USC Upstate Faulty Focus

Canino, Hauptman and Hernandez-Laroche to Present at Global Education Conference

July 21, 2015 at 3:44 pm
Catherine Canino

Catherine Canino

Dr. Catherine Canino, director of the Honors Program; Dr. Samantha Hauptman, assistant professor of criminal justice; and Dr. Araceli Hernandez-Laroche, assistant professor of French, will present at the Global Education Conference at Georgia Southern University in September. The title of their panel is “Teaching Honors Cross-Divisional and Active-Learning Courses: Terrorism & Torture from a Global Perspective,” and it will explore innovative methods of collaborative teaching in cross-divisional honors courses using Active Learning principles.

Canino will discuss the USC Upstate Honors Program and its mission, study abroad opportunities, and service learning responsibilities. Hauptman will discuss the need for criminal

Samantha Hauptman

Samantha Hauptman

justice majors to be more concerned about terrorism and immigration and how we can bring the community to our classroom through service learning. Hernandez-Laroche will discuss how the U.S. foreign language deficit affects national security and how we can engage students in intercultural awareness through Active Learning.  Both Hauptman and Hernandez-Laroche are teaching an Honors Active Learning Class on Terrorism and Torture in Spring 2016, and they we will all discuss how these ideas play out in the classroom.

“This is a unique opportunity to promote USC Upstate and the Honors Program and it will also be the first time that faculty will be presenting on the Active Learning Grant outside of USC Upstate,” said Canino, referring to the $2.2 million Title III grant that USC Upstate received last year from the U.S. Department of Education.

Araceli Hernandez-Laroche

Araceli Hernandez-Laroche

This conference, attended by officials from the U.S. Department of Education and by faculty and administrators from around the country, provides a venue to exchange ideas with other educational professionals on how to promote intercultural awareness and global citizenship in academia and local communities.

“It is quite an honor for three USC Upstate faculty members to be chosen as presenters among such a select group scholars and professionals who will be promoting cross-cultural and global educational awareness,” said Dr. Clif Flynn, interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs.

For more information, contact Dr. Catherine Canino, director of the Honors Program, at (864) 503-5657 or

Henderson Strives to Inspire, Encourage Others

June 11, 2015 at 12:24 pm
Dawn Henderson

Dawn Henderson

Inspiration, by definition, means to motivate, to encourage. It is a trait which emboldens one to also “pay it forward” in that, typically, as one has been inspired, he or she then inspires others.

Such is the story of Dr. Dawn Henderson, director of the RN-BSN program at the Mary Black School of Nursing, Greenville Campus.
“I was inspired to teach by a faculty member who encouraged me while working on my RN-BSN,” she said. “I want to inspire nurses to be the best they can be; to become educators; to look at research; to become leaders; to change the world.”
Drawn to USC Upstate because of the strong RN-BSN program, Henderson found that she also
had a passion to aid the adult learner which formed a natural fit for her tenure at MBSON.
Over the course of her career, she has seen numerous changes. Through the years, however, her
focus has always been on doing what she can to help students succeed. Technology, in particular,
has made a huge impact in helping her accomplish this goal.
“When I first started teaching, we gave students a large volume of paper to supplement course,”
Henderson noted. “Thanks to technology, I can direct students to supplemental information. Use
of technology makes it easier to provide the exact assistance a student needs instead of just
sending an e-mail.”
In addition, technology now affords her the advantage of connecting one-on-one with students
via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom and Adobe Breeze, as well as provide “live” course orientations.
Communicating with students during their undergraduate years and beyond is a priority
for Henderson, as she values staying in touch once they’ve graduated to keep up with their
accomplishments, advancements in the profession, and to hear of how they’re incorporating many
of the lessons learned in her courses.
“I want to provide students with the opportunity to learn through obtaining knowledge that can
be applied to their nursing practice in a way that increases critical thinking skills resulting in the
highest level of nursing practice in any healthcare setting,” emphasized Henderson.
Believing that each person can have an effect on everyone they meet is an outlook Henderson
hopes she’s sharing with her students; an outlook designed to inspire and encourage in the ways
she was.

USC Upstate Child Advocacy Studies Focuses on Prevention

June 11, 2015 at 12:22 pm

As the Spartanburg community sees an increase in child abuse cases, USC Upstate is focusing on prevention.

In an interview with the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Dr. Jennifer Parker, director of the Child Advocacy Studies Program, talks about the launch of the University’s Child Protection Training Center that includes a mock house with simulated crime scenes and a mock courtroom. The center will provide students and professionals with hands-on simulated training.

Read more in the Herald-Journal.

Scott Senger Recognized for Contributions to ECHL

June 11, 2015 at 12:20 pm

USC Upstate strength and conditioning coach Scott Senger was recognized Wednesday by the East Coast Hockey League with the Ryan Birmingham Memorial Award.

The award honors on-ice officials for contributions and dedication to the league officiating staff and is named for linesman Ryan Birmingham who tragically lost his life in an automobile accident in May 2007.

Senger began officiating in North Dakota during the 1988-89 season at the age of 17.

Read more about Senger on the ECHL website.

Frieda Davison’s Newest Book, “More Than A Name,” Honors 641 Spartanburg County Veterans

May 25, 2015 at 12:25 pm
Davison Frieda 2013

Frieda Davison

Frieda Patrick Davison and and the publication of her most recent book, “More Than a Name: The Duncan Park Veterans’ Memorial,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 21, 2015 in the University Readiness Center.

Davison, dean of the library at USC Upstate since 2000, researched the people and the stories behind the more than 641 names listed on the war memorial at Duncan Park.

It was a project that she committed herself to completing in 2008, after sitting at a Memorial Day service at Duncan Park. As the names of the veterans were called out, Davison found herself turning to those in the audience and asking, “ ‘who was he?’,” and “ ‘how did he die?’ ” The response was, “I don’t know.”

“This weighed heavily on my heart,” Davison said. “I kept thinking that somewhere somebody must have all of this information.”

Davison was convinced each member of the military was “More Than a Name.” With the support and help of her co-researcher and late husband David, the research began on what is now a two-volume publication.

Read more about Davison’s book in the Herald-Journal.



USC Upstate Honors Three Faculty Members For Excellence In The Classroom And For Research

May 13, 2015 at 11:16 am

Three University of South Carolina Upstate faculty members were honored on May 5 at the commencement ceremony when 832 students received their degrees.

The USC Upstate Excellence in Teaching and Advising Award recognizes sustained excellence in undergraduate instruction and academic advisement. Students may nominate faculty members who teach six or more credit hours during the semester prior to when the award is given and are permanent track faculty members.

Johnson LisaDr. Lisa Johnson, director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, and Jeff Smith, instructor of management, are the 2015 recipients of the USC Upstate Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards.

Johnson, who joined the faculty in 2006, has developed programs on campus and in the community to introduce the field of Women’s and Gender Studies as an exciting set of critical thinking skills about gender and power in personal relationships, politics, workplaces, educational settings and media culture.

“Dr. Johnson consistently delivers high-quality performance in the classroom and continuously refines her teaching skills, including participation in the Title III Active Learning Fellowship this spring. She has developed several innovative courses for the Women’s and Gender Studies minor, such as Girls Studies and Feminist Disability Studies. Students value her expertise and mentorship on undergraduate research projects and applications to graduate school,” said Dr. Dirk Schlingmann, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Foregrounding independent research and academic writing skills, Johnson has supervised 17 student conference presentations at local and regional gender studies conferences since 2006. She was also selected as the 2015 recipient of the system-wide USC Women’s and Gender Studies teaching award based on her commitment to integrated learning and civic engagement. She founded the first Triota Women’s and Gender Studies honors chapter in the USC system in 2013 and has inducted seven members in the past two years.

Smith JeffSmith has been teaching classes in entrepreneurship, finance and accounting at the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics since 2008. In addition, he has 20 years of experience in the accounting, banking and the real estate development sectors, and has owned and operated several small businesses.

“Being an effective teacher, advisor, mentor and motivator requires one to think outside the box of conventional pedagogy; to go beyond the norms of typical classroom engagement; and to strive for excellence from students, the institution, the college and themselves,” said Dr. Frank Rudisill, dean of the Johnson College of Business and Economics. “Jeff Smith is this type of teacher. He is always outside the box, continually searching for better ways to educate and prepare students to be effective in the business world and constantly asking “are we teaching what our students need to know?”

Smith teaches the New Business Enterprise class where students learn the key steps in how to start a new business and develop plans for potential businesses. Since 2008, at least 15 businesses have been established from plans developed in his class. To date, these businesses have sales that exceed $60 million annually and employ more than 500 people.

The Annual Award for Faculty Excellence in Scholarly and/or Creative Pursuits recognizes an individual who has distinguished himself or herself by scholarly or creative activities during the preceding year. Faculty members are invited to submit their research and/or creative activities to be considered for the award.

Beer AndrewDr. Andrew Beer, associate professor of psychology, is the 2015 recipients of the Annual Award for Faculty Excellence in Scholarly and/or Creative Pursuits. By developing new research methods and applying them to fundamental questions about the ways we understand the personality traits of others, Beer has earned an international reputation as a leading scholar and researcher in the field of personality psychology. In the past three years, he has published five articles in top journals and been invited to give addresses to national and international audiences at Wake Forest University and at the European Conference on Personality Psychology in Italy. He has been honored with a position as consulting editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the most prestigious journal in the field, where he influences the direction of the field by reviewing manuscripts by contributors worldwide.

“Through this research, Dr. Beer is changing understandings of the impressions we make of others and ourselves—in marriages, interviews, social situations, and the wide range of personal encounters that shape our lives,” said Dr. Celena E. Kusch, co-chair of the Committee for Faculty Excellence.

At the most basic level, Beer asks how people know and judge others based on first impressions. His research explores how we determine the openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, loyalty, and other traits of strangers from just a brief encounter, a photo, a video, or even a description. His work has also concluded that we make those determinations more accurately when consulting together in pairs or small groups, but that our individual judgments are just as effective as those we make in groups of five or more.

“We are tremendously proud of the accomplishments our faculty members make in their important roles as scholars, researchers, artists, experts, and leaders in their fields,” said Chancellor Tom Moore. “Their contributions both in and out of the classrooms are what makes this a great University.”

Meindl, Nichols Honored During Student Affairs Banquet at Greenville Campus

May 11, 2015 at 11:09 am

A faculty member and a student at the Greenville campus were honored during the Student Affairs Banquet held in April.

Rosie Meindl-Grvl Student Advocate AwardRosie Meindl, administrative assistant at the Greenville Campus, received the Greenville Student Advocate Award. This award is presented to the staff or faculty member who displays leadership in areas of advocacy for students pursuing academic programs through USC Upstate at the University Center in Greenville.

Recipients of this award have demonstrated commitment to student initiatives that reflect the unique nature and characteristics of students on the Greenville Campus. Students see these individuals as encouragers, mentors and the “go-to people” when they need that little nudge to get through rough spots or to celebrate little accomplishments toward their goals.

Jeris Nichols-Grvl Student Leadership AwardJeris Nichols received the Greenville Student Leadership Award. Presented to students who show commitment, dedication and leadership within student organizations on the USC Upstate Greenville Campus, recipients of this award participate in campus programs, exhibit leadership within their organizations, engage in community service and embody the Spartan Spirit.

Summer Faculty Innovation Grants Awarded at USC Upstate

April 21, 2015 at 10:21 am

Ten faculty members at the University of South Carolina Upstate have been awarded Summer Faculty Innovation Grants thanks to a new initiative funded by the USC Upstate Foundation. Grants of up to $5,000 were available for curriculum innovations that might include interdisciplinary and cross-divisional courses and programs, new service learning models, innovative instructional concepts, and responses to discovered educational needs across the Upstate.

“This was a very competitive process, with 20 very strong applications submitted for the 10 grants,” said Dr. Clif Flynn, associate vice chancellor for faculty development and director of graduate studies. “The selected proposals represent a range of exciting innovations that have great potential for positively impacting teaching and learning at USC Upstate. I want to thank all who applied, the faculty members who served on the selection committee, and Chancellor Moore and the USC Upstate Foundation for making these grants possible.”

Selected to receive the inaugural Summer Faculty Innovation Grants are:

  • Lola Bradley, reference librarian, and Bree Kirsch, reference librarian: “Turning LIBR 201 into a Hybrid Course Using a Flipped Classroom Model and Incorporating Service-Learning”
  • Chase DeHan, assistant professor of economics: “Developing a Flipped Classroom for Finance 363”
  • Samantha Hauptman, assistant professor of criminal justice, and Lynn McMillan, instructor of child advocacy: “Childhood Trauma: Potential Pathway to the Criminal Justice System”(interdisciplinary course)
  • David Marlow, associate professor of linguistics: “International ESOL Service-Learning for Diversity and Understanding”
  • Tish Oney, assistant professor of music: “New Course Development: Music of Black Americans”
  • Allison Pingley, assistant professor of political science: “Developing Political Behavior course as Service-Learning Course”
  • Araceli Hernandez-Laroche, assistant professor of French, and Samantha Hauptman, assistant professor of criminal justice: ”The Twin Ills of Terrorism and Torture: A Global Perspective” (interdisciplinary course)
  • Tom Rogers, assistant professor of engineering technology management: “Creating a Fully Asynchronous Lab for EMTG 320L: Engineering Cost Analysis Lab”
  • Sharon T. Smith, instructor of nursing: “Integrating Second Life into the Childbearing and Women’s Health Curriculum”
  • Rachel Snow, associate professor of art history: Spartanburg Art Museum Service-Learning Seminar”

“The Foundation Board is delighted to establish $50,000 in Faculty Innovation Grant Funds to support curriculum innovation by University faculty,” said Steve Harvey ’80, president of the USC Upstate Foundation. “These grants will allow faculty members to increase their engagement in experimentation and collaboration designing more engaging and effective learning experiences for students. Ultimately, it will be our students who benefit from the teaching advances made possible by the cutting-edge efforts of the faculty.”

Jim Charles, School of Education, Presents at National Conference of the Popular and American Culture Association

April 6, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Charles JimOn April 2, 2015 Jim Charles, School of Education, presented “‘Again the Far Morning’: New Poems by N. Scott Momaday” at the 45th Annual National Conference of the Popular and American Culture Association in New Orleans, LA.

National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site Receives Funding Now Accepting Student Applications

March 31, 2015 at 11:16 am

Pilgram MelisaDr. Melissa Pilgrim, associate professor of biology at the University of South Carolina Upstate, and Dr. J Vaun McArthur, senior research scientist at the University of Georgia, were recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant to establish a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site at the Savannah River Ecology Lab (SREL).

The program will begin this summer and allow 10 student participants to engage in field and laboratory studies aimed at describing, understanding and predicting the fate of radionuclides in environmental systems, the impact of radionuclides on the environment, and biogeochemical and physiological processes by means of tracer studies. The program leverages SREL’s history of radioecology research in national and international arenas (e.g., Chernobyl and Fukushima) with the lab’s current analytical capabilities, access to natural and industrial field sites with a variety of contaminant histories, and custodianship of the only chronic low-dose experimental facility in the world. Active collaboration among faculty members, research scientists, and administrators at SREL, University of Georgia, University of South Carolina Upstate, University of South Carolina Aiken, and University of South Carolina is vital to the program’s success.

“The multi-university collaboration will allow for recruitment of a diverse group of undergraduate participants, facilitate continued mentorship of participants, and encourage regional partnerships,” said Pilgrim.

The dates for the summer program are May 18 – July 31. Applications are due by April 15, with selection of candidates by April 20. Selected applicants must accept by 24 April. Participants will be provided a stipend of $525 per week, as well as free housing, a small food allowance, and travel reimbursement (more details to be provided to selected participants). For more information and application materials, visit

For more information, contact Melissa Pilgrim, director of research and associate professor of biology at the University of South Carolina Upstate, at (864) 503-5781 or