USC Upstate Celebrates Founders’ Day; Honors Those Who Have Made Outstanding Contributions

February 16, 2017 at 1:40 pm

The Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education will hold its annual Founders’ Day Celebration where it will honor eight individuals who have contributed greatly to the University of South Carolina Upstate. Founders’ Day will be held on Thursday, February 16, at 6:30 p.m. at The Piedmont Club located in downtown Spartanburg.

“The Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education is pleased to host this celebration each year, but is honored to do so as we celebrate USC Upstate’s 50th anniversary,” said Thomas R. Young, III, chairman of the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education. “Founders’ Day provides an opportunity to pay particular tribute to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in support of USC Upstate and this year’s awardees have played a vital role in enriching the legacy of USC Upstate and are a testament to why this University was founded in 1967.”

The Founders’ Day Award provides recognition to those persons in the larger community who have been of exceptional assistance to the University. This award will be presented to Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., interim chancellor at USC Upstate; Lois Wiggins Hammock Kenkel, first assistant coordinator for Nursing at the Spartanburg Regional Campus; and Joyce H. Littlefield, the director of nursing education at Spartanburg General Hospital.

The Award for Distinguished Service honors those who have demonstrated a long and distinguished career of service to the University, characterized by exceptional dedication to the work at hand and to the institution. James P. “Jim” Charles, Ph.D., interim associate dean of the School of Education; Charles A. Love, Ph.D., interim dean of the School of Education; Rebecca W. “Becky” Taylor (posthumous), former financial aid student services coordinator in Enrollment Services; and Tammy E. Whaley, assistant vice chancellor for University Communications; will receive awards for Distinguished Service.

The USC Upstate Foundation will presents its Gold Dome Award to Bill Barnet. The award, one of the highest and greatest honors this University can present, is reserved for those whose leadership and vision is carrying USC Upstate forward in the 21st century. The Gold Dome Award recognizes sincere loyalty and commitment to USC Upstate and its future

“The service of the Founders’ Day and Distinguished Service honorees is what has made this University successful,” said Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., interim chancellor of USC Upstate. “This University has a firm foundation to build upon, tremendous talent to work with and people who are working to enrich the Spartanburg community and make it better for the next 50 years.”

Full bios for award recipients

William Barnet, III is a man who is steadfastly committed to his family and his community. He is a businessman, community leader, philanthropist, and former mayor of the City of Spartanburg. In 1968, Mr. Barnet joined William Barnet & Son, Inc., a company founded by his great-grandfather in 1898. In 1976, Mr. Barnet became the fourth generation in his family to lead William Barnet & Son, a global textile company dedicated to embracing new technologies to keep pace with an ever-changing industry. He continued in this position until 2001 when he sold the company to a management team. As a two-term mayor of the City of Spartanburg, Mr. Barnet applied his business expertise, vision, and leadership to reinvigorate the city, making it a more active, vibrant, and healthy place to live and do business. Under Mr. Barnet’s leadership, the City and USC Upstate formed a public private partnership to build the $26 million George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg. He invested tremendous energy, leadership initiative, political and personal resources in this project. Today, Mr. Barnet is the chief executive officer of Barnet Development Company. Mr. Barnet serves on the board of Duke Energy as well as on the boards of Palmetto Business Forum, the ETV Endowment, the Palmetto Institute, and the Duke Endowment. He has also served on several local, state, and national boards, including the board of Bank of America. Mr. Barnet is the former chairman of the Converse College Board of Trustees, past trustee of the Spartanburg County Foundation, past chairman of Leadership Spartanburg, and past president of the South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association. Mr. Barnet has received numerous awards for his business, leadership, community, and civic endeavors, including the Spartanburg Development Association’s Al Willis Award, Converse College’s Dexter Edgar Converse Award, United Way of the Piedmont’s Daniel Morgan Award, and the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce’s Neville Holcombe Distinguished Citizen Award. He also was named the State Chamber of Commerce 2001 Business Leader of the Year; received the State of South Carolina’s highest civilian award, the Order of the Palmetto; and was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the North Spartanburg Rotary Club and Downtown Rotary Club. The Civitan Club of Spartanburg named him Citizen of the Year, and he has received Erskine College’s Drummond Award for Statesmanship, Wofford College’s National Alumni Association Distinguished Citizen Award, and an honorary doctorate from Wofford College. Mr. Barnet was born in Albany, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth before completing a two-year stint as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s Adjutant General’s Corps. He is married to Valerie Manatis Barnet, the couple has three children, Mary Rebecca, 29; Will, 26; and John, 24.

Dr. Jim Charles feels it is vital to use his role as an administrator to promote individual student success. It is satisfying for Dr. Charles to see his former students taking leadership roles in the local education community. An “Army Brat” whose parents and relatives hail from Pittsburg, Dr. Charles received his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Ph.D. degrees in English education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a professor of English education and interim associate dean of the School of Education. Dr. Charles moved to Spartanburg in 1986 to become an assistant professor in the School of Education. During his 31-year career at USC Upstate, Dr. Charles’ duties have included assistant professor, associate professor and professor in the School of Education. He has also had a wide range of administrative roles within the School of Education, including interim dean, associate dean, assistant dean, acting assistant dean, and interim associate dean. In addition, he has served as director, teacher education programs in Greenville; chair, Division of Undergraduate Teacher Education; chair, Division of Secondary Education, Educational Foundations and Physical Education; and coordinator, Secondary Education Program. Dr. Charles is the School of Education’s NCAA liaison to the Athletics Department and an avid supporter of USC Upstate Athletics. Dr. Charles primary teaching responsibilities at USC Upstate are in the secondary and middle-level English education programs. He also teaches American Indian literature, adolescent literature, and composition in the English department. His writing, publication and research interests focus on American Indian literatures/cultures and how to teach them, the writing of N. Scott Momaday, teaching composition, young adult literature, teacher effectiveness assessment, textbook critique, middle-level education, and curriculum theory. When not teaching, Dr. Charles pursues his lifelong involvement in American Indian cultures by attending regional powwows and other American Indian community celebrations and ceremonies. Prior to joining the USC Upstate faculty, Dr. Charles lived in Chapel Hill, N.C., from 1974-1986 where he attended the university and taught ninth grade English in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. He also served as basketball coach, tennis coach and athletics director at Guy B. Phillips School. Dr. Charles and his wife Anne (a pre-school teacher) have three children: Anthony, an attorney who lives in Columbia, S.C.; Maria, a stay at home mom, former legal assistant at UNC-Chapel Hill and former Spanish teacher who lives in Durham, N.C.; and Michael, a restaurant manager and former high school social studies teacher who lives in Chapel Hill.

Mary Anne Fitzpatrick

Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., began her appointment as the interim chancellor of USC Upstate on August 1, 2016 and has brought her energy and passion that has carried the University through a transitional time. Her skills as an administrator and higher education leader have proven to be invaluable during this time. She is a Carolina Distinguished Professor of Psychology and the Vice President of System Planning for the University of South Carolina, where she is responsible for reinforcing connections among all system campuses, including Aiken, Beaufort, Columbia, Upstate and the four regional Palmetto College campuses. She leads the effort to unify the USC campuses allowing the system to meet South Carolina’s need for a highly educated work force and supports the broad range of professional goals of our students. Interim Chancellor Fitzpatrick has served as the USC Columbia Vice Provost for Special Academic Initiatives where she developed the successful On Your Time program establishing summer school as a core part of academic programming, attracting thousands of students to its innovative scheduling model, developing 40 undergraduate degrees that can be completed in three years, and persuading the state to allow its scholarship funding to be used in the summer to facilitate student progress and degree completion. In the 10 years leading up to her appointment as vice president, Interim Chancellor Fitzpatrick served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina. She was recognized by the South Carolina legislature on July 7, 2015 (H 4367), for her outstanding and dedicated 10 years of service in that role. During her tenure as dean, she increased the size of the faculty by 50 through the development of a strategic vision and the organization of the resources needed to invest in this plan. With a faculty base of 505, she hired 300 new tenure and tenure-track faculty, changing the face of the college and the university. The college opened new centers, institutes and programs; created a new School of the Earth, Ocean and the Environment to capitalize on the interdisciplinary strength in research housed in college departments, programs and centers; stabilized external research grant funding at about $42 million a year; and led the college during one of the worst economic downturns in the history of South Carolina. Additionally, she raised over $100 million in private philanthropic support for the college during the capital campaign. Prior to her appointment at the University of South Carolina, Interim Chancellor Fitzpatrick served as deputy dean for the College of Letters and Science (2002-2004), vice provost and special assistant to the chancellor (1999-2001) on distributed learning, and senior associate dean in the College of Letters and Science (1997-2001) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she also held the WARF Kellett Professorship. In 2012, Interim Chancellor Fitzpatrick was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS). A past president of the International Communication Association (ICA), Interim Chancellor Fitzpatrick received its 2001 Career Achievement Award for sustained excellence in communication research. In 1993, she was elected a Fellow of the same association, one of only 25 in the world at the time. Interim Chancellor Fitzpatrick also served from 2012-2013 as the president of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, the largest arts and sciences deans’ association in America. An internationally recognized authority on interpersonal communication, Interim Chancellor Fitzpatrick is the author of more than 100 articles, chapters and books. The NIH, NIMH, and the Spencer Foundation have supported her research. An award-winning teacher, she is often invited to give lectures and presentations in this country and abroad, and to consult with government and educational institutions. Interim Chancellor Fitzpatrick was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of South Carolina: Mountains to Midlands in January 2017. Her term will end in December 2018. She is married to Roman Kyweluk and they have one daughter, Moira who is a graduate student at Northwestern University.

Lois Wiggins Hammock Kenkel moved to Spartanburg when her former husband was hired as a teaching assistant at Converse College where he would pursue his master’s degree in music. She arrived in town just as the Spartanburg Regional Campus (later to become USC Upstate) was being established. She was hired as the first assistant coordinator of nursing in 1967. At the young age of 27, Mrs. Kenkel was a pioneer with a passion for the two-year, college-based program in nursing. She, along with the other nursing instructor hired that first year, were challenged to implement the Associate of Science Degree in Technical Nursing curriculum that had been developed at USC. She was strong in the belief that a two-year, college-based nursing program was a worthy replacement for the three-year, hospital-based, schools of nursing that had provided the community with the majority of its practicing nurses. Mrs. Kenkel took on the huge responsibility for the education of a nursing class filled mostly with 17- and 18-year olds and taught them not to just care for their patients but to care about their patients. Her steadfast leadership fostered a smooth transition as the university moved from the Nurses’ Residence at Spartanburg General Hospital to the old Spartanburg County Health Department building, and finally, to the Administration Building on the University’s new campus. The Class of 1969 fondly recalls Mrs. Kenkel teaching them to put the patient first and they have looked to Mrs. Kenkel as the example to follow throughout their careers. When Mrs. Kenkel gave birth during her third year with the school, she had new nursing graduates of the Class of 1969 among her caregivers on the maternity ward. As a faculty member of the fledgling university, Mrs. Kenkel was impressed by community support of the program, and by the institution’s commitment to racial integration. Because of that commitment, Mrs. Kenkel was able to work alongside fellow instructor, Margaret Lyles R. N., an experienced African-American teacher of nursing, to whom she credits with much of the program’s success. Mrs. Kenkel earned her Master of Arts in the teaching of Rehabilitation Nursing in Higher Education from New York and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The State University of New York University at Buffalo. Her career took her to many areas of the country: She headed a nursing program in Champagne, Illinois, and later worked at a community college in Jamestown, NY, finishing her academic career as a faculty member at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C. Mrs. Kenkel has two sons: Donald, who resides in Maryland; and John, who resides in West Virginia. She is married to Joseph Kenkel, Ph.D., and they reside in Bladensburg, Maryland.

A native of Charleston, S.C., Joyce Littlefield was a Lowcountry resident until she wed her husband, R.V. Littlefield, a pharmacist, in 1957. Mrs. Littlefield had recently received her diploma through the nursing program at Johns Hopkins, and the couple moved to Spartanburg so R.V. could open a pharmacy. Mrs. Littlefield took a position at the Spartanburg Regional Hospital, but left in 1959, after the birth of the couple’s twin daughters, Becky and Beth. Mrs. Littlefield remained at home to care for the children from 1959-67. Healthcare in the United States in the late 1960s underwent a fundamental transition in the way nurses were trained. In January of 1968, Spartanburg Regional Hospital phased out its three-year nurse-training program and the University established a two-year program to take its place. This sea change in nurse training was met with some initial resistance from both the community and from hospital staff. To make the transition more difficult, hospital staffers who had been accustomed to getting to know student nurses while they were training at the hospital now had to adapt to meeting new nurses “on the job” – exclusively in a clinical environment. While the newly minted nurses lacked practical experience, it was quickly recognized that their excellent educational foundation ensured their competence on the floor. During this period, Mrs. Littlefield spearheaded in-service education for the Class of 1969 – the first class to graduate from the USC Spartanburg nursing program. As head of the Department of Staff Development, Joyce had great faith in her young charges and enjoyed mentoring them. As the program grew, so did demand: From 1969 to 1983, the hospital grew from 360 beds to more than 600, and added new specialties. In 1983, Mrs. Littlefield took advantage of a novel program offered by the University of South Carolina to finish her baccalaureate in nursing. The program sent instructors from the USC Columbia campus to Spartanburg, and enabled 36 Upstate nurses who still possessed nursing diplomas to finish their Bachelor of Science degrees with minimal travel. In 1987, Mrs. Littlefield received a Master of Science in family health nursing from Clemson University. Mrs. Littlefield has always valued the professional relationships she developed with USCS faculty as they trained new nurses to meet the healthcare needs at the time. She is especially proud to have been a part of establishment of the Sigma Theta Tau chapter at USC Spartanburg. Her other professional affiliations include the American Nurses Association, the S.C. Nurses Association, the Johns Hopkins Hospital Alumnae Association, and Phi Kappa Phi, the Clemson University Honor Society.

Dr. Charles Love served as dean of the School of Education from 1999 until June 30, 2012. He also held the faculty rank of professor of curriculum and instruction and educational leadership. In addition to his duties as dean, Dr. Love occasionally taught classes on educational-curriculum issues and school leadership. Upon his retirement, the USC Board of Trustees bestowed upon him the designation of Dean and Professor Emeritus of the School of Education. He is currently serving as interim dean for the 2016-2017 year. He received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and biology from Winston-Salem State University and a Master in educational administration and school superintendent’s certification from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He holds the Specialist Degree in educational administration from Appalachian State University and the Doctorate in educational administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a graduate of the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education from Harvard University. Dr. Love has held numerous professional positions in education in the public school sector as teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of staff development, coordinator of instructional television and director of student information management. He has held positions at the university level as professor and department chair of middle-level education, professor of educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, director of field experiences, director of teacher education, and department chair. Under Dr. Love’s leadership, the School of Education grew from approximately 250 students to more than 1,100 students with numerous professional development schools and partnerships with public schools, colleges and community agencies, as well as international partnerships with colleges and universities abroad. He worked to increase external funding from $297,000 in 1999 to $3.3 million in 2010. He is still very active in local, state and national educational organizations where he serves in leadership positions and conducts leadership workshops, and gives keynote speeches and seminars. He is a past member of the Board of Trustees at Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic, the Board of Visitors and the Foundation Board at Winston-Salem State University. He is past Chair of Bethlehem Center Board of Directors and Chair of the Spartanburg Housing Authority Board of Commissioners as well as the Board of Directors of the Phillis Wheatley Foundation. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Barber Scotia College. He was appointed to the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education Board of Examiners and the Council for the Accreditation Educator Preparation in 1995 by the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. He has served on numerous NCATE and CAEP Board of Examiners teams. He has served as a BOE Team Chair and trainer since 1998. He has served as an NCATE and CAEP consultant for numerous schools, colleges and departments of education. He also served as Chair of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability. He currently serves on the NCATE Unit Accreditation Board and CAEP Board of Commissioners. Dr. Love has a wide range of professional and civic affiliations, including the Phi Delta Kappa Education Fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the South Carolina Association of Educators, and the National Education Association. He and his wife, Barbara have been married for 50 years. They have two daughters, Atonya Love Martin and Yvette Love Anderson, and five grandchildren, Erica (20), Bria (16), Camryn (16) Mya (11), and Fletcher (10).

A native of Roebuck, Becky Taylor called Spartanburg County home for her entire life. She graduated from Dorman High School and attended USC Upstate, and then devoted her entire 39-year career to the university, where she worked as a financial aid student services coordinator in Enrollment Services. Ms. Taylor’s devotion to the institution, love for the students, and dedication to their success was evident in her every action. Her sweet personality and generous spirit were Ms. Taylor’s trademark as was her smile and gentle spirit. Students asked for her by name on a daily basis and connected with her on a personal level. Ms. Taylor was an enthusiastic fan of USC Upstate Spartan athletics and was often a fixture at home games. She was on a first-name basis with all the coaches and student-athletes who she loved like they were her own children. She was well-acquainted with the softball and basketball teams and even traveled to a championship game in Jacksonville, Florida, with the USC Upstate cheerleaders. Volleyball and soccer also quickly became her new favorites. Ms. Taylor was also an avid USC Gamecock fan who, for the last 30 years, attended all home football games and many bowl games. She often spent time with her sister, Linda Walker, and the two loved attending Gamecock football games and traveling. For several years, Ms. Taylor traveled with the School of Education to New York City the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Ms. Taylor was the recipient of the 2015 Morrell Enrollment Staff Member of the Year Award and was a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Ms. Taylor passed away on November 2, 2016, after a brief illness. Her presence is greatly missed at USC Upstate but her wonderful spirit remains.

Tammy Whaley has been with USC Upstate since 2002, and served as the director of university communications until 2012 when she was promoted to assistant vice chancellor for university communications. She is the official spokesperson for the University and oversees a department responsible for branding, public and media relations, marketing and advertising, publications, web communications, social media, digital marketing, photography, videography, and trademarking. During her career at USC Upstate, Ms. Whaley has been instrumental in planning and execution of a number of successful projects, including USC Upstate’s 50th Anniversary celebration, the entire overhaul of the University’s website, the weeklong celebration of Chancellor Tom Moore’s investiture, Chancellor John Stockwell’s retirement celebration, the donor gala and the building dedication events for the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics. In addition, Tammy served as lead communications coordinator for the University’s name change in 2004. Ms. Whaley guides a 10-member staff, and says she is blessed to have a dedicated team that always works for the betterment of USC Upstate. Prior to joining the USC Upstate staff, Ms. Whaley served from 2000-2002 as vice president of public relations for the United Way of the Piedmont. From 1999 to 2002, she served as a reporter for The Greenville Journal, GSA Business and Builder/Architect Magazine, and worked as a freelance writer and consultant for Spartanburg Community College, Limestone College, Spartanburg Regional Museum of History, South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, and Charles Lea Center Foundation. Her career at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, which spanned from 1993 to 1999, included serving as the managing editor of Healthy Partners magazine, community relations coordinator, and Hospice volunteer coordinator. She founded the Hospice Festival of Trees event and established a partnership with Wade’s Restaurant to provide each Hospice patient and their families with meals at Easter and Thanksgiving. She began her career in 1990 with the Piedmont Area Girl Scout Council, where she served as a field executive and later as director of communications. A native of Spartanburg, Ms. Whaley earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications/journalism from Winthrop University in 1990. In addition to her career, Ms. Whaley has served as president of the Junior League of Spartanburg, Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, and Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium Commission. She is a graduate of Leadership Spartanburg and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Fellows, and a member of Women Giving. She also serves on the Way to Wellville Committee with the Mary Black Foundation. Ms. Whaley has won several awards, including Leadership Spartanburg Alumni Association Alumni of the Year Award, 2009; First Place Media Awards, National Federation of Press Women, 2007; Media Women of South Carolina Communicator of Achievement Award, 2006; Junior League of Spartanburg Mary Flowers Scott Smith Award, 2002; and the Jaycees of Spartanburg Distinguished Service Award for Overall Community Service, 2001.