Faculty and Staff
The faculty and staff of the CTE pursue ongoing professional development in order
to stay abreast of current trends in higher education and specific CTE programming
areas. Individual staff members seek out research and publication opportunities in
their areas of expertise, in order to contribute to new knowledge and establish CTE
as statewide and national leader in the field.
August (Augie) Grant, Director
Augie Grant has been teaching at the university level since 1983. Grant earned his
Ph.D. at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California,
and has spent the past three decades teaching, consulting, and researching emerging
communication technologies and their application to business, education, and social
institutions. Grant is best known as editor of Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals, which he created in 1992. In addition to exploring new communication technologies,
Grant's research explores media audience behavior, convergent journalism, radio and
television broadcasting, and applications of network analysis to the study of media
organizations and audiences. Grant is past chair of the University of South Carolina
Faculty Senate and is past president of the Broadcast Education Association.
Nate Carnes, Associate Director
Nate Carnes is the Associate Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence. In addition to three
education degrees and a permanent Ohio teaching certificate, he earned his Ph.D. in
Education Administration with an emphasis in science education at Miami University
(OH). His teaching performances, that span almost 40 years, have resulted in awards
and citations of teaching excellence at the University of South Carolina, state, regional
and international levels. Among these citations, he is the recipient of the prestigious
2007 ASTE Science Teacher Educator of the Year, a recognition of international distinction;
South Carolina Association for Middle Level Education 2018 Jennifer L. Wilson Teaching
Excellence; and the College of Education 2011 Lee Maidment Spirit of Service awards.
His scholarly activities explore pedagogical issues and innovations within and beyond
Maureen Petkewich, Faculty Fellow
Maureen Petkewich joined USC in 2005 and is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the
Assistant Chair in the Department of Statistics. She received her Ph.D. in Educational
Research and Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 2016. Her research
interests include educational measurement and statistics education. She has been very
active in Carolina Core course design and assessment. Petkewich is a 2017 recipient
of the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate teaching award for faculty not on
the tenure track. She spent over ten years as the coordinator for STAT 201, a high
enrollment Carolina Core course. She is a faculty fellow for the Center for Teaching
Excellence and leads the Community of Practice for Coordinators of Large Undergraduate
Alan White, Faculty Fellow
Alan R. White is professor of Biological Sciences, currently focusing on evidence-based instructional
practices in introductory biology BIOL 101 courses. Previously, he served as associate
dean for Undergraduate STEM Education for the College of Arts and Sciences at the
University of South Carolina (2013-2017), dean of Thomas Harriot College of Arts and
Sciences at East Carolina University, in Greenville, N.C. (2005–2013), and dean of
the College of Science and Mathematics at North Dakota State University in Fargo (2000–2005),
where he also was chair of the Department of Botany (1997–2000). Alan is a plant cell
biologist, with a BS in Biology and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a faculty fellow for the Center for Teaching Excellence and leads the FLIP, Focus
on Learning, Innovation and Pedagogy, community of practice.
Instructional Design Team
Aisha Haynes, Assistant Director
Aisha Haynes is the Assistant Director at the USC Center for Teaching Excellence.
She oversees the design, creation, delivery and ongoing improvement of distributed
learning (online and blended) delivery methods. Haynes is a certified Quality Matters
Peer and Master Reviewer, and has earned Online Teaching certifications from the Online
Learning Consortium. She teaches technology courses for the College of Engineering
and Computing, College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, USC-Union and
Palmetto College. Her research interests include: instructional design in online learning
environments, online course accessibility, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), learning
styles, and collaboration and engagement in online learning environments.
In 2014, Haynes established the Dr. Aisha S. Haynes Endowed Scholarship Fund. The
scholarship is awarded to first generation/low-income college students in TRiO Programs
(Opportunity Scholars Program) at USC. More specifically, the scholarship is awarded
to rising seniors who have at least a 3.0 GPA and who have shown exemplary University
or community service.
Lydia Frass, Senior Instructional Designer
Lydia Frass is an Instructional Designer in the USC Center for Teaching Excellence.
She is currently working with faculty in online course design and development and
quality assurance reviews. In addition, she is facilitating our Instructional Designer's
Community of Practice. Lydia holds a PhD in Adult Education and MPH from The University
of Southern Mississippi. Prior to joining CTE, she coordinated the South Carolina
Public Health Training Center which provided professional development opportunities
for current and future public health practitioners.
Gloria Washington, Instructional Designer
Gloria Washington is an Instructional Designer at the Center for Teaching Excellence
with 19 years of experience in higher education at USC. She is a Blackboard Certified
Trainer and a Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Reviewer. Gloria completed the Quality
Matters’ Applying the QM Rubric and Higher Education Peer Reviewer courses. Prior
to coming to CTE, she worked in Teaching and Technology Services and as a Technology
Director for the Ted Mimms Foreign Language Learning Center. Gloria holds a Doctor
of Education in Educational Technology, Master of Arts in Education, and Master of
Business Administration. Her expertise is in the pedagogical use of technology to
support teaching and learning. Gloria’s instructional design philosophy is “pedagogy
first, technology second.”
Casey Carroll, Instructional Developer
Casey Carroll is an instructional developer with the Center for Teaching Excellence
at USC. Casey works with the instructional design team to support faculty who are
teaching online, produce technology-enabled course materials, and conduct quality
assurance course reviews. In addition, he facilitates our Instructional Design Community
of Practice. Prior to joining CTE, Casey designed curriculum for professional training
and leadership development. He has also taught First-Year English and English as a
Second Language at the University of South Carolina. Casey holds a master’s degree
in linguistics from USC and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and psychology from Pacific
Lutheran University. He also holds the Associate Professional in Talent Development
credential from the Association for Talent Development.
Xavery Hopkins, Program Manager
Xavery Hopkins is the Program Manager of Operations and Faculty Events for the Center
for Teaching Excellence. She is responsible for providing advanced direction and
planning of programs and services for the CTE. Xavery has over 15-years of experience
leading and facilitating special projects. She coordinates the work of CTE staff
to implement programs and services for University faculty, instructors, and teaching
assistants. Xavery is responsible for all matters related to day-to-day management,
workflow, processes and business operations of CTE. She is also responsible for identifying
and initiating partnerships with other units, and with individuals to support faculty
development, providing leadership and support for initiatives that promote faculty
collaborations, drives strategic initiatives and manages special programs for the
Xavery earned a Master's degree of Public Health from the University of South Carolina
and an MBA from Winthrop University, and is a graduate of the Kenan-Flagler Business
School of UNC Chapel Hill's Executive Management Program.
Michelle Hardee, Program Manager
Michelle Hardee is the Program Manager for all graduate student Teaching Assistant
training at the University. Michelle is responsible for developing the CTE’s graduate
TA/IA training seminars, developing and teaching the GRAD 701 Teaching Assistant Development
course required of all new TA/IAs, and helping students progress through the Preparing
Future Faculty Program. She regularly coordinates with the Graduate School and other
university academic partners on graduate student professional development workshops
and events. Michelle received her B.S. in Zoology at Texas A&M in 1995, an M.S. in
Marine Biology at the College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Laboratory, and her Ph.D.
in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina. Additionally, Michelle teaches
the Honors section of the Marine Science Program’s Oceans and Society course every
Helena Johnson, Web and Multimedia Developer
Helena is responsible for developing, editing, and delivering information about the
Center's programs and services through Internet-based communications, multimedia and
print. With degrees in Media Arts and Computer Programming, Helena began her career
in corporate communications. Prior to joining CTE she worked for creative and production
companies as producer and writer.
Kim Elia, Administrative Coordinator
Kim Elia is the Administrative Coordinator for the Center for Teaching Excellence.
She serves as the human resources liaison, budget coordinator, and the hiring manager.
Her position additionally coordinates the CTE’s general administrative activities,
manages data collection, maintains databases regarding CTE events and activities,
and assists in the preparation of reports and other informational documents. Kim is
the senior staff member at the CTE, having started at USC in 1994 in the Office of
Distance Education and Instructional Support before joining the CTE in 2007.
Laurie Sambenedetto, Program Assistant
Laurie Sambenedetto is the Program Assistant for the Center for Teaching Excellence.
She serves as the first point of contact for CTE clients and provides office and logistical
support for CTE staff and events. Laurie manages the CTE front desk, fields phone
calls and inquiries and assists senior CTE staff with basic clerical and administrative
tasks including purchasing and procurement paperwork. She also handles registration,
technology, catering arrangements and assists with maintaining the CTE space. Laurie
joined the CTE in the summer of 2017.