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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.

 

 

 

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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 1996 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.

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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.

Brave Miss World

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.