Stories for Alumni

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.

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.

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.

portrait of Lee Goodman

The Long Run: Lee Goodman

August 01, 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.

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.

Tarak Patel

Patient-centered approach deepens medical students' understanding of addiction

June 18, 2019, Alyssa Yancey

Tarak Patel, a second-year medical student at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia, had witnessed the devastation of addiction while volunteering at hospitals and free clinics, but he only had a surface-level understanding of the complexities of the issue. That changed earlier this summer when Patel participated in the Summer Institute for Medical Students (SIMS) at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Center City, Minnesota.

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.

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.

portrait of Donald Baldwin at work

The Long Run: Donald Baldwin

May 21, 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.

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.

New music explores Confederate monuments

'Red Hot Sun Turning Over'

March 26, 2019, Megan Sexton

A new composition, "Red Hot Sun Turning Over," by School of Music assistant professor David Garner uses music, sounds and images from the Civil War era and the early 20th century to explore the story of Confederate monuments. It will be premiered Sunday (March 31) at the Koger Center.

Students working at Colonial Life Arena during a South Carolina basketball game

March Madness in Columbia

March 01, 2019, Allen Wallace

This month, for the first time in almost 50 years, March Madness returns to Columbia, South Carolina, with the city chosen as a host site for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. As fan excitement builds, faculty in the University of South Carolina’s sport and entertainment management department share their expertise on what the event will mean for the city and the campus community.

Messie's Closet storefront in West Columbia

Popping tags

February 21, 2019, Mia Grimm

Walking into Messie’s Closet, a recently opened contemporary consignment store in West Columbia, is like entering a whole new world covered in brightly colored fabrics. Its curator is Hawa Lukulay, a 23-year-old alumna of the University of South Carolina, who has an eye for detail and a gift for memorizing brands.

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.

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.

Dueling laptops

The search is on

October 04, 2018, Mia Grimm and Catherine Jobe

Today, finding a job for students is all about networking and using technology to help connect to the next employer. To figure out which platform is best for your job hunt we’ve highlighted the similarities and differences between two of the biggest job sites used by students, LinkedIn and Handshake.

education course at USC

Filling the void

September 18, 2018, Kathryn McPhail

South Carolina is in critical need of special educators, with special education vacancies making up the largest share – nearly 20 percent - of unfilled teaching positions last year. To tackle this growing issue, the College of Education is launching a new certificate program for both early childhood education undergraduate students as well as current teachers.