Awards and Recognition

Awards and Recognition

Students, staff, and faculty of the Department of Social Sciences have received recognition for outstanding accomplishments. Here are some recent honorees.

Kara "Franzi" Knoetsch

PAMELA J. COOPER COMMUNICATION STUDIES STUDENT OF THE YEAR Kara “Franzi” Knoetsch, a senior double-major in Communication Studies and Psychology from Mettmann, Germany. Having earned academic honors every semester she’s been at USCB (Dean’s List every semester and President’s List for Spring and Fall 2016 and 2017) and inducted into the international honors societies for Communication Studies (Lambda Pi Eta) and for Psychology (Psi Chi). Franzi epitomizes what it means to be a “Student-Athlete”. A 3-year All -American award winner, including a 1st Team All-American for the seasons 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 and winner of several prestigious golf tournaments. Franzi has her  sights set on attending either graduate school or medical school in the coming year and continuing to play golf...to help her relax.

Holli Ramirez

WASHINGTON SEMESTER ABROAD Next fall, Holli Ramirez will represent USCB as our second participant in the South Carolina Washington Semester Internship Program. Holli will be one of eleven students in the Fall 2018 cohort, which historically accepts students from Honors Colleges and Programs across the state, but primarily from USC Columbia. A communications studies major with an already impressive record of diplomatic experiences to her name, Holli applied to the Washington Semester Program to enrich her professional portfolio and prepare her for a career with the federal government. As a Washington Semester Program scholar, Holli will take courses in political science and theater, and she will work as an intern through a matching process supported by the Program’s Director and tailored to her academic and professional interests. She is hoping to be placed with the Foreign Service, the Secret Service, or the Department of Justice. We’re so proud of Holli, not only because of what this accomplishment means to her and to the budding tradition of Washington Semester Program scholars from USCB, but also because we know that this experience promises wonderful opportunities for her professional future beyond USCB and Washington DC. In August, Holli was formally offered a position working for Senator Lindsay Graham on Capitol Hill.

Kirsty Fitzgibbons

LYNN M. MULKEY HUMAN SERVICES PROGRAM AWARD Kirsty Fitzgibbons, our on-campus honoree, is recognized for her academic performance and impressive community work. Kirsty is a May 2018 graduate. Her internships included two at Hopeful Horizons working on domestic violence and one starting New Paths, a project that began in the Fall of 2017 to provide support services to women when they are released from the Beaufort County Detention Center. In February she was hired part-time by Hopeful Horizons to work in the legal department as a court advocate.

John Dunn

PALMETTO COLLEGE ONLINE DEGREE COMPLETION PROGRAM AWARD John Dunn, is our Palmetto College honoree. John transferred to USCB from Midland Technical College. While at Midlands Tech John did his internships at Cooperative Ministry in Columbia which focuses on basic needs services and self-sufficiency. In his second internship while at Midlands Tech and then in his final internship at USCB, he worked at Sistercare Inc. of the Mid- lands which provides support services to survivors of domestic violence. While doing his third internship and before he finished his degree, John was hired by Sistercare as a court advocate. John will also graduate this May.

Marina M. Smith

OUTSTANDING SOCIOLOGY STUDENT OF THE YEAR AWARD Marina Smith was born and raised in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. She has a passion for health, fitness, and helping others. She loves living an active lifestyle and hopes to go to graduate school to study Dietetics to become a Registered Dietitian. Her 2018 Student Research and Scholarship Day Poster presentation was “Sociological Factors and Their Effect on Diet Success.”

Katelyn Edmond

CHARLES L. SPIRRISON PSYCHOLOGY STUDENT OF THE YEAR AWARD Katelyn conducted psychological research in Dr. Fitzgerald’s laboratory, and presented her research at the Southeastern Psychological Association’s 2017 conference in Atlanta, GA. She was the Vice President of The USCB Psychology Club, and vice president of the USCB chapter of Psi Chi: The International Honors Society in Psychology. She was The USCB Psychology Club’s team captain at the 2017 South Carolina Psychological Association Quiz Bowl - and the team earned Second Place under her tutelage. She has been applying to graduate schools in hopes of pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Tiana Burgess

NEWMAN CIVIC FELLOW AWARD Tiana Burgess, is a junior Human Services major from Aiken, SC. She is the recipient of this year’s prestigious Newman Civic Fellow Award. This national award is presented by the Campus Compact and recognizes student leaders who demonstrate a commitment to civic engagement and making a difference. This academic year Tiana has provided more than 300 hours of service tutoring first through third grade children reading below grade level at Bluffton’s M.C. Riley Elementary School. She did this for her first and second Human Services Internships as an AmeriCorps member with the United Way of the Lowcountry’s Read Indeed program. Part of Tiana’s commitment for the upcoming year is to join the other national honorees from more than 268 colleges to help coordinate service opportunities on their campuses and attend the Fellows National Conference in Boston in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Carey Fitzgerald

Professor of the Year Presented to an adjunct faculty member who demonstrates a level of dedication to teaching and to the university that go well beyond the basic requirements of the position. Awarded to the professor who exemplifies the best of the profession, one who is committed to students, to the university, to the professional field, to colleagues, and to the community.

Najmah Thomas

Vincent P. Mesaric Award Named for USCB’s first Dean of Student Services. Awarded to a full-time faculty or staff member who demonstrates a strong commitment to working with students outside the classroom by participating actively in student organizations and student-sponsored activities.

Jayne Violette

Academic Advisor Award Recognizes a faculty or staff member who is knowledgeable, committed, and who excels at advising, one who goes that “extra mile” for the students.

Jim Glasson

South Carolina Civic Engagement Professional Award Presented to a full-time professional staff member for significant contributions to the institutionalization of community engagement by inspiring a vision for service on the campus and supporting faculty, students, and/or campus-community partnerships.
Statewide Recipient: James Patrick Glasson ~ University of South Carolina Beaufort

Cindy Lahar

Dr. Cindy Lahar, Associate Professor of Psychology has been accepted for the USC System Academic Leadership Fellow Program 2017-2019. The program, to develop academic leadership within the USC System, will begin in the Fall. The program will provide an opportunity to explore critical issues and higher education, to network with peers, and learn from leaders throughout the USC system. Program participation will lead to an enhanced understanding of the university as a dynamic and inclusive institution, build awareness of the complex landscape of higher education, and provide opportunities to explore the participants' own role in shaping higher education through intentional and transformative leadership.

Maddison Csernica

Maddison Csernica a Communication Studies major has distinguished herself and this University by having her paper selected for the Southern States Communication Association Clevenger Undergraduate Honors Conference in Nashville in April. This conference is very competitive with an acceptance rate of 66%. Maddie is the only student from the USC system in the program. Additionally, she is the first USCB student to be accepted to this conference. Her research is "Friendships as Researched Through the Dialectical Theory Perspective".

Caroline Sawyer

Dr. Caroline E. Sawyer, assistant professor of Communication Studies, was awarded the "Monica Pombo Early Career Teaching Award" by the Carolinas Communication Association at the annual conference held in Clemson on September 30, 2017. She was awarded this honor based on her excellence and innovation in teaching. Dr. Sawyer was also elected 2nd Vice-President of Carolinas Communication Association. With this role comes the honor of hosting the Carolinas Communication Association Conference in 2019. Dr. Sawyer will serve as the program planner for the conference and USCB as the host site.