USC Upstate Faulty Focus

Vincent Connors Co-Authors Paper for Compartive Parasitology

March 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

Connors VincentDr. Vincent A. Connors, professor of Biology, has co-authored a paper for “Comparative Parasitology,” titled “Distribution of Kudoa inornata Plasmodia in the Musculature of its Host, the Spotted Seatrout Cynoscion nebulosus,” with Sharamie Ware and William A. Roumillat.

The article is published in Volume 81, pages 10-14.

Connors is also the executive editor of “Comparative Parasitology,” which is one of the leading journals in the field of parasitology and serves as a venue for the publication and dissemination of information on the classification, pathology, evolution, and ecology of primarily non-human parasites and parasitic diseases.

Dr. Ron Fulbright Featured Speaker at American Society of Training, Development in Greenville

March 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

Dr. Ron Fulbright was the featured speaker at the February meeting of the Upstate South Carolina American Society of Training & Development (ASTD) held at the University Center of Greenville.

Fulbright spoke about informatics, the value of information, and how information is transformed into knowledge. He explained as the US economy has shifted from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy, the most important unit value is information. It is no longer what we make, but what we know that is the most valuable. In fact, over one-third of the US gross domestic product, over $5.5 trillion, is contributed by industries heavily vested in intellectual property. Over 80% of the value of the S&P 500 is due to intellectual property, exactly opposite from what it was just 40 years ago.

Fulbright gave examples of how data scientists are using data mining and “big data” analysis techniques to search for patterns in enormous collections of information. Finding patterns in data gives companies marketing advantage translating into millions or even billions of dollars. For example, Wal-Mart, customizes each one of its stores to its local demographic which is why it seems to us that Wal-Mart has everything. The truth is, by studying the buying habits of its customers, Wal-Mart knows what you want and need even before you do and makes sure those items are there and easy to find when you walk into the store.

Fulbright also explained how one of the most important shifts coming in the near future is in the area of personalized medicine. Using big data analysis techniques to find patterns hidden in genomic data stores, the medical industry is moving toward prescribing drugs and treatment regimens custom designed for each patient and each ailment. The personalized medicine market is forecast to be worth several billion dollars within a few years.

Fulbright closed the talk by telling the audience about the informatics program at the University of South Carolina Upstate featuring a B.A. in information management & systems, a M.S. in informatics, and a continuing education offering resulting in a certificate in innovation. The IM&S program at USC Upstate prepares graduates for several dozen job roles in information technology, knowledge management, content management, and other fields related to informatics. According to a recent survey, by IT-Ology, companies in NC, SC, and GA are hiring for these positions now.

Jim Charles, English Education, Presents Paper at Southwest Popular/American Culture Association

February 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Charles JimJim Charles, English Education, presented a paper titled “Things Change; Things Remain the Same: Johnny Depp, Tonto, and Disney’s The Lone Ranger,” at the 35th Annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference held Feb. 22, 2014 in Albuquerque, NM.

Laura Jennings, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Publishes Paper on “Fatness”

February 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Jennings LauraLaura Jennings, an assistant professor of Sociology, has published a paper titled, “Visual Representation of Fatness and Health in High School Texts.”

The article was published in “Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society.”

Dr. Bernard Omolo, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Mathematics, Has Co-Authored A Paper on “Development of DNA Damage”

February 25, 2014 at 7:04 am

Omolo Bernard 2013Dr. Bernard Omolo has co-authored a paper entitled “Development of DNA Damage Response Signaling Biomarkers” in the Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry.

An abstract of the paper is available online in PuBMed (

Dr. Omolo is an associate professor and assistant chair of the division of mathematics and computer science.

Breanne Kirsch, Reference Librarian, Publishes New Book

February 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Kirsch BreanneReference librarian Breanne Kirsch has published a new book.

Titled, “Games in Libraries: Essays on Using Play to Connect and Instruct,” the book is a collection essays discussing the importance of incorporating games in library services.

library bookThe book was published by McFarland and Company, Inc. in Jefferson, N.C.

Kirsch is the founder and current chair of the Game Making Interest Group within the Library and Information Technology Association of the American Library Association

Upstate’s Colleen O’Brien Included Among Featured Scholars

November 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Colleen O’Brien,  an assistant professor of Early American Literature at USC Upstate, is included among the November “Featured Scholars” on the USC Office of Research website.

O’Brien’s first book, “Race, Romance and Rebellion: Literature of the Americas in the Nineteenth Century,” was released Sept. 27.

The Office of Research seeks to support faculty excellence in research, creative activities and other scholarly pursuits across the University’s diverse schools, colleges and campuses.

Associate Professor Hightower Continues Service on School Board

November 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Mary Lou Hightower, associate professor of art education in the department of Fine Arts and Communication Studies at USC Upstate, was re-elected to the Spartanburg School District Six Board of Trustees.

This is Hightower’s fourth term serving on the school board.

“It has been my pleasure to be able to serve on the school board for the past 12 years and I am thrilled to be able to work for the children of this great district again,” Hightower said. “As a retired teacher of 30 years with District Six and now an associate professor at USC Upstate, I feel that it is my duty to give back to the district that I had the privilege to teaching in during my career in the public schools.”

Clevenger, Kaplan to Present at Regional Housing Conference

November 11, 2013 at 8:27 am

Leah Clevenger and Roy Kaplan, both assistant directors in Housing and Residential Life at USC Upstate, will be presenting in February at the Southeastern Association of Housing Officers in Louisville, Ky.

The two will present a program, “One Day of Fitness Can Inspire a Lifetime of Wellness:  Designing a Wellness Initiative for Resident Advisors.”

In this session, conference participants will hear how a wellness initiative was developed as part of the overall staff development plan for Resident Advisors at USC Upstate. The presentation will walk participants step by step through the creative process, the implementation of the six-week plan, the incentives and celebration, as well as the student assessment of the wellness initiative. When participants leave, they will have a framework for a six-week wellness initiative that they can customize for their institutions.

SEAHO includes schools from Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Blair Appointed Secretary of Professional Organization

November 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Selena Blair was recently appointed as Secretary as the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (SAEOPP).

SAEOPP is a regional professional organization comprised of TRIO and other College Access Employees from eight states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee — dedicated  to professional development and support and to the advocacy of the TRIO Movement.

Their mission is to promote and support equal educational opportunity and access to postsecondary education. Through professional development, networking, research and advocacy, SAEOPP provides TRIO personnel and others with the necessary skills and techniques to assure that the least advantaged have equal access to higher education.

Not only is Blair the only female officer, but this is the first time someone from our institution has ever held a leadership role in a TRIO organization.

Blair became the director of Opportunity Network, a TRIO Student Support Services program, at USC Upstate in August 2012.  Since that time, she has continued to demonstrate her passion for TRIO programs and commitment to her students by making presentations at national, regional, and state conferences as well as traveling to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators to discuss the impacts of sequestration on her students and develop policies to aid in the success of low-income, first generation college students and students with disabilities.

In early October, Blair had the privilege to co-facilitate the Opening Plenary Session entitled “Becoming a Politically Savvy Advocate” at the SC TRIO Fall Conference held in Columbia, SC.

A product of the TRIO programs herself, Blair is committed to personifying the phrase “TRIO Works.”