USC Upstate Awards Eb and Maggie Barnes Memorial Scholarship Recipients For 2012-2013

September 25, 2012 at 10:05 am

The Eb and Maggie Barnes Memorial Scholarship was created and awarded at the University of South Carolina Upstate for the first time in 2003 in celebration of the life and work of Dr. Eb Barnes, former coordinator of USC Upstate Greenville Campus, and his wife, Maggie. The $1,000 annual scholarship is awarded to a nontraditional student enrolled part-time in a degree program on the USC Upstate Greenville Campus who has demonstrated financial need.

There are two recipients of the Eb and Maggie Barnes Memorial Scholarship for 2012-2013. The selection committee decided to make two awards this year because of the financial need among nontraditional students on the Greenville Campus.

John Abrams, Jr. of Greer is majoring in Engineering Technology Management. He works with Volunteers of America in the National Housing Corporation as a community administrator for approximately 85 low-income subsidized elderly housing units.

As a member of the Waccamaw Indian Tribe of Aynor, South Carolina, Abrams volunteers as a counselor for the American Indian Cultural Association of South Carolina. He makes presentations to elementary schools, colleges, and universities on the history of American Indians in South Carolina. Abrams also counsels American Indian prison inmates in state and federal prisons in South Carolina. He feels that his life’s calling is to help Indian prisoners feel that they are persons of worth. His goal is to provide half-way homes to Indian inmates released from prison, as well as to provide subsidized senior housing to Indian communities in South Carolina.

“As an American, I feel that I should be able to honor my Indian heritage and go to a Pow-Wow,” said Abrams. “I can honor my Scottish heritage by going to the Scottish games. I can honor my German heritage by going to the Octoberfest. Then, I can go to work the next morning as an educated professional and make a comfortable living.”

Abrams has a 17-year-old son who will enroll at North Greenville University as a Music Education major in Fall 2013.

Shawna Wright of Taylors is a nursing student in the Mary Black School of Nursing on the USC Upstate Greenville Campus. She works on the third shift at Greenville Memorial Hospital as an admissions counselor in the Children’s Emergency Room. Her goal is to work as a nurse in either the Emergency Room or Intensive Care at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Additionally, Wright is serving as research assistant to Dr. Lynette Gibson in the Mary Black School of Nursing in Greenville on a research project entitled, “Thoughts, Feelings, and Beliefs about Screening Mammography Held by African American Women.”

Among the challenges Wright faces as a part-time nursing student is switching from working third shift and attending classes during the day. Wright’s four-year-old daughter is taken care of while she is in school or working by family. She feels that she is skilled in planning ahead and anticipating what comes next, so she studies ahead in case her child gets sick. The Eb and Maggie Barnes Scholarship will enable her to continue to make progress toward a degree in nursing.

For additional information, contact Dr. Judith S. Prince, vice chancellor of the USC Upstate Greenville campus, at (864) 552-4243 or