Core Strength


Disaster doctor knows what it takes to endure.

At 2:04 p.m. EST on October 17, 1989, the “World Series Earthquake” struck the San Francisco Bay Area. As the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants went through their warm-ups, viewers at home watched in amazement as the Loma Prieta became the first major earthquake in the United States to have its initial jolt broadcast live on television.

Heavy equipment cranes and backhoes probe and lift debris from the crushed Interstate 880 freeway in Oakland, Ca. on Friday, Oct. 20, 1989. The Bay area was hit with a 7.1 earthquake on Tuesday, causing the two-level freeway to collapse. Over 250 persons were killed. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Heavy equipment cranes and backhoes probe and lift debris from the crushed Interstate 880 freeway in Oakland, Ca. on Friday, Oct. 20, 1989. The Bay area was hit with a 7.1 earthquake on Tuesday, causing the two-level freeway to collapse. Over 250 persons were killed. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

While instrumentation recorded the tremors, word went out among the civil engineering and geologic communities that a major event had taken place. Among those packing their bags was James R. Martin II, then a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech, now the chair of Clemson’s Glenn Department of Civil Engineering. This was to be his first major disaster assessment in the field, and he would be working with his doctoral adviser, Wayne Clough, an internationally known earthquake engineer who would eventually serve as president of Georgia Tech and secretary of the Smithsonian. As he traveled west, Martin had an opportunity to reflect on the winding road that had brought him to this particular place and time.

A firm foundation

As a kid growing up in Union, South Carolina, Martin’s family vacationed widely up and down the East Coast, traveling on the interstate system that took them south to Florida, north to New York and as far west as Ohio, visiting family and friends along the way. Martin was impressed with the vast ribbon of concrete and steel, with its smooth wide lanes and massive bridges. As impressive as the highway was, what impacted him just as much were the gigantic construction projects going on along the edge of the interstate, just outside the car windows. There were factories, shopping centers, dams and power plants — intricate and complex structures that fired Martin’s young imagination. “It was my mom who taught me to be present in the world,” Martin says. “She always said, ‘Pay attention to what’s going on around you; be a student of life.’ If I returned from a school field trip and couldn’t describe everything I’d seen that day in minute detail, she’d be very disappointed.”
His parents also taught (and illustrated by personal example) that a contributing citizen of the world had to move beyond observing to becoming involved. His father worked for the phone company, but also devoted a great deal of time to public service. James R. Martin Sr. was the first African-American elected to public office in Union County. He served 17 years on the Union County Council and the Catawba Regional Planning Council, and he worked closely with Sen. Strom Thurmond for many years to advance development of rural communities. His mother, Dora T. Martin, enjoyed a 38-year tenure as an educator and served 23 years on the Union County Council. A board member of the Catawba Regional Council of Governments, she was elected state president of the South Carolina Association of Regional Councils. [pullquote align=’left’ font=’oswald’ color=’#685C53′]“I grew up in a household where it was easy to be inspired,” says Martin. “Both of my parents were living examples of how we are called to service — to try to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”[/pullquote]

Dora and James Martin, 1999

Dora and James Martin, 1999

It isn’t surprising, then, to know that it was the impact on people that Martin noticed during his first field experience following the Loma Prieta earthquake. “The human element is really first and foremost,” he observes. “An earthquake or flood is a human tragedy first before it is a case history.”

Looking beyond the build

Field reconnaissance must be performed early in the aftermath of a natural disaster before cleanup efforts remove vital evidence. Researchers like Martin are typically concerned with the performance of civil infrastructure such as bridges, buildings, dams, ports and power plants. And the empirical field evidence reveals what worked and what did not.
Over time, Martin developed the belief that civil engineering has to embrace an understanding of social policy, in addition to mastering infrastructure’s technical requirements. He and his colleagues realized the need for a more multidisciplinary approach, which was the foundation for establishing the Disaster Risk Management Institute at Virginia Tech. This National Science Foundation-funded effort has helped establish an education and research environment that includes social and economic perspectives in investigating disaster risk resilience.

James Martin in Japan

James Martin in Japan

Martin represents a new maturity in terms of the discipline itself. “Traditionally, civil engineering has been involved with just the technical aspects of a project, but if you want to be part of the big decisions, you have to go beyond that,” he says. “When we talk about sustainable infrastructure, civil engineering has to be part of the big decisions — where a bridge is going to be built, how it’s going to be financed and who will be served by it. Sustainable infrastructure goes beyond just the engineering parameters that govern the design.”

A personal quake

In 2000, tremors of a completely different sort rocked Martin’s world. He noticed numbness in his legs after a workout. Over the course of the next few days, the numbness got progressively worse, and in two weeks he had lost about 50 percent of the movement and feeling in his legs. He began to notice problems with his vision. His reasoning and short-term memory began to falter. After exhaustive testing, he was officially diagnosed in late February 2000 with multiple sclerosis (MS). His condition worsened, and he required care for everyday living until he began to slowly regain the use of his hands. Eighteen months after the initial attack, he was able to hold a pen and scribble his name. It took another four years to really be able to write legibly and 10 years to regain fine motor skills for things like buttoning a shirt — a task that still can be a challenge.
MS can be debilitating, and it was clear to Martin early on that the disease has to be fought from every angle — physically, mentally and spiritually. Martin was committed to fighting the disease with all he had. He learned about diet and exercise, and explored Eastern approaches to healing. “Healing is about hard work — it’s tremendously hard,” he says. “But the important thing I’ve discovered is that if you really make up your mind to do something, I mean REALLY make up your mind to do something, you can do it.” In the 13 years since he was diagnosed, he has never missed a single day of a planned workout. Even if he gets home at 3:00 a.m. and has been up for 48 hours, he works out. There are no exceptions, ever.
His message of determined resolve is one that he has shared as a motivational speaker and one he wants to introduce to an even broader audience. Martin has completed two manuscripts. It’s Raining details how he dealt with the spiritual and emotional aspects of struggling with a disability. In Buying Time, he outlines the steps one must take to extend the quality of real life. His ultimate goal is to establish a foundation to help people deal with disabilities. “[pullquote align=’right’ font=’oswald’ color=’#685C53′]Most of us at some point are going to have some difficult bridge to cross, and we are going to be tested,” he says. “At that point, you have to reach down inside and bring out that inner strength you need to cross that bridge.[/pullquote] And we can’t bring out what we didn’t put in, so we need to constantly nurture the really important things.”
Martin has been drawing on his inner strength since the day he enrolled in the Citadel for his undergraduate degree. Being from Union always meant that Clemson was a choice for college, but he felt that the Citadel experience would present opportunities for growth, especially in terms of leadership. “Beyond the academics, I knew that the environment there, with its lack of diversity at the time, would be a little uncomfortable, but [pullquote align=’left’ font=’oswald’ color=’#685C53′]I’ve always felt that you have to be a little uncomfortable to grow, and if you are committed to growth you don’t care about going into places where you’re uncomfortable.[/pullquote]” At the time of his graduation, Martin was one of a handful of African-Americans in the class, and he was one of the first African-American engineering graduates at the Citadel. Diversity is important to Martin and as the first African-American department chair in the College of Engineering and Science, he sees his appointment as a milestone for the college and University.
“My welcome has been extremely warm and inviting, which I think illustrates Clemson’s commitment to a diverse faculty and staff, and by extension, a diverse student body,” he says. “It’s forward movement, and whether you are talking about personal challenges or academic advancement, what you look for is forward movement.”

Forward movement

Martin is working to achieve forward movement in Clemson’s Glenn Department of Civil Engineering as well. “We have a very good department,” he says. “And I am inviting faculty, students, staff and alumni to join me in an effort to establish a culture of greatness.” Martin points out that Clemson’s location along the I-85 corridor, coupled with its academic computing power, offers unique opportunities. “We live in the fastest growing area of the country right now,” he observes. “And Clemson’s cyber-infrastructure gives us the chance to put together big data for civil systems. We can make a positive global impact with the information and research we can develop.”
Had he stayed at Virginia Tech, the current academic year would have provided some sabbatical time for Martin, which he would have used to polish his manuscripts and refine his research. The opportunity here, though, was something he couldn’t pass up. Having an endowed department is one thing that attracted him to Clemson. Virginia Tech’s civil engineering department received an endowment when he was there, and it made a tremendous difference in what could be accomplished.
“Clemson’s civil engineering alumni are a passionate group,” he states. “From the first time I set foot on campus, I just had the feeling that this is where I am supposed to be, and they’ve reinforced that belief over and over. We have a chance to build something really solid, really special here. And we will.”

Backstage Pass


The curtain rises on a production of “Mamma Mia” to a packed house at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts. Three hours later, the three-song finale of “Mamma Mia!,” “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo” has even the most staid patrons standing and singing along to the music of ABBA, silly grins plastered on their faces.
It was a production befitting the 20th anniversary of the Brooks Center. The acting was superb, the music almost magical. And the technical support for the production came off without a hitch. So much so, that it was an invisible part of the production. Just like it’s meant to be.
But that’s where you find, as Paul Harvey used to say, the “rest of the story.”

Putting it together

Clemson was the first stop on a series of one- and two-night shows for the cast and crew, led by executive producer Stephen Gabriel of Work Light Productions. But they didn’t just come to Clemson for the production itself. They spent the previous ten days “teching” the show — putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, as Gabriel says. It’s the time to make sure the light, sound and scenic details get ironed out and to figure out how the set will break down and set up in the cities they’ll travel to during their 10-month national tour.
This is Gabriel’s seventh time to bring a production to Clemson. The relationship began eight years ago when he met Mickey Harder, director of the Brooks Center, in New York at a meeting of the Association of Arts Presenters. Harder was on the hunt for theatrical bookings; Gabriel was looking for a venue to tech a family musical.
Gabriel offered a challenge: Could Harder provide eight of Clemson’s very best students to work with them from 8 a.m. until midnight for 10 days, free use of the theatre and lodging at a local motel for the crew in exchange for two productions at the Brooks Center?
Harder’s response? “We can do it.”
She laughs, thinking back. “I had no more idea if we could do it or not. Have you had those moments in your life when you knew that this is not going to come again? I knew this was a golden opportunity for what we are trying to do at Clemson, so I decided — I’m going to tell him ‘yes.’ And then I’m going to go back and tell these kids they’re going to have to work their buns off.”
That year, and six times since, Gabriel has “teched” his productions at the Brooks Center. And Clemson’s performing arts students have been right in the midst of it. [pullquote align=’left’ font=’chunk’ color=’#86898C’]For 10 very intense days — from 8 a.m. until midnight — students work in the costuming shop, problem-solve with the sound crew, set up and adjust lights, work on the set and learn what it takes to re-work a Broadway show for smaller venues and constant travel. It’s a chance to learn from professionals and find out what it takes to translate the knowledge they’ve learned into skills of the trade.[/pullquote]
What the students get out of these two weeks is more than just hands-on experience. Harder and David Hartmann, chair of the performing arts department, set up Q&A sessions with members of the company so that all the majors, not just those working with the show, can get answers to questions like, “What’s it like to travel with a show?” and “What does it do to relationships?” or “What do you look for in a technician?”
It gives students a chance, says Hartmann, to actually talk to the producer, designer and technicians, to help them make career decisions and answer the basic question: “Do I really want to go on the road?”
Joshua Carter, a senior from the Chicago area, spent the 10 days as a production assistant assigned to the resident director (Martha Banta) and the choreographer (Ryan Sander). “It was my job,” he says, “to make sure that they had everything they needed while here in Clemson.” That involved everything from arranging meals to coffee runs to serving as a tour guide and problem-solver. What it also involved, he says, was “direct access to these two amazing individuals. I could observe their process and really see how they worked. They were incredibly nice and approachable and encouraged me to ask questions.”

Alumni on the road

Almost 20 graduates of the program have gone on to work for Work Light Productions, a result of contacts made through this collaboration. Gabriel begins to tick off names: “Our head audio on this tour, Jeff Human, is a graduate. Our associate production supervisor, Mike East, is a graduate. This past year on the tour of ‘American Idiot,’ the head carpenter, Eric Stewart, was from Clemson. We have put so many grads on our tour, and our production supervisor has brought even more to Spoleto.”
Human, a 2007 graduate, knows the reality of being on the road. Based in Chicago, he travels the world and averages less than a week a month at home. For this production, he gets the opportunity to travel with his fiancé, also a member of the crew, but that doesn’t always happen. He and East were members of that first group of students who “worked their buns off” when Gabriel brought his first production, “Broadway Junior on Tour,” to Clemson.
Both cite the contacts they made as they talk about their professional journeys. Human interned with Work Light in 2005-06, then went on to work for Technical Theater Solutions (TTS) in Charleston, which partners with Work Light to manage the technical part of the production and also handles the technical aspects for Spoleto. East’s story is similar: He worked on the light board in Work Light’s first production at Clemson, then worked Spoleto in the summer with TTS. While he was in graduate school, he got a job offer from TTS and headed back to Charleston, where he is now vice president of operations. And that job brought him full circle: back to this production of “Mamma Mia,” overseeing the technical crew and the Clemson students.

Getting a foot in the door

It’s not an easy thing for these students to participate in this two-week merging of the professional with the academic, as Hartmann describes it. They’re responsible for contacting their other professors across campus, making provisions for getting notes, taking tests and keeping up with academic work that doesn’t stop just because they have this opportunity.
But the tradeoffs are tremendous, says Hartmann. “It has led to jobs,” he says, music to every parent’s ear. Hartmann describes the intense two-week experience as a professional internship, where the students get a sense of what it takes to work in the world of theater.
Gabriel explains it this way: “You learn at a certain curve when you’re in school, and then you learn exponentially in the first few months when you’re applying it professionally. [pullquote align=’right’ font=’chunk’ color=’#86898C’]The value to the students here is they get two weeks of the real world. Everything they’ve been learning — this is how it is applied. Hopefully, they walk away with an understanding of the level that they have to perform at and the speed of it.”[/pullquote]
But the students get more than just two weeks of experience; they get connections that are crucial to their future. “You have to have knowledge, but you have to have connections to get a foot in the door,” says Harder.

Youth and enthusiasm … and opportunity

That snap decision on Harder’s part eight years ago began a successful partnership. What Gabriel didn’t know was that the performing arts program at Clemson was very young, having just graduated its first class of 12. What Harder didn’t realize was that Gabriel was in the midst of forming his company for the first time.
Both have grown and changed. Gabriel’s company has transitioned to taking Broadway musicals on the road; Clemson’s performing arts program, with concentrations in music, audio technology and theatre, has sent 134 graduates out into the world and currently enrolls 97.
Taking a Broadway show on the road is hard work, and it takes a lot of hands. With this particular production, it’s college students who round out the crew in preparing and teching the show. But for Gabriel, that’s not a compromise.
“We’ve found that the level of the training these students get makes it so that we don’t miss a beat,” he says. His experience with Clemson students has also taught him that “young and enthusiastic makes up for what might be lacking in experience.” He recalls a time during the production of “Frog and Toad,” when an audio problem had them all stumped. “This young, kind of geeky looking guy walked up and said, ‘If you do this, that and the other, it will work.’”
That young guy was Robert Allen ’08, who after a one-year internship with the Brooks Center, went on the road with Gabriel and Work Light Productions as part of the crew for “Avenue Q.” He’s recently finished up touring the U.S. and Canada for a year, running video for the show “American Idiot.” Now, Gabriel says, Allen “walks in the room and he’s very commanding. He knows how to solve problems.”
“We learned early on,” says Gabriel, “that you can find some young, very talented people, and if you give them opportunity, most of them rise to the occasion.”

From a Student Perspective

Mamma Mia
Kelsey Bailey
Year: Senior (graduating May 2014)
Hometown: Chamblee, Georgia
Major: Production Studies in Performing Arts: Theatre
“When I was a senior in high school, I had the experience to come see “Avenue Q” in its second national tour while it was in “tech” at the Brooks Center. Since my cousin, Mike East, was a recent graduate from the Production Studies program at Clemson and working as a part of Technical Theatre Solutions, I was able to get a backstage view of what a show of that magnitude looked like. Meeting members of the crew and seeing how all the technical elements fit together reinforced how much I wanted to go into technical theatre.
Mama MiaAfter the performance, I stood and watched the beginning of the “load out” from the front of the stage. Itching to be up there doing the same thing, I knew I wanted to work on a production like this. Clemson was the only place I could find where I could experience working with a national tour while I was still in school. I didn’t need to look at any other universities after that show; I knew Clemson would be the perfect fit for me.
While working with “Mamma Mia,” I was on the props crew. I spent most days organizing, cleaning, repairing, inventorying and maintaining the props. During rehearsals and shows I was backstage as an assistant to the show’s head of props. I was in charge of tracking props and making sure actors got them in time.
Being able to work on props crew for this show reinforced my love for what I do. I learned to come up with creative and out-of-the-box solutions for problems and saw how professionals had done things as well. Just being a part of the internship gave me the confidence to see myself touring when I graduate.
A lot of us refer to this internship as a two-week job interview, because you have to bring your best to work all day every day, but for me they are the best two weeks of my year.”

A store lost in time

The red brick store that sits on 307 College Avenue hasn’t changed much in the 78 years since it was built. It’s one of the few Clemson landmarks that doesn’t get renovated, updated or even painted. The faded black sign on the front reads:


And when you push open the front door, you feel like you’ve wandered back in time to the days when your receipt was written on the brown paper bag that held your purchases.

The store got its start across the street in 1899. A member of the very first class of Clemson cadets, Isaac Leonard Keller left school after two years and opened Keller’s Store, stocking cadet uniform supplies. Legend has it that he could determine sizes and hems of uniforms without even measuring, and so he was given the nickname “Judge.” In 1918, he moved across the street into a wood-frame building, where the store remained until 1936, when the current brick building was erected.
The cadet uniforms might be a thing of the past, but within the walls of Judge Keller’s you can find the uniforms of contemporary Clemson students and fans. Stacks and racks of T-shirts and shorts, sweatshirts and hats cover almost every available surface. For years, they offered overalls, dyed orange, for sale.
The Judge’s grandson and namesake, Isaac Leonard Keller ’70, runs the store today with the help of his son, Ben. But that doesn’t mean you can’t see vestiges of earlier generations. Three hats that belonged to Leonard’s dad still hang on the wall. And if you look through the boxes on the shelves, you might still find a nice pair of white leather shoes from the 50s.

Why does the terrapin cross the runway?


Laura Francoeur and her team balance wildlife protection and air safety.

To rescue a turtle on a roadway is one thing.
To rescue a turtle on a runway is quite another.
Look left. Look right. Look UP.

This is the mission on a New York afternoon, as the Diamondback terrapins poke their heads from their telltale geometrically patterned shells, plodding to cross the JFK International Airport runway jutting into Jamaica Bay.
The wildlife patrol team plucks them from danger and tucks hatchlings into a see-through plastic bag while adults go into the back of patrol pickups, the first step in relocating them to safety.
The loudspeaker atop a yellow-striped, white patrol SUV babbles airport tower chatter until, clear as a bell, comes “Four Left” — the two words you were warned about.
“Go, now,” commands Laura Francoeur. “Off the runway.”
We hightail it to the safety of the crew-cut coarse grass apron. The twin turbine engines roar as the jetliner whooshes by no more than 10 yards away, leaving you feeling out of scale on this landscape, oddly like some small animal beside a highway.
Awed by the din, I look at Francoeur, who smiles, then quips, “It’s just another day at work.”

Managing wildlife and protecting the public

Clemson alumna Laura Francoeur is chief wildlife biologist for New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, “Gateway to the World.”
But today, the world will have to wait, while Francoeur picks up Diamondback terrapins following their instincts.
[pullquote align=’right’ font=’oswald’ color=’#3A4958′]In 2012 more than 1,300 terrapins were picked up by runway patrols during summer nesting season. The critters became media darlings, even getting their own Twitter handle #JFKturtles.[/pullquote] “I did a Google search once for JFK and turtles and there were more than 900,000 hits,” Francoeur says.
To the public and media, Francoeur and wildlife patrol staffers are saving turtles. Actually they are protecting the airport by managing a wildlife problem. While the terrapins pose little hazard to the planes, they do cause a big headache for airport operations.
“Pilots on the taxiways will see a terrapin or a bunch of them, and will hold their positions and radio the tower to have someone from operations come out to pick them up,” Francoeur says. “During nesting season in the early summer, sometimes there are dozens of terrapins in the way. Delays are usually no more than 10 minutes, but they have gone on for nearly an hour.”
Why does the terrapin cross the runway? To get to the other side.

Terrapin crossing the runway.

Terrapin crossing the runway.

Runway 4L juts 400 feet into Jamaica Bay. On one side the terrapins live their lives and mate. On the other, females dig nests to lay their eggs. The biologists have had to figure ways to block the terrapins. Existing fences did not stop the turtles, which would look for gaps to slip under or trudge to the end and go around. The best solution so far is corrugated plastic pipe laid on the ground. The airport has installed more than 4,000 feet of it. “They can’t get a grip and slide back, and the pipe is staying on the ground,” Francoeur says. “The terrapins finally give up and lay their eggs outside the fence.”
Francoeur presented the JFK terrapin work during the 15th Wildlife Damage Management Conference held at Clemson last March. She had time to catch up with friends and colleagues, including her graduate program adviser, wildlife professor Greg Yarrow.
Wildlife-damage management, regardless of the problem species, has four basic components, according to Yarrow, now a division chair in the School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences. It’s problem-solving that follows a process: You define the problem by identifying and assessing the damage. Next, study the behavior and ecology of the problem species. Then choose and apply controls, and finally evaluate the results.
Yarrow remembers Francoeur, who graduated in 1995 with a master’s in wildlife biology, and her thesis about deer damage to soybean fields.
Nicknamed “Spike” for her short-cropped gel-spiked blond hair, Francoeur was one of “the graduate students we had then who went all out all the time,” Yarrow says. “They were a group of great graduate students that put Clemson wildlife biology on the map.”
“Wildlife management was the right fit for me,” Francoeur says.

Arbitrating the conflicts of nature and development

Wildlife and airplanes have needed managing since the beginning of flight. Orville Wright wrote in his diary about a 1910 run-in with birds. In 2012, approximately 10,900 wildlife strikes to U.S. civilian aircraft were reported. Since 1988, more than 250 people have died because of wildlife strikes worldwide, according to the U.S. Bird Strike Committee. Damage to nonmilitary U.S. aircraft from wildlife strikes costs about $700 million a year.

A day with Francoeur and a colleague, wildlife biologist Jeff Kolodzinski, offers a glimpse of JFK from the outside in. The terminals, ticketing counters, TSA checkpoints, quick-bite joints, concourses and baggage carousels are out of sight, but not out of mind. “Our job is safety, looking for and controlling wildlife hazards,” said Francoeur.
It’s a deceptively simple statement, as complicated to achieve as is running an airport as big as a New York City borough. About 15 miles from downtown Manhattan, JFK borders the borough of Queens, Nassau County and Long Island.
In statistical description alone, JFK is a mind-boggling place, a city within a city. Some 49 million passengers buckle up for more than 400,000 takeoffs and landings a year on four runways linked by 25 miles of taxiways. Sited on 5,000 acres, the airport core is the 880-acre Central Terminal Area encompassing six airline terminals along with parking lots, hangars, administrative buildings and cargo facilities connected by 30 miles of road. More than 35,000 people work there. JFK’s economic impact in the region exceeds $30 billion a year.
[pullquote align=’right’ font=’oswald’ color=’#3A4958′]It is a microcosm of the world coping with economic and environmental factors, where nature runs into increasing conflicts with its human neighbors.[/pullquote]
Francoeur began her career in Newport News, Va., where she conducted wildlife-hazard assessments for airports and landfills for USDA Wildlife Services. Since 1999, she has been part of the wildlife management team dealing with animals that live or pass through the airports operated by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — JFK, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty International, Teterboro and Stewart International outside of Newburgh, N.Y.
The work is challenging, even daunting. Animals don’t follow regulations and sometimes neither do people. [pullquote align=’left’ font=’oswald’ color=’#3A4958′]The job requires a multi-tasker — part biologist, bureaucrat, trainer, forensic investigator and enforcer.[/pullquote]
On any given day, Francoeur may work on how to discourage hawks from using airports as hunting grounds or preventing deer from dashing across runways. There are meetings with Federal Aviation Agency officials who regulate airports, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service professionals, as well as state and local leaders. Topics can involve everything from designing new parks (tree selection can affect bird roosting) to supervising taxicab sanitation (some cabbies were tossing their edible trash where animals could eat it).
JFK also has a unique stakeholder — the U.S. Park Service. The airport and the Gateway National Recreation Area Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge interlace in the marshes and upland scrublands that harbor more than 325 bird species.

A CSI for bird collisions

Birds, especially bigger ones like gulls, geese and brants, are an obsession.
“We were mostly in the background until 1549,” said Francoeur. On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 taking off from LaGuardia Airport collided with Canada geese, forcing Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to land the plane in the Hudson River, saving all 155 passengers and crew.
“Collecting information on bird strikes — reporting them, when and where it happened, the species involved, the extent of damage and how long the plane was out of operation — helps us know how to prepare and respond,” Francoeur says. “We do a lot of training to help airport personnel to know what to do and who to call.”
Being a CSI for bird collisions is also a big part of the job. When a bird collision occurs or a bird carcass is found around the runways, the wildlife management team dons latex gloves and breaks out the evidence collection kits. Often the remains of a smashed bird or one sucked through a jet engine are not readily identifiable.
“It’s called ‘snarge,’” says Francoeur. Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution Feather Identification Lab made up the term for the mess of bird tissue, blood and feathers biologists bag and tag for identification. Tools ranging from DNA to microscopic feather analyses help researchers look for clues and narrow the search. The lab processes about 3,000 cases a year, adding to the FAA Wildlife Strike Database.
Set up in 1990, the database contains more than 133,000 reports. The actual number of strikes is far greater. Officials estimate that only 20 percent — one in five — wildlife strikes are reported.
Experts say hazards from wildlife conflicts are rising, as animal populations increase and adapt to living closer to humans. The number of Canada geese — the species that caused Flight 1549 to ditch in the Hudson River — has risen from 1 million birds in 1990 to more than 3.5 million in 2012, according to U.S. Bird Strike Committee data.
Meanwhile, the number of passengers getting on planes nationwide has soared from 310 million in 1980 to 715 million in 2011 on 25 million flights — a number expected to climb to 37 million by 2030.
The friendly skies have gotten a lot more crowded. It’s a serious concern, but for Francoeur and her colleagues it’s a manageable one for now.
More stories about wildlife management at JFK can be found at:

In These Hills


Fadi Abu-Farha

Fadi Abu-Farha

It’s the most sought-after recognition an emerging science, engineering or mathematics faculty member can receive: a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant. And this year, Clemson faculty claimed five.
A CAREER grant is the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of early career development activities, providing a financial stipend to support research activity for five years. The NSF, an independent federal agency, supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
As any professor who has applied for a CAREER grant can attest, a submission for this award is much more than a research proposal: It’s a career development plan. The goal is to fund faculty members early in their careers to promote their development into teacher-scholars. The scientists and researchers who receive the awards are widely considered the most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.
Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. Since 2005, Clemson has been home to more than 30 CAREER grant recipients.
The CAREER grants awarded at Clemson this spring represent a broad spectrum of interests and applications — from harnessing the power of giant computer systems to innovative medical advances to developing lighter-weight materials for modern
car construction.
Fadi Abu-Farha (pictured)
Associate Professor of Automotive Engineering
Amount: $400,000
Low-cost manufacturing of lightweight sheet components for the automotive sector
Jeffrey N. Anker
Assistant Professor of Analytical Chemistry
Amount: $526,000
High-resolution spectrochemical imaging through tissue
Delphine Dean
Associate Professor of Bioengineering
Amount: $400,000
Hierarchical mechanical models of cell constructs
Haiying (Helen) Shen
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Amount: $400,000
Large-scale distributed data-sharing system
Melissa Smith
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Amount: $450,000
Harnessing hybrid computing resources in PetaScale computing and beyond


TAPS yearbook cover 1943.

TAPS yearbook cover 1943.

Whether you’re digging for family history or just browsing for fun, thumbing through decades-old Clemson yearbooks is an intriguing experience. And now that experience is accessible to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection.
Clemson’s Special Collections Library has digitized the complete run, from the first volume (Clemson College Chronicle) in 1899 through 2012. The yearbook had several names before finally becoming Taps in 1908.
Clemson's Special Collections Library has digitized TAPS.

Clemson’s Special Collections Library has digitized TAPS.

Through a partnership with the Internet Archive, the yearbooks were scanned cover-to-cover in full color. Online visitors can page through a volume, download a PDF, view it on a Kindle or search the full text.
This project was made possible through the LYRASIS Digitization Collaborative — a Sloan Foundation grant-subsidized program that has made digitization easy and affordable for libraries and cultural institutions across the country.
Also available digitally are the Clemson Catalog (undergraduate announcements) and the Clemson Chronicle (the student literary/arts/photography journal). In the coming months additional publications will be made available: Clemson College Newsletter (faculty/staff), The Agrarian (School of Agriculture student publication), and Bobbin & Beaker (official journal of the Textile School).
When all these publications have been digitized, more than 100,000 pages of full-color, text-searchable Clemson-related materials will be available for researchers worldwide.

To view the yearbooks, visit


Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson

Charlotte business leader Mark Richardson ’83 is the newest member of the University’s board of trustees. Manager and owner of MAR Real Estate LLC, a commercial real estate company, Richardson is co-owner of the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon and more than 50 Bojangles’ restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia. He played on Clemson’s 1981 national championship football team.
“Mark brings to the board keen business and marketing insights, a commitment to excellence and a passion for Clemson University,” said Board Chair David Wilkins.
Richardson succeeds the late Bill L. Amick of Batesburg, who retired after serving for 30 years. Amick, a 1966 Clemson graduate, was chief executive officer of the Amick Company and a real estate developer. He served as chair of Clemson’s board from 1991 to 1995 and was awarded Clemson’s Distinguished Service Award.


Big Yellow Mountain in the Roan Highlands.

Big Yellow Mountain in the Roan Highlands.

Students from Patrick McMillan’s plant taxonomy class explored some of the most ecologically diverse areas in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, thanks to alumnus Witt Langstaff. Langstaff has property on Big Yellow Mountain, located in the Roan Highlands along the North Carolina/Tennessee state line, and hosts McMillan’s class each fall. One of the highest elevation areas in the Eastern U.S., the Roan Highlands has plant communities and climate typical of New England and Canada and is the location of one of the most picturesque and unique natural communities, the grassy bald.


Clemson's Center for Visual Arts opens at West Greenville

Clemson’s Center for Visual Arts opens at West Greenville

Clemson’s Center for Visual Arts opens at West Greenville [/caption]Once the heart of the local textile industry, West Greenville has reinvented itself as an art destination. The Village of West Greenville is home to more than 30 artisans — including potters, sculptors, photographers and painters — as well as local businesses and restaurants. And now Clemson’s Center for Visual Arts has opened its doors there as well.
The Center for Visual Arts serves as the umbrella for all visual art activities at the University. The location on Pendleton Street will allow for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and alumni to have hands-on experiences in developing, curating, installing and exhibiting art. The center will engage local, regional, national and international artists and will give Upstate residents an opportunity to both see and “do” art.
Greg Shelnutt, chair of the art department, sees the center as a mutually beneficial partnership for Clemson and Greenville. “This is a chance to become a part of the fabric of the community. Artists want to give back; we want to share what we do. Artists want to expand upon the cultural heritage of a community, using art to tell the stories of life in that community,” he says. “We get so much out of our interaction with the public, and this will give our students a chance to jumpstart their art careers.”


Deep Orange 3 Vehicle

Deep Orange 3 Vehicle

Students in Clemson’s graduate automotive engineering program displayed a new concept vehicle at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show in November. Deep Orange 3 features a unique hybrid powertrain that automatically chooses front-, rear- or all-wheel drive; a load-bearing structure based on innovative sheet-folding technology patented by Industrial Origami; and groundbreaking 3+3 seating configuration in sports-car architecture.
Clemson’s graduate automotive engineering students are required to create and manufacture a new vehicle prototype. The vehicle’s concept and design are developed in partnership with students from the transportation design department at the Arts Center College of Design (Calif.) focusing holistically on the vehicle and the end-user. Each year, a prototype vehicle is developed with a new market focus and technical objectives, providing students an opportunity to work directly with automotive industry partners to innovate and develop ideas.


Assistant professor of bioengineering David Kwartowitz works with a student Creative Inquiry team conducting research to prevent sports concussions.

Assistant professor of bioengineering David Kwartowitz works with a student Creative Inquiry team conducting research to prevent sports concussions.

Hardly a week goes by without a news story about the effects of concussions on athletes from pee-wee to professional. And Clemson researchers and students are tackling the issue.
An undergraduate Creative Inquiry student research team, working with bioengineering professors David Kwartowitz, John DesJardins and Delphine Dean, has designed a dummy equipped with brain sensors that provide concussion data. The students built a track system to strike the head of the dummy with numerous objects, including weights, footballs, baseballs and helmets. Using this system, the researchers can manipulate the impact of these objects and the sensors provide instant concussion results.
“We control impact and collect concussion data while the dummy is donning an NCAA-approved football or baseball helmet,” says Kwartowitz.
And in that process, students are trying to find solutions. “We’ve begun a competition for the students to design their own padding inside the shell of a football helmet to avoid probable concussions at high impact,” Kwartowitz says. “Ultimately, the data collected will offer insight as how to better protect an athlete from concussion.”
While the project is educational for the Creative Inquiry student team, it’s designed to be educational for elementary, middle and high school students as well on the severity of concussions and the benefits of wearing protective equipment. The dummy simulator eventually will be displayed in Greenville at the Roper Mountain Science Center’s newly renovated health research facility, where 120,000 students visit annually.


One of South Carolina’s longest established private foundations has underscored its commitment to medical science by funding an endowed chair in genetics research at the Clemson University Center for Human Genetics. The Self Family Endowed Chair in Human Genetics will advance the development of novel therapeutics treating genetic disorders at the cell level. The $4 million chair is jointly funded by the Self Family Foundation and the state of South Carolina.
The researcher, to be selected, will be a leading geneticist who will work toward treatment, and preventive, diagnostic and curative tools with life-changing and economic potential.
The endowed chair will allow Clemson to build on the Greenwood Genetic Center’s potential for seamless technology transfer through opportunities for industry partners to locate in the adjoining Greenwood Research Park to support local business and economies.
According to Frank Wideman, president of the Self Family Foundation, the foundation made this commitment to honor the late Jim Self who understood early on the enormous potential of research to treat and cure genetic disorders. It was his vision to transform Greenwood from a traditional textile town to a modern center for the life sciences. Self was a longtime chair of the Self Family Foundation, a life trustee of the University and a founding investor in the Greenwood Genetic Center.

Clemson wildlife biology students made a strong showing at the 2013 Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Milwaukee, including first place in the student research in progress poster category and second place for the best doctoral research poster presentation. Senior wildlife and fisheries biology major Jenna Kohles won first prize in flora photography for this photograph of a sourwood leaf floating on a pond in her hometown of Cary, N.C.

Clemson wildlife biology students made a strong showing at the 2013 Wildlife Society Annual Conference in Milwaukee, including first place in the student research in progress poster category and second place for the best doctoral research poster presentation. Senior wildlife and fisheries biology major Jenna Kohles won first prize in flora photography for this photograph of a sourwood leaf floating on a pond in her hometown of Cary, N.C.


Georgia Tech professor Nihad Farooq (left) and Clemson professor Kimberly Manganelli confer before the final Road Scholar Series lecture.

Georgia Tech professor Nihad Farooq (left) and Clemson professor Kimberly Manganelli confer before the final Road Scholar Series lecture.

Georgia Tech professor Nihad Farooq (left) and Clemson professor Kimberly Manganelli confer before the final Road Scholar Series lecture.[/caption]The fifth and final Clemson Humanities Road Scholar Series lecture, “Slavery and Social Networks in the New World,” took place Friday, November 15, in connection with the Georgia Tech vs. Clemson football game the night before. The series paired the Tigers’ associate professor of English Kimberly Manganelli (above, right) with Yellow Jackets’ assistant professor of American studies Nihad M. Farooq in a lively discussion of slavery and race.
Jonathan Beecher Field, associate professor of English at Clemson, organized the series which brought humanities professors from visiting football opponents to Clemson throughout the fall to present their current research, each followed by a response from a Clemson professor. Faculty from the University of Georgia, Wake Forest University, Boston College, Florida State University and Georgia Tech accepted Clemson’s invitation to visit and engage with Clemson faculty and students.
“We want to find a way to engage with our athletic rivals academically,” said Field, “and we want to show people what’s important to us at Clemson. This series offers us a way to bring some of the energy surrounding athletics to the academic side of campus and raise the profile of the humanities at Clemson.”
The series received support from across campus, including the Humanities Advancement Board, the Pearce Center for Professional Communication, the Department of Athletics, the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, the Class of ’56 Academic Success Center, the Office of the President and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
In her lecture, Farooq explored how contemporary communication networks might provide ways to re-think the diffuse global networks of slaves in the New World archipelago. She compared slave networks of earlier periods to virtual networks of today, calling them “traceable only through the flow of information.”
In her response, Manganelli explored the networks of slavery, both global and local, and together the scholars engaged their audience in a brief Q&A period.


SCE&G Energy Innovation Center at CURI.

SCE&G Energy Innovation Center at CURI.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman spoke at the November dedication of the world’s most advanced energy systems testing and research center, located at the old Charleston Naval Base. “Developing America’s vast renewable energy resources is an important part of the Energy Department’s ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy to pave the way to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future,” he said.
“The Clemson testing facility represents a critical investment to ensure America leads in this fast-growing global industry — helping to make sure the best, most efficient wind energy technologies are developed and manufactured in the United States.”
The SCE&G Energy Innovation Center, which is part of Clemson’s Restoration Institute, houses a four-story, 400-ton unit capable of testing drivetrains for wind turbines that can produce up to 15 megawatts, which is enough energy to power 6,000 homes. There are only two other such facilities in the world, but neither has this large of a capability.
In addition to drivetrain testing, the facility also includes the Duke Energy eGRID, which can simulate the electrical grid of any country in the world, allowing companies to see how solar, wind and storage devices might interact with the grid.


U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.

U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.

Pulitzer Prize-winner and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, along with a dozen other authors from around the country, will be on campus this spring for the seventh annual Literary Festival.
The festival, one of the few in the country planned and run by students, will include a Young Writer’s Workshop on Friday and Family Day on Saturday. The Young Writers Workshop is a half-day event for area high school creative writers. Upstate teachers bring selected students to campus for a day of readings and workshops with authors including Kelly Link (Pretty Monsters), Benjamin Percy (Red Moon) and poet Mathias Svalina. The Humanities Advancement Board is funding an expansion of the workshop this year, and the organizers are expecting approximately 70 students to attend.
At the heart of this event is a Creative Inquiry class, taught this year by professor Keith Morris. His class of 11 undergraduates and one graduate student are divided into four groups that handle communications, design, planning and organization. Each student serves as a liaison for one of the authors, handling correspondence, introducing the author at the festival and then writing a critical essay on the author’s work.
Many of the students, according to Morris, have used their experience on the festival as a way to secure jobs and internships. For a schedule and more information about this year’s festival, go to

Circle of Gratitude

Friends and family honor Mayberry’s memory

At the Clemson-Boston College football game, friends and teammates of former Clemson football player Robert P. “Bob” Mayberry Jr. announced that $1 million and 74 dollars has been raised to establish an endowment to honor Mayberry’s memory and values. The endowment will award partial scholarships to football trainers and/or managers.

Mark Richardson ’83, a member of the committee that initiated the effort, said that the scholarship was a fitting tribute. “We are confident it would have been Bob’s dream to honor those who work hard day in and day out with no expectation of recognition beyond that which accrues to the whole team.” The fundraising committee also includes Jubal Early, Steve Horvath, Steve Luquire, Robert P. Mayberry Sr. and Kendall Alley ’83, M ’85.
Mayberry started on the 1981 National Championship team. Following graduation in 1983, he joined his father in the automobile business, married and raised a family, and seized every opportunity to demonstrate his passions for Clemson and for helping others. He died in 2012 after a battle with cancer.
Pledges and gifts in support of the Robert P. “Bob” Mayberry Jr. ’83 Endowed Memorial Grant-in-Aid may be addressed to the Clemson University Foundation and mailed to Connie Sexton, IPTAY Major Gifts, P.O. Box 1529, Clemson, S.C. 29633.

Barker Scholars update

More than $2.8 million has been donated to the Barker Scholars Endowment, established to honor President Barker and his wife, Marcia. The endowment will support need-based scholarships for undergraduates. More than 2,000 contributed to the fund, with more than 80 founding partners who contributed more than $25,000 each.
Donations may still be made online, by check or by gifts of appreciated stock. Make checks payable to Clemson Fund, P.O. Box 1889, Clemson, S.C. 29633, and indicate “Barker Scholars.”

Fort Hill Club looks to the long term

Since 2006, the Fort Hill Clemson Club has funded annual scholarships for students through the money raised from their annual Recruiting Wrap Up. But this year, they decided a change was in order.
The event has more than tripled in attendance to 700 and increased more than 1,000 percent in sponsorships to $21,000. Held the day after recruiting ends, it includes chats with the coaches and players, barbecue and getting the inside scoop on the season to come.

Jerry Handegan and Eric Breazel

Jerry Handegan and Eric Breazel

This year, club leadership took a look at their profits and their goals. “There were always two schools of thought,” says former club president Jerry Handegan. “Do we give immediate money now, or do we create an endowment? People wanted to do scholarships. So we just gave our $10,000 annually for that.”
According to Eric Breazel, also a past president of the club, “As the event got more and more successful, we began to ask the question, ‘Should we think more long term?’ What pushed us over the edge was a chat with the financial aid and admissions staff, and hearing their perspective on the benefits of endowment — being able to attract students and offer them four-year scholarships. It was a no brainer.”
The club is actually doing both for now, giving an annual scholarship until the endowment reaches a high enough level to support more scholarships. The club invites scholarship recipients to the event each year, and according to Breazel, that makes the day even more special. “Obviously, folks come to see Dabo and the recruits. But while we’re welcoming new student-athletes we’re also celebrating new academic scholarships as well.”
And their message to other groups? “I would strongly like to encourage other groups or individuals to take a second or third look at making a gift that will make an impact for generations to come, not just for one year,” says Breazel. “Clemson’s still young and has centuries to go. An endowment can make a significant difference.”
To learn more about how you can make an impact on the future of Clemson, visit, call 864-656-5896 or email

Call Me Mister

Wells Fargo supports Call Me MISTER®, Emerging Scholars

Call Me MISTER and Emerging Scholars have in common their goal of improving educational opportunities for underrepresented populations. They also have in common the support of Wells Fargo, which donated $500,000 last fall to support the programs. Call Me MISTER seeks to place more African-American males in elementary school classrooms as teachers. Emerging Scholars’ mission is to increase the number of college graduates from economically disadvantaged areas and first-generation families. Since 2006, Wells Fargo has given $1.71 million to support the two programs.

Butch and Joy Ferree

Butch and Joy Ferree

Ferrees create trust for scholarships, experiential learning

Maurice “Butch” Ferree ’65, M ’67 and his wife, Joy, have created a charitable remainder trust valued at more than $1 million to benefit students in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.
Half of the money will establish the Dr. Maurice E. “Butch” Ferree and Joy Culver Ferree Scholarship Endowment to provide scholarships for students in the college. The other half will create an endowment to provide experiential learning opportunities for students.
“We just both love Clemson,” said Butch. “I don’t have anything but good memories of being a student here. Looking back, most of my professors were tough as nails, but they loved their students. They were making men out of boys — that stuck with me. That experience was so valuable for me.”
“Clemson is a place I have loved all my life,” said Joy. “We want to see it continue to grow, and we wanted to help deserving students complete their education here.”

New leaves honor great generosity

The grounds of Fort Hill are home to three new bronze oak leaves sporting the signatures
of the new members of the Fort Hill Legacy Society, whose bequests or testamentary trusts were realized at $1 million or more.
Ethelyn Berry Smith dedicated her life to education. She taught several years in Kershaw County, and continued her devotion to education by establishing the Harry Graves Berry Bioengineering Endowment to honor her brother, a member of the Class of ’41.
Tragedy struck Ernest and Virginia Carroll when their only son, Ernest Jr., was killed in action in June 1944 during the invasion of Normandy, while Ernest Sr. was serving in the Pacific theater. The Carrolls created the Ernest Hill Carroll Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund at Clemson, where he had attended before enlisting in the Army.
Porter H. and Sara L. Adams have long been tied to Clemson. Porter graduated in 1940, and their son Porter Jr. graduated in 1964. After 26 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, Porter Sr. taught both high school and college, then established the Porter Adams Family Endowed Unrestricted Scholarship.

As part of the inaugural Week of Gratitude held on campus in October, the Student Alumni Council presented a $75,000 check to benefit the Student Alumni Council Scholarship Endowment Fund and the Student Memorial Chapel.

As part of the inaugural Week of Gratitude held on campus in October, the Student Alumni Council presented a $75,000 check to benefit the Student Alumni Council Scholarship Endowment Fund and the Student Memorial Chapel.

Susan Echols ’97, M ’04 and Jason Smith

Smith  Twins

Life-changing to lifesaving

We’ve all experienced moments when we were inspired to make a difference in others’ lives or pass on kindnesses experienced. Few have embraced a life-changing moment as Susan and Jason Smith of Clemson.
In April 2011, the Smiths’ daughter, Emerson Rose, was born at the Medical University of South Carolina with a heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. A mid-pregnancy ultrasound had detected a heart abnormality, so the Smiths made arrangements for her delivery at MUSC, where she could have open heart surgery shortly after birth. The surgery went well, but little Emerson Rose passed away of complications at only 76 days old.
Out of the sadness and pain of this experience, Susan and Jason founded the Emerson Rose Heart Foundation™. They say their faith is helping them turn a devastating loss into a lifesaver. The mission of the foundation is to help babies born with congenital heart defects through supporting research efforts focused on innovative methods of treatment, prevention and diagnosis. It also lends support to parents while they are preparing for and caring for a child with a congenital heart defect. With these combined efforts, they hope to make a difference in the awareness of heart defects.
The foundation is now working on several quality improvement projects at MUSC ranging from a $2,000 project to reduce infection rates to an $80,000 information sharing collaborative with 20 other pediatric heart centers across the U.S. The foundation also has funded pulse oximeter equipment to 17 hospitals across the state to begin screening newborns for potential heart defects.
Probably the most lasting legacy is the Emerson Rose Act, a new S.C. law requiring hospitals to test every newborn for heart defects before they are discharged from the hospital. The Smiths and the Emerson Rose Heart Foundation worked alongside Sen. Thomas Alexander ’78 to help the act receive unanimous approval in the legislature.
“The foundation’s goals continue to be helping babies affected by heart defects in South Carolina and expand to other states. We are beginning to bring children with heart defects to the U.S. from Third World countries to have lifesaving heart surgery,” shares Susan.
The foundation receives funds from golf tournaments, fundraisers and even Dabo’s All In Foundation, an organization started by Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney and his wife, Kathleen.
After Emerson Rose died, the couple decided to go through the adoption process, and then Susan became pregnant. Along with foundation activities, the Smiths stay busy with two baby girls, Rowan Sarah, one year, and Campbell Jane, seven months.
For information on the Emerson Rose Heart Foundation visit

Alumni writers in ‘State of the Heart’

SOTH Cover1
An abandoned farm near Edgefield. An ancient bald cypress in Congaree National Park. A wildlife “enchantment” spot in Calhoun Falls State Park. Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Clemson’s own Class of ’39 Caboose Garden in the S.C. Botanical Garden.
All are vivid places lodged in the minds of Clemson alumni writers.
They’re among an album of mental snapshots — places, people, history — in a collection by 36 S.C. writers on the places they love. The newly published State of the Heart is edited by author Aïda Rogers with foreword by novelist Pat Conroy.
Clemson wildlife ecology professor J. Drew Lanham ’88, M ’90, PhD ’97 revisits the Edgefield farm of his youth and its decaying beauty, the place where he learned to value and respect the sometimes harsh patterns of nature. He’s author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature published by Milkweed Editions.
Former S.C. Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist John Cely ’69, M ’80 describes his first encounter with the great bald cypress in the Congaree National Park and the park’s hardwood forest he’d thought existed only in history books. He’s a former land-protection director for the Congaree Land Trust and author of Cowassee Basin: the Green Heart of South Carolina.
Director of Erskine’s Quality Enhancement Program and writing center, Shane Bradley M ’07 remembers a no-frills camping trip with his four-year-old daughter in Calhoun Falls State Park, an experience that opened his eyes to nature’s enchantment and began a priceless family tradition. He’s author of Mourning Light and The Power and the Glory.
Award-winning novelist, poet, biographer and historian William Baldwin ’66, M ’68 recounts a project on the history of the great Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, a conflicted effort as significant for its failures as for its successes. Among his many works is Unpainted South, in collaboration with photographer Seldon B. Hill, a tribute to South Carolina’s rural past.
Former Clemson World editor Liz Newall ’70 revisits the S.C. Botanical Garden at Clemson, a living preserve illustrated by nature and cultivated by countless faithful gardeners — where each visitor finds a bit of his or her own personal history. She’s author of Why Sarah Ran Away with the Veterinarian and other fiction and nonfiction.
Clemson legends Frank Howard and Ben Robertson also make cameo appearances. State of the Heart is available through bookstores and online at