Cutline: Madison Morehead’s “27 Has a Name” event to raise awareness about human trafficking takes place Feb. 27. at Spartanburg Methodist College. A red “x” is a symbol used by activists working to end trafficking.

“27 Has a Name” event to raise awareness about human trafficking

Madison Morehead’s “27 Has a Name” event to raise awareness about human trafficking takes place Feb. 27. at Spartanburg Methodist College. A red “x” is a symbol used by activists working to end trafficking.

Madison Morehead’s “27 Has a Name” event to raise awareness about human trafficking takes place Feb. 27. at Spartanburg Methodist College. A red “x” is a symbol used by activists working to end trafficking.

Spartanburg Methodist College sophomore Madison Morehead has a gift for organizing and motivating her peers. So she’s bringing together a diverse group of individuals and organizations to spotlight an issue that she believes deserves greater awareness: human trafficking.

Morehead wanted to put on an event to educate others about human trafficking, and Feb. 27 several groups at SMC will come together for “27 Has a Name” – a reference to the estimated 27 million men, women and children trapped in human trafficking. “’Our goal is to personalize the issue, because it’s more than a number,” she said. “Each victim of trafficking has a life, a face, a name.”

The event will include drama, dance, and a short presentation to provide information about the issue. “27 Has a Name” will start at 7:27 p.m. in Gibbs Auditorium on the SMC campus. It is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

Human trafficking is a global problem that is frequently described as modern-day slavery. In many cases, victims are put to work in settings ranging from factories to farms. Some young women – and even girls – are forced into the sex trade.

The issue came to Morehead’s attention when she attended a religious conference in Atlanta as a high school student. It came into greater focus, she said, when she began baby-sitting an 8-year-old girl. “The fact that there are kids her age who are forced into this, that’s what really gets to me.”

Morehead reached out to the leaders of the SMC Players, a student-led drama organization, and the Blue Chucks dance team. Each group is preparing a creative performance to depict the tragedy of human trafficking.

Admissions counselor Josh Holt offered ideas to generate interest and participation in the event. He shares Morehead’s passion for the victims of human trafficking and has been working as part of an organization called Project 4 One to raise awareness about the issue. He will talk at the event about trends in human trafficking, ways to identify those who have been taken into slavery, and means of prevention.

The long-term impact of events like “27 Has a Name” can be difficult to measure, says Morehead. She hopes that students will get involved in social media fundraising campaigns and find opportunities to volunteer. For now, she’s excited about putting on a program to generate discussion and ideas.

“The first step is awareness,” she said. “From there, I hope students will give a voice to the voiceless.”

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Immigration Ban Statement

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The following is a statement from Spartanburg Methodist College President Scott Cochran:

Since 1911, Spartanburg Methodist College has provided education and the opportunity for a better life to students from across the state, nation and globe. We believe that access to education is a fundamental human right and stand behind the United Methodist Church’s Social Principles which “recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination.”

We also stand with colleges and universities across the country in voicing our sincere hope that the U.S. administration’s recent ban on entry into our country by persons from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen is resolved swiftly. We recognize and believe the security and safety of all Americans is vital; however, we believe it will only be achieved through fair policies which provide freedom and opportunity for all.

Spartanburg Methodist College will continue to live its mission to transform lives by providing a values-oriented, student-centered atmosphere in the Christian tradition and to carry out our vision of teaching, learning and caring for any and all persons who seek an education here.

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Students Named to Dean’s and President’s Lists

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Dr. Anita K. Bowles, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Development, is pleased to announce the students included on the Dean’s and President’s Lists for the 2016 Fall Academic Semester.

Students included on the Dean’s List have achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Students named to the President’s list have achieved a grade point average of 3.8 or higher.

Our warmest congratulations to these academic stand-outs!

President’s List Students

James Edward Betts of Raleigh, NC
Garrett Benjamin Black of Inman, SC
Tanner Davis Breckenridge of Gaffney, SC
Alyssa Caroline Brown of Chesnee, SC
Adriane Nicole Clark of Inman, SC
Shiloh Junelle Dillard of Chesnee, SC
Cyarah Nycole Dow of Summerville, SC
Tatsiana Iharauna Drahun of Taylors, SC
Emily Elaine Edmonds of Boiling Springs, SC
Diana Xiadani Escamilla Fuentes of Spartanburg, SC
Hampton L. Fallaw of Greenwood, SC
Andrew George Glover of Mount Pleasant, SC
Jacquie Marie Goodman of Irmo, SC
Stephon Alexander Hicks of Spartanburg, SC
Jasmine Marie Hoover of Seneca, SC
Christy Nicole Kirby of Inman, SC
Barbara Lee Kizer of Lexington, SC
Kole John Koterba of Rock Hill, SC
Katie Anne Latta of Columbia, SC
Zachery Everett Lee of Summerville, SC
Jonathon Martin Lerch of Pacolet, SC
Andrea Selena Liddell of Manning, SC
Adam Curtis Little of Simpsonville, SC
Peden Cross Mahaffey of Spartanburg, SC
Lindsey Lee Mason of Columbia, SC
Olivia Denise Matsuda of Boiling Springs, SC
Jared Coleman McCoy of Spartanburg, SC
Cameron Leigh Meadows of Taylors, SC
Amber Leigh Nix of Mayo, SC
Matthew Tanner Overton of Spartanburg, SC
Thomas Michael Parker of Surfside Beach, SC
Justin Matthew Prozzi of Hartsville, SC
Sheldon Thomas Reed of Bradley, SC
Shelbie Christine Richardson of Cowpens, SC
Fabian Salinas of Pacolet, SC
Kailee Reanne Smith of Inman, SC
Jordan David Steele of Clinton, SC
Kendevon Germar Stenhouse of Laurens, SC
Matthew Tyler Terry of Pageland, SC
Zachary Michael Watson of Greenville, SC
Eric Todd Wells, II of Spartanburg, SC
Alexandra Vinity Wright of Gaffney, SC
Anna Faith Wright of Trinity, NC
Jeff Tony Young of Wellford, SC


Dean’s List Students

Shyanne Leigh Allison of Spartanburg, SC
William Austin Ayers of Union, SC
Hugh Tolan Bailey of Greenville, SC
Madison Lachelle Betlem of Boiling Springs, SC
Meghan Elizabeth Bible of Moore, SC
Nicholas Clay Borek of Baldwinsville, NY
Chase Austin Borgman of Cleveland, SC
Kaleb Alexander Bowman of Round Hill, VA
Sarai Jo Bowman of Spartanburg, SC 29301, SC
Aaron Kip Brandenburg of Greensboro, NC
Ashlee Marie Breakfield of Gaffney, SC
Dominique Alexis Bryan of Roebuck, SC
Olivia P Burley of Elgin, SC
Sandra Celestino Camacho of Wellford, SC
Diana Jennifer Cedillo of Lyman, SC
Jake Harrison Corn of Rock Hill, SC
Ryan Jeffery Cotton of Carrollton, GA
Teagan Shaina Crosby of Walterboro, SC
Gabrielle Allyse Davis of Lancaster, SC
Sarah Elizabeth Davis of Rock Hill, SC
Tamara Nicole Deal of Landrum, SC
Adrien Cindy DePace of Lexington, SC
Kaylin Joy Dionne of Moore, SC
Olivia Rose Dunlap of Pawley’s Island, SC
Cade Warren Edwards of Taylors, SC
Gabrielle Nicole Eilders of Moore, SC
Montana Larayia Ellis of Spartanburg, SC
Jason Tyler Farrington of Boiling Springs, SC
Chase James Thomas Feldman of Winder, GA
Olivia Marie Gandy of Simpsonville, SC
Noah Harrison Garland of Roebuck, SC
Jaelyn Amber Garrett of Columbia, SC
Courtney LeAnne Gibson of Boiling Springs, SC
Austin Scott Green of Moore, SC
Michael Wallace Groce of Campobello, SC
Matthew Preston Hamrick of Spartanburg, SC
Kimberlyn Ann Harper of Spartanburg, SC
Natassja Leigh Hatcher of Chesterfield, SC
Matthew Weldon Heard of Cumming, GA
Benjamin Tyler Heatherly of Jonesville, SC
Miranda Lee Henderson of Boiling Springs, SC
Zachary Lucas Herold of Lexington, SC
Kathryn Elizabeth Highducheck of Inman, SC
Sydney Joan Hilburn of Charleston, SC
Brandon Tyler Hill of Lugoff, SC
Jonathan Heyward Hiller of Lexington, SC
Austin Darwin Hinkle of Spartanburg, SC
Owen Gage Hinson of Lancaster, SC
Hannah Delane Horton of Inman, SC
Loren Kristine Hughes of Inman, SC
Amanda Brooke Hutto of Aiken, SC
Kathryn Elise Jankowski of Moore, SC
Chelsea Lauren Johnson of Gaffney, SC
Jaycie Bowen Johnson of Winnsboro, SC
Tyrik Elijah Jones of Lithonia, GA
Bryant William Jordan of Fredericksburg, TX
Ross Michael Kemp of Matthews, NC
Benjamin Barron Knight of Summerville, SC
Madison Olivia Lambert of Inman, SC
Lartekwei Lartey of Lawrenceville, GA
Taylor Gail Lee of Roebuck, SC
Anna Elizabeth Little of Simpsonville, SC
Anna Grace Mahaffey of Spartanburg, SC
Parker Preston Malone of Duncan, SC
Cole Asher Mangum of Boiling Springs, SC
Morgan Leigh Mann of Inman, SC
Joshua Robert McAbee of Travelers Rest, SC
Daysha Meredith of Woodruff, SC
Logan Andrew Miller of Chesnee, SC
Zandhreas Tybrice Morrow of Wellford, SC
Jonathan Andrew Mullinax of Lyman, SC
Juridia Munoz of Spartanburg, SC
William Tyler Nelson of Cowpens, SC
Brooke Megan Palmer of Boiling Springs, SC
Julia Marie Panas of Rock Hill, SC
Toren Dion Pollard of Leeds, AL
William Luke Quillen of Spartanburg, SC
Brandy Lee Quinn of Campobello, SC
Granger Keith Rabon of Camden, SC
Abigail Grace Rampey of Greenville, SC
Sarah Grace Reed of Boiling Springs, SC
Jose Alonso Resendiz of Spartanburg, SC
Jared Ryan Richardson of Hopkins, SC
Alexander Rogers of Saluda, SC
Samuel Lawrence Rutherford of Spartanburg, SC
Daniel A Sabillon of Fountain Inn, SC
Richard Xavier Sabillon of Fountain Inn, SC
Juan Belisario SanJuan of Greenville, SC
Bradley James Scott of Buffalo, SC
Olivia Pauline Shetley of Union, SC
Jacob David Simpson of Campobello, SC
Hayley Ashlyn Singletary of Moncks Corner, SC
Olivia Cambie Sisic of Fingerville, SC
Jesse Holt Smutzer of Fountain Inn, SC
Monique Nicole Stevenson of Rock Hill, SC
Jacob Ried Suppiger of Blacksburg, SC
Megan Grace Thompson of Greenville, SC
Morgan Richard Vance of Hartsville, SC
Sydney Maria Varn of Chapin, SC
Chase David Walter of Peachtree City, GA
Brittany Makayla Warren of Johnsonville, SC
Matthew Caprice Watson of Spartanburg, SC
Jackson Cale Williams of Latta, SC
Courtney Morgan Williamson of Cowpens, SC
Khalil Shemar Zimmerman of Hartsville, SC
Vladimir Zotov of Spartanburg, SC


“Mr. Scrooge!” remakes old-fashioned Christmas tale into modern musical



The familiar story of Ebeneezer Scrooge will be recast as a stage musical this December at Spartanburg Methodist College.

“Mr. Scrooge!” a modern and occasionally whimsical take on the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” will be presented at SMC Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 at 7:00 p.m. in Gibbs Auditorium of Ellis Hall. The public is invited and the performance is free.

The musical was written and scored by SMC music professor Lanny Lanford while he was in graduate school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. This will be the 36th consecutive year it has been staged – and the fifth in a row at SMC.

“I remember I did it my second year here and everything went well,” Lanford recalled. “Then they said they’d like me to do it again the next year. I said, ‘Why?’ They asked me to make it a tradition.”

By Lanford’s description, the musical features a variety of styles, from rock to salsa to “the cheesiest love song you’ve ever heard.” But it all moves along at an action-packed pace, he said, noting that he worked hard to condense the original story without losing its meaning or leaving Dickens purists upset.

Playing the lead role for the second year is Carl Gibson, who is a graduate of SMC and Furman University. Gibson will be joined by a cast made up primarily of current SMC students. Lanford said community members will take part in the chorus of carolers. In fact, he is still accepting participants. Those interested are encouraged to call 587-4275.

Lanford is a popular figure on the SMC campus, known as an enthusiastic and engaging classroom teacher as well as a talented chorus director. He leads SMC’s instrumental and choral ensembles, including the college’s travelling chorus, the Troubadours. Lanford earned his doctorate of musical arts in composition from the University of South Carolina. He achieved international acclaim by winning the International Composition Competition for “Les Chevaliers du Tastevin,” written in both French and English.

He said he loves working with students at SMC. As a two-year college, he noted, students “don’t have to wait long for an opportunity. And there’s always fresh talent to work with.”

It is always exciting to see a performance come together, Lanford said. “It’s a constant joy to see a group come so far in a short amount of time. There’s always fear and trepidation at first, but by the end of it they really feel like they’ve accomplished something. That’s one of the things I wake up for every day.”


The Inauguration of W. Scott Cochran


The Inauguration of W. Scott Cochran

Spartanburg Methodist College’s Eighth President

On Friday, November 4, at 11 a.m., the Spartanburg Methodist College community will celebrate a new chapter in its history during the Inauguration of W. Scott Cochran, the college’s eighth president since its founding in 1911.

The Inauguration is free to attend and open to the public. The media are invited and encouraged to attend. The event will take place in Bridges Arena on the SMC campus.

Cochran was chosen by the college’s board of trustees after a nine-month national search that resulted in a pool of highly competitive candidates. He began serving the college in his new role Nov. 16, 2015, and will be officially installed as president November 4 by Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher, member of the SMC Board of Trustees and chair of the search committee.

The college has installed three presidents since being renamed from Spartanburg Junior College in 1974, all of whom served with energy, vision and dedication, including Dr. George DeWitt Fields, who served from 1976 to 1997; Dr. Charles Porter Teague, who served from 1997 to 2009; and Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, who served from 2009 to 2015.

Spartanburg Methodist College was founded as Textile Industrial Institute (TII) by Dr. David English Camak, a visionary Methodist minister. As a work-study cooperative, TII served young adults working in area textile mills by offering high school level courses in preparation for advanced education or employment. In this first cooperative education program in the country, students worked a week and then took classes for a week. In 1927, college level courses were added to the curriculum and, in 1942, the college was renamed Spartanburg Junior College. Today, it continues to offer students a strong foundational education in the liberal arts, granting six Associate degrees in arts, fine arts, business, criminal justice, religion and science. 90 percent of the college’s students transfer to other institutions to complete their degrees.

“I am very pleased with the direction the college has taken since Scott began leading it,” says Fisher. “We knew when we brought him on board that he valued Spartanburg Methodist College’s rich history and mission, but also that he had the energy and creativity to expand upon the good work done by those who led before him. I’m thrilled by our choice and excited for the future of SMC.”

Since his arrival on campus, Cochran has explored new ways to fulfill the mission of Spartanburg Methodist College. A Professional Development program has been established to assist students in preparing to be successful in their future career endeavors. The program, housed in the new Ballard Center, reflects the original mission of TII. In December, the college’s first Winter Term will be offered, consisting of online courses to help students at SMC and other colleges take classes they need to stay on track for graduation. A ten-year master plan for campus facilities was recently completed and includes new facilities to improve upon and maximize the use of the college’s 110-acre campus.

Cochran has also been instrumental in the exploration of new and in-demand academic programs to be offered beginning in 2018. And students who prefer to stay at SMC while continuing their bachelor’s degree online may now do so through partnerships established with Palmetto College and The Medical University of South Carolina.

“SMC will continue its mission of preparing students for what comes next, whether that’s a senior college experience here or elsewhere or immediately entering the workplace, and I look forward to continuing to work with our outstanding faculty and staff to deliver the kind of personalized education experience that only small liberal arts colleges can provide,” says Cochran. “I’m excited to build upon a history of giving students the opportunity to find their path and to succeed in life, and I look forward to seeing SMC thrive in the coming years.”

Throughout Cochran’s eight years of higher education leadership experience and throughout his distinguished business career, he has demonstrated a commitment to courageous, visionary and ethical leadership and to making those around him better. He is an outstanding leader, mentor and teacher, whether leading consulting projects for students, teaching a professional development seminar or counseling students on starting a business. Cochran has engaged himself in every aspect of SMC life.

“Scott brings to the SMC Presidency enthusiasm, drive and heart,” says James Fletcher Thompson, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Our college’s mission is unique, and we have found an equally rare leader. Our future looks bright, indeed.”

NEWS MEDIA: Click here for Cochran’s full biography, including his roles as Dean of The Space at Wofford College and executive positions with GMAC and UPS Capital. High resolution photos are also available for download.


Musical Performance

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An Evening of Classical and Musical Theater Works

The Spartanburg Methodist College Interdisciplinary Studies Committee announces An Evening of Classical and Musical Theater Works on Tuesday, October 25th at 7 p.m., in Gibbs Auditorium (in Ellis Hall). The featured musicians are Blake Anthony Ellege and Sarah Jane Gibbs. The performance is free and open to the public.

Ellege graduated from Brevard College with a Bachelor of Arts in music with an emphasis in classical vocal music performance. As a student, he won numerous awards including Most Outstanding Music Performer, the Asheville Lyric Opera Guild Scholarship and a nomination from The Kennedy Center for Best Sound Design in a Collegiate Theater Production in 2013. In June 2014, Ellege competed at the NATS (National Association of Teachers in Singing) Competition where he was ranked one of the top four lyrical tenors in the United States for classical voice and one of the top 14 tenors in the United States for musical theater. Ellege has recorded and released seven albums in 2016.

Gibbs received her Bachelor of Arts in music performance from Converse College, where she was featured in operatic and musical theater productions, including Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Vivviane in Legally Blonde the Musical, Canta Nuova in Impressario as well as the opportunity to be a part of many recitals and other performances. She currently resides in Asheville, NC, and performs with companies such as Asheville Lyric Opera, Asheville Arts Academy and Asheville Community Theater.

The Evening of Classical and Musical Theater Works is part of SMC’s new Interdisciplinary Series, which features performances, speakers and art experiences that enhance the liberal arts mission of the college. More information about the Interdisciplinary Series may be found at


SMC Founder’s Day


Fibonacci Sequence Talk


SMC professor, composer to discuss mysterious Fibonacci sequence in everyday life

Sept. 29 talk examines math phenomenon linking music, art, science and engineering.

From the recent best-seller “The Da Vinci Code,” by Dan Brown to Bill Amend’s “Fox Trot” comic strip to Black Star’s hip-hop song “Astronomy (8th Light),” the centuries-old Fibonacci sequence continues to fascinate and inspire modern scholars, writers, artists and engineers. Dr. Lanny Lanford, Professor of Music and Director of Spartanburg Methodist College Music Programs, will examine these remarkable mathematical links occurring all around us in his Sept. 29 presentation, “The Fibonacci Sequence: Coincidences of Intrigue.”

Lanford’s talk will be held in Davis Mission Chapel on the SMC campus at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are a sequence of integers, starting with 0, 1 and continuing 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and with each new number being the sum of the previous two. Named for 11th century Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, known as Fibonacci, the mathematical pattern appears to occur naturally throughout nature, suggesting a fundamental relationship to life itself. Lanford’s talk examines the pattern across a variety of subjects. “Could it be that a mathematical equation reveals an astonishing link between geometry, music, microbiology, botany, finance, art, architecture and aerospace?” he asks. “A look through Fibonacci’s window leads us to some intriguing conclusions.”

Lanford’s talk is part of SMC’s Interdisciplinary Series, which features performances, speakers and art experiences that enhance the liberal arts mission of the college. According to Kris Neely, director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and professor of art, the series expands opportunities for intellectual and artistic explorations outside campus. “The Interdisciplinary Studies program at SMC highlights shared inquiries that bind us together across our individual subject areas,” he explains. “While the events are intended to serve the campus directly, we also want to share these opportunities with members of the Spartanburg community.”

More information about the Interdisciplinary Series and upcoming events may be found at

Lanford is the author of “Mr. Scrooge!” a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and an award-winning composer and film scorer. He holds a bachelor’s degree (with choral emphasis) from the University of South Carolina (USC), a master’s in church music from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and a doctorate in musical arts from USC.


Caz McCaslin to Keynote the 2016 Convocation at SMC

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce Caz McCaslin of Upward Sports as the keynote speaker at its annual convocation ceremony marking the beginning of the new school year. The event will be Wednesday, September 7, at 11:00 a.m. in Jesse L. Bridges Arena on the SMC campus and is open to the public and free of charge.

McCaslin’s talk, “Today Matters,” will focus on overcoming adversity. After an injury ended his college basketball dreams, McCaslin was forced to find a new direction for his life. His struggle eventually led to the founding of Upward Sports in 1995.
With a mission to promote the discovery of Jesus through sports, Upward Sports has grown from several hundred children playing in a basketball league in one church to the world’s largest Christian youth sports league. Today, approximately half a million players at more than 2,000 churches in 47 states participate in camps, clinics, and leagues for basketball, soccer, flag football, volleyball, baseball, and cheerleading through Upward Sports’ recreation and performance divisions.

McCaslin is a graduate of the University of Georgia and has more than 30 years of experience in ministry. As founder, president and a member of the board of Upward Sports, McCaslin believes that cultivating a spiritual foundation in America’s youth is at the heart of creating successful, empowered generations to come. His sports programs develop total athletes mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially, producing players who excel both on and off the field. He is the author of three books, Every Child Is a Winner, Act or React, and the soon to be released Coach ‘Em Up. He and his wife, Leslie, reside in Spartanburg and have three children and three grandchildren.


SMC’s Psi Beta Chapter Earns Two Significant Awards


Spartanburg Methodist College’s Psi Beta chapter recently won two awards for the 2015-2016 school year. The chapter received the Ann Garrett Robinson College Life Award for the first time and the Chapter Excellence Award for the fifth consecutive year. “SMC’s chapter has been recognized by the national organization for several years, and we commend members and leaders for their commitment to excellence,” said Dr. Ann Bowles, executive vice president for academic affairs and student development. “What a great way to start another year of transforming the lives of the young people entrusted to us!”

The College Life Award is given to chapters whose programs promote the quality of two-year college life and advance the discipline of psychology. A National Honor Society in psychology for community and junior colleges, SMC Psi Beta received the College Life Award because of the success of Psi Beta Seminars presented throughout the past school year. The seminars tackled numerous theories and topics often discussed in psychology classes and brought to life by guest and faculty speakers through the discussion of actual life events. Seminars included “The Causal and Protective Factors of Child Neglect” with Dr. Monica McCoy; “PTSD: The Invisible Wounds of War” with Dr. Craig Burnette; “Altruism: The Psychology of Giving. The Izabella McMillon Story” with Ms. Izabella McMillon; and others.

According to SMC Psi Beta Head Adviser Dr. Mary Jane L. Farmer, the chapter has become a household name because of the seminars. “Psi Beta never fails to contribute to the life and quality of learning within and beyond the campus,” she says. “A countless number of students have actually changed their majors to psychology.” Dr. Farmer directs SMC Psi Beta with assistance from Pete Aylor, psychology professor, and director of SMC’s Career and Transfer Services, and Sue Onken, college counselor. Onken is grateful for the series offered to staff and students. “[It gives] them insight into a vast area of human experiences and needs, professional services available and career options for their enlightenment and consideration,” she explains.

Since its first award in 2011, SMC Psi Beta has earned the Psi Beta Chapter Excellence Award five years in a row. Chapters must meet or exceed the standards of chapter excellence criteria outlined by the national organization and complete activities that reflect leadership, scholarship, community service, and research principles within Psi Beta’s mission. “It is humbling to be recognized by the Psi Beta National Chapter,” says Farmer. “The bar is set high for us to serve SMC through Psi Beta via the guiding principles of leadership, scholarship, community service and research.”

About Psi Beta
Psi Beta is a National Honor Society in psychology for community and junior colleges. Its mission is to encourage professional development and psychological literacy of all students at two-year colleges through promotion and recognition of excellence in scholarship, leadership, research, and community service. Membership to Psi Beta is by invitation only. To be considered, SMC 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. Over 450 SMC students have achieved lifetime membership to Psi Beta.


SMC Welcomes Dr. Brian Dunn to Biology Department


Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Brian Dunn as Professor of Biology. He will begin working with students this fall.

Dunn comes to SMC from Gonzaga University in Spokane, where he served as a biology lecturer teaching upper-level microbiology lab and cellular and molecular components for freshman biology majors. He had the opportunity to mentor undergraduates in research projects and volunteered to assist premed students with medical school applications among other service opportunities on campus.

According to Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ann Bowles, Dr. Dunn’s academic experience includes work as Assistant Professor of Biology at Georgia Regents University from 2011-2014. “He was involved in student learning assessment and worked to improve the quality of courses and the success of students in the biology department,” says Bowles.

Dunn earned his doctorate in cell biology at Yale and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wheaton College. He was also a postdoctoral research associate at UNC, Chapel Hill. He and his wife, Heather, have recently relocated to Spartanburg.


Adam Siegfried Appointed to SMC Faculty



Dr. Adam Siegfried has been appointed to the faculty of Spartanburg Methodist College as Professor of Chemistry. Siegfried, who completed his doctorate in inorganic chemistry from Clemson University in May, has been employed at SMC as an interim professor of chemistry since August 2015.

Siegfried previously served as Adjunct Instructor at Anderson University and Tri-County Technical College. In addition to bringing extensive teaching experience to the position, he has a strong interest and background in supervising undergraduate research. From 2008 to 2010, he trained undergraduates in crystal growth and design as part of the Clemson University Summer Undergraduate Research Program. This summer, he supervised two SMC students in the design and growth of a new iodine crystal which could eventually lead to improved solar cell performance. Their research will be published next spring and was funded by a grant from Furman University’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program.

Siegfried received a Master of Science degree in inorganic chemistry from Clemson University in 2008. He received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Coker College in 2002.


Kristofer Neely joins SMC faculty as Professor of Art


Photo Credit: Mark Olencki, Wofford College

Kristofer Neely Joins SMC Faculty as Professor of Art

Kristofer M. Neely, a visual artist and creative writer, has been appointed to the Spartanburg Methodist College faculty as Professor of Art. Neely is also the owner and creative director of Wet Paint Syndrome, an art gallery and studio located in Spartanburg.

Best known for the angel paintings he calls “Guardians,” Neely is a painter who uses traditional surfaces, wood and other found objects. He has exhibited his works widely in South Carolina and the southeastern United States, and has participated in showings in New York, New Mexico and Canada. His art, creative writing and poetry have been featured in books, journals and publications, including The Underground Guide to Spartanburg by Joe Mullinax (2012), Artists Among Us: 100 Faces of Art in Spartanburg, by Edward Emory and Stephen Stinson (2011); The Minutia of Visionaries: Experiments toward Social Evolution, by Erica Eaton and Tara Smelt (2010); and Still Home: The Essential Poetry of Spartanburg (2008).

From 2011-2016, Neely served as a dean, assistant professor and coordinator for studio art at Wofford College, where he played a key role in growing the college’s studio art minor. From 2005-2011, he worked to enhance the student experience at the college through his positions as executive director of the Success Initiative, director of project development for student affairs and director of residence life. During this time, Neely developed a number of innovative programs that have become models for other colleges.

A brother in the Monastic Order of St. Edward the Confessor since 2011, Neely is actively involved in the Episcopal Church. He volunteers as chaplain for the Boy Scouts of America – Palmetto Council Troop #11 and has served on the development committee of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church. He is also a member of the Northside Development Corporation’s neighborhood committee and is a past board member of Piedmont Care, Inc., and the Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg.

Neely received a master of fine arts from Goddard College in 2009 and a bachelor’s degree in religion from Wofford College in 2002.


SMC Appoints Six New Members to Board of Trustees


From left to right: Andrew Babb, Jerry Gadsden, Carl Gibson, Catherine Gramling, Derrick Huggins, Darryl Owings


Spartanburg Methodist College recently welcomed six new members to its Board of Trustees. The appointments were made in June at the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church of South Carolina.

Andrew Babb lives in Spartanburg. He is a 1988 alumnus of the college and a commercial real estate broker with NAI Earle Furman, LLC. He is also President and owner of Mid-South Management Company, Inc. and Crescent Holdings, LLC. The companies own and rent residential, commercial and vacation properties in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. As a businessman, Babb has been active in the revitalization of Spartanburg’s downtown. He also sits on several boards of directors, including Carolina Alliance Bank, Glassock, Inc. and Spartanburg Day School. His family has supported SMC for many years.

Reverend Jerry Gadsden is pastor of Silver Hill Memorial United Methodist Church in Spartanburg. Before coming to Spartanburg in 2015, he served as pastor for several United Methodist congregations around the state of South Carolina since receiving his Master of Divinity degree from Duke University in 1989. He has also served on numerous boards and committees of the United Methodist Conference and of community organizations that address needs of seniors and of persons with disabilities. Gadsden is currently a member of the Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance and is a life member of the NAACP.

Catherine Gramling lives in Gramling, SC. She is a lifelong United Methodist, a former public school teacher, and an active community volunteer. She has many family ties to SMC. Her mother, former Congresswoman Liz Patterson, was a four-term SMC trustee, as was her father-in-law, John Gramling, II. She is the granddaughter of Olin Johnston, who graduated from SMC and went on to serve as Governor of South Carolina.

Derrick Huggins serves as vice president of facilities and transportation at the University of South Carolina where he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of housekeeping, landscaping, preventative maintenance and warehouse operations. Huggins is involved with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Diversity Leadership program and is a member of Journey United Methodist Church in Columbia.

Darryl Owings serves as superintendent of Spartanburg County School District 6. In addition to his work in the school system, Owings has served on numerous boards and committees. He currently serves is a member of the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM) board, the Clemson LIFE Advisory Board, and the South Carolina ACT State Organization Council. He is also a member of the Liberty Fellowship Class of 2008.

Joseph “Carl” Gibson will serve as the 2016 Student Representative to the Board of Trustees. A 2014 graduate of SMC, he is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in music at Furman University. As a student at SMC, Gibson was awarded the college’s Trustee Medal.

SMC board members serve a term of three years and are eligible to serve up to four consecutive terms. All must be approved by the South Carolina United Methodist Conference.

In addition to the newly elected trustees, the following board members were re-elected to serve additional three-year terms: Rev. Mary V. Teasley, Phinnize J. Fisher, Marianna Habisreutinger; Ray Lattimore, John Ramsey, and James Fletcher Thompson.

The board also recently elected new officers for the 2016-2017 year: James Thompson, Chair; Kathy McKinney, Vice Chair; and Ray Lattimore, Secretary.

A full listing of the Spartanburg Methodist College Board of Trustees is available here.


Kirk Hansen appointed to SMC faculty


SMC is excited to announce that Dr. Kirk Hansen has been appointed to the Spartanburg Methodist College faculty as professor of History. Hansen, who completed his doctorate in history from the University of Dundee in Scotland in 2015, has been employed at SMC as an adjunct faculty member since January.

Outside of the classroom, Hansen’s research interests focus on the experiences of Scottish Jews in World War I. In Spartanburg, he plans to pursue similar research with local minority communities. At SMC, he’ll teach courses focused on U.S. and European history to undergraduate students.

Hansen earned master’s (2009) and bachelor’s (2007) degrees in history from Bob Jones University.