President Clements receives honorary degree from alma mater

InTheseHills_Clements UMBC GradPresident Clements may be a three-time alumnus of University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC), but he can now add a fourth degree to his resume. In May, he and Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust received honorary degrees from the institution during the spring commencement ceremonies. He is pictured here with UMBC president Freeman Hrabowski III.

UMBC is a member of the University of Maryland system and is a public research university with an enrollment of approximately 14,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Clements, who earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1985 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in operations analysis in 1991 and 1993, respectively, received an honorary doctorate of education and spoke at the graduate school commencement ceremony. Faust spoke at the undergraduate commencement ceremony and received an honorary doctorate of public service.

“I’m so pleased and honored to return to my alma mater to address the graduate students of the university that has significant personal meaning in my life.” Clements said. “I stood in their place not so very long ago, and I’m anxious to see how they will make a difference with the education they have received. UMBC is one of the most innovative universities in the country and highly regarded. A degree from this prestigious university will help open many doors for these new graduates.”

Immelt receives honorary doctorate at commencement

 

InTheseHills_ImmeltUniversity officials bestowed an honorary doctorate of humanities on General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey R. Immelt at the commencement ceremonies in May. Immelt, who spoke at the ceremony, was honored for his continued partnership with Clemson as well as his devotion to excellence in business and to improving the lives of citizens around the globe.

The ninth chair of GE, a post he’s held since Sept. 7, 2001, Immelt became an officer of GE in 1989 and joined the GE Capital board in 1997. He was chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Under Immelt’s leadership, GE has been named by Fortune magazine as “America’s Most Admired Company,” and he has repeatedly been named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” by American financial magazine Barron’s.

General Electric has generously and consistently supported education, technology and health care initiatives around the globe. Under Immelt’s leadership, GE has been a key partner with Clemson in the study of innovative technology and workforce development — on campus and in the innovation campuses across the state.

 

 

The Clemson Medallion

Clemson honors Barker and Bostic with University’s highest public honor

This spring, Clemson recognized two alumni — President Emeritus James Barker and businessman and trustee James E. Bostic Jr . — with its highest public honor, the Clemson Medallion. The Medallion is presented to individuals who have rendered notable and significant service and support to the University and who exemplify the dedication and foresight of its founder, Thomas Green Clemson.

The lives of both men began as Clemson students and their commitment to the University never waivered. Here are the 2016 Clemson Medallion winners.

 

James Barker

Medallion-James_BarkerOne Clemson. It’s a term that permeates Clemson vernacular, along with “Clemson family” and “All In.” But the two words together helped James Barker ’70 lay a foundation for a vision where he saw Clemson achieving more than ever as an institution.

“I am convinced that there is no university in America stronger than Clemson when we are ‘One Clemson.’… If we unite around the idea of Clemson, we have a future beyond our highest aspirations,” he said during his inauguration address.

And unite the campus he did. Clemson went from being ranked No. 38 among public universities to No. 21 during his term. Undergraduate applications increased from about 11,400 a year to more than 18,500. Scholarship support increased from $5.4 million to $13.8 million annually. Freshman retention went from 83 percent to 91 percent. More than 59,000 degrees were awarded during his time as president — representing 41 percent of all living alumni.

“Jim Barker is a man of integrity. He is a great visionary and great strategic planner. He leads with a core passion to put the students and their success first,” said Trustee E. Smyth McKissick III ’79, when interviewed about Barker’s presidency in 2013.

From student, alumnus, faculty member, dean, president and even parent — Barker’s seen Clemson from every perspective. “All of us who love Clemson will always be indebted to Jim Barker for his visionary leadership and service. It is an honor to present this well-deserved award to him,” said President Jim Clements.

His roles throughout the University and community are varied and active, including participating in IPTAY as an honorary life member; serving as president emeritus and professor in the School of Architecture; and serving at Fort Hill Presbyterian as an elder and choir member.

Under his administration, the Will to Lead campaign, which concluded successfully this summer, was launched with a $600 million goal and then re-launched with an ambitious and historic $1 billion goal.

 

 

James E. Bostic Jr.

Medallion-James_BosticWith $10 from his mother tucked into a Bible, James Bostic ’69, Ph.D. ’72 stepped off the bus from Marlboro County into the hills of Clemson. Since that day, Bostic’s legacy has included success in education and business, as well as philanthropic support for efforts to provide a more diverse campus.

Even as a White House Fellow in 1972-73, Bostic’s love of Clemson never faltered, according to retired Gen. Colin Powell, even if it wasn’t always endearing to others. The two met as the only minorities in the class, with Powell becoming like a big brother to Bostic.

“His life revolved around things colored orange, Tigers and basketball,” said Powell. “Only when he got married were his wife and I able to get the orange furniture and paintings out of his apartment, to his great distress.”

After receiving his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from Clemson, Bostic went on to serve as deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Agriculture until 1977. From there his business acumen gathered steam as he served 10 years with Riegel Textile Corporation before moving on to Georgia–Pacific Corporation, moving up through the ranks to the position of executive vice president in 2000 and retiring in 2005.

“He has volunteered his time and talents as a leader for the University,” said President Clements, “and he continues to lead by assisting us in our efforts to improve diversity and inclusion. I am extremely proud to honor him with this award.”

Bostic’s desire to pay it forward goes well beyond what’s listed on a resume. He and his wife helped fund the Edith H. and James E. Bostic Presidential Scholarship as part of the Harvey B. Gantt Scholars program for diversity scholarships. His name is also on the Dr. James E. Bostic Presidential Scholarship in the College of Engineering and Science and the James E. Bostic Endowed Leadership Program for Resident Assistants.

“Jim’s love for Clemson can’t be measured by what he has done but by the difference he has made in the lives of students and Clemson University as a whole,” said Bert Henderson, IPTAY/ Athletics Director of Gift Planning.

 

ILLUSTRATIONS BY DALE COCHRAN

 

 

Nursing program expanding with GHS partnership

July 17, 2013 - Clemson Nursing students with patient at Clemson Free Clinic

Clemson Nursing students with patient at Clemson Free Clinic

When it comes to health care, one thing is clear: We need nurses.

As the population ages and health care needs intensify, the demand for nurses is growing. The registered nurse workforce is expected to increase 16 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With this growth, the United States will need nearly 440,000 new nurses
by 2024.

Equal to the demand for nurses is the need for nurses with advanced training and education. The Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of nurses hold a bachelor’s degree by 2020 — a move to help the nursing workforce manage the increasing complexity of patients and the health care system.

Recognizing these needs, Clemson and Greenville Health System (GHS) are entering a unique, collaborative program expansion that will enable Clemson to increase the number of students accepted into its nursing program and expand student clinical placements within GHS.

With this partnership, entering freshmen in 2016 and beyond will have the opportunity to be part of one of two cohorts — the Clemson University School of Nursing or the Clemson University School of Nursing Greenville — beginning in the fall of their junior year.

Students in both cohorts will take general education and nursing foundation courses on Clemson’s main campus their freshman and sophomore years. Students in the Clemson University School of Nursing Greenville will complete clinical rotations during their junior and senior years at one of Greenville Health System’s seven campuses, while students in the Clemson University School of Nursing will complete clinical rotations at other health care systems across the Upstate.

By expanding clinical placements at GHS, the School of Nursing will be able to better meet enrollment demands. Historically, the School of Nursing has been able to enroll only about 8 percent of its applicants, but with the program expansion, Clemson hopes to double the enrollment over the next several years.

“Improving health in South Carolina is an important part of Clemson’s land-grant mission,” said Brett Wright, dean of the University’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, which houses Clemson’s nursing program. “We are excited about this collaboration with Greenville Health System that increases our capacity to prepare nurses, and we are grateful to all of our health system partners that give our students the best in clinical education. These efforts serve the well-being of people in South Carolina and beyond, and we are honored to be a part of the work.”

“Greenville Health System is excited to be a part of this strategic effort with Clemson that will positively affect both workforce needs and patient care,” says Brenda Thames, GHS vice president for academic and faculty affairs. “By working together, we will continue to meet the evolving health care needs of our community, state and nation.”

The nursing expansion is part of a continuing partnership between Clemson and Greenville Health System that is seeking to transform health care. Clemson has worked with GHS on health care research projects since 1990 and, in 2013, GHS and Clemson established a new health care partnership, naming the University the health system’s primary research collaborator.

Students from two cultures find common ground, understanding

Editor’s note: Jess Collins ’14 currently is serving as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Niš, Serbia. She wrote this article for us about a recent experience with Clemson students studying abroad in Serbia. 

InTheseHills_StudyAbroad-NisJanuary of 2016 marked the first semester-long Clemson study abroad trip to Belgrade, Serbia. Seven students from Clemson spent three and a half months studying at the University of Belgrade. As an alumna of the summer 2012 Balkan study abroad program and a current Fulbright ETA in Niš, Serbia (about three hours south of Belgrade), I was thrilled for the opportunity to initiate an academic exchange between my alma mater and students at the University of Niš. A grant from the U.S. Embassy in Serbia funded the exchange.

The first meeting between the students took place in Belgrade, and the task was for each Serbian student to write on the American perspective and vice versa, with the papers to be presented a few weeks later in Niš. The students were eager to meet, and together they chose topics of LGBT rights, women’s rights, sex education, millennial mentality, cultural-specific traditions, religion and nationalism/racism.

Serbian student Petar Milenkovic´ enjoyed both the interchange of ideas and the experience of sharing his own culture: “I found out how different problems that are existent in Serbia, in a greater degree, are tackled in America,” he said. “I also had the joy of being a teacher. I believe I brought my American partner some insight into our society and its problems, and that I gave her something to think about during her stay here.”

A few weeks later the Clemson students went to visit the Niš students. We were joined by U.S. Embassy staff and professors from the faculty. Students gave their presentations, which were followed by lively discussions on the presented topics. The Clemson students then had the opportunity to share coffee and kafana, a traditional Serbian dinner, with the Niš students, deepening their relationships through discussions about the two cultures.

“It was an amazing experience getting to meet such a smart group of like-minded individuals and building friendships that I am confident will last long into the future,” said Clemson student Ryan Bartley. “We were able to use each other as sounding boards to create a mutual understanding of each other’s perspectives and paradigms.”

Serbian student Milan Krstic´ offered a similar response: “The experience with the Clemson students was refreshing, both intellectually and when spending some free time we had together. The students were very keen to participate in the project and strove to learn about Serbian culture, and even the language. I’ve enjoyed hearing their comments about the politics in Serbia, given the fact they are ‘outside observers’ and political science majors.”

“For the students, both ours and Serbian, it was a great experience to try to understand each other’s culture,” said Vladimir Matic, one of the Clemson professors in charge of the program. “It is something that helped them open up their minds, and it will influence the rest of their lives. Our students came back enriched. Study Abroad exposes students to new experiences and different cultures. They understand better the world, but maybe more importantly themselves and what they want to do in their lives.”

Clemson’s political science department has an ongoing study abroad program in Serbia and the Balkans.
For more information, contact Jeff Peake at jpeake@clemson.edu.

Kosovo native visits Clemson for the first time to receive doctoral hood

IntheseHills_BalidemajA doctoral hood is a highly coveted garment in academia, so much so that one student was willing to travel nearly 5,000 miles to obtain the hood she had worked toward for years. Kosovo-native Albina Balidemaj’s visit to Clemson in May to attend her doctoral hooding ceremony also happened to be the first time she ever set foot on campus.

Balidemaj’s time in Clemson was short; she left for Kosovo the morning after the hooding ceremony so she could be back in time for the commencement ceremony at the Rochester Institute of Technology campus in Kosovo where she now works as manager for academic affairs. She said she was happy to finally see Clemson in person. “The final plans for the trip happened so fast I had coworkers who didn’t even know I left,” Balidemaj said. “I hope to spend more time in Clemson in the future; the campus is bigger than I expected, and it is so beautiful.”

This was not Balidemaj’s first trip to the United States. Her family came to the U.S. in 1999 as refugees fleeing the armed conflict between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Kosovo Liberation Army. Balidemaj attended the University of Minnesota Twin Cities to earn an undergraduate degree in clinical psychology. She returned to Kosovo in 2006 with the World Health Organization (WHO) to work with cognitively challenged children from the Roma community and ended up staying in her home country.

“When I returned to Kosovo the country was still transitioning and building back up,” Balidemaj said. “I decided to stay because of the work WHO and other local NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) were doing in the community.”

Balidemaj was attracted to the Ph.D. program in International Family and Community Studies at Clemson because of the program’s partnership in Albania with Marin Barleti University. After looking into the program online, Balidemaj met with Jim McDonell, director of the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life.

The program, its faculty and the tools it would afford her were reason enough for Balidemaj to pursue her doctorate through the program’s distance-learning blended format. Balidemaj’s doctoral hooding represents not only Clemson’s first doctoral degree to a student from Kosovo, but also the program’s first graduate to have a university appointment there.

“My background was in clinical psychology, but I wanted to be able to do more general research in the Balkans,” Balidemaj said. “The education I received at Clemson will allow me to focus on community interventions and affect public policy.”

Balidemaj’s dissertation was titled “Acculturation, ethnic identity and psychological well-being of Albanian-Americans in the United States,” and as such became a highly personal research experience for her. She explored how well refugees between the ages of 25 and 35 adapted to a new culture.

Mark Small, director of the graduate program at the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life, was Balidemaj’s major professor during her time in the program. He said Balidemaj, like other students who participated in the program from outside of the U.S., helped to enrich the experience for all students in the program by providing a first-hand account from a country undergoing democratic change.

“[Albina’s] curiosity and unique perspective made her a class favorite among professors,” Small said. “Her research was personal, a natural fit for our doctoral program and relevant to family and community transformation.”

NSF awards research fellowships to Clemson students

April 12, 2016 - CES students, Allison Jansto, Emily Thompson, Jennifer Wilson, Michelle Greenough, and Catherine McGough. They have won National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

CES students, Allison Jansto, Emily Thompson, Jennifer Wilson, Michelle Greenough, and Catherine McGough. They have won National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

Seven Clemson students have received graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation, and five others received honorable mention awards in the national competition. The NSF offers three-year graduate research fellowships to students in science, engineering, mathematics, technology and some social sciences. Each year, college seniors and early graduate students are invited to apply. Out of 17,000 applicants nationwide, 2,000 students won the prestigious awards.

These Clemson students received graduate research fellowships:

• Ryan Borem of Easley is a U. S. Army combat veteran and Ph.D. student in bioengineering. His research focuses on the development of a tissue engineering scaffold to assist in the repair and regeneration of intervertebral discs in people suffering from back pain.

• Michelle Greenough of Davis, Calif., is a Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering. She plans to develop a multilayer ceramic membrane to separate and then capture carbon dioxide gas. The aim of her research is to help reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

• Nora Harris of Rock Hill is a senior industrial engineering student. Her research will investigate how to encourage increased sustainability in the design process of buildings and infrastructure. She will begin a master’s program in civil engineering at Virginia Tech in the fall.

• Allison Jansto of Harmony, Pa., is a graduate student in chemical engineering. Her research focuses on investigating the relationship between the nanostructure, mechanical properties and performance of functional materials with a goal of better understanding the transport and mechanical properties of materials used in fuel cells and batteries.

• Catherine McGough of Charleston, W.Va., is a graduate student in engineering and science education. Her research goal is to identify how undergraduate engineering students’ future goals and motivations relate to how they solve problems in class. These findings will allow instructors to improve and personalize problem-solving instruction.

• Emily Thompson of Rochester, N.Y., is a senior physics major. Her research deals with particle physics. She is pursuing graduate work at the University of Bonn in Germany.

• Jennifer Wilson of Charlotte, N.C., is a senior majoring in plant and environmental science. Her research proposal focused on understanding how plants detect and respond to attack by fungal pathogens. Next year, she will begin pursuing a Ph.D. in plant pathology at Cornell University. Her future research will focus on the transmission of plant viruses by aphids.

 

Griffin to lead childhood obesity research as GHS Faculty Fellow

Sarah Griffin_014According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 percent of adolescents and close to 27 percent of low-income preschool children in South Carolina are already overweight or obese. Public health sciences faculty member Sarah Griffin is looking to be part of the solution. Recently named a Greenville Health System (GHS) Faculty Fellow, she will help lead GHS-Clemson research in childhood obesity and pediatric population health management.

Griffin will work with the GHS Children’s Hospital Department of Pediatrics to examine the effectiveness and costs of obesity prevention efforts associated with three GHS initiatives: the Greenville Memorial Childcare Center; the New Impact childhood obesity treatment program; and GHS health clinics at Berea, Lakeview and Tanglewood middle schools in Greenville.

“With ever-increasing childhood obesity rates, it is vital that researchers develop evidence-based prevention practices and provide scholarship on the effectiveness of these practices,” Griffin said. “Healthy interventions that change weight-related behavior and prevent or treat obesity benefit everyone: children, their families, health care systems and the community as a whole.”

Griffin is the third Clemson faculty member to be named a GHS Faculty Fellow. Each fellow is strategically embedded in a GHS department, shifting their focus from their regular teaching duties to developing a comprehensive research agenda with their GHS department.

 

Pilcher honored with Class of 1939 Award for Excellence

June Pilcher ClassOf39June J. Pilcher, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology, has been named the 2015 recipient of the 1939 Award for Excellence. The award, endowed by the Class of 1939, is presented annually to one distinguished member of the faculty “whose outstanding contributions for a five-year period have been judged by her/his peers to represent the highest achievement of service to the student body, University and community, state or nation.” With this award, Pilcher also becomes an honorary member of the class and is provided with a monetary award equal to the value of $5,000 in 1989 dollars.

Pilcher is passionately dedicated to teaching, which is also evidenced in her research with numerous graduate and undergraduate student collaborators. Pilcher has earned an international reputation for her research on the effects of sleep deprivation in humans and has recently added studying the effects of sedentary behavior on stress, health and well-being. She was selected as a Fellow by the Association for Psychological Science (the primary national association for research psychologists) and was the Fulbright-Freud Visiting Scholar 2011-2012 at the University of Vienna and the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, Austria. She is currently a candidate on the Fulbright Specialist Roster for Public/Global Health.

2016 Distinguished Service Award

DSA Award_024dEVERY YEAR THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION accepts nominations for the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a former student.

This year’s honorees are, as the name of the award says, a distinguished lot. They have been recognized by their peers professionally for impressive achievements. They have contributed to their communities both publicly and privately, serving on boards and volunteering without expectation of reward or recognition. They have stayed connected with Clemson, giving back in time and talent and resources to benefit current and future students.

At their core, more than anything else, these folks reflect those characteristics that define Clemson University. They are visionary, bold, competitive, determined and proud. They value family, tradition and loyalty. And they love orange. They are Tigers, through and through.

The pages of this magazine don’t contain enough space to list their many accomplishments and achievements or the numerous ways they have found to make their communities better places to live and Clemson a better place to learn. We’d have to double the pages to enumerate their activities as students and their involvement as alumni.

Here they are, this year’s Distinguished Service Award honorees, with just a sampling of what makes them stand out.

Bryant Barnes4aBryant Graves Barnes ’76
Rock Hill, South Carolina
President and CEO, Comporium

Quiet yet affirmative leadership

Bryant Barnes is the fourth generation of his family to lead Comporium, a Rock Hill-based telecommunications company, and his leadership has resulted in a dynamic, streamlined and progressive company. Under his leadership, Comporium partnered with the city of Rock Hill to transform an eyesore of an empty parking lot into Fountain Park and is now working to transform a vacant textile mill into a bustling mixed-use development. Barnes has been deeply involved with area charitable organizations in support of children, health care and education.

Under his leadership, Comporium also contributed $1 million in 2009 to the Optoelectronics Research Center of Economic Excellence in the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Barnes was one of the founding partners of the Barker Scholars Endowment, and the Barnes family contributed $1 million to repurpose the Sheep Barn at Clemson to be “The Barnes Center,” in honor of his father. Comporium is the latest Founding Innovation Partner of the University’s Watt Family Innovation Center, to which they have pledged $3 million in financial support and in-kind products and services.

 

Janine Bowen026aJanine Anthony Bowen ‘89, M ‘91
Atlanta, Georgia
Shareholder, LeClairRyan PC

Diplomatic problem solver

With a master’s in industrial engineering and experience working with Andersen Consulting and IBM, Janine Bowen went on to earn a law degree. She rose to partner at McKenna, Long & Aldridge, then founded JACK Attorneys and Advisors, a technology and intellectual property firm. The list of organizations she serves makes it clear that she has a strong commitment to the poor and homeless in her community.

In her Clemson involvement, Bowen exhibits what one colleague called “a remarkable and rare collaborative dynamic,” displaying an analytical approach that would allow her to identify potential problems and recommend solutions. She has been the face of the Clemson family to many students in industrial engineering, providing support financially and through volunteerism. She established an endowment for the department in 2009, and an endowment supporting the PEER (Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention) in 2011 in honor of her mother.

 

Grant Burns11aE. Grantland “Grant” Burns ’88
Greer, South Carolina
Vice president and general counsel, AFL

A leader through challenges

As an attorney with two prominent firms in Greenville, Grant Burns represented clients in trials and arbitrations in 20 states. He moved on to corporate practice with AFL, a telecommunications firm, along the way being named one of Greenville’s “Best and Brightest, 35 and Under.” He has broad community involvement, with membership on boards of organizations that provide housing, shelter and economic development.

He served as president of the Clemson Alumni Association during the transition that changed the group into a smaller Alumni Board and larger Alumni Council, leading that process with courage and foresight. One colleague commented that she did “not recall having seen someone who has had an impact [on Clemson] in such varied ways, prior to turning 50.” He has demonstrated his love for Clemson through the use of his time, the sharing of his talents and the gift of his resources.

 

Leslie Dunlap Callison02aLeslie Dunlap Callison ’81
Lexington, South Carolina
Community Technology Advisor, Connect South Carolina

Consensus builder

Leslie Callison has had a lasting impact on the future economic development and educational success of many counties in South Carolina through her collaborative approach to assisting them in achieving technology certification. Committed to her local community as well, she was a founding director of Columbia’s EdVenture Children’s Museum and extensively involved in supporting her children’s schools.

Her consensus building approach was essential as she chaired the task force charged with implementing a reorganization of the Clemson Alumni Association and its governance structure, resulting in the engagement of more volunteers and enhanced vitality and responsibility. She served as president of the Alumni Association the following year, a position her father also held. She has been a loyal and vocal defender of Clemson and is recognized in Columbia as “that woman who wears orange 365 days a year.”

 

Doug Richardson016aDouglas “Doug” Duke Richardson ‘64
Clemson, South Carolina
Retired, Director of Finance & Administration for Institutional Advancement and Treasurer, Clemson University Foundation

Humble servant leader

Doug Richardson brought what he had learned during his distinguished career in banking and consulting to a position at Clemson, leading the Clemson University Foundation to great achievement, establishing structures, formalizing procedures and methodologies, and stewarding significant growth of endowments. He helped lead the real estate acquisition, financing and development of CU-ICAR. He is a veteran, with tours of duty at the Quartermaster Depot in Philadelphia and in Vietnam. In his church, he has served as a leader, peacemaker, mentor for youth and bridge builder between persons of different backgrounds and perspectives.

Active on the Class of ‘64 reunion committee, Richardson, along with his wife Wilmer, has supported current and future students through a legacy gift for the class endowment, which supports the Academic Success Center and a scholarship endowment, and the Kappa Delta Chi Brotherhood Scholarship Endowment for students with financial needs.

 

“The Distinguished Service Award honors individuals who are dedicated to enhancing the quality and value of our University. I want to personally thank our award winners for giving so generously of their time and talents for professional and public service. Their personal accomplishments serve as a wonderful model for our current and future students.”

— Clemson President James P. Clements