Stories for Alumni

John C. Calhoun statue is removed in Charleston, South Carolina

John C. Calhoun's days as a revered icon are gradually coming to an end

June 30, 2020, Christian Anderson

John C. Calhoun’s legacy until now has been quite prominent in American society – and not just in the South, but Calhoun’s days as a revered icon in the public sphere are gradually coming to an end. Education professor Christian Anderson addresses the issue of Calhoun’s legacy in The Conversation as we are in the midst of a nationwide reappraisal of our past that also affects UofSC.

book covers including the graphic novel Maus

Graphic novels help teens learn about racism, social justice and climate change

June 12, 2020, Karen Gavigan

Because the combination of text and images in graphic novels can communicate issues and emotions that words alone often cannot, more educators and parents are finding them to be effective tools for tackling tough issues with kids. In early March, information science professor Karen Gavin shared a collection of books for The Conversation, including some that can educate children about racism and other forms of bigotry.

1960s civil rights protestor carries signs denouncing segregation

Carving a path toward justice: Part 3

June 05, 2020, Chris Horn

Bobby Donaldson is an associate professor of history and African American Studies and director of the Center for Civil Rights History and Research at the University of South Carolina. In a three-part question-and-answer series, Donaldson presents both his scholarly insights and his personal perspective as they relate to protests over the death of George Floyd.

Bobby Donaldson

Carving a path toward justice: Part 2

June 05, 2020, Chris Horn

Bobby Donaldson is an associate professor of history and African American Studies and director of the Center for Civil Rights History and Research at the University of South Carolina. In a three-part question-and-answer series, Donaldson presents both his scholarly insights and his personal perspective as they relate to protests over the death of George Floyd.

Martin Luther King speaks in Charleston in 1967

Carving a path toward justice: Part 1

June 05, 2020, Chris Horn

Bobby Donaldson is an associate professor of history and African American Studies and director of the Center for Civil Rights History and Research at the University of South Carolina. In a three-part question-and-answer series, Donaldson presents both his scholarly insights and his personal perspective as they relate to protests over the death of George Floyd.

students exercise with a ball

Kids need physical education - even when they can't get it at school

June 05, 2020, Collin Webster

Kids who are more physically active tend to get better grades and develop the self-confidence that can empower them to succeed later in life. Physical education professor Collin Webster writes for The Conversation that the arrival of summer vacation might allay concerns parents have about their children being too sedentary. However, researchers think a lack of structured summertime activities can cause kids to make unhealthy choices.

Drawing of a patrolman looking over the passes of plantation slaves

Ahmaud Arbery's killing puts citizen's arrest laws in spotlight

May 29, 2020, Seth Stoughton

The killing of an unarmed black jogger by white residents is shocking, but it should come as no surprise. Law professor Seth Stoughton writes for The Conversation that if anything, Ahmaud Arbery’s death in Georgia on Feb. 23 was predictable: the latest tragic example of the fatal consequences that can occur when private citizens seek to take the law into their own hands.

teacher and student in classroom

COVID-19 impact: Redirection of CARES Act funds shortchanges low-income students

May 29, 2020, Derek Black

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act, designated $13.5 billion for public schools that was supposed to be distributed based on the number of low-income students enrolled in a district. Law professor Derek Black writes for The Conversation that a new directive from the U.S. Department of Education, which tells districts to share far more of the money than expected private and religious school students, contradicts the CARES Act.

contact tracing map

South Carolina's COVID-19 contact tracing praised as exemplary model

May 28, 2020, Dr. Jennifer Meredith

States are working hard to take the necessary steps to reopen safely. When Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, explained that task to the U.S. Senate recently, he pointed to South Carolina as a model for the country, one that he would “almost like to clone.” So, what is South Carolina getting right?

Paige Fallon

The study abroad experience that, ultimately, helped save a life

May 28, 2020, Chris Horn

This past spring semester, Paige Fallon began a study abroad experience in Europe, then got sick with COVID-19 and ended up in quarantine back home in Ohio. But the rising senior made the most of her experience after recovering from the virus that has killed some 350,000 worldwide — she helped save a life.

stethoscope icon

COVID-19 impact: Pandemic alters health care landscape in SC

May 27, 2020, Tenell Felder

UofSC Today reached out to University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia alumni Dr. David Ford and Dr. Cedric Rivers for insight into how COVID-19 has impacted health care in South Carolina, as well as how the state might move forward in upcoming months. Both Ford and Rivers work at hospitals in Columbia, treating patients with COVID-19.

librarian with students at Wren High School

Passion for their profession lands SC librarians on Movers & Shakers list

May 26, 2020, Carol J.G. Ward

Having an impact on their students and communities, being more inclusive for underserved populations and encouraging a lifelong love of reading and learning are passions shared by three alumnae of the University of South Carolina’s School of Information Science who have been recognized as 2020 Movers & Shakers by Library Journal.

Public relations major Sarah Massengale

Public relations graduate paves a path toward accessibility

May 18, 2020, Rebekah Friedman

Ask anyone who knows Sarah Massengale to describe her in a word and they might say she’s brazen. Or fearless. Or even stubborn. What they won’t tell you — at least not at first — is that she’s blind. The public relations major is applying her communications knowledge and personal experience by helping the university with its widescale effort to address its digital accessibility.

Elizabeth Thompson leads a group exercise class

Class of 2020: Elizabeth Thompson

May 12, 2020, Craig Brandhorst

Elizabeth Thompson wanted to be at the head of the class — and she made sure she got there. No, we’re not talking about the computer engineering major’s classroom success, which landed her a job in her field straight out of college. We’re talking about Thompson’s other driving passion: group fitness instruction.

girl student taking a test

COVID 19 impact: Seeking alternatives to standardized testing

May 12, 2020, James Kirylo

Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Education Department is letting states cancel standardized tests. As a result, 2020 is the first year without federally mandated standardized testing in nearly two decades. Education professor James Kirylo writes in The Conversation that school systems can take advantage of this remarkable time to seek alternatives to standardized tests.

plasma donation

COVID-19 response: UofSC partners with The Blood Connection to collect plasma donations from recovered patients

May 11, 2020

A national study sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Mayo Clinic is examining the use of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, known as convalescent plasma, to treat patients who are currently suffering from the virus. Physicians hope the antibodies in the donor plasma will neutralize the virus in these ill patients and improve outcomes.

protester holds sign calling to close the border

COVID-19 impact: Language differences spark fear amid pandemic

May 08, 2020, Stanley Dubinsky, Kaitlyn E. Smith, Michael Gavin

As the coronavirus spreads around the globe, it can cause a fear of others, especially strangers, who may or may not have taken proper precautions against spreading the disease. This fear can cause people to be on heightened alert for anyone who might be different. English professors Stanley Dubinsky, Michael Gavin and doctoral student Kaitlyn Smith write for The Conversation about how language differences can contribute to discrimination.

ruins of the lumber mill that are now visible on the shores of Lake Marion

Class of 2020: Honors senior's thesis project explores history of a former SC mill town

May 07, 2020, Carol J.G. Ward

When 89-year-old Richard Mims was just a boy in the 1930s, he remembers playing a game he called “Executive” in the abandoned offices of the Santee River Cypress Lumber Co. in Ferguson near his hometown of Eutawville, South Carolina. The once-thriving mill town now lies underwater, part of the region flooded to create Lake Marion. Mims shared his memories in an oral history recorded by South Carolina Honors College graduate Caldwell Loftis.

Thomas Palmer

Class of 2020: Thomas Palmer

May 06, 2020, Megan Sexton

Thomas Palmer chose UofSC because of the opportunities offered by a large university, along with its top-flight School of Music and impressive Honors College. Playing in the orchestra during the production of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, he was reminded that he made the right decision

Darwin

COVID-19 impact: What does 'survival of the fittest' mean in the coronavirus pandemic?

April 30, 2020, Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti

In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, who is the “fittest”? This is a challenging question. But as immunology researchers at the University of South Carolina, we can say one thing is clear: With no effective treatment options, survival against the coronavirus infection depends completely on the patient’s immune response. School of Medicine Columbia professors Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti write for The Conversation about immune response to COVID-19.

Heather Hembree

Class of 2020: Pharmacy student hopes to serve in rural community

April 29, 2020, Tenell Felder

Like many University of South Carolina students, Heather Hembree recently saw her post-graduation plans take an unexpected turn. The College of Pharmacy graduate student, who graduated in May, learned that her board tests might be canceled because of the COVID-19 threat. Despite the setback, Hembree plans to eventually practice pharmacy in a rural community similar to her hometown of Ware Shoals, South Carolina

graphic with multicolored lines to show spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 impact: Coronavirus genome allows epidemiologists to track where it's been

April 27, 2020, Bert Ely and Taylor Carter

Following the coronavirus’s spread through the population – and anticipating its next move – is an important part of the public health response to the new disease. Biological sciences professor Bert Ely and doctoral student Taylor Carter write for The Conversation on how the virus's genetic sequence provides insight into where the virus has been.

archival image of student protests in May 1970

50 years of May

April 27, 2020, Craig Brandhorst

A half century ago, against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and seismic shifts in American culture, the campus of the University of South Carolina became a battleground — between students and the administration, between a young generation and the establishment, between radically different worldviews. But the dramatic events of that spring, which came to be known as The Months of May, weren’t strictly destructive. The lessons of that era also changed lives and changed the university itself.

depressed young lady

COVID-19 impact: social and mental health issues

April 27, 2020, Amit Sheth

Social media posts and news reports are rich sources of data about people’s attitudes and behaviors. Performing this analysis during the COVID-19 pandemic is revealing the damage the pandemic is doing to the social and psychological well-being of the U.S. Amit Sheth, Founding Director, Artificial Intelligence Institute and Computer Science & Engineering professor writes for The Conversation on examining online conversation about COVID-19.