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SMC Psi Beta chapter earns Chapter Excellence Award for Third Consecutive Year

Psi Beta, the National Honor Society in Psychology for community and junior colleges, has recognized the Spartanburg Methodist College chapter of Psi Beta with the prestigious Psi Beta Chapter Excellence Award for 2013-14. Few of the nation’s Psi Beta chapters achieve this level of distinction, however, this is the third consecutive year that SMC Psi Beta garnered this prestigious national award.
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. The award challenges chapters to engage in activities reflecting Psi Beta’s four-pronged mission of leadership, scholarship, community service and research.

The SMC Psi Beta chapter, chartered on September 1, 1988, is under the direction of Dr. Mary Jane Farmer, professor of psychology. She is assisted by Pete Aylor, psychology professor and Director of SMC’s Counseling Center and Sue Onken, college counselor. 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. To date, there have been 404 SMC students who have achieved life-time membership to Psi Beta.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, SMC’s Psi Beta seminars boasted attendance of over one hundred students per event. The seminar “O daddy, where are you?” focused on fatherhood and the ills of society. The speaker discussed the importance of a stable home environment led by a father and related this to the social maladies (ex: teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, etc.) in our society. “The Ugly Face of Domestic Violence” seminar was feature in a Spartanburg Herald Journal newspaper article published in the October 18, 2013 edition. A third fall seminar focused on “Suicide: Is it an Option?”

In the spring, Psi Beta presented a seminar on “Human Trafficking & Sex Slavery.” Local WSPA Channel 7 television attended and reported on the seminar during their evening news broadcasts. Other seminars included “Cyberbullying and Sexting;” and on April 10th, 2014 a symposium celebrating SMC students and their outstanding scholarly work in various academic disciplines, “Viva Academia: Let’s Celebrate Academics,” was hosted. Students featured also presented in the Tenth Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium.

Psi Beta conducted a Mobile Mentors Program, where alongside SMC Psychology students, they traveled to area middle schools to talk about college and motivate their younger counterparts to persevere and be ambitious in order to not only reach but ultimately finish college. Psi Beta also presented a well-received, inner-active seminar on bullying to middle school students, presenting not only the facts but also their own personal experiences.

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SMC Class of 2016 Pledges to Uphold Honor

On Sunday morning, August 17th at 1 p.m. Spartanburg Methodist College students gathered together in the Camak Auditorium for a time honored tradition of SMC where the campus pauses to recognize the importance of honor and truthfulness and reflect on what that means to the members of the SMC community. The Rev. Pierre Salmon will be the guest speaker.

A native of Dillon, SC, Salmon is an associate minister at Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church and currently serves as Senior Pastor of The New Prospect Baptist Church. He has traveled abroad to places like Brazil, Israel and Jamaica to minister in various capacities and has served as a summer missionary with the Southern Baptist Convention in Southern California. Salmon and his wife, Dineitha, reside in Spartanburg and are the parents of three daughters, Zyon Demierre, Kesiah Kamyl Salmon and Imri Selah Salmon.

Spartanburg Methodist College, as an institution of higher education affiliated with the United Methodist Church, strives to maintain an atmosphere of living and learning based on faith and responsibility in a Christian community. The college’s Honor Code governs life on the campus and within the College community. It is a vital element that encourages appropriate behavior and conduct and discourages cheating, plagiarizing, lying and other inappropriate academic behaviors.
Each student publicly signs and pledges to faithfully uphold the principles of the Honor System, cherish and guard its traditions and respect and observe its requirements. According to Ron Laffitte, Dean of Students, “the signed Honor Code will hang in the Burgess Student Center and will signify the student body’s mutual trust and resolve to the principles they have agreed to adhere to for the coming academic year.”

Community Service 2014

Class of 2016 moves in on Friday, August 15 & out into the community on Saturday, August 16

Spartanburg Methodist College, a higher education institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church for over 104 years, is South Carolina’s only private, residential college exclusively for freshmen and sophomore students. That fact might surprise some, but for others, it is the sole reason they choose the small, close-knit community of students, faculty and staff which is SMC.

The exclusivity means SMC’s class of 2016, composed of over 500+ incoming freshman, are immediately immersed into 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. The student-faculty ratio of 19:1 allows students to know professors personally and immediately engage in the classroom.

For many students, figuring out what they want to study in college (and what they want do for the rest of their lives!) is difficult. SMC provides the time and support freshman and sophomore students need to sort through their many options; and with one of the most comprehensive career mentoring and field of study placement programs around, nearly every student that graduates goes on to a four-year institution, thanks to transfer agreements with over 200 colleges and universities.

SMC welcomes over 73% of students with 3.0 or higher GPA’s, and rewards them with SMC Scholar financial packages. In fact, SMC financial aid packages, including over $14 million in scholarships awarded each year, help 96% of SMC students pay for all or part of their books, housing and tuition, which is less than 75% of the other private schools in South Carolina.

As part of the UMC connection, SMC strives to develop a values-oriented atmosphere where students can develop a sensitivity to the needs of others. Each year, on the first full day that freshman are on the SMC campus, they are sent out into the Spartanburg community to help churches, schools, and non-profit agencies with landscaping, cleaning and organizing, feeding the hungry, working with the elderly, and easing the plight of the homeless. SMC’s 2014 Freshman Day of Service will be held on Saturday, August 16th and over 500 freshmen students accompanied by SMC faculty and staff, will disperse into the community impacting the following 22 Spartanburg sites:

Spartanburg Soup Kitchen, SPACE, Hatcher Gardens, Camp Mary Elizabeth,
Reidville Road UMC, Middle Tyger Community Center, Hollywild Animal Park,
Hope Remains Youth Ranch, Hub City Empty Bowls @ Spartanburg Art
Museum/Chapman Cultural Center, Mobile Meals, Christmas in Action, Alzheimer’s
Assoc., Glendale Outdoor Leadership School, McCracken Middle School,
Cannons Campground UMC, The Waterford at Dillon Pointe,
Hub City Farmers’ Market, Regional Hospice Home, Miracle Hill Thrift Store,
Fuller Center @ Arcadia UMC, Aldersgate UMC, and St. James UMC Playground.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, Candice Y. Sloan, SMC Chaplin, proudly reported that SMC students, faculty and staff provided over 6,008 hours of volunteer labor to the community. SMC…doing all the good they can, by all the means they can, in all the ways they can, in all the places they can, at all the times they can, to all the people they can.

Kelsie Rhodes

Local SAIYL graduate to attend SMC

Spartanburg Methodist College will be the beneficiary of a locally trained leader this coming fall. Kelsie Rhodes, a 2014 graduate of James F. Byrnes High School, will be an incoming freshman at SMC. Rhodes is a former participant of the Spartanburg Academy for Innovative Youth Leadership (SAIYL) program.

The SAIYL program was established four years ago as a leadership program for rising sophomores in Spartanburg County schools. The City of Spartanburg program is designed to offer high school students the opportunity to learn essential leadership skills, understand the workings of local government and become purposefully engaged in community service. The program is now available to rising 9th graders also and this past summer, the City partnered with District 7 schools.

Over the course of the intensive 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, six-week program, students focus on different aspects of leadership and teambuilding; explore opportunities for personal career tracks; gain an understanding of local government organizations and their specific duties, including the relationships among local, county, and state governments; and are exposed to critical life skills issues and issues in general that affect the community of Spartanburg and South Carolina as a whole.
According to Mitch Kennedy, City of Spartanburg’s Director of Community Services, whose department oversees SAIYL programming, “SAIYL provides a hands-on approach to leadership training. Students are exposed to and develop leadership skills demanded by an increasingly globalized world. Rather than reading about leadership, SAIYL students are engaged in a problem and project-based learning environment that encourages the development and appreciation of leadership skills. The City hopes to instill and foster positive attitudes and develop internationally-minded, locally-engaged young leaders.”

At the completion of the six week leadership program, SAIYL students receive an IPAD and a $1,000 scholarship for college, which becomes available upon graduation from high school and enrollment in college. Rhodes, the daughter of Hilton Hunter and Stephanie Rhodes, will be studying psychology at SMC.

Turning Point: The American Revolution in the Spartan District by Katherine Cann and George Fields Jr.

Hub City is throwing a launch party Thursday, October 2 at 7 pm at the Hub City Bookshop for its fifth title of 2014, Turning Point: The American Revolution in the Spartan District by Katherine Cann and George Fields Jr.

About the book

The British Army turned south in 1779, expecting to sweep through the region with the help of their Tory allies, setting the stage for victory in the American war for independence. Upon entering the Old Spartan District in northwest South Carolina, however, they ran up against tenacious opposition from locals and their military leaders. In a series of small skirmishes, the southern Patriots gained confidence and valuable combat experience that led to surprising victories at Kings Mountain and Cowpens, ultimately pushing the British back north toward surrender.

In Turning Point: The American Revolution in the Spartan District, historian Katherine Cann tells the compelling story of how inexperienced backcountry militiamen in the Old Spartan District bottled up the British and learned how to defeat a seasoned foe. George D. Fields Jr., a leading military heritage preservationist, provides color commentary as Fields’ Notes throughout, capturing both the emotion and the commotion of the time.

As a bonus, there’s a handy guide to the Spartanburg Revolutionary War Trail, a driving tour of twelve spots in the Spartan District that were central to the American victory.

Full of drama and memorable heroes, Turning Point is an important and accessible volume about a key moment in our nation’s struggle for freedom.

 

Kathy-Cann August 2014Katherine Cann is professor of history and chair of the social science department at Spartanburg Methodist College. She is a graduate of Lander University and holds advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina (MA in History) and the University of South Carolina (PhD in History). Dr. Cann is the author of Common Ties: A History of Textile Industrial Institute, Spartanburg Junior College, and Spartanburg Methodist College published by Hub City Press.

Dr_George-Fields - August 2014George Fields is a retired United Methodist minister who served as a pastor, an Army Chaplain rising to rank of Brigadier General, and president of Spartanburg Methodist College. He spends his retirement years researching and preserving Revolutionary War battlefields in South Carolina. He provided leadership in preserving twelve sites, serving as the Military Heritage Director of Palmetto Conservation Foundation.