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Event Details

Learn about this year's schedule, speakers and our location and parking. 

The 2019 Women's Health Research Forum will be held at the USC Alumni Center (900 Senate Street, Columbia, SC) on Friday, March 8, 2019.

Registration for the 2019 Women's Health Research Forum is now open on Eventbrite


Schedule of Events 


7:30 – 8:45 Poster Hanging
8:00 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 9:05 Welcome – Dr. Fleming Mattox, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Forum Chair
9:05 – 9:15 Opening Remarks – Mrs. Patricia Moore-Pastides, First Lady of the University of South Carolina
9:15 – 10:15 Keynote presentation by Heather Weiss, J.D.
10:15 – 11:00 Poster Session Part 1
11:00 – 11:30  Resident Research Presentations
11:30 – 12:30 Networking Lunch
12:30 – 1:15 Poster Session Part 2
1:15 – 2:15 Panel Discussion moderated by Lynn Rosenthal
2:15 – 2:45 Resident Research Presentations
2:45 – 3:00 Award Ceremony
3:00 Closing remarks



Heather Weiss

Heather Weiss, JD, Keynote Speaker

Heather Weiss has served as a manager for the SC Attorney General's Office working in State Grand Jury and General Prosecution since January of 2011.  She has prosecuted a range of cases including murders, human trafficking, child abuse, insurance fraud, narcotics and public corruption throughout the state of SC.  Heather's division runs the SC Human Trafficking Task Force, provides outreach on Human Trafficking, and got the first Human Trafficking convictions in the State as well as the first State Grand Jury indictments and convictions for Human Trafficking.  Heather is currently working with the courts to address the issues surrounding adolescent victims of trafficking in the juvenile court system.

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Lynn Rosenthal, Panel Moderator

Lynn currently serves as the Biden Foundation Policy Director of Violence Against Women. In July 2009, Lynn was appointed by President Obama and Vice President Biden as the first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women. For more than five years, she worked closely with Vice President Biden to engage communities and create new ways to reduce domestic and sexual violence. As a senior advisor to Vice President Biden, she developed new initiatives to address sexual violence, reduce domestic violence homicides, and improve the workplace response to violence against women. On behalf of Vice President Biden, Lynn co-chaired the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and was a key advisor for its recommendations. She also represented the Vice President on the White House Council on Women and Girls and co-chaired the Federal Interagency Working Group on HIV/AIDS and Violence Against Women.

From 2000-2006, Lynn served as the Executive Director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, where she represented state domestic violence coalitions in Congress and worked closely with corporate leaders to develop funding initiatives addressing violence against women. After her service at the White House, she served as the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Marguerite O'Brien

Marguerite O'Brien, MSW, ACSM-CPT, RYT-200, Panel Member

Marguerite O’Brien is the Director of Wellness, Prevention and Advocacy Services with Student Health Services at the University of South Carolina.  She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from USC and is proud to be working at her alma mater. In addition to serving on university committees such as the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues and the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, Marguerite provides supervision to MSW students, is a University 101 instructor, and leads mindfulness sessions on campus. She is trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and is a trained True Colors® facilitator. Marguerite serves on national committees through the American College Health Association, and is President of the Southern College Health Association.

Prior to working at USC, Marguerite was the Executive Director of City Year, Columbia; National Program Coordinator for City Year, Inc. and a Wellness Coordinator at Lexington Medical Center.

Marguerite is also a certified personal trainer, fitness and Yoga instructor. She is active in the community and volunteers regularly with the American Red Cross and the Women’s Shelter.

Eric Williams

Eric Williams, MD, Panel Member

Eric Williams is the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and the director of the Introduction to Clinical Medicine first-year medical student course at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He also co-teaches a junior/senior pre-med undergraduate class entitled “Transitioning to Medical School." His practice includes working with an ACT team and seeing adolescent and young adult patients.

He earned his medical degree from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and completed his general residency and child and adolescent fellowship with the Palmetto Health Alliance/University of South Carolina School of Medicine.  He worked in an academic setting, an inpatient setting, in juvenile justice, college student mental health, and as a traveling psychiatrist prior to his current positions.

His after-hours job is as a BodyStep and BodyAttack group exercise instructor at Müv Fitness.

Lisa Martin

Lisa Martin

Lisa Martin is an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. She specializes in legal issues relating to gender-based violence, the rights of adolescents and the regulation of the family. Her scholarship draws from her experiences advocating for adults and adolescents who have been subjected to dating and domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking. She also has experience working with families living in poverty.

Prior to joining the University of South Carolina faculty, Professor Martin was a member of the faculty at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where she was the Co-Director of the Families and the Law Clinic, the Director of the Experiential Curriculum, and taught Gender, Law, and Policy. Prior to that, she taught International Rights of Women as a lecturer at the George Washington University Law School, directed the Teen Dating Violence Program at Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE) in Washington, D.C., and practiced as a litigation associate at Arent Fox LLP.  Professor Martin received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the College of William and Mary, and her J.D., cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Mia Butler

Senator Mia McLeod Butler

Senator Mia McLeod Butler was born and raised in South Carolina. During college, she served as a Page for then-Representative David Beasley, who later became Governor of South Carolina. After graduating, she worked at the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce before she was accepted and enrolled at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where she later earned her Juris Doctorate. Since then, Mia has worked in and through state government, advocating for important issues like public education, economic development, Medicaid expansion, pro-small business initiatives, tougher domestic violence laws, common sense gun reforms, better race relations and more diversity and inclusion. She’s a strong voice, working alongside Republicans and Democrats to achieve progress for the people of South Carolina.

During the mid-90s, when South Carolina was number one in the nation for domestic violence homicides, Mia successfully launched a statewide initiative for former SC Attorney General Charlie Condon, that developed multidisciplinary protocols, curricula and training for law enforcement, solicitors and judges when investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating cases of violence against women. Mia was later appointed by former Governor Jim Hodges to direct the State Office of Victim Assistance (SOVA) and while serving, was recognized by the Nat’l Crime Victim Compensation Program for creating satellite offices in rural, underserved counties to help broaden service outreach and access, ultimately easing the process for crime victims. Her innovative management practices brought national attention to South Carolina’s Crime Victim Compensation Program, which became a model for other states.

Mia is a community leader who has been recognized as one of South Carolina’s “Top 20 Under 40” and was chosen to participate in the Governing Women’s inaugural Leadership Class. She has earned the distinction of “Liberty Fellow,” which is affiliated with the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She’s also a New Deal Leader, SC Education Policy Fellow and SC Diversity Leader. Mia is the first woman to represent Richland County in the SC Senate.


Parking and Location 

The University of South Carolina Alumni Center (My Carolina) is located at Lincoln and Senate Streets in the Vista district. The physical address is 900 Senate Street, Columbia, SC 29201.  

A limited number of metered parking spaces may be available near the Alumni Center.

The closest parking is available in two garages managed by the City of Columbia.  These garages have cashiered hourly parking. Typical parking rates are $1.00 - first half-hour and second half hour and $1 for every additional hour.

Park Street Garage

View map to Park Street Garage [pdf]

The USC Alumni Center is adjacent to the Park Street Garage located on Park and Pendleton Streets.  Parking in this garage is subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed by the USC Alumni Center. Look for the entrance to My Carolina on the 2nd floor.

Lincoln Street Garage

View map to Lincoln Street Garage [pdf]

Overflow parking is available in the Lincoln Street parking garage located two blocks from the Alumni Center.  Entrances to My Carolina are located on Senate Street.