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School of Medicine Columbia

Luminary Leaders in Medicine and Science

The Luminary Leaders in Medicine and Science Recognition Program was established in February of 2021, at the recommendation of the School of Medicine Columbia Women in Science and Medicine (WiSaM) Committee, to promote a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion by visually and artistically honoring individuals that have made a significant positive impact on the School of Medicine Columbia, the University of South Carolina, our community, our state, and beyond.

The program provides a unique way to recognize and honor those individuals who have served as role models or created a lasting legacy of excellence through their service, teaching, discovery, leadership, generosity, life story, or, through their significant role in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our school.  Honorees pictures are displayed on the first floor of Building Three on the VA Campus.

Spring 2021 Inaugural Honorees

Raymond Bynoe

Raymond P. Bynoe, M.D. '84 (residency)

Raymond Bynoe, M.D., has spent his medical career providing for the most severely injured of patients. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, he obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, then attended the Medical University of South Carolina to earn his Doctor of Medicine. Bynoe completed his surgical residency at Richland Memorial Hospital, now Prisma Health Richland Hospital, then went on to a fellowship in trauma and critical care at the University of Tennessee-Memphis.

In 1988, Bynoe returned to his hometown to work at Richland Memorial Hospital and join the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, where he is now a clinical professor in the Department of Surgery.  In 1996, Bynoe was appointed medical director of trauma service.

Bynoe has made it a primary mission to educate young people about issues such as trauma prevention and gang violence. He was one of the primary creators of Project READY - Realistic Education About Dying Young - which educates teens about the consequences of drinking and driving, violence and poor decision-making. Project Ready partnered with South Carolina Education Television to produce a program that followed teens as they toured Palmetto Health Richland’s Level One Trauma Center, experiencing first-hand some of the consequences of making poor choices. The show was nominated for a Regional EMMY and won a FREDDIE award.  

Bynoe also works with the Task Force on Athletic Health Issues to help increase parent, teacher and coaching staff awareness of sudden cardiac death and other athletic health issues affecting young athletes. The task force works to provide external automatic defibrillators and training on their use in high schools in Richland School District One.

Bynoe is a founder of the Society of Carolina Surgeons. He was honored by the School of Medicine with the Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Faculty in 2000 and the Distinguished School of Medicine Physician Alumni Award in 2001. In 2012, he was recognized by the South Carolina Hospital Association, and in 2018, Prisma Health Richland Hospital dedicated and named their new Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit in his honor.

Everett Dargan

Everett Dargan, M.D.

Everett L. Dargan, M.D., is a surgeon, educator and role model whose medical skills have impacted thousands of lives. He has inspired and mentored scores of physicians and health care professionals over the course of his career.

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, at the age of 15, Dargan received a scholarship to Morehouse College in Atlanta. He later graduated from the University of Buffalo and earned his medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. After completing his internship in Brooklyn, New York, he began his residency in general surgery at the Albert Einstein College of medicine in the Bronx, New York.

Dargan’s training was paused when he was called to active duty during the Korean War. He rose to the rank of captain and served as commander of the 3910th USAF Hospital at Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall/Lakenheath in Suffolk, England. Following his discharge from the armed services, Dargan completed his medical training in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at Boston University Medical Center. He returned to New York to become an associate professor of surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and director of surgery at Lincoln Hospital and Sydenham Hospital.

Dargan returned home to South Carolina in 1978, where he entered into private practice in thoracic, vascular and general surgery in Columbia and became one of the first African Americans to join the faculty at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia as an associate professor of clinical surgery. He is a former chief of staff at Richland Memorial Hospital and also provided care to veterans at Dorn VA Medical Center for more than two decades. 

Dargan retired from active practice in 2004. He has been recognized with the Order of the Palmetto, by the Kappa Pi and Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor societies, as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and, in 2005, received a Congressional tribute from U.S. Congressman James Clyburn.

In 2005, the School of Medicine established a scholarship in Dargan’s honor to recruit, educate and retain underrepresented minority students, and in 2020, he received the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award as a Friend of the School of Medicine.

Everlyn Hall-Baker

Everlyn Hall-Baker, M.D., '81

Everlyn Lilease Hall-Baker, M.D., made history as the first African American student at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, and one of only two women who were members of the inaugural class.

Hall-Baker, a native of Columbia, South Carolina, completed her undergraduate studies in zoology and botany at Howard University, Washington, D.C. in 1975. Recognizing the groundwork laid by her older sister, Benzena Louise Hall, who was among the second class of African American students to attend the University of South Carolina during desegregation, Hall-Baker applied to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia. While waiting for the school to open, she worked as a substitute teacher, teaching science at Dreher and Keenan High Schools in Columbia.

Hall-Baker earned her Doctor of Medicine in 1981. She continued her internship and residency training in community health and family practice at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She completed fellowship studies in faculty development at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Hall-Baker is board certified in family medicine. She eventually relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, and served as chief of family medicine with Kaiser Permanente for eight years before moving on to work with urgent cares of Atrium Health, Novant Health and First Care Medical Center. Hall-Baker is CEO of Gapover M.D., PLLC.

Hall-Baker is actively involved with several medical associations including the American Academy of HIV Medicine, American Academy of Family Practice, American Telemedicine Association, North Carolina Academy of Family Practice and Mecklenburg County Academy of Family Practice. As part of her roles with these organizations, she has volunteered many hours in the community offering health screenings. She is a true advocate for her patients.

Hall-Baker says she recognizes that she was called by her Lord Jesus Christ to be a physician. She gives praise for the steadfast support of her parents, and she also credits the faculty of the School of Medicine for the many opportunities in the training and exposure provided to various aspects of medicine. Hall-Baker continues to recommend the School of Medicine to prospective students.

Carol McMahon

Carol McMahon, M.D

Carol McMahon, M.D., has devoted herself to teaching, service and promoting an academically enriching and culturally supportive environment. As associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion and a clinical associate professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, she has been recognized for clinical excellence and compassion for her students and colleagues.

McMahon earned her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and her Doctor of Medicine degree from Howard University College of Medicine. She completed an internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology followed by a residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, both at Howard University Hospital. After residency, McMahon conducted her fellowship in Forensic Pathology at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington, D.C., where she continued to work in the capacity of deputy medical examiner until relocating to South Carolina in 1993.

Before coming to the School of Medicine, she worked in the Pathology Department at Newberry County Memorial Hospital and in the Pathology Department at the Chester County Hospital and Nursing Center. She also worked as clinical director for the Migrant Health Program in the Office of Minority Health at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

McMahon joined the faculty at the School of Medicine in 1994, where she has remained actively involved in teaching pathology to medical and graduate students. She was named assistant dean for minority affairs in 1996, later changed to associate dean for diversity and inclusion in 2016. In that role, McMahon works with the dean of the School of Medicine, members of the dean's staff, faculty members and students as a liaison between the School of Medicine, state agencies, and professional and community organizations, with the goal of developing and implementing effective recruitment programs for underrepresented minority students. She also works to identify sources of extramural funding to support such programs.

McMahon has received numerous honors and awards for her teaching and service, including induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, the Dean’s Medal for Distinguished Service, and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. In 2020, the School of Medicine established the Carol L. McMahon, M.D., Diversity Scholarship in recognition of her career which has been dedicated to championing diversity and inclusion in medical education. The scholarship will provide support to underrepresented students.


Lurlene Scott

Lurlene Scott, MRC, '02

As a former member of the armed services, Lurlene Scott, MRC, recognizes the many needs of our nation’s veteran community.

A native of Tennessee, Scott joined the Army in 1976. Fifteen years later, she was discharged from service at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, as a disabled Gulf war veteran. Her military background and interest in the veteran community led to employment with the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Scott recognized the importance pursuing formal higher education. While working a full-time position with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, she began her pursuit for more education by earning an associate degree from Midlands Technical College in Columbia, South Carolina. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina. Scott then earned a Master of Rehabilitation Counseling degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, completing her degree in 2002. Upon graduation, she was immediately appointed as a vocational rehabilitation counselor with the Department of Veterans Affairs. She received her national certification in 2008.

Scott served in a variety of roles with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, including benefits claims processing, working with homeless veterans, consulting and quality assurance. She provided counseling to individuals with disabilities and families with a variety of social and/or personal problems, utilizing various assessment and intervention techniques. In 2003, Scott was appointed Supervising Officer for the Veteran Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Office in Charleston, South Carolina.

Scott retired from the Veteran’s Administration after 40 years of service in 2020.  In 2017, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Christian Humanities from Body of Christ Ministry, School of the Great Commission. In 2018, Scott was selected as an inaugural member of the Dean’s Executive Advisory Council for the School of Medicine.

Scott says she is grateful for the opportunity to serve veterans and to give back to a deserving community and friends.

Alvin Wells

Alvin F. Wells, M.D., Ph.D., '88

Alvin F. Wells, M.D., Ph.D., has spent more than 25 years researching inflammatory disorders.

Wells earned his doctoral degree in immunology from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia in 1988. He later received his medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he also completed a fellowship in rheumatology. He continues to serve as an adjunct assistant professor at Duke University Medical Center. Wells is board-certified in rheumatology and is the director of the Rheumatology and Immunotherapy Center in Franklin, Wisconsin.

Wells’ clinical efforts focus on the management and treatment of all aspects of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis with an emphasis on connective tissue components, inflammatory mediators, and cytokines. He also is an advocate for the use of ultrasound in clinical practice.

An internationally renowned speaker, Wells has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, letters, book chapters and abstracts. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American College of Rheumatology, and the American Telemedicine Association. Wells has received grant support from the Arthritis Foundation and from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and is currently the principal investigator for a number of clinical trials.

Wells is the recipient of numerous awards, including the University of South Carolina School of Medicine’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2000 and the American College of Rheumatology Research Award. In 2001, he was honored with the Merck Young Investigator Award, and he is the recipient of the 2003 Abbott President’s Award. He also received the prestigious Fogarty Biomedical Research Award from the National Institutes of Health, which allowed him to undertake a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Patricia Witherspoon

Patricia Witherspoon, M.D.

Doctor, educator, mentor - words used to describe Patricia Wilson Witherspoon,M.D., a clinical associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia.

Inspired by her parent’s belief in the importance of education, Witherspoon received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. She went on receive a scholarship to study for a master’s degree in histology from Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania. Initially discouraged from pursuing a degree in medicine, Witherspoon and her husband moved to Baltimore where she worked at Johns Hopkins University and rekindled her desire to attend medical school.

Witherspoon returned to Penn State’s College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to earn her Doctor of Medicine. She came to Prisma Health Richland, then Palmetto Health Richland, for her residency in family medicine. While there, she served as chief resident in her last year. She provided care for patients with Richland Primary Health Care Preventive Medicine Association for three years. In 1998, she joined the faculty for the School of Medicine, eventually serving as medical director for the Department of Family Medicine.

Witherspoon has served the medical community in a variety of volunteer roles. She was a member of the investigation team at the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center in the office of Rural Health Policy. She was a member of the South Carolina Cardiovascular Task Force, a subcommittee chair of the Tri-State Stroke Network. She has served as the interim medical director for the Family Medicine outpatient facility, the director of Community Outreach and on the quality team.

Her community appointments include the South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors, past president, where she serves on several subcommittees. She is an active member of the South Carolina Medical Association and participates in the Doctor of the Day program at the South Carolina state legislature. She is a member of the volunteer physician work force at the Columbia Free Clinic and the Good Samaritan Clinic. Witherspoon is board certified (Diplomat) and a Fellow in Family Medicine.

Witherspoon is a past recipient of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Diabetes Physician Champion Award and has been recognized twice with the School of Medicine’s Kay McFarland Women’s Health Award. She also received the Social Justice Award, given by the USC Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, and she was honored as a physician teacher by the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Witherspoon considers it her responsibility to serve as a mentor not only to her medical students but to learners of all ages from high school students to junior faculty members, illustrating to them that  no matter the difficulties they may face, they can maximize their opportunities to make their dreams come true.

Fall 2021 Honorees

Jim Chow

Jim C. Chow, MD, FACS

The son of medical missionaries, Jim C. Chow, MD, FACS, immigrated to the United States from North Africa when he was fourteen, settling in Columbia, South Carolina where his older brother was attending the University of South Carolina. Chow also attended the University of South Carolina and then the School of Medicine Columbia, earning his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1985.

Dr. Chow went on to further his training by completing a residency in dermatology and a Wound Healing Fellowship at Vanderbilt University, followed by an Advanced Cutaneous Laser Post Fellowship at Harvard University, and a fellowship In Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Surgery at Johns Hopkins. He authored many papers on growth factor research and held National Institute of Health and National Cancer Institute research grants. As Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery at the USC School of Medicine, he mentored many students and residents.

Dr. Chow has spent his medical career providing unparalleled care to his patients at the Columbia Skin Clinic, where he has practiced since 1991, focusing on treatment of skin cancer, reconstructive and cosmetic dermatologic surgery. He has held key positions in medical associations and served on the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners for 15 years.

Serving his community, state and country for thirty years in the South Carolina Air National Guard/USAF, rising to the rank of Brigadier General, Dr. Chow served in all major conflicts from 1985 to Enduring Freedom in 2015. During his service, Dr. Chow was flight surgeon for the 157th fighter squadron for many missions and worldwide deployments. He also became the Joint Force Headquarters Surgeon for the South Carolina National Guard after serving as the State Air Surgeon. In 2007, General Chow was assigned as the Air National Guard Assistant to the Air Combat Command Surgeon General and later to the USAF Surgeon General in Washington DC. He served as a liaison and advisor for health readiness for all Air National Guard units in the country. His last assignment was as Special Assistant to the Director of the Air National Guard/USAF at the Pentagon.

In 2005, Dr. Chow established ‘Patriot Docs,’ an initiative to support wounded service members from Iraqi Freedom. He recruited specialized surgeons and trauma specialists from across the US to volunteer their time in providing the best medical care possible to wounded warriors, resulting in more lives being saved or improved of those severely injured military personnel.  He has been twice selected as the Air National Guard/USAF Medical Officer of the Year and received the Palmetto Cross for distinguished military Service.

Dr. Chow’s dedication to his work in providing the best care possible to his patients, both as a civilian and as a military serviceman, has been recognized through numerous awards, including Physician of the Year by the SC Medical Association, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Alumni of the Year, the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award for Humanitarian Service, and the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor for his service to the state.

Warren Derrick

C. Warren Derrick, MD

C. Warren Derrick, Jr., MD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, served as chair of Pediatrics when the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia was founded and held the position for 29 years from 1977 to 2006. Simultaneously, he also held the position of director of Pediatric Education at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, now Prisma Health Children’s Hospital, which he helped found in 1983.

A native of Marion, South Carolina, Dr. Derrick attended Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina before earning his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed a fellowship in pediatrics at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, along with a fellowship in infectious diseases, before returning to South Carolina.

Under his leadership, the Pediatric residency program more than doubled the number of residents in each class. The residency program has consistently had one of the highest board pass rates in the nation, and the department continually is chosen as best clinical teaching department by the third-year medical students.

During his tenure, the Department of Pediatrics assumed administrative oversight of the Center for Disability Resources, resulting in a significant service contract with state agencies and research projects of national significance. The directors of the four children's hospitals in South Carolina also collaborated on the creation of statewide Developmental Education Centers. Derrick wrote two successful proposals to the Duke Endowment for funding child abuse services in South Carolina and creation of the South Carolina Institute for Childhood Obesity and Related Disorders.

Dr. Derrick retired as chairman of the department in 2006 but continued to attend in the teaching clinic, serve on the Admissions Committee, interview pediatric residency applicants and serve as the medical director for the School of Medicine Medical Home Network until 2020.

Because of his dedication to serving the youngest of patients throughout South Carolina, in 2001, the Children’s Hospital named the C. Warren Derrick/Helen Lynch Champion of Children Award in his honor. The award is given annually to an individual or organization displaying extraordinary devotion and dedication to the welfare and well-being of the community’s children. In 2017, Dr. Derrick was honored with the USC School of Medicine Dean’s Distinguished Service Award for Career Achievement.

As one of the foundational stones upon which the USC School of Medicine Columbia was built, his wisdom and calm demeanor helped bring stability to the school during its formative years. His excellence as a clinical pediatrician and educator, and his outstanding leadership of the pediatrics department and the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital have built a legacy of service that will endure for years to come.

Kristi Williams

Kristi Williams, MSN, CRNA

Kristi Williams, MSN, CRNA, has spent most of her health care career focused on providing anesthesia services to patients and teaching the next generations of those who would do the same.

Williams began her career as a nurse, earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina. While continuing to work as a nurse, she earned her diploma as a certified nurse anesthetist through the Richland Memorial Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia in 1986.

Just three years later, Williams became the clinical director of the hospital’s nurse anesthesia training program. She began the work that would eventually result in moving the program from diploma level to a master’s program by 1998, under the USC School of Medicine, at a time when most CRNA programs fell under the direction of schools of nursing.

Williams guided the program through numerous accreditation cycles and played a key role in expanding the CRNA program by helping to develop a second primary training site in Greenville, South Carolina. She saw the program grow in size from its original five students to upwards of more than 30 students. Under her direction, the program began an initiative that would lead it to transition to a doctoral level program in 2021.

Williams briefly left her role as director to care for her father, then later returned as assistant director. Once again, she answered the call to serve as director in 2010. Williams stepped down from the position in 2017 but remained a member of the faculty as a clinical associate professor. She continues to practice as a staff nurse anesthetist, specializing in cardiovascular anesthesia.

Her abilities as a skilled clinician enabled her to be a master educator not only in the classroom but in the operating room as well. 

As a true leader, she has played a significant role in developing the next generation of leaders in the field of nurse anesthesia, including the USC School of Medicine’s current CRNA program director, assistant directors, and other faculty members.

Fall 2022 Honorees

Janice Edwards Photo


A leader with endless impact, Janice Edwards, MS, CGC has expertly served the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia and South Carolinians with passion and commitment, supporting patients and clinicians as genetics and genomics have become integral to medicine. As the School of Medicine's first genetic counselor, she developed genetic counseling services and education impacting our state and beyond, highlighted by the over 250 genetic counselors who have trained under her direction. A skilled facilitator, she assisted several national organizations build consensus around emerging issues in genetics and was the founding president of the Transnational Alliance for Genetic Counseling, an international network of genetic counselor educators. She has been recognized by the National Society of Genetic Counselors with their Regional Leadership (2000) and International Leader (2010) Awards and was a 2020 recipient of the School of Medicine's Dean’s Career Achievement Award. Committed to genetic education, she has directed conferences and symposia regionally, nationally and internationally, most recently facilitating an online course for physician fellows in reproductive genetics. Her patient care has focused on prenatal genetics and service to families affected with Huntington disease, spanning over 40 years of genetic counseling practice.

Don Saunders Photo


Donald E. Saunders, Jr., MD, was a passionate leader in the campaign to establish the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Beginning early in his career he saw the need for an additional medical school in his home state. He chaired the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Medical Affairs Committee from 1965-69, working to convince the city’s business and medical community of the benefits of the proposed school. He advised the S.C. Commission on Higher Education on selecting the consultants who documented the need for an additional medical school and established Columbia as the most favorable location. His passion for the new medical school’s creation permeated all of his actions. He gave media interviews and made numerous presentations to the South Carolina General Assembly and the U.S. Congress in support of a second medical school. 

Almost as soon as the medical school was founded, Dr. Saunders became part of it, first as Director of Cardiology at Richland Memorial Hospital and then as Director of the medical school’s cardiology division.  He joined the School of Medicine faculty as Professor of Medicine in 1979 and was Director of the Cardiology Division and later the Associate Dean for Planning and Development. He was a compassionate and caring physician who understood the importance of the humanities and ethics in medicine. He developed and taught the first medical ethics course and was co-founder and later the Director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the University of South Carolina. In 2004 the School of Medicine established the Saunders Humanism Honor Society and the Saunders Visiting Lectureship.

A native of Columbia and a graduate of the University of South Carolina, Dr. Saunders attended Duke University School of Medicine where he graduated first in his class. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Duke Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Hospital and completed his cardiology training at the National Heart Hospital in London. Throughout his life and career, Dr. Saunders was a prolific writer. He authored numerous journal articles and two books, To Improve the Health of the People, An Insider’s View of the Campaign for the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and Christmas Thoughts about Love: A Cardiologist Speaks from His Heart.

Dr. Saunders committed a great deal of his professional and personal life to campaigning for the medical school and to ensuring that it was a success. His relentless dedication to the School of Medicine has created a lasting legacy of improved health for the people of South Carolina.

Marcia Welsh Photo


Marcia Welsh, PhD was appointed by the Board of Governors for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education as the 13th president of ESU in April 2012, and assumed her role as the first female president of ESU in July 2012. She retired from ESU in July 2020.

Dr. Welsh earned both her undergraduate degree in physical sciences and Master’s Degree in Anatomy from Colorado State University, and her Doctoral Degree in Anatomy from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She published numerous articles in academic journals, presented at a number of national and international conferences, and has been involved with a variety of community organizations. She served the local and regional communities in multiple capacities including: the Northampton Community College Monroe Campus Advisory Board, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities (NEPACU), Women’s Resources of Monroe County Board, WVIA (Public Media) Board of Directors, and the Pocono Mountains Musical Festival Board. As president of East Stroudsburg University, Dr. Welsh was also a member of the Chincoteague Bay Field Station board of directors, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, and TecBridge.

ESU’s many accomplishments under Dr. Welsh’s leadership included: the addition of 3-D printing and additive manufacturing to the curriculum; the institution of two new sports to ESU athletics, women’s wrestling and acrobatics and tumbling; building a good neighbor program within the East Stroudsburg community which enabled administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, police and borough leadership to more closely connect to local residents and neighbors; supporting the incorporation of esports in the University’s academic research; the approval for ESU’s two doctoral degrees (in Educational Leadership and Administration and Health Sciences); the opening of the institution’s Lehigh Valley Center in Bethlehem; helping to unveil the Philadelphia Multi-University Center (PMUC); establishing collaborative degree programs with The Commonwealth Medical College and Marywood University, both in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the College of Sport and Health Science at Ritsumeikan University in Shiga, Japan; announcing the launch of LYME-AID, the first commercial licensing agreement of faculty/student research at ESU and within Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education; opening a Student Veterans Center at ESU; initiating ESU’s annual Economic Outlook Summit to raise awareness of the economic development initiatives underway in Monroe County; launching a new website, Made in the Poconos, in cooperation with the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Pennsylvania CareerLink and the Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation to promote and encourage residents and visitors to shop locally; assisting Pocono Medical Center in the facilitation of focus groups and the creation of an online platform to match residents with health professionals, social service agencies, workshops and other events geared toward health concerns; partnering with Stroudsburg Little League for two FieldTurf surfaces and other facilities upgrades for ESU baseball, softball and local athletes at the Creekview complex; the establishment of the Dr. Jane Huffman Wildlife Genetics Institute in the ESU Innovation Center; and the creation of a state-of-the-art marine aquaculture facility in the Warren E. ’55 and Sandra Hoeffner Science and Technology Center.

Dr. Welsh also supported a partnership with Pocono Medical Center to train ESU student volunteers to act as health coaches for patients in the Pocono community; ESU’s hosting of the International European Union Simulation (EUROSIM) which brought students from nearly 20 universities in Europe and the U.S. to ESU for political role-playing at its highest level; and the university’s participation in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program to assist veterans with tuition costs. She led the campus community through two strategic planning processes that resulted in ESU’s plans – Students First: Innovate ESU, and Students First: Empowering Innovation through Collaboration 2017-2020.  She also assumed a leadership role in Monroe 2020, the strategic planning process for Monroe County

During her presidency at ESU, Dr. Welsh was selected as one of the Top 25 Women in Business by the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal and as one of the Top 25 Women of Influence in the Greater Lehigh Valley with special recognition in the Community Achievement Award category by Lehigh Valley Business. She was also recognized with the Athena Award by the Greater Pocono Mountains Chamber of Commerce for her business and professional accomplishments, community service and mentoring of others, especially encouraging women to achieve their own leadership potential. In 2019, she was also named one of the Top 10 Influential Executives on Social Media by Campus Sonar, and she was the only woman to make this list. In fall 2020, she received ICON honors from Lehigh Valley Business for her long-standing commitment to the Greater Lehigh Valley’s business community and significant professional accomplishments through innovation and leadership.

Dr. Welsh pursued both administrative and academic career paths prior to her presidency at ESU. She began her academic career in 1978 as an assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. She remained at UofSC for 23 years, rising through the ranks to professor and also serving as chair of the Faculty Senate and acting chair of her department before being named associate provost and dean of the Graduate School. In 2001, she was named senior vice president for academic affairs and provost of Adelphi University. Dr. Welsh then became provost of Towson University in 2009, and also served as interim president of the university in 2011. 

She is married to Louis Terracio, PhD, former vice dean of academic affairs and research and professor at NYU’s College of Dentistry. They have three children: Nate, Matthew, and Mallory, and four grandchildren, Giovanni, Harper, Logan and Matilda. 

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