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My USC Lancaster

Faculty Accomplishments 2022 - 2023

Spring 2023

Sahar Aghasafari’s Solo Exhibition in Fabric Design & Print is being held in Bradley Gallery, University of South Carolina Lancaster, Jan 19- May 30, 2023.

Marybeth Berry’s and the Lancaster Players’ production of “The Blurr” was accepted at the juried Asheville Fringe Festival. Rehearsals are underway with “The Puzzle” a new musical with book by Marybeth Berry and Music and Lyrics by Alex LeFevre which will premiere in May at USCL. Please note that the Blurr will be performed on February 11 at 7:30 PM in Bundy Auditorium. For ticket info, e-mail

Rebecca Freeman and McKenzie Lemhouse had a presentation proposal accepted to talk about Period Supplies in the library. Their video presentation, Battling Period Poverty, will be streamed at the Southeast Collaborative Conference in March.

Bettie Obi Johnson and Annette Golonka are mentoring these students’ Magellan Scholar projects:  Lauren Kirby for a project titled “Microorganisms of Gelsemium sempervirens and the Environmental Factors Affecting Them” and Charis Grabbe for a project titled “Impact of Environmental Factors on Floral Scent Emission of Gelsemium sempervirens.

Bettie Obi Johnson is teaching a special new Independent Study course at USCL this semester: PCAM 299 (South Carolina Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities). USCL is the 2ndundergraduate university and the first 2-year college in South Carolina to participate in this program along with Furman University, MUSC and USC. We have 4 students participating this semester. The course includes a series of online modules through MUSC, 4 clinical (virtual and in-person) experiences, and a day-long “Nurturing Developing Minds Conference” in Greenville, SC.

Chris Judge’s student Cynthia Curtis’ Magellan Scholar proposal “The Sleeping Woman Speaks:  Memory and Voice of the Women of the Guazapa Volcano, El Salvador” has been awarded funding through the Magellan Program.

Erin Moon-Kelly and the Lancaster County Council for the Arts are planning three shows for 2023: one on April 16, 2023, one on either August 20th or August 27th 2023, and one on December 3, 2023. They are still in the planning stages and lining up venues and performers.  The Charlotte Concert Band is performing its next concert on Feb 18, 2023 at 7:00 PM at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC. THE CONCERT IS FREE

Dana Lawrence's student, Chloe Howard, was awarded a Magellan Scholar grant for her project, "Censorship and the Holocaust in Children’s Literature."

Evan Nooe’s conference panel titled "Violence within and against the Native South" for the 2023 Southern Historical Association Annual Meeting taking place in Charlotte has been accepted. Evan will be presenting a paper as part of the panel.

Leigh Pate, Courtney Catledge, Anne Scott and other Columbia stationed nursing faculty were selected to present their RPS work at the Association of Community Health Nurse Educators & Association of Public Health Nurses Joint Conference in San Diego, CA, in June 2023. Leigh Pate, Anne Scott and other Columbia stationed faculty presented "The Great Escape: Breakout From A Virtual Escape Room" at the IMSH/Society for Simulation in Healthcare in Orlando, FL, last week.

Lauren Thomas recently earned the title Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) in November 2022. This distinction is awarded to eligible advanced-level public health educators who successfully pass a competency-based exam administered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). Less than 125 public health educators nationwide earn this certification annually. 


Fall 2022

  • Sahar Aghasafari published a paper:  Aghasafari, S., Bivins, K., Muhammad, E.A., & Nordgren, B. (in press). Art Integration and Identity: Empowering Bi/Multilingual High School Learners. Art Education.
  • In October, she will be presenting on: Aghasafari, S. (2022). Presenting Investigating How Emergent Bi/Multilingual High Schoolers Construct Meanings Through the Integration of Visual Arts and Biology. AERI Art Education Research Institute, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
  • Sahar Aghasafari’s graphic design students will have a "Concept Design and Creativity" exhibition in two weeks. This exhibition is based on their class projects this semester. More information will be forthcoming. 
  • Sahar Aghasafari participated in a group exhibition titled “Artists in Education,” Lancaster County Council of the Arts, 2022. The opening reception will be on Sunday, December 4th, at 4 pm.
  • Christine Anderson was elected the Vice President / president elect of the South Carolina Archivist Association. 
  • Marybeth Berry performed the RISE grant’s funding of “On the Spectrum” in the San Diego Fringe Festival in California to good reviews in June 2022, performed it to a full audience where it was well received at La MaMa Umbria’s Cantiere Oberan in Spoleto Italy in August 2022, and the show has been selected to perform at the Scranton Fringe Festival in September. Tyrie Rowell and Marybeth also collaborated with Hettie Barnhill and Jared McNeill on a devised piece about racism in the US from the deconstruction of Athol Fugard’s “The Island” with our USCL students this summer in a creative residency in Spoleto at La MaMa Umbria which we will also be submitting to some fringe festivals in the future and will be presented on campus for Black History month.
  • Albert Blackmon has been named Advisory Board Chair for the Lancaster Promise Neighborhood Program effective September 20, 2022.  This program is a unique partnership committed to doing “whatever it takes” within our “zone” to empower, strengthen, and educate families through restoring community pride and helping to ensure educational success for every child from birth to college. The Zone is a 6.2 square mile focus area.  Targeted schools include Clinton Elementary, AR Rucker Middle, and Lancaster High School.  
  • Albert Blackmon’s USCL Personal Finance Bootcamp received a Distinguished Program Award from the National Association of Continuing Higher Education (ACHE). The Award was presented on October 25 at the 84th Annual ACHE Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dean Walt Collins and Albert Blackmon accepted the award. The Bootcamp offered workshops in April. In addition to Albert, Phillip Parker, Stan Emanuel, Brandon Newton, Mike Sherrill, and Kenneth Cole served as presenters. Congratulations to all involved with this hugely successful initiative!   
  • Chris Bundrick gave a talk on October 5 entitled “Elliott White Springs and Old South Humor” at the Lancaster Cultural Arts Center’s Seminar Series.  
  • Fernanda Burke’s abstract was accepted to the SERMACS conference in  San Juan, PR this October 18-22: “Relationship of Fatty Acid Structure and Soap Properties: Inquiry Based Lab Experiment for Undergraduate Chemistry.”  
  • Li Cai gave an oral presentation, “Integrative student research to a wider audience – teaching”, The 2022 NSF EPSCoR EOD Conference, Isle of Palms, SC, 09/2022. Li also has published these abstracts:
    • Cai, L. Synthesis of flavonoid 7-O-glycosides. 2022 Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society 2022, 152.
    • Cai, L. Integrative student research to a wider audience – teaching. The 2022 NSF EPSCoR Education Outreach & Diversity Conference, 2022, 38
  • Li Cai gave an oral presentation, “Synthesis of flavonoid 7-O-glycosides,” 2022 ACS Southeastern Regional Meeting, Puerto Rico, 10/2022.
  • Courtney Catledge and Bridgett Plexico wrote a grant to South Carolina Rural and Primary Healthcare to fund a CNA to BSN Pathway to Enhance the Healthcare Workforce in Rural South Carolina. Request for 1 year funding and awarded two-year funding totaling:  $189, 938 starting July 2022. Also, the USCL Simulation Lab received notification of a 5 year partnership (Starting Fall 2022) with Mid Carolina AHEC to serve the participating of the SC SET Grant for IPE in Rural South Carolina.
  • Stephen Criswell received a grant from the SC Arts Commission to help fund the NAS Center’s 10th Anniversary events. Steven gave a talk on Catawba pottery at the Kings Mountain Historical Museum in July.
  • Susan Cruise and Angela Neal were recognized with a Proclamation from Lancaster County for their work in gathering supplies for Ukrainian refugees and delivering them during their Travel Study experience in May. This occurred at the Good Samaritan Scholarship Foundation’s Spring Shindig, Students assisted in the effort and donations came in from faculty, staff, students, and the greater community.
  • Rebecca Freeman presented a paper "Cooking in the Library" at the Dublin Gastronomy Symposium on June 1. The paper discussed a brief history of food in libraries and the current trend towards adding mobile and teaching kitchens to public libraries. 
  • Rebecca and McKenzie Lemhouse presented a poster, "Adding Color to Our Shelves", at the American Library Association in Washington D.C. on June 25. The poster discussed how they created the USCL Graphic Novels collection. 
  • Lisa Hammond “Oh Girlfriend,” a poem in honor of the memory of her friend and colleague University of South Carolina Union professor Dr. Denise Shaw, in Twelve Mile Review (volume 2.1, Spring/Summer 2022, page 29). Her poem “Hydrangeas,” which was selected from more than 400 submissions as the winner of the Saluda River Prize for Poetry from the midlands-based Jasper Project in 2020, was published in the 2022 issue of Fall Lines: A Literary Convergence (volume 7/8, page 27).
  •  Lisa Hammond had two poems selected for public art projects by the City of Columbia poet laureate, including "Staples," one of several poems distributed in area pharmacies in celebration of National Pharmacy Week (October 2022), and "Eating Out," the first in the Poems on the Menu series, featuring a poem published on local restaurant menus, courtesy of Pawley's Front Porch (November 2022).
  • Ernest Jenkins and local attorney Robert Folks gave presentations on the history and development of Lancaster County for Leadership Lancaster History Day, sponsored by the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce. The event occurred on November 2. 
  • Bettie Johnson, using funds from a RISE grant, worked with USCL students Charis Grabbe and Laurie Melton to complete a project this summer entitled” Evaluation of the SPME Arrow for Floral Scent Analysis.” Their abstract for the project was accepted for presentation at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) meeting in October.
  • Andrew Ferebee (USCL sophomore, Physics major) and Bettie received a PURE grant to work on a project entitled “Using Games to Engage Students in the General Chemistry Classroom.” Andrew developed the games over the summer, and we are implementing them in our CHEM 111 classroom this semester. After fine-tuning, the tools will be implemented in classrooms on other campuses next semester and their impact on student learning and engagement will be assessed.
  • Bettie Johnson made a research presentation at the 2022 SERMACS (Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society) meeting on October 19 entitled "Optimization of SPME Arrow Sampling for In-Situ Floral Scent Analysis." Bettie worked with Dr. Annette Golonka and two students to prepare and submit Magellan scholar grant applications. Bettie served as Charis Grabbe's primary mentor for her submitted proposal: "Impact of Environmental Factors on Floral Scent Emission of Gelsemium sempervirens." Bettie served as Lauren Kirby's secondary mentor for her submitted proposal: "Microorganisms of Gelsemium sempervirens and the Environmental Factors Affecting Them."
  • Dana Lawrence presented a paper over the summer: “'What makes you think you know how to tell a story better than Louisa May Alcott does?': Children’s Literature, Literary History, and Hybrid Identities in Helen Oyeyemi’s The Icarus Girl" at the Children's Literature Association Conference in Atlanta in June.
  • Dana Lawrence’slong-form encyclopedia entry on Isabella Whitney, a 16th-century English poet, was published in the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Early Modern Women's Writing in September.
  • Nick Lawrence attended the annual South Central Modern Languages Association (SCMLA) meeting. It was a hybrid event in October. At the association’s Executive Committee meeting, Nik gave the Editor's Report for the journal South Central Review.  He also gave two presentations at the conference, which were as follows: 
    • Co-Presenter, “Strategies for Getting Published" Roundtable.  With Christopher Bundrick, USC Lancaster; and Sonya Sawyer Fritz, University of Central Arkansas.
    • Scholarly conference presentation: "On Lavinia Fisher’s Ghost and the Anatomy of a Righteous Haunting."
  • Patrick Lawrence was just awarded an advance contract from University of Texas Press for a collection of essays that he is co-editing with a colleague (Jorge Santos, College of the Holy Cross). The book is called “Out of the Gutters: Obscenity, Censorship, and Transgression in American Comics,” and it’s about, well, that stuff in the subtitle. They are set to deliver the manuscript next summer.
  • McKenzie Lemhouse began a term as the peer review editor for South Carolina Libraries journal. She also co-facilitated a presentation and networking event at the South Carolina Library Association annual conference last month.
  • Erin Moon-Kelly and The Lancaster County Council for the Arts are coordinating a concert as part of their annual art competition (see attached). The Charlotte Concert Band, a non-profit that Erin has been a member (and principle flute/piccolo) of since 2004, is performing a free concert at Indian Land High School. The Lifelong Learning Club at Sun City of Carolina Lakes is sponsoring this Veterans’ Day show (11/5/22 at 4 PM).
  • Erin Moon Kelly’s company EMK Music See Lancaster, and The Lancaster County Council for the Arts are coordinating a concert at the Historic Springs House as part of the Christmas in the City 2022 Celebration in Downtown Lancaster. The cast consists of Indian Land residents (including me) as well as members of the Charlotte Concert Band and the Catawba River Winds (a community band based in Fort Mill, SC). The event is December 4 at 3:00 PM at the Historic Springs House in Lancaster. 
  • Erin Moon-Kelly worked with the Charlotte Concert Band to get close to $4000 in donations from our concert at ILHS on November 5; half of the donations went to the ILHS Chorus. The Charlotte Concert Band has its next concert at Christ Lutheran Church at 4545 Providence Road Charlotte, NC. 
  • EMK Music and the Lancaster County Council for the Arts are coordinating a concert as part of Christmas in the City. The concert is at 3:00 PM at the Historic Springs House followed by the Artists in Education Opening Reception at 4:00 PM. Joining Erin will be Donna Stevenson (a flutist from Indian Land, SC) and two other members of the Charlotte Concert Band (Sarah Wolfe and Elaina Palada). Admission is free but donations for the LCCA are highly appreciated. 
  • Leigh Pate has an article accepted (in press) to Nursing Forum titled "A Systematic Approach to Developing NP-Led Student Health Services Clinic on a Regional University Campus." Support for this work was offered by Dr. Robin Dawson, Dr. Sheryl Mitchell, Dr. Courtney Catledge, and Dr. Joy Deupree
  • Ann Scott attended and did an oral presentation at Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Congress in July in Edinburgh Scotland. Ann presented “Hepatitis B Immunity Among Undergraduate Nursing Students: Documentation and Alignment with Best Practices” with Robin Dawson.
  • Ann attended and presented an oral presentation at the SC Nursing Education Simulation Alliance 4th Annual Conference on July 15th, 2022 at Clemson School of Nursing Greeneville, SC. The title is “Ready. Set. Game. Using unfolding case studies and NGN style questions to breakout from a virtual escape room.
  • Ann will be participating in the INACSL's Let's Talk Sim podcast. INACCSL is the International Nursing Association of Clinical and Simulation Learning.  
  • Brittany Taylor-Driggers received a “Save America’s Treasures” federal grant for $83,805 to preserve our collection of oral histories, documents, artwork, and artifacts at the University’s Native American Studies Center
  • Brittany Taylor-Driggers’ artwork, Our Screen, was exhibited in the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA) 133rd Annual Exhibition at One Art Space gallery at 23 Warren Street, New York, NY. 
  •  In November, her artwork, His Room, will be in the NAWA New Members Exhibition 2022 at the Trask Gallery at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY 10003, and the online companion exhibit at
  • Lauren Thomas and Leigh Pate received USCL's Fact Forward grant (in partnership with Upper Midlands Rural Health Network) ended on September 30th.  This grant focused on decreasing unintended pregnancies among young people in Lancaster and Chester Counties. Dr. Leigh Pate and Prof. Lauren Thomas played an integral role in the planning and implementation of this grant. As a result of this two-year grant, USCL and community health partners were able to: 
    • establish a long-term partnership with SCDHEC to provide free and low-cost preventive health services to young people on campus on a monthly basis (The Hubb),
    • offer resources to enhance several teen-friendly spaces on campus,
    • integrate and sustain evidence-based health education programming into Medford Library's circulation processes, identify and partner with several three teen-focused organizations to promote The Hubb with peer networks, and strengthen a partnership with a fiscal agent, Upper Midlands Rural Health Network, which can help USCL expand health education-related grant funding opportunities in the future.