The Psychology Department is greatly saddened by the passing of one of its most beloved faculty members, Dr. Kendra Lynn Ogletree-Cusaac. Dr. Cusaac grew up in the Seattle Washington area and obtained her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington in 1991. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1996. She served as the Treatment Services Director at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice from 1996 to 2005. She then took on the role of full-time Instructor for the Department of Psychology in 2005, being promoted to Senior Instructor in 2012. During this time she also served in the Opportunity Scholars Program and as the TRIO Academic Coordinator. Since 2006 she served as a Consulting Clinical Sport Psychologist for the University of South Carolina Department of Athletics. She has also worked as a sole practitioner for private practice in clinical and sport psychology services. Dr. Cusaac has also served on the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology.
Dr. Cusaac was one of the Psychology Department’s most cherished and outstanding teachers. She won several teaching awards, including 2012 Outstanding Teacher of Psychology (South Carolina Psychological Association), Mortar Board Honor Society Excellence in Teaching Award (2004, 2009, 2013, University of South Carolina), Outstanding Faculty Member (2006, 2007, 2008, Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology, University of South Carolina Chapter) and most recently, the 2014 Non Tenure Track Teaching Award (College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina). One of her favorite classes to teach was Psychology 380, Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology, in which she introduced hundreds of students each year to the topic of her own primary area of expertise. Other courses Dr. Cusaac regularly taught were Psychology 101,Introduction to Psychology, Psychology 300, Psychology of Human Sexual Behavior, Psychology 440, Survey of Personality, and Psychology 498, Independent Study. She also regularly directed student theses in the South Carolina Honors College.
Beyond her incredibly busy work schedule that she filled with teaching, consulting, mentoring, and counseling, Dr. Cusaac was a wonderful wife to her husband, Terrance, and wonderful mother to her children, Booker and Kaiya. Yet, she treated everyone she met like family, making friend and stranger alike feel they were special. She was an inspiration to countless students, as well as to her colleagues, in the way she lived her life. Kendra Cusaac was beloved in the University community and her memory will be cherished by us all.