The University of South Carolina Upstate will hold its Convocation honoring December Graduates on Tuesday, December 15 at 6:45 p.m. at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. The University will award degrees to 392 graduates.
“Graduation is always a time for celebration as we recognize those who have completed their experiences here and leave us to use capacities they have developed here for further study, productive work, and meaningful living,” said Dr. Tom Moore, chancellor of USC Upstate. “The graduates we recognize this year will further the impact of USC Upstate on Upstate South Carolina and the world. This will be a particularly joyful graduation as we will recognize an outstanding alumna for her career accomplishments, civic service within the local community, and service to the University.”
USC Upstate will present the 2015 Distinguished Alumna Award to Tracey L. Jackson ’90. Jackson will deliver the graduation address.
Jackson earned a 1990 with a degree in political science from the University of South Carolina Upstate. She later earned a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of South Carolina and Clemson University.
In 1998, Jackson became the first – and only- executive director of Piedmont Care, Inc. The mission of Piedmont Care has been to coordinate and provide medical, social and psychological services for individuals and families affected by or at risk for HIV. In her role as executive director, Jackson has steered advocacy to a new level and, in some ways, redefined the conversation so that it’s about caring for people not stereotyping a disease.
She developed classes for the public that help eliminate fears and misconceptions. These classes, which help break down all the stereotyping and stigma associated with the disease, have paved the way for many to be able to understand HIV/AIDS with factual information. Jackson’s years of experience as a leader in her discipline have given Piedmont Care expertise and enables the agency to be a dynamic service provider for its clients and community.
Under her capable leadership, Piedmont Care has grown from serving 220 clients per year to approximately 550 clients per year. This is a crucial pattern given that our state ranks ninth in the nation in HIV/AIDS cases.
Jackson has received numerous honors and awards for her outstanding accomplishments, which include: 2014 Business and Professional Women of South Carolina Career Woman of the Year, 2012 GSA Business Health Care Hero of the Year (Professional Category), 2007 A National Minority AIDS Council Unsung Hero, 2004 Junior Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year, and 1999 Alma and T.R. Garrison Professional Health Person of the Year.
USC Upstate offers baccalaureate programs in more than 40 majors and concentrations—in the liberal arts, sciences, business administration, nursing, and teacher education. The University offers master’s degree programs in elementary education and early childhood education, special education –visual impairment, informatics, and nursing. Currently 6,000 students are enrolled and USC Upstate boasts an alumni base of more than 24,500, with the majority of these graduates remaining in the Upstate to build their lives and careers.
For more information regarding the December Commencement, please contact Cindy Evans at (864) 503-5985 or visit www.uscupstate.edu/graduation.