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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Faculty and Staff

Lena Pinkston, M.R.

Title: Clinical Instructor
Internship Director
Department: Department of Retailing
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
Phone: 803-777-1264
Office: Close-Hipp 709
Lena Pinkston headshot


M.R., University of South Carolina
B.S., Family and Consumer Sciences Business/Fashion Merchandising, South Carolina State University


Lena Pinkston joined the Department of Retailing in the University of South Carolina's College of Hospitality, Retailing and Sport Management in August 2023. Pinkston brings a unique blend of academic excellence and real-world experience to her role as clinical instructor and internship director.

With a profound dedication to shaping the future of business and entrepreneurship, her expertise spans sustainable business operations, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning. In her role as internship director, Pinkston showcases her commitment to nurturing student success beyond the classroom. Her professional accomplishments, entrepreneurial spirit, and sustainability advocacy make her an invaluable asset to the HRSM community.

Pinkston started her career journey as a regional visual merchandiser for Stein Mart, Inc., honing her skills in the intricate world of visual merchandising. Her passion for education led to a nine-year tenure as a fashion marketing and management instructor at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division. Concurrently, she ventured into entrepreneurship, establishing and operating Lavish Hair Studios in Columbia, South Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Her 15 years of experience in higher education includes teaching at various institutions, including Johnson and Wales University - North Miami, Voorhees University, Liberty University, and South Carolina State University. Pinkston is a pioneer in online and distance learning, continuously pushing the boundaries of educational innovation.

Pinkston earned her Bachelor of Science in family and consumer sciences business with a specialization in fashion merchandising from South Carolina State University in 2006. A year later, she received her Master of Retailing from the University of South Carolina.

In the Media

Professional Certifications

  • PCM Digital Marketing, American Marketing Association
  • Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP), Digital Marketing Institute

Professional Affiliations

  • Certified Evaluator, Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Member, American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Licensed Instructor, South Carolina Board of Cosmetology


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