University of South Carolina

New Y’ALL winners have a lot in common


Karen Nashatker Hinson and Evelyn Ackermann, 2003 graduates in finance and anthropology, respectively, have a lot in common as the two new faces of the Y’ALL (Young Alumni Leaving a Legacy) campaign.

Karen Nashatker Hinson
Karen Nashatker Hinson

Their parents are University of South Carolina alumni, they belonged to sororities that were based at South Tower, and both are fitness-minded: Hinson is an avid runner, while Ackermann is an accomplished dancer. Hinson lives in Atlanta, pursuing an MBA at Georgia Tech; Ackermann lives in Manhattan and received an MBA from New York University.

Hinson and Ackermann were excited to learn that they were selected Y’ALL winners from among five finalists voted on by University alumni of the past decade who visited to view their videos and read their essays. As Y'ALL winners, they will represent the University at a range of events during the next year.

Evelyn Ackermann
Evelyn Ackermann

“It does seem like Evelyn and I have a lot in common, which is kind of neat,” said Hinson, who works in human resources for an Atlanta law firm. “It’s going to be great getting to know each other. I love South Carolina and miss it every day, so it’s going to be great coming back to my alma mater as a young alumni representative.”

Ackermann said she chose the fast-paced life of New York for career opportunities there, with the goal of working in the field of international development and emerging markets. She decided to enter the Y’ALL competition, sponsored by the University’s Office of Annual Giving, because she misses the University and her Carolina roots.


“There are Carolina alumni in New York and we get together, but I thought that the Y’ALL contest would be a great way to get back to my alma mater and stay connected,” said Ackermann, a management consultant in strategy and operations with Deloitte and Touche Consulting.

Growing up as Gamecocks

Hinson enjoys visiting her parents, Steve and Janice Nashatker, in her hometown of Aiken, S.C., whenever possible. Janice received a master’s and a doctorate from Carolina in educational administration and educational leadership. Her father, an engineer at the Savannah River Site’s nuclear power plant, earned his MBA at Carolina.

Hinson joined Alpha Chi Omega sorority and served two years as a student senator, representing the Darla Moore School of Business. Running became her passion with morning jogs through campus, downtown, and the Shandon neighborhoods. One of her most memorable student experiences was running a half-marathon event in Tybee Island, Ga. She has competed in events there every year since.

“I like that feeling of knowing you’ve already accomplished something in your day,” Hinson said. “I like to be ambitious and go after things. I definitely want to make the most of my Y’ALL opportunity.”

Hinson’s career interests are banking, finance, and consulting, and she was on that path with a job at BB&T Bank that kept her in state before relocation with the company to Georgia. She met her husband, Carolina alumnus Adam Hinson, while he was stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Ga.


Adam entered ROTC at Carolina before earning a political science degree. He and Karen took a few of the same classes but didn’t know each other at the time. They were married Aug. 27, 2005. Adam now works for Superior Essex.


Passion for Carolina

Ackermann, a Spartanburg native, was raised with a passion for the University of South Carolina instilled by her mother, Ruth Cate, who earned degrees in education and law. As a child, Ackermann wore garnet and black for Carolina-Clemson day “before I knew what it meant.” A talented dancer, she attended Spartanburg Day School before graduating from the Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg. Many of her classmates became professional dancers.

An Honors College student and member of Chi Omega sorority, Ackermann became captain of the Cockettes, the Carolina Dance Team. The team was in its inception while she was a student, so the chance to compete in national competitions was one of the highlights of her Carolina experience. So was the chance to perform under the direction of dance professor Susan Anderson. Ackermann performed a modern dance solo at the Koger Center during the University’s Bicentennial Dance Gala, “South Carolina Loves Dance.”

Inspired by her anthropology professors, Ackermann joined the Peace Corps following graduation to teach English in Bangladesh. Her first month there, she was given the chance to dine with U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Harry K. Thomas, whose sister was a friend of Janice Love, then a professor of theology at Carolina. Though Bangladesh is known for its hot, humid climate, Ackermann wore the national dress of Bangladesh every day, called the salwar kameez. She taught English to students of all ages in Chittagong, formed a Ladies’ English Club, taught dance classes, and was the first female member of the Rotary Club of Agrabad.


Ackermann hopes to return to Southeast Asia, possibly in the field of international development, which she describes as nation building through better access to water, food, health care, education, and employment.


Encouraging alumni to help

Ackermann and Hinson said it’s important for young alumni to help with the continued growth and academic opportunities provided to students at their alma mater by giving back to Carolina with gifts. Even if the gifts are small, they make a difference in the University’s ability to provide scholarships, stipends, and enhanced programs.

“During these challenging economic times, it’s natural to be cautious, but the need for the University of South Carolina to continue its great programs and traditions is exactly why this is the best time to think about providing a gift,” Ackermann said. “This University is part of our roots and opened doors for us.”

“When you get a lot of benefit from something, like I did from my Carolina education, you want to see your University continue to grow,” Hinson said. “I am making sure I give a gift to Carolina each year because I take pride in the University’s success.”

Posted: 08/21/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 11/09/09 @ 1:55 PM | Permalink