Page 1




Voice of the Pacers – page 20

Never Give Up – page 4

Perspective – page 12

Lessons from a Graduate: Audrey Hendley – page 42

Ifsf!xifo!zpv!offe!vtdmptf!up!ipnf/ AIKEN REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTERS #1 IN THE CSRA FOR QUALITY CARE Aiken Regional Medical Centers is ranked the number one hospital in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) for quality care, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services hospital quality data.* You can be sure that when you need medical care, you can get it here at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. Aurora Pavilion Behavioral Health Services Cancer Care Institute of Carolina Cardiovascular Institute of Carolina Diabetes & Nutrition Teaching Center Joint and Spine Center Palmetto Pediatrics Sleep Evaluation Center Women’s LifeCare Center Women’s LifeCare Diagnostic Services Wound Healing Institute of Carolina

641-5900 641-7850 641-5280 293-0023 641-5470 641-KIDS 641-5370 641-5800 641-5065 643-2090

To find a physician, call our free Direct DoctorsSM Plus physician referral service at 1-800-882-7445. *According to data released by the US Department of Health & Human Services in January 2008

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AIKEN REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTERS’ HEALTH INFORMATION CENTER AT THE AIKEN MALL Free physician referrals and health information. HOURS Tuesday and Thursday


9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information on the Health Information Center, call 803-641-5926 or 1-800-641-2771

Physicians are on the medical staff of Aiken Regional Medical Centers, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not agents or employees of Aiken Regional Medical Centers. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.


USCA MAGAZINE 2009 EDITOR Jennifer Conner WRITERS Ralph Byington Brian Hand Deidre Martin Jamie Raynor ‘02 & ‘05 Kendall Tubbs ‘05 Melissa Williams ‘09 Monica Williams ‘09 PHOTOGRAPHY Armstrong Atlantic State University Sports Information Office Milledge Austin ‘09 Bridget Coleman Deborah McMurtrie ‘81 Rob Novit Eddie Sherrer Scott Webster ‘88


Features Never Give Up............................................................................................... 4 Jo Prescott’s 25-year journey to becoming a proud alumna

Perspective..................................................................................................12 The victories and tragedies of Pacer Athletics’ memorable 2008-2009 season

Voice of the Pacers....................................................................................20 Pacers’ public address announcer, Joe Kucharski, shares his passion for sports and USCA

USCA Magazine is published annually by the Office of University Advancement.

Oh, What a Difference!.............................................................................30

Contact the USCA Magazine Editor: - 471 University Parkway Campus Box 42 Aiken, SC 29801 9 803.641.3569 8

Partners in Education...............................................................................38

Cardiac rehabilitation program promotes health and community

Students, faculty, and staff find ways to give back to K-12 education community


Chancellor Tom Hallman


Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Deidre Martin Director of Marketing and Community Relations Jennifer Conner Director of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund Jamie Raynor ‘02 & ‘05 On the cover: Audrey Hendley ‘09, who was selected as the Outstanding Senior, speaks at the May 2009 Commencement ceremony.

4 Getting to Know.......................................................................................... 8

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.

Chemistry professor Chad Leverette shares insight into his life and his classroom

Lessons from a Graduate........................................................................42 Audrey Hendley ‘09 gives highlights of her student experience and advice to incoming freshmen

A Message from the



reetings from USC Aiken! I hope 2009 finds you well. This year has certainly been a memorable one for your University. From the classroom to the court to the community, our students, faculty, and staff garnered some outstanding accomplishments, which you’ll read more about in this magazine.

At the same time, like many of you, we were confronted by the issues of today’s challenging economy. Even with the welcome addition of federal stimulus funds, we continue to deal with financial limitations unlike any in our history. Although this year hasn’t been easy, it has called each of us to work more effectively, to assess our goals, and to renew our focused on you! commitment to each of our students. The response of our faculty and staff in these difficult times has made me even more proud of this institution. We now look to the future, specifically 2011, USC Aiken’s 50th anniversary. On page 29, you’ll find information about our golden anniversary, including a call for nominations to the “Top 50 in 50,” in which we seek to recognize 50 individuals or organizations that have been imperative to the success of USC Aiken’s past five decades. I encourage you to use this as an opportunity to show your gratitude for those who have given much, all because they believed in the potential of what began in a few small rooms at Banksia. In this issue of the USCA Magazine, you’ll find many of this year’s success stories that we’re proud to tell. I share these stories with you because, as a supporter, you make them possible. On behalf of the students, faculty, staff, and alumni, thank you for all that you do. I ask that you please take time to take a quick survey of the USCA Magazine at Your feedback helps us to make this publication the best it can be. As always, I hope to see you on campus soon. Sincerely,

Thomas L. Hallman


acer student-athletes won our first-ever Peach Belt Conference Presidents’ Academic Award for the 2008-2009 academic year. The award recognizes excellence in academics among student-athletes.

“Audacious” A

ssistant Professor of Library Science Rose Marshall had her poem “Audacious” published in the book, Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady. The book, created for Michelle Obama, was edited by Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram, who solicited letters and poems from African American women to Obama. Marshall, a native of Mississippi, grew up in the segregated South of the 1950s and 1960s. Today, in addition to her role at USC Aiken, she serves as an author and public speaker, with most of her subject matter focusing on the childhood experiences that shaped her. Last November, Marshall said she “watched in awe as one of the most significant moments in her life unfolded before her.” Marshall wrote the poem “Audacious” on Election Day, explaining, “The title and the refrain ‘Hope made me vote’ were inspired by President Obama’s campaign and the title of his second book, The Audacity of Hope.” Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady was published and released in January by the State University of New York (SUNY) Press. The 275-page book was presented to First Lady Obama during the inauguration activities on January 20, which Marshall attended.

“WeAudacious ” Dare to Dream Dreams. We Dare to Hope. — November 4, 2008 Audacious…like the Birmingham, Alabama youth facing Bull Connor’s water hoses and police dogs “HOPE so I could VOTE” Audacious…like the Freedom Riders braving a treacherous bus trip through the segregated South “HOPE so I could VOTE” Audacious…like Medgar Evers demanding, “If you can’t try it, don’t buy it” “HOPE so I could VOTE” Audacious…like James Meredith embarking on a lone trek to the Mississippi state capital “HOPE so I could VOTE” Audacious…like Muhammed Ali “objecting” to war because his real enemy was at home “HOPE so I could VOTE” Audacious…like Rosa Parks sitting so I could stand in line today and vote with dignity and pride “HOPE so I could VOTE” Audacious…like the Little Rock Nine walking through a hate-filled corridor in quest of equal facilities “HOPE so I could VOTE” Audacious…like Fannie Lou Hamer enduring a deputy’s beating after trying to register to vote “HOPE so I could VOTE” Audacious …like Mamie Till opening 14 year old Emmett’s casket and showing the world his mutilated body “HOPE so I could VOTE” Audacious…like the students from the North and East coming south in 1964 and daring the media to report the real news “HOPE so I could VOTE” Audacious…like Martin Luther King, Jr. dreaming of such a time as this…when Barack Obama had the “audacity to hope” so all Americans can live the dream so long “deferred” Today, Hope Made Me Vote. Reprinted by permission from Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady compiled and edited by Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram, the State University of New York Press ©2009, State University of New York. All rights reserved.


Never Give Up I

by Jennifer Conner

n 1983, Josephine “Jo” Simpkins Prescott ‘08 began a journey to earn a college degree. Twentyfive years later, she was awarded a bachelor’s degree in front of an audience who stood on their feet in a roaring round of applause.

“I knew it would take me longer than the average student, but I didn’t know it would take as long as it has,” said Prescott. Of course it would take her longer. As an individual with a severe spinal cord injury, everything would take her longer. Only three short years prior to her first day at USC Aiken, going back to college was the last thing on her mind. She, her husband, and their two children were living in Ohio. Prescott was more than eight months pregnant with the couple’s third child, and although the family might have looked fine from the outside, it was far from it. Prescott was being physically and emotionally abused by her husband.

Prescott’s daughter, Nikeshia, escorts Prescott on her graduation day


USCA Magazine 2009

She says she decided that she and the children had to get out. “I told him I was leaving, and he pleaded with me to stay because he didn’t want anyone to know,” she said. “I had to leave without him knowing, because I believed he would try to kill me before allowing me to leave.” She was right.

Prescott’s care was provided by social workers who visited her daily in her sister’s home. One day, a worker came while Prescott was listening to Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” on public broadcasting radio. The worker asked Prescott if she liked the short story, and Prescott said that she did. The worker then asked Prescott

“I knew it would take me longer

than the average student, but I didn’t know it would take as long as it has.” right: with assistance, Prescott journeys to her first day of classes on the USC Aiken campus in August 1983

Determined to find some peace, Prescott moved into an apartment of her own. Her estranged husband wasn’t fond of seeing her move on with her life. He became more and more vicious until his violence reached a boiling point. On February 28, 1980, he broke into her apartment, pinned her to the floor, shot her multiple times, and left her to die. Or so he thought. After being rushed to the hospital, Prescott and her new son, who was delivered on an operating table, miraculously survived the attack. While the baby was in stable condition, Prescott’s health was in great jeopardy. Doctors almost lost her several times during the emergency, but she fought…and she made it. After a lengthy hospital stay, Prescott was moved to a rehabilitation center. Although she was thankful for her life, she had to face the cruel reality that she would never hold her newborn son. She would never hug her two other children and let them know they would all be okay. Instead, Prescott was confined to a wheelchair. Her life would never be the same. Fortunately, Prescott’s family members took her children in, raising them while Prescott re-learned to live her life as a quadriplegic. Her estranged husband was arrested, charged, and prosecuted for attempted murder and carrying a concealed weapon. Eventually, Prescott accepted an offer from her sister, who resided in Augusta, Ga., to come down South and live with her.

if she had ever considered going to college. Prescott replied with a short, but distinct “no.” She explained that she did not graduate from high school, so college seemed like too lofty a goal. With all that had happened, going to college certainly wasn’t a goal for her at that time. The social worker didn’t give up easily on her idea. She encouraged Prescott to move into a nursing home in Aiken and begin college at USC Aiken. Prescott claims she had no interest in moving. As someone who had worked in a nursing home, she says she didn’t feel it was the right place for her. After all, Prescott was only in her twenties. Each time the social worker visited, she would urge Prescott to consider college. As with any other opportunity put before her, Prescott said, “Let me pray about it.” Soon, Prescott says she got her answer: God gave her peace to pursue earning a college education. She moved to Aiken, studied and passed her GED test, and applied to USC Aiken. She was accepted and began classes in August 1983. The next two-and-a-half decades for Prescott would be filled with obstacles and small victories, setbacks and accomplishments. In addition to classes, homework, and exams, Prescott was faced with numerous challenges that most students aren’t. Before voice recognition software, Prescott submitted typed assignments to her 5

professors. How? She used two pencils, taped together and dangling from her mouth, to peck one key at a time. Attending class was another major challenge. For much of her career at USC Aiken, she had to rely on wheelchairaccessible public transportation. Sometimes the transportation was there for her when her classes were finished for the day, ready to take her home. Sometimes, she would wait for hours. A major barrier to Prescott moving along her degree path was illness. For quadriplegics, small things often advance into big problems. Sores turn into infections, viruses into hospital stays. These illnesses forced Prescott to withdraw from her classes mid-semester, time and time again. At one point, she took a required break from college for several years. But, she never gave up.

Dr. Trudy Henson with Prescott

adviser throughout her entire tenure at USC Aiken. Henson, now a 31-year veteran of the university, retired in May 2009. Fittingly, Prescott and Henson completed their USC Aiken careers in the same academic year.

“It’s been an experience that I’ll always cherish. It’s been such a big part of my life, and I’m going to miss it, but it’s

prepared me for what’s ahead.

After 25 years together, the two formed a special bond. Prescott affectionately describes Henson as “one special lady.” Going above and beyond the duty of academic advising, Henson looked after Prescott in her studies and as a friend. Whether their appointments took place when Prescott visited Henson’s office or when Henson visited Prescott in the hospital, they stayed in touch. “She’s certainly been there for me,” said Prescott of Henson. When asked about Prescott, Henson said, “I hardly know where to start. One of the great pleasures of working with Jo in my classes was that she took her education seriously. She could be counted on to do the assigned readings and to have thought about them. She took part in class discussions, asked questions when she had them, and did well on assignments. In short, she has been the kind of student we all like to have in class.” Henson wasn’t the only individual at USC Aiken who invested time in Prescott’s success. “In times that I had to be out for illness, for hospital stays, for all the things going on with me, my professors were willing to work with me. They went the extra mile,” explained Prescott. “I can’t imagine a campus being better than USC Aiken. From the housekeepers to the students, the professors, those who work in offices; they’ve always been so helpful. It’s a warm atmosphere,” she said. Prescott specifically credits much of her success in college to the assistance provided by the university’s Office of Disability Services.

At the beginning of her studies, she was assigned an academic adviser for her major: sociology. She didn’t know it at the time, but Dr. Trudy Henson, recently named distinguished professor emerita, would be her 6

USCA Magazine 2009

Prescott sat in the classrooms of several professors who she says extended kindness and understanding to her – Dr. Matt Miller, Dr. Doug Kuck, Dr. Mark Whitaker, and the late Dr. Elizabeth Bell – to name a few. Regarding Miller, Prescott said, “He’s a gem. He makes class so interesting, and he allows us to interact.” Recalling Bell, an English professor who passed away in 2002, Prescott said that Bell once told her it “was a pleasure to have you in my class.” Prescott said this really touched her because she


oticing Prescott’s long waits, at times, for public transportation, sociology instructor Beth Williams (shown center) inquired about Prescott’s needs. Williams and students in her Human Services class raised more than $3,100 to repair the wheelchair lift on Prescott’s van. This included a generous donation from the Midland Valley Chamber of Commerce, represented by Al McKay (shown right). The check was presented to Prescott at her graduation rehearsal on December 11.

had never had a teacher tell her that. “She made my day,” Prescott claims, and “I’ll never forget her.” It should be no surprise that surrounding her graduation from USC Aiken, Prescott’s story received lots of attention. Henson explained, “Because her physical challenges are so visible and she has overcome so many obstacles, it is easy to think of those first. Certainly her life experiences and responses to those are significant factors in who she is. Her perseverance in the face of challenges has been an inspiration to a lot of people, but the even bigger reason so many people crowded around her at graduation is that Jo is a truly nice person who has a positive attitude and a good sense of humor. People like her brighten our days.” Among those who gathered around Prescott at her graduation ceremony on December 11, 2008 were several members of her family. Prescott explained how happy she was that her family was able to be with her on such a special day. Her children – Benjamin, Nikeshia, and Phillip, as well as her grandson, Nathaniel, who Prescott describes as “my heart” – were among the many who showed their support by attending. Prescott said that she is very proud of her children. As a sociology graduate, she understands too well that children from abusive homes face difficult challenges. “They could have let what happened change them, but they didn’t,” she said. “Instead, they’re all solving problems in their jobs and families. They’re improving other people’s lives.” With all the happiness surrounding her graduation, Prescott admitted that she wished her parents could have lived to see her big day. Prescott’s mother raised 11 children, had only a sixth grade education, and wanted her children “to have more.” As an adult, Prescott wrote her mom a letter thanking her for being a “real mom” who taught her how to respect people. Although her

parents weren’t with her physically, Prescott said she believes that “they were looking down and cheering me on.” Just prior to completing her college career, Prescott claimed that she gets “all choked up” when she thinks about leaving USC Aiken. “It’s been an experience that I’ll always cherish. It’s been such a big part of my life, and I’m going to miss it, but it’s prepared me for what’s ahead.” Prescott hopes to inspire others by writing a book about her experience. She wants to work or volunteer at the Cumbee Center for Abused Persons in Aiken. Prescott said she believes that she can help others in an abusive situation to see that there’s life after an abusive relationship. “I’ve been there, and I can relate to what they’re going through. I believe I can be an asset there. I see hurting women. Whether it’s physical or verbal abuse, it affects the entire family.” If this goal doesn’t come to fruition, her second choice would be to work with individuals who have spinal cord disabilities. She said she wants people to know, “There’s life after a spinal cord injury; there’s life after abuse.” When asked what pushed Prescott to keep going, she replied, “My desire to see someone else’s life better.” She said she made a promise to God that she would complete her college education, and she says she “prayed through” the tough times. She is quick to acknowledge that she had help along the way, stating, “God gave me some good professors.” Prescott says she would encourage others who are facing difficulty in their lives to “never give up; it’s not easy, but it’s worth it,” she said. “Sometimes we put limitations on ourselves, but if people see you trying, they will help you. I know that God has a plan, and it’s not about me. It’s how I can make someone else’s life better.”



Chad Leverette


ssistant Professor of Chemistry Chad Leverette graduated with a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Georgia in 2000 and a bachelor of science in chemistry from Erskine College in 1996. Joining the USCA faculty in 2004, Leverette teaches general chemistry as well as upper-level courses in quantitative and instrumental analysis. In 2009, students selected him to receive the Excellence in Teaching Award, which is awarded once annually to a full-time faculty member. Last year, Leverette made headlines when he was named a “Prominent Young Vibrational Spectroscopist” by the international journal, Vibrational Spectroscopy. Only 20 scientists in the world were selected to this list. Leverette is an expert in analytical chemistry, vibrational spectroscopy, and nanotechnology. He and his wife, Cara, reside in Aiken, with their children, Caleb (eight) and Micah (six), and Simba, their three-year-old Lab/German Shepherd mix dog, which was adopted from Molly’s Militia in Aiken.

What was your first experience with science? When I was about 10 years old, I was given a plastic microscope for Christmas. It was great! I remember going down to the creek near my house and collecting muddy water and algae samples. I carefully prepared slides with portions of my samples using the plastic droppers supplied with my kit. I focused the image, projected it on the wall, and wrote down what I observed in a notebook of mine. My family and friends were always amazed at how I would see details that they did not. 8

USCA Magazine 2009

How would you describe yourself when you were in school? I was a good student. I don’t remember having an option not to be. My parents really encouraged me to always do my best in school and made education a top priority in our home. I was tutored in the summers in math, not because I needed help catching up, but to boost my confidence in the classroom and help me get ahead. Although I didn’t like it at the time, I realize now what a great gift that was for me.

Are you a chemist who teaches, or a teacher who knows chemistry? I love chemistry, but I would classify myself as a teacher who happens to teach chemistry. I love studying a subject, coming up with a way to present the topic, communicating the idea to the student, and helping them understand. Regardless of the subject, I think I was made to be a teacher. Why do you work in academia? After I completed my Ph.D., I worked in industry for four years and really enjoyed the experience. I

think it made me a better professor. Regardless of the differences in pay between industry and academia, I realized that working in industry was not what I really wanted to do. I easily chose to leave industry to return to academia to teach, to follow my own research interests, and to hopefully make a difference in the lives of young people. How do you make chemistry relevant to others? It’s amazing to me what people tell me when they find out that I am a chemist. They either begin a lengthy story about how taking chemistry was one of the worst experiences in their life or, conversely, how they loved it. Those that love it usually follow that by saying that they had a great teacher or professor. I find that great chemistry teachers are usually great communicators that have the ability to make chemistry relevant to the student. After all, chemistry makes up our world and everything in it. It isn’t hard finding examples to share. Any favorite moments at USC Aiken? I have enjoyed it all, but particularly my students. Each semester I have new students, and I get to know them, and they get to know me. There is a connection that takes place that will be with them for a lifetime. I particularly like graduation ceremonies. To see our students get so excited about what they have accomplished is pretty special. What research are you working on? My overall research goals are focused on the boundary between nanotechnology and spectroscopy. Right now, my current research project is funded by the U.S.

Department of Energy through the Savannah River National Laboratory. This project is focused on fabricating metallic, nanostructured, spectroscopic sensors that are used for the detection of low levels of uranium and other radionuclides in the environment. What are you most proud of? In my personal life, I am most proud of my wife and my kids. I love them very much, and I work hard at being a good husband and father. In my professional life, two things stand out. The first was receiving my Ph.D. I really enjoyed the entire experience and consider it a privilege to have had the opportunity to really learn chemistry at that level. The other is more recent, when our students chose me as the recipient of the 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award. This is very special to me and lets me know that I must be doing something right in the classroom. What are your interests outside of work? I enjoy spending time with my family, both my immediate family and my extended family. Simply having a “movie night” with my kids or a “date night” with my wife is what I really like to do. I enjoy working in my yard, am really involved with my church, and I like coaching my kids’ sports teams. I read when I can, although my wife says that I need to read more books that are not related to science. I also enjoy playing basketball and working out. What major life goals do you have? My overall goal is to simply be the best I can be in all that I do. I know it is a cliché, but I really just want the peace of knowing that I have done

my best as a professor, as a colleague, as a friend, as a husband, as a father, as a brother, as a son, whatever my life involves. This is all I can control. The rest of life will take care of itself. I also want to enjoy the moment. My kids teach me daily that each moment in life passes by so very quickly. What makes life worth living? In my opinion, this is very simple. My personal relationship with Jesus Christ makes life worth living. I am learning that I was not made for my pleasure but for His. My life is not just about me. I am not the center. This is a wonderful and totally freeing statement that points me to my life’s purpose. My life’s purpose, which is what makes my life worth living, is to have a personal, intimate relationship with God and to help, serve, and love others with the love that He has so freely given to me. I have found that when I am obedient to Him, I am able to do my best in all that I do and truly be what He intended for me to be.  To read more about Leverette and his research, visit http://www. chad_web/index.htm “Getting to Know…” will be a recurring column in the USCA Magazine. If you have suggestions for faculty or staff that you would like to see featured, please e-mail


SC Aiken is ranked #1 as the Best Public Baccalaureate College in the South by U.S.News & World Report. 2009 marks USC Aiken’s 11th consecutive ranking among the top three in this category and our 5th time in first place.


Bucket List

..........................................................10 Books to Read (before you die)


SC Aiken’s Department of English faculty share their thoughts on books that are a must-read for everyone.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

“The great American democratic epic and the masterwork of the first great American poet.” – Dr. Andrew Geyer, assistant professor “This is Walt Whitman’s magnificent magnum opus, a book that he published in nine editions during his lifetime; it is a landmark of American literature from one of the great apologists of the American democratic experiment; at once sensuous and spiritual, the free verse poems in this great work bristle with energy and sound the clarion call that we live life to the fullest.” – Dr. Tom Mack, chair and Carolina Trustee Professor “‘Song of Myself’ is in itself reason to read this whole book. Beautiful lines, metaphors, and it can leave anyone with a broader sense of themselves and their place in time.” – Mr. Roy Seeger, instructor

The Bible

“Hands down, The Bible has been my guidebook for living.” – Ms. Vicki Collins, instructor “Whether you’re one of ‘the people of the book,’ or just a student of Western literature and culture, this is a crucial text.” – Dr. Geyer

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

“This account of Henry Thoreau’s two-year sojourn on the shores of Walden Pond near Concord, Mass. is a classic work that combines both philosophy and natural history. Since it follows the course of the four seasons, from summer to spring, the reader can dip into the book almost at random and find some thoughtful observation about the world around us and the world inside us.” – Dr. Mack “Walden teaches, or tries to earnestly teach, self-reliance and self-reflection. It also teaches us to be original and to fight against unjust laws. It works to teach us a conscience, not just towards the environment, but towards society as well.” – Mr. Seeger

Iliad by Homer

“All of us can profit from closely reading Homer’s Iliad, the ancient Greek heroic epic dealing with the final year of the ten-year Greek siege of the Trojans. As exciting as the battle scenes are, the overall picture of the poem depicts the devastation the long war brings on the men, the women, and the children in both Troy and Greece. The poem’s sad tone speaks deeply to the heart and the mind, raising questions about why human beings use force to conquer others.” – Dr. Stanley Rich, distinguished professor emeritus “This epic poem, in addition to being an amazing work of art, is one of the basic underpinnings of Western culture.” – Dr. Geyer


USCA Magazine 2009

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

“Thoreau’s essay against slavery and the Mexican War inspired Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Existentialists.” – Dr. Geyer

Any collection of the poems of Emily Dickinson

“Dickinson wrote approximately 1,000 short lyrical poems during her lifetime; they form a diary of sorts, chronicling the writer’s engagement with the natural world, particularly her garden and the change of seasons; they offer brave, unflinching insight into her own inner life; they fearlessly speculate on the mysteries of love and death. Whitman and Dickinson are the two giants of American poetry.” – Dr. Mack

Beloved by Toni Morrison

“The best book in American literature in my opinion. This novel makes the reader feel, see, and appreciate the importance of life and the extremely dangerous and terrible plight of slavery on Americans of all colors.” – Dr. Matthew Miller, assistant professor

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

“This short novella has a thematic scope of biblical proportions as it reveals the façade created by modern culture and its materialism that deceives us about our vulnerability in the universe, our struggle with our own flawed natures, the mystery of human destiny, and our fragmentary knowledge of God.” – Ms. Ilona Law, senior instructor

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

“The ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy alone is enough to place this on my must-read list.” – Dr. Geyer

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“As a young reader, I was greatly influenced by this book.” – Ms. Collins

Other nominations for the list included:

Art Speigelman’s Maus Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart Chris Hedges’ War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time Flannery O’Connor’s Collected Stories and Everything that Rises Must Converge Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera

Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady, The Aspern Papers, and The Spoils of Poynton James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain Pablo Neruda’s The Heights of Machu Picchu Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children Simone Weil’s The Iliad or the Poem of Force Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita


r. Andrew Geyer, assistant professor of English, has been chosen as one of two featured writers at the Fifth Annual Batchelor Emerging Writers Series, to be held at Barton College (N.C.) March 29-30, 2010.




USCA Magazine 2009

erspective by Brian Hand

“You have to go hard in everything that you do… you don’t want to regret anything.” — men’s basketball two-time consensus All-American Chris Commons 13

Life Lessons


thletics are a lot like life. You never know how the ball is going to bounce, just as you don’t know how your life will play out, or how some occurrence could restructure your perspective. One of the reasons that children embark upon sports at such a young age is that they teach important and valuable life lessons. Perhaps this concept was never more evident for the Pacers than in the 2008-2009 athletic year. Statistically, it was the most prolific campaign in school history. It was also one of the most difficult. USC Aiken’s triumphs athletically were tempered by misfortunes off the field. Winning and losing is often how success is defined in intercollegiate athletics, but when tragedy befalls, records and rankings lose their luster. These moments are when you gain perspective.

Team Success


acer Athletics reached unprecedented heights in the 2008-2009 year, with seven of the 11 programs advancing to the NCAA Division II Tournament. USC Aiken finished the year with an astounding overall winning percentage of .622. Six teams were ranked nationally, with four of the six earning their highest-ever regular season national ranking. Men’s basketball reached as high as No. 2, while men’s tennis finished ranked fifth in Division II. The women’s basketball team moved into the top 10 for the first time in school history at No. 7, while softball earned their first-ever national ranking, finishing the year as a program-best 12th. The baseball team did not reach No. 1 as it had in the past, but the Pacers vaulted 14

USCA Magazine 2009

to No. 2 nationally. USC Aiken’s cross country team concluded their year 16th at the NCAA Regionals. Additionally, the Pacer dance team continued their dominance in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) by claiming the PBC Dance Team Championship. They finished fourth

nationally in the Open II portion of the 2009 National Dance Association Nationals. The baseball team was the lone Pacer varsity squad to grab hold of a PBC championship, with the team rebounding from a dismal start to the season to claim the crown. The regular season baseball championship may now be a reality, but at one point, it seemed like only a dream as PBC Coach of the Year Kenny Thomas’ Pacers began the conference season just 1-5. USC Aiken finished the conference regular season having won its final seven PBC series and sweeping three of its final four league series. The stretch helped the Pacers claim a victory in 13 of its final 14 regularseason PBC contests. The Pacers prowess on the field led to

them hosting the NCAA Division II Southeast Baseball Regional at Roberto Hernandez Stadium. For the second straight year, the Pacers advanced to the regional final before bowing out. USC Aiken (42-19) concluded its season having been a part of its fifth-consecutive NCAA Division II Baseball regional and with five consecutive 40-win seasons. The Pacers were ranked 10th in the final NCAA Division II poll. Prior to 2009, the USC Aiken softball program had never been ranked nationally or played in a NCAA Division II Tournament. However, this past season, Jerry Snyder guided the Lady Pacers to both the national tournament and a national ranking. Ending with a 34-16 record, it was a special year for Snyder, who earned his 500th career win on Feb. 15. The Lady Pacers earned the second spot in the Southeast region. They ended the year ranked in the final five National Fastpitch Coaches Association polls, entering the poll for the first time in school history at No. 24 on April 8. The sixth Snyder team to claim 30 or more victories in a single season, the squad advanced to the PBC Tournament Championship Game before falling to NCAA Division II softball championship semifinalist and thirdranked North Georgia.

The basketball teams entered the 2009 season with high expectations with the men ranked No. 1 in the preseason by The Sporting

News. In mid-December, the men’s team was ranked No. 2 and the women’s team was ranked seventh. The high rankings at the time left USC Aiken as the only team in Division II with both their men’s and women’s basketball programs in the top 10 nationally. From that point forward, both would continue with strong play throughout the season, and both would advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament. Coach Mike Brandt’s Lady Pacers fell to conference rival Francis Marion in the first round of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional. The loss concluded one of the best seasons in school history at 22-12. With three straight 15

20-win campaigns, the Lady Pacers reached a new first in the women’s program history. The men’s squad advanced farther than any other team in program history with two wins in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional to move the team into the NCAA Division II “Sweet Sixteen.” The Pacers may have dropped the regional final, but under the direction of Coach Vince Alexander, the program has become a national force in NCAA Division II. The Pacers have won a school record 52 games over the last two years. The team has performed especially strong in the USCA Convocation Center, where they are 27-1 in regular season play over the past two seasons. USC Aiken’s men’s tennis team, led by Steve Dahm, received a bye into the semifinal round of the Savannah regional of the NCAA Division II Men’s Tennis Tournament and advanced to the regional final against No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic State University. Although the Pacers


USCA Magazine 2009

were unable to claim the regional title, they concluded the year 19-5, winning 13 of their final 15 team matches. One of the top programs in all of NCAA golf, the Pacers were ranked No. 1 for the majority of the season. While the 2009 team did not finish as strongly as they would have liked, concluding their year with a final regular season ranking of fifth, one could not argue with the tradition of success the program continues to enjoy. In this season, the Pacers played in their 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament, with this past spring season being one of only four in which the Pacers did not advance to the NCAA Division II finals. Under Coach Mike Carlisle, the 2009 team claimed four regular season tournament titles: the Kiawah Island Invitational, the NCAA Division II Aflac/Cougar Invitational, the Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate, and the 12th Annual Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate.

All said, 21 Pacers were named PBC All-Conference this year, with men’s basketball player Chris Commons selected as the PBC Player of the Year. More importantly, 28 Pacers earned PBC All-Academic honors. For their efforts in the classroom, USC Aiken claimed its first-ever PBC Presidents’ Academic Cup, which compares the GPA of studentathletes with other students. The collective GPA of studentathletes in the 2008-2009 year was the highest in the university’s history.



ess than 24 hours after the men’s basketball team played in their first-ever NCAA Division II “Sweet Sixteen,” perspective hit the campus hard. Star guard Javonte (‘Te) Clanton, on his way back home to his native state of Ohio shortly after the Pacers’ loss in the regional final, died in a car accident after reportedly

falling asleep at the wheel. “Javonte was a very talented basketball player, and he was loved by all his teammates,” said Alexander just hours after learning of the tragedy. “Most importantly, he was an outstanding individual and student. This is a tremendous loss to our campus community.” Clanton carried a 3.75 GPA in addition to his strong play on the court that saw him earn second team All-Conference accolades. Beloved by many, the emotional candlelight vigil in his honor was attended by more than 500, and more than 1,500 mourners attended Clanton’s funeral in his hometown of Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Still mourning the Clanton tragedy, USC Aiken was once again hit with heart-wrenching news in April, when women’s basketball star Meredith Legg ’09 was diagnosed with a rare form of malignant melanoma in her left eye. The all-time leading scorer in the program’s history, Legg began cancer treatments, including radiation, immediately. Legg was mere weeks away from graduation when she learned of the 10-millimeter tumor behind her left eye. Being a “fighter” as Brandt described her, Legg pushed forward in her battle. The PBC’s all-time leader in threepointers made (311) and one of only 14 players in NCAA Division II history to knock down over 300 three-pointers, Legg walked with her classmates during the May Commencement ceremony. She graduated with Cum Laude honors. Still fighting, Legg has a long way to go. She may yet lose vision in her

left eye, but according to Legg, she is “thankful to be alive.”



hroughout the triumphs and the heartbreaks experienced by Pacer Athletics this year, we’ve all seen the impact Pacer studentathletes have – on their teams, in their classrooms, and with the fans who cheer them on.

As a newcomer to campus, I can say that USC Aiken is a unique institution, in that it values what a student-athlete should be: a student first, an athlete second, and an important part of the USCA community. Without a doubt, the lessons learned this year will shape the bright future of Pacer athletics and will always remind us to keep things in perspective.


SC Aiken’s men’s basketball team concluded the 2008-2009 season ranked 17th in overall attendance in NCAA Division II. The Pacers had a total of 30,547 fans in attendance this season, averaging 2,036 fans per game at the Convocation Center.


SCOREBOARD Pacer Athletics 2008-2009 season




Baseball 42-19 #10 Men’s Basketball 25-8 #16 Women’s Basketball 22-12 Golf #5 Men’s Soccer 5-11-1 Women’s Soccer 3-15-2 Men’s Tennis 19-5 #5 Women’s Tennis 12-10 Volleyball 16-15 Softball 34-16 #12 Baseball – Highest National Ranking: Second; 2009 Peach Belt Conference Regular Season Champions; Hosted 2009 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional; Obtained fifth consecutive 40-win season; Head Coach Kenny Thomas honored as PBC Coach of the Year Men’s Basketball – Highest National Ranking: Second (highest ever); Advanced farther than any other team in program history to the NCAA Division II “Sweet Sixteen;” Pacers have won 52 games over past two seasons

PBC RECORD 18-9 16-4 12-8 1-5-0 1-6-1 5-3 3-6 3-7 11-7

Women’s Soccer – Nicole Westphal posted a Peach Belt Conference-best 117 saves in the 2008 season and was second in the league in saves per game Men’s Tennis – Highest National Ranking: Fifth (highest ever); Advanced to NCAA Division II Tournament Regional Final; Won 13 of final 15 matches as a team Women’s Tennis – Advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2009 Peach Belt Conference Women’s Tennis Tournament; Claimed a team victory in nine of their last 12 matches

Women’s Basketball – Highest National Ranking: Seventh (highest ever); Picked up third consecutive 20-win season for first time in program history; Played in NCAA Division II Tournament for third time in program history

Cross Country – Competed in second-ever NCAA Division II regional; Named to National Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division II All-Academic Team

Golf – Highest National Ranking: First; Played in 18th consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament; Won four regular season tournaments (two in fall, two in spring)

Volleyball – Picked up first 4-0 start in 18-year history of program; Won USC Aiken Volleyball Invitational; Finished in third place at 2008 Peach Belt Conference Tournament

Men’s Soccer – Advanced to semifinals of 2008 Peach Belt Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament

Softball – Highest National Ranking: 12th (highest ever); Advanced to NCAA Division II Tournament for first time in program history; Acquired first-ever national ranking; Head Coach Jerry Snyder won 500th game in 2009 season


USCA Magazine 2009


Dedicated people. Dedicated energy. “You tell us having reliable service is a top priority. So, whether a tree limb falls on a line or a big storm hits, it doesn’t matter. We’re out there 24/7 making sure the power stays on. It can be a tough job. But I wouldn’t do anything else.” SCE&G employees are dedicated to providing you with reliable service each and every day.

Jordan Rosier, SCE&G Lineman SS-09-000.indd 1

6/22/09 10:59:29 AM



of the Pacers

by Melissa Williams’ 09


f you’ve ever wondered who the man is behind the Voice of the Pacers, meet Joe Kucharski, the public address announcer for USC Aiken athletics. Many Division II schools are not fortunate enough to have a professional public address announcer, but as Pacer fans would agree, USC Aiken has been lucky to have Kucharski in the role for the past seven years. Originally from St. Louis, Kucharski got started when a mutual friend of his began conversations with Athletic Director Randy Warrick. Kucharski’s friend said he knew there was an opportunity for him to help USC Aiken. Kucharski explained, “We talked with Randy, and my first event was the Peach Belt Conference Volleyball Tournament. I did basketball for a couple of years, and when the baseball team moved to the Roberto Hernandez Stadium, Coach [Kenny] Thomas asked me if I could do baseball games too.” Soon, Kucharski was convinced by players and coaches to be the announcer for volleyball and soccer games as well. “Joe adds so much to our game environment, and he is truly one of the best game announcers that I have had the pleasure of working with in all my years of coaching,” said Volleyball Coach Glenn Cox. “He does a remarkable job keeping up with 20

USCA Magazine 2009

the speed of volleyball, which is one of the toughest sports to call. Anyone that has come to a Pacer game can tell that Joe takes pride in being the Voice of the Pacers and is one of the key elements in providing a quality collegiate athletic experience for all the student-athletes that get to have him announce their games.” Being the Voice of the Pacers has not only given Kucharski great seats at the games, but memories of outstanding plays, games, and – most importantly – the people. “The coaches at USC Aiken are both great coaches and individuals,” said Kucharski. “My favorite ‘people story’ happened after a Saturday baseball doubleheader at Armstrong Atlantic State University,” he said. “I went out to dinner with Coach [Mark] Conner, his wife, [Jennifer], and the families of players, John Sherrer ‘09, Jon Paul ‘07, and Scott Wandless ‘09. After our dinners had arrived, Mr. Paul said to our group, ‘Before we eat, we need a blessing from the Voice of the Pacers.’ It was a moment that made me feel a part of the family.” Not only has Kucharski become part of the USC Aiken family, but so have members of his family. Kucharski’s father, Ray, moved from St. Louis to Aiken in 2008 and has attended almost every game since he moved here. “My sister in Minnesota is a CPA, and their accounting firm listens to the web casts of the baseball games in their office during tax season,” added Kucharski. Kucharski has lived in the Aiken area for 15 years. He and his wife, Beth, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in June. They have three children: Tim, Mike, and Ann. Kucharski explained that being the Voice of the Pacers allows him to fill a different role than he does as an Operations Excellence Champion at GlaxoSmithKline. There, he is responsible for facilitating process improvement projects, providing training on Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma tools, providing statistical analysis, and owning certain site-wide projects as a member or the Site Leadership Team. Growing up in St. Louis, Kucharski worked for a couple of years at Ralston Purina before joining GlaxoSmithKline. In 1991, he moved to New Jersey and worked for four years before eventually ending up in Aiken in 1994.

Who Knows Joe? “Joe not only serves as our energetic and professional announcer, he gets to know the players, their families, and the fans. He is a very important part of our program to engage students and other fans in support of our teams, and we are proud to have him as a part of our family!” — Tom Hallman, chancellor “He has the perfect voice for the job and makes every game even more exciting!” — Jessica Loper, volleyball player “I am so glad Joe has found something he loves doing so much to express his love for sports and will be able to do for years to come. He truly looks forward to every game he announces.” — Beth Kucharski, Joe’s wife “Joe brings an excitement to the game that can’t be matched. We have only lost three games in the Convocation Center, and Joe has a lot to do with that.” — Vince Alexander, men’s basketball coach “Joe always personalized my introduction by saying, ‘She’s not in Kansas anymore!’ People always remember my introduction because of that. I could not have asked for a better announcer for my college career.” — Megan Starnes ’09, former women’s basketball player (originally from Riley, Kan.) “Joe is a very dedicated person to our baseball program. His voice has become tradition at Roberto Hernandez Stadium. The countless hours, careful thoughts he has for our players, and his true dedication make him a vital part of USCA Baseball. He adds so much to the atmosphere at our games. I love when he stops by my office before a game to talk a little baseball; it’s always a relaxing moment before the stressful game.” — Kenny Thomas, baseball coach “It was special when he announced basketball for me in high school [at South Aiken], and I’m glad he’s been able to do something he loves for so long that feeds his passion for sports.” — Mike Kucharski, Joe’s son

On how he juggles work, being the Voice of the Pacers, and his personal life, Kucharski said, “Family comes first, and fortunately, I have a flexible enough schedule at work to accommodate Pacer sports for the most part.”

“Joe has become an indelible part of the PBC fan experience. With USC Aiken hosting several PBC tournaments over the past few years, fans from around our league have come to know him as a true fan of not only his players, but all players. His sense of excitement and fun comes through loud and clear from his microphone, and the atmosphere he creates is that perfect balance of adrenaline, purpose, and respect that creates a fantastic game environment for everyone.” — David Brunk, Peach Belt Conference commissioner

Kucharski said he believes that Pacer Athletics provides a great entertainment opportunity and value for families in the area. “There aren’t many places where you can go to the games and get up close and personal with the athletes,” explained Kucharski. “Pacer coaches make sure their players interact with the fans after the games.”

“One of the best parts about coming to home games is his intro of players. I love that he isn’t just a voice; he is a friend. He wants us all to do well and genuinely cares what happens to the players and coaches. On a professional level, it means a lot to the players and their parents to have someone take the time to make sure he gets the names correct.” — Sue Vodicka, women’s soccer coach 21

“It has been awesome to play at home when we’ve had such a great announcer as Joe! It is great to start the game, hearing his great announcing voice calling your name when you go to the court.” — Satu Leppanen ’09, former women’s basketball player “Joe is arguably one of the best supporters of USCA athletics. His time commitment to all of our programs is second to none. I could not tell you which sport is his favorite, as he treats all coaches and players of each sport the same. It is so obvious that he truly enjoys working with all of us as much as we enjoy working with him…and listening to ‘The Voice of the Pacers!’” — Mike Brandt, women’s basketball coach “I’m really proud of him, and I like to tell my friends he is the PA announcer for USCA. It was really fun when I got to sit at the announcer’s table with him at basketball once.” — Ann Kucharski, Joe’s daughter “Joe’s personality is a perfect fit with USCA Athletics. His distinct voice and game calling style highly motivates the athletes and gets fans fired up. I have also gotten to know Joe’s dad, who attended all our home soccer matches last year, and this apple did not fall far from the tree. Joe is a true gem and a great asset to USCA Athletics.” — Ike Ofoje, men’s soccer coach “In addition to his great voice, there is a level of professionalism and enthusiasm that is unmatched. We are constantly throwing last minute changes and announcements at him at game time. Even in the delirium of having announced 18 tournament games over five days, he’s spot on. He’s taken the time to know so many of our athletes on a personal level and takes such pride in Pacer Athletics. I am glad he loves it so much because we are extremely lucky to have him, and I can’t imagine having another person in that role.” — Angie Osbon ‘92, assistant athletic director “Voice of the Pacers — the pulse that drives all of our teams into battle, providing inspiration, confidence, and school pride —that is the voice that one generous, humble, and truly great individual has provided us with throughout our athletic careers. Joe is truly a great person, but the power and strength of his voice don’t measure up to the strength and warmth of his personality and heart. He has taken his role to a whole other level, as he continually exhibits concern and care for the success of our athletes. To merely give thanks to him as the voice would omit his great contribution to the USCA Pacer family. With his personality, attitude, and commitment to our success, he is the embodiment of Pacer pride. Thank you, Joe!” — Keol Newton‘08, former men’s soccer player


USCA Magazine 2009

Warrick added, “Joe is truly an amazing person, who has a great voice, is easy to understand when announcing, and has the knack, flair, and sports knowledge to be able to go beyond traditional announcing. He does all this because he loves it. In fact, everything he does for us has been on a volunteer basis. He has become an integral part of our program, and I can’t imagine a Pacer game without him!” On May 1, Kucharski was honored by the Athletics Department at a baseball game as “Volunteer of the Year.” As for the future of USC Aiken athletics, Kucharski says he believes it is bright. “The coaches have great facilities to use as a recruiting tool, and they recruit fine athletes,” he said. When asked why he volunteers so much of his time to a university that he’s not an alumnus of, he said, “I, personally, and as a member of GlaxoSmithKline, believe that we should be involved in our community. This is a way for me to give back, while doing something I love.”

Journey of a Scholar:

Reflections from USC Aiken’s First Fulbright Visiting Scholar by Kendall Tubbs ‘05


r. Subhadra Channa rarely shies away from taking on new challenges. Over the course of her career, she has established herself as a widely known and respected scholar in India. She served as editor of the journal Indian Anthropologist, as president of the Indian Anthropological Association, and as co-chair of the Commission on the Anthropology of Women. However, after spending nearly two decades as a professor of anthropology at the University of Delhi in India, Channa says she needed a break from her routine. After speaking with her friend, Professor Ann Kingsolver, wife of USC Aiken sociology professor, Dr. Mark Whitaker, Channa became interested in traveling to the university to teach on campus. According to Channa, “I heard many good things about USCA, including the beautiful landscape and the good weather, so I was excited. It is always both refreshing and challenging to do something new once in a while.” A few months and a lot of paperwork later, Channa became the university’s first Fulbright Visiting Scholar. She began the 2008-2009 academic year as a professor in the Department of Sociology and set up a temporary residence in campus housing complex Pacer Downs. From the very beginning, Channa said she felt at home, “overwhelmed by the warmth” which she received on campus. Channa also said she found differences between students here and those back home in India. “Students here are a little more outspoken with their teachers than in India, where there is more respectful distance,” she said. “But I think it is good for them to speak their minds and give honest feedback. I like the way the students do not hesitate to communicate directly with the teacher. I consider that very healthy and better for teaching.” As the months went by, Channa admits that she found the teaching experience “both rewarding and a little frustrating at times.” The major differences she encountered involved her students’ personal lives. She explained that in India, it is quite uncommon for a college student to work, get married,

or start a family while attending school. Channa said that most students in India are supported throughout their school years by their parents or other family members. “Higher education in India is largely state-supported and does not cost as much as it does in the U.S.,” she said. “Most students can afford to be fulltime students.” One other noticeable difference, according to Channa, is the availability of resources. “In the U.S., every student can get the books they want from the bookstore,” she said. “In India, even the teachers do not get books. We have to rely entirely on library resources for our teaching. You will find the libraries always full of students trying to make notes from available books. Because books are not available, teachers often have to dictate or teach almost the entire course as lectures. Undoubtedly, I found teaching much easier here.” Channa said that she learned from her fellow USC Aiken professors new teaching techniques, such as incorporating multimedia into her lectures, that she hoped to use in her classroom at the University of Delhi. As for sharing her vast knowledge of anthropology with the students of USC Aiken, Channa said, “It was very interesting for me to see how the students got involved in classroom discussions based on their own experiences of gender and race. Anthropology helps us to understand the world from the other’s point of view, to take a critical view of things that we normally take for granted. For example, while teaching gender, I was happy to see that my students shed some of the stereotypes that they had about others, including about Muslim women.” Now back home in India, she said that she has had some time to reflect on her experiences at USC Aiken, and that she has fond memories of the campus and community. “I cherish all the gifts and love showered upon me,” she said. “And I must say the people of Aiken are some of the warmest I have come across in my journeys across the world.” 23

Leaving a Legacy

by Deidre Martin

“If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.” — Chinese Proverb


university is all about “growing people,” and when individuals give generously to our campus, they invest in the future.

In these trying economic times, we find more people interested in leaving a legacy through planned giving. This is a term used to describe a wide variety of giving methods that benefit USC Aiken during your lifetime and/or after your death, while meeting your current income needs and providing for your heirs. From a donor’s perspective, planned giving is attractive for many reasons. It may allow you to make larger gifts than you otherwise could out of your current assets. Depending on how a planned gift is set up, it may also let you receive a stream of income for life, earn higher investment yields, or reduce your capital gains or estate taxes. Planned gifts often appeal to people who want to benefit a charitable organization, but aren’t certain how much of their assets they’ll need for themselves during their lifetimes. There are as many reasons to give as there are givers. Whether your reasons are altruistic or simply tax-related, the benefits of planned giving are powerful and include: • • • • •

Knowing that you are giving back to an organization that holds special significance for you. Reducing the risk that your wishes will be hindered by circumstances beyond your control. Ensuring that family and financial matters are resolved privately. Finalizing your charitable choices now instead of later or never. Too many people postpone or never realize their charitable goals. Lowering your current taxes and/or lowering the taxes your estate will be required to pay.

Planned giving is also a viable option for donors of all income levels and ages. There’s an old saying that reads, 24

USCA Magazine 2009

“From a tiny acorn grows the mighty oak.” Like the acorn, regardless of the size of a planned gift, it can grow into a lasting legacy. Charles H. “Chip” Marvin IV ‘94 recently made a planned gift to the university to benefit the School of Business Administration, making Marvin the first alumnus and first Aiken Partnership Board member to make a planned gift as well as the youngest individual to make a planned gift to the university. Marvin and his wife, Cheryl ‘02, are both alumni – Chip, of the School of Business Administration, and Cheryl, a graduate of the School of Nursing. As a Certified Financial Planner™ and Second Vice President-Wealth Management with Smith Barney in Aiken, Marvin knows there “are dozens of planned giving options available, besides an outright cash gift, for people to consider. I help clients all the time with estate planning, and most of them don’t realize all the ways they can leave a gift behind. Additionally, they may not realize how flexible these options can be if needed.” Marvin said he hopes to educate others on supporting the university through alternatives other than a cash gift. He explained, “You can name the university as one of the beneficiaries of a life insurance policy, a 401-K plan, or you can leave a percentage of your estate to USC Aiken.” “We’re so proud of Chip and his many contributions to USC Aiken,” said Dr. Tom Hallman, chancellor. “For a family with two working parents and four children, Chip and Cheryl represent that you don’t have to be retired and without heirs to plan a legacy that will impact our students in a meaningful way.” Dr. Tom Mack holds the distinction of being the first of our faculty to establish a planned gift. Mack, a Carolina Trustee professor, chair of the English Department, and coordinator of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, has worked at USCA for more than 30 years.

left: Chip, Cheryl, and Brandt Marvin with Dr. Bill Marsh (far left) and Dr. Ralph Byington (far right) of the School of Business Administration right: Dr. Tom Mack

Explaining the reason he chose to make the gift, he said, “I am committed to the future success of our programs. To that end, I have been instrumental during my tenure as chair in establishing nine endowment funds for the department, three for general programming and six for student scholarships and prizes. I am happy to add another fund in my own name.” USC Aiken recognizes donors who make planned gifts as part of the university’s “Legacy Society.” The only requirement for Legacy Society membership is a planned gift, regardless of size. Making the university aware of a

planned gift is a wonderful way for us to work with the donor earlier, so that we know his or her intentions of the gift. Additionally, it helps programs and departments to plan for the future. Planned giving allows gifting of “tomorrow’s” dollars instead of “today’s,” allowing you the time to make solid, well-thought-out decisions and allowing you to give now, not just after your death. Providing for your family is number one, but creating a bequest to the university will help students for years to come and provide a fitting memorial for you.

Inaugural Members of the Legacy Society Mrs. Gwen & The Honorable Herbert C. Adams Mrs. Leslie & Dr. Robert Alexander Dr. Elizabeth & Mr. Frederick D. Benton Mrs. Sylvia & Mr. Wade M. Brodie Mrs. Marie H. Carpenter Mr. Ben Cox Mrs. Barbara & Dr. T. Richard Herold Mr. Jim Huff Mrs. Hilare Inder Ms. Jane E. Little Dr. Tom Mack Mrs. Cheryl & Mr. Charles Marvin IV

Mrs. Eleanor R. Miller Dr. Mary Leslie Hudson Parsons Ms. Sarah Patterson Mr. Benjamin Steen Smith Ms. Mary Jo Steel Dr. Ida Crawford Stewart Mrs. Evelyn K. Vought Mrs. Alice M. Weems Dr. Charmaine Wilson and Mr. TJ Voss Anonymous Anonymous


Financial Tips

from a Business Dean and Donald Trump Dr. Ralph Byington, dean, School of Business Administration


veryone has their top 10 lists for financial success, from Donald Trump to David Letterman to the local banker. Trump has things on his list like No. 10, “only buy things that are essential like golf courses and beauty pageants.” This is a good place to start, but let me place that at No. 11, since I think we can do better with the first tip.

No. 10 — Find a job that will pay you enough to meet all of your needs and some

of your wants. This may mean more education to qualify you for that job or maybe working your way up in an organization. If your skills are undervalued where you are, look elsewhere or at least approach your boss about this discrepancy.

No. 9 — Don’t overspend what you make. The problem is not credit card use, the problem is credit card payments.

Follow the simple rule that you must pay your balance each month. Don’t make expenditures until you have that amount in your budget.

No. 8 — This brings up the topic of a budget. Make one and stick to it. Where do you start? With the last three months’

expenses. Take out your bank statements, credit card statements, and any other sources that you used to make payments and make a list of expenditures by type for each month. Start with housing, utilities, cell phone, car payment, food, clothing and dry cleaning, entertainment, etc. Then consider your yearly and/or semi-annual expenses (e.g. car insurance) and divide these expenses by 12 for yearly or six for semi-annual. This will give you the amount you need to save each month in order have the yearly or semi-annual expenses covered. Next, get your average expense per month for the fixed items (rent, car payment, utilities, 1/12th or 1/6th of your yearly/semi-annual expenses, credit card debt repayment, etc.) and your average expense for variable items (entertainment, dry cleaning, etc.). At the end of this process, you will have your monthly budget.

No. 7 — Pay yourself. Set aside a certain amount (10% or more) for retirement and/or rainy days. More if you can after step 6. Always remember that if your employer has a retirement option where they match either some or all of your contributions, you are crazy if you don’t take advantage of this match.

No. 6 —

Know how much fun you can have. Take what you make from No. 10 and subtract No. 7 and any fixed items from No. 8. If there is an excess, you are golden. Develop a plan to pay off the balance of the credit card debt. If there is still an excess, enjoy those variable items, save more, or buy that big screen television – but not until you have accumulated enough to pay for it in full.

No. 5 — Plan for yourself and others. Make sure that you are covered if something happens. Disability insurance (short-

or long-term) is relatively inexpensive. Build a reserve account and consider life insurance if you have dependents. Let me also add, make a will.


USCA Magazine 2009

No. 4

— Pay attention. Each week (or day) you need to know where your money goes. If you have budgeted X amount on entertainment and have spent Y amount, then Y better be less than X, or something else has to give. You need to know when this happens – not at the end of the month when you can’t do anything about it.

No. 3 — Keep love in the red and money in the black. I love this one. One of the biggest challenges is living within your No. 10 when you have friends or significant others that want to spend at a higher level. Don’t overdo it.

No. 2

— Know that Nos. 10–3 are not a constant. You must know your life stage. This includes: college, career, couples and marriage, parenthood, home ownership, life crisis, sandwich generation, and retirement. You may not go through all of these but you need to know that they all have different financial needs. Plan your budget for your next stage.

No. 1

— If you are struggling to get past tip #10, consider going back to school. Contact our Admissions Office for more information at 803.641.3366.


r. Ralph Byington was selected to serve a three-year term on the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Initial Accreditation Committee. Byington and his fellow committee members will oversee the initial accreditation process for schools in the final stages of seeking AACSB approval.


Top 50 in



USCA Magazine 2009


marks USC Aiken’s 50th anniversary. In 1961, the community called for an institution of higher education in Aiken, and our university came to be. Since that time, countless individuals and organizations – alumni, donors, students, faculty, staff, administrators, and legislators – had a hand in our evolution. From a few small classrooms at Banksia to a senior campus of the University of South Carolina System, USC Aiken, serving more than 3,200 students, has become a vital part of the Central Savannah River Area. Plans for our 50th anniversary celebration are just beginning to be made, and we hope that you will join us for the events and activities surrounding this milestone in our history. As plans formalize, visit to find out more. We are gathering nominations for the “Top 50 in 50,” a list of some of the most important individuals and organizations in the university’s history – those who played a significant role in developing USCA as we now know it. We invite you to nominate a person or organization now. Nominations will be accepted until December 15, 2010. Each nomination must include three things: 1. Name of the individual or organization being nominated 2. A brief statement revealing why this nomination should be considered 3. Name and contact information of the nominator Nominations may be submitted in one of two ways: 1. online at 2. by mail to: USC Aiken Campus Box 42 (attn: 50th Anniversary) 471 University Parkway Aiken, SC 29801


Oh, What a Difference! the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at USC Aiken by Kendall Tubbs ‘05


hen B.J. Johnson, an avid runner, marathoner, and triathlete, noticed some shortness of breath in the fall of 2008, he knew it “was just not

normal.” After several tests, including an echocardiogram, stress test, and heart catheterization, Johnson received some life-changing news.

There were two blockages in his heart. While one was able to be treated with stints, the other was more serious. Rather than perform bypass surgery, Johnson’s physician decided to try an alternative course of action: medication and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at USC Aiken. Known by most as simply the Cardiac Rehab Program, the program was founded in the early 1990s when Dr. David Cundey moved his practice from Augusta, Ga. to Aiken. Cundey was a key player in establishing cardiovascular programs at Aiken Regional Medical Centers (ARMC) and felt that the citizens of Aiken should have their own cardiac rehab program. Operated in partnership with ARMC, the program was initially established at USC Aiken under the direction of Dr. Kim Wood Woeber. With just a few participants, it was housed in the university’s Wellness Center—which was then a small room in the Student Activities Center. When the Business and Education Building was constructed in the mid 1990s, the program moved, along with the Wellness Center, to its new and improved 25,000 square-foot facility. The program is a state-certified Phase II cardiac rehabilitation program, focusing on appropriate education and exercise for individuals following recent 30

USCA Magazine 2009

heart problems. Most participants attend the program three times per week for a three-month period; however, some of them decide to stick around even after their sessions have ended. Johnson said that although he is close to completing his required 36 sessions, he will continue to exercise at the Wellness Center on a regular basis and says he has already recommended both the Wellness Center and the Cardiac Rehab Program to friends. “It’s all positive, all enjoyable,” he said. “I look forward to it and just can’t say enough about the Cardiac Rehab Program.” Inez Foster wasn’t as fortunate as Johnson. Her heart issues weren’t diagnosed as early, and she suffered a heart attack early last year. Following her heart attack, Foster spent time as a patient at ARMC, where she was visited by a representative from the Wellness Center, who provided information about the program. Foster joined in February 2008 and said that while she wasn’t sure what to expect, she felt comfortable from the beginning. “I’m pleased here, and the people are very good,” she said. “They have classes that teach you what to do and what not to do.”

And while Foster admits that certain parts of the program, such as the dreaded Stairmaster, aren’t as enjoyable as others, she has benefited tremendously— not only from a health perspective. Foster says she has made new friends, and she often “exchanges ideas” with them. In addition, she finds the Wellness Center staff “very cooperative,” saying, “They will go to the limit to help you.” According to Program Coordinator Holly Guy ‘96, the program is an important service offered to the community because it helps patients “get back to their daily lives” following a heart issue. “Often times, at the end of their program,” said Guy, “I will have patients comment that they have not felt this good in 10 to 20 years. Physically, it helps them recover and be able to return to activities – work, golf, gardening, and so on. Mentally and psychologically, the program helps the patient understand their disease, assures them that they can resume activities they enjoy, and teaches them the skills needed to manage their disease in the future.” Guy explained, “The program has been so successful because of the various aspects that are addressed. Most people think of cardiac rehab as being only an exercise program, but because we address so many factors that influence the patient and their disease, it provides them with the knowledge to help manage it long term. Even though the program is only for 36 sessions, to be successful, patients are encouraged to implement the risk factor modifications, including exercise, stress management, dietary issues, and smoking cessation, for a lifetime.” Johnson agrees that the program has impacted his life in a huge way. “This has changed my attitude,” he said. “When I retired three years ago, I became less active. Now, I look forward to coming here and exercising. Once you get into the program, once you get disciplined,

you’re able to track your progress, and you get more confident.”

“Often times, at the end of their program, I will have patients comment that they have not felt this good in 10 to 20 years.” – Holly Guy ‘96 Blanch Knight was referred to the program by her cardiologist after a heart attack. She has attended the program since October 2008 and says, “The staff is just great. They make it fun.” Knight also said that she has noticed “a lot of benefits” such as getting better sleep at night. Although she recently took some time away from the program to deal with a separate health issue, Knight said she is happy to be a part of it again and feels “just as good as before, but even better now.” According to Guy, the Cardiac Rehab Program averages approximately 150-200 patients per year. Guy estimated that the program has served over 2,000 patients since its beginnings in the early 1990s. Johnson said he hopes the program will continue to assist others with heart issues the same way it has helped him. “Oh, what a difference!” he said. “The staff is so professional. They’ve become family. I call them ‘the kids.’” Foster agreed. “I love it,” she said of the program. “I’m very pleased with it. Most of all, I’ve been feeling much better since I joined the Wellness Center.”

left: Blanch Knight is monitored during exercise; center: Inez Foster; right: B.J. Johnson’s workout is overseen by Chris Reckart ‘09 31


by Melissa Williams ‘09

the Surface

by Melissa Williams ‘09


rofessors are generally busy teaching, grading papers, working with students, and planning classes. For some professors, their extracurricular activities are a welcome break.

For most of his life, Dr. Andy Dyer, associate professor of biology, has been an avid swimmer. He swam two years in high school and three years at Fresno State University. Then Dyer decided to try his hand at basketball, which led to a 20-year hiatus from swimming. He was plagued by injuries and eventually tore his ACL. He was soon faced with having to decide whether or not to have surgery or give up basketball completely. So, he decided to go back to the pool and compete as a “masters swimmer.” Last year, Dyer turned 50, which meant he moved up to a new age group in masters swimming and is now also able to compete in the National Senior Games, the largest multisport event in the world. The National Senior Games are held every two years in various locations. To compete in the games, you must qualify at a meet each year in advance. “People come from all over [to qualify],” says Dyer. “Older people gear their vacations around them.” Dyer went to the qualifying meet in Warner Robbins, Ga. in September 2008 and had the fastest time in five events. He


USCA Magazine 2009

received five gold medals in three breast stroke events, the individual medley, and the 50 butterfly. “I can do them all,” said Dyer. “My specialty is the breast stroke, but I can do freestyle, backstroke, and the butterfly.” The swimming events of the National Senior Games will be held the first two weeks of August at Stanford University. The other events will be at various facilities around the San Francisco Bay area. Additional events found at the Games include track and field, team bowling, shuffle board, bicycling, weight lifting, archery, golf, basketball, and others. “The best thing about masters swimming is that you get to be in a new age bracket every five years,” adds Dyer. The United States Masters Swimming [USMS] organization has almost 50,000 members and is growing rapidly. “I often have the opportunity to swim against former Olympians,” he said. “More and more college and Olympic swimmers are getting back into competition as masters.” This year, at the YMCA Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and the USMS Nationals in Fresno, Calif., Dyer swam with the likes of Rowdy Gaines, who swam at Auburn University and is a U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame member, Olympic three-time gold medalist, and member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. “I did pretty well and came home with six medals from YMCA and four medals from Nationals,” said Dyer.

So far, Dyer has broken a number of Georgia state records for the 45-49 and 50-54 age groups in both yards and meters races. Although the records don’t stand for long, he still holds seven records in the state. Dyer has worked in the Department of Biology and Geology for nine years. In spring 2009, Dyer took a sabbatical leave, which enabled him to catch up on research. Dyer’s current research is focused on the ecological and evolutionary traits of weedy and invasive plant species that have become problem species. “For barbed goatgrass and yellow nutsedge, I am looking specifically at their ability to make plastic

adjustments to new conditions, and in particular how maternal effects can enable offspring to be more successful,” he explained. While on sabbatical, Dyer was able to “do research that I am unable to do during the semester because of teaching and grading papers. People don’t realize how much time that takes. I am also able to prepare for my swimming events.” In addition to being an active swimmer at the national level, Dyer will continue as the swim coach at Aiken High School, where he has served for five years.


o date, USC Aiken has had 10 students named Magellan Scholars. Besides the Columbia campus, USC Aiken has the most scholars in the University of South Carolina system. The Magellan Scholar program provides grants to support undergraduate research and creative endeavors for students.


Homecoming 2009

by Melissa Williams ‘09 & Monica Williams ‘09


omecoming 2009 kicked off with an array of weekend events, ranging from a dinner at Banksia to athletic team reunions and a high-voltage match-up in the women’s and men’s basketball games on Saturday. Friday night was a trip down memory lane for alumni who attended Banksia from 1961-1974. Seventy-one alumni gathered to spend the evening reminiscing about their time at Banksia. Mary Ann (Herron) Lynes ‘68 shared memories of “the small classrooms, the ability to ‘know’ everyone, basketball games, bus trips, and my oh my...,” she said, smiling. Banksia alumni took tours around their old school, now the Aiken County Historical Museum. Many were able to see friends they had not seen in many years. Charles Rice ‘68 recalled the “basketball team and the fun dances at Banksia. I made many friends that I have been close to over the years.” Alumni gathered for dinner in the ballroom, which many said they felt a special connection to because it is where students held dances.

top: USC Aiken Banksia attendees at the alumni dinner in one of their former classrooms right: Cheerleader alumni


USCA Magazine 2009

Alice Kirkland ‘69 said she remembered “all the caring professors that helped create a love of learning and their keeping an open door for students, especially Chancellor Casper!” On Saturday, student-athlete alumni joined their old teammates for a scrimmage and had the opportunity to meet the current Pacer athletes. Activities included a volleyball alumni match, followed by a cheer and dance alumni rally, and culminating with a men’s alumni basketball game. “I remember cheerleading, going to camp in Tennessee, and hanging out with all cheerleaders, Willonda, Latrecia, and Lyndsay” said Jennifer Thomas ‘01. Later that evening, the homecoming events continued with the women’s and men’s basketball games against Armstrong Atlantic State University. Alumni were invited to the “Watering Hole,” held between games to visit with former professors and student organization leaders. Alumni cheered as both the Pacers and Lady Pacers prevailed to Homecoming victories.

top left to right: Class hosts, Tomokazu Switzer ’89, Brandon Flynt ’99, Darrell Rains ’79, and Alice Sanford Kirkland ‘69 left: Banksia alumna, June Hall Sullivan ’72, finds her Miss Sophomore pageant picture in a yearbook bottom: Women’s basketball alumni with current Lady Pacers team



by Melissa Williams ‘09


ome say that memories are a way of holding onto the things you love and the things you never want to lose. Dr. Trudy Henson, distinguished professor emerita of sociology who retired in spring 2009, says she has memories of USC Aiken to cherish for a lifetime.

Henson came to USC Aiken in the fall of 1978 to teach sociology classes. Back then, she recalls that the sociology department consisted of 20 students. Today, the department has approximately 150 majors. “When I first came to campus, students were more non-traditional-aged (over 25), but it has changed over the years and is now very traditional,” says Henson. “We had a much smaller student body then.” She explained that the campus looked drastically different three decades ago. “There was no campus housing, and the only buildings that existed were Penland, the Student Activities Center, and the library, which was half its current size. The Humanities and Social Sciences Building opened the fall I came,” 36

USCA Magazine 2009

remembered Henson. During Henson’s 30 years at USC Aiken, the campus has almost tripled in size. Some of the things Henson says she will remember are the friendships she formed with students and faculty colleagues. “This is a good place to be,” she adds. “I never intended to stay here my entire career, but the atmosphere and peer support has been great. I appreciate the way the campus has encouraged faculty to voice their opinions and stay involved in the direction of the campus.” Henson credits her husband’s retirement four years ago as the main reason she decided that it was also a good time to

retire. She said he has encouraged her to retire so they can do things and go places together. “We like to travel during offpeak times,” says Henson. “We would like to go to Australia.” Even though Henson knew she would retire at the end of the spring semester, it did not stop her from developing a new course in the department called Environmental Sociology, which involves dealing with human impact on the natural environment and the impact of the natural environment on humans. “Environmental Sociology stemmed from a course I taught called Social Demography,” explained Henson. “It is important because it gets into our heads that we are a part of the environment. The course answers questions on how we have contributed to problems in the environment, like global warming, and gives possible solutions to these problems.” Besides developing the new course before she retired, Henson said she also had a goal to see two of her nontraditional students graduate, one of which was Josephine Prescott ‘08, a quadriplegic student who graduated in December. Henson worked with Prescott from the time Prescott arrived on campus in 1983. “There are others I would like to see complete their education like advisees and other students,” said Henson. “There are also many faculty and staff that I will miss seeing daily.” Of all the courses and infinite number of students she taught over the years, Henson said she remembers her favorite class taught in 1989. “The course was World Population Problems. It was a small class, maybe 12 students in all, and it was all female. Everyone was interested and constantly coming to class engaged. It was not just a lecture, but more of a group of equals.” Henson shared that teaching was not always what she wanted to do. In fact, when she was in undergraduate school, she said she disliked sociology. She received her business administration degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. “I come from the baby boom generation,

and in the 1960s there were not many opportunities for women,” she said. “My dad told me to get a degree in something I could get a job in, so I had two choices: teaching or nursing.” After college, Henson worked one year in retail, then for the

“I appreciate the way the campus has encouraged faculty to voice their opinions and stay involved in the direction of the campus.”

Department of Social Services. She decided to go to graduate school to receive a master’s degree in sociology. Henson completed her teaching assistantship at the University of Nebraska Omaha and has taught on the college level ever since. “The teaching assistantship was a valuable experience,” recalled Henson. “I was able to help develop exams, grade exams, and give a lecture to 300 students in an auditorium.” While at USC Aiken, Henson has served on the search committees which selected both Chancellor Tom Hallman and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Suzanne Ozment. Other committees that Henson has served on include the Faculty Advisory Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and International Programs Committee. She served as Chair of the Faculty Assembly during the 20022003 term. Over the years, Henson has been recognized for her dedication to the university and to her students. She has been honored with several service awards and served as chair of the Department of Sociology for 10 years. Looking back at her career, Henson said she is most proud when a former student comes back or e-mails something they have learned in one of her classes.


SC Aiken has been selected to host the Peach Belt Conference Basketball Tournaments for men and women, scheduled for March 2010 and 2011. The Pacers also served as tournament hosts in 2008 and 2009.


Partners in Education connecting USC Aiken and Aiken County Public Schools by Jamie Raynor ’02 & ‘05


SC Aiken and Aiken County Public Schools share a common goal: to provide the best education possible to students in our area. USC Aiken faculty, staff, and students share their time, resources, and talents with various schools in Aiken County through programs such as CHOICES, the Professional Development School (PDS) Partnerships, and the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center, to enhance learning throughout the community. Faculty and staff volunteers trained last fall to teach CHOICES, an eighth grade program that allows students to examine educational and life goals through mock activities. After being introduced to the program through her work with the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Deidre Martin, vice chancellor for University Advancement, said she knew that USC Aiken had to get involved. “The CHOICES program provides a special opportunity for our faculty and staff to interact with middle school students,” she said. “It’s all about letting students know that they do control the choices in their lives – even when they are in middle school – and that they can have more choices in their future if they have more education. It encourages them to see the value of education and to work hard while they are in school.” CHOICES was added through the university’s “adoption” of Leavelle McCampbell Middle School (LMMS) in Graniteville. Martin said, “Everyone at Leavelle McCampbell has been so excited about having USC


USCA Magazine 2009

Aiken more involved with their students.” In addition to CHOICES, USC Aiken has founded a Builders Club community service program in cooperation with USC Aiken’s Circle K Club and hosted “Leavelle McCampbell Night” at a Pacer basketball game. One CHOICES volunteer, English Instructor Vicki Collins, said, “I was immediately interested in participating because these students are part of our local community. This program allows us to model responsible citizenship and to make a positive impact on the students’ lives.” “Being with the students was time well spent,” Collins continued. “Their smiles assured us that they welcomed us back the second day of the program.” Collins shared the following CHOICES success story from LMMS: “A boy told us before we left that we had changed his life. I was almost reduced to tears. He explained the academic changes he planned to make in order to be a successful student and then asked us if he could just skip high school and come straight to college with us!” The School of Education has developed strong ties to local schools through programming such as America Reads, Geography First!, and PDS Partnerships, which took place in four local elementary schools this year. In its initial year of implementation, the PDS Partnerships have proven successful not only to the school students and teachers, but to USC Aiken faculty and undergraduates.

left: Jamie Raynor ‘02 & ‘05 and Kelvin Rachell lead a CHOICES program at Leavelle McCampbell Middle School right, top & center: Students experiment at Ruth Patrick Science Education Center bottom right: CE-MIST teacher training at A.L. Corbett Middle School

The ultimate goal of the program is best summarized by associate professor, Dr. Tim Lintner, “We are all in this thing called ‘education’ together. Marshalling resources, sharing ideas, and providing enriching opportunities that lead to increased student achievement is the magic of a true university and district partnership. We are working towards a seamless web between the university and the K-12 classroom, where ideas flow to and from each other.” Two-time alumna and assistant professor, Dr. Deborah MacPhee ‘93 & ‘99, shared benefits of the program, stating, “Our students have the opportunity to be immersed in their future profession. PDS brings experts and novices together to learn from each other.” Oakwood Windsor Principal, Janice Kitchings, echoed, “The goal in all of this is to raise student achievement; therefore, it’s my job to see that the quality of teaching and learning is at its best. The university students bring with them fresh ideas that my teachers are able to use.”

“We are working towards a seamless web between the university and the K-12 classroom, where ideas flow to and from each other.

– Tim Lintner Senior elementary education major Kimberly Jump said that the greatest asset of PDS is that undergraduates are not simply taught about teaching in a classroom, but they are actually in the community doing the teaching in a variety of grade levels and school settings. Jump recalled a hands-on learning activity she conducted, stating, “My coteacher and I brought in a live corn snake to help illustrate the concept of camouflage. After I presented some basic facts about the snake and showed the students how it uses camouflaging to survive, they were allowed to touch it if they felt comfortable doing so. They absolutely loved it, and I felt like a rock star because it all went so well!” Fellow senior Charlotte Farrell commented, “I get to play an active role within these programs…working first-hand with students. My experience working in the schools with teachers and students has strengthened my confidence 39

for my internship, as well as my future position as an educator.” Farrell recalled, “At J.D Lever, my favorite classroom memory was when I taught a lesson about the Great Depression and the Roaring Twenties. I found music from that time teach the students the Charleston, which was the popular dance then. The students really enjoyed it, and it was a great way for the students to understand that place in history through music and dance.”

“My experience working in the schools with teachers and students has strengthened my confidence for my internship, as well as my future position as an educator.

– Charlotte Farrell

In addition to the PDS Partnerships, Lintner notes the Geography First! program, which is in its fifth year and has been recognized as the Outstanding Social Studies Program award from the South Carolina Council for the Social Studies.

River Area Mathematics and Science Regional Center are designed to help individuals experience science and mathematics in a challenging, yet exciting way through the fun of discovery. Director of RPSEC Student Programs and CE-MIST Deborah McMurtrie ‘81 said, “Approximately 700 teachers bring their classes to the Center for field trips. This year, the K-12 student programs served more than 23,000 students from 70 schools encompassing 21 districts in both South Carolina and Georgia.” One of the newest programs offered at RPSEC, CE-MIST, partners with three area schools: A.L. Corbett Middle School, LMMS, and Johnston-Edgefield-Trenton Middle School. It was established in 2008 through a grant sponsored by the SC Commission on Higher Education and is a six-year-long project. McMurtrie explained, “The CEMIST grant provided professional development activities for the teachers, including workshops, opportunities to attend statewide conferences, and two summer institutes. Pre-service teachers provided approximately 500 hours of service learning in schools to assist teachers in differentiating instruction. Finally, every middle school student visited the Center this year for a series of handson, inquiry-based programs aligned with state curriculum standards.”

The Ruth Patrick Science Education Center (RPSEC), established in 1987, has created a permanent partnership between the university, the school district, and local industry for educational programming in science, mathematics, and technology.

Chancellor Tom Hallman praised the efforts of faculty, staff, and students for their involvement in educating local citizens outside the campus, stating, “We place great emphasis on the value of citizenship, and we not only convey this value through verbal and written avenues, but we provide opportunities to actively participate in the process. Education is the common thread in these partnerships, and life lessons are learned by all involved.”

Hands-on learning programs such as the Science and Technology Enrichment Program, the Center of Excellence in Middle-level Interdisciplinary Strategies for Teaching (CE-MIST), the Traveling Science and Mathematics Demonstrations Program, and the Central Savannah

Collins concluded, “Participation by USCA faculty, staff, and students is a testament of our commitment to education and to the young people we hope to find in our own classrooms one day.” As the old proverb says, it does truly take a village to raise a child.


r. Maggi Morehouse, associate professor of history, was recently elected to the South Carolina Humanities Council Board of Directors and will serve a three-year term. She is also a board member of the Historic Aiken Foundation and Pine Lawn Cemetery, as well as a member of the Steering Committee for the Center for African American History, Art, and Culture.


USCA Magazine 2009


History to Life

“Let me assure you that a house is more than simply a place with walls, doors, windows, and a roof over the top of it all. There is something in a dwelling that captures and cradles the essence of the people who’ve lived their lives inside it.”


ith these opening words, a documentary about USC Aiken’s Pickens-Salley House is coming to life. Currently in production, the documentary titled Edgewood: Stage of Southern History will be presented in two half-hour segments, first telling the plantation and Civil War stories, and then moving into stories of the 20th century women’s suffrage movement and the civil rights era. Previously called “Edgewood,” the house was built in Edgefield, S.C. for secessionist governor Francis W. Pickens in 1829. Over the years it has served as the stage for many important periods in the history of South Carolina and was home to two remarkable women, Lucy Pickens and Eulalie Salley, who are prominently featured in the documentary. “Our goal is to tell the stories of the many people who have lived and worked in the house in its nearly 200 year history — from the Pickens and Salley families to the enslaved people on the plantation to the winter colony folks and finally students on the USC Aiken campus,” said Deidre Martin, executive producer and vice chancellor for University Advancement. The structure has been moved twice and now houses the Offices of the Chancellor and University Advancement. The project is supported by grants from the Humanities Council of South Carolina, the South Carolina Heritage Corridor, and the Porter Fleming Foundation as well as the Julian B. Salley, Jr. Pickens-Salley House Endowment. For more information about the documentary, visit The documentary is scheduled to premiere on March 30, 2010 at USC Aiken as part of the annual Pickens-Salley Symposium on Southern Women. Top: Ciara Chaltas as Lucy Pickens and Jim Anderson as Francis Pickens Middle: Chaltas, Dr. Maggi Morehouse as Lucy Pickens’ mother, and Juanita Palmer ‘07 as Lucinda Bottom: Filming a carriage scene in front of the Pickens-Salley House 41

Lessons from a Graduate: Audrey Hendley ‘09


udrey Hendley ‘09 graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and minor in chemistry with Summa Cum Laude honors. A graduate of Francis Hugh Wardlaw Academy, Hendley maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout college. She was recognized in May as the Outstanding Senior Student. Beginning the summer following her freshman year, Hendley began conducting research in the university’s biology lab as a laboratory research assistant under the direction of Dr. Bill Jackson ‘83, chair of the Department of Biology and Geology and associate professor of biology. Hendley worked on several projects, including the cloning and testing of anti-HIV hammerhead ribozymes. She made several presentations on her research findings at South Carolina Academy of Science meetings, and in May 2008, was awarded the prestigious Magellan Scholarship by the University of South Carolina. Not limiting herself to biology, Hendley also conducted experiments in the chemistry lab under the direction of Dr. Chad Leverette. According to Jackson, “Audrey is, in my opinion, one of the finest students the university has produced. I have found Audrey to be reliable, intelligent, and highly motivated. While her work in the classroom is excellent, her work and attention to detail in the laboratory are extremely impressive. To this end, she is one of the most productive undergraduates I have ever had in the classroom and laboratory.”

1. At your freshman orientation, you told Dr. Jackson that you wanted to get a Ph.D. in genetics. Are you surprised that you stuck with that plan? It’s very rare for an 18-year-old freshman to enter college knowing exactly what they want to do after graduation. It turned out that after all of my biology courses, genetics was still the most fascinating aspect of science to me. I think some of my friends and professors were a bit more surprised than I was that I stuck with my original plan. 2. With a father in the Air Force, you lived in other states and countries. How did that impact you? I loved growing up around the world, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Never having lived in a place for more than six years, I was born in Nebraska and have lived in Mississippi, Italy, Germany, South Carolina, and soon to be Maryland. Living overseas has given me an open mind to different types of people and cultures and has better equipped me to adapt to new places.


USCA Magazine 2009

3. What would you change about your USC Aiken experience? I would have to say nothing. When I look back on all of my memories of USCA and pieces of the puzzle that have led me to where I am today, I can’t imagine a single piece missing. 4. What is your favorite USCA memory? It was a mid-July morning when our class gathered for an exam in American National Government. The building was being renovated that summer, and there was construction noise downstairs like you wouldn’t believe while we were trying to take our test. After about 15 minutes, the professor asked us all to stand up, go to the end of our table, pick it up, and on the count of three, drop the table. And so we did it in unison, and at that moment, the drill noises ceased. It was hilarious, and that is my favorite memory of USCA.

Hendley and Jackson in the biology lab

5. What advice would you give to an entering freshman at USCA? When I entered school as a freshman biology major, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. No matter what your major is, be prepared to work hard and put school on the top of your priorities list. 6. How has your experience as a student changed you? I have learned to be very patient with research. I have also grown in an atmosphere of caring professors and friends, who have prepared me to take on the world. 7. What are your future plans? In the fall, I will begin a Ph.D. program in Human Genetics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. From there, I will go wherever life leads me.

8. What are you most proud of? I am most proud of my family. I lived at home with my parents during my college career, and had no major expenses to worry about. They are very supportive of me, and I couldn’t have done it without them. 9. What are your interests outside work? I love playing almost all sports, especially softball and tennis. I also work out at the gym regularly, attend church, and read good books. 10. To you, what makes life worth living? To wake up each morning, not knowing what God has in store for me that day, is the amazing gift of life that I embrace.


tudent housing at USC Aiken offers three living-learning communities: the Double Knot Leadership Community for students interested in leadership; the Pacer Service Society for those dedicated to community service, and the Honors learning community for academically talented and highly-motivated students.

43 Representative Tom Young South Carolina House District 81 Aiken County P.O. Box 651 Aiken, SC 29802 Tel: (803) 649-0000 Fax: (803) 649-7005 See Tom’s website for weekly legislative updates

PO Box 1607 Aiken, SC 29802

Telephone: (803) 648-2835 Fax: (803) 642-9769 Bid Fax: (803) 644-4474 E-mail:

Protecting and powering our environment

1-800-922-1262 44

USCA Magazine 2009

In Memory W

hen someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.

~Author Unknown

STUDENTS Javonte Clanton, Class of 2010, March 18, 2009 Alissa Rose McCarty, Class of 2012, October 7, 2008

ALUMNI Ms. Elizabeth A. Boyd ‘09, July 21, 2009 Mrs. Vicki F. Doty ‘97, June 13, 2008 Mrs. Annie L. Gossett ‘73, August 10, 2008 Mr. Kevin Reid Hughes ‘97, February 9, 2009 Mr. Isaiah Joe ‘08, March 27, 2009 Mr. Leonard Russell Jones ‘98, December 5, 2008 Mr. Randy Layman ‘80, August 9, 2008 Mr. Donald R. Martin ‘70, July 17, 2009 Ms. Nina Jo Nidiffer ‘89, December 13, 2008 Mr. Gardiner L. Nottingham, Jr. ‘92, December 20, 2008 Mrs. Connie E. Waterhouse ‘77, April 12, 2009

RETIREE Dr. Harold Franz, January 21, 2009

FRIENDS OF THE UNIVERSITY Mr. Kenneth L. Barbour, January 3, 2009 Ms. Mary Lou Barlow, March 6, 2009 Mr. John R. Brandt, March 30, 2009 Mrs. Barbara B. Cheetham, October 20, 2008 Mrs. Madeleine Combier, October 31, 2008

Mrs. Eleanor A. Cool, November 2, 2008 Mr. Louis Craddock, March 13, 2009 Mr. Paul A. Dahlen, October 11, 2008 Mrs. Betty S. D’Alessio, June 24, 2008 Mr. Woodson B. Daspit, November 14, 2008 Mr. Jerome E. Eggert, April 27, 2009 Ms. Dorothy M. Fishburne, July 22, 2008 Mr. Charles R. Hartline, March 15, 2009 Mrs. Ruth N. Howard, November 21, 2008 Mrs. Mary Ellen Krippner, February 26, 2009 Mr. Charles B. Lavender, February 7, 2009 Mr. Charles H. Marvin III, December 28, 2008 Mr. Edwin W. Marx, March 10, 2009 Mr. Charles A. McCharen, August 9, 2008 Mr. Cecil J. McFerrin, April 28, 2009 Mrs. Evelyn R. McGahee, February 26, 2009 Mr. Norman H. McIntyre, Jr., June 17, 2008 Mrs. Mary Skill Mowry, January 21, 2009 Ms. Ellen E. Ott, December 14, 2008 Mr. Paul H. Pinson, Sr., June 1, 2009 Mr. Stephen Anthony Rosbach, May 1, 2009 Mrs. Barbara B. Rutherford, October 4, 2008 Mr. John M. Seabrook, February 11, 2009 Ms. Miriam L. Segrest, September 17, 2008 Ms. Verna H. Sheldon, September 3, 2008 Mr. James F. Smith, April 7, 2009 Mrs. Mary B. Thomas, November 13, 2008 Mr. John Umstead, Jr., December 20, 2008 Mr. Roy K. Wilson, September 21, 2008 Ms. Hattie E. Wood, June 21, 2008


ongratulations on being accepted to the Security Federal Bank Fellowship Program

USC Aiken students: (left to right) Rachael Wolf, Kelby Heydt, Betsy Davis, Jana Chavous, and Demitri Kritzas


SC Aiken’s Dr. Ralph Byington, dean of the School of Business Administration said, “The School of Business Administration sees this as a great opportunity for our students to explore the banking industry. This is an example of taking our students from the ‘classroom to the boardroom,’ and Security Federal is allowing our students to have that experience.”

USCA Magazine 2009  

The magazine for alum of the University of South Carolina Aiken

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