Stories for Alumni

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.

McCutchen House

McCutchen House gets cooking

August 30, 2018, Allen Wallace

Beginning Sept. 6, McCutchen House will be open for lunch Tuesday-Friday and for dinner each Thursday night. The on-campus, student-run restaurant offers a variety of dining experiences while serving as a hands-on training ground for hospitality management majors in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management.

Wendy Bashnan

A Gamecock abroad

August 01, 2018, Chris Horn

Wendy Bashnan’s career began in her rural S.C. hometown 25 years ago, but quickly sprouted wings. Since 1994, she’s worked in Washington, D.C., Miami, and New York, and has spent more than half of her professional life abroad in South America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

New teacher works with students

New retention program earns A+ from teachers

July 19, 2018, Kathryn McPhail

A new College of Education program aimed at increasing teacher retention in South Carolina proves successful in its first year - with 100 percent of participating teachers returning to the classroom next school year. This fall, 50 additional teachers will enter the program, and a $600,000 grant will help the college research the effectiveness of teacher recruitment and retention efforts statewide.

David Dutka

From custodian to teacher

June 07, 2018, Kathryn McPhail

In May, David Dutka earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education through Palmetto College, the University of South Carolina’s online degree completion program. In August, he will begin his first year as a teacher at Midway Elementary School – the same school where he repaired pipes and buffed floors as a custodian for several years.

Scott Salters

No dream too big

May 09, 2018, Page Ivey

Scott Salters thought his dream of being a physician in his hometown of Greenville — helping folks and being a role model for other young black men — was too big a dream. Now after two years at Carolina, Salters graduates in May with leadership distinction, a long list of accomplishments and activities, and a plan to attend medical school.

South Carolina Sunset

Building a healthier South Carolina

April 20, 2018, Alyssa Yancey

The staff of the SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare at the USC School of Medicine is working to improve access to care in rural South Carolina. Created with state funding in 2017, the center has a number of initiatives underway, including a loan program to encourage health profession students to practice in rural settings, research grant programs and partnerships helping put providers on the ground in critical need areas.