2023 Archive

ASPH award winner, Huda Falous

Public health student recognized for community engagement, research

December 21, 2023, Lauryn Jiles

Committed to advocacy, community engagement and research, public health senior Huda Falous is the recipient of the Arnold School’s 2023 Undergraduate Student Award in Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Building with a clock tower

2023: Year in review -- record enrollment, new construction and so much more

December 07, 2023, Marketing and Communications

It’s been a momentous year at the University of South Carolina. We welcomed a record-setting freshman class, renamed our law school, announced new research initiatives, hired new deans, held an investiture ceremony for President Amiridis — and so much more.

map of the ocean area south of massachusetts near the nantucket shoals

As the US begins to build offshore wind farms, scientists say many questions remain about impacts on the oceans and marine life

December 01, 2023, Erin L. Meyer-Gutbrod

As renewable energy production expands across the U.S., the environmental impacts of these new sources are receiving increased attention. The Conversation asked USC marine scientist Erin L. Meyer-Gutbrod and others to explain the key findings of a recent report on how offshore wind farms in the Nantucket Shoals region could affect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales.

Illustration of

Searching for hidden connections

November 13, 2023, Page Ivey

A team of researchers, including several in the College of Pharmacy, are hoping to use the computing power of artificial intelligence to find subtle connections among the hundreds of drug-therapy studies published each year. The researchers are mining data on approved drugs and their outcomes, particularly in patients with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders.

Gamecock Pharmacist IPE students

Collaboration, leadership break down barriers

November 13, 2023, Lauryn Jiles

USC’s Interprofessional Education program brings together students in the university’s 12 health science professional programs across six colleges and schools to help them have meaningful interactions with others training to be pharmacists, doctors, nurses, social workers, physical therapists and speech pathologists, among other fields.

Tick in test tube

New institute puts USC on map for vector-borne illness research

October 16, 2023, Hannah Cambre

The Institute of Infectious Disease Translational Research will allow public health researcher Melissa Nolan to operate complementary studies at labs based in Columbia, El Salvador and Brazil, putting USC on the map as an international hub for maternal and infant health research.

a jockey on horseback waves as two men walk beside the horse

History professor documents Latino excellence in horseracing

October 12, 2023, Page Ivey

The next time you watch a horse race, note the accents in the voices, read the names — not just the jockeys and grooms, but the trainers and owners. Chances are most of the people you see excelling in horseracing are Latino. “Over 80% of the people on the track throughout the second half of the 20th and into the 21st century are Latino,” says University of South Carolina history professor Gabrielle Kuenzli.

Sanaz Sadati wears safety glass in a lab with workers in lab coats in the background

Chemical engineering team pioneers 3D-printing techniques to mimic natural materials

September 27, 2023, Chris Horn

Replicating the shimmering iridescence of a butterfly wing, the hammer-like hardness of a mantis shrimp claw or the strength of mammalian cortical bone is no simple matter. But a chemical engineering scientist and her research team at the University of South Carolina are pioneering 3D-printing methods to create novel soft materials that mimic intricate nanostructures found in nature.

Julius Fridriksson stands outside with greenery in the background

Focus SC: New institutes will use cutting-edge research to solve South Carolina problems

September 19, 2023, Page Ivey

In May, the University of South Carolina announced that it will invest $10 million over the next four years in five new interdisciplinary research institutes that will address some of the Palmetto State’s biggest challenges, including health, education and water quality. USC Today talked with Vice President for Research Julius Fridriksson about the genesis and goals of the initiative.

Brynn Lynagh and classmate on Lake Titicaca

Transformative Peru winter session shapes student passions, career plans

August 31, 2023, Hannah Cambre

In 2021, a group of 20 students from across majors and class standings journeyed to Peru to explore the modern day capital city of Lima as well as the ancient Incan capital in Cusco and the sacred site of Machu Picchu. This year, another cohort will return for a winter session to explore the rich history and culture of Peru.

USC Cocky Statue

ICYMI: Ten big things happening at the university

August 30, 2023, Lauryn Jiles

The university never sleeps, but it does slow down a bit during the summer. With the start of the fall semester, here’s a reminder of some recent happenings that you might have missed, plus a heads up about some major upcoming events.

Destroyed homes and buildings in Lahaina on Aug. 10, 2023, in the aftermath of wildfires on western Maui, Hawaii. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images

Wildfires are a severe blow to Maui's tourism-based economy, but other iconic destinations have come back from similar disasters

August 11, 2023, Rich Harrill

Major wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui have killed dozens of people and caused heavy damage, particularly in the historic town of Lahaina, as of Aug. 10, 2023. Research professor Rich Harrill, an expert on hospitality and tourism, explains how such events affect places like Maui in the short and long terms.

Josh Hughes sits on a horse with mountains in the background in Kyrgyzstan

Change of plans: A canceled study abroad trip leads to new career goals

July 21, 2023, Hannah Cambre

One week before Josh Hughes planned to study abroad in Ukraine, his trip was canceled because of the escalating conflict with Russia. He was disappointed-- until a new opportunity arose in Kyrgyzstan. Now, he's returned to his host country on a Critical Language scholarship.

A man and a woman sit in a library, reading a magazine and newspaper.

Age Ready series teaches life skills to promote independence for older adults

July 18, 2023, Carol J.G. Ward

As Baby Boomers age, the number of older adult households is rapidly growing. Many of those planning for their retirement years are deciding there’s no place like home. Researchers from the College of Social Work teamed up with Richland Library to teach life skills that promote independence and allow individuals to age in a familiar space and environment, reducing long-term care costs and maintaining established routines.

a radar image of hurricane hugo making landfall in SC in 1989

USC geography graduates help guide state, nation through hurricane season

July 13, 2023, Page Ivey

Every summer, the South Carolina coast and the southeastern U.S. faces the threat of hurricanes that range in size from sustained winds of 74 mph to the state’s most catastrophic hurricane, Hugo in 1989 that resulted in $10 billion in damages. Helping minimize the damage from these storms is the job of several graduates of the University of South Carolina’s geography master’s program.

Amen Thompson, left, and his twin brother, Ausar, were selected fourth and fifth in the 2023 NBA draft. John Lamparski/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust

Overtime Elite - a private school, basketball league and media conglomerate

June 28, 2023, Jabari M. Evans

Amen and Ausar Thompson, the identical twin brothers who were just selected as the fourth and fifth picks, respectively, in the 2023 NBA draft. The duo symbolizes the transformative potential of Overtime Elite, which offers young athletes a new path to maximize their earning potential. Jabari M. Evans, assistant professor of race and media, writes about Overtime Elite for The Conversation.

The Titan submersible imploded on a dive to visit the wreck of the Titanic in June 2023. Ocean Gate / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Danger, prestige and authenticity draw thrill-seekers to adventure tourism

June 23, 2023, Scott Smith

The tragic news of the destruction of the Titan submersible has brought attention to the thrilling, dangerous and expensive world of extreme tourism. Researcher and professor Scott Smith who studies hospitality and tourism management, writes for The Conversation about adventure tourism and why more people are drawn to the experience.

An illustration/engraving of pulmonary vessels in a lung.

Grant supports innovative teaching methods across different disciplines

June 15, 2023, Téa Smith

The Center for Teaching Excellence’s Innovative Pedagogy Grant supports innovative teaching methods across different disciplines. The goal is to invest in the improvement of courses taught by faculty members who provide students with exemplary, highly engaging learning experiences, offered in an online, blended or traditional format.

An image of the QR code for this story with a bright green background.

COVID gave QR codes new life

June 14, 2023, Page Ivey

After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the hospitality and tourism industries in March 2020, businesses, particularly restaurants, encouraged customers to return, in part, by offering contactless menus. One key piece of that was the QR code — a technology created by a subsidiary of Toyota as a means of tracking its manufacturing processes.

Animals that shared the landscape with humans disappeared as the ice age ended. Mauricio Antón/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY

Forensic evidence suggests Paleo-Americans hunted mastodons, mammoths and other megafauna in eastern North America 13,000 years ago

June 14, 2023, Christopher R. Moore

The earliest people who lived in North America shared the landscape with huge animals. On any day these hunter-gatherers might encounter a giant, snarling saber-toothed cat ready to pounce, or a group of elephantlike mammoths stripping tree branches. Maybe a herd of giant bison would stampede past.

Frank Avignone poses in lab with a white lap coat on.

Physicist continues lifelong search for dark matter, 90 years in the making

June 13, 2023, Bryan Gentry

Frank Avignone is looking for dark matter ― the mysterious substance that makes up much of the universe. In a lab at the University of South Carolina, he shows off a spectrometer that he recently repaired with support from the National Science Foundation. Purchased for his lab more than 50 years ago, the device proved to be just what he needs for his newest experiment.

Terence Weik at the Kinsler cemetery site in Blythewood, S.C.

USC researcher's Black cemeteries project aims to restore lost ancestral connections

June 07, 2023, Rose Cisneros

For Terrance Weik, the gravesite of his great-grandmother was a sacred place: Her headstone memorialized a place where he could remember her and those who came before. Weik is working on research and preservation efforts at three burial grounds across South Carolina: sites in Blythewood, Daufuskie Island and Hilton Head.

A photo of a border collie with its tongue out, panting.

Research looks at pet-based marketing strategies

May 25, 2023, Megan Sexton

Darla Moore School of Business marketing associate professor Xiaojing Yang along with researchers from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, examined the effects of pet exposure on consumers’ subsequent judgments and decisions, even in ads that are not focused on pet products. 

A photo of a female athlete with a male athlete in the background.

Study explores the gendered dynamics of inspirational labor in sport

May 24, 2023, Téa Smith

Tarlan Chahardovali, an assistant professor in the University of South Carolina’s Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, and Christopher McLeod, an assistant professor at the University of Florida, have developed the concept of inspirational labor as part of a study exploring the extra work that professional female athletes do for the future of their sports.

A linear grey geometric pattern with a linear hexagon as the focal point.

Saskia Coenen Snyder explores the role of Jews in the late 19th century diamond trade.

May 22, 2023, Q&A by Craig Brandhorst

In “A Brilliant Commodity” (Oxford University Press), USC history and Jewish studies professor Saskia Coenen Snyder explores the diamond trade of the late 19th century and the critical role played by Jews at every level of an emerging international commodity market.

Mani Sockalingam stands in front a building.

Breakthrough Star Mani Sockalingam develops composite material systems that could benefit aerospace, automotive, defense sectors

May 17, 2023

Mani Sockalingam’s research supports the development of advanced composite material systems that could find application in the production of lightweight structures for the aerospace, automotive and defense sectors. He seeks to address fundamental scientific challenges at the intersection of materials-mechanics-manufacturing while mentoring students to conduct meaningful research.

melissa nolan stands outside a building

Breakthrough Star Melissa Nolan searches for innovative ways to curb impact of viral and insect-borne illness

May 16, 2023

Growing up in a poor area of North Georgia, Melissa Nolan saw the negative effects infectious disease could have on a community – and after working in Latin America, she saw how infectious disease interventions could mitigate these kinds of effects. At USC, the assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics is combining her domestic and foreign research interests for maximum impact.

Sarah Davis poses with her son, Sam.

Sarah Davis blazes trail for mothers pursuing Ph.D.'s

May 11, 2023, Abbey Smith

Sarah Davis’s endometriosis diagnosis spurred the NIH-funded researcher to pursue motherhood while completing her Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences. As she prepares to celebrate her first Mother’s Day, Davis reflects on what it means to have a successful academic career while starting a family.

anita nag stands outside a brick building

Breakthrough Star Anita Nag works to improve treatment of viruses like COVID-19

May 02, 2023

In the fall of 2019, newly hired USC Upstate chemistry professor Anita Nag was looking at the virus responsible for a 2002 SARS outbreak in China. Her hope? To understand how virus proteins suppress certain functions in their hosts to make it easier for the virus to reproduce. Within a few short months, her work took on great import as the world battled a slightly different version of the virus that causes COVID-19.

School girl hula-hooping in a gym setting with other classmates.

Public health researcher plays key role in project aimed at addressing K-12 fitness

April 27, 2023

Russell Pate, a public health professor and director of the Children's Physical Activity Research Group, played a key role in SC FitnessGram, a project led by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control that aims to evaluate and improve health-related fitness among public school students.

Chang Liu stands along a wall of windows

Breakthrough Star Chang Liu works in multidisciplinary teams to improve health care

April 26, 2023

Chang Liu entered the field of biomedical engineering as an undergraduate with the long-term goal of improving human health care through engineering solutions. Over the past 15 years, his research has touched on multiple life science disciplines, including biomedical engineering, molecular diagnostics, bio-nanotechnology and proteomics.

Smokestacks by Thomas Cooper Library

Graduation with Leadership Distinction alumni look back on pathways to success

April 21, 2023, Hannah Cambre

The Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning is celebrating the Graduation with Leadership Distinction Program's tenth anniversary. Take a look at some of the earliest graduates with leadership distinction.

A MIRC image of a Marine doing sit-ups.

Donors help USC bring Marine Corps history to life

April 19, 2023, Megan Sexton

University of South Carolina Libraries took something of a leap of faith when it partnered with the Marine Corps on a massive project to digitize 19,000 cans of film, documenting the operational history of the Corps throughout the 20th century. Thanks to donors Richard and Novelle Smith of Columbia, the effort to catalogue, store and digitize more than 2,000 hours of film received a significant boost.

A woman with arms outstretched doing yoga.

Exercise is Medicine Greenville (EIMG) provides model for health care providers

April 18, 2023, Téa Smith

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville has been awarded a $400,000 grant by The Duke Endowment to evaluate the implementation of Exercise is Medicine Greenville (EIMG), a physical health promotion model for health care providers. Exercise is Medicine Greenville is a patient-referral program through which highly qualified professionals work to improve the health and well-being of the community through physical activity, lifestyle changes and education.

Charlotte pollack stands on the horseshoe holding a large framed award

Sullivan Award winner excelled despite pandemic limitations

April 17, 2023, Communications and Marketing

Honors College senior Charlotte Ann Pollack did not let the pandemic stop her from excelling even when the worldwide shutdown significantly altered her plans. The Fort Mill, South Carolina, native is one of two winners of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award — the university’s highest student honor.

Robert Pokora stands on the horseshoe holding a large framed award

Sullivan Award winner leaves legacy of giving back

April 17, 2023, Communications and Marketing

Honors College senior Robert William Pokora III drew on his family’s experience with organ transplant to restart an organization at the University of South Carolina that advocates for people to sign up to be donors. The Greer, South Carolina, native is one of two winners of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award — the university’s highest student honor.

daniela friedman stands outside a building

Breakthrough Leadership Award winner Daniela Friedman shepherds researchers in Office for the Study of Aging

April 14, 2023

Daniela Friedman grew up watching her mother suffer with cancer and struggle to make sense of the complicated information she received about her diagnosis and treatment plan. Today, that experience drives Friedman’s efforts to improve how health information is communicated to older and diverse populations.

lines of people presenting and conversing at a convention

Discover USC

April 13, 2023, Reagin von Lehe

The Discover USC event showcases student research at the university, especially the work of seniors, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. These projects represent all disciplines in research, scholarship, leadership and creativity. Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the annual, systemwide showcase will be held 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 21 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Bobby Donalds leans on a large stack of document boxes.

Bringing civil rights history to life

February 22, 2023, Carol J.G. Ward

As a respected scholar of Southern history and African American culture, Bobby Donaldson has served as a consultant for museum exhibitions, archival collections, oral history initiatives, documentary films and historic preservation projects. He also has been recognized for his teaching and community outreach. He credits his parents and educators — from his elementary school librarian to a “drill sergeant” professor at Wesleyan University to his mentors and colleagues at USC — for inspiring his career.

red and white striped lighthouse at sea pines plantation

Fueling SC's top industry

February 17, 2023, Page Ivey

Tourism is the main driver of South Carolina’s economy, accounting for about 10 percent of jobs in the state and an estimated annual impact of $29 billion. The University of South Carolina helps keep this economic engine humming by preparing graduates of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management to take on key roles in a variety of businesses and by helping those businesses adapt and grow.

Multiple black and white  scans of a brain with red highlights.

USC's neuroscience research offers hope for a range of conditions

February 14, 2023

The University of South Carolina is focused on the brain. From autism and aphasia to Alzheimer’s and other related dementias, university researchers are working across several academic disciplines to better understand how the brain works and to develop solutions that will improve people’s health.

Doctoral Candidate, Constance Caddell goes through SC NAACP records.

New age treasure hunters reveal lost stories of Black life in South Carolina

February 14, 2023, Alexis Watts

New age treasure hunters, part of the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program, are saving crucial historical information buried in old publications that are being preserved and presented online. The newspapers reveal stories from the state’s Black residents and rural communities, often overlooked by larger news outlets. 

An environmental portrait of Lorie Donelle standing in front of the College of Nursing.

New nursing research chair has big aspirations for health care technology

February 07, 2023, Communications and Marketing

Virtual care is playing a bigger and bigger role in health care. Lorie Donelle, Emily Myrtle Smith Endowed Professor of Nursing, wants to make sure it’s not just efficient but also effective and ethical. The goal? To help people avoid misinformation and disinformation that can have negative impacts on their health care decisions.

An image of a time clock.

Social work researcher explores impact on those who want more work hours but don't get them

January 18, 2023, Page Ivey

As many as 10 percent of U.S. workers want more work hours than their companies are offering — a condition known as underemployment. College of Social Work professor Jaeseung Kim is investigating the economic and personal fallout of underemployment, including the consequences of erratic weekends, shift cancellations or lack of control over hours.

An illustration of hand holding a lightning rod.

USC researchers advancing transition to a new energy landscape

January 12, 2023, Megan Sexton

From policy-making surrounding cleaner energy technologies to researching better ways to make and store electricity to studying advanced nuclear materials for interplanetary space travel, University of South Carolina researchers are advancing the transition to a changing energy landscape.

The outline of a teacher in chalk on a blackboard.

Education professor's new book examines the chronic shortage of public school teachers

January 04, 2023, Craig Brandhorst

It’s no secret: public school teachers are leaving the profession at an alarming rate. “How Did We Get Here? The Decay of the Teaching Profession” (Information Age Publishing, 2022), edited by University of South Carolina associate professor of education Henry Tran and Iowa State University associate professor Douglas A. Smith, explores the causes and consequences of teacher attrition in South Carolina as a way to shed light on the larger crisis affecting America’s schools.