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Spring 2006

AHA! Contents

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7 9 p.

A fantastic philosophy

Career changers share insights and experiences

Alumna calls on professor 11 years after their first class

A promising documentary is making its mark

International business students travel the globe

“I climb whenever and wherever I can. I’m passionate about it. I climb with friends, or strangers, or anybody who will climb with me. I have climbed all over the U.S. and in Europe. I still have not climbed in North Carolina , though, but I’m planning my first trip soon.”

AHA! is the official newsletter of the Association of Honors Alumni and is published twice yearly for alumni of the South Carolina Honors College by the South Carolina Honors College. Managing Editor: Carissa Hansford Copy Editor: Susan Nesbitt Ward (1990) To reach us: 803-777-8102 or Alumni Correspondents: Rachel Moyle Beanland (2003) Michele Marple Thomas (1992) Susan Nesbitt Ward (1990) Student Correspondents: Anne Almers (2007) Beth Murff (2006) Emily Stanek (2008) 06137 University Publications 04/06

DHA winner Dickson learns, teaches “thinking well”

“the Honors College’s ‘interdisciplinary, design your own degree’ major. When I was a senior,” he said, “I decided that I was going to go to grad school in philosophy, so I also completed the course work for my philosophy major.”

by Susan Nesbitt Ward (1990)

... a brain

Although he might dispute it, Michael Dickson is the kind of guy described by the great and powerful Oz when he’s granting the Scarecrow’s wish. “Back where I come from,” the Wizard says, “we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven’t got: a diploma.” Dickson (1990), the 2005 Distinguished Honors Alumni award winner, has a couple of diplomas and a brain. And as a professor in USC’s Department of Philosophy, thinking deep thoughts, and encouraging his students to do so, is part of his job description. His family moved around some when he was growing up, but Dickson attended high school in South Carolina and came to the University as a Carolina Scholar. After sampling several traditional majors, he says, he eventually decided on the Baccalaureus, which he describes as

Dickson admits when he came to USC, he was not serious about academics. But something about his courses and professors captivated him. “In certain courses—nearly all of them in the Honors College—the professors placed the emphasis on thinking well, not on thinking the right thing,” he said. “It is important to think the right thing—after all, we all want to believe the truth, don’t we? But learning to think well ultimately, I believe, serves the purpose of thinking the right thing better than cramming one’s head full of truths. “Another way to put this point is: these courses taught me to be an intellectual optimist, to believe that if I think carefully and well, I have a decent chance of thinking the right things. And of course the same goes for others—and as long as you believe that the same goes for others, you will also maintain a healthy respect for the thoughts of others who appear to be thinking carefully, even if they happen to disagree with you,” Dickson continued.

“All of that—thinking well, striving for the truth even when it is hard, and respecting the thoughts of others who appear to be engaged in the same struggle—is, I take it, at least part of what it means to ‘pursue the life of the intellect,’” he said. Dickson went straight from USC to grad school, earning a Ph.D. at Notre Dame in 1995. He was a nondegree student at Cambridge University during this period as well. During his grad student career, he taught at Notre Dame, Cambridge, and even Carolina, while his fiancee, now wife, Misty HollisDickson (1990, master’s 1994) was finishing a master’s degree. But he doesn’t recall an “aha” moment when he decided to pursue teaching. “I loved teaching at Notre Dame, and I knew that, given my career choice, I better love it or get out. I didn’t get out,” he said.

... a heart After earning his Ph.D., he spent several years teaching at Indiana University, and while there, Dickson also was involved teaching adults reading and some math through a volunteer program called VITAL. “Teaching an adult how to read is quite different from teaching college students in several ways,” he said. “For one, these adult students are uniformly extremely motivated. I wish I could say the same for all college students, but alas, it is not so.

“Another difference is that most of the adult students are carrying some shame with them about not being able to read or do simple mathematics. One has to work very hard to let them know that you do not look down upon them, or somehow disvalue them. On the other hand, ‘shame’ is not a word that comes to mind when I think of most of my college students,” he said.

... a home Dickson says he considers his most significant accomplishment the still ongoing rearing of three children— Samuel, age 5, James, 3, and Muireall, 1—with Misty. They have been married 12 years, and they returned to live in Columbia in 2004.

“There is an important similarity, though, and that is that both those adult students and college students generally respond better to being treated as adults than to being treated as children,” Dickson continued. “Treating them in this way is harder then one might think because there is an inherent asymmetry in the relationship—you (the teacher) know something that they (the students) don’t. “Automatically, that asymmetry puts you in a position of power, and rightly so, but it also means that, as a teacher, you must work very hard to exercise that power in an appropriate way, and not in a way that will come across as disrespect, superciliousness, or lack of interest in what, or how, the student thinks,” he said.

There’s no place like home: Michael Dickson with wife Misty HollisDickson (SCHC 1990) and children Samuel (left), Muireall, and James

Dickson: “Have the nerve to trust” As Distinguished Honors Alumni award winner, Dickson was invited to speak at the AHA Homecoming Brunch in October. One of the best things that a university can do for its students is to trust them. Professors have no particular reason to trust students—indeed, experience tells us that such trust will often be rewarded with wrongdoing or negligence of some sort. But without trust in students nonetheless—one is tempted to call it “faith”—we are at best force-feeding our students, not educating them.Trust in students comes in many forms.A scholarship is an expression of trust.Teaching something that will not “be on the test” is a kind of trust. One of the greatest virtues of the Honors College at USC is that it trusts its students.When I was a student in the Honors College, I was permitted, as a freshman, to take a senior seminar.The dean at the time—not to mention the professor in the course— had no reason to believe that the worst (frequent and naive disruption, followed by failure) would not happen.

And yet they showed faith in me, and as a result, I had an intellectual experience that changed the course of my college career. As a junior, the Honors College sponsored me (and others) to do original research with professors on campus.Again, there was, and is, little reason to believe that this research will succeed—I had zero experience—and many reasons to believe that it will fail.And sometimes it does fail. But I learned because I was trusted, both by the Honors College and by the professor, who gave me a job to do without dictating how it should be done. Trust is difficult. It is easier to control students’ education than it is to trust them to learn. But the irony is that controlled education is not education in the first place.Trust in students is therefore an essential part of a good education. It is, alas, missing more often than it is found in a college career. But students of the Honors College are lucky, because for them, it is found more often than missing.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2006 Distinguished Honors Alumni award. Alumni, staff members, and friends of the Honors College may nominate candidates for the award; nominees are asked to submit supporting materials. Up to two winners are recognized each year.  Each winner receives an engraved memento and a piece of Honors College sportswear as a reminder of the honor. To nominate a candidate, contact the director of alumni affairs at or 803-777-2187. SCHC graduates from the Class of 1996 and earlier are eligible.


Danny Dorsel The search for fulfillment When Danny Dorsel graduated from USC in 1995 with a degree in mechanical engineering, he wasn’t completely sure what he wanted to do. Deferring his admission to graduate school for a year, Dorsel volunteered as a teacher at a mission school on St. Vincent island in the Caribbean. He got more than a suntan from the experience—it also sparked his love of teaching. After returning to the U.S., Dorsel completed a master’s degree in environmental engineering at Virginia Tech. He then accepted a management consulting job with Pricewaterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). “I really enjoyed my two years with them,” he said, “but it was not fulfilling on a personal level. I wanted to wake up and be excited about going to work. We work such a large portion of our lives that I wanted my job to fulfill me spiritually, personally, and financially.”


Thought, planning bring careerchange success by Beth Murff (2006)

I always thought that by the time I graduated college I would have it figured out. After all, I’ve had 22 years to think about it. But to my dismay, graduation looms at the end of the semester, and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I’m afraid I’ll take a job I’ll end up hating just to have a paycheck. I’m worried that I’ll never find a direction for my life. I’m learning, though, that few people have it all figured out upon graduation. Many of you vividly remember the dilemma of finding your first job. But finding the right career is a concern that affects more than just recent graduates. Often, that first job does not turn out to be the one that fulfills you— your “forever job.” But you suspect it may be quite difficult to completely change careers, especially now, since you may have a family and mortgage to take into account. The good news is that it can be done! It may take quite a bit of time and effort, but it is possible to find a career that you love, even if it means a radical change in direction. I may not know yet what career I’ll pursue, but I’ve learned from these Honors College alumni that it’s never too late to find a job that fits.

ing,” said Jennifer Baker, a 1995 graduate and political science major. One of the firms where she interned during college hired her immediately after graduation to provide strategic communications counsel to companies involved in environmental cleanups. “I was able to jump right into the government relations world,” she said.

Jennifer Baker now owns a lobbying firm with her father

After five years with that firm, Baker worked in public affairs and crisis communications with WorldCom. She then spent two years at the U.S. Marine Corps headquarters as a legislative affairs specialist. When Baker was ready to change jobs again, her father was looking for help managing the client load at his own lobbying firm, especially since he was considering retirement. She officially became a partner in his firm, The Laurin Baker Group, LLC, in January of 2005. “I am earning ownership in the business based on our profit every year so that ultimately I will buy him out and he will retire,” she said.

That was when he made the decision to teach. “During Baker admits that there are plenty of challenges involved my time at the mission school, I came to appreciate in being a partner in her own lobbying firm, such as the good that could be accomplished through teaching.” blending work styles with her father and learning to be Now working at Cardinal Newman School in Columher own boss. It has also been a challenge bia, S.C., Dorsel loves for her to learn the financial and accounthis job. Since he chose ing sides of running a small business—espeto work at a private cially at tax time. Additionally, Baker now school, he did not have has to worry about whether they will get go back to school for enough business to pay monthly bills and any additional trainstill make a profit. She also has to purchase ing before entering the her own health insurance, which is generally classroom. Also to his provided when working for someone else. advantage, Dorsel had no debt, so he was free For her, though, all of the extra stress that of the financial concomes with self-employment is more than straints that prevent worth it. “It’s satisfying to know that you’re Danny Dorsel enjoys time off with wife, Whitney many people from responsible for the win or loss for the client. changing careers. Working for yourself is rewarding in a way that working in a corporate or bureaucratic structure can never be. For “At the beginning, I gave up a very lucrative job for one better or worse, I’m in charge of my schedule and where that required a lot of hours and not a lot of pay, but the the company goes in the future.” rewards you get from being in education are such that it would be hard to put a monetary value on them,” Dorsel said. It was initially hard for some to understand why he would make such a change. “Any questions were quickly Tips from survivors answered when my family and friends saw how much If you are considering a change in career, or even just happier I was.” starting off, here’s some advice: Dorsel started as a classroom teacher at Cardinal Newman and is now interim principal. “Unfortunately, the demands of the position don’t allow me to be in the classroom on a regular basis,” he said. “However, each month we have a drawing and whichever teacher’s name is drawn, he or she receives a day off and I will go in and teach for them.” Dorsel finds it very fulfilling to work at a place that focuses on the formation of the whole child. “Every day you can look back on your day and realize you made a difference in someone’s life.”

Jennifer Baker From employee to self-employed “I always knew that I wanted to be involved in the world of lobbying and politics because I had watched my father in that world, and I thought it was fascinat-

“If you don’t like what you’re doing, change now; don’t wait. The amount of time you have to change only decreases the longer you put it off. Take the calculated leap, and something will work out—but don’t quit your job until you have secured another one.” —Danny Dorsel (1995) “Talk to everyone you can think of who might be able to tell you about a career or job choice. I can’t stress enough the importance of networking with other professionals to give you a sense of what you need to focus on.” —Jennifer Baker (1995) “I suppose it behooves one to analyze a career choice as closely as one can. Then pray hard.” —Gene Godbold (1989)

For those contemplating self-employment, Baker suggests starting with a financial cushion. “That way, if you have a bad month or two, you won’t have to worry about paying the bills immediately.” She also suggests considering whether you are the type of person who is driven to meet deadlines without them being assigned by a boss. “Like with anything else, the more you research it and talk to others that are self-employed, the better off you are in making an informed decision about whether self-employment is for you.”

Gene Godbold Changing priorities “I wanted to be a biochemist and geneticist since I was about 14 years old, after I read a science fiction novel by Ben Bova,” recalls Gene Godbold. He is now a biochemist, but he had to transition from academic research to teaching to professional research in order to find a career that was both fulfilling and financially sufficient to meet his family’s growing needs. Godbold graduated in 1989 with a chemistry degree. Undeterred by a “nasty” case of salmonella that he acquired collecting samples for research in Roy Wuthier’s lab at USC, Godbold went on to receive his doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He then spent four years at the University of Virginia, where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in infectious diseases at the school of medicine. The next two years Godbold spent in visiting professorships at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the College of William and Mary. “I always enjoyed learning and presenting science more than actually doing it— a failing more common among scientists than one might think—and I figured that I would be better suited to teaching and directing undergraduate research than trying to make it doing research in a basic science department of a medical school.” As he was applying to teach at various schools for the following year, Godbold began to reconsider where he wanted to go with his career. He felt that his teaching had improved and that he had learned a surprising amount while teaching the courses, but he recognized that “there would be a point of diminishing returns” in what he would continue to learn while teaching undergraduates. He also had a greater concern: “I had, at this point, five sons and a wife to support. And salaries at small colleges are not, frankly, all that great.”

promoted from research scientist to principal research scientist in 2005. He does open-source data collection and analysis on various biomedical topics. “The chief factor was, honestly, to properly provide for my family,” Godbold said of his career change. After he met his wife, SCHC alumna Kristen (Hyer) Godbold (1989), and had children, he found that his personal priorities changed drastically. (He and Kristen now have seven children!) “Now, rather than trying to fill some manufactured ambition in my psyche, I just try to fulfill my responsibilities. Taking care of my family and working and playing with my boys is immensely satisfying to me. My job is a good job, but it’s just a job. I work to live; I don’t live to work.”

A roadmap for help If you are like me, you know how helpful the USC Career Center is to undergraduates. What you may not know is that their services are still available to alumni on a fee basis. “About 50 percent of the traffic I get is people wondering, ‘What else can I do?’” said Sandy Tomes, the career counselor for alumni. Most people today will have three to five different careers in their lifetime, and up to 10 different jobs. “It’s no longer like the old adage ‘work 30 years for one employer and then retire with a plaque and a gold watch,’” said Tomes. The Career Center can provide you with the guidance and resources to help you make your career change, whether you’re interested in returning to school for something entirely different, or just finding out what areas of your field may suit you better. Service packages are available for alumni, like the Gamecock Special. It includes two and one-half hours of career counseling, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Strong Interest Inventory, and access to career software and resources, all for $120. Carolina Alumni members receive a 10 percent discount. For more information, visit and click on “Alumni” or call 803-777-7280 for an appointment.

Users can also click on “Web resources” on the Career Center homepage for free access to an index of careerrelated links.“The Career Center Web site really can be a one-stopshop for alumni, as we will link them to the best resources out there,” said Vicki Hamby, career counselor for liberal arts and honors students. Well-known resources like monster. com and are listed on the “Top Sites” page. In Hamby’s opinion, however, job-searchers will fare better by using more specific sites, like the nonprofit or govFour of the seven Godbold children; ernment sections to search by sector, “Fortunately,” he said, “I was they inspired Gene Godbold to make a change or the “S.C. jobs” or geographical secsaved from false choices by tions to search by location. The “Jobs by College and either divine providence—my explanation—or sheer Major” section is useful as well. There, you can search dumb luck.” Godbold received a job offer from a friend for jobs in publishing on the Arts and Sciences/English who happened to be the manager of the regional office page, or jobs in television or public relations on the jourof Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit research and nalism page. “As employees get older and more focused development contracting company headquartered in on what they are looking for, their job-search strategies Columbus, Ohio. “The pay was gratifyingly better than and resources should become more sophisticated and speacademia—we could afford to buy a house!—and the job cific to parameters they have set,” said Hamby. turned out to be an excellent fit for me.” Godbold was


The worst mistakes career changers can make According to career resource Web site, career changers should avoid the following pitfalls:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Don’t look for a job in another field without some intense introspection  on’t look for “hot” fields unless D they’re a good fit for you  on’t go into a field because your D friend is doing well in it  on’t stick to possibilities you already D know about Don’t let money be the deciding factor  on’t keep your dissatisfaction to yourself D or try to make the switch alone Don’t go back to school unless you’ve done some test-drives in the new field  e careful when using placement B agencies or search firms  on’t expect a career counselor to D tell you which field to enter Don’t expect to switch overnight Source:

Another career exploration resource for alumni is HAP, or Honors Alumni Profiles. HAP contains detailed career profiles of alumni, including advice, tips, and contact information. The HAP database is online at career/honors/hap.html. I would like to say that all of this makes me less fearful of the uncertainty beyond my upcoming graduation. It doesn’t. But I do know that it’s OK if it takes me a while to figure out the right career for me—after all, it took Danny, Jennifer, and Gene a while, and they even had an idea of what they wanted to do when they graduated. I’m also glad to know about some of the resources that will be available to guide my career journey in the coming years. But I’m determined not to settle for less than a career that I love—and I’ll be sure to send in a “Class Note” once I’ve found it! Beth Murff is an English major from Boiling Springs, S.C. She readily admits that she never had a solid career direction in college. Murff’s pending graduation and job search sparked her interest in this story. At press time, she was still searching, but was focused on non-profits or Americorps. “Whatever I do,” she said, “it needs to be a job with a purpose. I know that I won’t be happy otherwise.”


Paying tribute: Dr. Ed Madden by Anne Knight (1998)

A well-dressed youngish guy walked into our honors poetry class, leather satchel in hand, and we all thought he was one of us. Turns out he was the professor. Ed Madden taught us to be objective yet compassionate, themes further underscored in the AIDS and Literature course I took with him a few years later. I reveled in the freedom he gave us to consider complex and politicized issues of identity. Very young and Ed Madden very green, I was grappling on a personal level with the same ideas and concerns Professor Madden was introducing in class: What experiences have made me into the person I am? What about this particular piece of writing resonates with me? What do I care about beyond myself and the life I know? Of all my courses in the Honors College, it was those with Ed Madden that made me question what I thought I knew.

Now, 11 years after my first class with Dr. Madden, I gave him a call.


Anne Knight

AK: I wanted to ask about your relationship with your students and what you want them to take from your lessons.

songs, stories, or even recipes.) Signals is a collection of allnew poems, most about my own personal engagement with S.C. poetry and history.

EM: Two difficult questions. Well, I love it when students risk saying something even when they know it won’t be “right.” I also like knowing my students personally, knowing what motivates them, learning from them. I try to pull out the material that makes it local, makes it real, makes it more than just poetry.

Academically, I have an essay in the first book to be published about two 19th-century poets who wrote under the pen name Michael Field. I’m proud because I began researching them in grad school and they were fairly unknown then, but are now included in the Norton Anthology.

AK: That’s what I really liked about the classes I took with you.

I am also receiving a Legacy Award from the Human Rights Campaign (N.C./S.C. Chapter). They created the award for someone with a history and record for work for the betterment of the lives of gays and lesbians in the state. I was stunned when I got the phone call.

EM: I get tired of the misperception that poetry is about emotions. Oscar Wilde said bad art is rooted in sincerity. One exercise I do in my class requires students to write on a slip of paper a secret from their past. They then draw someone else’s secret out of a hat and they have to write a poem in the first person about it, as if it were their own secret. They learn that they can write about deeply personal things and still care about craft and how language works. They get some distance from the material that might otherwise be too personal. AK: What are you teaching now? EM: Survey of British Literature, 1800 to the Present, and a poetry workshop. These are two of my favorite classes. I am also very busy organizing the Irish Studies Conference in late February. And I’ll be taking a group of Capstone Scholars to Ireland in May for two weeks of touring to study cultural representations of Ireland. (Some 500 freshmen make up the inaugural class of USC’s Capstone Scholars, a community of high-achieving students who, their mission statement says, are “engaged in a culture of inquiry that fosters both personal discovery and a sense of community.”) AK: Any other recent projects? EM: I am working now with Riverbanks Botanical Gardens as a poet-in-residence. We’ll have lectures and workshops, and there will be a writing contest. The theme is “the language of flowers.” I’m a gardener, too, so I love working out there. And my chapbook, Signals, recently won the S.C. Poetry Initiative contest. (Chapbooks are informal short manuscripts, usually self-published, that might include poems,


Honors Alumni Profiles

AK: You have been very involved in the community. EM: A lot of what drives the work I do is a combination of knowing where I came from and where I want to be. I grew up in what I’d almost call a 19th-century family on a farm in rural Arkansas. We were a large extended family, very connected to the land, and very supportive of each other. Even though I don’t fit in that community anymore—not just because I’m gay, but because I’m an English professor—I really value that sense of community. I loved the Honors College class I taught on community— themes of exclusion and inclusion and how to deal with the difference. AK: You’ve been at USC for about 11 years now. Thinking back, is there anything that surprised you? EM: I don’t know if I would say “surprised” exactly, but when I moved here, I was struck by how open the students were. I’m also pleased that sexual orientation is finally included in USC’s discrimination policy. It was proposed over 10 years ago, but it wasn’t until (President) Andrew Sorensen took office that it was added to University policy. You want to be a university that provides protection to everyone, where people won’t worry that they’ll be harassed or fired if they come here. ... It says a lot about the kind of university that USC wants to be.

If you would like to “Pay tribute” to your favorite professor in a future issue of AHA!, please contact Carissa Hansford at



What is HAP? HAP is a searchable online database containing career profiles of honors alumni who have volunteered to provide helpful career advice and information to AHA members and SCHC students. HAP is not a job placement service or job board, but it is a great way to learn about careers and to make connections with SCHC alumni.

How do I participate? Simply visit and enter the keycode hap123 to create your profile. Is my information safe? Only e-mail addresses will be displayed to users.

update The Honors Alumni Profiles database is growing steadily. Many thanks to the 75 alumni who entered a career profile between January and March 2006. While HAP has already grown into a wonderful career resource, we need more profiles! Please log on to the HAP database to create your profile.

Please visit career/honors/hap.html

Filmmakers interview a resident

Honors student recognized for documentary Promises Made by Anne Almers (2007)

Kudos to senior media arts major and Honors College student Lauren Waring for her work as coproducer of the documentary Lauren Waring film Promises Made. Among other honors, the film was featured at the Hawaii International Conference for the Arts and Humanities and at the fifth annual African-American/International Film Festival in Columbia. The film has also been selected to air on the Emmy award–winning ETV program Southern Lens this fall. Promises Made chronicles the controversy surrounding a bridge, promised more than 70 years ago to the residents of the rural S.C. communities of Lone Star and Rimini, but never constructed. The nine-mile connector would provide the towns, isolated from one another and the world by a swamp at the headwaters of Lake Marion, access to now-distant basic amenities and with the potential for renewed economic growth. The predominantly black communities of Lone Star and Rimini became isolated in the 1930s when the dam that would create Lake Marion—and electricity for more than 90 percent of rural South Carolina—was constructed. When the lake filled up, the communities were cut off. But, residents say, at the start of the electrification project they were promised that a bridge would be built to relink them to civilization. Seventy years later, residents still await their bridge. Opponents say spending an estimated $80 million to benefit so few is a waste and that the bridge will

From left: Kim Emswiler (media arts 2004), Professor Susan Hogue, and Lauren Waring

compromise the remote beauty and biodiversity of Upper Santee Swamp.

the bridge, they were skeptical of the motives of Hogue’s crew coming into town with cameras.

The issue is complicated by the fact that in 1968, S.C. Governor Robert McNair signed a bill into law approving construction of the bridge. Also, some claim that opposition to the project is tinged with racism. U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., who is featured prominently in the film, says in a statement on his Web site: “Issues of race prevented this bridge from being realized for more than 50 years.”

Waring also doubled as the project’s still photographer, taking more than 1,500 photos. Her photography was used in the creation of promotional materials for the film. She also worked with a programmer to create a Web site that Hogue calls “the public face of Promises Made.”

The purpose of the documentary, say its creators, is to give these issues a fair hearing. Promises Made tells both sides of the story, featuring interviews with Congressman Clyburn, 82-year-old Lone Star resident Missy Curry, and local business owner and naturalist Jim Kelly.

Hogue considers Waring’s start-to-finish producing experience “invaluable.” She said, “Lauren is an outstanding example of what can happen when undergraduates engage in research with a mentor. I predict Lauren is going to be a very impressive filmmaker, at least in part

Honors student Waring worked on the film as assistant producer to media arts professor Susan Hogue. “Lauren had what I needed in a producer: talent, initiative, intelligence, the ability to listen, and quite a wonderful way of working with people,” Hogue said. Hogue first became interested in the story after reading about “the bridge to nowhere.” She then saw a Dateline NBC: Fleecing of America segment that gave a brief report on the issue. The report claimed that South Carolina was spending a large amount of money to ruin a swamp “for nothing.” “I wanted to see what people on both sides of the issue were so upset about, and where ‘nowhere’ was,” Hogue said. After visiting the towns and getting to know the residents, she said, “I found how incorrect it is to characterize people and their homes as nothing and nowhere.” Waring participated in the film’s two-year production process from beginning to end. She was not only involved in research and production but also in networking to make connections for the film. Waring said the hardest part was gaining the trust of the residents. While the majority of the residents seemed to be in support of

Pack’s Landing in Rimini, S.C.

because of what we provided at USC. We can create a unique atmosphere of learning for more Honors College undergraduate students, given the support necessary.” Waring plans to pursue a career in film production after graduating in May 2006. “I enjoy bringing a project together and being a part of both the artistic side and the business side,” she said. She is looking into graduate school but says she would postpone school if necessary to follow the success of Promises Made.

­For more information about Promises Made and to view a trailer for the film, visit promisesmade.htm.


SCHC author notes by Michele Marple Thomas (1992)

Historian, SCHC alumnus, and author David Godshalk (1986) recently talked to AHA! about his book, Veiled Visions: The 1906 Atlanta Race Riot and the Reshaping of American Race Relations. MT: Can you tell us what inspired you to look deeper into this time in our history?

David Godshalk

DG: When I began my research, the 1906 Atlanta race riot appeared to mirror the broader historical currents of an era that historians have often described as the “nadir” of American race relations. The riot was one of many white massacres of African Americans that occurred in the South during the early 1900s. On the first night of violence, approximately 10,000 white men surged through Atlanta’s downtown and attacked innocent black men and women. At dawn, at least 20 African Americans lay dead, and hundreds more were injured.


What began as a typical racial massacre, however, quickly escalated into a racial war. In coming days, African Americans successfully defended their neighborhoods from further white violence. Many city residents now feared an escalating spiral of white attacks and black counterattacks. Leading whites became convinced that interracial dialogue offered the only way out of a bloody impasse and public relations

“Dr. Doug” Williams returns to teaching, research; leaves legacy of experiential learning Dr. Doug Williams, associate dean of the Honors College, will step down June 30 at the end of his third term of service to the college. Williams will return full time to the Department of Geological Sciences and to the Marine Science Program, where he has maintained joint appointments since joining the Honors College in 1998. Williams will continue his research in paleoclimatology (the study of past climate change), supervise master’s and doctoral students, and teach undergraduate courses in marine science and global environmental change. Peter Sederberg, retired dean of the Honors College, brought Williams on board nine years ago to turn their shared vision of experiential learning into a tangible program for Honors College students. Together they developed research-based learning, the college’s ongoing and successful effort to integrate aspects of the research university experience into undergraduate learning. “Doug is an inspirational teacher,” said Sederberg, “and a catalyst for the development of transformational

fiasco. In the riot’s aftermath, Atlanta’s black and white elites established a unique tradition of interracial cooperation that has lasted for nearly a century. I eventually came to understand that a study of these interracial efforts could offer new insights into the possibilities and limits of interracial understanding and social change in 20th-century America. As my research continued, I became fascinated with the ways in which blacks and whites responded to the riot and its violence. Walter White, who guided the NAACP between the 1930s and 1950s, traced his own racial awakening to his experiences during the violence and grounded his civil-rights program on lessons learned in Atlanta. Margaret Mitchell also remembered the 1906 riot as a defining moment in her life. Martin Luther King Jr.’s father wrote about the riot in his autobiography. Many of America’s most influential black intellectuals and activists—including Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois—came to view the incident as key turning point in American history. MT: How much has changed in the South in the 100 years since the riots? DG: The South and America have undergone striking social and political changes since 1906. The sacrifices made by civil-rights activists have diminished the open expression of white racist stereotypes and ameliorated many of the most

programs like undergraduate research teams, researchbased learning courses, (and) undergraduate research journals.”

blatant forms of racial discrimination. Since the 1960s, the enforcement of civil-rights legislation has offered women and minorities enhanced job opportunities and has compelled employers to adopt fairer and more transparent hiring practices. Civilrights lawsuits and voting rights legislation have made Southern governments more democratic, not just for African Americans but for all citizens. Since the 1970s, however, new developments have undermined this progress. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in wealth inequality in America and the South. White flight to segregated suburbs and residential areas has diminished the impact of desegregation. In the past 20 years, public education facilities throughout the country have become increasingly segregated, especially in urban areas. African-American and Latino students are much more likely than their white counterparts to attend overcrowded and underfunded schools. David Godshalk is the chair of the History-Philosophy Department at Shippensburg University and tells us he is working on a new book project, examining the “vibrant black intellectual and artistic community that flowered in Atlanta during the 1890s and early 1900s.” For more information about Veiled Visions search for it on You can also reach David via e-mail at Are you published? We’d like to hear about your book or article. E-mail

graduate education is highly innovative and will change the character of education in the Honors College.”

After eight busy years, Williams is ready to take a In addition to developing RBL programs, Williams, breather. “Change is a good thing. Eight years is a long or “Dr. Doug” as his students call him, has served as time to be in any one position, and I just felt that with an academic advisor, teacher, the new dean, the timing was and mentor to hundreds of Honappropriate for me to leave and ors College students. He put his for him to have the opportunity experiential learning philosoof bringing in someone new with phy into practice, leading undernew ideas and new perspective,” graduate students on expeditions he said. to eastern Siberia’s Lake Bai“All I can really say is what a kal and to northern Russia’s Lena blessing it has been to serve as River. He served as faculty adviassociate dean in the Honors Colsor to the online undergraduate lege,” he said. “I will treasure the marine science research jourinteractions I have had with stunal MarSci, and he directed Go Dr. Doug in the surf at Hilton Head dents and staff over the years. I Polar!, an educational partnership with daughter Hannah Ruth, born in have made some wonderful friends December 2004 between the Honors College and with honors students, many of Columbia’s EdVenture Children’s whom still stay in touch. Heartfelt thanks to Peter SedMuseum. His latest effort involved guiding honors erberg for planting me in the rich soil of the Honors students to create new experiential learning opportuniCollege and allowing me to grow.” ties for elementary school children, including the Earth Festival. (For more information, see links below.) For more information about Dr. Doug’s projects, visit: “Doug is one of the most creative undergraduate cators I’ve ever met,” said Honors College Dean Davis Baird. “His work on integrating research into under-

Baird leads the way The Honors College deans were featured prominently in the Feb. 17 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, in a fullpage advertisement selling­­—what else?— honors education at USC. Dean Davis Baird (center) leads the way, with associate deans Leslie Sargent Jones and Jim Burns at his side

What else is the new dean of the Honors College up to?

Davis Baird, who began his tenure as dean in July 2005, has one order of business to fill right away: hiring a replacement for Associate Dean Doug Williams, who will step down from his position in the college June 30. “We will miss his creative energy—and will need to find someone who can fill this gap,” said Baird. Baird has also dedicated a good deal of time and energy to reorganizing the administrative structure of the college. His efforts have resulted in the hiring of a new administrative assistant, Peggy Breeland, and the search—ongoing at press time—for a director of development. An Honors College progression requirement also is in development. Currently students are not required to take a minimum number of honors courses. Under the new policy, students would need to acquire a minimum of 27 honors credits by the end of their third year. Approval by the Faculty Senate is pending. Stay tuned for a complete update on the activities of Davis Baird and the leaders of the college in the next issue of AHA!, in fall 2006.

This advertisement appeared in the Feb. 17 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

International business students to study in Europe, Africa by Emily Stanek (2008)

While many students will be relaxing and taking it easy this May, two groups of international business students will be traveling through Europe and Africa, participating in two intense Honors College Maymester courses designed to give students an edge in the global business world. The class, International Business 443 Business in Europe, will travel to London, Paris, Prague, and Brussels. The goal is to give students firsthand knowledge of the business climate in Europe and develop in them an understanding of the cultural and socioeconomic diversity there. “The course is a practical, involved way of learning as opposed to just classroom experience,” said Dr. Tatiana Kostova, associate professor of international business and creator of the course. “It creates longlasting knowledge.”

Although the courses are international business courses, honors students who are not international business majors can take them for honors elective credit. The courses are part of an effort by the Honors College to enhance learning through outside-theclassroom experience. A plan is being developed to include this style of learning—whether study abroad, community service or internships—in the requirements to graduate with honors. “All of our students should get experience of some sort,” said Davis Baird, dean of the Honors College. “It’s one thing to learn in a classroom that Eastern European culture is different from American culture. It’s another thing to encounter it firsthand.” Kostova’s international business course was first offered last May. “Europe is a very important region for international business, and I wanted to teach a course on the European environment, but I thought that going there and seeing the places would be much more effective,” she said. Most of the students enrolled in the 2005 Maymester course were rising junior and senior international business students. Of the 16 students who participated, six were honors students given a stipend from the Honors College for the course. Students taking the 2006 classes will also be subsidized.

For a week, students will prepare for the trip from home through readings, discussions, and group projects posted Stefana Kornicer, a secon the Internet. Then ond-year international from May 16 to 26 business hopeful and the group will be in Honors College stuStudents who took IBUS 443 Doing Business In Europe in Europe attending dent, said she took the May 2005 stopped in Paris, among other places. lectures and visiting From left are Bob Ellison, Chris Floyd, Jeff Holmes Europe class last year (SCHC 2007), and Steven Niedringhaus financial businesses to get a true perspecand other institutions, tive on what foreign including Lloyd’s of London and the European Union. businesses are like. The trip allowed her to see hisInternational Business 490 Business in Africa is new to the curriculum this year and will have a slightly different flair. Taught by Dr. Robert Rolfe, professor of international business, it aims to give students an understanding of how globalization is affecting Africa while examining challenges to Kenya’s economic development and analyzing the impact of ecotourism on local communities. From May 14 to 25 the class will travel to Nairobi, Mount Kenya, Lamu, and Maasai Mara. Sites to be visited include the Nairobi National Park, the Tea Plantation, and the Coca-Cola Company. Five lectures during the spring semester will help students prepare for the trip.

tory in the making. “I loved learning about the European Union—how Europe is unifying and everyone is so excited. I was there to see the European Union thriving!” The undergraduate international business major in the Moore School of Business was established in 2003 and has consistently been ranked as the leading program in the nation. Only 50 students are admitted to the program each year, and 20 percent of the total number of international business majors are in the Honors College. Both Maymester courses count toward the study-abroad requirement for international business majors.



NOTES 1970s John Matt Dorn (1976) graduated from the University of Chicago with a Master of Arts in Divinity in December 2005.

1980s John C. Bradley Jr. (1983, USC School of Law 1986) was elected partner of the law firm Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC. He lives in Columbia.



D. Mark Husband (1983, MA 1984) was promoted to colonel in the U.S. Air Force in October 2005. He is a systems operations analyst conducting independent cost estimates of major defense acquisition programs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. He recently completed a tour of duty as squadron commander of the 426th Air Base Squadron in Stavanger, Norway, providing full service support to the 200 U.S. military personnel and family members stationed there. Mark and wife Debbie have four children and live in Alexandria, Va. Elizabeth “Liz” (Lucas) Reynolds (1987) has been awarded the professional insurance designation chartered property casualty underwriter by the American Institute for CPCU. The American Institute for CPCU is an independent, not-for-profit CPCU designee Liz Reynolds educational organization that confers the CPCU designation on persons who complete eight rigorous courses and national examinations and meet its ethics and experience requirements. Liz is the director of public affairs for Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind. Robby Garfield (1989) has become a partner with the Columbia law firm of Davidson, Morrison & Lindemann, P.A. His

practice primarily involves general litigation, with a focus on law enforcement defense. In 2004, he married Dolly Justice. They live in the Shandon neighborhood in Columbia. Garry D. Malphrus (1989, USC School of Law 1993) has been sworn in as an immigration judge for the Arlington, Va., Immigration Court. Malphrus is one of more than 200 immigration judges in 53 immigration courts throughout the nation responsible for conducting formal administrative proceedings to determine whether foreign-born individuals who are charged with violation of federal immigration law should be removed from the United States. Prior to his appointment, Malphrus was associate director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. He also served on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. He is a member of the S.C. Bar.

1990s Jodie McLean (1990) is president and chief investment officer of Edens & Avant, a 220-employee, $2.5 billion commercial real estate company with corporate offices in Columbia and regional offices in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, and 160 neighborhood shopping properties on the East Coast from Boston to Miami. She lives in Columbia. Mark W. Smith (1992) is the author of New York Times best seller The Official Handbook of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: The Arguments You Need to Defeat the Loony Left (Regnery 2004) and the soon-tobe released “Disrobed: The Secret Weapon Conservatives Can Use to Recapture the Courts and Defeat the Left’s Assault on America” (Crown Forum-Random House June 2006). A trial attorney, Mark is a partner at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP in New York City and frequently appears on the Fox News Channel and MSNBC as a political and legal commentator. James “Jimmy” Story (1993) is a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State. He is the regional environmental officer for South America, based at the U.S. embassy in Brasilia, Brazil. He says, “I travel extensively and would love to meet up with SCHC folks if they happen to be anywhere in South America.” Travis Lee Weatherford (1993) graduated from the Culinary Institute of Amer-

ica in Hyde Park, N.Y., with an associate degree in baking and pastry arts. He says: “I have since returned to Columbia and am underemployed.” tlweatherford@

CIA grad Weatherford burning meringue

Daniel W. Hayes (1994, USC School of Law 1997) was elected partner of the law firm Sowell Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC. He lives in Columbia. Erin Martin (1994) see Krista Nichols, below. Krista Nichols (1994) returned to her home state (who knew!) of Indiana in August 2005. She began a job as an assistant professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University. She studies fishy things, using genomics to understand the genetic basis of complex life histories in fishes. She feels fortunate to have landed a position at the same school as husband Michael Zanis, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. The couple met as graduate students at Washington State Nichols fishing in University. They Washington state earned their doctorates in 2002, and in 2004 were married by the Reverend Erin Martin (1994). They completed their postdocs out West: Krista in Seattle at NOAA Fisheries and Michael in San Diego at UCSD. Together at last in Indiana, they are settling into their quiet country home, and enjoy fly-fishing together in their spare time. Ashlie Bagwell (1995) says, “It’s an election year, so that means I have a new job.” She is the political director for Doug Duncan’s campaign for governor in Maryland. Eva (Imperial) Chessick (1995) served the Eau Claire Community Health Centers as the lead provider at Ridgeway Family Practice in Fairfield County for two years before deciding to try something different and to expand her medical experience. She is now the company physician for Electrolux in Orangeburg, S.C. She sees Electrolux employees and their families with the goals of maximizing treatment of their

medical conditions and providing preventative health maintenance and screenings. She says, “I hope to continue stomping out cardiovascular disease one patient at a time through patient education, and to enable patients to take more ownership and responsibility in their own health care.” She also works part time at the Thompson Student Health Center on the USC campus. Eva and husband Christopher Chessick and will celebrate their two-year wedding anniversary in April. Danny Dorsel (1995) married Whitney Gatling on Jan. 7, 2006. Teresa Wilson Florence (1996, USC School of Law 1999) was excited to return to USC on June 1, 2005. She works in the Office of the President as coordinator of government and community relations. Peter G. Siachos (1997) is an attorney practicing corporate litigation in New York and northern New Jersey. He married Margaret Anne Florence of Charleston on Aug. 27, 2005. They live in Hoboken, N.J. Gita Chakrabarti (1999) joined New York business strategy and consulting firm Bain & Co. in October 2005. She completed her MBA from the University of Chicago in 2004 and took a year off to live and travel in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Aubrey K. Jenkins (1999) writes the weekly column “Single in the City” for, a Web site developed by The State newspaper that highlights music, fashion, and relationships.

2000s Katherine Trexler Etheridge (2000) lives in Durham, N.C., with husband Kevin (USC 1999). She received her doctorate in molecular cancer biology from Duke University in December 2005 and is continuing her postdoctoral studies at Duke. Reid T. Sherard (2000, USC School of Law 2004) is an associate of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP. He practices in Greenville in the areas of business litigation and employment law. Reid also serves on the University of South Carolina Board of Visitors and the Young Carolinians steering committee of the

South Carolina Historical Society. In summer 2005 he embarked on a 28-day trip across the United States. You can read about his journey at westboundanddown. Muhammed Yousufuddin (2000) married Tasneem Shabbir Ebrahimji on July 29, 2000. He then began a doctorate in chemistry (emphasis on inorganic chemistry and chemical crystallography) at the University of Southern California, which he completed in December 2005. In January he joined the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics at Rutgers University as a research associate. There he helps manage the Protein Data Bank, which provides a variety of tools and resources for studying the structures of biological macromolecules and their relationships to sequence, function, and disease. His wife (who attended USC but transferred to UC-Irvine) is a quality specialist at RadPharm in New Jersey. Jill Marie Stuerke (2001) married Michael Justin Munn on Oct. 8, 2005. They reside in Albany, Ga. K. Brian Trauth (2001) is working on his MBA at HEC School of Management in Paris, ranked 11th in the world by the Wall Street Journal and 19th by The Economist. Prior to enrolling at HEC, he worked for General Electric and Accenture. He travels frequently on the weekends, is improving his French, and is enjoying his days back in school before returning to the working world. He would love to meet up with any old friends coming through Paris. Brad Walters (2001) is a copy editor at The Washington Post and serves as a contributing writer for the newspaper’s Sunday Source, a weekly entertainment section targeting Generation Y readers. Most recently, Brad attempted in an interview to coerce longtime The Price Is Right host Bob Barker into admitting when he might retire. (The answer? “I’ve been doing it ‘one more year’ for the past 12 years.”) Meghan Ramsey (2002) married James “Gabe” Clegg of Orangeburg, S.C., on Aug. 20, 2005. Clegg is the former service manager of Honda-Kawasaki-Yamaha of Orangeburg. They recently moved from Charleston to southwestern Germany, where Meghan is an engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Ramstein Air Force Base. She manages multimillion-

dollar construction projects for the government’s Military Construction Program. Her husband is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business while working on base. Douglas McCartha (2002) will begin life as a resident in orthodontics at the Medical College of Georgia in July 2006, following graduation from the MUSC College of Dental Medicine. Martin Caver (2004) is a field organizer at People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, a nonprofit organization based in Carrboro, N.C. People of Faith Against the Death Penalty works to educate and mobilize faith communities to support the abolishment of the death penalty in the United States. Katie (Spurrier) Quertermous (2004) married Grant Quertermous on June 18, 2005, in Columbia. She is a second-year graduate student in mathematics at the University of Virginia. Katie and Grant Quertermous They reside in Charlottesville. Graham Culberston (2005) and Hilary (Schramm) Culbertson (2005) married on June 18, 2005, in Wichita, Kan. Graham hails from Charlotte, N.C., and Hilary is from Andover, Kan. They met during the McNair Scholar interview weekend before beginning their freshman year at Carolina. Graham is pursuing a master’s degree in English at UNCChapel Hill; Hilary does public relations for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Information Technology Services Department. They live in Chapel Hill. Graham: Hilary: Kathryn Vignone (2005) is working on a doctorate in science and technology studies at Cornell University. Her significant other, Antonio de Ridder (2005), is working on a master’s degree in French and Italian at the University of IndianaBloomington. After graduating from USC in May, they spent six weeks traveling in Europe and visiting Antonio’s family in Belgium. Kathryn: Antonio:

Wishful thinking On Feb. 10, undeterred by sunny skies and temps in the 60s, Frosty the Snowman made an appearance on the Horseshoe in front of McKissick. Crafted of genuine snow by anonymous perpetrators, Frosty embodied what was on everyone’s mid-semester mind: just one snow day—please?

Pass us a note ... a Class Note! Please send us your professional or personal news. (Remember, we love photos, and we’ll send them back to you after publication.) Class notes and photos may be submitted online.Visit and click on “Alumni.” Or, fill out the form below and return it to AHA, SC Honors College, USC, Columbia, SC 29208, or fax to: 803-777-2214 or e-mail to:

Name_ ____________________________________________________________ Year of Graduation__________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________________ City______________________________ State_____________ZIP_ ____________ Phone_ ____________________________________________________________ Is this a new address or phone number? ❏ Yes ❏ No E-mail address_______________________________________________________ May we publish your e-mail address? ❏ Yes ❏ No Write your news below (please add a sheet of paper if you need more room). __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________



Volume XII No. 1

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Students of Distinction When international business major Marisa Niperts (2007) studied abroad during spring semester 2005, she also became a recording artist. While studying Portuguese and business in Brazil, Niperts cowrote a song that was recorded and sold to appear on the soundtrack for Malhacao, a Brazilian soap opera. Other artists on the CD include Jennifer Lopez, Missy Elliott, Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, and 3 Doors Down. Niperts is studying abroad in Sweden during spring semester 2006 and in Portugal next summer.

Marisa Niperts soars in Brazil

Abbie Isaac (theater 2006) is making a difference to other USC students through drama. Isaac made her directorial debut with USC Lab Theater’s October 2005 production of Lysistrata by Aristophanes. All ticket proceeds will fund undergraduate scholarships. Isaac’s most recent project was assistant-directing a Theatre South Carolina production of Buried Child by Sam Shepard, which ran Feb. 17–26 in Longstreet Theatre. A new tutoring program founded by SCHC students is mentoring children in Columbia’s Waverly neighborhood. A group of SCHC students, including Thomas Scott (Baccalaureaus 2006) and Ashley Kolaya (international studies 2006), formed Carolina Outreach Programs and Services (COPS) in 2005. Since then, Mark Godfriaux (business 2008) and Dori Enderle (business 2008) have coordinated volunteers and homework center activities, and Hannah Dykes (women’s studies 2008) helped establish a Girl Scout troop.

A COPS volunteer assists a student

Abbie Isaac directs actors in Lysistrata


Spring 2006 “I climb whenever and wherever I can. I’m passionate about it. International business students travel the globe in North Carolin...

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