USC Upstate Faulty Focus

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dr. Warren Carson Named Outstanding Alumnus at the University of North Carolina

October 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm
Dr. Warren Carson

Dr. Warren Carson

The University of South Carolina Upstate is pleased to announce Dr. Warren J. Carson has received the 2015 Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Award for Overall Achievement from the University of North Carolina.

The Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Award was established to recognize outstanding black alumni who have been stellar leaders within the University community and or within their local community. Carson will receive his award during the Light on the Hill Society Scholarship Awards Gala in Chapel Hill, N.C., on November 6, 2015.

Carson serves as the senior associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, chief diversity officer and Title IX coordinator at USC Upstate. In addition to his role as an administrator, he also teaches classes in English and African-American studies.

A Tryon, N.C., native, Carson earned his bachelor’s degree in English from UNC Chapel Hill in 1974. He continued his studies at Atlanta University, where he received his master’s degree in Afro-American Studies, and earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina.

Carson has been an educator for more than 40 years, 32 of which have been spent at USC Upstate. He serves nationally as chief reader for the College Board’s Advanced English Placement Literature and Composition exams. He is a past president of the College Language Association and managing editor for the CLA Journal, a scholarly journal devoted to the study of language and literature.

In 2014, Carson received USC Upstate’s Distinguished Service Award recognizing him for him numerous contributions during his tenure at the University. Throughout the years, Carson has received awards and accolades locally, regionally and nationally for his service and contributions to his community and to higher education.

Carson holds a lifetime membership in the UNC General Alumni Association, the College Language Association and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He also devotes much of his time to participating in church activities and civic affairs.

Goldberg and Mills Invited to Write About Democratic Education

October 2, 2015 at 1:50 pm
Stacey Mills '96

Stacey Mills ’96

The Association of American Colleges & Universities invited two University of South Carolina Upstate officials to write for one of its publications. Dr. Abraham Goldberg, associate professor of political science and co-director of the Office of Service- Learning and Community Engagement, and Mr. Stacey Mills, interim executive director of the Greenville Campus, are writing an article about democratic education at USC Upstate for Diversity and Democracy, which is an official publication of the AAC&U.  Their article will appear in a special issue dedicated to civic learning.

Goldberg Abraham

Abe Goldberg

Goldberg has also been invited to present on a panel of the Diversity and Democracy special edition at the AAC&U Annual Meeting in January in Washington, D.C.  The 2016 Annual Meeting will focus on higher education’s most pressing educational challenges—those centered on the intersections of equity, quality and democratic renewal.

The AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education.

For more information, contact Dr. Abraham Goldberg, associate professor of political science and co-director of the Office of Service-Learning and Community Engagement, at (864) 503-5670 or

Kathleen Brady Presents Highlights of Spartanburg Community Indicators Project, September 10

September 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm
Kathleen Brady

Kathleen Brady

Kathleen Brady, vice chancellor of planning, institutional research and metropolitan studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate, will present highlights of her findings in a recent study on ways to improve Spartanburg County’s natural environment during a 6 p.m. presentation Thursday at the Spartanburg County Headquarters Library, Barrett Room.

Brady has been working with Spartanburg Community Indicators Project to look at the how air pollution in Spartanburg County has increased due to a rise in the number of vehicle miles traveled in the county.

Learn more about this project and the meeting in the Herald-Journal.

McCurry Leads Distance Education Efforts at USC Upstate

July 27, 2015 at 6:24 am
David McCurry

David McCurry

Dr. David S. McCurry is the director of distance education at the University of South Carolina Upstate where he is leading the planning, development, and administration of all online programs through the Office of Distance Education. McCurry also serves as the campus coordinator for USC Palmetto College.

“Dr. McCurry brings more than 35 years of professional experience in educational technology, media and international educational development to USC Upstate,” said Dr. Clif Flynn, interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at USC Upstate. “His level of expertise is critical as the University is expanding online education to serve the needs of increasing numbers of adult and professional degree seekers. Dr. McCurry will be expanding and developing the role of online learning in the academic programs at the USC Upstate Greenville Campus by working in conjunction with the University Center Greenville.”

McCurry previously directed the distance education program at Converse College and was a tenured faculty member of Monmouth University in New Jersey. McCurry was a Fulbright Lecturer in Malawi under the U.S. Information Agency Teacher-Text-Technology initiative and lived in Africa over nine years at various points in his career, as a Peace Corps volunteer and a senior technical advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development. McCurry worked for the Teaching Learning and Technology Group, directing weekly online programming for more than 100 institutions in higher education.

He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from the Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

For more information, contact Dr. David S. McCurry, director of distance education, at or (864) 503-5509.