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AHA! | South Carolina Honors College | University of South Carolina | Volume XII No. 2

Spring 2007

Honors students make a difference “I give my deepest respect and admiration to all my friends and fellow students who have given so much of their time and talents to Waverly. They have made the program what it is today, and will determine what it will be in the years to come.” — Aaron Flaaen, Class of 2006

from the dean | 

Dean’s puzzle:

computer science, philosophy, and watching the white lines go by

Davis Baird

When I was an undergraduate, two of my friends, Clyde and Paul, and I decided to take a cross-country road trip during winter break. This necessitated a large amount of driving, watching the white lines zip by. Late one night as we raced across New Mexico, Clyde, in the back seat, spoke up:

Clyde: “Each of you give me a five-digit number.” avis: “Huh? OK. Ummm. How about 83427.” D Paul: “36892.” Thirty silent minutes later: lyde: “3, 0, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, …” C Davis: “Clyde, what the hell?” Clyde: “8, 8, 4.” Davis: “What about ‘8, 8, 4’?” Clyde: “That is the product of the two numbers you gave me. I multiplied them together in my head.” Paul: “That’s what you’ve been doing all this time?” Clyde: “W hy do you think I asked for the numbers?” Paul: “You are a crazy computer science major, perhaps?” Davis: “But I am not so sure you gave us the right answer.” Clyde: “3,077,788,884 is the product of 83,427 and 36,892.” Paul: “I didn’t give you either of those numbers. I gave you 36,692.” Clyde: “No. It was 36,892.” Davis: “You could have spewed off any bunch of digits and claimed it was the product of numbers that no sane person remembers thirty minutes later.” Clyde: “But 3,077,788,884 is the product of the numbers you gave me!” Davis: “So you say. But where is your proof?” Clyde: “You are a crazy philosophy major!” I may be a philosopher, but I share with Clyde a love of puzzles. They capture a kind of certainty and also provide something to do while watching the white lines go by.

Here is a puzzle: Imagine you have a two-pan “scale of justice.” Your scale cannot tell how heavy an object is, but only whether it is heavier, lighter, or the same weight as some other object on the other pan. Now imagine you have 12 golf balls that are identical in all respects but for the fact that one of them is either heavier or lighter than all the others, which are the same weight. Using the scale only three times, find the odd ball. By way of getting into the problem, suppose you only had eight golf balls and you knew that one was heavier than the others, which were identical in weight. And suppose you had to find the odd ball with only two uses of the scale. Try and solve this simpler problem—answer below. Eight golf balls, where you know one is heavier, and you have two uses of the scale, is easier than 12 golf balls where you don’t know if the odd ball is heavier or lighter—but you can use the scale a third time. Some may want to conclude that it is not possible to conclusively solve the 12-ball problem, but it is. Clyde, Paul, and I tussled with this problem through most of Kansas. I hope you have fun with it. Answer in the next AHA!

Answer to the eight ball problem: You could weigh balls 1, 2, and 3 against balls 4, 5, and 6. If they weighed the same, then you would know that one of ball 7 or ball 8 was the odd ball. You could weigh them against each other, and whichever was heavier would be your ball. On the other hand, if balls 1, 2, and 3 are heavier than balls 4, 5, and 6, you would know that one of 1, 2, and 3 is the odd ball. Weigh 1 against 2. If they are the same the odd ball is 3. If they are different, the odd ball is the heavier of the two. In a similar way you could find the odd ball among balls 4, 5, and 6 if they turned out to be heavier on the first weighing.

Meet our new staff

Heather Covey, administrative assistant to the dean Covey is a graduate of USC’s English department and participated in the study abroad Heather Covey program in Hull, U.K. She was the assistant to the managing editor of the South Carolina Encyclopedia at USC’s Institute for Southern Studies, and she authored entries on James Brown and the Fabulous Moolah. She is a former director of the S.C. Book Festival and also clerked at the historic Gotham Book Mart in New York City. She currently studies Web design. Many of you know Heather as a frequent book review contributor to The State newspaper.

Laura Mewbourn, advisor and director of student services Mewbourn joins the Honors College from the Undergraduate Student Services office in the College of Arts and Sciences. Laura Mewbourn She is a 1999 graduate of USC with a BA in English and will advise students, coordinate the senior thesis process, plan major college events, and advise the Honors Council.

Jim Clark, academic advisor and coordinator of the Honors College Off-Campus Education Program Clark joins the Honors College from the Moore School of Business, where Jim Clark he has worked for the past five years as an academic advisor in the undergraduate division. He is from Ponca City, Okla., and holds a master’s degree in business administration. The Off-Campus Education Program is a new initiative that will integrate a variety of short-term study abroad trips, national field trips, internships, and community service opportunities as part of the honors curriculum.

Due to changes within the college staff, your advisor may have changed. See the updated advisor list below.

Davis Baird chemistry, philosophy, pre-Baccalaureus

Jim Burns criminal justice; education; hospitality, retail, and sport management; music; liberal arts—undeclared; women’s studies

Leslie Sargent Jones third- and fourth-year premed (regardless of major), third- and fourth-year neuroscience

Jim Clark all business majors

William Morris art studio, art history, media arts, classics, history, film, theatre, dance

Ed Munn Sanchez behavioral sciences; economics (liberal arts); languages, literatures, and cultures; psychology; statistics

Laura Mewbourn journalism and mass communications, computer science and engineering, mathematics, nursing

Peter Sederberg political science, continuing Baccalaureus majors

Mark Sibley-Jones first- and second-year premed (regardless of major), biology, English, international studies, geology, geophysics, marine science, pharmacy, physics, religious studies

news | 

The Honors College continues to grow. SCHC welcomes three new staff members this spring. Heather Covey is the new administrative assistant to Dean Davis Baird, replacing Peggy Breeland, who moved to the College of Engineering and Information Technology. Laura Mewbourn replaces Gail Pack, who recently took a position as director of academic services at USC Sumter. Jim Clark fills the position vacated by Alexa Maddox, who moved in December with her husband and their daughter to Charlotte, N.C.

Who is my advisor?

Liniger serves up blues with flair staff | 

By Shawn Campbell (2009)

When the Swiss Roots organization invited Walter Liniger to perform at Ellis Island this summer, they didn’t quite get what they expected. Another way of putWalter Liniger ting it is to say they had no idea what they were in for. Then again, with respect to Liniger, very few people do. “Wale” Liniger is a very talented blues musician and beloved professor who has taught the Echoes in Blues class for the Honors College for the past 13 years. But he is not your typical blues musician. He isn’t black. He wasn’t subjected to the racism of the South. He left a lucrative job in Switzerland to live in America and live the blues. It wasn’t his birthright—he chose it. But he didn’t just claim it. He worked for it. He learned it. He became a world-class harmonica player. He earned the right to call himself a blues musician. Several years ago Liniger worked in the Ole Miss Blues Archive, where he had the opportunity to go out and meet, talk to, play with, and record famous blues musicians. He is well-known in his own right as a musician, but his most noted accomplishment during his time at Ole Miss might be the work he did with his friend James “Sun” Thomas. Not only was Liniger a playing partner of Thomas (you can find videos of him and Thomas playing together online), but he was able to secure a grant that allowed Thomas to make a record. Liniger’s musical expertise makes him a strong draw wherever he goes. So it seemed only natural for the Swiss Roots organization to seek out Liniger and ask him to play for a gathering of Swiss expatriates at Ellis Island last summer

in celebration of Swiss National Day. In preparation for the celebration, Liniger composed a special set of music, which combined traditional Swiss hymns and anthems with the blues. But as he progressed through the set, he noticed that while many in the crowd were enjoying themselves, only a select few seemed to notice the Swiss flavor of his music. So in the middle of his set Liniger, who is never reluctant to speak his mind, stopped and gave the audience—which included noted Swiss luminaries such as the Swiss ambassador, a member of the Swiss Federal Council, singer/songwriter Jewel, National Football League quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and event organizers—their full dollar’s worth in Swiss German. (Ben Roethlisberger? you may ask. Yes, that Ben Roethlisberger. Ben “I-wear-a-helmetat-work-but-not-when-riding-a-motorcycle” Roethlisberger. Now I have nothing against Ben Roethlisberger, but if you’ve ever heard him speak, then you’ve got a pretty good idea just how Swiss he isn’t.) It’s safe to assume that Liniger also knew that Roethlisberger has about as much to do with Switzerland as Kraft American cheese. He began by telling everyone he doubted very much that Ben Roethlisberger would understand a word he was about to say. He doubted that even half of the audience would understand him, though he was speaking in the mother tongue of the motherland that those in attendance were presently claiming. He told all in attendance that they had no right to say they were Swiss if they could not recognize simple Swiss songs or lacked even a basic understanding of the native language. He argued it is not blood that makes one Swiss, but rather a connection to and an understanding of

the land and its culture. And after he delivered his verbal lashing, which he believes not very many— save the event organizers—fully comprehended, he finished his set and walked away. Don’t think that Liniger is some Swiss elitist. You can’t paint him into that corner. “When you are in another culture, you must be careful not to start celebrating your homeland in a cliché manner,” he explains. He argues that these people, if they want to say they are Swiss or maintain their connection to Switzerland, should make an effort to understand Switzerland, for simply having some Swiss blood is irrelevant. Liniger’s own life is an example of his argument. He grew up loving the sounds of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Rolling Stones, and Jerry Lee Lewis because rock was so unrestrictive and diametrically opposed to the Swiss society in which he felt so trapped. When he came over to the United States for the first time in 1969, he fell in love with the music known as the blues, with it uncomplicated rhythms and easy words. Blues music tells a story, and what fascinated Liniger was how this combination of simple parts could create such a complex narrative or so accurately describe a particular emotion. Liniger returned home within a few months, too homesick to stay, but his love of the blues led him back less than a year later. Whenever Liniger plays blues for the Swiss Roots organization—or any other group, for that matter—many of us will be in the audience applauding. Some of his former students may even jump up onstage and play their harmonicas just as he taught them. And if ever you hear a strange mixture of blues and Swiss hymns or anthems, just remember Wale Liniger. To sample Liniger’s music and even check out a student performance, go to, and click on “Sound.”

Shimp reflects on the Honors College Following are the remarks made at Homecoming Brunch on Nov. 4, 2006, by Susan Shimp, one of the 2006 Distinguished Honors Alumni.

I just want to say very briefly how much I appreciate this award because it is a real inspiration for me to continue with projects that I’ve started that remain unfinished in both music performance and in musicology. I have to admit that when Davis Baird called this summer to tell me about the distinguished alumni awards, I was both thrilled and really surprised (he assured me that it was not a hoax), partly because my path has been somewhat unconventional from the academic and professional standpoint. I’ve been extremely lucky to have three wonderful boys, and in caring for them, I have performed, taught music history, or presented my research at conferences, when and if it fit into my schedule as a mom. This arrangement has meant being an independent scholar and choosing projects based entirely upon what I’ve truly wanted to do. That’s partly been possible because of my wonderful husband, John, who has been supportive in every respect, and also because of the support of my parents. But it’s also worked, I believe, because of the attitude toward learning here at the Honors College, which affected me in such a positive way (aside from the benefits of “good teaching”). I’ll never forget the initial advisement phase here—learning that one could pursue the Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae degree, which, though it entailed a series of requirements, essentially asked the student to chart his or her course of study. I remember also being pleasantly surprised at the notion of students proposing proseminar topics— students determining what was to be studied and how. Likewise, the small size of the

Susan Shimp

honors seminars meant lots of discussion and participation. I think often of what it did for me as a freshman to have James Dickey say in class, “Miss Parker, what do you think?” or to say about a paper I’d written on Tom Gunn, “Here’s his address—why don’t you send him a copy?” Truly all of my honors professors displayed such generosity with their expertise, their time, and with a sort of unconditional trust in their students. My degree program here was somewhat unconventional as well because I majored in music and in English, which were two separate degrees in separate schools without much crossover in terms of requirements. But Bill Mould, then dean of SCHC, never told me it wouldn’t work—he helped me make this happen. The timing, however, meant that my honors thesis on the death poems of Emily Dickinson was written in June and July before graduating at the end of August! (Never mind

the year.) Laury Christie ushered me through Aaron Copeland’s and John Duke’s settings of Dickinson’s poetry for my senior recital in the spring, and Dr. [Don] Greiner unselfishly agreed to chair my thesis committee. This schedule meant that in the summer, when he was supposed to work only on his own projects and didn’t have to come into the campus, he would take time out to grade my chapters. My writing (and my thinking) improved so much that summer because he would really dig in and mark things and leave no stone unturned with respect to the editing. (I’d put a draft in his mailbox, and the next day without fail, I’d drive up Edinburgh and pick it up. Never did I open that mailbox to find it empty! My chapter was always there!) Likewise, when I applied to graduate school, Dr. Greiner, Dr. Georgia Cowart, and also Dr. Craig Kridel were there for me through the application process and afterwards to ask about how my courses were going, later how my dissertation was going … and going … and going. My professors from USC have really been there for me both as a scholar and as a person. To return to the notion of charting one’s own course of study, the Honors College does a great service to its students by finding a way to balance the traditional requirements, or the “canon,” so to speak, with the students’ own interests. In doing so, it implicitly but powerfully imparts the expectation that students (even at age 18) are scholars, and that scholars (whether 22, 42, 62 ... ) are still students who are always and forever responsible for writing their own syllabus both in study and in life.

alumni | 

By Susan Shimp (1987)

Honors students making a difference in Waverly community feature | 

By Mark Sibley-Jones

Ever have the feeling that the news headlines read like the crime blotter of a local police station? Law enforcement agencies throughout the country deal with such headlines—or more accurately, with real people in real communities with real problems—on a daily basis. What happens, though, when citizens want to address problems before they make the daily crime report? Or build friendships with people before they get into serious trouble? Or enter communities that have suffered the ravages of poverty and drug abuse and other social ills for decades? Then you have a group of people who commit themselves to creating social change by volunteering to offer after-school child-care and tutoring, or by founding Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops in the neighborhood, or by sponsoring weekend recreational activities or field trips to local sites of interest. In short, you have the USC-Waverly After-School Program. “I had no idea what would become of my initial meeting with Eddie Lloyd,” says Thomas Scott (’06), one of the founders of the Waverly program. Scott met Lloyd when they worked together on a clean-up crew in the Waverly community on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in January 2003. Lloyd told Scott that 20 years earlier he’d founded an organization called Waverly United For Action to address various problems that adversely affected the community. Then Lloyd asked Scott to help him restart the most recognized and essential part of WUFA’s work, the afterschool program. Scott and Ashley Kolaya (’06) subsequently proposed the project to their Student Government colleagues on USC’s Freshman Council. Shortly after the council meeting, several students—Kolaya, Scott, Aaron Flaaen, Josh Fowler, Jonathan Wooten, and Jayson Boyles

gaining strength as new classes of student volunteers emerge as leaders. Outgoing volunteer coordinator Scott and financial director Flaaen, both of whom graduated in December 2006, express gratitude to all the volunteers, past and present, who worked hard to make Waverly Center a success. Scott says, “I give my deepest respect and admiration to all my friends and fellow students who have given so much of their time and talents to Waverly. They have made the program what it is today, and will determine what it will be in the years to come. I know it will be amazing.” And Flaaen says, “Thank you to the amazing volunteers, the passionate kids, and the tireless leaders of the community. Mr. Lloyd would be so proud.” Scott’s and Flaaen’s confidence in the strong leadership of their successors is well deserved. Freshman Jeet Guram recently wrote an article about the Saturday sports events begun this academic year “with the goals of providing another chance for volunteers and children to interact and of encouraging exercise among the children.” Volunteer coordinator and third-year student Mark Godfriaux says, “In order to really bond with the kids, we realized that we needed to do something fun and not just be ‘homework police.’” The Girl Scouts also implemented new activities this year. Their pen-pal exchange encourages each USC student volunteer to write a Waverly Girl Scout two letters a month. New public relations chair Caitlin McLaren (’09) says the purpose of this initiative is to have volunteers serve in a mentoring capacity by “sharing personal information about themselves and expressing interest in the lives of the girls.” Troop leaders Hannah Dykes (’07) and Sally Drawdy (’08) encourage those who wish to help with Girl Scouts or serve as pen pals to contact them at USC students’ connection to Waverly has been enhanced this spring with awardwinning journalist Claudia Smith Brinson’s course, Public History by Doing: Marking the African American Experience in the Midlands. Students are learning, through archival research and interviews, about the people and places in Columbia’s first suburb for black professionals of the early- and mid-20th century. Further academic enrichment is achieved when students use skills learned in class to enhance their work at Waverly. Rebecca Zorch, continued on page 9

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(all class of ’06) among them—began to volunteer at the Waverly Center. The first several months were difficult. Although at least one person was at the center every day, a volunteer-child ratio as high as 1:12 presented enormous challenges. Soon, other honors students followed, including Thomas Chandler (’07) and class of ’08 students Mindy Moore, Mark Godfriaux, Dori Enderle, Hannah Dykes, Matt Enright, and Brad Hocking. By the end of the following year this group of student workers had founded a Cub Scout troop and a Girl Scout troop at the center. Four years later, those troops still meet weekly. Reflecting on his years of experience volunteering at the Waverly Center, Scott said, “I believe that the Waverly program survived numerous challenges because, in short, it makes sense. The stark contrast between our lives as college students and the realities in Waverly attracts students who are ready to be challenged, who can overcome confusion and frustration. SCHC students naturally fill these criteria. They are certainly bright and motivated, and they are also willing to make mistakes and learn from them.” I visited the center with Scott on a warm Tuesday afternoon last October. We arrived around 6 p.m., about an hour after homework time had ended. Close to 20 children and six student volunteers were playing either jump rope or tag football in a lot beside the center. Delighted to meet yet another visitor, many of the children came up and introduced themselves. Angela Carter, a vivacious eleven-yearold, showed me how adept she is at jumping rope. Angela’s mother told Scott recently that her daughter’s grades have improved from C’s, D’s, and F’s to A’s and B’s since the Waverly tutors began to work with her after school. Scott says that other parents have expressed similar pride in their children’s academic accomplishments, a result of the care, discipline, and interest they receive from Waverly tutors. Before graduating in May 2006, Kolaya produced a senior honors project based on her four years of experience as a Waverly Center volunteer. A section of her thesis provides a detailed handbook explaining the program structure, administrative positions and responsibilities, scheduled meetings throughout the year, and training requirements for volunteers. Waverly Center now runs a tightly organized and efficient after-school program, which is

The USC-Waverly After-School Program runs every Monday through Thursday during the semester from 4 to 6 p.m. Students also carpool from the Maxcy College parking lot at 3:45 p.m. on those days. For more information about signing up, contact the program’s volunteer coordinator, Mark Godfriaux, at mdg326@gmail. com or by phone, 610-762-2032. Those who wish to contribute to the Waverly Fund may do so by making checks payable to USC Educational Foundation and identifying “The Waverly Center Volunteers Support Fund” on the bottom portion of the check.

Carolina in my mind alumni | 

By Captain Douglas A. Porter (1995)

In my mind, I’m going to Carolina. I ride a Greyhound bus, the litter of dorm rooms (black and garnet lamps, crumpled posters, and bean bags) covers the floorboards, wedged under the seats. I talk with Blair Benson and her friend Mauve O’Conner, trying to catch up on current events. Our bus driver, Bryan Nunnelly, is talking over his shoulder to Terry Dixon. Though I can’t hear the conversation, I know they are arguing over our destination: how to find the Horseshoe under the darkness of night. I wake in a dark room to the sound of birds chirping. As I get up to turn on the light, the high-pitched whine and low rumble of a Bradley fighting vehicle brings me back into reality. I unbolt the sheet metal door of my 3-by-5-meter concrete block room; I am welcomed Captain Douglas A. Porter Medical Service Corps by harsh sunlight Serving somewhere in Baghdad and the stench of sewage. Yep, I’m still in Iraq. It’s seven in the morning; a chilly 40 degrees Fahrenheit, though I know it will get up to 80 within a few hours. Not too bad for a January morning, considering that my home station of Fort Carson, Colo., is under about five feet of snow and the Army reserve is flying hay in for cattle stranded on the Front Range. This is my second tour of duty in Iraq; I’m

a captain in the Medical Service Corps now. I’m on a Forward Operation Base a few miles southeast of Sadr City in Baghdad. We are gearing up for The Surge. Though the number of soldiers on the base is up by 50 percent, we expect to double or triple that within the next few months. I’m in charge of making sure we have the medical supplies to cover every one of them and have a plan to treat them all when we get attacked by the insurgent rocket and mortar teams. Rockets and mortars are a constant here. Two nights ago the building behind my “home” was hit. The rocket punched through three rooms and blew the outside door to pieces. There is a perfect rectangular hole through the remnants that matches the twisted ammo can crumpled down the sidewalk. I was talking with a captain who ran a Military Transition Team. His guys train the Iraqi Army to take over the fight, so we can go home. He told us that he was asked by someone back home what it was like in Iraq. “Imagine somebody pointing a loaded gun in your face, all day everyday,” was his response. I often wonder if I’ll ever see that guy again. So why am I telling you all this? When I arrived here about three months ago, I noticed that our Dining Facility had flags from National Football League teams and colleges

around the country. I noticed that there was a purple cat print on a bright orange flag. I thought, “Well, where’s the Gamecocks flag?” I got pretty upset when I couldn’t find it. It had been years since I really thought much about school spirit. My folks are pretty good about keeping up-to-date on how well the ’Cocks are doing; whether or not they beat the Tigers over the years. However, it all rushed back to me in an instant. There was no way I was the first Gamecock to walk on Baghdad soil. However, I would not be the one to leave it without leaving our mark. I sent out a few e-mails to the different alumni associations. However, the only reply I received was from the Honors College. Disappointed as I was in the limited response, I was happy that the one I did get was from Harper Elliott. (Thank you, Dean Davis Baird.) The Honors College has always been a source of pride for me. I never miss a chance to tell my peers how my school within the school is rated with the Ivy Leagues. Most of them respond with a shocked, “I didn’t know that!” G. Gordon Liddy once said that you learn how to do your job in your master’s program, but college is where you learn how to think. I don’t believe much that is said on syndicated radio talk shows, but I do believe that statement. I enlisted in the Army in 2000, looking for someone to pay for medical school. Within two years, Specialist Porter became Cadet Porter, and then a year later I was Lieutenant Porter. Now I’m a captain. My commanders had recognized in me intelligence, integrity, and the ability to make good decisions with limited information. Basically, they saw leadership potential and gave me the opportunity to use it. I cite two sources for this: my parents and the time I spent at the South Carolina Honors College. I know it is a cliché, but the Honors College taught me how to think outside the box. I developed the ability to go beyond being a robot reciting text. I have the ability to take what is given to me and apply it. So thank you Dr. Bill Mould and Dr. Jim Stiver. Being in the Army has taught me as much. I guess this is my master’s program. I have been around the world … literally. I have flown from South Carolina to Texas to Korea to Kuwait to Iraq and finally back to Colorado. I have seen elderly people picking weeds alongside the road to make “dandelion stew” for dinner. I have seen a family of eight living in an 8'x10' mud shack. I have seen smiling children offer

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to sell me toys and alcohol, and then try to steal my digital camera. I have been blown up in a roadside bomb and shot at by snipers. I have been rocketed and mortared more times than I want to think about. I have held the hand of soldier, shot through the abdomen, while the docs worked on him. I have held the hand of my best friend’s mother at his memorial ceremony. I have also received the thanks of not only American citizens, but of elderly Koreans who remember the horrors of the Korea Conflict and young Iraqis for bringing them freedoms they had never enjoyed. After seven years, I have to admit that I have given up on the dream of medical school. However, if all goes well and I survive this “experience,” I will be headed to San Antonio, Texas, to Fort Sam Houston and the InterService Physician’s Assistant Program. Perhaps I will be awarded my master’s degree as a P.A.; I know I have earned one as a soldier. I have a lot of time on my hands to think about how I got here. Reflecting on my life and friends, I often slip back to the Horseshoe. I miss the feel of grass between my toes and throwing Frisbees. Names from the past surface: Chris Antley, John Clemens, Carlton Thomas, and Scott from Starr, S.C. There was even Dan Bragg from Michigan, who could not believe that he was wearing shorts in November. My resident advisor was Lynne Bolt when I lived in Harper 102. The girls in Elliott had the Heaven and Hell(iott) party with Heaven on the third floor and Hell on the second. These memories help get me through the explosions and memorial ceremonies. Mostly, I can’t wait to walk barefoot in green grass again. It helps remind me there are good things to come home to. If there is one thing I can pass on to my fellow Americans, it is that our country is wonderful and beautiful. It is a place to be proud of and enjoyed everyday. There is so much that we take for granted, and you will never truly understand how much we have until you see how much the rest of the world does not have. I have served with Clemson Tigers, Furman Paladins, and even a few Bulldogs— both Citadel and Georgia breeds. When the bombs are falling from the sky or blowing up under your tires, school rivalries seem petty. However, after the dust has cleared and we all are still sitting around chow in the DFAC, it is nice to be able to ask them if they saw that Carolina won the Liberty Bowl.

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who is pursuing a master’s degree in library science (’07), has shared her story-telling talents with the kids. An art education student, Liz Schmid (’06), teaches weekly art classes to prepare for her practicum. Flaaen, Godfriaux, Enderle, and freshman Tammy Hsu employ their business skills to do fund raising, to market the Waverly program, and to manage finances. Former public relations chair Moore is a public relations major. Students use their education in such practical ways, says Scott, allowing them to gain experience that will serve them well in their future vocations. This offers yet more proof “of how much sense the program makes.” Dr. Rob Scharstein, a popular professor who is teaching Understanding and Engaging Service to Others for the Honors College this spring, explains the appeal of programs like Waverly: “The founders of many of America’s earliest universities and colleges expected their graduates to take part in improving their communities and being proactive citizens. John Dewey also strongly believed in combining classroom learning as well as experiential application of students’ newfound knowledge. Over time,

institutions of higher learning have moved away from this model. The Waverly project is a perfect example of what Dewey had in mind. I am extremely excited about the Honors College embracing service learning, which will combine academics, community service, and purposeful civic learning. The students involved in the Waverly project should be commended for their initiative and willingness to give of themselves to make a difference in these children’s lives.” Those who volunteer at Waverly—and even those who visit—learn quickly that the program’s success is a testimony to the power of teamwork and shared leadership. They learn also that the dreams of visionaries like Eddie Lloyd, who died in February 2005, do not easily fade. Indeed, they often come to fruition in the high ideals and relentless determination of a new generation of enterprising students.

Caught in the Creative Act: a national model? feature | 10

By Jennifer Brackett (2008)

A character from E.L. Doctorow’s 1975 novel, Ragtime, makes a guest appearance 31 years later in the author’s The March, winner of the 2006 PEN/Faulkner fiction award. When a student asked what inspired him to do this, Doctorow laughed and replied, “Well, that was just sheer genius on my part.” It is a rare opportunity for students to read contemporary literature in classes, and it is especially rare and useful that students may then meet with the authors and question them. In this way, the Honors College students of Caught in the Creative Act (CICA), taught and directed by Janette Turner Hospital, receive special insights into the writing process of such prominent contemporary authors as Doctorow, Michael Ondaatje, Elie Wiesel, and USC’s own Elise Blackwell. Wiesel’s memoir Night—a terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family—was the topic of discussion for both CICA and the 2006 Solomon-Tenenbaum lecture series. Wiesel said that he and his fellow Holocaust survivors who have written hoped that, by getting the story right, they could prevent such atrocities from ever happening again. Wiesel issued a compelling call for human awareness and action in relation to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur: “If I know that people are dying, and do nothing—well, if I don’t know, that is my fault as well—but if I do know, and I do nothing, I am killing them myself.” Thanks to arrangements made by Hospital, CICA students sat in the front rows of the Koger Center on Sept. 12, 2006, when Wiesel spoke to a full house. Those present could not help but be deeply affected

by both the power of Wiesel’s literature and his humanitarian missions. While given the opportunity to appreciate brilliant works, students who participate in CICA are also afforded glimpses of the humanity of authors who openly reveal biographical aspects of their work, surprising beginnings for stories, and even humorous blunders. Blackwell spoke of cutting hundreds of pages from her manuscript in order to achieve a succinctness that would characterize the siege of Leningrad in her critically acclaimed 2003 debut novel, Hunger. Blackwell remarked, “Even now I read it and recognize sentences and passages that could have been reduced.” It was both inspiring and humbling to hear of the time these artists spent laboring over their work, their struggles within the publishing world, and the wealth of information—historical, emotional, scientific, and familial—that finds its way into the composition of a work. We lucky audience members came to understand what had been most important for the writers. The exceptional arena of CICA allows writers to engage in personal dialogue with students and public members of the class, delving into the works themselves and emphasizing the most fascinating aspects that challenge and awaken both writers and readers. Such interaction enhances readers’ appreciation of the literature. Student Brandon Turner said, “CICA exposed me to literature—good literature—that I otherwise would never have been exposed to. Even though I enjoy reading, I’ve pretty much read the same batch of authors since middle school, so when I’m in the library or bookstore, I look for them, maybe glance at the other best sellers, and then go elsewhere. But this class has made it much more likely for me to expand my horizons a bit

f e a t u r e | 11

Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, believes CICA to be so vital a part of the USC community that she attended every lecture this past fall. At the conclusion of the series, Fitzpatrick said, “The interaction of Professor Hospital, an internationally recognized author and literary critic; informed and engaged students; and community members dedicated to close reading of serious works of fiction and nonfiction make this course a highlight in the intellectual life of the college. CICA is prized by members of the Carolina community.” That CICA has such an important impact on the life of the USC community, says Hospital, “is what makes the considerable work of organizing this course so worthwhile: the sense that high-voltage contact with the power of living literature has been generated in the lives of students and readers.” She goes on to say that for her, the two highlights of the course pertain to the Honors College students themselves. One occurs at the end of the term when each SCHC student presents a ten-minute seminar on the author and book that affected them most profoundly. “I found these personal responses to literary impact both moving and powerful,” says Hospital. The other especially meaningful experience is instigated by Hospital’s urging the students to have at least one prepared question to ask each visiting author. “I was very impressed by the thoughtfulness of the questions they asked,” she says. “The visiting authors were also very impressed by the intellectual quality of these questions. I will comment on one in particular: after Lan Samantha Chang’s visit, SCHC student Luay Hammami, who is actually a physics major, but who told me that the course made him want to read much more literature, e-mailed a detailed question about something that puzzled him in Chang’s novel Inheritance. I responded with my own thoughts on his question, but I also forwarded his query to Chang herself. She replied directly to Luay with a very lengthy and detailed response; she also told me that she was amazed by the passionate involvement of the students. E.L. Doctorow told me that he had never experienced anything like the involvement of both SCHC students and the public, and he suggested that I should do an article on the course for the Chronicle of Higher Education. He thought it should serve as a national model.”

Lan Samantha Chang with SCHC students Michelle Gray and Stephen Demedis

Janette Turner Hospital and Geraldine Brooks

Janette Turner Hospital and E.L. Doctorow

Daniel Buckman with SCHC students Haddan Lucas, Eric Matthews

Photos courtesy of Marvin Lare

and will make me give some other stuff a second look.” Public attendees also are enamored of the classroom experience. Those who attend the Monday evening open lectures and the readings often comment that the questions the students pose to authors, as well as Hospital’s lectures, are enlightening and, in the words of a class member, “uniformly excellent.” One participant said, “I particularly enjoy hearing the lectures on my less favorite books; then I find new angles and ideas. I have reread, reassessed and greatly expanded my horizons for current literature. It would be hard to find anything comparable anywhere.” Hospital’s “unfailing enthusiasm is contagious,” said another. As remarks from students and community members attest, CICA is not just any average reading and book signing. Hospital spends a great deal of time planning for the authors’ visits and studying their works in order to offer the public insights that may open the texts to various interpretations and epiphanies. She also attempts to provide a well-informed context with which to receive the authors. Never one to shy away from controversial or challenging topics, this year Hospital chose several novels that centered on war. Profound moral issues are confronted and engaged both within the works and by the authors themselves. Geraldine Brooks, former Middle Eastern reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of The Nine Parts of Desire and March, gave an informative account of Al-Jazeera with as little Western bias as she could, explaining its importance abroad and in America. And as the success of Doctorow’s The March indicates, America continues to grapple with the horrors of the Civil War and its haunting reminders of our country’s opprobrious evils of slavery, racism, and fratricide. In spite (or perhaps because) of the moral complexity of the material, CICA participants express appreciation for the way Hospital and the novels themselves force us to enlarge our worldviews. Said one member of the public: “I have always avoided books that deal with war, but these books opened my eyes to the fact that even though they may be set during periods of war, they are about the human beings affected by the war. Yes, this course changed my reading habits by making me aware that my prejudgments can be very limiting. I loved the whole experience. In fact it is the best thing I have experienced since coming to South Carolina.”

s t u d y a b r o a d | 12

Students become global pilgrims Fifty-four Honors College students will study abroad in the 2006–2007 academic year, traveling to countries in Europe, Latin America, and the Mediterranean. Approximately 60 more students will spend a three-week Maymester in Romania, Morocco, Poland, or Germany. Business professor Mary Baskin-Waters leads students to Romania for an “International Service Learning” seminar, which provides an understanding and appreciation of cross-cultural differences and how they affect international interactions. USC students will conduct a one-week intensive camp for Romanian high-school students in Cluj, Romania. In Morocco, history professor Ken Perkins examines the forces from both within and outside the country that have influenced its development from the Roman era to the present. Following a survey that includes study of the Moroccan-based Berber empires and the appearance of Sharifian dynasties, the latter half of the course will explore political, social, and economic developments in Morocco in the half-century since independence in 1956. Twenty-three students will travel to Poland with history professor Ted Rosengarten to explore in depth the German assault on Jewish life in the 20th century resulting in the murder of 6 million European Jews and the destruction of Jewish culture in the east European heartland. They will visit the sites of several death camps, including Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Madanek, as well as the major centers of prewar Jewish culture and learning in the cities of Warsaw and Kraków. If time permits, the group will visit Belarus and later Berlin to view the new Jewish Museum and the Berlin Holocaust Memorial.

Art Professor Chris Toumey teaches a course called “Democratizing Technology” in Darmstadt, Germany. His students will study European societal interactions with nanotechnology at the Technical University Darmstadt. One of the values of the foreign study experience—in addition to that of intensive study and interaction with experts in their respective fields—is that of fostering students’ self-awareness and personal growth. By acquainting students with customs and worldviews that challenge them and broaden their understanding of the global community, these courses help students to mature into compassionate, involved world citizens. Inevitably, travelers will reflect on what they have learned, drawing from meaningful experiences to consider ways in which they may contribute—now as students, later as educators, business people, social workers, philanthropists—to that large community. Emily Mitchell (’08), who studied in Greece this past summer and then in Ecuador for the fall semester, describes her foreign study ventures as pilgrimages toward understanding. While in Greece, Mitchell hiked to a mountain-top, whitewashed Greek Orthodox Church. A portion of her journal entry dated June 5, 2006, reads: “I made my pilgrimage today. Not just in the sense that I completed it, or as a good Muslim would say, ‘I made my pilgrimage to Mecca.’ But also in that I created it. I made it up. I hammered value and meaning into it. It wasn’t even my Church. Not even my religion. Definitely not my heritage. Maybe not even my God.” For the journey Mitchell had packed an athletic bag with three breakfast rolls, a

bottle of water, her journal, and a disposable camera. “I was determined to walk there to prove my commitment,” she says, and she recalled a fable associated with pilgrimages that suggests the higher the pilgrim climbs, the closer she is to God. “It took me about an hour to walk all the way to the top from our hotel. It was gorgeous going up. It got quieter the higher I went. The traffic noise and people sounds slid down the hill, but I just went up and up. The funny thing was, when I got to the top, I didn’t know what to do. I had been so determined to make a pilgrimage that I wasn’t sure where I was trying to go, or why, or for whom.” Mitchell describes the small church on top as unexciting, almost identical to all the chapels she’d seen much closer to sea level. She sat on the peak of the mountain and looked out at the Mediterranean Sea. On her descent down the mountain, she asked herself, “What are pilgrims supposed to do? Once a pilgrim reaches his destination, the only direction to go is away.” Later, alone in her hotel room, Mitchell pondered the events of the day. She wrote: “Pilgrimages become significant when the physical journey isn’t just a journey, but a reflection of an inner journey, a spiritual strengthening. I could go around the world twice on a ‘pilgrimage,’ but if nothing is changing inside, then the journey is no more than a tour. So whatever we call it— the spirit, the soul, the heart, the Atman— that first has to be open to change. It doesn’t matter where I go, or to Whom I go, but as I’m growing inside, the journey becomes sacred. It’s not the pilgrimage that makes the spirit grow; it’s the growth that makes the pilgrimage more than just another path.” Until we hear from them firsthand, we cannot fully appreciate the adventures our students will have or the discoveries they will make in their various places of foreign study this year. But we do know that their journeys will offer many opportunities for reflection and growth. We look forward to hearing their stories and celebrating with them the joys of their experiences when they return.

Mitchell’s semester in Ecuador was funded by her Rotary Fellowship. She has returned to USC for the spring semester.

First-year honors business major Bethany McKinney is the first recipient of the David D. Brown Scholarship. Established by Brown’s son, Mark E. Brown, a 1983 Honors College graduate, the scholarship is for an Honors College business student who has demonstrated academic success and financial need. Elated at news of her election, McKinney said, “I really appreciate being chosen. My college education is being paid for through a combination of my parents’ help, scholarships, and my part-time job while I’m at school. So the David D. Brown Scholarship is helping ease some of the cost of college. The letter came just a couple of days before Christmas, which was a nice present. This scholarship is going to

The scholarship honors an extraordinary man. Born in St. Paul, Minn., in 1925, David Brown was only three months old when his father died from complications related to spinal meningitis. Raised in the home of his grandfather, Brown was nurtured by an extended family of nine pairs of aunts and uncles, plus numerous cousins. After three years of study, he graduated from West Point with a civil engineering degree in 1946 and then served in a variety of posts in Austria, Korea, Vietnam, and Italy. During his military career, Brown earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota. He retired from the Army in 1973 as a full colonel. After continuing to work for several years in the engineering field, Brown earned a law degree from Emory University in 1982. He then worked with a prominent Atlanta firm, where he built an Bethany McKinney extensive construction/ engineering practice until his retirement in 1990. Since then Brown has kept busy as a member of the American Arbitration Association, adjudicating a variety of legal disputes. He turned 82 this February and has been married to Robin Lynch Brown for 55 years. Brown has four children and six grandchildren.

a c h i e v e m e n t | 13

McKinney earns first Brown Scholarship

help me remember that it’s always worth putting forth your best effort in the hope that good things will come of it.” McKinney, from White Plains, Md., is involved at USC with Campus Crusade, Honors Council, and the American Red Cross Club. She also works as an academic specialist tutoring scholarship athletes. In her spare time, she enjoys working out and running and says that “being organized” is the key to accomplishing everything she does. “I was initially very interested in USC because of its location, quality of academic programs which I was interested in, and the general atmosphere,” McKinney said. “I had done some reading about the Honors College and was impressed with the setup of the smaller liberal arts college and the quality of the professors. Since I have been in the Honors College, I have really enjoyed the smaller classes. It was also really nice to come to school and already be a member of a community.” Commending McKinney for her achievement and expressing gratitude to donors, Dean Davis Baird said, “Gifts such as this are critical to the health of the Honors College, both because they allow us to reward exceptional and needy students and because we can use the availability of such scholarships to attract the best students to the Honors College. We are tremendously grateful to Mark Brown.”

Distinguished honors alumni nomination form Send the form to Mark Sibley-Jones at 204 Harper, SC Honors College, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; fax to 803-777-2214; or e-mail to

Please give a brief description of the nominee’s accomplishments, activities, etc. to support the nomination. Additional pages may be added if desired. Graduates of the class of 1997 and earlier are eligible; deadline for submission is July 1.

Nominee’s name Mailing address City





E-mail address

Your name Mailing address City E-mail address Telephone

Send the form to Mark Sibley-Jones at 204 Harper, SC Honors College, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; fax to 803-7772214; or e-mail to


c l as s n ote s | 14

Class notes





Kathryn Braun Fenner (1981)

Paige Jones Gossett (1991; JD,

joined Nexsen Pruet last March as special counsel in the Banking and Finance Group. Fenner previously served with firms in Atlanta, Chicago, and Maine. Her background includes transactional, corporate, securities, and real estate law.

1994) was elected in May 2006 to fill the Administrative Law Court judicial seat. Gossett is a partner in the Columbia law firm of Willoughby & Hoeffer. She is a former USC cheerleader and member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She and husband, Jeffrey, have three children, Jackson, Ainsley, and Ann Katherine.

Col. D. Mark Husband, USAF (1983; master of science, engineering, 1984), serves as a systems operations analyst conducting independent cost estimates of major defense acquisition programs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. Promoted to colonel in the U.S. Air Force in October, 2005, Husband last year 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 his wife, Debra, have four children and live in Alexandria, Va.

Kathryn Walsh Gooch (1989; JD, 1994) practiced law primarily in the area of child advocacy before “finding my true calling” as a full-time, handson mom to her two small children, Benjamin (2) and Abigail (9 months). Gooch also serves as adjunct professor at Greenville Technical College, where she teaches business law. She remains actively involved in community events, at least in part “so our children will learn to give back to their community.” Although she concedes it is unfortunate that her husband, Matthew, is a Clemson alumnus, she reports that they are nevertheless happily married.

Zac Moore (1994) has worked since 1999 as a community organizer to prevent the placement of a sewage plant in the neighborhood of Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, N.Y. The Onondaga is one of the world’s most polluted lakes, and Moore continues to promote its cleanup, serving on the Board of Directors for a statewide environmental health organization, Citizens Environmental Coalition. He says he still enjoys chatting with friends he met his first year in SCHC.

Melanie A. Joseph (1990; JD, 1995) has joined BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina as State Public Affairs Representative. Prior to joining BlueCross, Joseph was director of governmental affairs and development at the S.C. Trial Lawyers Association. Joseph’s interest and expertise in insurance issues developed while she served as assistant staff counsel to the S.C. House of Representative’s Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee, where her subcommittee assignments included consumer affairs as well as insurance and banking. She later served as legislative liaison and executive assistant to the director for the S.C. Department of Insurance.

Julye Johns (1996) was named a

Evelyn Ackermann (2003) was

partner with the law firm of Huff, Powell & Bailey in Atlanta, Ga. She focuses on medical malpractice defense, representing clients such as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She was also named a “Rising Star” in the Atlanta legal community for the second year in a row and volunteers as a guardian ad litem and with the Fulton County Juvenile Court Citizen Review Panel through the Junior League of Atlanta.

featured in AHA! in 2003 while serving in Bangladesh as a Peace Corps volunteer. She returned from Bangladesh in October 2005 and worked for more than a year for the Girl Scouts in marketing. She began her MBA at the Stern School of Business at New York University last fall and plans to focus on international business. Eventually she hopes to return to Southeast Asia.

Alison Jimenez (1998) was recently

Craig Thrift (2001) graduated with

awarded the Publix Bridge Builder Award for Women Entrepreneurs by the Small Business Development Center of Central Florida. Alison was also named to the 2007 Group Study Exchange team to Argentina sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tampa. She is president of Dynamic Securities Analytics, a securities litigation consulting company specializing in quantitative analysis of retail securities accounts.

honors from Washington and Lee University School of Law in May 2006. He has moved to Atlanta, where he accepted a position as an attorney with Jones Day.

Kim Buckner Land (1998), marketing director of the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal, recently was named one of the Presstime Magazine “20 under 40,” a national award given to the top 20 newspaper professionals across the country who are under the age of 40. Land is featured in the December 2006 issue of the magazine and on the cover. The press release may be found at content/Home/PRESSTIME/2006/ December/PRESSTIMEcontent/ 20u40.aspx, and for more detailed information of Land, see www. PRESSTIME/2006/December/ PRESSTIMEcontent/20u40-1-6.aspx# KIM%20BUCKNER%20LAND.



Christal Whitlock Smith (2000) received her National Boards Certification for teaching this past fall. She and her husband were expecting their first child this January.

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.

Olivia Jones (2001) married Taylor Patton Jones (2000) on August 19, 2006. They currently reside in Columbia.

Amy Pasquet (2005) studied last year in France on a Fulbright. She and her French boyfriend, Jean, (whom she met on a study abroad trip in Argentina) married in his native Eraville on July 8, 2006. Pasquet has returned to school for a degree in international business as she and her husband plan to take over their family’s import business when his father retires.

Melissa Tucker (2006) married Cedric Beale (2005) in the garden behind the South Caroliniana Library on May 7, 2006. The service was performed by SCHC professor Hal French.

HAP FAQ 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 offers a great way to learn about careers and to make connections with SCHC alumni.

How do I participate? Simply visit honors/hap.html and enter the key code “HAP123” to create your profile.

Is my information safe? Only e-mail addresses will be displayed to users.

New seminars offered

Malcolm X and His Legacy Public History by Doing: Marking the African American Experience in the Midlands Worldviews in Collision? Science and Spirit History, Landscape, and Meaning Japanese Woodblock Printing Economic Thinking and the Contemporary World Next Energy Bookperson’s London (travel component) Philosophy of Emotions Recording Russia: Diary, Memoir, and Literary Accounts of Modern Russian History Science and Religion: Then and Now Social Justice in Global Society Introduction to World Music: Cross-Cultural Influences Philosophy and the Future

Maymester Travel Courses

The Holocaust/Poland History, Culture, Politics, and Society of Morocco/Morocco International Service Learning/Romania Democratizing Technology: Societal Interactions with Nanotechnology/Germany

Pass us a note ... a class note!

Mark your calendar March 11–18 Spring Break

12 May/Summer 2007 Master Schedule Available Online

20 SCHC Advisement/Registration Begins


9 Undergraduate Preregistration Begins

12 SCHC Advisement Ends

19 Awards Day

17–26 Shopping Period

May 2–9 Final Examinations

10 Spring Revocation—7 p.m.

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!, S.C. Honors College, USC, Columbia, SC 29208; 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).

n e w c o u r s e s a n d d a t e s | 15

The following honors courses were offered for the first time during the spring 2007 semester. Also listed are a few new courses that will be offered next fall, though we do not yet have the full schedule of course offerings. The fall 2007 issue of AHA! will identify the remaining new courses offered.

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit #766 Columbia, SC

Association of Honors Alumni South Carolina Honors College University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29208 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

SCHC 2006 fall picnic

AHA! is the official newsletter of the South Carolina Honors College and is published twice yearly for alumni, students, parents, and other members of the South Carolina Honors College community. Managing Editor: Mark Sibley-Jones Copy Editor: Susan Nesbitt Ward (1990) To reach us: 803-777-8102 or Alumni Correspondents: Susan Nesbitt Ward (1990) Student Correspondents: Jennifer Brackett (2008) Shawn Campbell (2009)

The University of South Carolina is an equal opportunity institution. 07054 University Publications 3/07


AHA! | South Carolina Honors College | University of South Carolina | Volume XII No. 2 “I give my deepest respect and admiration to all my f...

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