Students and Alumni
Why Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina? Hear
from our current students and alumni on what makes the HESA program so special. To
contact one of our current students with questions, please click on their names to
send an email.
Raechel L. Blakeney
Hometown: Columbia, SC
Current track: Higher Education Administration
Current Employment: Student Services Coordinator for the College of Education Gamecock
Born and raised in Columbia, SC by an educator, it is a joy to be earning my master’s
degree here at the University of South Carolina. As an alumna of the University of
South Carolina Beaufort, where I studied Psychology and Anthropology, I have been
in the USC system for many years. I became passionate about Higher Education and Student Affairs during my undergraduate
program when I was shown how much of a difference the campus community can make in
a student’s life. I want to help students discover their powerful futures.
As a current practitioner of Student Affairs, I most love that I can connect everything
I am learning in the HESA program to my work and grow as a professional. I also appreciate
the ability to come together with other Student Affairs Professionals and budding
professionals to share experiences and perspectives.
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Current track: Student Affairs Administration
Current assistantship: Graduate Assistant in the Office of New Student Orientation
Ever since I put on my first polo and pair of khakis to welcome new students as an
orientation leader, I knew that higher education was the path for me. As a student
leader at East Carolina University, I was exposed to incredible professionals that
challenged me, encouraged me, and at the end of the day were the ones most excited
for my successes. After visiting USC for the Graduate Assistantship Recruitment Process
(GARP) weekend, I instantly felt at home here in Columbia. I knew that USC would give
me the best space to focus on the skills it took to reach my goals in higher education,
and for me to become like the professionals I have admired so much. This program has
everything I needed and more; there are countless opportunities for professional and
personal development along with an amazingly talented faculty and staff that are there
to cheer you on every step of the way. I feel lucky to call myself a Gamecock and
to continue the deep traditions of service, innovation, and pride here at USC. Spurs
Hometown: Veszprem, Hungary
Current track: Higher Education Administration
Current Assistantship : Graduate Assistant for the Anne Frank Center
I am originally from Hungary. Studied there to become a journalist, writer and a screenplay-writer
but then after reading the Diary of Anne Frank, my life went on another direction.
I started working for the Educational Department of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam
and after being there for years, I came to the U.S. to continue my educational work
for its partner in the country, the Anne Frank Center, and to get a diploma in the
field of Higher Education.
Sara Furr, Ph.D.
Graduating year: 2004
Current Position: Dean of Students, Diversity, & Inclusion, School of Social Service
Administration at the University of Chicago
The HESA program gave me a strong foundation of putting theory to practice that has
informed my entire professional career. Additionally, I’m thankful for the personal
and professional relationships I made that created a strong network in the field.
It is not uncommon to meet Carolina HESA alum at every institution I visit.
Patricia A. Whitely, Ph.D.
Graduating year: 1982
Current Position: Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Miami
I received a terrific background at USC/HESA. The academic work and the assistantships
built a solid foundation for my Student Affairs career. I could not have asked for
a better experience.
Caleb E. Morris
Graduating year: 2019
Current position: Exploratory Advisor and Instructor (UNIV 101 and UNIV 401) at the
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is committed to providing a holistic, engaging, and
purposeful experience for students, both within and beyond the classroom. In addition
to #1 ranked academic programs such as International Business and University 101,
USC is a frontrunner in experiential learning, through innovative programs such as
Graduation with Leadership Distinction (GLD) and My USC Experience. In HESA, I was
able to get first-hand experience with many of these nationally recognized initiatives
through internships and practica, which greatly enhanced my employability, and gave
me many stories to share in interviews. USC is a fine institution, and HESA is a fantastic
program, and I am so thankful to count myself among the expansive network of Gamecock
alumni. Go Cocks!