Dr. Colleen Perry Keith

SMC’s Dr. Colleen Perry Keith to speak at Spartanburg High School’s Academic Excellence Awards Program

Spartanburg High School will hold their 2014 Academic Excellence Awards Program on Monday, March 31 at 7 p.m. in the Spartanburg High Gym.   Last year one hundred and seventy-seven students in 10th-12th grade were recognized for being National Merit Finalists/Semi-finalists, National Achievement Finalists/Semi-finalists, achieving a Perfect

SAT/PSAT Score, Straight A’s, 4.12+ and 4.50+ GPR, and for their selection to the Governor’s School (Academics).

The SHS Academic Awards Program, established in 1990, honors students who have excelled in a variety of academic pursuits and in addition to recognition, the event allows students to have an opportunity to hear distinguished speakers who have excelled in their careers.  Prior speakers have included such personalities as Bruce Littlejohn, Chief Justice (Retired) South Carolina Supreme Court; Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education, Jean Toal, Associate Justice SC Supreme Court, George Dean Johnson, Jr., the Honorable Trey Gowdy, US House of Representatives, as well as many other community and state leaders.

The 2014 address will be provided by Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, who has served as President of Spartanburg Methodist College since July, 2009.  Her talk will challenge those in attendance to pay attention to the historical time they are in, and bring their talents to bear to offer solutions to issues as each chooses what career path they want to follow.

A native of northern New York, Keith has more than 25 years of experience in higher education, in capacities including student service roles, program development, teaching, fund raising, and administration. Dr. Keith earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University, a Master of Education degree in Educational Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from State University of New York, University Center at Binghamton.

Under Dr. Keith’s leadership, SMC successfully completed a $15 million capital campaign ahead of schedule; built an $11 million academic building; launched two new academic degree programs; implemented new bridge programs and articulation agreement with senior institutions; led efforts resulting in a 249% increase in annual donor gifts and pledges; energized marketing efforts resulting in the doubling of annual prospective student inquiries from 3,000 to nearly 6,000; and received national recognition for SMC service initiatives involving faculty, staff and students.  

Keith, an active presenter and panelist, is the current President of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church, and a current member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, College and University Personnel Association, and the Association of Governing Boards.  She serves on the Advisory Board, South Carolina Women in Higher Education (partner organization of The American Council of Education’s Office of Women in Higher Education); is the 2013-14 Secretary of the South Carolina Higher Education

Tuition Grants Commission; and is a member of the Executive Committee of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, in addition to serving on their President’s Council and Finance Committee.

She currently is a member of the Diversity Leaders Initiative Advisory Committee for the University of South Carolina School of Medicine;  Board of Directors, Mary Black Foundation; Board of Directors, Greer Educational Foundation; Board of Directors, Hospice Division, Spartanburg Regional Hospital Foundation; Board of Directors, The Arts Partnership, Spartanburg, SC, serving on both the Financial Policies and Governance Committees; Board of Directors, College Town Inc., Spartanburg, SC; Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity; and is a member and lector of The Roman Catholic Church of Jesus Our Risen Savior.

In January, Dr. Keith began a two-year term as Chair of the Board of Directors, for the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, where she also serves on the Public Affairs Committee and Workforce Education Committee.

SMC

Spartanburg Methodist College announces Pioneer Peers for 2014-2015

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Pioneer Peers.  The following rising sophomore will serve as representatives for SMC, embodying the ideals and mission of the college in behavior and spirit:

Amanda Rainboth, daughter of Bryan and Maria Rainboth of Bluffton, SC and a graduate of Bluffton High School; 

Ashley Rogers, daughter of David and Kelly Rogers of Easley, SC and a graduate of Wren High School;

Brianna Wright, of Columbia, SC and a graduate of Dreher High School;

Brittany Moore, daughter of Robbie and Sharon Moore of Union, SC and a graduate of Union County High School

Brooklyn Brockelbank, daughter of Anthony and Pamela Melton of Spartanburg, SC and a graduate of Dorman High School;

CarleyParris, daughter of Larry and Amanda Parris of Inman, SC and a graduate of Boiling Springs High School; 

Courtney Tutterow, daughter of Mike and Michelle Tutterow of Boiling Springs, SC and a graduate of Boiling Springs High School; 

Deja Smith, daughter of Darren Hannah and Delores Smith of Columbia, SC and a graduate of CA Johnson High School;

Elizabeth Hill, daughter of Keith Hill and Christy Sharp of Duncan, SC and a graduate of James F Byrnes High School;

Guillermo Arce-Ruiz, daughter of Marcelo Alvarado and Estela Ruiz of Beaufort, SC and a graduate of Beaufort High School;

Jesse Herrera, son of Oscar and Amy Herrera of Myrtle Beach, SC and a graduate of Carolina Forest High School;

Joshleen Restrepo, daughter of Eisleen Restrepo of Wellford, SC and a graduate of Dorman High School;

Kristen Clark, daughter of Eric and Pamela Clark of Rock Hill, SC and a graduate of Northwestern High School;

Michael Campbell, son of Michael Campbell and Vanessa Grice of Rock Hill, SC and a graduate of South Pointe High School;

Monica Cleland, daughter of Marshall and Barbara Cleland of Greenville, SC and a graduate of Mauldin High School;

Shakira Jackson, daughter of Diane Jackson of Inman, SC and a graduate of Chapman High School;

Thomas Sparks, son of John and Serena Sparks of Landrum, SC and a graduate of Landrum High School;

Tieriney Williams, daughter of Hubert and Chandra Williams of Columbia, SC and a graduate of Richland Northeast High School;

Tori Allen, daughter of Treina Patterson of Inman, SC and a graduate of Dorman High School; and 

Willie Wesley, son of Willie and Carolyn Wesley of Varnville, SC and a graduate of Wade Hampton High School.

Pioneer Peers function as peer leaders for new students through SMC’s Summer Orientation program, Pioneer Power Up, and in each section of SMC 101, and the Freshmen Year Experience class.   Pioneer Peers are required to have 2.5 GPA, attend scheduled training meetings, and must be involved in at least one club, organization, or campus activity. The benefits of being a Pioneer Peer include a $1200 Scholarship, an opportunity to help shape the experiences of new students, experience in leadership and group facilitation, and the opportunity to work with some of the most exciting people on campus. 

Restoration 2014

SMC hosting The Restoration on Thursday, April 3rd

Spartanburg Methodist College and their Pioneering Learning Community is pleased to host and present The Restoration at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 3rd in Gibbs Auditorium located in Ellis Hall, both of which are handicapped accessible. This performance by Jasper Magazine’s 2013 Artist of the Year is open to the public and admission is free of charge.

The Restoration’s members grew up performing in orchestras, church choirs, fiddle groups and rock bands in the small town of Lexington, South Carolina. Their debut concept album, Constance, has been taught in university literature and history courses and was featured on PasteMagazine.com.

Formed in 2007, the band have used their varied backgrounds as a lens for exploring the music and culture of their native soil, channeling storytelling and regional history through instrumentation associated with traditional and post-rock America alike. At the core of this exploration is a desire to preserve and enjoy the rich cultural heritage of the South while taking responsibility to acknowledge the problematic history that created it.

The Restoration’s debut, Constance, explores racial identity and the terrifying widespread acceptance of mob violence in early 20th century Lexington, SC. Their follow up, Honor the Father, returns to Lexington in the 1950s for a semi-allegorical tale of religious radicalism and abusive Bible-inspired patriarchy. The band’s two upcoming releases will focus on a 19th-century minister’s struggle with the Biblical defense of slavery, and the subjugation of the LGBT community still happening today.

Since its release in 2010, The Restoration’s Constance has been embraced by several South Carolina educators. The album has been taught in literature courses at Francis Marion University and is a recurring part of the literature and history curriculum at Spartanburg Methodist College.

“I first heard of The Restoration while flipping through Columbia Free Times. I thought the album, music, and band sounded interesting, but it was some time before I experienced the band first hand. I was blown away by the performance, so I bought Constance as soon as it was available.

The compendium sold me on the talent of the band,” shared Dr. Jonathan Sedberry, Ph.D., Spartanburg Methodist College.  “I immediately thought of adding The Restoration to our curriculum because in addition to the talent of the band, I thought the study of the album and a performance could extend the purpose of the Learning Community. Furthermore, the Faulknerian nature of the project and the complexity of the lyrics (in and of themselves as well as juxtaposed to the music) fit the curriculum while adding nuance. Moreover, music often draws in students who resist fiction and poetry. I think Constance is remarkable, and though not equal to the work of Whitman or Frost, possesses the complexity and cultural force to be studied alongside such giants of American literature.”

Musically, the band wishes to take part in the evolution of traditional and regional music, providing a living, contemporary voice that embraces overlapping genre boundaries while remaining aware and respectful of music history.

Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg Methodist College announces Pioneer Peers for 2014-2015

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Pioneer Peers.  The following rising sophomore will serve as representatives for SMC, embodying the ideals and mission of the college in behavior and spirit:

Amanda Rainboth, daughter of Bryan and Maria Rainboth of Bluffton, SC and a graduate of Bluffton High School;

Ashley Rogers, daughter of David and Kelly Rogers of Easley, SC and a graduate of Wren High School;

Brianna Wright, of Columbia, SC and a graduate of Dreher High School;

Brittany Moore, daughter of Robbie and Sharon Moore of Union, SC and a graduate of Union County High School

Brooklyn Brockelbank, daughter of Anthony and Pamela Melton of Spartanburg, SC and a graduate of Dorman High School;

CarleyParris, daughter of Larry and Amanda Parris of Inman, SC and a graduate of Boiling Springs High School;

Courtney Tutterow, daughter of Mike and Michelle Tutterow of Boiling Springs, SC and a graduate of Boiling Springs High School;

Deja Smith, daughter of Darren Hannah and Delores Smith of Columbia, SC and a graduate of CA Johnson High School;

Elizabeth Hill, daughter of Keith Hill and Christy Sharp of Duncan, SC and a graduate of James F Byrnes High School;

Guillermo Arce-Ruiz, daughter of Marcelo Alvarado and Estela Ruiz of Beaufort, SC and a graduate of Beaufort High School;

Jesse Herrera, son of Oscar and Amy Herrera of Myrtle Beach, SC and a graduate of Carolina Forest High School;

Joshleen Restrepo, daughter of Eisleen Restrepo of Wellford, SC and a graduate of Dorman High School;

Kristen Clark, daughter of Eric and Pamela Clark of Rock Hill, SC and a graduate of Northwestern High School;

Michael Campbell, son of Michael Campbell and Vanessa Grice of Rock Hill, SC and a graduate of South Pointe High School;

Monica Cleland, daughter of Marshall and Barbara Cleland of Greenville, SC and a graduate of Mauldin High School;

Shakira Jackson, daughter of Diane Jackson of Inman, SC and a graduate of Chapman High School;

Thomas Sparks, son of John and Serena Sparks of Landrum, SC and a graduate of Landrum High School;

Tieriney Williams, daughter of Hubert and Chandra Williams of Columbia, SC and a graduate of Richland Northeast High School;

Tori Allen, daughter of Treina Patterson of Inman, SC and a graduate of Dorman High School; and

Willie Wesley, son of Willie and Carolyn Wesley of Varnville, SC and a graduate of Wade Hampton High School.

Pioneer Peers function as peer leaders for new students through SMC’s Summer Orientation program, Pioneer Power Up, and in each section of SMC 101, and the Freshmen Year Experience class.   Pioneer Peers are required to have 2.5 GPA, attend scheduled training meetings, and must be involved in at least one club, organization, or campus activity. The benefits of being a Pioneer Peer include a $1200 Scholarship, an opportunity to help shape the experiences of new students, experience in leadership and group facilitation, and the opportunity to work with some of the most exciting people on campus.

Dr. Colleen Keith 72313

SMC’s Dr. Colleen Perry Keith to speak at Spartanburg High School’s Academic Excellence Awards Program

Spartanburg High School will hold their 2014 Academic Excellence Awards Program on Monday, March 31 at 7 p.m. in the Spartanburg High Gym.   Last year one hundred and seventy-seven students in 10th-12th grade were recognized for being National Merit Finalists/Semi-finalists, National Achievement Finalists/Semi-finalists, achieving a Perfect SAT/PSAT Score, Straight A’s, 4.12+ and 4.50+ GPR, and for their selection to the Governor’s School (Academics).

The SHS Academic Awards Program, established in 1990, honors students who have excelled in a variety of academic pursuits and in addition to recognition, the event allows students to have an opportunity to hear distinguished speakers who have excelled in their careers.  Prior speakers have included such personalities as Bruce Littlejohn, Chief Justice (Retired) South Carolina Supreme Court; Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education, Jean Toal, Associate Justice SC Supreme Court, George Dean Johnson, Jr., the Honorable Trey Gowdy, US House of Representatives, as well as many other community and state leaders.

The 2014 address will be provided by Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, who has served as President of Spartanburg Methodist College since July, 2009.  Her talk will challenge those in attendance to pay attention to the historical time they are in, and bring their talents to bear to offer solutions to issues as each chooses what career path they want to follow.

A native of northern New York, Keith has more than 25 years of experience in higher education, in capacities including student service roles, program development, teaching, fund raising, and administration. Dr. Keith earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University, a Master of Education degree in Educational Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from State University of New York, University Center at Binghamton.

Under Dr. Keith’s leadership, SMC successfully completed a $15 million capital campaign ahead of schedule; built an $11 million academic building; launched two new academic degree programs; implemented new bridge programs and articulation agreement with senior institutions; led efforts resulting in a 249% increase in annual donor gifts and pledges; energized marketing efforts resulting in the doubling of annual prospective student inquiries from 3,000 to nearly 6,000; and received national recognition for SMC service initiatives involving faculty, staff and students. 

Keith, an active presenter and panelist, is the current President of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church, and a current member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, College and University Personnel Association, and the Association of Governing Boards.  She serves on the Advisory Board, South Carolina Women in Higher Education (partner organization of The American Council of Education’s Office of Women in Higher Education); is the 2013-14 Secretary of the South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission; and is a member of the Executive Committee of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, in addition to serving on their President’s Council and Finance Committee.

She currently is a member of the Diversity Leaders Initiative Advisory Committee for the University of South Carolina School of Medicine;  Board of Directors, Mary Black Foundation; Board of Directors, Greer Educational Foundation; Board of Directors, Hospice Division, Spartanburg Regional Hospital Foundation; Board of Directors, The Arts Partnership, Spartanburg, SC, serving on both the Financial Policies and Governance Committees; Board of Directors, College Town Inc., Spartanburg, SC; Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity; and is a member and lector of The Roman Catholic Church of Jesus Our Risen Savior.

In January, Dr. Keith began a two-year term as Chair of the Board of Directors, for the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, where she also serves on the Public Affairs Committee and Workforce Education Committee.

SMC_Seal Reflex Blue

Spartanburg Methodist College announces Summer Sessions

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce their Summer College Sessions and course offerings.  Session I will be held from May 28 to June 27, 2014 and Session II, an ALL ON-LINE program of study, will be held from July 7 to August 1, 2014.

“Summer classes provide an excellent opportunity for Upstate residents to take either that first college step, or return to the college classroom,” shared Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, President of SMC. “Our coursework is highly transferrable, so students who attend college elsewhere and plan to spend the summer at home can take courses here without worry about transferring coursework. We have strong articulation agreements with over 200 colleges and universities and are happy to work with students to ensure a smooth transition.”

According to data from the 2012 US Census, 31.5% of Spartanburg residents have only attained a high school diploma and 19.9% have some college, compared to 29.8% and 21.1% respectively in South Carolina, and 28.0% and 21.3% in the United States.

The earnings gap between young adults with and without bachelor’s degrees has stretched to its widest level in nearly half a century. It’s a sign of the growing value of a college education despite rising tuition costs, according to a recent analysis of census data. Young adults with just a high-school diploma earned 62 percent of the typical salary of college graduates. That’s down from 81 percent in 1965, the earliest year for which comparable data are available.

The analysis by the Pew Research Center shows the increasing economic difficulties for young adults who lack a bachelor’s degree in today’s economy that is polarized between high- and low-wage work. As a whole, high-school graduates were more likely to live in poverty and be dissatisfied with their jobs, if not unemployed.

In contrast, roughly nine in 10 college graduates ages 25 to 32 said that their bachelor’s degree had paid off or will pay off in the future, according to Pew’s separate polling conducted last year. Even among the two-thirds of young adults who borrowed money for college, about 86 percent said their degrees have been, or will be, worth it. ‘‘In today’s knowledge-based economy, the only thing more expensive than getting a college education is not getting one,’’ said Paul Taylor, Pew’s executive vice president and co-author of the report.*

SMC’s summer college provides the unique opportunity for students to accelerate their graduation date and to explore subjects they did not have the opportunity to take during the academic year. SMC’s summer college is also available to students from other campuses who wish to transfer credit back to their home institution. Students may take up to two (3 hr. or 4 hr.) courses and a physical education course in Session I.  Students may take up to two courses in Session II.

Session I includes the following  course offerings: English Composition I, Microbiology, Astronomy and Physics, Public Speaking, Principles of Biology I, Drama Appreciation, First Aid & Personal Safety, General Psychology, Readings in World Literature, English Composition II, Health Education, Introductory Statistics, Western Civilization I, and Jogging.

Session II, an all online program of study, includes the following course offerings:  US History I, Intro to Computer Science, New Testament and American Literature II

Tuition is $225.00 per credit hour.  The cost of books and supplies will vary by course and course load. Information regarding costs and financial aid may be obtained by contacting the Admissions Office at 864-587-4213, or the Financial Aid Office at 864-587-4298.

Room and Board costs for Session I are $985.00. Meals are available Monday-Friday. Residence halls are open seven days a week during the term. Residence halls will open for student check-in on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, between 3:00 pm-5:00 pm. Residence halls will close at 5:00 pm on June 27.  Residence facilities are not available for Session II.

More information about opportunities available through the SMC Summer School program may be obtained by calling the Office of Admissions at Spartanburg Methodist College at (864) 587-4213 or 1-800-772-7286 or by visiting http://www.smcsc.edu/summer-session-info/

Psi beta crest

SMC PSI BETA Seminar to focus on Human Trafficking & Sex Slavery 2014

PSI BETA, the Honor Society in Psychology of Spartanburg Methodist College, will host Patricia S. Ravenhorst, Director and immigration attorney of the South Carolina Immigrant Victim Network, a program of the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network (SCVAN), on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 3 p.m. in the SMC Davis Mission Chapel to discuss Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Human sex trafficking is the most common form of modern-day slavery and it is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world. Estimates place the number of its domestic and international victims in the millions, mostly females and children enslaved in the commercial sex industry for little or no money.

The terms human trafficking and sex slavery usually conjure up images of young girls beaten and abused in faraway places, like Eastern Europe, Asia, or Africa.   Actually, human sex trafficking and sex slavery happen locally in cities and towns, both large and small, throughout the United States, right in citizens’ backyards. The US not only faces an influx of international victims but also has its own homegrown problem of interstate sex trafficking of minors.

Today, the business of human sex trafficking is organized and violent. These abusive methods of control impact the victims both physically and mentally. Similar to cases involving Stockholm Syndrome, these victims, who have been abused over an extended period of time, begin to feel an attachment to the perpetrator. This paradoxical psychological phenomenon makes it difficult for law enforcement to breach the bond of control, albeit abusive, the trafficker holds over the victim.

Ravenhorst has served as the director of the Immigrant Victim Program since 2009 where she works directly with human trafficking (HT) victims in South Carolina. She also regularly trains advocates and law enforcement on HT where she currently serves on the SC HT Taskforce.  Her work with the Immigrant Victim Network is dedicated to ensuring meaningful access to justice for immigrant victims of crime throughout South Carolina.  She demonstrates her passion for the needs of immigrant victims of crime by frequently speaking to immigrant groups, victim service providers, judges and law enforcement officials regarding the rights of immigrant victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

Prior to joining SCVAN, Ravenhorst practiced law in the areas of immigration, employment and general litigation with Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham in Greenville, South Carolina. Her work experience also includes an internship with the South African Secretariat for Safety and Security in Pretoria, South Africa, where she worked collaboratively with the South African Police Service and the Security Officer’s Board to propose revisions to South Africa’s laws and regulations governing South Africa’s private security industry.  She graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University with a degree in International Affairs emphasizing Latin American studies.  She then graduated from Duke University with both her law degree and master’s degree in political science with a certification in Latin American studies.  Ms. Ravenhorst is licensed to practice before both federal and state courts in South Carolina and is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the SC Access to Justice Commission’s Language Access Committee.

In honor of her work with immigrant victims and her advocacy for immigrant rights,  Ravenhorst was honored to receive the Greenville County Guardian ad Litem Program’s “Ethel M. Piper Angel Award”; to be named as one of Greenville’s “Best and Brightest Under 35” by the Greenville Magazine and as one of Greenville’s “Most Beautiful Women” by Greenville’s TALK Magazine; to receive the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leadership Award for International Diversity and the SC Lawyer’s Weekly Leadership in Law Award; and to be a member of the 2012 class of the Liberty Fellowship.  She is currently the President of the FSU Flying High Circus Alumni Association and is a former Board member of the Center for Developmental Services, Safe Harbor, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Development Board, Greenville Sister Cities International and Greenville’s Alianza Hispana (formerly the Alliance for Collaboration with the Hispanic Community).

Ravenhorst graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs emphasizing Latin American Studies in 1997. In 2000, she proceeded to Duke University and finished with honors both Law and Master’s Degree in Political Science with a certification in Latin American Studies.

 

March 24 2014 the Importance of Being Ernest

Spartanburg Methodist College to present Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce the SMC Players will present The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde’s most well-known and successful play, Thursday March 27, Friday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Gibbs Auditorium located in Ellis Hall, both of which are handicapped accessible. 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.

The play, which has rarely fallen out of popularity since its first production in London in 1895, is a comedy that draws a parody of Victorian-era morality and its endless concern with status and respectability.  The plot is a complicated stew of false identities, misunderstandings, and marriage which turns the bromides of upper-class British society on its head.  In Earnest, Wilde revived the brittle wordplay of the comedy of manners, a form long abandoned on the British stage, and combined it with more the familiar elements of melodrama.

The Importance of Being Earnest is 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. Scenic and lighting design is a collaborative effort with SMC’s Drama Workshop class. The cast is composed of:

Carl Gibson, who is portraying Algernon Moncrief.  Gibson is a regular performer at SMC as both a musician and an actor. He has previously appeared in The Apple Tree, Antigone, and Mr. Scrooge. Hailing from Inman, SC, he is the son of Gary and Robin Gibson and a graduate of Dependent Christian School;

William Chandler Goodrich, who is portraying Ernest John Worthing. Another regular on the SMC stage, Goodrich has previously appeared in An Unexpected Murder, The Apple Tree, and Harvey.  A Film (Cinematography) Major from Greer, SC, he is the son of Debra and William Goodrich and a graduate of Greer Middle College Charter High School;

Leah Meahl, who will be portraying Lady Bracknell, brings an impressive resume to the SMC stage. She is a sophomore from Greenville, and most recently appeared as a narrator in Antigone and Passionella in The Apple Tree. A Wade Hampton High School graduate, she is the daughter of Bruce and Rhonda Meahl of Greenville, SC and is majoring in English;

Torey Brown, who has the role of Miss Gwendolyn Fairfax.  An Arts major from York, SC, she most recently appeared in the SMC production of Antigone, as well as in The Apple Tree, Mr. Scrooge, and Harvey. Brown is the daughter of Garland and Robin Brown of York, SC and a graduate of York Comprehensive High School;

Shakira Jackson, who will be portraying Miss Cecily Cardew.  An Inman SC native, she appeared in a number of plays in her church and high school, as well as in the SMC production of Antigone. The freshman Fine Arts major is graduate of Chapman High School and the daughter of Joey and Diane Jackson;

Adell Gordon, who has the role of the Rev. Dr. Frederick Chasuble, is a freshman Fine Arts major from Greenville, SC. He is a member of the Army Reserves and the Gospel Choir, appeared in the SMC production of Antigone, is the son of Shirley and Enrique Gordon and graduated from Berea High School;  

Patrice Haynes, who will be portraying Miss Laetitia Prism. Haynes attended Ridge View High School in Columbia, SC. She is the daughter of Angela and Floyd Haynes and a graduate of Ridge View High School.  Haynes is a Performing Arts major and this is her first appearance on the SMC stage;  

Davis Phillips will be portraying Lane and Merriman:  “The Butlers.” Phillips is a Communications Major from Inman SC.  Prior appearances at SMC include The Apple Tree and Antigone.  He is a graduate of Spartanburg Christian Academy and the son of William and Melinda Phillips; and

Hannah Faires, who is serving yet another time as Production Stage Manager. She is an Early Childhood Education major from Mauldin, SC. The Mauldin High School graduate is the daughter of Ned and Terri Faires. 

The Easter Bunny

Sheriff Department’s Easter Egg Hunt to be held at SMC

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on the SMC campus on Saturday, April 12. The exclusive event, open only to Sheriff’s Department employees’ children and grandchildren, will also feature an appearance by The Easter Bunny.

In 2006 Sheriff Chuck Wright and his wife Kim happened upon information on The Easter Bunny Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a personal visit and a toy from The Easter Bunny during the week of Easter to children in hospitals and pediatric wards across the United States. In 2013, thanks to the Foundation, The Easter Bunny hopped throughout 33 states delivering smiles to 13,000 hospitalized children with the help of 92 Sheriff’s Offices and 4 Police Departments.

Sheriff Wright and The Easter Bunny have visited the pediatric floors, and other areas, of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and Mary Black Memorial Hospital each year to share soft, plush Easter bunnies and the excitement and wonder that only a personal visit from The Easter Bunny can bring.  Within the last few years, they have also visited the Children’s Shelter as well.

Several years ago Sheriff Wright expanded their mission to also include an egg hunt for the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department’s families.  “The annual egg hunt has been held at the Sheriff’s Office parking lot in the past,” shared Vicki Biggs, Senior Administrative Assistant for Sheriff Wright, “so we are excited to move it to SMC and have a safe, grassy location for our families and their children.”

SMC_Seal Reflex Blue

SMC announces 2014-2015 Presidential Ambassadors

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce the 2014-2015 SMC Presidential Ambassadors.  This elite group of rising sophomore students is chosen to represent the college on and off campus.  Presidential Ambassadors are specifically chosen because of their outstanding leadership qualities and involvement on the SMC campus.

“These young men and women represent what a SMC Pioneer is, at their best. They provide an invaluable service to the campus and are key to our admissions efforts,” shared Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, President of Spartanburg Methodist College.  The following students have been selected as the 2014-2015 SMC Presidential Ambassadors:

Matthew Bishop, son of Teresa and David Bishop, of Spartanburg. Matthew is a graduate of Dorman High School;

KeiAndris Black, of Taylors, SC, a graduate of Riverside High School;

Jacob Cannon, son of Tonya and Brian McGuffin, of Roebuck, SC.  Jacob is a graduate of Doman High School;

Ian Clevenger, son of Brenda and Michael Clevenger, of Inman, SC. Ian is a graduate of Boiling Springs High School;

Zach Davis, son of Valerie Davis, of Rock Hill, SC. Zach is a graduate of South Pointe High School;

Patrice Haynes, daughter of Angela and Floyd Hayes, of Columbia, SC.  Patrice is a graduate of Ridge View High School;

Alisha Morehart, daughter of Tamara and Albert Morehart, of Greer, SC; Alisha is a graduate of Riverside High School.

Robby Norton, son of Pamela Davis, of Chesterfield, SC. Robby is a graduate of Chesterfield High School;

Samantha Rich, daughter of Betty and John Rich, of York, SC. Samantha is a graduate of Clover High School;

Kelsey Robinson, daughter of Kelly and Casey Robinson, of Greer, SC. Kelsey is a graduate of Eastside High School;

Jason Smith, son of Deborah and Jason Smith, of Iva, SC. Jason is a graduate of Dixie High School; and

Hannah West, daughter of Kimberly and John West, of Roebuck, SC. Hannah is a graduate of Dorman High School.

Presidential Ambassadors work with the President’s Office, the Office of Admissions, and the Office of Institutional Advancement to promote the college at events on and off campus. Often, Presidential Ambassadors are the first college representatives that prospective students meet and are critical in helping showcase SMC and all of the great opportunities that await them on campus.

Principle responsibilities include assisting with organizing and conducting three Guest Fest open house events; assisting the Office of Admissions with conducting campus tours for prospective students; being knowledgeable about Spartanburg Methodist College and be able to share that information with prospective students and their families; assisting the Office of Institutional Advancement with Alumni Weekend, donor dinners, alumni tours, and other events as needed; representing the student body at events on campus and office campus for the Office of the President.

Curry talk

SMC to host Georgia author Carolyn Curry

Spartanburg Methodist College will host author Carolyn Curry for a talk and book signing on Tuesday, March 25th from 3 to 4 p.m. in the SMC Davis Mission Chapel.  Curry’s “Suffer and Grow Strong, The Life of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1834–1907,” is destined to become a classic in women’s studies, and is as enjoyable as it is educational.

Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas’s journals have long been an indispensable source for anyone seeking to understand the nineteenth-century South and Southern white women’s experiences,” says Michele Gillespie, Presidential Professor of History at Wake Forest University. “Yet surprisingly, Thomas has never been the subject of a full-length biography. Carolyn Curry’s welcome new book carefully documents Thomas’s life story and puts her journals into an intriguingly fresh context.”

Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas was an intelligent, spirited woman born in 1834 to one of the wealthiest families in Georgia. At the age of fourteen she began and kept a diary for forty-one years. These diaries of her life before, during, and after the Civil War filled thirteen hand-written volumes with 450,000 words. In the early years she described her life of leisure and recorded the books she read. Her father recognized her love of learning and sent her to the first college for women in America, Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia. After college graduation in 1851, she was a “gay young girl of fashion” who met and married her Princeton-educated husband in 1852.  However, with the coming of the Civil War and its aftermath, her life changed forever.

Thomas experienced loss of wealth, bankruptcy, the death of loved ones, serious illness, and devastating family strife. She gave birth to ten children and saw four of them die. But, through it all, she kept pouring thoughts into her diary. Thomas examined what was happening, asked questions, and strived to find ways to improve her family’s dire economic straits. She started a school in her home and later ran a boarding house out of the old family mansion.

In 1893, Thomas left Augusta and moved to Atlanta where she became active in many women’s organizations. She found comfort in her work with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Suffrage Movement. She began producing articles for newspapers, keeping them in scrapbooks that tell the story of her life after she quit keeping a diary. In 1899 she was elected president of the Georgia Woman Suffrage Association. Because of her own losses, Thomas was sensitive to the well-being of other women. As she said, she had “suffered and grown strong.” Her life is an amazing story of survival and transformation that speaks to women in our own time.

History has been a great silencer of women, but on Tuesday, March 25th SMC invites you to experience this masterfully researched and inspirational story of a remarkable Southern woman, written by a Southern woman, with women, like yourself, from around the Upstate at the 3 p.m. talk and book signing event.  The public is invited and admission is free of charge.

Carolyn Newton Curry holds a BA in English from Agnes Scott College and MA and PhD degrees in History from Georgia State University. She has taught at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta and The University of Kentucky. Curry is the founder and chair of Women Alone Together®, a non-profit foundation created to meet the needs of women who are alone in our culture. The well-being of women past and present has been her lifelong passion. Curry resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Betsy Fleming-Converse College

Converse’s Dr. Betsy Fleming to speak at SMC Honor Societies Recognition Ceremony

Spartanburg Methodist College will hold their 2014 Honor Societies Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, March 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the Gibbs Auditorium located within Ellis Hall.

Approximately 70 students will be inducted into the honor societies of Sigma Delta Mu, Psi Beta, Sigma Kappa Delta and Phi Theta Kappa.  Sigma Delta Mu is the National Spanish Honor Society and requires an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher and one semester of Spanish or equivalent.  Sigma Kappa Delta is the National English Honor Society and requires an overall GPA of 3.3 with a B average in a minimum of one college course in English or Literature.  Psi Beta is the National Psychology Honor society and requires an overall GPA of 3.25, completion of 12 academic hours with a B average in Psychology 101 and/or Psychology 201 as well as a high standard of personal behavior and integrity is required.  Phi Theta Kappa is the National Scholastic Honor Society and requires an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher with a minimum of 16 academic hours and students must be of good moral character and possess recognized good qualities of citizenship.

This year’s guest speaker will be Dr. Betsy Fleming, President of Converse College.  “Dr. Fleming was selected due to her passion for creativity and community, her commitment to liberal arts education, and her fervent belief that learning, leadership and service are integral components of a successful, balanced life,” according to Dr. Bethany Perkins, SMC committee chair for the Honor Society Recognition Ceremony. “We feel Dr. Fleming’s dynamic brand of leadership, profound belief in the power of individuals to effect positive change, and a focused commitment to advancing and transforming higher education to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century will make for a vibrant and inspirational presentation.”

Dr. Fleming was graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with an A.B. in Fine Arts, received a Master of Arts degree in History of Design from the Royal College of Art in London, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in the History of Art from Yale University.  She has served in administrative and curatorial positions at The Frick Collection and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles, Yale University Art Gallery, and Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  Dr. Fleming has taught at Yale and Parsons School of Design.  Immediately prior to her arrival at Converse, she was Executive Director of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina.

A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Dr. Fleming is among the youngest college presidents in the country and has served as President of Converse since October 2005.  An Aspen Institute Liberty Fellow, she has served on the boards of the Women’s College Coalition and the National Association of Independent Colleges, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Charlotte Branch and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.  She lectures widely on creativity, art and design history, women and leadership.

The 2014 SMC Honor Society committee members include Dr. Bethany Perkins, Professor of English and Advisor for Sigma Kappa Delta, Dr. Kris Pratt, Professor of Religion and Advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, Dr. Mary Jane Farmer, Professor of Psychology and Advisor for Psi Beta, Dr. Johnathan Sedberry, Professor of English and Advisor for Sigma Kappa Delta, Dr. Cole Cheek, Professor of History and Anthropology and Advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, Ms. Lori Merck, Professor of Spanish and Advisor for Sigma Delta Mu, and Mr. Pete Aylor, Director of Counseling and Advisor for Psi Beta.  The evening also included a piano performance by SMC sophomore Carl Gibson.

 

Fleming and Keith

Converse/SMC Partnership Paves Way to Four-Year Degrees

Converse and Spartanburg Methodist College are partnering to streamline the college transfer process and help students complete their four-year degree. Presidents Betsy Fleming and Colleen Perry Keith signed an agreement to create The Converse Bridge Program, which guides students in selecting appropriate coursework at SMC to transfer into degree programs at Converse. The partnership aims to increase accessibility to four-year degrees, save students time and money over the course of their college career, and positively impact the education level of our community.

“Put simply, this is all about expanding access to a college education,” said President Fleming. “Converse is working on all fronts to ensure that our distinctive, high-quality educational experience is possible for talented young women from all backgrounds. This partnership guarantees that SMC students are best prepared to transition into Converse degree programs. It also demonstrates that Converse values transfer students’ contribution to our community and that we are committed to their success.”

As the only two-year, independent, residential college in South Carolina, SMC provides a nurturing and challenging environment that focuses on preparing students to continue liberal arts studies at four-year institutions. “Each year, several of our women graduates transfer to Converse to complete their baccalaureate degrees,” said President Keith. “It has always been a smooth transfer process but this agreement further strengthens that process and brings SMC and Converse into a closer relationship that will benefit our students even more. The fact that Converse is just across town from SMC makes this a very selfish agreement for me personally: it means I can still see our students after they leave us!”

The partnership involved an extensive study of Converse and SMC courses to align the requirements in a number of majors and map the appropriate coursework for transitioning into third-year studies at Converse. This information will be available via the Converse website for SMC students who plan to continue studies at Converse, and is meant to be a helpful planning tool for both SMC students and their advisors.

Colleagues Jeff Barker and Ann Bowles, Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs at Converse and SMC, are committed to making the transition process smooth for students. “Access and affordability are essential to student success in college and the new Converse Bridge Program will help make that possible for SMC students,” said Barker. “Our goal with this bridge program is a seamless transition from SMC to Converse that removes any potential academic or administrative stumbling blocks to earning a four-year degree on time.”

Bowles underscores SMC’s aim to not only provide the first two years of a baccalaureate degree, but also start students on a direct pathway to complete that degree. “Many students who come to college aren’t sure what that pathway looks like,” she said. “Bridge programs like the SMC-Converse connection enable students to see how they can accomplish their educational goals and assure them that they will find a welcoming higher learning community at the senior institution. That is a strong incentive to earn the four-year degree.”

One Student’s Journey of Determination, Vision, and Support

Stories like that of Laura Morales, who graduated as valedictorian from SMC last spring and is now a junior at Converse, demonstrate the value of partnerships like this best. Laura’s journey from SMC to Converse was marked by determination, vision, and critical support from many people along the way. A capable young woman with a bright future, she is similar to many whose dream of a high quality college education is seemingly beyond reach. Her story underscores the many ways two institutions can partner to strengthen their collective impact in our world, and her excitement about new possibilities through The Converse Bridge Program is palpable.

“Visiting Converse during high school was very inspiring – everything seemed to be full of life and I knew this is where I wanted to spend my college years,” Morales begins. “As I started to attend Converse events and make friends with Converse students, this only fueled my dream more. However, I knew my mom – as a single parent – could not afford a Converse education for me. It has been an arduous journey but I never gave up, and ultimately my determination to go to Converse got me here.

“My mom cleans houses, and two of her clients had SMC connections. Just three weeks before classes started in fall 2011, these women took me to SMC to talk with Ron Laffitte, the Dean of Students. He understood my situation and my dream of college, and we worked out a plan for me to attend SMC. My mom’s clients, who became and are still my mentors, also helped pay some of my expenses at SMC.

“I found a host family to live with through Baptist College Ministries, so I did not have to pay room and board, and my mom worked extra hard so she could pay some of the tuition. I felt a tremendous amount of pressure and expectation from my family and people who knew my situation.

“I learned to be extremely disciplined, working hard to make sure my room was always clean and everything in my life was organized. I learned to respect people from all kinds of backgrounds and saw how other people live their lives. I learned the benevolence of people.

“My college career began with an open mind and determined attitude. I showed my professors that I was capable of thoughtful work, staying up countless nights studying. I ended up having the top grade point average in my graduating class, proving to myself that diligence, determination and a good attitude really would get me anywhere I wanted to go in life. I was an admissions ambassador and worked with alumni, I was part of the women’s tennis team and editor for the Trailblazer newspaper, I volunteered as a tutor and traveled to D.C. to speak with Congressman Trey Gowdy about poverty in Spartanburg, and I was chosen by the campus community to be the student commencement speaker. Today, I see endless possibilities for the goodness in life because of the experiences I had at SMC.

“One of my professors, Briles Lever (whose late mother, Joe Ann Lever, was a long-time dean at Converse) came to Converse several times to help arrange a plan for me to enroll here. Another SMC professor, Lori Merck, who is a Converse graduate, also visited with me to help figure out how my courses would transfer. She even offered for me to live with her if I couldn’t afford room and board at Converse, and I was amazed that she was so willing to go out of her way to make sure I could finish my education.

“Because I attended SMC, I am now more aware and ready to be part of Converse.

Being a Converse student means I can do and be anything – it means being a leader and an independent critical thinker. It’s also humbling to be part of a network of incredible women who have transformed the world that I live in. SMC opened my eyes to a bigger picture of the world and now Converse gives me the tools to tell my story and learn more about that world. For me, this is the best possible combination.

“The more we can make an education accessible to people that want it, the better our community and the world at large will become. I am thrilled beyond words about what the future will look like after this great partnership takes off. Can you imagine the hundreds of students that will make a positive impact in the community because of this partnership? I can, because SMC and Converse are fundamentally grounded in the positive contributions people can make.”

 

Spartanburg Village

SMC to be part of Spartanburg Village Network’s Education forum – 3/6 at 6 p.m.

The Spartanburg Village Network, known as The Village Network, began about two years ago with members from churches, civic groups and professions. The group started as a way for people to support and get to know each other but developed into something more over time.

Members started focusing on ways they could unite and make a difference in the community. The goal is to come up with ways to help families in areas ranging from education to finances.

After weeks of planning, the group has scheduled its first community forum at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Spartanburg Community College-Downtown Campus. The forum is titled “It Takes A Village: From the Cradle to Career An Education Conversation.”

Leon Wiles, chief diversity officer at Clemson University and a former University of South Carolina Upstate vice chancellor, will serve as moderator. Panelists include Molly Talbot-Metz, vice president of programs at the Mary Black Foundation, Spartanburg Methodist College President Colleen P. Keith and Herb Johnson, Jr., vice president and chief diversity officer of Michelin North America. Other panelists include John Stockwell, executive director of Spartanburg Academic Movement and former chancellor of USC Upstate, Jil Littlejohn, president of the Urban League of the Upstate and Spartanburg District 7 Superintendent Russell Booker, who is also vice chairman of The Village Network.
If we are going to move the needle for graduation rates, then we need to focus on the African-American community,” Booker said. “This is a pretty strong and diverse panel. We wanted education to be the topic of our first forum. The event is open to everyone because it is going to take the entire community to make a difference.”

Booker said the education forum will outline programs available to help prepare children before they begin school and while they are in school. He also said the forum will help residents learn more about the importance of education.

“The idea is to share information and talk about the challenges of education,” Booker said. “This forum also will talk about the successes because that is just as important as talking about the challenges. There is so much going on that we want people to know what is happening in the community.”

Future plans are to hold discussions on health and wellness and financial planning. Organizers don’t plan to stop after offering a few forums. They hope to continue working on issues in the community and encourage other people to join them in the effort.

The Village Network organizers say their mission is “to unite a committed leadership base focused on educating, engaging and inspiring local families.” The other part of the vision is to focus attention on resources and programs that have the most potential in helping local families.

The Rev. Keith McDaniel, chairman of The Village Network and senior pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, said he is excited about the group’s first event. He said members spent time looking at ways they could help others.

“We have too many families struggling with education, housing, health and other issues,” he said. “The village concept comes from the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child, and we have applied that to leadership. It takes more than one leader to lead a community.”