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2022 Academic Awards

USC Salkehatchie congratulates its 2022 Academic Awards winners for their educational accomplishments.  These awards provide opportunities to recognize students who meet high standards of academic excellence and those who have given their best efforts, often overcoming obstacles to their learning.

Colleton Museum History Award - Kevin McCubbins

Kevin McCubbins is this year’s Colleton Museum History Award winner. He proudly admits he is a thirty-three-year-old freshman who was excited to start his college career. Kevin has excelled in his history classes, and this summer he will be joining a team of researchers hoping to revive the town of Jacksonboro as a cultural and historic tourist destination. Kevin is a native of Round O and now resides in Fairfax. He is planning on pursuing a career in elementary education after he receives his degree from Salkehatchie. Kevin loves history and learning about the world around him. His favorite quote is from Eleanor Roosevelt, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Dr. Sarah Miller
USC Salkehatchie Professor of History

Dr. Shannon Pye Chemistry Award - Kelly Shea

I am pleased to present to Kelly Shea the Dr. Shannon Pye Chemistry Award. A student in the Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership program, she took Forensic Chemistry (CHEM 107) during Fall 2021. She thought that the course would be interesting and less intimidating than other chemistry courses. Although the course was taught as an asynchronous online course, Kelly led other students by example. She asked questions regularly, she completed all assignment by their deadlines, and she was the top student on most examinations. She treated forensic chemistry as though it mattered to her life. Kelly and other, similarly inquisitive and motivated students push the rest of my students to learn chemistry. She raises the bar for others. 

Dr. Francis Burns
USC Salkehatchie Professor of Chemistry


Laffitte and Warren Biology Award - Zachery Wilson

The biology faculty are pleased to present Zachery Wilson with the 2022 Laffitte and Warren Biology Award. Although Zachery is an engineering major, he is very interested in life science and was recommended for a biology internship. In addition to excelling in his coursework, Zachery has a notable list of beyond-the-classroom accomplishments. In summer 2021, he received a Palmetto Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) award and completed a Workplace Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative internship. As a research assistant in a project I lead, the USC Salkehatchie Herbarium, Zachery prepared and digitized hundreds of museum-quality plant specimens. His work in the herbarium was featured as a cover story in the March/April issue of PRTC Connection. Zachery will be presenting the results of his internship experience at the South Carolina Academy of Science Annual Meeting and Discover UofSC this semester.

Dr. Eran Kilpatrick
USC Salkehatchie Professor of Biology

Michael Reno Memorial Computer Science Award - Susan Fisk

Susan Fisk is the model computer science student. Her diligent work ethic, determination, and strong desire to learn enhance her programming skills. She is helpful to the other students in the class and always participates in class discussions. She is never afraid to ask questions or to try something beyond the lecture materials. Ironically, Susan is not majoring in computer science or even in a related field. After she graduates this spring, Susan plans to transfer to Charleston Southern University, where she will major in music. However, her creative skills bring energy and imagination to her coursework and make her an exceptional computer science student.

Stephanie Gruber
USC Salkehatchie Instructor of Computer Science

Charles “Buddy” Phillips Education Award - Shauna Chassereau

Shauna Chassereau is an extremely conscientious student who is steadfast in all that she does. On her educational journey, Shauna makes certain that she is organized and well-prepared for her classes, projects, and activities. She is also dependable, punctual, and reflective. Shauna communicates and collaborates well with her peers. As a future educator, Shauna’s goals are to be responsible for the lives of children from diverse backgrounds, and she does not take this task lightly. She plans to create a welcoming environment where her students feel safe, comfortable, and excited to be active participants in the learning process. Further, Shauna plans to diversify her teaching methods for the needs of each student and to honor each of them as individuals. Based on her current success, Shauna is primed to accomplish these and many other professional goals, and she will undoubtedly become an extraordinary addition to the teaching profession!

Dr. Patricia Fears
USC Salkehatchie Education Program Coordinator

G.H. Kearse English Award -  Jessica Reece

I am thrilled that the English faculty selected Jessica Reece for the G.H. Kearse English Award this year. Although she expressed some nervousness about her writing at the beginning of the term, I have been pleased to see how hard she works to learn. She participates actively in class, takes thorough notes, and answers questions thoughtfully. She “gets to the trigger fast” in class discussion and seems unafraid to make mistakes as long as she learns from them. As a returning student with five children, Jessica has her hands full, but she makes time to do her work completely and consistently. This excellent attitude and work ethic, this grit, will serve her well as she applies for the nursing program in the future. Most important, Jessica exemplifies a successful Salkehatchie student with her willingness to try, open-heartedness about learning, and continuing effort to improve and apply her skills.

Dr. David Hatch
USC Salkehatchie Professor of English

Scotsman Business Administration Award - Barbara Hollingsworth

Barbara Hollingsworth graduated from Walterboro High School. Afterwards, she worked in a variety of business fields with both large and small organizations. In the spring of 2021 (over twenty years after graduating from high school), Barbara enrolled at USC Salkehatchie and quickly earned 46 credit hours and made the Dean’s List in both the spring and fall. She plans to transfer next year to USC Aiken to earn a bachelor's degree in computer science with a focus on cybersecurity. Barbara is the ideal candidate for this business award as she has “real world” experience in business, allowing her to be a catalyst for robust class discussions and a mentor to younger students taking business courses. Barbara’s mantra that you can achieve anything if you believe in yourself and are willing to work for it has become a guiding light and inspiration to all of us!

Professor David Cherry
USC Salkehatchie Professor of Business/Marketing

Palmetto State Bank Math Award - Zachery Wilson

Zachery Wilson is an engineering major who took some math courses as a dual-enrollment student with USC Salkehatchie. He then built a solid foundation in calculus during his freshman year at UofSC in Columbia. After he decided to come back home to the Salkehatchie campus and join our 2+2 Industrial Process Engineering program, he took my Fall 2021 Calculus II class. He easily earned an A, making him one of the few students who perform so well in such a challenging course. This semester he is taking my vector calculus class, a course mainly offered for engineering and math-related majors. Not surprisingly, he is doing a great job! Zachery is hardworking and shows a strong desire to learn. He also tutors others who need help in math courses. It is truly a pleasure to have him in my class. For his determination, hard work, and talent, I, along with the math faculty of USC Salkehatchie, am proud to present Zachery the Palmetto State Bank Math Award for 2022.

Dr. Wei-Kai Lai
USC Salkehatchie Professor of Mathematics


Walterboro Police Department Criminal Justice Award -Gracie Mock

The Walterboro Police Department Criminal Justice Award recipient is Gracie Mock. Gracie is the daughter of Anthony and Jennifer Mock. Gracie was raised in the Barnwell area and is a graduate of Barnwell High School, where she excelled as a student and represented the school on the soccer field. Gracie loves the outdoor country life, and she describes herself as an avid hunter. Gracie demonstrated her maturity and dedication as a student early on as she became a dual-enrollment student with USC Salkehatchie during her junior year in high school. Gracie has been able to balance her work at Mr. B’s Restaurant with her academic responsibilities as she will graduate with her associate degree at the conclusion of the Spring 2022 semester. Gracie intends to continue her education at USC Salkehatchie by enrolling in the Palmetto College Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership program with an emphasis in criminal justice. Upon completing her degree, Gracie is seeking a career in law enforcement, as her goal is to become an agent with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Professor John Peek
USC Salkehatchie Professor of Criminal Justice

Colleton Medical Center Nursing Award - Sarah Lyn Tuten

Sarah Lyn Tuten is 2001 graduate of Patrick Henry Academy. She attended Clemson and earned a BS in food science with a concentration in nutrition in 2006, followed by an MS in human nutrition from Winthrop in 2011. She has been a registered dietician since 2009, yet she chose to pursue nursing because of her desire to provide hands-on patient care. While at USC Salkehatchie, Sarah Lyn has excelled by maintaining a UofSC GPA of 4.0. She is currently enrolled in her first semester of Upper Division nursing through the USC Beaufort partnership, and she will graduate with a BSN in spring 2024. Sarah Lyn has been an active member of the Hampton County Rotary Club since 2015 and was named Rotarian of the Year in 2019. After graduation, Sarah Lyn plans to remain in the Salkehatchie region to serve her community. She is described by faculty as conscientious, hard-working, smart, and enthusiastic, and she is well-liked and respected by her peers.

Dr. April Cone
USC Salkehatchie Nursing Program Coordinator

Allendale Study Club Psychology Award - Sarah Lyn Tuten

Sarah Lyn Tuten has a record of academic excellence. She has already earned a bachelor’s degree in food science and a master’s in human nutrition, and she has been working as a dietitian in several settings. She has recently decided to change careers, however, and this is her second semester taking courses at USC Salkehatchie toward earning a nursing degree. In her psychology coursework, Sarah Lyn has shown exceptional ability. Her performance was impressive both in terms of her insight and her ability to apply theoretical knowledge to everyday situations. In addition to mastering her own work, she was always willing to help other students with theirs. Outside of work and school, Sarah Lyn contributed to her community as a member, secretary, and president of the Hampton County Rotary Club. She enjoys spending time attending church services, reading the Bible, and hanging out with family, friends, and her cat Roman.

Dr. Carmela Gottesman
USC Salkehatchie Professor of Psychology

Opportunity Scholars Program Student of the Year -  Megan Webb

Megan Webb started at Salkehatchie in Fall 2021 and initially it was a very rocky road. She faced personal problems, such as sudden homelessness, and she felt an impulse to run away from circumstances that got too hard and classes she felt she was not smart enough to do. Today Megan has a 3.0 GPA, is in a home where she is loved and cared for, and she has stopped running from things when they get hard. I now see a confident young lady who is determined not to feel the way she did at the start of her freshman year ever again. OSP’s success is measured by the success of our students, and we chose Megan for our Student of the Year because we feel that her growth and success is exactly what we strive for in our program. She represents everything that OSP/TRiO stands for and was made for.

Tricia Nesmith
Advisor & Financial Literacy Specialist, Opportunity Scholars Program (TRiO Student Support Services)

2021–2022 Female Athlete of the Year - Zelia Ibarra

Zelia Ibarra, also known as “JoJo,” is the female student-athlete of the year. She arrived at Salkehatchie and quickly became a role model and leader on the women’s volleyball team. Not only is the Phoenix, Arizona, native an outstanding player and teammate, she has made every effort to be at campus events in both Walterboro and Allendale. She has supported the other sports at Salkehatchie, and she has engaged in community activities. A very hard worker, Zelia has been a silent leader for the volleyball program and is admired by her teammates and peers. Indeed, she embodies everything Salkehatchie volleyball stands for: positive attitude, hard work, and dedication.

Coach Alexis Ivey
Women’s Volleyball Coach

2021–2022 Male Athlete of the Year -  Ignacio Velasquez Jansen

I nominate Ignacio Velazquez Jansen for male student-athlete of the year. Ignacio started every game for our soccer team, which made it to the semifinal round of the 2021 NJCAA Region 10 soccer tournament. He played defense and helped us limit the scoring of our opponents. He was instrumental in our defeat of the eventual region champion Richard Bland College during the regular season. Even though we were unable to win the region championship, Ignacio’s outstanding play allowed us to advance to the semifinal game where we were defeated by only one goal. Ignacio was named to the NJCAA Region 10 All-Region First Team. In the classroom, Ignacio is a solid performer, earning a 3.1 GPA despite having English as a second language. He actively participates in community activities, including Allendale County clean-up days and Abba’s Kitchen. Additionally, he provides training sessions for our women’s soccer players.

Coach Bill Glass
Men’s and Women’s Soccer Coach