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University Update - Nov. 7, 2018

Faculty & Staff News

1. State of the University Address

Thank you to everyone who attended Chancellor Panu's State of the University presentation. If you were not able to make it, please feel free to read this year's address at your convenience:

2. Joseph Staton Offers Perspective on Approaching Hurricane Michael

Joseph Staton, Ph.D., dean of the School of Science and Mathematics and professor of Biology and Marine Science, provided scientific perspective on how king tides could accelerate flooding during Hurricane Michael in early October. Savannah’s WJCL-TV filmed an interview with him as the hurricane approached the Lowcountry. “They’ve been an issue for some property owners because they live on beachfront property that’s pretty low in relief,” he noted.

3. J. Brent Morris Lends his Expertise to the Great Dismal Swamp Archeological Dig

Relying on centuries-old documents, Dr. Dan Sayers, an anthropologist at American University in Washington, D.C., has been conducting archeological digs in the Great Dismal Swamp on the Virginia-North Carolina line. He is probing stories that “the Dismal” harbored settlements of escaped runaways from the early 1600s to the Civil War. J. Brent Morris, Ph.D., chair of the Humanities department and Associate Professor of History at USCB, is supporting Dr. Sayers’s effort by lending his expertise to document Dr. Sayers’s findings. “It was even more complicated than a needle in a haystack because these folks made it their goal to stay hidden,” Dr. Morris says.

4. Adopt A Dolphin and Help Support our Dolphin Research Efforts

Protecting Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins just became a little easier and a lot more fun, thanks to the Adopt A Dolphin initiative conducted by USCB’s Lowcountry Dolphin Conservation Program and the Coastal Discovery Museum. Many of the dolphins who play in the May River, Port Royal Sound or off the beach have been identified and tracked by USCB scientists who have given them interesting names. As an added bonus, fully 60 percent of the profits from the Adopt A Dolphin initiative are directed to the research program run by Eric Montie, Ph.D., associate professor of Biology and director of the Marine Sensory & Neurobiology Lab at USCB. The funds help to support students and interns, and help defray the cost of research supplies.

5. Ellen Malphrus Discusses Poetry, Writing, Teaching and the Pat Conroy Literary Festival

Ellen Malphrus, Ph.D., professor of English, poet, author and writer-in-residence, appeared on SCETV’s “By The River” Nov. 1 to discuss her love of poetry, writing, teaching writing and her work with the Pat Conroy Literary Festival. The episode aired Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. on SCETV HD. In addition to her teaching duties, Dr. Malphrus is the author of “Untying the Moon.” “By The River” is hosted by Holly Bounds Jackson at ETV Lowcountry and produced by Caroline E. Sawyer, Ph.D., assistant professor of Communication Studies at USCB. The show’s entire crew is composed of Communications Studies students.

 6. Babet Villena-Alvarez Completes 2018 Fulbright-Hays Seminar in Poland

polandBabet Villena-Alvarez, Ph.D., USCB’s Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, recently completed a four-week seminar in Poland for postsecondary educators. Those selected for the program explored the relationship between the U.S. and Poland, focusing on politics, national security, culture, and economics. They visited historical sites and engaged with academic scholars in Warsaw, Cracow, Wroclaw and Gdansk. Her picture was featured in the U.S. Department of Education newsletter. 

7. USCB’s Human Services Program Earns CSHSE Accreditation

Randy Lamkin, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Social Sciences at USCB, reports that the Human Services Program has earned initial accreditation from the Council for Standards in Human Services Education. Certification is valid through 2023. Dr. Lamkin attributes much of the credit for this multi-year effort to Najmah Thomas, Ph.D., the Human Services program coordinator, who served as Chair of the Program Evaluation Task Force and principal author of the application. He also credits Jim Glasson, M.A., assistant professor in the department, who “has been a bedrock of the program for 14 years…” USCB now has the only such accredited bachelor’s degree program in South Carolina.

8. Adjunct Professor Julie McAlpin-Richmond Pens her First Novel

Julie McAlpin-Richmond, an adjunct professor of history at USCB, has written her first novel, “Where Have All Our Daughters Gone.” It’s a story of “contrasts from love and compassion to narcissistic revenge and resilience,” according to a published account. The South Carolina Lowcountry provides part of the setting. She is hard at work now on a second novel.

9. Uphold Sand Shark Fridays by wearing USCB Colors

Advancement is encouraging faculty and staff to show their institutional spirit by upholding the tradition of wearing USCB’s colors on Sand Shark Fridays. The gesture demonstrates support for USCB’s athletic teams and the student body. Options include wearing shades of navy, sand, and garnet or purchasing USCB clothing from the bookstore. Professional apparel with the Sand Shark logo also is available through Lands’ End at Set up a personal account at their business site, then input your customer number (4418490) and logo number (0879854). 

Student News

1. USCB Student Kaiya Cain Presents a Poster at the 2018 Council on Undergraduate Research Meeting

PosterBiology Major Kaiya Cain, a junior at USCB, completed a Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program at the Savannah River Ecological Laboratory this summer. In late October, she traveled to Alexandria, Va., to present a poster at the 2018 Council on Undergraduate Research Meeting. The poster was titled “Cs-137 whole body burdens and plasma biochemistry profiles of Nerodia floridana occupying a former nuclear cooling reservoir.” It was co-authored with Kyle Brown, David Haskins, Melissa Pilgrim, and Tracey Tuberville. Each facility can only nominate one student and only 10 percent of these students are selected to attend the symposium each year.

2. USCB Freshman Breaks Junior World Record in Weightlifting in Turkmenistan

C.J. Cummings, a freshman at USCB, broke a junior world record in weightlifting at a competition in Turkmenistan recently. Cummings, who weighs 160 pounds, performed a clean and jerk to lift 412 pounds. That is a phenomenal amount of weight. Beaufort Campus Dean Bob LeFavi reports that Cummings stands a very good chance of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics as our only male weightlifter. In fact, he’s been called the “Michael Jordan of weightlifting.”

3. Two USCB Students Co-hosted the Walk for Freedom Worldwide Event to End Human Trafficking

Two USCB students, Jamie Hubbard and Kacey McGuire, served as co-hosts of the Walk for Freedom Saturday, Oct. 20, in Savannah, to draw attention to the worldwide effort to end human trafficking. The event began Saturday morning in Forsyth Park. “It’s currently estimated that there are over 40.3 million men, women and children trapped in slavery around the world,” Hubbard told WJCL-TV in Savannah. “As of right now, only 1 to 2 percent of victims will ever be rescued.” Georgia and South Carolina rank in the top 20 states for human trafficking.

4. USCB Plays Host to 75 High School Students Considering Teaching Careers

cadetsAbout 75 students from four of seven local high schools spent Wednesday, Oct. 17, on USCB’s Bluffton Campus as part of the Teacher Cadet Program, a statewide initiative to encourage high school students with strong academic and interpersonal skills to consider teaching as a career. Teacher Cadets take USCB’s EDCI 100 Observation and Analysis at their high schools as dual-enrolled students. Bruce Marlowe, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Education, says the department will conduct another campus day in the spring for teacher cadets in the remaining three high schools. 

Save the Date

1. Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for the HHI Campus Set for Nov. 14 at 11 a.m.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to witness history in the making when USCB formally unveils the Hilton Head Island Campus at a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 11 a.m. The new campus, located at 21 Office Park Road (now renamed One Sand Shark Drive), is home to the university’s baccalaureate program in Hospitality Management. An open house will follow until 4 p.m. The building encompasses 40,000 square feet housing eight classrooms, a beverage laboratory, a demonstration kitchen, and more. Come see the new home of the Hospitality Management Program.

2. “Indigo Rain: Secreta, Magica, Memoria” Opening Reception on Nov. 8, 5-8 p.m. 

The Sea Islands Center Gallery will open "Indigo Rain: Secreta, Magica, Memoria," an art exhibition featuring artwork by Zipporah Camille Thompson, Nov. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. A gallery talk by the artist will take place at 6 p.m. The exhibition will be on view at the Sea Islands Center Gallery on the Beaufort Campus through Dec. 8. Thompson explores ritual and alchemical transformations through the unknown and through universals, including death, catastrophe, chaos, and the cosmos. She works with various materials, including fiber, clay, plastic, tinsel, and aluminum foil. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

3. USCB Veteran's Day Celebration on Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. in Campus Center 105

Please join the Sand Shark Veterans and Office of Student Life in honoring those who have served our country. Director of Military Programs Mike Weiss and USCB alum Calvin Calvert (class of 2016) will be speaking. Food will be provided. This event is open to all USCB students, staff, and faculty.

University Update Submissions

Please submit news items for the next issue to Candace Brasseur, senior director of communications, at