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.[pullquote] “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.”[/pullquote]
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.

Comporium Inc. partners with Watt Family Innovation Center

The Watt Family Innovation Center

The Watt Family Innovation Center

An innovative South Carolina-based telecommunications company is partnering with the new Watt Family Innovation Center to transform student lives and campus academics. Comporium Inc. has pledged $3 million in financial support and in-kind products and services to the Watt Center and will be a Founding Innovation Partner in the new facility that fosters collaborative research activities, product use and demonstration, and philanthropic support.
“It is wonderful to have another South Carolina-based company on board as a Founding Innovation Partner for this incredible facility,” said President Clements. “Comporium is a world-class leader in telecommunications, and I am grateful for their support.”
Headquartered in Rock Hill, Comporium Inc. is a diversified telecommunications company that embraces innovation to provide voice, video, data, wireless and security products and services. Clemson’s faculty, staff and students historically have collaborated and partnered with Comporium in academic and research areas related to a wide spectrum of interest and business operations. This new relationship centers on a multi-faceted engagement that includes philanthropic support of students, faculty, equipment and operations in the new center.
“Comporium sees a great value in educating students in real-world collaboration to take a technologically advanced idea to the development of a practical application,” said Comporium President and CEO Bryant Barnes ’76. “We believe that the center’s role in fostering entrepreneurship and leadership with an emphasis in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) will serve the citizens of South Carolina. The Watt Center enables the connectivity of the Technology Incubator at Knowledge Park in Rock Hill and others to this network.”
Charles Watt, executive director of the Watt Center, said, “We are excited that Comporium has joined our elite level of Founding Innovation Partners. It is an outstanding family-owned company with corporate operations in Rock Hill.
“Since its original chartering in 1894, it has embraced delivery of innovative products and services that are provided in its telephones, data centers and connected security systems. The company has received numerous national, state, county and local awards for excellence in the telecommunications industry and for its contributions to academic and community activities in South Carolina.”
The Comporium gift is part of the $1 billion Will to Lead for Clemson capital campaign.
For more about the Watt Family Innovation Center, see the feature story in this CW Spring 2016.

Bowl games bring out the Orange

Orange Bowl Feeding 6The Orange Bowl and the National Championship this season put the spotlight on Clemson Clubs in the Miami and Phoenix areas. Both cities turned orange as Clemson fans showed up in mass for the games.
Orange-bedecked fans also visited the Grand Canyon in droves, making it look like it should be a Clemson attraction, rather than a national park.
Clubs in both cities, with the help of the Alumni Association, organized an array of activities that included service projects, tailgates, pep rallies and other pre-game events. Clemson alumni and fans so impressed the chair of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority that he sent a letter to South Carolina newspapers.
“Clemson may not have won the title, but the Tigers and their followers left a lasting and positive impression in the Valley of the Sun this week,” he wrote. “Local residents, business owners and dignitaries were so impressed with the way Clemson fans conducted themselves during the team’s first trip to the desert.”
Clemson fans are confident that it won’t be the last.

Construction begins on football operations facility

New Football facilityGround was broken in November for a new football complex that is expected to open in early 2017. The new 140,000 square foot, $55 million project, located next to the indoor practice facility and existing practice fields, will be financed completely by the athletic department
and IPTAY, including $19.5 million of athletic revenue bonds, along with private support.
“We are very excited and appreciative about this new day-to-day home of our program,” said Coach Dabo Swinney. “This complex will be one of the best in the nation and will allow us to continue our pursuit to be among the best programs in the country. We look forward to it being the home of Clemson football for a very long time.”
Coach Swinney describes the new complex as the “epitome of Clemson: fun, special and the best in the country.” To that end, one of the goals of the facility is to provide members of the football program and visitors with a unique Clemson experience. In addition to an indoor replica of the Hill and Howard’s Rock, the facility will include a career development and leadership center, a players’ lounge, locker rooms, training/rehab facility, weight room, nutrition center and dining facility, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices and a first-of-its-kind recruiting war room.
“This project will be a huge step forward not only for our football program but for each of our sports,” Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said. “We’ve begun studies on how best to utilize the WestZone to most effectively impact each of our student-athletes, and we sincerely appreciate the support of IPTAY and all of our donors who will make this new complex a reality.”


Stuckey celebrates 100th birthday with help from local Clemson club

Print 100th Birthday -70Al Stuckey ’36 of Hickory, N.C., hit an important milestone on October 31, and his family, friends and the Clemson family made sure it was celebrated in style. Stuckey, who holds the record for the living alumnus with the most consecutive years of giving to Clemson (currently at 81 years), turned 100 this year, and he did it surrounded by neighbors, friends, four generations of family and members of the Catawba Valley Clemson Club.
Before the evening was over, Stuckey had received the key to the city of Hickory, danced to “Tiger Rag” and joined in the Cadence Count. He was presented a football and framed Tiger Rag (both signed by Dabo Swinney), honored by the Catawba Valley Chapter of the Military Officers’ Association of America and serenaded by a local bluegrass band, the SugarLoaf Ramblers.
Kingston Residence, where Stuckey lives, hosted the party, coordinating with the Catawba Valley Clemson Club and his daughter Stephanie Chenault. A number of local alumni attended, including Adam Weeks ’73 (club president) and two members of the Class of 1950, Herman Smith and Theo Monroe. Kay Dodd ’78 led a club committee that helped with the event.
A resident of Hickory since 1962, Stuckey served 20 years in the military, including service in World War II and Korea. He taught high school for 24 years, and moved to Kingston in 2009 where, according to his daughter Stephanie, he loves to watch the Tigers play on TV with fellow alum Alex Corpening ’60, sing, dance, play his harmonica and lead everyone in his version of “Tiger Rag.”
Click on below for more pictures from the celebration.

Alumni Association names Jim Bull Volunteer of the Year

Jim Bull (left) receives the Volunteer of the Year award from Wil Brasington, executive director of Alumni Relations.

Jim Bull (left) receives the Volunteer of the Year award from Wil Brasington, executive director of Alumni Relations.

The  Alumni Association has honored Jim Bull of Chapin with the 2015 Frank Kellers III Volunteer of the Year Award, the highest and greatest expression of appreciation extended to an individual by the Alumni Association staff for outstanding service and volunteerism. Bull’s many contributions to the Alumni Association include serving as a multi-year officer for the Lexington County Clemson Club and volunteering with the Columbia Tigertown Bound Reception and the Lexington Prowl & Growl. Bull also is an IPTAY representative and chairs both the student engagement committee and marketing committee for the Board of Visitors. In the past year, he chaired the Columbia high school reception for students applying to Clemson and participated in nearly every student sendoff.
The Alumni Association has presented the Frank Kellers III Volunteer of the Year Award since 1988 to recognize individuals who have a passion for service and building the Clemson family. The award is named for Frank Kellers III ’57, longtime leader of the Northern California Clemson Club and tireless supporter of Clemson clubs around the world.

Telling the tales that make Clemson unique — and Solid Orange

Kara Robertson_012In Death Valley, a knitted tiger hat crowns one fan’s head. The student has painted a giant Tiger paw on her face, the only interruption on it being her giant smile. A camera click later, she will be a face of Clemson as part of an admissions brochure. She will show her Clemson spirit to thousands of prospective Tigers.
It’s a spirit that spoke to at least one. Kara Robertson received that brochure as a junior in high school. Before then, the Charlotte native had never heard much of Clemson. But when she saw that girl, Clemson became her number one choice. “She looked so happy. I told myself,
‘I want to be her, and I want to be there, at Clemson,’” Robertson said.
Four years later, Robertson has, in a way, become the girl in the Tiger hat: She is a voice of Clemson to future students. Not only has she been a front row fan at football games with her own face painted like a Tiger, she has spent her college career telling the Clemson story.
Since her second semester, Robertson has worked as a writer for Creative Services, which creates and manages much of Clemson’s marketing and branding materials. Intimidated when she first heard about it, she almost didn’t apply, but a deeper connection with the position changed her mind.
“I found out that the office also manages the admissions material. I told myself, ‘All right, you’re doing Creative Services,’” Robertson said. Eventually, her writing position became part of Clemson’s UPIC on-campus internship program. While her responsibilities occasionally include writing copy for brochures like the one she received, she mainly writes stories for the University’s website. She has also written for this magazine.
Her mentor throughout the internship has been Crystal Bennett, the University’s Web content developer. Bennett works with Robertson and other interns on developing their writing by encouraging creative critical thinking. Based on her experiences with Creative Services — and especially because of how much she has valued Bennett’s mentorship — Robertson thinks every student should have an opportunity at an on-campus internship.
But it’s Robertson’s uniquely Clemson persona that makes her such a good voice for Clemson. Like any good fan, Robertson is “All In” for her team. She carries an orange backpack and has a closet full of orange shirts. She’s never missed a home football game, and when students camped out for tickets, she was always out there with a tent. Her passion isn’t limited to the field; she also goes all out for basketball games and other sporting events.
She does more than cheer for her Tigers, though: She learns about real ones too. A former member of the Tigers for Tigers (T4T) organization, which seeks to protect and care for tigers in the wild, she went to India over spring break with a biodiversity class led by the faculty organizer of T4T.
She will be graduating in May with a double major in communication studies and English, then headed off to a job as a Web copywriter and website designer at an agency in Charlotte, N.C., where she’ll be working with telecom companies on digital marketing campaigns. But for all of her accomplishments outside of her job and her future in bigger markets, Robertson is extremely proud of her work as an undergrad.
“I love Clemson so much, and I’m honored to tell the stories of the students here,” said Robertson. “I hope that I’ve shared stories that make people love Clemson more.”
Note: This story was written by Leah VanSyckel, another member of the Class of 2016.