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United States Senator Tim Scott recognizes SMC’s Training for Intervention Procedures

The Honorable Tim Scott, United States Senator for South Carolina, recently recognized Stacey Mason, Director of Housing and Residence Life at Spartanburg Methodist College, for her interest in helping to prevent alcohol-related incidents in the Palmetto State.

Senator Scott saluted SMC and stated the College’s “participation in TIPS – Training for Intervention Procedures – is a recognition of your professionalism and interest in preventing senseless tragedies in our communities. Your efforts are greatly appreciated and will go a long way in making our state a safer place to live, work and play.”

TIPS for the University is a 2.5 hour program that helps students make sound choices when faced with difficult decisions about alcohol use. Working together and with administration, students address drinking behaviors specific to their schools and develop intervention techniques appropriate to their campuses. TIPS provides students with the knowledge and confidence necessary to reduce high-risk drinking behavior among their peers. More than 1,200 campuses nationwide have implemented TIPS for the University.

 width=Mason shared “as a TIPS trainer, I am able to certify the Residence Life staff each year on alcohol intervention tactics through the TIPS program. This has been a part of our Residence Assistant training for the last eight years.”

Kent Newberry

SMC Professor Kent Newberry recognized with SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award

Spartanburg Methodist College is proud to announce that Professor Kent Newberry was recently recognized with a 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award and awarded a $3000 professional development grant from South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

The hallmark of South Carolina’s private non-profit colleges and universities is their emphasis on individualized learning and student achievement. This can only be accomplished by a faculty of the highest quality working in a supportive environment that encourages and fosters serious inquiry, critical thinking, and a broader understanding of the world in which we live.

Each year, SCICU recognizes and celebrates the best of the best with its Excellence in Teaching Awards. Award recipients are first and foremost teachers who come to liberal arts institutions to work one-on-one with students whom they also serve as advisers, mentors, and friends. They are dedicated and committed professionals who have worked long and hard to be the best in their particular academic disciple in order to instruct and guide future generations as their life’s work. They are value-centered, passionate, creative, and caring.

Professor of Drama and Speech and Director of SMC Theater Productions Kent Newberry has been motivating and listening to his students and advisees at SMC for more than thirty-five years. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ann Bowles, says of Professor Newberry, “He is described by his peers as a masterful teacher for his skill in helping speech students overcome their fears of speaking in public.” In teaching students to write speeches, he helps them develop skills in organizing a presentation and speaking and writing in correct English. In his drama workshop, students have learned how to plan and build sets, operate theater lighting, and create programs. Some of those drama students have pursued careers on stage or in theater-related professions.

Newberry’s teaching style is described as enthusiastic and motivational. He takes the time to talk everyday with his students before and after class and he is always prepared when advisees drop by to discuss their career plans. His expectations are high and his students have a tremendous sense of accomplishment and confidence when they successfully complete his courses.

Newberry earned baccalaureate, master’s and educational specialist degrees at the University of Florida. He has been honored twice by the SMC faculty with the A.V. Huff Faculty Prize for teaching excellence as well as the Exemplary Teacher Award presented by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. “SMC is fortunate to count among its outstanding faculty a gifted teacher, advisor, and leader like Kent Newberry,” Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, President of Spartanburg Methodist College shared. “He exemplifies SMC’s mission through his hard work and servant leadership, and almost always with a twinkle in his eye and smile on his face!”


SMC named winner of SC’s Career Preparedness Award for ACT’s College and Career Readiness Campaign

Spartanburg Methodist College has been notified that they were selected as the prestigious statewide award winner of South Carolina’s Career Preparedness Award for ACT’s College and Career Readiness Campaign.

Spartanburg Methodist College, a two-year private, residential, liberal arts institution, is one of a very few such institutions left in the United States. SMC plays a vital role in preparing students for success in careers and in senior colleges. SMC’s “success rate” (the sum total of students who either graduate and transfer or transfer prior to graduation into educational programs elsewhere to complete their higher education journey) is 86%. The national success rate for 2-year colleges is in the 20% range.

Founded in 1911 as the first cooperative education program in the United States, SMC has a strong 104 year history of providing resources for education and for life.  “Starting in the Fall 2015, SMC is devoting two of its Learning Communities to an in-depth focus on career decision making, which will further extend the College’s reach into career readiness work,” according to SMC President Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D.

Bobby Russ, District Manager of State Organizations, reached out on behalf of ACT and shared “Our council membership felt that your application and data demonstrated that Spartanburg Methodist College made significant strides in helping its students prepare for the success in the workforce or in continuing their education.”

SMC’s Counseling and Career Center utilizes a variety of assessment tools, such as a Career Personal Profile assessment, Personality Type Inventory, the SIGI, SDS, etc., to help students develop greater self-understanding and begin the process of lifelong growth and professional development.  Working with their SMC advisors, students can evaluate their career goals and make appropriate course selections and transfer options with senior colleges.

“Spartanburg Methodist College’s programs are aimed at career awareness, our success rate, and our support structures that are in place for students and our demonstrated commitment to providing leadership opportunities for students outside the classroom were all factors that catapulted SMC to the top of the list,” shared Keith.

Students at SMC have opportunities to begin to develop as leaders from the first day they arrive on campus through a variety of programs and opportunities. Students are provided a Leadership and Involvement Transcript that documents the activities that have enhanced their liberal arts education.   SMC’s President plays a key leadership role in the community, and members of the faculty and staff are involved in numerous professional and service groups, in addition SMC has been recognized by the President’s Honor Roll of Service for the past several years.

Spartanburg Methodist College will go on to a selection processes for national semifinalists of other statewide college exemplars as part of this ACT Campaign. The selected finalist will be recognized as the National Exemplar and will be honored at an ACT Gala in Washington, DC on June 9th.

To learn more about the ACT College & Career Readiness Campaign and view highlights from prior years, visit



SMC Partners with Pinwheel Project to promote Child Abuse Prevention

Spartanburg Methodist College is proud to partner with Spartanburg Partners for Prevention’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month Pinwheel Project.

The Pinwheel Project is a collaborative community project to promote the protective factors every family can adopt to help keep children safe and secure. The purpose of the Pinwheel Project is to help spread the good news of the work being done in our community, and to promote the little things every family can do to help keep children happy and healthy.

Project Pinwheel features a coalition of over 300 partners across the Upstate including education, government, non-profit, faith-based and corporate leaders. SMC’s Pinwheel garden, “planted” by students from Dr. Mary Jane Farmer’s psychology class as well as students from SMC’s Paralegal Certificate Evening Program, symbolizes healthy, happy childhoods.

SMC Paralegal students recently toured the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union Counties, Inc. During that visit Carmen Massey, a paralegal student from Spartanburg, shared she was shocked to learn the CAC is the only resource specifically for sexually abused and/or severely physically abused children in any of the three surrounding counties and that “95% of alleged offenders are someone the child knows and 68% of those offenders are family members.”

Learn more at



jill coyle

SMC Professor Dr. Jill Coyle winner of Emrys Poetry Award

Spartanburg Methodist College Professor of English, Dr. Jill Coyle, recently won the Emrys Poetry Award presented by the Hub City Writers Group for her piece entitled “Walker Creek.”

Ms. Marjory Wentworth, poet laureate of South Carolina, served as judge for the competition.  She said of Coyle’s poem, “I admire everything about this poet. The attention to specific image detail is superb and reminds me of Elizabeth Bishop’s work. The poems are beautifully crafted; there isn’t a spare syllable. What an accomplishment.”

Coyle earned her PhD in Classical Studies from Duke University and her MA in English from N.C. State University. Her poems have appeared in Blueline, Avocet, Main Street Rag, and Pinesong.

Through providing workshops to enhance writing skills, offering symposia for writers to present their work and awarding scholarships and fellowships, the Emrys Foundation nurtures creativity among emerging and established writers, seeks to expand the impact of the literary arts, and collaborates across a variety of art forms to give voice to the written word.

As a result of her award, Coyle, of Travelers Rest, will receive a scholarship to the week-long Wildacres Writers Workshop in Little Switzerland, N.C. in July. The SMC Division of English hosted a reading of Dr. Coyle’s original poetry in Ellis Hall on April 24.