Stories for Alumni

teacher with students in computer lab

Grant-funded initiative helps fill gaps amid SC's teacher shortage

January 14, 2020, Kathryn McPhail

More than 5,300 teachers left South Carolina public schools at the end of the 2018-19 school year. That seems like a staggering number, but it’s not an anomaly. It puts students at risk of missing out on the quality instruction they need and deserve, and the University of South Carolina’s College of Education is stepping in to help with a new initiative aimed at recruiting and retaining teachers.

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.

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.

A group of students surround the larger-than-life bronze Cocky statue, all of them flashing the spurs up hand sign.

UofSC welcomes increasingly diverse and talented class of students

August 20, 2019, Jeff Stensland

The approximately 8,700 students arriving in Columbia this week are part of the largest pool of new students ever enrolled at the University of South Carolina’s flagship campus. Preliminary enrollment numbers show the university also is increasing in diversity and serving more students from South Carolina than ever before, surpassing last year’s record and setting a new bar for academic achievement.

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.

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.

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.

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.

MLK Weekend at UofSC

The beloved community

January 17, 2019, Dana Woodward

The University of South Carolina’s MLK Weekend event series culminates Sunday, Jan. 20, with Freedom Rings, an artistic celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy. The university partnered with the Columbia nonprofit Auntie Karen Foundation to bring together Midlands musicians, artists and spoken word performers to honor the civil rights leader in an event designed to bring the audience to its feet.

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.

Marisa Green

Getting at the core of the issue

August 09, 2018, Kathryn McPhail

To increase diversity among South Carolina’s teachers while also tackling the growing teacher shortage, the College of Education is launching the Apple Core Initiative. Ten students, including Marisa Green, will take part in the pilot program which provides scholarships and support for underrepresented populations in South Carolina.

Dr. Todd Crump

Committed to Care

February 26, 2018, Alyssa Yancey

Students, faculty members and alumni from the USC School of Medicine are making a difference in the Midlands by volunteering at two local free medical clinics. Students also work to support The Free Medical Clinic financially through the Black Tie White Coat Gala, an annual fundraising event.

Tori Vaeth at hotel

The 'SEARCH' for purpose

January 12, 2018, Kathryn McPhail

A cherished, childhood friendship led Tori Vaeth to study special education at the University of South Carolina. Now, the College of Education double alumna is leading a program that’s training and placing young adults with intellectual disabilities in rewarding careers.

Dr. Ross

A thousand passions, 1 heartbeat

October 20, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

University of South Carolina College of Education alumnus and Chapin High School principal, Akil Ross, was named the 2018 National Principal of the Year on Friday, October 20. The honor is the culmination of a passionate career as an educator that began just a few miles away from our campus 16 years ago.

Lava flows in the Galapagos

Gamecocks in the Galápagos

October 16, 2017, Allen Wallace

For the second year in a row, UofSC is taking students to one of the rarest classrooms in the world: the Galapagos Islands. The cross-disciplinary study abroad program offers diverse lessons, but the overarching theme is sustainability.

Brandon Harrison in class

Advancing educational equity for African-American children

October 11, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

Rapping the words to the U.S. Constitution might seem odd — unless you’re a student in one of Brandon Harrison’s classes. Harrison, and other public school teachers, are collaborating with education professors here at Carolina to identify which methods work best when teaching African-American students.

Binda in Senegal

From refugee to global education advocate

September 22, 2017, Kathryn McPhail

At just 6 years old, Noella “Binda” Niati was forced to flee her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo, amid intense violence and political upheaval. More than two decades later, she is headed back to Africa to study ways to encourage children, especially girls, to stay in school longer.