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

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.

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.”

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.”

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


Jim Charles Presents Native American Studies Week Lecture

March 23, 2015 at 11:58 am

On Monday, March 23, 2015, Jim Charles, Education, presented “Man Made of Words: N. Scott Momaday” as part of the Native American Studies Week lecture series sponsored by USC Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center.

Jim Charles Presents Paper at Annual Conference

February 27, 2015 at 1:57 pm

On FebruCharles Jimary 13, 2015, Jim Charles, Education, presented a paper titled “American Indian Adolescent Literature” at the 36th Annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference in Albuquerque, NM.

Jack Turner Receives Clean Water Champion Award

February 27, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Jack Turner gets Clear Water Champion AwardDr. Jack Turner, director of the Watershed Ecology Center, was recently recognized by Upstate Forever as a Clean Water Champion during the Sixth Annual ForeverGreen Awards Luncheon which celebrates individuals and organizations for significant contributions in the fields of land conservation, water quality, air quality, sustainable development, waste reduction, public service and volunteer work.

Since the creation of the Watershed Ecology Center in 1999,
Turner has been educating children – and adults – about the
need to be good stewards of the environment and its resources.
The outreach efforts he and WEC staff continue to promote have
reached nearly 70,000 in Spartanburg County.

Charley Harrington Publishes Four Scholarly Articles

January 20, 2015 at 7:07 am

Harrington CharlesCharley Harrington, professor of interdisciplinary studies in the Center of Disciplinary Studies, recently published four new scholarly articles:

C. Harrington.  2015.  A Brief History of American Indian Business.   International Journal of Business Anthropology.  Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 67-76. 2015.

C. Harrington. 2015.  Culturally Relevant Strategies for Supporting American Indian Entrepreneurship. Journal of Ethics and Entrepreneurship.  Vol. 5, No.1, pp. 65-79, 2015.

C. Harrington and T. Schibik, S. Mujumdar, D. Friesner. 2015.   Do Tuition Increases Lower Student Academic Performance?  Forthcoming Spring 2015 .  International Journal of Data Analysis Techniques and Strategies.  2015.

C. Harrington and J. Bass .2014.  Understanding the Academic Persistence of American Indian College Transfer Students.  Journal of Indigenous Policy Studies, Vol. 25, No. 1, Fall  2014.


Kelly Smith Explores Christmas Truce of 1914 During Presentation at Upcountry History Museum

December 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Adjunct history professor Kelly Smith will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 18 at the Upcountry History Museum as part of their History After Dark Program.

Smith’s topic is “Carols in No Man’s Land:  The Centennial of the Christmas Day Truce.”

When World War I ended, nearly 20 million people were dead and the world’s landscape had been forever altered. The nations involved highlighted the barbarity of their respective “enemies.” Millions of dollars were spent to dehumanize the opponent.

When the war commenced in 1914, everyone believed they would be home by Christmas, but as the body count rose and the trench system developed, it became clear to all that this would not be the case.

Then on Christmas Eve, on a field in Flanders, the sounds of “Silent Night” echoed through No Man’s Land. A miracle happened, and for one day sounds of shells were not heard. This program will explore the Christmas Truce in 1914 and a personal connection of the speaker that highlights history, and humanity, surrounds us all.

Tickets are $6 for nonmembers. For more information, contact Elizabeth McSherry at (864) 467-3100, ext. 105.