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My USC Salkehatchie

USC Salkehatchie's 2019 RISE Recipients

Dr. Justin Mogilski, Dr. Francis Burns, Dr. Eran Kilpatrick and Dr. Sarah Miller have been awarded RISE grants from the University of South Carolina.    These competitive grants provide financial support that allows faculty working at USC's system campuses to conduct research and scholarly activities during the summer months.   RISE grants bolster scholarship throughout the USC system and help faculty develop research programs that serve their local communities.

“This is a very competitive grant program across all the campuses of the USC system.   For Salkehatchie faculty to have won four of the grant awards is a tremendous achievement and speaks to the outstanding talent among the faculty here, ” Interim Dean Dr. Chris Nesmith said.


Dr. Francis Burns 

"Factors affecting Student Retention and Success in USC Rural Nursing Initiative"

Burns’ research focuses on student success in nursing programs.  “Our region needs more registered nurses.  However, many students find nursing programs to be too difficult and drop out.  I want to find the factors that prevent student success,”  Burns said.  He hopes his research will lead to resolutions to these obstacles, allowing more students to successfully complete nursing degrees at USC Salkehatchie.

Dr. Eran Kilpatrick 

"Plant Specimen Processing at the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie Herbarium and Continued Documentation of Rare and Uncommon Flora in the Salkehatchie Region"

Kilpatrick’s work promotes informed decisions about conservation needs in the Salkehatchie region.  His research has 2 objectives:  to survey rare plants within the Salkehatchie region and to digitize plant specimens that were previously collected.    “The  first goal is to digitize 500 plant specimens that were collected in 2018 and link these images to a website that is available to an international audience. The second goal is to continue surveying rare plant species within the Salkehatchie region to document new populations, update historic records, and contribute to the knowledge base required to make informed decisions about conservation needs,”  Kilpatrick said.

 Dr. Sarah Miller      

 “Pon Pon Chapel of Ease: Preservation and Interpretation”

Dr. Miller’s research centers around Pon Pon Chapel of Ease, a church ruin in Jacksonboro, S.C.   “The chapel  contains only a front façade and a partial back wall, both of which are fragile.  This grant will provide for research into the needed preservation of the chapel.  Additionally, an interpretive plan for the property will be created to allow the public to understand the importance of the site,” Miller said.  The research will be compiled and shared with the public.

Dr. Justin Mogilski

"Perceiving physiology and psychology from faces: Expanding analytical options for data-driven face perception research"

The objective of Mogilski’s research is to  improve the accuracy of models that use facial information to predict personality and health.  “Humans are quite adept at drawing inferences about peoples' personalities from observable physical cues, such as the face,” Mogilski said.  “Most psychological researchers study this capacity by asking people to assess facial photographs whose features have been digitally altered. This method has been valuable for studying how humans perceive faces, but it has a number of common methodological limitations.”