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Office of the Vice President for Research

Featured Scholars

The Office of the Vice President for Research is proud to recognize the University of South Carolina's diverse and talented faculty whose creativity and innovation are changing the world around us. Featured Scholars is one program through which we do that.

Each month, the Office of the Vice President for Research puts out a call for nominees to be recognized as Featured Scholars. We gather up USC's the best and brightest talent, and feature them here on a regular basis to get the word out about their innovative work, and provide appreciation for the contributions they make to the Carolina community every day.

February 2015 Featured Scholars

Edward Carr

Edward R. Carr, College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Edward R Carr is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and serves as Associate Director of the Walker Institute for International and Area Studies. His research focuses on finding ways to identify and meet the changing needs of vulnerable populations in the context of a changing global economy and environment. Dr. Carr founded and directs the Humanitarian Response and Development Lab (HURDL), which currently conducts on-the-ground research on the delivery of weather and climate information to farmers in Senegal and Mali, the identification of gendered and other forms of social vulnerability for climate change adaptation planning, and better connecting efforts to manage disaster risk in the present with adaptation needs in the future in Zambia. HURDL is funded by organizations like the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. From 2010-2012, Dr. Carr was an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at USAID, where he helped write the agency's climate change policy and advised a presidential appointee while serving as a climate change coordinator and advisor. He has published extensively in leading development studies and geography outlets, and has served as a lead author of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the United Nations Environment Programme’s Fourth Global Environment Outlook, a review editor for Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, and as a chapter lead for a United States Department of Agriculture report on Climate Change and Global Food Security.

Janet Hopkins

Janet E. Hopkins, School of Music

Janet E. Hopkins, mezzo soprano, was a principal soloist at the Metropolitan opera for fifteen seasons.  Ms Hopkins was the mezzo soloist for the Verdi requiem at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Tulsa and Minneapolis  (2010/2011), the Berkshires and South Carolina (2012) and had national and international performances in 2013/4 including Spain, Boston, Charleston, and New York, St. Louis. Her upcoming performances include Tulsa, USC Irvine, and New York.   Ms. Hopkins’ recordings include The Ghosts of Versailles and Elektra dvds along with a large collection of Texaco Broadcast  “Live from the Met” recordings.  She also has several solo recordings available, including Ulysses Kay: Works for Chamber Orchestra and Soprano and Ayala Asherov Kalus’ Cycles of the Moon on Naxos. In 2007, Ms. Hopkins produced a unique music and wine project: she personally blended her own Cuvee red wine in conjunction with the award winning Tulip Hill Winery.  This was accompanied by a collection of classical Neapolitan Italian songs, recorded at the historical Capitol Records in Hollywood.  The wine and cd were called “Aria”.  The New York Times and USA Today gave it glowing reviews and it sold out in 2 months.   Ms. Hopkins is also founder and executive director of Opera-tunity Foundation for the Arts, an all-volunteer 501c3 non-profit for the education and appreciation of the arts.  Their 2012  event, "Week of Remembrance, a Celebration of Jewish Artists" earned her and the Foundation a Resolution from the House of Representatives and the Senate.  She also received an award from the Cultural Council of South Carolina for the event 

Michy Kelly

Michy Kelly, School of Medicine

Dr. Michy P. Kelly has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience at the USC School of Medicine since July of 2012. Dr. Kelly’s lab explores how altered cyclic nucleotide signaling, particularly changes in the enzyme PDE11A, may cause neurocognitive deficits associated with psychiatric illnesses and age-related cognitive decline.  She couples in vivo behavioral studies with ex vivo biochemical and molecular assays using normal, genetically-modified, and/or pharmacologically-treated rodents.  Dr. Kelly is the leading world expert on the neurobiology of PDE11A, and her work focusing on the role of PDE11A in memory deficits has already earned numerous internal and external funding awards, including prestigious awards from NIH, the PhRMA Foundation, and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. Dr. Kelly serves as an Editorial Board Member for Signal Transduction Insights and the American Journal of Neuroscience and serves as a Clinical Advisory Board Member for Asubio, Inc.

Patrick "Mike" Kelly

Patrick "Mike" Kelly, College of Education

Educational Studies Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Patrick “Mike” Kelly teaches specialized graduate and undergraduate courses in learning disabilities and introductory courses in special education at the College of Education. As assistant director for the CarolinaLIFE program, he prepares students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate in academic, residential, and social life on the USC campus.  Mike’s younger sister, who is deaf, was a major influence in his decision to work in the field of education. He has an affinity for working with families as a result. Mike has over 30 years in public education settings as a school psychologist, counselor, and special education administrator.   He has specialized training and experience in psychology, education, counseling, teaching, research, and administration benefiting children who are deaf/ hard-of-hearing, their families, and teachers.    Mike presented his research on Parent Perceptions of Audiology and Speech-Language Services and Support for Young Children with Cochlear Implants; Legacy of Language; and Integrating Deaf Culture into Family Life and Professional Awareness at the Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) national conferences. The USC Office of the Provost awarded Mike a grant to establish a new online special education course in the field of learning disabilities that highlights recent developments in learning disabilities -- an historical context, instructional tools and techniques, and assessment issues for school-aged students. He is a board member for Beginnings South Carolina – an organization that advocates for families of deaf and hard-of-hearing children – and Turning Pages (the Columbia Literacy Council). His other affiliations include the National Association of the Deaf, A.G. Bell, and Council for Exceptional Children.  He served in the elite U.S. Presidential Helicopter Unit (Army One) during his military service. 

Shaun Owens

Shaun Owens, College of Social Work

Dr. Shaun Owens, Assistant Professor with the College of Social Work, uses community-based research methods to develop sustainable, technology-based interventions, products, and services for aging adults.  With Dr. Sue Levkoff, Endowed Chair in Community and Social Support, and Dr. Jenay Beer, Assistant Professor, Dr. Owens co-leads research and innovation activities related to healthy aging within the University’s SmartHOME Initiative. His lab, the Healthy Aging Research and Technology (HART) Lab, will focus on the community-led development of technology-based solutions focusing primarily on the development and evaluation of embodied conversational agents (i.e., avatars) for promoting informed health and cancer decision making among African Americans. Dr. Owens holds a Master of Public Health from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health and a PhD in Health Promotion Education and Behavior from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health.

Joynelle Rivers

Joynelle Rivers, College of Nursing

Dr. Joynelle Rivers is passionate about education and the facilitation of curriculum/instruction to the current generational student. She completed her Doctorate in Education from the University of South Carolina in 2012. Her dissertation research focused on the evaluation of simulation as a useful tool in nursing education and outcomes in clinical evaluation. While continuing her work exploring new avenues in nursing education and instruction, she also focuses her efforts as Principal Investigator on a research study entitled, Reducing disparities, reducing risks: Promoting breastfeeding among African American women, funded by the USC Institute for African American Research. She,  her co-PI, Dr. Tisha Felder, (Nursing), and Magellan Scholar, Jennifer Beecroft are examining the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of pregnant African American women and their partner/family members toward breastfeeding and methods for promotion. Specifically, they will explore how enhancing social support for pregnant women is a key strategy for increasing breastfeeding. Long-term implications of this study include the potential to reduce pervasive disparities in breastfeeding, as well as incidence and death from aggressive breast cancers among African American women. 

Patrick Wright

Patrick Wright, Darla Moore School of Business

Patrick Wright is Thomas C. Vandiver Bicentennial Chair and founder and faculty director of the Center for Executive Succession in the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. Prior to joining USC he has served on the faculties at Cornell University, Texas A&M University and the University of Notre Dame.   Professor Wright teaches, conducts research, and consults in the area of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM), particularly focusing on how firms use people as a source of competitive advantage and the changing nature of the Chief HR Officer role. He has published over 60 research articles in journals, over 20 chapters in books and edited volumes and has co-authored two textbooks and two books on HR practice. He currently serves at the Editor-in-Chief at Journal of Management. He has conducted programs and/or consulted for a number of large organizations. He currently serves as a member on the Board of Directors for the National Academy of Human Resources (NAHR) and is a former board member of HRPS, SHRM Foundation and World at Work (formerly American Compensation Association). In 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 he was named by HRM Magazine as one of the 20 “Most Influential Thought Leaders in HR”.