Indoor practice facility open for business

Clemson Football indoor practice facility

Clemson Football indoor practice facility

On Jan. 25, with the weather demonstrating the need for such a facility, fans and friends gathered to dedicate and tour the new Clemson Football Indoor Practice Facility, an 80,000-square-foot, $10 million structure. Adjacent to the football practice fields and the indoor track facility, it includes a full-sized synthetic turf football field. High above the field, coaches can view practice from a long platform. In order to simulate a gameday experience, there is a fully functional, game-ready scoreboard inside the facility along with four play-clocks and a video board equal to the size of the ones in Memorial Stadium.

It won’t be just the football team that uses the new facility; men’s and women’s soccer will share the strength and conditioning area and training room as well as equipment storage space.

Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich, who was nearly two months into his job at the time, said the hundreds who attended the ceremony demonstrated the passion that was the very reason he came to Clemson.

Erwin Center to support emphasis in advertising and communication

The Erwin Center

The Erwin Center

Thanks to a recent $1.05 million gift from Joe ’79 and Gretchen Erwin, co-founders of Erwin Penland Advertising, Clemson is now home to the Erwin Center for the Study of Advertising and Communication.

“Top companies, including most of our clients, are extremely proficient at developing more innovative and reliable products and services by using cutting-edge technology and insight-driven ingenuity,” said Joe Erwin. “The Erwin Center will help prepare future generations of marketers to similarly use information, technology and modeling methods to skillfully promote these products and services.”

Initially, the Erwins’ gift will provide up to five new courses to support a new emphasis area in advertising and communication for communication studies majors and as a minor to students in other majors. Many of the classes will be taught in collaboration with industry experts at Erwin Penland.

The communication studies department currently offers emphasis areas as diverse as sports communication, communication and the law, and health communication. Erwin said that he and Clemson representatives will be meeting with major brands, marketing agencies and other industry leaders across the country to solicit input aimed at ensuring that the center develops students who are uniquely qualified to drive the future of marketing communications.

Emeritus College celebrates 10 years of service

Emeritus College

Emeritus College


Beyond the active faculty, staff and students found on the Clemson campus, there is another group that plays an active part in scholarship and service to the University and the community. This year, Emeritus College at Clemson celebrates 10 years.

At many institutions, retired faculty organizations are focused on benefits such as ID cards, parking permits and access to library services. While those things are certainly appreciated by the 700 members of Clemson’s Emeritus College, the organization is much more than that. Their mission also includes supporting Clemson University’s teaching, research and outreach missions. These active retirees continue to research, travel, present papers and serve the community. They have served as mentors to international students, administered and graded language proficiency tests for international graduate students, raised funds to support the Emeritus College and the general University. Many were involved with a project of identifying the places and people in many photographs held in Clemson’s archives.

For more information about the Emeritus College, or its 10-year anniversary, go to clemson.edu/emerituscollege.

Duke Energy helps fund workforce development initiative

Automotive Engineering

Automotive Engineering



A $4.11 million grant from Duke Energy to Clemson’s Center for Workforce Development will fund initiatives in South Carolina to help provide a next-generation workforce in key cluster areas. The grant will be used to manage educational, research and outreach activities in support of workforce development and STEM education. The Center for Workforce Development will oversee distribution of these funds to partner institutions that include universities, technical colleges, K-12 institutions and STEM-oriented organizations through competitive grants, scholarships and internships.

The goal is to spur job growth by helping develop a labor force with specific skills in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — and specifically in advanced manufacturing to support South Carolina’s burgeoning manufacturing industry.“Duke Energy recognizes that workforce development and economic development go hand in hand,” said Clark Gillespy, Duke Energy state president – South Carolina. “The Center for Workforce Development, through its far-reaching partnerships, addresses the challenges of creating next-generation engineers, technicians and scientists so the region and nation can continue to be competitive in a global marketplace.”

The center’s e-learning initiatives focus on creating innovative educational tools — aligned with industry employment needs — to increase workforce capacity. The center also supports working professionals who wish to upgrade their skills and further their qualifications.

Burton contributes to history

Vernon Burton

Vernon Burton

History professor Vernon Burton was one of 10 historians invited to submit essays for the historical portfolio published by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies to mark the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Burton’s piece, “Building the Transcontinental Railroad,” gives an overview of the importance of the railroad and the impact it had on America as the country recovered from the Civil War. The portfolio was distributed at the presidential inauguration luncheon.

Architecture students install Sassafras Mountain overlook

Sassafras overlook

Sassafras overlook


From the summit of Sassafras Mountain, you can see Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

And now, thanks to a new overlook designed, constructed and installed by a team of graduate students in architecture and landscape architecture, visitors can enjoy that view.

The challenge was to provide a universally designed viewing platform accessible to all who visit the highest point in South Carolina, Pickens County and the Foothills Trail, according to Dan Harding, associate professor of architecture and director of the Community Research and Design Center at Clemson.

“The concept hinged on an idea that used a primary wood structure with a light, sky-blue-painted steel railing designed to leave visitors feeling as if they are floating over a wonderful rock out-cropping while remaining safely contained by the railing, which disappears into the expanding horizon,” Harding said.

Built entirely on campus, employing best practices associated with sustainable construction and resource management, the prefabricated overlook platform and the project components were transported to the job site by the design team with assistance from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. At the Sassafras parking area, about 80 feet in elevation below the top of Sassafras Mountain, the parts were efficiently reassembled over several days.

The Sassafras Mountain overlook can be accessed from S.C. State Road 199 or from the Foothills Trail.

Rogers named first-runner-up in Miss America competition

Ali Rogers

Ali Rogers

Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers is just as proud of Clemson as the University is of her. With a host of Clemson supporters in attendance, the Laurens native competed for the Miss America crown this past January. She was elated to make Top 15, but making it to first-runner-up was more than she could have imagined.

“Even the idea of competing for Miss America was bizarre to me, to be honest,” Rogers says.

Growing up, Rogers was more interested in sports than pageants, attending her first Clemson football game at only four weeks old. She became a freshman in the fall of 2010, continuing the family tradition.

She held a senator position in student government, interned in the football office and became a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. Those are just some of the things Rogers misses most while she finishes her duties as Miss South Carolina.

Those duties include traveling all over the state to schools, churches and organizations to give inspiring speeches and meet her fans.

That crown will expire this summer, and Rogers will return to Clemson in the fall to finish her degree in communication studies. Eventually, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree with the help of the Miss America scholarship money.

Summer offerings span the state for students K–12

Summer programs

Summer programs


Opportunities abound this summer at Clemson for young people ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors. An extensive program lineup matches just about every interest imaginable, from athletic camps and rigorous academic enrichment programs on campus to an array of recreational summer camps at sites around the state.

Clemson’s legacy of service to pre-collegiate youth audiences spans beyond a century, when the first 4-H club programs were organized. It’s a legacy that has evolved with the times, and with consistent emphasis on providing the most physically and emotionally safe environments possible for program participants and facilitators.

In 2008, before the Penn State tragedies rocked the nation, President James Barker commissioned a summer programs task force that recommended the development of a centralized system to oversee the operation of youth programs. Then in 2011, the Pre-collegiate Programs Office (PcPO) was created. The PcPO coordinates with faculty and staff to develop and plan all phases of youth program operations, then monitors to ensure they meet the University’s operating standards. These policies include background checks for all individuals working or volunteering to supervise youth, staff training protocols and emergency procedures, and a variety of other areas of risk management such as staff-to-student ratios, housing and transportation.

In 2013, the PcPO expects to support the operation of more than 1,000 youth programs, on and off campus, that will serve an estimated 45,000 young people.For a list of programs and registration information, visit clemson.edu/aspire. Or, contact Jacob Repokis, assistant director, Pre-Collegiate Programs Office, at wrepoki@clemson.edu or 864-656-5535.

University/military partnership benefits both

Field Scenario

Field Scenario

Units such as the U.S. Navy Reserve medical team that MaryBeth Hendricks ’95, M ’96 helps lead are the first responders for injured service men and women on the field of battle. When Hendricks’ team began envisioning what kind of training would provide the best preparation, what came to mind was the kind of training she received at Clemson, and her experience in the School of Nursing’s Clinical Lab and Resource Center. The center’s state-of-the-art learning environment closely simulates real-life experiences using technologically advanced mannequins that can be programmed to realistically mimic the symptoms of almost any health problem.

Hendricks, a nurse practitioner who received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clemson, and her team worked with assistant professor Tracy Fasolino to design a five-hour simulation session that, with the assistance of a number of nursing faculty, could be completed during scheduled drill weekends. The training took place in the fall, with scenarios ranging from a traumatic amputation to a cardiac event.

Collaboration with the military is nothing new for Clemson. Faculty from the Eugene T. Moore School of Education have been working with the S.C. Army National Guard in a decade-long partnership that has provided a convenient high-tech facility for weekend Guard training and education. The facility, which includes two-way interactive videoconferencing capabilities, also is used for University programs and classes, as well as for training more than 3,500 teachers in the statewide Reading Recovery Program that improves children’s literacy skills.

Clemson professor working to reduce deaths among infants with heart condition

Richard Figliola

Richard Figliola


Approximately 1,500 babies are born each year in the U.S. with an abnormal single ventricle heart condition. The corrective process, known as the Fontan circulation, involves three stages of surgery during the first few years of life to enable the heart to function with only one ventricle. The specific corrective process depends on several factors, including the heart’s development as the child grows, making it difficult for doctors to monitor progress and predict the next stage of treatment or the long-term effect of such treatments. The mortality rate is high due to the complexity of the surgery and a physician’s skill-set/experience needed to succeed.

Richard Figliola, professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering, is working to reduce this high mortality rate and improve available information used in the surgical decision made by physicians.

He and a team of physicians and engineering researchers spanning two continents have been awarded a $6 million award from the Leducq Foundation to develop 3-D modeling of the three surgical stages of single ventricle physiology. These models, which will be shared on a global network, will provide surgeons various predictive tools that they can use for better clinical bedside decisions.