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

Spring 2009

“Fun, Sun, and Kangaroos” —Study Abroad “I have never been so appreciative of the education I received from the Honors College as I was in Australia. I was able to use my time efficiently, so I could have as much time to travel as possible.” —Jessica Walters-McCarthy, Class of 2009


from the dean | 2

On my desk is a draft request for honors classes for 2009–10. It is exciting to plan an honors curriculum, but it takes time and care. I look up and I see hanging in my Davis Baird closet one piece of a senior honors thesis, Virginia Walker’s duct tape “Alice in Wonderland, Cheshire Cat dress.” The whimsy and creativity, but also the care and attention to detail, remind me why it is worth the time and effort to get our curriculum right. We are cultivating creative minds here. But without skill and follow-through, this creativity would not come to much. When we get all of these

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ingredients together, then we know something exciting is happening. So we want Walter Liniger’s Echoes in Blues course next year. We also want Rick Showman’s Biological Principles I. We want Jim Stiver’s Curmudgeons class, and we want Mariah Lynch’s Introduction to Financial Accounting. It is all about fostering the development of creative, skillful minds who can finish a project. This semester has been challenging, with what has felt like daily budget cuts in state support for higher education. There can be no doubt that the financial crisis is having a painful impact on the University. But institutionally USC has worked very hard to preserve funding for its core educational mission, and the Honors College has been spared the worst of the cuts. We have had to make some changes. We have suspended our program for providing travel support for students. But we will continue to develop travel classes for students, service learning opportunities for students, and enhancements for our courses. Particularly exciting right now is a course on Latino immigration where we will invite a muralist to create a 30-foot mural with the class. Finances will constrain us, but we’ll continue to field a rich and exciting curriculum. Our goal is to use a smaller number of dollars more creatively to provide the exceptional educational experience for which we are known.

Dean’s puzzle Last issue’s puzzle asked this question: Is it more likely to throw a double-six twice in a row, or for two people at a dinner party of 25 people to share a birthday? Counterintuitively, it is much more likely for two people in a group of 25 to share a birthday (0.5687) than it is to throw double-six twice (0.0008). A full explanation of the result can be found on the SCHC Web site (http://schc.sc.edu/ deanspuzzle). In brief, the probability of throwing one double-six is 1/36; the probability of doing this twice in a row is 1/36 x 1/36 = 1/1,296 (=0.0008). Calculating the probability of two people in a group of 25 sharing a birthday is a bit more complicated. The probability of there being no birthday matches is (364!/340!)/36524 = 0.4313; so the probability that there is at least one match is 1-0.4313 = 0.5687. For details, see the Web site.

Here is the next puzzle: Suppose you had a solid block of wood 8 x 8 x 27. Cut it into four parts that can be reassembled into a solid cube. You can assume zero waste from your saw and perfect skill in cutting. As in the past, we will award a prize of Honors College merchandise to those who send us a correct solution. Send your solution electronically to puzzle@schc.sc.edu or by regular mail to Dean Davis Baird at the address listed on the back page of this issue.


Christian Price

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

finance, insurance and risk management, international business, marketing, real estate

Davis Baird

economics, European studies, history, international studies, management, political science, psychology, sociology

Ed Munn Sanchez

Laura Mewbourne

Mark Sibley-Jones

BARSC, mathematics, philosophy, statistics

Jim Burns African American studies, criminology and criminal justice, dance, early childhood education, elementary education, music, retailing, sport and entertainment management, undeclared—liberal arts, women’s and gender studies

Jim Clark accounting, business—general, business and technology education, business economics,

Molly Gilbride

advertising, biomedical engineering, broadcast journalism, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer information systems, computer science, electrical engineering, engineering— general, mechanical engineering, nursing, pharmacy, print journalism, public relations, visual communications

art education, art history, art studio, classics, film and media studies, media arts, theatre/speech anthropology, chemistry, French, German, Italian, Latin American studies, physics, Russian, Spanish biological sciences, cardiovascular technology, comparative literature, English, exercise science, environmental science, geography, geology, geophysics, interdisciplinary studies (arts and sciences), marine science, public health, religious studies, undeclared—science and mathematics

Brianna Timmerman All premeds

Distinguished honors alumni nomination form Send the form to Mark Sibley-Jones at 204 Harper, S.C. Honors College, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; fax to 803-777-2214; or e-mail to mark@schc.sc.edu. Nominee’s name Mailing address City

State

ZIP

State

ZIP

E-mail address Telephone

Your name Mailing address City E-mail address Telephone

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 1998 and earlier are eligible; deadline for submission is May 1.

news | 3

Who is my advisor?


SCHC community of Marshall Scholars is growing marshall scholars | 4

By Margaret Perkins, Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs

Elizabeth Nyikos, a South Carolina Honors College student majoring in piano performance, joins an elite group of American students chosen to be Marshall Scholars. She follows Nicholas Miller, Carolina’s 2001 Marshall Scholar, as the second Carolina student to receive this prestigious honor. USC’s Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs (OFSP) encourages students to “Engage in the Process” of pursuing national awards such as Marshall, Rhodes, Truman, Fulbright, Rotary, Goldwater, and NSF fellowships, among others. Since the office was established in 1994, University students have won more than 400 national awards. Nyikos began attending OFSP’s workshops as a Carolina freshman and nurtured her passion for medieval music with a major in music performance, research abroad, and the support and direction of faculty mentors. Dr. Scott Gwara, a University of South Carolina professor of English and 1984 Marshall Scholar and a key player in Elizabeth’s studies, research, and Marshall success, shared with her a 14th-century manuscript he had discovered at Columbia College. In collaboration with an Oxford University medievalist, Nyikos located similar manuscripts in Italy and Spain. Using the information from the Columbia College manuscript and two additional sources, Nyikos reconstructed all three voices, enabling Canticum Novum, a medieval vocal ensemble she founded, to perform the piece at the opening of an exhibit of medieval music she curated this fall from the University’s collection. Nyikos’ Marshall Scholarship will support her pursuit of a master’s degree in musicology at Oxford University beginning fall 2009.

“At Oxford, I will learn from world-renowned musicologists, have access to the extensive manuscript resources of the Bodleian Library, and participate in Oxford’s vibrant tradition of early music performance, thus developing skills as both a researcher and performer,” she said. Like Nyikos, Miller (SCHC 2001) was also advised by Gwara. The Marshall Scholarship supported his study at Oxford from 2001 to 2003, where he earned a master’s of philosophy (M.Phil.) in international relations. After Oxford, Miller worked in Washington, D.C., as a legislative assistant to S.C. Congressman John Spratt. In 2005 he went to Yale Law School, and he now practices international law in New York City at the firm Debevoise and Plimpton. “Winning the Marshall was first and foremost a surprise,” said Miller. “I had convinced myself—and been convinced by Novella—that the process was worth going through because it would force me to think about what I wanted to do after graduation. When I got a congratulatory call from the British Consulate, the first thing I did was call my mother. Then I ran down to the fellowships office to share the news. I also threw away the pile of graduate school applications that I had been dreading. I didn’t need them anymore—I was going to the United Kingdom.” Nyikos and Miller are justifiably proud of the recognition the Marshall brings. The Marshall Commission annually awards up to 40 scholarships for graduate-level studies in any academic field at an institution in the United Kingdom. Marshall Scholars are characterized by their intellect as well as their potential to be future leaders.


By Susan Nesbitt Ward

Our Marshall scholars are grateful for Carolina’s commitment to support national fellowship applicants. Beginning in a student’s freshman year, OFSP identifies, recruits, and encourages students to consider and apply for national fellowships and scholarships. In the case of the Marshall, for example, students are mentored through the rigorous and lengthy nomination, application, and selection process, all of which includes considerable dedication to written and verbal expression. The University Marshall Scholarship Committee is chaired by Dr. John Nelson (biological sciences). Committee members include Dr. Jan Boucher Breuer (economics), Dr. Jill Frank (political science), Leon Jackson (English), and Gordon Smith (Walker Institute of International and Area Studies). The University of South Carolina is the only institution of higher education in South Carolina to have had students selected as Marshall Scholars. Novella Beskid, director of the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs, reflects, “The moments we learn that a student has earned a national scholarship are exhilarating! Equally memorable and gratifying is supporting applicants as they clarify their life goals through the national application process and then, like Nicholas and Elizabeth, go on to make significant contributions in their chosen fields.” Visit the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs in person in Legare 220 or virtually at www.sc.edu/ofsp for information about national scholarships and Carolina award winners.

In 1973, a young woman fresh out of college at Carolina and newly married, pictured herself working at a job she enjoyed, somewhere in Columbia. Patsy Tanner, with an associPatsy Tanner ate’s degree in business, found herself employed in the University’s Department of Geology. The only problem was, she didn’t really like it. The following spring, a co-worker who knew of Patsy’s dissatisfaction heard about an opening elsewhere at the University and suggested Patsy interview with Dr. Bill Mould for a position in the newly forming honors program. She interviewed, was offered the job, and accepted it. And in 35 years, she hasn’t looked back. “I began working in May, and the first of June, the Moulds, along with their two sons, took off for a six-week tour of Europe,” Patsy said. “Here I was by myself not knowing a thing. Thank goodness it was summer and things were very slow. We were located on the first floor of the Welsh Classroom building: two offices, one lounge, and no windows.” At first it was just the two of them, Patsy and Bill, with two student workers and 400 students fulfilling requirements for an honors certificate. “A couple of years later,” Patsy said, “we moved into Nada Apartments, the red brick building. President William Patterson gave us the go-ahead to develop an honors college. Dr. Mould had gone on sabbatical, and Peter Sederberg took over for a three-year term. After many, many, many meetings, the college was formed.”



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Patsy Tanner

Under the honors program, Patsy explained, students took 30 hours of honors courses and received a certificate. The hours could be in any areas. “Most students completed this requirement after their sophomore year,” she said. “When the committee met to form the college, they wanted a more structured curriculum. They came up with the current curriculum for students to graduate with honors. They also formed the Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae degree.” Patsy started out as a secretary, became an administrative assistant, and now serves as the Honors College’s business manager. “Managing the budget gives me less contact with the students,” she said. “I miss the daily contact with them, but I enjoy what I am doing. And I finally have an office with a window on the Horseshoe.”

 How has the student population changed in 35 years? “Well,” Patsy said, “the ’70s were definitely more free-spirited, and drinking at 18 was legal. But also at that time, I was not much older than them. I guess I connected with them more. “Our convocations at the beginning of the year were held at Bell Camp, and Budweiser provided a beer truck for us. USC buses were reserved to take the students so they did not have to drive. We went there, swam and played games,” she recalled. “Now it’s so different. The group comes together and listens to different people speak, then they attend a reception.” A more significant change among students, she said, is “they’ve gotten younger; just kidding. Thirty years ago, students lived in dorms, and there were no apartments or dorms where male and female lived in the same building. We had a lounge (in the Honors College office building) they would hang out in. Now, they can go to each other’s rooms, and they don’t need a place to hang out. “I don’t think that the students themselves are much different,” she concluded. “All seem to be here for the same reason— a good education.” And Patsy’s here for a good reason, too. After 35 years of marriage, raising two girls (Shannon and Ashley, both Carolina grads and both now married) and presently enjoying her first grandchild—Shannon’s 15-month-old son, Tanner—Patsy finds herself still working at a job she enjoys, right in the heart of Columbia.


Honors alumna brings 21st-century technology to impoverished African villages alumni | 6

by Jeet Guram (2010)

“I was at the gym when he announced his candidacy in Illinois,” recalled Julia Royall (SCHC 1971), chief of international programs at the National Library of Medicine. She was referring to President Barack Obama, of course—it was only three days after the election, and Royall expressed the same sense of excitement that was gripping much of the nation. Then she shifted perspective. Royall had been in Africa for much of the past year, and she said, “Every Kenyan I would meet would want to talk about it, and there were newspapers everywhere with Obama on the front page.” Even though I had been in Washington, D.C., while it was all unfolding, I found myself wondering who had been more inundated with election coverage. As our discussion continued, I began to realize that such cross-continental connections have been an ever-present force in Royall’s career. She has recognized the opportunities presented by our increasingly globalized age, a time in which a U.S. election can be tracked by one candidate’s native tribe half a world away. Using the Internet, Royall has brought U.S.-based medical research databases to some of the most remote, impoverished regions of Africa and has adapted this wealth of information to local needs. She has harnessed the power of 21st-century information technology to build networks of communication both within Africa and between Africa and the West. Her work seeks to equip health officials in resource-taxed environments with all of the information available to their Western counterparts.

I met Royall at the National Library of Medicine, located on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The quiet campus is home to towering glass-enclosed buildings capped with antennae and surrounded by grassy lawns. The National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest medical library; it administers several online medical databases, including MEDLINE (http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov), which contains references to more than 16 million scientific journal articles, and MedlinePlus (http://medlineplus.gov), which offers easy-to-understand health information to the public. “I am so proud to represent this division of our government abroad,” said Royall. “We are able to use the fabulous tool of the Internet to provide peer-reviewed, high-quality resources for free. There isn’t even any advertising!” Royall has worked on health care issues pertaining to Africa since 1990 and had many years of experience in the communications field before that. She was a part of the team that set up the first Internet connection in Uganda in the early 1990s. Her recent projects have focused on Africa’s malaria epidemic— in Africa, a child dies of malaria every 30 seconds—and have included creating an international Web-based malaria communications network and designing an interactive MedlinePlus malaria tutorial specifically for Africa. Royall’s dedication to global health is rooted partly in a broad view of shared responsibility. When the U.S. medical profession was in its infancy in the early 1800s, there were few medical journals and medical schools in America. American

Julia with staff at Tororo Hospital in Eastern Uganda, where the National Library of Medicine is working with Simon Ndira (just above Julia on second row) to aid him in his eHMIS—electronic health management information system—the first in the country

physicians mostly used European journals and went abroad to get good training. Now that America is home to some of the world’s best medical publications and institutions, Royall feels that it is our turn to help those abroad who lack these resources. “Medicine does transcend politics,” she said. Many researchers are similarly driven to address global health inequities. However, good intentions alone are not enough. Royall explained that often the big, popular, “cookiecutter” solutions for developing countries are terribly under-informed. As an example, she cited a leading development economist, Jeffrey Sachs, and his calls to curb Africa’s malaria epidemic through the increased use of mosquito netting over beds. The mosquito net idea runs into a host of problems when it is actually implemented. In many African villages there is not a real concept of a “bed” as we understand it. And in the few situations where there is a “bed,” it is the men who sleep on it and could possibly use the net, not the more vulnerable women and children. Moreover, the men would likely be hesitant to use the nets since nets, in Royall’s words, “are a pain in the neck to sleep under.” In contrast to these top-down approaches, Royall’s interventions are deeply and consistently informed by the realities of African village life. Nevertheless, these realities can be very grim, and hearing about the difficulties Julia faces is sobering. Royall’s most recent project, designing a MedlinePlus malaria tutorial for Africa,


began with baseline surveying in Mifumi village. The village is located in Uganda, a nation that has been ravaged by decades of postcolonial strife, poverty, and disease, all of which have taken their toll on the nation’s infrastructure. Royall encountered frequent power outages and potholed roads. Moreover, a lack of education among the locals made designing a medical intervention even more of a challenge. There were widespread misconceptions about the causes of malaria and a low literacy rate. Baseline surveys revealed that some villagers thought corn caused the disease while others felt ripe mangoes or witchcraft were to blame. Low drug compliance was a common problem. Villagers would demand medication when they felt ill, but then stop taking it once they felt better even if they had not completed their full prescription. Finally, the information technology approach presents its own challenges. While increased use of trustworthy online sources has the potential to help health officials, the use of substandard sources could lead to confusion and the adoption of bad clinical practices. Working with local medical students every step of the way, Royall was able to creatively surmount these challenges. In response to low levels of education, she used images wherever possible. She has found illustrations, especially illustrations from local artists, to be a powerful way of “objectifying the problem” of disease, communicating information, and overcoming

language barriers. Each of the specific misconceptions about the causes of malaria that the baseline surveys uncovered was specifically addressed in the tutorial, often through an illustration. Royall provided local health professionals with detailed instruction on how to use the National Library of Medicine’s databases, explaining that other Internet sources must be approached with caution. Most importantly, the tutorial was field tested in multiple villages. The tutorial that emerged from this process is striking for both its clarity and comprehensiveness. It is available online at www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/africa/malaria. html and stands as a testament to the tremendous potential of Royall’s approach, in which cutting-edge Western technologies meet on-the-ground third-world realities. She poignantly describes the thrill of seeing people in Mifumi become excited about such interaction: “I found myself at the Health Center sitting on a banana leaf mat that had just been woven, watching as patients, mostly women with babies, interacted with our electronic tutorial on malaria, cautiously but then with confidence, advancing the frames by clicking the down arrow on my batterypowered laptop…. The interaction with the end users in this small village in a highly malarious country was remarkable, so simple and practical, yet precious beyond belief.” After seeing how successful her interventions have been, you can tell why, even amid all the challenges she faces, Royall describes her work as “a privilege.” And surely the people she serves reciprocate her devotion.

Information on Julia Royall Julia Royall is a 1971 graduate of the Honors Program (predecessor to the college) who works for the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md. Julia has focused her career on improving health care delivery and reducing malaria through rural outreach in Africa and specifically in Uganda. She spent the last year in Uganda as a Fulbright Scholar working for the dean of the Faculty (their term for college) of Medicine at Makerere University (http://mak.ac.ug). Julia is originally from Charleston, S.C., and graduated from USC in 1971 with a degree in English. Julia’s contact information is: jroyall@nlm.nih. gov; 301-402-2808; National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894. Her e-mail is probably the best way to contact her. For more information, visit her Uganda blog at http://juliaroyall.com. To link to her publications, see http:// juliaroyall.com/JuliaRoyallBio.html. During her Fulbright in Uganda, she worked on the MedlinePlus African tutorial on malaria (made in Uganda): www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/africa/ malaria.html. The 10-minute video of the students is also worth watching.  If you google her name, you can also find links to some of her research papers online.

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Julia with Nurse Sister Gorretti and her staff at the health clinic in Mifumi in Eastern Uganda. Note the laptop on the table—patients were trying out the MedlinePlus African tutorial on malaria (www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/africa).


Local Hispanic population gets support from Honors College, University, and city student service | 8

By Anna Walton (2010)

Volunteers and patients on the steps of the Good Samaritan Clinic

I was a sophomore in the South Carolina Honors College when I opened an e-mail from the Office of Undergraduate Research advertising an opportunity for students to work with Dr. Heather Brandt of the Arnold School of Public Health. Within one month, Dr. Brandt, Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, and I had crafted a Magellan Scholar proposal. Our goal was to work with the nonprofit organization The South Carolina Hispanic/ Latino Health Coalition (SCHLHC) and its project, the Latina Initiative against Cancer, to culturally and linguistically adapt the South Carolina Cancer Alliance’s Spanishlanguage Cancer Education Guide. During my work on that educational material, I was introduced to members of the Hispanic community and people dedicated to serving that community. One of these members was the former chair of the SCHLHC and current director of the Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies, Dr. Myriam Torres. In 2008 she and Jessica Bellinger led a SCHC Maymester course to Xalapa, the capital of the Mexican state of Veracruz. Along with six other Honors College students, we surveyed institutions and met individuals working with the Mexican migrant worker population. These included community clinics run by the Universidad Veracruzana

in rural areas of the state, a doctor working with the Mexican government’s Institute of Public Health and her work with dengue prevention, and Columbia’s own Julie Smithwick-Leone, director of the PASOS (Perinatal Awareness for Successful Outcomes) program. Following those two weeks in Mexico, I returned to my work with the Magellan project. I communicated with researchers from different parts of the United States who specialized in health education in the Hispanic community. They were delighted that this initiative was being taken in South Carolina. Later, I met Dr. Lidia Navarrete, the director of the Good Samaritan Clinic. As a new volunteer to this Columbia clinic, which is one-of-a-kind in providing free health care in a Hispanic patient-friendly environment, I met the individuals who put faces to the “community” for whom I had dedicated the past six months of research and work. Opportunities to immerse myself in the local Hispanic culture abounded in the form of community fairs and organizations. Involvement at the health fairs, and with the Good Samaritan Clinic and the PASOS program, meshed with my work with the Latina initiative. While we presented the Latina initiative at the Main Street Latin Festival, I ran into patients from the Good Samaritan Clinic. Members of the Latina initiative and I began to work on a communications campaign for breast cancer awareness in October. I met with representatives from the Hispanic radio stations at tiendas (stores) and restaurants to share tacos and work on our contract. I interviewed and befriended a Hispanic breast cancer survivor and featured her in a newspaper article I wrote for a local Spanish-language newspaper.

At every activity, I would run into the same individuals. I realized that there is a small but growing network of people in Columbia that are dedicated to serving the local Hispanic community. Emily Stanek (SCHC 2008), shared a booth with the Latina initiative, Acercamiento Hispano, and PASOS. As an Honors College student, Emily made a Web site (http://schc.sc.edu/ hispanic_outreach) that lists various programs that work for the Hispanic community. At the festival, Emily registered people to vote as we shared information about cancer screening. Emily’s work also brought her to the annual SCHLHC meeting to present the Know Your Rights project, which educates the Hispanic community about immigration laws and how to recognize violations of their rights. As my Magellan project came to a close, it was time to start using the culturally adapted Spanish-language Cancer Education Guide in the community. A Journeyman Exploration Scholar grant from the Honors College has allowed me to work with Dr. Brandt and Dr. DeAnne Messias, from nursing and women’s studies, to evaluate the guide’s effectiveness in the community. Along with our October communications campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer, we began to train women from the Hispanic community to be promotoras, or to present the guide in small groups around Columbia and to refer women to clinics to get screened for breast and

USC medical students screening a patient at the Good Samaritan Clinic

cervical cancer. Part of the promotoras’ work is to administer pretests and posttests and follow up with the women they refer for screening. This project is the first formal evaluation of the South Carolina Cancer Alliance’s prided Cancer Education Guide. The fall 2008 Honors College servicelearning course Spanish for Healthcare Professionals is yet another example of the Honors College’s and Columbia’s


The kids are alright: musical prodigies rock the Midlands This article was excerpted from a longer article written by Otis R. Taylor Jr. that appeared in The State newspaper on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009. Michael and Ryan Hood are the sons of Dr. Charles G. Hood (SCHC 1983) and Dr. Anita Shah Hood (SCHC 1983). It was the toy piano, the kind where the keys light up as a song is (mechanically) played. It fascinated Michael Hood, and it didn’t take him long to master the songs. “Eventually, I got to the point where I didn’t need it to light up,” Michael says. “It never seemed like anything I had to work for.” At 10, he was playing a waltz at the family piano (a real one). “Who is that by?” his dad, Charles, recalls asking. “I wrote it,” was Michael’s response, and his dad knew “Something is going on here.” By 16, Michael, an Irmo High School junior who turned 17 last month [December 2008], had composed four CDs. The latest, “Route 95,” is a harmonious confection of styles ranging from Indian to classical pop. If that’s not enough, he has been ranked No. 1 academically in his class for three years and also is a top-5 singles player on the tennis team. And he’s an award-winning concert pianist. Song ideas pour out of him, and the clusters of sessions are stored in the music program Garage Band on his computer. His chair is “equidistant from the computer and keyboard,” a Mac and a Yamaha GX620, respectively. “I’m the only person I know that uses a Mac at home,” he says, sheepishly, as he wipes the piano keyboard after touching it with buttered popcorn hands. His room, with an octagonal cove, overlooks Lake Murray. Sunrises and sunsets are

Back to front: Charles and Anita Hood, Michael, and Ryan

a great source of inspiration for many. But Michael, with a slight jut of his head and shoulders, plays with his eyes closed, like he’s visualizing what he’s doing. “Whenever I hear a song, the melodies, the pitch, I see myself playing it on the piano,” he says of songs he hears for the first time and enjoys, like Coldplay’s dancey “Lovers in Japan.” But Michael, who says he has perfect pitch, can’t sing. “That’s why I’ve written everything instrumental,” he says. “My brain is not connected to my voice box.” From Michael’s room, one can hear his brother, Ryan, practicing guitar. At 12, Ryan can figure out a Stevie Ray Vaughn song in less than a week and then play it by ear. Ryan got so good that, in a bit of brotherly competition, Michael picked up the guitar. “At first it didn’t make any sense, the frets,” Michael says. “But it helped me spread out in writing. “It made me more creative.” Drew Medlin, a local guitarist who teaches at Musician’s Supply, works with both boys. “They’re probably the two most talented students I have,” Medlin says. “I’ve never seen anything quite like that in two brothers.” Ryan peels Vaughn’s “The Sky is Crying” from his guitar—a Godin, he’ll let you know— with dexterous and flabbergasting ease. “I just started playing it last night,” he says. Michael is better on theory, Medlin says, while Ryan has more raw talent. “Teaching those two changed the way I teach everybody,” he says. The boys’ dad and mom, who have always played music in their house, can’t pinpoint where their sons got their playing talent. “That’s something I did on my own,” Michael says of writing songs. “I thought it would be fun.” It’s really that simple.

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dedication to improve the services provided to the local Hispanic community. This course, the product of the senior thesis of Anna Handley (SCHC 2008) and taught by Professor Lizette Laughlin, was not just a Spanish medical vocabulary course. Of course, how to say “Please roll up your sleeve, I am about to take your blood pressure,” in Spanish is now basic vocabulary in every students’ lexicon. However, the regional differences in Hispanic culture, different practices from pregnancy to burial, and the importance of respect were incorporated into the curriculum, as well. Additionally, this course was designed to increase the capacity of the Free Medical Clinic on Harden Street to care for Hispanic patients. Students were expected to volunteer at the clinic and do final projects that would help to make the clinic more “Hispanic-friendly.” Projects involved the creation of Spanish-language health education materials about hygiene, nutrition, and diabetes; an evaluation of available methods for implementing an automated telephone system for Spanish-speaking patients; a database of Spanish-language patient resources; and a proposal for the development of a survey to evaluate patient needs. Additional opportunities for students to follow through with these efforts are underway. A service credit course is available through the Spanish department for students who wish to pursue further volunteer work in this area. A new student organization, called Amigos del Buen Samaritano, is being designed, in which a synopsis of the Honors College service-learning course will be used to train students to volunteer at the West Columbia location of the Good Samaritan Clinic. Students may help with interpreting, patient screening, finding additional funding for the clinic, advertising the clinic, and working on a computer database. USC, the Honors College, and other individuals and organizations around Columbia are ready to embrace the rapidly growing Hispanic population. The support for student projects and volunteerism has been tremendous, and I expect it to continue to strengthen as we welcome our new neighbors. For students interested in joining Amigos del Buen Samaritano, please e-mail Anna Walton at waltonal@mailbox.sc.edu.


Study Abroad

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By Jessica Walters-McCarthy (2009)

From top: Partial view of limestone sculptures known as “Twelve Apostles” Jessie and Brittany Wolin leaping in front of the Sydney Opera House Jessie diving on the Great Barrier Reef

On my second day in Australia, I sat in a large lecture hall for the International Student Orientation at my new university. As a part of an icebreaker game, the hosts posed a series of fun trivia questions for which we used clickers to submit our answers. The final question functioned as a survey and read, “Why did you come to Australia? A) To learn English, B) To fulfill a credit, C) To take classes in a different country, D) Fun, Sun, and Kangaroos.” I looked around at my new friends and somewhat guiltily clicked D. Granted, I did not fly 14 hours on a transpacific flight simply for an extended vacation. I could have done that by returning home to the white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Rather, I went to explore a completely different side of myself. I knew a part of me was spontaneous and adventurous and that Australia would be the perfect place for me to travel. Furthermore, I wanted to broaden my horizons and my understanding of my own country by experiencing another western culture. Taking classes was simply an opportunity to experience this. Also, I hoped the experience in Australia would open doors to future travel opportunities. My course credits came back as pass/fail to Carolina, so theoretically I could have made below average grades and no one would be the wiser. Unfortunately, I am that stereotypically compulsive honors college student who strives for nothing short of perfection. My pride and determination made me strive for Distinctions and High Distinctions, which are the equivalent to As and A pluses. Because of this, my course goals and travel desires conflicted with each other. I had heard from previous American students that courses were incredibly hard, and it was almost impossible to make

great grades and enjoy the country. Thanks to the Honors College’s training in my previous classes, I had no trouble thriving in both areas. I took three science classes while abroad, and my grades were determined by a single lab report, a final exam, and a project or short paper for each course. To me, this was simple. I had been well prepared for each part. I knew how to think critically from my previous classes and how to take worthwhile notes, so when it came time for the final exams, I studied my note cards on planes while I traveled. The lab reports and projects were a little more difficult, only because they needed to be done in my apartment. However, while my other American friends wrote draft after draft of their reports and continuously returned to academic services for help, I was able to write them correctly the first time. Thanks to Dr. Murphy’s honors general chemistry lab, I had written my fair share of full lab reports. Usually, you write one or two a semester for a lab, but I think we wrote six or seven in Dr. Murphy’s class. I knew exactly what needed to be included in each section, how graphs were professionally and effectively incorporated, and how to be concise in my conclusion. As a result, I spent the night before our reports were due reading and correcting other students’ work. For the projects, I knew that presentation was just as important as content and that making a few changes to add creativity could increase a grade by a letter. Finally, I knew how to write a concise one-page paper of 500 words instead of a 500-word introduction, thanks to Dr. Leslie Sargent Jones’s honors course. I have never been so appreciative of the education I received from the Honors College as I was in Australia. I was able to use my time efficiently, so I could have as much time to travel as possible. I needed very few weekends for homework, and as a result, I was able to explore the east coast of Australia. I saw the Sydney Opera House, hiked around Uluru, dived the Great Barrier Reef, sailed around the Whitsunday Islands, camped on Fraser Island, photographed the Twelve Apostles (limestone sculptures situated on the Great Ocean), took a road trip around Tasmania, and so much more. I came back with more experiences, more memories, and more stories than many people make in a lifetime.


invites you to play your honors card. Please RSVP for the May Carolina Alumni weekend online through the Carolina Alumni Association at

www.MyCarolina.org/rsvp. Professor

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the heart of two of our courses: Ch and Philosophy emistry of Food of Food, led by Pr ofessors Jack G Kevin Elliot, resp oldsmith and ectively. In the cla sses, our student to “making, bakin s are exposed g, and tasting [th eir] way to unde chemical princip rstanding als” of cooking an d “examining a ethical and socie range of tal issues associa ted with the prod consumption of uc tion and food.” Join the di scussion, and di the merits of teac scover hing food-related courses.

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* To pay the $35 fee that covers the reception and dinner, or to register, go to www.MyCarolina.org/rsvp. Register for the alumni association breakfast with University President Harris Pastides and all of the other great events!

s p r i n g r e u n i o n | 11

student


a l u m n i a c t i v i t i e s | 12

Dean Baird (red shirt) explains the next phase of construction as alumni view the new honors residence.

Alumni enjoy classroom and campus tours at fall reunion

More than 30 SCHC alumni gathered on the USC campus Sept. 20, 2008, for a daylong reunion. Events included classroom lectures and tours of the new honors residence hall under construction, a current Horseshoe apartment housing honors students, and the Rare Book Room. Following a continental breakfast, participants had to choose which of two lectures to Former dean Bill Mould and SCHC graduate Dr. Anita attend: “Imagining the 21st century” by forShah Hood (1983) converse during lunch. mer dean Peter Sederberg or “What Ever Happened to J.D. Salinger?” by former provost and English professor Don Greiner. Then, after a coffee break, alumni opted for either “Slouching Toward Understanding” by former dean Bill Mould or “Beyond the Data: How Images of the Nanoscale Work” by current dean Davis Baird. More than a few alumni echoed the sentiments of Jack Goldsmith (1990), who said, “It was awful to have to choose one lecture over Dr. Patrick Scott conducts a tour of the Rare Book Room for alumni. the other. From what I’ve heard, each one was exceptional, and people wanted to attend them all.” Fellow graduate Amy Sikes (1991) said at the conclusion of one of the lectures, “I wish I were still in school.” That afternoon alumni enjoyed a tour of the new honors residence and looked down on the construction site (five floors high minus a roof) from the roof of the adjacent Graduate Science Research Center. Most participants left the campus at 5 p.m. Saturday at the conclusion of the afternoon activities. A few remained to accompany Dean Baird to dinner and to discuss future possibilities for alumni gatherings. Some of the priorities that SCHC alumni identified as the most compelling reasons to attend reunions include the following: 1) morning lectures offered by professors they had when they were students, 2) tours of old facilities (especially dorms where they once resided) and of new facilities (new honors residence, new wing of library currently under construction), 3) opportunities to converse with each other throughout the day and especially over lunch and dinner, and 4) a desire to know what current students are doing in and beyond the classroom (internships, study abroad, undergraduate research, and service learning). SCHC is responding to the requests of alumni for more gatherings by putting together the spring reunion advertised on page 11. We hope to see you there.

2008 Homecoming More than 100 alumni attended the SCHC Homecoming Brunch on Nov. 8, 2008, at the Inn at USC. Dean Davis Baird presented the Distinguished Honors Alumni Award to Jaime Bernanke (1975). Below are the remarks that Baird made in introducing Bernanke to his fellow alumni. “Jaime Bernanke graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina in 1975 with a BA in English and History. In 1978 he received the Master of Arts degree from Columbia University in New York. To list his accomplishments since then would keep us here for the next several hours. So in deference to the demands of a tight schedule, let me list just a few of Jaime’s remarkable achievements. “From 1985 to 1995 Jaime was a supervising writer and supervising producer for National Geographic Television and Film. In 1995 he cofounded Pangolin Pictures, and for the next 13 years he served as vice president of that company. While there, he wrote and produced quite a number of films, including the following: • One episode titled ‘Gorilla Murders’ for National Geographic Explorer. • Two episodes for Nature, one of which is titled ‘Violent Hawaii,’ which was a 2005 Emmy finalist for writing. I list the other title at risk of subjecting Jaime to a barrage of questions from all of us. That enticing title: ‘What Females Want and Males Will Do: Part I.’ I’m inclined to ask Jaime how many parts a writer/producer might create before thinking he has exhausted this subject matter.


SCHC goes on the road to visit alumni

• Other television titles with which you may be familiar: ‘Tsunami—Killer Wave’ for National Geographic; ‘Alfred Kinsey: Talking about Sex’; ‘Tarantula: King of the Spiders’; and several films in the Phobia series, including ‘Gephyrophobia’ (fear of bridges), ‘Aviophobia’ (fear of flying), ‘Amaxophobia’ (fear of riding in a vehicle), ‘Arachnophobia’ (fear of spiders), and ‘Astraphobia’ (fear of thunder and lightning). • For those of you who especially like biographies, how about these titles: ‘Catherine the Great’ (a 2006 TV episode), ‘Calamity Jane’ (also 2006), and ‘Pirates’ (a 2005 production). “In March of this year [2008] Jaime founded DoraLou Productions, where he continues his prolific career as an independent writer and producer of documentaries. “This brief sketch of Jaime’s work does not do even partial justice to the range and depth of his work, for which he has received several of the highest awards in his industry. But let me conclude this tribute to his accomplishments by listing a few venues where Jaime’s work has appeared: PBS, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Discovery Health, A&E, Biography Channel, National Aquarium in Baltimore, and Person Prentice Hall Publishing. “It is my pleasure to present Jaime Bernanke with the 2008 South Carolina Honors College Distinguished Alumni Award.”

Development Director Chappell Wilson plays a duet with Eleanor, while brother William looks on. Eleanor and William are the children of Tom Ross and MarieLouise Ramsdale.

Stephanie Stinn, Stephen Brown, and Julye Johns enjoy a festive debate.

Dean Baird and his wife, Deanna Leamon, converse at the Charleston reception with Jeff Vinzani and Tom Ross.

Shelley Price (left) and Ashley Tjader (right), Critical Languages Scholars

Several Atlanta alumni hosted a “Meet the Dean” reception on Nov. 11, 2008, at the Dunwoody Country Club. Hosts Jay Cain (1992), Carrie England (2000), Manish Shrivastava (1992), Cara Hergenroether (2000), Lori Clos-Fisher (1983), Stephanie Stinn (1998), and Erika Sprotti (2001) welcomed 21 Atlanta alumni and three SCHC staff members to a wineand-cheese reception at which Dean Baird talked about new developments at the Honors College. He spoke of the design of the new honors residence on the corner of Blossom and Main streets. The structure, to be completed this summer, will house a total of 537 students, including all of our incoming freshmen. Dean Baird talked about new courses that are being offered to SCHC students and about the work our students are doing in the areas of research, local service initiatives, and study abroad. He also presented information about a number of interesting senior theses either recently completed or currently under way. On February 17, Charleston-area alumni and friends of SCHC gathered at the Sullivan’s Island home of Marie-Louise Ramsdale (1990) and her husband, Tom Ross. They, along with cohosts Carol Danner Benfield (1981), Sonam Ashish Shah (2007), and Laura Campbell Waring (1993), welcomed 28 guests, including several local high school guidance counselors seeking to learn more about SCHC on behalf of their students. Dean Baird has said repeatedly that one of the joys of leading the Honors College is that of connecting with alumni who paved the way for the current generation of students. “I am enormously grateful to the SCHC alumni who have given of their time and effort to host these receptions,” said Baird. “I am also grateful to all the alumni who have come. I have learned about all the amazing things that have happened to the college’s alumni after leaving—and also what the college was like before I arrived. I believe that the alumni who have come have enjoyed meeting each other, networking, and sharing stories as much as I have. The Honors College is just a pretty remarkable family.”

a l u m n i a c t i v i t i e s | 13

Jaime Bernanke addresses alumni after receiving the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award.


c l a s s n ote s | 14

Class notes

60s

90s

19

19

John Culbertson (1969) was hon-

Derham Cole (1999) was elected in November the Republican Representative to the General Assembly from House District 32 in Spartanburg. On Dec. 3, 2008, he was appointed to serve on the House Judiciary Committee. A business attorney in Spartanburg, Derham married another Honors College graduate, the former Suzy Boulware (2001), on Jan. 5, 2008. Derham worked in the Legislature while he was at the Honors College and USC law school. He says, “I am honored to have the privilege to serve Spartanburg County in the General Assembly.”

ored as ambassador for economic development by Gov. Mark Sanford and the Department of Commerce as part of South Carolina’s 18th Annual Industry Appreciation Week. The ceremony took place in Columbia on Monday, Sept. 15, at the Governor’s Mansion Complex and highlighted 49 individuals from 46 counties for their exceptional efforts to bolster community and economic development activities in South Carolina. Culbertson is chair of the Edgefield County Chamber of Commerce. He spearheaded a strategic planning process in conjunction with the S.C. Department of Commerce in 2007 that highlighted education, economic development, and quality of life as three target areas to produce short- and longterm goals for improving Edgefield County. He has been instrumental in the active implementation of establishing new spec buildings and developing highway infrastructure. Culbertson is a retired educator with Newberry, Aiken, and Edgefield County Public Schools and continues to instruct classes periodically at Aiken and Piedmont Technical Colleges. He is a member of the American Legion and the Lions Club and a volunteer with the South Carolina State Guard, where he is a major and the chief mental health officer.

Jennifer Jablonski (1993) was named the winner of the 2008 Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award at USC. The Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award recognizes individuals who have made significant and extraordinary contributions to the academic or professional development and/or personal lives of first-year USC students. As the director of music admissions, Jablonski guides new music students and their families through the admissions process. She also serves as the academic partner of the Music Community, a residential community for new students pursuing music majors and minors that Jablonski helped create in 2005. Jablonski was recently elected president-elect of the Carolina Alumni Association’s Richland/Lexington County Club and named an honorary member of USC’s chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, national honorary band fraternity.

Kim Buckner Land (1998) and her husband, Jason, welcomed their first child, Kelsey Dawn, on July 18, 2008. Kelsey weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces and was 20 inches long. The Lands live in Inman, S.C. Kim works as the marketing director for the Spartanburg (S.C.) HeraldJournal. John David Reid (1991) and Jennifer Lauren Baker (1995) were married in Pawleys Island, S.C., on May 17, 2008. David and Jennifer knew each other before they both attended the Honors College, but years together in Columbia didn’t hurt! They reside in Arlington, Va., where David is a mental health counselor and Jennifer runs a government affairs consulting firm with her father (a 1972 USC grad).

Tom Young (1993) was recently elected to the South Carolina General Assembly representing District 81 in the S.C. House or Representatives. Tom and his wife, Heather, live in Aiken with their two daughters, Hailey (5) and Ashley (2). Tom is a partner in the law firm of Whetstone Myers Perkins & Young LLC, which has offices in Aiken, Columbia, and Myrtle Beach. Tom invites any classmates wanting to catch up to e-mail him at tyoung@ attorneyssc.com.

00s

20

Adam Hark (2005) married Nicole Modeen (2007) in Charlotte, N.C., last August. They live in Washington, D.C., where Adam recently finished his

Adam, Nicole, and Justin

law degree at American University and now works in regulatory consulting. Nicole is pursuing a master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution from American University. Adam was pleased to announce, “Our wedding was officiated by none other than longtime Honors College fixture [and graduate] Justin Simmons” (2005), currently a seminary student at Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Jacque Riley (2004), president of Riley Communications. Jacque’s company won a 2008 International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) Silver Quill Award of Merit for their media efforts on behalf of the S.C. offices of Integra Realty Resources. This is their first multistate award—encompassing IABC’s Southern Region of 14 states and the Caribbean—and it also holds special meaning because the winners were selected by their communications peers! “We feel like this is a great example of the media reach and results that can come as the result of a finetuned partnership, and [cue the Oscar music] we really want to thank the leadership at Integra for brainstorming ideas, accommodating interviews, and collaborating on great articles everywhere from GSA Business to Palmetto Banker,” said Riley.

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 http://schc.sc.edu and click on “Alumni,” or use the enclosed donor envelope to send us your class notes and photos, or e-mail to alumni@schc.sc.edu.


New seminars offered The following honors courses will be offered for the first time during the fall 2009 semester. Women of Europe Service Learning Course Partnering with Coalition for New South Carolinians Community Research and Action: Addressing Homelessness in Columbia Sugar in the Blood: Cultural Beliefs, Attitudes, and Treatment of Diabetes in the African American Community

Mark your calendar

The History of International Relations: The Era of the First and Second World Wars Cannon and Catapult Authenticity: How to Live the Good Life and Be True to Yourself

April

The Challenges of Higher Education

13 Last Day to Submit Defense Confirmation Forms

Why Bad Things Happen: The Problem of Evil

14–17 Shopping Period

So You Want to Be a Doctor? A Reality-Based Class on Transitioning into Medical School and Residency

16 Awards Day

18 Ivory Tower Tentative Spring Sessions

25 Ivory Tower Tentative Spring Sessions

The Marriage Plot Sex and the City: Gender Roles in Jazz Age Literature Facing Immortality Learning Non-Violence from Gandhi and Friends Community Leadership Exposed: The Rev. Bowman Project

27 Last Day of Classes

May

7 Spring Revocation 7 p.m.

8–9 Commencement Exercises 11–31 Ivory Tower to Marketplace

June–July June 1–July 10 Freshman Orientation

29–May 6 Final Examinations

We are pleased to announce the Class Captains for each graduation year: SCHC Class Captains

1977 Daniel Sansbury 1978 Brian Adler and Kate Heald 1979 Catherine Derrick Baker and Carl B. Strange Jr. 1980 1981 Patricia Lockhart Morrissey 1982 Jeffery Wildes and R. Scott Moore 1983 Mark Husband, Anita Shah Hood, and Charles Hood 1984 Chris Vlahoplus and Chris Lane 1985 1986 David Goldshalk, Sherry Nist, and Harry Sharp 1987 J. Martin Richey 1988 Michael Thigpen and Susan McIntire 1989 Garry Malphrus 1990 Jack Goldsmith and Karen Borkowski 1991 Micah Porter 1991 Amy Sikes 1992 Laurie Addy, Matthew Jochim, Pierce McNair, George Postic, and Manish Shrivastava 1993 Summer Taylor, Robert Flanigan, and Gina Emanuel 1994 Suzanne Bauknight and Lloyd Raleigh 1995 Misty Skvoretz

1996 Nishad Chikhliker, Teresa Wilson Florence, and Brett Wallace 1997 Manisha Shroff Chikhliker, Maria De Chellis, and Nathan Terracio 1998 Charlene Wilson and Elizabeth Ann Chandler 1999 Melissa Cargnino Klenik, Cara Carter Shackelford, Emilie Greene Sommer, and Emily Whitney 2000 Callee Kaiser Boulware, Carrie England, Cara Hergenroether, Jennifer Rainman, Reid Sherard, and Sharon Wilson 2001 Natalie Guthrie, Sarah Jones, Lauren Kolowith, Erika Miller, Michelle Sutton, and Amanda Veldman 2002 Aaron Hark, Daniel Layfield, and Angela Smith 2003 David Bornemann. Candice Hark, Tara Johnson, and Sheima Salam Sumer 2004 Amelia Bogart 2005 Heather Benson, Bethany Kessell, and Justin Simmons 2006 Anne Ellefson and Thomas Scott 2007 Terrill Wilkins and Shelly Fleming Wilkinson 2008 Anna Handley and Asma Jaber

Want to learn more about what your Class Captains do and how you can become one? E-mail Doreen Rinehart at Doreen@schc.sc.edu!

Visit your class Web page! Go to http://schc.sc.edu/alumni/aha/

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

Faulkner, Updike, and O’Connor


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

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@schc.sc.edu Alumni Correspondents: Susan Nesbitt Ward (1990) Student Correspondents: Jeet Guram (2010) Jessie Walters-McCarthy (2009) Anna Walton (2010)

Class Connections: GET CONNECTED! Have you ever wondered what your classmates have accomplished since graduation? Do you want to know if your friends are planning to attend alumni events? Would you want to hear what other alumni think about a new best seller or an old classic? Now you can find out all of this and more as we debut our new Class Connections project and alumni Web pages! Class Connections seeks to provide a better sense of community for our alumni by creating more alumni events, providing an online community to connect with friends and the college, and sharing news and pictures. Visit us online at http://schc.sc.edu/Alumni/AHA.php. Featuring a main navigation page and individual pages for each class, our new “Class Connections” pages allow alumni to: • post pictures • view RSVP lists for events • submit information for AHA! magazine’s class notes pages • reconnect with other alumni • make a donation to the college and purchase Honors College merchandise • view electronic copies of AHA! magazine AND MORE!

The University of South Carolina is an equal opportunity institution. 09179 University Publications 4/09

Two years ago, a partnership board member recognized the need for a community for Honors College alumni and the college. Out of this suggestion, the Class Connections project was born. The first major focus was bringing on board a team of representatives for each class to offer feedback on activities we are planning and to help connect the college with “lost” alumni. Two or more class captains represent each class. Some classes are still in need of captains, and others have only one representative. If you are interested in representing your class by planning reunions, occasionally submitting or approving content for the Web site, and helping us find “lost” classmates, contact Doreen Rinehart, the class captains coordinator, at doreen@schc.sc.edu or by calling 803-777-2618.


AHA_Spring_2009