Stories for Alumni

Tori Vaeth at hotel

The 'SEARCH' for purpose

January 12, 2018, Kathryn McPhail

A cherished, childhood friendship led Tori Vaeth to study special education at the University of South Carolina. Now, the College of Education double alumna is leading a program that’s training and placing young adults with intellectual disabilities in rewarding careers.

ultrasound education

The curious case of Marcus Brown

January 09, 2018, Chris Horn

Marcus Brown is a fictional high school student athlete whose medical history is the centerpiece of a teaching module in anatomy and biology courses at 20 middle and high schools that participated in a joint venture with USC’s School of Medicine and the College of Education. The project gives students an interesting case study that guides them through an exploration of various physiological conditions that might have contributed to the star athlete’s untimely death.

Ben Maronites

Nothing but blue skies

January 02, 2018, Chris Horn

The forecast for Benjamin Marosites’ professional goals while attending Carolina went from “foggy” to “sunny and clear” in just one semester. The undeclared major enrolled in the geography department’s weather and climate course, which ignited his curiosity about meteorology, prompted him to change majors and helped launch his career as an emergency planner for Richland County.

Billy Buckner

Comeback win

December 12, 2017, Chris Horn

It’s been 13 years since Billy Buckner played baseball for the University of South Carolina, memorably striking out 16 batters one afternoon against Clemson and winning seven games in the 2004 season. Now, after taking several online classes and on campus, he has a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies from the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management.

karate kids

The karate kids

December 04, 2017, Chris Horn

The martial arts craze of the 1970s had hundreds of students signing up for Carolina's karate course. Many of those students including Keith Vitali and his younger brother, Steve, competed successfully in tournaments around the country, making Columbia and the University of South Carolina an important center of karate competition.

The future of retailing

It's about to get personal

November 27, 2017, Allen Wallace

Imagine going shopping and having your phone or fitness tracker make product recommendations for you based on your breath or the current physical state of your body. It is not science fiction. It’s the future of retailing and health care digitization according to researchers at University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management.

President Pastides

Think Twice UofSC

November 17, 2017, Jalesa Cooley

On a campus with almost 1,800 international students from 95 different counties, the University of South Carolina has supreme rankings when it comes to accommodating those from various backgrounds. While the environment is welcoming to all, a few students are taking the initiative to stop subtle acts of discrimination that often go unnoticed.

Dr. Grady

Doing big things together

November 13, 2017, Jalesa Cooley

It’s not every day that a simple interaction with a professor leads you to the Olympics, or even to finding a trusted mentor, but it is for students who are lucky enough to interact with John Grady. After 13 years at the University of South Carolina, these inspiring interactions have resulted in Grady being honored with the 2017 Outstanding Advocate for First-Year Students Award.

Dance preview

Creating the dancer

November 09, 2017, Page Ivey

Stacey Calvert has been a devotee of choreographer George Balanchine since she was a young dancer. “The choreography is brilliant; it’s beyond brilliant,” she says. "It’s super organic to dance. As a dancer, it makes perfect sense.” That is why Calvert has staged a Balanchine program every spring for the past 14 years as a dance professor at the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Lawrence Hill

Creating opportunities

November 08, 2017, Megan Sexton

Lawrence Hill arrived in Columbia in the summer of 1977 as a student in the first-ever class at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Now, the Greenville urologist is making a gift to ensure other students will have the same opportunities to receive a top-rate medical education. His planned gifts of $3 million to the School of Medicine Columbia and $3 million to the School of Medicine Greenville will be used for scholarships.

Breathe Easier

Breathe easier

October 31, 2017, Chris Horn

Just because lung cancer patients are living longer and sometimes even cured of the disease, long-term survivors of the disease often cope with distressing symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, depression and anxiety. Karen Kane McDonnell, a nursing professor in USC’s College of Nursing, plans to test an intervention to reduce their symptom burden.

First Lady Patricia Moore-Pastides holding her new book

Home on the Horseshoe

October 30, 2017, Megan Sexton

A new book by first lady Patricia Moore-Pastides shares what life is like inside one of the most recognizable buildings on campus. “At Home in the Heart of the Horseshoe: Life in the University of South Carolina President’s House,” offers a look at the first families and their memories of the home, along with some history of the house and photographs of the home and gardens. There are even a few recipes for entertaining and photos of floral arrangement designs.

Kandy Velázquez

Easing the pain

October 27, 2017, Alyssa Yancey

Inspired by the loss of her aunt to breast cancer, Kandy Velázquez decided to pursue research on how to ease pain. Velázquez, an alumna of the Arnold School of Public Health and a current post doctoral fellow in the School of Medicine, will receive nearly $1 million from the National Institutes of Health over the next five years to fund her research.

Xiaoming Li

Fighting disease with data

October 25, 2017, Chris Horn

Without consistent medical supervision, HIV patients remain infectious and often have dire health outcomes. But two Arnold School of Public Health professors and an interdisciplinary team from the University of South Carolina have a plan to help reduce HIV infections in South Carolina and make medical care more responsive for those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

Kristn Heyer

Immigration ethics

October 25, 2017, Mary-Kathryn Craft

Boston College theological ethics professor Kristin Heyer will deliver the 18th annual Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Lecture in Moral, Ethical and Religious Studies. Heyer says today’s immigration dialogue often has been framed in terms of crisis management alone, and she will explore how the scripture and Catholic social tradition can shape the debate.