Stories for Alumni

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COVID-19 impact: Pandemic alters health care landscape in SC

May 27, 2020, Tenell Felder

UofSC Today reached out to University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia alumni Dr. David Ford and Dr. Cedric Rivers for insight into how COVID-19 has impacted health care in South Carolina, as well as how the state might move forward in upcoming months. Both Ford and Rivers work at hospitals in Columbia, treating patients with COVID-19.

librarian with students at Wren High School

Passion for their profession lands SC librarians on Movers & Shakers list

May 26, 2020, Carol J.G. Ward

Having an impact on their students and communities, being more inclusive for underserved populations and encouraging a lifelong love of reading and learning are passions shared by three alumnae of the University of South Carolina’s School of Information Science who have been recognized as 2020 Movers & Shakers by Library Journal.

ruins of the lumber mill that are now visible on the shores of Lake Marion

Class of 2020: Honors senior's thesis project explores history of a former SC mill town

May 07, 2020, Carol J.G. Ward

When 89-year-old Richard Mims was just a boy in the 1930s, he remembers playing a game he called “Executive” in the abandoned offices of the Santee River Cypress Lumber Co. in Ferguson near his hometown of Eutawville, South Carolina. The once-thriving mill town now lies underwater, part of the region flooded to create Lake Marion. Mims shared his memories in an oral history recorded by South Carolina Honors College graduate Caldwell Loftis.

archival image of student protests in May 1970

50 years of May

April 27, 2020, Craig Brandhorst

A half century ago, against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and seismic shifts in American culture, the campus of the University of South Carolina became a battleground — between students and the administration, between a young generation and the establishment, between radically different worldviews. But the dramatic events of that spring, which came to be known as The Months of May, weren’t strictly destructive. The lessons of that era also changed lives and changed the university itself.

artwork depicting historic admissions requirements

Podcast Episode 4: Getting in, admission standards then and now

March 17, 2020, Chris Horn

How difficult was it to get admitted to the University of South Carolina in 1897? At that time, regrettably, only white students were admitted. Students also had to know grammar, geography, algebra, history — and Latin and Greek! Admission standards at the university have varied in the past two centuries. The bar for admission is a lot different than it was in 1897, but it guarantees that those who get in are ready to succeed.

Sali Christianson

Empowering Style

March 09, 2020, Marjorie Duffie

Moore School IMBA alumna Sali Christeson has combined her entrepreneurial talent with skills she learned at the University of South Carolina to shake up the women’s workwear world. Argent — her comfortable and bold apparel line — aims to “dropkick the glass ceiling.”

Julia Whitehead

UofSC alumna Julia Whitehead makes writer Kurt Vonnegut's legacy more accessible than ever

February 25, 2020, Craig Brandhorst

Indiana native Kurt Vonnegut, who died in 2007, was one of the country’s most celebrated writers, authoring such classics as Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions. But there was no place devoted to celebrating his work — until UofSC alumna Julia Whitehead got involved. Whitehead founded the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in 2011. Last year, the museum moved to a new space in downtown Indianapolis.

Illustration of the DNA helix.

Genetic counseling program produces impactful leaders

February 14, 2020, Margaret Gregory

Alumni of the genetic counseling program at University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia are making a major impact on their field. More than 25 percent of the nation's genetic counseling training programs have had School of Medicine alumni in leadership roles and five programs were founded by South Carolina graduates.

DC alumni club

Alumni club endows scholarship for D.C.-area students

December 17, 2019, Page Ivey

The DC Gamecocks are serious about celebrating their alma mater. They watch football games and participate in special events related to their days at the University of South Carolina. But, more recently, the alumni club, one of the larger ones outside of South Carolina, took on the goal of endowing a scholarship for students from the D.C. area, including Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Neema Patel and the Gibbs Family

Scholarship transforms heartbreak into hope

December 11, 2019, Margaret Gregory

In 2002, 8-year-old Wanda Gibbs died after being hit by a car at her bus stop. After her tragic passing, the community came together and launched a fundraising initiative to ensure Wanda’s memory would live on. Their efforts established the Wanda Gibbs Scholarship at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, which was awarded for the first time earlier this year.

James Cutsinger

Professor helped students find the light within

December 02, 2019, Chris Horn

Not many professors inspire lofty tribute. Some we forget and others are scarcely remembered. James Cutsinger, a religious studies professor who taught at the university for 37 years, earned the respect and admiration of students for decades while helping them to achieve the most noble of goals: the ability to think.

women's soccer celebrating with the SEC championship trophy
Dr. Patterson and patient

UofSC center brings health care to those in need

November 20, 2019, Margaret Gregory

In South Carolina, a majority of the 46 counties are considered to be medically underserved. The South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare is working to improve access to quality care through training programs that are helping grow the health care workforce.

Kathy Carroll

Alumna takes reins as president of national school librarians association

November 11, 2019, Megan Sexton

School librarian Kathy Carroll likes to be in the middle of the action and that’s where she finds herself every day, whether it’s helping students at Westwood High School in Blythewood or advocating for her profession as president-elect of the American Association of School Librarians.

School counselor works with child using play therapy

Play therapy helps students express their experiences and feelings

November 07, 2019, Kathryn McPhail

In the 21 years that she’s been a school counselor, Elizabeth Balthazor has worked with children whose emotional – and sometimes physical – wounds run deep. Two-thirds of children report at least one traumatic event by 16 years old, and one in seven children are abused. Before she can help, Balthazor must figure out what’s wrong and that can be hard with children who don’t fully know how to verbalize their trauma.

brick path near Gibbes Green

First-generation students, faculty and alumni reflect on their college experiences

November 05, 2019

Attending college is a transformative experience, offering students the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and experiences that lead them to a fuller life. We spoke to first-generation college students, faculty and alumni to learn about their experiences on campus and beyond.

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.

map of South Carolina with UofSC Alumnni mayor's cities pinned

Keys to the City

August 05, 2019, Craig Brandhorst and Megan Sexton

You don’t need a degree from the University of South Carolina to get elected mayor in the Palmetto State, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. This summer, Carolinian magazine traveled the state, from the Lowcountry to the Upstate, from the Midlands to the Pee Dee, interviewing South Carolina alumni who hold the esteemed office.

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.

Portrait of Diane Wise

The Long Run: Diane Wise

June 13, 2019, Page Ivey

They arrived in the 1970s, some after serving in Vietnam, some fresh out of high school or college. More than 40 years later, they still come to work at the University of South Carolina — some after officially “retiring.” TIMES spoke with a few of these long-term employees to see what keeps them coming back to work on campus, long after they could have settled into that place in the mountains or that home by the sea.

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.

portrait of Allen Stokes at work

The Long Run: Allen Stokes

May 29, 2019, Page Ivey

They arrived in the 1970s, some after serving in Vietnam, some fresh out of high school or college. More than 40 years later, they still come to work at the University of South Carolina — some after officially “retiring.” TIMES spoke with a few of these long-term employees to see what keeps them coming back to work on campus, long after they could have settled into that place in the mountains or that home by the sea.