Stories for Students

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dr. Ross

A thousand passions, 1 heartbeat

October 20, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

University of South Carolina College of Education alumnus and Chapin High School principal, Akil Ross, was named the 2018 National Principal of the Year on Friday, October 20. The honor is the culmination of a passionate career as an educator that began just a few miles away from our campus 16 years ago.

Brandon Harrison in class

Advancing educational equity for African-American children

October 11, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

Rapping the words to the U.S. Constitution might seem odd — unless you’re a student in one of Brandon Harrison’s classes. Harrison, and other public school teachers, are collaborating with education professors here at Carolina to identify which methods work best when teaching African-American students.

Kahlil Demonbreun

Destined to help

October 10, 2017, Melinda Waldrop

Kahlil Demonbreun always knew what he wanted to do, even if he couldn’t put an exact name to it. Demonbreun, the 2016 recipient of the University of South Carolina College of Nursing Alumni Award, grew up in Michigan surrounded by strong women whose influence led him down a somewhat unusual career path.

Cockys Cockaboose

A roost fit for Cocky

October 02, 2017, Megan Sexton

During the years he roamed the sidelines as Cocky, Garrett Humphries was never able to take part in a beloved Carolina tradition, tailgating at Williams-Brice. He’s making up for it now – in style. Humphries owns a train car on the Cockaboose Railroad, allowing him to celebrate pre- and post-game in the shadow of the stadium.

Choosing right, when all the choices are correct

September 25, 2017, John Brunelli

May 2017 graduates of the University of South Carolina College of Nursing set a new record on the National Council Licensure Examination, the standardized test used for the licensing of nurses in the U.S. The cohort of 158 nursing students earned a pass rate of 99.3 percent. The year-to-date average for the college is 98.3 percent. The national average is approximately 83.6 percent.

Binda in Senegal

From refugee to global education advocate

September 22, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

At just 6 years old, Noella “Binda” Niati was forced to flee her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo, amid intense violence and political upheaval. More than two decades later, she is headed back to Africa to study ways to encourage children, especially girls, to stay in school longer.

Emily Suski and Lisa Martin

Clinical approach

September 19, 2017, Chris Horn

The School of Law is launching two new legal clinics this academic year. A medicolegal clinic will team law students with medical students, medical residents and physicians to improve health outcomes for pediatric patients, while a domestic violence clinic will focus on protection, advocacy and community education.

Cocky statue on campus

Get ready for a Cocky weekend

September 07, 2017, Megan Sexton

On Sept. 15, a 6-foot-5, 773-pound bronze statue of the beloved mascot will be dedicated in front of Davis College, just off Greene Street next to the Melton Observatory. Cocky is seated on a bench, with one hand raised high with a spurs-up sign. His other hand rests on a stack of books, a nod to Cocky’s role as a literacy leader around the state.

Kevin Varner

Brew it yourself

August 15, 2017, Craig Brandhorst

Before he finished college, Kevin Varner, ’93, was working in a brewery. By his mid-20s, he had started one himself. Now, a quarter century later, the founder of Columbia’s Hunter-Gatherer Brewery and Ale House is back at it, opening a second brewery, this one so big you could fly a plane through the front door — or at least taxi in.

jeffries

When tracking math students doesn't add up

July 21, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

Education professor Rhonda Jeffries and graduate student Hope Reed wanted to close the achievement gap for underrepresented students, specifically those tracked to be in remedial classes. So, they took a risk with a group of freshman students at Blythewood High School and conducted a secret experiment of sorts that proved to be powerful.

brandon johnson

Reaching new heights

May 31, 2017, Jalesa Cooley

Brandon Johnson decided he would study law and work to help young people in his community the day his older brother went to prison in 2009. His desire to fully understand what his family was dealing with during the time sparked a passion in his mind to dig deeper and begin understanding the legal system. Eight years later, Johnson is well on his way to that goal thanks to the Council on Legal Education Opportunity.

University High collection

Collecting memories with a microphone

May 18, 2017, Kathy Henry Dowell, University Libraries

Rebecca Borovsky was a student in Evolution of American Higher Education assigned to do something she had never done before: interview, record, transcribe and make available the memories of a University High graduate, a high school previously held in the Wardlaw College as a laboratory school and training ground for teachers.