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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Sporty Jeralds receives his award for Teacher of the Year and is surrounded by his family.

College of HRSM 2019 Faculty and Staff Awards

The University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport management celebrated a successful school year and honored some particularly outstanding faculty and staff at its end-of-year awards ceremony and luncheon on April 30, 2019.

Posted on May 1, 2019
By Brooke Stillwell,

“Our faculty and staff work tirelessly to provide education excellence for our students, and it is important to take the time to come together and celebrate as a team,” said Haemoon Oh, dean of the college. “I am proud to work with such talented and passionate colleagues at a world-class college.”

Sporty Jeralds

Distinguished Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Sporty Jeralds, clinical instructor in the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, for receiving the 2019 Harry E. and Carmen S. Varney Distinguished Teacher of the Year award!

The student-nominated award is determined by a committee of faculty, staff and students. “This year there were more than 150 nominations and more than 40% of the faculty received a nomination, which is a testament to the teaching quality happening across the college,” said award committee chair, Todd Koesters.

After a rigorous review process, three finalists are chosen each year to represent three of the primary departments within the college.

The top finalists included Senior Instructor Karen Edwards who was honored as the teacher of the year for the Department of Retailing. Her students nominated her for her mentorship, caring, commitment to and interest in learning along with her students and her dedication to student success and accountability. Instructor Jessica Chavis was also a finalist and the teacher of the year for the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. Her students nominated her for going above and beyond to provide them with opportunities to meet professionals in their fields, exposure to world-class career experiences, and her interest and encouragement in helping them find careers.

As the college-level awardee, Jeralds’ students nominated him for being a strict, challenging and caring teacher. His impactful teaching style blends years of experience as a venue management executive with his infectious positivity and training as a motivational speaker and author. Students credited him with helping them decide their career paths and “caring for them in a world where caring isn’t always cool anymore.” One student said, “After transferring here, he was the first professor who I connected with. He made an effort at the end of class, and I knew I’d made the right choice coming to the University of South Carolina.”

Our faculty and staff work tirelessly to provide education excellence for our students, and it is important to take the time to come together and celebrate as a team. I am proud to work with such talented and passionate colleagues at a world-class college.

— Haemoon Oh, College of HRSM dean

Congratulations to Jeralds and to Edwards and Chavis for representing the very best in education excellence, and thank you for your continued impact on all of your students.

The College or HRSM and the Teacher of the Year committee would also like to recognize the following Ph.D. students who were also nominated for the award, although they were not eligible to win: Rui Qi, HRTM; Jing Li, HRTM; Dan Jin, HRTM; Fei Gao, SPTE; Evelyn Jara-Pazmino, SPTE; Jacqueline Hague, SPTE; Walker Ross, SPTE; Timothy Koba, SPTE; and Victor D. Kidd, SPTE.

Fang Meng

Researcher of the Year 

The 2019 Patricia G. Moody Researcher of the Year Award went to Fang Meng, an associate professor in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management and a research associate in the Richardson Family SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development.

The award is the most prestigious recognition of scholarly achievement given by the college. Any full-time faculty member of the college with evidence of quality research within the previous four years may be nominated by their peers. In addition to Meng, faculty members Mark Nagel and Nick Watanabe were also nominated for the award this year. Nominations are evaluated by a committee of their peers across a number of criteria including the importance of the research and scholarship to the discipline, creativity of the scholarship, authorship, grant funding, and ranking/impact of the journal published among other criteria.

Jeff Campbell, committee chair, had this to say of Meng: "During the past four years, Dr. Meng has had 25 refereed articles published (or in press), with 19 of those listed in A or A+ journals. She has published four book chapters, had 10 non-refereed publications, and 35 international presentations. For her grant scholarship, she submitted more than $1.4 million in grant proposals with 10 funded research projects being awarded . She also serves as an Expert Committee Member at World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), a global-level tourism organization as well as serving as a Fellow in International Academy of Chinese Tourism Scholars (IACTS). In her ‘spare time’ she also worked as committee chair for three Ph.D. students and as a committee member for six other Ph.D. students and one master’s student.”

Meng’s major research focuses include tourism destination marketing and management, consumer behavior/experience in hospitality and tourism, and international tourism. Congratulations, Dr. Meng!

Stephanie Richards

HRSM Staff Member of the Year

Stephanie Richards is the winner of the 2019 Staff Member of the Year award. Richards is the administrative coordinator for student services and received the most nominations for the award and was nominated by individual faculty members, fellow staff members and support staff units.

Nominations described Richards as “the first face I look for in the mornings, because she's a breath of fresh air to work with,” and as having the motto, “smarter, not harder.” “She finds creative and innovative ways to make our office run smoothly, and our jobs a lot easier! I appreciate her professionalism as much as I appreciate her being sassy ... she will give it to you like it is! She is a resource for any and everything on campus.” 

Another nomination described Richards as a repository of knowledge, always willing to share that knowledge freely, lend a helping hand and teaching others if or when they are willing to learn.

“She is innovative and a true believer in efficiency. She works hard to streamline processes and eliminate unnecessary waste and redundancy. She is hardworking, honest and is always the last to leave the office. Mrs. Richards does not make a big deal about what she does, because she is very humble and has an amazing work ethic.”

Richards, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Sport and Entertainment Management from the University of South Carolina, came to the work at the College of HRSM in 2012. Congratulations, Mrs. Richards!

Richard Southall

Global Scholar Award 

Professor Richard Southall, faculty in the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management and director of the College Sport Research Institute, is the 2019 recipient of the Brian J. and Linda L. Mihalik Global Scholar Award.

This endowed award was created to support teachers who are working hard to create opportunities for students to gain global experience and study abroad. By providing more pathways to global knowledge and scholarship, the college is able to enrich students’ education as well as our impact on the future of worldwide industries.
Southall is a world-renowned scholar who has traveled, taught and presented around the world, including in Ecuador, Turkey, Spain, England and Istanbul. He teaches and researches in the areas of sport ethics, college sport and sport sociology.

His course, “Sustainability, Eco-Tourism and the Diving Industry” provides students an opportunity to study in the Galapagos Islands, where they are introduced to the Four Es: Education, Equipment, Environment and Experiences that comprise the scuba diving industry. Congratulations, Dr. Southall!

State Service Milestones

Also recognized at the ceremony was Sport and Entertainment Management Internship Advisor Steve Taylor, who celebrated a 10-year milestone of service with the University of South Carolina. Taylor received a certificate and pin to signify the state’s, university’s and college’s gratitude for their contributions.

“From student growth and success, to teaching excellence and research impact, we have so much to celebrate in our college,” says Oh. “It has been a fantastic year, and we are only going to go up from here. Congratulations to all of our faculty and staff and our awardees!”

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