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SMC named to The President’s Honor Roll for 2014

Spartanburg Methodist College received word today that they have been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2014. The President’s Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions whose community service efforts achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. This distinction is the highest federal recognition colleges and universities can receive for community service, service-learning, and civic engagement.

”Service to our community and state is a part of our culture and nature. It is what we do at SMC and to be recognized by the President’s Honor Roll is gratifying,” shared Ron Laffitte, Dean of Students at SMC.

Since 1911, service to humanity has been stressed daily at Spartanburg Methodist College. Today, SMC students continue the tradition by volunteering at hospitals, schools, churches, animal shelters, soup kitchens, etc. In so doing, they gain valuable skills, nurture a strong work ethic, and develop assets that translate to future benefits for them personally and for society (81% of Americans who volunteered as a youth, give to charitable organizations as adults.).

SMC’s strategic commitment to engage students in service strengthens the student and the local community. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the College reported over 6,000 community service hours of investing in the lives of others, according to SMC’s Chaplain, Candice Sloan. “Volunteering fosters respect for others, patience, kindness, and the ability to empathize with people who are different from the volunteer” stated Sloan. “As a mission of the United Methodist Church, SMC lives up to John Wesley’s recommendation that we ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.’ In the process, SMC students, faculty and staff have touched a countless number of lives.”

In 2012, a reported 3.1 million students engaged in community service, providing 118 million hours of community service, valued at $2.5 billion, per the Volunteering and Civic Life in America report. Volunteering is the foundation to student achievement and life-long learning. The benefits of volunteering are reaped both now, and in the future. Out of 13.3 million youth, 59.3% volunteer an average of 3.5 hours per week, versus 49% of adults, who volunteer an average of 4.2 hours. Statistically, students who volunteer just one hour or more a week are 50% less likely to abuse alcohol, cigarettes, become pregnant, or engage in other destructive behavior.

Graduating Class without robes website image

Nine Paralegal Students Graduate from SMC

On Sunday, November 23, 2014 Spartanburg Methodist College held its 2014 Paralegal Certificate Evening Program graduation in the William Milton Davis Mission Chapel. Justin Bradley, Spartanburg County Councilman-elect, District 2, was the commencement keynote speaker. Bradley serves as corporate counsel for Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing, a division of New Penn Financial, LLC with responsibility for litigation management, licensing, and vendor management.

JenniferParalegal instructor, Jennifer Jordan, with the Office of the Seventh Circuit Solicitor, was recognized by the graduating class as the 2014 Instructor of the Year, an honor she also received in 2009 and 2013.

StellaStella Johnson, of Una, SC, was presented by her classmates with the prestigious Queen Mims Memorial Student Speaker Award, which carries the honor of delivering the commencement speech on behalf of the class. The award is named after Jonesville native Queen Elizabeth Mims, a 2007 SMC Paralegal Certificate Program graduate, who worked as the office manager for her brother, local attorney Albert V. Smith. Mims, who served as class speaker of her graduating class, lost her battle with cancer in 2011. Johnson served her country for eight years in the United States Air Force and then served for over three years in the Georgia Air National Guard. Participating in the City of Spartanburg’s Citizen’s Police Academy peaked Johnson’s interest in law and led her to the SMC Paralegal Certificate Evening Program.

SusanSpartanburg resident Susan C. Abbott, was recognized by her instructors with the Liz Patterson Student of the Year Award. The award is named after Liz Patterson, the former 3-term United States Congresswoman for the 4th Congressional District of South Carolina, who founded the program, which she began in 1997 at Converse College. In 2004, Patterson was instrumental in the moving of the program to SMC, where she currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees and is a member of the Paralegal Certificate Program’s Advisory Committee. Abbott was recognized for her good moral character, confidence, strong academic and leadership abilities and her exceptional promise. She was judged to represent the ideal qualities of a Spartanburg Methodist College Paralegal Certificate Program Student.

Graduating Class without robesAdditional graduates include Catherine Danniel Johnston, of Woodruff, SC. Spartanburg residents Gerald J. Harblin and Cheyenne Nicole Harblin, the program’s first father-daughter duo; Ashley Alexandra Agnew; Alicia Elaine Crouch and Katie Gault Easler, who were both recognized with 212 Degree Awards for their extra drive in securing employment in the legal field while still students in the program.

“Our graduates are unique and intelligent individuals who all shared a dream to work in the legal field when they entered the program. I am very proud of our program’s commitment to bestow students with marketable job skills that increase their employer’s efficiency, productivity, and billable hours. It is an honor to play a part in helping students’ dreams become realities,” shared Yvonne Harper, who has directed SMC’s Paralegal Certificate Program since 2004.

The roots of the paralegal profession can be traced to the late 1960s when Congress, law firms, local bar associations, and the American Bar Association (ABA) began significant efforts to increase access to legal services in the United States. Paralegals, trained non-lawyers, working under the supervision of attorneys, provide clients with affordable and efficient legal services that otherwise would be performed by licensed attorneys.
SMC’s paralegal program, designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers, offers personalized academic advisement and faculty, composed of local practicing judges, attorneys and paralegals, who provide networking opportunities and offer real-world experience with practical application. Instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of the law in which paralegals are most in demand. The program consists of fourteen 10-week courses. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. For information, contact Yvonne Harper, or 864-266-7409.

Santa's helpers

Spartanburg Methodist College Celebrating the Season with Alternative Christmas Office Party

On Friday, December 5, 2014 Spartanburg Methodist College will hold its annual Christmas Party. However, like many organizations today, this year SMC was looking for a better way to celebrate Christmas for its employees.

“Today’s overall economic woes, less tolerance for overindulgence, and lack of employee engagement is causing human resource departments all across the country to look at the feasibility of the traditional holiday office party, which tends to be both expensive and energy-consuming,” explained Jenny Dunn, Director of Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President at SMC.

Friday’s holiday celebration will be held from 11 am to 1:30 pm in the Phyllis Buchheit Board Room at SMC and will focus on giving back to the community. Faced with competition for employee time, attention and energy during the December holiday season, and ever-mindful of the College’s financial investment, SMC President Dr. Colleen Perry Keith was committed to keeping things “merry” for her staff while also being a good steward to the supporters of the college.

“The goal is to decorate and fill 500 gift bags for the College’s young friends at Jesse Bobo Elementary School. We will enjoy lively holiday music, great food and awesome fellowship, providing an opportunity for faculty, staff as well as members of our Board of Trustees to participate in a team-building, morale boosting holiday party that will make Christmas brighter for a special group of young people,” shared Keith.

Research shows employees find charitable giving motivational and exciting. According to Dunn, “our employees have enjoyed seeing the piles of snack food, school supplies, small toys and other donated gifts growing in the President’s Office.”

therapy dogs

Therapy Dogs visit Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg Methodist College’s Psi Beta chapter, the national Psychology honor society, hosted the Spartanburg Chapter of Therapy Dog International on Thursday, November 20 in the Davis Mission Chapel.

Founded in 1976 in New Jersey, Therapy Dogs International is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed. TDI registers all breeds of dogs. Some dogs have pedigrees, while others have been adopted from local shelters or are rescue dogs. In 2012, an estimated 24,750 dog/handler teams were registered with TDI.

To belong to Therapy Dogs International, dogs must be at least one year old and have a sound temperament. All dogs must be tested and evaluated by a Certified TDI Evaluator and must pass a TDI temperament evaluation for suitability to become a Therapy Dog. The test will also include the evaluation of the dog’s behavior around people with the use of some type of service equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.).

P1020822Ms. Peggy Crawford, a licensed trainer and evaluator for Therapy Dogs, and the Director of the Spartanburg Chapter, shared her personal story of working in the Chicago medical field for over thirty years during which time she first became involved with Therapy Dogs.

The use of canines to help mankind is known throughout the world. They have been used for guarding flocks, tracking, hunting, search and rescue, leading the blind, and in assisting the deaf and physically challenged. The bond between dog and man dates back to early history, but it was not until recently that a correlation was acknowledged between this bond and the emotional health of humans. Crawford shared that “studies have shown that a person holding or petting an animal will cause a lowering of blood pressure, the release of strain and tension, and can draw out a person from loneliness and depression.”

SMC students greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn about this volunteer organization, but they especially appreciated the opportunity to interact and experience the many hands-on benefits of the therapy dogs that were part of the presentation.

what a kisserloyal friend


Duncan Estate

SMC Alumni & Friends Cocktail Christmas Party

You are cordially invited to attend the

SMC Alumni & Friends Cocktail Christmas Party

Friday, December 5th, 2014
6 – 8 p.m.

The Duncan Estate
840 Union Street
Spartanburg, SC 29302

Please RSVP to Becky Snow at
Hosted by the SMC Alumni Council Members
Amy Threatt Solomon & Clint Settle

• Cocktail Party Attire Suggested
• No Charge to attend