Skip to Content

Center for Teaching Excellence

    Faculty and Staff

    The faculty and staff of the CTE pursue ongoing professional development 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.


    Augie Grant

    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 an 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

    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 science education.

    List Thumbnail

    Aisha Haynes, Assistant Director

    Aisha Haynes is the Assistant Director at the UofSC Center for Teaching Excellence. She oversees the CTE’s Instructional Design team. Haynes is a certified Quality Matters Peer and Master Reviewer and has earned Online Teaching certifications from the Online Learning Consortium. She teaches for Palmetto College. She is also Graduate Associate Faculty in the College of Education. Her research interests include: instructional design in online learning environments, online course accessibility, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and collaboration and engagement in online learning environments.  Haynes is the current president of the Association for Distance Education and Independent Learning (ADEIL) and is active on statewide committees related to instructional design and accessibility.

    Karen Edwards

    Karen Edwards, Faculty Mentor

    Karen Edwards is a senior instructor in the Department of Retailing, where she teaches retail- and law-related courses in both online and face-to-face formats. Edwards is certified by Quality Matters to review and assess the quality of online courses offered by higher education institutions. She earned her Juris Doctor Degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Coker College in Hartsville, S.C. She is a frequent presenter and past Associate Director for Distributed Learning Pedagogy at USC's Center for Teaching Excellence. Edwards is a faculty mentor for the Center for Teaching Excellence.

    Stephanie Milling

    Stephanie Milling, Faculty Mentor

    Stephanie Milling is a faculty mentor for the Center for Teaching Excellence. She is the Associate Chair and Undergraduate Director of the Department of Theatre and Dance, as well as the Interim Administrative Coordinator of the Dance Program and the Head of Dance Education. Originally from Texas, Milling left home at fourteen to attend the Walnut Hill School for the Performing and Visual Arts and graduated with honors in dance. Milling also completed her pre-professional training at prestigious programs such as the Boston Ballet School, the Houston Ballet Academy, and Les Grands Ballets Canadians in Montreal, Canada. Since her performing career, she has taught in a wide variety of artistic and educational environments, including company classes for Dallas Black Dance Theatre I and II, several public schools within the New York City Department of Education, Texas Christian University, Texas Woman’s University, and the University of North Texas. She also served in the capacity of Assistant Dean for the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University prior to her appointment at the University of South Carolina.

    Shannon McCutchen

    Shannon McCutchen, Faculty Mentor

    Shannon McCutchen started teaching as an adjunct instructor at UofSC in the fall of 2000. She joined the Darla Moore School of Business as an accounting lecturer in the spring of 2016. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Clemson University in 1994. She received her Master of Arts in teaching for Business Education from the University of South Carolina in 1998. Prior to joining the faculty in the School of Accounting, she served as an instructor at the University of South Carolina's College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sports Management for 15 years. In addition, McCutchen worked as an internal auditor for Fleet Mortgage and First Citizens Bank. Shannon currently teaches the large undergraduate accounting one course. 

    Instructional Design Team

    Gloria Washington

    Gloria Washington, Instructional Designer

    Gloria Washington is an instructional designer at the Center for Teaching Excellence with 21 years of experience in higher education at the University of South Carolina. She is a Blackboard Certified Trainer and a Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Reviewer. Washington 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. Washington serves as Associate Editor for the International Journal of Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. She is an At-Large Board Member for the Association for Distance Education and Independent Learning (ADEIL). Washington also authors the blog, Pedagogy Before Technology. She holds a Doctor of Education, a Master of Arts in Education and a Master of Business Administration. Her expertise is in the pedagogical use of technology to support teaching and learning. Her instructional design philosophy is “pedagogy first, technology second.”

    Casey Carroll

    Casey Carroll, Instructional Designer

    Casey Carroll is an instructional designer with the Center for Teaching Excellence at USC. Carroll works with all who teach to support the creation of innovative and accessible courses and the continued development of teaching skills. He also works with instructors teaching online to help with course design and learning technologies. Prior to joining CTE, Carroll 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. Carroll holds a master’s degree in linguistics from USC and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and psychology from Pacific Lutheran University. 

    Jennifer Yowell

    Jennifer Yowell, Instructional Designer

    Jennifer Yowell is an instructional designer at the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of South Carolina. Jennifer is a multi-talented instructional designer with experience in higher education course development, graphic design, website creation, project management and training.  With a lifelong passion for learning, she is dedicated to working with faculty to create engaging, effective learning experiences that help students gain the skills needed for success. Regardless of the subject, her approach is oriented toward inclusive and effective solutions. Yowell enjoys working with educators who have a wide range of technical experience, from the beginner to the most experienced.  She is known for her patience, tenacity and her engaging personality.  Yowell was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and holds a Master’s Degree in Administration from the University of Tennessee and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology with a certificate in computer based instruction, from East Carolina University.  


    Xavery Hopkins

    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. Hopkins 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. Hopkins 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 CTE.  

    Hopkins earned a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from Winthrop University. She is a graduate of the Kenan-Flagler Business School of UNC-Chapel Hill's Executive Management Program.

    Michelle Hardee

    Michelle Hardee, Program Manager

    Michelle Hardee is the Program Manager for all graduate student Teaching Assistant training at the University. Hardee 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. Hardee 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, Hardee teaches the Honors section of the Marine Science Program’s Oceans and Society course every semester.

    Helena Johnson

    Helena Johnson, Web and Multimedia Developer

    Helena Johnson is CTE's Web and Multimedia Developer. She 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, Johnson began her career in corporate communications. Prior to joining CTE, she worked for creative and production companies as a producer and writer. 

    Laurie Sambenedetto

    Laurie Sambenedetto, Administrative Coordinator  

    Laurie Sambenedetto is the Administrative Coordinator for the Center for Teaching Excellence. She serves as the human resources liaison, budget coordinator, and 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. Sambenedetto joined the CTE in the summer of 2017. 

    Lyann Holley

    Lyann Holley,  Program Assistant

    Lyann Holley serves as the first point of contact for CTE clients and provides office and logistical support for CTE staff and events. In this position, she manages the CTE front desk, fields phone calls and inquiries, and assists senior CTE staff with clerical and administrative tasks. Holley also handles registration, technology, catering arrangements, and other logistics for CTE events and is responsible for maintaining the CTE space. She handles purchasing and procurement paperwork for CTE events and staff activities. Holley received her B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology at UofSC in 2015 and has served the university since 2017. She joined the CTE in January of 2020.

    Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.