An enhanced internship program for political science students, an online degree in women’s and gender studies and a creative writing outreach program are just a few projects receiving new support from the McCausland Foundation Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The college announced more than a dozen McCausland grants today after a competitive application process. Faculty will develop each program with dollars allocated from the McCausland Innovation Fund and McCausland Visiting Scholars Fund.
“These projects demonstrate the innovative thinking and student-centered approach of our faculty,” says Joel Samuels, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Each program will invest in our students’ success in academics, research and preparation for their careers, and many of them will strengthen our connections to our community in Columbia and throughout South Carolina. I’m grateful to the faculty who will lead these programs.”
The McCausland Foundation Programs were created in 2013 by a gift from Peter McCausland, a 1971 graduate of USC’s history program, and his wife, Bonnie McCausland. The programs include a faculty fellowship, an innovation fund and a visiting scholars program.
“We are indebted to Peter and Bonnie McCausland for their support of the College of Arts and Sciences,” Samuels says. “Thanks to them, we are able to support faculty development, create innovative opportunities for students and bring scholars to Columbia for enriching conversations.”
Student Engagement Projects
Applied Research in Energy and Water Equity
Co-leads: Conor Harrison and David Fuente (School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment; Department of Geography)
This new course will address energy and water equity, a critical issue stemming from the intertwined challenges of climate change and socioeconomic inequality. Students will conduct on-the-ground research to cultivate skills in problem solving, hone their analytical and quantitative abilities and develop effective written, visual and verbal communication.
Get on Set Initiative
Lead: Dustin Whitehead (Department of Theatre and Dance)
The Get on Set Initiative provides an opportunity for student filmmakers to gain real-world experience on a professional set, expanding their tools for breaking into the film industry. Additionally, this project will create economic opportunity for the state and university by bringing yearly film productions to South Carolina. This funding supplements an active grant from the South Carolina Film Commission.
Split P Creative Writing Outreach
Lead: Liz Countryman (Department of English)
Split P partners with local public schools to provide writing workshops for elementary students in English and Language Arts. Master of Fine Arts students receive stipends to teach fiction and poetry to young learners, enhancing the fellows’ educational experiences and giving children in the community the opportunity to explore creative writing and tell their own stories.
The SHARE Consortium South Carolina Probate Records Project
Lead: Mark Smith (Institute for Southern Studies)
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History houses probate records from the 18th and 19th century. The SHARE project will work with partners, locally to internationally, to digitize these important records and to lay the groundwork for future management of complex primary source materials in a digital framework. The project also aims to provide funding to assist first-generation and underrepresented students.
Political Science Internship Partnerships
Lead: Joshua Meyer-Gutbrod (Department of Political Science)
This project provides greater access to internships for political science students, particularly first-generation, underrepresented and non-traditional students. It will help students find paid internships, support them through weekly class sessions for course credit and culminate with presenting at a job fair with networking opportunities.
Online Course and Program Development
Online M.A. in Dance Studies
Lead: Stephanie Milling (Department of Theatre and Dance)
The newly designed M.A. in Dance Studies will prepare students to teach dance in K-12 schools through two years of online courses with brief, in-person residencies. The 2023 McCausland Innovation Fund award will support development of three online, asynchronous courses included in this program: DANC 725: Arts Policy, Advocacy, and Funding, DANC 750: Critical Issues in Dance Pedagogy, and DANC 790: Research Methods in Dance.
Courses on Global Cultures
Co-leads: Judith Kalb and Lara Ducate (Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
A few new, online courses will help students develop knowledge and skills related to global cultures. FORL 360: Introduction to Intercultural Communication will give students an introduction to the connection between language and culture and prepare them to communicate well with people with different cultural backgrounds. SPAN 280: Spanish Language in Society will allow students to learn about the language's role in cultures around the world. CHIN 315: China’s Monkey King will explore Chinese literature and film.
SPAN 109 and 110: Beginning Spanish I and II
Co-leads: Leah Lindsey and Catherine Wiskes (Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
These courses prepare students to communicate in basic Spanish and explore the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, while meeting Carolina Core requirements. The faculty will redevelop the online delivery of these courses and provide improved instructor training, creating an enhanced experience for the many USC students who take these courses online.
Online B.A. in WGST
Lead: Dawn Campbell (Department of Women’s and Gender Studies)
The women’s and gender studies major gives students a deep understanding of women and other underrepresented groups through research and community involvement. In addition to gaining skills that translate well into future employment or graduate studies, WGST students learn to think critically, communicate effectively, solve problems and interpret human experiences with empathy and insight. The online program, to be launched in fall 2024, will embody the same major course requirements and learning outcomes as the traditional B.A. program, while contributing to equitable access to higher education.
The McCausland Visiting Scholars Fund will bring several scholars to campus in the 2023-2024 academic year.
The Department of Psychology will host David MacKinnon, Regents and Foundation Professor of Psychology from Arizona State University, for public talks, workshops, and consultations with faculty and graduate student researchers. Amanda Fairchild is the faculty host.
The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies will host Monica McLemore, a professor from the University of Washington Department of Child, Family and Population Health, for a talk, seminar and classes about health equity. The talks will be part of the department’s 50th anniversary celebration. Emily Mann is the faculty host.
The Department of Sociology will host two scholars from the University of Tokyo ― Dimitri Vanoverbeke, chair in sociology of law, and Jason Karlin, chair of the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, for talks and guest lectures about law and culture in Japan. Mathieu Deflem is the faculty host.