Dream big, impact the community, leave a legacy!


Meet Our Team

Dr. Patrick Hickey

Faculty Principal
(803) 777-4436

Patrick Hickey is the Faculty Principal of the Capstone Scholars Program and holds a Joint Appointment as a Clinical Associate Professor in the College of Nursing. Patrick received a Nursing Degree from St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario, Canada, his BSN from Corpus Christi State University in Corpus Christi, Texas and his MS, MSN, and Dr. P.H. degrees from the University of South Carolina. Patrick grew up in Almonte, Ontario, Canada (birthplace of the Inventor of Basketball -- Dr. James Naismith) and is both a proud Canadian as well as an American citizen. Patrick has been a nurse for 36 years and has worked in all facets of nursing to include medical-surgical, critical care, emergency room, and operating room. Patrick has lived in the United States for 33 years; with the past 23 years being in Columbia, SC. Patrick has been a member of the USC Faculty for the past 7 years and Principal of the Capstone Scholars Program for the past 4 years. Patrick has introduced Personal Challenge into the Capstone Scholars Program as a direct result of his quest to successfully climb and summit the highest mountain on each continent. When he stood on top of Mt. Everest (May 24, 2007) he became the first nurse in the world to climb the 7 Summits of the World and joined, at that time, only 100 people in the world that had attained this lofty goal! Patrick is passionate about travel and adventure, and he and wife Carol have backpacked throughout 57 countries during three year-long trips around the world. Patrick loves to mentor, open doors of opportunity, and set students up to succeed!

David DeWeil

Associate Principal
(803) 777-4430

David DeWeil is the Associate Principal of the Capstone Scholars Program. David received a M.Ed. in Higher Education & Student Affairs and a B.A. in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina. He grew up in the Anderson/Greenville area of South Carolina and has lived in Columbia for the past 15 years. In his work, he enjoys teaching, meeting with students, getting students connected to the Capstone Scholars grant opportunities, and recruiting new students to the University. He also enjoys reading, watching college football and soccer, eating too many donuts, being involved at Columbia Presbyterian Church, and spending time with his lovely wife and two children. He has been known to tweet and start but not finish several crossword puzzles.

Jessie McNevin

Assistant Principal
(803) 777-2076

Jessie McNevin is a Program Coordinator for the Capstone Scholars Program. Jessie received her M.Ed in Higher Education & Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina in 2014 and began working here soon after. She grew up near Scranton, PA and enjoys hearing quotes from "The Office" (which was set there)! Prior to coming to the University of South Carolina, she earned a B.S. in Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, focusing on middle grades. Jessie enjoys exploring new places, re-reading Hunger Games books, listening to podcasts, playing Mario Kart, watching Jenna Marbles, and having friends and students try her latest recipe.

Duncan Culbreth

Assistant Principal
(803) 777-1343

Duncan Culbreth earned his M.Ed. in Higher Education & Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina and a B.A. in English at the University of North Carolina. He is originally from Charlotte, NC. Aside from getting degrees from places that have "Carolina" in their title, Duncan enjoys traveling, meeting new people, playing Ultimate Frisbee, Super Smash Bros., baking, playing tiny instruments and writing poetry, to name a few things.

Cassie Davis

Assistant Principal
(803) 777-4094

Cassie Davis is an Assistant Principal of the Capstone Scholars Program. She earned her M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina and her B.A. in Social Work from Wichita State University in Kansas. Cassie lives by the motto "It's not where you are or what you do, but the people you are with." She is an extrovert through and through and who has a deep passion for buffalo wings and playing with kittens. You can find her hiking in the Smokies, tubing down the Congaree, and always looking for her next adventure.

Katie Zimmerle

Assistant Principal
(803) 776-6513

Katie Zimmerle is an Assistant Principal for the Capstone Scholars Program. Katie earned her M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina and her B.S. in Elementary Education from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She calls the Midwest home - growing up in Ohio, Kentucky, and most recently Indiana before moving down south to earn her Masters. In her free time she enjoys traveling, hanging with friends, watching movies, hiking, and seeking out concerts, festivals, and events happening in the area.

Courtney Heier

Graduate Assistant
(803) 777-7545

Courtney Heier is a Graduate Assistant for the Capstone Scholars Program. She is a proud Kansas Citian but likes to pretend she is also from Fort Worth, Texas, where she received a B.S. in Kinesiology from Texas Christian University (go frogs!!), where she spent most of her time in mentor positions for first and second year students through the Leadership Center, Student Government, and Greek Life. She is now a first year graduate student in the master's program for Higher Education & Student Affairs at USC. Courtney loves colored pens, sticky notes, being too extroverted for her own good, hiking, D-I-Y projects, skiing, her Spotify "feels" playlist, fishing, Saturday mornings at Soda City, and Sunday mornings at church. She is commonly known for her cookies and made fun of for her food. Her instagram is @courtskitch.

Ryan Poling

Graduate Assistant
(803) 777-7545

Ryan Montgomery Poling is a graduate assistant for Capstone Scholars and is in the process of earning his M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina. Ryan is a native of beautiful Ann Arbor, Michigan. He attended Eastern Michigan University and earned his bachelor's degree in social studies and history. At EMU he worked in orientation for four years and was also involved in Campus Life, athletics, and Greek Life. He spent the last four years working at the University of Michigan facilitating team-building and group development on and off the ropes course. He has also worked for Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation for the past three years, helping to coordinate volunteer activities. He loves being outside, live music, avocados, and plaid.

Reach us by mail or email:

Capstone Scholars Program University of South Carolina
13 Gibbes Court
Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: (803) 777-3912
Fax: (803) 777-4412

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Our office is located on Gibbes Ct. between Barnwell St. and Gregg St. View the map here.