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Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina Recognize SMC’s Candice Logan

The Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina recently awarded the 2014-2015 Norma F. George, PLS Scholarship Award to Candice Logan of Boiling Springs, SC.

The Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina (LSPSC) is an affiliate of NALS, the association for legal professionals, dedicated to enhancing the competencies and contributions of members in the legal service profession. Their $1000 annual scholarship is awarded to deserving students pursuing a career in the paralegal field.

Logan, 2010 graduate of Dorman High School, is a current student in the Spartanburg Methodist College Paralegal Certificate Evening Program. She is employed as a paralegal by the law firm of Rainey and Brown Attorneys At Law in Spartanburg, SC.

Yvonne Harper, Director of SMC’s Paralegal Program shared “Candice enrolled in our program in December 2014 and quickly exemplified the leadership and standards of conduct required of all legal professionals – she encourages respect for law and the administration of justice; she observes rules governing privileged communications and confidential information; she promotes and exemplifies high standards of loyalty, cooperation, and courtesy and she performs all duties of the profession with integrity and competence. It is an honor having her in our program.”

Logan will attend the LSPSC Annual Meeting and Education Conference on Saturday, April 26 in Columbia, where she will be presented her Certificate of Award.

SMC’s Paralegal Certificate Evening Program is a 14-course program of study offering quality education for adult students, convenient evening hours, reasonable tuition, and practical courses taught by local judges, attorneys and paralegals committed to excellence. Students learn today to earn tomorrow. For more information, contact Yvonne Harper, harpery@smcsc.edu, 864-266-7409, or visit http://smcsc.edu/paralegal/


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SMC Dedicates The Write Place in Ellis Hall

The Dr. Edgar H. Ellis, Jr. Hall, situated on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College, was “the right place” to be at 11 am on Friday, April 10th.   In fact, it was at that exact time Ellis Hall was the site of the formal dedication and official ribbon cutting for The Write Place, the college’s newly renamed writing center.

Marvin, Kathy and DonDr. Katherine Cann, Professor of History and Chairperson of the Social Sciences Division, and her husband, Dr. Marvin Cann, who has taught at SMC as an adjunct faculty member, were the benefactors of The Write Place, which is established in memory of their parents, Harold and Mary Davis, and Roy and Catherine Cann. (The Canns pictured with SMC’s Director of Development Don Tate).

The Write Place is a living memorial to the passion, sacrifices and enthusiasm their parents held for the education of the Canns.   Over the years, that same appreciation and awakening to the power of education has been shared in Canns’ classrooms, and now their commitment to education has the opportunity to be experienced by future generations of SMC students.

Nearly 18 years ago, SMC officially opened a writing center on the third floor of the Frank Walker Building. Since the fall of 1997, the center has always been staffed by full-time faculty of the English Division who give two hours per week to assist students from all academic divisions (computer science, health, natural sciences statistics, criminal justice, psychology, history, literature, and of course, English composition) with their class writing assignments, but also with scholarship and university application writing needs. Over 200 students visit the writing center each semester.

Professor Jane Brackett, Director of The Write Place, stated “on behalf of the college, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the Canns’ gift. This new academic resources is comfortable and inviting and will enable us to continue to help students for years to come.”

During the ceremony, Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D., President of SMC, read several quotes from the book Give to Live: How Giving Can Change Your Life by Douglas M. Lawson. In particular, Keith shared Lawson’s words “Change and growth can occur only when each of us accepts the truth that we must all give of ourselves so that we all may live….We cannot heal all of the problems of the earth by ourselves, but we have to believe that if enough of us commit ourselves and turn loose our energies and resources, collectively we can create wholeness…Once you decide you are ready to go the extra mile, you will need to reallocate your time, energy, and talents…Progress and change live only in the mind and the hearts of committed, compassionate citizens.”

Keith concluded with Lawson’s quote “Once you accept the reality that a better world begins with you, relax in the knowledge that you will be the beneficiary of wonderfully rich, life-sustaining experiences. Your journey will not lead you down a road of sacrifice and drudgery. With grace and perseverance, you’ll get much more than you give.” Harold and Mary Davis and Roy and Catherine Cann would be proud of the SMC legacy they set in motion and the tribute that will forever bear their names, The Write Place, truly is at the right place.


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SMC’s Ellis Hall Gallery Hosting Regional Art Show until May 15

The Ellis Hall Gallery, on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College, is currently hosting an exhibition featuring 25 recent artworks by four regional artists. Artist participating in the exhibit are Marjorie Huwa, Prosperity, SC; Larry Millard; Athens, GA; Bruce Nellsmith; Edisto Beach, SC; and Paula Riddle; Newberry, SC.

The show includes a variety of media, including paintings, prints, drawings, and a sculpture installation by Larry Millard.

Nine, color drenched oil paintings based on Bruce Nellsmith’s trips to Southern France and the Mediterranean depict the impressive limestone cliffs found along the coast near Cassis, France.

MillardMillard’s installation is a large, interactive, walk-through piece that accounts for all of the senses, including smell.

Huwa at SMC Marjorie Huwa’s oil paintings subtly flirt with Surrealistic motifs.

Riddle at SMCThe collagraph prints by Paula Riddle examine the role of texture in the graphic arts.


The public is invited to tour the artwork Monday thru Thursday, from 7 am to 11 pm and on Friday, 7 am to 5 pm.  A reception will be held on Tuesday, April 14 from 5 to 7 pm; with each artist providing a gallery talk at 5:30 pm.

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104th Commencement @ Spartanburg Methodist College will inspire all to claim the life to which the Spirit calls

Spartanburg Methodist College will hold their 104th commencement exercises at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 9th in Bridges Arena to celebrate an estimated 200 students who have successfully met the academic requirements for graduation. The class of 2015 boasts over 20 honor graduate students who have maintained a 3.5 or better grade point average and will be recognized as a Summa Cum Laude, Manga Cum Laude or Cum Laude graduate during commencement.

Courtney Tutterow, recipient of the Yandle Student Leader Award, will be the 2015 Student Speaker for commencement. Nominated by her peers and described as “an all-around outstanding person…Courtney has played soccer both years at SMC… and has also kept a 4.0 GPA. She is a Pioneer Peer, has great leadership skills and qualities and always has a positive attitude.”   Tutterow, daughter of Mike and Michelle Tutterow of Boiling Springs, SC was named a two-time all-region soccer player, an Academic All American and has served as a tutor and student mentor.  “Courtney personifies what it means to be a Pioneer,” stated SMC President Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D.

Paul Roger Leonard, Jr. will be the 2015 Commencement speaker. Leonard s a man moved by a generous and loving spirit. His most recent work, When the Spirit Moves, is a collection of stories, poems, prayers and reflections that invite readers to look back on their lives, and witness all the ways the Spirit has prodded, poked, touched and moved them. Leonard wants his readers to laugh and cry with him, to get angry with things as they are, to pray for peace, to hope for a brighter tomorrow, to give thanks for every day and to reach out, touch, listen and love all who cross their path.  His goal for the book was for it to be more about you and your life, than it is about him and his, and together he wants us to claim the life to which the Spirit calls.

Throughout the book, Leonard shared the ups and downs and twists and turns of his adult life – spanning four decades, one wife, four children, eight grandchildren, lots of dogs, one cat and multiple jobs from minister to home builder and real estate developer. Leonard, who has worked for nonprofits and both privately and publically held for-profit companies, has served as interim CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, college trustee and board member.  His travels have taken him to all seven continents and over 60 countries and given him a global perspective on our world and its glories and sorrows—and render him a fitting speaker for the college’s 2015 commencement.

Author of WHERE IS CHURCH?-One Man’s Quest and MUSIC OF 1000 HAMMERS, Inside Habitat for Humanity, Leonard graduated Cum Laude with Honors in history from Davidson College, continued his studies, earning a Bachelor of Divinity from the University of Chicago and earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Emory University.   He first served at Trinity Presbyterian Church after which he founded a non-traditional church that focused on community action and service and eventually left the traditional ministry to work in city housing.  Leonard was recruited by the John Crosland Company, becoming the company’s president in 1984. After the company was acquired by Centex Real Estate Corporation, Leonard was appointed as its Executive Vice-President, responsible for the company’s southeast region. After retiring from Centex, Leonard was elected to the Board of Habitat for Humanity International; he served as Chairman of the Board from December, 2001 to December, 2003 and was employed as the Interim CEO of Habitat for Humanity.  Today he is a member of the US Council for Habitat for Humanity International.

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Exam Survival Kit – what every student needs to be successful!

The time is quickly approaching for end of the semester Final Exams! Help your student breeze through exam week by sending an Exam Survival Kit! Exam Survival Kits contain tasty and healthful treats, vital school supplies, and toys for stress relief! We guarantee your student will appreciate this thoughtful surprise! The cost for an Exam Survival Kit is $20. Any proceeds from the sale of Exam Survival Kits will be used for campus educational, social, and cultural programming.    Click here to order.


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AdvanceSC Ensures Success for Student Careers @ Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg Methodist College has been awarded a $75,000 grant from AdvanceSC for an SMC project entitled “Testing and Internships that Ensures Success for Student Careers.”

According to SMC President Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D., “We received our first $75,000 grant to start the ‘Signature SMC Experience’ with up to 100 incoming freshman beginning in the Fall 2015 semester.”  Keith elaborated saying, “the experience involves career testing, comprehensive debrief of that testing, and use of the results in the advising and career planning for those students. It will also include some type of internship or career shadowing experience.”

AdvanceSC supports economic development, education, manufacturing and public assistance agencies in Duke Energy’s South Carolina service area. Established as a limited liability company by Duke Energy in 2004, AdvanceSC is funded with profits from the company’s BPM program and is managed by a board of Upstate S.C. leaders. Information about AdvanceSC is available on its website at www.advancesc.org.

Spartanburg Methodist is continuing to seek additional revenue sources for their “Signature SMC Experience” so that all incoming students have the opportunity to participate.


Two SMC Students will be Pepping up NCAA Tournament

Many college students travel to Florida during the spring, but two Spartanburg Methodist College students will have their trips fully paid for – thanks to the NCAA Tournament!

SMC’s Jesse Davis and Jaaron Snyder will have the privilege of a front row seat (so to speak) at the tournament. Yes, all meals, transportation and accommodations will be covered by Wofford thanks to Wofford College being named the 12th seed in the West Region of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Davis and Snyder have been loyal participants with Wofford College’s WOCO Band during the 2014-2015 Wofford basketball season and most recently traveled and performed with Wofford at the Southern Conference Tournament in Asheville. Ron “Doc” Miller, Director of Athletic Bands at Wofford College, shared “both are excellent student band members and we are delighted to have them travel and perform with us.”

Ask any hoops fan and they will tell you there is “something electric” about the environment of a college basketball game. Packed arenas, bright lights, shiny wooden floors, the undeniable sound of screeching shoes on the court and of course, long before the opening tip-off, each team’s pep band filling the building with energy and excitement in anticipation for the on-court action to come.

Davis, a sophomore from Startex who attended Byrnes High School, never imagined while pursuing his associate in Fine Arts at SMC he would one day be performing during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  Snyder on the other hand, a freshman from Jonesville who attended Boiling Springs High School and is pursuing an associate in Arts with a major in film, said the invitation to attend the NCAA Tournament and perform was like something straight out of a movie.

“The fact that Jesse and Jaaron are able to do this probably means we have some pretty envious students left back here on campus! This is not an opportunity that comes along for our students all that often. We are all excited for them! It is also wonderful that SMC and Wofford, as sister colleges in the United Methodist system of higher education, are working together in this way,” shared Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D., President of Spartanburg Methodist College.

The Wofford Terriers will play the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday, March 19 in Jacksonville, Florida. The winner of the game will play the winner of a game between North Carolina and Harvard on Saturday. Wofford is 28-6 this season and won the Southern Conference Tournament championship. The Terriers enter the tournament on an eight-game winning streak and have won 15 of their last 16 games. It is the fourth time in six years Wofford has made it to the NCAA Tournament.

Davis and Snyder are looking forward to being a part of the Terrier nation traveling to Jacksonville. Snyder, who plays the tuba, and Davis, who plays the alto saxophone, participate in the WOCO Band out of pure joy and love of music. Both are quick to say they realize they do have a job – they are responsible for not only amping up the crowd but also motivating the team and keeping the Terriers pumped up during the Thursday game – and hopefully the Saturday game, too. But both agree, you can’t beat a few days in sunny Florida with 80 degree weather, knowing your SMC classmates are sitting in class while you have an enviable seat at the Big Show!

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The SMC Players present August Strindberg’s Easter on March 26-27-28 in Gibbs Auditorium, Ellis Hall

In co-operation with the August Strindberg Repertory Theatre of New York, SMC will be presenting their successful 2013 adaptation, set in New York City in 1958.

Easter (1901) is a late play by August Strindberg, Sweden’s most famous playwright. The drama takes place on days leading up to Easter Sunday. The plot concerns the fortunes of the Morgan family, who are on the edge of ruin. The father is imprisoned for embezzlement and their youngest daughter, Lenora, is committed to a mental institution. The family has been ostracized by their friends and neighbors for the financial scandal, and Ellis’ job is endangered. Into this situation steps Lindy, to whom the family is greatly indebted thanks to their father’s malfeasance. At the moment of greatest turmoil comes a breakthrough of unexpected and, indeed, quite undeserved grace and mercy.

Easter is one of Strindberg’s late expressionist dramas. Typical of the genre, the characters display extremes of emotional suffering and spiritual awakening. Strindberg was greatly affected by the bankruptcy of his own father, and the character of Ellis puts the playwright’s own suffering at center stage. The character of Lenora, one of his finest female roles, was inspired by Strindberg daughter, whose sanity was only tentative. Lenora’s spiritual gifts anticipate the play’s happy conclusion.

SMC Cast:

Pierce Allen Burch as Ellis Morgan, a college instructor.  Pierce is a freshman theater major from Holly Hill, SC and a graduate of Holly Hill Academy.

Shakira Jackson as Christine, the fianceé of Ellis.  Shakira is a sophomore Fine Arts/Fashion Design major from Inman and a graduate of Chapman High School

Tatiana Sade Ferguson-Short plays Mrs. Morgan, the matriarch of the Morgan household. Tati is a freshman Mass Communications major and graduate of Union County High School.

Samuel Stockdale plays Benjamin, a scholarship student living with the Morgans. He’s a Dorman High School graduate from Moore, SC majoring in Speech and Drama.

Anna Elizabeth Barrett as Lenora, the youngest daughter of the Morgan family.  Anna is a sophomore education and biology major from Greenville, and a graduate of J. L. Mann High School.

Patrice Faith Haynes plays Lindy, a family acquaintance to whom the Morgans owe great deal of money. Patrice is a sophomore Performing Arts major from Columbia, and a graduate of Ridge View High School.

The production opens in Gibbs Auditorium on Thursday, March 26 at 8 p.m. and will also be performed on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 at 8 p.m.  Gibbs Auditorium is located inside Ellis Hall.




Wells Shepard named Executive Director of Enrollment

Spartanburg Methodist College has named Wells Shepard Executive Director of Enrollment effective Monday, March 16, 2015.

The announcement was made by Danny Philbeck, SMC’s Vice President for Enrollment, who shared “We are thrilled to have Wells move into this position as he is understands the institutional mission and goals and he loves this College. I am confident he will operate at the highest level of integrity while providing inspirational leadership and serving as a role model for all colleagues.”

Shepard, a 1995 graduate of Spartanburg Methodist College, most recently served as Director of Retention Officer and Athletic Recruiter for SMC.  His new duties will include both admission and retention.  Shepard has 16 years of experience in counseling and recruiting students and previously worked as Director of Admission for both Wofford College and LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga. He is well versed in the enrollment process at SMC, having previously served in the role of an Admissions Counselor, Assistant Director of Admissions and the Director of Admissions at the College.

Shepard, who holds an Associate of Arts degree from SMC and a Bachelor of Science degree in research psychology from Wofford College, resides in Spartanburg with his wife, Bobbie Jean Edwards. Shepard, and two sons, Hawkins and Gannon.


The Lure of Fishing comes to Spartanburg Methodist College

Next Fall on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College you can expect to find political-science and philosophy majors sitting side by side in the water, not just the classroom.  These academic anglers will be soaking up the sun and trading tips such as “use rock salt to calm your fish for the weigh-in, or pour Coca-Cola on a bass that bleeds.”

Fishing at Spartanburg Methodist College?   Yes, America’s oldest tradition, fishing, is one of the fastest-rising organized activities among college students. As you read this, a college team may be traversing the rivers and streams in your county. According to FLW Outdoors, an organization that runs pro fishing tournaments and started a college division in 2009, there are now 610 bass fishing clubs at campuses across the country. Five years ago, there were 90.

“Our fishing program is attracting a wide range of students, said Wells Shepard, College Retention Officer and Athletic Recruiter. “We know there are some ‘reel prodigies’ out there and we know there are simply students who shared this past-time with their parents or grandparents and want to now relish this hobby with students their own age.” The youth fishing movement is exploding. But make no mistake, this is a sport. “There’s no sport that compares to it for the agility you have to have, the knowledge you have to have and the thinking on the ground you have to do,” Shepard added. Skills involve finding and deciding what combination of lure, depth, location and retrieval is going to attract a fish. An approach that lands pounds of fish on a sunny day will fail on a cloudy one. Wind and air pressure matter. So do seasons and the time of day.

“SMC will offer a mix of competitive and recreational fishing, and in addition to weekly meetings and fishing excursions, SMC’s anglers will promote great habits against pollution of in-state and out-of-state bodies of water such as: lakes and creeks and rivers within the lakes,” shared Dalton Smith, cofounder of the SMC Fishing Team/Club.

Fishing once involved a couple of poles, a few hooks and some bait…today the sport of fishing is expensive…boats, fish finders, rods, reels, lures, life vests, etc., and SMC is currently seeking sponsors to assist with these costs, and hopes that there are a few boats sitting idle in the water that would love to be donated to the college so that the time-honored American pastime of fishing has a future. For more information on sponsorship or boat donations, contact Yvonne Harper, harpery@smcsc.edu (864) 587-4278 or 266-7409.


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Dr. Mary Jane Farmer Granted Tenure @ SMC

The Board of Trustees at Spartanburg Methodist College voted to award tenure to Dr. Mary Jane Famer, Professor of Psychology during their Thursday, February 19, 2015 meeting.

In higher education, tenure may be pursued and granted based on a rigorous review process conducted by peers, administrators, and Trustees. According to Dr. Ann Bowles, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Spartanburg Methodist College, “a faculty member’s eligibility for tenure is determined first by teaching ability, followed by a combination of student advising, community service to the campus, professional development activities, and research/scholarship.”

Farmer, born in the Philippines, graduated from Saint Louis University, Baguio City, Philippines with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She continued her studies at Cordillera University, earning a Master of Arts in Education, Major in Psychology. She returned to Saint Louis University to pursue Doctor of Philosophy in Education graduating Cum Laude.

Farmer began her teaching career at SMC as an adjunct faculty member in 2003 and has held the position of Professor of Psychology at SMC since 2006. Prior to SMC, Farmer was an adjunct faculty member at Monroe County Community College in Monroe, MI and Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, MI.   In addition to teaching, Farmer oversees SMC’s awarding winning chapter of Psi Beta, the National Honor Society in Psychology for community and junior colleges. She has earned the respect of her peers who have chosen her as the recipient of the Huff Faculty Prize for outstanding teaching (2012) and the Exemplary Teacher Award sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (2008), and she was SMCs’ nominee for the Governor’s Professor of the Year Award in 2010.

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SMC’s Psi Beta to screen Brave Miss World film Tuesday, February 24

The Psi Beta chapter at Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce they will screen Brave Miss World on Tuesday, February 24 in the college’s Davis Mission Chapel at 7 p.m. The public is invited and admission is free of charge.

At the age of 18, Miss Israel Linor Abargil was abducted, stabbed, and raped in Milan. She had to represent her country in the Miss Worldcompetition only six weeks later. When to her shock she was crowned the winner, she vowed to do something about the rape. The film follows her from that harrowing experience, to her crowning and throughout her crusade to fight for justice and break the silence. During her travels to speak out and meet with other rape victims, her own trauma begins to resurface. Her serial rapist becomes eligible for parole, and she has to hunt down his previous victims in order to help keep him behind bars. The film explores the trauma of sexual assault through one young woman’s journey from teenage rape victim to Miss World to empowered lawyer and activist.

“Brave Miss World is a powerful tool to help ignite conversations and change surrounding the issues of rape awareness and prevention,” shared Dr. Mary Jane Farmer, professor of psychology, and director of the SMC Psi Beta chapter. “The SMC Psi Beta chapter is pleased to bring this film to our community and campus.  Our hope is that by doing so we can help make a difference and inspire dialogue that leads to healing and empowerment,” added Farmer.

Figures indicate that 80% of rapes are unreported. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of support from a rape victim’s family, friends and community.

“The people closest to a rape victim treat them differently when she needs them the most. Studies also attest that most rape cases occur within the family or by a person whom the victim knew prior to the rape. The law in many countries in the world is not on the side of rape victims, and the sentences for rape and sexual assault are terribly inadequate. Even in progressive nations, rape convictions are rare,” shared Lynn Hawkins, Executive Director of SAFE Homes- Rape Crisis in Spartanburg.

Psi Beta, the National Honor Society in Psychology for community and junior colleges, 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 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.

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Upstate Pioneering Women Recognized by Spartanburg Methodist College

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Spartanburg Methodist College hosted their annual Pioneering Women Awards Luncheon on Friday, February 20th to acknowledge women of character, courage and commitment in the Upstate community.  During the 2015 event, SMC recognized nine women with awards for their commitment and leadership in their respective fields of media, education, public service, missions, philanthropy, politics, leadership and business.

“The Pioneering Women awards program provides SMC with the perfect occasion to celebrate women in our community who are making a difference close to home, around our state and beyond,” said Leah Pruitt, committee member and Director of Alumni Relations. The annual awards luncheon draws over 100 women attendees from a variety of fields.

“The pioneers recognized today are individuals who possess courage and ambition to overcome obstacles – and there are always obstacles when one tries to do something worthwhile,” stated SMC President Colleen Perry Keith.

Heather Witt, Vice President of Community Impact for the United Way of the Piedmont, was the Keynote Speaker at the event, which was held in the Gibbs Auditorium located in Ellis Hall on the SMC campus.

Born and raised in Canal Winchester, Ohio (a small suburb of Columbus), and Witt earned a Bachelors in Public Health Administration and more recently a Bachelors in Organizational Management and Marketing graduating with honors from Southwest University. She began her non-profit career working for the Columbus Medical Association Foundation. Since moving to the Upstate, she has worked as Executive Director for Prevent Child Abuse of Pickens County and for the past, nearly 4 years has served at the United Way of the Piedmont managing all of their impact work and was recently promoted to Vice President of Community Impact.

Witt is a graduate of the 2013 Leadership Spartanburg class, and the 2014 Women Connections Program through Furman University. She serves as a member of the Spartanburg Business and Professional Women Civic Group; she is also an Advisory Board Member for the Spartanburg County Community College, Co-chairs the Behavioral Health Taskforce and actively volunteers as a Guardian ad-litem for the county.

2015 Awards and recipients were as follows:

  • Alumna Award: TK Butler, Police Officer, Aiken Department of Public Safety
  • Media Award: Kathie Bennett, Founder and President of Magic Time Literary Agency;
  • Public Service Award: Mary Deku, Former award-winning educator and active community volunteer;
  • Missions Award: Melanie Watt, Founder of Hope Remains Youth Ranch;
  • Philanthropy Award: Cyndi Beacham, President, Charles Lea Center Foundation
  • Political Leadership Award: Jane Hall, District 4 Councilwomen, Spartanburg County Council;
  • Business Award: Karen Knuckles, owner of Express Employment Professionals;
  • Creative Leadership Award: Kathy Cann, Author, Researcher, Historian and Professor of History and Chair of the Social Sciences Department at SMC;
  • Education Award: Susan Burgess, School Counselor, Chapman High School

Prior winners have included:

  • Pioneering Women Lifetime Achievement Award: Sheila Breitweiser (’14).
  • Alumna Award: Elizabeth Hartley Renneker (’14); Jill Johnson (’13); Stacie Williams (’12); and Jessica Mack (’11)
  • Media Award: Christy Henderson (’14); Amanda Bass (‘13); Charmayne Brown (’12); and Keisha Kirkland (’11).
  • Public Service/Government Award: Sharon Porter (’14), Judge Ponda Caldwell (’13); Barbara Barnes (’12); and Hope Blackley (’11).
  • Missions Award: Jean Bradley (’14)’ Jayne McQueen (’13); Julia Lyons (’12); and Lou Landrum (’11).
  • Philanthropy Award: Betty Montgomery (’14); Mary Thomas (’13); Phyllis B. DeLapp (’12); and Dr. Charlotte Ellis (’11).
  • Political Leadership Award: Erica Brown (’14); Harriett Rucker (’13); Liz Patterson (’12); and Rita Allison (’11).
  • Business Award: Beth Jeter Hrubala (‘14); Sue Schneider (’13); Tammy Devine (’12); and Susan Bridges (’11).
  • Creative Leadership Award: Betsy Teeter (’14); Peggy Magarahan (’13); and Mary Ellen Suitt (’12).
  • Education Award: Penny Fisher (’14); Donna Christopher (’13); Margaret Peach (’12); and Melissa Andrews (’11).
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SMC’s Dr. Colleen Perry Keith Named President of Pfeiffer University

Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, President of Spartanburg Methodist College since 2009, has been named president of Pfeiffer University. The announcement was made today by the trustees of the Misenheimer, North Carolina college. Pfeiffer also has campuses in Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham and is a sister college in the United Methodist connection.

“While we are sad to be losing Dr. Keith, we know that this is a great fit for her skills and experience and a wonderful next step for her career as a college president,” said Dr. Phinnize Fisher, Chair of the Board for SMC. “Dr. Keith has been an exceptional leader for SMC and will bring her outstanding gifts in administration and fundraising to bear for Pfeiffer’s benefit. She is widely regarded throughout the field of higher education as a thoughtful and effective leader. SMC’s loss is Pfeiffer’s benefit.”

Under Keith’s leadership, SMC has completed a major funds campaign, increased its capacity for fundraising, raised its public profile across the state, expanded its alumni programming, started two new degree programs, and taken on capital projects including the construction of Ellis Hall. SMC’s enrollment has remained strong throughout Keith’s tenure and the college’s outstanding athletic programs have continued to thrive in competition at the national level.

Beyond the campus, Keith has become an active volunteer in the Upstate. She serves on the boards of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, which she chairs; the Mary Black Foundation; the Greer Education Foundation; the Arts Partnership; the Spartanburg Academic Movement; Spartanburg Regional Hospital’s Hospice Home; and Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg County. On the state level, she chairs the President’s Council for the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities organization and is the secretary for the South Carolina Tuition Grants commission. On the national level, she is the past president of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church and continues on its board.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I will miss SMC and my Pioneers. This is a great college and one that plays a very important role in getting students started on their higher education journey. Of everything we have accomplished over the past six years, I am most proud of the fact that SMC is no longer the ‘best kept secret’ in the Upstate. People recognize the value that we offer and our amazing success rate (85% of SMC students go onto complete their college education elsewhere, compared to 20% nationally for two-year colleges) is evidence that we are doing an exceptional job at implementing our mission. Even though I am moving onto what is next for me, SMC will continue to thrive and provide an outstanding higher education start for thousands more students for at least the next 104 years!”

Keith will begin her duties at Pfeiffer University on July 1. The SMC Board of Trustees will launch a search for Keith’s replacement in the next several weeks.

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SMC’s Phi Theta Kappa to present to Spartanburg Lions Club and Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce that three members of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society will present at the Tuesday, February 16 meeting of the Spartanburg Lions Club and again on Wednesday, February 18 at the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce before their Workforce Resources Council.

SMC sophomore students Marissa Fleming, Ian Clevenger, and Glory Pi Bonilla have been writing a project about Somalian Piracy, its causes and origins, evolution, and international response to it. The project itself is being created to present at the Phi Theta Kappa Carolina Regionals Conference in March. Their project focuses on universal themes of crime, poverty, joblessness, the gap between political leaders and lower classes, and the importance of a stronger middle class for forging a healthy community. It analyzes how an understanding of the interconnected of these themes in a worst-case-scenario (e.g. Somalia) has had an impact and how those same things relate to problems in local communities, be they Spartanburg or all the way to the national level. At its most basic, the project’s mission is to holistically study another culture to better understand our own.

SMC chapter’s Phi Theta Kappa stresses academic excellence, leadership, fellowship and service. Membership is limited to students who have achieved a 3.5 or higher grade point average, be of good moral character and possess recognized qualities of good citizenship.  Fleming is the daughter of Christopher and Rhonda Fleming of Spartanburg, graduated from Dorman High School and is pursuing an associate in Arts.  Clevenger is the son of Michael and Brenda Clevenger, of Inman, graduated from Boiling Springs High School, and is pursuing an associate in Science. Pi Bonilla is the daughter of Johnny Pi Pascual and Gina Bonilla, of Simpsonville, graduated from Mauldin High School, and is pursuing an associate in Fine Arts.

Dr. Cole Cheek, SMC Professor of History and Anthropology, as well as advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, shared “our hope is that by presenting the group’s conclusions to a variety of individuals, especially those in business and government, it will promote discussion about relevant themes and issues locally.”