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the same time?"

Beasley chuckles at the notion of the math
professor stereotype - the stem number cruncher
that sees everything as an equation. Instead, he
recalls an answer to the question, "How do your
students know you?" - "Pretty hard tests. Pretty
bad puns."

Humor is as much a tool in the classroom to
keep students interested and engaged in math as
are the index cards he asks them fill out with their
interests and their history so that he might learn
more about them as people.

" 1 want them to understand from day one that
I want to get to know them beyond just another
face," he said. "... And 1 try to get a sense of the
students who have some math anxiety, so I try to
use humor to help them relax and, in one sense,
to catch them off guard and to keep them on their
toes. If they are starting to tune out in class, they
may not know what I'm going to say next. If they
ask a question and I place it back to them and a
student gives a good answer, I'm going to say, 'I'm
impressed.' And I expect them to say back, 'Like
a waffle.'

"It's silly. It's corny. But it keeps them engaged.
1 feel like they expect that after awhile. 1 hope
that what I'm doing in my own silly, corny way is

creating a positive learning environment where
students realize that it's all right to ask a question.
You're not going to look foolish. In fact, as I remind
them, at least five other people probably have that
same question and they're hoping someone else is
going to ask it."

A 20-year veteran at PC, Beasley counts him-
self lucky to have found both his calling and the
place to practice it. While pursuing his doctorate
in the early 1990s, his affinity for the college kept
him moving forward.

"What kept me going during my quest for a
doctorate - a very difficult quest - was the notion
that 1 had found where 1 wanted to be," he said. "I
knew I needed that doctorate because I wanted to
teach at PC. From moment one, I knew this was
the place I had been seeking. Now, that's due to the
fact that teaching is paramount here. The students
care. The faculty cares. What 1 discovered over the
years after I finished my doctorate . . . was that this
was the perfect fit for me as someone who values
teaching above all and yet who realizes that I, too,
am a lifelong student."

The son of Doug and Shelby Beasley of
Augusta, Ga., Beasley and his wife, Kathy, have
two sons - Matt and Mike.

"...they may not know what I'm going to say next.

If they ask a question and I place it back to them and a student gives a
good answer, I'm going to say, Tm impressed.' And I expect them to say
back, like a waffle.' "

"It's silly. It's corny. But it keeps them engaged. I feel like they expect
that after awhile. I hope that what I'm doing in my own silly, corny way is
creating a positive learning environment where students realize that it's
all right to ask a question." - Dr. Brian Beasley


College dedicates new
Alumni Green during

Presbyterian College's new Alumni Green is
a spot for alumni to gather in a central location
on campus. The space, specifically, is made up
ot a circle surrounded by tall columns between
Jacobs Hall and Smith Administration Buildiny,
an area large enough tor a crowd ot about 25 or 30
graduates to kick around tales as they gather on
the historic West Plaza.

More alumni can swap stories on the brick
walkway that leads to the sidewalk on the Jacobs
Hall side of campus. The names ot alumni and the
year they graduated are etched on several of the
bricks. A plaque stating that the Alumni Green
"honors PC family past, present, and future and is
a gift from our graduating seniors" informs all visi-
tors or passersby. The six strong cement columns,
matching PC's Georgian architecture, stand around
the space, while large oaks gather around them.

"This green would not be possible without the
vision of the class of 2001, who first suggested the
project," Sarah Lloyd, 2008 class president, said
during the Alumni Green's dedication ceremony
May 9.

True, the class ot 2001 envisioned the cre-
ation of a special place for PC alumni to be called
Alumni Green. Sara Hopper, 2001 senior class
president, and Roger Harrison '01, assistant direc-
tor ot alumni relations during the planning phase,
are two of the many who worked on the idea. They
received help from architect John Jackson '70 and
landscape architect Morgan Grimhall '74, who
designed the structure and the space.

Despite the 2001 class's best efforts, they ran
out ot time to complete the project, departing with
their diplomas and the hope that their project
would one day become reality.

Help, however, came seven years later when
the Class of 2008 decided to complete the project.
After paying tribute to the class who thought of the
idea, Lloyd, during her speech at the dedication,
thanked many from her own class who raised the
funds needed to cast the circle, lay the bricks, and
raise the columns.

"It gives them an idea of giving back tangibly
to the institution and seeing something happen,"
said Robert Cook, assistant director of alumni
affairs. "It was hard to grasp how large and beautiful
it would be from the initial concept. The hope is
that one day all alumni will return to this place,
visit their brick and be reminded of their perma-
nent place at Presbyterian College."

Lloyd had even more to thank the class of
2008 tor during the ceremony.

"It is through the generosity of the students
that sit before us that I am able to give you this,"
she said as she handed Dr. Griffith a check for
$18,720. "Sixty-seven percent of the class of 2008
participated in buying an engraved brick, which
now lines the pathway leading to the centerpiece
of Alumni Green. I invite everyone to look at what
171 individuals have so graciously given to PC, to
this place we have called home for tour years."

Lloyd also paid tribute to the class of 1958, cel-
ebrating their Golden 50th Anniversary, many
of whom bought bricks to support the fundraising
efforts of the class of 2008. The class of 1958
contributed $195.80 in honor of their graduation
year. The class members said they plan to visit
Alumni Green during Homecoming Weekend
later this year.



Outstanding Senior
prepares himself for a
future of public service

Cody Mitchell's senior year at Presbyterian
College was destined to be eventful. President ot
his fraternity, Kappa Alpha. Cadet commander of
the Highlander Battalion in ROTC. Sttident body

"Those are three key leadership positions here
that take up a lot of your time," he understated.
"The only upside this year is that for the first time I
wasn't taking 18 hours. But 1 was also applying for
law school and taking the LSAT prep. So, the first
semester, 1 was on the go constantly. I always had
something to do. 1 always had a meeting to be at."

But the Bethune, S.C., native believes the
rocket pace has been worth it.

"It was a good opportunity to really see how
the real world is probably going to be - especially
experiencing the life 1 want to live," Mitchell said.
"It was definitely a great opportunity to try to im-
merse myself in that. But 1 still got to have a good
time, too. 1 didn't cut back on enjoying myself. 1
just cut hack on my sleep."

On Honors Day, April 22, Mitchell learned
that all the hard work and lack of sleep paid off
in a big way when he was named the Outstanding
Senior for the Class of 2008. Award or no, how-
ever, he said he wouldn't trade the opportunities
provided to a senior student leader - opportunities

to interact and become triends with board members
and senior administrators. Opportunities to meet
the college's patrons and friends.

"1 wouldn't do this year differently," he said.
"There are a few things 1 would do differently but
1 am definitely glad that I had the opportunity."

As Outstanding Senior, Mitchell earned
another rare opportunity - to address his peers at
PC's commencement ceremony on May 10.

"I wanted to have fun with it," he said. "1
mean, you're sitting out in the sun, people are
sweating - at least have a little bit of fun. The
approach 1 took was, I'm about to turn 22 years
old. I'm just graduating from college. What kind

of advice can 1 give you about the world when 1
don't even have a summer job yet.'"

Still, Mitchell passed along words of wisdom
gathered from PC faculty and staff and his grand-
father - "the person 1 respect most in the world."

"The two most profound pieces of advice he
gave were - nothing in this world is free, if you
want it, you have to work your butt off to get it,"
he said. "And, at the end of the day, when your days
are done, you're not going to remember how much
money you made or the great things you did but it's
going to be the people and the relationships you
made and the people you helped. That's the way
I've always tried to live my life, where I'm helping
other people. That's what 1 want to do."

In addition to graduating with a degree in
history, Mitchell was commissioned into the inac-
tive reserves of the U.S. Army having received an
education delay to attend law school in the fall.
Afterwards, he will weigh options to possibly serve
in the Judge Advocate General Corps or service in
political office.

Serving as an intern with U.S. Congressman
John Spratt in Washington, D.C., and in U.S.
Sen. Lindsey Graham's state office in Columbia,
Mitchell fueled his love of politics.

"My family has always been a politically active
family," he said. "In east Tennessee, my granddaddy
has been sort of big into politics. When I was six
weeks old, he painted on my little jumper suit,
'Vote for My Granddaddy.' I've always been around
it. I've always loved it."


Blue Thumb Garden Club
featured on Martha
Stewart's show

PC senior Kaley Peek loves to garden, and
she wants to share her passion with the campus.
Last year. Peek said, two other students started a
garden and she was very inspired by their efforts.
She decided to keep the hobby going and to try to
get other students involved.

Even though Peek is a music major, she loves
nature, which might explain her double minor in
biology and chemistry. She has always enjoyed gar-
dening; as a child, she helped to tend her family's
garden. This year, she began an organization at PC
called "Tb Blue Thumb Garden Club" to help
01:' '- loves so much.

' '!",crs excited about
the clii' lys to do just

that. Si; ~ievvart over

the Chi- ite devoted

to Stewai k returned to

campus in ! '1 from the

studio telling i . ic. a phone

interview with iu . laims that

it was "surreal" talk i; ; 1 1 1 , but that

she got a lot of interesting and helpful information
from the homemaking guru.

Peek asked Stewart about heirloom plants, a
subject Peek was interested in after reading Barbara
Kingsglover's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
Heirloom vegetables essentially are grown with
seeds that have been passed down from gardener
to gardener. They produce truly organic vegetables
since they have never been genetically modified
for mass production. On the show, Stewart showed
Peek photos of her own heirloom vegetables and she
sent Peek several packets of seeds for her to use in the
organic garden she has started on campus at PC.

Currently, the Blue Thumbs' garden is behind
Townhouses B and C, but the club is planning
to start another one below the football practice
fields, "the Pondo." Peek is optimistic about the
club's future, and she has some excellent ideas tor
upcoming projects. She said she really wants to
try to start a Farmer's Market in Clinton. If this
idea is not feasible, then she wants to at least start
one on a smaller scale at PC. She also wants to
begin a program of garden therapy for Thornv\'ell
children. Peek truly believes in the relaxation
power of gardening.

"The most rewarding thing about gardening,"
Peek said, "is being able to see the fruits of your

labor, so to speak, and to plant a tiny seed and
watch it grow into a beautiful, flowering plant."

Presently, there are about 26 students on the
garden club's roster, with about 10 or 15 students
participating in each event. Peek encourages ev-
eryone to join the club, even if it is only possible to
attend a few events, as she believes that gardening
is truly therapeutic.



Stull selected to lead the
college's pharmacy
program as its first dean

The planned Presbyterian College school ot
pharmacy has its founding dean.

Dr. Richard Stull, the dean ot the school of
pharmacy and assistant provost for graduate stud-
ies at the University of Charleston in Charleston,
W. Va. has accepted the college's offer to become
dean. He will lead the team that is charged with
developing the first school of pharmacy in Upstate
South Carolina.

Stull holds a B.S. in the biological sciences
and an M.S. and Ph.D. in pharmacology. In ad-
dition to serving as a postdoctoral scholar at the
University of California San Francisco's medical
school, he has also been a visiting scientist at the
National Center for Toxicology Research, professor
ot pharmacology and interdisciplinary toxicology
at the University of Arkansas, and associate dean
for academic affairs and professor of pharmacology
at Shenandoah University. Presbyterian College
officials believe he is the perfect fit for the job.

"Dr. Stull is a leader in pharmacy education
and a noted and experienced pharmacology scholar
and teacher," said PC president John Griftith.
"He has held leadership roles in the start-up of
three pharmacy schools and has led one of those
start-ups. Dick brings a unique set of skills and
experience to the job and has demonstrated both
the academic and administrative leadership needed
to create an outstanding school of pharmacy," he
said. "He has a passion for developing students into
pharmacists who serve communities, a focus that
will be a tremendous asset to those communities
our students will join."

Stull is focused on establishing a distinctive
pharmacy program consistent with the values and
academic reputation of Presbyterian College. "I am
looking forward to the opportunity at Presbyterian
to develop a strong professional program that will
emphasize community pharmacy practice," he said.
"The increasing average age of the population
in the United States, the concomitant increase
in chronic disease and resulting increase in the
number and complexity of prescription regimens
argue for heightened emphasis on pharmacy educa-

StuU's interests focus heavily on the education
aspects of pharmacy, and the acquisition of data via
information technology to determine better teach-
ing protocols for students. He notes that the need
tor the modem pharmacist to serve on the "front
lines" of medicine, frequently the first contact for
patients, is one that will only increase in scope,
dimension, and greater demands for service. "We
will seek students who are interested in community
service and will involve students in community
experiences throughout the professional program,"

Stull says. "Students, reflecting this commitment,
will contribute to solving health care problems
through innovation, communication, and dedica-
tion to improving the community as a whole. Our
intent is to provide community service through
leadership in addressing the health care needs of
an increasingly diverse patient population."

Bob Staton, executive vice president, and Ed
Gouge, Daniel Professor of Chemistry, served as
co-chairmen of PC's pharmacy study commission

and will co-chair the transition team assigned to
work with Stull.

Presbyterian College's board of trustees ap-
proved a proposal to create a new pharmacy school
in Upstate South Carolina in February of this year.
The new pharmacy program will serve a total of
approximately 300 students and is expected to
open in the fall of 2010. The exact location of the
pharmacy school is expected to be announced later
this summer.

"He has a passion for developing students into
pharmacists who serve communities, a focus that
will be a tremendous asset to those communities
ourstudents will join."

Dr. John Griffith

Dr. Richard Stull


Challenging Academics

PC to offer semester-long
program at U. of Havana

Since the eari\ i-^k:. :a>; itnii; atter the
Cuban Revolution, the government ot the United
States has prohibited the iravel of U.S. citizens
to Cuba, with notable exceptions for religious
groups and academic programs. Nine colleges
and universities in the United States presently
have programs offered jointly with the University
of Havana, including Harvard University, the
University of Pennsylvania, and the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Now there is another.

Presbyterian College recently signed an agree-
ment with the University of Havana in Cuba to
offer a semester-long program that will enable
students to study in Cuba beginning the fall of

PC president Dr. John Griffith and Dr. Ruben
Zardoya Laureda, the rector of the University of
Havana, signed the agreement in a ceremony cel-
ebrated before the flags of both countries. Griffith
stressed that the agreement reflects the college's
commitment to international education, which
throughout its history has been at the forefront ot
higher education. For his part, Zardoya asserted
that more than an accord between two institu-
tions, the agreement is a symbol of mutual respect
between the people of Cuba and the people of the
United States.

The PC Semester in Cuba Program includes
courses (taught in English) in Cuban History
and Politics, Issues in Contemporary Political
Economy, U.S. -Cuba Relations, and independent
study courses in the students' major fields of study.
The students will engage in an intensive study of
Spanish during the month of September in order
to facilitate informal interaction with the Cuban
people. A special program has been designed for
Spanish majors.

Joining Griffith on the trip to Cuba were
Dr. Charles McKelvey, professor of sociology and
resident director of the Semester in Cuba Program;
Dr. Clinia Saffi, assistant professor of Spanish; Dr.
Booker Ingram, Dana Professor of Political Sci-
ence; and Dr. Jim Stidham, professor of biology.

"Our faculty, under the leadership of Dr.
Charles McKelvey, has developed an innovative,
challenging, oirni uf^'undbreaking program for our
stii- ' ' ;ii,-vrer in Cuba," said

•-'■ .ible to study and

ubbi; •. .' ;i;\- and pertinent

issues 01 :,;^ political, eco-

nomic, aau;: . >,rribean and

Latin-Aincii... .[uestion but

what the nc.xr yeneriK , ;,-,'.ii leaders will

be called upon to engage : ^. issues. The nine
American Institutions of higi;^ ' ruing that have
developed Cuba programs will oc ,»' ' \\c forefront.
I am pleased that PC join-^ Chapel 1 !;ll, Harvard,

and the College of Charleston in this venture."

The members of the group also spoke to
members of the university community during their
stay in Havana. Stidham gave a presentation on
coral reefs at the Center for Marine Research of the
University of Havana, while Saffi provided reflec-
tions on teaching Spanish in the United States at
the Center for Higher Education. At the Center for
the Study of the United States of the University ot
Havana, Ingram and McKelvey served on a panel
discussing the 2006 U.S. presidential elections.
Griffith gave a special presentation at the Uni-
versity of Havana on the history of Presbyterian
College and its contributions to higher education
in the region and the nation.

The delegation also was received by the
special assistant to the President of the National
Assembly and by the director of the North Ameri-
can section of the Cuban Ministry ot Foreign Rela-
tions. The members of the group also visited the
Center for Biotechnology and an extension of the
University of Havana located in the working-class
neighborhood of Cerro.

Accompanied by two professors of the Center
for Marine Research, Stidham had an opportunity
to snorkel and view coral reefs. And the members
of the group were able to enjoy the architecture

and the vibrancy of Old Havana, which has been
declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Stidham said Cuba is fertile ground for both
the college and its professors.

"My interest in Cuba goes back many years,
having watched the rise of Castro and the revolu-
tion," he said. "The University of Havana is among
the oldest institutions in the New World, estab-
lished in 1728. The opportunities for cooperation
and affiliation are numerous and our recent formal
affiliation will afford us here at PC the ability to
be among the first to move into this arena."

His snorkeling trip, in particular, excited
professional interest in marine biology studies in

"Having met several members of the Center
for Marine, I see opportunities for posi-
tive interactions in the area of coral reef biology,
a long time interest of mine in both teaching and
research," he said. "Many of the coral reefs of Cuba
are reportedly quite pristine and, in most ways,
similar to the reefs of the U.S. Virgin Islands, where
we have taken students on several Maymester trips
since the mid-70's. The staff of the CMR seem
eager to have us visit and have our students take
part in cooperative projects which are both ongo-
ing and on the horizon."


Students, too, will have numerous opportunities
to learn more about the country and its people,
according to McKelvey.

"The Semester in Cuba Program and our
relation with the University- of Havana will en-
able students to reflect on questions not generally
addressed in the culture of the United States and
will expose students to perspectives rooted in Third
World social movements," he said. "In addition
to learning about Cuba, students will learn about
current social movements in Latin America."

Stidham added that PC's new agreement
with the University of Havana affords the college
a "front row seat" for broadening its base in the
Caribbean and Latin America.

"Hopefully in the near future, relations be-
tween the US and Cuba will improve, paving the
way for realistic programs and projects which will

benefit both countries," he said. "The initial in-
roads by Dr. McKelvey in establishing the Semester
in Cuba program have been pioneering and we are
now at the forefront here. More specifically, this
program allows our students to pursue individual
interests while in Cuba such as art, biology, politi-
cal science, sociology, and others while spending
the semester there."

The Semester in Cuba program also is a first
tor PC - a study abroad program sponsored, devel-
oped, and implemented entirely by the college, said
Ingram. He also said he believes the program will
allow students to experience the challenges facing
a country in the developing world and to examine
the manner in which a socialist country sought
solutions to problems of poverty and inequality.

Like Stidham, Ingram said he hopes to pursue
teaching and research opportunities in Cuba, in

addition to improving his Spanish.

"1 am a political scientist whose primary
area of specialiiation is political theory," he said.
"My area of speciali-ation allows me to study the
various political philosophies and ideologies (i.e.,
conservatism, liberalism, and socialism) that un-
dergird and serve as the philosophical foundation
of various political systems and cultures. Cuba
provides me with the opportunity to study firsthand
a socialist system and the communitarian ethic that
defines its people and political culture."

Saffi said she has long maintained an interest
in Cuba and has admired the country- 's ability to
survive years of economic and political isolation.

"There is certainly poverty in (Cuba) and
its infrastructure is old and run down," she said.
"However, Cuba has one of the highest literacy
rates of the world, a sophisticated system of free
medical care and has an incredible record of
achievement in art, music, literature, athletics
and medical research. The opportunity to learn
firsthand about this culture and to go beyond the
stereotypes has been most valuable to me both
personally and professionally."

She also shares the ideal of preparing PC
students to become leaders on the world stage.

"If one of our goals as a Christian-based insti-
tution is to prepare future global leaders, respectful
of other cultures and other economic and political
systems, the experience of visiting and/or studying

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Online LibraryPresbyterian CollegePresbyterian College Magazine (Volume Vol. 61, No. 3) → online text (page 2 of 8)