SMC Asks You to Ponder

Ask any grade school child and they will tell you Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians shared a fall harvest. Some might even tell you that in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be held each year in November, and that today in the United States, Thanksgiving is held on the fourth Thursday in November.

The very word “Thanksgiving” conjures up images of brilliant orange, crimson and purple leaves falling from trees; visiting family and friends; watching football and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, either in person or on television; and without question – food. Turkey dinners with all of the holiday trimmings; including pies and stuffing, made for generations – one particular way.

Yet, Thanksgiving Day is more than a day of fond memories, parades, football and dinners. It is a day to remind us of the blessings, treasures and wonderful family and friends in our lives. Most will spend a few moments before dinner to give thanks, but for many the true meaning of Thanksgiving ends at the dinner table.

The meaning of Thanksgiving however, should not end after a few seconds of meditation or a prayer, it has broader significance. It is a reminder to slow down and take an assessment of our lives. “Thanks” – “giving” is a call to action in both thought and deed. It is a time for us to see, really see, and appreciate the abundance in our lives. This recognition allows us to express our gratitude and prompts us to share such blessings of wealth, time and talents with others.

On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, as you sit down to dinner, spend a few moments giving thanks and pausing to reflect on what actions you can take in the next year to fully express and experience the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Can you free-up one hour each week and share that time with someone in need? Can you increase your charitable monetary giving? The very act of giving of your time and talent acknowledges that there is abundance in your life.

Spartanburg Methodist College prays this Thanksgiving Day you experience a new perspective on the true abundance of your life!

homecoming 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Homecoming Court.

Congratulations to the following students who were voted by their peers to the 2014 Homecoming Court. A 2nd vote will take place next week to determine the King and Queen. The court will be presented and the king and queen crowned on Saturday, November 15th between the two basketball games!

King Nominees and the clubs/groups that nominated them:
Jesse Herrera – Pioneer Peers
Travis Goodjoin – POPS Programming Board
Jason Smith – Kappa Sigma Alpha
Thomas Sparks – SGA
Kendall Witt – Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Queen Nominees and the clubs/groups that nominated them:
Brookelyn Brockelbank – SGA
Amber Johnson – Volleyball
Ashley Rogers – Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Chelsea Seibles – Women’s Basketball
Brianna Wright – POPS Programming Board

the firebugs play

SMC Players to present “The Firebugs” November 6, 7, and 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Spartanburg, SC – The Spartanburg Methodist College Players will present Max Frisch’s classic “The Firebugs” November 6, 7, and 8 in the Marsha and Jimmy Gibbs Auditorium, located within the Edger H. Ellis Jr. Hall, on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College. Performances are at 7:30 pm. General admission is $5, with SMC faculty, staff and students admitted for free.

Gottlieb Beidermann, an upright conservative businessman, discovers that the “guests” who have invited themselves into his attic are notorious arsonists who have burned much of the town. Beidermann tries to befriend them, offering them food and drink, assisting them in rigging the explosives, and in the final moments, giving them matches. Subtitled “A Learning Play Without a Lesson,” this tragi-comedy satirizes the complacency of a comfortable upper class society in the face of looming disaster. First presented as a German-language radio play in the 1950s, The Firebugs appeared off-Broadway in 1963 and has seen numerous revivals and adaptations ever since.

Appearing in the role of Gottlieb Beidermann is Chandler Goodrich, a drama major from Greer, SC. Babette Beidermann, his wife, is played by Tatiana Ferguson, a mass communications major from Carlisle. Shakira Jackson of Inman plays Stepp Smitz, an arsonists. Shakira is a musical theater major from Inman. Willi Eisenring, the second arsonist, is played by Patrice Haynes. She is a performing arts major originally from Tuscaloosa, AL., now residing in Columbia, SC.

Eva Zygmuntowicz, a fine arts major from Boiling Springs, plays Anna, the maid of the Beidermann household. The Chorus of Firemen who observe and comment on the action includes Alex Wright, a chemistry major from Spartanburg; Zygmuntowicz; Desirelle Nesbitt, a psychology major from Inman; and Pierce Burch, a Biology major from Holly Hill, SC. Burch doubles as a gullible policeman, Nesbitt plays a distraught widow, and Wright enacts a witless politician.

Kaitlyn Savannah Kizer, a sociology major from Lexington is stage manager; Leo Kingsley, an arts major from Spartanburg is sound operator; scenic construction by the Drama Workshop classes including Flavoris Belue, a drama major from Campobello; Kyle Campbell, an arts major from Charleston; Elexis Johnson, a fine arts major from Spartanburg; Jonathan Jones, an English major from Greer; Millard Jordan, an art major from Columbia; Austin Lindsey, an English major from Spartanburg; Christopher Culp-Robinson, a Criminal Justice major from Campobello, as well as members of the cast.

Mr  Scrooge! logo

Mr. Scrooge – Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 8:00 pm

A musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Book by Lanny Lanford and Brian Craig
Music and Lyrics by Lanny Lanford

Thursday, December 4, 2014
8:00 pm
Performance is free of charge, but reservations are required.

Marsha and Jimmy Gibbs Auditorium
Edgar G. Ellis Hall
Spartanburg Methodist College

A carved prime rib dinner will precede the show. Cost for dinner – $25
Proceeds benefit the SMC study abroad program.

Please RSVP by November 21, 2014 to Cheryl Somerset or (864) 587-4236 for both dinner reservations and seating confirmation.

Ed Dickerson webphoto


The Spartanburg Phillies minor league baseball team played in the Western Carolinas League and South Atlantic League from 1963-1994, at Duncan Park. When Ed Dickerson became the public address announcer at Duncan Park, the Voice of the Spartanburg Phillies-Traders-Spinners-Suns, the Israelis had just taken over the Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967; the Beatles were enjoying the success of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; and sadly, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were living their last summer. Dickerson was finishing his second year at SJC when Joe Bowles, Dean of Men at SJC, who also served as the Duncan Park announcer, but was leaving to take a position at Brevard College, approached Dickerson outside the gym about the announcer opportunity. Bowles recommended him to Pat Williams, who was then general manager of the Phillies and the rest is history.

Dickerson went on to Clemson, often commuting to Spartanburg to broadcast games. On a Sunday evening in 1969, Dickerson announced to the fans at the park that, “The Eagle has landed,” when man landed on the moon. Through the years, Dickerson acquired a plethora of memories and saw crowds of several thousand in the stands, to crowds of less than 100. Bob Feller came through from time-to-time with home-run hitting contests. Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, and Oscar Robertson were just a few of the celebrities who came to Spartanburg for promotions and such.

For 27 years, Dickerson’s crisp, professional voice welcomed fans to “Beautiful Duncan Park.” He had fans who rose for the playing of the national anthem. He introduced the “Singing Postmaster from the little postmaster’s office,” and his rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was sung during the seventh-inning stretch. He was the public address announcer that was not for either team—he was simply the voice.

After leaving his announcer role in 1994, Dickerson did not stay silent for long. Since 2008 he has been announcing Spartanburg High School football games, and in 2013 started announcing their baseball games, too. He has also been the voice of Spartanburg Christian Academy’s basketball for nine years and started calling their football games three years ago. Dickerson was a teacher of 8th grade American History for 31 years in the Spartanburg School District 7. He coached for the “Battle of the Brains” academic competition and is currently an active member of the SMC Alumni Council. Dickerson resides in Spartanburg with his wife Becky.

He is thrilled to see the renovations taking place at Duncan Park today and as he left our meeting, he winked and asked…“How do you keep a ballpark cool? Fill it with fans!” Words of wisdom from “The Voice.”

Ward website image

Spartanburg Methodist College presents SGA Founder’s Day Faculty Award to Professor Barry Ward

The Spartanburg Methodist College Student Government Association presented Professor Barry Ward with a Founder’s Day Faculty Award on Thursday, October 23 during the college’s annual Founder’s Day Celebration, which featured guest speaker NY Mets Hall of Famer, and SMC alumni, Mookie Wilson.

The 2014 inaugural award was presented to a faculty member who represents and embodies the spirit and vision of Dr. David English Camak, a visionary Methodist minister. SGA President, Adell Gordon, shared “the recipient of this award is one who is not afraid to try new things, puts the needs of students first, and is respected in their profession and by the student body.”

A 1979 graduate of SMC, Ward majored in Criminal Justice and earned an Associate in Arts. He continued his studies at the University of South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Science, and his Master of Arts from Gardner Webb University, as well as pursuing additional graduate work at Lander University and Winthrop University.

Ward returned to SMC as an employee in March of 1987 and over the years has held positions as Security Guard, Director of Intramurals, Director of the Student Center, Director of Men’s Housing, Director of College Work Study, Cross Country Coach and Professor of Health & PE. He has long believed in the merits of the extended-learning-classroom concept. He teaches by day, and in the evening shares his time and talents coaching intramural sports and each January he chaperones a ski excursion for students.

“Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on; ‘Twas not given for thee alone, Pass it on; Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another’s tears, ‘Til in Heaven the deed appears – Pass it on. ” Although Dr. Henry Burton, Clergyman and Writer, is credited for this hymn/quote, Professor Ward has lived these words this entire life.

College life has been and is good for many SMC students thanks to the kindness of this gentle man who never forgot the kindness shown to him as a child. For you see this professor grew up in the loving arms of the Epworth Children’s Home. Kindness is all he has ever known and he passes it on daily…with jokes, fist pumps, poetry and a perpetually perky persona.

Ward once shared that he was blessed to call Epworth home, “I was fortunate to be able to draw upon my experiences at Epworth and build upon that foundation to motivate me academically and professionally. Without Epworth and SMC I probably wouldn’t be as confident, prepared and excited about life as I am,” said the 60 year-old, who is known to cartwheel and do backflips spontaneously down the halls of the Walker Building where he teaches.

Ward was also selected by his peers at SMC as the recipient of the 2010-2011 SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award and used the award stipend to expand his knowledge of health issues and shared that new knowledge with his students. A quote from his nominating materials reads “He creates an atmosphere where students learn life-saving and life-long lessons.”

Daniel Foster

Gaffney High graduation coach is the ‘real deal’

By Lynne P. Shackleford
Published: Monday, October 20, 2014 at 5:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 20, 2014 at 5:27 p.m.

Photo:  Daniel Foster, a graduation coach at Gaffney High School, right, talks with Isaac Polanco, 15, a student at the school, on Wednesday between classes. MICHAEL JUSTUS/

Gaffney High School graduation coach Daniel Foster gives students two things many of them have never had: encouragement and hope.

“When I look at them, I see me,” Foster said. “I’ve been where they are. Some of them don’t think they can get a diploma. Some don’t have support at home. Some have just made a bad grade in core class, and they’re off track, but somewhere along the way, they have to get hope back.”

Fresh out of high school 20 years ago, Foster was working with a plumbing crew when the company’s owner asked him about his future plans.

Foster had just graduated from Gaffney High School and wasn’t interested in college; he just wanted to work. The company’s owner, the late Gene Wilson, then drove Foster around rural communities — Corinth, Goucher and Blacksburg — before stopping the car.

“He asked me which community I liked best, and I didn’t know where he was coming from,” Foster said. “But he told me that if I didn’t make something of myself that I would never go anywhere else — I wouldn’t even have the option of going anywhere else — and that hit home to me.”

Wilson then drove Foster to Spartanburg Methodist College and helped him enroll in a two-year program.

“That man did more for me that day because I saw that someone else saw my potential,” Foster said. “I understood then that I could be something.”

After visiting six countries during his 11 years in the Army, Foster returned home and started working as a long-term substitute at Gaffney High School before becoming the in-school suspension coordinator. He is now the school’s first graduation coach, and is tasked with coaching and mentoring at-risk students, mostly those who repeated ninth-grade and other students he calls “geographically displaced seniors.” The latter are students who should be seniors, but failed English or math classes so they are in 11th grade homerooms.

Gaffney High Principal Rashaad Fitzpatrick said the graduation coach position was created based on best practices from the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University. The center recommends using a holistic approach with individualized success plans for at-risk students and having a facilitator, or coach, monitoring students.

“Mr. Foster was a good fit because he had already built relationships with some students as the (in-school suspension) supervisor last year,” Fitzpatrick said. “He is one of those people who understands what we’re trying to accomplish and goes the extra mile to make it happen.”

Foster said he has no doubt the school’s graduation rate of 78 percent, just below the state average, will rise this year just out of will and determination. His goal is a graduation rate of 80 percent this year.

“We’re going to show everyone that we can do it,” Foster said. “No doubt in my mind that the rate will go up this year. When you lay it out for them, show them a path to success, they’ll make it.”

At the beginning of the year, Foster was assigned to 138 students at Gaffney High and the alternative school and mapped out an individualized plan for each. He meets with each of them at least twice a week and attends classes with them periodically to monitor how they take notes and to hear their concerns. Foster refers them to tutors or peer study groups and contacts their teachers to monitor progress.

If they are chronically absent, Foster and another district staffer go to their houses to find out what issues they are facing.

“Mr. Foster is stepping in as a counselor, a father, a big brother. Somewhere they’re not getting the guidance or love they need, and he’s the boots on the ground, so to speak,” said in-school suspension supervisor Tierney Rollins, who works closely with Foster. “He knows them, remembers what their goals are; he works really hard… His goal is to help them realize that ‘I can do this, and life will be different.’”

Rollins said Foster is an “encourager at every turn.”

“If we have a student who has a behavior issue, Mr. Foster finds the core issue behind the behavioral problem,” Rollins said. “He shows them discipline and love and tells them they can learn from their mistakes, and what he’s telling them comes from his heart.”

Jamie Brown, who teaches Algebra II, said students take Foster’s advice and motivation to heart.

“When he walks in the classroom, I see the faces of the students he’s trying to help,” Brown said. “They know Mr. Foster provides accountability. They know he’s watching them, and they want to take better notes. They want to listen and do the work.”

Brown said one student was a few credits off-track and was coming to class unprepared. After being referred to Foster, the student came to Brown’s class the following day with class work he had missed, prepared to take notes.

“I was shocked,” Brown said. “The parents are involved now. Mr. Foster makes it click for these students.”

Foster said all students want to succeed, but they’ve lost faith and drive somewhere along the way.

“I’ve lived their life,” Foster said. “When I was in middle school and high school, no one forced me to study.”

Isaac Polanco, 15, should be a sophomore, but is repeating ninth grade because he failed algebra with a 68 — two points shy of a D. Polanco, one of Foster’s students, has an 86 in geometry so far this semester, and he’s on track to become a sophomore in December.

“Mr. Foster is the real deal,” Polanco said. “He knows what’s going on with us because he cares enough to ask. He wants us to make it. I’m proud of the grades I’m making now, and I will get back on track, but it would’ve been a lot harder without him.”

Donna Phillips, guidance director, said just nine weeks into the school year, she’s already seen students who are making progress.  “I see they’re more motivated; they have direction,” Phillips said. “We’re so fortunate to have him. He’s pushing the kids to succeed.”


social media

#SocialMedia – the Future of Teaching and Learning – Friday, October 31 at 11 a.m.

#SocialMedia – the Future of Teaching and Learning will be presented at Spartanburg Methodist College in the Buchheit Board Room on Friday, October 31. Dr. Brian Gloor, SMC Professor of Chemistry, will present an encore program he recently gave in Denver, CO at the Teaching Professor Technology Conference. SMC faculty and Spartanburg District 7 representatives will be in attendance and are reminded to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to the 11 am program.

Gloor will focus on both “the why not” and “the how to” concepts of extending the learning experience beyond the set classroom. “With all of the new ‘smart phones’ on the market today and an increasing number of people using them on a daily basis, why not use the technology provided by Apple and Android to an instructor’s advantage? If we take it a step further and utilize the networks our students are using, will that make them more engaged with the topics being taught in class? Personal experience would tell any teacher or faculty member that the time spent in the classroom is not enough time to cover everything that we need to cover in the span of a semester, let alone in the span of a day. So how can we impact the classroom experience and engage our students by extending the classroom time outside of the actual classroom?” asks Gloor.

Two theoretical foundations guide Gloor’s presentation, the connected learning theory and the extended learning theory, both of which are hot topics in educational technology dialogue. Connected learning is based on utilizing the power of today’s technologies to spark students’ interest, friendship and academic engagement through hands-on production, shared purpose and open networks. Connected learning capitalizes on learning being social and participatory and leverages the personal and individual interests of the students. Extended learning, viewed as the main argument in the use of social media for academic contexts, occurs when an instructor creates a social media presence for the classroom. No longer is the teaching engagement time restrained to a face-to-face meeting, but through social media, students and teachers can share their work and connect anytime/anywhere.

Practical tools and hands-on demonstrations on how faculty can immediately leverage and implement social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, social bookmarking) in the classroom will be shared. Attendees will see firsthand how easily even the most social-media-novice-instructor can engage students in a professional and academic environment outside of the classroom with a connected learning experience.

homecoming logo


homecoming logo

Celebrate being a SMC Pioneer at Homecoming/Alumni Weekend 2014. This year there will be many on-campus events for the entire family to enjoy. SMC Homecoming/Alumni Weekend is the perfect time to reconnect with classmates, reminisce about your days at SMC, and celebrate your love for your alma mater. We will offer casual events to encourage alumni and family attendance. There will be fun events for everyone to enjoy throughout the day. Please note that the Alumni Awards Luncheon (formally a formal luncheon) will be casual and include picnic favorites. The picnic-style lunch will be held indoors, so don’t worry about the weather. You are welcome to dress causal so you can enjoy the on-campus events that will be offered the remainder of the day. Please make plans to attend – this is a weekend you don’t want to miss.

Friday, November 14th
7:00 – 8:00pm Womanless Beauty Pageant Ellis Hall, SMC Campus
8:00 – 10:00pm Alumni & Friends Decade Party Buffalo Wild Wings Patio, 1494 W O Ezell Blvd, Spartanburg, SC 29301

Saturday, November 15th
10:30-11:30am Registration & Silent Auction Fireplace Room, Burgess Student Center
11:30am-12:30pm *Alumni Awards Picnic Style Luncheon Fireplace Room, Burgess Student Center ($15 per person)
*(Casual Attire Welcome at the Alumni Awards Picnic Style Luncheon)
1:00 – 2:00pm Campus Tours and Class Reunions Various Campus Locations
1:00 – 5:00pm Family Fun Festivities Various Campus Locations
(Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides, Mason Jar Decorating, Scavenger Hunt)
4:00pm Women’s Basketball Game Bridges Arena
6:00pm Men’s Basketball Game Bridges Arena
8:00pm Karaoke Sing-Off Ellis Hall, SMC Campus

For more information and to RSVP please contact
Becky Snow at or 864-587-4210.

Mookie cover image.jpg

NY Mets Hall of Famer Mookie Wilson to headline SMC Founder’s Day Program

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce NY Mets Hall of Fame member Mookie Wilson will be the featured speaker at the College’s 2014 Founder’s Day Program on Thursday, October 23 at 6 pm. in the Gibbs Auditorium. A reception and autograph session will follow and the general public is invited to attend.

SMC’s Student Government Association presents the Founder’s Day program each October celebrating the vision, passion, and purpose of SMC’s pioneering founder, Dr. David English Camak, a visionary Methodist minister. Wilson, who graduated from SMC in April of 1976 with an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts, played all or part of twelve seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Mets (1980–89) and Toronto Blue Jays (1989–91).

During SMC’s September 10 Convocation, Greenville native, Adell Enrique Gordon, graduate of Berea High School and the son of Revs. Enrique and Shirley Gordon, was sworn into office as SGA President. Gordon shared “A pioneer, in the simplest form, is an ordinary person who does extraordinary things. Without question, Mookie Wilson is just that.”
The Major League Baseball outfielder and coach is best remembered as the Met that hit the ground ball that trickled through Bill Buckner’s legs in game six of the 1986 World Series. Wilson avoided being hit by a wild pitch, allowing the tying run to score in the bottom of the 10th. His ground ball later in the same at bat went through the legs of Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, allowing the winning run to score. The play is often known as the “Buckner play” and is blamed on the first baseman, but Wilson’s smart at bat, speed, and determination also affected the course of events and allowed the Mets to win the1986 World Series. The ball that rolled through Buckner’s legs was long housed in the Seth Swirsky baseball collection and on May 3, 2012, was sold through Heritage Auctions for $418,250.

Born William Hayward Wilson, and nicknamed “Mookie” as a small child, in Bamberg, SC, he pitched for the Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Red Raiders baseball team under legendary coach David Horton. While attending SMC, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the January 1976 amateur draft, but he did not sign. Instead, he transferred to play for The University of South Carolina Gamecocks, preferring to take the chance of skipping the 1976 draft offer and increasing his draft stock by playing for former New York Yankees great, and fellow South Carolina native Bobby Richardson (who was the head coach of the Gamecocks at the time).

The gamble paid-off as Wilson was selected in the second round of the 1977 Major League Baseball Draft by the NY Mets. A switch hitter with excellent speed, his positive attitude and hustle immediately endeared him to a New York Mets fan base and was enshrined in the NY Mets Hall of Fame in 1996. From 1996-2002, Wilson served as the Mets’ first base coach. In 2003 and 2004, he managed the Rookie League Kingsport Mets team, and in 2005, Wilson managed the single-A Brooklyn Cyclones. After serving as the organization’s base running coordinator, Wilson returned to serve as the Mets’ first base coach in 2011. He moved into a front office job after the season. In 2013, he managed the U.S. Team in the All-Star Futures Game held at Citi Field.

Wilson never strayed from the lessons he learned at SMC that encouraged academic excellence, intellectual exploration, social awareness, and character development. Shortly after his classic time at bat in the sixth game of the 1986 World Series, Wilson and his wife Rosa started an educational center for girls, Mookie’s Roses, near their home in Lakewood, NJ. In 1996, Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree from Mercy College in New York. In 2001, Mookie and his family released a gospel CD entitled, “Don’t Worry, the Lord will Carry You Through.” Wilson most recently appeared on the April 28, 2014 episode of The Daily Show to discuss his memoir, “Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the ’86 Mets” (2014).

During the Thursday, October 23 program, the first annual SGA Founder’s Day Faculty Award will also be presented to a faculty member who represents and embodies the spirit and vision of Dr. Camak. The recipient is one who is not afraid to try new things, puts the needs of students first, and is respected in their profession and by the student body. SMC welcomes the general public to attend this uplifting program. For more information, please contact Yvonne Harper,, 864-587-4278.

SMC Paralegal Program celebrating Governor’s Proclamation

The Paralegal Certificate Evening Program at Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to report that Tuesday October 14, 2014 has been declared PARALEGAL DAY in the State of South Carolina by Governor Nikki Haley.

The Governor’s Proclamation states that whereas, paralegals have the skill, education, and training to provide support to attorneys in a variety of areas including legal research, document preparation, and file maintenance; and whereas, working in law firms, corporations, government agencies, and other organizations, paralegals contribute to lower counsel fees, improved management of cases, and greater cost containment for clients; and whereas, demonstrating a high level of achievement, responsibility, dedication, and integrity, paralegals across South Carolina uphold the highest standards of professionalism; and whereas, Paralegal Day provides an opportunity to recognize paralegals throughout the Palmetto State for the role they play in an efficient and effective legal system.

Governor Haley’s proclamation encourages all South Carolinians to honor paralegals for their many contributions to the availability of quality legal services.

“Paralegals provide critical and integral support to attorneys and have established themselves to be an indispensable workforce within the legal system since the 1960s,” stated to Yvonne Harper, director of the SMC Paralegal Certificate Evening Program, who prior to moving to SC, served for over thirteen years as a litigation and bankruptcy paralegal in Virginia. “The paralegal profession continues to be among the fastest growing of any profession in the nation. Employers are reducing costs and increasing the availability and efficiency of legal services by hiring paralegals to perform tasks once done by lawyers. Paralegals are also performing a wider variety of duties, making them useful to even non-legal businesses.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 28 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. In fact, in the coming years, paralegals may have more career opportunity than attorneys, stenographers —even federal judges. The latest job rating survey at the CareerCast job portal ranked 200 different jobs based on five vital work criteria: stress, work environment, physical demands, income and outlook. While “lawyer” came in 82nd on the list of 200 best jobs and “federal judges” 69th, “paralegal assistants” made the top 20—ranking 17th overall. ranked the paralegal profession 14th in the Top 20 jobs for “people who want more pay, more upside and more control over where they’re going.”

“SMC provides adult students convenient evening hours of instruction, reasonable tuition and real-time learning with quality legal faculty, composed of local judges, practicing attorneys and paralegals, who provide networking opportunities and offer real-world experience with practical application,” Harper stated. “In the past 10 years at SMC, I have had the pleasure of assisting adult students with no-college, some-college, college graduates, as well as multiple students with advanced degrees (Masters and even Doctorate) receive the education they needed for the legal career they wanted,” said Harper, who added, “all had one thing in common, they wanted to work in a profession that valued their contributions!”


Northern Border Blue Grass bringing “Old Time” music to SMC – Wednesday, October 15

NBBGNorthern Border Blue Grass will be bringing old time music to the Spartanburg Methodist College campus on Wednesday, October 15. The 7 p.m. event will be held in the Gibbs Auditorium, located in Ellis Hall on the campus of SMC. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Northern Border, named “Best Upstate Bluegrass Band” in competition and performance at Twichell Auditorium on the Converse College campus, had its beginnings on the campus of Wofford College in 1961 as part of the late Professor Sam Moyer’s choral program. The band’s name is derived from the first line of the Wofford College Alma Mater “On the city’s northern border….” The band leans heavily on the traditional mountain sound featuring three and four part harmonies and driving instrumentals from the five-string banjo and the mandolin. They also feature a variety of musical Americana from Steve Goodman to the Everly Brothers.

The members of Northern Border come from a variety of backgrounds ranging from concert to rock and roll, all returning to the traditionally voiced music of the mountains. The players include Steve Campbell of Greer, S.C.; Greg Farmer of Spartanburg, S.C.; Tom Bratton of Gaffney, S.C. and Milton Smith of Woodruff, S.C.

“Old Time Music at its Best” describes Campbell, who is one of the finest and most respected five-string players in the region. A veteran of bands “Southbound”, Flint Hill”, “Dakota’’ and “Mountain View”, he brings his extraordinary talents on banjo, guitar and dobro to Northern Border. A versatile vocalist, he sings lyric tenor lines as well as the bass part.

Farmer is a Michigan native, a physical therapist by vocation and an excellent singer and musician, bringing his vocal talents as well as his talents on the mandolin, guitar and fiddle to Northern Border. He displays his passion for the old time music every time he hits the stage and was named “one of the top five bluegrass musicians in the state” by “Living in South Carolina” magazine.
Bratton is a fine upright bass player and story teller who handles vocal arrangements for the group. As an All-State and orchestra trombone player, he naturally sings the baritone line as well as the lead part and has a “steel trap mind” when it comes to lyrics.

Smith sings lead and baritone parts and plays rhythm guitar. After traveling for many years as a horn player in contemporary music, he returned to the traditional music which is his first love. He has worked with the late Nashville producer and five-string banjo genius Bobby Thompson and handles logistic for the band.

Northern Border has recorded five albums: “Prisoner’s Song”, “Friends Forever”, “Pickin’ on the Back Porch”, “Live at the Pickin’ at Pickens” and “Nailing It!” and their appearance schedule includes TV, radio, and a variety of festivals, concerts and events including the North Carolina BBQ Festival, the South and North Carolina Seafood Festivals, the Atlanta Folk Festival, the Highlands, N.C. Folk Festival and the South Carolina Juried Arts Festival at Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach State Park.

Make plans to experience Northern Border on Wednesday, October 15. The 7 p.m. concert is open to the public and admission is free of charge. The Gibbs Auditorium in Ellis Hall is handicapped accessible. Take advantage of this free community concert to learn about the distinct qualities of local blue grass! For additional information, contact Yvonne Harper,, 864-587-4278 or 266-7409.

Rabbi Publicity Shot

SMC to feature Rabbi Yossi Liebowitz @ Judaism Seminar

The Social Sciences Department at Spartanburg Methodist College will host Rabbi Yossi Liebowitz on Thursday, October 23. The 4 p.m. seminar on Judaism will be held in the Davis Mission Chapel on the campus of SMC and is open to the public as well as the campus community.

Rabbi Liebowitz was born in Brooklyn, New York, holds a masters in Hebrew letters and has received two honorary doctorates. He recently completed his thirtieth year in the rabbinate and has served in pulpits in New York state and on the West Coast. Rabbi Liebowitz has completed his eighth year with Congregation B’nai Israel, located on Heywood Avenue in Spartanburg, which has proudly served the Jewish community of Spartanburg and surrounding areas for more than one-hundred years.

Judaism, the monotheistic (belief in one God) religion of the Jewish people, was established circa 2000 B.C.E. as part of a covenant between God and Abraham. Uprisings against the Romans during the first and second centuries A.D. led to the beginning of the Jewish diaspora. Those practicing Judaism were kept marginalized from society and persecuted in many countries. The creation of a Jewish state was discussed at the first Zionist Congress in Switzerland in 1897, yet it was not until May 18, 1948 that the state of Israel was formed after World War II and the genocide of over six million Jewish people.

Judaism falls into four major periods: Biblical Judaism, or the Persian Period (approximately 20th-4th century BCE); Hellenistic Judaism (4th century BCE-2nd century CE), a time of Greek and Roman influence in many religions; Rabbinic Judaism (2nd-18th century CE) based on the Talmud; and Modern Judaism (approximately 1750-present). According to the American Jewish Year Book, the core Jewish population includes people who identify as Jews by religion and others who are not interested in religion but see themselves as Jews by ethnicity or other cultural criteria. There are an estimated 13,854,800 Jews in the World, an estimated 43.4% in Israel and 39.2% in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, 4.2 million (or 1.8% of the adult population in the United States) are Jewish by religion.

Rabbi Liebowitz supports a wide number of interests, including digging for dinosaur fossils, Science Fiction and Music. His interfaith musical duo with Pastor Paul Harmon “The cap and the collar” has performed at over forty venues from Churches and Temples to concert halls. He has taught at the university level for many years and currently teaches at Converse College and University of South Carolina Upstate. Rabbi Liebowitz is married and has four children ages 31, 27, 22 and 12.

According to Dr. Cole Cheek, SMC Professor of History and Anthropology, “We welcome this opportunity to explore common questions about Judaism with our students. Is Judaism a race, a religion or a nationality?” Dr. Cheek went on to elaborate that “it is my wish that students walk away with an understanding and appreciation of the Jewish society and the relationships among individuals within that society.”