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Passion to help others inspired graduates

Airport High School teacher William Lenard of Columbia discovered that he had an opportunity to inspire other African-American males to become educators.

Kelly Moran of Conway knew that middle school students were intimidated by math, so she found ways to match math to the individual sixth grader.

After finding studies in pharmacy biology were unfulfilling, Erica Boykin of Hartsville discovered exercise science and plans to devote her career to helping prevent childhood obesity.

Their achievements are just a few of the success stories from the University of South Carolina’s summer commencement exercises Saturday (Aug. 7) for baccalaureate, master’s and professional degree recipients from all eight campuses.

Lenard and Moran said a passion for educating young people led them into teaching and on to master’s degrees in education administration – degrees that will help them inspire and mentor the next generation of educators.

“I have been able to see the impact directly that my being in the classroom has had on male students, particularly African-American males,” said Lenard. “They can see that someone like them has gone to college and cares about education. They know that someone like them has succeeded, and they can, too.”

A 24-year veteran of the classroom, Moran said distance learning was invaluable in her quest for her master’s degree, but that coming to Carolina’s campus for some course work was a great experience.

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