with NBC in Charlotte, Riggs has spent the last six months chronicling the Carolina Panthers run through the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl 50; the Charlotte Hornets NBA playoffs appearance; the 2016 Wells Fargo PGA tournament, and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600. “If I could have picked anywhere off the map for this job, it would be Charlotte,” said Riggs. “I feel so lucky to be here.” But Riggs’ lucky streak actually started two decades earlier and 2,746 miles east of Santa Clara, California, (home of Super Bowl 50) at Harbor View Elementary School. That is where she first remembers being in front of a camera to deliver the news. “I remember reading the little cue cards,” she said. “My parents actually came to watch me. That was a really big deal. I can remember really wanting to do this.”

Riggs took her first broadcast journalism class in high school, and she was hooked. “I fell in love with it there,” she said. When it came time to look at colleges, she was offered a scholarship to play soccer at Charleston Southern University – and it was close to home. “My family is very important to me, and for them to be able to come see my soccer games, meant a lot,” she said. “CSU also gave me the opportunity to really grow, develop my passions and figure myself out in a faithbased environment. That was also a big part of my decision-making process.” Riggs said her experience at CSU also helped prepare her for life after college. “There was so much that goes into being a student and being an athlete day-to-day,” she said. “I learned how to balance my time; how to prioritize different things; how hard you have to work to get something to achieve your goal. I think being a student-athlete and being very competitive, I also wanted to do well in the classroom, and then, I wanted to

make my family proud, too. I think it just allowed me to really grow.” Riggs also used the opportunity to get experience in television news, serving as an intern for local Charleston television stations News 2 (junior) and Live 5 News (senior). “I wanted to get my hands dirty and experience everything,” she said. “That was challenging because I was still playing soccer. I would go to weightlifting at 8 a.m. and then my internship, then to class and then to soccer practice. That was a lot, but again, it helped me later.” Her hard work in college quickly paid dividends. After earning her degree in communication, Riggs was offered a job as a news reporter at WBTW, a CBS station in Myrtle Beach. “I was ecstatic,” she said. So were Bryan and Pam Riggs, Kelsey’s mom and dad. On the morning of her first anchor appearance, the Riggs family – mom, dad and grandparents – drove to a diner in Georgetown, ordered breakfast and watched Kelsey. Her mother recorded Kelsey’s first



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Kelsey Riggs is a sports anchor and reporter for WCNC in Charlotte.





As a woman in the sports media industry, what was your reaction to the #MoreThanMean video? “I was actually a little emotional watching it. I’m lucky I haven’t experienced something so intense like that. It’s not just news or sports reporters. It’s not even just females. Males get it, too. It’s something that, unfortunately, comes along with being in the public eye. That’s sad that we, unfortunately, just have to say, ‘Well, this is what people do now.’ It’s hard to accept that people sit behind their computer screens and can say mean things that they would never say to someone in real life. I’ve been fairly lucky. The main thing, for me as a female in sports, is I always want to be prepared. I always want to know what’s coming next. I think respect and credibility are the biggest things. You want to be someone that’s credible. You want to be someone that the people that you’re working for and with and the community and the viewers, you want them to know that you’re credible, you’re reliable, you’re trustworthy, all of these things that go into making a good journalist, and it goes for sports, too.”

Hometown: James Island (a short 30-minute commute) College: Charleston Southern from 2007-2011 Major: Communication WBTW/Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (2011-2015) WCNC/Charlotte, North Carolina (2016-current)

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What advice would you give people who want to pursue a career in media? “There are two big things: One is the value of an internship. It is a lot of time – and these aren’t paid – so you’re just giving them your time. But you get so much out of it. You can learn from your professors and from your school experience, but that hands-on experience, and the connections you make, is invaluable. That is how I got my first job. Two, you really have to love it. You have to, it’s so competitive. The reality is you’re not going to make any money to start off, but if you love it and you love what you do, as the saying goes, ‘You never work a day in your life if you love what you do.’ If you love what you do, it’s definitely worth it.” Why broadcast journalism? “Sports are my passion. I grew up playing and watching sports, so I knew that was what I wanted to do, but news was a foot in the door. You can’t always get your dream job right off the bat, and I liked news. It’s a different job every day. You never know who you are going to meet or what you’re going to do. You’re never stuck in an office.”

morning show on her phone while watching the TV. Myrtle Beach quickly became another classroom. She took all the skills she learned from the classroom at CSU and her internships and put them to work. “I was anchoring, reporting, producing, and the whole time, I kept reminding them that I really love sports.” She dug her heels in and honed her skills. She worked days, nights and weekends. After a year-and-a-half in news, WBTW offered her a position as a weekend sports anchor. She accepted. “In college she decided that is what she wanted to do and she put her heart into,” said her father, Bryan Riggs. “It’s not easy. She had to work her way up. She learned everything she could. I admire her work ethic and passion.” Technology has allowed her biggest fans – mom and dad – to watch her on a regular basis. “When she was in Myrtle Beach, she said she knew when we were watching because there’d be three online viewers: the weatherman and the two of us,” said her mother. “We watch her on the internet every day,” Bryan added. “We have apps on our phones, our TV and our computers.” When she moved to Charlotte in January, her mother said, “We were thrilled that she was going to a bigger market with professional sports, but we were overjoyed that it was only a few hours away.” The career transition to Charlotte has been a game changer for Riggs. “I hit the ground running,” she said. Running? Try sprinting. Just days after she started in Charlotte, Riggs was on the sideline for the Panthers playoff wins against the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. “In Myrtle Beach, I had been covering the Panthers, but it’s very different when you get that first-hand experience,” said Riggs. “I’m standing on the sidelines for the playoffs games. I was a kid in a candy store the first time I walked out there. “I covered a Panthers game before, but being here (in Charlotte) and knowing that this was my market and this was what I was going to be doing, and then, going to the Super Bowl … doing stories about the NFL experience, the fans, the celebrities, Radio Row … it was absolutely insane.”

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It is a typical Friday morning in university relations. The student news team arrives, and within a few hours, the once quiet space morphs into a beehive of activity littered with college students, bookbags and laptops. The sound of CSU students pecking at laptop keyboards and voices practicing reading news scripts echo from the corner office as the team prepares for Buc News, the weekly campus newscast written, produced and hosted entirely by students. The team is excited and, as expected, a little bit nervous. Being on camera has that effect on people. An awkward, anxious laugh trails off as the team marches off into uncharted territory to their makeshift studio. It’s go time. Hosting a weekly video news program is a new experience for students – and the university. Last year, Charleston Southern launched its Experiential Learning Initiative

The view Christi Porter sees as she is recording Buc News.



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(ELI), to provide students opportunities through internships, work-study programs and field courses. The initiative allows students to apply their classroom education to create a hands-on experience in their field of study. The concept excited CSU multimedia coordinator Richard Esposito, a four-time Emmy Award winning editor of special projects stories at WHDH Boston. He took the idea and ran with it, utilizing the available talent and resources surrounding him. “I wanted to use my passion and experience to help students,” said Esposito. Esposito recruited students interested in film and television production. Danielle Hensley, a junior communication major, has been on the BUC News staff since its inception. Hensley and communication major Brandolyn Muldrow ’15 were both passionate about television reporting. The pair teamed up, and two weeks later, Buc News debuted. “Rick had the talent behind the scenes, and Brandolyn and I wanted to gain experience in

front of the camera,” said Hensley. The experience paid immediate dividends for Muldrow. One week after graduation she landed a full-time production job at WCSC (Live 5 News), the local CBS affiliate in Charleston. Since joining CSU in November 2014, Esposito has expanded the program from two students to a team of eight interns and workstudy students. Sean Petrie, a sophomore, saw the opportunity to explore his passion for research and reporting. “I really like meeting people and hearing their stories,” he said. Petrie also learned from working in a collaborative environment. “I learned how to work with people more efficiently,” he said. “Everyone has their own gifts and talents; it’s cool seeing that.” “I think the big thing is different attitudes and skill sets,” added Christi Porter, a producer for BUC News. “You have to be patient.” The hands-on experience is also paying off in the classroom. Petrie, a communication

major, said the approach is similar to “homework where I practice everything I learned and apply it. The experience has really helped me improve my writing skills and has made me a better student.” Studies have shown that benefits of experiential learning for students include higher job placement rates after graduation, better understanding of course material, and the development of professional skills for the postgraduate environment. The Buc News team is already working on plans for the program’s future. “I would love to see Buc News evolve into something great,” said Hensley. “I want Buc News to be the primary source of information to students on what’s happening on campus and around the area.” “I want it to be a place students could go and get involved; where students could go if they’re interested in writing,” added Petrie. To learn more about CSU’s ELI program, visit CharlestonSouthern.edu/eli. To watch the latest Buc News, visit our YouTube page @CharlestonSouthern.


Members of the Buc News crew meet with Richard Esposito in university relations to plan a segment of Buc News.

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Danielle Hensley, anchor and lead writer, prepares the script prior to filming.

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The spring 2016 BUC News team: Danielle Hensley, Anchor and Lead Writer Leah Kahkola, Producer/Director Jacob Poole, Field Reporter, Camera Christi Porter, Studio Camera Sean Petrie, Researcher and Field Reporter Morgan Layton, Graphic Designer Kelli Manigo, Anchor Field reporters, Sean Petrie and Jacob Poole, interview students for Buc News.

Producer and Director, Leah Kahkola, works with Jacob Poole and Sean Petrie to prepare the teleprompter and the camera angle prior to filming.

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Matt Foster, Anchor

Danielle Hensley and Kelli Manigo anchor another segment of Buc News.

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New opera ‘Ruth’ plumbs the biblical depths of despair


By Paul Bowers of The Post and Courier


he new one-act opera “Ruth” begins with a sequence of three jarring, dissonant chords from the ensemble, marking the three deaths that start off the biblical book of the same name. “It couldn’t be bleaker,” said Richard Pressley, composer of the opera and assistant professor of music theory at Charleston Southern. Looking to work with a scriptural narrative that hasn’t gotten an operatic treatment as prominent as “Samson and Delilah,” Pressley and librettists Jack and Carolyn Simons picked an Old Testament story with a heavy-hearted theme. The libretto begins with the Moabite woman Naomi (soprano Taryn Wetherington) and her two daughtersin-law, Ruth (soprano Lauryn Kay) and Orpah (alto Tierhanne Huff), lamenting the death of Naomi’s husband and two sons. “Three widows doomed to poverty’s distress,” they sing. “Husbands lost, lost, lost! Oh fateful decree!” As Pressley sat down to compose last year, hunched over a piano and a thick stack of staff paper, he sought to capture the unmitigated darkness at the center of the story. The resulting piece is at times jarring, but at other times it soars with cinematic sweep and grandeur — no small feat for the modestly sized ensemble. “What I like about the narrative is that it’s very realistic. When really tragic things happen like that, you feel the despair,” Pressley said. “The interesting thing is God is almost not mentioned in the book, never in an active sense ... but they recognize his provision and his sort of behind-the-scenes action.” “Ruth” is Pressley’s first opera score, and it marks a departure from his previous works.

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After touring in rock and punk bands growing up in Indiana, Pressley attended music school and took an interest in the avant-garde. Some of his best-known works are angular and modern, but for “Ruth,” he stayed out of the deep end of the pool occupied by minimalist opera composer Philip Glass. “It’s pretty traditional. It’s an opera that’s very deliberately aware of its history,” Pressley said. Pressley borrowed a handful of the Romantic techniques from classic operas that he teaches students in music theory classes at CSU. The score employs borrowed chords, which are minor-key chords carried over to the major key and vice versa. Taking a note from the theories of 18th-century German composer Christian Schubart, the piece starts in the key of F minor — signifying deep depression and “longing for the grave,” in Schubart’s estimation — and ends in F major, Schubart’s key of “complaisance and calm.” Pressley said he was fully aware that many American audiences only interact with classical music through video game and movie soundtracks. With first-time opera listeners in mind, he wrote the opera to be catchy and short (it clocks in around 35 minutes), with a strong backbone of percussion at times. “I tried to make it singable, and I tried to

make it as memorable as possible,” Pressley said. It has “just enough dissonance in there to have some overlap with music that they’re already familiar with.” Building from its gloomy introduction, the opera tells the tale of Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi, her boldness in providing for their household, and the decision of their kinsman Boaz (baritone Daniel Megli) to marry Ruth and buy Naomi’s land. It ends on a note of triumph at the wedding of Ruth and Boaz, who, the Bible notes, went on to give birth to the grandfather of King David, the ancestor of Christ. In writing the score, Pressley was keenly aware of this context, hoping it would not be lost on a Christian audience. “Jesus says the world will make you suffer, ‘when you encounter tribulation of various kinds,’ so I think one of the things that makes Ruth so beloved is here’s about as low as you can get,” Pressley said. “Those women were widows, and that meant you had really no social standing at the time. You were basically hopeless ... But God is big enough. He can take our frustration, he can take our complaints.” Reprinted with permission of The Post and Courier. Originally published on Feb. 20, 2016.

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Questions with:

Brandolyn Muldrow

by Jan Joslin


randon Muldrow ’15 graduated in December 2015 with a major in communication and a minor in English. She landed a job as a production assistant at WCSC Live 5 News. She was a member of the Buc News crew on campus during her last semester. Q. Have you always wanted to work in the broadcast industry? I have known that I wanted to be in the broadcast industry since I was in maybe 10th or 11th grade. Then was when I fell in love with celebrity entertainment. I played sports in high school too and enjoyed watching them professionally. I always liked to watch interviews and would form my own questions that I would ask a particular celebrity, and that’s when I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Q. How have your experiences at CSU helped you so far in your career? Dr. Jason Peterson’s journalism class helped me to understand the entire writing concept as well as the appropriate questions

to ask or not to ask. In my interpersonal communication class with Professor Thomas Keating, we learned the type of voice delivery you should have with certain stories. Of course my English courses helped to broaden my vocabulary. Q. What are some of your typical duties during the work day? Right now I’m a production assistant, so basically on a regular day I sort through scripts for anchors and operate the camera during all evening broadcasts. On the weekends I operate the audio board, meaning that I actually get the sound over the airwaves for viewers to hear. Q. What was it like being the field producer for Live 5 News during the Cooper River Bridge Run? Field producing at the Cooper River Bridge Run was my first experience with the run. There were thousands of runners, and everything was very fast-paced. As field producer I had to keep in contact with

the studio producer to make sure that the reporter and photographer knew exactly what was going on. I had to be certain that the reporter was ready to go on air when it was her turn because we covered the bridge run live from 5:30 a.m. until about 10:30 a.m. We were at the finish line, so we got to interview a few of the runners and live tweet photos when significant things took place. Q. What do you want to do in the future? My future goal is to become a sideline sports reporter for either professional sports or D1 college sports. My favorites are basketball and football. I have a HUGE passion for both. If that doesn’t work out then I plan to do entertainment news. I don’t mind relocating to do either, so at this point whatever it takes I am setting out to do. I currently have videos on my YouTube of reels I am creating when I am ready to apply for a sports reporter position. Check it out and subscribe by just typing in my name: Brandolyn Muldrow.

Emeritus Faculty continue to give to CSU


ith the launch of the transform campaign in the summer of 2011, a group of emeritus faculty began meeting on a monthly basis to pray for the Lord’s provision for the comprehensive fundraising campaign and the university. “The deep and enduring commitment by this

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special group of retired faculty members to the university is incredible and inspirational,” said David Baggs, vice president for advancement.

Pictured are: Sandra Lee, Linda Gooding, Dr. Ken Bonnette, Dr. Carol Drowota, Dr. Jim Barrier, Anne Hawkes, Jim Settle, Dr. Enid Causey, Dr. Joyce Bagwell, Dr. David Rison, Dolores Jones. Photo by Richard Esposito

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photos by Richard Esposito

Zach Sibrava exits the Coliseum after graduation.

Carolyn Hunter was the guest speaker at commencement.


harleston Southern University conferred 636 degrees Saturday, May 7 at North Charleston Coliseum. Carolyn D. Hunter, CEO and president of C & A Unlimited, Inc., and owner/operator of three McDonald’s franchises, was guest speaker. She has been a member of the CSU Board of Visitors Executive Council and has established The Rachel H. Thompson Endowed Scholarship in memory of her mother at CSU. Hunter shared with the graduates some of the things that have guided her in her success:

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The proud family of communication graduate, Jaimee Salone, arrived at graduation with matching t-shirts in support of Jaimee.

• Talent is defined as something a person can do better than others. Sometimes we stumble on our talent, and sometimes we run away from it. Your talent will turn into your passion. • Don’t believe everything you think. You can be wrong. Listen to those who have your best interest at heart. • Make sacrifices, and they will pay off for you. • Focus on working toward your goals. Don’t just focus on where you can go. Just get started.

“Keep your minds open; give different things a try, and use your God-given talent,” said Hunter. “There are more great things waiting for you in the future.” The university awarded her an honorary doctor of business administration degree during the ceremony.

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Honorary Doctor of Business Administration Carolyn D. Hunter

L. McTier Anderson Emeritus Professor of Business Administration

Distinguished Service Award Lisa Main Amy Niebuhr STUDENT AWARDS:

Valerie Kadow Bullock Emerita Professor of Music Sandra Lee Emerita Professor of Kinesiology

The Myrtle E. Hamrick Award: (A medal awarded annually to the female graduate who possesses the highest virtues of Christian womanhood.)


Jordan Noel Mutnansky, a double major in student ministry and sociology with a human services emphasis from Brownsburg, Ind.


The Hunter Cup: (Presented to a member of the graduating class who has best served the university and whose character, scholarship and athletic ability are deemed outstanding)

Linda Karges-Bone Distinguished Professor of Education

Alan R. Fix Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

President Jairy Hunter presents Amy Niebuhr with a Distinguished Service Award.

Ashley Jeane Higginbothem, a member of the volleyball team and a biology, preprofessional emphasis major from Middletown, Md. The John A. Barry Scholar Award: (Presented to the graduating senior who has achieved the highest scholastic ratio and who, in the judgment of the faculty, evidences the greatest promise for future scholarship) Christopher G. Reyes, an English education major from Summerville The Carolyn Killen Hunter Outstanding Christian Teacher Endowed Scholarship and Award: (Awarded to a rising senior in the School of Education who has demonstrated Christian leadership) Angelica G. Chavez, a rising senior majoring in early childhood education from North Charleston.

James Gainyard commissions U.S. Army 2nd lieutenants at graduation.

HONORS PROGRAM GRADUATES: Nathaniel David Edwards Shayla Christine Hoff Bethany Alyssa Simmons President Jairy Hunter presents Lisa Main with a Distinguished Service Award

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May Grad Named to AFROTC Elite


adet Ross C. Nelson graduated May 7 and was commissioned into the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. Lt. Col. Alexandria R. Watson, commander of AFROTC Detachment 772, said, “Less

than one percent of U.S. citizens serve on active duty and even less than that serve as officers. Cadet Nelson is in that small number of people serving as an officer charged with leading people in the greatest Air Force in the world.” Additionally, Nelson has been designated an Air Force ROTC Distinguished Graduate, an honor going to the top 10 percent of all cadets across the nation receiving commissions this year. Watson said, “It means Cadet Nelson is one of about 150 cadets receiving this award among approximately 2000 Air Force ROTC cadets commissioning this year. As a Distinguished Graduate, Cadet Nelson is

recognized as an exceptional cadet who has set himself apart with stellar performance of his Air Force ROTC duties, sound academic achievement, and positive contributions to his community. “He set an example for fellow cadets of the standards the Air Force values tremendously,” said Watson. “Though it is earned based on his performance in Air Force ROTC, this award is unique because it will follow Cadet Nelson on to active duty and remain in his record throughout his Air Force career.” Nelson will serve on active duty in the Air Force as a contracting officer, and his first duty location is Warner-Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Lt. Col. Alexandria R. Watson administers the oath of office to 2nd Lt. Ross Nelson.



lan Fix, assistant professor of criminal justice, was named Charleston Southern’s Excellence in Teaching winner April 12 at the awards dinner for faculty from 20 private colleges, sponsored by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. Each recipient is chosen by his or her institution according to rigorous criteria and receives a professional development grant from SCICU. Dr. Jackie Fish, vice president for academic affairs, said, “Professor Fix has been an amazing leader, friend, mentor and outstanding Christian example for our criminal justice students.” Fix has instructed a wide variety of undergraduate classes and has developed

specialty classes in Private Security, Conservation Law Enforcement, Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation and Advanced Crime Scene Investigation. Fix is responsible for overseeing the criminal justice internship program, which has been instrumental in finding students employment in law

enforcement, judicial and correctional agencies. He has also instructed graduate classes in Juvenile Justice and Drugs in the Criminal Justice System. In addition to his classroom duties, he serves as the faculty advisor for CSU’s chapter of Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the American Criminal Justice Association. He also directs the annual CSI @ CSU Summer Camp for ninth through 12th graders interested in a career in crime scene investigation. Prior to joining CSU in 2008, Fix’s law enforcement career spanned 29 years with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as a state conservation officer. He holds a graduate degree in criminal justice from Boston University and a bachelor of science in criminal justice from Indiana University.

Professor Alan Fix

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our faculty members were honored upon their retirement this spring: Dr. L. McTier Anderson, professor of business administration; Dr. Valerie K. Bullock, professor of music and chair of the Horton School

of Music; Sandra S. Lee, assistant professor of kinesiology, and Dr. Linda Karges-Bone, professor of education.

Pictured are: Dr. Jackie Fish, vice president for academic affairs; Bullock, Anderson, Karges-Bone, Lee, and President Jairy Hunter. Photo by Richard Esposito

College of Nursing Pleased with NCLEX Success


hen the final 2015 NCLEX pass rates for all South Carolina nursing programs were recently released, Dr. Andreea Meier, dean of the College of Nursing, reported that Charleston Southern’s nineyear average NCLEX pass rate for first-time testers is 95 percent, the highest in the state. Meier attributes the continued success to several factors. Beginning in their first semester, Charleston Southern nursing students are ex-

posed to NCLEX-style questions on all exams. In addition, the College of Nursing curriculum is designed to assist students to think critically and apply scientific, theoretical and practical knowledge in a variety of health care settings, including community health services. Simulation lab technology in all clinical courses also further develops the students’ skills, confidence and competency in clinical skills.

Meier said, “We take passionate students and turn them into knowledgeable and skilled professionals through placing our focus on ensuring success throughout the program. Our dedicated faculty know how to push students to excellence while helping them reach their goals. All of these factors have contributed to the College of Nursing’s ongoing success.”

International Visitors Fly In Photos by Matthew Campbell


he campus recently hosted two international visitors who drew birders from the community to campus. A Greater White-fronted Goose was present Jan. 23-Feb. 11 and may be the same bird spotted on campus in 2012, 2013 and 2015. A Ring-billed Gull with a numbered leg band was seen on campus Jan. 20-March 2. Dr. Matthew Campbell, associate professor of biology and geology, said, “The bird was banded as an adult at Île Deslauriers in the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, just east of Montreal. Its sighting at CSU was the first report of this individual bird other than on that island.” Ring-billed Gull

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Greater White-fronted Goose

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Albrecht Teams Researching Treatments for Breast Cancer


ngrid Bonilla worked with Frankincense oil and its effects on both cancerous and noncancerous human breast cell lines. She was funded by an SCICU grant. We have found that the oil does affect the cancerous cell and does cause the cells to change in their growth and appearance. We currently are trying to determine the route/mechanism by which the oil is affecting the cells. Ingrid presented a poster of her work at the SCICU

Hannah Gable, Jessica Crane and Dr. Amy Albrecht. Photo by Jan Joslin

By Dr. Amy Albrecht

research symposium and gave a presentation at the CSU Spring Symposium. Jessica Crane and Hannah Gable also worked with me this year in the research laboratory. They have been working on the effects of tea tree oil on the breast cell lines and have seen some encouraging results. We are currently working on refining this data and this oil project has less data than the Frankincense oil, since they only have worked for one



illie Gravot, Emily Shaw, Rose Tisdale and Michaela Hughes worked with me on extinct fossil scallop shells because of my previous research interest in these mollusks. Scallops shells are well-preserved in many fossil layers in South Carolina. I have worked with the paleontologists Dr. Sanders (retired) and Mr. Gibson at the Charleston Museum and arranged to examine their research

specimens. We also analyzed specimens that I collected in quarries that are now closed. We looked at the range of morphological variation in four different species of Pliocene scallops. In the lab, you could find us measuring shells, counting the number of ribs and photographing specimens. The species Nodipecten peedeensis had unusually high variation in the number of ribs and was the rarest species that we studied. The

semester. Hannah and Jessica also presented a poster at the CSU spring symposium. In the fall, Hannah and Jessica plan to continue their work with Tea Tree oil. We will also continue with the Frankincense oil. I have two new students coming to the lab, and I am excited to see what new projects we can work on together as we continue to investigate alternative treatments for breast cancer.

By Dr. Matthew Campbell

type specimen is in the American Museum of Natural History, with additional specimens in the Charleston Museum and the Campbell fossil research collection. Future research will continue to describe the causes of this variation. Lillie Gravot found it interesting to learn how much she did not know about scallops at the beginning of this project, how old these fossils were, and how live scallops swim. Emily Shaw thought it was interesting to see the amount of variation in one species and also how scallops swim. Rose Tisdale found it interesting to see how much variation could be seen in the species Nodipecten peedeensis, and she enjoyed learning how to identify the genus and species of the various scallops. Michaela Hughes found it interesting how complex the scallops are and how much she learned by studying different kinds of scallops. Any reader who has information about an active quarry is invited to contact Campbell at mcampbell@csuniv.edu.

Rose Tisdale, Emily Shaw and Lillie Gravot. Photo by Jan Joslin

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Student and Faculty Research Highlights The annual spring Symposium, coordinated by the faculty Publications Committee, showcases the academic work of students and faculty.

Apoptotic Parameters in Human Leukemic T Cells Samir Arora, Hannie Dean, and Tiara Thomas; Sponsored by Dr. David Perry

The Effects of Boswellia Carteri Oil on Breast Cancer Cells Ingrid Bonilla, Sponsored by Dr. Amy Albrecht

A Study on the Relationship Between Myopia, Gender, and Race Anna D’Annunzio, Sponsored by Dr. Virginia Baker

Morality in Politics: Machiavelli and Rousseau Harrison McGlothlin, Sponsored by Dr. John Kuykendall Bureaucracy in the Boardroom with the Red Tape Amanda Franks, Sponsored by Dr. Scott Pearson

Togor Gado discusses her research at the spring symposium.

Divakaruni and Kingston: Perspectives on Being American Katelyn Youmans, Sponsored by Dr. Carissa Turner Smith

Effects of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) Essential Oil on Breast Tissue Cell Lines Hannah E. Gable and Jessica Crane, Sponsored by Dr. Amy Albrecht

Full Court Press: Mississippi State University, the Press, and the Battle to Integrate College Basketball Dr. Jason Peterson

Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Thiol-Ene Crosslinked Polyamidoamine Dendrimers-Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel System Togor Gado, Sponsored by Dr. Xiangdong Bi

The Wireless Door Lock Joshua Satterfield, Sponsored by Dr. Yu-Ju Lin

Education versus Experience in the Hiring Process Brittany Graham, Sponsored by Dr. Christina Sinisi

A Virtual Tour of the CSU Campus Thomas Finch, Sponsored by Dr. Yu-Ju Lin Special Needs Sections in Theaters and Arenas Caroline Walsh, Sponsored by Prof. Nancy Canavera Through the Lens of Time: A Historical Need for an Accurate Old Testament Hermeneutic Evan Wood, Sponsored by Dr. Peter Beck

Laura McAvoy shares her research about music and consumers. photos by Jan Joslin

Bee Bella Honey and Design Mary Daniel, Sponsored by Prof. Andrea Glover

Contemporary Collaborations: New Music Projects for Voice Students Dr. Jill Terhaar Lewis

The “Enchanted April” Theater Poster Mary Albertson, Sponsored by Prof. Andrea Glover

The Tank Media Network Brandon Lorick and Keith Millender, Sponsored by Dr. Jonathan Sircy

Characterization of Bacteria and Fungus from the Skin of Tree Frogs Ashley J. Higginbothem and Togor A. Gado, Sponsored by Dr. James Brooks Music and its Effects on Behavior in the Consumer Setting Laura McAvoy, Sponsored by Dr. Julie Stordahl

My Father, The Entrepreneur Victoria Decrisci, Sponsored by Prof. Maxwell Rollins

Bacteria from the Skin of Salamanders Inhibit Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Amy Sisson, Sponsored by Dr. James Brooks

A Comparison Study of Academic Performance in BIO 226 between Males and Females of Different Races Nicole Faison, Sponsored by Dr. Virginia Baker

Redesigning a Nonprofit Logo: GRO Kylie Klein, Sponsored by Prof. Andrea Glover

Comparative Analysis of Pliocene Scallops from the Carolinas Rose Tisdale, Lillie Gravot, Michaela Hughes, and Emily Shaw; Sponsored by Dr. Matthew Campbell Best Practices of Music with The Adolescent Population Daniel Spencer Turner, Sponsored by Dr. Julie Stordahl

Bookmaking and Leather Work Jeremy Severn, Sponsored by Prof. Andrea Glover Dialoguing with African American Literature Emily Marshall, Abigail Rauch, and Ariel Ruff; Sponsored by Dr. Carissa Turner Smith

Presentations in bold represent research projects which won funding through the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Student/ Faculty Research Grant program.

Two Original Pieces Daniel Crawford, Sponsored By Dr. Richard Pressley

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Boeing’s Chief Technology Officer Inspires Students


r. John J. Tracy, chief technology officer for The Boeing Company, says people fly because everybody wants to hug their mother and businesses won’t grow unless they visit their customers. Tracy spoke to students, faculty and staff in May. Aerospace is one of the biggest growth areas, and Tracy said South Carolina is right in the heart of all the growth action. Tracy shared Boeing’s Leadership Attributes and said much of Boeing’s success can be attributed to people who believe in what they do. • Charts the course – leaders envision a place for the organization to go that is better than where it currently is • Sets high expectations – leaders never ask people to do what they don’t do • Inspires others – leaders recognize talents in people • Finds a way – leaders overcome obstacles by working together with their team

• Lives the Boeing values – leaders don’t take shortcuts • Delivers results Tracy urged those in the audience to be persistent in applying to Boeing. About 1,200 college students receive Boeing internships

across the country each year. He recommended applying early. The bulk of summer interns are selected the previous fall.

Metz Named VP of Enrollment

of Education has experienced a 2 percent growth in enrollment over the past two years, primarily by streamlining various procedures in application processing and intentional advising. Partnerships with the three local counties were recognized by the latest NCATE-legacy accreditation visit, where the School of Education was noted at the exemplary level for field and clinical experiences/ partnerships. Metz has been a professor of education at Bluffton University of Ohio and served for five years in enrollment services at Lima Technical College, now Rhodes State College, in marketing and recruitment with an emphasis on high school students. He then served as director of financial aid, which included responsibility for the college work-study program. Dr. Melanie Reynolds-Murphy is serving as interim dean of the School of Education while the search for a new dean is conducted.

College of Science and Mathematics professors met with Dr. John Tracy of Boeing while he was on campus. Pictured: Dr. Sean Hayes, President Jairy Hunter, Tracy, Dr. Valerie Sessions, Dr. Andy Blauch and Dr. Paul West. Photo by Richard Esposito

NEW POSITIONS Dr. George Metz, dean of the School of Education, has been named vice president for enrollment management. “I am honored, humbled and excited to be appointed in this new role,” said Metz. Since coming to CSU in 2013, Metz has assisted with the design, staffing and development of the Graduate School. He also developed a dual-enrollment program with two local private schools, and other schools are in the final stages of joining the dual enrollment program. He facilitated an articulation with Dorchester District Two for an early college program, collaborating with CSU academic departments in creating a seamless transfer into CSU’s four-year programs. New program developments in the School of Education include three licensure programs at the undergraduate level, one nonlicensure program and development of add-on programming for graduate students. The School Dr. George Metz. Photo by Richard Esposito

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ussell East Renovation: Our Womens’ Residence Halls are over 45 years old. We are nearing the end of a 10-year plan to renovate all four original residence halls. We are performing a major renovation of Russell East this summer. Hill Construction was awarded this project which has a total cost of $3,939,228. The major renovations include a new roof, new A/C system, new floors and new plumbing. Athletic Weight Room/Football Meeting Room: We are completing the design for an 8000SF freestanding building located behind the Athletic Field House. It will include a 5000SF weight room with the remaining 3000SF for football meeting rooms. Brantley Construction was awarded this project which has a total cost of $1,050,000. This project will be funded by game guarantees and athletic fundraising.

Communications Technology Building: The university is building a 3200SF Communications Technology Building which will be located next to Whittington Hall. Brantley Construction was awarded this project which has a total cost of $589,000.

Singleton Baseball Complex: Fundraising is underway for the Singleton Baseball Complex, which includes a 3500SF building, a memorial plaza and a stadium courtyard. More information is available on page 42.

Dining Hall Expansion: A 4000SF expansion and renovation to the existing dining hall increased the seating capacity from 294 to 620. Upgrades to the space included a tiered drywall ceiling with perimeter light coves tying the entire space together. A glass curtain wall exterior floods the space with natural light in the daytime and highlights the dining hall’s activities at night. Hill Construction completed the $2,900,000 project, which was completed in May. Dining Hall expansion Photo by Richard Esposito

Bryant Named Diversity Officer Marcus Bryant ’14 has been named the diversity officer and will continue in his duties as director of operations for the Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership. Bryant is the university’s diversity representative and serves in an advisory role to the administration on diversity matters. “Marcus is a gifted young man, and CSU is fortunate to have his energy and expertise,” said Dr. Michael Bryant, executive vice president. “We are looking forward to working closely with him in this important new role.”

Bryant is a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. He also serves as an executive board member of 1Charleston, a diversity training platform for churches, corporations and higher education institutions.

Marcus Bryant. Photo by Richard Esposito

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CSU Stars Shine on Spoleto Stages Spoleto, Charleston’s annual arts festival, and its accompanying local festival, Piccolo, featured CSU faculty, alumni and students performing in 16 shows ranging from the iconic Porgy and Bess to a reprise of the CSU Lyric Theatre’s spring performance of You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught. Seated: Brad Parker, Jennifer Luiken; Standing: Jill Terhaar Lewis, Shanelle Woods, Laquavia Alston and Regina Helcher Yost. Photo by Richard Esposito

NEW POSITIONS Bryant Named Executive Vice President Dr. Michael L. Bryant, dean of the School of Christian Studies and associate professor, has been named executive vice president. Bryant’s responsibilities include overseeing strategic planning, student services, denominational relations, campus ministries, the Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership, diversity and university relations. After earning his doctorate, he returned to CSU as a faculty member and chair in the religion department, chair of the Faculty Senate, then dean of Christian studies. He was the 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award recipient for South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

Bryant said, “While a student at CSU, many faculty and staff invested in me in significant ways, preparing me for the future. I plan to continue their tradition of faithful, loving service. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to serve alongside so many others who are committed to Christian higher education.” “Dr. Bryant has always been a leader and a person with impeccable integrity,” said president Dr. Jairy Hunter, Jr. “I enjoyed working closely with him when he was president of the student body. Dr. Bryant’s passion for the university’s vision is inspiring.” Bryant received an MDiv with languages and PhD in biblical studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also received a BA in history from Charleston Southern. Dr. Peter Link is serving as interim dean of the School of Christian Studies while the search for a new dean is conducted.

Dr. Michael Bryant. Photo by Richard Esposito

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Davis Named Assistant Athletic Director for Development Tyler Davis ’11 MBA has been named assistant athletic director for development effective June 1. “We are excited about Tyler joining our department,” said Hank Small, athletics director. “Tyler is a former college soccer athlete who has the energy, enthusiasm and passion to move us ahead in athletics fundraising.” Davis will focus on fundraising and external affairs through raising unrestricted and restricted funds, overseeing capital projects and overseeing the Buccaneer Club and Buc Club Board of Directors.

Luke Blackmon, vice president for business who provides senior-level leadership for CSU athletics program, said, “Tyler will be an invaluable asset in this fundraising role particularly at this time because of the critically needed athletics capital projects scheduled for the future.” Davis was previously assistant dean of campus life, supervising residence life, campus recreation, student activities and cheerleading.

Tyler Davis. Photo by Richard Esposito

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CSU magazine 25




WINGS HAVE COREY SIMMONS FLYING HIGH By Mike McCann Corey Simmons and Ramone Dickerson

mong other things, CSU’s athletic training program equips students to quickly assess emergencies, act with composure under pressure and be decisive. Corey Simmons, a 2010 graduate of the program, knew this going in. What he didn’t know was that he’d use those skills for something other than athletic training after graduating. Simmons, a native of Columbia, had honest intentions of starting an athletic training career when he chose his major. But before graduation, while visiting home, he ran into childhood friend, Ramone Dickerson. They renewed their friendship and caught up on old times before Dickerson shared something with Simmons that would change his life forever. Sucker Punch was a chicken wing loaded with bacon, cheese and jalapeños. Simmons recalls, “I had the same reaction everyone does. I couldn’t believe it.”

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The stuffed wing is exactly what it sounds like: a chicken wing with simmering Southern foods stuffed inside. Some of Dickerson’s concoctions included a jambalaya wing, a mac and cheese wing, and a “Song of the South” wing that was filled with collard greens and rice. The wings were unmistakably massive and delicious. Before long Simmons and Dickerson started 2 Fat 2 Fly Wings and began setting up for events around Columbia. Simmons, who had yet to graduate, made treks from North Charleston to Columbia to help with the events. Many fell on weekends, but some came on weeknights. Simmons, who has never been afraid of an all-nighter, worked anyway. He would work past midnight and drive back to Charleston before 5 a.m. athletic training duties began. If he was lucky, he would catch a few minutes of sleep on his

aunt’s couch – his home for the last two years of school because money was tight. After graduation Simmons put his Athletic Training career on hold, much to the chagrin of his parents, while he and Dickerson gave the business their full-time attention. With some help from friends and family they bought a secondhand food truck, nicknamed The Fonz, and began hustling the streets of Columbia for places to legally sell wings. They were the first food truck in town, so they were often shooed away by authorities for not having a permit, even though the peddler’s permits didn’t apply to their food truck. “They didn’t know how to handle us because we were the first of our kind,” says Simmons with a laugh. The Fonz was featured on Eat St., a show on the Food Network, in 2012. Simmons and Dickerson, whose fun-loving and hearton-their-sleeves personalities were perfect for

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SIMMONS’ ATHLETIC TRAINING KNOWLEDGE CAME IN HANDY WHEN MULTIPLE TEAM MEMBERS CAME CLOSE TO HEAT EXHAUSTION ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY A FEW YEARS BACK. television cameras, took advantage of the face time. Their big break came in 2014 when they began filming an exclusive show for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). After a successful promotion of the series on Steve Harvey’s talk show – to the tune of 11,000,000 views on Facebook – the wingmen knew the show would take them to another level. And it did; business from lunch spots in the truck more than quadrupled after the show aired. But life in the food truck wasn’t always so glamorous. Simmons says it was the grueling schedule of college life and athletic training that prepared him to push through the missteps he and Dickerson endured early on. “I realized,” Simmons says, “that you have to have faith to succeed, faith in a higher power, faith in your own eventual success and faith in the people around you.” Simmons, who spent most of his life in and around sports, knows what it takes to build a winning team. Dickerson says, “Corey’s dedication, work ethic and his fight to succeed,” set the standard for their crew. Joey Thompson and Sean Coleman committed to helping, “the minute we tasted the wings,” explains Thompson. In the beginning there was no money to pay Thompson and Coleman, so they volunteered. Thompson and Coleman stuck with 2 Fat 2 Fly through 116 degree days in the food truck. Through exhausting nights in hotel rooms stuffing wings and alternating 20 minute naps on the floor. Through people offering $100 bills for a basket of wings because the truck was sold out. They were even present when Feb. 28, 2016, was named 2 Fat 2 Fly Day by the City of Columbia for all they had done for their hometown. Today, 2 Fat 2 Fly is seven team members strong. Simmons’ athletic training knowledge came in handy when multiple team members came close to heat exhaustion on St. Patrick’s Day a few years back. “I tweeted my professors to thank them for my heat-related skills because

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I saved lives that day,” Simmons said with a grin. Although there would be a number of hoops to jump through, he says returning to his athletic training career is always a possibility. “But,” he says, “not anytime soon, I’m having too much fun!” Simmons and Dickerson are quick to point out that they have failed almost as many times as they have succeeded. But they have learned from their losses and they have grown tremendously. More than anything, they have enjoyed chasing this jam-packed dream. “I would rather do this with Corey than with anyone else,” say Dickerson with a genuine smile. “Even if we hadn’t had the same success, we’ve had too many good times.” Over a year has passed since 2 Fat 2 Fly appeared on Steve Harvey and eight episodes aired on OWN. After a short stint in Atlanta during filming, the team moved back home where they landed a restaurant across the street from Williams Brice Stadium, home of the Gamecocks. The team stuffed wings and prepped the interior for 48 consecutive hours before game day on Sept. 12, 2015 – the restaurant’s grand opening. Customers have ebbed and flowed with the seasons, and the business took a major step back, as did most of Columbia’s economy, after the devastating floods of October 2015. But things have returned to normal, and 2 Fat 2 Fly experiences a steady current of customers on any given night. The original food truck, which gets chased by customers instead of law enforcement nowadays, sits in the parking lot like a lowhanging billboard to welcome patrons. The ultimate goal for 2 Fat 2 Fly is to have their wings distributed nationally in grocery stores. For Simmons, personally, he says he’ll know he’s made it when he’s been asked to come back to give a commencement speech at CSU. Who knows? If he offers to cater, he might just have a deal.

Promo photo: Ramone Dickerson and Corey Simmons

Timeline of the business:

2010: 2 Fat 2 Fly Wings is born Fall 2010: Bought food truck

Mar. 2012: Eat St segment is filmed

Nov. 2012: Eat St segment airs

Spring-Fall 2014: OWN show is filmed

Feb. 2015: OWN show airs

Mar. 2015: Steve Harvey Show appearance

Sept. 2015: Restaurant opens

Photos courtesy of 2 Fat 2 Fly

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GOLF AND TRACK & FIELD ARE MAKING HEADLINES From CSU Sports Info reports, photos by CSU Sports Info

R.J. Keur

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E.J. Reddick

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James and Keur earn PING All-Region honors Austin James and R.J. Keur were named to the PING All-East Region Team by the GCAA. The Division I PING All-Region honorees comprise a total of 156 players across six regions. James and Keur led the men’s golf team to the best regular season in school history – in any sport – reaching as high as No. 25 in national ranking following the fall season. The Buccaneers would go on to earn the first at-large NCAA postseason berth in any sport, finishing 11th at the Tuscaloosa Regional in May. James was named the 2016 Big South Player of the Year and took medalist honors at the Big South Championship following his record-setting season. He finished 11-under to win the conference individual title, one shot shy of Dustin Johnson’s conference record. The junior led the Big South in scoring and Top 10 finishes with nine. He had four consecutive top three finishes heading into the conference championship and had a stretch of 14-of-15 rounds under par late in the season. James entered the postseason ranked No. 16 nationally and has been named a semifinalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award presented by Barbasol, which is presented to collegiate golf’s National Player of the Year. Keur followed up a freshman season that included a Big South team and individual championship with a solid sophomore year. He was third in the Big South in scoring at 72.3 and took second at the Kiawah Classic in November, one of the best regular season wins in CSU history across all sports. The Bucs won the event, finishing ahead of nationally ranked Duke, Virginia and Georgia Tech, among others. He had four Top 10s in his season.

TOP TO BOTTOM: Coach Mike Wilson Austin James Braxton Drummond

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Wilson named Big South Coach of the Year Golf Head Coach Mike Wilson ’99 was honored as the 2016 Big South Coach of the Year. Wilson led the Buccaneers to the best golf season in school history, putting together one of the best individual wins and the highest national ranking across all sports in Charleston Southern history. Wilson, who is closing out his sixth season as the Bucs’ Head Coach, coached CSU to a national ranking in the mid-20s in November, following a win at the Kiawah Classic against a field which included some of college golf’s elite. Reddick Advances to NCAA Championship E.J. Reddick set a new personal best and earned a stunning ninth-place finish in the triple jump at the NCAA East Regional Meet, advancing the senior to the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in June. Reddick turned in a performance of 15.91 meters (52 feet, 2.5 inches) to shatter his previous top individual mark of 15.51 meters established when he won the Big South title. The Mauldin, S.C., product, competing at the regional meet for the first time in his career, is one of 12 triple jumpers from the East Region and 24 in the country to qualify for nationals, which were June 8 in Eugene, Oregon. He placed 22nd at the NCAA Championship. Drummond competes in Olympic Trials Senior Braxton Drummond secured a spot in the 2016 United States Olympic Trials, shattered the Big South Conference long jump record and delivered the top effort in the NCAA Division I ranks in April at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational. Drummond jumped an impressive 8.10 meters on his first attempt to beat his closest competitor at the event, hosted by the University of Miami, by half a meter. It is .05 meters past the 8.05 automatic qualifying mark set by U.S.A Track & Field, and meant that Drummond participated in the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, on July 2 and 3, hoping to earn a spot in the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil. He finished 17th in the qualifying round and did not advance to the final round

CSU magazine 29




McNeal Named a 2016 Newman Civic Fellow


enior Brianna McNeal has received a 2016 Newman Civic Fellows Award. Just 218 students, representing 36 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico, received the award in 2016. Sponsor of the award, Campus Compact, is a nonprofit coalition of nearly 1,100 college and university presidents, representing 6 million students, who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. McNeal was nominated by Charleston Southern president, Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr. In his nomination, Hunter said, “Ms. McNeal’s ability to prioritize a rigorous nursing class schedule, nursing clinicals and civic engagement make her worthy of recognition for outstanding contribution.” McNeal is the president of CSU’s Rotaract and the service project coordinator of the Psychology Club. Her service to campus and community projects includes: CSU Volunteer

Fair, Rotary’s Dictionary Project, White Oak Manor, Eagle Harbor Boys Ranch, coordinating a Red Cross Blood Drive, coordinating a meal and donation for My Sister’s House, and coordinating donations to the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. McNeal is majoring in nursing with a minor in psychology and is from Jacksonville, Florida. She said, “I hope to be able to give the physical, emotional and spiritual care that people deserve, not with the intention of receiving gratitude or recognition, but because I have made it my responsibility as my debt owed to this earth.” Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors nominate undergraduate or graduate students who are proven leaders with both the motivation and ability to make substantial contributions toward public problem solving for this special recognition.

A Campus Compact official presents the award to Brianna McNeal, on left. Photo by Richard Esposito.



ampus Compact awarded the baseball program the S.C. Student Service Achievement Award for their work with children with disabilities. Over the past five years, the baseball team has coordinated and contributed thousands of community service hours to the Summerville Miracle League. This year, head coach Stuart Lake and the Bucs have volunteered 1,170 hours. The Summerville Miracle League serves people with special needs. The baseball league offers a positive atmosphere for players and their families. photo courtesy Sports Info

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CSU hosted the Campus Compact Civic Engagement Leadership Summit and awards ceremony in April. South Carolina Campus Compact is a coalition of 17 South Carolina colleges and universities working to promote and develop the civic purposes of higher education. Through this work, the SCCC improves the ability of higher education institutions to partner with their communities to collectively impact community needs and provide real world learning for college students. Members of SCCC collaborate to share and seek resources and best practices, mobilizing students, faculty and staff toward this end.

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A Thank You Letter to My RA


rittany Richardson, a prenursing major from Lugoff, recently wrote the following blog about her Resident Assistant, Sarah Altman. Altman is a music therapy major from Galivants Ferry and is an RA in Russell East residence hall.

To the best RA anyone could have: I want to thank you for being so welcoming the first week of college. Move-in day was chaotic, and I felt overwhelmed. You made it so much easier for me to adjust to college life with your welcoming, warm-hearted spirit. Thank you for all the times you said “hey” to me in passing. No, we aren’t best buds, and our schedules are both crazy, but thank you for never being stuck up. You may not realize it, but on rough days, it really means a lot to me – even if it’s a simple smile. Thank you for always holding me accountable and for making me clean my room. The cleanliness of my room is the last thing on my mind when I have an 8 a.m. anatomy exam. Thank you for holding me accountable spiritually as well. When you asked how God was working in my life lately, especially after my mission trip, it helped me reevaluate and remember that I don’t have to be in a foreign country for God to use me in mighty ways.

It is easy to say that you are a Christian, but you show that you are in everything you do. Even though there are girls who aren’t Christians on our hall, you show them the love of Christ and who He is through your words and actions. You’re a great example of what a godly woman should be – even when it comes to your love life.

I don’t tell you as often as I should, but thank you for who you are and how the Lord used you to minister to my life. I am thankful that God placed you as my RA for my freshman year. From venting to you about life to your prayers for my family during difficult times, I can’t begin to explain the appreciation I have for you. I love you so much, and I pray that the Lord continues to use you in all that He sees fit throughout your life.

ABOVE: Brittany Richardson and Sarah Altman

Sincerely, The girl at the end of the hall

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Brandon McGrew’s senior year as a CSU student began on the stage of the Lightsey Chapel Auditorium. McGrew, who served as president of the Student Government Association, delivered the first prayer of the semester. Herman McGrew, his 95-year-old great-grandfather, sat just a few feet away. The senior member of the McGrew family served on the team that developed the vision and plan for, what is today, Charleston Southern University. “He told me that day was one of the highlights of his life,” said McGrew. “He knew the vision for the university, and for him to witness it come to fruition, was heartwarming to him. That moment will stick with me forever.” enerations divide (and bond) McGrew and his grandfather. Herman grew up in the Connie Maxwell orphanage. He served in World War II. When Herman returned from war he opened his own carpeting business. “He’s worked hard for what he has, and he’s instilled values into my grandfather, who has instilled values into my mom and myself,” said McGrew. “It’s something that’s just beyond myself; something that the Lord has really blessed my family with.” McGrew, on the other hand, grew up in Abbeville before his family moved to Mount Pleasant, where he attended Laing Middle School and Wando High School. Unlike his grandfather, McGrew had his eyes on college. By his senior year in high school he made the decision to attend CSU to study music and worship leadership.

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“I came to CSU because of all those things those other schools didn’t have; I felt the most welcomed at Charleston Southern,” he said. “It was appealing to me because of the campus. It’s a beautiful campus, and campus life is close, intimate.” In 2013, McGrew represented Charleston Southern at Student Leadership University in Orlando, Florida. During his five-week stay he began thinking hard about his future. McGrew was intrigued by law enforcement and believed the opportunity provided him a mission field to lead and serve the community. “My grandfather, who I lived with the majority of my life, was a Charleston city police officer for 24 years,” said McGrew. “Growing up with that law enforcement background in my family was something I

was familiar with, and I grew to have a deep respect.” McGrew contacted Dr. Marc Embler, then the dean for CSU’s criminal justice department. Within days, he had changed his major to criminal justice. From that moment on, his college life took on a new purpose. Over the next three years McGrew served his college and students as a campus ambassador, resident assistant, commuter relations, Campus Crusade for Christ, Campus Outreach, SGA senator (2013-14), SGA vice president (2014-15) and president of Charleston Southern’s student body during his senior year. “Service is my passion,” said McGrew. “That’s something I am going to miss, serving the students. I was able to represent and serve the students at Board of Trustees

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meetings, Board of Visitors meetings and Strategic Planning meetings. Each time I was in one of those meetings, I learned so much and loved hearing the plans for the future of the university.” His student experience was life changing. McGrew said the relationships he built as a student have evolved into lifelong friendships. “We spent years together and that’s something no one can take away,” said McGrew. “When you build relationships – and you’re intentional about it – you have the potential to impact lives. “I also learned how to lead at SLU (Student Leadership University) and by being a member of the student leadership core,” he continued. “We discussed leadership and what it meant to be a servant leader. Those lessons I learned at CSU have really impacted my life.” When McGrew came to CSU he witnessed faith in action. McGrew thanked Jon Davis (campus pastor), Alan Fix (criminal justice professor), Clark Carter (Dean of Students) and Tyler Davis (Director, Residence Life) for “investing in my life and encouraging me. “We all know the Great Commission: Go and disciple people in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but I never understood the word disciple until I came to CSU,” he said. “That’s when I really began to grow in my faith.” When asked to define what a “disciple” is now, he said: “Being a disciple is following Christ,” said McGrew. “Being a disciple is not only something you are, but it’s also something you do; it requires action. I have learned that discipleship is multiplication of disciples. Ezra 7:10 says, “… study and obey the laws of the Lord and to become a Bible teacher, teaching those laws to the people ...” McGrew found himself back on the stage again in May, this time at the North Charleston Coliseum, where he received his bachelor of science in criminal justice degree. The moment was historic for McGrew and his family as he became the first person in his immediate family to attend and graduate from college.

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Brandon McGrew, photo by Richard Esposito

McGrew said his education in the classroom has prepared him to step into the next stage of life. He has accepted a position at Mount Pleasant Police Department and, later this summer, he will marry Emily Willis, another CSU student. “I am excited, anxious, nervous,” said McGrew. “There are a lot of big changes in my life right now. But through my faith and support from my family and friends I am at peace.”


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A Little Canine Therapy The Counseling Center sponsored Therapy Dogs during their stress busting activities in exam week. Photo by Richard Esposito







Questions with:

Cindy Crook

by Jan Joslin


indy Crook ’72 is the director of education at the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center and has worked at LPC since 2005. She became interested in the LPC when she was part of a prayer team that prayed for the Center and the unborn. The director of the ministry was part of the prayer team. The job opened, and she applied. Her earlier years of work experience were with the SC Department of Social Services, Bryson Middle School in Greenville County and Oakbrook Middle School in Dorchester Two in Summerville. She said those past work experiences certainly prepared her for the work of the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center. Her husband, Joe, is a structural engineer with Jacobs Engineering and is also involved with LPC. Son, Paul Crook, and his wife, Katie, recently returned to the Lowcountry and are employed with Dorchester Two for the fall of 2016. Paul is an elementary teacher and is working on his master’s at CSU, and Katie teaches ESL. They were formerly missionaries to the Roma people of Romania. Daughter, Amy Crook Fulginiti, and husband, Zach, serve with Campus Outreach in western North Carolina as regional directors and have given the Crooks three amazing grandchildren, Zachary, Mae, and baby Paton.

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Q. What do you do as director of education? I began my work at the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center by instructing parenting classes. At that time we did one-on-one teaching with clients. I became the director of education after the ministry grew to servicing over 6,000 clients a year. We use a curriculum written by Dr. Christine Sinisi, of CSU’s behavioral science department, and our staff. This curriculum has been approved by the courts and DSS in the tri-county of South Carolina. I teach this class once a week and enjoy getting to see clients move to a place where life is better for them and their children. I also teach a class of high school, early college age clients and a class of young adults becoming parents. I coordinate seven programs that operate out of the education department. I also go to the Al Cannon Detention Center and teach a parenting class every six weeks. In April 2015 I traveled to Romania with three others from the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center. We did some parenting teaching that included some main thoughts from the Ready to Parent Program that Dr. Sinisi had written. We did this work with the Roma people (Gypsy community). Our son and daughterin-law were serving as missionaries in Romania at the time and had urged us to come and teach some simple parenting skills. In the week of our teaching in three different villages we taught more than 600 individuals, and it was well received. The pastor, Attila Toth, encouraged my husband, Joe, to teach with us so that we could teach the men as well as the women. It was an amazing experience.

Q. What do you find most fulfilling about your work? • Holding a newborn baby that a client brings in for me to meet and hold • Teaching a parenting class at the Al Cannon Detention Center • Teaching DSS/court-ordered clients – seeing them move to a better place in their lives • Helping past clients see life • Teaching some parenting skills to the Roma people of Romania • Receiving photos of babies and families from locations around the country. Many clients come to us with a military background and move on to other locations. Most rewarding when they take time to mail a photo of their baby. Q. What role do volunteers play in the work of LPC? We could not function without our volunteers. They are vital to the work of the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center. They serve as peer counselors, nurses, assist with administration, fundraising, serve as instructors or facilitators in our classes, and assist with our emergency program - Because We Care (provides diapers, formula, food, baby equipment, and recycled clothes).

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PROGRAMS Q. How have Charleston Southern students contributed to the work at LPC? The Lowcountry Pregnancy has been in a partnership with CSU internships for 16 years. We work with the psychology department and more recently the health promotions department. These students do an amazing job with assisting wherever the need. Many train to counsel. They assist with fundraising, administrative needs, counseling, reception area needs and our emergency program that distributes diapers, formula and recycled clothes The CSU students are a vital part of the work of the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center. A couple of LPC hires came from some outstanding interns. The past three years the CSU Resident Assistants have donated 2 hours a semester to assist with our work. They assist with cleaning, sorting baby clothes, administrative and fundraising needs. We are thankful for this additional assistance from the CSU community. We also had a few students that came to work with us through the CSU Apple Program. Students assisting bring energy, professionalism, and compassion as they serve and assist client needs. Q. What advice would you give to a college student wanting to work at a nonprofit? To pray and listen for clarity from God regarding any employment. Work in a nonprofit will not bring financial wealth, but amazing riches will come from service. For me, dollar value cannot be placed on holding a newborn baby.

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E arn While You Learn: The Earn While You Learn program teaches young families about the pregnancy and the care of the baby. Ready to Parent: The Ready to Parent is an eleven-week program and teaches clients about the emotional, physical and intellectual development of their baby. Other sessions include family values, discipline, time management, anger management and some budgeting. This curriculum was written by Dr. Christina Sinisi of CSU and the staff of the LPC. This program is approved by DSS and the courts, and clients receive a certificate for completion of the program and “Baby Bucks.” This program is taken to the Charleston Detention Center every six weeks. Mother Goose: The Beginning with Mother Goose Program is a four-week class. The clients in this program receive books and “Baby Bucks” for participation. The mom, dad and baby come to this program. Mother Goose has been received by the community with a warm welcome at the Charleston Detention Center, North Charleston High School and Florence Crittenton. Fatherhood Program: The Fatherhood Program is designed to help young dads learn some parenting skills and to help them see how important the role of a father is in a child’s life. The curriculum is from the National Fatherhood Initiative. Dads can earn “Baby Bucks,” and this program has been approved by DSS and the courts for dads needing parenting classes. Because We Care: Because We Care is the emergency program to assist families in times of need with material assistance for their baby with diapers, formula, baby food and clothes up to size 2. Relationship Class: The LPC’s Relationship Program is to build self-esteem, cultivate healthy relationship decision making, and strive for Biblical marriages. PACE: The Post Abortion Counseling and Education program provides a safe and supportive relationship, individually or in a group setting, for effectively ministering God’s forgiveness and restorative healing to women who are suffering trauma, remorse or guilt resulting from an abortion.

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Class notes 1972

Ouidasue Walters Nash was recently installed as South Carolina president of Alpha Delta Kappa, the international honorary organization of women educators.

Baptist College roommates Harriett Parsons Edwards and Ouidasue Walters Nash were reunited at the recent S.C. Alpha Delta Kappa Convention.


Dr. Cynthia M. Putman has published two books about her Pomeranian, Snowball. Putman said writing the books fulfilled her longtime goal of becoming a children’s book author. She and Snowball make school visits to promote good writing. The books help children learn about good character traits and how people of diverse backgrounds can be involved in improving communities for one another and their pets. Snowball, Into the World and Snowball Visits the Veterinarian are available at Amazon.com or as Kindle downloads at snowballthedog.com. Cynthia teaches in the CSU School of Education.

1992 Tracy McDonald ’00 MEd is the coordinator of accountability and assessment for Colleton County School District. She oversees the district’s testing and helps school officials make decisions based on the data generated by testing. She was formerly the principal at Northside Elementary School.

Dr. Rodney E. Graham ’02 has recently returned from a monthlong trip to Southeast Asia. His trip included Japan, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. He is pictured in Thailand, wearing his CSU Buc Club hat.


1991 Connie Coyle MEd teaches ninth grade Western Civilization and Advanced Placement European History at Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville.

1979 Marc Embler was named South Carolina’s 2015 Male Master Runner by USA Track and Field. He was the top male master runner in 2012 and 2013 also. In 2015 he won his age group in 17 races and was the top over 40 runner in 10 and the overall winner in three races. He is currently dean of the Center for Academic Excellence at CSU. He and his wife, Ruth Marie, also a runner, have four children and three grandchildren.

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Paulette Hawthorne is the owner of Life’s a Trip Travel, LLC, in Charlotte, N.C. She is also the director of marketing, communications and outreach for Carolina Breast Friends, a nonprofit organization; executive chapter leader for National Association of Virtuous Women, Inc., and is a health and wellness ambassador for Plexus Worldwide.

Audrey L. Dowling has published Prayer Points for Pastors: A Tool for Pastors and Their Intercessors, available at amazon.com. She lives in Lithonia, Ga. Rev. Timothy Nicholson is the bereavement coordinator for Intrepid Hospice in North Charleston. He received a master of arts in pastoral counseling from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013. He and his wife, Debi Sires Nicholson, have been married since 2008, and they live in Adams Run. Sherry Yearty MAT ’07 is an English and public speaking instructor at Williamsburg Technical College. She previously taught at Trident Technical College.

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Vanessa President Brown ’07 MEd has been named principal of Baptist Hill Middle-High School for the 2016-2017 year. She is currently interim principal at the school and has been a teacher and assistant principal at several schools throughout her career.

Sally Hanna Singleton Smith has graduated from Capella University with a PhD in human services. She is a school counselor at Green Sea Floyds Elementary in Horry County and also serves on the human services board at Horry Georgetown Technical College. The focus of her study was bullying prevention, and her dissertation topic was Teachers’ Perceptions of School Administrators’ Responses to Bullying Behaviors. She and her husband, Clint, and daughter, Annah Belle, live in Aynor.

1999 Jenny Williams MEd ’03 is a teacher at Colleton Preparatory School. She is also an SCISA certified master teacher. She and her family live in Islandton.



Dorchester School District 4 Woodland High School Teacher of the Year – Christine Johnson (2010) Williams Memorial Elementary School Teacher of the Year – April Sanders (2012, 2016 MEd) Clarendon School District 2 Manning Junior High School Teacher of the Year - Stephanie Wells (2010) Dorchester District 2 Alston Middle School Teacher of the Year – Lisa Shaffer (2002 MEd) Newington Elementary Teacher of the Year – Anna Jones Bennett (2012 MEd) Rollings Middle School of the Arts Teacher of the Year - David Richardson (2008) Summerville Elementary Teacher of the Year - April Jeffries (2006 MEd) Reeves Elementary Teacher of the Year – Crystal Still (2001 MEd) Rookie Teacher of the Year – Ryan Heaton (2014) Charleston County School District Ellington Elementary Teacher of the Year – Lakeris Wine (2011)

Kevin Lott and his wife, Jennifer Tucker Lott ’04 have started a family resource business delivering short podcast devotions and gospel conversation starters for families at Choosethisdayonline.wordpress. com. The Lotts are currently working toward being church planters in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about the church plant, visit eastbridgechurch. com/partner. Photo courtesy of Kickstand Studios.

Berkeley County School District Sangaree Middle Teacher of the Year – Jessica Hunter Sanders (2011)

Rebecca Watson Eifert and her husband, Christopher Eifert, announce the birth of their third daughter, Charlotte Josie, April 21, 2015. She was welcomed home by big sisters Kinsley and Amelia. Rebecca is a registered nurse, and the Eiferts live in Chester.

Nexton Elementary Teacher of the Year – Stephanie (Lock) Dillard (2003) Westview Primary School Teacher of the Year – Amy Cannon Jolley (1996) Bonner Elementary Teacher of the Year – Michael Silvestri (2010) Rookie Teacher of the Year – Jessica Alexander (2015) Berkeley Alternative Rookie Teacher of the Year – Richard Thornley (1987, 1990 MEd) Rock Hill York Road Elementary School Teacher of the Year - Debra Nicholson (1986)

If we missed including other CSU alums who are 2016 teachers of the year, email the information to alumni@csuniv.edu

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Robert S. “Trey” Ingram III, an attorney at Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, was recently featured for his work in commercial real estate and adoption law. Ingram and his wife have four children and a foster child. They live in Greenville.

2007 Alexander Boyd is a licensed realtor with Southern Shores Real Estate Group LLC in the Summerville office. Ivey Rhodes received the master of divinity degree in North American church planting from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in May and won the preaching contest at SEBTS. He and his wife, Allie ’09, are planning to move to Boston in September to plant a church. They have four children.

2009 Josh Forrest is the new student pastor at First Baptist Church North Augusta. He and his wife, Tiffany, have one daughter, Grace.

2010 Amanda Dukes MBA and her husband, Taylor, announce the birth of their second child, Caroline Brooke Dukes, born March 17, weighing 9 lbs. and 21.5 inches long. Amanda works at New Ravenna Mosaics, and her husband works for the Town of Exmore. They live in Belle Haven, Va.

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Olivia Jordan-Higgins is a professional golfer playing on the LPGA’s Symetra Tour. She is currently writing a golf column for the Greenwood Index-Journal. You can follow her career at oliviajordanhiggins.com. Steve McGinnis and his wife, Carrie, welcomed their first child, Brayden, in late 2015. Steve is director of bands at Chesterfield High School.

STAY CONNECTED! Class Notes: Email your news to magazine@csuniv.edu. Send news about family additions, job changes and memories of your time at CSU. To include a photo, email a high resolution jpg. (If you send a professional photograph, please include permission to print from the photographer.) Address Change: Email advancement@csuniv.edu Name Change: Email register@csuniv.edu

Follow the Alumni Association on Social Media: Benjamin Rhodes is the head master of North Myrtle Beach Christian School. He has earned alumni_csu alumni_csu two master’s degrees from Liberty in worship studies and music and worship. He and his wife, Brittany, John Root works at Coastal Coffee Robert D. Wall is a senior virtual have four children and live in in Summerville. Check out their engineering recruiter for Kelly Conway. blog at coastalcoffeeroasters.com Services in Greenville and is for a schedule of events. pursuing an MBA at Liberty University. He writes, “I am married with two beautiful kids, Cali Burnell MEd is a first grade Sophia and Jake. Jake had two teacher at Flowertown Elementary open heart surgeries at MUSC in Amy Nokes has been named School in Summerville. She and February but is doing well now head volleyball coach at her husband, Travis, have two Converse College in Spartanburg. that we are home.” children. Previously, she was assistant coach at Presbyterian College. Brian Joslin is the new general manager of the Precision Tune Rachelle Rea has released the Auto Care team in Summerville. third novel in her Steadfast Love series, The Sound of Emeralds. The trilogy was released by WhiteFire Publishing and is available from Kentrell Clement MEd received Amazon.com a Bosch Innovation Grant from the Dorchester Two Education Foundation this year. He teaches fifth grade at Beech Hill Elementary School in Summerville. The grant will provide kinesthetic equipment for his classroom for his proposal, Moving while Learning in Fifth Grade.





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BUCCANEER PRIDE LIVES ON Charleston Southern’s Brick Program provides alumni, friends, faculty and staff the opportunity to leave their mark on CSU as well as support the future of CSU students. Help build the tradition today, visit charlestonsouthern.edu/ buyabrick.

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undraising is currently underway for the Singleton Baseball Complex featuring a two story 3,500-square-foot building, a memorial plaza and a stadium courtyard. The first floor of the complex will house a locker room, a training room and the Sharonda Coleman-Singleton Enrichment Center. The head coach’s office and conference space for team personnel will be located on the second floor. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, mother of current team member, Chris Singleton, was killed June 17, 2015, in the tragic Emanuel AME shooting. The Sharonda Coleman-Singleton Enrichment Center will celebrate her

life and legacy and will serve as a gathering space for athletes to learn and grow spiritually and academically. The memorial plaza will recognize outstanding CSU Baseball alumni including Hall of Fame members and Buccaneers who continued their careers in the major league. The central part of this plaza will be a “Love is Stronger” memorial. The Stadium Courtyard will be located inside the stadium gates in front of the new complex. To view architectural renderings, log onto charlestonsouthern.edu/singleton/index.html. To speak to an advancement officer about naming opportunities, call 843-863-7513 or email advancement@csuniv.edu.

Memorials John Perry “J.P.” Davis ’78, age 59, died Feb. 29 in Greenwood. He was retired from the Greenwood Index-Journal.

2016 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Aug. 27, at North Dakota State (ESPN) Sept. 3, Kentucky State Sept. 10, at Florida State Sept. 24, at Monmouth* Oct. 1, at Coastal Carolina Oct. 8, Albany State Oct. 22, Presbyterian*(Homecoming) Oct. 29, Bucknell Nov. 5, Gardner-Webb* Nov. 12, at Liberty* Nov. 19, Kennesaw State*

Roger Juwan Gamble Jr., age 19, died March 15 in North Charleston. He was a freshman and a member of the Greater Charleston USBC Association of Youth Bowlers and a three-time state champion. Dr. David C. Hayes ’90, age 48, died Jan. 26. He was executive pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe, N.C.

Dr. George Alexander Jones, age 95, died Feb. 12 in Hendersonville, N.C. He was a retired pastor. In 1958 he represented the Savannah River Association as a member of the steering committee seeking sponsorship from the S.C. Baptist Convention for a new Baptist college in the Lowcountry (CSU). Haze Bethea Miller ’69, age 76, died Feb. 29 in Hemingway. He was retired from International Paper Company.

Visit CSUSports.com for all the Buccaneer News Visit CSUSports.com/sports/fball/2016-17/schedule for game times

*Conference Bold: home

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Baby Bucs

TO SUBMIT YOUR BABY BUCS PHOTO: Email a picture of your Baby Buc wearing the shirt to alumni@csuniv.edu. Pictures should be 1 MB in size or larger, in jpg format.







1. Piper Claire Beeman, daughter of Dr. Jennifer Sloan Beeman ’02 and Rick Beeman 2. Caroline Brooke Dukes, daughter of Amanda Dukes ’10 MBA and Taylor Dukes 3. Elizabeth “Ellie” Griffin, daughter of Robert Dawson Griffin ’08 4. Peyton Anne Mock, daughter of Clary Nigels Mock ’11 and Kevin Mock, and granddaughter of Scott Nigels ’84 5. Ava Baldwin, daughter of Amber Wright Baldwin ’06 and David Baldwin 6. Rylan Daniel McCoy, son of Danny McCoy ’04 and Ashley McCoy

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TO ORDER A SHIRT CSU graduates – if you have a child under the age of 2, let us know at alumni@csuniv.edu, and we will send a CSU creeper for your Baby Buc. The shirt is free – all we ask in return is a photo of your Baby Buc for the magazine.

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he Alumni Association hosted its first networking event April 7 at the Wingate by Wyndham on CSU’s campus. Charleston area alumni and CSU’s graduating seniors were invited for an evening of networking and dessert.

Pictured are: Sarah Croft ’08, Abby Parks ’15 MA and J.P. Poisson ’10.


Charles Thrower ‘85 and John Salter ‘83

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Esther Wilkins ‘91 and Shellie Snider ‘86

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Meet your Alumni Association Vice President




ecognized by Catalyst founder Brad Lomenick as one of the nation’s top young leaders, Jonathan Pearson ’08 is influencing fellow millennials through traditional and social media.

Pearson, the campus pastor of Cornerstone Church in Orangeburg, has written two books. Next Up: 8 Shifts Great Young Leaders Make was published by Moody Publishing, and ChurchMag Press has produced The Productive Pastor Handbook as an ebook. Next Up addresses the shifts young leaders make as they mature, from unreliable to consistent and from conformity to integrity, for example. Pearson created the website Millennialleader.com, hosts the Next Up Podcast and is assistant director of The Sticks Network which assists pastors and leaders in small towns. He has spoken at numerous conferences and appeared on several podcasts. To follow him, go to Jonathanpearson.net. He and his wife, Melissa ’08 MBA, are the parents of one son, Riley.


Sunday, Aug. 21 Join us for Holy City Sunday: CSU alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends are invited to CSU Night at the Riverdogs. Alumni tailgate prior to the game and a band and speaker on the field after the game. Alumni will receive 1 complimentary ticket when they RSVP through the Alumni Office at alumni@csuniv.edu.

Marketing Agent, Southern Mutual Church Insurance Company

FAVORITE PLACE AT CSU: The Dorms. The experiences and the friendships formed as a resident student in the Quads and Russell West will last a lifetime! LASTING IMPACT: Professor Dolores Jones in Public Speaking and Debate: both of these classes impacted my college experience and my professional career. The ability to speak in public and the ability to persuade others have been critical to each phase of my career as I moved from retail management to resource development and now in the insurance industry in sales and service. Also, these types of skills serve well in my current role with the university in the Alumni Association. ONE WORD DESCRIBING CSU: Inspirational After 15 years of involvement with CSU, I continue to be regularly inspired by CSU’s exemplary students, alumni, staff, faculty, coaches and leadership.

Gates Open at 4 p.m.; Game Starts at 5 p.m.

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SCHOOL TIES Emily Stokes Photo by Richard Esposito

T-shirt Order Being Placed for Design Honoring Recent Grad’s Mom


mily Stokes ’16 earned a degree in graphic design and was CSU’s 2016 Outstanding Graphic Design student of the year and Outstanding Art student of the year. Her mother, Wanda Johnson ’83, attended Charleston Southern back when it was Baptist College, which inspired Emily’s senior t-shirt design project. Her design pays tribute to CSU’s past which paved a way for a great CSU future. In honor of the 2016 Homecoming theme – Buc Pride. Past. Present. Future. – the Alumni Office will be placing an order of Stokes’ Baptist College t-shirt design.

T-shirts will be $25, and the proceeds will benefit student scholarships. Email the Alumni Office at alumni@csuniv.edu for more information and to place an order.


The Institute of Management Accountants presented $1,500 for a scholarship for an incoming accounting student in the School of Business. BOV member, Chuck Troiani, finance manager at Tighitco Aerospace, raised the money by biking 140 miles. He and Beau Ganas, a management consultant with Resurgence, LLC, and a member of the BOV Leadership Council, presented the check. Pictured are: Dr. John Duncan, dean, School of Business; Troiani, Ganas and Dr. Jairy Hunter, president.

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George and Judy Epps have established The George Edward and Judith Dunston Epps Endowed Scholarship for a baseball student-athlete pursuing a major in teacher education or business administration. Pictured are: Judith Epps, President Jairy Hunter, Baseball Head Coach Stuart Lake, George Epps ’94 and Bill Ward, executive director of development.

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e want to recognize our BCC/CSU legacy families. Email a list of your family members who have graduated from BCC/CSU – parents, siblings, kids, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., to alumni@csuniv.edu. Tell us their name, relation to you and year of graduation.

CSU License Tags


id you know you can order a Charleston Southern license tag from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles? The special places are $70 + registration fees every two years, and $40 is sent to CSU for student scholarships. To order, go to http://www.scdmvonline.com/dmvnew/PlateGallery.aspx?q=College and use Form MV-95.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation presented $7,000 to the university’s EXCEL grant which brings area middle and high school students to CSU to help them build a culture for college and STEM careers, especially computer science and health care careers, through the Excellence in College Entrance Preparation and Leadership program. Pictured are: President Jairy Hunter, Dr. Patty Hambrick, professor of education and director of academic technology, and Don Balderson, senior vice president for commercial banking at Bank of America.

Summer 2016, vol.26 no.2

The Annual Scholarship Luncheon brings together scholarship recipients and our generous CSU donors. Pictured are: May graduate Morgan Layton and Amy Niebuhr, a member of the Women’s Council.

CSU magazine 47


Annual Luncheon Honors Class of 2016 and Alumni Award Winners By Jan Joslin, photos by Richard Esposito


raduates and their guests were honored at the Alumni Association’s annual Graduation Luncheon the day before graduation. Mike McCann ’07, ’11, an entrepreneur and author, told the graduates that his experiences at Charleston Southern influenced everything he has done in his 20s. He told grads to persevere. “When graduation fades, you will face trials, jobs will be difficult, friendships lost, you may be separated from family by distance, and you may have to wake before 8 a.m.,” McCann said. During tough times, he encouraged grads to remember James 1:2-4 which says that the testing of faith leads to perseverance. “Charleston Southern is a special place because of all its graduates,” McCann said. He asked grads to think how they have been affected by CSU. “Don’t put your CSU narrative behind you,” he said. “Everyone can show school pride – wear CSU gear on Fridays and buy a brick.” McCann currently serves as vice president of the Buc Club Board of Directors. He joined the Buc Club in his first year out of school and said no matter how small, the contributions of alumni have helped Charleston Southern become what it is today. The Alumni Association also honored alumni who were voted by their peers to receive the annual alumni awards.

ABOVE: Mike McCann RIGHT: Alumni Director Rebecca Poisson, second from left, distributed Alumni Association awards to Wally Baird, Jonathan Pearson and Mike McCann. Daniel Grass was unable to attend the ceremony.

48 CSU magazine

Alumni Awards Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year: Jonathan Pearson ’08 Pearson is the campus pastor at Cornerstone Church in Orangeburg. He is the creator of MillennialLeader.com, the author of Next Up: 8 Shifts Great Young Leaders Make, and his work has been featured on Leadership Now, Pastors.com, ChurchLeaders.com and The Carey Neiuwof Podcast. He and his wife, Melissa ’08 MBA, have one son, Riley, and live in Orangeburg. University Mission Award: Marion “Wally” Baird ’97 Baird is the principal of Knightsville Elementary School in Summerville and will become the principal of the new Sandhill Elementary when it opens this fall. He began his teaching career in 1997 through the Teach for America program, teaching middle school in Newark, N.J., during a critical time in the city’s revitalization. He has taught in elementary and middle school classrooms and been an elementary assistant principal. He and his wife, Stephanie ’95 have two sons, Patrick and Mason, and live in Summerville.

Alumnus Service Award: Michael McCann ’07 ’11 MBA McCann published the true story of the 2005 CSU football team in December, Believe EG21: Play Like There Is No Tomorrow. He is vice president of the Buc Club Board of Directors and has been instrumental in creating the Memorial Walkway to honor the 2005 championship football team. He is donating a percentage of the proceeds from his book to the Eddie Gadson Memorial Scholarship. McCann is a former captain of the CSU football team and spent six years in the furniture industry as the vice president of operations for Atlantic Bedding and Furniture, where he hired and mentored CSU alumni. Outstanding Alumnus of the Year: Daniel Grass ’06 Grass is a radiation oncology resident at Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. He was recently awarded a spot in the B. Leonard Holman Research Pathway to continue his research endeavors in lung cancer. He hopes to continue his career in academic radiation oncology. He earned a dual MD/PhD from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2014, winning the Distinguished Graduate of the Year Award. His dissertation work focused on identifying novel therapeutic targets to prevent breast cancer invasion. From this research, he was awarded a Department of Defense Breast Cancer Training Grant as well as two pilot grants at MUSC to help translate his research efforts to patient care. He and his wife, Kate ’07 ’10 MBA live in Tampa.

Summer 2016, vol.26 no.2

Transform Campaign The Transform Campaign is designed to provide for new facilities, scholarships, resources devoted to academic program expansion, improvement and enrichment, and athletics. Thus far, $37 million has been committed.

Meet several alumni who shared why they give to CSU: Lynne Watkins Douglas ’80 supports student scholarships through the Alumni Phonathon program and the brick program As a graduate of CSU (Baptist College at the time), I am so blessed with memories of dear friends and that of many wonderful experiences and opportunities during my time as a student. CSU will always have a special place in my heart. Just prior to my freshman year, my mother passed away, and God truly used my time there as part of my healing process in moving forward. I support the Phonathon Program as a way for me to give back, not only for how CSU helped me to grow personally but also because I am so proud of the continued growth and vision that I see there in keeping with a Christian-focused environment. My daughter, Bethany, graduated from CSU in 2015, making this mom very proud, so we now have two CSU alumni in the family. And, she met her fiancé there! I look forward to many years continuing my support of the school that has made such a lasting impact in my life and in that of my daughter’s. Go Bucs! Photo left to right: Rocky, Bethany ’15, Brock and Lynne Watkins Douglas ’80

Phil Lewis ’07 supports student scholarships through the Board of Visitors program “I give because I want other students to have a chance at gaining the same things I did at CSU: invaluable experiences and lifelong friendships.”

Deborah Vinson Spencer, MD ’02 supports student scholarships through the Board of Visitors Leadership Council program “I value my CSU education, and I love giving back to CSU. I take to heart Isaiah 50:4 which says, ‘The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.’ I was fortunate enough to receive scholarship funds for my education at CSU, and I give so that others can have the same quality education that I received.”

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