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AHA!

SOUTH CAROLINA HONORS COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA / WINTER 2014-15


Contents

p. 8 In this issue 5/

Intrepid questers No mystery is too great, no goal too noble for SCHC student researchers.

8/ ON THE COVER Discovering by uncovering When Samantha Skelton, '11, discovered her passion in the Honors College, a lot of very good things started to happen.

10/

Orthopedics? Pediatrics? New partnership helps pre-med students learn more about specialties they might never have considered.

WINTER 2014-15 South Carolina Honors College Dean/ Steven Lynn Managing Editor and Writer/ Aïda Rogers Director of Communications/ Anna Redwine Director of Development/ Chappell Wilson

Stay Connected: University Home Page: sc.edu SCHC Home Page: schc.sc.edu Facebook: www.facebook.com/SCHonorsCollege Twitter: twitter.com/SCHonorsCollege Linkedin: “University of South Carolina Honors College” University Writers Group / University Creative Services The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or decisions for qualified persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, genetics, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The University of South Carolina has designated as the ADA Title II, Section 504 and Title IX coordinator the Executive Assistant to the President for Equal Opportunity Programs. The Office of the Executive Assistant to the President for Equal Opportunity Programs is located at 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 805, Columbia, SC; telephone 803-777-3854. UCS14106 5/14

11/

'He was always smiling' Remembering Hal French, the beloved religious studies professor whose tenure at Carolina spanned more than four decades.

12/

Catching up with William C. Hubbard The American Bar Association's new president cross examines what the Honors College did for his career.

14/ Moving on up Nearly everything about SCHC is bigger and better than just a few years ago. And you can help keep the trend moving upward.

15/

Alumni news Updates from SCHC graduates Cover photo: Samantha Skelton with two paintings she’s conserving. Left: Nicolas Lancret, “The Seesaw,” ca. 1713-1743, The Robert Lee Blaffer Memorial Collection, gift of Sarah Campbell Blaffer, 58.13 Rear: Juan Carreño de Miranda, “The Immaculate Conception,” ca. mid-17th century, The Rienzi Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III, 94.824. Photo by Matthew Golden, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Above photo: Skelton inpaints areas of loss, applying stable, easily reversible conservation paints only to areas of loss without covering any original paint, to Nicholas Lancret’s “The Seesaw.”


I

'm delighted to report that our Honors College has once again achieved a top ranking. In the 2012 edition of “A

Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs,” as I’m sure

you’ve heard, the South Carolina Honors College was ranked No. 1

compared to other honors colleges (“honors factors only”). In the new 2014 edition of the same publication, the numerical rankings were converted into ratings, and our honors college received the highest possible overall rating. (Virginia, Penn State, UT Austin, Michigan, Arizona State and Kansas were also in this top category for “overall excellence.”)

This recognition reflects the remarkable vision and hard

work of many people, going back to our founding deans, Peter Sederberg and Bill Mould, and certainly including our current

STEVEN LYNN DEAN, SOUTH CAROLINA HONORS COLLEGE LOUISE FRY SCUDDER PROFESSOR

president and provost. As the SCHC entry in the 2014 edition states, “This college deserves a great deal of credit for combining high completion requirements with an extremely large selection of courses, offered in generally small classes. It takes a lot of resources to accomplish all three at once.”

These resources are in part the result of the crucial support of

our donors. Generous gifts to fund scholarships, student research projects, study abroad, internships, service learning and much more truly enrich the educational experience of our superb students and allow them to fulfill their potential as leaders, scholars and involved citizens. My colleagues and I feel fortunate and grateful, but mostly we feel inspired and challenged — not just to maintain what we have, but to continue to advance. Thanks for your interest and support, and I hope you enjoy reading about some of the things we’ve been up to. Cordially,

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SCHC SCHOLARS AT A GLANCE

410 22

Since it was established 20 years ago, the Office of

Fellowships and Scholar Programs has partnered with

the Honors College to assist students in competing for

national scholarships. The results have been phenomenal!

Honors College students have won national fellow-

ships and scholarships in the past 20 years. A total

of 665 Carolina students have competed successfully for the various academic awards, including the Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, Hollings and

Marshall scholarships.

Consecutive years that Honors College students have been named Goldwater Scholars. Honors College students have accounted for all 47 scholarships since 1994.

Total value of national awards Carolina students have won for undergraduate and graduate study in the past 20 years, including $1 million by Honors College students in 2013-14.

8of 9

98

20

Number of the university’s Truman,

Number of applications submit-

Rhodes and Marshall Scholars in the

ted by Honors College students

Fellowships and Scholar Pro-

past 20 years who have been Honors

during the 2013-14 academic year

grams has provided advising

for national awards for advanced

and guidance to USC students

academic study.

for national scholarship and

College students.

Number of years the Office of

fellowship opportunities.

Nearly 50 4 / S O UTH C A R O L IN A HONORS COLLEGE

Percentage of the university's 85 total student Fulbright Fellows (both undergraduate and graduate) since 1994 who received the award as undergraduates in the Honors College.


Intrepid Questers They’re trying to cure diseases, find energy solutions, unlock the secrets of medieval Bibles. No mystery is too great, no goal too noble for SCHC student researchers. We asked a few to describe their work in one word. Their dean’s word? “Amazing.”

Nicholas Lenze: “Sensational” When the biochemistry junior isn’t researching cures for cancer, he’s putting his fascination for the Appalachian grassy balds into words. Lenze is helping Newberry College librarian Amy Duernberger research a guidebook, “Grassy Balds: Unique Appalachian Wonders,” which is forthcoming from USC Press. “Grassy balds are unique Appalachian wonders, open meadows in the mountains where ecologically there should be trees,” he explains. He and Duernberger studied theories about how

the balds were formed — by the grazing of mastodons, wooly mammoths, and later, bison, elk, cattle, and livestock. “Ever since the decline of mountain farming in the mid20th century, the number of grassy balds has been greatly reduced,”says Lenze, a native of Summerfield, N.C. Besides hiking descriptions, “Grassy Balds” will include historical and ecological context. Sojourns in nature — the perfect prescription for a future oncologist or nephrologist.

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“My family has a history of dementia and Parkinson’s,” explains Willingham, an Asheville, N.C., native who wants to be a biology professor and do Alzheimer’s research. “I found Dr. Patel by looking for professors in the area of Alzheimer’s/neurodegenerative disease research.”

Carl Garris: “Revelation” and Aaron Sanders: “Illuminating” Megan Mitchell

Megan Mitchell: “Motivational” “My dream is to see our society no longer dependent on fossil fuels,” says Mitchell, a biochemistry/molecular biology junior from Waxhaw, N.C. Her summer research in Colorado State University’s environmental engineering department focused on optimizing anaerobic digestion reactors, which break down waste and convert it to methane gas to be harvested for fuel. Her team collected food waste from the CSU cafeteria and cow manure from a ranch, then added anaerobic bacteria to the reactor to digest it. “We can literally turn poop into fuel,” Mitchell says, describing her work acclimating bacteria populations to inhibitory compounds such as ammonia and salt, which build up in reactors. Dairy farms and restaurants are just two industries that can benefit from this research because their machinery can be powered by the waste they generate. “This energy is more environmentally friendly than burning fossil fuels,” asserts Mitchell, who is doing more biofuel research at USC with chemistry/biochemistry assistant professor Thomas Makris. After graduate school for biochemistry or chemical engineering, she plans to continue researching alternative energy in a university setting or industry.

Two history majors from Chapin have been tracking one of USC’s most prized treasures, the 1240 Breslauer Bible from England. Handwritten in Latin, the thousand-page text is rare because of Henry VIII’s suppression of monasteries and friaries during the Reformation. But the Bible is also mysterious because the names of its first donor and recipient were erased from the parchment. With English professor/medievalist Scott Gwara, Garris and Sanders traveled to Palo Alto, Calif., where X-rays from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center’s synchrotron helped them uncover “Brother Richard and Brother Adam” as donor and recipient respectively. “By discovering that Franciscan friars once possessed our Bible, we now know it’s much more valuable both monetarily and as a historical artifact than we first thought,” says Garris, a sophomore aiming to be a medieval history professor. Adds Sanders, a senior who will commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in May: “Our interdisciplinary research will help place the Breslauer Bible into its historical context by identifying its provenance and original owner.” Garris and Sanders now are researching which friary is connected to the Bible.

Victoria Willingham: “Personal” The biology junior is working with biology associate professor Rekha Patel to find why and how certain genetic mutations lead to dystonia, a neuromuscular disease that causes involuntary and sometimes painful muscle contractions. Their goal: elucidating the mechanisms behind dystonia to make way for improved medical therapies. The possibilities: Their findings could help identify mechanisms and possible causes of other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

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Carl Garris and Aaron Sanders

Al Gore on Skype S OUTH C A R O LIN A HONORS COLLEGE


Jacquline Plyler

RESEARCH THAT’S DOWN TO THE BONE Studying animal bones can lead to all kinds of discoveries. Two SCHC students traveled to Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town to study five-million-year-old fossil carnivores with cell biology and anatomy associate professor Adam Hartstone-Rose. Though their professional plans are different, these students both found rewards in their research.

HAN NAH S ELVE Y: “ I NSI DE O UT AN D BACK WAR DS”

Jacquline Plyler: “Challenging” The biomedical engineering senior is working with chemical engineering assistant professor Miao Yu to improve kidney dialysis. Doing tests with graphene oxide, a thin sheet of carbon that can act as a molecular sieve, Plyler wants to create and patent a design for a dialysis blood filter. Her earlier research strategy yielded valuable information — it didn’t work — but her work to figure out why and to devise a new plan of action for property testing was enough to win first place in the engineering and math division at Discovery Day 2014. “I learned a great deal about how to investigate why certain results are occurring, to not give up, to exhaust all resources, how to theorize why I’m receiving a result, and why this ‘mistake’ or ‘error’ can be learned from and be a good experience in the long run,” said Plyler. A Matthews, N.C., native, Plyler wants to earn a DVM and Ph.D., and do more biomedical research in veterinary medicine through designing her own devices and treatments. “The more progress my research makes, the more likely people’s lives can be improved despite being afflicted with a disease.” The SCHC awards its students more than $200,000 in research grants each year. Students are required to complete the research ethics course required of NSF and NIH researchers.

“One of the best ways to learn about medicine, anatomy or any living thing is to start from the inside to understand the outside, whether physical, hormonal or behavioral,” explains Selvey, a biology/anthropology senior whose mission is to improve captive settings for wild animals. Before traveling to South Africa, the Fort Mill native dissected a tiger, gorilla, hyena, caracal and serval in Hartstone-Rose’s lab to better understand mammalian anatomy. She also has studied bones at the Smithsonian Museum in Maryland and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and presented her research at three conferences. “We want our research to stimulate dialogue about the idea that animals — down to the bone — are changed by captivity, and that if we are going to preserve the animals from the wild that so intrigue us, we need to improve captive settings,” says Selvey, who is applying to veterinary programs and to do mammalian osteological research at the graduate level. “We are advocating on behalf of captive animals and hoping to scientifically support the notion that they are less changed and more healthy when given wild-type diets.”

T YLER ANTO N ELLI: “ S H OCKI N G” With plans for a master’s in biomedical sciences followed by a career in dentistry, the business/biology senior from Harrisburg, N.C., studied the effects of diet on the dental health of captive black-footed ferrets in his last trip to the Smithsonian. “It is shocking that the dental issues present in the ferrets we studied and the causes of these issues were neglected and unnoticed for so long,” Antonelli says. His research, the subject of his senior honors thesis, revealed that the soft, wet, ground meat diet fed to the animals wasn’t tough enough to develop strong teeth, leading to increased periodontal disease and calculus accumulation. That discovery will help Antonelli as a dentist because it shows what kinds of damage results to bone from calculus build up. “It also helps me see how diet can affect oral health, which is something I can pass on to patients.”

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Discovering by uncovering By treating damaged paintings, a once-struggling student finds professional success Samantha Skelton has an easy laugh and for good reason. After a childhood she calls “tumultuous,” the 2011 SCHC art history graduate has found herself in the perfect profession — paintings conservation. “I know this is totally cheesy, but I felt like nothing ever went right for me until I found what I wanted to do,” she said. “Then doors started opening and things started happening and people wanted to mentor me.” A Kress Foundation Fellow at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Skelton has conserved works of art dating from the 1500s to the 1960s, in venues as varied as Doris Duke’s Islamic Shangri La estate in Hawaii to Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen. Her most recent work has been through the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, from which she earned a master’s degree in August. One of 10 Fellows accepted into the competitive program, Skelton has proven her younger self wrong: She’s good in math, she’s good in science, and having graduated from USC summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, she’s definitely “academic.” “I felt I wasn’t cut out for it,” she said, explaining how her family’s frequent moves made school a struggle. With a GED at 16, she worked as a waitress, bank teller and in a medical imaging facility before enrolling in Midlands Technical College at age 21. That’s where her first mentor appeared. English professor Katherine Mille, former SCHC director of admissions, noticed Skelton’s exceptional analytical and writing skills. Mille wrote a letter recommending that Skelton transfer directly

to the SCHC, where her aptitude for chemistry, combined with a lifelong love of art, led her to more mentors in art history professor Andrew Graciano and chemistry professor Stephen Morgan. Then, an internship arrived entirely by chance: Advisor Ed Munn-Sanchez knew Columbia art conservator Craig Crawford from their sons’ soccer team. At Crawford Conservation Inc., Skelton could practice the science and history she was learning in the classroom, and present the conservation of a 19th century oil portrait as her senior thesis. Removing grime and working through layers of clumsy restorations from generations past takes patience, manual dexterity, a thorough knowledge of chemistry and tools ranging from scalpels to infrared imaging. Conservators can spend days just examining a painting before writing a condition report. Skelton has devoted a year to treating a painting. She has come to love works that she might not have liked at the beginning, including two early 18th century rococo pendant paintings by Nicolas Lancret. “When I took off the coating, the dirty varnish and a lot of the repaint, I could see the original shapes of the faces,” she said. “The earlier restoration wasn’t as charming as the artist intended it to be. Now I just love to look at them.” Discovering by uncovering is why Skelton feels akin to the artist’s representative. “You get to see the history of the painting, the damages, and past attempts at restoration, good and bad. Natural colors are revealed and paintings take on depth and contrast. It’s amazing to see them come back together.”

Art conservation is the umbrella term that includes art restoration, which is “aesthetic compensation,” Skelton says. Conservation includes preventive work—making sure a painting’s environment is suitable for longtime preservation and won’t be damaged by pests, light, and humidity.

8 / S O UTH C A R O LIN A HONORS COLLEGE


'THE THINGS THAT DESCRIBE US' Not every painting Samantha Skelton treats is from centuries past. At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the conservator was excited to be assigned two badly stained Morris Louis paintings from the 1960s. Louis, a color field artist who died in 1962, used unconventional materials, requiring different treatment methods. A Louis fan since she learned about him in USC art professor Brad Collins’ class, Skelton says she hopes MFAH will accession the treated works from study pieces into its permanent collection. Resuscitating two pieces of a favorite artist’s work considered irretrievably damaged has been a challenge and an honor. “Art is our cultural heritage,” Skelton maintains. “It’s what our predecessors thought was important enough to save from fires and floods and wars. It’s the story of the world, and it’s laid out in objects and textiles and photographs and paintings. It’s all we have, the things that describe us.”

Left: Skelton removes a small sample of several stained fibers for fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis for Morris Louis’ “Slide,” 1962, gift of The Joseph and Sylvia Slifka Collection, CM#284.2 at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Top right: Morris Louis, “Untitled (Floral),”1959-1960, 78 1/2 x 101 7/8 in. (199.4 x 258.8 cm), Acrylic resin (Magna) on canvas, The Joseph and Sylvia Slifka Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

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Orthopedics? Pediatrics? New MedEx partnership helps pre-med students decide

Will Crane thought he’d be a surgeon, but six weeks last summer in a unique Greenville Health System program changed his mind. “I learned that although I am interested in the science of medicine, I am in love with the relationships that clinical physicians get to experience with their patients,” the biology senior said, reflecting on whether he might become a general practitioner or a specialist. Thanks to the Medical Experience Academy, or MedEx, undergraduates watch surgeries, shadow doctors, attend lectures and, in Crane’s case, get a better sense of what direction in medicine to take. “MedEx gives our pre-med students a fantastic opportunity Junior Logan Hood participated in MedEx 2014 to gain experience, work in clinics and strengthen MCAT prep and plans to attend in 2015. Photo by Kattie Sun. skills,” said Pearl Fernandes, SCHC associate dean. Noting that about one in five SCHC students are pre-med, Fernandes started “Studying all the time can be a burden, and MedEx shows the partnership with GHS last spring. Last summer, three SCHC that being a doctor isn’t like being at school all the time,” he said. students attended. Next summer, there will be 10 openings. “Medicine is a field in which you have to continuously learn, but For Crane, a Palmetto Fellow and Dean’s Scholar, every day ultimately you do get to apply what you have learned and spend brought surprises. Urology, “something I thought I would detest,” time interacting with people.” turned out to be a favorite. So did the rehab clinic. And he was There was a personal victory, as well. Crane started exercising. gratified to find med school would be different from undergradu- “As doctors, we are our own first patients. It is important to lead ate school. your life as you would tell others to lead theirs.” Visits to South America and Africa inspired sophomore Spanish major Madeline Willet’s mixed media pieces.


‘He was always smiling’ W

hen longtime religious studies professor emeritus Hal French died this past July, a legion of his students and colleagues mourned. And they rejoiced, just to have known him. “He was always smiling,” said Daniel Meier, a 2014 philosophy graduate who took French’s “Learning Non-Violence with Ghandi and Friends,” an SCHC course. “He communicated both a lightheartedness and sincere kindness.” Meier, now a law student at the College of William and Mary, remembers how the course concluded. Instead of discussing the journal that was part of the course requirement, French probed into Meier’s personal aspirations. “He showed a deep care for me and the patience to really listen,” Meier said. “I will certainly remember that instance of kindness.” Such instances marked French’s life. Born in Kansas in 1930, French was a Christian minister and college chaplain. Interest in other religions led him to teaching and to USC in 1972. Though

he officially retired in 1995, he continued teaching, frequently in the SCHC, and researching Asian religions. His SCHC study abroad trips became legend, with students taking bullet trains across Japan and observing religious services at the Ganges River in India. They were so popular, students signed up again, said Jim Clark, the SCHC’s director of OffCampus Education. “He was always trying to give them a great experience,” Clark observed, recalling how he’d attend French’s pre-departure classes to answer questions but stay to the end. “He could mesmerize you. He had so much knowledge and he was excited about designing these trips and sharing what he knew.” French shared his learnings in other ways. Author of four books and editor of five, his 11-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism, of which he was associate editor, represented 25 years of work. He also did service work in impoverished countries, sang in the Columbia Choral Society, and was active in the Democratic Party and

Kiwanis. He taught in prisons. “Any student lucky enough to get Hal French got his or her money’s worth,” said Anita Shah Hood, M.D. An SCHC advisor, Hood first met French as an honors undergraduate taking a religion class, and he subsequently became her thesis mentor. Later he consoled her after her father’s unexpected death. When she married fellow SCHC and medical school student Charles Hood, Hal French was the perfect officiate for a ceremony that incorporated Christian and Hindu wedding rites. “Our intent was to fuse the best concepts of both worlds and convey that core religious values cut across all denominations,” Hood said. “There could have been no better carrier of this message than Hal French. He was a real treasure for more than one generation of Honors College students. I’m very grateful fate led me to him as teacher, minister and friend.” Hal French posthumously received the Michael Hill Award, the SCHC’s annual teaching award, at convocation in September.

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Catching up with William C. Hubbard, 2014-15 president, American Bar Association For William Hubbard, the South Carolina Honors College did two very important things: It gave him a bigger view of the world, and it kicked him into high gear so he could participate in it. “I had to step up my game,” said Hubbard, a 1974 history graduate. “I did not see myself as having the capac-

Currently reading: “The Day of Battle,” by Rick Atkinson Favorite movies: “Saving Private Ryan,” “Forrest Gump,” “The Graduate” Last concert attended: Verdi’s “Aïda” at the Arena in Verona, Italy

ity to extend myself beyond South Carolina. The Honors

Good at: I am told I run a good meeting.

College piqued my curiosity about the broader world

Bad at: Golf

beyond the borders of the state.” As 2014-15 president of the American Bar Association, Hubbard clearly is working on a national level. His goals at the ABA include finding ways to use technology to

Biggest challenge of your work? Staying on top of changing conditions and managing competing obligations and deadlines

expand legal services for the poor and middle class, and

Most people don’t know: I cherish time to think and

stronger advocacy for domestic violence victims. But

explore new ideas.

he’s working for South Carolina, as well, particularly as a

Go-to places on campus: Then: Kappa Alpha fraternity

member of the USC Board of Trustees, to which he was elected in 1986 and chaired from 1996-2000. “The Honors College changed my expectations of myself,” observed the Florence, S.C., native and 1977 USC law school graduate. “I had to work much harder to keep up. By doing so, I enhanced my options and increased

house and Capstone, where my future wife lived. Now: The Horseshoe Best SCHC memory: The Honors College history classes with Dr. Dolan, Dr. Rempel and Dr. Patterson. They raised the bar.

my odds of being successful on a bigger stage. I learned

Advice for SCHC students: Don’t limit your view of

there is no substitute for sheer effort.”

yourself. Continue to explore. Be curious. Never do less than your best.

William Hubbard is an SCHC donor. To learn more about how to give, see page 14.

12 / S O UTH C A R O L IN A H ONORS COLLEGE


SCHC names outstanding alumni A lawyer who improves the lives of families and an FBI agent who makes the world safer for Americans are the recipients of SCHC’s 2014 top honors. Both were recognized — one via skype — at the annual homecoming brunch in October. Distinguished Honors Alumni Reid T. Sherard (2000 political science; 2004 law) is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, concentrating on divorce-related litigation in Greenville, his hometown. A 2000 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and recipient of the 2000 Steven N. Swanger Award, Sherard is known for his pro bono work for the S.C. Division of Appellate Defense and as special prosecutor at the S.C. Office of the Attorney General. He has tried cases in family, federal district and magistrate courts, and several state and local courts. A recipient of the USC School of Law Alumni Council’s 2014 Compleat Lawyer Award, Sherard coaches youth basketball and serves on the YMCA Camp Greenville board of advisors and the S.C. Historical Society board of managers. Young Honors Alumni Jeremy Wolfe (’05 Russian, international studies, mathematics minor) is assistant legal attaché in Taipei, Taiwan, where he is establishing and maintaining a liaison with law enforcement and security services in that country. The Kentucky native’s Russian studies prompted him to move to that country, making him a candidate to work for the FBI. Wolfe, who also owns a CrossFit Studio, received the Boren Undergraduate Scholarship, Truman Scholarship and Rotary Global Grant while at USC. “Reid and Jeremy were stellar students who are making the world better through service to others,” said SCHC Dean Steven Lynn. “We can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.”

Jeremy Wolfe in front of Taipei 101, the fourth tallest building in the world and tallest certified green building at nearly 1,700 feet.

Pictured above: SCHC political science professor Don Fowler, former SCHC dean Peter Sederberg and Reid Sherard at the 2014 homecoming brunch.

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Moving on up By Chappell Suber Wilson

• Because we are now able to pay for passports, more students can study abroad. The Carolina’s Promise campaign ends June 30, 2015, and is gaining momentum. As we race to the $1 billion finish line, I hope you will consider contributing to our growth and success. Every gift matters. Together we can make the last year of the campaign as successful as our first seven. Please join the Honors College in this effort as we strive to continue moving on up! Photo by Stacey Quattlebaum

How has your life changed in the past seven years? Over that time, I have moved into a new home (twice!), had two children, memorized the words to dozens of children’s songs and books and watched with excitement as our USC baseball and football teams grew to national prominence. The South Carolina Honors College has changed (and moved) over the past seven years, too. We’ve grown from 1,200 students to 1,650, our average SAT score for incoming freshmen improved from 1404 to 1431, the Honors Residence Hall opened and the college was recognized nationally for its comprehensive program. You and your generosity have helped transform the college over the past seven years. We’re thrilled about these numbers: • $3.8 million for Honors College scholarships • $14.2 million for Carolina and McNair scholarships • $97,697 for internship, research, community service and passport stipends • $ 659,048 in unrestricted support used for student events, classroom support and scholarships. Good numbers translate into enhanced programs and improved student experiences, such as these: • SCHC scholarship endowments have nearly quadrupled • A new internship program provides stipends annually to several students with unpaid internships • Our community service program has grown to include grants supporting student initiatives. Last year students endeavored to improve the homelessness crisis in Columbia and taught disadvantaged youth in the Midlands the importance of healthy eating and living • To retain the community feeling within our larger student population, we have created dozens of new, free student events and activities

Chappell Wilson and her family.

To make a gift to the Honors College and the Carolina’s Promise campaign, give online at giving.sc.edu or contact Chappell Wilson for more information at 803-777-7511 or cswilson@sc.edu.

14 / S O UTH C A R O L IN A H ONORS COLLEGE


alumni news 1970 Felicia Mitchell, ’77, is

WANT TO B E PRO U D O F YO U R ALMA MATER ? R E AD TH IS!

“I would like to share good news about Carolina’s Promise, our ambitious $1 billion capital campaign. A billion dollar club is very exclusive. Nationwide, only 38 of the nation’s 4,599 degreegranting colleges and universities are currently in campaigns with goals of $1 billion or more. Only 19 of those are public colleges. I express my gratitude to the many individuals and corporations who have helped us raise $870,855,302 to date.” – President Harris Pastides, State of the University Address, September 4, 2014

currently a professor of English at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. She has a new book of poetry, “Waltzing with Horses”(Press 53, Winston-Salem, N.C.). Keep up with her writing at www. feliciamitchell.net. 1980 1 980 Alicia Sikes , ’83,

participated in the Air Race Classic from Concord, Calif., to New Cumberland, Penn., in June. A captain with American Airlines, Sikes and Emily Lewis piloted a 1961 twin engine Beechcraft Travel Air, finishing 26th in the all-women’s event. The “Friendly Fliers” won second place in the seventh leg of the nine-leg race.

1 990 Christie Companion Varnado, ’90, was

ALL IN! The Honors College staff has had 100 percent giving participation every year for the past seven years. If we can do it, so can you!

elected chair of the Circuit Vice Presidents at the annual meeting of the Federal Bar Association in September. She is an ex officio member of the national board of directors. Ian Merrill, ’93, works as a securities lawyer at the New York law firm of Sidley Austin LLP. He has worked

with Barclays in New York and San Francisco since 2004. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children. Sarah Quick , ’93, is

currently an assistant professor of anthropology and sociology at Cottey College in Nevada, Mo. Clanitra L. Stewart , ’97,

has joined the library faculty at Northern Illinois University College of Law as a reference and instructional services librarian and assistant professor. Stewart received a J.D. from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University in 2000 and an MLIS from Carolina in 2013.

Andrea (Prospero) West , ’95, is an instruc-

tor in the English department at Midlands Technical College. She was a recent one-day champion on Jeopardy!, winning $23,800.

2000 Patrick Wooten , ’05, is an associate in Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough’s Charleston office and was chosen as president-elect for the fiscal year that began July 1. He has been active in the S.C. Bar and serves on its Board of Governors. He also has been a member and chair of the Young Lawyers Division’s Professional Development Committee and is the division's 9th Circuit representative. Susan Crook , ’07,

graduated from North Carolina State University with a Ph.D. in applied mathematics in August 2013. She currently works for Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Hannah Markwardt , ’07, lives in Seattle, Wash., where she was a museum education intern at Seattle’s award-winning Museum of History & Industry. She continues to volunteer as a gallery ambassador. In January 2014, she participated in a two-week research residency at George Washington's Mount Vernon for the Life Guard Teacher Fellowship. She currently works at Seattle Central College as a program assistant in the allied health division.

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Columbia, SC 29208

As a Gamecock, my desire to make a difference has No Limits. Davontae Singleton

Most of his teachers didn’t stay long enough to truly care. And many of his classmates had given up, though they were too young to know what life had to offer. Davontae Singleton’s early schooling was shaky. But he beat the odds, persevered and became the first in his family to go college, majoring in English and secondary education in the South Carolina Honors College. Davontae is striving for a career in the classroom where he can be a difference maker. At USC he’s taken leadership roles in after-school programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters and more. “My desire,” he says, “is to show young children — especially those struggling — that they have options that go beyond what they see every day.”

sc.edu/nolimits

AHA! Winter 2014-2015  

South Carolina Honors College

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