Stories for Alumni

Portrait of Amanda Fairchild

Mungo Teaching Award: Amanda Fairchild

September 13, 2019, Craig Brandhorst

If you think you hate statistics or they make you nervous, you might just be the perfect student for Amanda Fairchild. The associate professor of psychology is out to demystify statistics for University of South Carolina master’s and Ph.D. candidates, who need Fairchild’s courses to complete their degrees but do not always see themselves as numbers people.

U.S. News rankings

UofSC is No. 1 nationwide for first-year student experience

September 09, 2019, Megan Sexton

The University of South Carolina has the top first-year student experience among the nation’s public universities, according to U.S. News and World Report’s annual undergraduate rankings.

Brandon Adams, education alumnus

Education alum trades classroom for courtroom

September 09, 2019, Kathryn McPhail

For most students, the path to law school doesn’t include a stop in a fourth grade classroom. Well, at least not as the teacher of the class. But law student Brandon Adams says his experience as a teacher will help him become a better attorney, and he plans to combine his love of teaching and the law.

Sam Piccione

Gamecock grad entertains the world -- one arena at a time

August 30, 2019, Bryony Wardell

Behind the bright lights, beyond the stage, Oak View Group has built a global family of companies that have become known as the leading force in the sport and live entertainment industry. It takes commitment and experience to lead one of those divisions – something University of South Carolina alumnus Sam Piccione III knows firsthand.

Alexandra Vezzetti

First class of UofSC physician assistant graduates helping improve healthcare access

July 19, 2019, Alyssa Yancey

Alexandra Vezzetti was in the first class of physician assistant students at the School of Medicine and the first PA student to rotate through the neurology department at Prisma Health. Department Chair Souvik Sen, M.D., was so impressed with Vezzetti that he hired her, and next month, she’ll become the department’s first physician assistant.

Jefferson in class with her students

Education alumna wins SC Teacher of the Year

June 06, 2019, Kathryn McPhail

Education alumna, Chanda Jefferson, was recently named the 2020 South Carolina Teacher of the Year. Her passion for serving others began when she drove the church van as a teenager. Now a decade into her career as an educator, she finds herself teaching much more than biology to her students.

Uzbekistan plaza

Retailing professor wins Fulbright for work in Uzbekistan

June 04, 2019, Allen Wallace

The Fulbright program is one of the most famous and prestigious scholarship programs in the world, with 59 alumni who also have Nobel Prizes and 82 Pulitzer Prize winners. Many people in academia try throughout their career and never win a Fulbright Scholarship. Professor Mark Rosenbaum, chair of the University of South Carolina Department of Retailing, now has three.

Katy Pilarzyk in the lab

Brain Power

May 23, 2019, Alyssa Yancey

Second-year Ph.D. candidate Katy Pilarzyk was one of three University of South Carolina students awarded a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship this year. She will use her funding to continue her work in Michy Kelly’s lab at the School of Medicine Columbia. The lab studies the inner workings of the brain to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying social and cognitive deficits.

Mr. Gibson's fifth grade class

Culturally relevant teaching changes the game for students

May 13, 2019, Kathryn McPhail

Jackson Creek Elementary School, in Columbia, is committed to improving the way its teachers are educating students — both academically and socially. The school is collaborating with College of Education professors to offer all teachers and support staff ongoing professional development in culturally relevant teaching.

LeAnn Haga, education alumna

From passion to practice

April 05, 2019, Kathryn McPhail

Efforts to recruit and retain teachers in South Carolina go beyond the four years students spend on campus. For College of Education alumna LeAnn Haga, a high school outreach program inspired her to pursue a teaching career, a scholarship allowed her to earn a degree debt-free and now, her alma mater continues to support her in her first year as a teacher.

global footprint map

Global footprint

March 04, 2019, Craig Brandhorst

The University of South Carolina has been a global player for a long time. But since 2011, when the Focus Carolina strategic plan was announced, the university has significantly increased its internationalization efforts, transforming a healthy overseas presence into a clearly defined global footprint.

Preston Thorne, former athlete

Life after the 4th quarter

February 08, 2019, Kathryn McPhail

Former Gamecocks football player Preston Thorne is back on campus, but now he’s tackling the teacher shortage instead of opponents. Since graduating 15 year ago, Thorne has taught history, coached high school football and even co-authored a children's book. Now, he's helping the College of Education recruit more students to the teaching profession.

Teacher in clasroom with student

A teacher's path home

January 14, 2019, Kathryn McPhail

When Michelle Taylor walked across the stage at December’s commencement ceremony to accept her master’s degree, she culminated a journey of more than 7,300 miles and three countries. And though she didn’t step foot on campus during her two years in the Master of Education in Teaching program, she felt strongly about attending graduation.

Aalia Soherwardy

Fast track to success

December 14, 2018, Alyssa Yancey

The BARSC-MD program, a joint initiative between the University of South Carolina Honors College and the USC School of Medicine, allows a select group of students to complete an undergraduate degree and their medical degree in just seven years. The students receive conditional acceptance to medical school as freshmen, and then enter medical school after their third year of undergraduate coursework.

Creative degree programs

USC Creativity

December 03, 2018, Megan Sexton

The university has established several new degree programs that illustrate creative curricula by adding innovation, an entrepreneurial approach or other types of value to traditional degrees.

Tayler Metivier

Aloha

December 03, 2018, Allen Wallace

Passion for her chosen field combined with hard work took Tayler Metivier to the place every student wants to be: approaching graduation with multiple job offers in hand. She leaves the University of South Carolina this month with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management and a job in Maui, Hawaii, as an operations corporate management trainee with Hyatt Hotels.

Bob Johnston

Creating a new path

October 31, 2018, Page Ivey

When Bob Johnston found himself out of work during the economic downtown of 2008, he hired on with a temp agency. He was sent to a logistics company in his hometown of Laurens where he did such a good job, the company offered him a salaried management position — his first. He knew he was going to need to up his game to succeed. Enter Palmetto College.

Bobby Donaldson

Telling the untold

October 24, 2018, Megan Sexton

As he conducted research for the civil rights history project Columbia SC 63, history professor Bobby Donaldson started discovering largely untold stories about the struggle as it played out in Columbia. The material he and his students unearthed and the people he met helped guide the formation of the South Carolina Center for Civil Rights History and Research.

Sport management students interning at Williams-Brice

UofSC tops U.S. in sport science for third straight year

October 19, 2018, Allen Wallace

The University of South Carolina’s sport science programs are making an impact around the world, and the success has earned global recognition. The programs are ranked No. 1 in the United States for the third consecutive year in the Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments.

Karen Worthy

A Worthy example

October 12, 2018

If you’re an upper division nursing student at the University of South Carolina, Karen Worthy has seen your file. For her dedication to her students, the five-time Carolina graduate is a 2018 Clinical Teaching Award winner.

Shelley Jones

A guide to online education

October 05, 2018, Page Ivey

English professor Shelley Jones might be the best friend Palmetto College students have, developing extracurricular classes that basically teach those returning students how to be students again — and how to avail themselves to all the digital resources. Her efforts were recognized with the 2018 John J. Duffy Excellence in Teaching Award.