Page 1

USCAMAGAZINE pg Spotlight on




Student Outreach


A Brave New Worldwide web of Promotion

pg Dr. Maggie


Dorsey Retires

A Focus on Excellence:

SC Professor of the Year, Dr. Chad Leverette pg 20

USCA Magazine | 2011


Contributors EDITOR Preston Sparks


LAYOUT Christina Berkshire ‘11


WRITERS Linda Evans Judith Goodwin Brian Hand Patrick King Dr. Deidre Martin Carmen Ramos ‘10 Preston Sparks

Cover Story A Focus on Excellence: SC Professor of the Year, Dr. Chad Leverette

PHOTOGRAPHY Aiken Performing Arts Group Pacer Athletics Sports Information Office Patrick King Preston Sparks Scott Webster ‘88


Students Build Bridges To Communities Student Outreach Spotlight


The USC Aiken Magazine is published annually by the Office of University Advancement 471 University Parkway Campus Box 42 Aiken, SC 29801 803.641.3448

A Storied Career Dr. Maggie Dorsey Retires


A Gesture of Goodwill

4 In Memory 25

Making Headlines and Making Memories


USC Aiken Celebrates 50 years 26

A Society for Edgewood


Head of Their Class


Homecoming 2011


Coming Together


Teamwork Makes Things Magical 14

Q & A with Mike Jara


Scoreboard 16 Driving the Distance The Brave New Worldwide Web of Promotion


Great Scott! What a Donation! 36 Distinguished Citizen


Banksia Reunion


18 Have a Smartphone?

Download a QR scanner through your cell phone company’s app market and use it to scan these codes throughout the magazine to see related videos and websites.

Chancellor Dr. Tom Hallman Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Dr. Deidre Martin Director of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund Jamie Raynor ’02 & ‘05

The University of South Carolina Aiken 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, sexual orientation or veteran status


reetings from USC Aiken! The 20102011 academic year was one of many accomplishments and some new additions to our campus. It also was a year of excitement as we started the detailed plans for our quickly approaching 50th anniversary in September. The academic year began with an announcement that one of USC Aiken’s own, Dr. Chad Leverette, an associate professor in analytical chemistry, had been named the 2010 South Carolina Governor’s Professor of the Year. We couldn’t be more proud of Dr. Leverette’s accomplishment, which continues a tradition of excellence among USC Aiken’s overall faculty, with six Pacers in the past nine years receiving the highly competitive Carolina Trustee Professorship Award. Dr. Leverette’s achievement is the focus of this publication’s cover story. This academic year, Dr. Leverette also helped secure a $264,000 grant for a Raman microscope that is the only instrument of its kind at any university or college in South Carolina. As for other accomplishments, USC Aiken was again selected this past academic year as first among the top public regional colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report. It marks the 13th consecutive year USC Aiken has been ranked in the top three, seven of which have resulted in number one rankings. We also worked hard toward a favorable on-site visit recently by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Our efforts, to include a Quality Enhancement Plan that challenges students’ critical inquiry skills, will continue toward a December decision regarding our reaffirmation by SACS. The academic year also was one in which a new student walking path was added to campus as well as a new disc golf course next to the one-year-old Pacer Path. New directional signs have recently been added to campus, and we have ramped up plans for a pedestrian bridge to one day span Robert Bell Parkway for a safer means of travel from one side of campus over to the Convocation Center. Amid all of this, we have been preparing for our golden anniversary, which will begin on September 10. A planning committee has already approved a logo for the celebration and a slate of events is now being planned for the official anniversary date as well as the weeks and months to follow. As you can tell, it has truly been a fruitful year at USC Aiken, and in this edition of the USCA Magazine you’ll read all about such successes and the highlights of the best and the brightest of USC Aiken. As always, I hope to see you on campus soon. Thank you for your support of USC Aiken! Sincerely, Thomas L. Hallman Chancellor


USCA Magazine | 2011

In Scholarly Pursuit Magellan Scholars


ierra Gooding’s research project was fitting with the times: “An Exploration of Privacy Control Tools on Social Networking Sites.” One thing the junior business administration major might want to post publicly to her Facebook account, though, is the fact she recently was among eight USC Aiken students named Magellan Scholars for the Spring – the largest number of Pacers to do so for a semester. The Magellan program is a competitive grants opportunity in which students from all eight USC campuses submit proposals to support their proposed scholarly activities. Proposals are reviewed by a panel of USC faculty members and those of the highest merit are recommended for funding and conduct their research with the help of a mentor professor. “USC Aiken students have been very successful,

receiving Magellan funding in every competitive round since the program was started five years ago,” said Bill Pirkle, a professor in USC Aiken’s Department of Biology and Geology who is involved with the Magellan Program. “During the 201011 academic year, 13 USC Aiken students received funding. This record of success reflects very well on USC Aiken students and their faculty mentors and demonstrates the strength and vitality of undergraduate research at USC Aiken.” Students from across the entire USC System are eligible to compete for Magellan Scholarships. All total, USC Aiken has had 31 Magellan Scholars named, placing the University as having the most Magellan awards for any USC campus outside of Columbia. Tierra’s mentors were Instructor Dr. Ravi Narayanaswamy and Dr. Leanne McGrath, a professor in the School of Business

Administration. Other Spring Magellan Scholars from USC Aiken and their mentors were: Kaitlyn Edgington, mentor: Dr. Michele Harmon; Kevin Huff, mentor: Dr. Brian Parr; Kevin Kinsey, mentors: Dr. Eric Carlson and Dr. Roger Deal; Jessica L. Moore, mentor: Dr. Monty L. Fetterolf; Melissa Peters, mentor: Dr. Jane Stafford; Lauren Stephens, mentor: Dr. Timothy Lintner; and

Ryan Stoffko, mentor: Michelle Vieyr. Magellans for the 2011 summer and fall semesters are: Tara Bostwick, mentor: Dr. Jill Hampton; Alexander Brugh, mentor: Dr. Gerard Rowe; Virginia Kopald, mentors: Dr. Bill Pirkle, Dr. Frank Syms, and Prof. Alexia Helsley; Abigail Mojica, mentor: Dr. Laura May; and Leah Stanley, mentor: Dr. Tom Mack.

Top: Tierra Gooding and her mentors Dr. Leanne McGrath and Dr. Ravi Narayanaswamy Bottom: Kaitlyn Edgington works with her mentor, Dr. Michele Harmon



A Gesture of Goodwill

From left to right: Tom Hoffstetter, Joseph Jennings, Frederica von Stade and Jack Benjamin

By Preston Sparks


rom its beginning at Banksia nearly 50 years ago, the University of South Carolina Aiken has held a longstanding connection to its community. Today, that collaboration and support continues and is exemplified by a partnership USC Aiken has had in recent years with the Aiken Performing Arts Group. The APAG, a volunteer presenting organization, has worked to assist USC Aiken in several ways in the past few years, from helping bring in the National Symphony Orchestra to USC Aiken’s Convocation Center to attracting a world-renowned opera singer to USC Aiken’s Etherredge Center, with concert proceeds benefitting Aiken’s music program.


“There has never been anything in writing that defines the informal partnership between us,” said Tom Hoffstetter, chairman of the APAG Board. “On our part, it is a gesture of goodwill that recognizes the vital role played by the University in our midst. It is expressed by APAG’s best efforts to assist USC Aiken’s programs and staff, and to support its students as they strive to gain a college degree.” It was in 2008 that the APAG helped secure the National Symphony Orchestra. Hoffstetter said USC Aiken agreed to allow the use of its Convocation Center, and, in turn, the APAG offered for half of the event’s proceeds to go to USC Aiken. “APAG raised all of the underwriting funds, organized and ran the PR,

USCA Magazine | 2011

and handled communications with the public, all ushering, and local media relations with the orchestras,” Hoffstetter said. “APAG was assisted by personnel at the Convocation Center with ticketing, advertising placement and the physical arrangements in converting the space to a concert venue (a very big job). Both APAG and USC Aiken received more than $30,000 each from the proceeds. The APAG funds went to support the in-school educational outreach efforts of APAG. The USC Aiken share went to scholarships.” The event drew an audience of more than 2,600, making it the largest single cultural event of its kind in Aiken’s history, Hoffstetter said. The most recent partnership to occur between USC Aiken and the APAG

involved an April visit and performance by opera star Frederica von Stade, who was on her “farewell tour” and has been described as “one of America’s finest artists” by The New York Times. She has been universally recognized from her numerous television appearances on “Live From Lincoln Center” and other PBS specials. She has recorded on every major record level and received six Grammy nominations as well as being honored by thenPresident Reagan in a White House ceremony. Once again, the APAG utilized its expertise to draw the opera star to USC Aiken, not only for a concert to benefit USC Aiken’s music program but also for a visit two days prior with some of USC Aiken’s music students, who performed a welcoming song for her. A fundraising dinner with von Stade was



held the day after her concert at the Etherredge Center, and weeks prior to von Stade’s performance the APAG organized auditions among some of the Southeast’s top collegiate soloists for a chance to perform with her and participate in a master class with von Stade at USC Aiken. The APAG was instrumental in having SCETV Radio tape von Stade’s concert at the Etherredge Center for a broadcast throughout the state. “The von Stade concert was again based on the relationship with the University,” Hoffstetter said. “There was excellent cooperation with the members of the USC Aiken staff in regard to the ticketing operation, the physical arrangement of the theater, media relations, and then

promotion of the concert.” A portion of proceeds from the concert is being dedicated to USC Aiken’s music department. USC Aiken Chancellor Dr. Tom Hallman said the APAG has been a great partner in such ventures for several years. “Tom Hoffstetter and the Aiken Performing Arts Group have consistently gone beyond just providing entertainment for our community,” he said, adding that the group has sought out opportunities to further the education of those at USC Aiken as well as K-12 students “with great results.” “From the Instruments in the Attic program to arranging for the National Symphony Orchestra, Tom has provided leadership and enthusiasm and financial support for significant outreach efforts.” Hoffstetter said the

informal partnership started taking root as early as 2004. In 2005, the relationship resulted in a master class led by Victor Goins, lead clarinetist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Band. The partnership also led to several other events at USC Aiken through the years: a master class by America’s top impersonator of Groucho Marx in 2006; a workshop by the lead singers and actors from the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players in 2007; a Paul Taylor Dance Company exercise class with members of USC Aiken’s basketball team and cheerleaders in 2008; and musician and composer Chris Brubeck visiting USC Aiken to sit with USC Aiken Jazz Band members in 2008. Through its “Instruments In the Attic” program, the APAG also has collected, repaired and distributed to

USC Aiken a number of musical instruments for use in its band and orchestra programs. In addition, APAG has funded performances in the Aiken County Public Schools by the USC Aiken Jazz Band and the USC Aiken Concert Choir. And last year, the APAG was involved with a “175th Anniversary Celebration Concert” for the City of Aiken that included a performance by USC Aiken’s Concert Choir with a financial contribution to USC Aiken for expenses. All in all, Hoffstetter said “It is a record of outreach which both the University, administration, faculty, students, and APAG volunteers may share with considerable pride.”


USC Aiken’s Concert Choir

MAKING HEADLINES and MAKING MEMORIES in Concert Choir. None of them had performed in a large cathedral before, and to travel, explore our nation’s capital, and spend time together was hen USC Aiken students invaluable,” said Joel Scraper, director signed up for the Concert of Choral Activities at USC Aiken. Choir this year, they The Concert Choir’s performance had no idea that their experience included pieces from modern would conclude by being selected composers such as Arvo Pärt and for some once-in-a-lifetime, thrilling Jozef Swider, masterpieces from timeperformances. honored composers such as J.S. Bach Through an application process that included recordings of concerts from the and W.A. Mozart, and a spiritual arrangement by USC Aiken’s Artist in past few years, the choir was selected to Residence, Joseph Jennings. perform at the National Cathedral in Soon after their return from Washington, D.C. on Sunday, March 27 Washington D.C., the choir focused as part of the Choral Evensong service. their rehearsal time in preparation for “To perform in the National Cathedral a concert directed by the conductor was a new experience for the students By Judith Goodwin



USC USCA Aiken Magazine Magazine || 2011 2011

of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in two performances on May 1 at St. John United Methodist Church, in Augusta. The USC Aiken Concert Choir was among three vocal groups to be accompanied by members of Symphony Orchestra of Augusta under the direction of Mack Wilberg, who traveled from Salt Lake City for a weekend of magnificent music. Davidson Fine Arts Chorale and the St. John Choir joined the USC Aiken Concert Choir in intensive rehearsals that began in April and led to two performances to capacity audiences on May 1. The offering was part of St. John Church’s Concerts with a Cause Series and came about at the urging of St.

Q&A with Mike Jara

“To travel, explore our nation’s capital,

and spend time together was invaluable. ”

John’s organist and Director of Music, Jamie Council Garvey. Garvey wrote Wilberg a letter, and he ultimately worked out a time to rehearse with the local performers as well as conduct the May 1 performances. “We have sung Wilberg’s choral arrangements for years,” Garvey said, adding that they are “beautiful pieces” and “crowd-pleasers. I wanted my choir to meet him and learn from him, and I knew our audience would relate to his music. It’s been two or more years in the works.” Scraper said being involved in the performances was an honor. “We are pleased to have been invited to sing with two wonderful choral

groups and have the opportunity to work with Mack Wilberg,” he said. “These opportunities are rare, and so it is a unique experience to be able to work with one of the most prolific choral composer/ arrangers of our day.” In reflecting on a banner year for the USC Aiken Concert Choir, Scraper added that, “It has been an outstanding year for our choral program, with invitations to sing with Donald Portnoy and the USC Symphony Orchestra for Aiken’s 175th Anniversary Concert in November, Choral Evensong at National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., working with Mack Wilberg and meeting Frederica von Stade in May.” The Concert Choir had the

opportunity to sing for von Stade, the world-renowned opera star, in a visit that she made to USC Aiken’s campus in April prior to a concert she gave at the Etherredge Center. “These are experiences and memories that will remain with students for the rest of their lives,” Scraper said. “I am grateful to have an administration that supports these endeavors and I appreciate the many, many kind words and notes I have received from faculty and staff across all disciplines for the choir’s achievements. “I believe this is what an education in music can and should do; provide meaningful opportunities and lifelong memories.”


Students Build Bridges to Communities

“The trip became so much more than just building houses.” -Jessica Cochran, Alternative Fall break 2011

By Carmen Ramos Williams, Class of ‘10


tudent service at USC Aiken is not confined simply to the USC Aiken campus. Many USC Aiken community service opportunities and outreach programs offer students options to be involved. Students are able to participate in First Day of Service, the Volunteer Fair, Sleep out for the Homeless, Alternative Fall and Spring Break, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Dance Marathon to benefit the Children’s Medical Center at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, Hunger Banquet, and Relay 8

Spotlight on Student Involvement

for Life. There are also other ways to give back such as being a member of the USC Aiken Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which recently helped build sheds for some new Habitat homes in the Aiken area. “For the past year and a half, the USC Aiken Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Aiken County Habitat for Humanity and the City of Aiken in building storage sheds for residents of Crosland Park,” stated Dr. Deb Kladivko, Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Services. During the 2010-2011 school year, USC Aiken students completed seven sheds. During their work, they were supervised

USCA Magazine | 2011

and had assistance from Aiken County Habitat for Humanity volunteers. The students built the sheds behind the softball field on campus, and the sheds were later moved to Crosland Park. “A number of students who participated in the shed building got excited and made the decision to go on one of the Alternative Break trips in the future,” she said, referring to alternative fall and spring break trips in which students traveled to New Orleans and Florida, respectively, to help build homes for those in need. Since the fall of 2006, students have been traveling to New Orleans, helping with Hurricane Katrina relief

efforts. Roberto Aragon traveled there in the fall of 2010. “The bus ride there was probably more fun because we were a bunch of excited students ready to see what New Orleans had to offer,” Aragon recalled. The experience was memorable to Aragon, he said, because he learned a lot about himself and he was able to help others. His experience in seeing New Orleans also was unique. “The culture there is so lively and mysterious,” he said. While in the Lower Ninth Ward, the students visited memorials made for Hurricane Katrina victims who lived in the there. “The

USCA Volunteer Work Aiken, SC

Habitat for Humanity project, 2010 USC Aiken local chapter for Habitat for Humanity helped construct sheds for Aiken’s Crosland Park Neighborhood

New Orleans, LA

Alternative Fall Break, 2006-2010 USC Aiken students helped with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Miami, FL

Alternative Spring Break, 2011 USC Aiken students built houses with Habitat for Humanity

red building remnants of when the levee broke was very depressing and seeing how high the amount of water was,” he said. New Orleans has been rebuilding, and this includes green houses and eco-friendly houses. Riding through the many neighborhoods, the students could see an X on almost all buildings. The X referenced the dead animals or body count and who looked through the building and the time that they looked for those missing. It was “impactful because you can see about how many people and animals died in the aftermath of the flooding of Katrina,” Aragon said. USC Aiken students also have recently started traveling to Miami, Florida to help build houses with Habitat for Humanity as part of USC

Aiken’s alternative Spring Break. During these trips, students have built houses as well as friendships. Being able to participate “is a great opportunity for the students of USC Aiken to meet new people, explore new places, have experiences, and most importantly to give back to communities that are in need,” said student Shelby Williams. Williams went to Miami for alternative spring break on March 6-12. She said her experience was fulfilling. “Knowing that I was working on a house that would one day be a family’s home made me more precise, careful, and attentive while getting my assigned duty done,” Williams said. Jessica Cochran traveled to Miami with Williams. Every day, the students woke up

early for a meeting with other participating schools. They were then separated to their assigned houses. “I mostly worked on roofing. Slowly but surely, I learned how NOT to hammer my thumb and became very familiar with a few other skills on the site,” Cochran said. Williams learned about the culture and background on the history of Dade County during her Miami trip as well as a lesson in how to work and cooperate with others in getting a job done. Cochran didn’t know anyone in the group before she left for Miami. “After the long drive to Florida and days working under the sun, we quickly became friends,” she said of Williams. The students had a couple opportunities to go out for dinner, shopping, and

touring Miami. They also got a chance to check out the beach. “The trip became so much more than just building houses.” Cochran said. If given the opportunity to travel for an alternative fall or spring break again, Williams, Aragon, and Cochran all agree they would happily return. Students on the USC Aiken campus work very hard to give back to others. They find it rewarding to not only the people they are helping but also themselves. There are many opportunities for students to get involved on campus, and this is a great way to learn how to build physical structures as well as relationships with others.


A Society for Edgewood By Judith Goodwin


andra E. Tucker still has fond memories of the house she once lived in – a home that was known as Edgewood and today rests on the grounds of USC Aiken as the Pickens-Salley House. “As a young woman from New Jersey, it was a magical experience 40 years ago to spend a winter in Edgewood, the gracious home of Eulalie Salley and Eulalie Rutledge,” she said. “The house was furnished with beautiful antiques and the surrounding gardens oozed southern charm and hospitality. It was some years later that I actually learned the historical significance of the house and Mrs. Salley’s role in the women’s suffragette movement as well as her being an icon in the Aiken business world.” She added that “It warmed my heart when Edgewood was donated and lovingly moved from its picturesque setting on Kalmia Hill to its permanent home on the campus of the University of South Carolina Aiken. I’m very excited about future plans for the building and the creation of new gardens that will be historically in keeping with the house.” Another story was added to the history of USC Aiken’s Pickens-Salley House with the establishment of the Edgewood Ladies’ Society this year. Their annual gift of $500 or more to support the upkeep and progress of the Pickens-Salley House qualified these ladies to become charter members of the Society. The house was donated to the USC Aiken campus and moved there in the 1980s. It received a great deal of attention since the premiere of “Edgewood: Stage of Southern History” last year. The documentary, which tells the history of the house named “Edgewood” chronicles the lives of the women who spent their lives there in the almost 200 years since it was constructed. The first half of the film recounts Lucy Pickens’ life in the house as wife of South Carolina governor, Francis W. Pickens, during the Civil War. The film continues with stories of Eulalie Salley, an Aiken business woman involved with the suffrage movement in the early 1900s. Eulalie moved the house to Aiken from Edgefield, where it was built. Finally, the house found its permanent home on the campus of USC Aiken as the office of the Chancellor and University Advancement. Some of the members of the Edgewood Ladies’ Society either lived in the house or visited there as children when the Salley family lived there. At a recent 10

USCA Magazine | 2011

tea gathering for the Society, stories of Eulalie were told while the women looked at costumes from the documentary and family memorabilia donated by family members. During a tour of the house, Pat Pennington, who played in the house during her childhood, showed everyone the hinged panels on the mantle where little girls could hide secret treasures. Other Edgewood treasures continue as Edgewood Ladies’ Society members get the chance to borrow, for one day, the replica of the Hope Diamond used in the filming of the documentary. As new memories are being created, old ones are being preserved with the help of the Edgewood Ladies’ Society. For more information about the Edgewood Ladies’ Society or how you can help preserve the historic home of Edgewood at USC Aiken, call Judith Goodwin at (803) 641-3417.

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Augusta, GA 706-724-3557

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“Edgewood: Stage of Southern History� Docudrama of the more than 200 years of history that have occurred in the Pickens-Salley House

DVDs, CDs, and posters of the movie available by calling 803.641.3630 or visiting The house was originally known as Edgewood and over the years it has served as the stage for many important periods in Southern History. Originally built in 1829 in Edgefield, South Carolina for secessionist governor Francis W. Pickens, the house was home to two remarkable women, Lucy Holcolmbe Pickens and Eulalie Chafee Salley. 11

Watering Hole Homecoming dinner celebration with Pacer Club, alumni and VIP donors

Delta Sigma Theta alumni at the Alumni Family Carnival

Homecoming 2011


lumni Pacers showed up in full force at this year’s Homecoming festivities on February 11-12th, with hundreds returning to campus for a weekend full of activities. The weekend started on Friday night with an alumni reunion at Banksia (see pages 38 and 39 for photos), and it continued on Saturday with the athletic alumni participating in games with the current teams. Also on Saturday, alumni families enjoyed the day’s carnival, the Alumni VIP room drop-in, and the Watering Hole. Mark your calendars now for next year’s Homecoming on February 17-18th, 2012. Current Men’s Pacer Basketball team with Pacer alumni at Homecoming Reunion


USCA Magazine | 2011

Child of alumnus enjoying the Alumni Family Carnival Alumnus Antonio Evans (2001) with students, Andrew Ciserano (left) and Jacob Busbee (right), from the Homecoming parade.


TEAMWORK Makes Things Magical By Brian Hand


n a year in which national attention was upon them, the success of the 2010-11 season for the University of South Carolina Aiken women’s basketball team can be attributed to something that seems so simple, but is often hard to find. According to head coach Mike Brandt, the 2010-11 season was magical and obviously the highlights would include beating the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the nation, but to him the thing that he will remember the most is the solidarity of his team. “We had very few problems this year as a team – if any,” remarked Brandt, who became USC Aiken’s all-time wins leader this past season. “I think this contributed greatly to the high level of success we had this season; our players just generally liked being around each other.” USC Aiken’s record-setting year concluded with USC Aiken (27-6) having won a school-record 27 games. The Pacers also won their first ever NCAA Tournament game and claimed a share of the Peach Belt Conference East Division title.

Nationally Known USC Aiken opened preseason practice in October of 2010. The Pacers were not ranked in the top 25 nationally entering the year, and they were picked fifth in the Peach Belt Conference preseason coaches’ poll. After a strong start to the 2010-11 season, the Pacers entered the national discussion prior to the holiday break in December with a record of 11-2 and a national ranking of 25th. The Pacers would remain ranked the rest of the season, and by January 15, 2011 the eyes of Division II 14

USC USCA Aiken Magazine Magazine || 2011 2011

women’s basketball were upon the Convocation Center as 18th-ranked USC Aiken would play host to No. 5 Clayton State in a nationally-televised game that could be seen on CBS College Sports. Clayton State would pull away down the stretch for a 66-60 win, but the exposure garnered in the nationallytelevised contest was not lost on Brandt. “I think it was great for our program,” said Brandt. “I am amazed by how many people watched it in the community, let alone throughout the nation. It felt like we were in the big time for a day. It was great exposure for our program that will surely pay dividends in the future.”

Drive to a Championship USC Aiken traveled to Greenwood, S.C. to square off against then national No. 1 Lander exactly a week after falling to Clayton State. The Pacers would lose to the Bearcats, but it would be the last loss for the Pacers for a long time as the Pacers closed the regular season on an eight-game winning streak. USC Aiken garnered a 66-59 revenge win over No. 2 Lander at the Convocation Center on February 23, 2011. The win over Lander earned USC Aiken a share of the PBC East Division with the Bearcats as both would end conference play with identical 16-2 marks. Shortly thereafter, USC Aiken would hand national No. 1 Clayton State its first loss of the season in the PBC Tournament semifinals in overtime, 7372. USC Aiken would not be able to claim its first conference tournament crown though, losing in the tournament championship

game to Georgia College. The victory over Clayton State along with making the PBC Tournament championship game allowed the Pacers to move into the top 10 nationally for just the second time in school history at eighth. Making its fourth ever appearance (2002, 2005, 2009 and 2011) in an NCAA Regional, USC Aiken claimed program win No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament with a thrilling 69-66 win over Tusculum in the regional quarterfinals on Friday, March 11, 2011. Lander would conclude USC Aiken’s magical season one day later in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional semifinals. Clayton State would knock off Lander in the next round before rolling through the Elite Eight to collect their first national championship. Looking back after the season, Brandt noted that although he knows it was a remarkable season, he and his team want more. “I may be greedy, but I think the more success you have, the more you desire,” mused Brandt. “It was a great

season, but until you reach the pinnacle of that national championship, you always want more.” Brandt also notes that seeing Clayton State emerge as the national champion helps his team in the long run. “I think in everyone’s mind now, it is not just talk,” noted Brandt. “In the past we have began the year talking about the national championship, but it might not have seemed attainable to our players. Seeing a team dominate the Elite Eight that you were able to win against just proves that a national championship is legitimately achievable.” Past, Present, Future The USC Aiken women’s basketball program may be striving to reach new heights in the future, but nothing could be obtained without the solid foundation laid out by the Pacer women’s basketball teams in the past. “I believe it is all just the circle of our program,” remarked Brandt. “I think a great example of this is what I saw at the recent athletic banquet when the 2011 Meredith Legg Inspiration

Award was given out to Jo Cunningham. “The success we have had lately could not have been achieved without the contributions Meredith and her teammates were able to acquire with the three straight 20-win seasons. Mrs. Cunningham has been a long-time supporter of our program and her efforts have made things possible that without her and the support of her husband, John, could not have happened.” Brandt goes on to note that the USC Aiken women’s basketball team “recruits to high standards.” “We strive for perfection in all areas,” said Brandt. “We know that we are not perfect, but we strive to be the best we can be in all facets. I think our players take pride in all three areas of our program: academics, on court and off the court.” Brandt’s assertions are not without merit as the USC Aiken women’s basketball team was honored in the 2009-10 season by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association as a member of the prestigious Top 25 Team Honor Roll.

The Pacers concluded the 2009-10 season with a cumulative GPA of 3.442. The Pacers’ 2009-10 team GPA was the highest GPA among all PBC institutions in the history of the WBCA Top 25 Honor Roll. USC Aiken’s women’s basketball team also has strong ties to the community where community engagement is a cornerstone of the program. The Pacers have been a part of myriad community service projects, including but not limited to working with Habitat for Humanity and hosting an Ovarian Cancer and Pink Zone game at the Convocation Center. “I enjoy doing community service because I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces,” said Pacer senior Triahna Harris. “When we go out into the community it’s no longer about the Pacers, it’s about the people we are helping.” All of this is why that with a strong program framework, collaboration and a bright past and present, things should only progress in the future for USC Aiken women’s basketball. 15

SCOREBOARD Pacer Athletics 2010-2011


PBC Overall

29-21 9-15 17-10









Softball PBC




Men’s Basketball Men’s Tennis Final Rank: 30th

Women’s Basketball










Final Rank: 13th Overall



Men’s Soccer


Women’s Soccer

Women’s Tennis PBC




10-10 4-8 15-16 6-8

H I G H L I G H T S Baseball – Highest National Ranking: 16th; Finished with 29 or more wins for the 12th straight season. Josh Miller tied school record for most hits in a single game with five in a 10-1 win over then fifth-ranked Georgia College on Saturday, Mar. 26. Men’s Basketball – Highest National Ranking: Fourth; Finished year having won a school-record 89 games over the last four seasons; Finished second in Peach Belt Conference East Division with 10-8 record; Concluded regular season having won eight of its last 10 outings; Beat No. 3 Augusta State at Convocation Center on Feb. 2. Women’s Basketball – Highest National Ranking: Eighth; Concluded year having won a school-record 27 games; Won first ever NCAA Tournament game with 69-66 win over Tusculum in the quarterfinals of the 2011 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional in Morrow, Ga.; Ranked 13th in final national poll; Pacers appeared on national television on Jan. 15; Ninth-year head coach Mike Brandt became USC Aiken’s all-time wins leader in the 2010-11 season; He also surpassed the 400 career win plateau during the season. Cheerleading – Welcomed new coach Kat Sampson, a USC Aiken


alumni cheerleader; Great year of home game performances; Attended UCA Camp, judged local tryouts, taught clinics and co-hosted a Peach Belt Conference Community Engagement event for cheerleaders and dance teams.

Conference All-Conference team as a forward; Chevy Augustine was named to the PBC All-Tournament team; Chijioke Agbasi garnered Capital One District Three Men’s Soccer Academic All-District honors.

Dance – Great year that featured many university and community performances; Claimed fourth consecutive Peach Belt Conference championship, the eighth Peach Belt Conference championship for the Pacer dance team overall; The USC Aiken Dance Team made its fourth appearance in the finals of the National Collegiate Dance Team Competition, finishing with two top 10 rankings for NCAA Division II.

Women’s Soccer – Concluded the 2011 season by securing a positive result in four of its final five games; The stretch included three victories; Madeline Fellabom became USC Aiken’s first Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week in four years when she was chosen the PBC Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 2.

Golf – Highest National Ranking: 17th; Head Coach Michael Carlisle was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame; Played in 19th NCAA Division II Tournament in the last 20 years; Finished in the top 10 in eight tournaments over course of 2010-11 season; Hayden Letien was named to the 2011 Peach Belt Conference AllConference team.

Men’s Tennis – Highest National Ranking: 25th; Ranked for the entire 2011 season; Participated in the 2011 Peach Belt Conference Tournament, losing to national No. 2 Armstrong Atlantic State. Women’s Tennis – Won three of their last five matches to close out the year; The three wins were part of a season-high tying three-match winning streak; Acquired four Peach Belt Conference wins for the third time in the last four seasons; Stephanie Humphrey concluded her four years as a Pacer with the school record for most wins at No. 1 singles with 19.

Men’s Soccer – Battled their way into Peach Belt Conference Tournament with 1-0 win over Georgia Cross Country – Competed in Southwestern on Oct. 23; Brett Van seven meets; Finished second among Pelt was chosen to the Peach Belt Division II schools at Gamecock

USCA Magazine | 2011

Invitational; Concluded two meets in the top five as a team; Earned fourth consecutive trip to NCAA regional; Hosted the Bridgestone-Pacer Invitational, which was USC Aiken’s first full meet at the Pacers’ top-of-the-line home course, Pacer Path; Keely Gillespie was chosen as the Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year; She was also named first team All-PBC; Gillespie broke the school 5K record with a time of 19:34 at the LenoirRhyne Invitational. Volleyball – Ranked as high as 10th in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings; Made most of matches by going maximum five sets in 13 of their matches; Advanced to semifinals of 2010 Peach Belt Conference Tournament; Samantha Lukralle for the second consecutive season broke the school record for single-season digs; Lukralle was named the Peach Belt Conference Libero of the Year. Softball – Advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional for the second time in the last three years; Opened the season by winning nine of their first 10 outings; India Kornegay was named the Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year as well as an All-Peach Belt Conference selection; Concluded year 17-3 against nonconference opponents; Ranked as high as fifth in NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings.

By Preston Sparks


SC Aiken’s golf team has been all smiles lately, and not just because of some great play on the fairways and greens. With the funding of individual donors, the team recently received a speciallyequipped travel van with several helpful additions, including: backside golf bag storage to provide more leg room for the golfers up front; WiFi connections so team members can focus on class work via their laptops while in transit; and a mounted flat screen television on board. The van, which incorporates USC Aiken’s name and sports logo on the side, was recently unveiled to donors who were allowed to inspect the one-of-its-kind transportation for universities in South Carolina. USC Aiken Golf Coach Michael Carlisle said his team travels frequently and often for long distances to tournaments, adding that the new van has been a big hit with his players.

“The USC Aiken Golf Team plays only one home event a year,” Carlisle said. “The rest of our tournament schedule involves time traveling up and down every interstate within about 800 miles. Because of this required travel we miss a significant number of classes, scheduled tests, and class work deadlines. Our travel time can now be used in the productive pursuit of our student athlete’s academic goals through the use of the wireless mobile internet in our new MB Golf Sprinter. “Our new vehicle has great lighting and also personal headphones so that everyone can do their own work without disturbing each other. Our new transportation will certainly improve the quality of our student athlete’s experience at USC Aiken.” Now, fundraising efforts are underway to help USC Aiken construct a practice golf course in a wooded area next to USC Aiken’s new Pacer Path. To learn more about supporting Pacer golf, contact Dr. Deidre Martin, vice chancellor of University Advancement, at

in a New Van



Brave New

By Patrick King


f you’ve seen Bethany Heyward around campus this past year, chances are you might have noticed a flip video camera in her hands, pointing your way. Bethany has been one of five student bloggers for USC Aiken this year, documenting small video segments that are posted on USC Aiken’s website – - and depicting what life is like for students on campus.

The evolving avenue for communication and promotion, which is being seen at college campuses throughout the country, is something USC Aiken has embraced and even expanded upon with its revamped student blogging section and a new student-produced feature video segment called “USCA InFocus.” The blogs and videos have placed a spotlight on everything from sporting events to homecoming to the campus bookstore and student charity efforts.

“I thoroughly enjoyed blogging this semester! It was a creative way to connect with the campus, and it was fun to learn more about events going on,” Heyward said, calling it an “awesome experience!” The student blog offering, called “Real Life at USC Aiken”, started back up in December, with a different blog being added to USC Aiken’s website on a more frequent weekly basis through the end of the spring semester. “I really enjoyed telling

people a bit more about what USC Aiken offers and a little bit more about what is to come in the future in reference to a Three-Day Eventing Team,” said student blogger Jordan Abdella, who has been involved in USC Aiken’s equestrian offerings and focused one of her blogs on the University’s growing equestrian possibilities for students, to include an eventing team. USC Aiken’s Marketing Department also hired Israel Butler during the spring semester for a new student

Bethany Heyward suggested you like a page Real Life at USC Aiken What is life at USC Aiken really like? Scan this QR code with your smart phone to find out!

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USCA Magazine | 2011



wide web of promotion

videographer position responsible for creating professionally-produced videos about USC Aiken called “USCA InFocus.” That feature took a more polished, one-on-one interview style and featured everything from the Professor of the Year, Dr. Chad Leverette, to students’

preparations for final exams. These videos will be used in the coming months in promotional efforts and could also be shown at Freshman Friday gatherings. Meanwhile, the University’s social media presence continues to grow, with efforts to increase our engagement on such sites as Facebook and Twitter and

with a recent push to have student involvement through a site called Foursquare. Students are able to “check in” at certain physical sites through Foursquare for others to see where they’ve been. Students were challenged recently to visit USC Aiken’s Student Activities Center, to “check in” on Foursquare and

then receive a drink holder displaying the University’s logo for its Quality Enhancement Plan. “All of these efforts are aimed at connecting with students in a fun, engaging way that communicates the message of USC Aiken in a medium that’s appealing to students,” Marketing Director Preston Sparks said.

Israel Butler tagged you in a video USCA In Focus

“The University of South Carolina Aiken is a four-year, public coeducational university in Aiken, South Carolina...”

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What do USC Aiken, the Egg McMuffin, Doritos chips, CocaCola, and Hydrogen all have in common?

Dr. Chad Leverette

A Focus on Exc SC Professor of the Year, Dr. Chad Leverette

By Preston Sparks


hat do USC Aiken, the Egg McMuffin, Doritos chips, Coca-Cola, and hydrogen all have in common? Dr. Chad Leverette. The associate professor of Analytical Chemistry – who was named this year’s South Carolina Governor’s Professor of the Year – has a scientific tie to many commercial products and has


demonstrated his expertise in chemistry in teaching and research for the past seven years at USC Aiken. Long before his classroom lectures about such topics as diatomic atoms and the law of definite proportions, Dr. Leverette worked in the private sector for the company Cargill, Incorporated – the world’s largest food/agriculturalbased company with more than 120,000 employees in more than 60 countries. “I worked in the Global

USCA Magazine | 2011

Research and Development group,” Dr. Leverette said. “As a spectroscopist for Cargill, I helped invent new products, improve existing products, and troubleshoot defects in products through the use of chemistry. Some of the projects I worked on include the Egg McMuffin for McDonald’s, various sauces for Ruby Tuesdays, steaks for Outback Steakhouse, 3D Doritos chips, corn syrup for Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and many others. One of the last

projects I worked on was the development of a new sweetener that just recently made it to market under the name Truvia.” Although Dr. Leverette said he enjoyed his experiences at Cargill, he felt a longing for something more. “I wanted to teach undergraduates and do my own research as well as return to South Carolina, if possible,” said Dr. Leverette, who grew up in Irmo, S.C., where he met his wife of

cellence 13 years, Cara Leverette. “I specifically wanted to work at a school the size of USC Aiken where teaching was a focus, but where it was possible to also do the type of research I was interested in.” And so his teaching career was born.

Focusing on Teaching Dr. Leverette arrived at USC Aiken in the fall of 2004. Since then, he has gone on to be a finalist twice for the South Carolina Governor’s Professor of the

Year Award – winning the top honor for the first time for USC Aiken in October. He also was recently named the only non-Columbia campus faculty member this year to receive the “Rising Stars” recognition in scholarship research for the University of South Carolina System. To appreciate how Dr. Leverette connects with students, all one needs to do is walk by his office in USC Aiken’s Science Building. On a recent Thursday, the

laughter of several students could be heard in unison from inside Dr. Leverette’s office as he met with the group following a class. The talk centered around a shirt Dr. Leverette was wearing and a fun memory associated with it involving a past lab. In that lab, as the students told it, an honor student named Alex had accidentally squirted a solution from a bottle onto Dr. Leverette’s shirt. “Now, I won’t be able to lose that memory,” said a

laughing Rachel Strickhouser, a USC Aiken senior and Dr. Leverette’s research student, adding “We have a lot of fun.” Dr. Leverette’s students also were having a bit of fun teasing Dr. Leverette for his latest claim to fame: a very large picture of him on several billboards that USC Aiken’s Marketing Department had placed recently throughout the state touting his Professor of the Year Award. “I had a family member


contact me and he said that he was driving around town in Columbia and rounded a turn and then saw the billboard,” Dr. Leverette said. “He said to me, ‘Do you realize you are about 20 feet high on Highway 1?!’ I told him that I hoped that he didn’t drive off the road when he saw it…Since then, I have had so many people contact me from around the state. Some of these people are those I went to high school with that I haven’t spoken to in over 20 years.” All joking aside, recent USC Aiken graduate Jessica Moore, who is a past Outstanding Chemistry Student of the Year for USC Aiken, said “We’re all proud of Dr. Leverette,” adding that “Dr. Leverette was my favorite professor and a great mentor, too.” 22

Dr. Leverette says the students are his favorite part of the job. “I genuinely love being with my students in the classroom and in the research environment,” he said. “I really enjoy getting to know my students and letting them get to know me and my family. It is that connection that builds lasting memories for both of us.” His own love for chemistry and science, he said, began because of a high school teacher, and it endured with the help of a professor during Dr. Leverette’s college years. “I had an awesome high school chemistry teacher by the name of Mrs. Ammons. She was tough, but she loved teaching and loved chemistry,” he said. “With her help, I discovered that I had a gift for chemistry,

USCA Magazine | 2011

which is funny because my family did everything they could to steer me away from taking chemistry. My parents and sister commented to me about how hard chemistry was, but I wanted to try it. I never realized such a simple decision would put me on my future career path.” He added, “I had a wonderful professor in college by the name of Dr. Howard Thomas. His love for chemistry and for students was so apparent. I remember thinking that he was so fortunate to be spending his life doing something he really enjoyed doing. It was in college that I realized that his passion was my passion as well. I decided to enter graduate school after college to pursue my Ph.D. so that I could also become a professor one day.”

Focusing on Research These days, Dr. Leverette is no longer running tests on soda formulas or munchies as he did in the private sector. His efforts have broadened to nano and hydrogen technologies. Most recently, his research in that regard was furthered through his help in securing a three-year grant, totaling $264,821, for USC Aiken to acquire a Raman microscope that is a one-of-its-kind device for any university in South Carolina. Dr. Leverette says it’s an exciting development for USC Aiken as it will allow faculty and students increased interactions with researchers from the Savannah River National Laboratory, Toyota Corporation, scientists affiliated with the USC

in Columbia interested in expanding his research in some new areas. Focusing on Family and the Future

NanoCenter, and other technical experts in the community. The Raman microscope is to be used with the following research goals in mind: the development of novel nanotechnology-based sensors that are to be used for low-level uranium detection, the study and investigation of the diseased state of coral sea fans, and to analyze and characterize novel hydrogen storage materials developed by the Toyota Corporation. “All of these projects are global in scale,” he said. “If we are successful, our data and/or devices could be the foundation of actual products used for vehicles that run on hydrogen technology. The uranium sensors could be used to detect environmental radioactive pollutants

anywhere in the world. These sensors could also be used for our defense against nuclear proliferation in other countries. “The neat thing about the sensors we are creating for uranium detection are that they are created by our undergraduate students. As we learn more about how to create these sensors, they could be applied to areas like virus and bacteria detection or explosives detection. Our students enjoy knowing that the projects they are working on have actual applications that are important and that outside groups want us to work on these projects.” As for the investigation involving coral sea fans, Dr. Leverette says there are many applications that will be possible with the new Raman

microscope. “This instrument will be used to expand the current research of my group as well as Dr. Garriet Smith’s group. Dr. Smith is a world expert on coral reef disease. This instrument will be helping him and his students understand the microbiology of disease that affects corals. For all of these projects, our undergraduates will be collecting data with the microscope, analyzing this data, and presenting this data in the form of published peer-reviewed manuscripts and presentations at scientific meetings.” Dr. Leverette said that recently since the Raman microscope was awarded to USC Aiken he has been approached by two additional faculty members

To know Dr. Leverette, though, is not only to be familiar with his academia but also his family life and commitment to his faith. Dr. Leverette and his wife Cara – who is a fifth grade math and Bible teacher at South Aiken Christian School – have two sons, Caleb, age 10, and Micah, age 8. “I love going to church with my family,” Dr. Leverette said. “I am a Christian and my faith is the foundation of everything in my life. It is also my source of strength.” He said he loves being a Dad and helping to coach his boys’ sports teams, having done so for four different soccer teams and three basketball squads. Looking to the future, Dr. Leverette is now poised to take on an even more active role at USC Aiken. “Just recently, I decided to take on a new role this coming year as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. I have had many people ask me if I will miss teaching. I will still be teaching, but I will be teaching fewer classes. Even though I will be teaching less, I feel that my new role will allow me to help our campus in new and exciting ways.” Dr. Leverette says he feels strongly that as he assists USC Aiken’s faculty, “then I will be helping our students on an even greater level.” 23

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USCA Magazine | 2011


In Memory Retirees

Mr. Paul H. Lewis Professor William C. Sanders

January 3, 2011 July 1, 2010

Alumni Mrs. Brenda Willis Bodie ‘85 Ms. Donoza J. Boulware ‘89 Mr. Alexander C. Bush ‘09 Mrs. Lula Drummings Bush-Dobey ‘86 Mr. Milledge M. Clyatt ‘71 Mr. William Arrie Hannon ‘83 Mrs. Mary D. Harris ‘92 Mrs. Sherry G. Lehr ‘71 Mrs. Margaret R. Mack ‘80 Mr. John Douglas Petrey ‘82 Mrs. Fannie W. Reese ‘93 Mrs. Shelia Jett Roberts ‘78 Mr. Robert K. Smith ‘85 Mrs. Chrystal N. Harrison ’98 Mr. Joseph E. Studebaker III ’84

June 26, 2010 August 20, 2010 December 29, 2010 August 7, 2010 December 10, 2010 May 29, 2011 December 26, 2010 November 30, 2010 April 16, 2011 June 13, 2010 April 24, 2011 January 8, 2011 January 2, 2011 March 4, 2011 June 27, 2011    

Friends of the University Mr. Richard T. Begley Mr. DA. Floyd Boswell Dr. Lauren E. Brubaker, Jr. Mr. Mitchell P. Burgess Mrs. Arimae Burrell Mr. Ernest Butler, Jr. Mrs. Jeanette Watts Cartledge Ms. Susan Scurry Chappell Mrs. Nona C. Cothran Mr. Malcolm Norwood Dailey Mr. Jerry L. Devine Mr. E. Kenneth Dukes Mr. Jesse J. Eggers Mrs. Frances H. Elliott Mrs. Helen C. Field Mrs. Betty M. Galardi Mr. Lincoln W. Goshorn Mr. Lovelace C. Greene, Jr. Mrs. Dianne Hadden Mrs. Bobbie Y. Hanvey The Honorable Helen C. Harvey Mrs. Justine O. Hickson Mrs. Kathryn C. Hobbs

May 15, 2011 April 16, 2011 September 22, 2010 September 11, 2010 August 1, 2010 September 22, 2010 December 7, 2010 November 26, 2010 May 13, 2011 January 5, 2011 January 18, 2011 November 7, 2010 May 29, 2011 June 15, 2010 March 16, 2011 August 28, 2010 May 16, 2011 August 7, 2010 August 1, 2010 October 9, 2010 September 1, 2010 January 14, 2011 September 22, 2010

Mrs. Frances D. Holley Dr. Henry Lucius Laffitte, Sr. Mr. Carl E. Langley, Jr. Mrs. Virginia J. Lybrand Mr. Joseph David Marvin Mr. James Robert McCreary Mrs. Martha M. Mercke Mr. MacKenzie Todd Miller Mr. William K. Miller Mr. W. Gordon Parrott III Mr. Chester M. Perry Mrs. Anna M. Poda Mr. Charles R. E. Rapp Mrs. Jane B. Rice Mr. Charles K. Stoeppler Mr. Alan M. Tewkesbury Ms. Nancy H. Thomas COL William C. Tyrrell Mr. Sam Wallace, Jr. Mrs. Alice M. Weems Mr. Billy H. Wilhelm Mrs. Helen Posey Wilson

January 16, 2011 September 23, 2010 March 25, 2011 September 18, 2010 December 29, 2010 September 16, 2010 October 3, 2010 December 10, 2010 January 1, 2011 December 10, 2010 February 21, 2011 December 31, 2010 February 19, 2011 April 1, 2011 December 18, 2010 September 27, 2010 September 7, 2010 April 15, 2011 June 9, 2010 November 24, 2010 December 24, 2010 January 16, 2011 25



USC Aiken looks to the future

USC Aiken begins classes at Banksia

50 Years

USC Aiken Celebrates


e’ll begin our celebration on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at Banksia (now home to the Aiken County Historical Museum) where it all began. Join us

for the 50th Anniversary Picnic on the grounds of the grand house that opened its doors to USC Aiken students on September 10, 1961. We’ll have a family picnic and a kick off celebration beginning at 11 am. To RSVP for the picnic, please visit http://web.usca. edu/50/ and register. Later that day, we’ll join together at 7:30 pm with alumni and friends for a “Songwriters Come Home Concert” at the Etherredge Center on the current campus. Throughout the year there will be a number of 50th Anniversary events to continue our celebration with special programs in all academic departments. For a full schedule of events, scan the QR code on page 27 with your smart phone or visit our 50th anniversary website at Also on page 27, find details for our Alumni Successes and Memories Contest being held throughout our anniversary celebration.


USCA Magazine | 2011

Alumni Successes and Memories Contest Do you have a favorite memory of your time at USC Aiken? Do you or someone you know have an amazing success story they owe to their USC Aiken education? Submit your memory or success story candidate for a chance to win a ticket to the VIP Hospitality Tent of USC Aiken’s annual Pacers and Polo event. One winner will be selected among the memory and success story categories and announced by the Advancement office prior to the Pacers and Polo event.

Scan this code with your smart phone or visit for the contest web page and a full list of 50th anniversary events.

Four of the USCA family working at Sun Printing Sun Printing, one of the fastest growing printing, fulfillment, mailing and grand format companies in the state, has always prided itself on high-quality products and excellent customer service. They are proud to have four of the USCA family as a part of their team. From a full-service mail shop, specializing in direct mail and billing services, to the commercial and digital printing of books, magazines and business collateral, Sun Printing has established itself as a world-class printer. Now, Sun Printing has taken their one-stop shop to a new level with the addition of their Grand Format division, offering anything from full-color signs and banners to trade show materials and specialty products. Sun Printing is a “cut” above the rest, offering state-of-the-art digital cutting services. No longer do signs have to be square and one-color. With Sun Printing, “If you can dream it, they can print it!” Go to to find out how.

Jacob Cook Class of 2010

Jessica Durst Class of 2012

Robert Davis Class of 2006

Matt Tripp Class of 2005


Head of their Class Vivian Grice and her Top Dogs


USCA Magazine | 2011

By Preston Sparks


n more ways than one, Vivian Grice knows well what it takes to be among the top of a class. Besides her job as registrar for the University of South Carolina Aiken, where students’ grades are recorded and graduate lists are finalized, Grice has been grooming two of her own for success – her dogs, Allie and Woody. Recently, the hard work of entering Allie and Woody – both Boykin Spaniel breeds - in various dog shows throughout the past year paid off with Grice’s dogs being accepted to this year’s nationally-exclusive Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden

in New York. There, they competed alongside some of the top dogs from throughout the country in the quest to be the head of the class in their breed. “The amount of media attention was on the level of the Super Bowl,” Grice said of the Westminster show. “Reporters from around the world were there. Just getting to the ring to show was pretty difficult because of the crowds.” For Grice’s dogs, it was the culmination of much hard work, with each dog having earned enough points in previous dog shows to qualify for the Westminster. “Allie has shown for years, but 2010 was twoyear-old Woody’s first venture into showing. He was 9 months old for his

first show,” Grice said, adding that she got interested in the sport by watching dog shows on TV. “There was a very famous dog at the time named Fairchild, and this summer I met her handler Greg Strong. He ended up showing Woody for me at Westminster while I showed Allie.” Grice said there’s a lot of prep work required before a dog show. “Provided the dog is well trained and already knows what to do and how to behave, they have to be bathed, groomed, nails trimmed, teeth cleaned,” Grice said. “Most owners keep nails in shape by using a Dremel or the Pedi-Paws to keep them ground. Mine have their teeth brushed

several times a week with an electric spin brush--child size. They then have to be groomed, which may involve trimming and stripping the coat. A bath or two, a brush up, fluff out with ears and cleaning inside the ears the morning of the show, and they’re ready.” At Westminster, although Woody and Allie didn’t take the top prize, Allie stayed in the show until the very end. And Grice says she’s hoping for another showing next year at Westminster. “We’ll just have to take our chances on getting in,” she said. “The Eukanuba National Championship has yearly qualifying, and since it moves back to Orlando, FL, this year I’m trying to qualify both of mine for that.”


Coming Together

The Weaver Family Tradition at USC Aiken


By Linda Evans

ealousy, competition and fighting among siblings are usually unavoidable—except for the four Weaver children; Ken, Dave, Barbara and Bob. This close set of siblings grew up in Aiken where their parents, Janet, a nurse, and Robert (Bob), a nuclear engineer with DuPont, moved shortly after Ken was born. Bob worked at the Savannah River Site while Janet tended to their growing family and volunteered at the church, the American Red Cross and served as a Cub Scout Leader. Bob


and Janet remained in Aiken for 50 years, and moved to Mount Pleasant after Bob retired. “When someone asks me where I am from, I always say Aiken,” Janet said. “It was such a wonderful place to raise children. It was a safe, friendly community with great churches, schools, and so many cultural activities.” Even though there is a 10year span between the oldest sibling and the youngest, they were very close as children. The four attended church together, played together, swam in the local pools, and rode their bikes all

USCA Magazine | 2011

over Aiken. As the siblings were riding their bikes and later driving cars, the song “Come Together Right Now,” originally recorded by the Beatles in the late ‘60s and then a number one single by Aerosmith in the late ‘70s, was being heard on the radio throughout Aiken. All four siblings claim “this song was one of their favorites,” but they probably did not realize how much their own lives would parallel this phrase. Certainly when it came to selecting a college, the siblings ‘came together,’ deciding to attend USC Aiken for two years. And

when it came to choosing a major, they all initially chose related fields within the sciences or health care. Ken is now an associate dean of The Teachers College at Emporia State University; Dave is a physician in emergency medicine at Oakwood Hospital System; Barbara is the director of Health Information Management Services and privacy officer for Mayo Clinic; and Bob is a pediatrician. “I think an interest in this field was just in our DNA, with Mom a nurse and Dad a nuclear engineer,” Bob said.

We all feel USC Aiken is a central part of who we are individually and as a family.

“Come together right now” is what this family does. While scattered across the country, from Michigan to South Carolina and from Kansas to Florida, getting together is harder than it used to be, but Barbara notes “our family is committed to an annual family reunion. The last week in July is reserved for this special time of reminiscing and making new memories.” During last year’s reunion, the siblings came together again in a unanimous decision to honor their parents in a meaningful way by creating the Robert K. and Janet M. Weaver Science Endowed Scholarship at USC Aiken. The siblings hope they can pass on the lessons they learned at USC Aiken to deserving students majoring in the sciences. “Attending USC Aiken was such a unique situation,” Dave said. “The first week of class I had an appendectomy, and my freshman chemistry professor

came to my home so I would not miss class. Where else, except USC Aiken, do you find that kind of concern and dedication?” Bob concurred. “My experience at USC Aiken was so meaningful that my wife and I are searching for the same kind of environment for our twin daughters who will be graduating from high school in the near future.” Ken said, “Since all four Weaver children attended USC Aiken for two years, and Mom and Dad enjoyed so many programs there over the years, we all feel USC Aiken is a central part of who we are individually and as a family. Creating this scholarship has allowed us to honor Mom and Dad and give back to an institution that has given us so very much.” Dave added, “We had unbelievable professors, mentors really, who made the transition so easy. They

gave us a sense of purpose and helped build our character. As we went out into the world, their influence became the bedrock and foundation of who we are as people.” To remember their father who passed away in 2006, and to honor their mother, the Weaver children surprised Janet this past Christmas with the scholarship announcement gift wrapped under the tree. Janet said she was “thrilled and honored by this thoughtful gift from her children,” and knew that Bob would have been thrilled as well. “This scholarship will live on forever and that makes me happy,” she said. Barbara concluded that, “Mom and Dad have been marvelous role models for us and I pray that I have instilled in my children the same love for family.”


A Storied Career Dr. Maggie Dorsey Begins A New Chapter By Deidre Martin


desire to help others and make a difference is a thread that runs throughout the life and work of Dr. Maggie Thurmond Dorsey. As she looks to retirement after 30 years in the USC Aiken School of Nursing, she reflects with pride on the faculty she had the opportunity to serve with during her tenure at USC Aiken. “Ever since I have been affiliated with USC Aiken, I have been struck by the fact that the faculty in the School of Nursing were here by choice. No one worked here as a last resort or because they weren’t successful as a nurse,” Dr. Dorsey said. “They all made purposeful choices to be at USC Aiken


and are passionate about the work we do to educate nurses. Mediocrity was never acceptable. Even today as we hire new nursing faculty, we want to bring in professionals who have a desire to continue our tradition of excellence as well as bring in new ideas.” Dr. Dorsey said this commitment by the faculty to a common mission has played a large role in the strong reputation of the program and the success of its students. The most recent national nursing exam (NCLEX) pass rate for USC Aiken was 95.65 percent, exceeding both the state and national average. Nursing was always what she wanted to do, according to Dr. Dorsey. “I was named for my two grandmothers and one of them had a big influence on my desire to be a nurse. She wasn’t able to

USCA Magazine | 2011

go to nursing school but she worked in the health care environment all of her life. She loved providing care to people and I was fascinated by her stories and her love for helping others,” she said. “When I was in nursing school I would go to her house for lunch. One day, I fell asleep in a chair while wearing my uniform but with my shoes off. When I woke up, I was so touched. She had cleaned my nursing shoes until they gleamed white. I think that by pursuing my education as a nurse I was also fulfilling her dream.” After receiving her bachelor of science in nursing in 1976 and her master of science in nursing in 1981 from the Medical College of Georgia (now the Georgia Health Sciences University), Dr. Dorsey began teaching as an

Assistant Professor at USC Aiken. A love for family was always a constant in her life. As a mother of three sons, she often made choices in her career that put them first and led her to delay pursing her doctoral degree until later in life. She completed her Ed.D. from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro in 2005. It was a proud moment for her whole family. “Earning my degree was not just for me. It was fulfilling a dream for my parents, too. Both my parents were public school educators. My Mom was my ‘road partner’ on all of those trips to Statesboro and she even attended my doctoral defense. It was two and a half hours long and very grueling. When the committee chair came out of the room and

As I come to the close of this experience, I am really glad I took on this challenge.

said ‘Dr. Dorsey, will you come in,’ I was weak in the knees.” As she considered the best topic for her doctoral research, she looked around her own environment. “I realized how few males and especially African-American males were in our program. I asked myself was this just USC Aiken and began to look for statistics to learn more. I soon realized that there was very little research in this field and decided to make this the focus of my research. As nurses we take care of a diverse population of people. The nursing profession needs diverse perspectives reflecting evidence-based practice to provide the best care.” Dr. Dorsey has certainly had the opportunity to see many changes in her 30 years at USC Aiken including the type of student served in the School of Nursing. When she first began teaching in the ADN program in 1981, the majority of the students were non-traditional or adult students. Today, the

study body has shifted to have more traditionally-aged students. She also commented on the changes in the profession. “Nursing has become a much more complex profession. Nurses have always had to have the ability to think critically. However, today health issues are more challenging than ever as people live longer and research has enabled us to provide more comprehensive care to treat increasingly complex health issues more successfully than in the past. Since there is a push for shorter hospital stays in many cases, those who stay in the hospital are much sicker than in the past. It takes a nurse who really thinks deep to provide the care a patient needs. Our job as educators is to teach our student nurses to be critical thinkers in every situation they face, not just ‘order takers.’” Technology has also played a significant role in the changes the profession has faced. Dr. Dorsey said, “With more competition for

clinical spaces as more and more nursing programs at all levels have developed, the ability to have the simulated mannequins provides an important experience for our students. It allows us to have controlled clinical experiences so that each student has the same set of experiences which isn’t always possible at other sites. Working with the simulated mannequins helps to build a student nurse’s confidence, provides an educationally safe environment to ask questions freely and allows learning through a small group team experience.” Even with a busy life as a faculty member, wife and mother, she took on one more challenge in recent years as the author of children’s books about the nursing profession. She said the inspiration for this new direction came from a lot of sources. “As an undergraduate I worked in the library with other college students. We often talked about what we would do one day. I always said I wanted to write a children’s book. In addition, I have always loved to read and read constantly to my children as they grew up,” Dr. Dorsey said. As she finished her doctoral program, the idea of writing a children’s book came back to her. “If a child wants to become a nurse or even just a productive member of society, the dream has to come early. As I looked at a number of children’s book, I noticed that all of the nurses portrayed were white females and all of the doctors portrayed were white males.

I felt children needed to see images of people who look like themselves to be able to imagine a career in nursing is possible.” From her early ideas and this research came the first book, My Hero, My Dad, The Nurse. Now having written her third book which tackles the challenging topic of colorectal cancer, she continues to receive a positive reaction including an invitation to speak to the American Assembly for Men in Nursing. As she ends this chapter of life, Dr. Dorsey feels thankful and said her faith sustained her throughout the process. “I’ve been very grateful to serve in the role of Interim Dean. It is not a role I planned on but I believe I was prepared for it because of the opportunity to work with wonderful nurse leaders such as Jo Whitson, Trudy Groves and Julia Ball. These three former Deans or heads of the program had different styles but were all wonderful leaders. As I come to the close of this experience, I am really glad I took on this challenge.” Dr. Suzanne Ozment, USC Aiken’s Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, summed it up best: “Throughout her 30-year teaching career at USC Aiken, Maggie Dorsey has shown a passionate commitment to education: completing her own doctoral degree, teaching hundreds of nursing students, and promoting the nursing profession to young boys through educational children’s books. She will be greatly missed.” 33


with Mike Jara

Mike Jara, USC Aiken’s Assistant Chancellor for Facilities, has been keeping plenty busy this past year, from overseeing the installation of new directional signs on campus and the opening of a new disc golf course to traveling to Taiwan to talk about USC Aiken’s green initiatives. Here’s a quick Q&A with him involving some of the past and current projects he’s been involved with. By Preston Sparks This past year at USC Aiken, there were several projects undertaken on campus, including a new disc golf course adjacent to the Convocation Center? Could you explain the details of this project? “The 9-hole disc golf course was finished in the early part of 2011 with the inaugural tournament played on March 29th, 2011. Two staff members from the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) volunteered their time to help design the 9-hole course. Maintenance crews cut back the underbrush and the Boy Scouts helped set the cages. The course is 2,550 feet long and the holes vary in length from 162 feet to 375 feet.”


USCA Magazine | 2011

With a new emergency alert system planned for USC Aiken, could you explain how this system will work? “Alertus Desktop will immediately get the attention of our faculty, staff and student computer users. When an emergency occurs, we will be able to activate a warning. Alertus Desktop will pop up a full-screen alert on all PCs and Macs on the campus network, taking over the whole screen with a warning that’s impossible to miss. Alertus Desktop can be activated through the Alertus Activation Software or through our existing ATI emergency alert notification system.”

You recently traveled to Taiwan to speak to that country’s version of the United States EPA about some of USC Aiken’s efforts toward carbon neutrality. What did you take from this visit? “On March 9-10th I was invited to give a presentation at an International Carbon Offset conference in Taiwan ... After participating in this conference and discussing how our university is reducing our carbon footprint, I realized that our process to reduce carbon is very different from the Taiwanese. In Taiwan, they have a ‘carbon offset first’ mentality vs. USC Aiken’s energy efficiency first, followed by renewable energy projects, purchasing ‘green energy’ from SCE&G and then purchasing carbon offset credits .”

Are there any other major projects in the planning phase for the next year or two?

Visitors to USC Aiken’s campus will notice new directional signs recently posted at various locations. Are there any other signage projects in the works? “There are still some miscellaneous signs that need to be replaced such as the speed limit signs and the designated parking signs. New parking lot lettering placards have been ordered and should be installed before the students return for the fall semester. All of the signs are fabricated with recycled aluminum and come with a manufacturer’s certification.”

“There are two other projects that I would like to mention: a connector driveway from the campus’ C Lot to the Robert Bell Parkway and a new sidewalk connecting University Parkway with student housing. The connector driveway is designed to connect the C-lot with the Robert Bell Parkway. This will allow for overflow parking from the Convocation Center, safer crossing of the Robert Bell Parkway for students, faculty and staff and to create a new entrance to the campus. The connector driveway is in the design phase and we are waiting for an encroachment permit from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). Included with this driveway will be a new campus entrance and way finding signage, landscaping and a new traffic signal. The sidewalk project will connect the new University Parkway sidewalk with student housing.“


Sir walter Scott Books donation

What a Donation!


t’s not every day you receive a donation that at one time could have been found in a castle. But that’s exactly what happened recently at USC Aiken with the donation of a collection of books by Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet Sir Walter Scott. Through a community partnership, USC Aiken received the unique donation in January by Dr. Edward Kinzer, of Colorado, and the St. Andrews Society of Aiken, Inc. The dona36

USCA Magazine | 2011

tion with works dating from the 1800s, was made at a formal gathering at USC Aiken’s Pickens-Salley House. Kinzer, who has connections with the St. Andrews Society of Aiken, was present for the gathering and said the collection is a very important one that he bought many years ago from a book dealer in San Francisco who had acquired the books in various castles. The collection of 28 series represents more than 100 books. One of the oldest books is Marmion, a romance in six cantos with a date of 1808. Scott (1771-1832) was popular throughout much of the world during his lifetime. Many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. USC Aiken’s Chancellor Dr. Tom Hallman called the donation “a great opportunity all the way around.” Dick Dewar, a member of the St. Andrews Society of Aiken, said his group also was overjoyed with the donation. “It was just a wonderful opportunity to preserve Scottish culture,” Dewar said. The books will be on loan to the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library due to it having a proper environmentally-controlled facility to house the books. However, the books will be brought back to USC Aiken on occasion for display at special events.

Bill Tucker 2011


Distinguished Citizen

or many years, Bill Tucker has been a stalwart of the University of South Carolina Aiken and a vital member in his community. To recognize all he has done in the way of support for USC Aiken and involvement in outreach efforts, USC Aiken recently honored Tucker by naming him this year’s Distinguished Citizen at the Academic Convocation on April 21. “I am humbled by the honor,” said Tucker, who is a senior partner in the Aiken office of Hull Barrett, PC and is completing his eighth year of service, including a twoyear term as president, on the University of South Carolina Aiken Partnership Board. In making the award, Chancellor Tom Hallman stated that “Support from the Aiken community is vital to the success of USC Aiken. In appreciation, each year, the University honors a citizen who has a history of distinguished service to our campus and community. Mr. Tucker is the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Citizen Award for his continuing support of the University of South Carolina Aiken, his outstanding service to the University and the Aiken community, and his deep concern for meeting the education needs of citizens of this area.” At Hull Barrett, Bill practices in the areas of estate

planning, probate administration, real estate, and small business transfers. He is admitted to state and federal courts in South Carolina and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America. His community involvement includes being a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Aiken, a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, a member of the Aiken Businessmen’s Club, a trustee of the Phelps Foundation and the Whitney Trust, and a director of the Community Foundation for the CSRA. He has previously served on the boards of the Aiken Red Cross, United Way, Tri-Development Center of Aiken County, and Junior Achievement. He is a 1974 graduate of DePauw University in Indiana and a 1978 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. Upon his graduation from law school and admission to the South Carolina Bar, Tucker began his practice of law in Aiken as an assistant solicitor for the Second Judicial Circuit and, in 1980, joined the law firm of Henderson & Salley, which in 1999 merged with the Hull Towill firm in Augusta to become Hull Barrett, PC.


Reuniting at Banksia It was a night for great music, dancing, and reuniting. Several Banksia alumni gathered Friday night, February 11, for a reunion party at Banksia – where they once took classes while attending USC Aiken. The Palmetto Groove provided the beat as the Banksia alumni enjoyed reminiscing and soaking up the night’s atmosphere.

USCA Magazine | 2011



USCA Magazine | 2011

Congratulations USC Aiken on 50 Years of Excellence!

from the USC Aiken alumni of Security Federal Bank

Pictured from back left: Ashlyn Griffin, Margaret Hurt, Valerie Laird, Cassie Hirsch, Janice Hauerwas, Natasha Canty, Erik Dunham, Terry Gilman, Andrea Haltiwanger, Logan Bryant, Eric Langston, Zorayda El, Dr. Robert Alexander, Tommy Moore, Gina Kelly, Alicia Heath, Betsy Davis, Jason Langdale and Christine Lewis. USCA Magazine | 2011

USCA Magazine 2011  

The USCA Magazine is an annual magazine publication of the University Advancement Office. The USCA Magazine contains news and feature articl...

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