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Antigone to be presented by Spartanburg Methodist College Players November 7-9

Spartanburg, SC – Spartanburg Methodist College and the SMC Players will present the classic Greek tragedy Antigone beginning Thursday evening November 7th at 7:30 p.m. in the Gibbs Auditorium located in Ellis Hall.  The timeless play, which examines duties to family, to God, and to the state, will continue with productions on Friday, November 8th and Saturday, November 9th at 7:30 p.m.  The public is invited and general admission tickets are $5, area students tickets are $3, and all SMC students, faculty and staff are admitted free of charge.

“Though it was first produced almost 2500 years ago, Sophocles’ Antigone is remains particularly relevant to contemporary audiences,” said Dr. Les Buhite, Director of the SMC Drama Program. Antigone, the daughter of the infamous Oedipus, must choose between the edicts of her tyrannical uncle, the king Creon, and her loyalty to family and the traditional religious obligations toward the dead. The tragedy is set in the ancient Greek city of Thebes.

Dr. Buhite and the cast has modernized the dialogue and added a scene from Jean Anouilh’s famous adaptation from the 1940’s in German-occupied France.  Costuming will be modern, with occasional touches of classical lines.  The SMC production will also feature YouTube-style video to show offstage action and an anti-chorus of modern day-style newscasters to fill in the background and explain some of the actions and understandings that can get lost in translation.  For the chorus, he will bring in contemporary music with the intent to achieve same emotional impact as the original songs would have had to the Athenian audience in 442 BCE.

”King Creon refuses to let Antigone bury her brother, who had raised an invading army against his own city,” Buhite explains. “Contrary to the laws of the gods (as understood by Greek culture), Creon insists that no enemy of the city deserves to be treated with respect, even after death. Sacrificing her life in defiance of Creon’s new law, and honoring her brother despite their political differences, Antigone follows her conscience all the way to the play’s tragic conclusion.”

The SMC cast is composed of the following students:

Ryan Almquist is Creon. A sophomore Finance major, Ryan is the son of Todd and Tira Almquist of Taylors, SC and graduate of Eastside High School.

Torey Brown plays Antigone’s more level-headed sister, Ismene. A sophomore Fine Arts major, Torey  is the daughter of Garland Brown & Robin Brown of York, SC and a graduate of York Comprehensive High School.

Adell Gordon is Haemon, son of Creon, betrothed to Antigone.  A freshman from Greenville SC, Adell is the son of Shirley and Enrique Gordon and is majoring in Fine Arts.  He graduated from Berea High School.

Kathleen Grayson will play the role of Antigone, daughter of the late Oedipus. A sophomore pursuing a Fine Arts major, Kathleen is the daughter of Webster Grayson and Evan Haynie of Easley, SC and a graduate of Liberty High School.

Shakira Jackson is Tiresias, the blind prophet, a Newscaster, and a member of the chorus.  The freshman Fine Arts major is graduate of Chapman High School and the daughter of Joey and Diane Jackson, of Inman, SC.

Leah Meahl is Sophia, a modern-day scholar who provides the deeper social context in which the tragedy unfolds. A Wade Hampton High School graduate, the current sophomore is the daughter of Bruce and Rhonda Meahl of Greenville, SC and is majoring in English.

Kristen LaPointe, is the Sentry, a Newscaster, and a member of the Chorus.  A sophomore from Simpsonville, SC, Kristen is majoring in Pediatrics with a Music minor and is the daughter of Jeff & Lori LaPointe. She is a graduate of Mauldin High School.

Chasten Thomas, plays Creon’s Body Guard and is a sophomore from Inman, SC majoring in Accounting.  The Landrum High School graduate is the son of Joseph and Tami Thomas.

Ashley Whitt plays Eurydice, wife of Creon, mother of Haemon, and appears in the Chorus. The Spartanburg Sophomore is a graduate of Dorman High School.  Ashley is a Computer Science major and the daughter of Jim and Kim Whitt.

Danielle Winks, is Ana Kritis, a contemporary news analyst.  A Sophomore English major from Moore, SC, Danielle is a Dorman High School graduate and the daughter of Michael and Kerry Winks.

Carl Gibson serves as the production’s musical director and leader of the Chorus. A Sophomore Music major from Inman SC., Carl is the son of Gary and Robin Gibson and a graduate of Dependent Christian School.

Additional cast member members include:

Brittany Allen, a Freshman Fine Arts major from Columbia, SC and a graduate of Dreher High School.

Davis Phillips, a Sophomore Communications major from Inman SC.  Davis is a graduate of Spartanburg Christian Academy and the son of William and Melinda Phillips.

The SMC Production Staff includes:

Stage Manager: Hannah Faires, a Sophomore Education major from Mauldin, SC.  The Mauldin High School graduate is the daughter of Ned and Terri Faires.

Videographer and Assistant to the Director: Leo Kingsley, a Freshman Fine Arts major from Spartanburg, SC.  Leo is a  Dorman High School graduate and the son of David and Rita Plemmons.

Assistant to the Director: Adrian Dyer, a sophomore majoring in Religion.  Adrian is the daughter of Mikell and Marian Dyer of Pomaria, SC, and a Mid-Carolina High School graduate.

The performance of Antigone will be directed by Dr. Les Buhite, Director of the SMC Drama Program and Adjunct Professor of Public Speaking.  Dr. Buhite holds a BS in Communications Arts/Theater from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; and a MA in Theater from University of Akron; and a Ph.D in Theater from Florida State University.

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SMC Paralegal Program to offer Real Estate Title Search Course

The SMC Paralegal Certificate Program is pleased to announce it will offer the ever-popular Real Estate Title Search course on Thursday, October 24, 31, November 7, 14 and 21.

The paralegal profession continues to be among the fastest growing of any profession in the nation. Employers are reducing costs and increasing the availability and efficiency of legal services by hiring paralegals to perform tasks once done by lawyers.  Paralegals are also performing a wider variety of duties, making them more useful to businesses. Demand for paralegals also is expected to grow as an expanding population increasingly requires legal services, especially in areas such as intellectual property, healthcare, international law, elder issues, criminal law, and environmental law. Private law firms continue to be the largest employers of paralegals, but a growing array of other organizations, such as corporate legal departments, insurance companies, real-estate and title insurance firms, and banks also hire paralegals.

Returning to school is the fastest way to advance your career, increase your salary and create opportunity.  However, when you’re balancing your education with your family, job, and other obligations, finding the right educational training to fit into your life can be a challenge.

The SMC  Paralegal Certificate program knows what adult students need, convenient hours (classes held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 9 p.m.); reasonable tuition ($325 per 10-week course); practical courses taught by legal professionals (all legal specialty courses are taught by practicing local judges, attorneys and/or paralegals committed to excellence in both curriculum and instruction.  Faculty members bring current work experience and insight in their fields of expertise allowing students to get the hands-on training and skills they will need to excel in the legal workplace) and personal attention from Yvonne Harper, director of the SMC Paralegal Certificate program.

Harper affirms she “will hold your hand every step of the way.  We know how intimidating returning to school can be…every one of our adult students has been in the exact position you’re in right now – wondering “Can I do this?”  Why not take the first step and contact me and see how easy it can be.”

Requesting admission to the SMC Paralegal Certificate Program is easy, simply visit us online at http://www.smcsc.edu/paralegal/ and complete the one-page paralegal application ($35 application fee).  Registration for the 5-week Title Search class is limited,so  reserve your seat today.

For more information, contact Yvonne Harper, 266-7409 or harpery@smcsc.edu.

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SMC to Host Senior College Recruitment Event on Tuesday, October 22

Spartanburg Methodist College will host representatives from 24 South Carolina colleges and universities on  Tuesday, October 22, 2013 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm in conjunction with their 2013 Senior College Recruitment Event.

Deciding on a college can be one of the most difficult decisions of any young adult’s life.  SMC students have found our two-year programs, as well as our intimate and seamless partnerships with four-year institutions extremely beneficial and cost effective.  SMC offers a variety of connection programs, including transfer relationships with colleges and universities all over the country as well as different types of direct transfer bridge agreements.

The October 22nd event will expose students to the opportunities that await them as they move forward from SMC to finishing up their education at a four-year institution.  The event will be held in the outside Mall area in front of the Burgess Student Center.  The following colleges and universities will be participating:

Anderson University, Charleston Southern University, Clemson University,

 Coastal Carolina University, College of Charleston, Columbia College,

Converse College, Erskine College, Furman University, Gardner-Webb University,

Johnson & Wales University, Lander University, Lees-McRae College,

Limestone College, Newberry College, North Greenville University,

Presbyterian College, Southern Wesleyan, USC Columbia, USC Aiken,

USC Beaufort, USC Upstate, Winthrop University, and Wofford College.

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SMC students experience Mandala at Chapman Cultural Center

On Wednesday, October 2nd, Spartanburg Methodist College students left their desks and classrooms and traveled to the Chapman Cultural Arts Center in downtown Spartanburg to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity of watching and interacting with exiled Tibetan monks as they created a mandala.

Dr. Mark Gibbs, Chairperson of the Humanities Division and Professor of Religion and Philosophy, and Dr. Bethany Perkins, Professor of English, treated their respective Religion 103 and English 101 learning community classes with this educational opportunity.

The monks, of Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta, visited Spartanburg and providing a transformative experience as they create a unique mandala sand painting in the Jennifer Evins lobby of the Chapman Theatre as part of the Mystical Arts of Tibet tour.  Originally established near Lhasa, Tibet, in 1416 and re-established in India after the monks were forced to flee Tibet in 1959, the North American seat of the monastery was established in Atlanta in 1990.  The tours, endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, contribute to world peace and healing through sacred art, generate awareness of the endangered Tibetan culture and raise money for the Tibetan refugee community in India.

Sand mandalas are constructed in a pain-staking method of Tantric Buddhist tradition, utilizing a metal funnel called a chakpur to make large circular designs.  Keeping in the Tantric Buddhist tradition, the process of creating a dul-tson-kyil-khor (mandala of colored powders) is used as a tool of re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants. The experience is highly artistic and spiritual for both the monks and spectators. Creating, watching, or simply looking and thinking about the mandala serves as a meditative process.

Mandalas are symbolic representations of the cosmos (sometimes called “cosmograms”).  Over the course of 30 hours, the monks will draw out the initial design, then “paint” the mandala with millions of tiny grains.  In general, mandalas are created to alleviate suffering.  More specifically, they are created for the healing of all living things and the environment.

The mandala being created in Spartanburg symbolizes the need for compassion in our present age and is devoted to Chenrezig (also known as Avalokiteshvara) who is the Buddhist Bodhisattva of Compassion.  The designs within the mandala are ancient spiritual symbols.  The mandala is a formal geometric pattern showing the “floor plan” of a sacred mansion – a Buddha’s celestial palace – populated with enlightened beings; sort of an architectural drawing from a bird’s eye view.

Monks create and then dismantle mandalas in order to demonstrate the Buddhist teaching about the nature of impermanence.  Buddhists emphasize that human attachment to permanence and our avoidance of change inevitably lead to suffering.  Thus the destruction of the mandala becomes an object lesson in the Buddhist teaching, prompting observers to notice their own responses and question their relationship to material things, to beauty, and to change.

SMC freshman April Stratton summed up the day by saying “the mandalas were exquisite and beautiful.  It was amazing to see how the monks placed the sand to create symbols from their culture.  I am grateful to have gotten this experience.”

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SMC Psi Beta Chapter to present “Suicide: Is it an option?” on Thursday, October 31st

Spartanburg Methodist College’s Psi Beta Chapter is pleased to announce that Dr. David Cox, Author, Speaker and Christian Life Coach, will present “Suicide: Is it an option?” on Thursday, October 31st from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the David Mission Chapel on the campus of SMC. The public is invited and admission is free of charge.

Dr. Cox holds a B.A. degree in Religion from Wofford College, and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. The focus of his doctoral work was counseling and suicide intervention.

As a part of his training, Dr. Cox completed a two-year clinical residency as a Hospital Chaplain at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Cox completed a three-year pastoral internship in the Pastoral Counseling Center of First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, South Carolina where Dr. Kirk H. Neely served as Mentor and Supervisor. While in graduate school, he also completed paramedic training and worked as a Senior Paramedic for Spartanburg EMS and was named South Carolina’s 1989 Paramedic of the Year.

Dr. Cox is an ordained minister. Having served various churches as a Youth Minister and Pastoral Counselor prior to entering private practice as a Christian Life Coach in 1992, he has helped numerous individuals, couples and families in crisis.  Dr. Cox served as an Expert Witness in the Susan Smith murder trial in Union, SC in 1995, giving testimony regarding the effects of suicide on surviving children. The BBC interviewed him for a suicide documentary about the Susan Smith case.

In 1997, he founded a local SOS (Survivors of Suicide) support group. He facilitated the group, which continues to meet monthly, until several years ago when he felt the need to devote a large block of time to writing a book to help survivors of suicide cope.  He has also served as a staff counselor for Wounded Heroes, now Wounded Ministers, a ministry of LifeWay to pastors. Dr. Cox was the Special Counselors Captain for the Upstate Carolina Festival 2001 with Franklin Graham.

Following the events of 9/11, he was the subject of an article on Family.org (Focus On The Family) concerning how to talk to children about the tragedy. On the one year anniversary, the article entitled, Help Children Cope, was reprinted in the Focus on the Family magazine. He also provided services in the aftermath of the shootings on the Virginia Tech campus that occurred on April 16, 2007.

He is coauthor with Candy Arrington of  AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide – Broadman & Holman Publishers – October 2003 and contributor to The Art of Helping – River Oak Publishers, 2003. In both 2004 and 2007, Dr. Cox was a radio guest on “Family Life Today” with Dennis Rainey.  He has appeared on the national television programs “Helpline” with Dr. Morris Cerullo and “Time for Hope” with Dr. Freda Crews. He hosted his own radio program, “Life Matters with Dr. David Cox,” from 2002 until 2012.

The SMC Psi Beta chapter, chartered on September 1, 1988, is under the direction of psychology professor Dr. Mary Jane Farmer, with assistance from Pete Aylor, psychology professor and Director of SMC’s Counseling Center, and college Counselor Sue Onken.  To date, there have been 376 SMC students who have achieved life-time membership to Psi Beta.

Membership to PSI BETA is by invitation only.  To be considered students must have at least 12 college credits, earn a B or higher in PSYC 101, maintain a 3.25 GPA and be of good moral character. Psi Beta provides students with opportunities to acquire leadership skills, interact with faculty outside the classroom, learn more about the professional and educational choices available in psychology, meet outstanding professionals in psychology, participate in community service, meet peers with similar interests, and be involved with Psi Beta on the national level.

SMC is South Carolina’s only private, residential college exclusively for freshmen and sophomore students and one of only four colleges in South Carolina affiliated with the United Methodist Church. SMC’s mission is to transform lives in a values-oriented, student-centered atmosphere in the Christian tradition that encourages academic excellence, intellectual exploration, social  awareness, and character development within the liberal arts tradition.  Spartanburg Methodist College, founded in 1911, is proud of its heritage of providing “the opportunity to be your best and the inspiration to do great things.”