Recent Posts

Watershed Ecology Center Staff Honored for Work with Georgia Adopt-A-Stream

April 3, 2017 at 7:21 am

Jack Turner

Two University of South Carolina Upstate staff members were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program during its annual Confluence Volunteer Conference, March 24-25, 2017.

Dr. Jack Turner, director of the Watershed Ecology Center, and Beth Button, adult education outreach coordinator for the center, received the Beyond Borders Award. The award is presented each year to individuals who participate in the Adopt-A-Stream program in an adjacent state.

Beth Button

As part of their contributions to the program, Turner and Button, along with other volunteers have been monitoring at least 20 sites on streams throughout Spartanburg County.

“It’s been rewarding to see the difference that we have already made in our community,” Turner said. “We’ve been able to identify a problem and then to notify the appropriate people to have things cleaned up. Our work is important for the long-term life of our community.”

Turner founded the University’s Watershed Ecology Center in 1999. Turner’s vision for the center includes scientific research on the watershed ecology of the region, community outreach and educational programming for local schools. The center is privately funded and is supported by local businesses, water utilities, and grants.

Publication Brings Attention to USC Upstate Faculty Member’s Paper

March 21, 2017 at 6:54 am

Jack Cheng

An economics paper co-authored by a University of South Carolina Upstate faculty member has won attention in England, and could influence thinking about the effect of mortgage spreads on the economy.

Jack Cheng, an assistant professor of economics at the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, said “mortgage spread” refers to the difference between the mortgage interest rate and the interest rate for government treasury bonds.

The spread reflects “the risk premium and other factors that are related to the mortgage market,” Cheng explained.

Cheng and the Bank of England’s Ching-Wai “Jeremy” Chiu co-authored the Bank of England Staff Working Paper No. 634: Nonlinearities of Mortgage Spreads Over the Business Cycle, which was then featured in an article on the Central Banking website.

In their research, the authors demonstrated that unexpected changes in the mortgage spread have a greater effect on the economy during times of recession than during expansion.

“The paper has vital policy implications,” Cheng said. “It’s saying that by influencing mortgage spreads … the Mortgage Backed Security Purchase Program (implemented by the Federal Reserve in 2009) would likely have a greater impact on the economy when the economy is in a recession.”

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s website, the program “was intended to provide support to mortgage lending and housing markets and to foster improved conditions in financial markets more generally.”

With publication by Central Banking, Cheng said the research is being recognized for its importance.

“It means that the research is important, and I hope that the results from this study will provide important insights to policy makers and help them implement appropriate policies when dealing with future crises,” Cheng said.

Jim Charles Presents at SW Popular/American Culture Association Conference

February 24, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Charles JimJim Charles, education, presented a paper titled “Out of the Cupboard and into the Classroom:  Children and the American Indian Literary Experience” at the SW Popular/American Culture Association Conference on February 16, 2017 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

14 Faculty Members Receive RISE Awards

February 20, 2017 at 6:22 am

Congratulations to 14 members of the USC Upstate faculty who have received RISE awards.

The RISE, or Research Initiative for Summer Engagement, program provides financial support to pay for summer salary, research supplies, travel related to research and undergraduate student support.

2017 USC Upstate RISE Recipients:

Recipient Name Project Title
Jack Cheng Nonlinearities of Mortgage Spreads over the Business Cycles
Michael Dinger IT Role Embeddedness: Testing A Theory of IT Professional Behavior
Ann Hoover The Role of Power in the Backlash Effect
Rebecca Mueller Learning by Doing: The Impact of Question Development and Implementation on Teachers’ Understanding of Compelling Questions
Allison Pingley Czeching out of Communism
Nolan Stolz Recording Two Original Orchestral Compositions: “From The Hudson” and “Prairie View”
Matthew Placek Online News and Citizen Support for Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe
Nicole Richardson Through a Glass Darkly: Ye Shaoyuan’s Search for His Deceased Daughter in a Late Ming Séance
Kimberly Shorter Effects of MTHFR Function on Epigenetics-Related Genes’ Expression in Folic Acid-Treated SH-SY5Y Cells
Ning Yu Developing an Open Source Deep Learning Tool Based on a Novel Auto-Encoder Algorithm
Emily Kofoed Silence at the North Pole: Russia’s Rhetorical Strategy for Arctic Sovereignty: An Analysis of International Political Discourse in an Information Age
Tina Herzberg Case Studies of Established Print Readers Learning and Using Braille and Technology in School and Home
Calvin Odhiambo Black-White Racial Disparity in Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among People with HIV-AIDS in America: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Felicia Jenkins Physical Activity and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in African American Women

To see a list of all 35 faculty members recognized in the USC system.

Vince Connors Receives Commemorative Medal at end of Fulbright Fellowship

January 5, 2017 at 8:02 am
From left, Professor RNDr. Pavol Sovák, rector of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, presents Dr. Vince Connors with the Commemorative Medal of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice on December 19, 2016.

From left, Professor RNDr. Pavol Sovák, rector of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, presents Dr. Vince Connors with the Commemorative Medal of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice on December 19, 2016.

Congratulations to Vincent A. Connors, Ph.D., professor of Biology at USC Upstate, who received the 2016 Commemorative Medal of the Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice December 14, 2016.

Professor RNDr. Pavol Sovák, Rector of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, presented Connors with the award for his contributions to science and education at the university during the completion of his sabbatical stay.

Connors traveled to the Slovak Republic during the fall to teach graduate seminars and classes in Symbiosis and Parasitism at Pavel Jozef Safarik University in Kosice. He also conducted research on fish parasitic diseases at the Slovak Academy of Science’s Institute of Parasitology, also in Kosice. His teaching and research focused on parasitic diseases of humans and wildlife, both of which are extensions of his long-term studies of a wide range of parasites, ranging from a deadly human pathogen to parasites that effect the performance and health of economically important fish along the East coast.

Connors was named the 2015-2016 recipient of the USC Upstate Annual Award for Faculty Excellence in Scholarly and/ or Creative Pursuits. His scholarly focus is on immunobiology, with special emphasis on host-parasite relationships. His research holds significant potential for advancing studies in human parasitology and also contributes to our knowledge of the natural environment of coastal South Carolina. Based on an invaluable body of data collected over decades of meticulous fieldwork, Connor’s interpretations and analytical insights have contributed greatly to complex, large-scale studies that monitor the vitality of our regional ecosystem.

Recent Publications, Presentations, Lectures and Awards for Vince Connors

January 5, 2017 at 7:30 am
Vince Connors

Vince Connors

Congratulations to Vince Connors on his most recent publications, presentations and lectures. Connors also was recognized as a Fulbright Scholar and for Excellence in Scholarly/ Creative Pursuits.

Recent Publication:

Taliercio, M. A., T. L. Darden, V. A. Connors, W. A. Roumillat, I. de Buron. 2016. Striped Bass, Morone saxatilis: A New Host for a Parasite of Potential Public Health Concern. Comparative Parasitology. 83(1):29-35.

Recent Presentations of Research:

Kristina M. Hill-Spanik, Isaure de Buron, Vincent A. Connors, Mary Frances Babrowicz, and William A. Roumillat. 2015. Donax variabilis: a vector for a digenean of the Florida Pompano, Trachinus carolinus. Presented at the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists, June 6-10, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A.

 Recent Invited Lectures and Research Seminars Presented (5 total):

Invertebrate immunity and precursors to the vertebrate immune system. Univerzity veterinárskeho lekárstva a farmácie v Košiciach, Slovakia (University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Slovakia). November 24, 2016.

The World is Flat: That’s why I study snails. Department of Biology, Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Safarika V Kosiciach, Kosice, Slovakia, November 9, 2016.

Parasite impacts on hosts: beyond pathophysioloy. Department of Biology, Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Safarika V Kosiciach, Kosice, Slovakia, November 3, 2016.

Factors involved in modulating the host’s immune response in the schistosome-snail interaction. Parazitologický ústav SAV, Košice, Slovensko (Institute of Parasitology, SAS, Košice, Slovak Republic). October 24, 2016

The evolution of the immune system – how certain invertebrates respond to pathogens. Department of Biology, Univerzita Pavla Jozefa Safarika V Kosiciach, Kosice, Slovakia, September 28, 2016.

Publishing Do’s and Don’ts. Parazitologický ústav SAV, Hlinkova 3, Košice 040 01 Slovensko (Institute of Parasitology, Slovak Academy of Science), Hlinkova 3, Košice 040 01 Slovak Republic). December 15, 2016.

Recent Awards and Fellowships Obtained (2 total):

Fulbright Scholar Award, 2016-2017. To do cooperative instruction between the Pavla Jozef Safarik University and the Slovak Academy of Science’s Institute of Parasitology in the Slovak Republic and to do research on fish parasitic diseases.

Recipient, 2015-2016 Award for Excellence in Scholarly/ Creative Pursuits. USC Upstate’s highest award for excellence in scholarly accomplishments.

Recipient: 2016 Commemorative Medal of the Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice. Awarded by the rector of the Pavol Jozef Safarik University, Kosice, Slovakia, for contribution to the development of the University via the completion of a Fulbright Fellowship. Awarded December 14, 2016.




Kirk Neely Honored by Kiwanis Club of Spartanburg

December 2, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Adjunct faculty member Dr. Kirk Neely has been honored by the Kiwanis Club of Spartanburg as Citizen of the Year.

Neely was honored Dec. 1 at a ceremony held at the Piedmont Club. He has taught religion courses at USC Upstate since 2012.

Congratulations, Dr. Neely!

Read more about the award.

Love Named Interim Dean for School of Education at USC Upstate

August 1, 2016 at 1:53 pm
Dr. Charles Love

Dr. Charles Love

Dr. Charles Love has been named interim dean of the School of Education at the University of South Carolina Upstate and began his duties on July 1. Love previously served in this role from 1999 to 2012.

During his 30-plus year career, he held a variety of positions in public schools including roles in the classroom and administration. He was instrumental in developing programs at USC Upstate that instill diversity into the community, including the College of Educational Enrichment for students with developmental disabilities, the Teaching Man Program for preparing minority males to become strong teachers/leaders, and the Diversity Conference, which is a pre-service teacher collaborative bringing students from various backgrounds together to discuss diverse issues and perspectives while learning from one another about cultural issues. Love is a co-founder of the Scholar’s Academy, a partnership between Spartanburg County Schools and USC Upstate, that allows students to take college courses and advanced high school classes over four years while still participating in classes and extracurricular activities at their own schools.

Love earned a Ph.D. from University of North Carolina Chapel Hills, a M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina Charlotte and a B.S. from Winston-Salem State University.

For more information contact Dr. Charles Love, dean of the School of Education at USC Upstate at (864) 503-5733 or

Mary Anne Fitzpatrick Takes Helm at USC Upstate as Interim Chancellor

August 1, 2016 at 11:17 am
Chancellor Mary Anne Fitzpatrick

Chancellor Mary Anne Fitzpatrick

Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., University of South Carolina’s vice president for system planning, began serving as the interim chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate on Monday, August 1. She replaces Chancellor Thomas F. Moore whose resignation took effect July 30.

“I am honored to be serving as the interim chancellor at USC Upstate and to be entrusted with leading USC Upstate during this transitional time period,” said Fitzpatrick. “USC Upstate is of great importance to the state of South Carolina with its special metropolitan mission to serve the Upstate region. For more than a decade, USC Upstate has been ranked as one of the best institutions in the Southeastern United States. I have a great foundation to build upon and tremendous talent to work with—there is an innovative strength and a collaborative spirit evident on our campus. It will be my privilege to guide and nurture that spirit.”

Fitzpatrick, an Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor of Psychology, has served as vice president of system planning for nearly a year, responsible for ensuring the improvement of quality, coordination and effectiveness and long-range planning for the statewide system, which has nearly 50,000 students across eight campuses.

In the 10 years leading up to system planning role, Fitzpatrick served as the dean of USC’s College of Arts and Sciences, directing the recruitment of 300 new tenure-track faculty and overseeing efforts to open new centers, institutes and programs and a new School of Earth, Ocean and Environment.

As an associate vice president and vice provost, she spearheaded USC’s On Your Time initiative, which reengineered the academic calendar to include a third semester option during the summer that allows students to graduate sooner or pursue co-op, internship and study abroad opportunities.

USC President Harris Pastides, anticipates having a new chancellor in place by the first of the year, said Fitzpatrick is the perfect choice to lead USC Upstate during the transition.

“Dr. Fitzpatrick will make the leadership of USC Upstate her full-time mission during the coming months,” Pastides said. “She will not simply be a caretaker but will build upon USC Upstate’s momentum, advance the forward progress and ensure a strong foundation for a permanent chancellor. Her familiarity with the system and the USC Upstate campus, as well as her skills as gifted administrator and higher education leader, will prove invaluable during this time.”

USC Upstate offers more than 40 bachelor’s degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and teacher education, and master’s degrees in education, informatics, and nursing. Among the fastest-growing universities in South Carolina, USC Upstate is a diverse and dynamic community of 6,000 students from across the Upstate, 36 states, and 15 countries.

Classes begin on Thursday, August 18 where nearly 800 new freshman students will be added to the student enrollment and 25 new full-time faculty members will begin teaching at USC Upstate.

“I look forward to meeting and interacting with students, faculty, staff, and alumni over the next few months as we work together to make USC Upstate an even stronger institution in the next decade,” Fitzpatrick, who will address the nearly 400 faculty and staff members at the annual University Day on Wednesday, August 17 at 8 a.m.

For more information, contact Tammy Whaley, assistant vice chancellor for university communications, at (864) 503-52100 or

Bridget Kirkland’s “Penny Candy” Selected for SECAC Juried Exhibition

July 18, 2016 at 9:40 am
Penny Candy

Nine pieces make the 7 feet by 6 feet work comprised of digital photos of beach glass.

Bridget Kirkland’s “Penny Candy” is one of 59 works selected for the 2016 SECAC Juried Exhibition September 1 through October 22 at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University.

More than 103 arts applied and more than 300 pieces of art were juried.

Kirkland is an assistant professor of graphic design at USC Upstate.