DanSynergy VII

SMC proudly presents Ballet Spartanburg’s DanSynergy VII, February 24, 2015 @ 7 pm in Gibbs Auditorium

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to welcome Ballet Spartanburg’s DanSynergy VII  to the campus on Tuesday, February 24. The 7 pm performance will be held in the Gibbs Auditorium and is part of the college’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Admission is free of charge and the public is welcome to attend.

The evening event will feature an eclectic fusion of dance styles featuring collaborations with regional and national artists and including unique and powerful contemporary dance.  The program will start with a dance piece danced to music by African-English composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor and is based on the works of African-American writers W. E. B. Dubois and Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Also featured in the program is a dance work by Cuban Choreographer Nelson Reyes, based on the stories of Cubans trying to immigrate to America. Last in the program is a dance piece inspired by courageous stories of cancer survivors that explores their emotional journey of diagnosis to the triumph of hope and survival.

Ballet Spartanburg’s mission is to promote dance appreciation in Spartanburg County and surrounding areas by providing quality dance presentation, education, and outreach. Since 1966 Ballet Spartanburg has been enriching lives through the art of dance by presenting national and international dance companies. With an ever growing outreach program, Ballet Spartanburg offers lecture/demonstrations, in-school residencies, after school programs, in-school performances, an annual free performance of Peter & the Wolf, summer programs for at-risk youth at inner city housing projects and at the Boys and Girls Club of The Upstate, and performances at nursing homes, hospitals and community events.

Ballet Spartanburg, under the artistic direction of Carlos Agudelo, is recognized as a regional dance company with an exceptional commitment to education and outreach activities in the Upstate. Ballet Spartanburg has performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, at the Koger Center in Columbia, at the Peace Center in Greenville, and in Tryon and Forest City, North Carolina.

Ballet Spartanburg produces a four program season that includes The Nutcracker, a fall program, a spring program and a guest company. These productions showcase world class guest artists from such companies as: Ballet Austin, Houston Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, and American Ballet Theater, and New York City Ballet. In addition, Ballet Spartanburg performs in several festivals and galas each year including, Piccolo Spoletto in Charleston, SC and maintains an active Outreach Program for the community.  In 1976, the Dance Center was established as the official school of Ballet Spartanburg. Today The Dance Center instructs over 400 students from Spartanburg, Greenville, Union, Gaffney, and Asheville, Tryon and Rutherfordton in North Carolina.



Jenny Dunn headshot

SMC’s Jenny Dunn to attend 2015 NAPAHE Conference in DC

Jenny Dunn, Special Assistant to Spartanburg Methodist College President Colleen Perry Keith, has been awarded a $1000 grant to the 2015 NAPAHE Conference in Washington DC, to be held on March 13-15, 2015.

NAPAHE, the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education, enhances the profession of its members through programs, networking and information resources that address the broad range of roles fulfilled by presidential assistants in service to presidential leadership and higher education. The organization provides members a powerful venue to share professional experiences and ideas that spearhead personal success.

NAPAHE is an affiliate organization of the American Council on Education (ACE). NAPAHE meets once a year, in conjunction with ACE’s annual meeting. Colleagues from colleges and universities across the country, and internationally, join together to network, exchange ideas in interactive sessions, and explore and discuss topics of mutual interest that broaden their knowledge of strategic higher education issues, executive speech writing, strategic planning, event management, relation and coalition building, fundraising and advancement activities, communications, legislative and governmental affairs, and office management.

Dunn assumed the role of special assistant to the president in July of 2014, and continues to serves as Director of Human Resources for Spartanburg Methodist College.  Dunn has over twenty-five years of service with SMC, serving in such capacities as Director of Human Resources and Controller.   Dunn holds a Master’s  degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.  She is an active member of First Presbyterian Church and resides in Spartanburg with her husband Joe.



Flannery O'Connor cover

SMC to host Flannery O’Connor at 90 Conference on May 15-16, 2015

The Spartanburg Methodist College will host Flannery O’Connor at 90 on May 15 and 16, 2015 in Ellis Hall.   In observance of the ninetieth anniversary of Flannery O’Connor’s birth, the Division of English at SMC will host the two-day conference honoring the distinguished short-story writer, essayist, and novelist. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Papers from citizens, scholars, graduate students, and undergraduate students are currently being sought. Paper subject matter may include any aspect of O’Connor’s writings or her life. For more information, please contact Dr. Harry M. Bayne, Chairperson of the Division of English and Professor of English, bayneh@smcsc.edu or 864-587-4381


Preserving Gullah Culture – Rag Quilting Workshop and Presentation on Monday, February 2

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to welcome Sharon Cooper-Murray to campus on Monday, February 2 for two separate events, a hand’s-on rag quilting workshop and a presentation on this lost art by the Community Rag Quilting Preservation Initiative.

See Spartanburg Herald Journal Photo Gallery of workshop: http://www.goupstate.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Dato=20150202&Kategori=PHOTOS05&Lopenr=202009996&Ref=PH&pl=1


According to elderly Gullah women from Wadmalaw and Johns Island, SC, the textile tradition of rag quilting began during the antebellum period when women used feed and grain sacks along with rag strips to make quilts for warmth during inclement weather.This art form was passed from generation to generation.   Today many of the elderly practitioners of rag quilting have passed away and others are no longer physically able to tie the knots required during the rag quilting process.

Today we are faced with the possibility of this Gullah folk art tradition of rag quilting being lost.

The Community Rag Quilting Preservation Initiative seeks to continue the transmission of folk art skills from generation to generation, to promote this indigenous textile tradition within the tourist industry and to facilitate a textile cottage industry of handmade crafts.

SMC will be hosting a hand’s-on rag quilting workshop in the Buchheit Board Room, located within the Vassey Information Technology Center, at 4 pm on Monday, February 2. The public is invited and the event is free of charge.

Later that same day, at 7 pm the college will welcome Sharon Cooper-Murray to the stage of Gibbs Auditorium, located in Ellis Hall, for a presentation on the Gullah folk art tradition and the Rag Quilting Preservation Initiative.  This event is open to the public, and also free of charge.

Cooper-Murray is a native of Lake City, South Carolina, and a Speech and Drama graduate of Knoxville College, Knoxville, Tennessee. After graduating she traveled for a brief time trying decide where she what area to take up residence. It was then she was invited to Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina a small Sea Island southwest of Charleston and the home of the indigenous group known as the Gullah people. She was fascinated by their creole language and even more intrigued by their culture.

Cooper-Murray worked as an Educator for the Charleston County School District in the area of Remedial Reading. While teaching she was recruited by Rev. Dr. Willis T. Goodwin, founder of Rural Mission, Inc. an ecumenical/educational organization which provided community development programs for the Gullah people on the five sea islands known as the Gullah islands; James, Johns, Wadmalaw, Yonges and Edisto Island.   She served as the Development Officer responsible for fundraising and grant writing. The position afforded her the opportunity to work within Gullah community and that was the beginning of what became her lifelong passion for the Gullah culture.

By 1986 after years of research Cooper-Murray partnered with Frank L. Murray to established De Gullah Enna Pry, a heritage development organization designed to preserve, conserve and develop the Gullah Culture. Though the inclusion of the Gullah culture was very limited in the Hospitality/Tourism Industry she believed this rich and diverse culture would greatly enhance the lore of Charleston, S. C.  She wrote, directed and produced two theatrical productions, the 1992 “Don’t let um die Yah,” and the 1997 “Gullah, Rice and Cotton.” In 1993 she served as the Black History Coordinator at Middleton Place, the antebellum rice plantation founded in 1741, which immersed her in the lives of the West African slaves and the evolution of the Gullah Culture.

Today, Cooper-Murray is founder and President of Gullah Enna & E Sweet Pan & Ting, a manufacturing organization i.e. cottage industry specializing in Gullah fiber arts & crafts. The organizations philosophy and mission is to increase awareness of the Gullah culture and facilitate understanding of their way of life; language, music, arts and crafts.

Both events, the 4 pm workshop and the 7 pm presentation, are open to community and are free of charge.  For additional information, please contact Yvonne Harper, harpery@smcsc.edu or 864-266-7409.


Miss SMC 2015

Ashley Rogers Crowned Miss Spartanburg Methodist College

Miss Ashley Rogers from Easley, SC was crowned Miss Spartanburg Methodist College on Saturday, January 24, 2015 during the annual pageant held in Gibbs Auditorium.   Rogers’ talent was in vocal performance, singing How Great Thou Art.  Rogers, a sophomore, who is pursuing an Associate in Arts degree with the major of elementary education, is the daughter of David and Kelley Rogers.

Seven additional SMC students participated in the Saturday night event, including:

Alyssa Queen, daughter of Phillip and Lisa Queen, of York, SC.  Queen, a freshman, is pursuing an Associate in Arts degree with the major of psychology;

Briauna Foster, daughter of Anita Johnson and Brian Foster, of Spartanburg.  Foster, a freshman, is pursuing an Associate in Arts degree with the major of neonatal nursing;

Brittany Moore, daughter of Robbie and Sharon Moore, of Union, SC.  Moore, a sophomore, is pursuing an Associate in Science degree with the major of physical therapy;

Karina Vega, daughter of Josefina Martinez and Juan Vega, of Gaffney, SC.  Vega, a freshman, is pursuing an Associate in Arts degree;

Alisha Morehart, daughter of Tamara Smith-Morehart and Albert Morehart of Greer, SC.  Morehart, a sophomore, is pursuing an Associate in Arts degree with the major of psychology;

Rebeca Zuniga, daughter of Norma Duron and Tito Zuniga of Goose Creek, SC.  Zuniga, a freshman, is pursuing an Associate in Business degree; and

Angelica Johnson, daughter of Melissa and Keith Johnson of North Augusta, SC.  Johnson, a sophomore, is pursuing an Associate in Arts with the major of early childhood education.

Brittany MooreBrittany Moore, earned the title of first runner up and Alisha MorehartAlisha Morehart was named second runner up. Overall evening gown honors went to Brittany Moore, who also took home the community support award.  Overall talent was awarded to Alisha MorehartKarina VegaKarina Vega was named most photogenic.

The 2015 pageant, which was emceed by Trey Arrington, Executive Director of IT at SMC, welcomed back several former Miss SMC’s and SMC May Queens, including Mrs. Edna Grainger Guthrie, May Queen 1949; Mrs. Peggy Petty Mullinax, May Queen 1960, Mrs. Jo Ann Hill Waddell, May Queen 1962, Mrs. Sandra Irby Hawkins, Miss SMC 1979, Mrs. Sonya Gaines Malone, Miss SMC 1991, Mrs. Ginger West Mackey, Miss SMC 1998, Miss Kayla Jackson, Miss SMC 2011, Miss Nacolle Williamson, Miss SMC 2012, Miss Bonnie Walls, Miss SMC 2013 and Miss Logan Phillips, Miss SMC 2014.

Rogers’ platform for her reign will be mentoring young women to have self-esteem and confidence. Rogers will represent Spartanburg Methodist College this summer in the Miss South Carolina pageant (preliminaries Tuesday, June 23 through Thursday, June 25, with the final night of competition to be held on Saturday, June 27) at the Township Auditorium in Columbia, SC.

The Shroud of Turin

SMC to host The Day the Shroud Foiled Hitler

Could an ancient linen cloth be the actual burial shroud of Jesus?  Could the Shroud of Turin be a document of the crucifixion?  Is that even possible? Or is it nothing more than a medieval hoax?  For hundreds of years this ancient linen cloth etched with the faint image of a crucified man has mystified millions.  It continues to speak from centuries past challenging us to unlock its many secrets.  Nearly every scientific regimen has been employed to unravel the mystery and yet it remains unsolved.

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to host a special presentation “The Day the Shroud Foiled Hitler” by Russ Breault on Thursday, January 29th at 7:00 pm in the Gibbs Auditorium, located in Ellis Hall.Admission is free of charge and the public is invited to attend and hear this incredible untold story.

Breault, is one of the world’s leading experts on the Shroud and has captivated audiences coast to coast and seen in numerous documentaries including The History Channel, Discovery and CBS.  “The Day the Shroud Foiled Hitler” is a dramatic presentation that examines how Adolph Hitler was obsessed with finding or stealing religious artifacts.  Hitler believed they would enhance his power and ability to conquer the world and even tried to steal the Shroud!

Breault has been researching and lecturing on The Shroud of Turin for over 30 years. His highly acclaimed presentation known as Shroud Encounter makes use of over 200 superb images and unfolds like a CSI investigation. The audience is intrigued as each clue is revealed and becomes another piece of a grand puzzle as the mystery of the Shroud is explored. Carefully designed to be educational and entertaining, he delivers a dynamic, fast-paced experience.

Russ Breault has presented to hundreds of audiences from New York to Hawaii. College and university presentations include Duke, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, Cal State and many others.

He has appeared in several nationally televised documentaries includingMysteries of the Ancient World on CBS.  Most recently, he appeared in the highly acclaimed, The Real Face of Jesus? —A two-hour documentary on The History Channel. Breault was both advisor and a primary expert for this groundbreaking program. He was interviewed last year for Good Morning America and World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer to discuss the newest research. He hosted and produced 12 episodes of The Shroud Report, a half-hour interview show with the world’s leading experts.  He has participated in over ten international research symposiums since 1981 and all three recent public exhibitions in Turin, Italy in 1998, 2000 and 2010. He is a long-time member of the Shroud Science Group, an international consortium of scientists and scholars dedicated to further research.  Breault is the president and founder of the Shroud of Turin Education Project Inc., the mission of which is to: “Advance the knowledge of the shroud to a new generation.” 





SAM presentation to SMC Faculty

Dr. StockwellDr. John Stockwell, Executive Director of SAM (Spartanburg Academic Movement)  shared an overview of SAM with SMC’s faculty, staff and administrators on Monday, January 12, 2015. Dr. Stockwell served as chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate located in Spartanburg County; following service in other higher education positions in California, Indiana, New York, and Wisconsin.  He has served in numerous volunteer civic capacities in the County including the founding board chair of the Spartanburg Chapter of the Urban League of the Upstate; board member and chair of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the Children’s Services Alliances, and the College Hub; and is currently a trustee of the Spartanburg County Foundation.

SAM is an “all-in partnership of schools and colleges, businesses, governments, foundations, faith communities and individuals across Spartanburg County in pursuit of high levels of educational achievement. Collectively, SAM’s mission is to measure academic accomplishment that matters, cradle to career; set achievement targets that escalate annually; align networks in pursuit of these targets; and, report progress with persistent regularity.

SAM, a commitment shared by educators, leaders and communities across Spartanburg County that our children will grow into well-educated, independent adult, is also a commitment to increase the importance we place on academic achievement for every child, from cradle to career and it’s a commitment to assure that our young people gain the education required for life and work in an economy that requires specialized knowledge to be productive. It is a sustaining commitment across our urban and rural county of 288,000 people to link the numerous resources we already have in place: our schools, colleges, and non-profit educational support partners.  This is a commitment to focus their unique missions on persistent and targeted gains in academic achievement at every stage of learning.  This commitment will do the most to advance our indicators of community well-being:  civic and public health, social and natural environments, and economic development.

For more information, visit www.learnwithsame.org


Personal Injury

SMC to offer Personal Injury and the Law of Torts Course

Spartanburg Methodist College announced today that they will be offering a Personal Injury and the Law of Torts for Paralegals course in the Spring I, 2015 term of their Paralegal Certificate Program, beginning on Tuesday evenings, February 24.

The 10-week course will present fundamental concepts of tort law with emphasis on the paralegal’s role, from the initial client meeting to the litigation process during trial and/or settlement. Topics will include intentional torts, negligence, and strict liability.  Hypothetical scenarios will demonstrate how abstract tort law pertains to real life accidents and injuries and provide students with opportunities to apply key concepts to the types of cases they will encounter on the job. Students will also benefit from the course’s accompanying textbook which includes an introduction to medical terms, basic anatomy, common prescription drug types, and medical tests that may be encountered when reviewing medical records.

“We are pleased to have local attorney Ryan F. McCarty with the Burts Turner & Rhodes law firm join us as the instructor for this much anticipated course,” shared Yvonne Harper, Director of the SMC Paralegal Certificate Program. McCarty, originally from Dayton, Ohio, graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, earning a B.A. in Political Science.   While at The Citadel, McCarty was a member of the Cadre, Dean’s List, Pi Sigma Alpha National Honor Society, Commandant’s List and President’s List for both academic and military achievement.  Following The Citadel, he graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law, where he was the recipient of the President’s Scholarship.

McCarty began working as an Assistant Solicitor in the Seventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office under Solicitor Trey Gowdy. During his six year tenure he prosecuted hundreds of cases including DUI, Forgery, Burglary, Larceny, Financial Transaction Card Fraud and Theft, Drug Trafficking, Drug Distribution and PWID, Simple Possession, Assault and Battery and Murder.  In January of 2012, he became an associate of Burts Turner & Rhodes and currently practices in the areas of Criminal  Law (General Sessions and Magistrate Court Offenses); Family Law; Divorce; Child Custody; Civil Litigation; Contracts; Probate Law; Personal Injury; Workers’ Compensation; Automobile Accidents and Injuries; Wrongful Death and Survival Actions; Estate Litigation; and Wills.

Since 1997, the SMC Paralegal Certificate Evening Program has been helping adult students attain the necessary skills to advance their careers in the legal field. Consisting of 14 ten-week courses, the program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers, and provides personalized academic advisement. Instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of the law in which paralegals are most in demand. Faculty, composed of local judges, attorneys and paralegals, provide networking opportunities and offer real-world experience with practical application. Classes are offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings beginning at 5:30 p.m. For additional information or to register for the course, visit www.smcsc.edu/paralegal/or contact harpery@smcsc.edu or call 864-266-7409.

immigration 2

SMC to offer Immigration Law Course

Spartanburg Methodist College announced today that they will be offering an Immigration Law for Paralegals course in the Spring I, 2015 term of their Paralegal Certificate Evening Program, beginning on Thursday, February 26.

The 10-week course will be an indispensable and practical guide on U.S. immigration, citizenship and visa procedures and is geared for students interested in a career as an immigration paralegal or anyone interested in immigration issues. Course tuition is $325. The general public can audit the class for $125. Instruction will focus on interviewing, gathering information, case management and document preparation techniques; analysis of temporary and permanent employment visas; analysis of family-based petitions, political asylum and naturalization.  The course textbook features each visa category set forth in a clear and concise manner, with real-life and hypothetical situations and step-by-step instructions, including sample forms and correspondence.

“With the recent developments in the immigration laws, our Immigration Law for Paralegals course is being offered to assist the Upstate legal community with understanding immigration standards and procedures,” shared Yvonne Harper, Director of the SMC Paralegal Certificate Evening Program. “I cannot think of a better instructor for this course than Mary Miranda Hugues, a 2008 graduate of the SMC Paralegal Certificate Program, who was a former successful attorney in her native country of Panama,” added Harper.

In 2004 Hugues and her family came to Spartanburg when her husband Carlos Hugues assumed a ministerial position with the Boiling Springs Church of Christ. She is currently a senior immigration paralegal with the Grek Law Group located on Warren H. Abernathy Highway in Spartanburg and previously worked for five years as an immigration paralegal with the Greenville-based law firm of Allen C. Ladd.

Since 1997, the SMC Paralegal Certificate Evening Program has been helping adult students attain the necessary skills to advance their careers in the legal field. Consisting of 14 ten-week courses, the program is designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers, and provides personalized academic advisement. Instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of the law in which paralegals are most in demand. Faculty, composed of local judges, attorneys and paralegals, provide networking opportunities and offer real-world experience with practical application. Classes are offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings beginning at 5:30 p.m. For additional information or to register for the course, visit www.smcsc.edu/paralegal/ or contact harpery@smcsc.edu or call 864-266-7409.

Presidents Higher Ed Comm Serv logo

SMC named to The President’s Honor Roll for 2014

Spartanburg Methodist College received word today that they have been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2014. The President’s Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions whose community service efforts achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. This distinction is the highest federal recognition colleges and universities can receive for community service, service-learning, and civic engagement.

”Service to our community and state is a part of our culture and nature. It is what we do at SMC and to be recognized by the President’s Honor Roll is gratifying,” shared Ron Laffitte, Dean of Students at SMC.

Since 1911, service to humanity has been stressed daily at Spartanburg Methodist College. Today, SMC students continue the tradition by volunteering at hospitals, schools, churches, animal shelters, soup kitchens, etc. In so doing, they gain valuable skills, nurture a strong work ethic, and develop assets that translate to future benefits for them personally and for society (81% of Americans who volunteered as a youth, give to charitable organizations as adults.).

SMC’s strategic commitment to engage students in service strengthens the student and the local community. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the College reported over 6,000 community service hours of investing in the lives of others, according to SMC’s Chaplain, Candice Sloan. “Volunteering fosters respect for others, patience, kindness, and the ability to empathize with people who are different from the volunteer” stated Sloan. “As a mission of the United Methodist Church, SMC lives up to John Wesley’s recommendation that we ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.’ In the process, SMC students, faculty and staff have touched a countless number of lives.”

In 2012, a reported 3.1 million students engaged in community service, providing 118 million hours of community service, valued at $2.5 billion, per the Volunteering and Civic Life in America report. Volunteering is the foundation to student achievement and life-long learning. The benefits of volunteering are reaped both now, and in the future. Out of 13.3 million youth, 59.3% volunteer an average of 3.5 hours per week, versus 49% of adults, who volunteer an average of 4.2 hours. Statistically, students who volunteer just one hour or more a week are 50% less likely to abuse alcohol, cigarettes, become pregnant, or engage in other destructive behavior.

Graduating Class without robes website image

Nine Paralegal Students Graduate from SMC

On Sunday, November 23, 2014 Spartanburg Methodist College held its 2014 Paralegal Certificate Evening Program graduation in the William Milton Davis Mission Chapel. Justin Bradley, Spartanburg County Councilman-elect, District 2, was the commencement keynote speaker. Bradley serves as corporate counsel for Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing, a division of New Penn Financial, LLC with responsibility for litigation management, licensing, and vendor management.

JenniferParalegal instructor, Jennifer Jordan, with the Office of the Seventh Circuit Solicitor, was recognized by the graduating class as the 2014 Instructor of the Year, an honor she also received in 2009 and 2013.

StellaStella Johnson, of Una, SC, was presented by her classmates with the prestigious Queen Mims Memorial Student Speaker Award, which carries the honor of delivering the commencement speech on behalf of the class. The award is named after Jonesville native Queen Elizabeth Mims, a 2007 SMC Paralegal Certificate Program graduate, who worked as the office manager for her brother, local attorney Albert V. Smith. Mims, who served as class speaker of her graduating class, lost her battle with cancer in 2011. Johnson served her country for eight years in the United States Air Force and then served for over three years in the Georgia Air National Guard. Participating in the City of Spartanburg’s Citizen’s Police Academy peaked Johnson’s interest in law and led her to the SMC Paralegal Certificate Evening Program.

SusanSpartanburg resident Susan C. Abbott, was recognized by her instructors with the Liz Patterson Student of the Year Award. The award is named after Liz Patterson, the former 3-term United States Congresswoman for the 4th Congressional District of South Carolina, who founded the program, which she began in 1997 at Converse College. In 2004, Patterson was instrumental in the moving of the program to SMC, where she currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees and is a member of the Paralegal Certificate Program’s Advisory Committee. Abbott was recognized for her good moral character, confidence, strong academic and leadership abilities and her exceptional promise. She was judged to represent the ideal qualities of a Spartanburg Methodist College Paralegal Certificate Program Student.

Graduating Class without robesAdditional graduates include Catherine Danniel Johnston, of Woodruff, SC. Spartanburg residents Gerald J. Harblin and Cheyenne Nicole Harblin, the program’s first father-daughter duo; Ashley Alexandra Agnew; Alicia Elaine Crouch and Katie Gault Easler, who were both recognized with 212 Degree Awards for their extra drive in securing employment in the legal field while still students in the program.

“Our graduates are unique and intelligent individuals who all shared a dream to work in the legal field when they entered the program. I am very proud of our program’s commitment to bestow students with marketable job skills that increase their employer’s efficiency, productivity, and billable hours. It is an honor to play a part in helping students’ dreams become realities,” shared Yvonne Harper, who has directed SMC’s Paralegal Certificate Program since 2004.

The roots of the paralegal profession can be traced to the late 1960s when Congress, law firms, local bar associations, and the American Bar Association (ABA) began significant efforts to increase access to legal services in the United States. Paralegals, trained non-lawyers, working under the supervision of attorneys, provide clients with affordable and efficient legal services that otherwise would be performed by licensed attorneys.
SMC’s paralegal program, designed for beginning as well as advanced legal workers, offers personalized academic advisement and faculty, composed of local practicing judges, attorneys and paralegals, who provide networking opportunities and offer real-world experience with practical application. Instruction is practice-oriented and relates to those areas of the law in which paralegals are most in demand. The program consists of fourteen 10-week courses. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. For information, contact Yvonne Harper, harpery@smcsc.edu or 864-266-7409.

Santa's helpers

Spartanburg Methodist College Celebrating the Season with Alternative Christmas Office Party

On Friday, December 5, 2014 Spartanburg Methodist College will hold its annual Christmas Party. However, like many organizations today, this year SMC was looking for a better way to celebrate Christmas for its employees.

“Today’s overall economic woes, less tolerance for overindulgence, and lack of employee engagement is causing human resource departments all across the country to look at the feasibility of the traditional holiday office party, which tends to be both expensive and energy-consuming,” explained Jenny Dunn, Director of Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President at SMC.

Friday’s holiday celebration will be held from 11 am to 1:30 pm in the Phyllis Buchheit Board Room at SMC and will focus on giving back to the community. Faced with competition for employee time, attention and energy during the December holiday season, and ever-mindful of the College’s financial investment, SMC President Dr. Colleen Perry Keith was committed to keeping things “merry” for her staff while also being a good steward to the supporters of the college.

“The goal is to decorate and fill 500 gift bags for the College’s young friends at Jesse Bobo Elementary School. We will enjoy lively holiday music, great food and awesome fellowship, providing an opportunity for faculty, staff as well as members of our Board of Trustees to participate in a team-building, morale boosting holiday party that will make Christmas brighter for a special group of young people,” shared Keith.

Research shows employees find charitable giving motivational and exciting. According to Dunn, “our employees have enjoyed seeing the piles of snack food, school supplies, small toys and other donated gifts growing in the President’s Office.”

therapy dogs

Therapy Dogs visit Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg Methodist College’s Psi Beta chapter, the national Psychology honor society, hosted the Spartanburg Chapter of Therapy Dog International on Thursday, November 20 in the Davis Mission Chapel.

Founded in 1976 in New Jersey, Therapy Dogs International is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed. TDI registers all breeds of dogs. Some dogs have pedigrees, while others have been adopted from local shelters or are rescue dogs. In 2012, an estimated 24,750 dog/handler teams were registered with TDI.

To belong to Therapy Dogs International, dogs must be at least one year old and have a sound temperament. All dogs must be tested and evaluated by a Certified TDI Evaluator and must pass a TDI temperament evaluation for suitability to become a Therapy Dog. The test will also include the evaluation of the dog’s behavior around people with the use of some type of service equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.).

P1020822Ms. Peggy Crawford, a licensed trainer and evaluator for Therapy Dogs, and the Director of the Spartanburg Chapter, shared her personal story of working in the Chicago medical field for over thirty years during which time she first became involved with Therapy Dogs.

The use of canines to help mankind is known throughout the world. They have been used for guarding flocks, tracking, hunting, search and rescue, leading the blind, and in assisting the deaf and physically challenged. The bond between dog and man dates back to early history, but it was not until recently that a correlation was acknowledged between this bond and the emotional health of humans. Crawford shared that “studies have shown that a person holding or petting an animal will cause a lowering of blood pressure, the release of strain and tension, and can draw out a person from loneliness and depression.”

SMC students greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn about this volunteer organization, but they especially appreciated the opportunity to interact and experience the many hands-on benefits of the therapy dogs that were part of the presentation.

what a kisserloyal friend


Duncan Estate

SMC Alumni & Friends Cocktail Christmas Party

You are cordially invited to attend the

SMC Alumni & Friends Cocktail Christmas Party

Friday, December 5th, 2014
6 – 8 p.m.

The Duncan Estate
840 Union Street
Spartanburg, SC 29302

Please RSVP to Becky Snow at SnowB@smcsc.edu
Hosted by the SMC Alumni Council Members
Amy Threatt Solomon & Clint Settle

• Cocktail Party Attire Suggested
• No Charge to attend