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My USC Lancaster

Faculty Accomplishments 2023 - 2024

Spring 2024

  • Sahar Aghasafari published an article:  Aghasafari, S. (2023). Visual Arts Integration as a Way of Meanings: Centering Emergent Bi/Multilingual High Schoolers through Graphic Story and Biology. Visual Inquiry Journal,12(1), 21-41. 
  • Sahar Aghasafari will be organizing a Student Poster Research Exhibition (April 1-25, 2024). The students' poster research exhibition, titled "Creative Journeys: Unveiling the Symphony of Self and Scholarship," is the final project for my ARTE 260 class and will be displayed at Bradley Gallery.  The reception is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2nd, at 2:00 PM (open to public)

    Sahar Presented Research: 

    Aghasafari, S., & Needles, T. (2024, April). Presenting Media Arts: Connecting STEAM Learning with Special Education Students, National Convention Higher Education Division, Minneapolis, MN.

  • Connor Austell and Erin Moon-Kelly will be performing in a recital organized by the Lancaster County Council of the Arts on Sunday, March 17 at 3:00 PM at Christ Episcopal Church, 524 Planation Road.  The event, which is being offered free of charge, will feature a variety of musical styles (including some Irish tunes in celebration of St. Patrick's Day). All are encouraged to attend!
  • Marybeth Berry will be presenting her creative work, The Puzzle: A Reading of a New Musical at Edwards Theater on the campus of Coastal Carolina University on May 10 and May 11. Alex Lefevre, music director in the Department of Theater at Coastal Carolina, is the music composer for the piece. 
  • Stephen Criswell was recently awarded a grant from the USC Racial Justice and Equity Fund to conduct documentation of cultural traditions and oral histories among South Carolina’s recognized tribes. In December, Stephen gave a talk on Catawba Nation Pottery at the James K. Polk Historical Site.    
  • Liz Easely recently attended the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Greenville, SC with dual enrollment student, Ariana Bachini. 
  • She contributed to 3 presentations, two of which involved work with Sarah Sellhorst:

  • Easley EA, Bachini AL, Sellhorst SH. Interpretation of Adiposity Indicators in NJCAA Female Athletes. Presented at the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine Conference, February 24, 2024. Greenville, SC. Thematic poster session with oral presentation.

  • Bachini AL, Sellhorst SH, Easley EA. Fat-free Mass and Handgrip Strength in NJCAA Athletes Based on Self-Reported Strength Training. Presented at the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine Conference, February 23, 2024. Greenville, SC. Free Communication poster session.

  • Naylor TR, Jacobs MV, Good LR, Easley EA, Clasey JL. Validity of a Pediatric-specific BIA Equation to Predict Fat-free Mass in Children Ages 2-4 years. Presented at the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine Conference, February 2, 2024. Greenville, SC. Thematic poster session with oral presentation

  • Stan Emanuel published comments on store credit cards on the WalletHub.    
  • Stan Emanuel was featured in WalletHub's piece about Best Car Insurance in South Carolina.
  • Rebecca Freeman will be presenting Cooking in Libraries at the 2024 Southeast Collaborative Online Conference on March 13.
  • Rebecca is also presenting Sweet Tea and the South with Jean Moats (Johnson & Wales University Charlotte) at the 26th Annual Comparative Literature Conference - Global Food Studies on March 30. 
  • Claudia Heninemann-Priest attended the ongoing  MMIWR (Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Relatives) task force meetings as an ally.
  • Claudia’s two recent research projects are “The History of the Germanic Krampus/Knecht Rupprecht figures and their pop culture references” and "What is Fry Bread? Indigenous, multicultural, and global meanings and connections" culminating in an online publication. 
  • Claudia Heninemann-Priest attended the ongoing MMIWR (Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Relatives) task force meetings as an ally. 
  • Claudia’s two recent research projects are “The History of the Germanic Krampus/Knecht Rupprecht figures and their pop culture references” and "What is Fry Bread? Indigenous, multicultural, and global meanings and connections" culminating in an online publication.
  • Ernest Jenkins was recognized by the Lancaster Breakfast Rotary Club recognized me as a Paul Harris Fellow +3 in January.  During the Lancaster Breakfast Rotary Club meeting on January 31, he gave a presentation on "The Great Wagon Road." 
  • Bettie Obi Johnson arranged for two USCL students enrolled in the SC LEND program to attend a statewide virtual leadership conference on January 19. SC LEND is a program dedicated to leadership development education in neurodevelopmental and related disabilities. USCL and Furman are the state’s only two universities with students participating in an undergraduate version of the program which was developed originally for graduate professionals seeking advanced training in this area. Thanks to Bettie for her leadership in this program.    
  • Todd Lekan, Patrick Lawrence, and Suzanne Penuel presented on a panel for an event entitled “CTRL Your Future: AI @work” on Friday, January 26 at the Gateway Conference Center in Chester County. The event was organized by the Chester County Chamber of Commerce. 
  • Evan Nooe's second book is under contact with the University Press of Florida and invited to be a part of the "Florida in Focus" series. The manuscript is tentatively titled Florida Reveries: The Three Histories of Walt Disney World's Disney Springs and the Re-Creation of Florida's Past.
  • Evan Nooe had a paper accepted to present at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic annual meeting in Philadelphia this July. The paper is titled "Remembering Solomon Wood's Fort: Georgia's Landscapes of Indigenous Erasure."
  • Phillip Parker gave a presentation on December 27 to consumers of the Lancaster Vocational Rehabilitation Center on budgeting. 
  • Peter Seipel provided comments on "Are Debates About Monogamy’s Moral Permissibility Misguided?" at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association.
  • Lauren Thomas has earned the distinction of becoming a Nationally Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach.  Prof. Thomas and Dr. Sarah Sellhorst are in the process of enhancing select HPEB (Health Promotion, Education, & Behavior) courses to build an accredited health coach training program for students interested in this skillset. This pathway will align with health coaching principles and industry-specific job tasks. Having board-certified faculty experts at USC Lancaster is a major step towards this goal.

USCL Rise Grant Recipients

Congratulations to the following faculty members who earned RISE grants during this recent cycle:

  1. Sahar Aghasafari and Li Cai for ChemArtistry: Integrating Media Arts into the Study of Fundamental Chemistry.

  2. Chris Judge for Searching for Additional Evidence of 16th Century Spanish Artifacts from Excavation’s at the Mulberry Site, Kershaw County, South Carolina.

  3. Amy Gerald for The Black Grimkés in Charleston: Building Public Memory from the Trauma of Slavery.

Fall 2023

  • Sahar Aghasafari published: Aghasafari, S. (2023). Virtual Visual Arts Integration and Biology: More Favor or Challenges for Emergent Bi/Multilingual High Schoolers. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 12(1), 44-61.
  • In the Spring and Summer of 2023, Sahar successfully designed an impressive collection of twelve book covers, including five captivating covers for children's books, six engaging covers for educational books, and a visually appealing cover for a notebook. Examples of these cover designs:


Sahar partnered with Bridgett Plexico, Internship Coordinator, to meticulously organize an exclusive event. Target enthusiastic students interested in the Graphic Design internship at Lancaster Historic Courthouse; the event aims to inform and inspire.

Presentation Details:  

Date: Thursday, September 7th  

Time: 12:20 pm – 12:50 pm  

Location: Bradley 120  

  • Sahar Aghasafari was accepted as a Signature Membership (Juried) at the National Association of Women Artists, Inc. (NAWA), 2023.
  • Sahar participated in an Online Group Exhibition," Persian Tigress Serenade: The Velvet Bond" National Association of Women Artists (NAWA), 2023.
  • Sahar serves as a reviewer, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE24), 2023. 
  • Sahar was invited to review proposals for the ISTE 24 conference, backed by the largest and most competitive educational technology journal. Her role involves evaluating proposals on educational technology.
  • Sahar is a reviewer for the Science Education Journal, 2023- present. She is invited to review papers in the STEAM field for the Science Education Journal and she recently completed a review for a paper in this area. 

Sahar published a peer-reviewed article: Safari, H., Aghasafari, S*. (2023). Exploring Page Layout Principles in Iranian Manuscripts: A Comprehensive Review from Seljuk to Safavid Era. IDA: International Design and Art Journal, 5(2), 176-190. *Corresponding Author 

Marybeth Berry was invited to not only teach The Expressive Actor Method at the 19th Annual Theatre for Change Festival in Athens, Greece but also, along with Mr. Tyrie Rowell, students, and alumni present the international premiere of the devised performance piece, “The Blurr” as part of the longstanding festival.

Li Cai published an article: Kingsak, M.; Meethong, T.; Jongkhumkrong, J.; Cai, L.; Wang, Q. Therapeutic potential of oncolytic viruses in the era of precision oncology. Biomaterials Translational 2023, 4, 67-84

Li Cai and Sahar Aghasafari submitted a grant: with Dr. Aghasafari: 

"ChemArtistry: Integrating Media Arts into the Study of Fundamental Chemistry."

Walt Collins, Todd Lekan, and Asheley Schryer presented “Our Game Plan for Enhancing the Experience of Student Athletes on a Regional Branch Campus” on June 12 at the Annual Meeting of Regional Branch Campus Administrators Conference in Longboat Key, Florida.

Susan Cruise played the mean old lady in the USCL Players production of "Silent Night.” 

Rebecca Freeman authored a book review that will be appearing in an upcoming edition of the South Carolina Libraries Journal. Rebecca has a poster accepted for the 2023 North Carolina Library Association Biennial Conference entitled "Cooking in the Library.” 

  • Amy Gerald developed and implemented a 5-part writing workshop series for the Arras Foundation’s summer internship program. She worked with staff to discern their needs, brainstorm a structure, and determine appropriate scheduling. Workshops focused on awareness of the rhetorical situation of any writing scenario and how that applies to interns' task of writing an end-of-internship report to the foundation's board of directors. Interns leveraged the writing process with pre-writing, journaling, drafting, peer workshops, and instructor consultation. 
  • Amy Gerald presented a paper titled “Southern (Dis)comfort: A White Woman’s Critique of a Black Woman’s Work,” as part of the panel “White Privilege and Coalition Building: Embrace Discomfort and Do the Work” at the Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference at Spellman College in Atlanta, Sept 30-Oct 3. At the same conference, she also presented a poster based on her Business Writing class's partnership with the Lancaster Promise Neighborhood:  “Navigating the Town and Gown Trope: Community Partnerships through Project-Based Learning.”

Lisa Hammond's will present “Beneath Our Feet: Ghost Tours, Southern History, and Hauntings in Seven Poems” at the annual conference of the Popular Culture Association in the South/American Culture Association in the South in New Orleans in September 2023.

Bettie Johnson helped facilitate the USCL Chemistry Club’s participation in Erwin Elementary School’s Community Career Day Nov 17 doing chemistry experiments with 350 students throughout the day.

  • Chris Judge presented lectures offered by the Historic Port Royal Foundation on October 26. Chris’ talks were for the first Annual Dr. Lawrence S. Rowland Lecture Series. The titles of the lectures were: “Precontact Native American Societies on the Lower SC Coast” and “South Carolina Native American Societies after Contact.” 
  • Chris has been invited to submit a chapter on the Wateree Valley Mississippian to the Oxford Handbook on Mississippian Archaeology.
  • Chris received the 2023 Community Advocate of the Year Award from the South Carolina Indigenous Business Day Organizer.
  • Chris presented “Are the Congaree Indians Descended from Cofitachequi” Lecture: Kershaw County Library. SC Humanities Council Speaker Bureau for“Resilience and Revolution: Native Peoples in the 18th Century South Carolina” exhibit.  November 30, 2023.
  • Tamika Lewis presented at the 11th Annual Black Doctoral Network Conference in Atlanta, GA on October 21, 2023.  The presentation topic was, “Analyzing Systemic Factors When Counseling Black Women of Christian Faith in the United States.”
  • Erin Moon-Kelly participated in August Beginnings (August 20, 2023) Concert at Osceola United Methodist Church in Lancaster. EMK Music and Lancaster County Council for the Arts collaboration. Performers: Erin Moon-Kelly, Dr. Connor Austell, Lisa Knox, Troy Dunbar, and Eric Grace. Erin will also participate in Movie Time at the AMP at Ballantyne with the Charlotte Concert Band. 
  • Erin Moon-Kelly participated in a concert offered by the Charlotte Concert Band which sold over 600 tickets for its concert at the brand-new AMP at Ballantyne on October 21. This is the non-profit organization's largest audience in its 60-year history.
McKenzie Lemhouse recently completed the Certificate in Open Education Librarianship program offered by the Open Education Network. I am also transitioning into the head editor role for South Carolina Libraries as of this month. 
  • Evan Nooe presented a research paper in Philadelphia at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic annual meeting in July.
  • Evan’s research article, "It's in the Blood: Family Memories of Native Violence in the Settler South" was accepted (with revisions) for the journal History and Memory.
  • Evan’s book Aggression & Sufferings: Settler Violence, Native Resistance, and the Coalescence of the Old South is done. It will be available from University of Alabama Press this December.
  • Evan presented a research paper titled Crafting "Classic Florida Fare" at Disney Springs: Foodways as Theme at Art Smith's Homecomin' Restaurant at the 2023 Northeast Popular Culture Association annual conference on October 14.
  • Evan presented a paper at the Southern Historical Association annual meeting in Charlotte, NC on Nov. 10 titled "Making History: Florida's Colonial Past and Settler Violence from the Perspective of Second Seminole War Volunteers."
  • Evan was the organizer for the panel titled: "Violence within and against the Native South: Settler Colonial Violence in Federal Policy, Memory, and the Archive."
  • Evan presented a paper at the American Society of Ethnohistory annual meeting in Tallahassee, FL, on Nov. 4 titled "Sharing Jane Johns' Suffering: Florida Settler Memory and Seminole Dispossession."
  • Evan was the organizer for the panel titled: "Borders of Violence in Florida and the Native South."
  • Evan served as chair for the panel "Gender in the Native South, A Reinterpretation; Part 1" at the American Society of Ethnohistory annual meeting on Nov. 3.
  • Evan had his first book signing for Aggression and Sufferings hosted by the University of Alabama Press at the Southern Historical Association annual meeting on Nov. 10.
  • Evan currently has an article titled "Consecrating the Hampton Massacre: Native Resistance, Settler Memory, and the Coalescence of South Carolina" under peer review with the South Carolina Historical Magazine.
  • Kim Richardson authored articles in The Americas: An Encyclopedia of Culture and Society, (ABC-CLIO, 2024; Submitted to Editor):  
    • “Bolivia, Independence Movement”  
    • “Brazil, Provinces of”  
    • “Chile, Independence Movement”  
    • “Colombia, Independence Movement”
    • “Ecuador, Independence Movement”
  • Kim authored a book review: 
    • Pálffy, Géza, Hungary Between Two Empires: 1526 - 1711. Bloomington, Indiana: University of Indiana Press, 2021. Submitted to World History Connected, November 2023
Nahid Swails gave a talk related to her research, titled "Advances in Joining Materials Using Innovative Welding Techniques," at the Southern Atlantic Coast Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (SACS AAPT) conference on October 19th. 
Andy Yingst published two peer-reviewed puzzles in The Browser (Cryptic #129) and in Out of Left Field (#166).