USCB English Major Wins Coveted Appointment To 2017 South Carolina Washington Semester Program

USCB English Major Wins Coveted Appointment To 2017 South Carolina Washington Semester Program

May 25, 2017

Sam RaleyBLUFFTON, S.C. – An English major at the University of South Carolina Beaufort has been selected to participate in the 2017 South Carolina Washington Semester Program in the fall. Sam Raley, a junior from Macon, Ga., will join 11 other students from colleges and universities throughout the state in the semester-long program of college courses and government/organizational internships.

Raley, the first student to represent USCB, will be taking courses in political science and theater, while living with other students and serving an internship. Raley hopes to enter law school when he graduates from USCB next year. With that goal in mind, he's hoping to secure an internship with a South Carolina law firm that maintains an office in Washington.

"Sam is the perfect candidate for this program because his work is exquisite and we know he has been thinking about law school since his first semester," says Mollie Barnes, Ph.D., assistant professor of Nineteenth-Century American Literature in the Department of English, Theater and Liberal Studies at USCB. Dr. Barnes, who served as USCB's liaison to the Washington Semester Program, worked closely with Lauren Hoffer, Ph.D., assistant professor of Victorian Literature at USCB. Both professors coordinated their efforts with Julie Hutt, director of Internship Programs at the University of South Carolina Honors College in Columbia.

Raley has been enrolled in two of Dr. Barnes's courses: the American Literature Survey and the American Renaissance Seminar. Dr. Hoffer is Raley's faculty advisor.

He attended an information session about the program, then submitted an application and was invited to interview with a panel of six directors at USC in Columbia.

"Sam is one of our strongest students,"Dr. Barnes says. "He's an impeccable scholar and not just in numbers (GPA), but in the integrity of his work."

The 12 students will live in a townhouse within walking distance of The Hill while they take their courses. In addition, each will serve an internship with a representative of Congress or a governmental organization like the Smithsonian Institution. The semester runs from Sept. 7 to mid-December.

"The internships are tailored to each student's particular interests," Dr. Barnes says. "If a student wants to work for a South Carolina Congressman, for instance, then the accepted student is guaranteed a slot. If a student wants to work with an organization, then the student follows the application process. The program works very hard to make sure the internship is forwarding whatever educational or professional goals the student has.

"As a professor and someone who has watched him grow over the last two years, it's really important to me to see Sam get to do this," she adds. "It's also really exciting to see the USCB Administration look at Sam as someone who can be a role model for our students."  

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 900), 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 2,000 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. 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. 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 more information about the University of South Carolina Beaufort, contact Kerry Jarvis, public information coordinator, at 843-208-8030 or