JUNE-JULY 2015 / VOL. 26, NO.5
Recipes for Health and Fitness
Faculty and staff chill out for better health, page 4
Research explores the science of smoking, page 8
Public health nutritionist gorges on greens and beans, page 10
USC TIMES / STAFF
FROM THE EDITOR USC Times is published 10 times a year for the faculty and staff of the University of South Carolina by the Office of Communications & Marketing. Managing editor Craig Brandhorst Designer Brandi Lariscy Avant Contributors Chris Horn Page Ivey Liz McCarthy Steven Powell Glenn Hare Thom Harman Photographers Kim Truett Chrissy Harper Ambyr Goff Printer USC Printing Services Campus correspondents Patti McGrath, Aiken Cortney Easterling, Greenville Shana Dry, Lancaster Jane Brewer, Salkehatchie Misty Hatfield, Sumter Annie Smith, Union Tammy Whaley, Upstate Jay Darby, Palmetto College Submissions Did you know you can submit ideas for future issues of USC Times? Share your story by emailing or calling Craig Brandhorst at firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-777-3681.
ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT You need to have a pretty substantial issue in store if you plan to kick things off with a nod to the New York Times and get away with it. Luckily, we really, truly do — and it’s even good for you! In case you skipped our cover (itself a nod to the classic design of the “Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook”), this is our special issue on health and, you guessed it, fitness. No, please, keep reading. We’re not trying to shame you into hitting the gym, starting another diet or otherwise improving your physical, mental or emotional wellbeing. Healthy lifestyle choices are just that — choices. That said, according to an internal poll of faculty and staff conducted last fall, services related to personal wellness rank pretty high on our collective wish list… Which is why the university recently launched Gamecocks LiveWell, the umbrella initiative for all things healthy at Carolina. To start living the good life, go to page 2 and educate yourself on your options. That’s a lot to think about, we know, but don’t let all the opportunities overwhelm you. Just relax. No really. We asked faculty and staff how they unwind before, after and even during a long day’s work and we got some pretty good tips, from yoga to gardening to something intriguing known as the Alexander technique, which you can read all about, starting on page 4. Of course, if none of those options strike your fancy — if, say, you’re more competitively inclined — you can always just sign up for an intramural sport. Didn’t know faculty and staff could get in the game? Neither did we — until we went bowling with several members of USC’s Division of Law Enforcement and Safety. “Time to Spare” starts on page 7. Otherwise, let’s see — we’ve got a fascinating story on two very different types of nicotine research (page 8), another installment of Carolina Road trip (this time to USC Union, page 13), and oh, right, we almost forgot — Thanks to Trisha Mandes, Thomas Tafel, James Hebert and all the folks with the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Arnold School of Public Health, we also bring you lunch. For a delicious plant-based, whole food meal designed to satisfy your hunger, feed your body and otherwise help you in your quest to live well, save the rest of this issue for later, grab a plate and skip immediately to page 10. We’ve got quite a healthy feast.
The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or decisions for qualified persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, sexual orientation or veteran status.
Pass the greens,
CRAIG BRANDHORST MANAGING EDITOR
VOL. 26, NO.5 1
SERVICE MATTERS To help teach middle and high school students the importance of community service, the Carolina Master Scholars Adventure Series is spotlighting local charities during June and July. Faculty and staff can donate items to these causes. Donations are accepted each week at 1600 Hampton St., Suite 403. Please drop off items by the Wednesday of the spotlight week.
BE AN AMBASSADOR Campus Wellness is recruiting faculty and staff to become Wellness Ambassadors for the 2015-16 academic year. Ambassadors help promote and coordinate wellness initiatives within their departments or offices and encourage colleagues to participate in wellness programs. The official Wellness Ambassador kickoff meeting will be in mid-August. Contact Tina Marie Devlin, associate director of faculty/ staff wellness and Gamecocks LiveWell administrator, at 803-777-3579 or by email at devlin@mailbox. sc.edu with questions or concerns. Wellness Ambassadors need the permission of their supervisors before applying online at www.sa.sc.edu/shs/cw/staff/wa/.
July 1, the university switches
The USC Integrity Line is open 24
from a paper-based system
hours a day, seven days a week for
for purchasing processes to
reporting questionable or uneth-
a streamlined system called
ical behavior in the workplace.
PeopleSoft. Requests are
Employees are asked to report such
routed electronically through the approval process.
behavior to their supervisors first.
Principal investigators or anyone who currently
If that is not an option, the USC
approves journal entries, direct expenditure vouchers
Integrity Line, which is administered
or purchasing requests can access training videos
by a third-party provider, Light-
and information at the Division of Information and
house Services Inc., is available at
Technology website by clicking on the PeopleSoft
844-890-0006 or at online at
link. Human resources and payroll will go paperless
in January 2016
June 7-12: Bed linens, board games, cards, personal care items and men’s and women’s clothing for Transitions, which helps move people from homelessness to permanent housing. June 14-19: Animal food, fresh fruits, cleaning products and blankets for Carolina Wildlife, which rehabs injured and orphaned animals. June 21-26: Nonperishable food items for Harvest Hope/Gamecock Pantry, which provides emergency food aid to the campus and Columbia communities. July 5-10: Cleaning products, dog and cat food, treats and toys to benefit the Humane Society. July 12-17: Baby wipes, tissues, cleaning, office and art supplies as well as games and gift cards for the Therapy Place, a pediatric therapy center for families of children with special needs. For more information, contact pups@mailbox. sc.edu or call Continuing Education and Conferences at 803-777-9444.
STOP. READ THIS. Everyone at USC has a role in preventing and responding to sexual assault. The University of South Carolina cares about the safety and well-being of the Carolina community and has resources available 24/7 to assist victims and members of their support networks by providing emotional support, legal advocacy and protective services. This summer the university has launched a onestop website — sc.edu/stopsexualassault — as the source for information related to sexual assault education, prevention training and reporting.
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Live the Good Life
BY LIZ McCARTHY
GAMECOCKS LIVEWELL PROGRAM KICKS OFF
he university is committed to helping all Gamecocks live well in body, mind and spirit. That’s the goal of the new Gamecocks LiveWell initiative, which launched this spring. “It’s our comprehensive worksite wellness program that encompasses all departments here at USC that deal with wellness,” says Tina Devlin, associate director of faculty and staff wellness and the Gamecocks LiveWell administrator. According to Devlin, research has shown that 89 percent of USC students look to faculty and staff members for health and wellbeing. “If our faculty and staff are well, and we’re role models of health and wellness, we know that will influence our students,” she says. “We know that if our students are well, that will help with academics and hopefully retention.” The new program brings all of the university’s health initiatives under one umbrella in an effort to inform more faculty and staff about campus resources for healthier living. And it’s not just about eating better or exercising more. Gamecocks LiveWell promotes environmental, spiritual, financial, emotional and occupational wellness. The effort pulls together resources from Human Resources, Sustainable Carolina, Student Health Services, Campus Recreation, Carolina Dining and other campus offices. “Gamecocks LiveWell really touches on a holistic approach to health and wellness,” Devlin says. “Now, we’re bringing everything together. Now we’re going to make people more aware about everything that exists on campus.”
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Well, Well, Well! Wellness is a fulltime pursuit, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. There are plenty of opportunities to stay fit in mind, body and spirit on campus. Get Physical
Exercise facilities like the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center and the Solomon Blatt PE Center are obvious sources, but check out Outdoor Recreation for bike and equipment rentals and adventure trips. Or get out and get walking around our beautiful campus with Healthy Carolina’s Fit Walk Paths. An Ounce of Prevention
Faculty and staff members can get started on their Health Risk Assessment with free worksite wellness screenings through Campus Wellness. The office offers free blood pressure screening, body fat analyses, fitness assessments and exercise consultations. This year they are also providing free blood work screening and a consultation. Emotional Rescue
Faculty and staff members can set a good example for students by dealing with emotional wellness as well as physical wellness. Take a yoga class on campus or learn mindfulness techniques with monthly meditation sessions for Wind Down Wednesdays. Feed Your Head
Summer is the perfect time to unwind with a good book, whether it’s on the beach or a shady bench on campus. Stop by the Thomas Cooper Library and start exercising those brain muscles. Green is the New Black
Being a good steward of the environment doesn’t have to stop at the recycling bin. Head over to the Healthy Carolina Farmers Market this summer to shop local and reduce your carbon footprint.
USC prides itself on giving back to the community and there’s no shortage of opportunities for faculty and staff members to get involved with Community Service Programs by joining an Alternative Break or Service Saturday. Desk Jockey?
Most people know about professional development opportunities on campus, but did you know the Department of Environmental Health and Safety provides a variety of free services to help make sure your office has an effective ergonomic design? Mind over Money
Financial concerns can be some of our biggest stressors. Human Resources hosts a number of workshops throughout the year and schedules meetings with financial consultants from TIAA-Cref to help you achieve peace of mind. Want to know more about resources available on campus to stay healthy? Check out the Gamecocks LiveWell website at http://www.sa.sc.edu/gamecock-
slw/ and sign up for monthly emails.
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BY PAGE IVEY
Take a deep breath and . . .
Simply paying attention to your breathing can reduce your stress, lower your heart rate and help you relax. But relaxation can also be achieved through swimming, yoga, gardening, meditation or a century-old process of understanding and adjusting the body’s movements. It all comes down to the same thing: being aware of stressors and taking steps to reduce them.
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Lap it up Breathing is a much more complicated process under water. Swimmers have to time their breaths with their strokes to maximize oxygen to the muscles without inhaling water. “When you’re immersed in water, you’ve completely changed your environment,” says Greg Carbone, geography professor. “You can’t see as well, you can’t hear as well, you completely escape what was causing the stress in the first place.” Carbone says he has been swimming since he started teaching at Carolina 26 years ago. “It all started slowly,” he says. “Then I met someone who swims regularly. Now there’s a group of us who meet at lunch three or four days a week.“It’s a little competitive sometimes, but mostly, we are just present with one another and blow off some steam in the middle of the day. I’ve found that it gives me energy for those afternoon and evening hours at work.” And, there is a bonus. For Carbone, stress is partly a matter of being separated from other people. “This group is socializing in a different context,” he says. “I think that’s why I come back feeling so refreshed.” Activate the body, calm the mind
Get your hands dirty By day, Carolina Gamble advises students in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management and prepares certifications for student-athletes in the sport management program. Evenings and weekends, she tends to her fruit and veggie garden. “It started when I was pretty young, when I lived with my parents,” Gamble says. “My mother was definitely a gardener, she always planted vegetables every year. She still does. I was always the one who was out in the yard helping her.”
Jan Smoak, ’89 journalism, ’91 education, started taking a yoga class at the Blatt P.E. Center in 1998 when she started working at Carolina. “Yoga was making a rebirth in America at the time and I was hearing about movie stars doing it,” says Smoak, associate director of the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs. “So I started taking the class for exercise.” Smoak, who now teaches classes at City Yoga during the week and offers students free classes at the Honors College residence hall during the school year, says yoga’s benefits for stress reduction and relaxation are well documented.
“What yoga does is to help connect your mind and body to reduce the activity in your brain,” Smoak says. “You activate your body in certain ways to calm the mind.” There is even a relaxation pose that calls for participants to focus on breathing and release the tension from every muscle. “It’s a skill as much as anything to focus on your breathing,” she says. “You focus your mind to settle it down.”
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Even when she can’t get outside, she is working on her garden, starting her watermelon plants from seeds. “That is something my dad taught me,” she says. “I’ll buy the seeds, and then I’ll soak them overnight in water. Then I will place them in a Ziploc bag for a few days. When they start to germinate, I’ll place them in these small pots inside the house. When they get to be a certain size, I’ll put them in the yard.” This year, in addition to watermelon, Gamble’s garden is filled with cucumbers, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes and a couple of fruit trees: “Sometimes with my vegetables, I’ll have too many, so I’ll freeze a lot of them, or sometimes I’ll just give them to neighbors and friends.” Like most good Southern gardeners, Gamble is out her yard in a big floppy hat, but she doesn’t wear gloves. “Just being outside, enjoying the weather, enjoying my back yard, getting my hands dirty and seeing the results afterwards — it’s not only relaxing,” she says, “but it’s rewarding to know that you planted that.” Achieve balance through movement In the early 20th century, an Australian stage performer named Frederick Matthias Alexander began to notice that he was losing his voice during performances, but doctors could find no physical cause. Alexander suspected it was something he was doing differently that was causing the voice failure. So he began to watch his actions and motions in a mirror and discovered that he was tensing his body whenever he began a long speech. He developed a method to “unlearn” this negative behavior and to get back to the balance he was born with. His voice recovered completely. The Alexander technique, as the method is now known, is taught today mostly to musicians and other performers, but music professor emeritus Laury Christie says it can be used to improve body function in any activity — and that reduces stress. “We are helping people help themselves, to return to an ease and freedom of movement,” she says. Rebecca Hunter, who also teaches the Alexander technique at Carolina, works with another process called “body mapping” that shows the proper movement and positioning for certain activities. “It’s not yoga, but it is about movement,” Hunter says. “It’s an educational tool. It shows you the difference between how you think you’re moving and what you’re really doing.”
People often look to the technique when they experience pain doing something they have done for a long time. But many are looking for more efficient movement. “The key is to be using only those muscles that you need to be using,” Christie says. Eliminating the imbalance created by the unnecessary movement reduces tension and stress. As an example, she usually starts by having a student show her how he answers a phone call. “Most people will move their head forward to meet their arm bringing the cell phone to their ear,” she says. “But really, your head should stay still and your arm should bring the phone to you.” Wind down “We need to give ourselves permission to just stop for a moment,” says Student Health Services director for wellness, prevention and advocacy Marguerite O’Brien. “It isn’t about controlling the thoughts in our mind, but not letting your thoughts control you. It’s all about letting things go.” O’Brien, ’85 international studies, ’98 master’s in social work, got interested in meditation after years of practicing yoga and after talking with friends who did it. “For me, it also has that spiritual element as I try to get connected to my purpose in life,” she says. “But it’s also about being attuned to whatever we’re doing at that moment.” O’Brien says our society praises multitasking even though research is showing that trying to do too many things at once means not doing anything particularly well. Meditation is about observing all those different thoughts without actually latching onto any one. “If we can focus our mind and attention in a meditation session, we can do it more easily out in the real world,” she says. O’Brien teaches the practice of meditation once a month during the regular school year in sessions called Wind Down Wednesday. She starts the 45-minute session with breathing exercises, then guides participants in a meditation to help them let go of the thoughts that might be causing them stress. The classes are open to all students, faculty and staff. O’Brien says she meditates daily for about 20 minutes at a time. “You don’t want to make it a chore or task you have to complete,” she says. “If you can’t do 20 minutes, start out with three minutes or five, any time you can get.”
VOL. 26, NO.5 7
Time to spare? Intramurals becoming big hit with faculty and staﬀ BY THOM HARMAN
Mills also highly recommends it, if for different reasons. “We’re always looking to increase participation even though some of our leagues fill up quickly,” he says. To better serve the USC Columbia community, Mills and the Intramural Sports staff constantly review activities offered and participation numbers. “We try new offerings to hit atypical participants and to utilize areas of campus rec that don’t get used as much,” he explains. That could mean a 4-on-4 “wallyball” league (a version of volleyball played on the wellness center’s racquetball courts) or a “Battleship” de-stresser event during exam week, in which players use pails and water guns to sink each others’ canoes. One of his office’s tasks, Mills explains, is to find fun ways to involve more of the Carolina community — and, yes, that includes the thousands of faculty and staff members around campus.
Game on! Students, faculty and staﬀ members can play intramural sports year-round. The next deadline is June 25, for Summer II leagues in softball, bowling, kickball, ﬂag football, sand volleyball and outdoor soccer. There are also weekly walk-up nine-hole golf tournaments through July 30. For more information, visit campusrec.sc.edu/intramurals/registration.
THINK ABOUT AN INTRAMURAL SPORT for a second. Imagine it being played. You pictured students competing on a field, on a court or in a pool, right? But try this instead: put yourself in the picture. Did you know that’s a real option? “Faculty and staff members can participate in all our sports — year round,” explains Don Mills III, USC’s intramural sports coordinator. “Our Intramural Sports office staff even has a couple teams.” From nine-hole golf tournaments to summer bowling leagues, many sports are already peppered with teams comprising faculty and staff members. Even spouses can get in on the action. One group that’s been taking advantage of the opportunity is Law Enforcement and Safety. This is the third summer that Carrie Ellsworth and a group of her law enforcement colleagues have competed in the summer bowling league. They also started a softball team — aptly named “Five-0” — three years ago. Intramural sports allow members of the police department to relax, have fun, stay active and even improve the image of law enforcement on campus. “When we signed up, we just wanted to go out there and have fun,” Ellsworth explains. “Once we were out there, we realized, ‘Hey, this is a really good way to interact with our community in a nonthreatening manner.’ It was an opportunity that we really enjoyed and took advantage of, but it wasn’t something we thought of before signing up.” Ellsworth also sees intramurals as a great way to bond with fellow employees. “When you get a chance to go do something extracurricular, you really get to see what they’re all about and get to know them in a personal way, so that’s really nice,” she says. “I highly recommend it.”
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THE TWO FACES BY STEVEN POWELL
Smoking is a hard habit to break, but according to Jill Turner, an assistant professor in the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, nicotine, the very same stimulant that makes tobacco so addictive, might also hold promise in the prevention of disease.
Out of the dark Although it’s just one of many thousands of organic compounds present in tobacco, nicotine is the cornerstone of smoking’s addictive power. That’s hardly news. Finding an effective way to quit when quitting doesn’t seem possible — that would be news. Turner is exploring the genetics underlying nicotine addiction, with the hope of identifying new approaches to smoking cessation. Call it personalized medicine for those who can’t kick the habit — and that’s a big part of the population. “Of people who have lung cancer, about 90 percent of them smoke,” Turner says. “But even after they go into remission, they don’t quit smoking. Among survivors, it’s still around 45 percent.” But that’s not so for everyone, and genetics is part of the reason why. “A significant portion of the population that quits — maybe five to ten percent — can just do it cold turkey and never come back to it,” says Turner. “It seems to correspond with a specific genetic alteration that’s within the human population.” Now, Turner and her team are trying to determine ways that even more subtle genetic differences might be harnessed to help individuals break the addiction. Her lab is shining a light on numerous other DNA alterations that until recently have been largely overlooked. Not even two percent of the human genome actually codes for proteins, but all sorts of control mechanisms have recently been uncovered for the remaining 98 percent — what was once dismissed as “junk DNA.” “There are all these lovely noncoding RNA mechanisms that have this beautiful ballet to regulate the expression of proteins, their half-lives and where they’re trafficked,” Turner says.
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OF NICOTINE By focusing on genetic differences in these vast areas of non-coding DNA associated with smoking cessation difficulties, she hopes to identify the genetic underpinnings of groups predisposed to relapse. That means exploring the largely unknown DNA space of the 98 percent, what a colleague of Turner’s once called “‘the dark matter and the beauty of the genome.” “That’s the perfect description,” says Turner.
On the bright side Turner’s work with nicotine dates back more than ten years, to her time as a graduate student at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Her doctoral adviser there, Ken Kellar, published research a few years ago demonstrating how the alkaloid drug is able to slow mental decline in humans. “They had individuals that showed signs of mild cognitive impairment — so the early precursors to Alzheimer’s or dementia — and they gave them a nicotine patch,” Turner says. “They found that they could delay cognitive decline in individuals with mild cognitive impairment.” For a drug with as nasty a reputation as nicotine, that might seem surprising. But in addition to working as a central nervous system stimulant, the drug also helps cells survive the effects of a variety of harmful agents. As Turner explains, nicotine makes neurons in the brain less vulnerable, something that might explain its utility in slowing cognitive decline. “It’s a step in the right direction,” Turner says. “I hate to say it, but in Alzheimer’s disease research they’ve gotten less and less optimistic about finding a cure. Right now, they’re really looking for anything that will elongate that period between the onset of the initial mild symptoms and full-blown dementia, which is typically about two years.”
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EAT THIS NOW BY CRAIG BRANDHORST
he tiny tattoo on the underside of Trisha Mandes’ wrist reads “Be Here Now.” The mantra, courtesy of yogi Ram Dass, is a fitting one for the new lead nutritionist in USC’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program, who has been at Carolina only two months but is quickly establishing herself as the resident expert on better living through pigging out — minus, of course, the pig.
Mandes’ approach to healthy eating, you see, is based on a plant-based, low-fat, whole food diet that allows diners to eat, quite literally, to their hearts’ content—as in, you don’t count calories, don’t restrict portion size, don’t do anything, really, except eat the right foods in the right ratios to maximize nutrition and satiety without tipping the scale.
And her approach isn’t just good for you; judging by the raves from the people she cooks for at the CPCP’s demonstration kitchen through the Columbia’s Cooking outreach program, her food is also pretty tasty. In fact, as she pulses the blender containing the mushroom, walnut and fresh herb gravy for the black-eyed peas and brown rice on the stove, that tattoo might just as well read, “Eat This Now.”
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Fill ’er up…
“Just by diet, you can reverse type-II diabetes, reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, and achieve permanent weight loss without restricting calories or portion sizes,” says Mandes, whose team is busy preparing lunch for a meeting of the S.C. Cancer Disparities Network’s Cancer Advisory Group. “Today this is about how you make a nutritious meal that’s also filling, and at the same time lose weight.” If you’re wondering how that’s possible, the answer is surprisingly simple: skip the meat, skip the oil, skip the dairy; load up on intact whole grains, yams, potatoes and legumes, including peas, beans and lentils. You then supplement these foundational, filling foods with other vegetables, like the meatless stewed collards Mandes’ assistant Thomas Tafel seasons only with vegetable broth, cider vinegar, red chili flakes, salt and a little maple syrup. “Teaching someone how to cook is one of the best ways to teach nutrition,” says Tafel as he tastes the collards for seasoning. “You can know something about a particular vegetable, for example, but that doesn’t mean you know what to do with it.” But knowing what to do with a vegetable doesn’t just mean knowing how to prepare it in a healthy way. If the goal is weight loss, it also means paying attention to the ratio on the plate. “At least 50 percent of your plate should be foundational, filling foods. It can be more, but if you go less, there’s a good chance you’re going to feel hungry,” Mandes explains. “This is why people can only go a few days on a fruit and veggie diet. Those foods, while nutritional, aren’t satiating enough, nor do they contain enough calories.” And what makes those foundational foods so filling? For one thing, they tend to be high in starch, which Mandes says doesn’t matter so much as long as it’s coming from a whole food. These foods also tend to be high in fiber, which does more than just keep the body regular.
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“Fiber is really important because it helps us feel full,” says Mandes. “Some people are scared of feeling full, like it’s a bad thing, but that’s what makes you stop eating. And when you stop eating, you stop consuming calories.”
Spice of life
No one leaves Mandes’ table hungry, but no one leaves bloated, either — because no one has gorged on calorie-dense refined foods like oil, sugar and refined flour. And while switching to the plant-based diet can be a bit of an adjustment, it has a perhaps unexpected reward, namely that you don’t have to think as much as you might, well, think. “I don’t ever search out certain foods because I need a certain nutrient,” says Mandes. “There’s protein in those black-eyed peas but also in that rice. That mushroom gravy alone has an abundance of important nutrients in it. And all of those foods have different antioxidants.” And if you switch things up one meal to the next, she says, there’s virtually no need to seek out particular nutrients other than vitamin B12, which can be taken as supplement by people not consuming animal products. “If I’m eating a wide variety of whole plant foods all day long,” she says, “I know that I’m getting everything that I need.” The new Columbia’s Cooking website launches August 1st. Until then, find them on Facebook and Twitter to learn about upcoming fall classes.
Reversal of Misfortune You don’t have to sell James Hebert, health sciences distinguished professor of epidemiology and biostatistics and director of USC’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program, on the plant-based diet. His team’s meta-analysis of research into dietrelated inflammation has already convinced him. That work, which entailed reading and scoring nearly 2,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles on diet and inflammatory markers, produced the dietary inflammatory index (DII), which is now used in over 120 studies in more than 45 counties. This includes virtually every major cancer epidemiology cohort in the world. “If you’re a severe arthritic and you start eating this food and drinking masala chai, you would experience relief in joint pain within about three days,” says Hebert, offering to give his chai recipe to anyone who asks. “You can remove all the symptoms of arthritis, you can reverse diabetes,” he adds. “We’ve shown that you can reverse prostate cancer. We have references for all of this. It’s powerful, powerful stuff.” People don’t see the plant-based diet as a legitimate alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs, he says, because they haven’t given it a chance. “The reason people think diet is ineffective is because they don’t stick with it,” he says. “They don’t do it because they don’t believe it, and they don’t have the skills to make food that satisfies both their hunger and their physiologic needs.” Which is where Trisha Mandes comes in — and why she’s so happy to be at Carolina, where she is part of an intervention study headed up by associate professor Brie Turner-McGrievy that will analyze the effects of diet on inflammation and other biomarkers in 120 subjects over one year. “It’s really exciting to hear Dr. Hebert talking about using diet to reverse prostate cancer, or to work with Brie, who is a leading researcher in the field,” says Mandes. “And then I cook for a group like the CPCP’s Community Advisory Group, with all these people from all over the state, and the first question I got during our first meeting was, ‘How do we get this information to Charleston?’ I feel like I am definitely exactly where I am supposed to be.”
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CAROLINA ROAD TRIP
GOOD THINGS, SMALL PACKAGE
BY CHRIS HORN
Dean Alice Taylor-Colbert
USC Union is using a $100,000 gift from Union resident Barbara Rippy to create the Bobby Rippy Courtyard, named in memory of her late husband.
extile mills run by Milliken and Monarch were thriving in Union County a half-century ago, many operating three shifts. Fortunately, the county didn’t bet the farm on the future of the textile industry. The community college movement gathered momentum, and USC Union was born exactly 50 years ago. “We’re the tiniest of USC’s campuses because of where we’re located,” says Alice Taylor-Colbert, who became USC Union’s dean two years ago after serving at Lander University in Greenwood. “This is a very rural county with the Sumter National Forest making up a large part of the real estate here.” But tiny and rural don’t mean insignificant, Taylor-Colbert points out. Enrollment hit a record 677 this past fall, and the campus’ affiliation with Palmetto College and its online degree programs are giving USC Union a new way to reach the county’s 28,000 citizens. “There are not many high school students,” she says, “so we have started appealing to older adults.”
Right now, Union has about 250 traditional college-age students, about 50 older adults and about 350 dual enrollment high school students. “When those textile mills left Union in the 1980s and ’90s, it left this a dying community,” she says. “The only way we are going to turn this around is through education.”
Juvenile Justice office this fall. On the transition from traditional classroom courses to online courses through Palmetto College the past two years, Cipriano says it took a lot of discipline. “You have to get a calendar and make sure you get things done,” she says. “But you can go at your own pace, and you don’t have to worry about a babysitter.”
Born and raised
Union County native Alex Henderson had considered joining the military after high school, but a LIFE Scholarship seemed like a faster ticket to a college degree. He’s a rising sophomore in criminal justice and has his sights set on a career with SLED or a smaller law enforcement agency. “I’ve loved USC Union, met new friends and have had great teachers,” he says. “It’s been more challenging than high school, and I’ve had to get more serious about my studies.” Another local, Destiny Cipriano, will graduate in December with a bachelor’s in organizational leadership after completing an internship at the local Department of
The secret’s out
A 2008 Ph.D. graduate of the university, Christine Rinehart teaches political science, mainly at USC Union’s Laurens site. But there’s more to Rinehart’s career than teaching. She’s under contract to complete a scholarly book manuscript by December focused on terrorism and counter-terrorism, specifically targeted killing through the United States’ secretive drone program. “What is the cost of targeted killing? We don’t really know,” Rinehart says. “Is it effective to cut off the head of the snake? It seems like they always come back, and sometimes even fiercer. I’m not anti-military or even anti-drone, but I am for oversight.”
First Lady Patricia Moore-Pastides doesn’t just advocate for better living through nutrition; as the author of two cookbooks dedicated to healthy eating, she literally brings nutrition to the table. Witness this recipe for Fisherman’s Stew, from her second cookbook, “Greek Revival from the Garden: Growing and Cooking for Life” (USC Press). “To me this is the perfect recipe — it tastes fresh, is satisfying, delicious, healthful and simple to prepare,” says Moore-Pastides. “It makes a wonderful summer evening meal when served with crusty bread, and chilled white wine, and provides another way to use tomatoes, zucchini and parsley from the garden.”
Fisherman’s Vegetable Stew ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, roughly chopped 4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped 3 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and roughly chopped 6 plum tomatoes, cut into chunks 6 small red potatoes, washed and quartered
4 cups vegetable stock 1 bay leaf 3 medium zucchini, washed and cut into bite-sized chunks 2½ pounds fresh skinless fish fillets (such as halibut), cut into bite-sized chunks Juice of 1 lemon ½ cup chopped fresh parsley Sea salt and pepper
Equipment: large stockpot, cutting board, chef’s knife, fish knife, tomato knife, liquid measuring cup, dry measuring cups, large wooden spoon Cover the bottom of a large stockpot with the extra virgin olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally. Add the garlic and cook another 2–3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, vegetable stock, and bay leaf. Turn up the heat, bring the mixture to a boil, and cook it partially covered until the potatoes are fork tender and the stock has been somewhat reduced. Add the zucchini and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes. Add the chunks of fish and cook covered at a rolling boil for about 5 minutes, just until the fish is opaque. Lower the heat to simmer and add the lemon juice and fresh parsley. Gently stir to combine all ingredients, being careful not to break the fish into little pieces. Season with sea salt and pepper. Serve immediately with crusty bread. Serves 6–8 For a French flair, substitute chopped fennel for the celery.