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Honoring the Graduates of 2020

On Saturday, August 8, the University of South Carolina will confer academic degrees on thousands of May and August graduates through a large virtual ceremony. Among that number will be graduates of our 240 graduate programs – certificate, masters, specialist and doctoral degrees.

On this page, the Graduate School leadership and your advisors and other faculty share messages of congratulations, best wishes and perhaps some last-minute professional and personal advice.  Accept these words for the confidence they express in your ability to change the world through your scholarship, creativity, and service to the world.

We are especially proud of our doctoral graduates who are receiving the highest academic achievement that can be conferred by any American university.  While we cannot place the doctoral hood on your shoulders or shake your hand (or share a quick hug), please accept our deepest congratulations.


Messages from Colleges, Programs and Faculty


Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

For each of the following students: David Brackett, Kaitlen Hubbard, Raymond Smith, Emily Suiter, and Jeff Trowbridge, and Dallas Beaver

Congratulations on completing your M.A. degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. We have enjoyed having you with us for the M.A. degree and wish you all the best in the years ahead. We are proud of you!

Robert Brame, Ph.D.

For each of the following students:  Corey Burton, Hunter Boehme, Yeoju Park, and Travis Jones

Congratulations on completing your Ph.D. degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. You have worked hard and we salute your accomplishments. We are so proud of you and wish you well as you take the next step in your career!

Robert Brame, Ph.D.

I would like to congratulate Dr. Yeoju Park and Dr. Hunter Boehme on the completion of their doctoral degrees. Yeoju, it was a pleasure to serve as the chair of your dissertation committee and watch you grow academically over the past several years. You should be very proud of all that you have accomplished (I sure am), and I can’t wait to see the great things you will do in the years ahead.

Hunter, I very much enjoyed being part of your dissertation committee and look forward to continued collaboration on projects and watching you achieve all your goals. Your energy and enthusiasm in the department will be greatly missed. I wish you both the best! Congratulations! – Christi Metcalfe

Christi Metcalfe, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment 

School of the  Earth, Ocean and Environment  May, August and December 2020 Graduation Page

Department of Geography


 Kirstin Dow
Carolina Trustees Professor

 To Sam Nielson, PhD, Geography: Congratulations on a job well done! You’ve done a great job with research and teaching for the past four years, and I have appreciated your diligence and your good sense of humor. I am looking forward to working with you in the future on migration research. Best of luck going forward.

Caroline Nagel, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair

To Geography Presidential Scholars, Sam Nielson, Sahar Derakhshan, and Nick Sokol: The Department is very proud of all of your accomplishments. You’ve been a great asset to the department, and we will miss you (though we look forward to collaborating with you in the future). Good luck with all of your endeavors.

Caroline Nagel, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair

To Geography Master’s program graduates, Tracy Whelen and Bri Ferguson: Congratulations on a job well done.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and working with you.  You’ve done a great job, and we are very proud of you! 

Caroline Nagel, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair

Congratulations to May 2020 Moore School Graduates!
While the COVID-19 pandemic is  delaying their official on-campus celebration, the Moore School still wants to recognize students' hard work and all they have learned during their time at UofSC. 
Darla Moore School Business (5/4/20 - Erin Mooney)

2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony Recognition of College of Engineering and Computing  Graduates

(names are alphabetized by last name)

College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management  2020 Graduation Web Page

 Video Message from Professor Renee Thomsen, Ph.D.

Congratulations on your graduation, Dr. Jing Li!  Your strong work ethic, your passion for research, your incredible dedication, and your sincere care for your students will make you an outstanding faculty member at Texas Tech University. Go out and strive to make a difference! We are proud of you!

Dr. Kevin So
Associate Professor

The entire College of Information and Communications is extremely proud of our hardworking newly minted graduates!  The faculty and support team in our schools of Journalism & Mass Communications and Information Science acknowledge your diligence, persistence, and investment in your long-term success.  You've become a part of our family and we look forward to keeping connected with you and watching your upward trajectory!

Spurs up!  Go Gamecocks! Here’s a health Carolina!

Dean Reichert
College of Information and Communications

School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Congratulations, MMC program graduates! I’m so proud of each of you and enjoyed working with you this year. Best wishes to all! – Dr. Overton

Holly Overton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Congratulations, Dr. Joon Kyoung Kim, on successfully defending your dissertation. Good luck at URI! I’m so proud of you. – Dr. Overton

Holly Overton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Congratulations, Dr. Minhee Choi, on successfully defending your dissertation. Good luck at VCU! I’m excited for you. – Dr. Overton

Holly Overton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony Recognition of School of Music Graduates
(Names are alphabetized by last name)

Congratulations on all that you've accomplished during your time at the University of South Carolina.  You've had to weather many storms along your journey, but I hope you have grown stronger because of them.  I wish you all the best as you strive to make the world a better place for all of us.

Demetrius Abshire, Ph.D., RN 
Assistant Professor

Hello Graduates,

I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments. Keep up the hard work as I know you will make a difference in the medical profession. Congratulations USC Nurses!!! 

Dr. Gibbs
Shelli Gibbs, DNP, APRN, FNP - BC
Clinical Assistant Professor
FNP Assistant Director

We in the CON wish each and every graduate of the CON graduate programs best wishes! While we know that this has been an exceptionally challenging time – your perseverance is a shining example of our great Gamecock Nursing Nation!  Kudos to your all - well deserved.

Alicia K. Ribar, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Congratulations 2020 Graduates!

This is an important milestone in your lives especially during the pandemic, which makes this even more significant.  I admire your resilience during this time. I am so impressed and proud with your adjustment and accomplishment. I am sure you will never forget this moment and hope that this will  help you in your future.   Congratulations and best wishes!

Abbas S. Tavakoli, DrPH, MPH, ME

2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony Recognition of College of Pharmacy Graduates
(Names are alphabetized by last name)

Arnold School of Public Health 2020 Graduation Page

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Dear Graduates of COMD:

The Department of COMD is very excited for your program completion and graduation. You have had an  amazing education from world class faculty and clinicians. We know that despite the current challenges, your class will thrive. You’ve already been through some hard times and have made it to the finish line. Faculty and staff sincerely enjoy hearing from you after your graduation and are often able to provide you with direction for your job search, assistance with challenging clinical cases, and suggestions for other networking opportunities and ongoing professional development. Please stay in touch!

Jean Neils-Strunjas, Ph.D./CCC-SLP
ASHA Fellow
Professor and Chair

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics' 2020 E-Commemoration Page 

Video Message from Anthony J. Alberg, Ph.D., MPH,
Professor and Chair

Physical Therapy Program

Video Message from Professor Stacy Fritz, Ph.D., PT
Physical Therapy Program Director

 College of Social Work 2020 Virtual Yearbooks:

Video Message from Professor Patrice Penney, MSW, LISW-CP
Clinical Assistant Professor
College of Social Work


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