Carolina Spotlight: Theresa Harrison
As the university’s coordinator of community service programs since fall 2011, Theresa Harrison is responsible for building bridges between students on campus and the Columbia community. Her work helps prepare students for a lifetime of community service and leadership, while improving life for many in the community.
Education: Undergraduate degree from East Tennessee State, master’s in higher education from the University of Nebraska, Kearney
Turning point: A year into the doctoral program at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Harrison realized the field wasn’t for her.
Making a change: “I knew I wanted to work with college students, and I knew I wanted to be involved in service. I was looking for a way to combine the two. My parents were always civic-minded and instilled in us the need to give back in the best way we can.”
Why Carolina? “USC is the largest institution I have ever worked at, so the atmosphere and tradition at Carolina is something new and special to me. I especially love how many events take place on the Horseshoe. The setting sets the tone for any event. The best part, though, is going to meetings on or near the Horseshoe and seeing students sitting on blankets or throwing a football around.”
Where is she this week? Harrison is leading an alternative spring break trip to coastal New Jersey, where 24 Carolina students are helping with Hurricane Sandy cleanup.
Keeping her energized: “Our students are top-notch. I see them get involved in a community service project and then want to continue in service learning or study abroad or Teach for America. To see the trajectory of students change because they have been involved in service, that’s exciting to watch.”
Carolina Spotlight is a new feature for USC Day Times, highlighting faculty and staff members, students and alumni who truly represent Carolina's spirit. Do you know someone who embodies the USC brand? Recommend them for our next Caroliana Spotlight: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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