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SMC’s Dr. Benjamin Sloop to present at SCCTM Conference

Dr. Benjamin Sloop, professor of mathematics at Spartanburg Methodist College is scheduled to present at the upcoming South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference.

Dr. Sloop will present “Reflections on a First Attempt at a Flipped Statistics Class: A discussion of an on-going attempt at a flipped classroom, which increases contact time for collaborative learning by moving lecture to online videos”   and  “Programming in Statistics with Casio Graphing Calculators: Students blend the efficiency of built-in subroutines and traditional formula-and-table procedures as they create their own programs for various simulations, intervals, and tests in statistics,” at the October 24th and 25th conference.

Dr. Sloop also recently published in the Journal of Mechanical Design 125(10), 104502 (August 7, 2013) with “Cutting Plane Methods for Analytical Target Cascading with Augmented Lagrangian Coordination.”  Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ann Bowles, stated “SMC’s long tradition of excellent teaching is evident in the innovative instructional strategies of faculty members like Dr. Ben Sloop. This is the second year that he has been selected as a presenter at the SCCTM conference, and we are proud of his consistent publication record from 2008 to the present.”


Dr. Sloop holds a bachelor of arts in mathematical science, a master’s in mathematics education, a master’s in mathematics science,  as well as a PhD in mathematics education from Clemson University.   While a student at Clemson, Dr. Sloop served as a graduate teaching assistant and a graduate teacher of record.  He also served as a high school mathematics teacher for Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, in Atlanta, Georgia, teaching pre-algebra, algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry and a number of IEP-based money management courses to students who were deaf or hard of hearing using American Sign Language.

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Dr. Robert Stinson joins SMC  

Following a national search for a microbiology, anatomy and physiology candidate, Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce the faculty appointment of Dr. Robert Stinson.

Dr. Stinson, a Missouri native, has extensive college teaching experience, most recently at  Barstow Community College in California.  Previously Dr. Stinson taught at Community College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas; Bainbridge College in Georgia, where he also served as Chairman of the Division of Arts and Sciences; and South Texas Community College, in McAllen, Texas.  Dr. Stinson also worked for thirteen years as Laboratory Director, Vice President for Continuous Improvement with Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation in Pittsburg, Texas.

Dr. Stinson has published twenty-five full length research articles, thirty-eight abstracts and has been honored with numerous teaching excellence awards.  Among Dr. Stinson’s instructional strategies is the use of Learning Styles Inventory to help him construct classes to appeal to all types of learning.  He has also developed web-based tutorials for students and is experienced in assessing student learning outcomes and program level outcomes.

“Dr. Stinson brings a strong commitment to academic excellence as a scholar and teacher. We are fortunate that he accepted our invitation to become a member of a faculty dedicated to preparing our students for their career,” shared Dr. Ann Bowles, Vice President, SMC Academic Affairs.

Dr. Stinson earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in biology from Missouri Southern State College and University of New Mexico, respectively.  His PhD in Microbiology studies was completed at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, with postdoctoral research in Avian Immunobiology at Mississippi State University.    Dr. Stinson joins SMC as a tenured Professor of Biology.

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American Idol’s Charly Lowry and Dark Water Rising to perform at SMC

Being a semi-finalist on American Idol is a huge accomplishment but where does an artist go from there? For many, post-idol fame hasn’t been much of a reality. So how does an artist bounce back after all the fame and attention?

For some, like the gifted Charly Lowry, you must continue to have faith in your abilities and be willing to start from scratch and grind your way back to the top. Being a successful artist/band in this business is no easy task. Not only do you need to be talented musically, you also need the motivation and mindset.

Today Charly Lowry is the lead singer in the band Dark Water Rising, a band she helped form back in 2008, and on Tuesday, September 10th at 7 p.m. she and Dark Water Rising will perform in the Gibbs Auditorium at Spartanburg Methodist College.

The DWR band has certainly come a long way from their humble beginnings. “Humble” in this sense isn’t an understatement. The other members in the band basically picked up and learned how to play their chosen instruments as soon as the idea of forming a band became a reality. And just a few short years later they all now play multiple instruments and have become even more confident in their abilities as musicians. There is always more room to improve as a band. It’s what motivates you to become better as an artist.

Dark Water Rising (Charly Lowry (lead singer/rhythm guitar), Aaron Locklear (keys/guitar/bass), Corey Locklear (lead guitar), Shay Jones (drums) and Tony Murnahan (bass)) continues to grow and amaze each time they perform. They are constantly developing their sound, song writing, and instrumentation. This is a band that possesses the talent, motivation and mindsets to be major players in a business oversaturated with wanna-be performers.

Indy Week’s Sylvia Pfeiffenberger describes DWR as “Native Americans who piece together Southern rock full of gospel harmonies, hip-hop inflections and Motown soul with a journeyman work ethic. With bold songwriting and bewitching arrangements, DWR breaks rules effortlessly.” Lyrically, Dark Water Rising explores all themes of life, whether it is love, heartbreak, sacrifice, celebration, despair, or pain; all the while expressing their sentiment on issues affecting Native American communities. Dark Water Rising coined the genre of their music as “Rocky Soul”, which is about as original as the songs that they create.

DWR’s most recent album, “Grace & Grit: Chapter I,” is just as engaging and intimate as watching one of their live performances. Dark Water Rising has garnered considerable radio air play on college radio and stations throughout Indian country, appeared on NPR’s “The Story with Dick Gordon” and “The State of Things”, and has earned a Native American Music Award for “Debut Duo or Group of the Year”(2010).

Make plans to experience Dark Water Rising for yourself on Tuesday, September 10th at 7 p.m. in the Gibbs Auditorium at Spartanburg Methodist College. The public is invited and admission is free of charge; and as J. Evan Wade with Home Grown Music Network shared “A fan of strong, heartfelt lyrics will find much to chew on.”  For more information, please contact Yvonne Harper, or 864-587-4278.

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SMC Psi Beta chapter earns 2012-13 Chapter Excellence Award

Psi Beta, the National Honor Society in Psychology for community and junior colleges, has recognized the Spartanburg Methodist College chapter of Psi Beta with the prestigious Psi Beta Chapter Excellence Award for 2012-13. This is the second year in a row the college has received this honor.

Psi Beta 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 award challenges chapters to engage in activities reflecting Psi Beta’s four-pronged mission of leadership, scholarship, community service and research.  Few of the nation’s Psi Beta chapters achieve this level of distinction.

The SMC Psi Beta chapter, chartered on September 1, 1988, is under the direction of psychology professor Dr. Mary Jane Farmer, with assistance from Pete Aylor, psychology professor and Director of SMC’s Counseling Center, and college Counselor Sue Onken.  To date, there have been 376 SMC students who have achieved life-time membership to Psi Beta.

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.

During the past academic year, SMC’s Psi Beta students volunteered at various schools for the Mobile Mentors Program, reading to 100+ kindergartners and talked to, motivated, and answered the questions of at least 250 middle school students.  They also sponsored seminars and events that tackled numerous issues and hot topics in psychology such as, “College Relationships”, presented by Roger Rhoades, D. Min., LPC; “Do Daddies Matter”, presented by Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright; “What’s Love Got to Do with It?: A Look at Teen Pregnancy in 2012”, presented by Ms. Dana Becker, M.Ed., “PTSD: Not All Wounds are Visible”, presented by Dr. Craig Burnette, and “Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia: Help Anyone” presented by Dr. Eric Winter, MD, Senior Staff Psychiatrist of Spartanburg Mental Health.

The SMC Psi Beta chapter strongly advocates research not only among her members but the entire student body.  Last April, two SMC Psi Beta members participated in VIVA ACADEMIA, a platform organized and sponsored by the SMC chapter to allow students to present their research findings and papers to the student body; and in the Ninth Annual SC Upstate Research Symposium hosted by Milliken & Company. Michael Clevenger presented “Sleep Deprivation Amongst College Students” and Phillip Wolfe presented “Perception and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”.  SMC Psi Beta members also collected children’s books to benefit Arcadia Elementary School and shoes for “Shoes for Africa” in support of the advocacy project of Miss SMC 2012-2013.

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SMC Students Pledge to Uphold Honor  

On Sunday morning, August 18th at 10 a.m. Spartanburg Methodist College students will gather together in the Camak Auditorium for an inspirational message from their President.   Dr. Colleen Perry Keith will outline the basic expectations regarding social and academic behavior for faculty, staff and students.  These expectations are founded on a firm understanding of the importance of truthfulness; academic and person integrity, intellectual honesty, respect for the education process and respect for the individual.

Spartanburg Methodist College, as an institution of higher education related to the United Methodist Church, strives to maintain an atmosphere of living and learning based on faith and responsibility in a Christian community.  The college’s Honor Code governs life on the campus and within the College community.  It is a vital element that encourages appropriate behavior and conduct and discourages cheating, plagiarizing, lying and other inappropriate academic behaviors.

Following Dr. Keith’s message, each student will publicly sign and pledge to faithfully uphold the principles of the Honor System, cherish and guard its traditions and respect and observe its requirements.  According to Ron Laffitte, Dean of Students, “the signed Honor Code will hang in the Burgess Student Center and will signify the student body’s mutual trust and resolve to the principles they have agreed to adhere to for the coming academic year.”

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SMC welcomes tolerant, global and technologically-hip Freshman Class that gives back to the Spartanburg Community

Wednesday, August 21 marks the first day of class for Spartanburg Methodist College.  102 years after first welcoming one valiant student on the very first day of class, the college is now expecting over 520 new freshman students from 8 states (Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Delaware, Tennessee and South Carolina) and 5 countries (United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Australia and Brazil) to begin moving onto campus August 16.    An additional 300-plus sophomores are set return on August 19.

This year’s incoming freshman class is tolerant, global and technologically hip. Their basic staples of existence include cellphones, electronic organizers, cable radio and hundreds of television stations.   They were the first group to come to age as the Internet began. They’ve grown up surfing the internet and texting; watching wars, police arrests and acts of terrorism unfold on TV in real time and have always known the news before the Evening News came on.

Charging a latte with a single swipe or curling up in the corner to read a book on an electronic screen, has never amazed them.  Cartoon Network, blue Jell-O and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream have always been a choice for them.  Women have always outnumbered men in college; rap music has always been main stream; tattoos have always been chic and highly visible and their Green Giant has always been Shrek.

Having grown up in a politically-correct universe, with multi-culturalism as a given, this year’s freshman class is well suited to give back to the Spartanburg community on Saturday, August 17 with the college’s annual Freshman Day of Service.

For the 12th consecutive year, entering freshman, divided into small groups led by a faculty/staff member and one sophomore, are sent to schools, churches, soup kitchens, shelters assisting children and animals, and assisted living centers to assist with cleaning, painting, cooking, socializing, landscaping and any other tasks the service organization might need.

Yvonne Harper

Yvonne Harper Named Director of Public Information

Yvonne Harper has joined the staff of Spartanburg Methodist College as Director of Public Information. Harper will continue to serve as Director of the college’s Paralegal Certificate Program. She has directed the program for the past 9 years. Read more

Dr. Colleen Perry Keith

Dr. Colleen Perry Keith to Lead the National Association of Schools & Colleges of The United Methodist Church

SMC President, Dr. Colleen Perry Keith has been named President of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church (NASCUMC) for a one-year term beginning August 2013, during the organization’s Annual Meeting this week. Read more