Speaker to discuss role of black churches in social change


The Rev. Dr. Sheila Elliott, pastor of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in Lake City, South Carolina, will discuss the role of the black church in social change as part of Spartanburg Methodist College’s observance of Black History Month.

Elliott’s talk will take place Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. in Davis Mission Chapel on the SMC campus. The event is free and open to the public.

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Elliott is a 2008 graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. She is a native of Columbia, South Carolina, and the first tenured African-American professor at Columbia College. She received an undergraduate degree in history and political science from the University of South Carolina.

As an undergraduate, Elliott’s focus was American politics and international affairs. She earned her Ph.D. degree in international relations, specializing in African studies and women in the developing world. Elliott’s other areas of research have centered on women’s studies, the African diaspora and African studies, with a concentration in Southern Africa, social justice education, leadership studies and faith and health.


Sarah Grace Reed crowned Miss SMC 2016


Miss SMC 2015, Ashley Rogers, pins the crown on Sarah Grace Reed, Miss SMC 2016.


The 2016 Miss SMC Pageant was held January 24, 2016, at 6 p.m. in Gibbs Auditorium on the SMC campus. Sarah Grace Reed, a freshman student from Boiling Springs, South Carolina, won the crown and the right to represent Spartanburg Methodist College in this summer’s Miss South Carolina Pageant in Columbia, South Carolina.

Reed is an accomplished singer and actor, appearing in 13 Spartanburg Youth Theatre shows during the last six years and serving as the president of its junior advisory board. She is the recipient of numerous awards in piano and vocal performance from the National Federation of Music Clubs. During the pageant talent competition, Reed sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from the 1964 musical “Funny Girl.”

During a year of public appearances, Reed will work to support and promote local arts and arts education, her pageant platform issue.

Miss SMC 2016: Sarah Grace Reed
First Runner-Up: Jacosha Nicole Simpson, sophomore, of Boiling Springs, South Carolina
Second Runner-Up: Corin Hewins, sophomore, of Greenville, South Carolina

Overall Talent: Sarah Grace Reed
Overall Evening Gown: Corin Hewins
Most Photogenic: Sarah Grace Reed
Community Support Award: Sarah Grace Reed

Learn more by following the Miss SMC Pageant on Facebook:


Sunday’s Miss SMC Pageant continues 70-year tradition of service, scholarship


2016 Miss SMC contestants, from left to right: Alyssa Queen, Corin Hewins, Brittany Stokes, Tynia Goode, JoAnna Gorrin, Sarah Grace Reed, Jacosha Simpson. Not pictured: Brittany Warren.


In 1946, Spartanburg Methodist College, then known as Spartanburg Junior College, crowned its first May Queen and began a tradition of selecting a young woman to serve as an ambassador for the college during a year of service in the local and regional community. On Sunday night, when eight SMC students vie for the title of Miss SMC, two former May Queens – Edna Guthrie Grainger, class of 1949 and Joann Hill Waddell, class of 1962 – will be in the audience along with family, friends and students.

Since 2012, winners of the Miss SMC Pageant have been eligible to compete each summer for the Miss South Carolina crown. But more important than a chance at the state title and even a shot at the Miss America crown is the personal development pageant contestants experience, says Kim Caton, director of student activities and leadership development at SMC. “All of the past winners I’ve met, including May Queens from decades ago, talk about how much they learned about themselves during pageant preparation and the appearances they make as Miss SMC.”

Miss SMC contestants must have a platform – a social cause or charitable organization – she will promote as a contestant and, if selected to wear the crown, during her year of service. The winner will promote her platform at public appearances, volunteer opportunities, college events and throughout the community, says Caton. The winner will also participate in activities that promote and raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the official philanthropy of the Miss South Carolina and Miss America organizations. Contestants are raising money through the sale of pioneer hats the week before the pageant. All money raised will be donated to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Of the eight contestants, one winner and two runners-up will be selected by a panel of judges who base their scores on individual interview, onstage question, evening gown, physical fitness and talent. In addition to the title and crown, the winner will receive a $1,000 education scholarship. The first runner-up receives a $500 scholarship, and the second runner-up will take home a $250 scholarship. Special recognition is also given for talent, evening gown and community support.

The 2016 Miss SMC Pageant will take place Sunday, Jan. 24, at 6 p.m. in Gibbs Auditorium on the Spartanburg Methodist College campus. The event is open to the public, and admission is $5.00.


2016 Miss SMC Contestants (click each contestant’s name for a high resolution image; a high resolution group image is here). 

1. Tynia Goode. Hometown: Spartanburg, South Carolina. Platform: Overcoming Insecurities. Educational Goal: Bachelor’s degree, communications. Talent: Monologue.

2. JoAnna Gorrin. Hometown: Greer, South Carolina. Platform: Depression Awareness. Educational Goal: Master’s degree, psychology. Talent: Dance, “Heartbeat.”

3. Corin Hewins. Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina. Platform: Women Empowerment. Finding the Queen in YOU. Educational Goal: Bachelor’s degree, early childhood development. Talent: Poem, “A Black Woman, Nothing Else.”

4. Alyssa Queen. Hometown: York, South Carolina. Platform: Take a Stand: Stop Relationship Violence. Educational Goal: Criminal Justice, Law. Talent: Lyrical dance, “Note to God.”

5. Sarah Grace Reed. Hometown: Boiling Springs, South Carolina. Platform: Support and Promotion of Local Arts and Arts Education. Educational Goal: Bachelor’s degree, theatre. Talent: Musical Theatre Vocal, “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”

6. Jacosha Nicole Simpson. Hometown: Boiling Springs, South Carolina. Platform: Alleviating the Stigma of Shame for the Victims of Sexual Assault. Educational Goal: Bachelor’s degree, early childhood development. Talent: Jazz dance, “Respect.”

7. Brittany Stokes. Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina. Platform: HIV/AIDS Awareness/Prevention. Educational Goal: Master’s degree, international business. Talent: Dance/Clogging.

8. Brittany Makayla Warren. Hometown: Johnsonville, South Carolina. Platform: Overcoming Insecurities and Peer Pressure. Educational Goal: Master’s degree, accounting. Talent: Guitar and vocals, “Try.”

2016 Miss SMC Pageant Judges:

Charmayne Brown, editor-in-chief/publisher, Rejoice Magazine, Spartanburg.

Jamarcus Gaston, television host and producer for “Studio 62,” Spartanburg.

Holly Hanna, co-owner, Hanna’s Driving School and teacher, Spartanburg School District 6.

Bobby Holcombe, director of financial aid & scholarships, The University of South Carolina Union.

Doretta Osburn, owner/manager of Night Sky Entertainment, Nashville, Tennessee .



Jane Nodine’s paintings featured at SMC

“Thermal Response,” a new solo exhibition by Spartanburg-based painter Jane Allen Nodine, will open in the galleries at Ellis Hall on the Spartanburg Methodist College campus on January 25, 2016, and run through February 29, 2016. An opening reception will be held in the galleries at Ellis Hall on January 25 from 6:00 to 8 p.m. and will feature a talk by Nodine at 6:30 p.m.

The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public.

Thermal Response features a series of paintings created by Nodine using the encaustic method: an ancient Greek technique of applying melted beeswax and resin in layers to give a richness and depth to her abstract subject matter.

Inspired by the natural world and the oxidations and discolorations that form as organic and metallic materials age and break down, Nodine applies found and created elements to panels between layers of wax. In the process, some become obscured in a hazy film while others become more evident and appear to float or come forward in the luminous properties of the material, attracting the viewer in for closer observation.

Nodine is professor of art, assistant chair of Fine arts and Communication Studies and University Gallery director at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Before joining the university, she owned and operated Jane Nodine Hardwear, a full-service jewelry design and manufacturing company.

Nodine has worked in a variety of media throughout her career and exhibits widely in the U.S. and Europe. She is the recipient of numerous awards, and her work is included in several U.S. and international collections, including the Medical University of South Carolina, Equitable Life Assurance Society, Stadtsparkasse Bank in Germany and the South Carolina State Art Collection.

Nodine’s career spans several decades, and in 1999 she was selected by the South Carolina State Museum and the South Carolina Arts Commission as one of the One Hundred Most Significant Artists in South Carolina during the 20th century.


Spartanburg Methodist College Announces New Vice President for Marketing


Spartanburg Methodist College announces Lisa Ware as the college’s first vice president for marketing, effective Jan. 4, 2016.

Lisa Ware comes to SMC with 20 years of marketing and communications leadership experience, most recently at Wofford College, where she served as director of marketing for The Space, the college’s professional development center. During her tenure, she led and executed marketing and communications strategies to promote The Space’s programs to students, parents, alumni and local and national media.

In her role as vice president for marketing, Ware will lead the promotion of the college to all relevant constituents in support of SMC’s strategic goals to become a leader in providing an outstanding liberal arts education of value to graduates and society.

“Lisa’s appointment represents a huge step forward for the college, which has never had dedicated marketing leadership,” said Scott Cochran, president of Spartanburg Methodist College. “We’re excited to have her on board as we create an integrated brand strategy to enhance SMC’s visibility locally, regionally and nationally.”

Ware holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.


55 Pioneer student- athletes earn President’s and Dean’s List honors


Top row, left to right: Kaleigh Busbee (softball), Kole Koterba (cross country), Fred Slater (basketball) Bottom row, left to right: Ashleigh Green (volleyball), Efrain Tello (wrestling), Jada Martin (basketball)


55 Spartanburg Methodist College student-athletes earned President’s List or Dean’s List honors for the 2015 fall semester. To qualify for the President’s List a student must earn a 3.8 GPA or higher. Out of 40 total students, 14 student-athletes earned this award. To qualify for the Dean’s List a student must earn a 3.25-3.79 GPA for the semester. 41 student-athletes earned this award out of 140 total honorees.

2015 Fall Semester President’s List

Softball– Kaleigh Busbee, Teagan Crosby, Natassja Hatcher, Eliza Long, Olivia Matsuda, and Olivia O’Neal.

Baseball– Hunter Baker, Tyler Kimbrell, and Sheldon Reed.

Volleyball– Julia Panas and Caitlin Sheppard.

Women’s Soccer– Christina Early.

Women’s Basketball– Jada Martin.

Men’s Cross Country– Kole Koterba


2015 Fall Dean’s List

Softball– Ashley Brown, Olivia Dunlap, Caroline Heaton, Maddy Labrador, Lindsey Mason, Maddie Ward, and Brittany Warren.

Baseball– Kaleb Bowman, Hamp Fallaw, Graham Lawson, Jared McCay, Matthew Overton, Grant Thompson, Alexander Williams.

Volleyball– Lindsey Burkhamer, Samantha Cope, Ashleigh Green, Rachel Mabry, Jae Schmitz, Deanna Unger, and Courtney Williamson.

Women’s Soccer– Kayla McMillian, Cierra Smith, Hope Smith, and Bailey Wilson

Men’s Golf– Zachary Herold, Johnathon Miley, Matthew Terry, and Brady Trout

Men’s Basketball– Wesley Grant and Frederick Slater

Men’s Soccer– Tyler Pentz and Gustavo Peron

Women’s Cross Country– Sarah Davis and Haley Singletary

Wrestling– Joshua Gilbert and Efrain Tello

Women’s Golf– Haley Brannon

Women’s Basketball– Briana Hill

Women’s Tennis– Carlie Peeler

Cheerleading– Jachosha Simpson

Congratulations, Pioneers!

Stacey Award

Mason Receives 2015 Charles Witten Service Award

On Monday, November 2nd, at the Fall Conference of the South Carolina College Personal Association (SCCPA), Stacey Mason, Director of Housing and Residential Life at Spartanburg Methodist College, received the 2015 Charles Witten Service Award.

Stacey Award

The Charles Witten Service Award is given annually by the organization to represent a member who has served SCCPA within the past year in an outstanding capacity.  Mason served as host and conference chair of the organization’s drive-in conference in May of 2015 and served as the Awards Chair this year.

Kara Ferguson, SCCPA President Elect and Director of Service Learning and Community Engagement at University of South Carolina Upstate said, “Stacey has done an outstanding job as the 2015 Spring Conference Chair and the SCCPA Awards Chair. Stacey stepped into the spring conference chair position later in the game with little preparation done prior to her leadership and put together a high quality conference that touched on very important topics for Student Affairs professionals in South Carolina. Stacey is a rock star and a true asset to the SCCPA leadership.”

Stacey is pictured here receiving the award from the current SCCPA President, Brian Joyce.

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Spartanburg Methodist College Announces Scott Cochran as its Eighth President

Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Spartanburg Methodist College, announced today that W. Scott Cochran has been named by the Board of Trustees as the eighth President of Spartanburg Methodist College.  Dr. Fisher stated:

“We have a proud legacy at Spartanburg Methodist College of encouraging students to dream big dreams and we will provide the foundation for students to have those opportunities. Scott Cochran is the perfect critical thinker and visionary leader who will move Spartanburg Methodist College into the future and continue the tradition of challenging students to strive to realize their lifelong dreams. We, the students, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees are excited to give without reservation the eighth presidential reigns to Scott.”

Mr. Cochran is a graduate of Wofford College and earned an MBA from Duke University. He has extensive experience in both business and higher education. His 20 years in business include roles as a senior executive in the US and internationally with GMAC, UPS Capital, and most recently, Performance Solutions by Milliken, a unit of Milliken & Company. Mr. Cochran served Wofford College for seven years as Dean of The Space. The Space houses a robust suite of programs including entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, consulting, and leadership, with the focus always being on helping students reach their full potential. Mr. Cochran has also taught finance courses at Wofford College. He is a Liberty Fellow. In accepting the presidency at Spartanburg Methodist, Mr. Cochran stated:

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to serve Spartanburg Methodist College as its eighth president. I look forward to working with an extremely talented group of faculty and staff to create an atmosphere where ideas flourish, students are inspired to dream, and everyone achieves more together.”

Spartanburg Methodist College is the only two year college in South Carolina that combines the benefits of a private school education with the college experience of living on campus. Over 90% of the graduates transfer to continue their pursuit of a baccalaureate degree.

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Spartanburg Methodist College Announces New Appointees

Spartanburg Methodist College has announced new members of their 2015-2016 community of scholars which includes the following appointees:

Naeem AhmadNaeem Ahmad, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics. Ahmad holds a M.S. and Ph.D. from Kansas State University and previously taught at the University of West Georgia, University of Missouri as well as Kansas State University.

Dr. Jonathan KeislerJonathan Keisler, Ph.D., Professor of Economics. Keisler holds a B.S. and M.S. from Clemson University, M.S. from Georgia Southern University, and Ph.D. from Clemson University. His previous teaching experience includes Johnson College of Business and Economics, USC-Upstate, and Trident Technical College. Keisler has over 10 years of business experience with multiple industry leaders in service-based and product-based markets.

Kelly NeilKelly Neil, Ph.D., Professor of English. Neil earned her B.A. and M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis.  She will serve SMC as Professor of English and British Literature. Neil previously taught at Appalachian State University, University of California, Davis, and Guilford Technical College.

Dennis AsheDennis Ashe, MA, interim Professor of Spanish. Ashe earned a M.A. and B.A. in Spanish, as well as a B.A. in History from Appalachian State University.  His teaching experience includes Vincennes University, North Greenville College, Texas Tech University and Appalachian State University.

Father CassFather A. Edmund Cass, interim Professor of Art. Cass holds a M.A. and B.A. from University of South Carolina. Cass is also the Presiding Bishop of the Self-Ruled Old Catholic Church. His prior teaching experience includes USC-Upstate, SMC, and Spartanburg Technical College.

Adam SiegfriedAdam Siegfried, interim Professor of Chemistry. Siegfried completed his M.S. and is completing his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Clemson University. Siegfried holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Coker College and previously taught at Clemson University, Anderson University and Tri-County Technical College.

Karen CraigKaren Craig, Adjunct Professor of English. Craig holds a M.Ed. in Education with a concentration in English from Converse College and a B.A. in English from Winthrop University. Craig has prior teaching experience with Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg County Districts 3, 6, and 7.

Barbara DelacBarbara Delac, Adjunct Professor of English. Delac holds a M.Ed. in English from State University of West Georgia and a B.A. in English from University of Akron. Her teaching experience includes A.P. English, District 2, USC-Upstate, Liberty County and Cobb County, GA Public Schools, Bethel, CT Public Schools, and Loudon County, VA Public Schools.

Jerry GilsdorfGerald “Jerry” Gilsdorf, Adjunct Professor of Sport Management. Gilsdorf earned his Doctorate of Education in Sports Management from United States Sports Academy, his M.S. in Kinesiology from University of Illinois at Chicago, and his B.A. in Secondary Education from Judson College. Gilsdorf currently teaches at Gardner-Webb University, and previously taught at Tusculum College, Tabor College, and Wheaton College.

Neill HanceNeill Hance, Adjunct Professor of Public Speaking and Director of SMC Theatre. Hance holds a M.A. in Drama with a Directing emphasis from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and B.A. from Furman University.  His teaching experience includes USC-Upstate, Greenville Technical College, Newberry College, USC-Union, Spartanburg Community College, Furman University, and Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville, SC.

Cecelia KapitanCecelia Kapitan, Adjunct Professor of Public Speaking. Kapitan earned her M.A. from University of Oklahoma, B.A. from California State University, and A.A. from El Camino College. She previously taught at Greenville Technical College, State College of Florida, University of South Florida, Marshall University, University of Charleston, WV, and Walters State College.

Robyn ZimmermanRobyn Zimmerman, Adjunct Professor of Public Speaking. Zimmerman holds a M.A. in Communications from The University of Michigan and a B.A. in Speech from Florida State University. Her teaching experience includes USC-Upstate, Greenville Technical College, Furman University, Columbia College, Midlands Technical College and Pima Community College.  Zimmerman previously served as Greenville Health System, Director of Public and Community Relations; SC Department of Juvenile Justice Deputy Director of Communications; Press Secretary for the Governor of SC; as well as an on-air talent, newscaster, anchor, producer and reporter.

Jacob Balmer Jacob Balmer, Physical Science lab assistant. Balmer is majoring in Biology with a concentration is Medical Humanities at Wofford College. He has served as teaching assistant in the Wofford Chemistry department since September 2013.

Robin CarterRobin Carter, Biology lab assistant.  Carter holds a M.A. in Biology from University of Alabama Huntsville and a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Troy State University. Carter previously taught at Greenville Tech and the Palmetto State E-cademy, and J.L. Mann Academy.

Dr. Ann Bowles, Vice President of Academic Affairs at SMC, stated “our college community is pleased to welcome new colleagues who join us in our commitment to teaching and engaging our students in the learning process.  We are very excited to have these dynamic folks on our team.”


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SMC Convocation Address to focus on Educating the Professor

Spartanburg Methodist College will mark the official start of the 2015-2016 academic year with its annual convocation ceremony to be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, September 2.  Convocation, the celebration to welcome new students and prepare the campus to move into a successful academic year, will feature Dr. Katherine Davis Cann as the program’s keynote speaker.

Cann, SMC’s Professor of History and Chair of the Social Science Division, is a highly respected professor, researcher, author and historian.  Her meticulous work in researching and articulating the history of both Spartanburg Methodist College and South Carolina has preserved history in ways that will forever enable others to understand their value and appreciate their ongoing significance.

A graduate of Lander University, Cann holds advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina (MA in History) and the University of South Carolina (PhD in History).  Cann has called Spartanburg Methodist College home since 1981 and during that same time, has written several articles and books, Common Ties, A History of Textile Industrial Institute, Spartanburg Junior College and Spartanburg Methodist College (Hub City Press) and Turning Point, The American Revolution in the Spartan District (Hub City Press) about Spartanburg Methodist as well as the Upstate.

Cann’s convocation address will focus on her 34 years of teaching, and the wisdom her students have imparted her. “Last spring Dr. Cann announced she would be retiring at the end of the Fall 2015 semester. The ripple effect of this revelation inspired us to ask Dr. Cann to speak at this year’s convocation. Without question, Dr. Cann’s amusing take on her decades spent in the classroom will be priceless,” shared Dr. Ann Bowles, Vice President of Academic Affairs for SMC.

Stephanie Ann Smith VISTA Volunteer

SMC Teams with AmeriCorps VISTA to Expand A Day Into A Year

For the past 14 consecutive years, SMC kicked off the academic school year with their coveted Freshman Day of Service. The one day event involved entering freshman, divided into small groups led by a faculty/staff member and two sophomores, who were sent to schools, churches, soup kitchens, shelters assisting children, the elderly, the environment, and animals, assisting with cleaning, painting, cooking, socializing, landscaping and any other tasks the service organization might need.  Beginning in 2015, that “day” of service will be turned into a “year” of service opportunities.

Candice Sloan, Chaplain and Adjunct Professor of Religion at SMC, and the SMC Service Committee were charged with planning the Freshman Day of Service. Last year they evaluated the event, which had reached maximum capacity (too many students to work efficiently for organizations), student satisfaction, the level of 1-day effectiveness, and the desire of students for more in-depth volunteer opportunities and decided to go in a new direction.  Upon the Committee’s recommendation, SMC reallocated resources from the Day of Service and with the assistance of the South Carolina Campus Compact was able to secure an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer for the upcoming 2015-2016 Academic Year.

Americorps VistaVISTA , founded in 1965 as a national service program to fight poverty in America, was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993.  Today, more than 46 million Americans live in poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA taps the skills, talents and passion of more than 7,000 Americans annually to support community efforts to overcome poverty.  VISTA members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.

Stephanie Smith, from Florence, SC, will be the AmeriCorps VISTA serving SMC. Smith holds an M.A. in English, Concentration in Creative Writing Fiction, from East Carolina University, Greenville, NC and a B.A. in English, Minor in Creative Writing, from Francis Marion University. Smith shared she “is passionate and committed to the mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty and looks forward to making a tangible difference and finding the fulfillment that comes from using your knowledge and skills to help those in disadvantaged circumstances turn their dreams into reality.”

According to Sloan, “Smith’s primary job will be to encourage volunteerism and incorporate creative service-learning into the SMC curriculum as well as co-curricular activities. We are hoping Stephanie will be a bridge to the neighboring Arcadia community and the SMC community.”  Smith will work with Arcadia Elementary School and Arch Ministries, an afterschool program for children at Arcadia Elementary.  The majority of students at Arcadia Elementary School come from low-income families, with 99 percent receiving free or reduced lunch. About 80 percent are Hispanic, and many have parents who speak little or no English.


“Smith’s ability to foster ongoing SMC volunteer opportunities (such as mentoring, tutoring, etc.) should increase education levels in the Arcadia community and show elementary children college IS a real possibility.   Likewise, it is hoped SMC students will in turn, value their college experience and appreciate their coursework by the opportunity to utilize their skills and abilities in projects with children and their families at the school and at Arch Ministries. Bringing SMC’s founding father, Dr. David English Camak’s vision, ‘providing resources for education and for life,’ full circle,” shared Sloan.

Rep. Donna Hicks

SC Representative Donna Hicks was featured speaker at SMC Honor Code Signing

Spartanburg Methodist College welcomed South Carolina District 37 Representative Donna C. Hicks as the featured speaker at the College’s Honor Code signing on Monday, August 17.

The SMC Honor Code Signing is a time honored tradition where the campus pauses to recognize the importance of honor and truthfulness and reflect on what that means to members of the SMC community.DSC_0746

Student Government President, sophomore Shameia Rosier of Greenville, SC, led the reading of the SMC Honor Code, which illustrates the basic expectations regarding social and academic behavior for faculty, staff and students, the importance of truthfulness, academic and personal integrity, intellectual honesty, respect for the educational process; and respect for the individual.   In her remarks regarding the significance of the students signing of the Honor Code, Rep. Hicks referenced Proverbs 21:21 “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor.”

Rep. Hicks touched on recent events in Charleston and how a poem she read in college regarding the bombing of a church in Birmingham came full circle for her when she learned of the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church that took the life of her colleague, State Senator Clementa C. Pinckney.

Rep. Hicks recounted the events of those 22 days, 13 hours of political negotiations, and the 10 minutes it took to lower the Confederate flag, and shared how she, and fellow South Carolinians, were directed to stand for what was right.  She challenged the assembly of SMC students, faculty and staff to “do the right thing for the right reason at the right time” and ended her presentation with a question “what will you do with your opportunity?”

Rep. Hicks, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, is a business owner and resident of Boiling Springs, SC. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds two degrees from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Rep. Hicks is an active community leader: a graduate of Leadership Spartanburg and Leadership South Carolina; a member of the Board of Directors for Upstate Family Resource Center, the Boiling Springs Lions Club and the Business Association of Boiling Springs; in addition, she is the past President and Regional Director of the Jaycees. DSC_0740

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Freshman Students Choose SMC for Immediate Engagement and Long-Term Success

Spartanburg Methodist College will move close to 600 students into the College’s seven residence halls beginning on Saturday, August 15 when incoming freshman arrive, and on Monday, August 17 when sophomores return to campus.

SMC is South Carolina’s only private, residential college exclusively for freshmen and sophomore students. That fact is the reason many high school graduates choose the small, close-knit community of students, faculty and staff which is SMC. Another key reason is that SMC enrolls over 73% of students with 3.0 or higher GPA’s, and rewards them with SMC Scholar financial packages. In fact, SMC financial aid packages, including over $14 million in scholarships awarded each year, help 98% of SMC students with the cost of housing and tuition.

The College’s intimate level of exclusivity means SMC’s 500+ incoming freshman class, will be immediately immersed into a values-oriented, student-centered atmosphere that encourages academic excellence, intellectual exploration, social awareness, and character development within the liberal arts tradition. SMC’s student-faculty ratio of 19:1 allows students to know professors personally and immediately engage in the classroom.

For many students, figuring out what they want to study in college (as well as what they actually want to do for the rest of their lives) is difficult. SMC provides the time and support freshman and sophomore students need to sort through their many options; and with one of the most comprehensive career mentoring and field of study placement programs around, 87% of students that graduate from SMC continue their education. SMC has transfer agreements with over 200+ colleges and universities to allow for seamless transitions.

SMC has been awarded an Advance SC grant to provide incoming freshman students the opportunity to participate in a pilot interest/career identifying assessment program based on the Strong Interest Inventory. The program, entitled Pioneer Pathways, is directed by Kathleen Brown, SMC’s Director of Learning Community and Director of Freshman Year Experience, who also serves as Adjunct Professor of Biology. According to Brown, “the inventory will be used to help identify each student’s area of strength and interest. Results will then be provided to the student and their advisor, giving them the tools to select courses that will strengthen their choice of majors. Students will also have the opportunity to intern at businesses and organizations during the summer following their freshman year to help verify that they have made the correct choice for the area of study they plan to focus on during the remainder of the college career. Upon successful completion of the internship, a $1500 scholarship will be awarded for use in the fall of 2016 at SMC or any transfer institution.”

“Spartanburg Methodist College is committed to building our students’ strengths and our dedicated faculty make students excited about their futures. SMC’s overall goal is the development of engaged students into successful, healthy and happy individuals who thrive performing meaningful work and contributing to society,” summed up Brown.

Class of 2015

Interesting facts about the Incoming Freshman Class @ Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg Methodist College’s 2015 incoming freshman class, most of whom were born in 1993 to parents who could always get pregnant – regardless of age, arrived on the scene as the Internet merged into the fast lane of the information highway and electric cars hummed in relative silence on actual roads. Amazon is their “go to source” for everything; music has always been available via free downloads; they share everything publicly – they text to vote for their favorite entertainers or break up with their significant other…they have grown up on websites and cell phones.

The Mindset List* for the Class of 2015 (the SMC condensed version)

  1. Unlike their older siblings, they spent bedtime on their backs until they learned to roll over.
  2. States and Velcro-parents have always required they wear bike helmets.
  3. Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.
  4. Public schools have always made space available for advertising.
  5. While they’ve been playing outside, their parents have always worried about nasty new bugs borne by birds and mosquitoes.
  6. Most have grown up with a faux Christmas Tree in the house at the holidays.
  7. American tax forms, automated customer service, etc. have always been available in Spanish.
  8. Refer to LBJ, and they might assume you’re talking about LeBron James.
  9. They’ve always wanted to be like Shaq or Kobe: Michael Who?
  10. We have never asked, and they have never had to tell.
  11. “Yadda, yadda, yadda” has always come in handy to make long stories short.
  12. Arnold Palmer has always been a drink.
  13. No state has ever failed to observe Martin Luther King Day.
  14. They have been inspired to actually cook by watching the Food Channel!
  15. They won’t go near a retailer that lacks a website – especially if it isn’t mobile friendly.

*Since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college each fall. The creation of Beloit’s former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation.

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SMC Psi Beta chapter earns Chapter Excellence Award for Fourth Consecutive Year

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 2014-15. Few of the nation’s Psi Beta chapters achieve this level of distinction, however, this is the fourth consecutive year that SMC Psi Beta garnered this prestigious national award.

The SMC Psi Beta chapter, chartered on September 1, 1988, is under the direction of Dr. Mary Jane Farmer, professor of psychology. She is assisted by Pete Aylor, psychology professor and Director of SMC’s Counseling Center and Sue Onken, college counselor. “I feel grateful and blessed. We cannot achieve this without the loving, dedicated and professional support of Mr. Aylor and Mrs. Onken and of course, the elected student officers of Psi Beta, Victoria Shaw (President), Matt Bishop (Vice President), and Brittany Del Moore (Secretary),” shared Dr. Mary Jane Farmer, who added, “I am looking forward to another successful year for SMC PSI BETA.”

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.

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. Over 450 SMC students have achieved life-time membership to Psi Beta.

During the 2014-2015 academic year, SMC’s Psi Beta Seminar Series focused on innovative programming that had wide spread impact on the campus. Seminars focused on the pervasive problem of eating disorders for both men and women; hands-on experience and education on the benefits of therapy dogs; understanding and stopping sexual assault; as well the development of mental health diagnosis and treatment over the past 40 years in SC and throughout the nation. SMC Psi Beta students also participated in the Viva Academia competition at the USC Upstate Symposium.

Eric McDonald, Interim President of Spartanburg Methodist College, stated “SMC is dedicated to providing outstanding educational opportunities for our students and the Psi Beta Chapter Excellence Award is yet another powerful acknowledgement of our successful commitment to scholarship, leadership, research, and community service.”