Skip to Content

College of Arts and Sciences

Board of Visitors

The Board of Visitors of the College of Arts and Sciences garners community and financial support to enable the college to progress along a broad range of activities, including funding research, creating endowed chairs, improving faculty salaries, attracting a larger number of more qualified students, and providing needed services to the state and nation.

Bruce Baganz is a business executive in oil and natural gas exploration & production based in Houston, Texas. He is President of Security Energy Company, concentrating on private oil and gas investments. He received his Ph.D. (1979) and his M.S. (1975) in geology from USC. Bruce is also president of the Board of Trustees of The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., an international center for the exhibition, study, collection and preservation of the textile arts. The institution maintains an acclaimed collection of more than 17,000 textiles and rugs that date from 3,000 BCE to present.

Colonel Christian Becht, who strongly believes that the study of local history provides a community with a sound foundation for cultural and economic growth, received both his B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of South Carolina. After being commissioned in the United States Air Force Reserve and serving in Southeast Asia, Christian began pursuing an M.B.A. from Georgia State University while simultaneously working as an archivist with the Georgia Department of Archives and History and as a member of the Georgia Air National Guard. Once he had completed his M.B.A., he accepted a position with AT&T/Southern Bell while also building a parallel career with the Air Force Reserve.

Daniel Bouknight, a Greenville, SC, native, graduated from the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine with his Doctor of Medicine in 1993. Board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, and interventional cardiology, Daniel has been employed with Columbia Heart Clinic since 2000, and he serves the local community as a member of the Board of Trustees at Sisters of Charity Providence Hospitals. During his years of private practice, he has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in medicine and cardiology.

Tony is a biologist and agriculture R&D advisor. He has worked in international development, with both the public and private sectors. Prior to retirement, he was a senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for 10 years, where he focused on agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. Tony has served as an advisor and consultant for the International Food Policy Research Institute, USAID, and The Nature Conservancy. He was an executive leader and researcher at Dupont Pioneer Hi-Bred International for 23 years, where he worked on drought tolerance and physiological approaches to improving crops. He served on the board of trustees for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture and the Science Center of Iowa. Tony holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of South Carolina. He and his wife Ellen live in Seattle, WA. 

Richard M. Currence spent 36 years of his career in the offshore marine service business providing services to major independent and national oil companies, as well as offshore drilling contractors, construction companies, and geophysical companies. He served as an executive at Gulf Fleet Marine Corporation, Zapata Gulf Marine Corporation and Tidewater Marine Service. He has been involved internationally in marine organizations, such as the Marine Service Association of New Orleans, International Vessel Owners Association based in London and the National Ocean Industries Association of Washington, D.C.

Matthew Heric is the Chairman and CEO of IAVO (International Association of Virtual Organizations, Inc.) Research and Scientific, an engineering and software development firm which offers a unique blend of technical and business knowledge. IAVO recently donated 400 licensed copies of its GeoGenesis geographic imaging and modeling software to the University of South Carolina, along with five years of support and maintenance. Matt earned his M.S. in geography in 1987 from the University of Carolina and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Education in 1996. 

Born in Evanston, IL, Joyce Hill received her degrees from Northwestern University (B.A.) and Duke University (M.A.T.) before starting her career as an English and journalism teacher at Durham High School. Since moving to Blythewood, SC, where she and her husband live on a horse farm, Joyce has become an active volunteer and member of the Columba community. Among her interests are the Columbia Museum of Art, the Columbia City Ballet, and the Historic Columbia Foundation. 

John Hoey received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and an M.B.A. at the State University of New York. With over 23 years in the private sector with growth-oriented publicly-traded companies, John is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of the Y of Central Maryland. In this role, he oversees the growth and development of one of the 30 largest independent Y organizations in the United States. He previously served as President of Progressus Therapy, a leading national provider of school-based and early intervention special education services across the country. 

Scott Howell is a 1983 graduate of the University of South Carolina. He is CEO of Scott Howell & Company and The Wolf Group based in Dallas, Texas. The two firms specialize in corporate advertising, political advertising and grassroots consulting. TWG has created winning campaigns for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club, the Dallas Cowboys as well as grassroots efforts for companies like American Airlines. Scott Howell is also recognized as one of the top political media strategists in the country. He's worked on numerous high profile campaigns including Presidential campaigns for George W. Bush and Rudolph Giuliani as well as dozens of successful congressional campaigns including both of South Carolina's United States' Senators.

Carol J. Kososki is a community activist and the retired Executive Director of the South Carolina Occupational Information System (SCOIS), a statewide computer network for career information in some 1500 sites in South Carolina. She retired from South Carolina state government after 37 years of service. She served in the governor’s office during two administrations and later founded SCOIS to assist career decision-makers with up-to-date college catalogue, jobs, and financial aid information which is available on University of South Carolina campuses. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in French from the University of Wisconsin and an M.B.A. degree from Emory University. She also earned the Certified Internal Auditor credential.

Peter McCausland received his B.A. in history from the University of South Carolina in 1971 before graduating cum laude from Boston University Law School in 1974. In 1982 he founded Airgas, Inc., the largest distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases and welding equipment and one of the largest distributors of safety supplies in the United States, and he has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company since 1987. Before starting the company, he served as General Counsel for MG Industries, Inc., an industrial gas producer. 

Gail Morrison completed her B.A. in English at Denison University and her M.A. in English at the University of Michigan. Upon completing her Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of South Carolina in 1980, she taught at both Midlands Technical College and Carolina as an adjunct faculty member. In 1984, she joined the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, where she would go on to hold a number of positions, including Director of Academic Affairs and Student Services, and Interim Executive Director. Gail also served as lead staff member for the S.C. Centers of Economic Excellence/Endowed Chairs program. 

Francis Neuffer graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in biology in 1975. He then went on to obtain his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Board certified by the American College of Radiology, Francis is currently chair of the Department of Radiology at the USC School of Medicine and partner of Pitts Radiological Associates, P.A. in Columbia, SC. He is well respected in his field and is frequently asked to lecture at universities across the country. 

Linda Paige, of Columbia, SC is retired and spends her time traveling with family and volunteering on various non-profit boards.

Linda grew up in the schools of Columbia, SC finishing with top honors, including the SC Student of the Year Award. Linda attended the University of SC and finished with a BA in Political Science, cum laude. She continued her education at the University of Georgia (UGA) where she received a Master of Public Administration (MPA). Linda later attended George Washington University where she received a Master of Science (MA) in Business Technology.  

After UGA, Linda was recruited by Arthur Andersen & Company in Atlanta and began a career spanning three decades in IT consulting and corporate technology solutions. As an executive with Fannie Mae for over 15 years, she played pivotal roles in major projects taking the business from legacy mainframe to client server to web-based applications. Linda received numerous awards and commendations for excellent delivery, execution and customer service including the President’s Award and the Corporate Service Award. 

After Fannie Mae, Linda worked as a consultant with a Maryland-based contracting firm supporting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While there, she helped define the vision for the centralized food laboratory exchange network and established outreach and training programs throughout the US. As a result, Linda founded Paige Consulting, LLC, a startup technology consulting firm specializing in food safety. Today, Linda leverages those skills as serves on the board of several organizations including United Stated Tennis Association for SC, Auntie Karen Foundation, Wyndham Alexandria King Street Metro-place POA and Northeast Democrats.

John Parry completed his B.A. in English from the University of South Carolina and an M.B.A. from Pace University. He is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Solix, Inc., a government and commercial process outsourcing provider. He has more than 40 years of experience including serving as President of Bell Atlantic Network Systems and Vice President of the Bell Atlantic Global Systems Company (now Verizon). A Lieutenant of the United States Navy, Parry served in Vietnam with various assignments including Surface Warfare, Aviation, Logistics and Intelligence tasks. He retired from the Navy Reserve as a Captain in 1990.

Nelson Pinochet leads Technical Sales for IBM OpenPages with Watson. He has over 25 years of experience with enterprise software business solutions pursuing roles in consulting, project management, product management and technical sales. He has focused on the Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) space with solutions across all industries. Working with some of the world’s largest institutions with the selection, deployment, and post-deployment of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and Compliance capabilities. He and his team continuously leverage IBM’s vast technologies (such as Watson AI) to bring differentiating innovation and value to the market.

Before joining IBM, Nelson worked at OpenPages, Infor, Datastream and Motorola. He holds an International MBA and a BS in International Studies from the University of South Carolina.

Carolyn Polston attended Carolina as a National Merit Scholar. She received a B.S. in mathematics and computer science in 1973 and a M.S. in mathematics in 1975. After 15 years in Information Technology and Management Information Services, Carolyn began her current career as a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones in Wilmington N.C in 1990. In May 2000 she was featured as the cover story for Registered Rep Magazine, which named her as one of the top 10 Outstanding Brokers in the nation. Carolyn also serves on the Executive Advisory Board for the Cameron School of Business at UNC in Wilmington. 

Karen Painter Randall graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA (Honors College), MPA and JD. She is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney and Chair of Connell Foley’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Group. Ms. Randall is considered a national thought leader in the cybersecurity and incident response field. She frequently speaks nationwide and is a commentator on developing issues in cybersecurity. I She recently received her third presidential appointment to the American Bar Association’s Cybersecurity Legal Task Force. Ms. Randall is also the founder and Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association Cybersecurity Legal Task Force. In 2018, she was appointed Director of the University of South Carolina School of Law's Cybersecurity Legal Task Force. In 2020, she was selected as Chair, Cybersecurity and Privacy Practice group at USLAW Network Inc. Ms. Randall was named by NJBIZ as a winner of the inaugural “NJ Digi-Tech Innovators Awards.” A Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, she has repeatedly been named a NJ Top 50 Female Super Lawyer and is a NJBIZ Top 50 Women in Business award recipient.

Marva Smalls, who received a Master of Public Administration and a B.A. in political science from the University of South Carolina, started her career in the private sector and was Chief of Staff for South Carolina Congressman Robin Tallon for ten years. Currently, Marva is Executive Vice President of Global Inclusion Strategy for Viacom and Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon Networks Group. Under her tenure, Nickelodeon’s pro-social campaigns have been recognized by presidential administration and supported by top names in the entertainment industry.

Cary Smith attended USC where he received a B.S. degree in mathematics in 1966. He joined IBM in 1967 and during his 25 year career there he held sales, management and executive positions in numerous locations. Following his retirement from IBM he joined the Independent College Foundation of SC serving as its Executive Vice President for four years. In 1997 he joined United Way of the Midlands as its President and in 2005 became President of the Palmetto Health Foundation. His work in the not for profit sector has been focused on human services and education, an area for which he feels a great level of commitment.

Glenn F. Tilton most recently was the Chairman of the Midwest for JPMorgan Chase, a position he assumed in June 2011.  In that capacity he was the firm’s senior executive across its various businesses throughout the Midwest United States.

Until December 2012, Tilton also served as non-executive chairman of the board of directors of United Continental Holdings, Inc., following the merger between United and Continental Airlines in 2010.  Prior to the merger, Tilton served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of UAL Corporation and chairman and chief executive officer of United Airlines, positions he assumed in 2002, where he led the company through a $23 billion restructuring, returned the company to profitability and successfully completed the merger with Continental Airlines.

Prior to joining United, having completed the merger of Texaco and Chevron, Tilton was vice chairman of the board of directors of ChevronTexaco, as well as interim chairman of Dynegy Inc.  Up to that time, he served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Texaco Inc., a position he assumed in February 2001.

Tilton joined Texaco Inc. in 1970 and served in various marketing, corporate planning and operational assignments of increasing responsibility, including president of Texaco Europe, president of Texaco USA and president of Texaco's Global Business Unit.

Tilton serves on the board of directors of Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie (as lead director), Phillips 66 (as lead director), and Northwestern Memorial Healthcare.  He currently serves as Board Chairman Emeritus of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and also serves on the boards for the Commercial Club of Chicago Civic Committee, Big Shoulders Fund, and the 100 Club of Chicago.

Lynne and her teammates at the Donor Relations Group partner with nonprofits large and small on a variety of initiatives from developing sound strategy and vision to utilizing technology and creating meaningful donor engagement - all designed to positively affect the fundraising bottom line. Her guidance has led her clients to be recognized on the national stage for fundraising innovation, creative communication, and groundbreaking donor relations work. She has presented at regional conferences of 40, large international conferences of over 4,000, and everywhere in between. 

She is regularly featured in publications such as the Washington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and CASE Currents and has authored three books of her own. 

Lynne received her B.A. from the University of South Carolina, holds a Masters in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy from BayPath University, and proudly sports a DUCKtorate from the Disney Institute.

Mark earned his B.S. in marine science from USC in 1976. As Director in the South and North Carolina territory for Expense Reduction Analysts, Will is focused on improving the profitability of clients located in the two state regions. He is active in supporting both client management and analytical requirements with a keen focus on their overall satisfaction and financial success. Prior to joining ERA, he served in executive roles at Milliken & Company, a recognized quality leader in manufacturing textiles and chemicals.

Gerald Wilson is a retired general and peripheral vascular surgeon who also serves as a clinical instructor in the USC School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery. He has a strong record of leadership in the medical community, and he has been a champion for minority and women’s health issues. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1971 from the University of South Carolina, where he was the first African American to enroll in and complete the university’s honors program. He received his M.D. degree from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in 1974.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.