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Graduation and Retention Network


The University of South Carolina is committed to meeting the needs of students in every walk of life. The Graduation and Retention Network's programs include three year degree plans, supplemental course offerings and alternative solutions to degree progression.

Our Mission

The Graduation and Retention Network's focus is to increase student retention and progression towards their degrees.

Our Staff

Amanda Therrell

Amanda D. Therrell, GARNET Director

Amanda is responsible for leading academic programming and for forming and implementing new initiatives for GARNET.

LaNae' Budden pic

LaNae' Budden, Director, First-Gen Center

Dr. Budden is responsible for leading the First-Generation Center and connecting first-generation students with resources to successfully navigate their progress towards graduation. 

Melissa Kupfer image

Melissa Kupfer, Assistant Director, First-Gen Center

Melissa supports the development of students’ academic and personal goals by providing opportunities for student engagement within the University community. 

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Meghan Lipinoga,  Manager of Finance and Assessment 

Meg manages GARNET's budget and is responsible for all data and assessment collection and reporting.

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Helen Le, GARNET Assistant Director

Helen provides leadership for the Academic Services department and collaborates with our Student Services Coordinator to provide instructor and student support.

Kelly DeShazo

Kelly DeShazo, Student Services Coordinator

Kelly provides instructor and student support and advisement. She serves as a liaison between our Academic Services team and the University.

Savannah Brown

Savannah Brown, Special Projects Coordinator

Savannah manages new and unique projects including publishing, website design, and grant proposals.

Curtis Pernell

Curtis Pernell, Graduate Student

Curtis is currently completing a practicum experience and assists GARNET with research and planning for our upcoming First-Gen Center. 

Serenity Jenkins

Serenity Jenkins, Undergraduate Assistant

Serenity, Early Education '24, serves as a student administrative assistant in our front office. 


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