Stories for Alumni

Jefferson in class with her students

Education alumna wins SC Teacher of the Year

June 06, 2019, Kathryn McPhail

Education alumna, Chanda Jefferson, was recently named the 2020 South Carolina Teacher of the Year. Her passion for serving others began when she drove the church van as a teenager. Now a decade into her career as an educator, she finds herself teaching much more than biology to her students.

Maxcy Monument on the UofSC Horseshoe

UofSC's Excellence Initiative launches eight new high-impact projects

April 02, 2019, Jeff Stensland

Eight new research and outreach projects have been selected for funding as a part of the Excellence Initiative, a competitive grant program launched by the Board of Trustees last year to identify and fund proposals with the potential to be transformative and have a lasting impact on the university.

Miracle Kid Ellington Hewitt at Dance Marathon 2018

For the Kids

February 28, 2019, Allen Wallace

A year ago, University of South Carolina Dance Marathon made history, raising more than a million dollars for the kids at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital (then known as Palmetto Health). Just days after that success, they began working to do it again. That yearlong effort concludes Saturday with the student organization’s annual Main Event.

Sam Sprouse building

The perfect desk job

February 04, 2019, Chris Horn

At the Charleston Woodworking School, Sam Sprouse teaches his students the right way to make fine furniture, using traditional tools and a craftsman’s sensibility. To succeed here, the only school of its kind in the Palmetto State, students make lots of mistakes — and learn from each one.

MLK Weekend at UofSC

The beloved community

January 17, 2019, Dana Woodward

The University of South Carolina’s MLK Weekend event series culminates Sunday, Jan. 20, with Freedom Rings, an artistic celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy. The university partnered with the Columbia nonprofit Auntie Karen Foundation to bring together Midlands musicians, artists and spoken word performers to honor the civil rights leader in an event designed to bring the audience to its feet.

USC Press

Turning the page

January 07, 2019, Chris Horn

The University of South Carolina Press celebrates 75 years of publishing in 2019, which is a pretty big deal in itself, but there’s more going on than a diamond anniversary. A new director, a new acquisitions editor and a more tightly focused editorial direction promise dynamic changes at one of the country’s foremost academic presses.

Creative degree programs

USC Creativity

December 03, 2018, Megan Sexton

The university has established several new degree programs that illustrate creative curricula by adding innovation, an entrepreneurial approach or other types of value to traditional degrees.

Matt Schreiber

Distinguished Young Alumnus: Matt Schreiber

October 26, 2018, Page Ivey

Matt Schreiber didn’t come to Carolina expecting to become a private wealth manager. In fact, his degrees, a bachelor’s in history (’03) and a master’s in teaching (’04) are more often associated with less financially lucrative careers. But the 2018 Distinguished Young Alumnus puts his two degrees to work every day, using historic trends to map investment strategy and helping educate his clients on how best to navigate the market.

Bobby Donaldson

Telling the untold

October 24, 2018, Megan Sexton

As he conducted research for the civil rights history project Columbia SC 63, history professor Bobby Donaldson started discovering largely untold stories about the struggle as it played out in Columbia. The material he and his students unearthed and the people he met helped guide the formation of the South Carolina Center for Civil Rights History and Research.

Wendy Bashnan

A Gamecock abroad

August 01, 2018, Chris Horn

Wendy Bashnan’s career began in her rural S.C. hometown 25 years ago, but quickly sprouted wings. Since 1994, she’s worked in Washington, D.C., Miami, and New York, and has spent more than half of her professional life abroad in South America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

James Anderson

Gamecock emissary

July 16, 2018, Mary-Kathryn Craft

Political science alumnus James Anderson credits Gamecock connections for his success as he embarks upon the next phase of his career in foreign policy work. The Air Force officer, who helped found My Carolina’s Veterans Alumni Council, will study U.S. and Canada relations as part of a Fulbright Scholarship in September.

Psychology professor Mark Weist

Alliance for change

June 18, 2018, Mary-Kathryn Craft

Psychology professor Mark Weist is leading efforts to improve behavioral health in public schools across the Palmetto State. He and his team recently received a grant from the South Carolina Department of Education to launch the S.C. School Behavioral Health Alliance, an interdisciplinary initiative to prevent and treat emotional and behavioral concerns.

Thomas Makris

Nature made

June 01, 2018, Chris Horn

It sounds like a motorist's dream come true: Microorganisms that make gasoline. If you think it sounds farfetched, talk to Tom Makris. The assistant professor of chemistry is focusing his research on natural product biosynthesis pathways, which include not only fuel-producing microbes but also the antibiotic-making capabilities of microorganisms.

James Cutsinger

Final exam

May 29, 2018, Chris Horn

Religious studies professor James Cutsinger has wrestled with life’s deep questions of sin, faith and suffering, pondering the existence of God and the meaning of life with thousands of students over the course of nearly four decades at the University of South Carolina. Now, at age 65, Cutsinger is facing a final exam of sorts — the test of his own theological insights in the face of a stage IV cancer diagnosis.