CSU Magazine - CSU's Global Connection

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C H A R L E S TO N S O U T H E R N U N I V E R S I T Y Spring 2019, vol.29 no.1

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Ingrid Bonilla ’16 continues to search for a cancer cure Entrepreneur, Michia Rohrssen ’11, makes Forbes 30 under 30 list Femcke Van Rensburg impacting tennis team

#marryabuc – Alumni couples who met on campus

On the cover: Illustration by Tyler Stokes

MISSION Promoting Academic Excellence in a Christian Environment VISION To be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving

Photo by Jake Brown


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Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. - Matthew 28:19-20

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“ Launch time is not the time to take unnecessary risks.”

By Dr. Dondi Costin


ost earthlings never get the chance to rub elbows with a real-life rocket scientist. What those brainiacs do seems so complex that we assume only a space cadet could ever understand it. More often than not, our grasp of the galactic is limited to exposing the relative simplicity of every other task with this backhanded bow to their brilliance: “It’s not rocket science.” As it turns out, though, some stuff is rocket science. That stuff includes a constellation of high-stakes activity with little margin for error. Space exploration is a dangerous business that demands a posse of problem solvers to get you ready, get you up there and get you home. For number

crunchers with their eyes on the skies, failure is not an option. Any rocket scientist worthy of her pocket protector will pinpoint the perils of strapping yourself to a torch that blasts you into outer space on what could be a one-way trip. When asked which phase of flight from prelaunch through re-entry runs the most risk, that same scientist will cautiously say, “the next one.” Because once you’ve made it through the previous phase(s) without incident, the total risk calculation might be lower than it used to be, but it won’t be zero until your space suit is hanging beside the CSU Blue Crew t-shirt in your closet on planet earth.

The Costins pose with Bucky and Athletic Director Jeff Barber and his family before the Homecoming game. Photo by Richard Esposito

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When pressed to pick the most dangerous flight phase, however, the average rocket scientist will land on launch without delay. A lot can go wrong right after liftoff. Despite any prelaunch success you may have enjoyed, how you launch determines how you live. A good launch makes all the difference in the direction you take and the destination you reach. Launch well, live well. The same is true of everyone who hungers for the heavens. That’s why the countdown to college is so critical. A recent LifeWay study found that two-thirds of church-going teenagers drop out of church once they get to college. Whether for lack of time or lack of interest, their launch into life is limited as other things sideline the things of God when it matters most. Houston, we have a problem. In Charleston, we have a solution. As this world’s most precious cargo is buckled in for the ride of their lives, just moments away from escaping the gravitational pull of their parents’ faith, it’s encouraging to remember that a launch pad, like Charleston Southern, is well within reach. A pad where fellow travelers in every class connect this life to the next. Where students are taught how to think, not what to think. Where character, calling and commitment set the stage for credentials and careers. Where making a life and making a living are two sides of the same coin. Where worship is central, not marginal. Where relevant faith is like rocket fuel. Where the Truth determines your trajectory. Where your purpose is your passion. And where your destiny is your destination. Launch time is not the time to take unnecessary risks. Too much is at stake to leave this most important phase to chance. Failure is not an option. Choosing a university really isn’t rocket science. Or is it?

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volume 29 number 1 Spring 2019

EDITORIAL STAFF: Jan Joslin ’82, Editor, Director of Publications Richard Esposito, Director of Integrated Marketing


Jenna Johnson, Assistant Director of Integrated Marketing Tyler Stokes, Graphic Designer INTERNS: Anna Menendez ’19 Sarah Parris ’20



Seth Montgomery

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Best Online Bachelor’s in State Faculty Headlines Doctoral Cohort Begins Healthcare Student Training PA Program Celebrates Milestone Global Education Program Growing Study Abroad Program



CSU Athletic Comm & PR Sarah Pack, MUSC

Rod Whiting

Janice Yip

CSU Magazine is published three times a year by the office of marketing and communication for alumni and friends of Charleston Southern University.

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Head Football Coach Named Taylor New Softball Coach Edwards Teaching in China Student-Athletes Q & A Growing Diversity Programs Korean Children Charm CSU

Contact CSU Magazine: magazine@csuniv.edu


Address changes: csudevelopment@csuniv.edu


Design and layout by:

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ENDURE Teaches Teens Annual Packing Party Beckman’s Faith Bearing Fruit Why I Give Weber Serving in Peace Corps MeKonnen’s American Experiences

SCHOOL TIES www.facebook.com/bobduranddesign

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Class Notes Brooks Moore Writes Book In Memory Nominate Alumni CSU Mourns Former Trustees On the Road: Dallas Health Science Wing Baby Bucs Alumni Board Golden Bucs Reunion Scenes from Homecoming Scholarships Received

© 2019 Charleston Southern University

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.S. News and World Report has named Charleston Southern University #25 on the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list and #20 on the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans list, the highest listings of any university in South Carolina for 2019. Dr. Marc Embler, assistant vice president for academic affairs: online programs, technology and grants, said, “We work extremely hard to offer degree programs that provide students with deeper knowledge of the critical components required to succeed in today’s competitive business environment. Our faculty and staff strive to provide a faith-based, undergraduate education and

help students accelerate their careers, as they balance work and school.” CSU has been offering online bachelor’s degrees since 2010 and providing educational programs and services to military personnel and their families for more than 40 years. Currently, CSU has 343 students enrolled who are utilizing their veteran benefits. Dr. Dondi E. Costin, president, said, “We are thrilled that U.S. News and World Report has recognized the wonderful job Charleston Southern professors are doing to educate learners of all types. And as a fellow veteran, I am proud that CSU is

so committed to providing an excellent education to those who have served our country. Any student considering online learning would be wise to set their sights on CSU, South Carolina’s highest ranked provider of online education.” According to U.S. News and World Report, the factors used in ranking the best online bachelor’s programs include “graduate rates, faculty credentials and support services available remotely.” CSU moved up 10 places from the 2018 listing of #35 for best online bachelor’s programs and up seven places from last year’s #27 finish for best online bachelor’s programs for veterans.

FACULTY IN THE HEADLINES Gerdes Receives Business Award Darin Gerdes, professor of management, was awarded the Christian Business Faculty Association Teaching Award for 2018 during the CBFA annual conference in Chattanooga, Tenn. Dean of the College of Business, Dr. David Palmer, said, “Dr. Gerdes is an excellent teacher and faculty member. His commitment to his discipline, our students and the university are exemplary. This is a very well deserved honor for Darin.”

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Bear-y Christmas Dr. Todd Heldreth, professor of biology, is also a vet for Charles Towne Landing. “The zookeepers spoil the animals at Charles Towne Landing all year, but they really love holidays,” he said.

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harleston Southern University’s first doctoral level cohort began studies in January for the Doctor of Education with an emphasis in Leadership. The program began accepting applications last summer and, due to the demand, added two additional cohorts in 2019. The inaugural cohort of 22 students will complete the program in December 2021. The EdD in Leadership is designed to provide current and aspiring leaders with the opportunity to pursue a professional doctoral degree. Designed for working adults, it extends into all types of administrative leadership roles, including education, healthcare and business. “Through working together as a cohort, doctoral students are able to conceptualize research and apply it in their profession. Using learned leadership principles, our

The first cohort of the Doctor of Education in Leadership has begun classes. • Photo by Richard Esposito

The bears, Memphis and Tupelo, get gingerbread houses and a candy cane tree at Christmas. Heldreth said each bear has a distinctly different personality. “Memphis is a ‘people bear’ and regularly shows off for visitors. He is also forgiving to me after medical procedures such as vaccinations. Tupelo is not as friendly. He holds a grudge and is not so forgiving. I love them both.” Memphis, along with Clark the elk and Jazz the bobcat, are Heldreth’s favorites at the Landing. “It is such a privilege to get to know these animals and the zookeepers who love and care for them. I am blessed for sure.”

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students can work together to better the community they serve,” said Dr. Robert Doan, director of the College of Education graduate programs. The EdD program consists of 60 semester hours. Courses are offered in traditional on-campus or hybrid formats, meeting on Tuesday evenings. Students usually take one course per term. Courses include a leadership core, a cognate and a research core and conclude with the defense of the dissertation. CSU’s doctoral program includes: • Curriculum designed to advance knowledge and skills by studying and researching various leadership models • Dissertation phase to allow students to develop and implement research rooted in both theory and practice • Research core to provide advanced skills in writing and analysis • Ethical and character-based leadership course unique to the CSU program of study “CSU continues to excel at providing innovative programming and meets the need for the region,” Dr. George Metz, dean of the College of Education, said. “Coursework is taught by leading practitioners from a variety of leadership settings who will integrate faith in practices of learning, serving and, ultimately, leading.”

Out of the 22 doctoral candidates, six regional school districts are represented, but more than 32 percent work in other professions. The inaugural cohort is majority female (14) and African-American (10). Five students are veterans. Navy veteran and CSU alumnus Donald Lauer said that he attended CSU following a military-related injury and felt instantly welcomed, loved and cared for by faculty and staff. “CSU helped me grow physically, educationally and, most of all, spiritually. I knew right away I would want to be a professor so I could, in turn, help others. This degree helps me earn the requisite qualifications to teach one day.” April Sanders is an administrator in Dorchester District 4 and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from CSU. “I’ve been praying about going back to school for a while and was seeking to attend a place that fit my personal requirements. At CSU, I know that I will be challenged, gain more family and continue to grow in my spiritual walk. Without a doubt, I know that completing the EdD program at CSU is exactly where God wants me to be right now in my life!” Learn more about the EdD program at charlestonsouthern.edu/edd. This program is approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Wofford Published in Journal Dr. Joshua Wofford, assistant professor of chemistry, has published an article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The article, “Evidence that a respiratory shield in Escherichia coli protects a low-molecularmass FeII pool from O2-dependent oxidation,” was the result of research Wofford did while a student at Texas A&M University. He has plans to establish a research program at CSU.

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Bonilla holds the boswellic acid compound that is currently in a clinical Spring 2019, vol.29 no.1 trial at MUSC.

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ngrid Bonilla ’16 dreams big. But she will admit that living her dream is even more than she ever imagined. She has wanted to be a doctor since she was a child. Her mother’s battle with breast cancer further fueled those dreams and gave her the tenacity to pursue every avenue to attend the Medical University of South Carolina. She enrolled in medical school in August 2018, a little more than two years after she received her bachelor of science in biology with a preprofessional emphasis from CSU. And almost two years after her mother’s death. Bonilla wasn’t idle during those two years. When she wasn’t immediately accepted into the four-year MD program at MUSC, she pursued a job in research. Having trouble making inroads into a system where she didn’t have any connections, she mentioned her frustration to CSU’s then director of integrated marketing, John Strubel. He called a friend in the MUSC public relations office who was able to get her file into the right hands. The result was a clinical research position in the office of Dr. Nancy DeMore, professor, surgeon and the BMW Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at MUSC. She was thrilled to spend her days doing what she loved and fighting what she hated. In 2014 Bonilla, Kelly Anderson, a 2015 CSU biochemistry graduate, and Dr. Amy Albrecht, professor of biochemistry, began researching the effect of frankincense on breast cancer cells in Albrecht’s CSU lab. Albrecht said it is unusual for an undergraduate student to take their project with them. Usually undergraduates work on their mentor’s project. But, DeMore was intrigued with what Albrecht, Bonilla and Anderson had done at CSU and wanted to explore it further. The project was grandfathered into the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center as a sponsored study. Currently, the project is in the clinical trial stages at MUSC. Albrecht said, “Never did I imagine that this work would become a clinical trial. One can dream and hope that your work is influential, but I didn’t think it would happen so quickly. Ingrid was blessed to become a part of a research lab that was able to take her passion and turn it into a clinical trial. It is amazing and wonderful.” The project is studying the effect of boswellic acid, the chemical compound

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in frankincense, on patients with invasive breast cancer. There is currently no other known clinical trial, or if it has been performed, it was never published. Bonilla and DeMore plan to publish the results in a breast cancer journal for clinical studies. As part of the clinical trial, Bonilla and DeMore applied for permission to use boswellic acid for trial in human subjects through the Federal Drug Administration as an investigational new drug. A pharmaceutical company sponsored making the drug and provided all the batches for free. Patients interested in a clinical trial were screened and accepted into the study.

“It is a blessing to wake up and learn so much. God has shown me this is where He wanted me to be.” — Ingrid Bonilla After receiving a diagnosis of cancer, the patients started taking the drug and continued taking it up until the night before they had surgery. DeMore’s lab received samples of the tumors from the patients’ surgery. “We are looking at the biological efficacy of the drug – the effect on the tumors,” said Bonilla. “Our goal is killing tumor cells and not killing healthy cells,” said Bonilla. Thus far, the data looks encouraging. “We are not seeing a loss of immune system in patients,” she said. The next step involves compiling all the data from the trial, which includes information from diaries the patients kept during the trial. The data will be sent to specialists who will determine the effect on the tumors. More research will be performed. “We think the drug has potential to work on more than breast cancer,” said Bonilla. “We are seeing good results in

Ingrid Bonilla and Dr. Nancy DeMore in Dr. DeMore’s research lab at the Medical University of South Carolina.

pancreatic, prostate and colon cancer in mice. Whether that will translate in some way to the human body – we don’t know until we try.” She said, “Seeing results keeps me encouraged. Why not? Let’s keep moving forward. God has a plan for everything. If He’s using this for treatment, it will be. Or it may be to help me learn more about clinical trials.” Albrecht’s research students are still studying breast cancer and alternative treatments for breast cancer. Albrecht said, “In the lab where Ingrid works at MUSC, they have the ability to do studies involving mice and humans that we at CSU don’t have.” However, she points out, “Their clinical trial work has shown what we suspected during our work at CSU.” Before she began medical school in the fall, Bonilla trained other MUSC students to work on the project. “Other surgical residents are collaborating to gain clinical lab experience,” said Bonilla. Between fall and spring semesters of med school, she worked in the lab running experiments on the second half of the patient samples. Bonilla hopes to become a pediatric oncologist and build on her clinical research time. She said medical school is hard but rewarding. “It is a blessing to wake up and learn so much,” said Bonilla. “God has shown me this is where He wanted me to be. I have to remember that when I have 13-hour days in the library, and I’m wishing I had a normal day. I have to realize someone’s life – maybe someone not born yet – is going to depend on me one day.” And if a life is saved one day from a drug created as a result of research Bonilla has had a part in, the hard work will have been worth it.

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By Jan Joslin / Photos by Richard Esposito


ursing, athletic training and physician assistant students wrapped up the fall semester with two days of interprofessional training exercises. College of Nursing instructor Karen Arnold reminded students that learning to format information in a classroom setting is easy compared to getting everything down in a hurry in a real healthcare situation. CSU students studying for healthcare professions are comfortable in clinical settings and practice simulations on a regular basis. The interprofessional training exercises were designed to give each group practice in working as a healthcare team. Using SBAR, a communication technique often used by healthcare teams, Arnold walked the students through the Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation information for a patient. She showed each group how the information would be used in a healthcare setting.

Physician assistant students look on as Dr. Brian Smith explains how an athletic trainer would handle a case of heat exhaustion.

Nursing professor Karen Arnold instructs students in the SBAR technique of gathering information on a patient.

Arnold said, “Nurses, you are the eyes and ears in a situation, and the provider needs you to assess what is needed.” In a simulation of an asthma attack, Arnold reminded physician assistant students that nurses will be calling them to issue an order for oxygen because nurses are not allowed to administer oxygen without a provider’s order. Dr. Skylar Stewart-Clark, assistant professor in the physician assistant program, walked students through a scenario with a nonresponsive football player with a possible opioid overdose. Beginning with the athletic trainer on site, Stewart-Clark focused on how healthcare professionals would work with each other. Hoping to educate nurses and physician

assistants on what athletic trainers bring to the medical field, Dr. Brian Smith, director of the athletic training program, urged nursing and physician assistant students who are dealing with an athlete who has come into the ER to ask the EMT if an athletic trainer was on site. Athletic trainers provide their contact information to EMTs to give to the ER medical team and can provide vital information about the athlete. In some instances, athletic trainers accompany the athlete to the medical facility. During each exercise, students were encouraged to ask questions and give feedback on how they would handle their specific duty in the situation.

Dr. Skylar Stewart-Clark outlines the steps healthcare teams would take for a student-athlete in a crisis situation.

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he Physician Assistant Program began its first cohort in January 2018. The inaugural class of 25 students recently completed the didactic year of the program, which was celebrated with the program’s first White Coat Ceremony. Similar to graduation, the White Coat Ceremony represents a new beginning, marking the transition from the classroom to the bedside. For the past year, these students have spent the majority of their time in the classroom, in lecture and in lab, studying to obtain the medical knowledge and clinical skills necessary to practice medicine. However, as Sir William Osler, physician and founding professor of Johns Hopkins Hospital, once said, “Medicine is learned by the bedside and not in the classroom.” So during the White Coat Ceremony, the program celebrated the transition of the inaugural class out of the classroom and into hospitals, clinics, emergency rooms,

and operating rooms, to continue their educational journey in the places where the patient is the ultimate teacher. During the ceremony, President Dondi Costin encouraged the PA students to remember the white coat signifies the students’ opportunity to help others. He said, “You represent CSU and the Great Physician.” Dr. James Martin, a local physician and strong supporter of the PA program, said, “Make each day your masterpiece.” He also said, “It’s not the coat; it’s the person wearing the coat and the compassion you show to each of your patients. Serve God by serving your patients.” Gabrielle Poole, director of the PA program, said, “The White Coat Ceremony was truly a celebration as it marked a milestone for the program as we continue to lay the foundation for PA education at CSU. Not only was I incredibly proud of each student who received a white coat that day

but also I was reminded of how grateful I am to the faculty and staff of this program who have done a tremendous job of making this program what it is today.” On Jan. 7, these 25 students went out into the community to begin their clinical rotations while the program welcomed its second cohort of 30 students to begin their classroom studies. These 30 students in the second cohort were selected from more than 450 applicants through a complex admissions process. In reflecting on the process, Poole said, “We look for students who are not only capable of meeting the academic demands of the program but also who exemplify the characteristics that CSU and our department value, and we believe these 30 students will do both of these things well.” Learn more about the CSU Physician Assistant program at charlestonsouthern. edu/pa.

The White Coat Ceremony marks the transition of learning in the classroom to learning out in the field. • Photo by Richard Esposito

The first cohort of Physician Assistants gathered for the program’s first White Coat Ceremony. • Photo by Richard Esposito

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CSU’S GLOBAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS GROWING Charleston Southern continues to expand its global education opportunities. Stephanie LeVan, director of international programs, said, “Our end goal is that every student feels comfortable and fluent in multicultural settings.” In addition to traditional international students coming to CSU to study, opportunities exist for students to study abroad, to take short-term trips to other countries, for faculty members to make presentations in international settings, for youth to attend English as a Second Language camp at CSU, and more.

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT PROGRAM Thirty-four students from 25 countries are currently studying at CSU. Specific programs exist to aid international students in assimilating to the university such as: an international freshman seminar, a peer buddy program and a global exchange partnership with several local churches.

International students are honored with the annual International Dinner.

Barbara Mead, associate dean of students for student development and director of international services, coordinates and hosts the annual International Dinner for students.

INTERNATIONAL STUDIES AND GLOBAL EDUCATION CSU sent more than 50 students and multiple faculty members on faculty-led summer trips last year. Funding for these trips is provided by CSU’s Global Education Committee. Each graduating international student picks a favorite dish from their home country to be served at the annual International Dinner.

Photos by Richard Esposito

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ESL CAMP CSU’s English as a Second Language Camp is a three-week intensive English language study open to international students ages 17 – 22. The students have the opportunity to visit Disney World, Myrtle Beach and Charleston. A group from Taiwan was on campus this past summer.

ESL summer campers receive certificates of completion at the end of camp. Pictured, along with the campers are, on left, Kristen Hixon ’14, instructor in the Bridge program and English, who taught the students English, and student counselors, Jemima Backman, 2nd from left, and Princeton McBride, far right.

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS Interpreter Training for Health and Human Services for Spanish/English speakers is offered several times a year and continues to be a positive inroad for CSU’s relationship with the local Hispanic community. Community partnerships exist with the Hispanic Business Association, India Association of Greater Charleston and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance’s Global Fluency Initiative, which looks at what Charleston is doing to attract international businesses and students. Chinese exchange students from Jiangsu National University in China and Dr. Xiangdong Bi, CSU professor of chemistry, join in a birthday celebration in the dining hall.

VISITING PROFESSORS Dr. Noel Tredinnick, professor of conducting and academic studies at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and organist, conductor and director of music at All Souls Church, was a guest lecturer/conductor in the fall. He served as guest conductor for the Inauguration

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Concert and also served as a delegate for the Guildhall School at Dr. Dondi Costin’s inauguration. “A visit such as Dr. Tredinnick’s gives students a broader cultural perspective and allows them to see the differences and similarities between cultural practices in

the U.S. and other parts of the world,” said Dr. Marshall Forrester, professor of music. “Within a performing arts rehearsal setting however, it’s many times more effective – it’s as if the bland compare and contrast essay question comes to life and students are transported to another land.”

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JEANNA WELLS STUDYING IN AUSTRIA PARTNER UNIVERSITIES & STUDY ABROAD Stephanie LeVan said, “We are in active negotiation with two international partner universities (Austria and China) for dualdegree programs in business and chemistry respectively. Two additional international partners are in preliminary conversations.” Two additional study abroad contracts with university partners in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and Salzburg, Austria, were recently concluded. A third is in the works.

Stephanie LeVan

Some of CSU’s partner sites are: • Jiangsu Normal University, China • University of Auckland, New Zealand • University of Westminster, England • Rohampton University – Veritas, England • St. Charles University – Veritas, Czech Republic • Salzburg College, Austria • CCCU BestSemester, Jordan

FACULTY WORK Dr. Haeseong Park, assistant professor of history, published the book chapter “Park Esther, Obedient Rebel; Subjectivity and Submissiveness of Korean Christian Women in the Early Modern Period” in Christianity and Modern Women in East Asia, edited by Garrett Washington (Brill, 2018). She contributed entries on “Korean New Women” and “Korean Picture Bride”

I am currently studying language and history at Salzburg College in Salzburg, Austria. I chose to study abroad specifically through this program because I wanted to increase my skills in the German language as well as expand my knowledge of the world around me. I knew that by studying abroad I would be able to step out of my comfort zone and experience cultures that are vastly different from my own. Europe has so many beautiful countries that are made up of such unique languages, cultures and customs that I would like to be a part of. And from the moment I saw a picture of the city of Salzburg, I fell in love. It has its own Southern charm and rich history which has reminded me a lot of Charleston. And the city’s location is perfect for weekend travels to see the rest of Europe. From snowshoeing in the Alps and visiting fortresses and castles, to eating delectable desserts from all over, studying abroad has been an absolute blessing and wonderful experience. Photos by Jeanna Wells

to the Greenwood Encyclopedia of the Daily Life of Women: How They Lived from Ancient Times to the Present, edited by Colleen Boyett, et al. Park also presented a paper titled “Serving the Nation or Expanding God’s Kingdom? The Case of Ha Ransa and Esther Park” at the 2018 conference of the Association for Asian Studies. Dr. Yu-Ju Lin presented Cyber Security Emulator for Education at a recent STEM/ STEAM Conference. Dr. Julius Mutwol, associate professor of history, presented a paper titled “Mediating the South Sudan Civil War and the Implementation of Peace Agreements” at the ISA-International Studies conference. And Dr. Marshall Forrester presented a paper at the International Society for the Promotion and Research of Wind Music in Germany.

Dr. Arnold Hite, professor of economics, has served as a mentor to exchange students from Austria. Hannah Ramhapp of Austria accepts a certificate of completion for her semester at CSU from Hite.

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CSU NAMES DENSON JR. HEAD FOOTBALL COACH By Seth Montgomery Photo by Richard Esposito

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utry Denson Jr. became the fifth CSU head football coach in program history in January. He comes to the Buccaneers after coaching stops at Notre Dame, South Florida, Miami (Ohio) and Bethune-Cookman. Athletics Director Jeff Barber said. “Autry Denson is a special person in many ways and stands out as both a recruiter and a coach. More importantly, he cares about his players as people first and will, therefore, have great influence on their hearts and lives and will develop each of them into outstanding young men.” Denson comes to the Buccaneers after spending the last four seasons as the running backs coach at Notre Dame after taking on the role in 2015. His success in the role helped guide the Fighting Irish to the FBS College Football Playoffs and a berth at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. “First and foremost, I would like to thank God because this is His plan being played out on His timing,” Denson commented. “My family and I have always trusted God for promotion.” Denson was clear on what led him to pursue the position at Charleston Southern. “I was drawn to Charleston Southern by the vision of this great Christian university,” he said. “As a result, I knew this could be a place where I could build and lead a program to honor Christ by operating with character, integrity, transparency, accountability and community.” The Fighting Irish combined for 2,695 rushing yards paced by senior running back Dexter Williams’ team-high 995 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Overall, the rushing attack averaged 4.4 yards per carry in 2018. Denson returned to his alma mater following a brief stint as the running backs coach at the University of South Florida. He also spent one season as the running backs coach at Miami University (2014) Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said, “He has done a tremendous job for us during his time at Notre Dame. He not only developed our running backs to produce at a high level on the field, but he was also instrumental in their growth as young men. This is where Autry touched our program the deepest. He’s got a way with young people and truly provides spiritual mentorship that positively

affects everyone around him.” Former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz said, “He was a great player, but an even better person. Autry is a true team leader who was admired and respected by his teammates. He is a person you can trust unequivocally, is totally committed to excellence, and a very caring person.” Denson’s first collegiate coaching stop came as the running backs coach at Bethune-Cookman University for three years (2011-13). He was a key member of a coaching staff that helped the Wildcats to a 10-3 record and Football Championship Series playoff berth in 2013. He also served as the head coach for one season at Pope John Paul II High School in Boca Raton, Florida (2010). Denson worked with the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship, where he reunited with former Tampa Bay and Indianapolis head coach Tony Dungy, who drafted him for the Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft. He also formed a youth program called POISE (Perseverance, Opportunity, Intelligence, Sacrifice and Effort) that worked with teenage athletes throughout Broward County, Florida, in education, on the field and in Bible study Denson was also the inaugural commissioner of the Run for Your Goal Youth Flag Football League, which provided a safe place for the youth of South Florida to learn the game of football. He finished his playing career as the alltime leading rusher in Notre Dame school history with 4,318 yards. Denson currently ranks second in the Notre Dame annals with 43 career rushing touchdowns and 5,327 all-purpose yards. He was a four-year monogram winner, a three-year starter and twotime Most Valuable Player at Notre Dame (1995-98). He eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing over each of his final three years with the Irish and was named an Associated Press All-America selection as a senior in 1998. Denson wrapped up his collegiate career as the 1999 Gator Bowl Most Valuable Player. Denson was selected in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spent time on the rosters with the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.

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enus Taylor is the new head softball coach. Taylor comes to the Buccaneers with a wealth of coaching experience having served as the head coach at Judson University, as well as Bradley University and Lake City Community College. “I am thrilled to be adding Venus Taylor to the Buccaneer family,” Jeff Barber, athletic director, said. “Her extensive background as a player both collegiately and professionally, along with her experience as a head coach and knowledge and passion for the game, will allow our program to grow to the championship level, which we are all striving for.” Taylor spent four seasons as the head coach at Judson University amassing a 133-80-1 overall record with the Eagles. She posted successful campaigns in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference over her four years with an impressive mark of 64-28-1 in CCAC games. Each of her four seasons featured a berth to the NCCAA World Series, and she added a pair of CCAC tournament appearances to her totals. Taylor said. “I am excited to join the Buccaneer family, and I look forward to leading and impacting the lives of our impressive student-athletes. I have faith we have all the necessary ingredients to provide a championship culture on and off the field. Let’s go Buccaneers!” Her prior NCAA Division I coaching stops include serving as the head coach at Bradley University from 2003-05 and as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech in the early 2000s. She added an NJCAA National Championship in 2001 at the helm of Lake City Community College. Taylor took a break from coaching to serve as a Fastpitch Business Manager for Wilson Sporting Goods where she orchestrated national sales, branding, sponsorships, endorsements and affiliations for Wilson, DeMarini and Atec brands to increase brand development and sales. She served as a key public, media and client relations officer for fastpitch brands leveraging relationships with professional, collegiate and grassroots organizations, as well as associations and governing bodies. Taylor was successful in planning and launching large-scale marketing and advertisement initiatives, as well as grassroots events and tournaments

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to highlight new product, brands and technologies. She was a key member of the innovation team and led the execution and launch of the first-ever A2000 and A2K Fastpitch pro stock gloves. Venus negotiated and closed more than 125 collegiate sponsorship agreements with leading teams, including Michigan, Missouri and LSU and in addition signed multiple Olympic Athletes. In 2011, Taylor continued to follow her passion as a coach, motivational speaker and educational leader, which resulted in the creation of her softball consulting company, Taylor Made Softball. Partnering with the Bo Jackson Elite Sports Dome in Lockport, Ill., Taylor Made Softball was able to cater to young female athletes with a dream by way of providing opportunity, development, knowledge and encouragement. Taylor starred in her playing career at Western Illinois University from 1993-1997. During her time with the Leathernecks, she was a two-time team MVP, and an AllConference and All-Region selection. She finished her playing career as the school’s record holder in numerous categories including hits, stolen bases, and runs scored. She was named the 1997 Western Illinois Female Athlete of the year, and in 2009 was inducted into the WIU Hall of Fame. After graduating from college, Taylor was drafted by the now-defunct Women’s Professional Softball League and went on to play for seven years with three All-Star Appearances and two World Championship rings for the 1999 Tampa Bay Firestix and the 2002 New York New Jersey Juggernauts.

VENUS TAYLOR NAMED HEAD SOFTBALL COACH By Seth Montgomery Photo by CSU Athletic Comm & PR

“I am excited to join the Buccaneer family, and I look forward to leading and impacting the lives of our impressive student-athletes.” — Venus Taylor

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usan Edwards ’90 is an English teacher at Beijing Language and Culture University in China. Recently, she received the Teacher of Excellence Award for International Faculty. Prior to moving to China, Edwards was a fundraiser and event planner for Harvard University, the Archdiocese of Boston, Newberry College and others. Before joining the Peace Corps and moving to China, she was liaison to the Board of Trustees at Cambridge College. The skills she learned in these positions and the mentors she had along the way helped pave the way for her successful transition to China. Her path to the Peace Corps took three years. She earned a master of education degree specializing in teaching English as a language, earned a 120-hour TEFL certificate and passed teaching certification exams. She also started getting rid of her possessions, sold her condo, car and everything she owned. She said, “In the end the majority of my worldly possessions could all fit into two large suitcases. I had never felt freer than at that moment.” Q. How did you become interested in teaching in China? Since childhood I had an interest in cultures around the world, including China. This began at the age of 7 when a Chinese girl moved to my neighborhood. She did not speak English, and I did not speak Chinese, but we became fast friends, playing together and teaching each other our respective languages and

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cultures. The friendship touched me deeply and stayed with me throughout my life. Daily we would play outside in the neighborhood. Little by little she taught me Chinese. At the playground in the sand, with stick in hand, she taught me my first Chinese word, (pronounced “ren”) which means “person” in English. Then she taught me (pronounced “da”) which means “big” in English. Put “da” and “ren” together and you have “da-ren” which means “big person,” or “adult” in English. Then I took the stick from her and began to teach her English, beginning with the alphabet. Then I taught her simple words, such as “cat,” “dog,” etc. Teaching and learning and playing with my dear friend fascinated me, and I was instantly hooked. Q. You joined the Peace Corps in China first, then became a teacher later? At the age of 46, I was afraid I had missed my opportunity to live my dream as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Luckily, there is no age restriction. At the time of my service I think our oldest PCV was 82 years old. She was such an inspiration for me. Now the Peace Corps has an office specifically for those over the age of 50. After my commitment with Peace Corps was complete, I wasn’t ready to stop. Two years simply was not enough for me. Q. What prompted you to join the Peace Corps? At a young age, I encountered an interesting group of people that traveled and lived abroad for various reasons (expats). Some worked as teachers, some opted for charity purposes and some as missionaries. Their stories were mesmerizing. One such individual was a Peace Corps Volunteer. I listened to her stories with eyes wide open. At that moment a strong desire began to grow in me, the desire to be a Peace Corps Volunteer. In 2013, the opportunity finally arrived, and I was able to combine my two childhood

dreams. This leap of faith was the most challenging two years of my life but also the most rewarding. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I led workshops and seminars as well as arranged lunch meetings for the consulant. Q. Did you go directly from the Peace Corps to teaching at Beijing Language and Culture University? After completing my two years with the Peace Corps I decided to continue living in China. I was nervous about being on my own, without the support of the Peace Corps community, but I knew it was not time for me to leave. So, I began searching for an English teaching position in Beijing. After many phone calls and interviews, I accepted an offer from Beijing Language and Culture University. It is a well-known university in China. BLCU specializes in teaching languages and is number one in the world for teaching Chinese to non-Chinese individuals. In addition to my salary, my work contract includes an apartment, paid utilities, visa, one flight home per year and 100 percent medical coverage. The university takes very good care of us in every way. It is truly a privilege to be here. Q. What do you teach? I teach English, mostly oral English to first year Chinese students. In the past, I have taught history, western culture, writing, debate, contemporary media (news) and public speaking. I also tutor students outside class. The students are highly motivated and have been studying English for approximately 10 years. On the national entrance exam for universities, most of them scored in the top 10 percent. For many of them, I am their first native speaking English teacher and for others I am their first foreign teacher. The former U.S. Ambassador to China described it as being a kind of Peace Ambassador. The uniqueness of this opportunity is not lost on me. I also supervise seniors as they complete their thesis paper required for

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graduation. This requires meeting with the students regularly to decide on a topic, assisting with the research and editing process and finally preparing them for the defense. Additionally, I prepare students for international English language exams and study abroad programs. Q. What is your typical day like? My classes are typically two hours at a time. All of my classes are from 2 to 6 p.m. But I spend a great deal of time outside class meeting with students and spending time with them on campus. We typically meet in the cafeteria or go for walks. I help them prepare for English competitions and assist them with writing or presentation projects. I also judge English competitions, deliver speeches and represent the university at conferences. One such opportunity came during my first year at BLCU. My university sent me to Tibet to attend a Belt and Road Conference as a delegate. On that trip I met many individuals involved in the great Belt and Road initiative. In addition to attending workshops and hearing speeches, we were also given a unique look at Tibet. We toured monasteries, schools and businesses. It is a magical place and one that I hope to return to someday in the future.

table. Once, while waiting at a bus stop, a young lady called her friend with a car to take me to my final destination. I’ve been lost in the countryside only to have strangers actively seek to help me even though we could not speak each other’s languages. Through these experiences I’ve learned that the world is a big beautiful place, and I have nothing to fear. God is always with me wherever I go and always showing Himself in the most unexpected places. Years ago I lived at a Trappistine monastery for approximately one year. It is a silent monastery dedicated to prayer. We rose at 3 a.m. and retired for the night at 8 p.m. Each day we kept the tradition of monastic prayer according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. The silence changed me at the core of my being and set me on a most unexpected course that would lead to this moment in China. In China it is illegal for me to talk about God, but here in this place I have never experienced Him so clearly. When one is stripped of all things, we have to ask, “How will I know Him?” The answer is in the eyes of another. The answer is in your own heart that opens fully in the present moment. Q. What are some of your favorite things about teaching in China? Number one is the people. The Chinese people are so warmhearted. Every person I meet is a gift. I could not ask for better neighbors that bring me food for no reason and check on me daily when I am sick. The Chinese people make sure I am never alone or lonely. They melt my heart with their kindness. They have taught me the true meaning of compassion, and I hope to do the same in return throughout my life.

Q. How has your perception of working internationally changed since you have been in China?

Q. What are some of your favorite cultural aspects about China?

When I first arrived in China I was terrified. I didn’t know the language. I didn’t know the culture. I didn’t know anything. The only thing I did know was that for whatever reason I had a strong desire to be in China at this time and under these circumstances. God was kind and sent many people in my life to help me along the way. My eyes opened to a whole new way of walking with God. Chinese people are incredibly hospi-

First, China is a communal society. With just a simple smile you become an instant family member, and they will seek your best interest in every turn. Second, friendships are not casual. To be a friend is to become a sister or brother for life. Third, the endless holiday seasons serve as a constant connection with others. The holidays are rich in tradition and are never to be taken lightly. The deafening sound of fireworks

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at new year. Making dumplings with an elderly neighbor. Sharing food with friends. Celebrating on the streets and in the homes of anyone everywhere. These simple traditions serve to bind strong ties that last a lifetime. Q. Do you think this experience has changed you? Absolutely! I am more relaxed, more patient and more understanding of others. The Chinese people have taught me how to appreciate life and how to enjoy the everyday ordinary stuff of life. This I notice only when I return to the U.S. and experience reverse culture shock. Q. How would you encourage others? I guess my final thought to anyone reading this would be, be not afraid. If there is some dream you want to follow, follow it. If there is an itch to scratch, scratch it. If your heart is leading you somewhere, follow it. No, it will not be easy. It will take blood, sweat and tears. It will mean fighting through your own doubts and casting aside the naysayers. It will mean sacrificing one thing for another, and sometimes the sacrifice will not only be not easy, but it will be painful. Accept the pain. Along the journey you will encounter your own ghosts and demons but rest assured, they have no power. Keep going. Keep moving forward until the prize is won. And then say hello to the new you. The you you never knew existed. The you that has been patiently waiting to say hello in the light. This is what God wants you to see, Himself, the pure light of love that shines in us all.

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Michia Rohrssen has been busy since graduating in 2011. He’s founded several startups and is currently co-founder & CEO of Prodigy and partner at Alchemist Accelerator. His entrepreneurial spirit has gained national attention and placed him on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. In regard to starting businesses, Rohrssen has said, “You need to make sure your idea is painful enough to be worth solving.”

Michia Rohrssen Photo by Janice Yip

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CREATING STARTUPS I grew up competing in martial arts. I think that in some ways that led me to the business world. I love to win, and there’s nothing more satisfying than building a business and watching it really take off. I think there’s also something special about the process of taking ideas from your head and turning them into real, revenue producing ventures. That idea alchemy has always fascinated me and really makes my work exciting. FORMULATING IDEAS There are a few things I look for in companies: 1. Big problems. Succeeding in any business is hard, and the larger the problem you solve generally the larger the reward at the end. Life is short, so I try to generally work on solving big problems in big markets. 2. Personal passion. The more connected to a market I am the more fun I have working on the idea. Business is hard, but it should at least be fun as well! 3. Some sort of trends or movements that make the business more interesting in the future than it is now. Prodigy is a great example. The way consumers research and buy cars in the U.S. has been rapidly changing over the last few years, so we’re capitalizing on that change in the perfect time with our company by building tools for car dealerships to sell cars in a digital age. 4. Tech enabled scale. I’ve always been into computers and with a computer science degree, I really look for businesses that can scale through some sort of technology that I can develop or have my team develop. Businesses that require a lot of manpower can be incredibly profitable, (multibillion dollar construction companies) but they don’t excite me the way technology companies do.

STARTING COMPANIES Growing up I always had small ideas that I would try out to make extra money, but I originally planned on being a video game developer which is why I ended up getting a computer science degree at CSU. I actually started my first business my freshman year out of my dorm because I needed some money to pay for extra bills and thought it sounded like fun. I ended up getting so addicted to building businesses I stopped playing video games, and there was no turning back from there. SOLVING PROBLEMS The easiest way [to solve problems] is to get out of your head, get out of your office and go talk to people who have the exact problem you’re thinking of solving. Ask them if they will pay for a solution, ask them how much they would pay and ask them how badly they want it. If you ask 100 people if they’d buy the solution you’re thinking about building and no one is interested, you know you’ve missed the mark, but when people start saying yes, then you’re onto something. BUILDING PRODIGY I’ve always been a huge car fanatic. I bought my first car before I was old enough to drive and bought and sold cars all through college for fun. I love cars, but buying them isn’t the best experience in the world. I knew if we could start a business that solved that pain, there would be tremendous value created not only for consumers but also for car dealerships. The idea came mostly through working closely with dealerships and learning versus some stroke of insight or brilliance we had before we started the company. We spent the first year just sitting in car dealerships, learning everything we could about their business so that we were experts on their operations before we could even begin to think about how to improve them.

ADVISING ENTREPRENEURS 1. You’re never ready for your first new venture. It’s always risky. Take the leap anyways. You’ll learn a ton, and the skills you gain along the way will make you more employable even if it doesn’t end up working out. 2. Surround yourself with mentors. I’m a firm believer that your life will be the average of the five closest people to you. If you’re surrounding yourself with people that represent who you want to be in 5-10 years, you’ll naturally head that direction. I attribute almost all of my success to taking leaps of faith when things felt too risky and having amazing mentors to keep me from falling into too many pitfalls. PRODIGY PROJECTIONS We’re going to process $10B in car sales through our platform in 2019, but to be clear, that is not our revenue, just the volume of vehicle sales moving through our platform this year. In a few years, I imagine we’ll be powering automotive retail for most of the top auto dealers in the country. We’re getting great adoption from top dealers; we have an amazing team and amazing investors to help us take our business to the next level in 2019. HAVING FUN I’m really into photography, so I travel quite a bit and take lots of photos/videos on my trips. Taking a step back and seeing different perspectives and cultures gives me a renewed focus and energy when I return from my trips. These days, traveling is almost a must do to balance out the life of running a company. I really get stir crazy if I go too long without traveling internationally. Last year I visited Japan, Kenya, South Africa, Cuba, Chile, Brazil and Argentina, so it was a pretty good travel year. Some of his pics can be found on his fiancee’s website at janiceyip.com.

“ You need to make sure your idea is painful enough to be worth solving.” - Michia Rohrssen

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LIFE AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT-ATHLETE Q. As an international student-athlete, what role did your teammates play in helping you transition to U.S. culture? Koerner: Coming here as an international student, teammates play a huge role. At the beginning everything’s new and it takes time to adjust. Being on a team gives you the opportunity to make friends immediately! It’s a big step coming here so far away from home. Especially being on a team with many other internationals, we are all in the same boat, so we can relate to each other so easily. We also help each other out as much as we can. It’s interesting learning about the different cultures, and I feel like we have a very strong bond. I visited my roommate in Italy this summer, which was loads of fun! Being on a team and having teammates from the U.S. as well as from other countries makes you feel like you have another family to go through the thick and thin!

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KIMMY KOERNER WOMEN’S TENNIS Germany senior majoring in psychology

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LEADING Q. As an international student-athlete, what role did your teammates play in helping you transition to U.S. culture?

JAYMEE DOMONEY MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY AND TRACK United Kingdom sophomore majoring in kinesiology with a clinical emphasis

Domoney: My teammates made it a lot easier to transition to life in the U.S. as they were very welcoming and considerate of the fact I’d moved away from my own family and friends. They helped me with car rides to get my hair cut, get groceries and welcomed me into typical activities they’d do without thinking I was different to them so that I’d feel like I’m at home. Q. What is one of your favorite memories as a CSU student-athlete? Domoney: The very first week I was here we went to Laurel Ridge for a preseason training camp. I’d just arrived in the U.S., and I immediately felt like I’d been friends with the team for years. Equally, coming second at the Big South Cross Country championships this fall was another great memory as we’d all worked so hard for months, and it was great to see it all pay off. Q. Do you think being an international student makes it harder to be a studentathlete? Domoney: I would say yes if my primary language wasn’t English. The main difference I’ve noticed is the style of testing - at home I’d have one or two big exams a year but here I have a lot more smaller ones. I think after a year of studying here I’ve adapted to the college lifestyle a lot more, and if you stay on top of your work, it’s really not that bad.

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LEADING Q. As an international student-athlete, what role did your teammates play in helping you transition to U.S. culture? Intriago: Before coming to the U.S., I was worried about a million things. However, everything changed the first day I entered CSU. I got the chance to meet my teammates who are now my sisters. Some of them were internationals, so they understood what I was going through as adapting to new cultures is difficult. All of my teammates helped me with everything not only school but also in entering a new culture with new friends. It’s been a great transition, and I couldn’t have done it without them. We became a family; I will always be there for them, and I know they will always be there for me too.

DANIELA INTRIAGO WOMEN’S GOLF Ecuador sophomore majoring in business administration with an entrepreneurship emphasis

Q. What is one of your favorite memories as a CSU student-athlete? Intriago: Picking one memory for me is impossible. As a team we go through so many events that it is hard to pick just one. However, I have to say that the memories I’ll remember forever are those when we go to Kiawah to play until late. The best part is not only being able to play golf at Kiawah but getting back from there to campus with my teammates. The trips are always about two hours with traffic, sometimes more. We are always exhausted after practice, but instead of complaining and stressing about homework, we just start singing old songs in the car, eat pizza, and talk about what’s going on in our life. These little things are the ones that I enjoy the most, because as simple as it can be, it shows how you can turn stress around by enjoying a few hours with your best friends. Q. Do you think being an international student makes it harder to be a studentathlete? Intriago: I don’t think so. It is hard to be a student-athlete for everyone. You have two jobs: school and your sport, and your goal is to perform as good as you can in both. It is definitely a hard task. Maybe it can be hard for internationals to adapt and understand the new culture, but you will always have your team and your coach to help you with that.

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LEADING Q. As an international student-athlete, what role did your teammates play in helping you transition to U.S. culture?

FILIPPA ERICSON WOMEN’S TENNIS Sweden senior majoring in marketing

Ericson: My teammates played a huge role in transitioning to the U.S. culture in multiple ways for me. Moving on your own across the world can be scary, but when you have teammates who are in the exact same position, you become close friends very quickly. We can relate to each other in so many ways. It feels like I have known some of my teammates for way longer than I actually have because we spend so much time together and create once in a lifetime memories. I am certain it would be much harder to come to the U.S. as an international student if you are not on an athletic team. Q. What is one of your favorite memories as a CSU student-athlete? Ericson: My favorite memories as a student-athlete at CSU are probably when we have had some successful home matches where a lot of friends and CSU faculty have come to cheer for us. Those are really special moments. Q. Do you think being an international student makes it harder to be a studentathlete? Ericson: I think it is harder as a freshman and senior to be an international studentathlete. As a freshman it can be a challenge to study everything in English because you are not used to it, and it takes a couple of months to get settled in with studies, sports and life in general. As a senior (which I am now) it is challenging because I need to figure out how to get a new visa so I can stay here after graduation to work. It is a complicated process to get a work authorization and find a job as a non-U.S.citizen.

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LEADING Q. As an international student-athlete, what role did your teammates play in helping you transition to U.S. culture? Finnie: My U.S. teammates have helped me a lot in understanding the U.S culture better. There are some subtle differences from my home country of Scotland. My teammates tell me certain things to say in certain situations, what some members of society expect from you, and remind me to drive on the Right side of the road! Q. What is one of your favorite memories as a CSU student-athlete?

CHRISTOPHER FINNIE MEN’S GOLF Scotland junior majoring in social and human sciences

Finnie: It would have to be our first team retreat down to Kiawah Island. We spent the whole weekend down there and played the Ocean Course, which has hosted major golf events, like the Ryder Cup and PGA championship. It was incredible to play there. The retreat took place in about the second week of school, so I was still getting to know my teammates and coach. Spending the whole weekend in their company allowed me to get to know everyone a little better, and increased the bond amongst the guys on the team. Q. Do you think being an international student makes it harder to be a studentathlete? Finnie: Being away from home for the first time can really takes its toll. That is the toughest part that I found. I am very lucky in the regard that my native country of Great Britain has English as its language. I could imagine other international students who come from nations where English isn’t their native language could find it harder to adapt.

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CSU DIVERSITY PROGRAMS GROWING By Jan Joslin / Photo by Richard Esposito


he university’s Office of Diversity now has pages on the CSU website and is working to let the campus and community know more about diversity at CSU. Tim Grant, diversity officer and assistant dean of students for student clubs and organizations, said everyone has a voice at the table. Grant said, “Diversity is not just black and white.” CSU defines diversity as people groups varying in ethnic makeup, cultural background, age, language, education and professional experience, ability, veteran and/ or socioeconomic status. As diversity officer, Grant works with the cultural diversity committee, primarily a faculty group planning events for the CSU

community. He also works with the diversity council, a group of students, faculty and staff who discuss issues and provide solutions. “We’ve seen growth in diversity events,” said Grant. In addition to the annual Culturefest and Black History Month celebrations, recent additions include a Women’s History Month Luncheon, a Women’s Health Symposium and a luncheon for Hispanic Heritage Month. Grant currently serves as president of the Black History Intercollegiate Consortium. Members of the Consortium in addition to CSU are Trident Tech, The Citadel, MUSC and CofC. The group hosts an annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.

Students learn traditional Indian dance steps at the 2018 Culturefest.


By Jan Joslin / Photos by Richard Esposito


he FEBC-Korea, Gwangju Children’s Choir and Dr. Billy (Jang Hwan) Kim captured CSU’s heart at Chapel in January. The children’s choir sang and danced their way through Christian songs and popular folk songs and sang “It Is Well with My Soul” in Korean. Students were delighted

Colorful costumes and a wide selection of music delighted the audience during the Korean Children’s Choir performance. Dr. Billy Kim brings the message at Chapel.

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when the choir came into the audience to pass out hugs and gave the choir several standing ovations. Kim, a world-renowned evangelist and broadcaster who has been referred to as the Billy Graham of South Korea, said “God commissioned us to evangelize the world not to Westernize the world.” He said Jesus spoke of the world evangelization and world mission at least five times in Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, John 20:21 and Acts 1:8. He told students they have a responsibility to our world, and they need to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all nations. Kim is pastor emeritus of Suwon Central Baptist Church which began with 12 people in attendance and grew to more than 15,000 members when he retired after 45 years as pastor. He also serves as chairman of the Far East Broadcasting Company–Korea. In 1956, the radio ministry began to broadcast the gospel message to North Korea, China, Russia and

Mongolia where missionaries themselves could not go. Today, FEBC-Korea broadcasts on two high-powered AM transmitters proclaiming the Gospel in Korean, Chinese, English, Japanese and Russian. The Children’s Choir was organized as a ministry of the Far East Broadcasting Company, and their performances include colorful costumes and traditional Korean dance. Choir members, ranging in age from 7 to 13, are selected through a rigorous audition process and receive training in voice and choreography.

CSU students were touched when members of the children’s choir came into the audience to hug each person.

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igh school sophomores through seniors attended CSU’s ENDURE apologetics conference to learn about three issues facing our world: racism, evil and pop culture. The

annual event addresses topics that are critical to equip teens in their Christian faith. Dr. Peter Link, chair and associate professor in the College of Christian Studies, said. “We wanted to help them think about how to worship Jesus so that they may live and think Christianly.” Topics taught by College of Christian Studies professors: • Christianity and Racism, Dr. Ed Gravely • Christianity and Evil, Dr. Ross Parker • Christianity and Pop Culture, Dr. Peter Beck Faculty posed questions like, what do the Scriptures actually teach about racism? Since we have an all-good and all-powerful God,

why does He permit evil in so much of life? And, how can they honor God with their use of media? “ENDURE is important for our teenagers, their families and our churches because their lives matter to God, and the Scriptures handled rightly show them how to answer the culture, as they maintain and pass on the faith,” Link said. “Today’s teenagers want real answers to real questions, and it is key that we show them that they have only begun to discover the depth and breadth of the cross in their lives and in this world.” Planning for 2019’s ENDURE has begun. To learn more about this and other similar events, go to churchandgospel.com/endure.

Photo provided


2,415! That’s how many children across the globe received an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox from the CSU family! Amazing! This beats last year’s record by nearly 600. Please pray each child will see God’s love through the gift of a shoebox. Photos provided

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od doesn’t speak things deep in our hearts just to mess with us,” said Jemima Backman. “Pray about it, but if it’s not coming out then you need to take it seriously and trust Him to come through.” Backman, a recent graduate from Charleston Southern, shared how learning to trust in the Lord was the only option for her life. In December, Jemima graduated with a master of arts degree in organizational leadership. She is now working as the program development manager in CSU’s College of Adult and Professional Studies. Growing up in Finland was a cold and harsh environment for Backman’s childhood. Her family had been devastated by the Russians, and the result was an immense amount of generational trauma. “The whole community was affected by the war in one way or another. Even if they didn’t experience it firsthand, it trickled down through families,” she said. Backman’s journey has been riddled with pain and loss, but during every season of life she went back to the promises that the Lord had buried deep inside her heart. At the age of six, Backman told her mother that she would live and die in America. Despite a few detours and struggles, she believed the Lord and has seen the promises come to fruition in her life. “Finland never really felt like home. My family would be watching hockey games, and I would be cheering for the USA over Finland. There just wasn’t much care in our community because of all the trauma. I didn’t learn what it was to be cared for or how to care for other people until I got to CSU,” she said. At CSU, Backman found Christian community for the first time in her life. Finding brothers and sisters in Christ changed everything for her. However, the transition took time and patience. She learned how to be vulnerable and what it meant to find the people who would fight for you. “In Finland if you cried no one would comfort you, and if they did it was just to get you quiet. Here I learned that crying is okay, and that sometimes in life you are going to hurt and you can express that,” said Backman.

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Her experience as an international student was different than most because she never missed home or had the desire to go back. She knew the Lord wanted her in America; her heart wasn’t conflicted with the move. That was difficult for Backman to come to terms with and articulate to her friends and family during her transition to America. She wants to spend her life bringing people to know the Lord. “I especially want to reach people who have experienced trauma and really suffered in their lives. Ones that haven’t grown up in the Christian community and just need love, care and patience like I did,” said Backman. Even with a strong love for America, adjusting to any foreign culture takes flexibility and curiosity. The most shocking thing about American culture to Backman was how common fried food and public displays of affection were. However, Southern food is one of her favorite things about America now, and she will never pass up ribs. The community at CSU provided Backman with a support system while she adjusted to the cultural differences and helped her walk through the disappointments she has faced. Although she gave her life to the Lord five years ago while still in Finland, she grew drastically in her faith when she moved into a loving, Christian environment. Backman wants to share her story and struggles in hopes of helping and encouraging others with similar struggles. “I would encourage international students not to freak out, but to take it day by day. To create their own pace, and build relationships along the way. I would remind them that they don’t have to be like everyone else, and that’s a good thing,” she said. Along her journey, Backman had to recognize that her story is unique and that her life didn’t have to resemble anyone else’s. If you trust God with your dreams and desires, He is always faithful. “This was God’s plan for me from the start, and that’s really the only thing that made it all possible,” said Backman.

Jemima Backman

WHY I GIVE Jemima Backman has established the Jemima M. Backman Funded Scholarship to be awarded annually to a full-time graduate student who is also an international student. Q. What prompted you to fund a scholarship? I was praying about how to tithe and what to invest in. God made it clear that giving to another student at CSU would be a good thing to do and that is a desire of my heart. Giving international students a solid foundation to educate themselves in a safe environment is valuable to invest in. Q. Is philanthropic giving important to you? Giving cheerfully is something that keeps us from getting too attached to material and worldly possessions. It was good to volunteer with the Women’s Council auction at CSU, where the women gather tens of thousands of dollars for student scholarships. The members of the Women’s Council have been there for me in times of abundance and in times of need and are a great support to have. Q. What encouragement would you give to fellow alumni/students who are thinking about contributing to a scholarship? It is hard to give in times when you don’t have a lot, but I believe it is exactly in those times that our faith is tested. Being hospitable however severe your circumstances is a blessing and helps to better serve God and the community that you are in.

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“ ust do it, and you will learn and grow so much as an individual,” said Femcke Van Rensburg. “You get to live in a different culture and truly experience it since you are here for so long.” For Van Rensburg, a junior majoring in accounting, moving to America from South Africa was a choice that changed the course of her life. She decided to attend CSU on a tennis scholarship after hearing about the university from a fellow South African who had played tennis here. While being a student-athlete adds certain pressures and responsibilities, Van Rensburg said that her sport provided her with a support system during her transition as well as something to do that kept her mind off missing home. Van Rensburg’s parents joined her in America for the first couple weeks to help her adjust as smoothly as possible. Everyday things, like how to do laundry or knowing American bed sizes for buying sheets, were a learning process for her. “The food was the biggest difference when I moved here, but the people at CSU made me feel so welcome which really helped with my transition,” she said. During her first semester, she truly came to understand the gospel on a personal level. A few of her professors as well as certain classes, such as Christian Discipleship, have

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helped her grow spiritually and equipped her to share her faith with others. “Being an athlete in college is a platform for reaching my team that is very international and has many players who don’t know Christ,” Van Rensburg said. The women’s tennis team is composed of a diverse group of students including individuals from America, Germany, Italy, Romania, South Africa, Sweden and the Ukraine. The mix of nationalities has allowed her to learn about different cultures and how to relate to them. Having a team largely composed of international students also provides a community of friends going through similar experiences and struggles. Despite her busy schedule filled with classes and tennis obligations, Van Rensburg still gets homesick often for South Africa and her family. “Church community is really what gets me through those moments where I miss home,” she said. Community not only played a large role in helping her initial transition to America but also in her success battling homesickness. While the move across the world for college evoked a certain sense of fear and the unknown, the payoff was worthwhile in Van Rensburg’s life. Attending college in America was beneficial for her in many personal ways, but also provides her with an opportunity to feasibly get a job after graduation.

Post-war South Africa has seen a flip flop of power and racism. Van Rensburg said that in her home country it is hard for white people to find jobs. “By coming to America for college, I have an equal opportunity to get a job after I graduate,” she said. Van Rensburg not only gains opportunities after graduation but has also found a family from all around the world. “I’m friends with everybody: athletes and nonathletes, Americans and international students,” she said. When Van Rensburg isn’t tending to one of her responsibilities, she loves to spend her time surfing and playing games with friends. She especially loves strategical board games like Royals and Settlers of Catan. She would describe America as fast and cheap. The pace of life was a sharp contrast to her own culture in South Africa. “The consumerism and affordability of clothes surprised me when I got to America,” she said. In every step of her experience as an international student, collegiate athlete and accounting student, Van Rensburg has had to rely heavily on her faith. She has not only transformed as an individual since arriving at CSU but also has made an impact on the campus and athletic community. She serves as a light to her friends and seeks to show her teammates Christ on the court. “The Lord doesn’t need us, but he chooses to use us,” said Van Rensburg.

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FINDING KINDNESS AND PATIENCE IN LESOTHO Compiled by Jan Joslin / Photos provided


arolina Weber, a 2018 graduate with a degree in communication is serving with the Peace Corps in Lesotho, Africa. She teaches English to grades 4, 5, 6 and 7. Lesotho is completely landlocked by the country of South Africa. World Connections I first became interested in the Peace Corps when I was a little girl and my cousin joined with his wife. Through time and more research, I began to resonate with the Peace Corps mission of spreading peace and felt the desire to make my own personal connections with another part of the world.

Connected by Kindness I am surprised every day. There are many cultural differences, but really I was immediately surprised by Basotho, the people of Lesotho and their outward kindness they have shown me since day one. It helps so much with integration knowing that almost anyone I pass on the street will be willing to have a conversation with me. They genuinely are just as curious about me as I am about them and that makes feeling connected 10 times easier.

Weber and her Peace Corps counterpart.

Sister Patience The Peace Corps does a really good job of finding great host families for us during our first three months of intense training. During this time we are also given Sesotho names to help us integrate. Mine was Mamello which means patience. I found myself homesick a lot, and one night I was talking to my host mother. This was often difficult because she didn’t speak much English, and I had just started learning Sesotho. Ironically, patience on both ends was key. She was explaining to me how old her children are and where they live. Her youngest is three years older than me and when I told her that she responded by saying, “Ausi (sister) Mamello is my youngest born.” She considered me one of her own. I didn’t know it then, but that moment foreshadowed a lot of other moments where I felt like family with Basotho. The Colonel in Lesotho Interesting fact – McDonald’s cannot be found in Lesotho. However, there are abundant amounts of KFC, which surprised me a lot.

Weber and her host mother during training.

Lesotho is a rocky country, completely landlocked by South Africa.

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den MeKonnen, a senior majoring in public health, has experienced pressures that most college students never have to face. MeKonnen and her brother moved to America from Ethiopia to complete high school and attend college. After attending a boarding school in Kentucky, she attended Spring Arbor University in Michigan until moving to CSU at the end of her sophomore year. MeKonnen decided to transfer after hearing about the school from her host parents, CSU alumni, Mysi Belcher Murray ’81 and Guy Murray ’83. “The process of moving to America wasn’t a bad transition for me. I learned that I am a pretty adaptable person to most situations,” she said.

The hardest part of being an international student for MeKonnen was the pressure to succeed. “There is a big fear that if I don’t do well I will fail my family and my community back home in Ethiopia,” she said. MeKonnen is the president of the International Club as well as works in the dean of students office. She has a passion for health promotion and health education but is unsure where God will call her after graduation. “It is God’s will where I stay; if that’s going home or staying in America, I will do it,” she said. I recently asked MeKonnen about her transition to America and what her experience as an international student has looked like.

Q. What is something you love about American culture? Americans encourage people to be individualistic. For example, the clothes you wear are a reflection and expression of yourself whereas back home it would be reflected back on your parents. Q. What was the most shocking thing about America? The extremely high amount of public displays of affection and how normal it is to get married so young. In Ethiopia, you wouldn’t display affection in public because you never know what relative is watching. Q. What are two words you would use to describe CSU? Well I can’t think of just two, but I would say sold out for God. Q. Favorite Southern food? Biscuits and gravy are always my favorite. Q. What has been the best part of CSU? The weather here has been one of my favorite things; Michigan was too cold. Q. What do you miss most about Ethiopia? I miss the food, and how it’s more than a meal in my culture. Food brings people together and builds community in Ethiopia.

Eden MeKonnen photo by Richard Esposito

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Class notes 1972

Tim Touchberry was featured in the winter 2018 issue of Azalea Magazine. The story featured his collection of antique bottles that he has dug up around the Lowcountry. He is a retired coach and athletic director and said his family helped him collect all the bottles.



Dr. Jason R. McClune is an interventional pulmonologist at Memorial Health University Physicians | Lung & Sleep Care in Savannah, Ga. Also certified in pulmonary and critical care medicine, he is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia and did his residency in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina Hospitals. He has been published in the Canadian Respiratory Journal and the Journal of Bronchology.

Rob Norman of Smyrna, Ga., was recently featured in the Coastal Observer. He flies World War II aircraft on the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour. He is a pilot for Delta Air Christi Brinson was a nominee Lines and retired from the U.S. Air for the 2018 Excellence in Force. Mathematics Teaching Award from the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Math Pathways Project Team. She is a teacher at Rollings Middle School of the Arts Joe Willard is the director of and was Rollings’ Teacher of the missions for Welsh Neck Baptist Year in 2018. Association, located in Hartsville. He is a former pastor.





Benjamin Ford is the new police chief of Travelers Rest. He formerly was a police sergeant in Mauldin. He also has worked for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Glenda Levine MEd recently was named a Riley Fellow after completing the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative. She is the chief diversity officer for the Berkeley County School District.

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Lynn Stafford McHoney has published a children’s book called A Gift for Momma. The book is available for purchase online at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com or can

be found on the shelves at the Agape Christian Bookstore in Goose Creek. Lynn is married to Michael McHoney ’05, and they have three sons. She is a homeschool mom and a worship leader at her church.


David Cheatle MS is assistant chief of police for the North Charleston Police Department. He has worked for North Charleston for more than 25 years and was formerly the deputy chief. Rachel Potts Simpson ’14 MBA and her husband, Courtney Simpson, announce the birth of a son, Remington Chase Simpson, born Sept. 2, 2019. The Simpsons live in Ladson.




Rhett Marley and his wife, Alicyn Marley ’10 run Marley Photography, LLC. They have received numerous awards recently: The Knot Best of Weddings in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and Wedding Wire Couples’ Choice Awards in 2018 and 2019. Rhett is also the assistant worship pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Summerville. They have three children.


Carrie Barnhart Houck and Kevin Houck announce the birth of Stacy Brown recently was named twin daughters June 28, 2018. Katie Grace weighed 6 lbs., and a Riley Fellow after completing Emily Layne weighed 5 lbs. 15.8 the Riley Institute at Furman’s Diversity Leaders Initiative. Brown oz. Big sister, Leighann Houck, 3, welcomed them home. The is the director of operations Houcks live in Lexington. at Metanoia Community Development Corporation and Chris Mims and Tori Gilbert was named to the Charleston Mims ’14 were featured in the Regional Business Journal’s 40 November 2018 edition of Cane Under 40 list in 2016. Bay Magazine. Residents of Cane Bay in Berkeley County, the Mims have twins, Phoenix and Fulton. Chris is general manager of Moe’s Southwest Grill and is student minister at The Church at Cane Bay. Tori is a registered nurse with Roper Hospital.

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Kenneth “Kenny” Johnson was elected to the Palm Bay, Florida, City Council in November, 2018. He is a small business owner and lives in Palm Bay. Meghan Lewis was a nominee for the 2018 Excellence in Mathematics Teaching Award from the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Math Pathways Project Team. She teaches at Berkeley Intermediate School.


Gary Seaboldt MEd won a 2018 Excellence in Mathematics Teaching Award from the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Math Pathways Project Team. He teaches at Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary School and was the Windsor Hill Teacher of the Year in 2017.

STAY CONNECTED! Send us news about family additions, job changes, etc. To include a photo, email a high resolution jpg. (If you send a professional photograph, please include permission to print from the photographer.)

Class Notes: Email your news to magazine@csuniv.edu Address change:

Erica MacDougall Markabi has joined Carolina One Real Estate as a full-time Residential Real Estate Agent on Long Point Road in Mt. Pleasant. She said, “I enjoy working with families, especially first time home buyers!” Erica has previously worked in the Industrial Real Estate industry the past three years, serving companies such as Mercedes Benz Vans and Boeing. Megan Profit MEd won a 2018 Excellence in Mathematics Teaching Award from the Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Math Pathways Project Team. She teaches at Rollings Middle School of the Arts.

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Melexa Stone MS, Horry County Email csudevelopment@csuniv.edu Assistant Agent-in-Charge, was Name change: named the 2018 Supervisor of the Year for the South Carolina Email register@csuniv.edu Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. She joined SCDPPPS in 2011 at the Follow the Alumni Association Georgetown office and handled on Social Media: all investigations and was the Interstate Compact Agent and Public Service Employment alumni_csu Coordinator before her promotion to Assistant Agent-in-Charge. “Agent Stone is very committed alumni_csu to the agency, Horry County and the agents she supervises,” noted the nomination form for the award. “She is one of the agency’s most dependable supervisors. She always has a positive attitude, is respected, and the source of communication with many police Ken Lott MBA recently was named officers.” She is also a driving a Riley Fellow after completing instructor and graduate of the the Riley Institute at Furman’s Strategic Leadership Academy Diversity Leaders Initiative. He is and previously worked with the vice president for human resource Georgetown County Sheriff’s management for Santee Cooper. Office, where she served as Victims Advocate, Criminal Investigator, and Corporal in the Court Security Division. Pictured are: SCDPPPS Director Jerry Adger, Melexa, and Deputy Director for Field Operations Justin Moulin graduated from the Mike Nichols. Elon University School of Law in December 2017. On November 20, 2018, he was sworn-in to practice law in the 18th Judicial District of North Carolina.



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f you’ve ever met Brooks Moore ’69, you know that he is a storyteller. He’s published some of those stories in a new book titled Chalk Talk. Moore taught school for one year after he graduated because there was a critical shortage of teachers during that time. He had majored in business but learned teaching was his calling. During his career, he served as an elementary, middle and high school principal and worked for the S.C. Department of Education. The book chronicles his time dealing with problems in the boiler room, disruptive students, school buses and entitled parents and includes humorous stories and some that will make you cry.

In the chapter Storytime, Moore tells about going to read to a kindergarten class after a big lunch. The heat was pumping full force, and he settled in to read “Jack and the Beanstalk” to the children. “Sometime later, I felt the teacher shaking my arm and saying, ‘Mr. Moore, are you okay?’ Later, both the teacher and her assistant shared with me that when they entered the room the children were all still sitting quietly with their little fingers to their lips saying, ‘Mr. Moore is taking a nap.’” Moore is a two-time cancer survivor, so he is selling the books for $15 and will donate $10 of that to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. To obtain a copy, email him at bpmooreconsult@aol.com.

Moore is a charter member of the Buc Club Board of Directors and has served as Buc Club president. He is a member of the CSU Hall of Fame and was a member of the golf team as a student.

in memory Carol Spurlock Steinbrecher Carnell ’78, age 71, died Nov. 19 in Charleston. She was a teacher. John Keith Gowder ’87, age 70, died Nov. 21, 2018, in Summerville. Lloyd Allen Lien ’74, age 65, died April 17, 2018, in Asheboro, N.C. He worked in the printing industry. Lillian Little Linder ’68, age 72, died Dec. 8, 2018, in Summerville. She was a retired teacher. Leigha Blair Martinelli, age 24, died Jan. 12. in North Charleston. She was a senior majoring in communication with a theatre emphasis and a minor in Christian leadership and worked at Outback Steakhouse. She was from Burlington, N.C.

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Wayne Davis McCay ’72, age 69, died Oct. 20, 2018, in Fuquay-Varina, N.C. He was a retired pilot for American Airlines and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran helicopter pilot. Charles Roland Ott ’75, age 74, died Dec. 23, 2018, in Charleston. He was retired from the U.S. Postal Service. Pamela Gail Black Owens ’83, age 57, died Jan. 27. She had been the financial advisor for a law firm in Georgia. Donald W. Padgett ’76, age 64, died July 19, 2018. He was a retired biologist from the Savannah River Site and was employed by South Carolina DHEC.

Dr. Stanley Nabors Parker, age 66, died Sept. 26, 2018, in Tennessee. He was a former dean of students and dean of the College of Adult and Professional Studies at Charleston Southern, a former pastor and a U.S. Army veteran. He was a pastoral counselor at Branches Christian Counseling. Elizabeth Roy ’76, age 74, died Dec. 15, 2018, in Columbia. She was a retired nurse. Philip Anthony “Tony” Tetsuwari ’80, age 62, died Jan. 10, 2018, in Fairfield, Ohio. He was a retired nuclear physicist. Dr. Carlton Winbery, age 81, died Dec. 17, 2018, in Pineville, La. He was a former professor at Charleston Southern and retired from Louisiana College as chair of the religion department. He also taught at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and authored several books.

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NOMINATE A FELLOW ALUMNUS The CSU Alumni Association is seeking alumni award nominations to recognize outstanding alumni and their achievements. Nominations for these awards are accepted from several sources: alumni, the Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, staff and friends of the university. These awards will be presented to winners at the annual Graduation Luncheon May 3. Please submit your nomination online at charlestonsouthern.edu/alumni/recognition. php.

2018 alumni winners. Photo by Richard Esposito



Dr. Franklin Mason

he CSU family is mourning the passing of two former members of the Board of Trustees. The Rev. Daniel J. Inabinet ’84 died Oct. 11, 2018, at his home in Marion, S.C. He was an ambassador for the university, serving as a member of the Board of Visitors, a member of the Legacy Society, a member of the Ministers Support Network and as a member of the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee, as well as on the BOT. He had served as pastor of several churches in the state and at the time of his death was pastor of Nichols Baptist Church, was Senior Chaplain of the Florence County Sheriff’s Department and was the Hospice Chaplain for McLeod Hospice. He held a master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and had done doctoral work at Erskine College and clinical pastoral education at Baylor University Medical Center. He is survived by his wife, Fonda, and two daughters. His mother, Jean Inabinet, graduated from CSU in 1977 and is a member of the Women’s Council, and his father, Wilson Inabinet, graduated from

CSU in 1972 and has been a member of the Board of Visitors. Dr. Franklin Mason, of Mullins, S.C., died Jan. 11. Affectionately known as “Doc Mason,” he served several terms on the CSU Board of Trustees and was a longtime supporter of the university. Mason was an avid runner, completing more than 100 marathons and was a member of the South Carolina Runners Hall of Fame. He was a dentist for more than 60 years in Mullins. In addition to his service with the CSU BOT, he served the university through the Board of Visitors Scholarship Program, established the Mason Family Endowed Scholarship, was a life member of the President’s Club and a member of the Legacy Society. Two of his daughters and his late son-in-law are CSU alumni. The university awarded him an honorary doctor of humanities degree in 1981. In 2017, Mason received the Legacy Award from the Baptist Foundation of South Carolina for his outstanding support of the foundation through the establishment of legacy gifts.

Rev. Daniel J. Inabinet

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On the Road DALLAS

Meet a Charleston Southern alumnus living and working in Dallas. She shares her favorite places to visit and eat in the Dallas area. Read on to discover things to do when you take a trip to Dallas.

Megan Hiers ’12 I moved to Dallas right after graduating with my bachelor’s from CSU. I earned my teacher certification through an alternative teaching program. I am a special education

teacher; I worked in Dallas ISD for five years before transitioning to Lewisville ISD. I am a certified Special Olympics coach and have had the opportunity to take my students to participate for several years. I love being a teacher and watching my students grow!


Best Place for Dessert:

Perot Museum of Nature and Science. It is a great interactive museum. You can even race against a t-rex or cheetah!

Braums. They have the best ice cream! Their German Chocolate Cake flavor is my favorite.

Best Place for a Meal:

Favorite Free Activity:

Razoos or local Tex-Mex restaurants. It’s so hard to choose a favorite when there are so many options!

Outdoor movies are my favorite! Many communities host them. If there is not an outdoor movie, you can catch a free outdoor concert! Favorite Thing about My Neighborhood: There is always something to do to keep busy! Favorite Dallas Landmark/Tourist Attraction: Any sporting event. The DFW area has a lot to offer for any sports fan. We enjoy attending the local sports events but frequent baseball games the most due to our son’s love of baseball.

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SU broke ground on an expansion to the health science building Jan. 28. The 13,272-square-foot wing is an expansion to the first health science building (built in 2017 and opened in 2018) to accommodate the growing health science programs at CSU, including the future doctor of physical therapy. “The expansion allows CSU to continue growing our rigorous health science programs and prepare graduates with advanced skills as they serve the Lowcountry and beyond,” said Dr. Scott Yarbrough, assistant vice president for academic affairs for graduate programs,

retention and accreditation. “Initially the expansion can help relieve the current need for more science classrooms, and eventually the building will house the planned Physical Therapy program.” The building expansion will include: • 54-student orthopedic physical therapy lab • 27-student physical therapy lab • Research lab • Six debrief/study rooms • 13 faculty offices • Student lounge “This building project is yet another example of CSU’s innovative program

offerings. In the last year, we began a Physician Assistant program and our first doctoral program – both in very high demand,” CSU President Dondi Costin said. “The momentum continues as we develop graduate and doctoral level programs for prospective students who want to receive higher education with a deeper purpose. Here we grow again.” CSU expects to complete the project by the end of December 2019. For more information on CSU’s current health science programs, go to charlestonsouthern.edu/ academics.

Pictured are BOT executive committee members Randy Eller, Kathy Weiss, Dr. Tim Spurling, past-chair Jerry Williams, President Dondi Costin, current board chair Ken Evans, Dusty Rhodes and Ron Brantley. Photo by Richard Esposito

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Baby Bucs 1


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




7 9 8 6

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Katie Grace Houck and Emily Layne Houck, daughters of Carrie Barnhart Houck ’11 and Kevin Houck Emersyn Elle Connelly, daughter of Chelsea Eargle Connelly ’14 and Martin Connelly ’14 Luke Powell, son of Ashlee Powell ’15 and Kevin Powell ’16 Aria Grace Gallucci, daughter of Megan Joslin Gallucci ’15 and Matt Gallucci. Granddaughter of Jan Wiles Joslin ’82 and Brian K. Joslin ’05, ’11 Naomi Talia Capers, daughter of Ashley N. Capers and Travien L. Capers ’04 Remington Simpson, son of Rachel Potts Simpson ’07, ’14 and Courtney Simpson Winston Montgomery Duncan, son of Kyra Shivvers Duncan ’15 and Grady Duncan Madalynn Grace McLamore, daughter of Chuck McLamore ’15 Raegan Glendening, daughter of Brooke Glendening and Joey Glendening ’12

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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 onesie 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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2018-2019 ALUMNI BOARD David Weiss ’03, President Ron Jaicks ’93, Vice President Andre Dukes ’01, ’06, Secretary Denise Deveaux ’96, Treasurer Lecius Moorer ’00, Past President Jonelle Hair ’12 Scott Crothers ’09 Amanda Davis ’97 Shannon Phillips ’95 Esther Wilkins ’91 Lauren Young ’11, ’17 Bryan Hyder ’98, ’17 Nick Kemper ’11, ’13 Pictured: sitting: Esther Wilkins ’91, David Weiss ’03, Denise Deveaux ’96, standing: Jonelle Hair ’12, Amanda Davis ’97, Victoria Montgomery ’04, ’09, special events committee, Lauren Young ’11, ’17 and Brian Hyder ’98, ’17. • Photo by Richard Esposito

GOLDEN BUCCANEERS REUNION CLASSES OF 1967 & 1968 The first alumni class celebrated its 50th class reunion at Homecoming. Graduates from the classes of 1967 and 1968 enjoyed a night of memories and fellowship. The first Golden Buccaneers received gold clocks to remember the night.

Golden Alumni: Mark Carter, William Hayes, Carol Koopman, John Lesemann, Bernie Grant and Henry Proveaux, all members of the Class of 1968, attended the reunion. • Photo by Richard Esposito

MARK YOUR CALENDAR The Class of 1969 will celebrate its Golden Anniversary at Homecoming 2019, on Oct. 5.

Also attending the reunion were faculty emeriti Dr. Enid Causey, Dolores Jones, Sandy Lee, Dr. Carol Drowota, Linda Gooding, and Associate Dean of Students, Barbara Mead. . • Photo by Richard Esposito

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# marry a buc

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# marry a buc

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Spring 2019, vol.29 no.1

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The East Cooper Outboard Beneficient Group of the East Cooper Outboard Motor Club donated $3,000 to Charleston Southern University scholarships. Pictured are: Chris Momeier, chair, East Cooper Outboard Beneficient Group, Nate Schroder, David Baggs, CSU vice president for development. Photo provided

CSU COMES TO YOU Meet Charleston Southern’s new president, Dr. Dondi E. Costin, and representatives from Athletics and Enrollment. The event is free, but we do need you to RSVP at charlestonsouthern.edu/csucomestoyou. Greenville May 6, 6 p.m., Larkin’s on the River – The Shirley Roe Cabaret Room 318 S. Main St., Greenville, SC 29601 Rock Hill May 7, 6 p.m., Southern Charm Events 534 Waterford Glen Way, Rock Hill, SC 29730 Columbia May 20, 6 p.m., Palmetto Place 6230 St Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC 29212 Florence May 21, 6 p.m., Osbornes 265 South Warley St., Florence, SC 29501

Trident Medical Center recently established a nursing scholarship in honor of Lynn Singleton, RN, in recognition of her 30-year career with Trident Health. At the time of her retirement, she was chief nursing officer at Trident Medical Center. Pictured are: David Baggs, CSU vice president for development, Lynn Singleton, and Dr. Andreea Meier, dean of the CSU College of Nursing. Photo by Rod Whiting

Coastal Community Foundation’s new CEO, Darrin Goss, recently had lunch on campus to meet some Reverend Pinckney Scholars Program recipients. Pictured are: Goss, Carmen Hamilton, Brian DeLesline, Zahra Gauthier, student success & scholarship manager for Coastal Community Foundation, and CSU President Dr. Dondi Costin. Photo by Richard Esposito



MARK YOUR CALENDAR! YOU hold the power to have a profound impact by inspiring and encouraging current and future CSU students. No matter the size, each gift will help our students reach their potential, realize God’s purpose in their lives and impact the world. Please plan to join with alumni, parents and friends in support of CSU on this special day of giving. Gifts may be designated to any area on campus (scholarships, athletics, colleges, the brick program and much more)

EVERY GIFT MATTERS, BECAUSE EVERY BUC COUNTS! To donate or for more information, visit charlestonsouthern.edu/everyBUCcounts.

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WHY HAVE A WILL? Regardless of your life circumstances or estate size, your will is perhaps the most important document you will create. It expresses your values and also effectively provides for the people and charitable causes important to you. If you’ve been putting it off, here are eight important reminders why you need a will. 1. Without a will, your state’s laws – not you – determine how, when and to whom your property is distributed. 2. You can reduce (or maybe even eliminate) future estate taxes. 3. You can name your executor (a person, bank or trust company you choose to personally represent you) to manage and settle your estate. 4. You can designate beneficiaries for items such as heirlooms, art, jewelry or real estate. 5. You may create trusts to provide for your spouse, children and others. 6. Through a “pour-over” will, you can transfer leftover assets to your living trust. 7. You can support Charleston Southern University through a gift in your will, which is simple, flexible and revocable at any time. 8. You can designate the guardian for dependents under your care. We can help provide gift planning information to you and your professional advisors at no cost or obligation. Simply contact Bill Ward at 843-863-7514 or wward@csuniv.edu.

Members of the Board of Visitors and Legacy Society, Joseph N. “Butch” Byron Jr., DMD, ’73, and his wife, Cathy, sign guidelines for the Joseph N. Byron Jr., DMD, and Catherine C. Byron Nursing Endowed Scholarship established by their Legacy Society estate gift. Looking on are Dr. Andreea Meier, dean of the College of Nursing, and Dr. Dondi E. Costin, president.

© The Stelter Company. The information in this publication is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, please consult an attorney. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.

SELECT AMAZONSMILE TO DONATE TO CSU SCHOLARSHIPS! The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to CSU student scholarships, with each eligible purchase. All you have to do is select Charleston Southern University as your charitable organization. Go to

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http://bit.ly/CSUsmile to get started. 3/4/19 4:14 PM

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


Charleston SC Permit #1202

Charleston Southern University P.O. Box 118087 Charleston, SC 29423-8087


LEAVE AN IMPRESSION “Coming from a legacy of college graduates, it was important for me to memorialize my accomplishment by purchasing a brick because I did not want my hard work to go left unnoticed. I am a firm believer in Christ and all He has done with me, one being giving me the strength to accomplish my goal of obtaining my degree.” – Ka’Bria McCrary ’18 Leave your mark on CSU and support the future of CSU students through scholarship support.


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