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TRIO Programs


Our Staff

The TRIO Programs team is ready to help you. We're happy to assist with your questions and concerns.

 

Althea Counts

Althea Counts

Director
Email: countsa@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5125

About Me: I have worked with TRIO and GEAR UP for the past 23 years. I was a first-generation and low-income student at the university, so I have a clear understanding of what our students face when they go to college. I have one daughter, Morgan, who is a college student and also my sorority sister.

Education/Major(s): B.S. in Economics and M.Ed. in Student Personnel Services, Higher Education from University of South Carolina

Length of Time at USC: 16 years

Althea Counts

Floyd  Coffey

Opportunity Scholars Advisor
Email: coffeyf@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5125

About Me: I am from Tillatoba, MS. I attended Eastern Kentucky (EKU)! I have mentored and advised student athletes as the Life Skills Coach at EKU. I love to play basketball, hike and watch Netflix in my free time.

Education/Major(s): B.S. in Sports Management and M.S. in Sports Administration

Length of Time at USC: < 1 year

Geneva Currie

Geneva Currie

Administrative Coordinator
Email: gcurrie@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5014

About Me: Retired 20 year Army veteran and single mother of two beautiful adult children: Airese, a graduate of Clemson University and Kokeya, a graduate of Shaw University. I'm also "Nana" to six energetic grandkids who keep me young and on my toes.

Education/Major(s): B.S. in Organizational Management from Voorhees College. I'm currently pursuing a master’s in Human Resource Management. It’s never too late to get that degree!

Length of Time at USC: 13 years

Dorlisa Damon

Dorlisa Damon

Educational Talent Search Advisor
Email: damond@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-3817

About Me: I am married to Shawn Damon, a Claflin University alumnus. Together, we have three amazing children who love story time, singing and dancing. I love singing, traveling and spending time with my family and friends. I've worked as a TRIO professional for 10 years. 

Education/Major(s): M.A. in Educational Policy and Leadership from Ohio State University. B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences Business from South Carolina State University

Length of Time at USC: 2 years

Rhonda Davenport

Rhonda Davenport

Administrative Assistant
Email: rhondad@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5127

About Me: Innovation and energy are two skills I possess and utilize in my professional and personal life. I am the proud mother of Ebony and Ditrell as well as the grandmother of Daniel Jr. (DJ). In my spare time, I enjoy cleaning, traveling and shopping.

Education/Major(s): B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration with a concentration in Human Services from University of Phoenix

Length of Time at USC: Joined in 2017

Irran Duncan

Irran Duncan

Educational Talent Search Advisor
Email: duncani@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5185

About Me: My wife, LaKesha, and I are newlyweds and proud parents to our daughter, Madysyn. I am from the big city of Inman, South Carolina, in Spartanburg County. My organizational memberships include Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity and the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Education/Major(s): B.S. in Accounting and M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship both from South Carolina State University

Length of Time at USC: 2 years 

Pinkney Epps

Pinkney Epps

Opportunity Scholars Program Coordinator
Email: eppsp@mailbox.sc.edu  
Phone803-777-5125 

About Me: I am originally from Kingstree, South Carolina and I am an alumnus of the Williamsburg Technical College Upward Bound Program.

Education/Major(s): Dual B.S. in Physics and Electrical Engineering Technology from South Carolina State University; M.P.H. in Public Health – Health Promotion, Education and Behavior Programs from University of South Carolina – Columbia; and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Argosy University

Length of Time at USC: 12 years. I returned to USC in 2018, after a 10-year hiatus.

Shanna Graham

Shanna Graham

Gamecock Guarantee Coordinator
Email:  shannag@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone
: 803-777-5022

About Me: I am a true Northerner at heart! Through research, teaching, advising, and service experiences, I have sought to understand programs and best practices that support the academic and social experiences of first-generation college students.

Education/Major(s):   B.A in Psychology from Penn State University and M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Connecticut 

Length of Time at USC: 2 years

 
Paulia Hughes

Paulia Hughes

Educational Talent Search Advisor
Email: hughespd@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5883

About Me: Originally from Union, South Carolina, I am the epitome of a southern girl! I enjoy anything monogrammed, drinking cider year-round and cheering for the USC Gamecocks. In my free time, I love being a dog mom to Oreo, crafting, and spending time with her fiance. 

Education/Major(s): A.A. in General Studies from Spartanburg Methodist College; B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from University of South Carolina; and M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Columbia College

Length of Time at USC: 8 years. I transferred to the university as a student in 2010 and I never left!

Sharon Lee-White

Sharon Lee-White

Ronald E. McNair Program Coordinator
Email: leesg@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5198

About Me: I have two adult children, Ciera and Julian. I am also "YaYa" to my three energetic grandchildren. I’m an avid reader, an impassioned foodie and I enjoy traveling.

Education/Major(s): B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations; M.Ed. in Community and Adult Programs in Education; Graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies; and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Gender Studies, all from University of South Carolina

Length of Time at USC: 17 years (plus four as an undergraduate student).

DaWayne Nettles

DaWayne Nettles

Upward Bound College Advisor
Email: dnettles@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5132

About Me: I’m originally from Darlington, South Carolina and enjoy music, sports, movies and great television. I love to work with students, travel, eat good food and spend time with my wife and family.

Education/Major(s): B.S. in Elementary Education, Benedict College; M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Columbia College

Length of Time at USC: 2 years

James Prince

James Prince

Upward Bound Program Coordinator
Email: princej@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5092

About Me: One of the greatest gifts ever bestowed upon me was my acceptance into Upward Bound. A coordinator for the program, I’ve previously been a participant, a tutor/residence counselor and an instructor. I have a knack for working with kids. I love to travel and explore various cultures, eat good food and give back to my community.

Education/Major(s): B.A. in African-American Studies and B.A. in Media Arts both from University of South Carolina, M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Full Sail University

Length of Time at USC: 15 years

Nazarene Rice

Nazarene Rice

Educational Talent Search Advisor
Email: ndrice@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-3749

About Me: I am "fabulous mother of the fantastic five" and our dog Twix, a sweet shih tzu. I am actively involved in my local church and I enjoy traveling, singing and dancing. 

Education/Major(s): B.A. in Business Administration; M.P.A. with a concentration in Human Resources 

Length of Time at USC: 6 years

Martesa Weston

Martesa Weston

Upward Bound Administrative and Recruitment Coordinator
Email: mweston@mailbox.sc.edu
Phone: 803-777-5089

About Me: I have been married to my husband, Sam Weston Jr., for 17 years. We have been together for 25 years. I am a mother of four and my family is the joy of my life. I enjoy traveling, playing board games and spending time with my family and friends.

Education/Major(s): B.S. in Business Administration from Southern Wesleyan University

Length of Time at USC: 21 years