USCB Recognizes Outstanding Students, Faculty & Staff at Academic Awards Ceremony

BEAUFORT, S.C. (April 24) –
 The University of South Carolina Beaufort recognized 19 outstanding graduating seniors, two distinguished faculty members and two dedicated members of the staff at the 2015 Academic Awards Ceremony held on April 24 at 2 p.m. at the USCB Center for the Arts. 

“As the University of South Carolina Beaufort concludes another academic year, we stand firm in our commitment to excellence in teaching, learning and service,” says Lynn McGee, Ph.D., vice chancellor for Advancement and External Affairs. “We are pleased to have this opportunity to recognize those students, faculty and staff who have been identified by the USCB community as achieving such excellence. We thank them for their efforts and dedicate ourselves to maintaining their high standards of achievement.”

The award winners include:

  • Tyler Armstrong received the Biology Program Award.
    “Tyler Armstrong joined USCB in the fall of 2011 to pursue a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences,” says Joseph L. Staton, Ph.D., associate professor of Biology and Marine Science. “From the very beginning, he distinguished himself among his peers and the biology faculty for his outstanding performance in diverse subjects, his inquisitive mind, his exceptional work ethic and his interpersonal and communication skills. Over the years, he has maintained an outstanding GPA. His achievements have been recognized by his continuous academic standing on the Dean’s List since the spring of 2012. He also earned a place on the President’s List in 2012, 2013 and 2014.”
  • Shane Goldsmith received the Business Program Award.
    “Shane was a top student in the Accounting program and a pleasure to have in class,” says Jane Lambert, M.S., an instructor in Accounting Business Administration. “He possesses strong communication skills as well as self-discipline and maturity. Outside of class, he was a member of the university’s golf team and spent many hours tutoring other business majors in the Academic Support Services office.”
  • Kayla Logue received the Communication Studies Award.
    “Kayla Logue has all the characteristics necessary to be honored as this year’s Communication Studies Student of the Year,” says Pamela Cooper, Ph.D., professor of Communication Studies. “Kayla has had an internship at WHHI-TV for the past two years. She also co-hosts a news show at USCB. She recently had an article accepted for USCB’s May River Review. Kayla does all of this while maintaining a very high GPA.”
  • Tremaine Farris received the Computational Science Program Award.
    “Tremaine joined the Computational Science Program in the spring of 2013. He is one of the program’s top-tier students,” says Manuel J. (Bud) Sanders, Ph.D., associate professor of Mathematics and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computational Science. “He has volunteered to serve as a team leader for a variety of projects, including research projects in senior-level courses and collaboration projects with other programs. On one collaboration, he developed a mobile app to guide users to the cultural and artistic attractions of South Carolina’s beautiful Lowcountry. He also led a team of Computational Science students and developed a new homepage for the Lowcountry Foundation for Wounded Military Heroes.”
  • Danyelle Bozeman received the Early Childhood Education Program Award.
    “Danielle Bozeman received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education degree with a minor in Spanish in December,” says Christine Ferguson, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Education. “While at USCB, she served in numerous leadership positions that included Orientation Leader, President of the Education Club, President of the College Church at USCB, Vice President of the Pageant Club and as the university’s 2013 Homecoming Queen. She has been on the Chancellor’s and Dean’s List during her four years at USCB and has been a member of three honor societies. She is now an early childhood education teacher at Daufuskie Island Elementary School.”
  • Maribeth Stone and Charles Johnson received the Tombe-Eby Award for Outstanding English Major.
    Maribeth Stone completed her B.A. in English in three years, earning “A” grades in her last 10 English courses,” says Robert Kilgore, Ph.D., assistant professor of Renaissance Literature and chair of the Department of English and Theatre. “While earning her degree, she worked at USCB’s Writing Center and the Beaufort County Library. Charles Johnson, graduating this semester, has a very high GPA in the major and has written a senior honors thesis. Taylor has been a dedicated and active member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society.”
  • Keir O’Sullivan received the Governor Paul Hamilton/Sons of the American Revolution Outstanding Student in History Award.
    “Keir O’Sullivan is the recipient of the 2015 Paul Hamilton Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution Award for being an outstanding graduating USCB history student,” says J. Brent Morris, Ph.D., assistant professor of History in the Department of Humanities and Fine Arts. “A Beaufortonian, Keir plans to pursue a career as a writer after graduation.”
  • Randi Parton received the Hospitality Management Program Award.
    “Randi Parton has been a highly productive student while enrolled at the University of South Carolina Beaufort,” says Charles Calvert, Ed.D., professor of Hospitality Management and department chair. “Within three years, she has become a very accomplished student and serves as an excellent role model for other USCB and Hospitality Management students. Since 2012, she has managed to maintain a very high USCB grade point average and earn Dean’s List honors every semester while being employed in two positions: a USCB Career Services Counselor and a USCB Lowcountry and Resort Islands Tourism Institute Research Assistant.”
  • Devashai Dunbar and Maureen MacDonald received the Human Services Program Award.
    “Devashai Dunbar is on target to complete her B.S. in Human Services, cum laude, in May,” says Randy Lamkin, Ph.D., degree program coordinator in the Department of Social Sciences. “Her internships included Hope Haven of the Lowcountry, where she helped in two prevention/education programs. She also worked at the United Way of the Lowcountry, revising the online resource directory, which provides information and referral services to agencies and the public. She also worked on the United Way reading program ‘Play Partners.’ Maureen MacDonald also is expected to complete her B.S. in Human Services, cum laude, in May. For her internships, she worked at Autism Inc. Located in Bluffton, the agency supports autistic children and their parents with knowledge and skills to effectively deal with autism. Maureen was trained and worked as a behavioral therapist. She also interned at Bluffton Self Help, which aids those who need short-term financial assistance, food and clothing.”
  • Sharon Raulerson received the Liberal Studies Program Award.
    “Sharon Raulerson began her Liberal Studies degree in 2000 and returned to USCB to complete her degree in 2014,” says Erin R. McCoy, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and Liberal Studies at USCB and program coordinator for Liberal Studies Program. “She is the model of the ideal Liberal Studies scholar—bright, self-reliant and resourceful, mature and committed to what she is doing. She is also one of Beaufort’s own, and USCB can take pride in having enabled this talent to succeed. Her senior thesis, ‘Calling All Nurses for an Aging World,’ discusses the need for gerontology specialists and was presented at USCB’s 2015 Student Research and Scholarship Day.”
  • Jonathan Moonen received the Nursing Program Award.
    “Jonathan Moonen has maintained a very high overall GPA,” says Rose Kearney-Nunnery, Ph.D., R.N., professor of Nursing and chair of the Department of Nursing and Health Professions. “Although his major is nursing, he is also majoring in Spanish. He demonstrates continual development of critical thinking, emotional intelligence, assessment, communication and care coordination skills. He has demonstrated the ethical principles, values and behaviors outlined for the professional practice of nursing. Within the clinical setting, Jonathan is a leader and readily assists other students, actively participates with others as a team member, and has been able to plan and deliver care addressing the patient’s spiritual, physical, psychological and emotional needs.”
  • Alisha Heyward received the RN-BSN Award.
    “Alisha Heyward combines emotional intelligence with assessment, communication and care coordination skills,” Dr. Kearney-Nunnery says. “She has demonstrated ethical principles, values and behaviors in the professional practice of nursing. Within the clinical setting, she demonstrates leadership qualities, mentors other students and, most importantly, displays a holistic approach to the delivery of care, addressing the patient’s spiritual, physical, psychological and emotional needs. She is employed at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga. Her previous employment was at NHC Healthcare in Bluffton during a period when our sophomore nursing students were attending clinical experiences at that site. Alisha helped mentor these students as well as her peers in her RN to BSN cohort.”
  • Samantha Savateri received the Spanish Program Award.
    “Samantha Savateri, a Spanish major and an Anthropology minor, is the 2015 recipient of the Spanish Award,” says Benjamin Nelson, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Humanities and Fine Arts. “In the Spanish program, she more than exceeded expectations in courses ranging from Don Quixote to advanced grammar, and from the history of the Panama Canal to the usage of Spanish in the business world.”
  • Frances McNair received the Studio Art Program Award.
    Frances McNair is a graduating senior in the Studio Art Program who focused her studies on landscape and portraiture painting and photography,” says Brian Glaze, M.F.A., assistant professor of Studio Art. “She has worked as a gallery assistant for USCB's Sea Island Art Gallery, taught a number of classes and workshops pertaining to painting, and was commissioned to paint a large-scale mural for the Community Bible Church. That commission, and the mural she created, led to a number of private commissions in the community. Frances’s awards include: Second place in USCB’s 16th Annual Student Art Exhibition, a Beaufort College Art Scholarship, a Chancellor Art Scholarship and a tuition scholarship from the 2013 conference of the ‘Portrait Society of America,’ during which she presented her work.”
  • Briana Stiles received the Psychology Program Award.
    “Briana Stiles graduated summa cum laude in December 2014 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Human Services,” says Charles Spirrison, Ph.D., professor of Psychology and chair of the Department of Social Science. “Ms. Stiles is a charter member of USCB’s chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, as well as a member of the Gamma Beta Phi Society, an honor and service organization for college students. Last summer, Briana completed an internship serving as research assistant with the Epilepsy Genetics Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is currently working as an applied behavior analyst with children who are diagnosed with autism. Her future plans include graduate-level preparation for a career working with psychiatric inpatients.”
  • Raechel Blakeney received the Darwin B. Bashaw “Student of the Year” Award.
    “Raechel served as President of the USCB Student Government Association this year,” says Kate Vermilyea, director of Student Life at the university. “She is a hard worker with a tenacious streak. She is also a completely engaged student who has displayed unparalleled devotion to the university. Raechel has been hired by The Walt Disney Company to assist with the Disney College Program. It enables college and university students to take part in career-development classes and to hone their skills in such areas as problem-solving, teamwork, guest service and effective communication. Raechel is a Psychology Major.  She was also an Orientation Leader, a Student Ambassador, a member of the Gospel Choir, the Sand Shark Veterans Association, and the Chancellor’s Search Committee. After the Disney College Program, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Higher Education Administration.”  
  • James A. Duffy received the Vincent P. Mesaric Award.
    James A. Duffy is an Instructor in the Department of English, Speech and Theatre at USCB. He earned a B.A. degree in English cum laude in 1998 and an M.A. degree in English in 2006 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Before embarking on a teaching career, Duffy acquired three years of human performance consulting experience, focusing primarily on talent optimization. He also spent three years in the publishing field working with a newspaper, a magazine, children’s books and instructional materials. He teaches composition, English and technical writing.
  • Anthony Cuevas received the Newman Civic Fellows Award.
    “Anthony Cuevas will receive his Bachelor of Science in Human Services on May 1,” says James Glasson, M.A., a human services specialist in the Department of Social Sciences. “He has an impressive record of service, leadership and academic success in his first career in the U.S. Marine Corps, as a student at USCB, and in his new career, working with high school students, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds. He has combined his life experience with the knowledge and skills he learned in this degree program to make a difference. Students engaged in three internships, each requiring a minimum of 120 hours of service. After completing his second and third internships at Ridgeland/Hardeeville High School, Anthony so impressed his supervisor that he was hired by the school to serve as a Marine Corps Junior ROTC instructor and as a counselor for at-risk students.”
  • Erica Moore received the Outstanding Academic Adviser Award.
    Erica Moore is an academic advisor and a Palmetto College Advisor. Palmetto College enables students in remote locations to earn a bachelor’s degree from USCB by taking online courses over a two-year period. Students must meet degree admissions requirements and must have earned 60 hours of college credit to enroll. Moore earned a B.S. in Hospitality Management and a B.S. in Business Administration, both at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. 
  • Kate Vermilyea received the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award.
    “Kate Vermilyea is distinguished by her concern for students both individually and as a group,” says Raechel Blakeney, president of the USCB Student Government Association. “Her empathy and concern for their well-being and success drive her efforts and color her interactions with them. The surprising part, as she carries out her role, is that she can also challenge students when they are not acting in their own or other students’ best interests. Kate practices the concept of challenge/support every day. Students grow because they had the opportunity to have Kate as their University 101 instructor, but the relationship they build in the class carries on far beyond that semester. I have frequently heard her talk about a student and say, ‘Oh, I know him. He was in my U101.’”
  • Erin R. McCoy, Ph.D., received the Professor of the Year Award.
    Erin R. McCoy is an Assistant Professor of English and Liberal Studies and Coordinator of the Liberal Studies Program at USCB. She also serves as faculty advisor for the Sand Shark Veterans Association. She earned a B.A. in English at Wingate University, Wingate, N.C.; an M.A. in English at Clemson University and a Ph.D. in the Humanities at the University of Louisville. Dr. McCoy is the author of 14 academic and creative publications. She teaches composition, American Studies, cultural history and a course on the Vietnam War.  


Located in the heart of the Carolina Sea Islands, the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) is a baccalaureate member of the USC system, serving the southeast coast of South Carolina and Georgia. Since 2002, USCB has tripled its academic degree programs, doubled its FTE enrollment, opened its first on-campus housing (now serving more than 600), joined the NAIA Sun Conference, and fielded conference and national award-winning Sand Shark athletes in nine sports. The university’s two campuses serve a diverse student body of 1,800 students. The Hilton Head Gateway campus in Bluffton, SC, offers cutting-edge Computational Science and Nursing laboratories, and a broad range of academic degree programs. It is home to Sand Shark athletics. The Historic Beaufort campus, located on Beaufort’s downtown waterfront, houses an innovative baccalaureate Studio Art program in close proximity to Beaufort’s many art galleries. Students enjoy opportunities on Hilton Head Island, including the USCB Center for Event Management and a Coastal Ecology research partnership with Vagabond Cruise. USCB serves 1,500 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) members, who participate in more than 1 million course hours annually, placing OLLI at USCB in the top 10 in the country. The University of South Carolina Beaufort offers students an exceptional place to learn and live in an environment focused on growth, preservation and opportunity.

For further information on the 2015 Academic Awards and their recipients, contact Lynn McGee, Ph.D., vice chancellor for Advancement and External Affairs, at 843-208-8240 or