CSU Magazine - Spring 2023

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MBA Alum Brews Up Unique Coffee Business


Cross Country Teams

Gaining Recognition


Donors & Families Contribute to OCC


Hal Adams Honors

Former Professor


t support benefit
orking partnership teamwork efit
magazine vol.33 no.1


volume 33 I number 1 I Spring 2023

On the cover: Campus departments collaborate regularly, and the university works with multiple business partners to enhance the CSU student experience.


Miranda Asson, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communication

Ty Cornett, Multimedia Producer

McKenzie Hagwood, MBA, Digital Content Specialist

Jenna Johnson ’21, MBA, Executive Director of Marketing and Communication

Jan Joslin ’82, Editorial Director; Editor, CSU Magazine

Tyler Stokes, Creative Director; Brand Manager

Daniel Taylor ’22, Junior Graphic Designer

Hunter Gatling ’23, Graduate Assistant

Samantha Arp ’24, Intern

Hanah Kerrigan ’24, Intern

Justin Brennan ’24, Intern


Lexi Adamczyk ’22 CSU Athletics Communications

Emory Hiott

Dr. Jill Terhaar Lewis

Dr. Peter Link

Rhett Marley ’10

CSU Magazine is published three times a year by the Office of Marketing and Communication for alumni and friends of Charleston Southern University.

Contact us: magazine@csuniv.edu

Address changes: csudevelopment@csuniv.edu

© 2023 Charleston Southern University
Buc Nation shows up in true blue and gold spirit to support our Bucs on the football field.
LEARNING 3 Link Earning Honors 4 How to: Read the Bible 5 Holocaust Through History and Theatre 6 Partnership with SHRM 7 Healthcare Yearly Simulation 8 Environmental History Class 9 Chaplaincy and Nursing 10 Music’s History of European Tours 12 Engineering Seniors Building Robot 13 How to: Develop Creative Teamwork LEADING 14 U.S. News & World Report Rankings 14 President Costin Two-Time Winner 15 CSU Business Partners 16 MBA Alum Brews Up Coffee 20 Aeronautics Sim Lab Opens 21 Gabe Giardina Returns as Head Football Coach 22 Cross Country Teams Recognized SERVING 24 Donors and Families Contribute to OCC 28 Nursing Student Experiences Medical Missions SCHOOL TIES 30 Class Notes 32 Homecoming Highlights 33 In Memory 34 Baby Bucs 36 2022 Alumni Awards FOREVER CSU 38 Hal Adams Honors Lessons Learned from Dr. Breland 40 Swain’s $2M Legacy Lives On Design and layout by: Bob Durand Design facebook.com/bobduranddesign Printed by: Knight Printing and Graphics knightpandg.com
Photo by Ty Cornett

PRESIDENT’s message Never Backtalk a Burning Bush

My godly mom has been with the Lord for more than a decade now, but I still hear her voice in my head from time to time. I would give anything to hear it for real just one more time.

That voice made sure I finished my homework, did my chores, read my Bible, apologized to my sister, wrote my thankyou notes, called my grandmother, made good choices, took responsibility for my actions, and refused to quit when the going got tough. Week after week, decade after decade — well into my 40s — she asked if I had gone to church, even on those Sundays when she knew I was the preacher. Making sure I was walking with the Lord was the one responsibility she never relinquished, long after I left home for good at 17. Our Sunday afternoon telephone conversation became my moment of truth.

I don’t know where I would be today if I had landed in somebody else’s crib. I do know that I am who I am today because God whispered words into my mother’s ear that she relayed to me, though the decibel levels varied based on my willingness to listen.

Most of our conversations ended well. Every conversation ended predictably. On those rare occasions when I foolishly assumed my personal ambition superseded her parental authority, I found myself on the losing end. Even though our spirited discussions routinely became debates, she entered heaven undefeated versus me.

I never discovered the glossary she used when she raised her voice, but she had an uncanny ability to string phrases together that left no doubt who was in charge. She forcefully observed that I was too big for my britches, while wondering aloud who I thought I was. She said she alone could reverse the miracle of my birth. Apparently, the fact that she brought me into this world gave her the authority to take me out of it.

Her fever-pitched voice offered me good options if I would just straighten up and fly right. Who knows why I thought things would end differently if I persisted in my rebellion a little longer? They never did.

Yet as discombobulating as her unforgettable diatribes were, there was nothing more detrimental to my cause than crossing the ill-

advised line between talking and backtalking. I saw my life flash before my eyes more than once during those slow-motion moments of my childhood. Thankfully, I never experienced whatever came after she jerked a knot in me. But I got close a time or two.

Without fail, backtalking became backtracking. To be clear, my mom’s feet never moved. I should have known better than to question the fact that Mother knew best.

God’s feet don’t move either. Father knows best. We should know better than to question that fact.

I have never heard the Lord’s outside voice, but His inside voice sounds remarkably like my mother’s when I backtalk God. I am still too big for my britches. He brought me into this world, and He can take me out. Mercifully, because of His grace, I am still here.

He is still God. I am still not. Why do I think things will be different this time? Or next time? For the same reasons Moses thought he could backtalk God and get away with it. If he couldn’t, who do I think I am?

Like most of us, Moses was minding his own business in Exodus 3 when God called him to leave his comfort zone to do something big for the good of others and the glory of God. Working for your fatherin-law can be challenging, I’m sure, but it sure beats poking Pharaoh in the chest and demanding that his free labor force walk off the job never to return.

The Great Resignation wasn’t really a thing in ancient Egypt. Quiet Quitting wouldn’t enter the lexicon for several millennia. But saving your own hide has always been in style.

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President Dr. Dondi Costin talks to a group of veterans on Veterans Day.
“The Great Resignation wasn’t really a thing in ancient Egypt. Quiet Quitting wouldn’t enter the lexicon for several millennia. But saving your own hide has always been in style.”
- Dr. Dondi Costin

I know why Moses wanted somebody else to have this opportunity to excel. Anybody but me sounds perfect for the job. There’s just one problem. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are [God’s] ways higher than your ways and [His] thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

Most believers have declared that if God would just speak to us in a way that is unmistakably Him, we would jump at the chance to do what He asks, when He asks, in the way He asks, for as long as He asks, without Him having to ask again. Nonsense.

Moses is Exhibit A. I am Exhibit B. You are Exhibit C.

Moses was called to a burning bush that was so unmistakably God that Moses immediately removed his shoes because he realized he was on holy ground. Never having seen a bush burn without being consumed, he proceeded to have a conversation with the bush that became a spirited discussion and then a debate.

There was no doubt in the mind of either party that God was God and Moses was not. Shockingly, Moses backtalked the burning bush from the moment God asked him to do something he did not want to do. More shockingly, God let him. Most shockingly, God let him live to tell the tale.

Excuse after excuse went up in flames until Moses finally had no choice but to say yes to God’s demands. That’s how things always went with my mother and me. As she reminded me over and over and over again, things would have gone a whole lot better if I had obeyed a whole lot sooner. She wasn’t quite as dramatic as a burning bush, but she had a special talent for picking branches off bushes that tanned my hide with a burning sensation I will never forget.

God may never speak to you through a burning bush, but He doesn’t have to. As Henry Blackaby has famously said, God speaks to us in countless ways through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church. The God of the bush is the God of the Bible. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). And your backside less burny.

Backtalking always leads to backtracking. It’s just a matter of time. Better for everyone if you skip the debate stage and jump right to obedience. A bunch of folks in Egypt have waited long enough.

Never backtalk a burning bush. Why? Because Father knows best.

Link Honored at SEBTS Alumni Banquet

Dr. Peter Link, professor of Christian studies, was honored by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Theological Fellowship at its alumni banquet at the 2022 national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Denver, Colorado. The award was given, “in recognition of outstanding evangelical scholarship” and for “stewarding the Faith entrusted to us for the sake of equipping the church and global witness.”

Link and fellow CSU faculty member Dr. Edward Gravely recently authored Bible 101: From Genesis and Psalms to the Gospels and Revelation, Your Guide to the Old and New Testaments, which can be purchased on Amazon. Link earned his PhD in biblical studies (Old Testament) from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in May, 2012. He also serves as a groups pastor at Crossroads Community Church.

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 3 LEARNING

How to:

Read the Bible Well

his message. Good Bible reading requires us to seek the author’s message and prioritize it over our own.

Read Seeking How Each Book Fits into the Whole Bible

The Bible is one book made up of many smaller books. Together and individually, biblical books draw readers into God’s grand story with man of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. Good Bible reading tasks us to recognize where a biblical book fits in this larger story and how it develops its specific story as part of these larger movements. Each book echoes the past, reflects these same truths in the present, and promises both future conflict and God’s final triumph with His people through Christ. Biblical books bring meaning to the reader’s past, present, and future by drawing out the language of other biblical books and calling us to recognize these patterns across the canon and in our own lives because the Bible requires us to see our lives as part of its story.

The more a Christian plumbs the depths of Scripture, the more he may live for Christ because spending time in God’s word is spending time with God. While we live in an era of incredible access to the Bible, we do not always see the desired fruit in our own lives from our Bible reading. How can we change that?

• Read prayerfully.

• Read large portions of the Bible at a time.

• Read seeking the author’s message of the whole book.

• Read seeking how each book fits into the whole Bible.

• Read consistently day after day.

• Read in Christian community week after week.

Read Prayerfully

Good Bible reading begins with prayer because it is through prayer that God brings His will upon earth and on our own hearts. In prayer, we seek for God to illumine the biblical text so that we may both hear and heed what we read. The same Spirit who

inspired the biblical book’s writing also teaches us and changes us through the collision of God’s word and Spirit in our hearts as we read. Prayer softens the soil of our hearts for this very purpose.

Read Large Portions of the Bible at a Time

The details of a biblical book must be understood through the prism of its big picture by devoting large amounts of time to the very act of reading. There are no shortcuts. It takes time. When we dedicate time to reading in this way, the Bible’s patterns become more obvious and relevant. It helps us soak in the narrative world of the Bible so that its viewpoint can shape our own perspective of what we read and how to live.

Read Seeking the Author’s Message of the Whole Book

As we read in large sections of the Bible, we end up focusing on whole books. We witness how a biblical book’s beginning, middle, and ending work together to teach, guide, rebuke, inform, and encourage. Every beginning draws us into the book’s world, and every ending answers or echoes this beginning in some manner. Within his book, the author not only tells us what happened but what it means. The ending becomes, therefore, the author’s final word that highlights what he has been saying throughout the whole book:

Read Consistently Day after Day

Good Bible reading calls us to read for the sake of spending time with God Himself whether we feel like it or want to do it. Jesus is our Lord, not our emotions. We keep reading because God is all the reward we need to keep reading. It gives us more of Him. The daily liturgy of returning to spending time with God in His word declares genuine affection for Christ. Such steadfast consistency in returning to God and His word over time yields God’s wisdom and character into every part of our lives.

Read in Christian Community Week after Week

Our private Bible reading is a part of a larger approach to reading and obeying God’s word. We must (and I mean must) read within a community of committed believers who are also trying to walk with God: a healthy local church. God shapes His people within a local church to do His will together. Because our lives with Jesus are group projects, our Bible reading must also develop into a group project. To be with His people in God’s word is to be with Him, especially as we pray, read, and obey God’s word together as one people on one mission. Such Bible reading not only changes us but also the world, one heart at a time.

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These six fundamental Bible reading habits may help us better apply God’s word to our lives. Dr. Peter Link is a professor of Christian studies. File photo.


Professor Thomas Keating and Dr. John Kuykendall collaboratively taught The Holocaust in History and Theatre to provide students with a complete understanding of the tragedy that occurred. Kuykendall, a history professor and dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, lectures on the history of the Holocaust while Keating, a theatre professor and coordinator of the CSU Theatre Program, employs acting and dramatic literary techniques to bring the horrors of the Holocaust to life.

The class read Dry Tears: The Story of a Lost Childhood. Kuykendall explained that, in the typical classroom setting, it is difficult to understand the people we learn about in history or read about in books as more than a character. Engaging in collaborative teaching with Keating supplements the historical knowledge provided with a personal connection to the Holocaust survivors discussed in class.

Creative days led by Professor Keating allow students to immerse themselves in the emotional and physical experiences of the characters in Dry Tears through method acting techniques. The class became acquainted with the freedom of the outdoors, the discomfort of confined spaces, the dread of those in hiding, and the foreboding of the darkness. After each acting activity, the students journaled to reflect on their feelings and draw connections between what they felt and the characters in the book.

After experiencing the liberty and serenity in being outside, Kuykendall made an impactful observation. “The sky was blue in Auschwitz too,” he said.

Keating stated that the only difference between us and the people we read about in history is our life experiences. At the end of the day, we’re all human, and we all experience the same emotions on some level. He maintained that we need to tap into those feelings to empathize and understand the experiences of those around us and those who came before us.

Keating and Kuykendall’s ultimate goal is to remind students of the horrors of the Holocaust and encourage them to think about the ways they can make a difference in the world today.

“We all try to think about what we would have done then, but the real question is, what will you do now?” Keating said.

Kuykendall and Keating have been collaboratively teaching the course roughly

every three years since Keating joined the CSU faculty in 2007. Kuykendall initially developed the idea for the course with a former theatre professor, but Keating’s experience with method acting in graduate school at Columbia University rendered him the perfect fit.

This class provides a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and challenges students to emotionally connect with the survivors who recounted the horrific circumstances. It goes beyond providing a basic understanding from a historical or literary standpoint. Students leave the class with a renewed sense of empathy and increased awareness of the interconnectedness of humanity.

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 5 LEARNING
Professor Keating leads students through the experience of being in a confined space through method acting techniques. Dr. John Kuykendall and Professor Thomas Keating teach a collaborative learning class on the history of the Holocaust through history and acting.


Charleston Southern University’s Master of Science in human resource management provides an opportunity for human resources professionals and students to continue their education and advance their skills in the HR field. These skills include leadership, benefits administration, recruiting, training, development, employee relations, HR management, and more.

“The Master of Science in human resource management was developed to provide the HR scholar-practitioner with the theoretical and practical tools necessary to be an effective HR practitioner, sit for an HR certification exam, or pursue further studies at a doctoral level,” said Dr. Ben Levan, associate professor of business in the Nielsen College of Business.

In February of 2022, the Nielsen College of Business partnered the MS in human resource management program with the Society of Human Resources Management, creating more opportunities for students in an already growing program.

SHRM is a globally recognized human resources professional association that provides skills and education that help HR professionals distinguish themselves in their careers. One of the ways HR professionals can do this is by passing the SHRM exam to earn SHRM certification. According to shrm. org, “HR professionals who earn the SHRM Certification report significantly higher levels of credibility as HR professionals. Those who earn the SHRM Certification report earning salaries 14% to 15% higher than peers who have not earned the SHRM Certification” (ww.shrm.org).

LeVan said, “Our partnership with SHRM provides our students with access to the SHRM Learning System at roughly half the cost. The partnership with SHRM ensures that our program covers all the HR areas of knowledge needed to be effective in the workplace.”

CSU’s program has been tailored to align with the curriculum of SHRM, providing students with an advantage that will leave them better prepared not only for the SHRM exam but also for their career in HR. It is an opportunity that has been embedded into the program, opening the door for students at CSU to advance and distinguish themselves in an ever-growing industry.

“We want the MS in human resource management to be one of the premier and most recognizable graduate degrees at CSU,” said Dr. Maxwell Rollins, associate professor in the Nielsen College of Business

and director of graduate studies in business. Students who enroll in the MS in human resource management program can expect instruction provided by experienced business professionals at the executive level, flexible class offerings, and of course, SHRM certification preparation.

Students in the program can take classes online and/or on campus. Students who are actively enrolled in the MS in human resource management program are eligible to sit for the exam. As of this writing, 100% of the students who have taken the SHRM certification exam have passed.

6 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 LEARNING
Dr. Ben LeVan teaches human resource classes in the Nielsen College of Business.


Each year CSU’s healthcare programs partner to provide an on-site simulation, learning to work with other healthcare personnel, simulating a real-world situation. This year’s simulation involved athletic training students assisting an athlete hurt on the field, including assessing the situation, stabilizing the athlete and transporting him to the emergency room. Nursing students take over in recording the information known about the patient, begin an assessment and treatments. The simulation ends with a debriefing exercise with professors and students going over what went well and what could have been better.

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 7 LEARNING
Photos by Ty Cornett Dr. Brian Smith, ATP director, instructs students at the beginning of the exercise. Athletic training students transport the injured athlete. Nursing students work on the patient.


Carol Poole, a historian and educator, teaches a unique class which is a collaboration between the Berkeley Soil and Water Conservation District, Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust, and the CSU College of Education. Poole is a 1970 alumnus.

The class, Avoiding the Wump World, Preserving the Past, Protecting the Present, Promising a Future, takes the idea of protecting natural resources from a children’s book by Bill Peet named The Wump World. The class for teachers working on graduate or continuing education credit is a combination of science and social studies standards. Teachers take what they learn back into the classroom, impacting the next generation.

Poole said, “[The Wump World] tells about a world where friendly, peaceful, trusting creatures called Wumps were overtaken by greedy visitors from space who destroyed their home while mining for resources. The Wumps were driven from their beautiful home and forced to live underground. The message is a clear warning

to all, but especially to children that we must protect and preserve the world in which we live, or it will become unlivable. For monumental changes to take place, we must look to the children; in order to reach the children, we must first reach the teachers.”

Poole taught the Environmental History of Berkeley County for the first time in

2014. Keith Gourdin of the Berkeley Soil and Water Conservation District approached her about creating a program that would help teachers understand the amazing environment and history of Berkeley County.

The BSWCD and the Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust have partnered with the class from the very beginning. “We read books and articles on the topic, have speakers who are experts in their various areas, take field trips to sites of interest and importance in helping teachers understand the urgency, and work together to develop ways in which they can share the message with their students,” said Poole.

Poole said BSWCD and LBCT provide speakers, reading materials, and access to sites that are not readily available to the public. In the past the class has visited such sites as Fort Fair Lawn, Francis Marion’s grave, and the Pineville Chapel. Along the way, teachers also learn about the area’s birds, animals, and the landscape, as well as soil and water conservation.

ABOVE: Understanding Berkeley County’s environment includes understanding the county’s history.

LEFT: The natural landscape of Berkeley County factors into class discussions and trips.

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TOP: Raleigh West, executive director of Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust, and Carol Poole, class instructor, collaborate on a lesson.


What CSU program strives to provide care and healing to patients while simultaneously instilling Christianity?

A.) Nursing

B.) Chaplaincy

C.) All the above

If you selected C, all the above, then you are correct. The chaplaincy and nursing programs at Charleston Southern University share a common goal; provide care to those in need with Christianity at the forefront. Upon graduation, students from either of these programs are prepared for nursing and ministry work or pursuit of graduate degrees. However, unlike some other programs, the chaplaincy and nursing programs provide a unique opportunity for the two professions to collaborate.

The collaboration is known as an observation. The observations are when a nursing student shadows a chaplain as they administer spiritual care to the patients dealing

with medical hardships. This might include prayer, talking with the patient, being a listening ear, and overall being there for those that are going through medical hardships.

Sara Crump, a second year nursing student, gives her personal perspective from her experiences observing the chaplains. “One of the things with CSU is they encourage us to talk to patients about this, even if it is uncomfortable,” she said. Crump also points out that the chaplains are not only there for the patients, but also for the nurses. “I love to see how the chaplains encourage the nurses as well. Especially with the nursing shortages.”

Dr. Ronald Harvell, director of the Dewey Center for Chaplaincy at CSU, said, “One of our nursing students encountered a full-time chaplain at one of the hospitals. She was very surprised and inspired by the chaplain. The experience was so positive,” he said.

“We have had nurses in our chaplaincy

classes, and they have completed chaplaincy observations from their experiences during visits, including Roper hospitals.”

There are many parallels between the nursing and chaplaincy programs at CSU. One thing that chaplaincy observations teach the nursing students is to converse with their patients on a personal and spiritual level. This allows nurses to provide healing that goes beyond administering healthcare. Through the observation, these future healthcare providers learn to be a spiritual presence that uplifts patients who are in need. Being a nurse can oftentimes be a great challenge, and the human aspect could often be lost in the chaos of it all. An observation with a nurse and chaplain presents an opportunity to remind patients that our nurses are doing God’s work.

Charleston Southern University offers bachelor’s degrees in both chaplaincy and nursing programs. Nursing students also have the opportunity to pursue an MSN after completion of their BSN. CSU offers a traditional 4-year program for BSN as well as an accelerated 16-month program.

Roper St. Francis is the official healthcare provider for Charleston Southern University and provides convenient care to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Their facility is located on University Boulevard, less than one mile from residential students on CSU’s campus.

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 9 LEARNING
Dr. Ron Harvell speaks in Chapel.
Nursing students work in the simulation lab.

Music Students’ Experiences Broadened by HSMPA’s History of European Tours

Some things just can’t be described. You just have to live them - to experience them for yourself.” Justin Baker ’07, music performance, begins his podcast featuring an interview with his mentor Emeritus Professor of Music Dr. Valerie Bullock. He went on to describe the powerful impact Bullock had on his life, including – in large part – awakening his world to travel through CSU’s Concert Singers ensemble tours abroad.

“I saw and felt things for the first time, many of them planting seeds of adventure and curiosity,” said Baker. This spirit of discovery is still resonating with him today, years after his time traveling with the ensemble. “I began to see things in a different light, a different hue, a different frequency of existence.”

This is one person’s story, but it has been echoed by many others over the years who have had the opportunity to go on a musical tour abroad with Charleston Southern University’s Horton School of Music and Performing Arts. Bullock established this tradition during her tenure as director of choral activities and chair of the Horton School of Music.

Dr. Dustin Ousley now heads the choral program and has continued the travel traditions. The Concert Singers have toured Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Spain,

England, and more, and have performed in major churches and cathedrals as well as mission camps and in the plazas, archways, and streets of cities and towns abroad. The trips have included choral residencies at major cathedrals remaining in one area for the majority of the tour as well as tours visiting several cities and countries. In each place, they have met with locals and experienced the art, cuisine, and culture in the many places visited.

Recently, instrumental students continued the tradition with performance tours of Europe. In July 2016, the CSU Wind Ensemble performed for the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Prague, Czech Republic, as well as performing wind music by Giovanni Gabrieli and Claudio Monteverdi in the same space in which the songs were composed and first performed – San Marco Basilica in Venice, Italy.

“It was particularly thrilling to perform this music in what is, historically, the cradle of our art of wind music,” said the conductor of the CSU Wind Ensemble, Dr. Marshall Forrester. In July 2018, the Wind Ensemble and friends undertook a Reformation 500th tour, visiting and performing in Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland, as well as performances in J.S. Bach’s Thomaskirke, Leipzig, and Martin Luther’s Schlosskirke, Wittenberg, Germany. During both tours, instrumental students presented invited performances for the MidEurope Blasmusik “wind music” Festival, in Schladming, Austria.

Students learn what it is like to be in a land where they are a minority surrounded by new languages, sights, and sounds. Some of the best trip moments were those when students could interact with the locals by performing and visiting with students at a school, residence or mission. People can

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Students enjoying the Alps. Regina Helcher Yost and Jeff Yost

hear about places and ideas, but nothing beats experiencing them in person.

Ousley, said of student travel, “ It is truly one of the most beneficial experiences that our students could have. Students will experience an education in perspective through a framework of culture, ethnicity, history, and aesthetics.” He said this is evident in how they are in the classroom after they return. “Students always return with enthusiasm and with a deeper respect and appreciation for not just the art and career they are pursuing but for our world in general.”

To music education-choral major Samuel Polk, a senior, walking the streets and feeling “the atmospheres” of the towns and cities of residence of historic composers and performers he has studied about in books, has better equipped him for his career path. “As a future music educator, I feel much more able to relate German and Italian music to my students since I have visited and experienced the cultures of these countries.”

It is one thing to read about Martin Luther and the Reformation in textbooks and another to see and sing in the church in Wittenberg where he nailed the 95 Theses to the door and to visit the room where he had to hide in fear of his life. To perform a choral by Johann Sebastian Bach standing around his grave in ThomasKirche in Leipzeig, and to visit the birth house of young Wolfgang Amaedeus Mozart, to hear native Italians speaking and singing Italian – all of these experiences activate the senses in a profound way to create lasting lessons that foster empathy and understanding.

Forrester, current department chair, has instituted an instrumental global tour tradition. The global pandemic pushed pause on international travel for many around the world, including Charleston Southern. A planned trip to Ireland slated for the summer of 2020 was a casualty, but happily this tradition re-emerged in summer 2022. Forrester, Dr. Jennifer Luiken, and Terhaar Lewis led a team of faculty, students, and friends on a tour of Austria, Venice, and Switzerland.

The group traveled and performed as the CSU Holy City Consort and consisted of choral and instrumental musicians who performed at a festival in Schladming and at a Sunday Mass at the Basilica di San Marco in Venice, Italy. The travelers were able to take in nature, art, culture, and an abundance of beautiful sights and sounds. For three students it was their first time on an airplane, let alone leaving the country.

Jonathan Amado, junior music educationinstrumental major, was one such student. He said, “It was an experience I have never been able to have.” He goes on to say the opportunity created a “moment in all of our lives that we will never forget.”

Callie Hall, junior music education-choral major, agrees stating it was a “once-in-alifetime trip to sing in and experience some of the most beautiful places with the most wonderful people! I can’t wait to do another trip with the HSMPA!”

Meghan Roum, ’22 music performance–vocal graduate also enjoyed the experience. “Being up on the mountain breathing fresh

Alpine air, picking wildflowers and seeing more mountains far off took my breath away!” Roum also said it helped her grow, “I do have more empathy for those who travel to the United States of America.”

Sometimes the travelers experienced prejudices as foreigners who do not speak the language. Roum said, “I would like to be more patient and helpful with those who travel to our country.” This experiential learning is vital to a well-rounded education that takes the student out of the classroom and into the real world.

The tours also help bring together a lovely mix of people. Students are traveling with professors, and sometimes other family and friends pay to travel with the group. CSU faculty members Regina Helcher Yost, an adjunct in the music department, and her husband Jeff Yost, a Nielsen College of Business faculty member, traveled and both performed with the consort. Regina played flute, and Jeff played guitar. Helcher Yost said, “This trip far exceeded my expectations, which were already high! I loved every moment!” The diversity of ages and life experiences of each person brought ideas and perspectives to the tour.

These travel experiences are a great way for students to connect with each other and also get to know themselves and what they think and believe. David Nagelkirk ’16, music education–choral graduate has had the opportunity to travel with CSU on three different occasions: twice as a student and once as an alumnus. “Each of these trips have been filled with life-changing memories,” said Nagelkirk. He goes on to say that these experiences have shaped him, “as a musician, student, and person.”

Those “seeds of adventure and curiosity” coming from global travel mentioned by Baker are planted and germinate within each person. They flower into ideas, foster empathy and personal growth and turn into realities of goals and beliefs. They are a crucial component to a well-rounded education.

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 11
Dr. Jill Terhaar Lewis is a professor of music and is the chair of the vocal program. Students touring in Venice. CSU travel group poses after singing around the grave of J.S. Bach in Leipzig.

Engineering Seniors Building a Robot for CSU

The first engineering students to graduate from Charleston Southern in May will also have the distinction of completing the first engineering senior project. The engineering capstone series is designed for seniors to plan and complete a project in two semesters demonstrating the skills and theory they have learned.

The four seniors in the inaugural class, Jonathan Gaminde, Keara Walsh, Braden Siegal, and Samuel Wand, made a formal presentation of their plan for creating ROB –E.R.T, a robot that will benefit the university, to professors and representatives from enrollment, athletics, and student life.

The robot the seniors are building will feature a cannon which can fire t-shirts and other giveaways to crowds at on-campus events such as Sweet 16, off-campus events such as STEM festivals, and athletic events.

In the fall the senior team designed a drivable robot that will be able to work on multiple terrains, be lightweight and transportable, and blue tooth controlled. The goal is to simplify the process so that any student can control the robot. Spring semester will be spent actually building, programming, and testing the robot.

The team will also create a manual so future students will be able to modify the robot. The seniors hope to finish the

working model by the end of March and spend April testing the robot.

While the seniors admit to a little anxiety centered around being the first graduates and the pressure to make their robot work, they are excited to bring their ideas to fruition.

Laurie Diel, of student life, looks forward to having the robot at future events. “I’m excited that students made it,” she said.

Walsh said the experience of being in the inaugural class of engineers has built her confidence, and she is grateful for the support of fellow students in a club she was instrumental in starting, ACSES, the Association of Charleston Southern Engineering Students.

12 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 LEARNING
Samuel Wand, Braden Siegal, Keara Walsh, and Jonathan Gaminde present their senior project robot design.

How to:

Develop Creative Teamwork

America’s workplace is riddled with collaboration efforts to accomplish projects. Many corporate offices now have large spaces in the center of a room for employees to plug in and work instead of sitting in cubicles or offices to invite more collaboration. It’s clear why this is too, it’s because collaboration brings success.

There is a lot of learning that goes into working with people who have different knowledge and strengths than you when expected to achieve a common goal. Refining one another through the process produces some amazing results. It’s Proverbs 27:17 coming to life “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” NIV. God built us for community, so it’s not unusual to encounter triumph when we operate in that design.

A few years ago, Dr. Valerie Sessions and I wanted our students to experience the beauty of what this can look like when different skill sets come together to accomplish a task. What we’ve learned has exceeded our expectations. Valerie teaches computer science. I teach Marketing. Other than this class, our two majors rarely

coincide with one another. The students are in different courses, different classroom spaces, and even hang out on different areas of campus.

Armed with this knowledge, as well as knowing how these majors complement each other on projects, Valerie created a class called Creative Teamwork which is made up of computer science and business majors. The students have a real client who has a goal in mind that they need help achieving. We mainly have assisted missionaries all over the world with businesses and projects they are leading, but when COVID hit, we had to pivot plans.

Our students that semester worked together to plan and host a virtual conference. In addition to that, they used the conference to bring awareness and raise funds to help feed our nurses who were working the front lines at a local hospital. We typically include an element of travel in these classes because nothing brings people together like experiencing something for the first time together! Students have put together virtual reality experiences in Guatemala, developed market-

ing plans for educational facilities in China, seen the supply-chain firsthand from coffee farms to coffee shops, and this year will get to create a better retail and shopping experience for a Kenya-based leather goods company. The projects our students have tackled and the camaraderie that forms from these classes have been special to experience.

Seven Tips to Reach across the Aisle and Collaborate

1. Find a discipline, person, or organization that has different strengths than you do.

2. Speak to them about any common interests you may have to start building a relationship.

3. Once a common ground is found, discuss ways you can come together to enhance that common ground experience for others.

4. Develop a course, plan, or simply some objectives to accomplish a goal.

5. Define how you will communicate as a team and how often.

6. Revisit and reevaluate plans or objectives regularly.

7. Celebrate accomplishments!

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 13 LEARNING
Emory Hiott speaks at a CSU dinner honoring international students. File photo. Emory Hiott is an instructor of business in the Nielsen College of Business. Photo by Ty Cornett

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Charleston Southern Among Best Online Programs in Nation

U .S. News & World Report continues to recognize Charleston Southern University in its Best Online Programs for 2023 rankings in several categories.

Once again, Charleston Southern is the top-ranked program in South Carolina for Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, ranking at No. 22 nationally.

Overall, Charleston Southern is ranked No. 39 nationally for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. More than 1,800 programs were evaluated in compiling the U.S. News & World Report list.

“Charleston Southern Online is in the business of changing lives,” said Dr. Marc Embler, associate vice president for academic affairs. “Our faculty not only have high academic credentials but also

extensive practical experience in their discipline. With this combination, students obtain their degree and skills to advance their career. High achieving academic programs integrated with faith is a powerful combination. CSU Online continues to maintain the highest quality standards and provide extra-mile service. We are focused on preparing graduates to succeed spiritually, intellectually, and professionally.”

CSU programs also ranking in the Best category include: Online Bachelor’s Programs in Business, the Best Online MBA Programs, and the Best Online Master’s Business Degree Programs (excluding MBA).

Charleston Southern has been offering online bachelor’s degree programs since 2009.

President Costin Two-Time Winner

The Charleston Business Magazine named President Dr. Dondi Costin to the 2022 50 Most Influential People list. Costin was also named to the 2021 list.

magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1

CSU Business Partners

Some of CSU’s local partners, such as Hustleduck, the South Carolina Stingrays, and Pelican’s Snoballs provide fun treats for students, assist with CSU’s OCC campaign, and promote CSU in their venues.

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Pelican’s Snoballs created Bucky’s Island Breeze in honor of the beloved CSU mascot. Graphic design by Daniel Taylor The CSU wall wrap in the North Charleston Coliseum promotes Charleston Southern at all events in the arena. Graphic design by Tyler Stokes Students enjoy a cool treat from the Pelican’s Snoballs food truck on campus. Photo by Ty Cornett The Stingrays asked their fans to contribute items for the annual OCC Christmas boxes at CSU.

MBA Alum Brews Up Coffee Business


After retired Navy engineer Derek Hicks ’21 MBA sold his company that he built from the ground up (or more accurately, in his garage)—a business that won global industry awards—he immediately started thinking about what’s next.

“Being an engineer, I wanted to be outside of my comfort zone so I could grow,” he said of his desire to do something out-of-the-box and profitable.

Hicks, who dubbed himself the “interrupted student” while in Charleston Southern University’s MBA program, took courses off and on in the middle of building his business. He enjoyed the flexibility of the program and ultimately graduated in 2021 with his master’s degree.

That same year, he launched a new business that definitely fell outside of his comfort zone. “For six months, I thought about what I wanted to do next.”

Hicks chose what he thought was most scalable: coffee. But not just any coffee. Delicious coffee delivered quickly—from a shipping container.

Using his business acumen, entrepreneurial spirit, and new degree, Hicks created Hustleduck Coffee.

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Photos by Ty Cornett
Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 17
Business partners Brian Appelt and Derek Hicks stand outside their out-of-the-box, drive-thru-only modular unit.

A four-minute drive and straight shot from CSU sits a modular unit in a parking lot. The refurbished shipping container catches the eye of drivers and boasts a simplified menu with competitive pricing. Kim Blaton, chief marketing officer for Hustleduck, said that “people take notice” and are very curious about the unit on Highway 78.

“They’ll drive through just to see what it is,” Blaton said of the easy means of attracting new customers.

The idea of a coffee business intrigued Hicks in many ways because of its scalability and the opportunity to direct the trajectory of its growth. “I always believed that we should be vertically integrated absolutely as much as possible [in my business],” Hicks shared. “For one, you control the supply, you control the pricing, you can set at what stage you want the price to appear at.”

When sizing up the competition, he looked at Charleston market top dogs like Starbucks, Biggby, and Dunkin. “Everyone else were outliers,” said Hicks. “We did a lot of target pricing to be the cost leader [in this market].”

One day, Hicks plans to scale to the point where Hustleduck becomes a coffee importer, including handling their own manufacturing. “We won’t have to worry about being put on a wait list anywhere,” he added.

Hustleduck offers a simplified menu: cold brew, cold foam, sweet cream cold brew, a signature latte (with many signature flavors to choose from), as well as a frozen drink option boasting about 10 unique flavors. A handful of foods and treats are available, too. The menu has just enough to help the consumer make a quick decision. Hick’s intent, of course, was coffee in a hustle.

Hustleduck is drive-thru service only. No dine in. “The way we’re making it is way faster than other coffee shops,” Hicks explained. “That’s where the word hustle came into play.”

When thinking of the name for his new business, Hicks put a lot of thought into other companies that use animals as their mascot or who use animal clips in advertising. He thought about how memorable those are—and eventually settled on a duck. The company’s name, Hustleduck, was born.

With their proximity to campus, Hicks is hoping to build upon the Hustleduck and CSU relationship over the years. Hustleduck has been on campus for events and offers deals to students on occasion.

In addition to the location on Ladson Road, Hustleduck offers a mobile truck— perfect for parties, appreciation days, grand openings, or Sweet 16 events at CSU.

What’s next for the CSU alumnus? According to Hicks, “expansion.” He has identified more location possibilities, such as Carnes Crossroads, for pop-up coffee service for consumers.

To learn more about Hustleduck’s menu, location and hours, or job opportunities, check out hustleduck.com.

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The food truck from hustleduck comes to campus events.
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Derek Hicks prepares coffee for a customer.

Aeronautics Simulation Lab Opens on Campus

In its second year of classes, the aeronautics degree program at CSU utilizes a combination of instruction on and off campus. Flight and Simulation Training Curriculum is administered by CRAFT Flight Training and Simulation off campus. All ground school and academic courses are taught on campus.

Professor Lloyd Richardson, chair of the department of aeronautics, recently worked with CSU graphic designer Daniel Taylor ’22 to convert a former lounge space into a campus aeronautics simulation lab.

Richardson said, “According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s U.S. Civil Airmen Statistics, women comprise less than 5% of Airline Transport Certificate holders in 2022. Against the cultural norms, Amelia Earhart broke down the barriers that suggested women are only suited for domestic duties. After setting many flying records and championing the advancement of women in aviation, she continues to inspire female pilots.”

He said, “This mural echoes Earhart’s sentiment to our students that ‘fears are paper tigers’ and our Flying Buccaneers are not constrained by gender, color, or background.”

Earhart’s quote is also a reminder to all students that aviation requires a degree of fortitude and courage not commonly found in other professions.

LEADING 20 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1
’22 Professor Lloyd Richardson begins a simulation session for a student. The Amelia Earhart mural in the simulation lab. A student shows sim lab visitors the simulation controls.

Gabe Giardina Returns to Charleston Southern as Head Football Coach

Charleston Southern Athletic Director Jeff Barber announced Gabe Giardina as the new head football coach in early December.

Giardina becomes the sixth Charleston Southern head football coach in program history. He comes to the Buccaneers after coaching stops at the University of Alabama, Charleston Southern, Delta State, and Albany State.

“I would like to welcome Gabe Giardina back to Charleston Southern University,” said Barber. “As a godly man, and with his experience and knowledge of our university and the Buccaneer football program, Gabe separated himself early as a strong candidate for this position. When combining all this with the success he and the Golden Rams team had as the Head Coach at Albany State, it became abundantly clear that he is the right person to lead our young men on the field and off.”

Giardina comes to the Buccaneers after spending the last five-plus seasons as the head coach at Albany State after taking on the role in 2017. He has compiled a record of 37-17, including a 26-5 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record in that time frame including wins over multiple nationally ranked teams.

“The Giardina family is extremely excited to be coming home to Charleston Southern,” said Giardina. “ I am honored to be the Head Coach at a place that has meant so much to us in the past and puts Christ first in everything it does. Wimberly, our boys, and I cannot wait to connect with the CSU football players, alumni and the Lowcountry.”

In his tenure at Albany State, Giardina found much success on and off the field, including a combined 17-5 record over his last two seasons and a SIAC Conference Championship in 2021 after having the No. 1 total defense in all of Division II football. Along with that storied 2021 season for the Rams, Giardina was named the SIAC Coach of the Year. Following that season, Giardina was selected to take part in the 2022 HBCU Legacy Bowl as a co-head coach. The HBCU Legacy Bowl is a postseason all-star game, showcas-

ing the best NFL-eligible players from historically black colleges and universities.

Before arriving at Albany State, Giardina served as the offensive coordinator under Head Coach Jamey Chadwell, winning 36 games in four years at the height of Charleston Southern football. He called the plays for the first playoff teams in CSU program history (2015 and 2016), including the 2016 Big South Championship team. The 2015 team was ranked in the top-8 nationally and earned the first-ever FCS playoff bid after a 10-3 output.

Before returning to Charleston Southern, Giardina served as the offensive coordinator at Delta State for one season after being the assistant head coach as well as special teams coordinator and running backs coach at CSU for a season. That season, he coached six All-Big South players, including NFL veteran

Charles James. In those four seasons, CSU blocked six punts, had four kickoff returns for touchdowns and three punt returns TDs. His kickoff coverage teams ranked second in the Big South for three years and led the Big South in net punting in 2011.

Giardina started his coaching career at the University of Alabama after a three-year playing career for the Crimson Tide, serving as a graduate assistant under both Mike Shula and Nick Saban. In two years under Shula, Giardina and the Crimson Tide won the Cotton Bowl in 2005. His final year at Alabama came under Saban, where he tutored the likes of Andre Smith, Antwan Caldwell, and Mike Johnson.

Giardina is married to the former Wimberly Edwards from Greenville, Alabama, and together they have three sons, Frank, DeAra and Whitt.

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Athletic Director Jeff Barber and new Head Coach Gabe Giardina head to the press conference announcing Giardina as the new football coach. Photo by CSU Athletics Communications Story and Photo by CSU Athletic Communications

Cross Country Teams Gaining Recognition

Cross Country Men Place 11th, Women Place 20th at NCAA Southeast Regional

CSU’s Cross Country teams turned in a respectable showing among several nationally ranked teams at the NCAA Southeast Regional. The men’s team finished 11th while the women finished 20th in the 32 team fields.

Micah Gilpatric led the Bucs once again with a 30:21 10K, good for 29th place overall. Alan Deogracias also finished in the top 50 with his personal best time of 30:46 earning him 46th. At 31:03, Gavin Kuhlenbeck also ran a personal best, as did Rob Howorth with his time of 31:42. Zack Wedding was the 10th freshman across the line, running a 31:49 in his first collegiate 10K. Jaden Kingsley and Tom Joyce were sixth

and seventh for the Bucs, turning in times of 31:53 and 32:13 respectively.

Sarah McCartney dropped more than a minute off of her 2021 time to break into the top 100, finishing 80th with a time of 21:56. Anne Akagi ran her best 6K of the season at 22:26 and placed 108th. Zanelle Willemse and Sarah Jacobs were CSU’s third and fourth runners, crossing the line just seconds apart. Willemse set a 6K personal best of 22:49 with Jacobs close behind at 22:52. Freshman Taylar White represented the fifth runner for the Bucs with a time of 24:21, and Emma James rounded out CSU’s roster, crossing the line at 25:26.

CSU Wins Third Straight Men’s Cross Country Title

The Charleston Southern Men’s Cross Country team completed the three-peat in the fall, capturing their third straight Big South Championship with just 25 points.

Micah Gilpatric won the 8K race with a 20 second personal best, crossing the line at 24:04. Alan Deogracias set a new PR by five seconds and took second place with a time of 24:21. Gavin Kuhlenbeck was CSU’s third runner in the top five with a fifth-place time of 24:48.

The next four Buccaneers finished in order, with Jaden Kingsley, Zach Wedding, Tom Joyce, and Rob Howorth taking spots 8-11 within 15 seconds of each other. Freshman Sam Waldin rounded out CSU’s dominating performance with a 13th place finish at 25:37. All seven of Charleston Southern’s runners made the Big South All-Conference team.

The championship is the Bucs’ third in a row and their fourth Big South title in program history. Charleston Southern is one of just five Big South programs to win more than three conference championships.

Gilpatric is Charleston Southern’s fourth individual champion and the first since Trevor Dominy in 2020-21.

Deogracias was named to the All-Conference team for the fourth straight season and became just the 13th runner in conference history to do so. He joins the late Patrick Van Boden and Jaymee Domoney as the only CSU runners to make the All-Conference team four times. Gilpatric and Kuhlenbeck were also named All-Conference for the third time.

It’s the third Big South Championship for Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Jim Stinzi, which is the most for any active Big South coach and the third-most in Big South history. Stinzi was also named Coach of the Year on the men’s side, his third straight honors and fourth of his career.

LEADING 22 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1
Story and Photos by CSU Athletics Communications Coach Jim Stinzi accepts the Coach of the Year trophy from Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander for men’s cross country.

Buccaneer Women Finish Second at Big South Championship

The Charleston Southern Women’s Cross Country team was the runner-up at the 2022 Big South Championship, the best finish in program history.

Sarah McCartney topped the Bucs lineup with a seventh-place finish and a 5K time of 17:49, her personal best by more than 20 seconds. Keerstin Augustin was right behind her in eighth place and crossed the line at 17:58. Anne Akagi finished just two spots behind her in 10th place at 18:04 and also setting a PR by more than 20 seconds.

Sarah Jacobs set a personal best by nearly a minute, running a 18:22 and posting a 15th place finish. Senior Zanelle Willemse rounded out CSU’s top five with a 33 second personal best and finishing 19th. Underclassmen Taylar White and Emma James also set new personal bests as the Bucs’ sixth and seventh runners.

The Bucs’ second-place finish is the best in program history. They had finished third five times before, including in the 2021 meet.

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 23
Micah Gilpatric was the Big South Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Year for 2022. Men’s Cross Country team wins their third championship in a row.


Operation Christmas Child brings joy to thousands of kids during the holiday season when they see that red and green box arrive. Each year, many of the boxes include great items from t-shirts and bags to puzzles and schoolbooks, giving them not only fun items to pass the time but essential items and material to contribute to their education.

While individual students contribute a lot to these items, the Operation Christmas Child that CSU has come to know wouldn’t be possible without the help of donors. There are currently somewhere between 25 and 30 companies and organizations that donate to CSU’s Operation Christmas Child. While most put donation boxes out to contribute to the project, there are some who go above and beyond when it comes to donations.

One of these organizations, and CSU’s biggest OCC donor, is the Cooper River Bridge Run. The organization donates hundreds of shirts to the operation every year. They also,


24 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 SERVING
“Seeing that smile on their face when they open that box and seeing soap and a stuffed animal...it’s like hitting gold.”
- Laurie Diel
By Hanah Kerrigan ’24 / Photos by Ty Cornett Kelli Venning was the top student packer with 1,306 shoeboxes.

when available, contribute drawstring bags as well. The total of their donation this past year was roughly $81,000 worth of these items.

Irv Batten, race director of the Cooper River Bridge Run, is a 1986 CSU alum, making the contribution especially meaningful. The partnership formed in 2020 when the Bridge Run was looking for new ways to contribute to the community. Batten, who was already involved with volunteer work for CSU’s track and cross country programs, heard about OCC and, with his team, determined this was a great way to get the organization further involved.

“Our mission is to promote health and wellness, and what better way to promote wellness than Operation Christmas Child?” he says. The Cooper River Bridge Run continues to donate every year for this reason

and because of the effect OCC has on the community. Batten also says that he wishes to continue this every year to further give back to CSU, as he is constantly striving to do.

Another significant donor to OCC is PetSmart. Every year, they sell stuffed animals to donate to the boxes, and this past year’s contribution was worth $35,000. There are five locations in the Charleston area, and all five contribute to the operation. CSU has been selected from several applicants every year since 2020.

The journey to the partnership began after an OCC trip to Trinidad and Tobago in 2019. After seeing the kids’ faces light up at the sight of the soft toys from other branches of OCC, Laurie Diel, head of CSU’s OCC program, told herself she was going to set out on a mission to get better quality


2022 CSU

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 25
continued >>
Students pack thousands of boxes at the annual Packing Party.

stuffed animals for CSU’s boxes. After much searching and praying, God provided exactly what she was searching for; she received a call from PetSmart offering her leftover toys from the Toys for Tots donations. Diel arrived ecstatic but expecting the donation to consist of dog toys and similar playthings. She was amazed once she found out these leftovers turned out to be large, soft, quality stuffed animals and amounted to more than CSU could pack in the donation boxes that year.

This surprise is one many people face when hearing about donations to OCC at the stores. “Many people are surprised when we ask them about donating to children

in a pet store,” says one manager of the Summerville location. “But it’s a win-win for all parties involved. The toys are going towards a great cause, and PetSmart receives a portion of the profits to go towards our own charities as well.” The stores have continued to partner with OCC because it’s something the store and customers enjoy donating to. The employees of each store even have a competition to see who can sell the most stuffed animals.

Store manager Steve of the Dorchester Road location put it best by saying “it’s a great way to give back to the community.”

PetSmart was looking for a business partner to benefit not only their own charities but to give back to the community as well. They were already partnered with the Marines’ Toys for Tots program prior to the call in 2020, but Steve points out there are some irregularities from season to season and sometimes even week to week; inconsistencies which led to issues like the stuffed animal surplus that began OCC’s journey with PetSmart. While discussing the impact he’s been happy to be a part of, he says, “There’s something about Operation Christmas Child...they’re consistent. They get it right.”

Diel also highly praised Extra Room Storage for their contribution. With so many stuffed animals being donated to the operation, there’s never enough space for them to all be held on campus. Extra Room Storage was kind enough to donate a space to CSU to store these stuffed animals until the next OCC season. This kind action is the equivalent of a $40,000 donation to the project every year.

Having donors like this every year “helps showcase CSU,” Diel says. “OCC shows the essence of what we are with learning, faith integration, and service.” Having companies and organization that are willing to contribute so much to the operation shows off CSU’s students, faculty, volunteers, and the impact our values have on community.

Diel is thankful to not only the donors of the project but also to her family in their contribution to OCC. She and her family were involved in Operation Christmas Child through her church when she was a child, and they’ve all continued to be a part of it since.

Diel’s mother works on the campus year-round to organize the OCC area and donations; ever since reaching the first record-breaking number of 5,249 boxes in 2019, keeping up with it all has become a year-long process. She, along with Diel’s father, children, and husband help pack the boxes every year during the packing party.

“It feels like they work here,” said Diel, reflecting on the help she gets with OCC from her family. “It means a lot because it shows they support what we do here.” It’s something that she and her family look forward to every year since that first winning year in 2019 because it felt good being a part of a “winning team,” especially seeing the difference it makes to pack that many boxes for children in need.

“The human mind and heart want to get behind something great,” Diel said. “Going on the trips and seeing the effect it has really makes it.” It’s not something that would be possible without the contributions of OCC’s donors and the great people who take the time to help with this operation. To be able to make a difference like CSU is in the community and beyond is what the school stands for and is something we will continue to stand for, especially as we once again hold the title for most packed boxes this season.

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Charleston area PetSmart locations have selected the CSU OCC campaign as their charitable recipient since 2020. Mike and Evelyn Lindsey, parents of OCC coordinator Laurie Diel, spend many hours throughout the year volunteering with CSU’s OCC project.

CSU’s Biggest OCC Donor: Cooper River Bridge Run

OCC Packing Plan

A collection day is held a few days prior to the Packing Party. Campus departments and individual students compete to pack the most boxes and earn prizes. The remaining supplies are used to pack boxes at the annual Packing Party. Shoeboxes are packed until supplies are exhausted.

Operation Christmas Child Collection Day 2022 results

Top Box % for Staff Departments: 3218 boxes packed by staff (Last year they packed 2465 boxes)

1st place: Library – averaged 137 boxes per person for a total of 1232 shoeboxes

2nd place: Graduate and Online Enrollment – averaged 117 boxes per person for a total of 706 shoeboxes

3rd place: Marketing and Communication – averaged 30.7 boxes per person for a total of 215 shoeboxes

Top Box % for Faculty Departments: 463 boxes packed by faculty (Last year they packed 220 boxes)

1st place: Department of Physical Therapy – averaged 19 boxes per person for a total of 171 shoeboxes

2nd place: College of Education – averaged 7 boxes per person for a total of 147 shoeboxes

3rd Place: College of Health Science – averaged 4 boxes per person for a total of 115 shoeboxes

Top Student Packers: 2973 packed by students (Last year students packed 1419 boxes)

1st place: Kelli Venning, senior, total of 1306 shoeboxes

2nd place: DJ Brummett, sophomore, total of 1157 shoeboxes

3rd place: Zoreim Lara, senior, total of 400 shoeboxes

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 27 SERVING
Irv Batten
“Our mission is to promote health and wellness, and what better way to promote wellness than Operation Christmas Child?”
-Irv Batten ’86

Nursing Student Experiences Medical Missions in


For the summer of 2022, Margaret McElheny spent time in Chogoria, Kenya, with Samaritan’s Purse and World Medical Mission. She is a junior at Charleston Southern studying nursing.

Although she has always been interested in medical missions, this summer provided her with a unique opportunity to share the Gospel while learning what hands-on compassion ministry looks like.

This is how she described her experience:

“I was a nursing intern with Samaritan’s Purse & World Medical Mission working at Chogoria Mission Hospital. I lived on the hospital compound and was able to rotate through different specialties/areas in the hospital while working alongside Kenyan and American missionaries who were doctors and nurses. I got to practice many skills that I have learned in nursing school and see the differences between rural missionary medicine and what we would typically do in the U.S. I also spent a lot of time ministering to patients with the chaplains in the hospital’s chaplaincy program. I got to pray with nearly every patient in the hospital as they did their morning rounds and even led a devotional for the staff one day. I saw several patients give their lives to Christ and was able to present them with their first Bibles. On my days outside of the

hospital, I worked with the homeschooled missionary and Kenyan kids that lived on the hospital compound. The hospital compound is a close-knit family! We held Bible study every Thursday night, and I was able to be mentored by several of the doctors and their wives while staying there all summer. And for fun, on the weekends when I had some free time, I was able to go on a safari and go hiking in Chogoria at Mt. Kenya (the second highest mountain in Africa!).”

Her motivation to go on a trip like this began with her mother, who is also a nurse and has participated in medical mission trips. McElheny said, “I see the profession of nursing as a calling to be the hands and feet of Jesus, so missionary medicine has always been on my mind. The Lord has also called us to ‘Declare His glory among the nations…’ (Psalm 96:3) so the combination of this biblical commission and my personal calling led me to medical mission work this summer. It was a great opportunity to see what life as a missionary would look like if I were to pursue more short-term or longterm trips in the future.”

As is often the case with trips like these, McElheny’s calling to nursing as a career was further solidified by her experience overseas. She said, “Over the summer, I learned just how much I love the profession of nursing

and the act of caring for people at their most vulnerable moment. It really opened my eyes to how different healthcare is outside of the U.S. (not necessarily in a negative way). The people that I spoke to in the hospital were so happy to even have made it to the hospital. It was easy to share the Gospel with them because they saw it as a miracle to even be receiving the care that they were.

“The Lord reminded me many times of the story in Mark 5 where the woman has been bleeding for years and has seen so many doctors, but Jesus heals her and says ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go and be freed from your suffering.’ There was true suffering in this hospital, but there was also great faith. Many of the patients proclaimed how it was the Lord who has been healing them. This experience over the summer showed me how doctors, nurses, and health professionals can treat, but it is the Lord who ultimately heals. I saw firsthand how the Lord can work through my profession to heal people, which was pretty amazing.”

Through this experience, McElheny’s eyes were opened to the great need for the Gospel all over the world. Her education as a nursing student as well as her understanding of the Gospel equipped her to serve others well and will continue to shape her future around the care of others.

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Margaret McElheny has served on campus as a Campus Ambassador in the admissions office. Photo by Ty Cornett Margaret McElheny worked with Samaritan’s Purse and World Medical Mission in summer 2022. Chogoria Mission Hospital in Kenya Margaret McElheny was able to travel some during her stay in Kenya.

Class notes


The Shelter, a living and learning ministry to college students with housing needs. He served as the intentional interim pastor when FBC was between ministers.

Kalitta Air where I retired. Turning 65, the FAA won’t let me fly airliners anymore, so I’m trying to find a position flying corporate jets.”

Tom Lewis ’72 escorts his granddaughter, Gracie Nolan, at Homecoming 2022. Gracie is a thirdgeneration Buccaneer. Her mother, Dr. Amy Lewis Nolan-Roney, ’94 is a biology professor at CSU.

Nancy Geddings Taylor ’77 is in her 35th year as faculty in the English department at Radford University. She teaches composition, information literacy, and 19th and early 20th century British literature. She also mentors new graduate assistants through their first year as student teachers—a part of her job that she finds especially rewarding as, together, they specialize in work with first year university students. Nancy was awarded the RU College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences honor for distinguished teaching in 2021. Nancy and Kent met while students at BCC and have been married for 45 years. They have two sons and two grandchildren. One of their favorite pastimes is attending the men’s and women’s basketball games at Radford University, and they are always happy to have the Buccaneers in the house at Radford!

Deacon Tyrone Sanders Sr. ’87 writes, “I am a retired USAF Senior Master Sergeant serving for 22 years. After retiring from the Air Force, I served as the South Carolina Department of Education’s transportation liaison to Charleston County School District for 18 months. In 2002, I became the Church Business Administrator for Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church located on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston. After over 20 years of service to Mt. Moriah and the community as CBA, I retired on December 30, 2022. I continue to serve as a deacon and member of Mt. Moriah.”

Dr. Rameca Vincent Leary ’92 has been selected for inclusion in Marquis Who’s Who. She teaches in the business department at Pensacola State College and also serves the college as an ambassador. In the past she was assistant director of recruiting at Trident Technical College and held several positions at WCSC-TV Chanel 5 in Charleston. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Maryland and a Doctor of Philosophy from Regent University.

Kent Taylor ’77 recently retired as associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Radford, Virginia, after 40 years of service. Always a strong believer in Christian education, Kent also planned many experiences for the youth and adults of FBC, taking them on mission trips to many places, such as New York City, Toronto, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Baltimore, Boston, and many others. He led the church in outreach to the community by helping start The Elf Shelf, an ongoing program to help parents at Christmas, and


Dale R. “Randy” Cox ’82 is retired after a 40-year flying career. He writes, “After graduation I served in the USAF flying two tours in the C-141 and T-37 as an Instructor Pilot. Following retirement from the Air Force, I went on to ATA Airlines based in Indianapolis and flew as a Captain on the B727 and B737 from there, flew for Korean Airlines after the economic crisis in 2008 then went to Saudi Arabia to fly the BBJ3 (B737-900). Following Saudi Arabia, I changed horses and flew the B747-400 for

The Honorable Tim Scott ’88 was re-elected to the United States Senate in November.

Daphne David ’89 has joined the Enrollment and Marketing division at Charleston Southern University in the financial aid office.


Jim Stewart ’90, Anderson police chief, is the new president of the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association.

The Do You Remember photos in the fall 2022 CSU Magazine prompted some memories for H. Al Ciccarelli ’93. He said, “While stationed in Thailand, 1968, I met Bob Hope during his USO Show at our (NKP) Base. He was mailing letters at our Post Office where I worked. He mailed letters to Ronald Reagan and a few other female entertainers. I spent the ’60s and ’70s mainly in the Far East. I missed Woodstock although I still have my tickets, LOL. I took my initial classes at BCC during the Hurricane Hugo episode, which I slept through, and finished at CSU in 1993. I also did some grad work at CSU and Webster University until I exhausted my G.I. Benefits. I have played in a few alumni golf tournaments.”

Myrtle Maxine Stewart ’98 writes, “I retired from Charleston County School District in 2009. I have seven grandchildren, two sets of twins. My oldest twins (girls) are seniors at West Ashley High School. The youngest twins, a girl and a boy, are 3 years old. Just enjoying them. I am still teaching Bible studies at the Chapel at Fort Stewart, working through the

SCHOOL TIES 30 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1

Chaplains. I have also accepted a position with Innovative Workforce Development as the business development manager. Our goal is to place people in jobs in a way that most staffing companies don’t do. We provide financial literacy training through a bank in Savannah, as well as setting them up for success through assessments we give them to see where they will fit the best. We also provide medical, dental, 401Ks, but the biggest difference in our company and others is we provide transportation for those who need it. This helps,

in memory

especially people in homeless shelters, in being able to get to a job they would otherwise not be able to get to. We are currently only in Georgia, but I see us moving into South Carolina.”


Michelle Commander ’00 is the new deputy director of The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. She was previously deputy director of research and strategic initiatives

at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and associate director and curator of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery. She is an author and former professor at the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Greg Hiser ’00 was recently recognized for his work in pharmacy at Colleton Medical Center. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Texas. He is married to Lili Gresham Hiser ’02, and they have three children.

Jessica Sabine ’00 is the chief marketing officer for Shrivers Pharmacy and executive director of the Shrivers Hospice Foundation in Zanesville, Ohio. Her work history includes product marketing and branding with Team 48 and NASCAR and with Lowe’s Home Improvement.

Jerome Johnson II ’02 is director of solutions architecture for national security and defense for Amazon Web Services in Arlington, Virginia.

Claude Edwin Bentley Jr. ’69, age 75, died Jan. 23 in Hanahan after a battle with Alzheimer’s. He was a U.S Army veteran, and was president of Unicon, and then owned his own concrete business, Newcon Concrete.

J. Carol Brown ’72, age 92, died Dec. 11, 2022, in Charleston. He was a retired Lt. Commander with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He was a U.S. Navy and Korean War veteran. He taught at the Charleston Air Force Base and had been in law enforcement.

Robert “Shane” Cleveland ’84, age 62, died Jan. 14 in Santee. He was the head golf professional at several golf courses in South Carolina during his career. He was a lifetime member of the Professional Golfers Association of America. He was a member of the BCC golf team.

Ellen Louise Wilson Cone ’76, age 68, died Oct. 18, 2022, in Moncks Corner. She was a retired chemist with Lanex Chemicals.

Linda Lennon Davis ’90, age 79, died Jan. 5 in Jacksonville, Florida. She was a guide with the City of Charleston’s Arts & History Commission.

Virginia “Elaine” Board Hodges ’82, age 62, died Jan. 8 in Little River after a battle with cancer. She worked in higher education administration at Florence-Darlington Technical College and Coker University.

Columbus Leo “Billy” Howell, III, ’72, age 71, died Dec. 17, 2021. He owned The Howell Financial Group, Inc. in Greenville, SC.

Richard “Dick” Lovekin Hunt ’71, age 75, died Nov. 4, 2022, in Seneca. He worked for several retail stores, eventually settling in Atlanta. He and his wife became area directors for The UPS Store.

Mary Herbert Low ’84, age 67, died Oct. 1, 2022, in Charleston. She had been a guidance counselor in the Charleston County School District.

Nancy Wingo Jenkins Meyer ’80, age 75, died Jan. 7 in Ladson. She was selfemployed as an accountant and was a tax consultant.

Julia Lincoln Yost Moore, age 93, died Oct. 18, 2022, in Summerville. She was the first nurse at BCC/CSU, serving from 1966-1979. She and her first husband, Dr. Oliver Yost, served in the Philippines with the Foreign Mission Board. After his death she returned to the Philippines. She later returned to Summerville and married Bill Moore. She funded the lighting of the cross on Lightsey Chapel as a tribute in memory of Dr. Oliver Yost, the first chair of the CSU music department. CSU awarded her the Distinguished Service Award in 1996.

Doris Elizabeth Tripp Neal ’72, age 90, died Jan. 21 in North Charleston. She was a retired school teacher.

Mary Ann Ramsey Norris, age 93, died Nov. 27, 2022, in Eutawville. She and her late husband, Fred Norris Jr., were longtime donors to the university and members of the Legacy Society.

Dr. Charles “Ricky” Richard Richter ’72, age 78, died Jan. 15 in Ladson. He was retired from the Department of Health and Environmental Control as director of the chemical/oil spills department.

Mary Suzanne Wade ’89, age 67, died Sept. 20, 2022, in Rochelle, Georgia. She was a retired school teacher.

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 31
continued >>

Lauren Smith Moe ’02, ’21, and Dave Moe announce the birth of a son, Berrant “Bear” McGowan Moe, born Aug. 31, 2022. He was welcomed home by big sister, Mollie, and big brother, Anderson, and grandparents Cynthia Smith and Dave Smith ’96. The family is hoping he will be a third-generation Buccaneer.

degree from Life University College of Chiropractic.

Scott Crothers ’09 has been named senior associate athletics director for student-athlete health and well-being at Appalachian State University. Formerly, he was the head football athletic trainer at App State, was an assistant athletic trainer with football at Clemson University, was an associate athletic trainer at CSU, and was an assistant athletic trainer at Marshall University. He holds a Master of Science in youth development leadership from Clemson. He and his wife, Heather Brigman Crothers ’09, live in Deep Gap, North Carolina, and have three children.


Joe Debney ’03, a former Bucky, posed with Bucky at the Homecoming game in October. Joe is CEO of the Summerville YMCA. Photo by Jana Weatherford Debney.

Jovan Jegdic ’05, ’07 MBA works for Citi in Tampa, Florida, as an AML Data Ingelligence, SVP. He has a certification in Chainanalysis Cryptocurrency Fundamentals Certification.

Shelby Busey ’07 is an actress in the Charleston area and teaches acting at Impact Studios in Summerville.

Carlos Cave ’08 MEd is the new director of district athletics for Beaufort County School District. He was previously the athletic director at Whale Branch Early College High School. He is vice president of the South Carolina High School League Executive Committee.

Dr. Gelareh Naenifard ’08 is the clinical director and founder of Pain and Rehab Center in Fairmount Heights, Maryland. She holds a Doctor of Chiropractic


Send us news about family additions, job changes, community involvement, etc. To include a photo, email a high resolution jpg - 800kb or larger. (If you send a professional photograph, please include permission to print from the photographer.)

Class Notes: magazine@csuniv.edu

Address change: csudevelopment@csuniv.edu

Name change: register@csuniv.edu

Jeni Atchley ’10 received the Emerge South Carolina Rising Star Award in 2022. She is the founder of JGS Strategies, LLC, and recently started the PhD in public policy and administration program at Walden University.

Chantal Maurice ’11 is starring in a new TV series called Wicked City, that airs on the streaming platform called ALLBLK. You can follow her acting career at her website chantalmaurice.com.

Jordan Pace ’11 was elected as the representative for South Carolina House District 117 in November.

Andrea Williams ’11 is a mitigation specialist for Macicopa County in Phoenix, Arizona.

Devon Grant ’12, and her husband, Benjamin Grant, announce the birth of their son, Colton Frank Grant, born Nov. 23, 2022, in Mt. Pleasant.

Anna McSwain ’12 is the marketing and investor relations administrator for Dorchester County Eco-

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nomic Development. She formerly worked in marketing and corporate sponsors for CSU Athletics.

Nikki Newsome ’13 is the signage lead for Charleston Wine + Food. She is a designer and project manager for Knight Printing & Graphics.

Jeremiah Villavicencio ’13 MS works in asset protection for Advance Auto Parts in Goose Creek.

Greg Dorleus ’14 is a senior financial manager at Lockheed Martin in Florida.

Maggie Murphy Johnston ’14 and her husband, Zac Johnston, announce the birth of a daughter, Colbie Dee Johnston, born Oct. 24, 2022, weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces.

SCHOOL TIES 32 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1
Jorelle Ready ’15 works for Wells Fargo as the print production marketing execution manager. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Michelle O’Connor ’17 took a picture of her son, Liam Reeves O’Connor, next to her brick on Homecoming Weekend 2022.




Chris Makowski ’20 is the new public information officer for the Town of Summerville. He previously was communications manager for the Town of Kiawah Island. In his role as PIO, Chris is responsible for managing the Town of Summerville’s public relations and communication efforts, ensuring that the community is well-informed about important developments and events. He is also a proud father to his oneyear-old daughter, Parker.

Solomon Brown ’21 is playing football for the Wroclaw Panthers in Poland for the European League of Football in the 2023 season. He is married to Danielle Hensley Brown ’18

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 33 SCHOOL TIES
Damla Seran Dinc ’18 MA is the export trade and service desk supervisor for Mediterranean Shipping Company in Baltimore, Maryland. She was selected by the company to the 8th MSC Academy, a global training program. Tyrell Dukes ’18 is the Gulf Coast operational manager for Life Wireless. Aimee Jill Punkosdy ’19 MBA is controller at Wholesale Industrial Electronics, Inc. Kirkland ’20 is a supply chain quality manager at Boeing in San Antonio, Texas. She holds an MBA from The Citadel.

Baby Bucs

34 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 SCHOOL TIES
1. Avery Cooper Slice, son of Holly Slice ’14 and Cody Slice ’10 2. Haven and Hunley Hiers, children of Brooke Spivey Hiers ’11 and Homer Hiers. Great-grandchildren of Jennie Goodman ’69 3. Colbie Dee Johnston, daughter of Maggie Murphy Johnston ’14 and Zac Johnston 4. Maylon Tenshin Swygert, son of Alia Shivvers Swygert ’18 and Noah Swygert, nephew of Kyra Shivvers Duncan ’15, Paige Cole Swygert ’18, Micah Swygert ’18, and Arin Shivvers ’20 5. Liam Reeves O’Connor, son of Michelle O’Connor ’17
1 4 5 2 3

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.

TO SUBMIT YOUR BABY BUCS PHOTO: Email a picture of your Baby Buc wearing the shirt to alumni@csuniv.edu. Pictures should be 800kb or larger in size, jpg format.

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 35
6. Amelia “Millie” Radiance Fleming, daughter of Rebecca Rollins Fleming ’18 and Jason Fleming. Granddaughter of Donna Rollins ’00 and Dr. Maxwell Rollins ’95 7. Benjamin Ross Hudson, son of Anna Funderburg Hudson ’09 and Jordan Hudson ’09 8. River Jude Fagan, son of Nikki Fagan and Shawn Fagan ’11 9. Berrant “Bear” McGowan Moe, son of Lauren Smith Moe ’02, ’21 and Dave Moe. Grandson of Cynthia Smith and Dave Smith ’96 10. Ellie Gaither, daughter of Hannah Gaither and Ryan Gaither ’13, ’20 11. Aspen Walker Taylor Ives, granddaughter of Bev Taylor Thomas ’78 and the late Dwight S. Ives ’81
7 8 9 10 11 6

2022 Alumni Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2022 Alumni Award winners. Seven alumni were honored at Chapel Jan. 25, 2023.

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Dr. Jay Strack, Class of 1975

For more than four decades, Dr. Jay Strack has shared his story of overcoming poverty, abuse, broken homes, and drug addiction. Strack is a highly sought-after speaker and author who has ministered to over 15 million people throughout the United States and abroad. He has spoken to professional basketball, football, and baseball teams, as well as corporate groups and government entities. Strack has a long list of accomplishments, including service on the faith initiative teams of three presidents, serving as vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, being a Hall of Fame honoree for the Southern Baptist Conference of Evangelists, and working to build coalitions with foreign governments. He is the founder and president of Student Leadership University, a premier global leadership training institute for students, educators, and youth pastors. SLU teaches future-tense thinking, dreaming with direction and detail, and transformational leadership.

Outstanding Alumnus Award

Dr. Tanya Lott, Class of 1999

Dr. Tanya Lott is an exceptional RN who has excelled academically and professionally since graduating from CSU in 1999. Lott was a member of CSU’s second BSN class. She helped lead the Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in achieving Magnet designation by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center Magnet® Recognition Program. Magnet designation is the most prestigious recognition a healthcare organization can receive for its commitment to excellence in nursing practice and patient outcomes. Under her leadership, Bon Secours St. Francis was the first hospital in the Lowcountry and only the second in South Carolina to receive this recognition in 2010. She later success-

fully helped lead the hospital to receive subsequent Magnet redesignation in 2015 and 2020, making Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital the first hospital to receive Magnet designation three times.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Dr. April Sanders, Classes of 2012, 2016, and 2021

Dr. April Sanders is a three-time graduate of Charleston Southern University. She graduated summa cum laude in 2012 with a degree in elementary education. She began her teaching career at Williams Memorial Elementary School in St. George, earning Rookie Teacher of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards. Sanders earned her master’s degree in elementary administration in 2016. She served as the assistant principal/ curriculum specialist at St. George Middle School for three years while working on her doctoral degree at CSU. In 2021, Sanders

graduated with the inaugural EdD class at Charleston Southern. She currently serves as the principal of Clay Hill Elementary School in Ridgeville.

Alumnus Community Service Award

John Ramsey, Class of 1973

John Ramsey has devoted himself to serving his community. For 30 years, he has served as a reserve deputy sheriff for the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office, holding the rank of lieutenant. He has served on Charleston Southern University’s Board of Visitors for over 20 years. Ramsey is a past board member at Spartanburg Methodist College. He serves on the board of Genesis Heath Care, a nonprofit healthcare facility that serves Darlington, Walterboro, and Goose Creek. In addition to his other activities, Ramsey finds time to serve on the Darlington County Airport Commission and is a member of the Kiwanis Club in Darlington.

SCHOOL TIES 36 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1
Pictured are: Dr. Abe Morrall, Dr. Tonya Lott, Dr. April Sanders, Ret. Col. Colin Huckins, Archie Franchini, John Ramsey, Dr. Jay Strack, and Dr. Dondi Costin, CSU president. Photo by Ty Cornett

Alumnus Service Award Archie Franchini, Class of 1973

Archie Franchini is the longest consecutive giver to Charleston Southern University, giving to CSU every year for the last 40 years. Franchini was an active member of the CSU Alumni Association from 1973 to 2000. He was twice president of the Board and served as vice president and treasurer. During his presidency, the Alumni Awards and Alumni Scholarship Fund were established. He is currently a member of the Buc Club. Franchini has served the greater community through his dedication to education. He retired in 2017 as deputy superintendent of Berkeley County Schools after a 44-year career in public school education. He worked in the Charleston County School District for 17 years, Dorchester County District 2 for 11 years, and the Hampton County School District for five years. He served in various positions, including teacher, principal, and deputy superintendent of schools. Franchini previously served on the board of The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce (including a term on the executive committee), The Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce, The Education Foundation, Trident United Way’s Education Impact Council, was treasurer of the South Carolina Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, and is past chairman of the advisory board of the Lowcountry STEM Collaborative.

University Mission Award

Dr. Abraham Morrall, Class of 1978

Dr. Abraham Morrall epitomizes Charleston Southern University’s vision of learning, leading, and serving. In 2005, Morrall retired from the United States Air Force after 26 years of honorable service, rising to the rank of colonel and serving in various assignments. As the chief executive officer of Advance Training and Learning Group, he is responsible for the organization’s daily decision-making. He provides consultation services to clients on leadership development, business process improvement, employee development, and strategic planning to build higher-performance organizations. Abe has earned two master’s degrees and a Doctor of Business Administration with a

major in human resource management. He has certificates from the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education: Art and Practice Leadership Development and Nonprofit Financial Stewardship, and Villanova University: Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He is a certified instructor with business course experience teaching organizational, undergraduate, and graduate courses. He has served as past president of the Atlanta Federal Center Toastmasters Club, president of the Scott Mentorship Gold Tournament Group nonprofit, and past president of the Alpha Dite Criterion Fraternity, Inc. community service organization.

Alumnus Military Service Award

Colin R. Huckins, Class of 1997

Colonel Colin R. Huckins retired as director, manpower, personnel, and services for Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central), where he led 61 military, civilian, and contractor personnel responsible for planning and executing support for over 15,000 Air Force deployers in the United States Central Command area of responsibility. He commanded twice at the squadron level and served in numerous assignments in the force support career field and other support functions at the Headquarters Air Force, MAJCOM, and wing levels. He deployed numerous times in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and JOINT FORGE. Huckins commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at CSU. He has earned major awards and decorations: Gerrit D. Foster, Jr. Award for Air Force’s Best Large MPF, USAFE Outstanding Personnel Manager of the Year HQ-Level, Kunsan AB Outstanding Personnel Manager of the Year, Distinguished Graduate, Basic Personnel Officer Course, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one device, Iraq Campaign Medal with one device, Korean Defense Service Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Medal with gold border and four oak leaf clusters.



The Career Center and the Nielsen College of Business are collecting clothes for Career Closets for interviews, etc.

If you have gently used, male or female business attire that is still in style, contact the Career Center at thecareercenter@csuniv. edu, or Dr. Maxwell Rollins at mrollins@csuniv.edu. All sizes accepted!

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 37


Aproject completed for the late Dr. Royce Breland’s business class in the late 1960s led to the success of one of Harold H. Adams Jr.’s biggest business proposals 25 years later.

Reflecting on his time spent at Baptist College at Charleston, now CSU, Adams realized the leadership and influence Breland had on him and his fellow alumni. That influence led Adams to donate $500,000 to establish The Royce W. Breland Jr./Harold H. Adams Jr. Endowed Chair of Business in the Nielsen College of Business.

“In the time that I have known Hal Adams, I have found him to be a deep, yet creative thinker,” said Dr. David Palmer, dean of the Nielsen College of Business. “Through that, he saw a way to recognize one of his mentors, Dr. Royce Breland, and support the needs of faculty and students through the Breland/Adams Chair in Business.”

Breland taught at CSU from 1967 until 2013 and served in numerous leadership roles at the university. Adams, who graduated from BCC in 1969, used lessons learned from Breland years earlier to present a proposal to Lloyd’s of London that was almost immediately accepted.

Breland’s research project required students to interview a top executive at a company, obtain past figures, and then prepare a projection for future operations of the company. Adams said the project was made even tougher because there were no computers in the late 60s. “Using basic math skills for calculations and a ruler to prepare graphs, I did the interview and prepared the paper,” he said.

Adams said, “In looking back, I realized that the project Dr. Breland assigned us was analogous to the proposal I prepared for Lloyd’s. I was thankful for his requiring this, as over the years that project was directly responsible for my success in developing unique insurance programs for my clients.”

Adams started his career in propertycasualty insurance and began to notice other insurers offering programs to particular business segments and professions. This piqued his interest. A couple of random phone calls seeking insurance to cover

equipment for international medical clinics led Adams to reach out to the Foreign Mission Board, now the International Mission Board, of the Southern Baptist Convention. They confirmed a need but said no one had created such a product.

After several years of research and working with his contacts in insurance, Adams not only created the niche but also added related services such as emergency medical evacuation, crisis management, and delivery of prescription drugs to remote areas at greatly reduced costs. Creating insurance plans for foreign missionaries, insuring personal property against such things as floods, fire, theft, etc., was also a part of his business model.

Adams said, “By the early 1990s, meeting the needs of these groups and persons was a full-time operation, so my practice was then limited to international insurance and related service to nonprofit and charitable organizations. Not only did we provide needed products and services, but in the process saved these organizations millions of dollars in costs through the use of combined buying power.”

Adams also credits Breland with teaching his students the various facets of business. Adams said, “Though today we equate the word marketing to sales, Dr. Breland taught that marketing is the development and delivery of products – from research and development to delivery to the customer, followed by customer service. Sales is only one small part of the marketing process, something lost in today’s business world.”

All of these experiences led Adams to create

38 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1
File photo of the late Dr. Royce Breland

the endowed chair in the Nielsen College of Business to position the college as a leader in a burgeoning new field that recognizes sustainability and values co-creation as a viable and lucrative corporate strategy.

The chair agreement states, “Students of the endowed chair should study and apply methods that prioritize socially and ecologically conscious long-term wealth creation over quick profits burdened by high environmental and social costs. The research of the endowed chair will cement CSU’s devotion to the study and application of sustainable, transparent, and ethical business practices at all levels of corporate infrastructure, whether in a small or large organization, preparing students to lead fruitful lives in business, armed with a strong education in honest and ethical corporate strategy.”

Adams said, “In short, I want students to think beyond profit, understand that the price of products is not the true cost. There are externalities that are shifted by companies to customers at the customer’s cost, shifted to the public at cost to taxpayers, and worse, shifted to the environment to the cost of all.”

This understanding of the true costs of products is at the heart of why Adams is donating to create an endowed chair. It is his hope that Nielsen College of Business students will learn to go beyond lip service of being green and in the process will teach businesses to educate customers by truthful advertising to the point they will pay the true cost, rather than just the price.

Adams began his college career at Clemson studying to be an engineer. He quickly learned it wasn’t a good fit and later transferred to Charleston Southern. He didn’t participate in extracurricular activities except to join Circle K for a time. Instead he kept his focus on getting his degree. He said, “CSU taught me a liberal arts education where I could connect everything.” He remains a firm advocate for liberal arts education.

Adams decided early on that Matthew 6:33 would be his business ethic. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” Matthew 6:33. He said, “In other words, do it right and don’t worry about the rest of it.”

His business motto was a Latin legal expression, Res Ipsa Loquitur, meaning the thing speaks for itself. Adams said, “We

never really advertised. We just did it right to begin with.” His business grew through word of mouth.

One of his most vivid BCC memories was his first night in the brand new dormitory. A main water pipe broke in the middle of the night, and the dorm was evacuated for a long spell. In the dark, Adams turned the radio on in his car to entertain the evacuees. That night, he met Jim Baker, who asked to see his car. Sometime later, Baker introduced Adams to his sister, Cookie, a student at Columbia College. Hal and Cookie were married in 1971.

Over the years, Adams has supported his alma mater in numerous ways. He was elected vice chair of the Board of Visitors when it was created in 1988, and the university awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration in 2000.

“We are very thankful to Hal Adams for his generosity to the Hans A. Nielsen College of Business,” said Palmer. “Being the first to endow a chair like this for the NCOB is a significant indicator of his support for the university. It is also proof of his spirit of servant leadership by setting an example for others in the future.”

Adams’ decision to create an endowed chair in the Nielsen College of Business ensures his legacy to Charleston Southern University will continue for many years to come.

Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 CSU magazine 39
Cookie and Hal Adams. Photo by Rhett Marley ’10 Hal Adams signs establishment of the Breland/Adams Endowed Chair in the Nielsen College of Business. Pictured: Hal Adams, President Dr. Dondi Costin, Dean of the Nielsen College of Business Dr. David Palmer. Photo by David Baggs

Swain’s $2 Million Legacy Lives On Through CSU Students

Lifetime donations and gifts from the estate of the late Ken Swain will impact the lives of Charleston Southern University students for years to come. Swain was a Myrtle Beach pharmacist, philanthropist, and an active Baptist layman.

Swain’s involvement with Charleston Southern demonstrates the power of word of mouth. Swain learned of the mission of the university through a relative who works at CSU, who then introduced him to President Dondi Costin.

“Ken Swain left a transformational gift to Charleston Southern because he cared deeply about Christian higher education,” said Costin. “Ken’s legacy will bear much Kingdom fruit. His gifts total $2 million, which touch almost every area on our campus. It began with endowed student scholarships, continued with the renovation of the Student Center and the addition of The Cove diner, will enhance our College of Science and Mathematics, support church relations, and make over a million dollar impact on our future convocation center/arena.”

Swain’s gifts are impacting:

• Students through endowed and annual scholarships and the Student Center renovation

• Academics through the Swain Faculty Research Endowment and computer science technology upgrades in the College of Science and Mathematics

• The entire university through support of church relations and the future convocation center/arena as a part of the Limitless campaign

Inspired by CSU’s vision of preparing graduates to integrate Christian faith as they learn, lead, and serve others in many different career paths, Swain joined the CSU Legacy Society, the university’s planned giving organization. “I want my money to keep funding student scholarships for many, many years after I am gone,” said Swain.

Swain graduated from the University of South Carolina, served in the Air Force during the Korean War, and later opened a

pharmacy in Myrtle Beach. His family has roots in Horry County, South Carolina, and Brunswick County, North Carolina.

40 CSU magazine Spring 2023, vol.33 no.1 FOREVER CSU
The late Ken Swain was a Charleston Southern fan.



Our Bucs weathered the storm and made a splash at last night’s Polar Bear Plunge. �� The cold (and rain) never bothered us anyway!

She is beauty, she is grace, she is Miss Charleston Southern! Congratulations to our Miss CSU 2023, Keiara Williams! Keiara shined on stage with her “One Smile Away” social initiative and ukulele skills. She has one amazing year ahead of her!

All smiles on campus for the release of the fall 2022 Dean’s List! �� A whopping total of 920 students made the list for achieving a 3.5 GPA or above in their classes this past semester, beating last year’s numbers. Tag a Buc and say congrats!

Just when you thought campus couldn’t get any cuter, we added puppies. �� Thank you to @csu_counselingservices for bringing out our favorite pups for some pre-finals fun!

Aeronautics student, Anderson Calhoun, was flying under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) in the Diamond DA40 to Columbia when he snapped this amazing shot of campus!

@charlestonsouthernuniversity @charlestonsouthern @charlestonsouthern


We’ve had some generous alums donate BCC/CSU items for use at alumni gatherings. Do you have something you would like to donate? Email alumni@csuniv.edu.

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Articles inside

Swain’s $2 Million Legacy Lives On Through CSU Students

pages 42-43


pages 40-41

2022 Alumni Award Winners

pages 38-39


pages 34-35

Class notes

pages 32-34

Nursing Student Experiences Medical Missions in

pages 30-31

Operation Christmas Child Collection Day 2022 results

page 29


pages 26-29


page 26

Cross Country Teams Gaining Recognition

pages 24-25

Gabe Giardina Returns to Charleston Southern as Head Football Coach

page 23

Aeronautics Simulation Lab Opens on Campus

page 22


pages 18-21

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Charleston Southern Among Best Online Programs in Nation

page 16

How to: Develop Creative Teamwork

page 15

Engineering Seniors Building a Robot for CSU

page 14

Music Students’ Experiences Broadened by HSMPA’s History of European Tours

pages 12-13


page 11


page 10


page 8


page 7

How to: Read the Bible Well

page 6

Link Honored at SEBTS Alumni Banquet

page 5

PRESIDENT’s message Never Backtalk a Burning Bush

pages 4-5
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