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Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning

Our Staff

Lara Ducate

Charles Pierce, CIEL Faculty Executive Director

Dr. Charlie Pierce leads the Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning, including Graduation with Leadership Distinction. He works with faculty and staff in the development of integrative and experiential learning opportunities and coordinates efforts across Columbia and the Palmetto College Campuses (Lancaster, Salkahatchie, Sumter, and Union).

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Amber Fallucca, Director of the Quality Enhancement Plan

Dr. Amber Fallucca leads the efforts of the Quality Enhancement Plan, Experience by Design, including the collection and sharing of data to inform institutional and SACSCOC accreditation reporting expectations as established in 2021. She also leads the assessment efforts aligned with the Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning, including Graduation with Leadership Distinction, and provides support for office and campus-based initiatives focused on integrative and experiential learning.

Lauren Epps

Lauren Epps, Assistant Director

Lauren Epps is responsible for overseeing Graduation with Leadership Distinction advisement, student programs, and events. She coordinates outreach to non-academic units to support the development of student engagement and reflection, advises students, and leads content development for Graduation with Leadership Distinction technologies. 

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Julie Boyken, Outreach and Assessment Coordinator

Julie Boyken assists in the implementation and assessment of the Quality Enhancement Plan, Experience by Design, for the Columbia and Palmetto College campuses. She leads the Palmetto College campuses Garnet Gate efforts to document and collect students' off-campus beyond the classroom experiences including reflection activities. She also leads marketing efforts to support student populations engagements in experiential learning opportunities and manages the distribution of student-based funding to assist with those experiences.

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Laszlo Folks, Experiential Learning Coordinator

Laszlo Folks manages and markets the My USC Experience database, which captures all experiential and integrative learning opportunities across campus. He offers logistical support to staff and faculty providers who are planning beyond the classroom engagements for students. He also provides support to CIEL partners through grants and a repository of resources for engaging and reflecting beyond the classroom. 

Sarah Gay

Sarah Matthews, Advisor

Sarah Matthews advises students pursing Graduation with Leadership Distinction and guides students in developing e-portfolios. She provides support to faculty and staff in communicating experiential and integrative learning opportunities to students through Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning resources. Sarah also supervises two student marketing and media interns. 

Gina Spence

Gina Spence, Advisor

Gina Spence advises students pursuing Graduation with Leadership Distinction and guides students in developing e-portfolios. She manages the GLD Application system and associated technologies related to verification efforts across campus and in the community. Gina also advises the Student Advisory Council.

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Zack James, Administrative Coordinator

Zack James welcomes and assists Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning partners and visitors.  He coordinates CIEL activities, technology efforts in OUCampus and 25Live, and serves as the HR contact for the department.


Shea Ferguson, Graduate Assistant

Shea Ferguson is a PhD student in the Educational Psychology and Research program at USC and is a member of the Motivation and Emotion in Learning Lab (led by Dr. Melissa Duffy). She teaches EDRM 423 in the College of Education. Her research interests include learner beliefs, motivation, emotion, and self-regulation. As a part of the CIEL team, Shea assists with the Graduation with Leadership Distinction process, guiding students through the process and providing help with their ePortfolios. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants, hot yoga and spending time with her husband, family, and three dogs. 


Max White , Marketing and Communications Intern 

Max White is a junior studying political science at the University of South Carolina. Max has been a news reporter for the university's student newspaper, The Daily Gamecock, since fall 2020. He has served as the paper's assistant news editor since Spring 2022. His responsibilities include developing promotional materials for CIEL and GLD for USC Columbia and Palmetto College Campuses. In addition, she creates marketing materials for GLD events like Write Nite, Fall Showcase, and Cording. She is also developing the design and content of CIEL's annual impact report, Distinction.

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Hui Penaflor, Social and Digital Media Intern  

Hui is a junior studying visual communications with a minor in film and media studies. Her responsibilities include maintaining and expanding CIEL’s social media presence by creating engaging content and interacting with our partners and audience. She also creates and distributes CIEL's biweekly newsletter and other digital content.


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