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Of Note

CCU names new athletic leader

Image of Matt Hogue, interim director of athletics
Matt Hogue

“Voice of the Chanticleers” Matt Hogue was named interim director of athletics in March, after the departure of Hunter Yurachek, who accepted a position at the University of Houston.

Hogue joined the CCU staff in 1997 and served in several different roles in the Department of Athletics and in the Office of University Communication, where he led CCU’s marketing and trademark-licensing efforts. As the principal announcer on the Chanticleer Sports Network, he provided live game broadcasts, features and weekly programs about CCU athletics.

“Matt has distinguished himself as the consummate athletics professional and is highly regarded in the field,” said CCU President David A. DeCenzo in his announcement of the appointment. “He has worked to secure sponsorships, supervised sports programs, taken the lead on NCAA championship hosting, and he began his tenure in media relations.” 

As part of a comprehensive plan to review and re-evaluate the University’s athletic program, DeCenzo also named CCU Head Football Coach Joe Moglia chair of the Athletics Division. With these added duties, Moglia will provide strategic oversight for athletics, working with Hogue to develop a thorough review of all aspects of the athletics program.

“I believe that this is critical in establishing an athletic roadmap that will take us well into the future. Undoubtedly, Joe’s experience and knowledge in these areas will be an invaluable asset,” DeCenzo said.

DeCenzo has chosen to forego a director of athletics search for an indefinite period of time in order to achieve this new alignment between athletics and the university as a whole. “With this change in leadership, we are in an advantageous position to examine our program and decide the future of CCU Athletics.”

Ground Broken for student housing complex

illustration of CCU's new student housing complex
Architect's rendering of CCU's new Student Housing Complex

Ground was broken January 23 for CCU’s major new Student Housing Complex, which will be located behind the HTC Center on property acquired from the Elvington family.

The $85 million complex will include four residence halls that will provide 1,270 beds. Construction of the facility for first-year students will take place on a three-year, multiphase schedule. The residence halls will be arranged in “communities” of four suites grouped around a common social space. In addition, each building will include a community wing with a large lounge, laundry, multipurpose room, resident director office and apartment, workroom and recycling center.

The placement of the four buildings on the site allows for the development of a large green space that accommodates two existing ponds and a stand of mature oak and maple trees. The new housing will be designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Quackenbush Architects + Planners are the designers. This housing project will help meet the University’s Strategic Plan to grow to 12,500 students. 

Coastal Explorer makes waves

Image of new CCU vessel Coastal Explorer
Coastal Explorer

CCU has launched a new era of ocean research. The acquisition of the Coastal Explorer in late 2013 will significantly expand the College of Science’s already considerable research initiatives across the board, according to Professor Paul Gayes, director of CCU’s School of Coastal and Marine Systems Science.

The 54-foot vessel is equipped with state-of-the-art geophysical instrumentation for ocean research. The vessel has an 8,000-pound lift capacity designed to deploy buoys and equipment for water/sediment sampling, underwater video, seafloor mapping and sub-seafloor sampling. The ship also has a lab with three data acquisition workstations and two additional workstations on the bridge.

“In keeping with the mission of the School of Coastal and Marine Systems Science, the Coastal Explorer will allow us to focus on developing a better understanding of the complex coastal systems and associated natural resources that serve as the basis of significant portions of the local and state economy,” said Michael Roberts, dean of the College of Science at CCU.

“By engaging students in ongoing research and studies, we’re working to train the next generation of coastal scientists to help better predict future coastal behavior—erosion, water quality, hurricane tracks and activity/surges, etc.—and convey that information to aid society in effectively managing these resources to protect our coastal resources, infrastructure and economy,” said Gayes.

CCU to acquire University Boulevard from SC DOT

CCU will be acquiring University Boulevard, the university’s main thoroughfare, through a conveyance from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SC DOT). 

According to University officials, the move will allow CCU to more effectively implement and control safety measures along the campus’ most heavily trafficked roadway, which is used by thousands of drivers and pedestrians including students, faculty, staff and community members. 

In the past, when CCU has asked for additional crosswalks, traffic lights, speed bumps and pedestrian timers along the boulevard to improve safety for the thousands who use the road, the requests were denied because they didn’t comply with state standards, according to DOT.

Other measures that CCU will now be able to control include speed limits and lighting. The acquisition will take place after the road is resurfaced this summer through funds provided by the Horry County Transportation Committee.

CCU goes tobacco-free next semester

CCU will become a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus. The board of trustees approved the measure in December 2013, and the policy will go into effect on Aug. 1.

In preparation, CCU launched a Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative that involved smoking cessation support programs and an educational campaign that promotes healthy living in general.  

The initiative follows national and state trends that show more and more institutions of higher education going tobacco free. Nationally, 1,127 campuses have adopted 100 percent smoke-free policies, including 23 higher education institutions in South Carolina.

Peer-reviewed published studies show that when campuses go smoke-free, the number of students who smoke dramatically decreases and that students who do smoke consume fewer cigarettes.

Since 2008, smoking on campus has been allowed only in designated gazebos around campus. As part of the initiative, smoking cessation classes and other aids began in January 2014 in order to prepare the university community for the change.

Students recognized for good deed

Image of President DeCenzo, Ricki Damico, Shane Wolchak and Johnny Quartuccio‌President DeCenzo, Ricki Damico, Shane Wolchak and Johnny Quartuccio.

CCU President David DeCenzo recently recognized three students who helped a man who nearly drowned after his boat overturned near the jetties in Garden City Beach in late January. 

Ricki Damico, Shane Wolchak and Johnny Quartuccio received certificates of recognition for offering aid to a 64-year-old man who had been in the frigid water for more than an hour before washing up on shore. “You really demonstrate what Coastal students are all about,” said DeCenzo. “You noticed something wrong, and you offered help. You took the initiative.”

The three students were fishing in an isolated area on the point in Garden City Beach when they noticed the waterlogged man crawling onto shore in a dazed condition. “We called 911 and got him out of his soaked clothes and gave him our jackets,” said Damico, a senior marketing major from Syracuse, N.Y.

“We rubbed his back and his hands, trying to get him warm. It was very cold and very windy,” said Quartuccio, a junior sport management major from Avenel, N.J.  A second boater drowned in the incident, and his body washed ashore while the students were helping the first man.

CCU Dean of Students Travis Overton said the students would be recognized at a Step Up! gathering later in the year for “students who have done extraordinary things.” He commended them for being “a true reflection of Coastal spirit.” Step Up! is a prosocial behavior and bystander intervention program that educates students to be proactive in helping others.

Byington named provost

Image of Ralph Byington
J. Ralph Byington

J. Ralph Byington assumed the position of Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs in March. He had served as interim provost since June 2013. Previously, he had served as dean of CCU’s E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration since 2010. 

Byington served as dean of the School of Business Administration at the University of South Carolina-Aiken and interim dean, associate dean and founding director of the School of Accountancy at Georgia Southern University. He was director of the Office of Internal Audit at the University of Southern Mississippi, and he was also chief fiscal officer for the Mississippi Governor’s Office for Federal Programs. 

The provost is responsible for the administration of all functions of the University involving academic and student affairs, including all instructional and research activities. All five of CCU’s academic colleges report to the provost, as well as many other campus departments including Kimbel Library, Career Services, the Registrar’s office, Student Affiars, International Programs and Services, and the Honors Program.

CCU establishes Institute for Leadership and Public Policy

CCU has established the Institute for Leadership and Public Policy (ILPP), a new resource that will have far-reaching significance for the university and the region. 

Administered through the Department of Politics and Geography in CCU’s Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the ILPP will focus on three primary activities: (1) polling, (2) policy analysis and (3) leadership opportunities for students. In conjunction with CCU’s emphasis on experiential learning, the new institute is designed to involve students in all aspects of its activities. 

The polling component of the initiative will focus primarily on issues relating to governance and policy questions, providing scholars with an outlet for investigating important questions of public concern.  

In addition to the valuable data that the polling projects will produce and the exposure CCU will receive in their dissemination, university officials believe the program’s major advantage is the depth of student involvement. “Students are learning how to write surveys and polls, how to administer them and collect data, and how to analyze survey results,” says Holley Tankersley, chair of CCU’s Department of Politics and Geography.

Image of more than 550 students from CCU's Greek community packaging meals for the hungry

CCU Greeks gather to Stop Hunger Now

More than 550 students from CCU’s Greek community, along with faculty, staff and other volunteers, rolled up their sleeves in January for the Stop Hunger Now program. The volunteers packaged more than 30,000 dehydrated meals of high nutritional value.  The Greek community plans to raise $7,500 for the program. Established in 1998, Stop Hunger Now has a mission to end hunger across the globe and also helps in disaster relief efforts by delivering clothes, school supplies, medical and food supplies to 65 different countries.

CCU aims to increase study abroad opportunities

CCU has pledged to join the Institute of International Education’s (IIE’s) Generation Study Abroad initiative, which aims to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade.

“Our goal is to increase participation in study abroad programs through CCU by 60 percent by 2019-2020.” says Darla Domke-Damonte, executive director of global initiatives at CCU. “We will accomplish this through curricular integration activities, novel programming and enhanced support for faculty and students. CCU is also working to expand participation in international internships through novel initiatives.”

IIE is launching Generation Study Abroad because of its conviction that the number and proportion of today’s students who graduate with an educational experience abroad is far too low. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career. With 2.6 million students graduating with associate’s or baccalaureate degrees each year, major segments of America’s young people are not getting the international experience they will need to advance their careers and participate in the global economy or to work together across borders to address global issues.

Generation Study Abroad aims to grow participation in study abroad so that the annual total reported will reach 600,000 by the end of the decade.

For more information about CCU’s participation in the Generation Study Abroad initiative, contact Darla Domke-Damonte at 843.349.2129 or ddamonte@coastal.edu.

Poet Laureate is commencement speaker

Image of Natasha Trethewey
Natasha D. Tretheway

Natasha D. Trethewey, America’s poet laureate since 2012, is the speaker at the Spring 2014 Commencement exercises on May 10. She will also receive the honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters. 

Trethewey, who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University. She is best known for her collections, Native Guard (2006) and Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002). Her work draws on U.S. history, particularly relating to the American South and its racial legacy. She is also the author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A memoir is forthcoming in 2015.

Born in Gulfport, Miss., in 1966, Trethewey earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree in English and creative writing from Hollins University and an M.F.A. In poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

As poet laureate, Trethewey’s signature project is a feature on the PSB NewsHour Poetry Series called Where Poetry Lives. In this series, she travels with senior correspondent Jeffrey Brown to various cities across the U.S. in order to explore societal issues through the lens of poetry, literature and her own personal experiences.

Burroughs heads Horry County Archives Center
Atheneum yearbooks are first digitization project

All the yearbooks published by Coastal Carolina (first College and then University)—30 volumes covering the years 1969 (pictured left) to 1997—can now be viewed online, thanks to the efforts of the Horry County Archives Center.

Image of Ben Burroughs
Ben Burroughs

The Horry County Archives Center recently opened its new digs on the second floor of Kimbel Library. There you will find an attractive, book-lined research room with polished wooden tables and chairs. The books are those from the library’s old “Waccamaw Room,” a collection (including some rare first editions) that deals with local history. 

But even though center director Ben Burroughs is proud of the room and fond of books and libraries in general, he is focusing on digitizing historical information so that it can be accessed online anywhere, anytime.

The yearbooks were the first of a series of projects he has lined up. Also completed is a sequence of Civil War letters by Conway citizen John Beaty, and Burroughs is now working on digitizing the complete quarterly journals of the Horry County Historical Society, a collection of historical Horry County photographs, the compete file of the Chanticleer student newspaper, and the James L. Michie Archaeology Collection. The Coastal Carolina University Digital Collection has been established through a partnership with the Low Country Digital Library, based at the College of Charleston.

Burroughs, a Conway native who has devoted much of his life to researching and preserving local history, explains that part of the center’s mission is community outreach. Consequently, the center is  also involved in restoration projects at Vereen Memorial Gardens in Little River and Conway City Hall, as well as in organizing public talks and forums on historical subjects. 

Created and largely funded by the Horry County Higher Education Commission, the center primarily focuses on researching the history of Horry County, but also deals with the entire northeastern section of South Carolina that made up the old Georgetown Judicial District established in 1769. 

Burroughs is grateful for Kimbel Library’s support. Library personnel Scott Bacon and Brian Briones have been instrumental in the digitization process.

“The Archives Center aims to maintain a balance between Coastal Carolina University projects and community projects,” according to Burroughs, who is excited about the center’s direction and scope of activities.

The center’s research room is available to all CCU students, staff and faculty, as well as to the community at large. Burroughs hopes that this resource will promote a better understanding of the complex history of the area and how it is interwoven into the history of our state and nation. 

“I love discovering nuggets of information that have been lost or forgotten and bringing them back to life by sharing them with other people,” says Burroughs. “Sometimes there’s a perception that, historically speaking, nothing significant ever happened in Horry County—it’s all about Charleston or Georgetown. But that’s just not true.”

The Horry County Archive Center is located in room 220 of the Kimbel Library on the CCU campus.