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College of Education

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.

Student Profiles

Julia H. Ballou

Julia H. Ballou

Hometown: Mount Pleasant, SC

Current Track: Student Affairs Administration

Current Employment: Graduate Assistant for Preston Residential College

Leadership Role: SPA Director of Prospective Student Engagement

Email me if you have any questions about HESA or SPA!

Bio: I am an alumna of USC Columbia where I earned my BA in studio art. I realized my passion for higher education through my involvement beyond the classroom in peer leader positions across campus- I strive to make an impact on the lives of the students around me and help each and every person find their place at USC. Some of my biggest interests in higher education are in integrative and experiential learning, High Impact Practices, and the neurodivergent student experience.

I am thankful for the opportunities I have had in the HESA program which have furthered my joy for teaching, supporting students, and collaborating with others around me to create an engaging undergraduate experience for our students. I appreciate the opportunity to apply what I learn in the classroom to my everyday work and practicum experiences. We also have an incredible network of support across our campus and other campuses, allowing for our students to gain experiences in a variety of functional areas and universities.

Erin O'Neill

Erin O’Neill

Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana

Current track: Student Affairs Administration

Current employment: GA for the Graduate Assistant Recruitment Program (GARP), Career Center

Reach out if you have any questions about the Graduate Assistant Recruitment Program!

Bio: After discovering my passion for student affairs as an undergraduate student at Appalachian State University, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the field. When looking at graduate programs, USC and the HESA program quickly became my dream school and program. The HESA program's strong reputation, the variety of graduate assistantships available, and the unique opportunities to learn from the country's top-ranked First-Year Experience programs solidified my choice to become a Gamecock. 

From the moment I visited campus for the GARP Visit Weekend, I felt confident this was a place where I would be supported and challenged in new and exciting ways through my coursework and graduate assistantship. I know that the relationships and connections I have made with my peers, HESA faculty, and USC professional staff during my time in the HESA program will stay with me throughout my career in higher education. 

Jaime Karl

Jamie Karl

Hometown: Irmo, SC

Current track: Higher Education Administration

Current Employment: Coordinator of Operations and Equipment for the Carolina Baseball program 

Bio: Higher Education is truly a field of work and study that has a lasting impact on the future of our society. Being able to be part of HESA provides a great platform for me to grow as a student and a professional as I gain perspectives from our professors and my peers! As an alumnus of the University of South Carolina for my undergraduate degree, it is awesome to see first-hand the great work our program does for the institution as a whole through graduate assistantships and taking action to create a positive impact. To be surrounded by such a passionate group of professors and peers in the classroom is great! 

Through my studies in HESA, it has been extremely beneficial to learn the topics that influence higher education. Having the opportunity to learn the ways in which a university runs through curriculum and real experiences is simply unmatched. The HESA program is a great avenue to take when looking to study the higher education setting!


Alumni Profiles

Sara Furr, Ph.D.

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 Whitely, Ph.D.

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

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!

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