CSU Magazine - Summer 2021

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Homeless in College: Beating the Odds PAGE 12

Big South Champs: Women’s Tennis & Men’s Cross Country PAGE 20-22

Coffee Beans and College Kids Offering Hope PAGE 6



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S um m er 2021

Front cover: The Class of 2021 enjoys the celebratory fireworks at the end of commencement on Buccaneer Field. Photo by Richard Esposito

© 2021 Charleston Southern University

EDITORIAL STAFF: Jan Joslin ’82, Editor, Director of Publications Richard Esposito ’21, Director of Integrated Marketing Jenna Johnson ’21 MBA, Assistant Director of Integrated Marketing Tyler Stokes, Graphic Designer INTERNS: Morgan Kirby ’21 Emma Slaven ’21 EDITORIAL ADVISERS: Rev. Tom Clemmons Dr. Jason Peterson Dr. Scott Yarbrough

CONTRIBUTORS: Auburn University Athletics Gabi Baker, Derrick Bennington Regan Budig, Todd Drexler, Big South Conference Sarah Fleming ’21, Jim Killian Justin Kizer ’22, Martin Family Seth Montgomery ’15 MBA 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

contents LEARNING

3 Dewey Center for Chaplaincy Donors 4 Athletic Training Wins Quiz Bowl 4 Call Me MISTER Program 5 College of Business Changes 6 Business Students Support Bebe Beans 8 Retiring Faculty 8 Keating Wins Excellence in Teaching 9 CSU’s Connection to Silicon Harbor 10 Classes of 2020 and 2021 Celebrated 12 Overcoming Homelessness 16 First Solo Flight for Aeronautics LEADING 18 Men’s Golf Honored 19 Garcia Named Basketball Coach 20 Men’s Cross Country Conference Champs 21 Dominy Competes at NCAA Championship 2 2 Women’s Tennis Advances to NCAA 24 Clay Target Team Signs First Member 25 Musser Named Softball Coach 26 Turner New VP Enrollment & Marketing 27 Common App 27 Tuition Insurance Partnership 27 Staff Emeritus Established 27 New Board Members SERVING 28 Advocating for Rare Disease Bill 29 Glover Leads from Front Lines 30 Kinsey Creates Blankets from Ben 31 MSN Student Wins State Award SCHOOL TIES 32 Class Notes 35 In Memory 36 Baby Bucs 38 Class Ring Changes 38 Brad Baker Profile

Design and layout by: Bob Durand Design facebook.com/bobduranddesign

The sun sets over the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2021 May 1 on Buccaneer Field.

39 Tallons Write Book FOREVER CSU

Photo by Richard Esposito

40 Giving Day Thanks 40 Science & Engineering Building 40 Golf, Homecoming, Celebrating Alums

Printed by: Knight Printing and Graphics knightpandg.com

40 Joyce Rea Award Funded



f you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. Or, in the oft-paraphrased sentiments of that punchy Cheshire Cat, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. Knowing where you’re going is one of the keys to life. Doing whatever it takes to get there is another. One without the other is necessary but not sufficient in the both/ and world in which we live. In the history of tried and true, either/or just won’t do. The sooner we learn these lessons, the better off we are. For this life and the next. King Solomon finally understood these truths after a lifetime of learning in the School of Hard Knocks. If Song of Solomon was recorded in his youth and Proverbs took shape during his middle age, Ecclesiastes captures his parting shot. Best I can tell, he wishes he had begun with the end in mind and had followed that path from beginning to end. For what it’s worth, I lost count long ago of those in my orbit who have wished the same. Some days I am in their number.

By Dr. Dondi Costin

Not coincidentally, Solomon’s wisest wisdom comes from the wrinkled hand of an old man looking back on life. From that vantage point, youthful indiscretions seem even less discreet than they did back then. They also appear much less discrete, as retrospect reveals a pile of regrets that feel as real as ever, even from his rocker. But for this set of sins and that mess of mistakes, what might have been? Very good question. Which is why he has my full attention from beginning to end. I would much rather learn from his mistakes than my own. Wouldn’t you? “No pain, no gain” is a way of life, but Solomon’s pain can be your gain if you let it. Not a bad idea. Looking back on a life that most ancients and moderns would see as successful, he does the math much differently at the end than he did at the start. In my experience, almost everyone does. On the edge of eternity he sees clearly through God’s eyes and wishes he had done so decades sooner. He realizes that every attempt he made to keep score by his own metrics rather than God’s can be summed up in a single word: meaningless. Pleasure? Meaningless. Possessions? Meaningless. Popularity? Meaningless. Power? Meaningless. Position? Meaningless. Pedigree? Meaningless. Everything but following God? Meaningless.

As president, Dr. Dondi Costin has opportunities to speak and teach on and off campus. Photo by Richard Esposito

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After 11 chapters of discarding his hewho-dies-with-the-most-toys-wins philosophy of life, Solomon finishes with a flourish: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Nice to know. As directions go, they do not come any clearer than that. His voice of reason is the voice of experience. I have seldom seen one without the other. In that vein, it is fascinating that Solomon refers to himself as “the Teacher” throughout Ecclesiastes. “I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 1:12-13). Yet he seems to have studied and explored not just for his own good but for the benefit of others. Because that’s what the best teachers always do. By way of study and experience across a wide range of disciplines, this king fancies himself a teacher. The book describes him as a wise wordsmith who “imparted knowledge to the people,” who “pondered and searched out and set in order” his lessons after he had “searched to find just the right words” to best represent the “one Shepherd” Who called him to teach these truths to others (Ecclesiastes 12:9-11). Sounds to me like the faculty at Charleston Southern – masters of their discipline who teach on behalf of the Master – for the good of others and the glory of God. It is little wonder that Jesus was so often called Teacher during His earthly ministry (John 13:13). He taught truth to point people in the right direction so they could begin with the end in mind. Now as then, sooner is better than later. His parting shot commissioned us to do the same: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). Charleston Southern exists because the secret to success in life was never meant to be a secret. Ditto for you and me. Here is the conclusion of the matter.

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SU celebrated the contributions of Rob and Kathy Dewey and the creation of the Dewey Center for Chaplaincy in May. The celebration may have been delayed due to COVID, but the work of the center has already begun, and the first class in the chaplaincy major was taught this spring. President Dr. Dondi Costin said, “Rob wanted a place for people to learn to be chaplains. The Dewey Center for Chaplaincy is a platform for ministry and training and equipping and envisioning and thinking about what chaplaincy is. Our model is Rob Dewey.”

Director of the center, Dr. Ron Harvell, said the center has a training aspect and an academic aspect. “CSU is one of two schools in the United States offering a bachelor’s degree in chaplaincy,” said Harvell. Anita Zucker, chairperson and CEO of The InterTech Group, told the aspiring chaplains in the crowd, “You are there to serve others.” She said, “The Dewey Center will provide so many of the lessons I have seen you, Rob, teach so many.” Zucker called Kathy Dewey an inspiration and an incredible role model. She said, “You

are creating an opportunity for so many to repair the world.” In a world where fewer people have someone they can call pastor, Costin said the Dewey Center will raise up chaplains who will go where the people are. The Very Rev. Michael J. Wright, rector and dean, Grace Church Cathedral, said he is a great fan of Rob Dewey’s stained glass work. He said, “When you’ve seen so much ugliness, and you then create beauty – that is a great model for us.”

Dr. Ron Harvell

Dr. Dondi Costin, Kathy and Rob Dewey

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Anita Zucker

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tudents from CSU’s athletic training program earned a first-place win in the 2021 Mid Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association (District 3) Quiz Bowl May 14. Students Devynn Galloway, Lauren Holliday, and Megan O’Dell represented Charleston Southern and beat out teams from Towson University (Maryland), Western Carolina University (North Carolina), University of Lynchburg (Virginia) and Marshall University (West Virginia). Dr. Brian Smith, director of the athletic training program, said this is the first time that our students have won at the district level in the annual quiz bowl competition. “I humbly believe that this speaks more to the caliber of students in our program and

[the caliber] of the faculty,” he said of the team’s district win. CSU won the 2021 SCATA Quiz Bowl this spring against representatives from University of South Carolina, Limestone, and Winthrop. CSU’s team competed in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Quiz Bowl in June against nine other district teams in the United States. CSU’s program is available as both a traditional master’s degree and also a 3+2 structure, which allows students to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The master’s program was the first in South Carolina. Learn more about the athletic training program at charlestonsouthern.edu/athletictraining.

Megan O’Dell, Devynn Galloway, and Lauren Holliday make up Charleston Southern’s quiz bowl team. They earned first place in the 2021 Mid Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association Quiz Bowl as well as the SCATA Quiz Bowl. Photo provided



n an effort to increase the number of minority male teachers in South Carolina, Charleston Southern has implemented the Call Me MISTER program. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, South Carolina’s African American K-12 students make up almost

50% of the public classroom. Less than 20 percent of teachers in the state are minorities, and less than 1% are African American males. Charleston Southern began the Call Me MISTER program in fall 2020. William Ross, program director, welcomed CSU’s first cohort in its fall opening, and an additional

cohort of five MISTERs will be named by summer for the fall 2021 cohort. “CSU offers this high academic opportunity to teach and serve the socioeconomically disadvantaged and educationally atrisk communities within local K-12 public schools,” said Ross. MISTERs consist of any minority male student enrolled in a K-8 education major (early childhood, physical education, and special education). MISTERs at CSU may qualify for up to $10,000 in scholarships per semester. Through the program, students receive mentors, professional development and internship opportunities that involve mentoring children of various ages. The Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) program was founded at Clemson University, originally partnering with three historically black institutions: Benedict College, Claflin University, and Morris College. Contact Ross at wross@csuniv.edu.

Members of the first cohort of Call Me MISTER began the program in fall 2020. Photo provided.

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CHANGES HAPPENING IN COLLEGE OF BUSINESS Earn a Certificate in Personal Financial Counseling The College of Business has created a Certificate in Personal Financial Counseling in cooperation with the Ron Blue Institute, CSU’s partner with the Center for Personal Financial Management. Dr. David Palmer, dean of the College of Business, said, “Chaplains, pastors, psychologists, financial consultants, and other people interested in helping their clients work through basics and necessities of financial planning from a Christian worldview will be interested in certification.” The certificate will consist of five courses, two newly created and three which have been modified: Foundations of Biblical Wisdom in Personal Finance, Biblical Financial Health – Wisdom and Stewardship, Investing through Generosity, Family Financial Management, and Leadership, Discipleship, and Coaching. Certificate students will have a simple application and registration process for the online seven-week courses. Apply with the graduate application at charlestonsouthern. edu/admissions/apply, and look for Certificate for Financial Counseling. Cost will be the standard business online graduate tuition of $650 per credit hour and will include books.

Students and faculty attended the virtual Kingdom Advisers Conference.

the different business majors, will map out course schedules, and will contain readings such as Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard. • Preparing a Pathway in the Business World in the fourth semester will prepare students to complete internships including ELR and will explore study abroad opportunities and more. • Discovering Your Potential in the Business World, sixth semester, will cover careers and calling, will explore networking and preparing for graduate school. • Finding Purpose in the Business World, final semester, will include developing a list of potential employers and develop strategies for being hired, explore finding purpose in a significant life, and biblical integration in business.

Undergraduate Business Courses Aligning with CSU’s Passport to Purpose

Learning Faith-Based Money Management By Sarah Fleming ’21 and Justin Kizer ’22

Undergraduates will no longer take BUSI 105: World of Business as their introductory business course. Instead, they will take four one-hour credit courses spread over their college career that will align a business degree with the university’s Passport to Purpose. Business 299 can count toward the first experiential learning requirement. Palmer said, “The thought behind this is to use these four credit hours for presenting a biblical view of business and preparing students for their next step through the business school and into the business world.” • Discovering Your Passion in the Business World during the students’ second semester will help students understand

Fourteen students and four faculty members attended the 2021 virtual Kingdom Advisors Conference. Kingdom Advisors is a community of Christian financial professionals who promote faith-based money management. Daniela Intriago ’21 said it was a “great experience that opens your eyes of how to invest your money with purpose shaped by our values instead of greed.” Tiffany Pyritz ‘22 adds, “It is important to define what work means to you. It should not just be a chore. With my passions and skills, I need to use work as a tool to connect and follow the Lord’s path for my life.” Fellow student, Alex King ’21 said, “The

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Kingdom Advisors Conference opened my eyes to how much uncertainty everyone faces in life.” Speaker Mitch Anthony said that, on average, a person goes through 60 transitions throughout their lifetime. That being said, Louie Giglio assured us in another session that our God is a sovereign God, allowing us to walk with the same confidence when facing a mountain as we did when we were at the top of the mountain. The College of Business launched the Center for Personal Financial Management in fall 2019. The center provides free financial coaching for all CSU students. Students are paired with a coach to answer all financial questions and give advice for biblical money management.

The Career Center hosts a Dress for Success fashion show each spring to highlight interview and business wear. Photos provided

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Class members of Organizational Change and Development. Photos provided:


usiness students completed a semester-long project bringing awareness to a Latin American nonprofit that houses pregnant, sex-trafficked victims. The streets of Medellin, Colombia, are walked by homeless women who wait for a helping hand to afford their next meal or fund their drug habit. Unfortunately, due to the country’s poverty and crime levels, the only people willing to take these women off the streets are sex tourists looking for their next client. Many of these women end up pregnant and alone, desperate to either seek an abortion or give in to the life of a sex worker. But now, with the help of a business class half a world away, these women are

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provided a home, job training, and a newfound hope for life. The Organizational Change and Development class, taught by Dr. Darin Gerdes, took the necessary steps to save these pregnant women by promoting Bebe Beans coffee— a nonprofit located in Medellin that sells handpicked, free trade, organic coffee beans from Medellin’s 6,000-foot-high forests. Brian Miller, Medellin pastor, missionary, and founder of Bebe Beans, began selling coffee to fund the purchase of a home in Medellin, which became Casa Esther, a refugee home for women named after the biblical figure. “The crisis pregnancy home is called Casa Esther, or Esther’s home,” said Miller. “Queen Esther was an orphan herself who

was taken, prepared, received training and was presented before the king, so our idea is to receive these girls, help them have some inner healing, and help them know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.” Miller says that there are over 100,000 Venezuelan refugees in Medellin, which leads to so many young girls falling into prostitution and becoming pregnant. With no place to go and lacking the police efforts that America is equipped with, Miller and his missionary team walk through the streets of Medellin and search for pregnant women in need of a home and hope. For the women who seek an abortion, Miller has a team that stands in front of abortion clinics, providing them with information about other options

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in Summerville, South Carolina. “Our PR team has helped share articles and grow the social media pages, which leads to people from all over the country buying our coffee, not just South Carolina,” said Miller. The effective strategies provided by CSU students and Miller have aided these abandoned women to find a home for themselves and their newborns, along with a job to continue supporting themselves after graduating the courses at Casa Esther. The profits made from Bebe Beans go toward supporting these women between ages 17 to 25, with additional funding going toward remodeling, donations, groceries, furnishing apartments for the women, and providing them with one month’s worth of rent following graduation. To support Bebe Beans and the young pregnant women in Medellin, follow the BEBEBEANS Facebook page and purchase their 12 oz. bag of coffee for $9.99 or subscribe to a monthly delivery for the same price. Your proceeds go directly to Casa Esther and the futures of the women housed there.

One of the promotional events for Bebe Beans was at Summerville’s Third Thursdays in the Square.

such as Casa Esther. So far, they have been able to prevent 20 abortions. Opened in December 2019, the home has provided a roof to 13 young women and their newborns. Casa Esther has also offered job training to 20 women, preparing the young mothers for professions with courses on sewing, cosmetology, and working as a secretary. The home is 100% funded by the coffee proceeds, according to Miller. CSU’s business course has helped increase profits. The students focused on Bebe Beans’ monetization, operations, public relations, and social media pages. The class helped the nonprofit develop its official name and branding in November 2020 and by spring 2021, the public relations group—including Ariana

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Mael, Anna Adamian, Katrina Webster, and David Darby—helped land Bebe Beans in the local news on three accounts: The Summerville Journal Scene, The Post and Courier, and WCBD News 2. The class also got involved in operations, successfully reducing the shipping cost of one bag of coffee from $8.05 to $5.05, resulting in better profit margins for the nonprofit. The operation team also transferred the shipping site to local Riverbluff Church, teaming up with Sunrise Roaster, where the coffee is ordered and packaged. Class members have effectively provided Bebe Beans with attention by increasing its Facebook page to 1,000 followers and giving out coffee samples at the Third Thursday events in Hutchinson Square

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r. Nancy R. Barendse, at CSU since 1996, was named professor emerita of English. Dr. Jeryl W. Johnson (not pictured), at CSU since 1994, was named professor emeritus of mathematics. Dr. Pamela A. Peek, at CSU since 1987, was named professor emerita of Spanish. Photos by Richard Esposito

Dr. Nancy R. Barendse

Dr. Pamela A. Peek



homas Keating, professor of theatre, is the 2021 winner of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Excellence in Teaching award. Keating came to CSU in 2007 and is the coordinator of the theatre program. He teaches courses such as Acting, Directing, Stagecraft & Design, and Acting for the Camera. “Thomas brings his skills to the classroom, and his passion for the arts to every aspect of his teaching and university service,” said Dr. Jacqueline Fish, vice president for academic affairs. “He is certainly a favorite among our students, and their successes are directly linked to Professor Keating’s instruction and mentoring.” In addition to his teaching course load, Keating directs at least two productions a year. Some favorites include “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “West Side Story,” and “King Lear.” Keating’s training with Anne Bogart (movement) and Kristin Linklater (voice) uniquely equips him to encourage and promote excellence in theatre. His work as an actor in various cities, including New York and Boston, enables him to offer a real-world perspective to Charleston Southern students. In addition, he also writes and voices characters for a local animation company, Moondog Animation Studio. A member of Seacoast Church in Mt. Pleasant, Keating regularly assists with their productions, most notably, their Easter Passion Play, “The Thorn.”

Thomas Keating carries the university mace during the graduation processional.

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amiliar with Silicon Valley? No, not the television series, which is based on the real place. Silicon Valley refers to a region in southern San Francisco that serves as a global center for innovative technology and a leading hub for high-tech development. California continues to be a hub for the hustle and bustle of developing companies, but 2,740 miles away, Charleston, South Carolina, introduces the same high-tech mindset with a more affordable, lifestylefriendly setting: Silicon Harbor. Over the past few years, Charleston has received the title Silicon Harbor - a nod that points to the city’s bright minds and rising tech companies. But how does this historic, Southern city compare to San Francisco’s fast-paced lifestyle? Besides the allure of Charleston’s affordability, laid-back lifestyle, and its efforts in reconstruction building, the statistics speak for themselves:

• Charleston houses over 250 tech companies (source: USA Today) • The city is the No. 1 mid-sized U.S. metro area for IT job growth • Tech jobs comprise around 3% of total jobs in the region • Tech companies account for 5% of Charleston’s total payroll

If a company were to put out a help wanted ad for a software engineer 15 years ago, there may have been a few stray candidates and a long search for the right hire. But as the digital age progresses, Charleston entrepreneurs are receiving more interest in the tech sector from those in and around the city. Even the pandemic couldn’t slow local tech startups down: while the hospital industry and hotels struggled during the height of quarantine, tech businesses in Charleston stayed thriving due to the accessibility of the internet and undeteriorated determination. Now is the perfect time to earn a degree in an area with such a significant demand for employees. At Charleston Southern University, the opportunities are endless in obtaining degrees such as computer science or cybersecurity—which was added as a major

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Fun Fact WalletHub recently named Charleston and Columbia in the top 10 of best cities in the United States for new college grads. Photo by Richard Esposito

in 2018. These programs are adept in classroom experience, internships, and employment opportunities after graduation. “We educate and develop Christian computer science and cybersecurity professionals,” said Valerie Sessions, affiliate professor of computer science. “That’s our job; we feed the huge market here in Charleston.” CSU students in computer science and cybersecurity find satisfying work right out of college, partly due to living in the heart of Silicon Harbor. The university also sponsors clubs where students can get a feel for the local tech sector, along with senior projects that take them into areas they are interested in. Take it from Caliyah Kappel, a 2019 alumnus who graduated with a cybersecurity degree—only one year after the field became an official major at CSU. “I am currently employed by Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic in Charleston,” said Kappel. “CSU prepared me by providing in-depth discussions from professors who have worked in several different computer science positions. I am thankful and better equipped in the field because of them.” The mothership of Silicon Harbor’s tech scene is the Charleston Digital Corridor, which launched in 2001 but grew expo-

nentially as Charleston became a metropolis for tourism, retail, restaurants, etc. It is a nonprofit corporation that diversifies the city’s economy by promoting and expanding the most innovative tech products within the Charleston Metro region. CDC members consist of local entrepreneurs, tech startups, and investors who work for major companies like Google and Blackbaud. Each year, the CDC releases an Annual Report and Annual Wage and Job Growth Survey that showcases how the Charleston tech hub grows and accomplishes their mission of pursuing and expanding the region’s tech economy. The Annual Wage and Job Growth Survey included the average annual wage for tech companies in the Charleston area: a whopping $91,183, which is almost double the city’s average wage of $47,800. On top of it all, the Wage Survey showed that 57% of local companies added numerous jobs in 2020, and 100% are seeking new hires in 2021. Because these jobs are completely tech savvy and assume online experience, the pandemic hasn’t been a problem for those in the upand-coming tech sector of Charleston. Check out CSU’s department websites for computer science and cybersecurity.

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CHARLESTON SOUTHERN CELEBRATES CLASSES 2020 AND 2021 By Jenna Johnson and Jan Joslin / Photos by Richard Esposito and Sol Photography


he Charleston Southern University Class of 2020 members had their chance to walk the stage April 30 on CSU’s Buccaneer Field, and the Class of 2021 walked May 1. COVID-19 disrupted the traditional May graduation for the Class of 2020. CSU held a virtual graduation for the class last May and an in-person diploma pick-up and photo opportunity with President Dondi Costin. Approximately 150 members of the Class of 2020 opted to return and walk the stage. The Class of 2021’s more than 700 graduates were honored with approximately 525 members attending graduation. President Dr. Dondi Costin told both classes they are on a mission – doing what God has called them to do. Darrin Goss Sr., president and CEO of Coastal Community Foundation, was the guest speaker. He said, In a world of tur-

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moil, he has hope because of who the graduates are as people. “I know who you are,” said Goss. “The question is, do you know who you are? You are well able to change the world.” He encouraged the graduates to help our country become its better self. He said, “I am confident in our future because I am confident in you.” He encouraged graduates to daily exercise their faith, and to follow their faith routine with hope. And to follow hope with love because our Lord started with love. Goss is a U.S. Army veteran, an ordained minister with the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina, and has worked in government, nonprofits, higher education, and private industry. He is on the board of Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative, on the One Region Executive Committee and is board chair of MDC, Inc.

in Durham, North Carolina. The Coastal Community Foundation unites people and invests resources by managing more than $300 million in assets and awarding an average of more than $15 million in grants and scholarships annually. Carson Anderson, the 2019-2020 Student Government Association president, told his class, “We are just celebrating a surprisingly early class reunion.” He encouraged his classmates to celebrate and rejoice because they had persevered and overcome. Anderson recently completed his first year of law school at the University of South Carolina. Senior member of SGA Marisa Thomas addressed the Class of 2021 and said, “God has been in control of our paths, guiding our steps each moment until now, and will continue to do so as we look forward to the future. We must find courage in that and overcome the fear of failure.”

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2020 special awards: • Excellence in Teaching Award – Dr. Mela Wyeth • The John Barry Christian Scholar Award – SarahGrace Rogers • The Myrtle E. Hamrick Award – Arin Joy Shivvers • The Hunter Cup – Ida Caroline Edmondson •

The Carolyn Killen Hunter Outstanding Christian Teacher Endowed Scholarship and Award – Samantha A. Madak

2021 special awards: • Excellence in Teaching Award – Professor Thomas Keating • The John Barry Christian Scholar Award – Darra Bailey Watts • The Hunter Cup – Taylor Lynsey Barnes, women’s cross country •

Carolyn Killen Hunter Outstanding Christian Teacher Endowed Scholarship and Award – Salena Marie Stack

• Faculty Emeritus of English – Dr. Nancy Barendse • Faculty Emeritus of Mathematics – Dr. Jeryl Johnson • Faculty Emeritus of Spanish – Dr. Pam Peek • Honorary Doctor of Public Service – Darrin Goss Sr., president and CEO, Coastal Community Foundation

FACING PAGE: About 150 members of the Class of 2020 took advantage of the graduation ceremony on April 30. ABOVE: Guest speaker at both ceremonies was Darrin Goss Sr., CEO of the Coastal Community Foundation. LEFT: Marisa Thomas delivered the senior class statement at the 2021 ceremony on May 1.

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OVERCOMING HOMELESSNESS: HOW TWO CSU STUDENTS DEFIED THE ODDS By Jenna Johnson and Morgan Kirby ‘21 / Photos provided

Homeless. It is a word packed with stereotypes and visuals of tent cities, stranded shopping carts by the woods, or cardboard sign-clad beggars on the street. Every night, thousands of young people experience homelessness alone in the United States. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, approximately 550,000 unaccompanied youth under the age of 24 experience an episode of homelessness longer than one week each year.

Dewitt Park

er, left, at

Mickey’s Ho


namay Pierce Victoria McMa and son at her nd ba hus r he with er 2020. wedding in Octob

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Homeless in High School For Dewitt Parker, a current Charleston Southern University student, the definition of homelessness meant staying in a hotel as a high school student when he wasn’t welcome in his mother’s home. When he was kicked out, his only choice was to live with his uncle. Yet, they ended up in a hotel for two months. Parker paid for the room using money that he inherited from his father. But that would soon run out. He didn’t know where to turn. At the urging of his track coach, he checked out Mickey’s House. Kim Wilson, former principal of R.B. Stall High School, founded Mickey’s House in 2017. “We named it after our main benefactor, who passed away last year at age 92,” he said. “Her legacy was just this – to provide boys an opportunity to continue their lives even when they have found themselves in a situation where they have been displaced.” Wilson said housing situations like Parker’s leave much to be desired. “[Parker] managed to make it in a situation where others would have never survived. Students like him, they thrive at Mickey’s House. He had played his own parent role for so long, and when that pressure disappeared, it gave him an opportunity to be a kid and to be taken care of again.” The cost to keep up the house is estimated to be about $50,000 per year. They provide food, clothing, and utilities. They also employ house parents. It is the desire of the founders for the students that are living there to be treated like children, not like orphans. “A lot of kids can really benefit from their place. You don’t have to pay for anything. They want you to work to save money and finish high school,” Parker said, adding that it helped him do just that. “I was skeptical at first. What if there’s a kid out there who needs it more? I ended up needing it. Family comes first, but sometimes you have to choose what’s best for you and your future.” Dr. Kathleen Love, chair of the undergraduate criminal justice program at Charleston Southern, served as a lieutenant with the City of North Charleston until 2017. She was friends with Wilson through her work with R.B. Stall High while overseeing school

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resource officers. The principal invited her to be a part of this new project designed to help high school youth. “I was asked to come in and listen to a pitch for Mickey’s House modeled after ‘Joe’s House’—a place that was already successful. I heard the pitch and I was in,” Love said. Soon after, a board was formed and Love has served on it since. As a board member, Love has watched youth like Dewitt succeed and thrive. Because of Mickey’s House, Parker was able to concentrate on his studies and save his money to go to college. With dreams of playing football at a Division I level and getting a degree in psychology, his sights were set on CSU.

Victoria Pierce, second from right,

“This was the only school I applied to in South Carolina,” he said. “Every school I applied to, I got accepted. But I came to CSU to tour and loved it.” Because of his experiences, he wants to pursue a career as a psychotherapist, adding that he wants to “help people with social issues and talk to them about their problems.” Wilson thinks that Parker has what it takes to do just that. “I think Dewitt is going to be such a huge success, but I don’t think that it is because of us. It is because of him and his desire to take such a hard situation and still move forward,” he said.

with her coworkers in the pediatric

ER in 2019.

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Pierce’s Pursuit to Purpose An alumna’s story of homelessness was rooted in a lifelong dysfunctional environment. Victoria McManamay Pierce ’17 grew up in constant transition. Her mother died drinking and driving, leaving behind 3-yearold Victoria and her 3-month-old sister. With her sole parent battling drug and alcohol addiction, the complexity of her family unit was all she knew. “I didn’t understand why my dad didn’t love me like I should be loved,” she said, adding that she began drinking and get-

Victoria Pierce, center, in 2015 with CSU friends

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ting in trouble with boys at age 12. In high school, she experimented with drugs. Without a mother or an emotionally present father, she escaped to her grandparents every other weekend and during summer breaks when she could. It was Pierce’s silver lining to what she sought as a normal life. “If it wasn’t for them to show [my sister and I] what was normal, we would have continued the same path—you repeat what you know,” Pierce explained. A young Pierce and her baby sister moved a lot with their father—sometimes staying

with friends who did drugs and partied. Though Pierce struggled in her personal life, she did find reprieve and positive attention in school. “I was looking for satisfaction, and the teachers knew I worked really hard,” said Pierce. With the support of her teachers in high school, she set her sights on going to college and pursuing a career in the medical field. One college caught her attention during travels with her grandparents to the South

celebrating her baptism.

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Carolina coastline from Northern Virginia. Pierce said, “I didn’t know CSU was a Christian school at the time. I only knew they 1) had an accredited nursing program and 2) it was close to the beach. It wasn’t on my radar that this decision was going to change my life forever.” The recent high school graduate moved to Charleston without any support. She quickly emancipated herself financially from her father so she could receive financial aid. She didn’t want to make the same mistakes as her parents and was determined to see her goals through to the end. Taking a job as a CNA, Pierce put herself through college. But she often found herself couch surfing and spending time in hotels when the dorms were not open. One night, after a scary run-in with two men at a hotel door, Pierce gathered her things and stayed with a friend. Experiencing homelessness was a defining moment. “God provided in one of the hardest times in my life. He provided friends who listened to His call,” she said. “Looking back, I didn’t know much about God. My dad was a pronounced atheist and blamed God for all the bad things that happened in his life,” stated Pierce. “But it was his choices that landed him in the situations he was in.” Pierce’s experience with homelessness— both physically and spiritually—began to wear on her.

“I battled with not feeling good enough— someone from my background, my dad didn’t even love me, so how could God accept and love me?” said Pierce. After repeated times in hearing but not receiving the Gospel on campus, including testimonies from a group of girls on her dorm floor, she found herself at an extra credit event one day in the Science Building clueless to what God was doing in her life. Pierce explained the moment: “I’m sitting there, and Satan is telling me all the reasons why I shouldn’t accept Christ. But I knew ‘this is it.’” On September 29, 2017, she gave her life to Christ and felt the world lift off her shoulders. Excited, she shared her story with her father, but he stopped talking to Pierce and later got busted for working a meth lab. Pierce was persistent and shared her testimony with her sister, saying, “We’ve tried everything, why not try Jesus?” Her sister accepted Christ more than two years later. Though her earthly father isn’t a part of her life, Pierce said she no longer sees him as someone who is her father but as a person. “God stripped me of my bitterness and resentment. I’ve forgiven my dad for what he is—he’s never going to be who I need him to be,” she said. “God is our Father. He is that fatherly figure and everything my dad wasn’t.” On one of the happiest days of her life, Pierce walked alone down the aisle of her wedding last year. But she said that she wasn’t really alone. “God continually reminds me that He’s with me.” Pierce works as a pediatric nurse and has a two-year-old son. From where she was to where she is now is her testimony—one she deems as “God’s story.”

“When you are vulnerable and transparent, the more you open up and share, the more God does. I want people to know that it’s not always a straight and narrow path. Sometimes you don’t have a choice and just deal with what you’re handed,” she said. Breaking Barriers Homelessness is not respectful of any one type of person. Many young adults and teens who find themselves on the street do not have familial support. Much is often rooted in conflict, but other contributing factors include poverty, housing insecurity, racial disparity, and mental health and substance abuse disorders. According to Katy Falk, youth rapid rehousing manager at One80 Place, youth who come through the homeless shelter’s doors have a history of DSS involvement, come out of the system, or are kicked out of their homes. The barriers they face are different than an adult because they lack employment history, credit history, rental history, education, or career experience. Last year, One80 Place began a youth-specific program. In the first year, they housed 44 young people and plan to further expand. One80 Place offers access to a nurse, psychologist, substance abuse counseling, and other community resources to help homeless youth be successful. They graduate when they are able to sustain housing on their own. Current students facing potential homelessness should reach out to Jon Davis, the campus minister, and Clark Carter, dean of students. Together, they can find resources to assist and house the student in a safe environment.

RESOURCES People experiencing housing instability or homelessness have options in the Charleston area. Whether one is sleeping outside, in a car, or in a tent, or perhaps facing eviction or leaving a domestic violence situation, get help from one of these trusted providers:




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• One80 Place: one80place.org/get-help • Mickey’s House: mickeys-house.com • Lowcountry Continuum of Care Housing Crisis Line: 843.737.8357 • Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach: olmoutreach.org • Tricounty Family Ministries: tricountyfamilyministries.org • Helping Hands of Goose Creek: helpinghandsofgoosecreek.org

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arrison Hunt made history in early June as Charleston Southern University’s first aeronautics student to take a solo flight. “I was a bit anxious at first because I knew I would be by myself with no instructor as a safety net. But the feeling of accomplishment and knowing that I had taken a massive step in the direction of becoming a pilot far overshadowed that,” said Hunt of the Diamond DA-20 aircraft flight. With dreams of being a pilot, the CSU sophomore changed his major to aeronautics during freshman year. “I initially planned to be an engineering major to pay for flight school and later become a pilot, but when CSU announced the aeronautics program, I knew I couldn’t let this chance slip through my fingers.” Colonel Christopher “C.J.” Will, U.S. Air Force (retired), founding aeronautics program chair, said that a typical student will solo after 10-12 hours of training in the aircraft, depending upon progression through the training syllabus. CSU partners with CRAFT Flight Training and Simulation to offer FAA-approved simulators for flight instruction. In Hunt’s recorded video of the first solo flight, one may not be able to distinguish real from the simulated experience. Will said new simulators are that realistic.

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FACING PAGE: Harrison Hunt completes his first solo flight, the first CSU aeronautics student to do so. TOP: CSU partners with CRAFT to provide on the ground and in the air instruction for CSU students. ABOVE: Students receive instruction in the FAAapproved CRAFT Flight Training Simulator. LEFT: Learning begins with understanding all aspects of the aircraft.

“I love his opening narration, ‘Let’s get to it!’” Will said. “Harrison is an outstanding student and is also doing very well in CSU’s Air Force ROTC program.” Two students are flying in summer session. A full cohort begins this fall with about 30 students expected in the inaugural class. Will

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said applications far exceeded expectations. CSU’s Bachelor of Science in aeronautics (professional pilot) is the only collegiate program in South Carolina and offers three main tracks: commercial, military, or missionary aviation. Learn more at charlestonsouthern.edu/aeronautics.

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en Carroll was named the 2021 Big South Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year, while Head Coach Jason Payne was named the conference’s Head Coach of the Year when the Big South announced the men’s golf annual awards. Carroll became just the second Buccaneer in program history to receive the conference’s top freshman award joining Nick Olson (2004) as the only two CSU players to receive the Big South honor. Payne became the third CSU head coach in program history to receive the coaching recognition joining Howard Vroon (2001, 2003, 2005) and Mike Wilson (2012, 2015) to earn the award.

Coach Jason Payne was named Big South Men’s Golf Coach of the Year.

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Joining Carroll and Payne among the Bucs’ award winners for the year included AllConference selections Jake Carter and Tyler Beeck. Junior Alan Smith earned recognition on the conference’s All-Academic team. Carroll competed in all seven tournaments for the Bucs this spring and added two top-10 finishes in the 2021 season. The Blacksburg, Virginia, native posted a 72.7 stroke average for the season and entered the postseason with the eighth-best individual scoring average in the conference. He posted six rounds under par this spring, including a career-low 68 in the final round of the Wofford Invitational.

Payne guided the Bucs through the COVID-season and paced CSU to a 288.1 stroke average through 21 rounds of play in 2021. CSU combined to record seven rounds under par this spring, including three tournaments with two or more subpar rounds. The Bucs took the championship in the 16-team field at the Pinnacle Bank Intercollegiate taking the title with a three-round 871 (+7). CSU posted the lowest team scoring average in the conference heading into the tournament and a 22-1 record against Big South opponents this spring.

Ben Carroll with the Big South Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year award.

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larisse Garcia is the new head women’s basketball coach. Garcia is the 16th head women’s basketball coach in program history. She takes over the Buccaneers after coaching stops at Auburn, Wake Forest, Alabama, Palm Beach Atlantic, and Stetson. Athletic Director Jeff Barber said, “Clarisse Garcia’s head coaching experience, along with her experience as a player at Villanova and coaching at three Power 5 schools, are important ingredients in building our program to the championship level. Coach Garcia embraces the mission of our university and understands the importance of relational coaching.” Garcia comes to the Buccaneers after spending the last five seasons at Auburn University, including serving as the program’s interim head coach following the 2020-21 season. Over her time with the Tigers, Auburn advanced to the NCAA tournament twice while multiple players garnered national and conference recognition. “The moment I stepped foot on campus, I immediately felt aligned at my core to the faith focus in both university President Dr. Dondi Costin’s mantra of ‘with God’s help, the best is yet to come’ and Athletics Director Jeff Barber’s emphasis on doing little things every day to lead and serve in excellence,” Garcia said. She continued, “I do believe the best is on the horizon for this program with the way we will recruit to compete for championships on the court, as well as care deeply off the court about our academic success, personal faith growth, and community involvement. I am excited to get started and meet our CSU family and Buc Nation!” Garcia spent five seasons (2016-21) with the Auburn women’s basketball team serving as the Tigers’ recruiting coordinator among other duties. Over her tenure at Auburn, the Tigers posted two top-25 recruiting classes according to espnW HoopGurlz (No. 13 in 2018, No. 25 in 2019), while 11 players received conference postseason accolades. Garcia’s first season at Auburn saw the Tigers advance to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament, finishing with a 17-15

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overall record. Her second season saw Auburn finish with a 14-15 overall record, but she was instrumental in landing the nation’s No. 12-ranked recruiting class that enrolled at Auburn for the 2018-19 school year. The 201819 season saw the Tigers return to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four seasons while posting a 22-10 overall record (9-7 SEC), the best finish for Auburn in a decade. Prior to her time at Auburn, she spent four seasons as an assistant at Wake Forest. At Wake Forest, Garcia’s teams steadily improved, going from a 13-win season in her first year to a 17-win season in 2016 that resulted in a berth in the Women’s NIT, the best finish for the Demon Deacons since 2012. She served as an assistant at Alabama for one year, spending the 2011-12 season on the bench. During her time in Alabama, she was primarily responsible for recruiting, player development, the elite camp, and scouting. Prior to Alabama, she was the head coach at NCAA Division II Palm Beach Atlantic for two seasons. Under Garcia’s watch, Sailfish student-athletes set several program bests including the all-time three-point scoring leader and single-season three-point scoring leader, the all-time leading rebounder, and the all-time blocking leader. She also had two studentathletes named to the Independent Collegiate Athletic Association second team and another two named to the All-ICAA third team. In addition to their success on the court, Garcia’s teams excelled in the classroom as she oversaw an increase in the team’s overall GPA from below a 3.0 to 3.2. Throughout her tenure, she had two student-athletes with 4.0 GPAs, attaining President’s List status, two qualifying for the Provost’s List (3.5-3.9) and six on the Athletics Director’s List (3.0-3.4). Prior to Palm Beach Atlantic, Garcia spent one season as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Stetson University. While there, she recruited and signed a nationally ranked student-athlete and helped coach the team to an appearance in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament. Garcia began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Seton Hill University. In her two seasons with the Griffins, she as-

Photo by Auburn University Athletics

sisted in the mentoring and development of student-athletes both on and off the court. In her final season at Seton Hill, Garcia helped coach the team to a fourth-place finish in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Association Conference tournament, in addition to helping the Griffins rank third nationally for team GPA in NCAA Division II. Garcia was named the 2009 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association/Women’s Sports Foundation graduate assistant of the year. Garcia was an accomplished player at Villanova University. During her four-year career (2003-07) with the Wildcats women’s basketball team, she was a three-time BIG EAST All-Academic team member as well as a three-time member of the Villanova dean’s list. She served as team captain her senior season and helped the Wildcats advance to the NCAA Tournament in 2004, as well as the Women’s National Invitation Tournament in 2005 and 2006. A native of Hopewell, Pennsylvania, Garcia also has been involved in several camps and clinics including the Prohoops Camp at the Final Four, Leadership Through Basketball Camps in Morocco, University of Pittsburgh Summer Camps, Harry Perretta Basketball Clinics, Nike Basketball Camps and the Philadelphia Big 5 Clinics.

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By Derrick Bennington


aced by the individual winner and seven of the top-nine performers, Charleston Southern men’s cross country dominated the 2021 Hercules Tires Big South Cross Country Championships for their second title in program history. Trevor Dominy led the field with a time of 23:54.6 as he was joined among the top nine by a slew of Buccaneers including Jaden Kingsley (3rd - 24:16.9), Gavin Kuhlenbeck (4th - 24:22.7), Alan Deogracias (6th - 24:26.7) and Micah Gilpatric (7th - 24:31.8). Jaymee Domoney (8th - 24:37.0) and Jacob Jones (9th - 24:39.6) also finished

among the field’s top-nine as the Bucs finished with seven All-Conference runners and 21 points total - the lowest team total for a Big South Champion since the 1999 season. Dominy becomes the third Buccaneer to win the individual championship in program history joining Al Dunn and Stewart Uldrick. He headlined all seven Bucs who set new personal records in the 8K meet shaving :48 seconds off his previous mark in the CSU Invitational to open the spring. Charleston Southern was one of just two teams - High Point - with multiple All-Conference runners as they beat the Panthers by

30 points for their second Big South title. All seven Bucs also sat among the field’s top-14 throughout the meet as Dominy paced the squad at the 3K and 6K marks. Dominy’s individual title made him the Runner of the Year while freshman Gavin Kuhlenbeck was the first rookie to cross the finish line earning Freshman of the Year and head coach Jim Stintzi took home Coach of the Year honors. Joshua Martin also earned All-Conference honors as the Bucs’ All-Academic representative.

Photos by Todd Drexler, Big South Conference

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By Derrick Bennington


revor Dominy made history in just his second 10K meet at Charleston Southern as he became the first athlete to compete in the NCAA Cross Country Championships in school history turning in a time of 33:12.8 and placing among the nation’s top215 runners.

A senior from Riner, Virginia, Dominy finished 212th overall as the lone Charleston Southern and Big South representative among the nation’s best runners crossing the finish line before runners from 11 different Power 5 institutions – most notably runners from No. 10 Washington and No. 15 Ole Miss. Dominy’s effort March 15 was the first

time a Charleston Southern cross country athlete took the national stage. The 10K meet caps a dominant spring from Dominy and the Bucs with the senior placing among the top-10 at the CSU Invitational and top-100 of a loaded field at the FSU Winter Classic.

2021 NCAA Cross Country Championships Trevor Dominy – 212 (33:12.8)

Photos by Todd Drexler, Big South Conference

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Charleston Southern women’s tennis are Big South champions, (10-7, 6-0 Big South) taking down Radford (8-11, 4-2 Big South) 4-1 in the 2021 Hercules Tires Big South Women’s Tennis Championships completing an 8-0 season against Big South opponents. Charleston Southern got things rolling early with a doubles point as Zoe Cauthen and Tiffany Pyritz won their match 6-2 then Madalina Man and Khyanna Singh finished it with a 6-2 score at the top flight. Luiza Fullana extended the Buccaneer lead to 2-0 making quick work on the sec-

ond court sweeping away her counterpart 6-0, 6-1. Radford got on the board with a Malik Falk straight-set win on court three, but the top-seeded and regular season champion Bucs stopped the momentum there. Michelle Schmitz collected her ninth singles win of the season taking down her opposition 6-3, 6-2 on the fifth court setting the stage for a hero Sunday. Down a set and needing just one singles point to win the title, Zoe Cauthen dug-in and flipped the script. Just as she did in the regular season-clinching match, Cauthen

showed grit to win the final two sets by a pair of 6-3 scores for the fourth and final point Sunday. The championship gave the Bucs the most wins all-time in the Big South Championships among active members and punched their ticket to the 2021 NCAA Championships. The Bucs, five-time Big South Champions, were knocked out in the first round of the NCAA Championship to No. 9 University of Central Florida,

Photos by Todd Drexler, Big South Conference

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signing ceremony for Reagan Graham Martin, the first member of the newly formed Clay Target Team at Charleston Southern University, was held at Barnwell High School in Barnwell, South Carolina, May 19. Martin is an incoming freshman. Coach Thomas Cousins said, “Reagan is probably the best shooter in the state right now and is a great student to build a team around.” Cousins is recruiting team members for the fall 2021 inaugural season for the club

team which will compete in trap, skeet, and sporting clays. Cousins, a physical education teacher in Berkeley County, was formerly the outdoor education teacher at West Ashley High School. “I started a clay target team at West Ashley about 10 years ago, and we had a lot of success and fun,” he said. In addition to teaching physical education, Cousins coached football for 25 years and taught numerous outdoor education classes. He was named State Hunter Education In-

structor of the Year in 2017 by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Charleston Southern becomes just the third college in South Carolina to offer shotgun sports, joining Clemson and USC Aiken. Cousins said there will be no shotguns on campus at any time. Team members will have to take or have already taken a SCDNR hunter safety course and a gun safety course taught by Cousins. Interested students should contact Coach Cousins at tcousins@csuniv.edu.

Coach Thomas Cousins and Reagan Martin at signing ceremony at Barnwell High School. Photo provided by Martin family.

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hristi Musser is the new head softball coach, becoming the 10th CSU head softball coach in program history. She takes over the Buccaneers’ reins bringing 17 years of Division I softball coaching experience with stops at the University of Kansas, the University of New Mexico, and Grand Canyon University. A four-star master coach as recognized by the National Fastpitch Coaches Conference, Musser came to the Buccaneers after a six-year coaching stint at Grand Canyon University where she served as the associate head coach from August 2015-May 2020. Her efforts as both the hitting instructor and outfield coach helped pace GCU to become one of the top hitting teams in the NCAA in both batting average and doubles. From 2016-18, the Lopes were ranked among the top-15 hitting teams in the NCAA Division I in batting average, finishing sixth overall in 2016 (.342). GCU also finished in the top-eight in doubles per game, ranking second overall in the country in 2016 (1.88) and fourth in 2017 (1.62). Musser took over the reins heading into the 2021 season. Musser said, “I love the family atmosphere, the focus on faith, and truly believe in the vision and mission of the university.” During her tenure at GCU, Musser was a part of a staff that earned the program’s first Division I era victory over a nationally No. 1 ranked team of any program at GCU (Florida State, March 6, 2019), while also helping the program tally its eighth 30-win season. She coached three All-Conference players with the Lopes, including a pair of First Team All-WAC outfielders in the 2018 season with Laynee Gomez and Bianca Boling both earning the recognition. Prior to her time at GCU, Musser served as the New Mexico state director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Over her year and a half with the organization, she helped create the strategic vision plan for the state, while also training and equipping the staff, volunteers, and board members to carry out the organization’s ministry goals.

Musser’s first collegiate coaching position came at her alma mater, Kansas, from 2003 to 2010. She assisted the Jayhawks on the field as a hitting instructor and served as recruiting coordinator during her tenure. She then joined the staff at New Mexico in July 2010 and enjoyed a successful threeyear run that included serving as the hitting instructor for a Lobo squad that, in 2012, led the nation with 96 home runs. During her playing career at Kansas, Musser earned All-American honors in 2002 as an outfielder and was a four-time All-Big 12 selection. In her senior season, she hit .354 with 35 runs, 30 RBI, and nine home runs, while also earning All-Region and AllBig 12 honors. During the summers of her college career, Musser played three seasons in the Women’s Major for the Arizona Storm, winning a national championship in 1999 and finishing as a runner-up in 2000. Christi Musser, photo by Regan Budig

Coach Christi Musser congratulates Erika Cooper as Cooper heads to home plate. Photo by Jim Killian

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fter a nationwide search this spring, CSU has hired Dr. Anthony Turner as its new vice president of enrollment and marketing. “The Lord has answered our prayers in sending us a highly experienced professional to lead CSU to new heights in enrollment and marketing,” Interim VP of Enrollment Services and Marketing Tom Clemmons said. “Dr. Tony Turner is a servant leader whose passion for excellence will propel our Enrollment and Marketing teams to reach our tactical and strategic goals in the years ahead.” Turner was the vice president of enrollment and marketing at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, where he led the institution’s work in enrollment services, external marketing and public relations. Prior, he was vice president and dean of student enrollment services for Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. There he supervised nearly 100 employees in admissions, financial aid, career services, education marketing, alumni, registrar’s office, and student success. “My vision for Enrollment and Marketing is to mobilize our team to share with great enthusiasm to prospective students and their families, school counselors, and others that CSU is a premier Christian college that one should consider through a spirit of excellence,” said Turner. “I’m looking forward to working across campus with staff, faculty, and students ways to share with those who are not part of the Charleston Southern University family the incredible opportunities that we have to offer.”

“Dr. Tony Turner is a man on a mission to advance God’s Kingdom through Christian higher education.” – Dr. Dondi Costin

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Dr. Anthony Turner. Photo by Richard Esposito

The Bob Jones University graduate (BA in practical Christian training) is no stranger to South Carolina. Turner earned his Master of Arts in evangelism and church planting from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, as well as his Doctor of Education from Northcentral University in Prescott, Arizona. Turner said, “The comprehensive nature of Charleston Southern University, from academics, athletics, and student makeup with an exciting strategic direction rooted in a solid commitment to Christ and the Word of God, compelled me to explore Charleston Southern University further.”

President Dr. Dondi Costin said, “Dr. Tony Turner is a man on a mission to advance God’s Kingdom through Christian higher education. His heart for the Lord, godly ambition, and commitment to excellence have demonstrated that he is God’s man to lead our enrollment and marketing team to the next level. His hand at the helm increases our confidence even more that the best is yet to come.” Married 13 years, Turner and his wife, Zan, have three children—Shenice, Brianna and Jordan.

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harleston Southern University students and families will have the option to protect their investment with the launch of a

partnership with GradGuard™ and its Tuition Protection Plan™ beginning this fall. The plan provides reimbursement for tuition if a student is unable to complete an academic term due to sudden illness, a flair up of a chronic illness, mental health conditions, or other covered conditions. A renter’s insurance policy that protects students’ belongings is also available. To learn more go to gradguard.com/tuition/charlestonsouthern.

COMMON APP Applicants for the 2021-2022 academic year will be able to use the Common App to apply to CSU. The Common Application is used by millions each year, and according to their website, “The Common App platform streamlines the college application process, providing resources and guidance to make college more accessible for students around the country.” Students using the Common App also have access to financial aid and scholarship information.


T Jan Mims, Ethel Croft, and Bill Ward. Photo by Sol Photography

hree staff members representing 101 years of service were the first to receive the designation of staff emeritus during a reception May 19. Ethel Croft, executive assistant emerita, served for 41 years at CSU. Jan Mims ’82, ’99, vice president emerita of finance, served for 29 years. She was a member of the Buc Club Board of Directors and the Board of Visitors. Bill Ward ’90, vice president emeritus of development, served for 31 years. He is a life member of the President’s Club. President Dr. Dondi Costin said, “Thank God for what He has done with these three servants. Only God knows how many lives were changed because of you.”



he five new members of the Board of Trustees will serve until 2025.

Randy Eller Eller is a retired businessman and lives in Roanoke, Virginia. He is a member of the CSU Board of Visitors Scholarship Program and a life member of the CSU President’s Club. William Renfrow Renfrow is president and CEO of Renfrow Industrial in Spartanburg. He has been Chairman of the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce and is active in his community.

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Adam Robertson Robertson is president of Commercial Bank in Harrogate, Tennessee. He is also a small business owner and is active in his community. His daughter, Olive, is a senior at CSU. Rev. Alex Sands Sands is the pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Greenville. He was the first African American elected president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

Jerry Williams Williams is a retired bank executive and lives in Richburg. He is a former Board of Trustees member and previously served as chairman. He is a member of the CSU Board of Visitors Scholarship Program, a life member of the CSU President’s Club, established an endowed scholarship at CSU, and holds an honorary doctorate from CSU.

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Kerri Nelson began rare disease advocacy after her son was born and diagnosed with Mosaic Trisomy 22—a rare chromosomal disorder in which chromosome 22 appears 3 times instead of twice in certain cells of the body.

n April, nursing professor Kerri Nelson testified in a subcommittee within the House of Representatives, pushing for House Bill 3956—a bill that would establish the South Carolina Rare Disease Advisory Council within the Department of Health and Environmental Control. The bill passed through the subcommittee, the full committee and passed the majority vote in the House of Representatives. Nelson’s next step? Get it passed by the Senate. Nelson has been at Charleston Southern since 2017, and in 2018 she joined the advocacy subgroup of the National Organization for Rare Disorders. The Rare Action Network’s mission is to connect and empower individuals with the resources to become advocates for rare diseases across the country, and Nelson did just that. She has been able to work both as a nursing professor and as South Carolina State Ambassador for Rare Action, participating in Washington D.C.’s NORD Rare Summit, advocating for the Orphan Drug Act and hosting Rare Disease Day events in South Carolina. Nelson says she took over this role after her son was born and diagnosed with Mosaic Trisomy 22—a rare chromosomal disorder in which chromosome 22 appears three times

Kerri Nelson and two other advocates orally testifying over Zoom for House Bill 3956. Photos provided

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instead of twice in certain cells of the body. “Our experience was what led me to have a passion for rare disorders and advocacy,” said Nelson. “When [my son] was a year old, I went back to school for my doctorate in nursing and focused my work on the rare community. This is when I found the National Organization for Rare Disorders and the Rare Action Network. It is a blessing to have two passions collide. In this role, I have a perspective not only as a mother to a child with a rare disorder, but as an advanced practice nurse as well.” Although her son’s disorder is considered rare, Nelson states that an average of 1 in 10 people have a rare disorder, making it more common than most believe. As a SC State Ambassador for RAN, Nelson and the subcommittee are currently working on implementing a Rare Disease Advisory Council in South Carolina. Across the United States, there are currently 17 active RDACs, with more being considered. The RDAC includes patients, caregivers, health care providers, and researchers within the rare community, all of whom help educate state officials in implementing policies and procedures that will help provide a voice to this community within the state government. Nelson says that her focus is to implement a state specific resource that focuses on the rare disease community needs within South Carolina. Nelson orally testified via Zoom in a subcommittee within the House of Representatives, where the bill passed and is now being sent to the Senate. Bill 3956 will seek to add the South Carolina Rare Disease Advisory Council within the Department of Health and Environmental Control of South Carolina law codes. With its enactment, the bill will provide for the purpose, duties, membership and funding of the Council, as well as establishing medical requirements and awareness for those with rare disorders. Nelson has taught the genetics concentration course at CSU, providing students with rare disorder learning opportunities. “A goal of mine is to implement a Students for Rare chapter group at CSU in the future,” she said.

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LAUREL GLOVER LEADS FROM THE FRONT LINES By Jaynae Jefferson ’21 and Jenna Johnson / Photos provided


aurel Glover, assistant professor of public health in the College of Health Sciences and a doctoral candidate, has led the University Pandemic Task Force as the infection control/COVID-19 coordinator since mid-2020. Glover’s personal experience in the early days of the pandemic prepared her for this role. She worked in New York City on the front lines as a respiratory therapist. “The death and sorrow encountered in the hospital was palpable,” Glover said of her front-line experience. “Patients were without a voice; their families were absent and often their ability to interact was also absent or impaired, leaving them completely isolated. It would have been easy to become hopeless in such a situation. However, these patients needed a voice.” Glover set out to be that advocate for them and to hold their hand at the end of their lives. “I was immensely privileged to have the opportunity to fulfill each of these roles for a variety of patients. It was an experience which has affected me deeply and for which I am exceptionally grateful,” she said. Upon her return to CSU, she began the dayto-day tasks of viewing LiveSafe screenings as well as quarantine and isolation assessments. She worked with a team of faculty and staff to pour over each event on and off campus, assessing risk factors, ultimately approving or denying dependent on said risk. Much of what came with this role was surprising to her. “I had no idea that I would be in a position to represent CSU so publicly via media, communication, and community representation. It’s perhaps also the most intimidating aspect of the job for me,” said Glover. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Glover has lived in California and Guam prior to her life in Charleston. Her passion for public health began in an unconventional way. As a respiratory therapist in a hospital, she became acquainted with the importance of global health issues. Glover pursued a master’s in global health and, after her children grew older, she decided to move into a

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Laurel Glover examines a child on a mission trip.

university teaching setting. Glover’s favorite part of the global health field is mission trips—something that set her on the career path she now follows. She said her goal is to serve in a way that will benefit the community most profoundly. “First and foremost, Jesus demonstrated love to others. Matthew 9:36 states, ‘When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd,’” she said. “Throughout my life, I have strived to demonstrate this character trait through my thoughts, words, and actions. One of the most effective ways I have found to visibly demonstrate this compassion is to tend to the physical needs of those who have fewer resources than I.” Glover recommends all undergraduate students participate in study abroad or international volunteer work. “No matter the setting, whether in a makeshift clinic on a Honduran hillside, an intensive care unit on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, a converted schoolroom in a Dominican bateye, or a crumbling hospital in rural Kazakhstan, I have been blessed with many opportunities to show consideration for individuals and communities,” Glover said, reflecting on her own faith experience.

Glover said that faith leads to empathy. “I believe that God has placed me in these situations not only to allow me to build relationships which lead to sharing the Gospel but also to allow me to grow in my own faith, developing a better understanding of how compassion and humility are among the most Christlike characteristics one can possess.” When not teaching or traveling, Glover enjoys admiring the arts and spending time with her children and dogs. Her overall hope for everyone during the pandemic is to look for the positive in everything. “We really can get through challenging circumstances, but it requires a lot of collaboration and a lot of understanding,” she said. “Pre-COVID, I don’t believe that the average citizen even knew what public health was. The increased visibility and recognition for the field has been one silver lining of the pandemic. Often, public health is mistakenly considered to be synonymous with clinical care and that’s just not the case. They’re equally important, but one deals with the health of an individual while the other seeks to achieve health equity and wellness for populations.” This summer, Glover is traveling to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip, once again serving on the front lines.

Laurel Glover with four of her six children.

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BLANKETS FROM BEN TO HONOR SON’S MEMORY By Emma Slaven ’21 / Photos provided


hris Kinsey ’20 walked the CSU stage at graduation a year late, due to COVID-19, and carried her late son Ben’s picture with her to remind herself who she does it all for. “I’ve learned that everyone grieves differently, and for me, the only way I’m getting through it is to know I’m helping others who are going through what I went through,” said Kinsey. Kinsey began the nonprofit Blankets from Ben following the passing of her son in May 2019. As she struggled to accept her son’s tragedy, she learned his organs saved five lives. Through lots of prayer and searching for the right way to honor Ben, Kinsey became a strong advocate of organ donation and created Blankets from Ben in November 2020 to commemorate her son while serving fellow parents of children who have donated their child’s organs to save the lives of others. As Kinsey said her final goodbye to her son in 2019, a counselor from an organ procurement agency handed her a crocheted blanket to tuck in her son one last time. She’s kept the beloved blanket ever since, adding that it has comforted her through the many lonely nights she grieved for Ben. “After my son passed away, I knew his light was not done shining,” said Kinsey. “It took me over a year to figure out how I could honor his

Donated blankets, yarn, the company logo, and a tag sewn on each blanket fill Chris Kinsey’s home.

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A childhood photo of Ben Chris Kinesey carried in her graduation ceremony April 30, 2021.

Chris Kinsey and her Blanket from Ben.

memory and giving spirit. I remembered all the hours I’d spent clinging to that blanket, and with Blankets from Ben I want these blankets to serve as a reminder that there are people who have stood in their place and survived.” Losing a child is every parent’s worst fear, but Kinsey took that grief and turned it into an opportunity to share that same warmth she received from Ben’s blanket. Each blanket sent out is presented with a card telling Ben’s story and the reason why Kinsey began the organization. Since starting the nonprofit in November, she has partnered with Sharing Hope SC, an organ tissue and recovery service based in Charleston. Blankets from Ben gained recognition through local news outlet stories along with the help of Sharing Hope SC, and now the nonprofit’s Facebook page has almost 700 followers. Kinsey’s plate has been full of crocheting, volunteering with Sharing Hope and taking the required steps to start an official nonprofit, but she is certainly not slowing down. An official website and Instagram page for Blankets from Ben are in the works, and she is looking for local senior facilities who can donate yarn to create more blankets for grieving parents. For those interested in donating, send blankets, yarn, or financial contributions to: Blankets from Ben, P.O. Box 1425, Summerville, SC, 29484.

Donated blankets.

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almetto Gold, an annual statewide nursing recognition program, awarded CSU’s Morgan McCall as its 2021 graduate student recipient in South Carolina. McCall is the first Charleston Southern student in the Master of Science in Nursing program to receive the award—a highly competitive scholarship with graduate student nominees from the state’s public and private nursing programs. The scholarship program supports the future of nursing by using proceeds from its Palmetto Gold Gala to provide an annual $1,000 nursing scholarship to each registered nurse undergraduate program in the state. It also selects only one graduate student statewide to receive the Renatta Loquist Graduate Nursing Scholarship—a $2,000 award. “Morgan is a standout among her peers,” said Dr. Vicki Ball, associate professor of nursing and director of the MSN program. “From day one of orientation, she fully engaged and immersed herself in the coursework and pursuit of graduate education.” A Charleston native, McCall is a 2012 alumnus of Charleston Southern’s undergraduate nursing program and is a certified hospice and palliative nurse. She currently serves as the director of palliative care for Intrepid USA Healthcare, president for the Lowcountry Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, a member of the national Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, a member of the South Carolina Coalition for the Care of the Seriously Ill, and also serves on the Women’s Council at Charleston Southern. When McCall read the Palmetto Gold award letter, she was overcome with gratitude. She said it was both an honor and humbling experience given that only one graduate level nurse in the state is selected to receive the award each year. With six months left in her program, McCall is excited for what’s next. She meditates daily on Luke 12:48, “To whom much is given, much will be required.” McCall said, “I will diligently continue my professional efforts to expand access to palliative care. For me, the MSN was not necessarily something that I needed to do, but something that I wanted to do,” McCall said. “I have been given much, and while I

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Morgan McCall, Photo provided.

have had numerous opportunities to give back through my nursing career, there is still much work to do. I am seeking an advanced degree to ensure that I am equipped in every way possible to continue to contribute to a greater cause. I want to do more. I want to change healthcare. I want to open doors, and effectively support, inspire, and prepare others to make a difference, as we all work together to advance expert, high quality care in serious illness and end-of-life care. Ball said that McCall’s leadership is evident both in and outside of the classroom. “As a member of the education committee for the South Carolina Coalition for Care of the Seriously Ill, she is working on an initiative to extend end-of-life educational opportunities into nursing and medical programs in South Carolina,” Ball said. “Additionally, she is the only graduate nursing student who participates in the CSU Student Nurses Christian Fellowship, an organization that empowers and encourages students in spiri-

tual growth. She is a shining example for our undergraduate students of how to successfully balance academics, work, and family life, while continually focusing on personal and professional growth.” McCall encourages nurses considering an advanced degree to seek a trusted colleague who can help guide and mentor and coach throughout their professional journey. “Education is one thing no one can ever take away from you,” she said. “In my experiences at CSU, I have felt well-supported, and appropriately challenged by the nursing faculty. The culture at CSU aligns with my values, and I have always appreciated the effortless connection to the faculty and staff.” The MSN program at CSU supports students like McCall through a curriculum built on contemporary nursing standards as a means of preparing RNs for advanced nursing practice roles. Learn more about CSU’s nursing programs at charlestonsouthern. edu/nursing.

CSU magazine 31


Class notes 1970s

The Honorable Tim Scott ’88 was named to the Hall of Fame of Charleston Business Magazine’s Most Influential list. He has also been named No. 25 on Fortune Magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list. He serves as a U.S. Senator and is a former small business owner.

1990s William Durst ’75 retired after 36 years of teaching theology at Bishop England High School in Charleston. He continues teaching in his local parish, and he and his wife Mary enjoy time with their seven grandchildren. Joseph “Joey” McNeill ’77 and his wife Darlene Craig McNeill ’78 are now retired. After 22.5 years of service, Joey retired as pastor of Fort Trial Baptist Church in Stanleytown, Virginia, on April 30, 2021. Darlene retired as Music Director of Fort Trial Baptist Church after serving for more than eight years.


2000s Amy Britt Baldwin ’00, was named South Carolina STEM Educator of the Year. She is a 6th to 8th Grade Gateway to Technology Teacher at Oakbrook Middle School in Ladson. She has taught at the school for more than 20 years and was originally a math teacher. Baldwin has worked to increase the number of girls enrolled in STEM classes and has seen an increase in interest and enrollment. The annual award is sponsored by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness. Joe Debney ’03 has been named to the Greater Summerville/ Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Dorchester Class of 2021. He is CEO of the Summerville Family YMCA.

Carl Coffin ’97 was appointed library director for the Colleton County Memorial Library in Walterboro in 2010. He said, “I am still actively serving the residents of Colleton County as their public library director.” He earned a Master in Library and Information Science from the University of Dr. Joy Obidike ’04, founder and South Carolina. executive director of CAPS In1980s stitute in Sumter, was a featured Kristy Pierce Danford ’99 has Dr. Vallerie Cave ’82, ’05 MEd is guest on JUST in conversation, joined the board of directors of the new superintendent of Cola society and culture podcast, in the Charleston Forum. She is leton County School District. She February. The podcast is hosted project director of the Charleston has been assistant superintendent by Justin Baker ’07, owner of County Criminal Justice Coordiof K-12 School Transformation Fuzzy Image Media in Los Angenating Council. and Innovation for Savannah-Chales. Listen at podcasts.apple.com/ tham County Public Schools. us/podcast/just-in-conversation/ James Gardas ’99 was promoted id1552339365 to senior vice president of the Wealth Management Division of the Dime Bank. He and his wife live in Hawley, Pennsylvania.

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Trey Ingram ’05 was awarded the 2020 Compleat Lawyer Award by the University of South Carolina School of Law for his work bettering life for children, adoption, and the foster care system in South Carolina. Ingram is a managing partner with Holliday Ingram, LLC in Greenville. Award recipients are nominated by other lawyers and selected by a panel of leaders from the state court and state bar.

Katie Bricco Kegel ‘05 was elected Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge on April 6 capturing 65% of the vote. After 10 years as an attorney for the State Public Defender, she filed her candidacy in July 2020 against a 25 year incumbent. She earned the endorsement of many local leaders, unions, and community groups committed to change and reform

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to stop mass incarceration in the criminal justice system. She and her husband, Noel, are expecting their first child this summer. Dr. Trent Salvaggio ’06, ’08 MBA is the executive director of the Internet of Things Talent Consortium and is an adjunct professor at Trident University International. James Chilton Jr., ’07 MBA has been named to the board of the Lowcountry Food Bank. He is managing director of corporate accounting and tax at Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC. He is also a board member and treasurer of Palmetto Masters Swimming and was formerly president of the People’s Building board. Beverly Cowart ’07 MBA is senior vice president of talent solutions at the South Carolina Ports Authority. She previously was human resources director for SCPA. She has worked at MWV/Ingevity, Charleston Naval Shipyard, and Robert Bosch Corporation. Alexius Ferguson ’08 is community partnership school director at the Webster School in St. Augustine, Florida. In addition to teaching school, he has worked for the Department of Children and Families, earned a master’s degree from Liberty University, and started Redemption, which focuses on addressing and correcting the flaws in communities.

2010s Lindsay Nanna Gibson ’10 announces the birth of a son, Daniel Wayne Gibson, born Oct. 30, 2020. He was welcomed home by his older sisters, Kaylee, 6.5, and Laura, 3.5. Robbie Nichols ’10 is vice president and commercial banker at Beacon Community Bank. He has been in the banking industry for over 20 years. Andrew Lamie ’12 MBA is the sales representative for Imperial Headwear in Tennessee and Kentucky. He has coordinated golf tournaments and championships and recently was event director for the Payne’s Valley Cup. Chelsea Eargle Connelly ’14 and Martin Connelly ’14 announce the birth of a son, Case Edward Connelly, born Sept. 24, 2020. He was welcomed home by big sister Emersyn Elle Connelly, 3.5. Kyra Shivvers Duncan ’15 and Grady Duncan announce the birth of twins, Eden Irene Duncan and Eloise Monroe Duncan. Big brothers Theodore and Winston welcomed them home. Also welcoming them were aunts Alia Shivvers Swygert ’18, Arin Shivvers ’20 and Kari Shivvers, proud Marmee.

Marvel Carreon Monzon ’15 announces the birth of a son, Nicholas Monzon. He was welcomed Scott Crothers ’09 has been named home by big brother Danny, 3. the head football athletic trainer at Appalachian State University. He Abigail “Abby” Parks ’15 MA orwas a former athletic trainer with ganizational leadership, is the new Clemson football. He is a member director of development at Pineof the CSU Alumni Association wood Preparatory School. Previboard. ously she was associate director of development for MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. Zaw Tun ’15 has joined Jarrard, Nowell & Russell and is senior staff accountant. He is also a U.S. Marine veteran.

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STAY CONNECTED! 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 Follow the Alumni Association on Social Media:


Rev. Dale Andrew Wood Jr. ’15 has been named the pastor at Memorial Baptist Church in St. George. He has worked with numerous churches and ministries and holds a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Most recently the Woods have been an active part of Center Point Church at Remount in North Charleston. He and his wife have four children.


Allyson Barrington ’16 is the team leader for Tony Pope’s newly opened State Farm agency in North Charleston. She and her husband have twin daughters. Malcolm Jackson ’16, ’19 MS project management is executive director of human resources for Chick-fil-A (Rivers). He previously worked at CSU as a residence life coordinator and was a cornerback in 2016 for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was captain of the football team while a student.

CSU magazine 33


Class notes

Abigail Worrell Piasecki ’16 writes, “Roman is 11 months old, and we currently live outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Back in the fall Roman took his first trip to Charleston with his parents and big sister Ava and got to see his future college campus for the first time. He loved his visit to CSU while his Aunt Haley Kulp and his mommy took a tour. He is proud to say that his Aunt will be starting her education at CSU this coming fall 2021. He is excited to have many more visits to CSU in the future!” Cameron Reed ’16 is the student ministries pastor at Frederica Baptist Church in St. Simons Island, Georgia. He has served as youth director in Summerville and St. Marys, Georgia. He and his wife have one daughter. Blake Roland ’16 has been named the first baseball coach at Fountain Inn High School in Greenville which opens this fall. He will also teach physical education. He is currently the baseball coach at White Knoll High School. Mark Arnold ’17 MS criminal justice is the new chief of police for the Mount Pleasant Police Department. The former deputy chief has more than 25 years experience in law enforcement. Dylan Hudson ’17 MEd has been named principal of Seneca High School in the School District of Oconee County. He was formerly an assistant principal at Summerville High

School in Dorchester District 2 and was an English teacher. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in education systems improvement science at Clemson University. Shnickqua Mustipher ’17 MEd was honored by Committee for Children, a national organization, along with six fellow Charleston County School District educators for her work as a Black educator. She is the assistant principal at Carolina Park Elementary School in Mount Pleasant. She was Teacher of the Year in 2018-2019 while teaching at Jerry Zucker Middle School of Science. Honeste Davis Creel ’18 and Lexie Creel announce the birth of a son, Grayson Lex Creel on Dec. 27, 2018. She writes, “Grayson is the light of our life and a very active boy. Grayson loves the park, dinosaurs, and of course baby shark. Outside is his favorite place to be. We are blessed to have our miracle baby.” Precious Jemison ’19 is an entrepreneur and the founder of The Girls Room, LLC, a youth mentoring organization. She teaches physical education at R.B. Stall High School in Charleston County and is pursuing a Master of Education in administration and supervision from Liberty University. Chris Kinney ’18 earned an MLA in management from Harvard University in 2020. He is executive pastor of Journey Church in Ladson and is managing partner of Your Story Counseling.

Did you know?

34 CSU magazine

Andrew Lee ’19 is the internal operations coordinator for Vanderbilt University’s Recreation & Wellness Center. He is founding president of Lee the Way, a nonprofit organization. He earned an MBA from Lipscomb University in 2021. Jennifer Nagy Selvey ’19 announces the birth of a daughter, Adelynn Jane Selvey, born March 2.

2020s Tanner Trephan ’20 writes: “Our son Peter Joseph Trephan, our first born, is rambunctious, smiley, and loves to play and move. He is 9 months and is already an older brother to a younger brother due in July. My wife, Mary, graduated from CofC. My sister Lily is a freshman at CSU in the fall.” Brian Stephenson ’20 announces the birth of twins, Emerson Paul Stephenson and Adaline Jane Stephenson, born April 3. Adam Dunaway ’21 MS criminal justice is a lieutenant detective with the St. George Police Department. He is also a patrol commander and criminal investigations detective. He is a U.S. Army veteran. Tami Wharton ’21 has started a photography business. Check out her work at tamiphotography.mypixieset.com/

You can view digital issues of CSU Magazine at charlestonsouthern.edu/magazine. Current and past issues are available from issuu.com.

Summer 2021, vol.31 no.2


in memory Swan Wall Altman ’94, age 76, died April 6, 2021, in Cross. She was a retired real estate broker. Dr. Joyce Burris Bagwell, age 88, died March 8 in Summerville. She was professor emerita of geology and ran the Earthquake Education Center at CSU for many years. She was a member of the Buc Club Board of Directors, the CSU Women’s Council, and received The South Carolina Order of The Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian award. Joe “JoJo” Nathaniel Bradshaw Jr., age 19, died March 19 in North Charleston. He was a freshman majoring in engineering with a computer concentration and a wide receiver on the football team. He was from St. Augustine, Florida. Thomas Walter “Walt” Brashier, age 86, died March 24 in Greenville. Brashier was a longtime supporter of Charleston Southern and was a Life Member of the President’s Silver Club, was a member of the Board of Visitors Scholarship Program, and established The Dr. T. Walter Brashier Family Endowed Scholarship in 1998 to honor his family. In recognition of his passion for education and Christian leadership, Charleston Southern awarded him an honorary doctor of humanities degree in 1977.

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Christine L. Brennecke ’94, age 71, died March 14 in Garner, North Carolina. She was an elementary school teacher and also a potter, and was primary potter at El Dorado Gallery in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was the owner of Westover Coins and Currency in Raleigh. George Nollon Calliham III, ’73, age 71, died April 25 in North Charleston. He worked in the insurance and landscaping industries. Brenda Ridgeway Canady ’69, age 73, died May 16 in Charleston. She was an elementary school teacher and also the music director at St. Andrews Parish United Methodist Church. Gary James Cardinale ’71, age 71, died Feb. 27 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He was a U.S. Army veteran, had been a professor and was the author of a book on optoelectronicis. Tony Culp ’82, age 70, died Nov. 9, 2020, in North Charleston. Lois Nell McCaskill Dennis ’85, age 86, died April 27 in Bonneau. She was a post master with the U.S. Postal Service, and owned D & S Construction of Pineville, Inc. Scott Young Frey ’07, age 36, died Jan. 26 in San Francisco, California, of cancer. He and his brother ran the Wreck Room.

Catherine Angela Hutchinson ’73, age 81, died March 11 in North Charleston. She was a retired nurse and was listed in Who’s Who in American Nursing. During her career at St. Francis Hospital she conducted research into flushing IVs with saline instead of heparin, a change that became standard national practice. She was also St. Francis Hospital’s first board certified critical care nurse. Barbara Gay Rigney ’75, age 71, died March 20 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She served in music and church education positions in South Carolina, Louisiana, New Mexico, California, Guam, Italy, and Panama. Joan Rebecca Brown Seel ’84, age 93, died May 7 in North Charleston. She was a teacher at Ferndale Baptist Church School Henrian “Nancy” Owings Shows, age 87, died Feb. 19 in Summerville. She volunteered with numerous organizations including supporting the CSU Buccaneers and on the CSU Women’s Council. Kenneth E. Swain, age 92, died Jan. 24 in Myrtle Beach. A pharmacist and a U.S. Air Force veteran, he was retired from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. He was a member of the CSU Legacy Society and had established endowed scholarships at CSU. The Rev. Charles “Charlie” David Wilborn ’85, age 59, died April 16 in Spartanburg. He had pastored several churches in North and South Carolina and was an adjunct professor of religion at Spartanburg Methodist College.

CSU magazine 35


Baby Bucs 1



5 4

1. 2.

Eden Irene Duncan and Eloise Monroe Duncan, twin daughters of Kyra Shivvers Duncan ’15 and Grady Duncan, and nieces of Alia Shivvers Swygert ’18 and Arin Shivvers ’20. Ace and Kross Sanders, sons of Jelissa Ta’Bon Sanders ’14 and James Sanders

36 CSU magazine

3. Adelynn Jane Selvey, daughter of Jennifer Nagy Selvey ’19 4. Danny Monzon and Nicholas Monzon, sons of Marvel Carreon Monzon ’15 5. Grayson Lex Creel, son of Honeste Davis Creel ’18 and Lexie Creel

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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.

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







6. Lylah Rae Thacker and Elijah Thacker, daughter and son of

Chelsea Thacker ’17 and Bryan Thacker

7. Case Edward Connelly, son of Chelsea Eargle Connelly ’14 and Martin Connelly ’14

10. Roman Piasecki, son of Abigail Worrell Piasecki ’16 and Matthew Piasecki 11. Emerson Paul Stephenson and Adaline Jane Stephenson,

twins of Brian Stephenson ’20

8. Peter Joseph Trephan, son of Mary Trephan and Tanner Trephan ’20 9. Daniel Wayne Gibson, son of Lindsay Nanna Gibson ’10

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CSU magazine 37




harleston Southern has chosen Jostens to enhance the official CSU class ring tradition. As the nation’s leading provider of custom class jewelry, graduation products and yearbooks, Jostens will offer CSU students and alumni new designs and programs. The CSU ring is an important symbol of the school’s mission and commitment to faith. The ring showcases the CSU official academic icon signifying Scripture at its very foundation, and Charleston Southern University – 1964 wrapping around the perimeter of the ring’s face. For online orders, visit Jostens.com.



rad Baker graduated with a music performance degree, but these days you will find him leading the No. 1 Realty One Group Coastal team in South Carolina. He is also a Dave Ramsey endorsed real estate provider in the Charleston market. Baker got his start in real estate back in 2016 with a local firm and was drawn to the real estate industry because of his father, Brian Baker, who is still an actively licensed Realtor in Charlotte and who sold real estate in Charleston for 20+ years. Baker said, “Real estate provides a fast-paced work environment with a lot of variety and the opportunity to help serve individuals and families with purchasing the largest financial asset of their lives.” Baker Real Estate Team was born in 2020 and has added four more agents, including Earl Fleetwood, a 2019 CSU alum, and a full-time administrative coordinator. Baker said he and his team are passionate about providing biblically sound advice and guidance to their clients.

Brad Baker Photos by Gabi Baker

38 CSU magazine

His wife, Gabi Baker, does the team’s photography, headshots, and client events. Gabi and Brad met at CSU in 2012 while studying. Baker said, “The team’s mission is to develop agents who are excited about improving their lives by providing world class service to their clients. And we strive to live by this Zig Ziglar quote: ‘You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.’”

The Baker Real Estate Team includes two CSU alumni.

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fter graduating from Baptist College (now CSU) in 1969, Joe Tallon planned to enter the Air Force and learn to fly C-141s, the planes he saw flying over his childhood home in North Charleston. While waiting for the Air Force, Tallon received a letter from Selective Service. Newly married, Tallon entered officer training with the Army and eventually learned to fly the Mohawk and headed to Vietnam. Shot down by an enemy missile, Tallon and his tactical observer, Specialist-5 Daniel Richards, were forced to eject at low altitude. Lying beside the wreckage of his burning OV-1 Mohawk just on the other side of the American base fence, Tallon was not sure if he would live or die. Richards did die next to the wreckage. Tallon was rescued and began a complicated journey to recovery. Tallon and Richards were shot down on the last day of the ground war in Vietnam. During the departure from the country for both Tallon and the U.S. military, details about the incident were lost and incorrectly recorded. 100 Days in Vietnam: A Memoir of Love, War, and Survival by Joe Tallon and his son, Army veteran Matthew Tallon, is told in three parts: The Deployment, The Recovery, and The Quest. Told through journal entries, newspaper clippings and letters to his wife, Martha, the book chronicles his time with the last Mohawk unit in Vietnam, his physical recovery from the crash, and the effort to secure a Purple Heart for Richards and track down Richards’ next of kin. Tallon, haunted for years by the death of his tactical observer, eventually launches a campaign with his family’s help to honor Richards. The Quest, the third portion of the book, chronicles the journey of tracking down Richards’ next of kin and presenting them with a Purple Heart. After time in the Army, the Tallons returned to the Lowcountry, where Joe and Martha both taught school. Tallon became active at CSU, joining the Board of Visitors and becoming one of the first members of

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The Legacy Society. On Nov. 12, 2008, Tallon was awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries in Vietnam during a ceremony at a CSU Chapel service. In 2010 he was named Honorary Commandant of Cadets for the CSU Air Force ROTC Detachment. 100 Days in Vietnam: A Memoir of Love, War, and Survival was released by Koehler Books on June 15 and is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound.

Joe and Matthew Tallon at the service in November 2018 at CSU to award Joe with a Purple Heart. CSU file photo

CSU magazine 39


CSU Giving Day 2021 was an exciting day – full of divine surprises and special support from the CSU community. The CSU family has provided many blessings that will make a difference in the lives of our students during this uncertain time. 559 donors of the CSU community came together and gave over $238,247 to make real and lasting impacts. We want to say THANK YOU. The Lord calls us to give with generous hearts, and you did just that. Go BUCS!


GOLF, HOMECOMING, CELEBRATING ALUMS Sept. 13 - President’s Cup Golf Tournament HOMECOMING WEEKEND Oct. 15 - 1970 & 1971 50th Class Reunion Oct. 16 – Homecoming Football game vs Hampton Alumni Board Nominations Prior to Homecoming Weekend Any regular member of the Alumni Association may seek nomination for a position as a general member of the Alumni Board. Alumni wishing to return to a position on the Board after rotating off, taking a leave of absence, etc., may be nominated as well. However, all alumni, regardless of past board experience, must serve at least one term as a general member before seeking nomination as an executive officer. And, alumni seeking the office of vice president should reside within approximately 100 miles of the university. If you are interested in nominating a classmate or yourself to serve on the alumni board, nominate online at charlestonsouthern.edu/alumni/alumni-board.


he 18,288-square-foot science and engineering building will be ready for students and faculty this fall. The space will be completed in phases and will initially include engineering labs, office space, and work rooms. CSU plans to expand the building in future phasing to 28,000-square-feet total to provide additional biology, chemistry, and geology labs; a dedicated wing for engineering/physics; and additional offices and student lounge spaces.


r. Jairy Hunter, president emeritus, reports that the Joyce Rea Miss Congeniality Award campaign has exceeded the goal of $10,000. Named for the late Joyce Rea, the award will fund a cash gift for the Miss Congeniality winner in the annual Miss CSU pageant. Rea was the founder of the Miss CSU pageant and worked at CSU for 26 years, including many years as director of student activities. She was also active within the Miss South Carolina Scholarship Organization.

Nominate a fellow alumnus for one of seven awards at charlestonsouthern.edu/alumnirecognition

40 CSU magazine

You can designate your gift to CSU to a specific college or department. Learn more at charlestonsouthern.edu/giving.


Alumni Award Nominations Sought

Contact Hunter Mizell at hmizell@csuniv. edu with any questions.


Joyce Rea, file photo

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Photos by Richard Esposito and Sol Photograpy

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


Charleston SC Permit #1202

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


Alumni, YOU can impact a child’s life by contributing to CSU’s Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection The CSU Family broke the national record last year for college OCC participation – packing 7,095 boxes during a global pandemic. With YOUR help, we can bless more children. Donate supplies or funds for supplies. Every box contains a toothbrush, bar soap, washcloth, socks, school supplies, a fun toy or stuffed animal, and more!

To donate supplies or funds for supplies, or to volunteer, email ldiel@csuniv.edu charlestonsouthern.edu/OCC Graphic by Tyler Stokes

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