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.

Mr. Gibson's fifth grade class

Culturally relevant teaching changes the game for students

May 13, 2019, Kathryn McPhail

Jackson Creek Elementary School, in Columbia, is committed to improving the way its teachers are educating students — both academically and socially. The school is collaborating with College of Education professors to offer all teachers and support staff ongoing professional development in culturally relevant teaching.

Preston Thorne, former athlete

Life after the 4th quarter

February 08, 2019, Kathryn McPhail

Former Gamecocks football player Preston Thorne is back on campus, but now he’s tackling the teacher shortage instead of opponents. Since graduating 15 year ago, Thorne has taught history, coached high school football and even co-authored a children's book. Now, he's helping the College of Education recruit more students to the teaching profession.

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.

education course at USC

Filling the void

September 18, 2018, Kathryn McPhail

South Carolina is in critical need of special educators, with special education vacancies making up the largest share – nearly 20 percent - of unfilled teaching positions last year. To tackle this growing issue, the College of Education is launching a new certificate program for both early childhood education undergraduate students as well as current teachers.

Marisa Green

Getting at the core of the issue

August 09, 2018, Kathryn McPhail

To increase diversity among South Carolina’s teachers while also tackling the growing teacher shortage, the College of Education is launching the Apple Core Initiative. Ten students, including Marisa Green, will take part in the pilot program which provides scholarships and support for underrepresented populations in South Carolina.

Dr. Todd Crump

Committed to Care

February 26, 2018, Alyssa Yancey

Students, faculty members and alumni from the USC School of Medicine are making a difference in the Midlands by volunteering at two local free medical clinics. Students also work to support The Free Medical Clinic financially through the Black Tie White Coat Gala, an annual fundraising event.

Tori Vaeth at hotel

The 'SEARCH' for purpose

January 12, 2018, Kathryn McPhail

A cherished, childhood friendship led Tori Vaeth to study special education at the University of South Carolina. Now, the College of Education double alumna is leading a program that’s training and placing young adults with intellectual disabilities in rewarding careers.

Dr. Ross

A thousand passions, 1 heartbeat

October 20, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

University of South Carolina College of Education alumnus and Chapin High School principal, Akil Ross, was named the 2018 National Principal of the Year on Friday, October 20. The honor is the culmination of a passionate career as an educator that began just a few miles away from our campus 16 years ago.

Lava flows in the Galapagos

Gamecocks in the Galápagos

October 16, 2017, Allen Wallace

For the second year in a row, UofSC is taking students to one of the rarest classrooms in the world: the Galapagos Islands. The cross-disciplinary study abroad program offers diverse lessons, but the overarching theme is sustainability.

Brandon Harrison in class

Advancing educational equity for African-American children

October 11, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

Rapping the words to the U.S. Constitution might seem odd — unless you’re a student in one of Brandon Harrison’s classes. Harrison, and other public school teachers, are collaborating with education professors here at Carolina to identify which methods work best when teaching African-American students.

Binda in Senegal

From refugee to global education advocate

September 22, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

At just 6 years old, Noella “Binda” Niati was forced to flee her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo, amid intense violence and political upheaval. More than two decades later, she is headed back to Africa to study ways to encourage children, especially girls, to stay in school longer.

advanced materials

Advancing SC workforce

September 19, 2017

The University of South Carolina has been preparing students for the workforce for generations. As the state has attracted more high-tech manufacturing operations, the need for more skilled workers has grown rapidly. The university can now increase its reach to help even more South Carolinians take advantage of these opportunities with a $20 million National Science Foundation grant.

jeffries

When tracking math students doesn't add up

July 21, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

Education professor Rhonda Jeffries and graduate student Hope Reed wanted to close the achievement gap for underrepresented students, specifically those tracked to be in remedial classes. So, they took a risk with a group of freshman students at Blythewood High School and conducted a secret experiment of sorts that proved to be powerful.

Student works on reading

The hidden parents of South Carolina

June 26, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

Raised by a Cuban father and Colombian mother in Boston, Massachusetts, Julia López-Robertson experienced first-hand the challenges that come with being a member of an underrepresented population in America. Now as a professor in the College of Education, she is helping other Latino families through her research and outreach.

pastides family

Full circle

May 13, 2017, Page Ivey

For university President Harris Pastides, receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor is like coming full circle for the son of Greek immigrants who left their idyllic Mediterranean island home in search of better life for their children.