Cozy Reads

EMILY B. MARTIN ’10, M ’12, freelance illustrator and author of the fantasy adventure trilogy Creatures of Light, shares her favorite reads for winter, each paired with a delicious tea for sipping: “Some are heartwarming, some are thrilling, but all are best enjoyed with a mug of something hot.” Illustrations by Emily B. Martin

Picture Book

The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau; illustrated by Gail de Marcken: Curl up and read it to your children or grandchildren by the fire.

Tea pairing: Blackberry tea or hot cocoa with marshmallows

Tea pairing: Blackberry tea or hot cocoa with marshmallows

Young Adult

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton: Teens and adults alike will savor this decadent, dark fantasy where nothing is as it seems.

Tea pairing: Rosehip tea

Tea pairing: Rosehip tea

Fantasy

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker: This magical tale set in 20th-century New York City draws from both Jewish and Arabic folklore.

Tea pairing: Cinnamon and cardamom tea

Tea pairing: Cinnamon and cardamom tea

Historical Fiction

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See: Follow this moving story about tradition, tea, farming and the connection between mothers and daughters.

Tea pairing: Pu'er tea

Tea pairing: Pu’er tea

Nonfiction

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham: Written by a Clemson alumnus and professor and set in the South Carolina sandhills, this lyrical memoir delves into themes of identity and sense of place.

Tea pairing: Sassafras tea

Tea pairing: Sassafras tea

Science Fiction

The Martian by Andy Weir: A suspenseful castaway novel chronicling a man’s struggle to survive alone on Mars.

Tea pairing: Potato tea or instant tea powder

Tea pairing: Potato tea or instant tea powder

News Briefs

Mark Small, Natallia Sianko and Boyd Owens (left to right) are the architects of a program that will bring STEM education to at-risk youth in South Carolina.

Mark Small, Natallia Sianko and Boyd Owens (left to right) are the architects of a program that will bring STEM education to at-risk youth in South Carolina.

Clemson and S.C. State to provide STEM education for at-risk youth

Clemson and South Carolina State University have received a five-year, $1.28 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve after-school programs for at-risk youth in rural South Carolina through the delivery of an evidence-based STEM curriculum. Additionally, students in third through eighth grades will be able to attend a technology summer camp designed to further cement STEM concepts. The rural locations for the program have been chosen based on poverty levels and the challenges facing the schools and surrounding neighborhoods.

Emeritus professors assist
international graduate students

Clemson attracts graduate students from around the world for whom English isn’t their first language. Clemson’s Emeritus College Language Skills program was designed with these students in mind, consisting of the Clemson English-speaking proficiency test and the Conversations with International Students program. Emeritus faculty organize and refine these programs to provide international students the opportunity to fully participate in teaching assistantships and help improve their English communication skills. The Association of Retirement Organizations of Higher Education awarded the Emeritus College Language Skills program one of its inaugural Innovation Awards for 2018.

International collaboration
seen as incubator for health care startups and leaders

Clemson is joining the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi to create the Center for Innovative Medical Devices and Sensors. The partnership will lead to new medical devices and startup companies while helping educate leaders and entrepreneurs for the global health care industry. Some of the students’ work will be on the main campus, and some will be in Greenville at the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus.

Some of the first projects will focus on solutions for diabetes and other chronic health issues common to both countries. The long-term vision for this collaboration includes exchanges of faculty members, students and postdoctoral researchers and eventually the establishment of joint courses.

Closing the Skills Gap in Advanced Manufacturing

Two engineering students working on electrical component of a machine in laboratory.A skills gap that could leave as many as 2 million manufacturing jobs unfilled by 2025 is one of the driving forces behind a new Clemson program that matches graduate students with technical college students on an assembly line built for research.

The new program, THINKER, short for Technology and Human Integrated Knowledge, Education and Research, is backed by a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation and is aimed at preparing leaders who can help close the skills gap in advanced manufacturing.

Economic expansion and baby boomer retirements will likely create a need to fill 3.4 million manufacturing jobs in the nation between 2015 and 2025, but only 1.4 million are likely to be adequately filled, according to a study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute.

It’s a crucial issue for South Carolina, where the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis says manufacturing accounts for 17 percent of the economy — more than 50 percent higher than the national average.

The THINKER program will equip students with both technical skills and “soft skills,” such as communication and collaboration. Its graduates could help attract new businesses to South Carolina and supply businesses already in the state with the talent they need to grow.

While undergraduates and technical college students will be involved, the National Science Foundation funding is reserved for graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.

The THINKER program’s impact could quickly ripple through the broader regional economy. Studies show that every job in manufacturing creates another 2.5 jobs in local goods and services, and for every $1 invested, another $1.37 in additional value is created in other sectors.

Researchers study activity of Russian ‘trolls’

Patrick Warren, left, and Darren Linvill

Patrick Warren, left, and Darren Linvill

Clemson faculty members Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren are studying the activities of social media accounts created by Russian agencies to influence elections and political discourse. In 2018, they identified over 3 million individual tweets by these types of accounts, a sharp contrast with previous reports of only a fraction of that number.

They’ve studied how these “trolls” work and what the timing and frequency of posts have to say about their intentions and efficacy. After making their data publicly available, the duo continues to gain international attention as news agencies examine the data and seek their expert knowledge to explain it.

“It’s incredibly important that we understand how these people work to sow distrust in our political system, mainly because they’re getting better at it,” Linvill said. “Their efforts to galvanize one side against the other are succeeding, and for the foreseeable future, they will remain a problem.”

With all the news surrounding Russian trolls on Facebook, both researchers agreed in late 2017 that they should at least attempt to use the Social Studio software housed in Clemson’s Social Media Listening Center to investigate whether the problem with troll accounts was better or worse than reported by Twitter.

Linvill took the time to examine every account one by one to verify suspicious activity, and in the process, he has helped people falsely accused of being trolls clear their names with Twitter.

Center for Human Genetics Opens in Greenwood

Trudy Mackay and students at the Clemson Center for Human Genetics.

With an internationally prominent geneticist at the helm, the Clemson Center for Human Genetics opened its state-of-the-art facility in August in Self Regional Hall on the campus of the Greenwood Genetic Center in Greenwood, S.C.

Center director Trudy Mackay, Self Family Endowed Chair in Human Genetics and professor of genetics and biochemistry, is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the genetics of complex traits.

Mackay, recipient of Trinity College’s 2018 Dawson Prize in Genetics, is joined at the center by Robert Anholt, Provost’s Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Biochemistry and director of faculty excellence initiatives in the College of Science. Both came to Clemson from North Carolina State University.

“We now know that all of us are 99.9 percent identical in our DNA, but that tenth-of-a-percent difference translates to 3 million small genetic differences
between any two of us,” said Mackay, who has published more than 200 papers. “The challenge now is to understand how these molecular differences in DNA affect our susceptibility to diseases like cancer and heart ailments.”

The naming of Self Regional Hall recognizes the ongoing support from Self Regional Healthcare, which has contributed $5.6 million to the facility. In addition, the $4 million endowed chair held by Mackay was funded equally by the Self Family Foundation and the state of South Carolina.

Clemson President James P. Clements noted that the partnership with the Greenwood Genetic Center and the support of Self Regional Healthcare and the Self Family Foundation “will allow our faculty researchers to translate their findings into tangible treatment options more quickly and efficiently.”

School of Nursing opens Greenville education and research facility

Clemson Nursing building in GreenvilleSouth Carolina is one of seven states projected to have a shortage of registered nurses by 2030, according to a 2017 report by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. South Carolina’s nursing shortage is expected to top 10,000; it’s one of only four states expected to have that significant a shortage.

A collaboration between Clemson and the Greenville Health System is designed to address that shortage. The Clemson University Nursing building, an education and research facility housing an expansion of Clemson’s baccalaureate nursing program at GHS, opened in August.

The new building allowed the School of Nursing to increase first-year enrollment from 64 in fall 2015 to 173 in fall 2018. By fall 2021, total enrollment in the baccalaureate program is anticipated to top 700, an increase from 256 in fall 2015.

“The collaboration will not only expand our enrollment, but will also integrate teaching and clinical practice in innovative ways that will positively impact nursing education and patient outcomes,” said Kathleen Valentine, director of Clemson’s School of Nursing.

Nursing students will take their general education and nursing foundation courses on Clemson’s main campus during their freshman and sophomore years. After that, they are placed into one of two cohorts: One will take nursing courses in Greenville under the guidance of Clemson faculty and complete clinical rotations across multiple GHS campuses; the other will take junior and senior nursing courses on Clemson’s main campus and complete clinical rotations at health systems across the Upstate, including GHS.

Graduate nursing students will have priority clinical rotations within GHS to be prepared to care for rural and vulnerable populations.

“This innovative collaboration will help ensure that GHS and the entire region and beyond have high-quality nurses in spite of a nursing shortage,” said GHS President Spence Taylor.

$11 million NIH grant creates new center for musculoskeletal research

Hai Yao, the Ernest R. Norville Endowed Chair of bioengineering at Clemson University and leader of SC-TRIMH, talks with a student in his lab at MUSC. Image Credit: Grace Beahm

Hai Yao, the Ernest R. Norville Endowed Chair of bioengineering at Clemson University and leader of SC-TRIMH, talks with a student in his lab at MUSC.
Image Credit: Grace Beahm

Disorders affecting bones and joints — including arthritis, osteoporosis and chronic back pain — are a major driver of health care costs around the world. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that by 2040, more than one-quarter of Americans will be diagnosed with arthritis.

Clemson is looking to address that problem. With an $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Biomedical Research Excellence, the University has launched a new research center that will bring together scientists from across South Carolina to change the way musculoskeletal disorders are diagnosed, treated and studied.

Led by bioengineers at Clemson, the South Carolina Center for Translational Research Improving Musculoskeletal Health combines orthopedics and other clinical expertise from the Greenville Health System and the Medical University of South Carolina with computer scientists, computational engineers, biophysicists and other experts to better understand musculoskeletal disorders and to design and evaluate new devices, interventions and drug therapies.

The largest study of bullying prevention in U.S. schools reveals positive impact

Researchers at Clemson and the University of Bergen in Norway recently published positive findings from the largest study of bullying prevention efforts in U.S. schools. In the three-year study, the researchers evaluated nearly 70,000 students across 210 elementary, middle and high schools who had participated in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

They found clear reductions in student reports of being bullied and bullying others. Clemson’s Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life is the training and consultation hub for the Olewus program in North, Central and South America.

According to Sue Limber, Clemson professor and author of the study, the results were stronger the longer the program was in place: “It’s encouraging to see that despite some more ingrained behaviors in older students, we still see quite positive responses in later grades.”

The study also found increases in students’ expressions of empathy and decreases in students’ willingness to join in bullying. The success of the program is encouraging for students and schools, according to Dan Olweus, author of the study and founder of the Olwus program.

“This study clearly shows bullying prevention efforts can positively affect behaviors and perceptions of students of all ages,” said Olweus. “Given the scarcity of positive results from anti-bullying programs in the U.S., this new study is a breakthrough.”