Photo: First Lady Patricia Moore-Pastides

First Lady Patricia Moore-Pastides

In addition to being the University of South Carolina's first lady, Patricia Moore-Pastides is an accomplished cook, successful public health professional, advocate for many worthy causes and author of two Greek cookbooks. Moore-Pastides received a sociology degree from the College of the Holy Cross and a Master in Public Health from Yale University School of Medicine and is a graduate from the University of North Carolina's Management Academy for Public Health.

Welcome! I am exceedingly proud to be associated with the University of South Carolina. Our stellar academic and research programs are nationally recognized, and athletics couldn't be more exciting. Go Gamecocks! USC theater, dance and music are unsurpassed and enrich our entire community with original works and talents that unlock our imaginations. The Thomas Cooper Library and South Caroliniana Libraries and the McKissick Museum provide beautiful settings for study that are rich with resources and collections. While being located in an urban environment, we maintain natural beauty on campus, with 100-year-old oak trees, blooming magnolias and crepe myrtles — perfect homes for robins, cardinals, blue jays and hummingbirds.

But for me the most important distinguishing characteristic of the University of South Carolina is its culture. Administrators, faculty and staff members and students all strive to cultivate a culture of community, which I am told is palpable even to visitors. We care about one another. We all seek ways to contribute our talents to make this great university even better by making sure all members of our community feel respected and included.

My deepest commitment, one that I seek to share with the Carolina community, is to health. My career has been in the field of public health and, within that field, health promotion and disease prevention is my “vocation.” Carolina is fortunate to have the Arnold School of Public Health, the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, the Center for Colon Cancer Research and the School of Medicine Columbia with dozens of researchers focused on ways we can be healthier and prevent disease.  I join my interests with theirs by working to promote healthful eating, organic gardening and sustainability on campus.

Healthy Carolina shares this commitment. As USC's wellness program,  Healthy Carolina makes a tremendous contribution to health and well-being on campus. The weekly Healthy Carolina's Farmers Market is a perfect example. Every Tuesday tables line Greene Street and farmers and bakers sell their fresh local produce, home baked breads, free range eggs  and grass fed meats. The Farmers Market is a wonderful source of nutritious foods for our community.

Nutrition, exercise and stress management are essential to health, so with the help of the Carolina community, I recently put the final touches on a book titled "Greek Revival: Cooking for Life" published by the University of South Carolina Press. "Greek Revival" contains 87 recipes with a color picture of each one, but it is more than a cookbook as it illustrates the health benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. I hope it will be a best-seller since proceeds from the book will support health and sustainability initiatives on campus!

Through Columbia's Cooking!, USC brings this commitment to wellness beyond the university community to the greater community of the Midlands of South Carolina. Healthy cooking classes are offered in the beautiful Discovery Building of Innovista, where community members enjoy hands-on cooking classes as a tool for making positive lifestyle changes.

Thanks for taking the time to visit this page. I welcome you to visit often. You'll find news about important university happenings and photos of the people across campus and beyond who compose our community. My sincere hope is that you too will feel the culture that makes the University of South Carolina so special.