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

Spring 2011

“Stepping Up� New SCHC program cultivates leaders, tackles campus and community challenges.

from the dean | 2

From the interim dean Tayloe Harding I write today to you, my colleague admirers of the marvelous South Carolina Honors College, to share with you my reactions to the magnitude of reach that is accomplished by the students, faculty, and staff of your Honors College. Being the interim dean of the SCHC since August has brought me such deep joy and an enduring amazement at the achievements of the students of this grand college. On the pages that follow in this issue of AHA! are numerous stories and anecdotes that evidence the purposeful effect on the lives of South Carolinians, Americans, and others throughout the world that our students and graduates have achieved in 2010. To say that the experiences of Anna Handley in Ethiopia on a Gates Foundation grant with expectant mothers were inspirational, or that the insights of Michael Lambert regarding his encounters with broad religious understanding at the recent Share a Quran Day are profound, would be unfortunate understatements. These two stories alone represent a reach of the Honors College that is not just transformational for these two young high-achieving students, but is also a source of pride and international recognition for the college and for its impact. These examples manifest my feelings of delight and sincere admiration for the realization of the mission of the South Carolina Honors College. I am honored to play the role in it I do, even if it is only for a brief time. Please know that through the support of our outstanding alumni and friends like you, the college makes available such experiences to qualified students who aspire to these interactions and learning opportunities. One example of significant support is a recent gift of $1.4 million from the family of Elizabeth Albright Belser and Duncan Clinch Heyward Belser, a generous donation that will provide full-tuition scholarships to six Honors College students majoring in engineering and computing. It is the largest gift ever given to the South Carolina Honors College and the most significant need-based scholarship we offer. Thank you for your continuing support of this great college and of today’s students and tomorrow’s most important leaders. It means more than anyone can say.

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Drop everything and lead


Saving mothers, saving newborns


Student editorials


Student editorials


Dancing deans


Champagne brunch

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10 The gift that costs you nothing 11 Traditions 12 Class notes 1  Beth Hutchison Watson, director of internship programs/ academic advisor 2 Christian Price, technology director/academic advisor 3 Chappell Wilson, director of development 4 Mark Sibley-Jones, director of recruiting/academic advisor

13 Class notes 14 New staff 15 New courses for spring 2011 15 Calendar

5 Doreen Rinehart, director of alumni relations/academic advisor 6 Brooke Roper, director of student services/academic advisor 7 Ed Munn Sanchez, associate dean 8 Jo Wessinger, administrative assistant to dean 9 Jim Burns, senior associate dean 10 Michael Davis, student services administrative assistant 11 Jim Clark, director of off-campus education/academic advisor 12 Kathy Keenan, assistant to development director 13 Tayloe Harding, interim dean 14 Debra Boulware, student services coordinator 15 Patsy Tanner, business manager

The University of South Carolina is an equal opportunity institution. 10710 UCS 2/11

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South Carolina Honors College staff

Drop everything and lead

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By Jonathan Andrew Aun (2010) Experimental Psychology (Pre-Med)

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” These are the words chosen by John Quincy Adams when questioned on his view of a leader. Despite our ability to find new leaders, we constantly deal with a grim reality—they are in short supply. In spite of this challenge, the University of South Carolina has taken a huge step toward filling the gap. In the spring 2010 semester, a concern to cultivate leaders among the freshman class was voiced by the South Carolina Honors College as they requested my help to address the challenge of empowering leaders. Ultimately the program became incorporated into my senior thesis project, “The Psychology of Groups and Leadership with an Application to Student Affairs.” More importantly, this venture became a team effort between University Housing and the Honors College. After several conversations with faculty and staff, specifically Dr. Edmund Sanchez, Dr. Briana Timmerman, and Ms. Valerie Heruska, we created and

executed the project. The name for the program came from Heruska, who was at the time my resident mentor supervisor. She coined the acronym DEAL, which stands for Drop Everything And Lead. During the DEAL 2010 Conference, held in August, students were presented with numerous outlets to develop themselves as confident leaders in their class. They attended group sessions with resident mentors to improve their knowledge of campus resources, completed a personality inventory test to discover their strengths and weaknesses, facilitated discussions on the importance of social and emotional intelligence, solicited questions to a student leadership panel, and participated in a discussion with former U.S. secretary of education Richard Riley. Students received support from the Honors College and University Housing to carry out a campus or community project during the month of October. So far, the program has propelled two new student organizations and five senior thesis projects. On Nov. 30, participants were recognized at a reception held at the Honors Residence Hall. They were lauded for their innovative leadership and for creating opportunities to improve our world. We are pleased to recognize their accomplishments.

R3 Bottle Campaign: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—George Helman and Jonathan Chay In conjunction with Students Allied for a Greener Earth (SAGE), George and Jon created a campaign called “R3” to raise awareness of the negative effects of investing in plastic bottles and their impact on the

economy, our health, and the environment. They received more than 200 bottles donated from various companies across the United States and an additional 150 from the Honors Residence Hall Government. They dedicated extensive time in reaching out to students across campus to encourage our society to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Second Servings—Chase Mizzell, Avnika Amin, Frank Risvalto, and Michael Hood In the Midlands alone, approximately 15 percent of families suffer from food insecurity, meaning that they lack proper nutrition and often live in hunger. In partnership with Sodexho regional managers, these students pioneered Second Servings to combat hunger. It has been designed to donate unserved food on campus to local soup kitchens. Thus far, the Alston-Wilkes Veterans Home has received food from the Honors Residence Hall, and following winter break, the Dodie Academic Enrichment Center also donated food to the next location. In the future, they plan to establish a Web site to schedule pickups, charter the program as a student organization, and pass legislation in the USC Student Government to donate food from programs held by student organizations.

Driver Safety and Substance Abuse—Lucas Wachsmuth, Charles Harding, and Bonnie McGowan Substance abuse and distracted driving are huge problems for campuses across the United States. According to a study in 2007 by USA Today, nearly half of America’s 5.4 million full-time college students abuse drugs or drink alcohol on binges at least once a month. Distracted driving is another issue. Nearly 80 percent of accidents are attributed to distracted drivers. This group confronted these issues by hosting a driver training and substance abuse awareness program in partnership with the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the USC Police Department. The program included demonstrations, videos, and group discussions.

Identity Project—Elizabeth Wilson, Jackie L. Parnell II, and Steven G. Kanczewski What initially started as a kickoff breakfast to reveal the obstacles of minority involvement in honors academia has shifted gears to improve

The data collection team takes a break after a 5 km walk back from the survey site. A goat, which the driver purchased to celebrate the end of the fasting season, is tied to the top of the car.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform—Lisa Splawinski Lisa Splawinski collaborated with former SCHC student Anna Walton and Students Allied for Better Immigration Opportunities (SABIO) to implement an awareness campaign regarding immigration rights and reform. During the month of October and early November, she planned and executed a forum at the State House, a movie night for USC students on campus, and a comprehensive immigration reform panel that included various immigration representatives across the state.

Romanian Health Care Maymester 2011 Course—Tudor Oroian Many study abroad courses offer international experience in history, world relations, and business, but study abroad opportunities for students with pre-health focuses are less common. In today’s world, medicine, like many other fields, is undergoing a process of globalization. To increase awareness of overseas health care, Tudor designed this Maymester course as an intensive custom tailored class to maximize hands on-exposure in the medical field for SCHC students.

Project Vida—Salem Carriker, Elisa A. Bonnin, and Caroline Hendricks Project Vida is a volunteer program pioneered by students to help deepen local underprivileged children’s knowledge of how to maintain a healthy lifestyle through teaching and interactive learning. During the first week of November, three presentations were made regarding hygiene, nutrition, and exercise at Levántete, an after-school program for Hispanic youth in Columbia. The group plans to continue its involvement by becoming a student organization during the spring 2011 semester.

Saving mothers, saving newborns: reflections on a summer research experience in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia By Anna Handley (2008)


hile conducting research this summer in Ethiopia, I frequently encountered women who had lost babies, siblings, or friends from the trauma of childbirth. When I discussed this problem with health workers, I began to understand community perceptions of maternal and newborn mortality more clearly. When asked what women wish for during pregnancy, one health provider stated simply, “A woman wishes to raise her child.” The fact is that the uncertainty of survival for women and newborns during delivery and the early period after delivery means that many Ethiopian women must wish for the chance to raise their children. More than 22,000 women and 100,000 newborns die each year in Ethiopia from complications of childbirth, a rate far greater than that of developed countries. For mothers, the causes of death include excessive bleeding after delivery, a ruptured uterus, infection, and eclampsia (epileptiform seizures). For newborns, asphyxia is the primary cause of mortality. Surprisingly, all these causes can be treated if women and newborns obtain proper medical attention. This is a classic case in global health in which the answers are known, but health services are not reaching the people in need. I spent the summer in Ethiopia conducting research for the Bill and Melinda Gates–funded Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership (MaNHEP) to find out why health services were not reaching women and newborns. In support of the project’s research, I worked on collecting baseline information from health workers, women, and community members to determine patterns of maternal and newborn health care during labor, delivery, and the two-day period after birth when mothers and newborns are most vulnerable. I surveyed women in their homes about their knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding maternal and newborn health care, dutifully trying each home brewed coffee along the way. On my first day, I joined two data collectors in a village in the Amhara Region, where I canvassed women in homes built from long sticks plastered together with a mud and straw mixture. One woman stepped away from grinding coffee to greet us and told us that her sister was in labor in a neighboring house. Escorting us to the house, while she politely declined to take the survey, we found a woman in labor lying on her back on a blanket. A traditional birth attendant sat near her. Female relatives and children formed a semicircle near the laboring woman’s feet; each crouched on heels whispering gently to one another. Although there was a section on labor and delivery on the baseline survey, I was not prepared to witness an actual labor. We offered to drive her to the health post, but the woman and her family refused. They had not prepared a stretcher to carry her to the car and insisted that planning for an emergency brings bad luck. Instead they made preparations for birth, including coffee, home brewed beer, and stew to celebrate the new baby’s pending arrival. Clearly, one challenge of linking women with health services is convincing women of the importance of seeking health services during labor and delivery. The other challenge is ensuring women have access to those services at a community level. To respond to the inaccessibility of health services in rural areas, the Federal Ministry of Health created the Health Extension Program in 2003, which trained 30,000 women in Continued on page 7

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the conditions within the Corridor of the Shame in the rural areas of South Carolina. The Identity Project is an ongoing program that has dedicated itself to conduct research and organize communities around the state in order to repair corridor schools. On Nov. 18, 2010, a meeting was held with Dr. Dennis Pruitt and Dr. Mark Sibley-Jones to propose this new idea, and the project leaders are now moving forward to accomplish this goal.

SCHC student editorials

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We have included in this issue two editorials from SCHC students in order to give you an idea of the kinds of writing our students are doing for publication in other venues. Laura Smentek’s article appeared in The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper on Aug. 18, 2010. Michael Lambert’s article originally appeared in The Daily Gamecock on Oct. 6, 2010.

China’s clean-energy sector By Laura Smentek (2012)

It comes as no surprise that China is competing with us for global supremacy—in business and technology and, as world energy supplies become scarcer, for resources as well. I spent the spring semester in Beijing studying the growth of the Chinese clean energy sector, and the comparisons are striking. In the race to create jobs, decrease our dependence on foreign oil and reduce pollution, the United States is not simply falling behind; we are not even playing the game. While we are busy fighting two wars, the largest oil spill in history and a recession, and playing partisan politics, China has been ramping up a clean-energy economy that has the potential to vault it ahead as a world leader. China has a goal of doubling its alternativeenergy industry by 2020, though its private sector hardly needs incentives; the People’s Republic is already the largest manufacturer and exporter of clean-energy technology, from solar panels to windmills. Against this background, the Senate failed to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation. There is plenty of blame to go around, from Majority Leader Harry Reid’s partisan politics to the dishonest attack ads paid for by the oil and coal lobby. The Republicans were obstinate and obstructionist; the Democrats were weak and uninspired. Even an obvious lesson from the most disastrous environmental tragedy in our country’s history was lost on Washington: Offshore drilling will never be the answer to our energy needs. With 2 percent of world reserves and 25 percent of consumption, the United States cannot make a dent in our growing dependence on

foreign oil, even if we drilled on every available deposit. Anyone who says that increasing domestic reserves will increase our energy security is either misinformed or pandering for votes. More importantly, if the name of the game is economic growth, how can we consider drilling now that the BP disaster has shown the crippling impacts of a disaster on coastal economies? South Carolina in particular should not be included in the federal government’s 2012– 17 gas leasing program. Independent, scientific assessments rate the mid- and South Atlantic as having the least amount of oil while being the most environmentally sensitive of all Outer Continental Shelf regions. Just like in any business, policies should be guided by cost-to-benefit analysis, not politics. To drill in South Carolina, as some politicians propose, would be to take a huge risk for a tiny prospect of return. We elect our representatives to make discerning choices, not throw the kitchen sink at our problems. Our energy challenge requires a strategic response, not an “allof-the-above” approach. Furthermore, how can we consider leasing our coast for exploration when we have yet to fix the root of the BP oil disaster? The agency responsible for leasing federal land for resource extraction—the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (formerly the Minerals Management Service)—is being investigated for drug, sex, and bribery scandals. South Carolina has a long and vocal tradition of mistrusting big government. Where is that resistance now? Why are our state leaders showing so little concern about the federal agency that would be managing the resources three miles off our coast? A growing spectrum of Americans on both the right and the left believe Washington is

broken. Part of the answer lies in the way special interests have bought off politicians and put corporate greed above the common good. The federal government gives billions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives to an oil industry that does not stand by the American consumer while public officials ignore the advantages of creating incentives for a clean energy economy. A recent study concluded that investing $100 billion would create four times more jobs in the cleanenergy economy than in the oil industry. Developing a clean-energy economy means more jobs in domestic construction and manufacturing, which would jumpstart local markets across the board. It will also help create a cleaner, safer, and more secure world for our children. The federal climate bill failed partly because many politicians are unable to see this future, but those of us who represent the leaders of tomorrow do. It is my sincere hope that Senator Lindsey Graham renews his leadership on the issue. The United States is at a crucial juncture, and we have important decisions to make. Will we fall behind China and our other global competitors by continuing to invest in the technologies of the past, or will we put true American ingenuity to work, develop an economy for the future, and rise to the challenge? The choice is ours. Laura spent the spring semester studying in Beijing and the summer interning with Conservation Voters of South Carolina.

Religion needs more personal experience: Insightful “Share a Quran Day” provides more than just books By Michael Lambert (2013) Here at USC, it’s down to the wire. Midterms are nibbling away at our sleep and sanity, and

A woman in the rural Amhara region prepares to take her grain inside as rain clouds approach. Often rural Ethiopian women work with their youngest infant secured on their back.

Laura Smentek

fall break looks like a dim light down a long, dark tunnel. With all this stress, I didn’t want to be the guy who wrote the next “religion” column. So many contentious issues—from the “Burn a Quran Day” to the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey—have left me caring little whether there is one God or 1,000 gods, and I care even less for adding to debates between religions. But one event this weekend reminded me of these issues and why they attract so much attention, positive and negative. Masjid al-Muslimiin, Columbia’s own Islamic center, held “Share a Quran Day” Saturday evening [Oct. 6, 2010]. This event has occurred in years past, but with today’s news climate—and Time magazine sporting the word “Islamophobic” across its cover—the need for such an event has never been stronger. I went to “Share a Quran Day.” I’ll be the first to admit I’ve never been to a mosque or Islamic center. I’ve been from Catholic mass to Baptist revival to Hindu temple and back again, but I’ve never had to deal with Islam on its own terms. The event was well done: Dinner and tours of the center were provided, and members of the Muslim community sat at most of the tables, answering visitors’ questions or just talking. As I left, I came across a table with copies of the Quran in both English and Spanish, accompanied by a pamphlet about Islam. And that was that. After leaving, did I suddenly become a master Islamic theologian? No. If anything, I realized how little I already knew about Islam. But I experienced it for myself. I met people for whom it was obvi-

Michael Lambert

ous that this was important to them, and I was curious to learn why. That’s what is wrong with America’s religious squabbles. It’s easy—and often justifiable—to blame certain extreme groups or the big bad media machine. It’s hard to recognize that the real problem is our own lack of curiosity. We want to understand details of a faith as “issues,” not as concepts that people actually care about and hold on to for comfort. We look at the broad strokes that national news paints when we should look at the sharper images within our own local communities. Trading our opinions for convenience, we give someone else the task of finding out what makes something like Islam tick—failing to realize that it’s the same thing that makes any other human being tick. “It’s essential as Muslims that we share, especially in light of today’s events,” said Abu Margum, a member of Masjid alMuslimiin. “People need to see and read for themselves that the Quran is not a book of politics. For us, it revives the soul.” This one phrase ultimately means more than whatever a news anchor or a politician can tell you. Whether or not you agree with it is completely your business, and it should be your business. But understanding religion in this country isn’t about pushing your own beliefs, trusting someone else’s, or treating everything else with a hyper-rationality. It’s about experiencing these beliefs as they pertain to a community and to an individual, realizing that they revive souls.

yearlong community health education programs. Health posts and health extension workers (HEWs) are now located in many rural districts in Ethiopia. However, HEWs often do not provide care to women during labor, delivery, and the period after birth. MaNHEP is a two-and-a-half year initiative aimed at strengthening the delivery of a basic package of maternal and newborn health care interventions. The foundation of this effort is a training program for frontline health workers, including health extension workers, focusing on the basic package of homebased care practices that can prevent maternal and newborn death and disability. Such practices include clean delivery, clean cord care, and immediate recognition and referral of severe complications, such as obstructed labor. I went through the training myself, which involves discussion, demonstrations (wrapping participants in blankets and delivering dolls), and, importantly, negotiations. All participants must negotiate with each other and with the trainer to determine the maternal and newborn health challenges and appropriate solutions for their communities. Collectively, health workers and families determine the practices that are most likely to be used by women in their community. My last day of fieldwork mirrored preceding days. Greeting a pregnant woman with a hug, and a kiss on the cheek, I was asked to take the best seat in the house, sitting on a small stone ledge covered with goatskin, where I observed the interview. The only difference this day was that the mother was visibly pregnant. We weren’t just collecting baseline data; we were collecting data that would affect the rollout of interventions to improve maternal and newborn survival. If MaNHEP is successful, this mother and other rural Ethiopian women will no longer have to wish for the opportunity to raise their children. Anna Handley graduated from the South Carolina Honors College in 2008 and is an MPH student in global health at Emory University. Anna will return to South Carolina next year to begin medical school at the USC School of Medicine. More information on MaNHEP can be found online at

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Point of Pride: 100 percent of Honors College staff financially support the University through the Family Fund.

Dancing for a good cause By Mark Sibley-Jones


To see the TV video of our award-winning dance team, go to and search for: University of South Carolina Dancing with the Deans.

nterim Honors College Dean Tayloe Harding and Senior Associate Dean Jim Burns wowed an audience of more than 200 USC Family Fund supporters at the recent Dancing with the Deans contest. Local radio personality Jonathan Rush served as celebrity master of ceremonies. Presented by the Office of Annual Giving, Dancing with the Deans featured nine teams of dancers. Each team performed a distinctive routine. Harding and his partner, Erika Goodwin (head cheerleading coach, Department of Athletics), did a swing. Burns and Mary Anne Fitzpatrick (dean, College of Arts and Sciences) danced a waltz. Harding and Goodwin received the highest point total of 30 from judges Hannah Horne of WIS TV, Darci Strickland of WLTX, and Radenko Pavlovich of Columbia Classical Ballet. Burns and Fitzpatrick followed closely with a point total of 29. The judges awarded first place overall to Harding and Goodwin. Observers and contestants were stunned when the last team of dancers, University first lady Patricia Moore-Pastides and University Libraries Dean Tom McNally, were interrupted early in their routine by a man who dashed across the floor in the black costume and red sash of a professional tango dancer. McNally must have felt outclassed. The moment he set eyes on his adversary, he threw up his hands, shook his head, and left the floor. The intruder, University President Harris Pastides, then winked at his wife, and together they raised the ante on classy dancing at USC. They ended their number to the audience’s standing ovation. The dancers rehearsed once a week for eight weeks leading up to the performance. When asked if he would participate in such an event again, Harding said, “Absolutely.” Burns said he didn’t sleep the night before the event. “I got up at three a.m. and ate apple sauce. What kind of man eats apple sauce at three o’clock in the morning?” he asked. Before anyone could answer, Burns said, “A nervous man.” So nervous that he would never again dance before an admiring crowd? “I didn’t say that,” Burns replied. “Did you see me on that dance floor? Did I look good, or what?” Reminded that Harding and his partner won the contest, Burns said, “Come on, he’s the dean of the music school. Doesn’t some rhythm automatically come with that job? And his partner, the cheerleading coach: Isn’t there some rhythm there, too? Who, me? Bitter?” In a more serious vein, Burns said all the participants had fun. “Most of all,” he said, “we’re grateful to our USC friends who supported the Family Fund and came out to see us dance.”

SCHC holds 15th annual Homecoming champagne brunch


ore than 130 alumni and friends gathered for the 15th annual champagne brunch on Nov. 6, as part of the festivities surrounding Homecoming. A buffet line, coffee, and mimosas were served to hungry alumni who came for brunch, hosted for the second year in the Honors Residence. A brief update from Interim Dean Tayloe Harding included statistics on the freshman class, interesting new courses available to undergraduate students, and an introduction of staff and faculty present. Catherine Heigel The highlight of the event each year is the presentation of the Distinguished Honors Alumni (DHA) award. The DHA award is given to an Honors College graduate in recognition of outstanding work done in their field, their community, and for the Honors College and the University of South Carolina. The Distinguished Honors Alumna 2010 award recipient is Catherine Heigel. Catherine is a 1992 graduate of the South Carolina Honors College, Phi Beta Kappa. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor from Ohio State University and is a member of the bar associations of North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Ohio. Catherine started her career in law as a consumer advocate and joined Duke Energy in 1997. The 2010 recipient of the company’s James B. Duke Award for employee service to the company and her community, she is now president of Duke Energy Carolinas for the South Carolina service region, and a supporter of the University of South Carolina. The college is pleased and proud to have presented Catherine with the 2010 Distinguished Honors Alumna Award and is proud to be represented by so many fantastic alumni.

Interim Dean Harding and Director of Internships, Beth Hutchison Watson greet special guests, faculty member Wolfgang Elfe, and Pamela Marshall.

Honors College student Stephen Kanczewski and Associate Dean Briana Timmerman pass out nametags to alumni at the sign-in table.

Jared Davis, son of Emily and Joe Davis (Class of ’97) found the microphone after the event and serenaded the remaining alumni and staff.

Harding presents DHA Award to Catherine Heigel

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By Doreen Rinehart

Jay Cain graduated from the Honors College in 1992 and went on to law school at the University of Georgia. He now practices law in his own firm in Atlanta. Although he lives four hours away, he remembers his days at SCHC fondly and is a proud supporter of the college.

The gift that costs you nothing during your lifetime By Chappell Wilson, Director of Development, South Carolina Honors College, and Mark Seeley, Director of Development, USC Office of Gift Planning

“I love the University of South Carolina, but it was the Honors College that made my experience there so special,” Jay Cain, Class of 1992, remembers fondly.

Are you reading this thinking, “Me, too!”? “I think most alumni sincerely believe that ‘one day’ they’ll get around to giving to the University, and we all tend to think that we’ll have more discretionary income later in life,” Jay said. “Paying the mortgage, making car payments, funding our children’s education, and thinking about retirement make it very easy to push philanthropy to the back burner.”

Are you thinking, “Me, too!” again? “When my wife and I were working with an estate planner, we were required to make some tough decisions about where our money would go if one or both of us passed away. At that time, we simply decided that the best plan would be to ensure that charitable gifts would be in place if those unfortunate contingencies came to pass. I wanted any gift that we gave to the University to be earmarked so the Honors College would have full access to those funds,” Jay said.

Are you still thinking, “Me, too!”? If we lost you on the last “Me, too!,” here are a few things that you should know. Leaving a legacy gift to the Honors College is not difficult. For bequests, we can provide you with sample language to include in your will. This can specify a percentage, a dollar amount, or a type of property like savings bonds. A bequest can also be a residual portion where the remainder goes to the Honors College after other provisions, taxes, and debts are paid. Jay stated, “It is certainly a very simple part of any estate plan. We just informed our lawyer that the bequest should go to the USC Educational Foundation for the benefit of the Honors College.” The next step, which is optional, is to tell us of your intentions. This allows us to recognize you as a donor in our mailings, at special events on campus, and as a member of the Carolina Guardian Society. (Visit for more details.)

Supporting the Honors College in your will is not the only way to make a deferred gift to the University. Another easy way to make a deferred gift is simply to name the Honors College as a charitable beneficiary in your retirement or life insurance program. An important fact to consider is that retirement funds transferred to your children can get hit with heavy income and estate taxes, but are tax-free to the foundation. Jay suggested, “Making a gift to the Honors College as part of your estate plan (something every young professional needs) is simply the best way to ensure a legacy of giving.” “I am glad I made this commitment to the Honors College because this was my way to give something truly significant back to the Honors College,” said Jay.

We hope you will say, “Me, too!”

Have you already included a gift to the Honors College in your estate planning? Let us know so we may thank you and include you in the special opportunities we provide for our donors. For more information on making a deferred gift to the Honors College, please contact:

Chappell Wilson: 803-777-7511 or or

Mark Seeley: 803-777-2569 or

Parents Picnic

More than 1,000 people gathered on the Horseshoe on Sept. 19 for the annual Honors College Parents Picnic. Parents, students, faculty, staff, and guests enjoyed music, good food, and conversation. Interim Dean Tayloe Harding spoke to the crowd about new developments at the Honors College. Here are a few photos taken at the event.

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Parents Picnic

been elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (CACCE). She has been a CACCE member for nine years and has gotten to experience the progressive development work this organization accomplishes for the Carolinas.

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Class notes 19


Patricia Brown (1968) retired in June from public school as a teacher of English and journalism. Her two grown children gave her a party, including several dozen friends and family members who joined them for a warm, happy dinner at a local winery. Patricia’s son, Jason Kaye, and his wife, Margot, both teach at Penn State. Her daughter, Keena, also a USC graduate, works in Seattle for the Gates Foundation. Two of her wellwishers at the party were grandchildren Linus, 10, and Lucinda, 6.



Carolyn Polston (1973) has been an Edward Jones financial advisor for 20 years. She is married with two sons— both USC grads! She is currently serving on the Board of Visitors for USC’s College of Arts and Sciences and really enjoys watching USC continue to progress. Marshall Winn (1974) may be remembered by older Honors College alumni as the “admissions guy” when SCHC was just getting off the ground. This summer, he and his wife, Jeanette (master’s 1977), celebrated the wedding of their son in Oberursel, Germany. Their son is also up for tenure at the Frankfurt International School, and their daughter is likewise very happy about the prospect of attending law school next year. Marshall and Jeannette recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.

Terry Dugas (1975, 1977) was recently appointed to the position of manager, content distribution, for

Nebraska Public Television. He is responsible for selecting content for distribution across broadcase, cable, and Internet channels of NET Nebraska.

Martha Anne Boseski (1975) teaches Latin and French at Blythewood High School.

L. Patricia Wharton Whitener (1978) is currently serving as a trustee on the board of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities and was recently named to the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.

Gil Rogers (1979) has been the medical director for West Columbia Internal Medicine since 2005. Candice Kreese-Foley (1979) received her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at SUNY at Stony Brook, N.Y., in 1985, and was given a postdoctoral appointment at Brookhaven National Laboratory, in radiopharmaceutical design and synthesis, in 1986. She is the college associate dean for curriculum development, chemistry professor, and PI/chair for Suffolk County Community College’s NSF S-STEM grant.



Janis Leaphart (1980) loves being at USC. Except for five years working in the private sector, she has spent 29 years at USC since she entered as a freshman. She is proud to report that her younger child is a South Carolina Honors College freshman this fall. Teresa Mizzell Hatchell (1980), executive director of the Tri-County Regional Chamber of Commerce, has

Phil Goodman (1980) was named the director of property management/ quality assurance for CharlotteMecklenburg Schools in 2007. This is the 18th-largest school district in the nation, with 180 schools and more than 650 buildings on 5,000 acres of land.

Erik Mohn (1980) hopes that his only child, Jason, will be an Honors College freshman at USC in fall 2011. He then would like to add that, by that time, he hopes his son will buy him the Geritol he will need.

Dr. Patrick Wilkinson (1980) began teaching politics and history at the Lessing Gymnasium in Düsseldorf this year, in addition to his lectures in economic history at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany. Since the Lessing is also a state school specializing in sports, he has proudly introduced cricket to the school. He has also been playing club cricket for several years now in England. His club, Stage CC, was founded in 1930 as an actors’ cricket club and has included numerous stage and screen cricketers. This year, they competed in an annual tournament held in Southern France, an event known not for its cricket matches, but for its good food and wines. He hoped to guide the school’s first cricket team through a few decent innings at the German schools challenge held last November. Ron Brackett (1985) will soon celebrate his 25th anniversary with the St. Petersburg Times, Florida’s largest newspaper. As senior editor/nights, Ron manages the Times and its Web site,, during the evenings and is in charge of the editing and design of the daily paper. Ron and his wife, Janice, have two children in high school, Ben and Molly. Liz Lucas Reynolds (1987) represents NAMIC members in eight states—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina— advocating on P&C insurance issues before state legislatures, regulatory bodies, and others.

Robert Scearce (1987) has two children, a son and a daughter. His son recently got his driver’s license. He and his 10-year-old daughter (an avid Gamecock fan) attended the USC vs. Furman football game this fall. Glenn Ohanesian (1987) is happy to announce that he and his wife, Karolan Ohanesian, have combined their law practice in Myrtle Beach. They can be reached at



Patricia Lockhart Morrissey (1991) has moved into the world of pharmaceutical advertising since moving to New Jersey from Dallas. She has been at GSW since February working on respiratory accounts, something that has held a particular relevance to her personal life since both of her parents died of lung disease. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and two “furry boys,” Ranger and Spike.

Andrew J. Lawrence (1991) started his own digital marketing agency, the JAR Group, four years ago. The JAR Group recently made the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies. He and his wife were expecting their third child, a daughter, in November 2010. Their children Andrew, 6, and Katherine, 4, were looking forward to playing with their little sister, Coral.

David Cohn (1991) is a senior attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He argues appeals in cases ranging from homicides to street crimes to large professional cases. He also teaches a seminar as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School.

Micah Porter (1991) lives with his wife, Jennifer, in Midtown Atlanta, where he runs Minerva Planning Group, a fee-only financial planning practice that serves individuals, small businesses, and foundations. He also enjoys doing improv and Crossfit. Debbie Drucker Deutschmann (1992) provides legal services to three Honda plants in the Carolinas and is enjoying being mother to Jacob Theodore, 10 months old, while her husband, Bruce, is a 1L at the USC School of Law.

Roper Mountain Animal Hospital in Greenville, S.C., for the past seven years. She also co-owns Palmetto Gymnastics Academy (PGA) in Simpsonville, S.C. She coaches at PGA part time and recently attained a level 5/6 rating for gymnastics judging. PGA celebrated its one-year anniversary on Nov. 1, 2010.

Heidi Brooks (1993) received her MA at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. After leaving USC, she began a career in international development. She worked for NGOs in Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia before moving to Boston to receive her MBA at Harvard. After several years in strategy consulting, she went into corporate philanthropy and now runs the Citizens Charitable Foundation. She married Javit Drake in 2007, and they have two daughters, Gabriella and Daniella.

Brian Comer (1995) is a civil litigation attorney in Columbia, S.C.,with Collins and Lacy, P.C. He is also the proud father of two girls, ages 4 and 5, and a baby boy, who recently celebrated his first birthday.

Darra Coleman (1995, 1998) clerked for the Honorable Howard P. King for one year following graduation from the USC School of Law. She then practiced with a small insurance defense firm in Lexington, S.C., for five years before joining RTT in 2004. She became certified as a circuit court mediator in 2007 and a family court mediator in 2009. She thoroughly enjoys the litigation process, but finds an even greater satisfaction in her mediation work. Darra married Todd Coleman in 2003. They have two beautiful children, Margaret Rose and Will. Ameet Parikh (1996) and his family recently moved to Columbia, Md., which has been rated the second-best place to live by Money magazine. He is an emergency physician at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md. His wife is a professor in the Weapons and Systems Engineering Department at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. They have twin boys, Dylan and Devon, who will soon turn 3.

Katie Bishop (1998, 1999) married Jason Wechsler, of Rockville, Md., in May 2010. The ceremony was held in Charleston, S.C., and the couple will continue to reside in London, United Kingdom, where Katie works for KPMG. Kim Land (1998) has been working for the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg for 10 years. In November 2009, she took on the responsibility of managing the Advertising Department. She has a two-year-old daughter and has been married for seven years.

Susan Hammami Dougherty (1999) came back to USC in 2004 for pharmacy school. She graduated from the USC College of Pharmacy in May 2008 and is currently a pharmacist working for Walgreen’s.

Albin C. Wilcenski Jr. (1999) was married in 2007 and now has an 18-month-old daughter, Zeta.



Michelle Parsons Kelley (2000) was recently appointed by Governor Mark Sanford to serve as a commissioner on the South Carolina Commission on Women.

Sarah Slaughter (2000) recently moved to Columbia with BB&T. She has worked for BB&T for 10 years. She has a three-year-old daughter named Keller, and her husband enrolled at USC in the spring. J. Christi Bayes (2000) married Adam Tillery in September 2010.

Jenn Niemi Sciarrotta (2001) started teaching in Los Angeles through Teach for America in 2003. After teaching in Los Angeles for five years, she married in 2007 and moved to Virginia. She continues to teach and is now in her seventh year of teaching middle school English. Katherine Robson Matthews (2001) married Brooks Matthews in June 2010 and currently resides in Charleston, S.C.

John Matthew Whitehead (2001) has joined Moon Bell Law Firm LLC as a partner at the firm’s office located in downtown Greenville’s historic

West End Market at 1 Augusta Street, Suite 301, Greenville, SC 29601. Previously, he was with Gallivan, White & Boyd, PA. His practice will focus primarily in the areas of small business planning and litigation, as well as personal injury. Electronic correspondence may be sent to Matt and his wife, Kristin Kohl Whitehead (Moore School of Business, 2002), are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Rivers Kohl Whitehead, Sept. 15, 2010, in Greenville, S.C.

Eric Leibetrau (2002) and his wife moved from New York in April 2009 and currently live in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., where he works remotely for Kirkus Reviews. He also writes reviews and features for a variety of publications, including the Boston Globe, the New Yorker, and People magazine. His wife, Signe Pike, is a freelance editor and author.

Ashley (Melton) Festa (2002) was promoted to editor of The Word, the alumni magazine published by the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. She accepted a position with the board of the San Antonio chapter of the Association of Women in Communications. She also runs her own business as a freelance writer, editor, and social media consultant. She helps clients with Web site copy, marketing collateral, and blogs. She also writes articles for the San Antonio Business Journal and other publications. Find her Web site at In June, she celebrated seven years of marriage to her husband, Andrew Festa (2003 BA).

Nicole Zokan Cendrowski (2002) recently joined Sandler Training in Greenville, S.C., as vice president of sales. Prior to joining Sandler, Cendrowski was the founder and creative director of Big Gnome, a

communications and brand development firm in Greenville. She also was a member of Sandler Training’s President’s Club, which consists of business owners, managers, and sales professionals that meet weekly for coaching.

Katie Quertermous (2004) earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Virginia in May 2010. She is now an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

Samuel Wilson (2004) has been busy continuing to build his legal practice in New York City, in addition to writing, recording, and performing music in the USA and Europe. Chris Jones (2004) married in 2009. He and his wife had their first child in September 2009. He will be in the USC School of Law’s Class of 2013.

Allison Skipper (2004) has earned the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) professional designation. APR is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice and who are selected based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective, and sound professional judgment.

Amy Buchanan-Feinberg Pasquet (2005) earned her master’s in English in June at the Universite de Poitiers. She is excited about the possibility of becoming a tenured teacher.

Patrick Wooten (2005) is currently working as a litigation associate in the Charleston office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.

Anne Cooper Ellefson (2006) married Owen Doherty on Oct. 16, 2010, in Greenville, S.C. She is currently in graduate school at Stony Brook University pursuing a Ph.D. in marine and atmospheric sciences, studying environmental contaminants in New York and Long Island.

Pass us a note ... a class note! Please send us your professional or personal news. (Remember, we love photos, and we’ll send them back to you after publication.) Class notes and photos may be submitted online. Visit and click on “Alumni,” use the enclosed donor envelope to send us your class notes and photos, or e-mail to

c l a s s n o t e s | 13

Heather Gleaton (1993) has owned

Terrill Wilkins (2007) moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., in late August to start law school at the University of Michigan after teaching at his high school alma mater in Spartanburg from 2008 to 2010. He is having a wonderful experience so far. Sara Gabrielli (2006) married Andrew Voris (2008) on Dec. 19,

n e w s t a f f | 14

Meet new staff Susan Alexander, former executive director of Duke University’s Transdisciplinary Prevention Research Center, joins SCHC as director of service learning and academic advisor. While at Duke, Susan taught for the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and continues to be interested in the prevention of adolescent substance abuse, adolescent anxiety, and ethical issues in counseling. She is a national board–certified counselor and has clinical experience with children, adolescents, and families. 
Susan was a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow and received the President’s Award from the Counseling Association for Humanistic Education and Development. She is an alumna of the University and is happy to be “back home.” Susan enjoyed meeting with students during her first semester as academic advisor and looks forward to developing additional service learning courses for the Honors College.

Doreen Rinehart was recently named SCHC’s director of alumni relations. A member of the Carolina family for several years, and a part of the SCHC staff since March 2008, she is excited to work with the Association of Honors Alumni to create memorable Honors College events. A graduate of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, Rinehart is pursuing her MLIS and lives in Columbia with her husband and daughter and their two rambunctious terriers. If you have questions, suggestions, or want to become more involved, please e-mail

Brooke Roper joined SCHC in March 2010 as the director of student services. Brooke came from the Office of Pre-Professional Advising, where she advised pre-med and pre-law students as associate director for twoand-one-half years. She’s happy to work with talented students and help them through the last hurdle of their graduation with honors—the senior thesis process. Brooke is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Mercer University School of Law. She has a passion for cooking, Target, and her seven year-old rat terrier, Ginger. If you are interested in lending your time and talents to seniors completing their senior thesis, please e-mail Brooke at

2009, in Charleston, S.C. Several Honors College alumni were in the wedding: Nishita Dalal (2006), Elizabeth Voris Davis (2004), David Johannesmeyer (2008), Matt Enright (2008), Kris Lotier (2008), Daniel Williams (2008), and Josh Hilbe (2008). Drew is currently in med school at MUSC. Sara received her MBA in USC’s IMBA program and now works for BB&T in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Alisha Owensby (2006) received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship this year and spent the summer doing fieldwork and research in China through a different NSF grant.

Zach Ellard (2006) is currently the regional marketing director for Southeast Asia, based in Singapore for Feld Entertainment. They are always expanding their business into new countries and territories, and he is excited for the opportunity to be on the front lines. This year, their big push has been in Indonesia. In October, they will have Disney Live! shows in two cities that have never had any form of Western entertainment, and he is looking forward to seeing the audience’s reaction.

William Vigen (2006) graduated with a JD from the University of Virginia in 2009. He then spent a year clerking for Judge M. Blane Michael on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In October 2010, he started work as an associate at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C. Liz Grabenstein (2007) has moved to Shanghai, China, since graduating from the USC Honors College to work on a start-up with some classmates of hers from the IMBA program at USC. In addition, she is also working for a design firm in China, freelance writing for a local magazine. She has had an amazing (and challenging) experience learning how to do business in China, but feels like her years at SCHC have prepared her well. She has even run into fellow Gamecocks.

Sean Siberio (2007) graduated in 2010 with an MSW and took a position as a counselor for Lexington Mental Health’s Our House Program. Tommy McDonald (2007) has been living in Tokyo, Japan, and working for a chemical raw material supplier since March 2007. He currently manages client accounts in Central and South America, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. He has been a guest lecturer twice at Sophia University in Tokyo for the Japanese Business and Management summer course, a course he attended while an exchange student in 2007. Wes Geddings (2008) has been a medical student at MUSC in Charleston since his prestigious college career at USC. He is in his third year of his surgery clerkship. He is so busy at MUSC, in fact, that just by writing this short paragraph, he has fallen behind on his work.

Stephen Smith (2008) became an associate of the Society of Actuaries last April.

Callie Rabun (2008) is still living in Columbia working toward finishing graduate school. She is slated to graduate from the University with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in December 2011. Julie W. Richardson (2008) has been appointed a research physical scientist at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H. Crystal Byrd (2008) and William F. Farmer Jr. were married on Oct. 10, 2010, in Bryson City, N.C. They currently reside in Columbus, Ind.

Karly Miller (2009) will begin a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship in Lima, Peru, in March 2011. Matthew Roberts (2008) graduated from Duke University last semester.

New courses for spring 2011 ­— The Meaning of Museums: The Practice of Public History ­— Local Food as a Catalyst for Community Transformation: Putting Green Values into Action ­— International History: The Fall and Rise of China ­— A Half Century of South Carolina Politics ­— Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius—The Reggae Aesthetic and Popular Culture ­— Poetry and Property ­— Studies in Hawthorne, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner

Mark your calendar

­— The Age of Pericles ­— Reconciling Words: Rhetoric, Reconciliation, and Identity in Contemporary South Africa


28 Last day to drop a course or withdraw without a grade of “WF” being recorded

­— From Script to Screen


­— Exploring Cultural Differences and Finding Common Ground

­— Ancient Tricksters, Global Perspectives


­— Funding Your Organization: Grant Writing and Proposal Development

6–13 Spring break—no classes

21 Awards Day

25 Last day of classes

­— Politics and Civil Discourse: Shaping Public Policy from the Outside

26 Reading day

­— Plagues, Pandemics, and Public Perception

27–May 4 Final examinations


c a l e n d a r | 15

­— King Arthur, Medieval and Modern

5 Honors College Revocation

6–7 Commencement exercises 13–14 May Carolina

Distinguished honors alumni nomination form Send the form to Beth Hutchison Watson at S.C. Honors College, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; fax to 803-777-2214; or e-mail to Nominee’s name Mailing address City

State ZIP

E-mail address Telephone

Your name Mailing address City E-mail address Telephone

State ZIP

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.

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 Correspondents: Anna Handley (2008) Chappell Wilson (1999) Student Correspondents: Michael Lambert (2013) Laura Smentek (2012) Jonathan Andrew Aun (2010) AHA! Editorial Board: Beth Hutchison Watson Chappell Wilson Christian Price Mark Sibley-Jones Tori Espensen-Sturges Gregory Goetz

In our next issue of AHA (Fall 2011), we feature two articles on homelessness. One article will explain the work that students did in Brett Kloos’ class, Homelessness in Columbia. Several students did fieldwork by living like the homeless for 48 hours, finding what shelter they could outside, eating meals provided by service organizations. They interviewed homeless people. They came to an understanding of some of the difficulties and dangers of homelessness. They asked questions: What is Columbia doing to address homelessness? How is the University of South Carolina engaged in efforts to address the problem? The other article will explore the issue from both a historical and an immediate frame of reference. How prevalent is the problem of homelessness relative to other periods of our history? How many homeless people currently live in Columbia? What can you and I do to ameliorate the hard living conditions of homeless people?

AHA Spring 2011  

SCHC Alumni Magazine Spring 2011

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