Page 1



7 Tripp Warrick, ‘13

After Hours

13 Traveling Pacers

18 Amazing Alumni

chemistry major from Aiken, South Carolina


28 Coaches of the Year

Leading Ladies

43 Focus on the Arts

In This Issue

“I can proudly say that I made the right decision.” “I chose USC Aiken because of the nationally-ranked athletics, the contemporary facilities, and the number one regional college ranking. After four years in Aiken I can proudly say that I made the right decision. The faculty and staff will do anything to help a student succeed, and at USC Aiken we are known by our first name and not as a number. USC Aiken has a special place in my heart, and I will always be a Pacer Fanatic!” Look for more stories from recent graduates about why they chose USC Aiken on pages 3, 27, 33 & 52.

On Shelves Now…..........................................2 Social Media Highlights .................................4 After Hours …...................................................7 Traveling Pacers….........................................13 Amazing Alumni.............................................18 Homecoming Gallery…................................26 Coaches of the Year….................................28 USC Aiken Honors Military.............................35 In Memoriam..................................................36 Leading Ladies...............................................37 Special Focus on Arts at USC Aiken.............43 Bambino...............................................44 Student Media.....................................47 Etherredge Center Cultural Series.....49 Partnerships ....................................................51 Changes around Campus............................52 On the cover: USC Aiken’s new Leading Lady, Dr. Sandra J. Jordan. See page 37 for the story of USC Aiken’s female leaders.

The University of

Choice 1

Contributors EDITOR Patti McGrath LAYOUT Christina Berkshire ‘11 Degan Cheek ‘13 Michele Pakla ‘13 SPECIAL THANKS Maria Chandler Peggy Elliott Karl Fornes Brian Hand Dr. Deidre Martin Patti McGrath Juanita Palmer ‘07 Carmen Williams‘10 Judy Waters PHOTOGRAPHY Aiken Standard Christina Berkshire ‘11 Patrick King Phylesha Hiers ‘14 Ryan Mathis ‘14 Scott Webster ‘88 Degan Cheek ‘13 PRINTING Sun Printing, Inc.

Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan

ON SHELVES NOW Hidden History of Aiken County by Dr. Tom Mack Chair, Department of English

Integrative Strategies for K-12 Social Studies Classroom by Dr. Timothy Lintner Associate Professor of Education

Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Dr. Deidre Martin Director of Alumni Relations and Community Partnerships Randy Duckett Director of Marketing Patti McGrath 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 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.


USC Aiken Magazine 2013

Wicked Columbia by Alexia Helsley Instructor of History

A Shared Voice Edited by Dr. Tom Mack Chair, Department of English and Dr. Andrew Geyer, Professor of English

New books written, edited, and contributed to by USC Aiken faculty.

Asheeba Baksh, ‘13 Soldier’s Field

Biology major from Warrenville, South Carolina

by Dr. Raymond Weinstein Professor Emeritus of Sociology

South Carolina Encyclopedia Guide to South Carolina Writers Edited by Dr. Tom Mack Chair, Department of English

Prayer Book for the Midwestern Agnostic Poems by Roy Seeger Instructor of English

Harmony and Unity Through Spirituality

“We all became an education-related family away from our real families.” “I chose USC Aiken because I knew I was going to have a memorable and successful education from this University. The things I liked the most about USC Aiken are the closeness of small class sizes and the friendliness of student/professor interactions. Small class sizes made me feel like part of a family. After taking so many classes with the same students, we all became an education-related family away from our real families. This closeness among students made learning fun and exciting. Student/professor interactions also made USC Aiken enjoyable.”

by Dr. Niren Vyas Distinguished Dean Emeritus, School of Business Administration

The University of Choice



S e p te mb e r

Oc tob e r

Nov e mbe r

D e ce mbe r

username: USC Aiken #usca

highlights J a n u a ry

F e br ua ry

Ma r ch

A p ri l



USC Aiken Magazine 2013



AFTER Christina Berkshire

Public Information Coordinator

Previous Page: Berkshire enters the performance area on Eleventh St. in downtown Augusta, Georgia for Pyroteque’s May 2013 First Friday show. Above: Berkshire performs at a First Friday show in Augusta, Georgia. Her stage name is “Sparkbug.” Below: Pyroteque rehearses for the 2012 Amateur Series. Seen in the foreground is Degan Cheek, another USC Aiken alumni (2013) who performs with the group. Berkshire practices with her fire hoop in the background. Photos by current USC Aiken student Ryan Mathis


USC Aiken Magazine 2013


hen you first meet USC Aiken’s Public Information Coordinator Christina Berkshire, she seems somewhat reserved. You would never guess her after work hobby involves performing with fire! The 2011 USC Aiken graduate began her unusual hobby while still a student when she visited a hula-hooping website. She thought it sounded like fun so she taught herself how to hoop through YouTube videos. “I love hula hooping because of the physical challenge, the people I’ve met in the flow arts community, the stress relief it offers, and the self-expression it offers through dance and prop manipulation,” says Berkshire. When she saw two students hooping on campus she found kindred spirits. They soon began hooping together at First Friday in Augusta. It was at a First Friday Berkshire met members of Pyroteque, Augusta’s premiere fire performance group. For three months she trained with the group and in April 2011, she first performed with them, hula hooping with fire. “Adding fire to my hooping practice was a way to add another set of challenges to the

art,” she states. “The fire itself is a challenge because I have to change up my style in order to work with it safely, and entertaining an audience is another challenge that I enjoy taking on.” Since Berkshire began working with Pyroteque, she has also learned to perform with fire staffs, fire fans, and she even eats fire! But, she truly enjoys the performance aspect of her hobby. “Most of the enjoyment I get from working with fire is the sense of wonder that it gives the audience,” she says. “It’s also taught me how to move quickly and decisively when I need to stay safe, like when a lit wick got caught in the hood of a shrug I was wearing for a First Friday performance. I had to remove it without panicking, burning myself, or scaring the audience, and I came away unscathed and still modest. I’ve noticed quick reflexes like that in the rest of my life, too.” If you ever want to see an exciting Pyroteque performance, visit the group on their Facebook page at Pyroteque for event updates and booking information.

HOURS Ron Ruszczyk Professor of Chemistry

Above: What looks like a complicated dance move is actually a trip that Ruszczyk teaches his self-defense students. He makes a stand-in for their would-be attackers. Below: A self-defense student tries out a move that allows a person to free their arms from a hold.


hen Dr. Ron Ruszczyk of the Department of Chemistry/ Physics decided to learn karate, he thought it would be a great way to get some exercise, and he found it was something he really enjoyed doing. “I find exercise boring, so I thought it would be a group setting, where I would be learning something, instead of mindless working out,” says Ruszczyk. “What I liked about it was the selfdiscipline of trying to better myself. I found that I carry myself better, I move better, and I feel better. I got the exercise I wanted without the tediousness of going to a gym.” Ruszczyk hadn’t intended to get his black belt in karate, but he kept learning and advanced along the way. When his karate instructor suggested he learn Aikido, he decided to give it a try. “While Aikido is not as strenuous as the karate, it taught me to relax while doing the various techniques,” Ruszczyk said. “Karate is more about force meeting force. Aikido is more about movement and blending, bypassing the force to neutralize it.”

Ruszczyk uses Aikido when he teaches self-defense classes. He has taught self-defense techniques to groups ranging from Girl Scouts to college students. “When I teach Aikido, I try to get the person to relax and do the techniques slowly, repeating them over and over to allow them to eventually do the techniques at a faster pace with less effort,” he says. “Through the repetition, they can do what is necessary without thinking. In self-defense there is no time to think of what to do. One has to react. When assaulted, the self- defense training kicks in, and by the time you realize what has happened, you have extricated yourself from the situation.” If you are interested in arranging a self-defense class for a group, please contact Ruszczyk at ronr@ “My teaching Aikido and self-defense has the same goal as my teaching of chemistry - to give my students more knowledge that they can use in their lives and careers,” he said. “Hopefully they will never have to use the self-defense techniques, but it is good to have them, just in case.”

The University of Choice


Mike Frost

Guitar Instructor


Lauren Meccia Director of Bands


he Mike Frost Band has become well-known in Aiken by blending together all types of music, creating a sound of its own. Mike Frost, who teaches electric bass and guitar at USC Aiken, is the leader of the jazz ensemble. Lauren Meccia, Director of Bands at USC Aiken, has played in the band with Mike for approximately two years. Rico Tyler from Charlotte, NC and Jeremy Roberson from Columbia, SC complete the group. “My goal with our band is to bring the true essence of jazz into the spotlight for the next generation of listeners,” says Frost. “The influences come from Coltrane, Bird, Zeppelin, The Beatles, Weather Report, Prince... we find a common ground with our audience, wherever they are coming from, and use the jazz approach to interpreting the music. I often hear people say after hearing us for the first time, “I didn’t think I liked jazz, but I do now!” “Our band is a unique group,” states Meccia. “Mike’s bass playing is unique; he plays the six-string electric bass like a guitar, or like a piano. I play multiple instruments (soprano, alto, tenor sax, EWI, and voice) and I am able to incorporate all of them into our arrangements and compositions. We use the strengths of each member to the greatest advantage when creating music and it gives us a really distinct sound.” For more information on the band visit www. and be sure to check out their newly-released videos on YouTube.

Dave Jaspers

Professor of Mathematics


ou may say being a Cincinnati Reds fan is in Professor of Mathematics Dave Jaspers’ blood. His dad was a Reds fan, his grandfather was a Reds fan, and Jaspers is carrying on the tradition. “I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember. As a child, I went to games at Old Crosley Field. As a teenager, I went to games at Riverfront Stadium,” says Jaspers. “On family vacations we went to Reds games in Chicago and Pittsburgh. When I was a senior in high school, my Dad got us tickets to game two of the 1976 World Series (The Big Red Machine clobbered the New York Yankees)! That still is one of the biggest thrills of my life.” His bobble head collection began after his dad died, when his cousin would get bobble heads for him at games. “Now, whenever I sit in my office and look at the collection, not only do I think of the Reds, I think of my dad,” Jaspers states. “It’s a way of maintaining my connection to him even though he’s been gone for 10 years.” When asked what he thought his dad would think of his collection he said, “I’m pretty sure Dad would be proud of the collection, but if he were to walk in my office today and see it, he would shake his head and chuckle.” 10

USC Aiken Magazine 2013

Cheryl Fogle

Applications Analyst


heryl Fogle, Applications Analyst in the Department of Institutional Effectiveness, and her family began geocaching several years ago. “For me and my family, it’s a way to spend quality time together, enjoying the outdoors and making fond memories,” says Fogle. Geocaching is a worldwide scavenger hunt. It begins online at www.geocaching. com when players create an online screen name. Once an account is created, players browse for geocaches and determine which ones they would like to seek. There are currently over 2.1 million geocaches worldwide, which are simply small hidden containers, and over 5 million geocachers worldwide. There are several hundred geocaches hidden in the Aiken area alone. “Several years ago I tried explaining the concept of geocaching to my mother-in-law, Ginger, saying it would be a nice, adventurous way to spend time with our nieces while on vacation and explore Edisto Island,” says Fogle. “She looked at me with a blank expression and apologized saying, “I’m sorry, Cheryl, I just don’t get it.” The next day I convinced her to come with me, just the two of us. She found her first cache and was hooked! Each year after that, the whole family looked forward to finding new ones and even revisiting caches we previously had found.” Sadly, Ginger passed away in March, but the family is still geocaching – now, in her memory.

Dr. William Harpine

Professor, Chair of Communications


r. William Harpine, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communications, has helped many students over the years with their oral presentation skills, but did you know he also plays classical guitar? His interest in playing guitar began when he was only fourteen years old, listening to the music of Peter, Paul, and Mary. His first guitar teacher introduced him to all styles of guitar, but he quickly became interested in classical guitar. “I found classical guitar music to be both liberating and defining. The music is much more complex than folk, country, or rock. Classical music offers a huge variety of forms and emotional expression,” states Harpine. “Although I sometimes enjoy playing popular music, I get tired of it quickly. I can play a good classical piece hundreds of times and find something new in it every time. It took me only a few months to make the decision when I was fourteen years old, and I’ve never looked back.” He has played at nursing homes and weddings. In fact, he played at his eldest daughter’s wedding last year. He has two guitars – an Epiphone from the 1970’s and a Sanchis guitar from Spain that dates from the early 1990’s. Harpine says, “All forms of music have their special place, but real music is what you make yourself, not what someone makes for you.” In the picture he is playing the Sanchis guitar.

The University of Choice


Even our own “Ace� Pacer got to see the sights this summer! On this page you see him in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, where he accompanied the School of Business Administration students on their Maymester trip (more details on page 14). To the right are photos he sent us from his trips to London, England (left photo) where he joined in a parade with the famous Royal Guard, and his trip to Hawaii, where he watched beautiful sunsets over the Pacific Ocean every night. For more of his summer travels, visit


VELING PACERS Imagine yourself in a faraway land. You could be sitting in a cafÊ, listening to others speak in a language you don’t know and eating foods that are new and unfamiliar. You might be on a trip for your job, observing how cultural differences can affect the way you proceed in your business venture. You may be an artist, sketching monuments like Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower. These images can become reality when traveling internationally. It expands your horizons by broadening your understanding of the world around you. Some USC Aiken students and faculty experienced this first-hand earlier this year. Even Ace tagged along on some of the trips! These are their stories.

The University of Choice


School of Business Administration


USC Aiken Magazine 2013

London & Paris

“I believe every student should travel abroad to experience another culture.”

Since the School of Business Administration

(SOBA) began its Study Abroad Program in 1999, USC Aiken students have traveled to several countries including Germany, Italy, Austria, and the Czech Republic. “The purpose of the SOBA Study Abroad Program is to expose USC Aiken students to international business and prepare them for the ever-changing global world we live in,” says Dr. Sanela Porca, who began directing and organizing the SOBA Study Abroad Program in 2005. This May, fifteen students traveled to London, England and Paris, France. This two-week excursion included visits to various companies, cultural places and tourist locations. “I wanted to go on this trip because I wanted to experience another culture and their customs,” said student Grayson Broske, who is a senior sociology major. “I have never been outside of the United States, so I had only seen the world from one point of view. I wanted to see how things were done differently in London and France.” The London itinerary included activities like visiting the world famous Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, exploring Windsor Castle and a panoramic tour of London’s top attractions like the House of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. But, for Grayson Broske, his favorite place to visit was the Eiffel Tower in Paris. “I actually climbed the stairs instead of taking the elevator. It took me over 45 minutes to climb to the top, but it was a breathtaking sight to see Paris,” he says. “They also displayed a light show from the

Eiffel Tower at night which was awesome.” Broske learned how the French culture was different than ours through little things, like going to a restaurant or talking on his cell phone. “An interesting fact in France is you don’t tip your server after a meal. Tax and tip is already included in the price of your food, so you don’t have to pay a tip and you are not taxed the same way we are in the United States,” he said. “Also, Wi-Fi in France is free, and is pronounced ‘We Fee.’ If your cell phone service does not work, you connect to Wi-Fi to make calls or send texts.” The students visited several businesses on the trip as well to see how other countries’ business practices varied from the United States. Students had discussions with the Strategic Marketing Director at GE International and the Sales Manager for France at United Airlines. “This trip taught me how to respect different cultures, and it also showed me how lucky I am to have grown up in the United States,” Broske says. “We take what we have for granted because we do not see what it is like in other countries. I believe every student should travel abroad to experience another culture and to gain appreciation for that culture as well as their own.”

Traveling faculty: Dr. Sanela Porca and Dr. Frank Xie.

Traveling Students and Alumni: Antwon Dallas, Kelli Grant, Anthony Washington, Janeice Kelly, Tyler Frank, Wayne Harmon, Carson Villa, April Turner, Scott Berry, Charles Ferguson III, Michael Ardrey, Michael Olsen, Grayson Broske, Beth Epling, and Christina Molina.

The University of Choice


Al Beyer

Pictured above is Beyer with some of the the ten paintings he completed on his nine-day trip to Istanbul, Turkey, as they were displayed in the Etherredge Center gallery. The topmost painting pictured above on the right is one Beyer did of the market outside his hotel. He said that once the subjects caught on to his presence, they became curious and even brought him water and food to try while he painted. The bottom painting portrays a scene Beyer came upon while traveling the countryside outside of Istanbul, the coast of Shile. Though they aren’t shown in the painting, Beyer was given bread by some small children who were playing on the rocks nearby. To the far right is the Balat, a notable building in the heart of Istanbul which proved difficult for Beyer to find. After many hours searching for it in the hot sun, Beyer took a break to catch his breath and as he turned he realized he had arrived at his intended destination after all. The building had recently gotten a new paint job that made it nearly unrecognizable, but Beyer was still able to set up his canvas and capture it.


USC Aiken Magazine 2013

Al Beyer realized years ago how important it is for an artist to see great works of art. He had an exhibit in Orvieto, Italy, with Italian artists Livio Valentini and Leslie Alexander in 2004, and he enjoyed painting and drawing while there. Since then he has visited a different city or country almost every summer, drawing and painting on these trips. Before his travels, he does extensive research that includes Google searches to locate places he will paint and to explore the logistics of travel within the cities. When he travels to locations like Europe and Istanbul, he may take some photographs, but his trip’s primary purpose is to paint. He usually averages one painting a day. On this year’s nineday trip, he completed ten paintings that were featured at the Etherredge Center gallery and will be exhibited later at other one-person shows.


The University of Choice




8 9

3 2

Aiken Alumni Around the World

4 6



10 12

13 14

North America




1. Rev. Christine Kammer Dungan, Portland, Oregon 2. F. Owen Holmes Jr., Fullerton, California 3. José Treviño, Salt Lake City, Utah 4. Ken Weaver, Emporia, Kansas 5. Rob Matwick, Arlington, Texas 6. Jonathan H. Tsai, M.D., Temple, Texas 7. Brian Egwuatu, Houston, Texas 8. H. James Dallas, Minneapolis, Minnesota 9. Brishundra McGrier, Highwood, Illinois 10. Psaras McGrier, Columbus, Ohio 11. Scott Brown, Aiken, South Carolina (With travel 40 weeks out of the year) 12. Jason Seigler, North Augusta, South Carolina 13. Martin Sokolak,McLean,VA/ Washington, DC 14. Craig M. Wheeland, Villanova, Pennsylvania 15. Darren DiBenedetto, Fishkill, New York 16. Marlon Glean, St. George’s, Grenada 17. Darius Martell Adams, West Africa, Burkina Faso 18. Annie Whitley, Lesotho, Africa 19. Brano Kovalcik, Krakow, Poland 20. Vanda Siposova, Bratislava, Slovakia 21. Roger Mulchandani, Singapore



20 19





Burkina Faso 21




It is always interesting to see the career paths students take after they graduate and venture out into the “real world.” Some have stayed close to home while others have explored their occupational opportunities far away from our South Carolina campus. Take a look at the places some USC Aiken graduates have gone and the professions they’ve chosen. Who knows? You may recognize an old friend! On the following pages you will find profiles of these amazing alumni.

South 11 Carolina

Political Science, 1996 Owner of Seigler HD


ou may wonder how a political science graduate became the owner of a successful production company. Jason Seigler, owner of Seigler HD, says that it isn’t as unusual as you may believe. It all began when Jason’s older brother Jerry studied political science at USC Aiken. Jerry had done well in political science and was the Student Government Association president while a student here. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to major in,” Seigler said. “So, when I chose a major I decided to follow in my brother’s footsteps.” Attending classes at USC Aiken was a family affair for the Seigler family. His brother Jerry had become an adjunct political science professor on campus, his father was taking classes for work, and his grandmother was taking a religion class just for fun while Jason was earning his degree. Seigler jokes, “The only family member I ran into on campus was my dad. He had more friends on campus than I did!”

His mother also played a role in his career choices. While he was still in school, she saw a help wanted ad in the newspaper for a news producer at WRDW-TV. She had a brochure on political science majors that had news producer listed as a possible career, so she encouraged Seigler to apply. His production career began when he got this job. While at WRDW, he worked in news production and quickly began doing commercial production as well. “It was a big change in the industry when commercials

Pictured Above: Seigler and his team working behind the scenes on USC Aiken’s newest promotional video- “Choose USC Aiken,” which you can watch at Both pages: Seigler in the studio at Seigler HD.

switched over from tape-based to digital,” Seigler said. “Fortunately, I was a computer geek. At first, I was the only production person that had the computer skills to use the new equipment.” After he graduated from USC Aiken in 1996, Seigler took a commercial production position at WAGT-TV. It was a fun job and he loved the work. After five years of doing production work at local television stations, he decided to venture out on his own. He put together a business plan, and he got a start-up loan for his company. His first year was in a suite at Enterprise Mill. After one year, his business had grown enough that he needed a larger space, so he moved his offices to a 6000-square-foot space on Reynolds Street in Augusta. After five years in that location he needed to expand again. Today, his production house is located in North Augusta and has 16,000 square feet. “Our current studio was the largest privately owned studio in the state of South Carolina when we moved in,” Seigler says. “It’s been a very functional space since there is room to film just about anything.” When you ask Seigler what has made his company successful, he refers back to his time at USC Aiken and specifically to two classes he had taken. One class was

Dr. Charmaine Wilson’s public speaking class. “She made you create an outline for each speech,” explains Seigler. “You would have to determine what story you wanted to tell, then gain the audience’s interest and establish yourself as the expert. The same principles one uses creating a speech are the same principles that apply to creating an interesting video.” The other class was Dr. Bob Botsch’s Scopes and Methods of Political Science. “We learned how to conduct interviews and we performed many surveys in the class,” Seigler says. “It was in this class I learned interviewing techniques and how to ask a question to get the desired result. These things have proven to be beneficial as I interview people for the videos I create.” Today, Seigler HD is a successful company that does corporate productions all around the country and in Europe. He has produced television shows you may have seen like Flip That House and My Classic Car. Now most of his business production work revolves around the golf industry. So, although he was a political science graduate, he took the things learned in his classes at USC Aiken to help him in his chosen field. And, it has certainly paid off.

The University of Choice





ne may wonder how Vanda Siposova, who is originally from a town called Stara Lubovna in Slovakia, decided to attend a University so far away from home. Years ago, the School of Business Administration’s Study Abroad trip for USC Aiken students visited her town and relationships were built. “There has been a longstanding connection between my home town and USC Aiken,” says Vanda. “Around 2000, USC Aiken set up a scholarship for students from my hometown to study in Aiken. It proved to be a big success and became a tradition.” When Siposova was choosing a college in the United States to attend, USC Aiken was high on her list because her brother, Roman (class of 2009 graduate), was a student here on the scholarship that had been established. But seeing her brother

Vanda speaking at the May 2011 USC Aiken Commencement Ceremony as Outstanding Senior.

Expert of the Prime Minister and Coordinator of the Preparation of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2016

wasn’t the only reason she decided to attend school in this community. “USC Aiken was a natural choice for me because I had already met several professors and students from the school—as a high school student I used to help out with the School of Business Study Abroad Program to Slovakia,” she said. “I simply loved the people I got to know from USC Aiken and really liked what they told me about the school.” Vanda graduated in 2011 with both a bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degree, and had double – majored in public service and business administration/ management. “After four amazing years in Aiken, I decided to go to law school and got accepted into the Master of International Law program at the University of Sydney,” Siposova said. “Studying for my master’s degree reinforced my desire to pursue international relations and law during my career. Since there is a high accumulation of international organizations in Europe, I decided to come back to my home country, Slovakia, and start building my career here.” Siposova has begun to reach her career goal of pursuing international relations and law. She currently works in the Office of the Prime Minister for the Government of the Slovak Republic. Her job title is Expert of the Prime Minister and Coordinator of the Preparation of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2016. “I was very fortunate to have obtained a position in the office of our prime minister,” Siposova says. “I deal mostly with European Union affairs, and my primary focus is the coordination of the preparation of the Slovak presidency in the Council of the European Union. I advise departments that are going to be involved in the presidency on what, when and how things are to be done. Additionally, I supervise the fulfillment of all tasks related to the preparations such as budget proposals, employee training and other logistical matters. I also communicate and coordinate with other ministries on issues related to the presidency.”

Jonathan Tsai D Biology, 1994

Ophthalmic Plastic and Orbital Surgery and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Scott and White Eye Institute

r. Jonathan Tsai was born in Augusta, Ga. while his father was a resident in ophthalmology at Medical College of Georgia. “I grew up in North Augusta. My father, Enoch Tsai, opened his private practice in Aiken in 1976 as the first ophthalmologist in the community,” says Tsai, “and he’s still in practice today.” It seems Tsai has followed in his father’s footsteps in his career path. Tsai is the Director of Ophthalmic Plastic and Orbital Surgery and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Scott and White Eye Institute in Temple, Texas. “I take care of patients with eye problems, particularly those pertaining to the


Rob Matwick S

ince Rob Matwick earned his bachelor of Executive Vice President, Ballpark and Event arts degree in English from Operations for theTexas Rangers USC Aiken in 1980, he has made major league baseball his career. "Baseball really chose me,” Matwick says. “I started down a path in college athletics and really enjoyed it. As a result of hard work, the Houston Astros contacted me in September of 1985 about an opening they had for Director of Public Relations. Twenty-eight years later, I still feel very fortunate to have taken that call." Matwick has been with the Texas Rangers as Executive Vice President, Ballpark and Event Operations since June 2008. He handles facilities, event and stadium operations, security, parking, concessions and merchandising for the team. Rob is in his 28th season in major league baseball. Matwick was recognized by Major League Baseball with the Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence in 2001, was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame

English, 1980

eyelids, eye socket, and tear duct system,” he says. “I also am involved in the training of ophthalmology residents at the Scott and White Eye Institute and teaching medical students at the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center.” Tsai chose USC Aiken, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in biology in 1994 because it was close to home. “I had originally planned to transfer elsewhere but fell in love with the community I found on campus and decided to stay,” said Tsai. “I made some life-long friends at USC Aiken. I enjoyed the personalized instruction, genuine interest in both my well-being and learning, and accessibility of the professors at USC Aiken.”

in 2005, and in 2012 was named MLB Professional of the Year by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security. Matwick remembers his time at USC Aiken fondly. "I made a decision to leave my home in McKeesport, PA, about 10 days before the start of fall semester in 1977. That decision was based on a phone conversation I had with Lew Perkins about coming to USC Aiken to play basketball for the Pacers,” Matwick states. “I was the first of three children to make the decision to leave home, so it was emotional for my family, but it was a great decision. Randy Duckett (now USC Aiken’s Alumni Director) was the first person I met on campus. My dad and older brother accompanied me on the drive, so we all had the opportunity to meet Lew and see the campus. It was a leap of faith for me, but I was focused on what I wanted to accomplish and it started me on a fantastic journey! USC Aiken opened doors for me that I never imagined existed." The University of Choice


More Amazing Alumni Rev. Christine Kammer Dungan, 1994 Parish Associate and Director of Pastoral Care at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Portland, Oregon Bachelor of Arts in History F. Owen Holmes Jr., 1984 Associate Vice President, Government and Community Relations , California State University, Fullerton Fullerton, California Bachelor of Arts in History José Treviño, 2006 Genius Administrator, Apple, Inc. Salt Lake City, Utah Bachelor of Arts in Communications Ken Weaver, 1971 Dean, The Teachers College at Emporia State University Emporia, Kansas Associate of Science in Biology Brian Egwuatu, 2009 Professional Basketball Player, CEO for Showtime Fitness, Houston, Texas Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science H. James Dallas, 1983 SVP Quality and Operations for Medtronic Minneapolis, Minnesota Bachelors of Science- Business Administration in Accounting Brishundra McGrier, 2006 Owner at MATH Tutoring on the Go! Highwood, Illinois Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education-Mathematics Psaras McGrier, 2004 Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio Bachelor of Science in Chemistry Scott Brown, 2006 Professional Golfer on the PGA Tour Aiken, South Carolina Bachelor of Arts in Business Management


USC Aiken Magazine 2013

Martin Sokolak, 2005 Financial Services Office – Assurance with Ernst & Young McLean,VA/ Washington, DC Bachelors of Science – Business Administration in Accounting Craig M. Wheeland, 1979 Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Public Administration at Villanova University Villanova, Pennsylvania Bachelors of Arts in History Darren DiBenedetto, 2000 Home Mortgage Consultant with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Fishkill, New York Bachelor of Arts in Communications Marlon Glean, 1999 Crown Counsel – Head of International Law and Treaties for the Government of Grenada, St. George’s, Grenada Bachelors of Science- Business Administration Darius Martell Adams, 2012 Community Health Development Agent for the United States Peace Corps West Africa, Burkina Faso Bachelors of Arts in Communications Annie Whitley, 2009 Peace Corps Education Volunteer with the United States Peace Corps Lesotho, Africa Double Majored- Bachelor of Science in both Biology and Chemistry Brano Kovalcik, 2002 Credit Team Manager for the Shell Business Service Center Krakow, Poland Bachelor of Arts in Political Science Roger Mulchandani, 2000 Commercial Director, Asia-Pacific for Warc Singapore Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management

Meet the New USC Aiken Alumni Director

Randy Duckett with his family, from left: Anna, Lisa, Randy, Linda, and Amy. Not pictured: Drew


hen Randy Duckett decided to attend USC Aiken, he never would have guessed his entire career would be at the University. His love for his alma mater made his choice to work here an easy one. “There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to share the experiences I had as a student at USC Aiken with prospective students, parents and anyone who would listen,” says Duckett. “While I didn’t have a goal to work at USC Aiken upon my graduation, the cards fell into place and I could not be happier that they did.” Duckett originally chose USC Aiken because it was the best economic choice for his family. “USC Aiken tuition was affordable and I could stay home,” he said. Once on campus, he found he loved the school. He became very involved through Gamma Beta Phi, for which he was the state treasurer, as well as in student government, in which he acted as a student representative, then as the vice president of student government. Duckett also got to know his future wife while a student at the University. “I already knew Linda, but she was a volleyball player at USC Aiken, and I was a student athletic trainer, so I would say that’s where we got to know each other,” Duckett said. “I don’t remember having classes with her, but we certainly had the same circle of friends and participated in lots of activities together.” Duckett bragged on his wife Linda saying, “She was the first volleyball player ever signed at USC Aiken, and she received a scholarship. She lettered all four years, and her team played in the national championship playoffs.” But, Duckett and his wife, Linda, weren’t the only members of the Duckett family to attend USC Aiken. It truly has become a family affair. Not only did his siblings attend classes here, but so have his children. Although his son Drew attended USC in Columbia, all three of his girls have chosen USC Aiken. His daughter Anna graduated from USC Aiken in 2008 and currently teaches third

grade at East Aiken School of the Arts. His other daughters, Amy and Lisa, are rising juniors. “As long as I can remember, USC Aiken has been the place I wanted to go to school,” says Amy Duckett. “I have heard great stories and grown up in and around USC Aiken my entire life. In fact, I attended 3K at the Children’s Center! I also participated in camps, attended sporting events, and even had birthday parties at USC Aiken’s Natatorium. I loved it! I couldn’t get enough of USC Aiken.” “When selecting a college, there was no question about where I wanted to be,” she says. “USC Aiken was and is the place for me. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” Duckett’s career working on campus also began when he was a student. “I started working at USC Aiken as a freshmen work study student in the Gregg-Graniteville Library. During the spring semester I began working in the Athletic Department and remained there for the next three years,” Duckett says. Upon receiving his graduate degree in student personnel services from USC Columbia, he began a career at USC Aiken in the Admissions Office. Over the years he has held five positions in that department including being the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services. Now, Duckett has moved into a new position at USC Aiken as the Director of Alumni Relations and Community Partnerships. It is obvious to all that know him that he is the perfect person for the job. His love for the school is evident and his enthusiasm unequalled. “The most appealing thing about becoming the Director of Alumni Relations and Community Partnerships is the opportunity to reconnect with USC Aiken alumni, share with them the wonderful things that are taking place, and explore ways they can become more connected with their alma mater,” Duckett states. “Our alumni have a wealth of experience and expertise and can make a tremendous difference in enriching the experiences of our current and future students.”

The University of Choice


Homecoming USC Aiken’s 2013 Homecoming celebrations were a starstudded affair! With the theme of “Hollywood” in mind, student groups made festive floats for the annual parade, and guests to the alumni brunch were treated to a red carpet entrance and a “paparazzi” photo booth. Please join us for 2014’s Homecoming celebration, which will be held on February 8, 2014. For the full set of homecoming photos, visit


USC Aiken M Magazine agazine 2013

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2 013 Tomáš Greizinger, ‘13 Accounting major from Stara Lubovna, Slovakia

“At USC Aiken we were all not just numbers or unknown names on the roster.” “At USC Aiken we were all not just numbers or unknown names on the professors’ rosters. I always knew that if I ever missed a class without letting the professor know beforehand, he or she would be staring at the empty chair in the classroom knowing exactly who was missing and wondering why. That is what makes USC Aiken so great - the close relationship with the faculty, one-on-one interactions and class sizes that give every student an equal opportunity to stand out and excel.”

The University of Choice



CERS! ll of USC Aiken’s Pacers Sports teams celebrated a great 2012-2013 season, but none so much as the Men’s Basketball Team. Winners of the 2013 Peachbelt Conference Basketball Conference, they went on to compete in the Elite Eight tournament for the first time in program history. The photo above captures their excitement after their win that got them there. Although they didn’t make it to number one, the accomplishment fits well alongside the laundry list of awards earned by USC Aiken athletics this year, including 3 coaches of the year: Men’s Basketball Coach Vince Alexander, Golf Coach Mike Carlisle, and Baseball Coach Kenny Thomas. Read on for more highlights from their 2012-2013 seasons.

Men's Basketball • MEET THE STARTERS 30

Re’mon Nelson Honored as Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year, PBC Tournament MVP and Southeast Regional Most Outstanding Player … Chosen All-American by Division II Bulletin ... Named FirstTeam All-District by NABC … Chosen to Daktronics All-Southeast Region First-Team … Selected Team MVP and USC Aiken Athletics Department Male Excellence in Sportsmanship Award recipient ... Played in all 33 games for the Pacers, starting 32 and playing teambest 33.1 minutes per game … Sixth nationally and third in PBC with 6.3 assists per game … 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio top-20 in PBC … Averaged 13.9 points per game on 45 percent shooting from the field … Fifth in PBC in 3-point shooting percentage at 42.2 percent, eighth in free throw percentage at 78.9 percent … Sixth in conference with 1.7 steals per game … Also pulled down 3.3 rebounds per game … Scored in double figures in 25 games, scoring 20 or more points seven times … Dished out six or more assists in 20 games, and picked up four double-doubles on points and assists … Scored 23 points and dished out 11 assists in victory over Montevallo on Jan. 12 … Scored 16 points and distributed 10 assists in final career game against Drury in the Elite Eight on March 28 … Named South Carolina Education Lottery USC Aiken Athletic Department Student-Athlete of the Week four times (Dec. 16, Jan. 13, Jan. 28 and March 11) … Named USC Aiken Athletic Department Student-Athlete of the Month for January … Finishes career second on program’s all-time scoring list … Owns career and single-season program records for assists, along with being PBC all-time assists leader … Also USC Aiken’s all-time leader in steals … Graduated in May 2013.

Paul Larsen Chosen Honorable Mention All-American by Division II Bulletin ... Named to the Southeast All-District First-Team by the NABC … Earned PBC Second-Team All-Conference plaudits … Started every game for the Pacers, averaging 27.5 minutes per game … Posted averages of 12.9 points and 9.0 rebounds per game … Rebounding average was third in PBC and 30th nationally … Grabbed double-digit rebounds in 17 games … Collected 13 double-doubles on the season, tied for 15th in the nation … Shot 58.7 percent from the field, which ranked sixth in the conference … Shot 72.5 percent from the foul line … Scored in double figures in 23 games, including 20 or more points in eight games … Put in 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds on Feb. 9 at Armstrong … Scored a career-high 25 points and corralled 10 rebounds in victory at Francis Marion on Dec. 17 … Twice named South Carolina Education Lottery USC Aiken Athletic Department Student-Athlete of the Week (Dec. 22 and Feb. 11) … Honored as USC Aiken Athletic Department Student-Athlete of the Month for February.

USC Aiken Magazine 2013

Santoine Butler 2012-13: Started all 33 games for the Pacers, playing 27.7 minutes per game … Second in PBC and 12th nationally with 2.2 blocked shots per game … Averaged 12.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game … Shot 55.5 percent from the field, good for eighth in the conference … Shot 69.2 percent from the foul line … Scored in double figures in 22 games, including 20 or more points three times … Collected five doubledoubles on the season … Scored career-high 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds in victory at Francis Marion on Dec. 17.

Jesse Seilern 2012-13: Honored with PBC All-Academic Team plaudits for the second consecutive year … Started every game for the Pacers, playing an average of 26 minutes per game … Averaged 9.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game … Shot 40 percent from 3-point range, ninth best in PBC …… Also averaged 1.2 steals per game … Scored in double digits in 16 games, including 20 or more twice … Tied his career-high with 21 points twice, including a 21 point, six rebound, two assists and one steal performance in the Pacers’ NCAA Tournament First Round victory over Belmont Abbey on March 16 … Named South Carolina Education Lottery USC Aiken Athletic Department StudentAthlete of the Week on Dec. 31.

the Roster:

Ronald Zimmerman Earned All-Regional Team plaudits … Selected to the PBC AllTournament Team … Honored as PBC Third-Team All-Conference selection … Named PBC Player of the Week on Dec. 10, 2012 … Started every game for the Pacers, averaging 30.3 minutes per game … Led the nation in 3-pointers made per game, setting the program single-season record for made 3-point field goals at 134 … Third in the conference and eighth nationally in 3-point field goal percentage at 45.4 percent … Scored a team high 15.3 points per game by shooting 45.1 percent from the field … Grabbed two rebounds, distributed 1.7 assists and pilfered 1.2 steals per game … Scored in double figures in 24 games … Scored 20 or more points 11 times, and a career-high 34 in victory over Mount Olive on Dec. 6 … Hit a career-best eight 3-pointers in two games, including going 8-for-10 from deep for 24 points in the Southeast Regional Championship victory over Barton on March 19 … Twice honored as South Carolina Education Lottery USC Aiken Athletic Department Student-Athlete of the Week (Nov. 26 and Dec. 10).

Re’mon Nelson • Paul Larsen • Santoine

Butler • Jesse Seilern • Ronald Zimmerman • Derrick Scott • DeVontae Wright • Shane Porchea • Kinley Branch • Grant Harris • Rick Alderman Victor Bowden • Devante Brooks • Maurice Hubbard

Coach of the Year: Vince Alexander There are teams that have a couple good seasons and then drop off, and then there are teams that keep building and become true programs. USC Aiken’s men’s basketball has turned into one of the latter. Under the guidance of head coach Vince Alexander, the program has become a national power over the last six seasons. The 2012-13 USC Aiken men’s basketball season was the best in program history. The back-to-back Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year, Alexander was tabbed as the Southeast District Coach of the Year in the 2012-13 season. He was also named a finalist for the Clarence “Big House” Gaines National Coach of the Year award. “Coach Alexander works hard and demands that his players do the same. He seems to always get 100% effort from them,” says USC Aiken’s Director of Athletics Randy Warrick. “He is also very active in the community and has developed a good local following. His teams are consistently among the top in a very tough conference. In terms of recruiting, Coach Alexander seems to always come up with great talent. Watch out for the Pacers in 2013-2014!”

The University of Choice


Men's Golf Coach of the Year: Mike Carlisle

A seven-time Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year, Carlisle has been named the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Carlisle was again named the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year for the 2012-13 season to add to his trophy case. “Coach Carlisle has proved that he is one of the best coaches in the nation at any level. In the past 20 years, his teams have missed going to the NCAA Super Region Tournament play only once,” Director of Athletics Randy Warrick said. “He is considered an excellent recruiter and outstanding teacher of the game of golf. He is well-respected in the community and is quite a golfer himself!” He has led the program to nine PBC championships in 23 seasons in the league, including a threepeat in 1995-97 and back-to-back crowns in 2002-03 and 2005-06. Most recently, the Pacers claimed the 2013 Peach Belt Conference title behind Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year Matt Atkins earning individual medalist honors at the PBC Championship in Pine Mountain, Ga. The five-time NCAA Southeast Region champions have made 21 trips in the last 22 years to the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the National Championship Tournament 17 times. His career winning percentage in 23 NCAA seasons at USC Aiken is 70 percent with five seasons of better than .900 and eight years of .800 or higher. 32

USC Aiken Magazine 2013

Endea Ellison, ‘13 Nursing major from Orange Park, Florida

Highlights •

The 2012-13 USC Aiken men’s golf team put together another tremendous year that saw the Pacers reach as high as No. 3 nationally.

USC Aiken would advance all the way to the national quarterfinals before falling to Lynn in the elite eight. The Pacers advanced to the match play portion of the national championship for the second consecutive season. The loss in the national quarterfinals concluded a tremendous season for the Pacers.

USC Aiken claimed two team titles in the 2012-13 season. Its first team title of the year was at the Ninth Annual Kiawah Island Invitational. The Pacers also obtained top team honors at the 2013 Peach Belt Conference championship by concluding the three rounds of the Peach Belt Conference Men’s Golf Championship.

USC Aiken now has nine Peach Belt Conference team championships (1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2013).

The Pacers, after the league championship, have now acquired 76 tournament wins in program history.

In addition to the two team victories, USC Aiken also obtained eight top-5 team finishes in its 13 events in the 2012-13 season. The Pacers finished second or better as a team five times in the 2012-13 season.

“USC Aiken is a school of opportunity.” “USC Aiken is a school of opportunity. If the desire to get involved is present, there is an organization, club, or eager and helpful faculty member readily available to direct the desire and enthusiasm into the preferred location. USC Aiken has devoted its existence to fostering and encouraging those who desire higher-level education, and I cherish the opportunities this University gives to allow students to prosper in all aspects of life.”

The University of Choice



Coach of the Year: Kenny Thomas

USC Aiken head baseball coach Kenny Thomas loves to win. In 2013, Coach Thomas was named the 2013 Southeast Region Coach of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year. During the 2010 season, Thomas became the winningest coach in USC Aiken baseball history. Thomas completed his 14th season with 509 wins in his time as the head Pacer skipper. Thomas also surpassed the 1,000-win plateau as a college head coach on March 2, 2013. He earned his 500th victory guiding the Pacers in a three-game road sweep over then 10th-ranked Lander. Thomas is presently 1,029-513 in 26 seasons as a head coach. He is currently in the top-40 among active NCAA Division II coaches for wins. His .637 winning percentage as the Pacer skipper places him in the top-30 among active NCAA Division II head coaches. “Coach Thomas’ record speaks for itself. Year in and year out, you can count on the Pacer baseball program to have a winning record,” Randy Warrick, USC Aiken’s Director of Athletics states. “In many ways Coach Thomas is more like a manager than a coach but his techniques certainly pay off. In addition to the baseball, ‘Coach T’ as he is known in the community, excels in fund raising with rodeos and bullriding events being his specialty.”



The USC Aiken baseball team had a stellar season in 2013 that saw them bring home the Peach Belt Conference regular-season championship, the third in program history. This was the second regular-season crown for the Pacers in the past five years.

The Pacers were nationally-ranked for the entire season, reaching as high as the No. 1 national ranking. USC Aiken has been ranked in 34 straight national polls after being ranked in the top-30 in the final 16 national polls in the 2012 season as well.

The Pacers finished 2013 season with a record of 42-13 overall. With the 42 victories, the Pacers have won 40 or more games in a season eight times since joining the Peach Belt Conference in 1992 (1992, 1993, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013).

The Peach Belt Conference regular-season champion Pacers closed out the regular-season with a 41-9 overall record. The Pacers were 24-6 in league play in the 2013 regular-season.

USC Aiken Magazine 2013

New veteran and military success center on campus offers resources, community for veterans and active military students.

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael Thornton speaks with Congressman Joe Wilson, Robert Murphy, Chancellor Jordan and Colin Schandler in the Veteran and Military Student Success Center lounge after the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

USC Aiken students who are current members of the military get their photo taken with Michael E. Thornton and Congressman Joe Wilson.

SC Aiken is dedicated to serving our military students, so it was an exciting day in April when the University officially opened the Veteran and Military Student Success Center. Medal of Honor recipient Michael Thornton was the guest of honor at the ribboncutting ceremony, as well as Congressman Joe Wilson, and USC Aiken student veterans. Robert Murphy, a USC Aiken graduate and veteran, is the Center’s Program Lead. “I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after high school,” says Murphy. “I received a commission following my first eight years of service and served for over 20 years completing my service as a Chief Warrant Officer-4.” The Veteran and Military Student Success Center works in connection with the Aiken Warrior Project and acts as a centralized transition and resource hub for veterans, military members, and their family member students. “I have personally connected with over 100 individual veteran and military students (including military dependent students) since we opened,” Murphy states. “The conversations I have with veteran students build trust and vision supporting their education and career goals. We served together and are now enjoying our freedom together.” The Center is designed to offer support and assistance to veterans as they navigate their transition back into the civilian world. “Based on my own experience, the transition from the military is tough,” Murphy says. “Some service members transition well, but many stumble. The University is an excellent place to transition. The Veteran and Military Student Success Center is staffed with veterans who can help provide direction to the transitioning military community.” In the spring 2013 semester there were an estimated 157 veteran/military students and 43 dependent students, and with the opening of the Veteran and Military Student Success Center the number is expected to grow. Veteran students have access to support services such as mentoring and benefit advisement, and last year alone the Center supported 336 new and/or recurring veteran/military/ dependent students. “Basically, the men and women are operating on campus similarly to how they did in uniform,” states Murphy. “They are looking out for one another.”


Dr. George A. Bowdler Mr. Robert W. Cone, Sr. Dr. Emilie A. Towler Ms. Mildred Whitaker


In Memoriam

Mrs. Sherri B. Bullen ‘96 Ms. Jane Love Dukes‘73 Mr. Darin Rawl ‘90 Mrs. Linda B. Redd ‘77 Ms. Hailey Nichole Robinson ‘11 Mr. Larry W. Sanders ‘84 Mr. E. Jerry Seigler, Jr. ‘88 Mr. Johnathan Aaron Shaw ‘12 Mr. Thomas Roy Steele III ‘04 Mrs. Sallie L. Stroman ‘72 Mrs. Linda M. Whitley ‘90 Mrs. Mary B. Williams ‘81 Ms. Linda D. Yount ‘72

Friends of the University

Dr. Elizabeth W. Baumann Mrs. Ursula P. Beard Mrs. Emmie M. Bland Mr. Jacob W. Bowers Dr. Joseph R. Brooks Dr. George R. Caskey, Jr. Mr. Andrew L. Cauthen Mr. Stephen B. Corboy Dr. John L. Crandall Ms. Yantia Latrice Crumley Mr. Steve Davidson Ms. Millie Friedman Mr. Q. Jutson Fulmer, Jr. Mr. Eugene C. Garvin Ms. Connie Ann Gast Mr. Richard W. Gillette Mrs. Eleanor T. Going Mrs. Feaster R. Gregorian Mr. Anysel Gunter Mrs. Elnora P. Hair Mrs. Doris C. Hall Mr. James Curtis Harkness Mrs. Arzella Henson Ms. Ola Hitt Dr. Robert C. Hochel Mrs. Mary Louise Holmes Mrs. Hilare Inder Mr. Lee Kirkwood Mr. Frederick C. Locke, Jr. Mrs. Patsy W. Lockhart Mr. W. Richard McClellion, Jr. Mrs. MaeDella A. Perry Mr. Paul R. Pritchard Dr. T. Michael Raley Ms. Tammy O'Neal Reed Mr. Morris D. Rosen Mrs. Jane V. Slay Mrs. Eleanor M. Stringer Ms. Lisa S. Sturgess Ms. Ardiene C. Tilly Mr. James L. Verenes Dr. W. G. Watson Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Wulfmeier


USC Aiken Magazine 2013

January 25, 2013 October 15, 2012 January 22, 2013 August 12, 2013 May 2, 2013 July 28, 2012 September 23, 2012 July 4, 2012 April 5, 2013 September 19, 2012 July 8, 2012 July 30, 2013 August 11, 2012 July 2, 2012 October 14, 2012 August 11, 2012 July 11, 2012 February 11, 2013 April 9, 2013 April 26, 2013 December 4, 2012 September 28, 2012 May 18, 2012 April 22, 2013 September 22, 2012 December 21, 2012 August 8, 2012 June 25, 2012 April 16, 2013 November 11, 2012 March 12, 2013 February 13, 2013 September 21, 2012 January 18, 2013 December 17, 2012 January 29, 2013 July 13, 2012 April 29, 2013 July 3, 2012 August 21, 2012 May 10, 2013 December 14, 2012 April 5, 2013 November 3, 2012 March 18, 2013 March 8, 2013 July 16, 2012 June 19, 2012 May 28, 2012 August 16, 2012 January 26, 2013 November 3, 2012 October 15, 2012 January 29, 2013 July 14, 2012 June 19, 2012 September 6, 2012 June 20, 2013 October 24, 2012 August 2, 2012



rom the twinkling lights of the new Snowflake Serenade event for donors to the magazine covers marking the beginning of a new era with the campus’ first female Chancellor to the highly anticipated Chancellor’s Investiture ceremony and Forward Together visioning process, it was an exciting year for everyone involved with the University. No one was more excited than our new leader. “Even after spending a year kicking tires, picking up and turning over every rock, I remain extremely enthusiastic about leading this campus. We are a university with a single vision and common purpose; thus, we are a university that produces remarkable results.” said Dr. Jordan. “Every campus says they are student centered, but this is a University that lives up to that boast. Concern for our students is at the core of every decision that is made. We are truly in the business of transforming lives. Students often tell us how impactful their experience is on this campus, and alumni speak glowingly of the influence that USC Aiken had in shaping their careers and attitudes.” One of the most often asked questions of the new Chancellor during her interview and upon arriving on campus was, “What is your vision for USC Aiken?” Her ready answer was always, “What’s important is not my singular vision for this campus, but our

Lights, cameras and a whole lot of action marked the first year of USC Aiken’s new leading lady – Chancellor Sandra Jordan.

“What’s important is not my singular vision collective and shared vision for this collective and shared vision for this University’s future.” Against the backdrop of the institution’s previous 50 years of serving the community, Dr. Jordan began an ambitious visioning process that asked the faculty, staff, students, alumni and community to think about how USC Aiken could best move “Forward Together.” More than 750 people participated in the visioning process in the fall semester followed by the creation of eight task forces in the spring semester to further develop the themes emerging from the visioning. Those themes included: strategic growth of the campus, increasing degree offerings and programs, being responsive to a broader range of students, expanding the reputation and awareness of the University, and expanding and enhancing our partnerships. “The visioning process showed us that the campus is continuing on the path to be an even better place to live and learn,” said Dr. Jordan. “This year I’ve seen remarkable responses from faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community as we worked together to shape the future direction of this campus. I was struck by the consistency and consensus that emerged about our future. Throughout the process, I was also extremely gratified by the buy-in of people. So many individuals jumped in and participated whole-heartedly in thinking through the issues and challenges we face, and looking for constructive and positive ways to move ahead. This includes the faculty’s desire to ensure that our curriculum is intentional, relevant to the workplace, and focused on student success.” Throughout her career, Dr. Jordan has been keenly interested in the importance of partnerships and takes seriously her role in being actively involved in the local community and beyond. “Being involved in my community is part of my ethos, a value I’ve always held on a personal level. I grew up in a family who values service, and

both of my parents were active in the community and in our church. It is also vitally important in my role as Chancellor,” she said. “It contributes to and enhances the connectivity between the campus and community. It also provides me with ways to model the values we seek to impart in our students of citizenship and the importance of volunteerism.” According to Dr. Jordan, “Albert Schweitzer is credited with saying that the only individuals who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. I agree with him. In addition to every other benefit it brings, service to others is profoundly rewarding.” Since her arrival at USC Aiken, Dr. Jordan quickly became involved. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Aiken, the Strom Thurmond Foundation and South Carolina Women in Higher Education Administration. She even led the Red Team in the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce’s successful membership event. The Chancellor connects with business and industry as part of the Savannah River Site Community Re-Use Organization and the Nuclear Workforce Initiative. On a regional and national level, she serves on the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Colleges Board of Directors and is on the Southern University Conference Team. She also is frequently called upon as a speaker on leadership and actively mentors other higher education professionals across the country. In Aiken, she’s found a warm and welcoming place to call home. “Michael and I were talking the other night at dinner about how extremely welcoming this community has been for us, much more so many than other towns we have lived in through the years. The people of Aiken embrace you and want you to be part of them,” said Dr. Jordan. “The community is also extremely supportive of the University. This has been demonstrated by renewed interest in the campus by local business and industry, new memorandums of understanding to strengthen

for this campus, but our University’s future.” these relationships and a focus on the University being part of all of Aiken including the downtown area.” It’s clear that Dr. Jordan has loved every minute of this action-packed year, and it sets the stage for the years to come. “As I complete my first year as Chancellor, I would not hesitate one second to make the exact same decision to come to USC Aiken. It has been so exciting and – because of the temperament and openness of the campus – an incredible opportunity,” she said. “It’s a challenging time for higher education throughout our country. Yet even with this reality, I witnessed the excitement of people as we had the opportunity to rethink how we do business and to think about how we can be creative, innovative and not just stick with the status quo. This has fit perfectly with my leadership style and has been an endeavor that has been intellectually stimulating and rewarding.”

BEST SUPPORTING The best supporting cast features alumna, faculty, staff and students that are leading the way, both on the USC Aiken campus and in the Aiken community. These women are making an impact through their leadership and accomplishments. It is with great pride the University recognizes a few people on campus making a difference.

Dr. Deidre Martin

Kristin Allen

Staff, Vice Chancellor of University Advancement

Staff, Office of Admissions, Admissions Counselor

Chair-Elect for Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Named Aiken County Woman of the Year in 2010 by the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Maureen Carrigan Faculty, Professor Department of Psychology Received the Carolina Trustee Professorship Award Serves on the Graduate Advisory Council

Choreographer for the Kennedy Middle School On-Stage Dance Group

Sandy Besley Alumna, Class of ‘90 Staff, Budget Manager, USC Aiken Budget Office Serves on Board of Director’s for the Child Advocacy Center Logistics Chair for the American Heart Association’s CSRA Heart Walk since 2005

Citiyah Burton

Student, senior, communications major

Student, senior, chemistry major

Pacesetter Orientation Team Leader

USC Aiken Magazine 2013

Corresponding Secretary for the Aiken Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Theta Sorority

Christen Torres

Student Government Association Vice President


Alumna, Class of ‘03

Received the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Scholarship Award Minority Achievement Program (MAP) Mentor

CAST Dr. Michele Harmon Faculty, Associate Professor, Department of Biology and Geology Serves on the Advisory Council for the South Carolina Academy of Science Serves on the South Carolina DHEC and DNR’s Savannah River Basin Advisory Council

Tammy Davis Alumna, Class of ‘04 Director of Community Investment, United Way of Aiken County Serves on the Human Services Board at the Aiken Board of Disabilities

Lady Pacers Lead the Way Any discussion of female leaders at USC Aiken would be remiss to neglect mentioning the student-athletes of the Pacers Athletics Women’s Basketball team, Coach Mike Brandt and their accomplishments. Here are some highlights from their 2012-2013 season. •

The women’s basketball team finished its 2012-13 campaign with an overall record of 22-8 with a 13-6 record in Peach Belt Conference play.

The season began with a program-best record of 12-0 start. The 12-0 start equaled the 2011-12 Pacers for the longest winning streak in program history.

The Pacers were ranked as high as third nationally this season and finished the year receiving votes in the final national poll. The Pacers ended the year having been ranked in the top 25 or received votes in 44 straight national polls.

USC Aiken women’s basketball team has won state-best 133 games over the course of the last six seasons. The 133 wins over the six-year stretch leaves them above every team in the Palmetto state at any collegiate level.

Active member of Kiwanis Club of Aiken County

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USC Aiken Magazine 2013

USC Aiken

A Focus on the Arts at

Page 44

USC Aiken Faculty member composes an opera based on the compelling story of “The Curse of the Bambino.”

Page 47

A look inside our award-winning student media organizations Pacer Times and Broken Ink

Page 49

A Preview of The Etherredge Center’s 2013-2014 Cultural Series

Bambin S

ince Dr. Richard “Dick” Maltz, Professor of Music Theory and Composition, and Applied Percussion, grew up outside of Boston, his home-team allegiance isn’t surprising. “I don’t know if I would be a Red Sox fan if I hadn’t grown up around Boston,” says Maltz. “But there is something unique about Boston sports fans, especially Red Sox fans. There’s the old town feel of historic Fenway Park in the middle of a big city. Any young boy who went to that park and watched his hero hit an extra-inning game-winning home run has been indelibly branded for life with home-team allegiance.” Maltz has followed the team through its highs and lows, and grew up hearing about the “Curse of the Bambino” which refers to the

time period from 1918 to 2004 when the Rod Sox didn’t win a single World Series. The curse began when Babe Ruth, who had the nickname of The Bambino, was traded to the New York Yankees. This supposedly began the Red Sox losing streak and was the focal point of the rivalry that developed between the Red Sox and the Yankees. Maltz always thought the “Curse of the Bambino” would be a wonderful story. “I always thought that the heroism and tragedy associated with the Curse of the Bambino would naturally lend itself to opera,” Maltz stated. “Generations of loyal fans coming so close to glory on so many occasions and just falling short. And then finally, finally the curse is lifted.”



The backdrop is baseball, but the real story is about love, deceit, murder, and the struggle between right and wrong. That story could be told in almost any setting. I chose baseball.


Previous page & Above: Scenes from “Bambino” Left: Dr. Maltz (center left) takes a bow with the cast and crew.

Since he always loved the story, he decided to write an opera which he called Bambino. It is an account of the terrible calamities and misfortunes of the Boston Red Sox, played out against the backdrop of Fenway’s Green Monster. The story focuses on the guidance and warnings from baseball legend Babe Ruth to the ultimate fate of one fictional player, Buck George. The story was told by a cast of primarily South Carolina residents with guest artists from Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. “I wanted to attract a new audience of sports fans (like me) to opera, while at the same time keeping the story accessible to traditional audiences as well,” Maltz says. 46

USC Aiken Magazine 2013

“The backdrop is baseball, but the real story is about love, deceit, murder, and the struggle between right and wrong. That story could be told in almost any setting, I chose baseball.” It took Maltz almost a decade to write, but it was worth the wait. Bambino was performed this year at USC Aiken’s Etherredge Center as well as in Columbia at USC’s Drayton Hall. The May 5, 2013 performance was especially exciting. Prior to the show, the audience was greeted by both Ace the Pacer and Cocky, and ballpark food was served. Although Maltz has seen his music performed by orchestras in the past, it was the first time he had seen his opera performed. “Witnessing the opera come to life was simply amazing. I was lucky enough to have first class musicians and crew involved with the production,” states Maltz. “You can’t imagine the anxiety associated with hearing one of your works in a public performance. There’s so much that can go wrong! But I knew from the first rehearsals that Bambino would go off without a hitch. And it did. And a composer couldn’t be happier.” Since Bambino was originally written as a two-act opera, he hopes he will be able to get funding the the future so that both acts can be performed.

Congratulations to the Broken Ink staff and the journal’s advisor Karl Fornes on the receipt of their stellar 2013 critique by the Associated College Press.


he 2013 issue of Broken Ink, USC Aiken’s undergraduate literary journal, marks the magazine’s forty-fifth year of advancing the creative endeavors of USC Aiken students. Throughout the years, Broken Ink’s mission has been consistent: “to accurately and objectively feature the literary and artistic achievements of USC Aiken students and to raise awareness of the literary and visual arts throughout the campus and the community.” Among college literary journals, however, Broken Ink is unique in that all aspects of publication--marketing the magazine; updating its web site; collecting, reviewing, selecting, and editing submissions; designing and laying out the magazine; dealing with printer’s bids and proofs; and finally, hosting the annual release party--is handled entirely by undergraduate students. As a result, the student staff gains valuable experience in the field of creative arts, especially in publication and design. Student editors have parlayed that experience into careers in higher education, public relations, sports

information, and a number of other professions. True to its mission, Broken Ink continues to provide a forum for USC Aiken’s most talented and creative students. As long-time mentor Dr. Thomas Mack remarks, “Broken Ink has the honor of being the first publication to showcase the work, either verbal or visual, of alumni who have gone on to make a mark in either creative writing or the visual arts, including English alumnus Will Wright, now a published poet and anthologist (he edited the first five volumes of The Southern Poetry Anthology), and visual arts alumnus Michael Tice, a New York-based artist who has been featured in many one-man shows and is now the subject of a book entitled Retrospective: Michael Tice (New Lit Salon Press).” Its web site includes an archive of past issues and a variety of other material of interest to the creatively inclined. The University of Choice



an we legally use these words or this image? What do students want and need to know? Producing student news is a continuous challenge for the all-student Pacer Times staff. Students learn to practice and promote First Amendment rights responsibly, and in so doing, they develop writing, visual communication, critical thinking and leadership skills. For 49 of USC Aiken’s 51 years, the Pacer Times has published weekly the university’s story as told by students, serving as “newspaper of record” for the campus. Deadlines for stories are every Friday; the

broadcasting in Washington, D.C. before returning home to be a sportswriter for the Aiken Standard. Sports Editor Brendan Robertson, 2008, is now the Sports Director at WAGT, NBC TV 26. Katherine Brenneke, 1994, rose in the ranks to become Executive Editor for CNN Headline News before going into public relations for science, technology, engineering and math education. However, awareness honed through Pacer Times has led to a variety of fulfilling careers, and many graduates have earned master’s degrees in not just journalism but also other fields such as social services, university or business administration, speech therapy and even nursing.

"Pacer Times hones writing, critical thinking, and leadership skills." Peggy Elliot, Faculty Advisor layout and editorial staff work over the weekend and on Monday nights. Students sell advertising, create artwork and make tough decisions. Many work 10 or more hours a week. The staff also does public service projects. It is a labor of devotion. Editors are paid a small stipend, while most of the staff of 15 to 20 volunteers. Sometimes, the experience leads to media work. Editor-in-Chief Eric Russell, 2012, interned in sports 48

USC Aiken Magazine 2013

The dozens of awards on the walls of the Student Media Office tell of above-average performance in competition with larger, better-funded universities. For instance, last year the Pacer Times brought home six awards in the South Carolina Press Association’s Collegiate Division. The Pacer Times also received the campus Diversity Award by the Inclusion Advisory Council. This fall, the Pacer Times unveils its new website,, which can be accessed by computer, tablet or smart phone.

The Cultural Series

the Etherredge Center presents



he Etherredge Center for the Fine and Performing Arts is offering seven performances sure to stimulate the senses of the younger and the young at heart Aiken community. Showcasing national and international talent, the Etherredge Center has played host to performers such as Dizzy Gillespie (1986), Freddy Cole (2011), The Moscow Ballet (2003/2005/2010), and many

others. With over 81,000 patrons since its establishment in 1986, the Center is pleased to announce the 2013-2014 USC Aiken Cultural Series. This season, there will be seven performances, with four different buying options. Patrons will have the ability to purchase all seven performances, the Etherredge Light, the Etherredge Classic, or four performances of their choosing. The Etherredge Light includes performances that will deliver a lounge-like or upscale nightclub ambiance beginning with the vocal stylings and theatrical musings of Hal Linden and a one-man play by actor Stephen Lang, who has starred in motion pictures such as Avatar(2009), Conan the Barbarian (2011), and The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009). This is in addition to playing the commander on the popular television series Terra Nova. The Light Series

will conclude in the spring with the explosive energy of Broadway Boys and the New Orleans sounds of Southern Fried Jazz. For the more classical audience, The Center is offering the Etherredge Classic Series. This includes performances that are more formal, giving audience members a more traditional presentation. It begins with a wonderful collaboration between NPR host and concert pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz followed by actor Stephen Lang. In the spring, audiences can look forward to the brass quintet Presidio Brass and conclude the entire season with a seventeenmember self-conducted chamber orchestra known as A Far Cry. With this exciting season, the Etherredge Center invites all supporters of the arts to come and experience the new and innovative Cultural Series. See you at the theatre!

A full calendar of events appears on pages 50 and 51. Online ticket purchasing now available at

The Cultural Series 2013-2014

An Evening with Hal Linden September 26, 2013 7:30 pm Although best known as “Barney Miller,” this American TV Icon won a Tony Award for Best Male Actor in a Musical in 1971 (“The Rothchilds”), and in the years prior to that, as a Clarinetist/Saxophonist and Bandleader he worked with the likes of the Sammy Kaye Orchestra and Bobby Sherwood. Hal Linden, plus seven musicians, perform some of the greatest Jazz standards, big band tunes and Broadway hits. Each performance is filled with timeless memories and melodies from his career spanning seven decades.


Shuffle Play ListenChristopher O’Riley & Matt Haimovitz October 10, 2013 7:30 pm Pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz join together to explore the lyrical and virtuosic properties of their instruments in a collaboration that crosses in and out of the classical and pop music genres. The program showcases their talents as collaborators and soloists, defining what it means to be an artist in the 21st century. Audiences will hear works by Bach and Gabrielli, Radiohead and Arcade Fire, Piazzolla and Stravinsky.

Presidio Brass February 8, 2014 7:30 pm

Southern Fried Jazz March 20, 2014 7:30 pm

Presidio Brass has rocketed to success as the face of a bold new generation in brass entertainment. By combining a brass quintet, piano and percussion instruments with fresh, original arrangements, their unique sound has become a trademark for the ensemble from San Diego, CA, captivating audiences everywhere.

The Southern Fried Jazz Band is a Dixieland jazz band based in Charlotte, North Carolina, whose captivating music and showmanship have launched it from the Piedmont foothills into the national spotlight. No stranger to that spotlight, leader Don Edwards has shared the stage with Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and many other jazz greats over the years. Edwards and each of his handpicked jazz artists perform their music with an assurance and spontaneity that evoke an enthusiasm for live jazz that never fails to wow the audience.

USC Aiken Magazine 2013

“We believe the performing and visual arts give us the power to be creative by providing examples of how art transforms your daily lives through imagination. In fact, the arts provide each of us with an opportunity to escape those obstacles that we encounter day in and day out. The arts also provide a bridge to every vocation and interest known to man while providing a foundation which allows you to think critically on any topic.” Jack Benjamin, Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and Director of the Etherredge Center

Beyond Glory starring: Steven Lang October 25, 2013 7:30 pm

Broadway Boys December 6, 2013 7:30 pm

Beyond Glory presents the stories of eight veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, rendering first-hand accounts of valor which resulted in the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor. As a tribute to fallen soldiers, Lang performed the show on military bases, and gave a command performance on the floor of Congress with Medal of Honor recipient Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii in attendance.

The Broadway Boys is a collection of the hottest male voices currently working on the New York stage. Through their dynamic vocal prowess and redefining arrangements, the Boys add elements of Pop, Funk, Gospel, Jazz, and Folk to show tunes and classic pop songs. Performing in groups of six, the Boys are able explore harmonies rarely presented by Broadway singers.

A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra March 29, 2014 7:30 pm

Online ticketing now available. For more information, please contact the Etherredge Center Box Office at 803-641-3305, or visit the website at:

A Far Cry stands at the forefront of an exciting new generation in classical music. According to the New York Times, the self-conducted orchestra “brims with personality or, better, personalities, many and varied.” By expanding the boundaries of orchestral repertoire and experimenting with the ways music is prepared, performed, and experienced, A Far Cry has been embraced throughout the world with more than two hundred performances, three albums, a powerful presence on the internet, and a recent European tour.

The University of Choice


Changes Around Campus Pickens-Salley House Renovations

Michelle Pakla, 13 Fine Arts major from Aiken, South Carolina

“The thought of leaving was erased.” “When the time came for choosing college, I was more than ready to leave the area after attending high school in Aiken. I decided that, financially, it made the most sense to stay. Fortunately, after only a semester at USC Aiken, the thought of leaving was completely erased from my mind. I had found a sense of community here that I was not expecting. I assumed that I would be just a number in a classroom; instead I developed professional relationships with my professors. I absolutely loved that I could have intellectual conversations and advice from my mentors. USC Aiken felt like a family that I could not possibly leave, and I am more than happy that I chose to attend this wonderful university.”


USC Aiken Magazine 2013

The historic mansion that houses the Chancellor’s and Advancement staff offices underwent a major renovation that included removal of overcrowded trees and shrubs, a full resurfacing to remove lead-based paint, a new paint job, and the installation of a brand new brick staircase. The front columns were also replaced with weatherproof composite columns. The photos above show a progression from the start of the project to the end result.

Campus Street Signs Installed In order to provide better service, especially in emergency situations, Aiken County requested that USC Aiken name the streets on campus. To accomplish this task, USC Aiken students recommended a long list of potential names for the campus streets. After Aiken County reviewed the list to eliminate any names already in use in the area, students voted on the names and the top five were submitted to the Aiken County Commission for Higher Education. “Having students recommend street names and then vote on the suggested names was a great way for us to be involved in the process,” says junior fine arts major Phylesha Hiers. “It’s nice that the University asked for our opinions and made us feel like what we wanted mattered.” Today, if you visit campus you will see the street signs. The selected road names were Scholar Loop, Leadership Drive, Champion Way, Proud Pacer Drive, and College Station Drive. While the street names may help you find your way around campus, the University’s mailing address remains 471 University Parkway.

Thank You to Our Community Partnerships!

Cardiac Rehabilitation: Supporting Your Journey to Heart Health After leaving the hospital, patients often need help to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Aiken Regional Medical Centers and the University of South Carolina Aiken have joined together to provide a rehab program that can reduce the risk of future hospitalization. The program, held at the USC Aiken Wellness Center, combines medically-supervised exercise with education about diet and risk factors to help you manage your specific condition through appropriate activity and lifestyle modification. To learn more email or call (803) 641-3667. Together, we can help you build a better life.

Economic Development Partnership

USC Aiken has housed the Economic Development Center (EDP) for at least 25 years. Chancellor Emeritus Robert Alexander was a charter member and is still on the Board for the organization. The EDP serves Aiken and Edgefield counties. Its mission is to diversify the local labor force, raise per capita income, and increase the area’s tax base. Visit their website at for more information.

Juilliard Jazz Camp

The Juilliard Summer Jazz Camp is a one week program for students ages 13 to 18 who are dedicated, disciplined, and passionate about jazz. The camp is held in partnership with USC Aiken and located on the USC Aiken campus. The program is designed to give young jazz musicians a taste of what a Juilliard Jazz student’s life is all about and to help them refine their technique, improvisation and performance skills. Teachers for the camp are Juilliard jazz faculty, current senior students and alumni. If you would like further information on Juilliard in Aiken please contact their Aiken Executive Director Beth Fadeley at

USC Aiken Magazine 2013  

USC Aiken Magazine 2013

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