Stories for Alumni

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.

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.

Jay Pou holding horseshoe brick that says his award

Beyond the classroom

July 29, 2019, Caleigh McDaniel

Jay Pou is the recipient of the 2019 M. Stuart Hunter Award for his exceptional teaching skills as a University 101 instructor. His ability to connect with his students and his multimedia approach to teaching helped him gain this recognition.

Tarak Patel

Addiction center expands medical students' knowledge

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.

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.

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.

Andrew Super

Graduating senior leaves legacy of HOPE for people with disabilities

May 06, 2019, Allen Wallace

Andrew Super will graduate from the University of South Carolina May 11, but earning his diploma might be the second most impressive thing he has accomplished during his college career. In the past two and a half years, he has helped provide numerous free prosthetic devices for children and veterans in need, through a company he co-founded.

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.

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.

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.

Miracle Kid Ellington Hewitt at Dance Marathon 2018

For the Kids

February 28, 2019, Allen Wallace

A year ago, University of South Carolina Dance Marathon made history, raising more than a million dollars for the kids at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital (then known as Palmetto Health). Just days after that success, they began working to do it again. That yearlong effort concludes Saturday with the student organization’s annual Main Event.

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.

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.

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.